Letter from Rachel Armstrong Seward to William Henry Seward, December 5, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
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Letter from Rachel Armstrong Seward to William Henry Seward, December 5, 1838
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:keh

student editor

Transcriber:spp:mec

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1838-12-05

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Letter from Rachel Armstrong Seward to William Henry Seward, December 5, 1838

action: sent

sender: Rachel Seward
Birth: 1805-07-15  Death: 1848-05-14

location: Florida, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: keh 

revision: crb 2016-02-08

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Page 1

Dear Brother
I have been waiting for some days
past in hope of your coming to florida but our
situation is such that I cannot delay any longer
our I want your avice advice what to do as soon
as possible – polydore
Birth: 1799-07-02 Death: 1872-04-25
has given up entirely to
drink again his father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
and mother
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
told him
the 1st of september he must go and look another
place they could not have him any longer he comme-
nced working by days works for other people for
6 shillings per day he kept sober kept us comfortable
for everything and saved enough of his wages
to buy him a fat hog without going to father
for anything but wood when election came on
he broke off from work to tend got intoxicated and
has not been entirely sober since I have kept along
by haveing our washing done since the last of august
till now but it impossble for me to do for my
family any longer since cold weather came on the
last least exposure I take cold it and am sick
I do not know what to I do. I am discouraged
trying to keep house I do not know what father
and mother thinks I do not think they intend either
of them to do anything unless I go to work and
do for my family without help for they have
both stold me so by their words and actions
mother came over last week and told ^me^ that
I must leave polydore and break up and
trust to providence to take care of our children
x Birth: 1833  Death: 1892  Birth: 1828  Death: 1905 

for father and her were to old to have the
trouble of us on their mind this henry I fle
feel as much as anyone can feel it have tried
every way that I could to be as little trouble
to them as possible if you have ever heard anything
to the contrary you have heard that which is utar-
ly false as for my going to work to help maintain
Page 2

family ^it is^ impossible and I if ^they^ turn me out
of house and home for it I cannot help it I
cannot bear the idea of going off and leaving
my children without knowing what is to be done
with them – as for leaving polydore I will
do as his friends think best about that I will
not stay with him nor encourage him again if
that is the wish of his friends but
henry when I look at my children and think of
being seper ^a^ ted from them my heart sinks
within me. All the satisfaction I have had
from father this summer is that I must
take my own mon ^e^ y and clothe them with
he told me that I had never known what
it was to get a living and it was time I went
to work and done something for my family
this is all the comfort I have from him all
the comfort I have left is that providince will
open some way for us to live through the
winter but at present everything dark as
it can be our cow is runing in the street
without foder our pig has nothing to eat we
have had no wood in some days except what polydore
has brought from his fathers wood pile in nights
this I do not approve of but he is drinking every
day and does not care what he does – my
design in writing to you is for advice what
to do I cannot keep the family to together with
what little support I have we have meat and
sauce to last us through the winter I bought
flour ever since polidore gave up work but
I have now taken the last of my little interest
up and made use of it and do not like to take
the principle under present circumstances.
Page 3

I am writing to you henry as a friend
I have had every reason ^to^ believe you and
frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
are both friends to me little frances
is a fine healthy child I have always
intended her for you if we could not keep
together but I do not want her ant to
be burthened with her while she is so
small if I live to take care of her
my time is entirely run out and I am
so unsetled that I scarcely know what
to write or what I had aught to write
my love to frances and the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 

I remain your
Page 4

[ Sewa ]
x

Supplied

Reason: hole
rd
[ Au ]
x

Supplied

Reason: hole
burn
Cayuga C
NY
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Rachel
Lockey Seward
Dec. 5, 1838