Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 14, 1841

  • Posted on: 5 October 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 14, 1841



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 14, 1841

action: sent

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

location: Albany, NY

receiver: Lazette Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01  Death: 1875-10-03

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: tap 2017-07-06

Page 1

Sunday afternoon
My dearest Sister, I pray that my next visitor may not be
a fidgety old maid – I put particular emphasis on fidgety because
all old maids are far from being disagreeable companions –
It does appear to me that I should not be willing to inhabit
the same house with Maryann
Birth: 1810-12-05 Death: 1875-11-03
though she has very few perhaps
not any decidedly bad traits of character – She is certainly
a very unquiet personage and her uneasiness is of such a precise
nature that it is not the most least difficult task in
the world to accommodate yourself to the movements produced
thereby – I think Nicholas
Birth: 1801-12-24 Death: 1893-02-15
will be thankful when she goes home
particularly if she draws so largely upon his time on the sabbath
a day of which I hold it to be the peculiar right of servants
to have some portion to themselves — Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
too has aided Maryann
to day in the iniquitous proceeding of cheating Nicholas of his
portion by taking the sleigh after it had conveyed Maryann
to meeting for the second time and going to take a drive
to pass away time – It is more and more astonishing to me
every year to see how little consideration one half of the world
has for the feelings of the other half — Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
myself and the
x Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25 
went with Maryann to Church this morning – This afternoon
she having expressed a very decided desire to go twice more I
actually hired Fred to accompany her to save his father from
being dragged out when I knew he felt scarcely able to sit up —
Gus made it convenient to disappear about that time for which
exhibition of selfishness I have a lesson in store – Sam
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
his usual consideration has been away all day – Though I
should not have dreamed of asking so mighty a favour of him
had he been here he having said in my presence the other day
that he preferred waiting upon ladies of his own age – Now
considering this is Sunday I think the vial of my wrath has been
Page 2

sufficiently diffused – I wrote you last a few lines by Debby


I presume you have seen long before this time – Henry kept his room until
Thursday when he rode up to the Capitol and staid an hour Mary
of course went along as she always goes with the sleigh beside
having it ordered frequently for herself and in the interim performs
many journeys between here and Mrs Patchin's
Birth: 1812-05-03 Death: 1898-05-18
on foot – I believe
she went to the Capitol every day last week but one and and
always prefers the particular attendance of some gentlemen though
she would rather go alone than to stay at home – As Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16

and Blatchford both intimated their disinclination to accompany
her to Mrs Spencers
Birth: 1801-05-23 Death: 1843-08-15
, and I was detained at home by Henry's illness
she was obliged to make an addition of one to the party of
four or five ladies
escorted by Mr Patchin – I have numberless
little side scenes in this drama with which to amuse you when you
come which it will not answer to write – Thursday there was a party
at Mr Fosgates
 Death: 1848-03-10
to which she sent a very li reluctant non-
acceptance – I was so sick all day as to be unable to sit up – That
brings me to a piece of rudeness of Spencer Benedicts
Birth: 1812-10-18 Death: 1899-04-11
– I went
up stairs about eleven oclock and threw myself on the foot
of Henry's bed he was sitting up. While then who should
come into the room unannounced, but Spencer Benedict – Of course
I could do no less than lie still – Henry said I was sick
but the uncivilized creature never made the least apology
but took a chair and sat one hour — On questioning the
who let him in she said she proposed coming up to
tell Mr Seward as no one, not even the Dr
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20Certainty: Possible
had ever thought of going
up without first sending their name and awaiting a invitation
but he insisted upon going immediately to his ^Henry's^ bedroom, and she being a
young girl of course offered no further resistance — If he does not
hear of it again it will not be my fault — Mary who seems to
have no feelings in common with men or Angels as far as I can
discern – said "it was unpleasant" – and then she adjusted a
ringlet which was somewhat discomposed by this ^excessive^ manifestation of
sympathy —
Page 3

Friday we were invited and went to Mrs Patchins to a party of 60
a sociable as it was called where the young people danced
and being considerably limited in the way of room the old people
drew themselves up into as small a space as possible and looked on
I went with a violent headache and Henry was so ill that I
was afraid he would faint before the sleigh came – Mary found it so
extremely pleasant, with her pink dress and huge tournoure that she
was half inclined to stay all night to enjoy the party a while longer
finally after coming to five different conclusions, the usual number,
she returned with us – It was one of the coldest nights we have had
this Winter – the next day Saturday was equally cold with the
addition of a strong wind – but Mary thought it delightful and
must make some calls — She could go without me but then the
two places where she was most desirous to call were just the places to
which she could not go alone – So I went and really thought I should
have frozen – The brisk wind blew away one of Mary's white feathers
which occasioned John a walk of some distance while we freezingly
awaited his return – thus the feather, what could she do without
having it replaced! — we were on our way to Mrs Spencers when I proposed
adjusting it — 'Mrs Spencers'! Mrs Spencers was just the place where she
should be most unwilling to appear without that indispensable ornament
I proposed a number of alternatives which none of them met with her
approbation at least until some time after we had passed the places
where I proposed stopping — Finally with my frozen fingers I managed to
pin it fast being to much provoked by such childish folly to
care whether it hung gracefully or not – Mrs Spencer has two
young ladies
Unknown Birth: 1817  Death: 1890-06-19 
with her both of which whom she had not met
until they accepted her invitation to pass some time with
her — One is a daughter of Joshua Spencers'
Birth: 1790-05-13 Death: 1857-04-25
of Utica with
whom I was pleased — The other a Miss Dexter – I have forgotten
from whence — We persevered in making five or six calls — those
lug huge tournours must be comfortable things, for I who was
much more warmly clad than Mary suffered with the cold
while she seemed to experience no inconvenience at all – At
two oclock I proposed returning feaing fearing John & Nicholas would
freeze, though the calls were unfinished — these remain for
another cold day – It is now nearly nine oclock in the
evening — Freddy came home from Church without Maryann she having
gone to Mrs Patchins to go from thence to the Baptist Church to night
Page 4

I have taken my two boys and come up to bed expecting to find her
here in the morning – Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
and his Mary
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
do not come yet – they
are still in New York at the Astor House – Ange
Birth: 1825
is not to come
with them but I think her cousin will not miss her if Miss Spencer
stays here with the Lyman's
x Birth: 1804  Death: 1869  Birth: 1813  Death:  
all winter – Augustus sent a letter to Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05

by Mr Leonard
Birth: 1793-04-15 Death: 1876-05-08
which I presume she has received
Miss Brown will send a letter to Lavinia
Birth: 1813 Death: 1900Certainty: Possible
containing 10 dollars at the
time I send this – Lavinia has written to her for money for Rhoda's
I have a visit from the agreeable Miss Mary
in prospect - I am
not enlightened on the subject of the length of Maryanne's visit but
presume it will be a "long joy" – I endeavor to keep my obligations to and

[right Margin]
regard for her mother
Birth: 1773-10-08 Death: 1846-03-02
steadily in view – Willie is well and boisterous he takes
his pocket handkerchief and travels out to the table when Miss Brown is
called to her meals – it is funny to see him – continues to eat his ginger bread
and drink his milk every night – Henry is not well but attends to his
usual business — Love to Clara and Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
your own sister

[bottom Margin]

Editorial Note

Text written upside down.

Dear Sis I have kept this letter another day to be able to send Mr Browns
at the same time – we are all well – no letter from you yet
this week –

[center Margin]
Mrs Alvah Worden
Albany N.Y.
Feb 16


Type: postmark