Letter from Serene Fosgate Birdsall to Frances Miller Seward, January 25, 1851

  • Posted on: 11 October 2017
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Letter from Serene Fosgate Birdsall to Frances Miller Seward, January 25, 1851
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:lmd

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1851-01-25

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Letter from Serene Fosgate Birdsall to Frances Miller Seward, January 25, 1851

action: sent

sender: Serene Birdsall
Birth: 1802  Death: 

location: Waterloo, NY

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

location: Washington D.C., US

transcription: lmd 

revision: lmd 2016-11-14

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Page 1

Waterloo Jany 25th 1851
My dear Frances
A little more than one week has
elapsed since I recieved your more than ^kind^ letter. Do
not impute
To charge; to attribute; to ascribe • To charge to one as the author or originator of; generally in a bad sense • To set to the account of another as the ground of judicial procedure • To take account of; to reckon •
to me the worst of all sins ingratitude
for not acknowledging it before. When it came to
hand, two of my children were very sick with the
intermitting fever, and finally a combination of
domestic ills too numerous to mention, entirely
beyond my control have prevented my writing
my children
x Birth: 1844  Death: 1894-05-17  Birth: 1842  Death: 1917  Birth: 1841  Death: 1907-12  Birth: 1838  Death:   Birth: 1836  Death: 1910-07-27 
are now all better, save my Robert
Birth: 1842-01 Death: 1930-01-01
, he
is still quite ill, with a most frightful cough
which I sadly fear will terminate in a disease
of the lungs. I am watching with him, which
gives me an opportunity at 12. P. M. to write.
For your most unexpected generosity to my
precious children, accept all I can offer, the most
cordial thanks of a heart overflowing with
love and gratitude, more I would say, were
words adequate to express half what I feel.
I am well aware too, my dear Fanny, that all
you require, is to know that your liberallity
Page 2

was recieved in the same kind spirit that it was
sent.
Your check I presented to the Waterloo Bank
I need not add that it was accepted. I trust
dear dear Frances that you will not be displeas-
ed that the beautiful little note you wrote
beneath, accompanied it. I wished Mr Mercer
Birth: 1800 Death: 1858

who is a friend of ours, to understand that it
was a gift outright. I could not reconcile the
idea, that so kind an act could ^must^ possibly pass
as a business matter, so rare are noble acts by
them at least, that it would never have entered
their thoughts as possible that it could
have been for anthing more than to cancel
some obligation.
My Brother Blanchard
Birth: 1809 Death: 1887-09-11
spent yester-
day with me, he came out to escape the lawful
murder that was to be perpetrated in the jail on
that day – a subject on which perhaps he is
too sensitive. He saw dear Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
the night
before, she told him she was to leave today for
Washington, how happy you must be to
have her with you, give her assurances of my
continued affection, and how disappoanted
I was at not seeing her last fall, tell her I
Page 3

have waited impatiently for the promised letter
telling me all about her dear daughter
Birth: 1826 Death: 1909-08-24
’s wed-
ding, but am sorry to say, it is among the pleas-
ures I am yet to enjoy— I wish it might not
be asking too much for her to steal one short
hour from the gaities of the city, and tell me
all about herself and her’s, and you and yours
there is no one, that feels so deep an interest in
all that concerns you both. I hope she will
have a delightful visit, aside from the
society, there is always much during the sess-
ion of Congress to interest an intelligent stran-
ger., above all, she will not fail to honor
the illustrious Presidents Lady
Birth: 1798-03-13 Death: 1853-03-30
with her
acquaintance, and ask her for her recipe
for washing and cleaning old carpets
she was great at that business, according to
her own account. Pantalettes and blue stocking
I presume are La Belle Fillmore’s court
dress. they used to be well suited to her broad
understanding.
Present to Mr Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
when he has time to
recieve them, my kind regards, with my sincere
desire for his properity and promotion— and
will take this time to thank him for his kind
remembrance in sending me the beautiful
Page 4

pamphlet containing the death of the President
Birth: 1784-11-24 Death: 1850-07-09

kiss your dear children
x Birth: 1844-12-09  Death: 1866-10-29  Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25 
for me. As the greatest good
I can wish little Fanny may she grow up in-
heriting all her mother’s virtues. May your absent
son
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
return in safety to you at the time you
expect him, and may you all in the spring
be happily again united in your delightful
home at Auburn is the sincere prayer of
one who will always love you and be ever
grateful for your kindness.
Serene Birdsall
P S. I presume a poor pen is an apology for bad spelling
as well as writing.
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Serene—
1851