Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, February 9, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, February 9, 1838
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:crb

student editor

Transcriber:spp:keh

Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1838-02-09

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, February 9, 1838

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: crb 

revision: crb 2015-11-11

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Page 1

Auburn February 9th
My dear Jennings
You must have already ascertained that while I am
on a journey I am altogether unfitted for maintaining any reg-
ular correspondence. It has always been so under ordinary cir-
cumstances. Such has been peculiarly the case in my recent journey-
ings. The excitement I have passed through and lived in left me scarce-
ly self possession sufficient for my important business. All this
excitement and its causes will form a subject for extended
conversation if you so please when we meet.
I have to acknowledge the receipt here of your letter of
30th January addressed to me at New York. I learn from it
with much regret your confinement by illness. I trust that you
have subdued the disease.
We left Florida last Thursday and arrived at Albany on
Sunday. Left Albany on Wednesday and arrived here last
night. Frances and they boys had some illness while absent
but no more probably than they would have suffered at
home in the same season. They are all returned to their friends
here in comfortable health and have no disposition to won-
der from home speedily.
In regard to our business at the East it does not se-
em to me that I have more to say only that it will
be closed as soon as the necessary papers can be pro-
cured and the settlement made at the Land Office in
Batavia. I want much to be with you but am more even
desirous of a few days rest. Can you in your discretion
Page 2

if able in bodily health consult with Tucker
Birth: 1805-10-05 Death: 1874-04-25
and suggest to him
and Lowry
Birth: 1805-10-22 Death: 1852-02-23
terms of arrangement of the Lumbermans debt. It might
be well for you to do something before I can be with you and
yet it is best to do nothing hurried currently or rash est. I refer it to you.
Did I write to you from New York that I had drawn a
check of $350 upon the Chautauqua Co. Bank? I did so. Will
you look to it?
Unknown
Ent
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
I shall probably go sometime next week to Westfield.
But may stay here until the week after. I want to make one
business of all that is to be done there before I return to New
York to close the affair and it is important that I remain
here as much of the time previous as possible.
Our fathers
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
health is vastly better than when he was with
us at Westfield. Our mother
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
is reasonably well except the
ailment of the broken arm which I sorry to say is
scarcely improved. Her colored girl Mary
Unknown
has served her
apprenticeship and left her so that mother seems to be oppressed
with labor.
Sister Lockey
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
has been seriously ill but is con-
convalescent and able to visit a few friends. Our relatives at
Goshen are all well. Of the remainder of our relatives I
have no information. The weather while we were at
Florida was intensely cold and we were confined to the
house during our stay.
The Senate as you have seen have passed their
substitute for the for the small bill law passed by the Assem-
bly. The Whig members of the Assembly held a caucus
on Tuesday night and decided to reject the bill in that
shape. Thus the bill will fall between the two Houses and there
will be an issue between the parties as to the responsibility of the
Page 3

respective Houses. The issue I cannot doubt will be wisely joined by
our friends in that form.
I have a letter from N.P. Tallmadge
Birth: 1795-02-08 Death: 1864-11-02
received today. He says
the Sub Treasury Bill will pass the Senate but will be defeated
in the House of Representatives. So vote it be.
The times are incomparably worse in New York than they have
been at any former period. Despair has taken possession of
the Merchants the Capitalists the Bankers and confusion reigns through-
out the city. All business is arrested and one universal gloom
pervades the city. This dark cloud steadily advances over
the state, arresting all business operation in the county and
threatens on depreciation of real estate and its productions.
The People entertan[ in ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 
g different views of the responsibility of gov-
ernment and the manner in which it has been exercised are
preparing for a great political struggle that will cover
the state.
The personal interest I am supposed to have in that struggle
forms everywhere a subject of discussion and has exposed me
to a thousand inconveniences which I may not mention here.
It is well to understand that the interests and passions and
prejudice of so many are excited that there is nothing like u-
nanimity on the subject. But old friends still adhere to me
as far as I know without exception, and their confidence
in the strength of our position is as unshaken as their constancy
Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
joins in assurance of sincere affection to Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-28

Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
and Mrs. Thompson
Unknown
as well as Lauretta
Unknown
.
I am my dear brother affectionately
Yours,
W.H. Seward.