Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to Frances Miller Seward, January 4, 1840

  • Posted on: 6 April 2016
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Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to Frances Miller Seward, January 4, 1840
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:dxt

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1840-01-04

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Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to Frances Miller Seward, January 4, 1840

action: sent

sender: Mahlon Canfield
Birth: 1798-11-26  Death: 1865-01-05

location: Bargaintown, NJ

receiver: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Albany, NY

transcription: dxt 

revision: ekk 2016-02-02

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Page 1

Bargaintown Jany 4.th 1840.
Dear Sister Frances,
This day closes the saddest year
of my life The events of it I can never think of
without emotions, too deep to be named. The 4th of
January is henceforth to be to me, the anniversary of a
trial as painful as ever did befal a man who lost
all that made him happy. How very few know what
it is to part with so much Still dreadful as it has
been it is not without its uses and even its consola-
tions It has torn me from the world, which I regarded
too much I can now look with a degree of composure
to the end of my days; if I know myself I would not
prolong them if I could and as if in mercy to me
the last year tho filled with afflictions has passed
so swiftly that I can scarcely realize that so much
time is gone This will seem strange to you and well
it may for it fills me with wonder.
I called my children
x Birth: 1834-07-25  Death: 1922-02-28  Birth: 1832-02-20  Death: 1876-01-14  Birth: 1829-12-04  Death: 1867-10-25 
around me this morning, and
reminded them of their dear excellent Mother and
of the melancholy
Depressed in spirits; dejected; gloomy; dismal • Producing great evil and grief; causing dejection; calamitous; afflictive • Grave looking; somber •
day, which may they never forget.
The little boys were much affected Carolina is too
young to think. If these dear children grow up in
the virtues which rendered their Mother so amiable
Worthy of love; deserving of affection; lovely; loveable • Pretending or showing love •

my highest wishes will be satisfied. Of the natural
Page 2

good properties of all of them I have much to hope for
and particularly of Augustus. I took him to New York in
October He was very anxious to go on board the "Swallows
for Albany" to see Aunt Frances and his cousins
x Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
.
I am desirous that our children should become acquaint-
ed and shall not fail to avail myself of all
suitable opportunities for that purpose, if agreeable
to you which I cannot doubt. My poor boys are a good
deal Bearish but that is the worst.
On my return from N. York I found your letter and
Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
's. I felt a difficulty in answering them. A mere
brief acknowledgement would have left room for
unfavorable construction and to have written more
would have led me into a subject that was so
mortally unpleasant that I could not bear to touch
it. In the mean time I heard of Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-28
's lamented
death and my feelings soon told me what was right.
__ to bury it all forever
I have promised myself a visit to your city
of extreme temperatures during the session
of the Legislature and accordingly may spend
a few days with you between this and May
provided any part of that large house is
unoccupied I know the Governor of New York
is overwhelmed with visitors, but I hope they
Page 3

leave you at a reasonable hour at night.
Our worthy Gov Pennington
Birth: 1796-05-04 Death: 1862-02-16
is more happy. He saves his
clerkship salary of $10,000, with some 3 or 4000 in
Chancery fees and leaves to the good people to choose
for themselves among several nice Hotels in Trenton.
This is right enough for he owes them nothing and
indeed rather less being in office not only
without any of their help but in defiance of their
wishes. Still the Governor has acquired a name which
will outwear that of any of his predecessors, or all
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Reason: wax-seal
them put together. But it is a name which by no
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t man will ever envy. Such an one as
seriously and devoutly hope your good Husband may
never have and never deserve.
Be pleased to spare him of my friendship and
respect.
Affectionately Yours
M. D. Canfield
Mrs. Frances Seward
Page 4

Bargaintown, N.J.
Jany 6
M. D. Canfield PM
Free
Mrs. Frances Seward
Albany.
N. Y.
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Dr Canfield
Jan 4th
1840