Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, November 19, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, November 19, 1837



student editor


Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's persons.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "pla" point to place elements in the project's places.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's staff.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's bibl.xml authority file. verical-align: super; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration: line-through; color: red;

Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, November 19, 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: lbk 

revision: ekk 2015-06-08

Page 1

Sunday Nov 20th 1837

Editorial Note

November 20, 1837 was a Monday

My dearest Henry, I have this moment received
your letter giving an account of your sufferings with
your teeth, I think you will smile when you read
my first letter where I have detailed a similar
experience about the same time, how cordially we
might have sympathized with each other could
we have been aware of all at the time. But now
you must join with me in gratitude to that Being
who has watched over our darling child in imminent
peril, our dear little Freddy
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
was on Friday placed
in a situation when there seemed to be but a step
between him and a violent death, he had been
riding on the pony under his Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
's superintendance
and was just acquiring sufficient confidence to derive
some pleasure from the exercise, his Grandpa stepped
into the house for a moment and cautioned Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

to walk directly in front of the horse while Freddy
rode up from the gate. Augustus did as he was
bidden but the horse being as he always is in a hurry
to get to the stable sprung past him and ran at
full speed. Frederick fell immediately but one foot
remained entangled in the stirrup in this manner
he was dragged from the garden gate to the wood
house, his screams attracted the attention of Peter
who was just picking up an armful of wood
after one moment of reflection on the safest way of
proceeding to stop the horse he threw himself on his
Page 2

neck with so much force as to bring the animal on his
knees, the shock disingaged Fredericks foot from
the stirrup and he fell to the ground, one of the
horse's hoofs struck the back of his head but
we do not think the skull was fractured. Peter
lifted him from the ground supposing him dead, he
had ceased screaming but retained his consciousness.
I was all this time sitting very composedly by the
fire talking with Mrs Miller
. When my little
boy came in covered with mud, his clothes
torn form him and said that he had fallen from
the horse it was a long time before I could fully
realize the narrow escape he had made I was
overwhelmed by a sense of the great mercy that had
been shown us in his preservation. Peter said truly
"The blessing of God was on the child or I never
could have saved him", it seems marvellous now
that he could have escaped with so little injury
he complained of his head and a lameness of one
shoulder that night but yesterday played about
quite as lively as ever[ . ]


I am always so much
in fear of the consequence of an injury to the head
that I proposed sending for a Dr to examine him
but Pa thought it altogether unnecessary, he complained
of no pain except from the contusion itself, the
swelling which was no more than he had twenty times
before from a fall of some other casualty, had nearly
subsided in the morning. As much depends upon
the situation of the injured part it may assure you
to know that it was very near the crown I should think
about where phrenologists say the organ of self esteem

[right Margin] I was just folding my letter when I recollected that I had
said nothing about
dear Nealy
Birth: 1836-08-25 Death: 1837-01-14
’s grave. Peck
Birth: 1800-01 Death: 1876-02-05Certainty: Probable
has done nothing and I do
Page 3

is developed, it could have been in no safer place
and is now so well that it does not hurt him to
bear upon it hardly with your hand. I have not
written this account without tears and it will be long
before I can dwell on the circumstances with
composure. Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
says she feels amply recompensed
for all the trouble Peter has given her, dear little
Fred proposed that night that I should give Peter
a shilling and the next morning immediately after
breakfast he proceeded to Mr Ivirson
's book store and
purchased a large print of Bonaparte
Birth: 1769-08-15 Death: 1821-05-05
he presented to Peter and ^with^ which Peter has embellished
his sleeping apartment. I added a more substantial
donation in the form of one of your coats which
you will see him sporting on your return. I did
not think i[ t ]


expedient to give him money as
his habits are not at all improved. I believe we all
felt the next day as if out little boy had been dead
and was alive again. Pa has a violent cold
similar to that he had last winter though he is not
so ill, he did not go out of the house yesterday.
Poor Gus in attempting to stop the horse fell and sprained
his wrist but not seriously. I have been to Church
to day with both of the little boys. I understand there
is some difficulty about raising Mr Lucas
Birth: 1799 Death: 1839-08-25
salary. I am
sorry that matter is not better arranged. Mrs Miller
hints that Mr Lucas cannot remain without pay,
which is not a very astonishing communication as no
minister does I believe but Mr Hugh
Birth: 1797-06-24 Death: 1864-01-03
's or Huse and he
can better afford to do so than most others. Please to
make my compliments agreeable to him. I should

[left Margin] not think will. I have been reflecting upon it I think I can explain it, you probably
forgot as I did at first how anxious our neighbours were that
the remains of our precious child should be consigned to the earth
the same fear of contagion will undoubtedly prevent any person
from removing the coffin. I do not think it wise to
urge it, therefore I have not sent for Peck as you proposed
I shrink from any allusion to that subject from vulgar minds.

Page 4

much grieved if I thought there was any prospect of Mr Lucas
leaving us as he is an excellent preacher and a serious
christian. I hear from Lazette every week, she continues in
comfortable health. I hope you will not go to Rochester tis
vexatious to have you so near home without seeing you. Do
not have any thing more to do with Dentists. Pa said you might
have replaced that tooth yourself by winding a little cotton around
the pivot. There is abundance of suffering caused by unskilful
dentists. I have had a long chapter of experience in that way[ . ]



The little boys send love. Remember me affectionately to the
family at Westfield. your own Frances.
William H. Seward
Chautaque County
18 2/


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward
Nov 20, 1837