Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, September 26, 1837

  • Posted on: 8 April 2016
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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, September 26, 1837



Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, September 26, 1837

action: sent

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

location: Westfield, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: keh 

revision: dxt 2015-11-12

Page 1

Chautauque Land Office
Westfield Sept. 26. 1837.
Dear Henry
I wrote you yesterday, addressed to
Albany – where I had little hope my letter
would meet you – and therefore wrote but little.
I could not but also feel that Mr Rathbone
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13

(who would of course recieve your letter in your
absence) was looking over my shoulder &
I therefore omitted two or three topicks.
For a week or ten days we recieved no
Lumbermans bills. Lowry
Birth: 1805-10-22 Death: 1852-02-23
called during
the time, & seemed indifferent to my course.
Birth: 1805-10-05 Death: 1874-04-25Certainty: Possible
was much chagrined – & as soon as
he could, put off to get an arrangement. In this
he succeeded: & sent me yesterday, the written
proposition of the Bank to give us drafts on
Phil'a at four months, upon notice given
them of the amount, in the usual way, adding
two percent two months interest to the sum: and
Josiah Hall
Birth: 1784 Death: 1877-04-01
& N. A Lowry & G. C Irving
Birth: 1792-12-15 Death: 1868-08-24
give their
guarantee that the drafts shall be good.
Of this guarantee, I have satisfied myself
that if nothing had occurred to disturb my
confidence, I should regard it as safe, above
the guarantee of Mr Falconer
Birth: 1780-12-22 Death: 1851-10-20
. But as he has (that
is Falconer) has seen fit to withdraw his pledge
and as there is no frankness on the part of those
concerned, in regard to statements about the bank
I have little confidence. No answer has
been returned to this proposition – none was

[left Margin] Sept 27. – We were much occupied last evening & I failed to get time to count
up the funds & get my letter off[ . ]


I have put up $1080 in Lumbermans
& asked the draft
in the usual
Page 2

asked – & it is left, to be answered by you – or the answer
dictated. It is not the interest of Lowry & Irving to
keep up the credit of the Bank – & they will not
censure us: – while Tucker is sore & irritated &
watches what we do.
Upon an understanding with Tucker that it will
answer the purpose of the Bank, in keeping up credit
we are taking small sums of [ Lumbermas ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: Lumbermans
– & reject-
ing larger sums, because we do not think it right
to become the saddlebags for shavers who sell Lumber-
mans, to men coming to our office with good money.
Our rule now is to take a little Lumbermans if it
is offered in connexion with safety fund, & the sum
is small. It is for you to say whether this ar-
rangement shall be abrogated, modified or perseve-
red in. I have been looking for an answer from
you, to the question whether you would take the
guarantee of Lowry & Irving upon drafts are 4 mo.
sent you to [ Phil a ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: Philadelphia
I am in deep trouble in regard to the whole
matter of the medium to be recieved. The Chau-
tauque Bank will only take old U. S. bills or
new, at 1 percent off – and the best of Jersey
& E. Pen. money at 2. per cent – & W. Penn.
Ohio, Michigan &c – it will not recieve at all.
The Brokers are taking Michigan at 8 per cent
off in Buffaloe. The Erie Bank has no safety
fund to redeem with, and I am at my wits
end to know what to hit upon as a system.
I do not wish to break up the old system, till
I learn from you what shall be the new
because the fewer changes we make the
better. But I have thought it proper to
adopt two or three measures, by way of pre-
paring some information against your arrival
which is most sincerly desired – upon which

[left Margin] A man sits by me telling me of the thieving that is going on around Finley's
Page 3

it is supposed a system can be be more safely
founded. I have addressed in your name a letter
to your friend Perkins
Birth: 1804-12-04 Death: 1876-05-14
(late of Ithica) Cashr of the
Ohio Life & Trust Co Cin. – asking whether drafts
in Phil can be given for their office notes – upon a
given no. of days – & if so how many days – &
whether other Cincinnati notes would be received in
the same way. Also I have l addressed
your friend Fuller
Birth: 1787-08-14 Death: 1855-08-16Certainty: Probable
Adrian – & my friend Bill
Birth: 1796-11-09 Death: 1867-06-17Certainty: Probable

Brown Chicago – & other cashiers in Cleveland
Pittsburgh, Wheeling, & Detroit – and I have
asked them all to furnish us with a list
of the bank notes they receive respectively
in their ordinary business at the counter.
Another experiment is – that we have
set up notices all along shore from Buf-
faloe to Cleveland – that persons ^travelling^ from N. England
to Ohio & the Western states – or the reverse, may
often find opportunity of exchanging money at
the Land Office, free of expense.
And alother regulation is that we will
not recieve Ohio & other western money only as we
do Lumbermans, in small sums, in connexion with
safety fund money. One of two things is
true – either that the watchfulness of merchants
& the pliancy of settlers agree to offer us nothing
but foreign money: or there is nothing else
scarcely in circulation: and it may be that
both, are true, to a considerable extent.
We have of this foreign currency $1,700
a Lumbermans Chk on Phil – due 11 Jan ($4,232
and $4,625 in Chautauque Bank, lodged, mostly
on the 20th inst, for which a check will be
due us in 50 days therefrom – and $700 in S. Fund
– so that if it be desirable to account to Van Hall
Birth: 1799-12-23

Page 4

for a deficiency in our remittences of late, you
can account to him do so. The data is before
you, and I have made no explanation to him
Thus have I given you a verbose Woodbury
Birth: 1789-12-22 Death: 1851-09-04

sort of lecture in Finance – and it has eaten
up my sheet & cheated me out of some other things
which I wished to write about. I wish I had
the nack of writing more concisely. I have
only room to say that whenever you shall
have given an all [ sufficnt ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: sufficient
attention to affairs
at home and made an ample visit with
"wife children & friends" we shall ^be^ delighted
& relieved to see you here. Many things are
hung up for your arrival[ . ]



Gratefully yours
B. J. Seward
at 4 mo.
W. H. Seward Esq
N. Y.
SEP 28


Type: postmark
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
B. J. Seward
Sept 22, 1837.
B. J. Seward
Sept 26, 1837.