Letter from George Washington Seward to William Henry Seward, August 16, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from George Washington Seward to William Henry Seward, August 16, 1838



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Letter from George Washington Seward to William Henry Seward, August 16, 1838

action: sent

sender: George Seward
Birth: 1808-08-26  Death: 1888-12-07

location: Mendham, NJ

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: nrs 

revision: nrs 2015-06-16

Page 1

Mendham August 16th 1838
My Dear Brother,
Long since I had made up my
mind not to vex


To irritate • To plague; to torment • To disturb; to disquiet • To trouble; to distress • To persecute • To stretch as by hooks • To fret •
or trouble any of my friends with as
it seemed for some reasons unavailing, with any com-
plaints of mind. I was willing to bear them in silence
under the patient hope that matters would eventually
work more to my satisfaction, how would I at this
time perplex or add to your anxiety with any of
care of mine where I suppose you are burthened
with your own. But circumstances demand that
I should go somewhere and seek counsel and did from
such some source, I feel myself the more free to come to
you than any other friend (not withstanding Father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24

tells me that "you are looking forth to high and
great interest and nothing must be suffered to
in any way to interpose or retard your progess"
for the reason that I believe you are privy to
his plans and the policy which he has seen fit to
adopt towards me. I am very well aware that
your opinion is adverse to suffer, so you have expressed
them to me and while I am willing to admit
the correctness of your views in some measure & I
think you will acknowledge my willingness at least
for the past to act by them, & make the best
of them, but a crisis in my affairs is about tak-
ing place, duty to myself and my family as
well as my inclination forbids that I should
longer remain in this place indeed the store
is running down and there is not sufficient do
ing in it to enable me to keep [ aflot ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: affloat
longer and I am left the alternative of seeking
Page 2

a living in some other place, and can anyone charge
on me the cause of this failure as I think and have
apprehended it would be, how often have I been told
that I am totally incapable for business. The entire
management of the store taken out of my hands
and I now ^to^ the most mortifying circumstances
and I am apparently resigned by my friends to
the gua unfeeling guardianship of an unprin-
cipled and dishonourable man, the tender affection
of a Father is the strong bond which holds me here
without this I would not remain here any longer
than a settlement of many affairs would require
And not the least of the many causes for mor-
tification and discouragement is the plea ^for this tyranny^ of my
Fathers indifference towards me and the trium-
phant argument that William H Seward declares
that I am unfit for business.
And is it so, am I under the necessity of coming
to a conclusion which circumstances to much
indicate and which I am forced often almost my-
self to adopt. That I need expect no more favors
that I am to be resigned to and fate, but I will yet hope
I cannot but flatter myself that I retain in some
measure the regard of my friends, and that now in
a time of need when a dark cloud hangs over my
future con ^prospect^ that they will relax their policy
and make some little sacrifice for my good. Is
there nought in the recollection of the past and
hopes of the future to dispose them to a favourable
purpose. One thing is certain, and inevitable
I must either side with one family or the other
I must give a preference to the one or the other
and which shall it be, those who I call friends
must decide. My friends by withholding their counsel & aid
from me now, may perhaps not have an opportunity
Page 3

My Father wrote me sometime since that should I
become a man of business I need not dispond of his aid
and can he or you or anyone else expect that I shall be-
come such in my present situation. If I know my own
feelings and wishes ^it^ is that I may retrieve past en-
voys to bring up and educate my children
x Birth: 1838-04-16  Death: 1916-02-22  Birth: 1835-01-09  Death: 1926  Birth: 1833-06-08  Death: 1891-06-12 
ble and if not to be an honor at least not a reproach
to my name. If the experience of the past will not suf
fice is it likely then anything will. If I was gaining
in business talent or in anything else I should be con-
tent, but I do not think I am. It is but a little that
I want, then an I think situation which could be fixed
upon that would be satisfactory. And why may not
my friends give me the trial I a fair and honourable
opportunity is all that I re-
quire and that I think I
have not here, and that I feel
is my due, and if that should longer be with-
held from me, I must come to a conclusion unless
satisfactory greasons are given to the contrary and
however unwilling I may be, that there is something
radically wrong, a something which is not told me
and the settled policy of my friends to keep from me
But I have only to add that Wills
Birth: 1796-11-20 Death: 1871-10-05
a few days
since demanded a dissolution it is now suspended
for a short season untill I can have time to write my
friends, as I do not wish to act on unadvisedly in the
matter, and without saying ^a^ word in anger or threat
I wish to be understood as meaning to leave [ her ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: here
, in
truth, Dr L
seems disposed to send off on to one of his
stony farms. I know not what the result may be
but I shall now leave you and father to act, what you think
is your duty, requesting to hear from you immediately
as the settlement of our business is soon to take place &
with whatever eye my friends may look upon & however they
may feel towards me, I hope that I ever may retain
a kind regard for the happiness and prosperity
GW Seward
Page 4

Birth: 1807-12-02 Death: 1865-08-19Certainty: Probable
has just passed here for Orange County
and so on home.
William H Seward Esq
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

NY —
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Geo. W. Seward
Aug. 24, 1838.