Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 19, 1850

  • Posted on: 18 July 2019
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 19, 1850



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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 William Henry Seward, May 19, 1850

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Washington D.C., US

transcription: lkw 

revision: crb 2019-02-01

Page 1

Sunday May 19th
My dear Henry,
I have tried in vain to find
time to write a few lines since
last Tuesday – I have now three
or four kind letters from you to
answer – I had read a synopsis
of Mr Clay’s
Birth: 1777-04-12 Death: 1852-06-29
speech before I received
the speech entire – that I have not
yet finished – Of course I read first
that part which was supposed
to allude to you – Whether it was
so intended or not it was utterly
unworthy any man for whom
I can feel deference – it has totally
eradicated the last germ of admira-
tion I once felt for Henry Clay –
For the future I look upon him as
one of the delusions of my younger
days – Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
& George Grier
Birth: 1802-09-27 Death: 1878-12-20

had an indignative meeting on
the subject at Goshen
Page 2

The other parts of the speech so far
as I have read are dull enough –
I believe that he who wishes
to be venerated in old age
must withdraw himself from
a situation so conspicuous before
he is 70 years old – Now about
my boys who engross a great
share of my thoughts – I do not
think Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
has any earnest
desire to go to Europe alone –
he would like to go if Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25

could accompany him and I
wish it were possible for them
to go together – their different
tastes would increase the
interest of the tour to each –
Augustus is so conscientious that
he thinks he ought to go now
because his leave of absence was
asked for that purpose – If he
goes now to Europe he will lose
the time when he might be
Page 3

trying some new occupation –
Every day confirms me in the belief
that he ought not to return to the
Army – Although I do not think
it wise for him to resign immediately
I would have him do so before
the expiration of his furlough –
George Seward
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
is going to Washington
when he returns from Chicago
can he be of any use to you? –
If not Fred will come down
immediately and cheerfully though
I would like much to keep him
a few weeks longer – He watches
the garden with the same interest
that you do when you have
any leisure – He finds time to
read some law – I hardly
know what to say about the furniture –
Fred and I went to Parsons & Hensons
They have none but Mahogany &
hair cloth on rose wood & red
plush – which looks much less
pretty to me than it did last
Page 4

summer – The work is inferior
to that in New York and the
price about 1/3 less – All
coloured material will fade
in time and require renewal
sooner than black hair cloth –
The latter is out of date in the
cities but I am not sure
that it is not better for us.
If the furniture is to be purchased
in N. York I can trust Freds
taste in the selection with such
directions as I can give – please
send me the cards you took
at the different establishments –
I would like to furnish my
parlour as early as next month.
They have nothing new at Hensons
that suits me and say they
could not finish a piece in
less than 2 months – I can wait
that time however – Lazette & Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29

send love – your own
Frances –
Page 5

Lazette and Augustus came home
Thursday much pleased with
their jaunt – Augustus’ clothes
have come and to day we all
went to Church – I am very
sorry you could not have
seen the pews while you were
here – There seems to me to be
something wrong about the
matter – If I had been told
that the pulpit was within
four feet of the pew I selected
I should have decided against
It at once – We occupied
the second pew to day and I
found that altogether too near
to be agreeable – I do not
understand how those pews could
have been sold to us for so high
a price when they are obviously
not in demand – that on the
opposite side of the Church is
Page 6

not taken at all and the second
one is occupied by Mrs. Youngs

who I think could not
have paid $325 for the
pew and the premium ^for the^ bid –
I have seen no person of whom I
could obtain any information and
do not know that it would
be best to enquire if I had –
Except that we are too near
the pulpit I do not object
to the situation of our pew –
I can give you no better idea
of this proximity than by telling
you that the pew is situated
like Mr Warren’s
in Dr Butlers
Birth: 1810-10-16 Death: 1890-03-05Certainty: Possible

Church – the pulpit being elevated
only three steps – Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
told Mr Blatchford
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
to rent his
pew as he will not pay $25 per
year for it – This reduces
us to the necessity of occupying
the front pew or having some
Page 7

persons in between us and the
clergyman which would be equally
disagreeable – I do not know
why I have written you all this
as there is I believe no remedy
now – I see no other pew
unoccupied that I would prefer
though had I been here to make
the selection I should have
chosen some other – I only
think it wrong that we should
pay inordinately for pews
which could not have been
sold to any one else –
When I see Mr Blatchford I
will make some enquiries & inform
you further – In the mean time
please to burn this letter –
Lazette goes home (reluctantly)
tomorrow – She was at Mrs
Birth: 1806-12-25 Death: 1875-01-04
yesterday – David


her that it was a great
Page 8

disappointment to the people that
you left so soon as they had
intended to have a “glorification”
meeting irrespective of party –
Lazette says she was overwhel-
med with kindness on the
Erie rail road on account
of the mark on the trunk –
All were well at Goshen –
Dr Jayne
Birth: 1817-02-06 Death: 1897-11-09
& Mary
Birth: 1828 Death: 1905
are to be here
this week – The weather
has been quite cold for a few
days – Please remember me
to Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
& Mr Schoolcraft
Birth: 1804-09-22 Death: 1860-06-07

Fred thinks he ought to set
out for Washington this week –
Please write me your
news about the furniture