Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr., to William Henry Seward, August 15, 1859

  • Posted on: 29 April 2021
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Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr., to William Henry Seward, August 15, 1859



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Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr., to William Henry Seward, August 15, 1859

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: William Seward
Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29

location: Washington D.C., US

transcription: crb 

revision: amc 2020-12-16


Page 1

Auburn Aug 15 th 1859
My dear Father
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
, Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
and Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
so much better correspondents than myself that I
have no doubt they keep you well informed of all the
interesting news, local, as well as political, therefore there
seems but little left for me to write except of our
business matters here at home. As you have already
been absent three months, perhaps you will like to hear
what has been done since your departure, So far, every
thing appears to have gone so very smoothly, and although
as I have become more accustomed to it, I find the business
less complicated than it first appeared, yet I find
an ample amount to keep me busy. By degrees I
have become acquainted with nearly all the tenants and
find no difficulty in dealing with them. There are but
two who are now behind in either rent or interest, and
both of these are making up the deficientces. I have
opened a sett of books which I keep by double entry
(the system and rules of which I partly learned while
in Albany) and with their help am able to keep each
persons account always before me. I commence by
opening three setts of acts, in one sett of books, namely W.H.S.
Page 2

F.A.S. and Estate of E.M. each of these large act
keep separate & small acts with each and every tenant or
person who is indebted to them, and also separate acts
with their stocks Bond Mortgages etc.
On the 1 st May the Cayuga Co. Bk and Bank of Auburn each
made their usual dividend of 4 pr ct which was placed to
your credit at the Bank. The same date I rented the house
on Miller St (formally occupied by John Hamilton
Birth: 1813
the painter)
to Mrs. Cromwell
Birth: 1819
a colored woman for $4.50 per m she pays promptly
and so far has been a good tenant. There are now
no vacant houses, all are either sold or rented. Same
date I made an exchange with Eber C. Loughborough
Birth: 1837-06 Death: 1861-09-17
, taking
back the Holley st house, and selling him instead, two
lots on Owasco st above Aunty Wordens
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
, the numbers are 104 &
106. He made a payt of $100. down and I have agreed to advance
$600. on the two lots. He is to errect on said lots, a d^we^lling
house worth, not less than $ 600. The house is now nearly
finished and I have already advanced thereon about $200.
The Holley st house I have sold to Frederick W. Seward
for $1100. and assigned over to him, your lease to the
present tenant. After drawing up the Article for the
above, we found that we could sign no agreement for
selling property to ourselves, which would be legal, we therefore
left the Article blank for your signature when you return
Page 3

or your approval by letter. By Fred's suggestion,
I have also drawn up an Article (leaving the place
for your signature in blank as above) for lot No 62 on Owasco
street, agreeing that you will sell the said lot lot to me
for $300. and also advance $500. on the same, to enable me to
erect two dwelling houses. Fred agrees to loan me (of his
own money) $200. making in all $700. with which I propose
to put up two frames, one and a half story houses, worth $350. each.
I have already had applications for the purchase of one of
them when finished. Does this plan meet with your approval?
I thought best to wait until I could hear from you about
it, but Fred was quite sure that you would make no object-
tions, so I have already commenced the foundations. The lot
which I have selected, is the largest one on the place, and
when divided is still nearly the same size of the ordinary
lots. I succeeded this month in making a final
settlement with Mr Hodge
in regard to the Napier Ball Tickets
I paid him $30 which arranges the affair perfectly satisfactorily
as far as your connection with it is concerned.
William L. Finn
Birth: 1823 Death: 1886
paid up his interest on the 15 th of May, very
much to the discomforture of Mr. Baker
Birth: 1816-03-16 Death: 1887-10-02Certainty: Possible
who was already
to take possession of the house on the following day, Baker
however consoles himself with the hope that there will be
a default made in the next pay t, due in Nov. in which
Page 4

^case^ he stands ready to move into the house as would have
done before. Groff


finished the house on the Burton
Farm 12 th May and I gave him a check for $355. balance
due for building the same. On the 25 th of May I sold
the house to Harriet Tubman
Birth: 1820 Death: 1913-03-10
(a colored woman from Rochester)
with seven acres of land for $1200. the house you will
remember cost $500. and you valued the land at $100. per a
She has already made a payt of $ 225 . on her contract and
promises another $100 by the first of Sept This I think
is a larger payment than has ever been made down on
any of the lots heretofore sold. Do you wish to sell any
more of the land at the same price ($100 per a) I think I can
find a customer for another lot of the same size, these lots
run all the way through to the east line.
May 18 th I recd from Chautauqua Co. $483.99
June 18 th " " " " $1085. 96
July 18 th " " " " $490.75
May 15 th I sent to M M Clark
check for $250. rent for house in Washington
and I have his receipt for the same — I send him another check for
$250. rent due to day Aug 15 th
June 2 Robert T Miller
& Brothers paid $100. interest on their B&M,
June 4 th m B Rhoades
Birth: 1834 Death: 1895-11-30
paid his note at the Bank $250 with
interest June 18 th I paid the taxes due the lands in charge of
T. Wiley
for Cambridge Ill
Page 5

June 14 th Wm B Rhoades finished the cellar under
his store at the cost of $436.58 this bill appears to me to
be an enormous one, and I am much mistaken if the
job could not have been at least $100 cheaper, if the contracts
for building the same had been properly managed. perhaps
however I am wrong, Rhoades seems to think that the work
has been done at the lowest possible figure, of course it would
be for his interest to get it done so, as he has to pay 10 per ct on the
amount. June 29 th Mr. Greene
Birth: 1802 Death: 1873-09-13
thought it best to take up
Larry Burns
Birth: 1789 Death: 1866-09-11
Mortgage, which was to be foreclosed on the 2 nd July —
I therefore gave Mr. Greene a check for $248.80 the amt of the
Mortgage (this is the only claim on reccord against the place, which
is probably worth about $300.) Larry has given Mr. Greene a Deed
for the land. Mr. Greene has given W m H Seward a note at six
months, for the amount $248.80) He (Greene) however has given a
written agreement to give Wm H Seward a deed for the place in
consideration of this note, before said note shall become due.
June 10 th I P Gaskill
Birth: 1823
paid his note at the Bank, did not ask for renewal
July 1 st James Post
Birth: 1820
renewed his note for $50 and paid the balance
" 17 th D P G Everts
Birth: 1808 Death: 1892-01-22
paid his note in full at Bank of Auburn
" 29 Vivus W. Smith
Birth: 1804-01-27 Death: 1881-02-07
paid his note in full at " did not ask for renewal
The Manhattan Co. made dividend Aug 1 st of 5 per ct
The Goshen Bank also made dividend " of 4 per ct
Page 6

Aug 1 st Frederick W. Seward has purchased the brick
basement house on Miller st for $1100. the contract is left
blank like the others.
George Sworts
Birth: 1819
house was finished to day, he is highly pleased with
it, it is one of best houses which has yet been built on the
place. I have already paid $160. of the advance to be made
on it, and shall be able to pay the balance of the $400 after
receiving the next Chautauqua collection.
Father Creeden called the other day for the $100 which you promised
him. I gave him a check for the amt.
Your first Draft $1250. was presented and paid at the Bank
of Auburn about the 25th of July, this brought my bank act
short about $500 for a few days, They however made no objection
at the Bank to waiting until the first of this month when I re'd
$700 from G.M. Grier
Birth: 1802-09-27 Death: 1878-12-20
, therefore there was no necessity for discounting
either one of Rhoades $250 notes, or the $5000 ^note^ which you left to
be used if necessary. The Central R.R. have made a
dividend of only 3 per ct payable the 20th of this month
will probably commence building about the first of
next month, this will make the fifth house got under way
or finished since your departure. Farmer
Birth: 1804-06-23 Death: 1895-02-14
rents the
back lot of the Burton farm as before, with the exception
of the strip of land sold to Mrs. Tubman. The front lot
with the exception of eight acres (half of which belongs to Mrs. T)
Page 7

I have had planted with Buckwheat and have
every prospect of a fine crop this fall, off from the
remaining four acres I have cut eight tons of hay, the
Farmer says, is much better than the land has ever
done before. The Elizabeth St lot has been too poor, and
not needed for our own cows, I therefore rented it for
the season for $15. I have also done the same with the
lower lot on the little farm.
Mr. Schoolcraft
Birth: 1804-09-22 Death: 1860-07-07
still retains the $1000. which you sent
him to purchase Central R.R. Stock with before your departure.
he evidently has done wisely in so doing as the stock
has fallen from 74 ct to 69 ct present value.
The Lake Ontario R.R. Co. are now making an effort to
raise $50.000. with which to build the road from Auburn to
Weedsport the citizens seem to be liberally inclined
towards the project and the amt. will probably raised.
Wm. H Seward Jr.