Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Frederick William Seward, February, 1861

  • Posted on: 25 May 2021
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Frederick William Seward, February, 1861
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:cnk

student editor

Transcriber:spp:les

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1861-02

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Frederick William Seward, February, 1861

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: Frederick Seward
Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25

location: Washington D.C., US

transcription: cnk 

revision: agw 2020-12-28

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Page 1

Private
My dear Son,
I have often regretted
that I did not talk with
you more fully of Wills
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
affairs
when in Albany - What I
say to you now I can say
to no other person without
misapprehension – Will has
known McDougall
Birth: 1839-06-14 Death: 1914-05-24
7 or 8 years
for the last 3 they have
been intimate friends –
They began to talk of a partner-
ship long ago – Will was
anxious to commence some
independent business before
his marriage but
Page 2

money was wanting for a
tom beginning – so Mc
Dougall went to Mobile
with a salary of 15000
a year – When he came
home to attend Will's wedding
he was induced by the
prospect of a partnership
with Will to remain here –
His creditor
Unknown
released him
from his liabilities with
the understanding that
capital was to be furnished
for their business immediately
after election – After election
the time was prolonged
until Mr Blatchford
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
was
ready – now it is put off
until the 4th of March
Page 3

and then your Father
Birth: 1835-01-09 Death: 1926

says if I should think
it best &c &c – No man
accustomed to business
would look upon this as
a certain assurance – I
am unable to tell at this
distance whether it means
at >a want of confidence
in one or both of the
parties or the difficulty
of getting money –
I am entirely satisfied
that now is the time for
Will to commence if ever –
He has met already with
disappointment enough to
cool his ardour & lessen
his confidence in the future
Page 4

There is a possibility that the
time may come when he
will cease to exert himself
to be independent – He is
already more subdued than
I ever expected to see him –
I have really known n Mc-
Dougall but one year –
I find much in his
character to respect – his
integrity has won for him
the confidence of the business
men of the town while
his gentle manner has
made him a universal
favorite – You alluded
to his failure in his first
speculation – You must
remember that he was then
Page 5

then only 19 years old and
with his temperament
one failure would suffice
to produce caution –
I am so confident that
no time should be lost
in determining this matter
favourably that if the
money cannot be obtained
from Mr Blatchford im-
mediately after the 4th of March
I shall take steps to procure
it myself by giving a
mortgage on all I really
own – the house in which
we live – I have not
breathed this purpose to any
human being & shall not
now – Will would not
Page 6

take money so obtained
& your father would
only be irritated by such
a suggestion – So I trust
to your affection to keep
my secret – I yet
hope so extreme a measure
may not be necessary
In the mean time pray
use your influence to obtain
the loan from Blatchford
All this I would have
written to your father
20 years ago Although
I love & respect him no
less now, I distrust
my influence – if I
ever possessed sufficient
I do not now – I doubt
Page 7

whether I ever could have
changed a settled purpose
I do not distrust his
kindness but he is so
entirely engrossed by
public affairs that he has
no time to consider domes-
tic troubles – I would
not so urge this matter
did I not know that
these disappointments are
injuring Will – He is
generous & constant – he
feels that he is doing
injustice to his friend in
keeping him so long without
employment yet he
cannot make up his
mind to relinquish the
Page 8

project which all his
friends I believe admit
is not an unwise one.
There is I infer a systematic
attempt on the part of Dr
Willard
Birth: 1825-06-19 Death: 1865-04-02
and some others
Unknown

interested, to prevent the
establishment of a new firm
which will interfere with
their interest –
I have struggled for
10 years to place Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

in a situation more in accordance
with his character – In this
I have utterly failed – I
hope I may be spared
the sorrow of seeing a
noble boy like Will
sinking under an accumulation
of adverse circumstances of
which he is too generous to
complain – Help me if you

[right Margin] can – & may God bless you always
Mother