Letter from William Henry Seward to William Henry Seward, Jr., January 29, 1871

  • Posted on: 9 May 2018
  • By: admin
xml: 
Letter from William Henry Seward to William Henry Seward, Jr., January 29, 1871
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:pxc

student editor

Transcriber:spp:jjh

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1871-01-29

In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's persons.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "pla" point to place elements in the project's places.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's staff.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's bibl.xml authority file. verical-align: super; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration: line-through; color: red;

Letter from William Henry Seward to William Henry Seward, Jr., January 29, 1871

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location:
Unknown

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: pxc 

revision: crb 2018-03-22

<>
Page 1

x

Editorial Note

Letter written by Olive R. Seward for William H. Seward
Jan 71
My dear William
If you will place your
finger upon the line of the equa-
tor and move it along until it
rests on the one hundred and fifth
parallell of East longitude you
will have the place where I
am writing this letter on the 29th
day of January 1871.
We left Hong Kong making
a final adieu to China on the
4th inst. We stopped a day at
the port Saigon in Siam and
two days at Singapore. From
that place we proceeded by
a voyage of four days to Batavia
the capital of the island of
Java.
Arriving there on the 15th inst.
we were met with great
promptness by the Governor General
Birth: 1812 Death: 1881

Page 2

of the Indies with not only
demonstrative hospitalities, but
with the most liberal facilities
for traveling. We improved
them and we saw of seashore,
midland, plain and volcanic
mountains enough to justify us
in giving our assent to the
general testimony of tourists
that Java with a native
Malay population of fourteen
million, a Chinese immigration
of eighty thousand and Dutch
resident population of less
than twenty thousand is
really the garden of the
world. Plantations of rice
sugar, tea, coffee, plantain
and cocoa nut cover even the
sides of the mountains to the
height of four thousand feet
The labor which the state of
New York has expended in
making its comprehensive and
exclusive effective systems of canal
Page 3

was far less than this simple
community have performed in
terracing and irrigating their
magnificent island.
All but the Europeans are
Mahometans, but there is little
of intollerence and persecution
is unknown. Life and property
are safer here than with us
at home. The Dutch possessions
in the other great islands of the
archepeligo are extensive but
as yet far less prosperous, if we
except the island of Banca which
produces tin in such large
quantities as to determine the
market price throughout the
world. Here as in China and
Japan however I have studied
man and society more than na-
ture and commerce. My observations
cannot be copied now for Olive's
Birth: 1844-07-15 Death: 1908-11-27

two hands find too much oc-
cupation in writing the obser-
vations in our diary.
Page 4

We are passing along the
eastern coast of Sumatra a
vast island with great resources
but remaining nevertheless a
safe shelter for the tiger, the
monkey, the elephant and the
bird of Paradise. We find the
heat here on the equator on the
sea level hardly less intolerable
than the cold in March at
Auburn. In the mountains
of Java however we found
the summer heat like the
temperature at the Catskills.
We expect to leave Singapore
on Thursday the 2nd of February
for Madras. The British Governor
Birth: 1819-09-19 Death: 1898-12-19

has invited us to be his guests.
The voyage to Madras is of
about ten days. My old friends
Lord and Lady
Birth: 1823-12-20 Death: 1911-08-24
Napier have
tendered us a welcome by
telegraph. He is as you may
remember Governor of that great
British province. You probably
Page 5

have learned before this time
that our party as originally
constructed has lost all its
adventitious accessories. Governor
Randall
Birth: 1819-10-31 Death: 1872-07-26
was obliged to return
home from Hong Kong his ex-
cellent wife
Birth: 1845-10-02 Death: 1918-10-06
could not suffer him
to go back alone so I was like
in my situation to John Brown
"John Brown had two little
Indian boys"
The one ran away and the
other wouldn't stay
So John Brown had no little
Indian, no little Indian no
little Indian boys"
When George Seward
Birth: 1840-11-08 Death: 1910-11-28
and the
amiable Mrs. Seward
Birth: 1850-06-06 Death: 1934-06-15
came to
confront the inconvenience of
leaving her new home at
Shanghai before she should have
become established in it and he
came to confront the loss of
valuable time and other advantages
Page 6

of his consular position, he
kindly expressed to me a
determination nevertheless to
accompany us to Bombay if I
should think the sacrifice ne-
cessary. We that is myself and
my daughter found ourselves
so much improved in health
and strength that we decided
to go on alone. So far at least
the experiment is a successful
one. It exhausts my strength
and it taxes her strength less
to travel in a party of only
three, although no one of the
party is surpassingly vigorous,
than it did to travel in our
very well constructed party of
seven. Besides large parties
lose a great many of the
advantages of travel which
smaller ones can secure.
Of course it is yet uncertain
how long we may stop at
Madras still more uncertain
Page 7

how long in India but I think
that we shall not be later in
reaching Cairo than the first
of May. Mention however I
shall advise you of our arrival
at Madras
My love goes back every day
to you and to all my children
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 

as a grateful memory constantly
calls up many friends
Aunty
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and Jennie
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
and Fred and
Anna
Birth: 1836-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
and Augustus will know
without being told that I am
affectionately as ever
William H. Seward
(signed by himself cera)