Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, October 15, 1835

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, October 15, 1835
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:sgl

student editor

Transcriber:spp:mhr

Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1835-10-15

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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, October 15, 1835

action: sent

sender: Benjamin Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24

location: Mexico, NY

receiver: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: sgl 

revision: crb 2015-09-06

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Page 1

Mexico – Junietta Canal D.
Oct 15 – ‘35
My dear Brother
Our Father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
& Mother
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
came to
New York on the 12th at evening & pro-
ceeded to our old place 58 Laight – but
as he had put our successors in possess-
ion & were quartered out among friends
unknown to the occupants of our old
home, our parents found no clue of
us and we did not see them until
about an hour before leaving town the
following morning.
Father mentioned to me when I
left Florida that he should probably be
down, before fitting off to Natchez, & if
he come, would expect to take the
Portrait. My purpose was not to in-
terfere with his wishes, & when I learn-
ed from Mr. Spencer
Birth: 1788-01-08 Death: 1855-05-17
that the time was
too limited to furnish me a copy, my
purpose was not altered. I resolved

[left Margin] Mr Spencer is directed to box up your four pictures – (the box was
prepared for 5) & send them down to Halsted Hains & Co about
101. Pearl S. who
will forward it
to you.
Page 2

reluctant as I was, to give it him
& go without myself.
The completion of sister Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
did
not take place till the last two or three
days of our stay, & while that copy was
there, Fathers was there also: & finally
when it was completed & ready to be set
^in^ the frame & nailed up with glasses &c
the question came up what shall be
done with Fathers – he did not say
^unconditionally^ he would take it – did not pay for
it, & I was about to remove & did
not feel disposed to leave $25 in such
a case, and as I had learned from
J. Steward
Birth: 1777-04-04 Death: 1854-12-19
that Father was sick & not
likely to come down, I concluded to pack
up the picture. This done, a letter
came, that he would still come & take
the picture! – and his past question
almost was about it – and what could
I do – but gave him my leave, at the
same time telling him the picture was
not mine, but yours to take it. And
I suppose he has carried it home.

[left Margin] Rumor says Grand m. Miller
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
is no more! & from what you said
in your letter it is probaly true – tell sister F. we sympathize with her & wonder
how this event is to effect her arrangements – do write us directed to us at Cincinnati:
We are the third day on our journey the weather being very fine & our set of passengers very
interesting.
Five days takes us from New York to Pittsburgh: 500 miles.
Page 3

In 15 years, my father has not so outraged
my feelings (& sometimes he has purposely invaded
them) as he has in relation to this same
picture, and I have been sadly censured by
him & suffered much at his hands: now
I fear I am liable to censure by you:
it was not premeditated I assure you; to
rob you of a picture – rather would I
have given up my own under the circumstances,
and I only obeyed a strong desire
to avoid a storm: The manner I
parted from Florida, will imbitter
all my future life, & Florida, stand-
ing as it, I never would have visited Florida
again, no never. But the picture was not
concerned in this resolution – but grew out
of a matter forty fold more unimportant; &
one where my innocence was my only fault.
To prevent the enacting of a second
part to this awfully embarrassing scene;
in my weakness I pointed to your picture
with leave to take it and thus did this
wrong – will you forgive me?
Father may possibly pay you for your the
portrait (I paid him back) – if he does
not I will remit
To relax as intensity; to make less tense or violent • To forgive; to surrender the right of punishing a crime • To pardon, as a fault or crime • To give up; to resign • To send back • To transmit money, bills, or other things in payment for goods • To restore • To slacken • To abate in violence for a time •
you the amount.

[left Margin] We have Mrs Gillispie
Unknown
(Mrs John Duers
Birth: 1783 Death: 1864-12-26
sister
Unknown
) on board. Justin Wyman
Unknown

Mr Packard
Unknown
, & several other very genteel
Polite; having the manners of well bred people • Graceful in form; elegant in appearance, dress or manner •
persons.
Do write us very soon – we shall be anxious to hear
how sister’s health is since her Grd. Mamas death.
Your Brother
B.J.S.
Page 4

I do not care a fig about the value – the
treatment I have recieved in connexion with it
wounds me and wounds me deeply.
Poor Washington
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
feels, as he did when you
were there, the same cramping circumstances.
I rejoice, and am exceedingly sorrowfull, both
about him. I hope he will learn business; &
I fear he will be exceedingly tryed.
Edwin
Birth: 1799-07-02 Death: 1872-04-25
has fallen again – awfully fallen –
most likely never to rise again!
Prospects are fluttering everywhere as we progress
that Ritner
Birth: 1780-03-25 Death: 1869-10-16
is elected, & it is pleasing to hear it so
often said, that anti VanBuren
Birth: 1782-12-05 Death: 1862-07-24
influence certainly predominates.
Let who will win here, VanB. has nothing to hope for.
Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-28
says I have not sent her love to sister:
please accept it here – late – but not the less warm.
Can you send me a letter of introduction to anyone in C
that will be useful to me.
Hon. Wm H Seward
Auburn
New York
PITTSBURGH Pa.
OCT 21
x

Stamp

Type: postmark
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
B.J. Seward
Oct. 1835