Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, February 13, 1849

  • Posted on: 5 December 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, February 13, 1849



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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 Augustus Henry Seward, February 13, 1849

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: Augustus Seward
Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11

location: Fort Towson, OK

transcription: pxc 

revision: crb 2018-10-31

Page 1

Auburn Feb 13th 1849
My dear Son,
I have waited a few days since I
received your letter, (dated the 9th of Jan) that Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29

might write, himself, an answer to his, which
gratified him very much – It has been quite
a task for him to write as he has just commenced
he has written one before to Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
– He is reconciled
I believe by my arguments to giving up the pony
I have explained to him the impractibility of bringing
one so far without much expense even were they
less vicious than you represent them – He thinks
he would not mind ill looks if they could
be made to go without constant urging like
John’s which sometimes stops in the street.
Your judgment my child is so good that I
think it much better for you to determine whether
he can have any at all – than for us who are
so far away & without the knowledge which
might lead to a judicious conclusion –
Willie is like you in his love for out door sports
and thinks now that he would be perfectly
happy if he had a pony – Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
has just
bought him a nice harness for Bruno and
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
is preparing for a drive this afternoon.
Bruno has never been taught any thing so he
evinces much less sagacity than dogs of

[top Margin] I hope you will be able to come home as early as June
as that is the time our garden is the most gay
Gen Gaines
Birth: 1777-03-20 Death: 1849-06-06
I see has the command of your division of the
army since the resignation of Gen Taylor
Birth: 1784-11-24 Death: 1850-07-09
– May God

bless and keep you
Your affectionate Mother –

[right Margin] Fanny sends a kiss
Page 2

of his species usually. I was much amused
with your account of the Christmas ball
Grandpa was reminded of the time when
he first came to this part of the country
when it was no uncommon occurrence to go
40 miles to a ball – Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
says at
Romulus they always commenced dancing
immediately after dinner – She thinks the
people of Texas very fashionable –
I am glad to hear you have more leisure
and comfortable quarters – Do not my dear
child indulge the belief that you have no
taste for reading – it is not so – you used to
like to read with me and read more for
me when you were a little boy than my
other boys – You have lost the habit being
so long at the Point when you could not
read and having had no leisure or no books
since – A taste for reading can be cultivated by
practice – it is not necessary that you should
read the whole of your leisure time but devote
a portion say one or two hours every day to
that employment. You will soon find the
habit easy and the occupation interesting.
If I knew what books you have I could better
advise what course you ought to pursue
it is not necessary to read a voluminous history
but if you have any work on Universal History
make yourself acquainted with the outlines
Page 3

beginning with the most Ancient so that you
may be able to trace the progress of nations
since the settlement of Greece by the Egyptians.
You will find it beneficial to make notes of some
of the most striking events – it is a great assistance
to the memory – Keep a scrap book and when any
sentiment or reflection particularly pleases you
write it down – You can hardly imagine how
much pleasure it would give me to look of over
a few pages of this kind written by you
I have always followed this plan in reading works
of fiction when a good or philosophical observation
occurred – You must by no means my dear son
neglect a practice which will conduce so much
to your own happiness and usefulness – A
person that reasons, reflects, and observes, as you
do may do with much less reading than a
mind of a different character but no mind
can continue to improve without such aliment.
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
remain at Flatbush – they
are getting impatient to come home but the Dr

thinks it necessary for Frances to stay some
time longer – Your Father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
and Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24

are still away – your father at Washington
Clarence in Orange County – You are so far away
you do not hear any ^thing^ of the divisions in the
Whig party or the unprovoked attacks that have
been made upon your father since he has been
a candidate for N.Y. Senator – He is finally elected
Page 4

not without strong and unprincipled opposition from the
other candidate John Collier
Birth: 1787-11-13 Death: 1873-03-24
– I shall keep many of their
papers for you to read when you come home – The
vote for your father notwithstanding all the opposition
was unanimous in the house and but 2 against him
in the Senate – The next 6 years his Winters indeed
2 thirds of the year will be passed in Washington.
He is so much away from home now that ill it will
make very little difference with me – I shall probably
spend some part of the time with him – I think
he will be home now before the 4th of March but
cannot say positively. I believe he must be there
at that time though not for a long time.
What do you think of the world all going to California
New companies are constantly forming here – William
Birth: 1824-09-16 Death: 1900-05-02
is going overland I have not been able
to learn what route or when he will leave –
De Witt Richardson
Birth: 1824 Death: 1882-11-05
has gone George
Birth: 1825-07-07 Death: 1919-06-25
is to go –
You do not speak of the gold fever – have not
any of your soldiers deserted – the temptation must
be strong for these poor fellows – but for any person
who is in tolerable business it seems to me folly to
leave – the number who go from all quarters is
so immense that disappointment must be the
lot of a great number – I think Clarence would like
to go if he could meet any encouragement which he
will not – Fred says two students from his
class have gone and many persons from the
city – The bill from the Spirit of the Times was
paid – after waiting a long time – as your
Father could not remember it I sent a check
for $4 – Mr. Perry
Birth: 1807 Death: 1875
has gone to California and
Mrs Perry
Birth: 1810 Death: 1877-01-07
and Alice
Birth: 1843-10-26
are boarding with Aunt Clara
Aunt Clara is well and sends love –

[left Margin] Mrs Pitney’s
Birth: 1797-12-04 Death: 1862-05-06Certainty: Possible
Birth: 1825
is going to California –