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Home > History > William H. Seward Biography

William H. Seward Biography

This is a biography on Secretary of State William H. Seward

William Seward

William H. Seward

William Seward, the former Governor of the state of New York, was the odds-on-favorite to win the Republican nomination for President in 1860. Narrowly defeated by Lincoln at the Republican National Convention in 1860, Seward reluctantly accepted the position of Secretary of State. Seward was an excellent choice and would become Lincoln’s most trusted advisor. He was a staunch abolitionist and superb politician who spoke out vociferously about the evils of slavery. He was widely credited from preventing foreign intervention in the Civil War. On April 14, 1865, Seward was severely wounded by Lewis Powell in his Washington home as part of a larger assassination plot that would claim the life of President Lincoln. Seward remained Secretary of State during Andrew Johnson’s presidency and was widely criticized for the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million dollars. The purchase, which would become known as “Seward’s Folly,” was, in time, to prove his foresight and genius. He died on October 10, 1872, at the age of 71.

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