William H. Seward
William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869. He had earlier served as governor of New York and as a United States Senator. He was a strong opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War. He died in 1869 at the age of 83.
About William H. Seward in brief
William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869. He had earlier served as governor of New York and as a United States Senator. He was a strong opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War. Seward’s strong stances and provocative words against slavery brought him hatred in the South. His firm stance against foreign intervention in the Civil War helped deter the United Kingdom and France from recognizing the independence of the Confederate States. One of the targets of the 1865 assassination plot that killed Lincoln, he was seriously wounded by conspirator Lewis Powell. He remained in his post through the presidency of Andrew Johnson, during which he negotiated the Alaska Purchase in 1867 and supported Johnson during his impeachment. His contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as \”one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints\”. He was the fourth son of Samuel Sweezy Seward and his wife Mary Seward. His father was a wealthy landowner and slaveholder in New York State; slavery was not fully abolished in the state until 1827. The younger Seward left school in 1819 to take a job as rector of a new academy in rural Georgia. He returned to New York in June 1819, where he was accepted as an adult for the first time in his family’s history.
He died in 1869 at the age of 83. He is buried in Mount Sinai, New York, with his wife, Mary Seward, and their three children. The couple had a son, Alvah, who was born in 1801 in the village of Florida, in Orange County, NY. The family moved to the Central New York town of Auburn in 1820, and he went on to become a prominent lawyer and politician. He later became a prominent figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was praised for his work on behalf of the Union as Secretary of state during the civil war. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1849 to 1855, when he was elected by the state legislature to the Senate in 1849. In 1855 he was regarded as the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for the 1860 presidential election, but Abraham Lincoln secured the presidential nomination. He campaigned for Lincoln, who won the election, and Seward later served as the United States secretary of state from 1859 to 1867. He also served as a U. S. Senator from New York from 1855 to 1868. He wrote a book, “Seward: A Biography of an American Statesman,” which was published in 1864, and later wrote a memoir, “A Life in the American Republic” (1870). He died at age 83 in Mount Vernon, New Jersey, and is survived by his wife and two children, Mary and Alvah. His son Alvah was buried in the town of Putnam County, Georgia, in 1871.