Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 29, 1849

  • Posted on: 6 December 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 29, 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 Lazette Miller Worden, December 29, 1849

action: sent

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

location: Washington D.C., US

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

location: Canandaigua, NY

transcription: nwh 

revision: tap 2018-11-15

Page 1

Editorial Note

This included a letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden dated December 29, 1849.
Hand Shiftx

Frederick Seward

Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
Washington Dec. 29. 1849
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
My dear Sister
I take up a sheet which Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
dated as I am writing in the office this morning
while waiting for breakfast – I was more than
half sick with a cold yesterday and did not
complete the letter I commenced the previous
evening – This is the last day of the week yet
I cannot think of one important thing I have
done this week. Visiting and receiving visits
constantly is certainly not the kind of life
adapted to my taste feelings or constitution
either physical or mental – When I dress
at 12 to receive company and am thus occupied
for four hours I am exhausted and unfit
for any employment the remainder of the
day and evening – The same effect is pro-
duced when I dress at 12 and go to make
visits or leave cards – Yet this is life
in Washington or at least the life to which

[top Margin]
Hand Shiftx

Frederick Seward

Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
Henry sent you a box of stationary
last week with directions
to have the charge paid
which the man
who took it to N. York failed
to do – Perhaps it is still at the E. Office
Page 2

I am doomed whenever I am in a large town - It
is useless to complain although my unfitness
for it must always give dissatisfaction —
Other women differently constituted make these
mornings only a prelude to a still gayer
evening while I am too much exhausted to
do any thing but go to bed, and if I am
required to see company, which seems unavoidable
almost every evening, I am stupid and listless
perfectly incompetent to entertain or be entertained
always hoping their visit will be short that
I may seek rest – I have fancied that with
renovated health these duties might be less
tiresome, but I am now compelled to admit
that I am peculiarly, and considering my
position, unfortunately constituted – Christmas
was a cold windy day – the succeeding
day cold and still – both days were
visiting days for ladies as all days are
except Sunday’s – Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
will tell you
how her time was spent – I went to
church in the morning Christmas day —
the next day was spent receiving visits
yesterday the morning was occupied making
purchases – it takes both time and money
Page 3

to make a house comfortable – To day we have
spent returning visits – Sir Henry Bulwer
Birth: 1801-02-13 Death: 1872-05-23

having sent us his card it was decided
that I should call first on Lady Bulwer
Birth: 1817 Death: 1878

We were unfortunate in getting to their
lodgings only a few moments after they
had gone out – so I cannot tell you of them —
I have just been reading an answer written by Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

to Judge Conkling
Birth: 1789-10-12 Death: 1874-02-05
who does not approve his
course in the Senate – Is it not a pity that
while there is one man in the Senate that
dares to raise his voice against slavery that
those who call themselves his friends must disapprove
For myself whatever my timid nature might
prompt me to do I hope I shall never fail
in the generosity which will enable me
to encourage the actions of nobler spirits —
I cannot avoid copying one or two sentences from
Henry’s letter, as it without his knowledge you
must consider it very confidential – “I am alone
all alone in the Senate, in Congress and almost
in the United States – Alone, while adhering faith-
fully to the Whigs – I dare to hold build on the rights of
disfranchised men – In this solitude I must stand or fall —
The world is full of men who can avoid it dexterously
and they do – I would not have their places
Page 4

When I am read in Dublin or London or even N York I
would not be read as I should be if I pleaded for
courtesy to Father Malthus
Birth: 1766-02-14 Death: 1834-12-29
on the ground that a place
within the Bar of the Senate was a “picayune”, or
Fidelity to Human Rights a fault – Hence I spoke
hence it was necessary to speak. If it was necessary
could I have spoken with more moderation dignity
or deference – You mistake in supposing me
surrounded by flatterers – I am more as I was on the
defense of Freeman
Birth: 1824 Death: 1847-08-21
, deserted by parasites. I need
encouragement if I need anything – But with
Gods grace and blessing on his own truth, I
shall win another triumph over the selfishness of
the age”– You have in this read the debate
in the Senate and had an opportunity of judging
of the magnanimity of the Whigs – not one
voice was raised to support the only man
who dared to disapprove the institution of Slavery
I am glad of it – I only hope the time may
come when they may appear as craven to
themselves as they do to me – And come it will
either in this world or the next – We are all
well – Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
does not study this week – He is
impatient for Spring that he may build his hen
house – Every body goes to the President
Birth: 1784-11-24 Death: 1850-07-09
Tuesday —
I shall not – Fan and Fred are going – I hope Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
recovered from his cold and that you keep well —
Love to Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
I enclose a check for you
Your own Sister
No letter this week – Just the little one enclosing Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29