Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, September 2, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, September 2, 1837



Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, September 2, 1837

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Westfield, NY

transcription: keh 

revision: dxt 2015-11-03

Page 1

Auburn September 2d. 1837.
My dear Jennings,
I am at length able to announce our safe arrival at
home. We have made a slow but very agreable return. Our first day's
ride was to Fredonia by the way of Van Buren city and Dunkirk. Be-
fore our arrival at Van Buren, Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
sick head ache disqual-
ified her for all enjoyment. I stopped long enough at that place
to become satisfied that in any event the experiment of making
a city or respectable village at that point will be a envious
failure. I was much more favorably impressed in regard to
Dunkirk which if the New York and Erie Rail road shall be
prosecuted must become a great town and even if the suspension
of that work is to be perpetual I believe must be the chief town
in Chautauqua. We had a very comfortable sojourn at Fredonia
in the new hotel – paid our respects to Mr
Birth: 1804-03-16 Death: 1904-10-24
and Mrs Smith
Birth: 1809 Death: 1887
[ , ]



caused Marcias
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
letter to be delivered to her friend, and saw
Messieurs Mullett
Birth: 1784-10-17 Death: 1858-09-10
Birth: 1791-07-01 Death: 1860-05-18
and other friends. The next day we
arrived by the stage at Silver creek at noon. The coach was
crowded and altogether so uncomfortable that F. overcame
her aversion to Lake navigation and consented to take pas-
sage on the Barcelona which landed us at Buffalo at a
seasonable hour. There we met my old friend Richard R Ward
Birth: 1795-11-17 Death: 1873-12-08

of New York with his family – went to the Theatre with them
that evening, and the next morning they returned with us to Niaga-
ara Falls
from which place they had just arrived when
we met them at Buffalo. On Saturday morning we passed by rail road
to Niagara Falls, strolled upon Goat Island and the American
shore until dinner. After dinner crossed on the ferry boat
below the falls to the Canada side and there took on lodgings
at the Clifton House. We spent Sunday at that place enjoying
the sublime scene, and undisturbed by a multitude. On Mon-
Page 2

day morning we continued our journey to Queenston, there recrossed the Niagara
to Lewiston, and from that place proceeded by railroad to Lockport. The
next day brought us to Batavia from which place I dispatched to you
a hasty letter. We spent the morning of the next day under the
hospitable roof of our friends the Carys
x Birth: 1788  Death: 1863-06-22  Birth: 1787-08-11  Death: 1869-06-20 
, and in the afternoon came
to Rochester – the morning at Rochester and in the evening arrived at
Canandaigua – the morning at Canandaigua and yesterday
afternoon safely arrived at Auburn.
How beautiful our little town is you will never realize until
you see it in the summer, and how charming our little home
in it is you must not know until you can bring Marcia
and enjoy it. Our garden is luxuriant in its production, and
though the few flowers with which our place is sparingly
adorned are faded the richness of the vegetation
A writ for summoning a new jury panel •
and foliage
make it eminently delightful. We found Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
about as
well as when she left Westfield, her cough which caused
me to consent to her premature departure from Westfield
continues unmitigated, and I cannot acquire confidence
in her eventual recovery. Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
his grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
his uncle
Birth: 1791-09-07 Death: 1860-11-16

and aunt
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
are all very well and all seem contented and
I met Oliver Lee
Birth: 1791-12-23 Death: 1846-07-28
at Silver Creek and partially agreed
with him to join him in the purchase of the Miner Mill
property. Mr Lewis
will point out to you the property
necessary and convenient for that purpose. And I wish you
to notice that none of the land is to be sold, nor are any of
the contracts to be permitted to be renewed until my
return. I mean the contracts for land convenient to the mill
which Lewis will designate.
I did not discover on the part of our friend in Rochester any solici-
Page 3

tude to setle ^ll^ his interest in Chautauqua. Indeed as it requires no
payments from him he never thinks of it. He is a clever fellow
and I suppose shabbily used which causes him some embarrass-
ments that depresses him but I think he will eventually overcome them.
I have received nothing from below, from Mr Vanderkemp
Birth: 1783-04-22 Death: 1855-12-04
and Dr
Birth: 1795-04-27 Death: 1849-06
. I shall wait here until I receive answers to my letters,
and shall then go Eastward. I do not know that I have anything
to say to you especially about affairs in the office. Only to advise
you that there is no prospect of any improvement in the commer-
cial affairs of the country. It is essentially important to have
the estate closed on the principle now pursued but great caution
and great tenderness of manner must be exhibited towards the
people – and while nothing is omitted to be collected which
might be secured, indulgence must be extended to those who
cannot pay.
I hope you sent off to Mr Vanderkemp my copy state-
ment, and I will trouble you to send me a copy of it here.
Mr Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
has sent to me here a proofsheet of my speech
at Westfield, which appears very well. I shall have it revised
and completed and sent to you.
I am waiting impatiently for letters from you. I trust your health
is improved. It is and has been a source of great regret both to
Frances and myself that Marcia did not accompany us.
I will write again when I hear from you.
There is a suspicion probably well grounded that Henry Seymour
Birth: 1780-05-30 Death: 1837-08-26
had funds of
the Redfield
Birth: 1788-12-27 Death: 1877-07-22
and LeRoy
Birth: 1794-11-27 Death: 1847-02-24
purchase of the Holland Company $230,000 unaccounted
for and also $60,000 of the Syracuse & Utica Railroad Company, but nothing
definite has transpired.
Affectionately your brother
B.F. Seward Esq.
Page 4

Benjamin H. Seward Esq.
Chautauqua Land Office.


Type: postmark
Hand Shiftx

Benjamin Seward

Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
September 2, 1837

B.J.Seward Esq.