Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 6, 1837

  • Posted on: 19 December 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 6, 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, December 6, 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: nwh 

revision: crb 2017-10-30

Page 1

Auburn Dec 6th
My dear Henry,
I received a letter from you Thanksgiving
day just after I had sealed mine to send to you —
I am sorry you have had so much trouble about dear
little Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
– the injury he received was so slight
that I never thought to mention it again – he did not
even complain of any pain or soreness two days after
the accident – he is unusually well this winter – I
persuade him to go out every fine day and take the
air – What a charming winter we have had so far
it has not been cold enough for me to add my
cloak to my tippet but once in going to church.
We had a very good sermon Thanksgiving day – Mr
Birth: 1799 Death: 1839-08-25
proved that patriotism was not only consistent
with the character of a christian but a requisite
quality – I could not avoid smiling when he said
with great earnestness that no country could expect
to prosper which elevated to public offices men
destitute alike of religion and morality – however no
allusion was made which could be misinterpreted into
an intention to censure any particular administration —
Mrs Maria Miller
Birth: 1785-04-24 Death: 1870-04-17Certainty: Possible
came home to dine with us – she &
Mrs Yates
Birth: 1813-09-16 Death: 1891-03-23Certainty: Possible
were here to tea – I sent a letter
to you by our Catherine
who left us last Saturday but
I think it probable you will never receive it – I
was very sorry to have Catherine leave at this unfavor-
able season of the year, but her brother
wrote for her
to come immediately and keep house for him – she
thought she must go, though she preferred remaining through
the winter – his letter came Friday and she left Saturday
Page 2

morning – I never saw any one set off on a journey that
I thought so perfectly incompetent to take care of
themselves – I could not make her understand where
she was going, nor comprehend the difficulty of per-
forming the journey after the navigation should be
closed – Her brother lives in Roscoe, Coshocton County
– 130 miles from Cleveland – there is very
little probability that she can make the journey
by water, and, though I overpaid her she had not
money sufficient to bear her expenses by land – When
she left I had no doubt that she would be obliged
to go from Buffalo by land, so I gave her a letter
for you — The fine weather has continued beyond
all calculation – I think she may have found a boat
at Buffalo – I shall feel very anxious until I
hear from her – Frederick would be far better calculated
to perform a journey alone – he would at least know
where he was going — Catherine's place is not supplied
yet – we expect another Irish girl
to night – there
is none other to be had – I have of course been
more than usually occupied with household duties
or I should have written earlier — Monday I received
another letter from you written the day before Thanksgiving
You are very kind to write to me so often it is the
principal thing that renders your absence endurable.
It has been intimated to me a number of times
that I am wonderfully neglected by my husband
but these speculations have ceased to move me
secure as I feel myself in your affection they
"Pass by me as the idle wind
Which I regard not"
Author: William Shakespeare Publisher: Charles Williams Place of Publication:Boston Date: 1813

Both of the little
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
are indebted to your kindness for a letter
which will soon be acknowledged by them —
Page 3

Sunday a woman supposed to be deranged drowned herself
in the Creek – On enquiring more particularly into the
circumstances I learned with surprise that it was
Mrs Crane
Birth: 1806 Death: 1837-12-02
– formerly Margaret Oliver an old schoolmate
of mine – What a host of melancholy recollections
and somber reflections this tragic event has conjured
up in my mind – Margaret when a child was very
pretty and would have been very much beloved but
for that unfortunate temperament which embittered
even the bright days of childhood – I can see her
now with her fair cheek flushed and her large
dark eyes suffused with tears mourning some
fancied slight of her playmates – I have never met
since her marriage, but I think you may [ reccollect ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: recollect

once before, years ago, to have heard that she attempted
suicide in a fit of [ desparation ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: desperation
occasioned by what
she considered the injustice of her dying mother
& the
indifference of her husband
 Death: 1847-08-29
– I made a number
of visits yesterday – I can scarcely realize it is
winter – I called to see Mrs Porter
Birth: 1790-07-04 Death: 1870-04-11Certainty: Possible
, Munger
Birth: 1803 Death: 1877-01-17
, Swain

Birth: 1788-10-12 Death: 1859-02-08Certainty: Probable
& Thomas
Mrs Beardsley
Birth: 1815-03-06 Death: 1854-07-16
spent the evening
with us – she is intelligent & agreeable – I have a
letter from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
she had just received yours –
It seems to me that the Whigs are childish in their
demonstrations of joy – In Pennsylvania they have nomi-
nated pretty much all the prominent candidates
for 1840 – this is being a little too fast – Poor Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22

his afflictions will increase with the continued prosperity
of the party – I wonder Harriet
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
does not write – Tell
Birth: 1823-07-05 Death: 1896-01-26Certainty: Possible
I thank her for her kind postscript I hope she
will not think I do not appreciate such favours because
I do not reciprocate them – my love to them all.
also Clara's
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
— your own Frances —
Page 4

Augustus is suffering very much with a gathering in his head
his nights are almost sleepless but he bears it patiently
I shall consult a physician if he does not get better soon —
William H. Seward
Chautauqua County


Type: postmark

Frances A. Seward
Dec 6. 1837.