Letter from William Henry Seward to William Henry Seward, Jr., April 10, 1871

  • Posted on: 9 May 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from William Henry Seward to William Henry Seward, Jr., April 10, 1871



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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 William Henry Seward to William Henry Seward, Jr., April 10, 1871

action: sent

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


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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: cnk 

revision: tap 2018-04-05

Page 1


Editorial Note

Written by Olive Risley Seward for William Henry Seward.
Bombay April 10, 1871
My dear William
Your very affectionate and
interesting letter of Feb. 12 and
one from Frederick
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
of about
the same date are the only
two letters from the United
which meet us yes-
terday on our arrival here
after six weeks sojourn in
India. We know that some
letters of an earlier date are
somewhere on the way, but in
our anxiety for them we have
caused them to be traveling up
and down in the North. They
will probably reach us before we
leave this part.
When we left Amballa
we went straight up and
placed our feet on the neck
of the Himalaya and looked
the snow clad giant full
Page 2

in the face. Our travels in
India northward from Ceylon

to this place of our departure
has been more than five
thousand miles and our
altitude reached above the
sea seven thousand feet we
have seen India well I
have had but one day of
illness and am though very
much fatigued on arriving
here not more so than I
was on arriving at Salt
or San Francisco
I am very glad that
you will have gone to San
Francisco, The journey will
be useful to you by way
of relaxation although it
would seem doubtful if the
season was a favorable one
for weak lungs. I trust
the fears of Jenny
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
and your
other friends in that respect
are exaggerated I shall
Page 3

nevertheless be anxious to hear
from you on that subject.
We are remaining here in
the house of the United States
Birth: 1831-02-15 Death: 1889-08-27
for not more than
5 days, we determine to day
whether to go by the way
of the Persian gulf or directly
to Cairo. The decision will
be given you on a postscript
We drive tonight with the
Governor of Bombay
Birth: 1818 Death: 1885-06-28
who is
exceedingly kind and attentive
If we go up the Persian
gulf we go as the guests
of Rear Admiral Cockburn
Birth: 1817 Death: 1872-02-10

of the British Navy. Every-
body advises us against
the voyage except the Con-
sul here and the Admiral
But in India there is an
unusual and persistent
panic about the climate
of Southern Asia Our ex-
perience thus far does
Page 4

not justify their fears.
I appreciate the affectionate
kindness with which my
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
accept the adoption
of Olive
Birth: 1844-07-15 Death: 1908-11-27
into the family.
I was sure that it would
be so when they should re-
flect upon my necessity for
travel and the dependance
I have upon her and the
patient affection with which
she is sustaining me She
is worthy of all the love
we can give her in return
for her heroic self sacrifice
With love to Jenny the
x Birth: 1862-09-11  Death: 1921-10-05  Birth: 1864-11-10  Death:  
and Aunty
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
your affectionate father
William H. Seward
Hand Shiftx

Cornelia Allen

Birth: 1862-09-11 Death: 1921-10-05
(signed by himself but in
a very weak and trembling
manner more so than any
I have seen since)
Page 5

P.S. Please excuse this
paper we are just out &
have to catch moments to write
with so I took what I could
get. We are all awfully
tired have been 4 weeks
traveling constantly and the
last pull was of two days
and a night, with all respect
to what your father says
about the weather I must say
That Bombay is as "hot as
blazes" and so enervating that
the least action is an effort
So you can imagine what a
thing it is for people who must
write letters settle accounts, buy
shoes, scold Freeman
& Price
Birth: 1834-09-19

and go to dinner parties [ I ]



must say for these two last
named gentlemen the one
a subject of Gt. Britain, the
other a citizen of the United
States as your Father always
Page 6

describes them, do very well
and are scolded more because
it is a relaxation for the
scolders than because they deserve
very much of it. Freemans
deafness increases so as to make
it unpleasant for Mr. Seward
but he is a faithful good
man, He was completely over-
come when he heard that Gen.
Seward had sent his little
boy a hobby horse.
I am very thankful and
glad that you all feel so
kindly in regard to your
father's adopting me, You
all knew that it is no
new thing but that in his
heart he has given me a
father's affection for years
and I hope you have seen
as I have known that by
Providence I am enabled to
make him comfortable and
happy. I want you to feel
Page 7

that this is my aim and
wish. There is nothing
awkward here in my writing
his name those things are
so common among English
people and I believe that
with your fathers character
to carry me through and my
own honest purpose to make
him happy that no one will
misunderstand or misconstrue
the action. Tell Aunty
with my dear love that I
am quite willing to trust
my character in her hands
I am always obliged to
scribble my letters to you all
and never even to my own
dear father to write a good
one. I hope this hurry
will be over soon for it
is very fatiguing With love
to all I am affly yours
To all the family at Auburn
Page 8
April 12
We have decided not
to go up the Persian Gulf but
to rest here for a week
and sail for Cairo on the
23 in the P and Q steamer
"Deccan"" Every thing is crowd-
ed from here at this season
but then we go comfortably
and shall be glad to get
out of the hot weather
In the mean time we
intend taking a run down
the coast of Malabar to
Goa an old, old settlement
Mr. Seward is very well
and drives out every evening
and is in good spirits