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1801 Major Seymour letter Hartford to Cuba, British pirates, etc.

$325.00 CAD

Letter from Major Henry Seymour in Hartford Connecticut to his brother Lediard, a shipping merchant located in Havana Cuba. Interesting content talking about British pirates and plunderers, price of beef, their corrupt brother-in-law Nathaniel Ingraham, etc..

The Seymours were a very prominent Connecticut family.

Lediard Seymour corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson (see sample about Cuba below).

Addressed to:

Mr. Lediard Seymour
Care of Doct. Augustin de la Texera


Written on fold:

Henry Seymour
Letter Recieved May 12th fm. Schooner __ Captain Olcott


Dear L
I have written to you by almost every __ from __ since you were in Havana – & have been particular to note to you Ingm’s (Ingraham’s) vile conduct – he still holds the segars (cigars) & __; bids defiance to all arrests, has an ample property great part of which it’s said he gained by fraud; - a late instance, Ben Brickley went to the Island with his power as agent to purchase & draw on him, this was done to the amot. of 10,000 Dolrs. Ingm  rec’d the goods, & protested all the Bills – he declines giving me answer to delivery of the Segars __ - Mr. Ligourney writes that wax cannot be had in Boston at present- I hope to make you some shipments ere long, & will use my influence with others. The business of Agency will be attended to, & think will succeed, __ the __ Ministr. soon show hostility towards the British Pirates, & our country seems ripe for serious resentment – the first ships will advise you – Hope some of our many letters reach’d you, their failure must be owing to capture – Beef has risen very much, large purchases have been made this winter four __ , & the navy of British plunderers!  - when I am __ certain as to your summer residence, shall endeavour to effect a shipment _ - in mean time keep me advised – continue your enquiries after Scribner - _ Lawrence & myself are appointed Assignees under the Act __ __ effect __ so that we shall soon be in possession of the notes & -- All friends are well – God bless you
Your friend & brother H. Seymour
Hartford 1 March 1801

4 pages, two with text, one with address.

Vertical and horizontal folds to make envelope. Paper toned. Tear where seal broken.

9 x 7 ¼”


Major Henry Seymour was born 25 December 1764. He was the oldest son of Mary Ledyard Seymour and Colonel Thomas Seymour, the first Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut. In 1780, he went to Philadelphia to begin a mercantile career. He was chosen by his employer to carry money to Fishkill and to bring back vouchers for monthly supplies; during this service, he narrowly escaped capture by British forces. Henry Seymour was living in New York in 1784, but he later returned to Hartford. Major Henry Seymour was an officer of the Governor's Horse Guards from 1803-1807. He married Jane Ellery (d. 1851) on 19 June 1804 in Hartford. One of their three children was Thomas Hart Seymour (1808-1868), Governor of Connecticut from 1850-1853. Major Henry Seymour died in Hartford, Connecticut, on 13 May 1846.

Ledyard (Lediard) Seymour (1771–1848) was a native of Hartford, Connecticut. After graduating from Yale College in 1792, he entered the mercantile business in New York with the support of his wife’s family. Losses to British spoliations forced him into bankruptcy by 1797. He removed to Havana in 1800, where he remained for three years before returning to Hartford. In 1805, he wrote TJ seeking a post in “any one of the Spanish Colonies,” but did not receive an appointment


Seymour’s brother in law was New York merchant Nathaniel G. Ingraham, who owned the brigantine Aurora.


To Thomas Jefferson from Ledyard Seymour, 1 November 1801

From Ledyard Seymour

Havana November 1st. 1801.

Honord Sir;

With sentiments of Respect, and esteem, I humbly hasten to the dwelling of the first Magistrate, of the Republick of America, for by this name, have I been taught, to Address, that part of the Western world, over which he presides…

…Arriving the 8th September; I departed the 25th. inst. from this apostate land of Law, reason and justice, together with William Stoddert Bond of Baltimore, Captain of the Schooner Americanus, with a Cargo, bona fide American property, and the 1st of October was suffered to come within the firm protection of the Moro Castle at the entrance of the port of the Havana—here Sir have I since remained rendering to my fellow Citizens, such assistance as the laws and usages of an allied nation allow, cultivating with my best wishes the friendship of the inhabitants of this place, nor can I belive better laws; more wholesome institutions; or more refined honor; could have existed, since the days of Ferdinand and Isabella—. I sometimes think this a Godly City; trifling breaches of eather Civil or Military laws; little quarrelling; or disturbance; and but few dark Assasinations;…