Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 13, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 13, 1838



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Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 13, 1838

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: New York, NY

transcription: gew 

revision: ekk 2015-06-10

Page 1

Sunday May 13th, 1838
My dearest Henry,
I have just recieved your letter
of the 10th mailed at Albany. I had persuaded
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •

myself all along that you would come home
as therefore have not written. I suppose now I
must relinquish all hope of seeing you until
the business is brought to a termination.
Cornelia Pitney
Birth: 1811-10-06 Death: 1838-05-09
died Wednesday was buried yesterday
I attended the funeral at the old church, the
house was pretty full, after the services were
concluded the coffin was opened and the people
generally invited to look at the deceased,
nearly the whole assembly obeyed the summons
men women and children black and white,
there is something dreadfully revolting to my
feelings in an exposure of this kind, but the
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
and Mary
Birth: 1813-02-16 Death: 1893-10-14
are fond of all kinds of display[ . ]



Cornelias body was subjected to the examination
of the medical fraternity, her disease pronounced
an enlargement of the heart, she has been suffer-
ing this winter with inflammatory rheumatism,
and was so reduced by the Dr that they found
it impossible to raise her. I should think this
the probable cause of her death at this time though
I have no doubt much of the indisposition from
which she has suffered the last 12 years was
owing to the other disease. Mary has conducted

[left Margin] My love to Uncle Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20

Page 2

with her accustomed insensibility on this occasion. I
have never until now seen the Dr seriously affected,
he feels this, his love for his children, has always
been his redeeming quality, the one gleam of sunshine
which has broken the dark cloud of selfishness.
I had heard by Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
’s letter that George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
Birth: 1812-09-30 Death: 1848-10-18
was ill. I hope she has recovered, go and
see him if you can before you come home.
I spent the whole of Friday attending the ex-
amination at Mr Myres
school. Mrs Porter
Birth: 1800-04-12 Death: 1886-03-29
has a young daughter
Birth: 1828-06-01 Death: 1910-05-05Certainty: Probable
) being unable to attend herself
and her husband obliged to be in court, sent to
me, desiring me to go and hear her boy
Birth: 1826-01-18 Death: 1910-08-28
that she might have a correct account of his
proficiency in his studies. I went with Mrs
Birth: 1794-02-11 Death: 1866-02-03
. So far as I was capable of judging
Charles passed a very good examination more I
should think the effect of close application than any
extraordinary capacity. The examination was hastened
by the circumstance of Montgomery Throops
Birth: 1827-01-26 Death: 1892-09-11
his Uncle
Birth: 1808-11-25 Death: 1883-09-19
to Naples. Montgomery being considered the
lion in school, he is undoubtedly a very smart
boy, his classmates were all two years older than
he, he is by no means unconscious of his powers
looked about him with the utmost nonchalance
and was always the first and loudest in replies
to questions proposed to the class generally right
or wrong he never discovered the least embarrassment.
I think Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
passes his Latin quite as well
as the class in Virgil if any thing I should say
more understandingly, and I should be very unwilling
to exchange Sanfords
Birth: 1799-02-24 Death: 1861-03-29
gentle unobtrusive manner of
of teaching for the coarse assuming manner of Myres[ . ]



Page 3

Mrs Sherwood complained of being very weary though
she had two boys
xtwo boys

among the scholars. I found
ample entertainment even while the boys were
reading Greek which was totally incomprehensible
to me in watching their ever changing countenances
which betrayed every emotion of their minds. I understood
enough of the Latin to make it interesting to me. Every
new acquisition of knowledge opens another avenue
of enjoyment, how often and how deeply I regret that
so much of the early part of my life for the want
of proper direction was wasted in reading
novels which were not even harmless as they fostered
a morbid sensibility that will I fear always be
the bane of my existence. But I have left the
examination suddenly, the only other exercises which
I heard ^were^ in Arithmetic and Algebra. I think the
great defect in Myres plan is the entire neglect of
the lower branches which are made to give place
to Greek Algebra and Philosophy. Of course I cannot
judge how far he is capable of teaching those which I
do not understand myself. Mr Lucas
Birth: 1799 Death: 1839-08-25
was there in
the afternoon and as Myres insisted, questioned the boys
occasionally, he seemed perfectly at home in the Language.
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
seems to be getting impatient at the length of
you stay, says he cannot not conceive what delays
the consummation of the business. Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
nothing about her health in her last letter so I take it
for granted she is about as she has been. As you
kindly offer is make a purchase for me I should like
you to get a chally
An elegant, twilled, fine woolean fabric, used for ladies' dresses •
suitable for mourning, dark
lead ground with a black point, you will find them
at Stewart’s in Broadway I looked at some there last
winter they had then a very large assortment, I forgot to say
Page 4

William H. Seward
Care of the American Life & Trust
Company ^Goshen Orange Co^ New York
Auburn, N.Y.
May 14


Type: postmark

New York
May 16


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A Seward
May 13. 1838.

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21

[right Margin] this is a dress not a shawl. Come home as soon as you can.
Your own Frances.

[left Margin] I ought to have mentioned in my last letter that my box came home with
every thing safe. You must have care in bringing home my soft muff that
the fur does not get rubbed.