Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, March 5, 1859

  • Posted on: 15 April 2021
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, March 5, 1859
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:srb

student editor

Transcriber:spp:cnk

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1859-03-05

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, March 5, 1859

action: sent

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

location: Washington D.C., US

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

location: Key West, FL

transcription: srb 

revision: zz 2020-12-02

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Page 1

Washington March 5th
My dear Son,
I received your letter
dated the 10th of Feb three or
four days ago – Had I answered
it immediately my letter
might have returned by the
same steamer that brought
yours – I was not well enough
to write just then – and now
I suppose the steamer has re-
turned. You seem to think you
will be obliged to join your
regiment – Your Father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
thinks
not – I hope not – We hear nothing
from Professor Bache
Birth: 1806-07-19 Death: 1867-02-17
on the subject
so we infer no requisition
has been made yet –
Sunday March 6 th – We have a
fine bright morning – the first
Sunday in Spring –
Page 2

It is one week today since
Barton Key
Birth: 1818-04-05 Death: 1859-02-27
was murdered by
Dan Sickles
Birth: 1819-10-20 Death: 1914-05-03
– the town is
still engaged in discussing the
merits of the parties – I think
they are all deficient in very
meritorious qualities – Sickles
though a New York politician has
been known for years as a
grossly licentious man – Rumor
says he lived in communal inter-
course with the mother
Birth: 1836 Death: 1894-06
of his
wife
Birth: 1836 Death: 1867-02-05
at the time he married
her. A girl of 16 brought up
under such influences could
not be expected to prove a
very faithful wife – The attentions
of Barton Key have been the
subject of much comment
for nearly a year – They were
permitted by Sickles, persevered
in by Key and received by
Mrs Sickles though all
Page 3

were admonished by their
respective friends at different
times – When Sickles ascertained
that the matter was public, with
the advice of his friend Butterworth
Birth: 1811-11-10 Death: 1875-05-03

he determined to shoot Key
murder him in plain terms, and
Attacking an unarmed man
with 3 loaded pistols, shooting
him the second time when he
was imploring mercy, and
the 3d time when he had
fallen to the ground, can have
no milder signification than
deliberate murder – Had Sickles
been a man who had respected
the rights of others he would
have had more apology for
the unbridled revenge – which
after all is a mere selfish grat–
ification, neither benefitting his
guilty wife or society –
I see no apology for the conduct
Page 4

of Key who was a man of 40
with a family of children
x Birth: 1855-03-08  Death: 1888-01-30  Birth: 1854-02-04  Death: 1910-05-16  Birth: 1848  Death: 1934-05-20  Birth: 1846-08-25  Death: 1908-10-04 

his wife
Birth: 1818 Death: 1855-03-20
being dead – The
woman is 22 Sickles 40 – She
seems to me the most pitiable
of all – though such crimes ought
not to be excused – She has a
daughter
Birth: 1553 Death: 1891-12-10
of 6 years – Mr Buchanan
Birth: 1791-04-23 Death: 1868-06-01

took Sickles to London as his
sec- of Legation soon after his
marriage – his reputation follow-
ing him there excluded both
him and his wife from the
best society – It is a long story
of crime and blood – I have
written what seems to me to be
the truth from which many
of the Journals are widely astray –
Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
is to leave us tomorrow
morning, in company with Hollis
White
Birth: 1813
who goes to Albany
We shall all miss her very
much – Congress having ad-
journed many people have

[bottom Margin] All send love –
Page 5

left town already – more
will go tomorrow –
The Executive session of the
Senate may last through
this week – Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
is
in New York talks
some of coming here for
a few days before re-
turning homeAunty
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03

is staying with Frank
Birth: 1854-02-13 Death: 1931-05-23

at Canandaigua
Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
is well as
usual – I hope we shall
get home by the 7th of
April though no time is
fixed for us to leave –
Lord
Birth: 1819-09-19 Death: 1898-12-19
&Lady Napier
Birth: 1823-12-20 Death: 1911-08-24
will not
go before the middle of this
month – Lord Lyon
Birth: 1817-04-06 Death: 1887-12-05
has not
arrived yet – Last week
Page 6

I dined at the French Ministers
Birth: 1809-01-17 Death: 1892-10-05

they were so kind as to in-
vite none but our family
so that I could come – We
spent a pleasant evening –
Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
was not able to come
here as we hoped he might –
Will
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
& Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
have been
riding, she on a pony & Will
one of the carriage horses,
for three or four days – Fanny
is much better – so am I –
Mr
Birth: 1829 Death: 1832-03-29
&Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
spent 5 days
with us last week – they
have changed very little
made many inquiries about
you – N.B. If any thing should
prevent your coming home I
shall come to see you somewhere
should you be sent away as I
hope you will not –
May God preserve you
Mother
Page 7

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
William H Seward
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Lieut. A.H.Seward
Assist. Coast Survey
Key West
Florida
WASHINGTON CITY D.C.
MAR
3
1859
FREE
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Stamp

Type: postmark