1864: Mary Seymour to Margaret Seymour

How Mary might have looked

How Mary might have looked

This letter was written by 50 year-old Mary Ann (King) Seymour (1814-1889), the widow of Newton Seymour (1807-1854) — both natives of Lincolnshire, England, who emigrated to America aboard the Barque Minstrel in May 1838 and settled in Michigan Territory soon afterwards.

She wrote this 1864 letter from Argentine, Genesee County, Michigan, to her 25 year-old daughter, Margaret (“Maggie”) Seymour (1839-1928), at the time in residence at East Saginaw, Michigan.

Mary informs Maggie that her brother, George W. Seymour (1844-19xx), can’t visit her in Saginaw because he is home on furlough and has been advised to stay near his home in Argentine, Michigan, lest he be suspected of being — and arrested as — a deserter from the Union army. George served from September 1862 to May 1865 in Company I, 16th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War. Regiment records indicate that he was wounded but survived the war. Family records indicate that he married Nellie Elliott about 1877.

1864 Letter

1864 Letter

Addressed to Miss Maggie Seymour, Care of Mr. C. B. Jones, East Saginaw, Michigan

Argentine [Genesee County, Michigan]
July 19, 1864

My Dear Daughter,

I take my pen in hand to let you know that we are all well and hope these lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. I received your letter and photographs and I think they are very good. I will send you 50 cents to get two and send to me when you write to me. Cate has got hers and I want two and you can get them for me and send them. I will send a postage to pay the letter with them so it will not cost you anything but your trouble.

George has sent in and got his furlough extended but he can not come on to Saginaw. He would be taken for a deserter. He can not go anywhere — only round home — so you need not expect him. I do not know how long he will stay. He will have to report every little while. He told me to tell you that if he came out there, he would be grabbed up and he does not want to be taken off that way so you need not expect him out there this time.

I do not know whether I can write to Joy today but I want to. But the teacher is boarding here and we have so many that comes every day that I am tired of having so many here every day. We have 5 or 6 more than our folks every day so you may know how it goes. We have more than we want together.

I do not have any news to write so I shall close with my love to you. From your loving mother, — Mary Seymour

Write soon. Goodbye.


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