Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 22, 1843

  • Posted on: 15 October 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 22, 1843



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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, January 22, 1843

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Canandaigua, NY

transcription: lkw 

revision: crb 2018-07-06

Page 1

Sunday Jan 22 1843
My dear Sister,
I am so depressed in spirits to day
that I am much inclined not to write but as there
is no immediate prospect of my feeling any more
happy it is perhaps as well now as ever – I mentioned
in my last letter that Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
was still in favour of
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
going to West Point – a subsequent conversation
convinced me that he would not change his views –
he pronounced Mr Kinsley's
Birth: 1802-02-17 Death: 1849-08-24
letter bigoted and visionary
and my notions unreasonable and ruinous to my
boy – I still relied upon Augustus willingness to
do as I wished but after three months a letter came
from him saying he is not willing at this late period
to commence preparations for college – that he had
read Mr Kinsley's letter without any change of purpose
and hoped when I reflected upon the unhappiness
it would occasion him that I would change
my mind – God knows I could make any sacrifice

[bottom Margin] I neglected to mention that I carried the candle
to Judge Richardson’s
Birth: 1776-06-05 Death: 1853-04
office – he expressed himself more
gratified than he could have been in any other way – They burned
the candle Christmas night —
Wednesday we went to Mrs Hulburts
Birth: 1780 Death: 1843-01-16
funeral – a sermon
at the Church — then Henry and I went to Mrs Wrights
Birth: 1806-12-25 Death: 1875-01-04

Her babe
Birth: 1842-12-11 Death: 1902
(a boy) is five weeks old – she about the house
apparently as well as ever – her mother
Birth: 1771-03-25 Death: 1844-03-26
has gone home
Birth: 1825-08-26 Death: 1872-07-03
is very blooming still — Adieu —
I presume H. Underwood
Birth: 1818-02-08 Death: 1881
will come
sometime this week I had proposed to him to wait for Clara
but I will advise to the contrary – Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
to go and see Aunty if any one else goes – If his father
does not object he will come when he does –

Page 2

of my own feelings to promote the welfare of my noble boy –
but I am called upon to make a sacrifice of principle
which I feel to be impossible – I never can approve of
sending a boy like Augustus into the army – that is
the inevitable result of his going to the military academy
to say nothing of the hardships he must undergo and
the temptations to which he must be exposed while at West
Point – As Mr Kinsley says “it is indeed a fiery ordeal
both morally and physically” – Were there a necessity for
this exposure the case would be hard enough but might
be borne as an unavoidable evil – but what right
have we to thrust a child into the fire, and then hope to
have him come out unscathed – Such presumption
cannot be pleasing to God – I feel as if my heart
was crushed with a heavy weight – If the last three
months could be recalled – when I came home a feather
in the scale would have determined Augustus to resume his
classical studies and yet instead of using my influence
then I distrusted my own judgement, and referred him to his
father – If he goes to the Point which seems almost
inevitable I shall never cease to reproach myself for
my imbecility –
Page 3

It is unkind to fill my whole letter with repinings but
my heart is full and I find it difficult to write any
thing else – Your letter came yesterday morning. I am
sorry to hear you are again suffering from cold – do take
care of yourself or you will have another four years of
illness – Henry wishes to see you very much and I think
would have gone to Canandaigua this week had he not
heard of Worden's
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
absence – Next week Harriet
Birth: 1807 Death: 1888-08-20
is to
come back and then Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
thinks she will make you
a visit – Nicholas
Birth: 1801-12-24 Death: 1893-02-15
came back last Tuesday – said Cayuga
had grown very dull – he has been trying to get a
place here, not succeeding he returned yesterday to
Cayuga and will bring Harriet here next week – if
in that time he does not find employment he will
return to Albany and try there – and send for
Harriet if he remains – in the mean time Harriet
Is to stay with us – I think it will afford Clara
a respite at least which she needs – If little H
Birth: 1838 Death: 1860-04-22

should prove any less troublesome then I apprehend perhaps
they can be persuaded to remain here – We were invited
to a party at Mrs Swains Tuesday in compliments to Mrs
Birth: 1811 Death: 1861-08-19
– I had not called but intended to have done
so that day – Henry and I went – As we were not invited
to take refreshments until some time after 10 oclock we had
rather a long “joy” – There were many young men and
more girls than married women – the former were
entirely ^most of them^ unknown to me – among the latter were Mrs
Birth: 1823-02-06 Death: 1902-07-20Certainty: Probable
Birth: 1807-10-03 Death: 1874-03-11Certainty: Possible
Birth: 1824 Death: 1873-03-19Certainty: Probable
& Abbott
Birth: 1790 Death: 1852-05-28Certainty: Possible
Caroline Smith
Birth: 1824 Death: 1881-01-22Certainty: Possible
was there
and made so much noise that every body was disturbed –
Mrs Marshall accompanied me to my the ^dressing^ room and said
the party was so noisy that she could not talk or think
she did not know but she might be singular but it was strange
to her now –
Page 4

I told her that was my own experience it was so long since
I had heard such loud talking and laughing in a party
that I was completely bewildered – I believe quiet is
considered one test of good breeding – it is certainly very
comfortable – dancing after the piano was the order of the
evening – some of the young men stamped with all their
strength and the girls seemed to study the ridiculous
in some instances –
The refreshments were placed upon a table in another room
whips custards cake dried fruit sweet meats sandwiches
coffee and lemonade – Mrs Swain performed much as she
did at the time you were there – The Capt
Birth: 1777 Death: 1870-03-10
was invisible –
They all spoke of you and Mrs Marshalls pleasant visit
the girls were prettily dressed and behaved with

Mrs Alvah Worden
Auburn N. Y.
Jan 23


Type: postmark

[right Margin] more propriety than some of the guests – Mrs Marshall
is much improved in manners and when others
were somewhat provincial appeared remarkably well –
All this is for Fan
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
who must thank her Aunty
for trying to amuse her when her own heart is very
heavy –