Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 14, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 14, 1837



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 14, 1837

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Westfield, NY

transcription: mep 

revision: ekk 2015-06-02

Page 1

Tuesday morning 14th Feb
My Dearest Henry[ . ]


As it is so trying to my eyes
to write a long letter at a time I think I will commence
again on the old plan writing some every day. After
sealing and sending letters to you and H. Weed
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
evening I complied with the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
invitation to
attend their church-they performed clergyman
alternately. I was requested to lead the choir but as I
never sing when I am not happy I found if very
difficult to perform my part–my heart was too heavy
the last time we all played church dear little Nealy
Birth: 1836-08-25 Death: 1837-01-14

was one of the congregation. There is no time or place
when such reflections do not crowd themselves upon me
endeavour as much as I will to occupy my mind
with other things,. still I feel the benefit of constant exertion
and knowing as I do the sinfulness of yeilding to despon-
dency I shall persevere in my present plan "hoping
and believing, yea through faith, knowing" that my
endeavours will not be unassisted. You spoke once
dearest, about recieving the sacrament of baptism, I always
intended to talk more with you about it. I am afraid I
assented to the reasons which you gave for delay without duly
considering them–'the world would think that your
making a profession of religion was the result of a sudden
^affecting^ dispensation'–you know it to be the result of mature
deliberation, that you designed making the profession before
the recurrence of the calamity and ought it to be deferred
Page 2

for that reason. Do not think I misunderstand you
I do not think it is the world's opinion of you
which deterred you was it? was it not the fear of
dishonouring the religion you would adopt. Think it all over
again dear one. I do not know as I have made myself
intelligible but I have little fear that you will not
decide right finally. One page of my journal consumed
how impossible I find it to write a little to you. Yesterday
(Monday) my little school went on as usual–Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13

spent part of the evening with us–reading Augustus magazine.
It was a cold blustering day–this morning the thermometer
almost down to zero–cold but a fine sunshine.
Thursday afternoon–Yesterday Mrs Horner
Birth: 1780 Death: 1856-12-09Certainty: Probable
and Mrs Gates
 Death: 1880-05-11
came to take tea with us before
my school was dismissed so I lost all time for
writing–it was a warm pleasant day the
little boys were out all play time with their sleds
to day it is somewhat colder. Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
not make his appearance yet though I have
been looking for him some days–a letter of
the other day from George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
, it was a letter of
condolence and says nothing of his own affairs
I hope you will acknowledge it. Poor Rathbone
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13

has lost his little boy
Birth: 1837 Death: 1837-02-12
I see by the Journal
I hope you will express my sympath with yours
the next time you write to him. Gary Sackets
Birth: 1790-08-09 Death: 1865-06-02

child is also dead–died of croup–
Dear little Fred is crying again with the tooth ache
he has very little comfort in eating––––I just
laid by my pen to read a letter (not from you) from
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
–this is also a letter of Condolence
which I must answer–she wishes to hear all
Page 3

the particulars of Cornelia's death–O how
I shrink from the task of recounting them
but I will try–she says Jennings
wrote to her from New York–she and the
x Birth: 1828-10-07  Death: 1897-07-24  Birth: 1820-05-18  Death: 1889-05-08 
are well–I shall delay this letter one day
longer with the hope of hearing from you.
Friday your Sunday letter has arrived and
relieved me of much solicitude respecting
you–what a comfort your letters are to me
You must not dearest give yourself so much trouble
about me. I do not yield to the despondency
To be cast down; to be depressed or dejected in spirits • To lose all courage, spirit, or resolution •

you imagine I do–I believe a I am most of the
time as cheerful as you can desire. I do not
forget our dear babe this I know you would not
ask–no she is never absent from my thoughts
but I dare not repine–while I have so many
blessings still left me I know it would be wrong
still there are times when my spirit is oppressed
and I look with fear and trembling to the future
I am so much afraid of being the subject of
still greater bereavements–of being left still more
alone–this has always in some shape been a subject
of disquietude to me and now that death has entered
our dwelling it my heart is often weighed down
with a sickening apprehension. I feel and know that
this is not trusting in His goodness as I ought–it
is not 'hoping all things' but I have found all my
endeavours to overcome it, thus far, ineffectual.
He alone can dispel the clouds and darkness which His
dispensation have caused to gather about me. You
know not how happy the thought makes me that your
prayers will be joined to mine. May God bless you and
preserve you. your own Frances.
Page 4

I wish you would ask Harriet whether Maria
be a help or a trouble to her if I should bring
her to Chautauque with me. I cannot leave her here
and if I send her home I think it will be no benefit
to her. I suppose she would like very much to go
but have I said nothing to her on the subject. If Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03

and Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
go (and I certainly desire that they should) that
would be another objection to taking her unless Frances

has become too much of a young lady to make a companion of
her–Harriet will require some assistance with this
of her family–advise me dearest what you think best
18 2/
Feb. 18


Type: postmark

William H. Seward
Chautauque County
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F. A. Seward
Feb. 18, 1837