Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, August 31, 1849

  • Posted on: 5 December 2018
  • By: admin
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, August 31, 1849
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:pag

student editor

Transcriber:spp:cnk

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1849-08-31

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, August 31, 1849

action: sent

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

location: Florida, NY

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

location: Fort Towson, OK

transcription: pag 

revision: crb 2018-11-06

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Page 1

Florida, August 31st /49
My dear Augustus,
Your letter written the 13th of
July came the morning I left home –
Frederick
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
had written the day previous
telling you of the death of Grandpa Seward
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
.
After we left him one month ago he
remained about in the same state until
a week previous to his death – when his
symtoms became more alarming – Wednesday
the 22 while both your father and myself
were absent a Telegraph message came
from Mr Grier
Birth: 1802-09-27 Death: 1878-12-20
saying your Grandfather was
failing and requesting your father to come
down – This message was sent by letter
to your father who was then at Cooperstown
trying some important causes – owing
to some neglect the letter never reached
him until Friday evening – We heard
no more until 7 oclock Friday night
when another Telegraph message said
“Father can live but a few hours – come” –
At 9 o’clock the same evening another came
saying – “Father expired at 5 oclock” –
I having returned from Canandaigua Thursday
was in the mean time anxiously expecting
a message from your father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
– none came
Page 2

After learning Grandpa’s death I made immediate
preparation to go to Florida – intending to leave
Sunday evening – no cars ran during the
day – At 2 o’clock Sunday morning your
Father came home having heard nothing further
from Grandpa than the first telegraph
communication which reached him Friday
night – He left Cooperstown the next
day intending to have me accompany him to
Florida by the way of the Erie Rail Road.
As there was no communication with that
route on Sunday – we came as we first
purposed by Albany leaving Sunday at 5
oclock traveling all night we reached
New Burgh Monday noon – At Newburgh
we heard that the funeral had been deferred
(after my message was received saying I
would be there Monday evening) until Tuesday
morning – Frederick and Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
came
with us – We reached Florida in carriages
Monday evening – How changed the house
seemed – Grandpa was lying in the front
parlor in his coffin – the room he
has occupied so many years was vacant –
He looked quite as natural as when I left
him – a calm pleasing expression of the
face – I could not be sorry that his
painful pilgrimage was terminated though
the desolate aspect of every thing around
Page 3

oppressed my spirits – this is the 8th death
including poor Julia
Birth: 1811 Death: 1847-07-24
– which has taken place
in the family in the space of 10 years –
Now the house is broken up – and the
old mansion will probably pass into the
hands of strangers – The funeral was
numerously attended – the church crowded
Mr Pleison
Unknown
preached the funeral sermon –
Grandpa’s remains were deposited in the family
vault – the mourners have resumed their
usual avocations – Grandpa frequently
during the last days of his life expressed
an earnest wish for the arrival of your
father – and desired that he would
attend to the settlement of his affairs –
It was very painful to your father not to
be present in the last hour with either
of his parents – When I was here before
Grandpa Seward spoke affectionately of you
said he wished you would come to
Florida and take a farm which he had
recently purchased – His will has to day
been read by such members of his family
as are here – it is to be proven before the
Surrogate the 10th of September – I have not
read it but learn its import from others
I will enclose with this letter a paper which
will give you a synopsis of the last will
which was drawn April 1848 –
Page 4

And now my dear child about your letter –
I was much grieved by the intimation that
you might not come home until next Spring
Do reconsider this matter – I admit that
it will be late in the season for you
to go and return – but why need you
return! – You cannot seriously think of spending
your life in the Army and when will
there be a better time for leaving it –
Six years amid such associations has undoubtedly
rendered many things attractive to you which
appear differently to me – but I know that
a life of that kind is adverse to your
real nature – is uncongenial to your taste
and feelings which are peculiarly domestic –
It will be painful to break off many asso-
ciations that you have formed but never less
so than now – increase of years will only
serve to render such ties more binding –
I will not tell you how much we all desire
it for I wish you to be influenced in a great
degree by your own judgment which I think
will lead you right – Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
often speaks of
you – Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
has devious plans for going to
Arkansas
x

Editorial Note

Frances means Fort Towson in modern Oklahoma
Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
was well when we
left home – I think she will come & stay
at our house with Grandfather
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
this Winter – We
do not go to Washington until the 1st of Dec-
Dieu vous garde
your affectionate
Mother