The Remarkable Seward Women
Frances and Fanny Seward
A mother and daughter connected to some of the most progressive women of their era
Although she disliked politics, Frances Miller Seward played an important role as William Henry’s advisor. A free-thinker in a network of other progressive women, she supported the Women’s Rights movement and hid runaway slaves in her basement. From 1850 to 1860, the Seward home in Auburn, New York was a station in the Underground Railroad.
An aspiring writer and passionate reader, Frances “Fanny” Adeline Seward’s detailed diaries about encounters with President Lincoln, foreign diplomats, and artists bring the era to life. She was at her father’s bedside when the attempt was made on his life on April 16, the same night as President Lincoln’s assassination. Sadly, her life was cut short by consumption (tuberculosis) at the age of twenty two. In spirit and temperament she was very much like her progressive parents.