Letter from Anna Sheridan Smith to Frances Miller Seward, November 30, 1846

  • Posted on: 29 June 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from Anna Sheridan Smith to Frances Miller Seward, November 30, 1846



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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 Anna Sheridan Smith to Frances Miller Seward, November 30, 1846

action: sent

sender: Anna Smith
Birth:   Death: 

location: Canastota, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: cnk 

revision: cnk 2016-09-11

Page 1

Canastota Nov 30/46
My Dear Mrs Seward
I think you will be wondering not a
little e’re this where Time has taken me in his flight
Well here I am in my own native town, again, I had
almost said home — but no I may not use that dear,
old word, It would stir too deeply all the feelings of
this heart, and calmness is what I now much need -
calmness, to think clearly of the future; to judge
rightly what course to take, what action to perform —
Oh! how I long for a friend to tell me what to do, One
who can see through the long narrowing perspective
of the future to tell me how to steer my bark on
lifes oft changing deep that I may when it is possible avoi-
de the breakers and the jutting rocks — It sometimes
seems very hard to know what to do in this life, when
action of some kind seems so positively necessary —
I do not mean the inner, and more beautiful life of the
soul, I have a light to guide me in that way even
the light of Truth, from the "Word" – and therein again doth
it condemn me for it sayeth take no thought for the body
what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink or where with
all shall ye be clothed" And yet these are the very
things, now, that afflict me most — But when I look
upon it rationally, dispasionately; it seems strange
that so much thought or anxiety should be bestowed
Page 2

on the things that perish — But after all I could
not take so much thought for self alone - not that
I am less selfish than thousand of others; but that I
love my mother
, and those who have been cherished in
the same arms with myself perhaps equally with
my-self — And for this reason does my brain feel oppr-
essed and my heart sad — Yet why should I trouble your
kind heart with the feelings that sadden my own - the response
of my heart to this query is only ah: and alas: The soul throws
out its longings for sympathy as the vine does its tendrils
for dew and support, – But I must not weary you with my dull
thoughts, only if you will allow me, I will ask your advice in
regard to two or three plans I have been trying to mature —
I shall prefer your opinion to any one I know of now, because
I think you can think of and for others —Our plan is this, I
have thought of taking a store, and rooms to dwell in - in
Syracuse and getting fancy goods on commision to
sell again — My sister
could attend the store with my assis-
tance - and I could still follow my beautiful art when
ever I could obtain my pieces to execute — There is no
exclusive fancy store in the place — I have spoken to one
merchant there, he thinks it would succeed well—
The second is a plan Rev Dr Adams
proposed to me – he
said I had better go to Mr Clark
who takes daguerian pictures
and learn of him - he thinks I would soon make sufficient
to extricate myself from all difficulties and provide a
good home for my mother and her family — Mr Clark
will teach me and wait on me for the tuition bill in bill
Page 3

but I cannot get a good out-fit for less than a $100 or $125
to be sure I might make all that, and even more in two
months after getting well started — But I cannot ask any
one to lend me the money - and I know of no one who
could let me have the materials, and wait on me for the
pay which would amount to the same thing —
Oh! that you my good friend could tell me what to do —
My dear, rich brother
has returned from Illinois — I have
not seen him yet - he is one 50 miles from here, East
I shall try to go to him soon, If I can — They tell me
he is very, very feeble — Would to God I could promise a
good home for him untill he is well again —
My third plan is to acquire a thourough knowledge of
the German language - when I was a child I was taught
to speak the language, and I think I could again acquire it
so as to be able to teach it in six months - it could not
be very expensive aside from my board - I should also
This last plan would please me better than either of the
others - and it is rather more practical in the score of experience
Something, I feel that I must do - I cannot rest so -
Oh! that I knew what was for the best — You are wiser, and
and will know much better than I do —
I shall be here a week longer, and shall be very glad
to hear from you in the time if convenient
I have done no painting since I left your hospitable man-
sion - indeed I have had none to do - and have been too
unwell to execute any if I had had it — I commenced
however to give instruction to a lady in miniture
painting but was too unwell to have her proceed
and the weather getting so cold I was obliged to come out
here to get my fall cloths — I have been here nearly
a week I am staying in General Messenger's
Birth: 1798-10-09 Death: 1866-09-11
whilst in the
He thinks your husband's
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
miniature a very perfection
as do all others who have seen it, and him
I hope your
health is much better than when I left, Mrs Seward
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
, and
your husband also - and dear little Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
, how I long
to see her again and kiss those sweet lips once more —
Tell Willy
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
when I see him again I will try to paint Sissy
for him —
I am reading D'Aubigne's
Birth: 1794-08-16 Death: 1872-10-21
History of the Reformation
Author: Jean Henri Merle d'Aubigné Publisher: R. Carter Place of Publication:New York Date: 1844
, what
a delightful writer he is he makes Luther appear like he should one
man chasing away the thick darkness of many ages - and
the beautiful, the gentle — But adieu and my thanks, and regards
to your self and husband
Yours very truly
Anna M Sheridan
Mrs Seward
Page 4

Mrs W H Seward


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Miss Sheridan
Dec 1846