Elizabeth, Letter 1-007: To William Magee Seton

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Author: Elisabeth Ann Bailey Seton .
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23rd July 1794

Oh my dearest treasure how my heart does bless you for those two dear affectionate letters, and think of my not recieving either ’till six this afternoon, the person who left the first one said he had entirely forgot he had it. He little knew the happiness it would give or he could not have been so Inhuman as to have neglected sending it, while my eyes were rivited on it and I was revolving in my mind all the circumstances of your absence and the fatigue and vexations you might experience from the frenchman etc. in came Jackson1 with the other letter and then I was too happy and most grateful for your attention to the wishes of your little girl, ah my dearest Husband how useless was your charge that I should “think of you,” that I never cease to do for one moment and my watery Eyes bear witness of the effect those thoughts have for every time you are mentioned they prove that I am a poor little weak Woman—

I dined with our Father2 and was so fortunate as to meet Mr. Fisher.3 He is really the most charming company that can be and I think I never was in my life more pleased with a stranger—We talked of you, you may be sure and he said that I must learn one thing which few women could acquire the first year of their marriage which was to let their Husbands “Act for the best”—We drank a bumper together to your health and speedy return4 and He addressed me with all the familiarity and affection of Old friendship “Well Eliza if thee should ever visit Philadelphia come and stay with us” etc. You dont know how much he delighted me for it was certainly Complimenting my Husband in being so kind to his wife whom he can esteem only from her being such—for he cannot judge me worthy of his friend-ship on any other ground.

I drank tea with Mrs Fitch5 at Mrs. Whites (my neighbor) and from there went to papas, not finding him home I went [to] your Aunt Farquhars6 because I knew you would wish it and from there returned to papa’s ate our Supper and here we are at 1/2 past ten, Eliza7 Asleep and your little Darly8 cheerful as may be gratifying herself for I am sure you will be tired of my small-talk.

Oh my love think of our poor little friend [Eliza] Sadler[.] She has been ran away with and thrown against a tree by the Crazy horse and almost Bruised to Death, Post happened very fortunately to be at Mrs. M. Hoffmans (at Mr. Willetts) where she was going and gave her ev-ery possible assistance but he thinks (altho’ no bones are broke) that she cannot be moved for some time. I hope to go and see her tomorrow as I pass the day with Mr. Fitch and then I will tell you more—It really makes my heart ache to think of her melancholy Situation—

If I could have but one peep at you to know you were comfort-able—but the Idea of the Inconveniences you may be suffering while these arms Heart and bed are all forlorn without you-1 will not go to bed as I did last night for altho it was twelve I did not close my Eyes ’till three there fore I will take my Bible and read till I am sleepy—Heaven Bkss and Protect you—

Thursday morning-

I tremble for you my Darly on account of the weather the day will be almost insupportably hot, but I must trust that Mercy which alone can preserve you from every danger, it is past nine and I think you arrived or near it, and if you write by today’s post tomorrow I shall have a letter, in the hope of which I will be as cheerful as possible—My father just past in a Charriage and nodded his head I suppose he is just arrived, ‘tis strange I’ve seen nothing of the letter you mentioned—

the little picture surprised you I scarcely know what I meant by putting it there, I wish it could express what the Original does, you must fancy it smiles and is continually beconing you to return—Your picture is so melancholy that I dont love to look at it in your absence, it indulges too many fancys which my dismal imagination is ready enough to represent—two days are quite gone thank fortune and the third begun. I must look forward to tomorrow and tomorrow- O [unclear] desires his love to his dear papa. Hope travels on nor quits us till we die—love your dear little girl’ and give her as much of your leisure time as you can without fatiguing yourself—good-by

Your Own E.A.Seton9

  1. Probably one of the household servants
  2. Elizabeih often used this term to refer to her father-in-law, William Seton, Sr., (1746-179£0, who married Rebecca Carson March 2, 1767. The couple had four sons and one daughter. Scion was a principal in the import-export firm of Sewn and Cursor’. After Rebecca Curson Seton’s death William Scion, Sr., married his sister-in-law, Anna Maria Curson in 1776. They had eight children, six girls and two boys. Anna Maria Carson Scion died August 22, 1792. Even though William Scion, Sr., was a Loyalist during the Revolutionary War, he retained most of his holdings after the war. In 1734 he became the cashier of the newly organized Bank of New York, a position he held for ten years. In 1794 he became a principal in another mercantile firm, Sewn, Maitland and Company. He died June 9, 1798. as a result of a fall on the ice several months earlier.
  3. Probably a friend or business associate of William Mague Seton
  4. WiIIiam Magee Seton was on a business trip to Philadelphia.
  5. Mary Fitch, an inmate family friend, became one of the godparents of Elizabeth’s first child.
  6. Elizabeth Curson Farquhar was a maternal aunt or William Magee Seton. Elizaheth often referred to her as Auntie F.
  7. Elizabeth Sewn Maitland (I779-1807) was the oldest child of William and Anna Maria Curson Seton and a sister-in-law of Elizabeth Seton. In 1797 she married James Maitland (d. 1808), a business associate of William Magee Seton. She was known as Eliza and left five young children at the time of her death in March 1807.
  8. Elizabeth herseIf
  9. The signature is enclosed in a box and a circle

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