Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 6, 1844

  • Posted on: 15 October 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 6, 1844



student editor


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 6, 1844

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: axa 

revision: crb 2018-07-20

Page 1


Editorial Note

We date this letter from internal evidence. Frances says that George Wood died “yesterday.” His death date was February 4, 1844, which was a Monday, and this letter was written on a Tuesday.
Tuesday morning
My dear Sister,
I received your letter this morning and
having much trouble with very little sympathy I cannot
delay writing to you—Freddy
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
is quite sick again with
a sore throat and fever—I was up a number of times in
the night and this morning sent for Dr Robinson
Birth: 1804-02-04 Death: 1889-07-28
—In addition
to my anxiety for him a letter came from my poor Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

this morning which has increased the solicitude I felt
for him an[ d g ]


ives me food for much bitter reflection
I will copy a part of his letter which is written in his
usual meek spirit—After expressing his pleasure in
hearing that Cousin Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
had a pleasant party and
wishing Fred could enjoy company more he says— “You
wrote to me a few weeks ago about getting so many marks
I am afraid that my next report will not show much
falling off in number, however I do the best I can not
to get them and have by no means so large a number
as many in my class. –indeed the punishment is so
severe that every one does his utmost to keep from reports
even if demerits were not given for them; thus if one
Page 2

gets a report giving 5 or 6 demerits it is not simply registered
and sent in the monthly report to his parents, but the
offender is obliged to walk 5 or 6 Saturday afternoons on
post and be confined in the guard room all the evening
I leave you therefore to judge (supposing even that the
weight of the demerit were nothing, whereas it is much) whether
I would be foolish enough not to try to keep from getting
reports, I assure you that I have ^not^ such a taste for
extra tours of guard duty as to get reports unless unavoid-
able, and with this assurance remain your affectionate Son”
You dear sis have a mothers heart (which God [ has ]


not bestowed
upon any man) and can judge how much pain and how
many tears this letter has cost me—I have no sympathy
from Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
the cold assertion that boys must get
accustomed to these things is the only answer to my
remonstrance—Augustus should not remain there
another day were I to decide for him—It is a wanton
exposure of his health to say nothing of the other injurious
effects of such injustice—I wrote to him the day after
you left requesting him to explain the cause of the demerits
and advising if the number could not be lessened
to resign his warrant—but he will do as
Page 3

his father advises even were his life the forfeit—It is
sinful so to task a noble generous boy—and will some
day bring fruit for repentance—I have been very lonely without
you and Fan—Yesterday we were astonished by the intelligence of
George Wood
Birth: 1805-10-07 Death: 1844-02
death—though anticipated by all but his immediate
relatives it was sudden—he died of congestion of the lungs
produced (Dr Robinson thinks) by Dr Pitneys
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
he says when he left him he had not the least symptom
of any disease of the lungs—Dimon (Theodore)
Birth: 1816-09-19 Death: 1889-07-22
was called
the last day, after the Dr became alarmed—Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
and I went there
yesterday—we found old Mrs Wood
Birth: 1787-01-25 Death: 1870-07-12
mourning as mothers do
the loss of her first born—Debby


indulging the violent
grief of a child
Birth: 1835Certainty: Probable
and the other members of the family
Birth: 1778-04-18 Death: 1853-04-24

quite composed—I did not ascertain any thing new in
regard to George’s death—he suffered greatly—was unable
to lie down and breathed with great difficulty the last 24
hours—retaining until he expired a perfect consciousne[ ss ]



of his situa[ tion ]


—We also visited another house of mourning
Old Mr Andrews
 Death: 1844-02
was buried last Sunday after a protracted
illness—his wife
is much afflicted—Sarah
Birth: 1811 Death: 1874Certainty: Possible
and her husband

were there—poor Sarah grieves sadly for her children
Robinson was their physician and she reproaches herself now that
some other mode of treatment was not substituted—I was
much pained by all she told me and finding Fred quite sick
when I came home I passed a very unquiet night—As the
only four children
whose death had come to my knowlede during
the year had died of scarlet fever under homeopathic treatment
I must acknowlede that I had some misgivings but they were
like those about the Church I could turn to nothing better
and so sent for Dr Robinson this morning—The Dr gave a very
satisfactory account of the cause of the childrens death we had
a long talk about it and as I was never a believer in
homeopathic infallibility I am now about restored to my
former confidence—'He can create and He destroy” is about
the conclusion of the whole matter—we can only make use
Page 4

of those means which appear to us the most rational—
I am sorry to send you so sad a letter but there is a heavy
weight upon my heart—Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
continues well and
talks much about Aunty—I often look up to see Dick
and miss his cage and his soft eye—
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
went to Skaneateles Saturday for a drive took cold
and is not well enough to attend school—George is to
be buried to day at 2 oclock—Best love to Frances
your own Sister
Mrs Alvah Worden
Mr Garson