Letter from Frances Adeline Seward to Janet Watson Seward, January 8, 1866

  • Posted on: 13 December 2021
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Adeline Seward to Janet Watson Seward, January 8, 1866



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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 Adeline Seward to Janet Watson Seward, January 8, 1866

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1844-12-09  Death: 1866-10-29

location: Washington D.C., US

receiver: Janet Seward
Birth: 1839-11-18  Death: 1913-11-09

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: lmd 

revision: jxw 2021-06-21


Page 1

Washington. Monday.
8th January 1866
My dear sister Jenny,
I received your
very welcome and agreeable letter
on the morning of the 3rd
For a few days I post poned
writing home in order to answer
some of my long accumulated letters
of this summer & fall.
For the last two I have not
written being very anxious about
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
& not wishing to alarm
you unnecessarily. She is
a little better this morning
Dr Norris
Birth: 1828-03-09 Death: 1895-11-10
thinks — I give you
the best news first & then
go back to a little account
of how she has been.

[top Margin]
he mailed the letter.
Aunty was much pleased by your letter
to her – said nothing but her eye would
have kept her so long from writing you –
She does not complain of the eye now –
Dr Norris asks about you & Will
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
the children
x Birth: 1862-09-11  Death: 1921-10-05  Birth: 1864-11-10  Death:  
— & says I must be
sure & give his kind regards to
Wills "dear little wife."
Yes — it seems a great while to me
since I left home — I often go back
in my thoughts to all the enjoyment I
had there. I hope you have have

Page 2

For some time she has had a
cough — slight at first but
increased by a cold. She
tried different remedies –
Saturday Fr Friday night passed
most uncomfortably — unable
to lie down part of the time
Friday ^Saturday^ morning she came down stairs –
but grew worse towards night –
and seemed feeling so badly that
became seriously alarmed about
Friday when we
were at dinner Dr Wilson
 Death: 1889-03-22
been home ill — and Saturday
he came to see stay with us.
Dr Norris's morning prescription
& Dr Wilson's in the
afternoon seemed to have no
good effect. Saturday night
she had to sit up part of

[top Margin]
a good new cook
— you were changing when
you wrote.
Tell Eliza the basque came safely this
morning. Give her my love.
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
is very well. I have been
having some touches of neuralgia –
but only for three days past. My
cough is much less troublesome than
it was. The doctor does not think
it whooping cough — though he says
Aunty has ^had^ so much experience that
her opinion is worth as much as his.
He gives me a tonic which is bracing
me finely & I feel very much

Page 3

the night – & suffered very
much from great difficulty
of breathing – which she
thought must be asthma.
I had all sort of plans
of writing home— but feared
to send some alarming message,
which when it reached you
& frightened you all would
be proven quite needless by
her being better. So I waited
for Dr Norris's morning
visit & proposed sending
for Eliza Freeman – which
he thought the best thing
I could do. He came up to
see Aunty — called her difficulty
Bronchitis — instructed me concerning
hot applications — & told me
the chief danger to be apprehended

[top Margin]
more strong & "able bodied" than when I
left home.
I have a letter from Sarah Hills
Birth: 1796 Death: 1863-04-22

who has been very sick with an
abscess on her face — but is better.
Remember me kindly to all your
family. It does me a world of
good to know dear Will is better —
Give my best love to him & kiss
the children for "Aunt Fanny" — &
write me another entertaining letter as
soon as you find time — Affectionately your sister

Page 4

was Pneumonia — At noon —
dear good Aunt Eliza came –
she could stay the day — &
began making liniments – syrups,
poultices etc. Aunty had
a very hard day — her cough
not permitting her to lie down,
or even lean back & sleep.
Dr Wilson left after dinner,
for New York. Dr Norris
came in this evening — &
Eliza Freeman stayed
till this morning – but as
Aunty did not wish any
more applications at present —
went home. She will
come tonight to see Aunty,
& rub her. Aunty had
another bad night – at one time
was exceedingly sick at her
Page 5

stomach. She thinks it
was owing to her trying a
small dose of Cherry Pectoral.
This morning Part of
the time she could lie
on one side — and there
was quite an interval
in which she did
not cough ^& slept.^ This morning
she thought she was no
better — but Dr Norris
said it was much to
be glad of that she was
not worse — having been
liable to some dangerous
attack. She cannot
take the medicines that
I do — her stomach refuses
all opiates — the doctor
Page 6

does not urge medicines upon
her — gives her — if she chooses,
a little squills today — &
only advises care & prudence —
says it must take a little
time to get over such a cough –
&, as I told you — informed
me he thought her even a
little better. She has
just written to Kate
Birth: 1837 Death: 1878-04-08
Isn't that a full report?
but having begun, I didn't
know where to stop — &
I have felt such anxious
interest & painful responsi-
bility — I hope now she
is going to improve. The
doctor will see her again
tonight — & I will write
Page 7

another bulletin tomorrow.
Mary Grier
Birth: 1839-09-05 Death: 1930-06-04
came Saturday
night. Her escort
was delay-
ed till three by the illness
of a nephew
. She asks
much about you all.
Dr Wilson looked very
well. He sails Wednesday
by the Australasian accom-
panied by his wife
, & by a nephew
of Mr
Birth: 1814-12-19 Death: 1869-12-24
, & two ladies
He gave me a most cordial
& often repeated invitation
from himself & Mrs Wilson
to visit them at Antwerp
says I must certainly
come, & make my headquarters
at their house, & make
excursions thence all over
Page 8

the Continent.
New Year's day Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
wrote me
under date "Chesapeake Bay"
saying they were delayed between
Leesborough & Alexandria till
2 o'c — Sunday — by fog —
anchored again at Matthias
Point for the same reason –
When she wrote — at 4. P.M.
they were going eleven knots
an hour — & were thirty
miles down the bay.
They were very comfortable
on board – & Anna says
of Father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
"He is
improved already — has
a better appetite for eating
& smoking." A Postscript
at 7 bells — "Off Fortress
just going — " &