William H. Seward
|William H. Seward|
|24th United States Secretary of State|
March 5, 1861 – March 4, 1869
|Preceded by||Jeremiah S. Black|
|Succeeded by||Elihu B. Washburne|
|United States Senator
from New York
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1861
|Preceded by||John A. Dix|
|Succeeded by||Ira Harris|
|12th Governor of New York|
January 1, 1839 – December 31, 1842
|Preceded by||William L. Marcy|
|Succeeded by||William C. Bouck|
|Born||William Henry Seward
May 16, 1801
Florida, New York
|Died||October 10, 1872
Auburn, New York
|Political party||Anti-Masonic, Whig, Republican|
|Spouse(s)||Frances Adeline Seward|
|Children||Augustus Henry Seward
Frederick William Seward
William Henry Seward, Jr.
Frances Adeline "Fanny" Seward
Olive Risley Seward (adopted)
|Alma mater||Union College|
|Profession||Lawyer, Land Agent, Politician|
William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) was an American politician from the state of New York. He served as the 12th Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. A determined opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, he was a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was widely regarded as the leading contender for the party's presidential nomination in 1860.
Denied the nomination, he became a loyal member of Lincoln's wartime cabinet, and played a role in preventing foreign intervention early in the war.1 On the night of Lincoln's assassination, he survived an attempt on his own life. As Johnson's Secretary of State, he engineered the 1867 purchase of Alaska from Russia in an act that was ridiculed at the time as "Seward's Folly" (no valuable minerals, let alone gold or oil, were discovered in Alaska until 1880, eight years after Seward's death.) 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."2
- 1 Early life
- 2 Lawyer and state senator
- 3 U.S. Senator
- 4 Presidential candidate
- 5 Secretary of State
- 6 Later life
- 7 Homes in New York
- 8 Memorials and namesakes
- 9 Works
- 10 References
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Seward was born in Florida, New York, in Orange County, on May 16, 1801, the third son of Samuel Sweezy Seward and his wife Mary Jennings Seward.3 A wealthy landowner and slaveowner (in New York State, slavery would not be fully abolished until 1827),4 Samuel Seward had been appointed postmaster of Florida in the first decade of the 19th century by President Thomas Jefferson. A Jeffersonian Republican and of Welsh descent, Samuel Seward held that position over thirty years.5
Florida, located some 60 miles (97 km) from New York City and west of the Hudson River, was then a small village of perhaps a dozen homes. Young Seward attended school there, and also in the nearby county seat of Goshen.6 He was a bright student, and enjoyed his studies—in later years, one of the former family slaves would relate that instead of running away from school to go home, Seward would run away from home to go to school. One exception was during the solar eclipse of June 16, 1806: startled by the darkness, Seward expected to see his class consumed by ghosts, and fled the room, crying loudly.7
At the age of 15, Henry (he was known by his middle name as a boy) was sent to Union College in Schenectady, New York. Admitted to the sophomore class, Seward did well, engaging in activities, and becoming a star student, elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Samuel Seward kept his son short on cash, and in December 1818, in the middle of Henry's final year at Union, the two quarreled about money. The younger Seward returned to Schenectady as planned in January 1819, but soon left school in company with a fellow student, Alvah Wilson. The two took ship from New York to Georgia, where Wilson had been offered a job in developing Putnam County, as rector, or principal, of a new academy. En route, Wilson took a job as rector at another school, leaving Seward to go on to Eatonton in Putnam County. The trustees interviewed the 17-year-old Seward, and found his qualifications acceptable, as advertisements soon appeared proclaiming the opening of the Union Academy, with the male students taught by Seward, "late from Union College, New-York, from which institution he comes highly recommended".8
Seward enjoyed his time in Georgia, accepted as an adult for the first time in his life. Seward recalled being treated with hospitality, but also witnessed the ill-treatment of slaves.9 One Southerner wrote to Seward, by then an abolitionist senator, in 1855, informing him that a "mulatto" born nine months after Seward's sojourn in Georgia, could be bought at a reduced price. In 1866, a newly-freed slave woman, born on a Putnam County plantation where Seward had boarded, wrote to him, stating that she had been told he was her father, and asking for financial assistance.10
Seward was persuaded to return to New York by his family through letters, and did so in June. As it was too late for him to graduate with his class, remained at home for the fall term, studying law at an attorney's office in Goshen, before returning to Union College, securing his degree with highest honours in June 1820.9
Seward was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1821.11 In that same year, he met Frances Adeline Miller, a classmate of his sister Cornelia at Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary and the daughter of Judge Elijah Miller of Auburn, New York. In 1823, he moved to Auburn where he entered into law partnership with Judge Miller. The firm, Miller & Seward, would merge with the New York firm, Blatchford & Clizbe, in 1854 to form Blatchford, Seward & Griswold, the predecessor of the law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore.1213 Seward married Frances Miller on October 20, 1824. They raised five children:
- Augustus Henry Seward (1826–1876)
- Frederick William Seward (1830–1915)
- Cornelia Seward (1836–1837)
- William Henry Seward, Jr. (1839–1920)
- Frances Adeline "Fanny" Seward (1844–1866)
In the 1820s Seward entered the New York Militia. In 1827 he took part in raising, equipping and training an artillery unit in Auburn, of which he was elected commander with the rank of captain. The unit later expanded into a battalion, which Seward commanded as a major. When a regiment including Seward's battalion was organized in 1829, he was selected to command the regiment and promoted to colonel. In 1832 Seward was promoted to brigadier general, and he served until 1835, when he declined a promotion to major general and resigned his commission.15161718
Seward entered politics with the help of his friend Thurlow Weed, whom he had met by chance after a stagecoach accident.19 Seward served as an Anti-Masonic member of the New York State Senate (7th D.) from 1831 to 1834, sitting in the 54th, 55th, 56th and 57th New York State Legislatures. In 1834, Seward was nominated as the Whig candidate for Governor of New York, but he lost the election to the incumbent Democrat William L. Marcy.
From 1836 to 1838, Seward served as agent for a group of investors who had purchased the over 3-million-acre (12,000 km2) western New York holdings of the Holland Land Company. He moved the land office from Mayville, NY to Westfield, New York, where he was successful in easing tensions between the investors and local landowners. On July 16, 1837, he delivered to the students and faculty of the newly formed Westfield Academy a Discourse on Education, in which he advocated for universal education.20
In 1838, Seward again challenged Marcy, and this time was elected Governor of New York. He was narrowly re-elected to a second two-year term in 1840. As a state senator and governor, Seward promoted progressive political policies including prison reform and increased spending on education. He supported state funding for schools for immigrants operated by their own clergy and taught in their native language. This support, which included Catholic parochial schools, came back to haunt him in the 1850s, when anti-Catholic feelings were high, especially among ex-Whigs in the Republican Party.
Seward developed his views about slavery while still a boy. His parents, like other Hudson Valley residents of the early 19th century, owned several slaves. (Slavery was slowly abolished in New York from 1797 to 1827 through a gradual mandated process.) Seward recalled his preference as a child for the company and conversation of the slaves in his father’s kitchen to the 'severe decorum' in his family's front parlor. He discerned very quickly the inequality between races, writing in later years "I early came to the conclusion that something was wrong…and [that] determined me…to be an abolitionist." This belief would stay with Seward through his life and permeate his career,21 though as Secretary of State under President Johnson he endorsed Johnson's "side-stepping of the demands of more progressive Republicans, who had sought to guarantee far more favorable treatment for freed slaves."22
Seward’s wife Frances was deeply committed to the abolitionist movement. In the 1850s, the Seward family opened their Auburn home as a safehouse to fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. Seward’s frequent travel and political work suggest that it was Frances who played the more active role in Auburn abolitionist activities. In the excitement following the rescue and safe transport of fugitive slave William "Jerry" Henry in Syracuse on October 1, 1851, Frances wrote to her husband, "two fugitives have gone to Canada—one of them our acquaintance John."23 Another time she wrote, "A man by the name of William Johnson will apply to you for assistance to purchase the freedom of his daughter. You will see that I have given him something by his book. I told him I thought you would give him more." 24
In 1846 Seward became the center of controversy in his hometown when he defended, in separate cases, two convicts accused of murder. Henry Wyatt, a white man, was charged in the stabbing death of a fellow prison inmate; William Freeman, of African American and Native American ancestry, was accused of breaking into a home and stabbing four people to death. In both cases the defendants were mentally ill and had been severely abused while in prison. Seward, having long been an advocate of prison reform and better treatment for the insane, sought to prevent both men from being executed by using a relatively new defense of insanity. In a case involving mental illness with heavy racial overtones Seward argued, "The color of the prisoner’s skin, and the form of his features, are not impressed upon the spiritual immortal mind which works beneath. In spite of human pride, he is still your brother, and mine, in form and color accepted and approved by his Father, and yours, and mine, and bears equally with us the proudest inheritance of our race—the image of our Maker. Hold him then to be a Man."25
Later, Seward quoted Freeman’s brother-in-law, praising his eloquence: "They have made William Freeman what he is, a brute beast; they don’t make anything else of any of our people but brute beasts; but when we violate their laws, then they want to punish us as if we were men."26 In the end both men were convicted. Although Wyatt was executed, Freeman, whose conviction was reversed on Seward's successful appeal to the New York Supreme Court, died in his cell of tuberculosis.
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Seward supported the Whig candidate, General Zachary Taylor, in the presidential election of 1848. He said of Taylor, "He is the most gentle-looking and amiable of men." Taylor was a slaveholding plantation owner, but was friendly to Seward anyway.
William Seward was elected as U.S. Senator from New York as a Whig in 1849, and emerged as the leader of the anti-slavery "Conscience Whigs". Seward opposed the Compromise of 1850, and was thought to have encouraged Taylor in his opposition.
Seward presented himself as the leading enemy of the Slave Power – that is, the perceived conspiracy of southern slave owners to seize the government and defeat the progress of liberty. Seward believed that slavery was morally wrong, and said so many times, outraging Southerners. He acknowledged that slavery was legal under the Constitution, but denied that the Constitution recognized or protected slavery. He famously remarked in 1850 that "there is a higher law than the Constitution". Gaining the nickname "Higher Law" Seward, he continued to argue this point of view over the next decade.
In 1856 Seward introduced and secured the passage of the Guano Islands Act, which allowed the US to take control of islands with heavy guano deposits (used as fertilizer) if they were not under the jurisdiction of another nation.27
Seward did not seriously compete for the presidential nomination (won by John C. Frémont) in 1856, but sought and was expected to receive the nomination in 1860. In October 1858, he delivered a famous speech in which he argued that the political and economic systems of North and South were incompatible, and that, due to this "irrepressible conflict," the inevitable "collision" of the two systems would eventually result in the nation becoming "either entirely a slave-holding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation."28 Like Lincoln, he believed slavery could and should be extinguished by long-run historical forces rather than by coercion or war.29
In 1859, confident of gaining the presidential nomination and advised by his political ally and friend Thurlow Weed that he would be better off avoiding political gatherings where his words might be misinterpreted by one faction or another, Seward left the country for an eight-month tour of Europe that included a visit to Syria, where Ayub Beg Tarabulsy gave him several Arabian horses.30 During that hiatus, his lesser-known rival Abraham Lincoln worked diligently to line up support in case Seward failed to win on the first ballot. Seward's concern about how his words might be misconstrued was validated when, after returning to the United States, he gave a conciliatory, pro-Union Senate speech that reassured moderates but alienated some radical Republicans.
Observing events from Europe, Karl Marx, who was ideologically sympathetic to Frémont, contemptuously regarded Seward as a "Republican Richelieu" and the "Demosthenes of the Republican Party" who had sabotaged Frémont's presidential ambitions. Around the same time, his friend Horace Greeley turned against him, opposing Seward on the grounds that his radical reputation made him unelectable. When Lincoln won the nomination, Seward loyally supported him and made a long speaking tour of the West in the autumn of 1860.
Shortly after being elected president, Abraham Lincoln selected Seward to serve in his cabinet as Secretary of State.31 Though harboring a condescending and skeptical attitude toward the president when he joined the cabinet, he and Lincoln became close personal friends.
Seward played an integral role in resolving the Trent Affair and in negotiating the ensuing Lyons-Seward Treaty of 1862, which set forth strong measures by which the United States and Great Britain agreed to enforce an end to the Atlantic slave trade. Seward biographer Walter Stahr wrote: "Seward was the indispensable man in the Lincoln admilnistration: the man who managed to keep the European nations out of the American Civil War; the man who avoided war with Britain during the Trent crisis; the man who advised Lincoln on every aspect of domestic and foreign policy; the man who somehow kept his sense of humor and hope through the darkest days."32
After Tsar Alexander II crushed the 1863 Polish uprising, French Emperor Napoleon III asked the United States to "join in a protest to the Tsar."33 Seward declined stating, "defending 'our policy of non-intervention — straight, absolute, and peculiar as it may seem to other nations,'" and insisted that "[t]he American people must be content to recommend the cause of human progress by the wisdom with which they should exercise the powers of self-government, forbearing at all times, and in every way, from foreign alliances, intervention, and interference."33
On the night of April 14, 1865, Lewis Powell, an associate and co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth, attempted to assassinate Seward at his Washington D.C. home. Powell's attack on Seward was coordinated with Booth's attack on President Abraham Lincoln and George Atzerodt's aborted attack on Vice President Andrew Johnson in order to maximize the element of surprise and to sever the continuity of the United States government. Another member of the conspiracy, David Herold, led Powell to the Seward home on horseback and was responsible for holding Powell's horse while he committed the attack as well as guiding him out of the city during their escape. Powell was able to gain access to the Seward home by telling the butler that he was delivering medicine for Seward, who had been badly injured nine days earlier in a carriage accident.
Upon entry to the home, Powell began up the stairs, but was stopped at the top of the stairs by Frederick Seward, the Secretary's son. Frederick told Powell that his father was asleep and that he (Frederick) would take the medicine to him. Unsure of what to do, Powell turned around and began descending the stairs, but then suddenly swung back around, drew a pistol, and pointed it at Frederick's head. The pistol misfired. Realizing he needed to act quickly, Powell began beating Frederick over the head with the barrel of his gun. The force of Powell's blows crippled Frederick Seward and left him sprawled on the floor, in a pool of blood. Powell's gun was also rendered useless during the battle, as it had become jammed.
In Secretary Seward's bedroom was his daughter, Fanny Seward. Hearing the loud noises coming from the second floor hallway, Fanny opened the door to see her brother slumped on the floor and a wide-eyed Powell charging directly towards her, a dagger in his hand. Powell burst through the door, threw Fanny Seward to the side, and jumped on the Secretary's bed, repeatedly stabbing him in the face and neck area. Powell also attacked and injured another son (Augustus), and a soldier and nurse (Sgt. George Robinson) who had been assigned to stay with Seward. Outside the home, David Herold, who could hear the screams coming from the house, fled with both horses, leaving Powell to fend for himself. Powell, convinced that he had mortally wounded the Secretary, fled down the stairs, and stabbed a messenger, Emerick Hansell, who had arrived just as Powell was escaping; Hansell was rendered permanently paralyzed from the stabbing.34 All five men that were injured that night survived, although Secretary Seward would carry facial scars from the attack for the rest of his life. The events of that night took their toll on his wife,3536 whose health rapidly declined after the attack.37 She died just months later, on June 21, 1865.37 His daughter Fanny died of tuberculosis in October 1866.36
Powell was captured the next day at the boarding-house home of Mary Surratt, and was executed on July 7, 1865, along with David Herold, George Atzerodt, and Mrs. Surratt, three of the seven others convicted as conspirators in the Lincoln assassination.
Although it took Seward several months to recover from his wounds, he emerged as a major force in the administration of the new president, Andrew Johnson. He frequently defended his more moderate reconciliation policies towards the South, to the point of enraging Radical Republicans who had once regarded Seward as their ally.
In the fall of 1866, Seward joined Johnson, as well as Ulysses S. Grant and the General George Armstrong Custer, along with several other administration figures, on the president's ill-fated "Swing Around the Circle" campaign trip.
At one point Seward became so ill, probably from cholera, that he was sent back to Washington in a special car. Both Johnson and Grant, as well as several members of the Seward family, thought the Secretary was near death. But as with his April 1865 stabbing, Seward surprised many by making a recovery.
Seward's support for Andrew Johnson extended to behind the scenes scheming for the President's acquittal during his 1868 Impeachment trial. Historian David O. Stewart sums up Seward's involvement this way:
Though he kept some distance from the grimy details of the campaign to save Johnson by all possible means, Secretary of State Seward plainly inspired and set in motion much of the effort. Many of the schemers who planned the political deals, bribes, and patronage payoffs were Seward men, from Thurlow Weed to Wiliam Evarts, from Sheridan Shook to Erastus Webster to Ransom Van Valkenburg. Seward, who had accepted Johnson as Lincoln's true heir, drew no ethical lines in the desperate battle to preserve Johnson's presidency.38
Seward pursued American expansion. "Give me only this assurance, that there never be an unlawful resistance by an armed force to the ... United States, and give me fifty, forty, thirty more years of life, and I will engage to give you the possession of the American continent and the control of the world."39 Seward argued for acquiring places such as British Columbia, the Danish West Indies, the Samaná Peninsula of the Dominican Republic, Panama, and the Hawaiian Islands, and succeeded in annexing the Brook Islands (now called the Midway Islands) in 1867. Despite minimal Congressional support, he developed American influence in the Hawaiian Islands, as well as in Japan and China to some extent. The United States eventually annexed the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands), and the Hawaiian islands after Seward's death.
Seward's most famous achievement as Secretary of State was his successful acquisition of Alaska from Russia. On March 30, 1867, he completed negotiations for the territory, which involved the purchase of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of territory (more than twice the area of Texas) for $7,200,000, or approximately two cents per acre (equivalent to $121 million in today's dollars). The purchase was variously mocked by the public as Seward's Folly, "Seward's Icebox," and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." Alaska celebrates the purchase on Seward's Day, the last Monday of March. When asked what he considered to be his greatest achievement as Secretary of State, Seward replied "The purchase of Alaska—but it will take the people a generation to find it out".40
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Seward retired as Secretary of State after Ulysses S. Grant took office as president. During his last years, Seward traveled and wrote prolifically. Most notably, he traveled around the world in fourteen months and two days from August, 1870 to October, 1871. On October 10, 1872, Seward died in his office in his home in Auburn, New York, after having difficulty breathing. He was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York, with his wife and two children, Cornelia and Fanny.
His son, Frederick, edited and published his memoirs in three volumes.
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Seward and his family owned a home in Auburn, New York which is now a museum; it was built in 1816 by Seward's father-in-law, Judge Elijah Miller. Seward married the Judge's daughter, Frances, in 1824 on the condition that they would live with Miller in his Auburn home. Seward made many changes to the home, adding an addition in the late 1840s and another one in 1866. When he died, Seward left the home to his son, William Seward, Jr.; it passed on to his grandson, William Henry Seward III, in 1920. At his death in 1951, it became a museum that opened to the public in 1955. Four generations of the family's artifacts are contained within the museum, located at 33 South Street in Auburn.
Seward's birthplace in Florida, New York was bought by the village in 2010, with the purpose of refurbishing it. The property actually contains two houses: one in back—Seward's actual birthplace—which was converted into a barn; and one in front, built in the 1890s, used by the family that lived there for many years. The property is expected to be turned into a museum and opened to the public by 2013.dated info
Statues of Seward are located in Seward Park in Auburn, in Madison Square Park in New York City, on the grounds of the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage, Alaska, and in Volunteer Park in Seattle.
- New York
- Seward, New York
- The William H. Seward House in Auburn is a museum.
- Seward Avenue in Auburn; nearby streets are named for members of his family.
- Seward Elementary School in Auburn.41
- Seward Park in Auburn, New York.42
- Seward Place in Schenectady, New York, on the west side of the Union College campus.
- Seward Park in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
- Seward Mountain (4,361 feet, 1,329 m), one of the Adirondack High Peaks, the highest point in Franklin County.
- The Auburn Doubledays baseball team gave away William Seward bobble-head dolls as a 2010 promotion.43
- Seward Park Housing Corporation, a housing cooperative in the Lower East Side of Manhattan
- The William Henry Seward Memorial in Florida, New York, with a bust sculpted by Daniel Chester French.
- Seward, Alaska
- The Seward Peninsula in Alaska
- Alaska Route 9 and a portion of Alaska Route 1 are named the Seward Highway
- Seward's Success, Alaska, a dome-enclosed community proposed in 1968
- Other states
- Seward Park in Seattle, Washington.
- Seward Square in Washington, D.C..
- Seward, Illinois, Seward, Kansas
- William H Seward Communication Arts Academy, an Elementary school in Chicago, Illinois
- Seward County, Nebraska, Seward, Nebraska
- The Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Seward Elementary (Montessori) School in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Frederick William Seward. Autobiography of William H. Seward from 1801 to 1834: With a memoir of his life, and selections from his letters from 1831 to 1840 (1877)
- Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States (1849)
- Commerce in the Pacific ocean. Speech of William H. Seward, in the Senate of the United States, July 29, 1852 (1852; Digitized page images & text)
- The continental rights and relations of our country. Speech of William Henry Seward, in Senate of the United States, January 26, 1853 (1853; Digitized page images & text)
- The destiny of America. Speech of William H. Seward, at the dedication of Capital University, at Columbus, Ohio, September 14, 1853 (1853; Digitized page images & text)
- Certificate of Exchange (1867; Digitized page images & text)
- Alaska. Speech of William H. Seward at Sitka, August 12, 1869 (1869; Digitized page images & text)
- The Works of William H. Seward. Edited by George E. Baker. Volume I of III (1853) online edition
- The Works of William H. Seward. Edited by George E. Baker. Volume II of III (1853) online edition
- The Works of William H. Seward: Vol. 5: The diplomatic history of the war for the union.. Edited by George E. Baker. Volume 5 (1890)
- Brian Jenkins (1978) "The "Wise Macaw" and the Lion: William Seward and Britain, 1861-1863" University of Rochester Library Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 1
- Goodwin, p. 14.
- Hale, pp. 9, 13.
- Taylor, pp. 12–14.
- Taylor, p. 12.
- Hale, p. 9.
- Stahr, p. 9.
- Stahr, pp. 12–13.
- Taylor, p. 14.
- Coulter, pp. 161–162.
- William H. Seward Biography, Seward House: A National Historic Landmark
- Swaine, Robert T. (2007) . The Cravath Firm and Its Predecessors: 1819-1947. Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 1-58477-713-3.
- "History - Philosophy - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP". Cravath.com. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- Stahr, Walter (2012) Seward:Lincoln's Indispensible Man. New York, Simon and Schuster, Kindle location 9633 of 15675 "...by adopting Olive as his daughter." ISBN 978-1-4391-2794-0.
- William Henry Seward, Frederick William Seward, Autobiography of William H. Seward, from 1801 to 1834, 1877, pages 193-194
- Thornton Kirkland Lothrop, William Henry Seward, 1897, page 7
- Henry Hall, The History of Auburn, 1869, page 171
- Cayuga County Historical Society, History of Cayuga County, New York, 1908, page 57
- Goodwin, p. 70.
- Seward, William H. Discourse on Education. (Albany: Hoffman & White, 1837).
- Seward, Frederick. William H. Seward an Autobiography from 1801–1834 with a memoir of his life and selections from his letters 1831-1846 Derby and Miller, New York 1891 Page 28.
- "Out of the shadow". The Economist. September 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- Frances Seward to William Seward Oct. 16  University of Rochester Rush Rhees Library Special Collections
- Frances Seward to William Seward July 1, 1852 University of Rochester Rush Rhees Library Special Collections
- Seward, William. Works of William H. Seward Vol. I, (New York: Redfield, 1853) 417.
- Seward, William. Works of William H. Seward Vol. I, (New York: Redfield, 1853) 471.
- Stahr (2012) Kindle location 2848 of 15675 "take possession of any guano islands".
- Page 191, Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82490-6.
- Page 192, Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82490-6.
- American Agriculturist, vol. 19 (1860), p. 330.
- Page 288, Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82490-6.
- The Lincoln Institute. "Cabinet and Vice Presidents - William H. Seward (1801-1872)". Mr. Lincoln's White House. Lehrman Institute. Retrieved March 1, 2014. "Stahr, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man, pp. 546-547"
- Raico, Ralph. America's Will to War: The Turning Point, Mises Institute
- Pages 736-37, Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82490-6.
- Leonard, Elizabeth D. (2004) Lincoln's Avengers: Justice Revenge and Reunion After the Civil War. p. 306 New York: W. W. Norton & Company
- Wright, John D. (2012) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Civil War Era Biographies p. 257 New York: Routledge
- Foreman, Amanda. (2011) A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War p. 795 New York: Random House
- Stewart, David (2009). Impeached. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 295.
- Farrar, Victor J. (1937). The Annexation of Russian America to the United States. Washington: W.F. Roberts Co. p. 113.
- "Alaska's History and Value". The New York Times. 20 September 1886.
- Home page, William H. Seward Elementary School, retrieved October 17, 2013
- Auburn Beautification Commission, Projects, retrieved October 17, 2013
- Scott Rapp, Syracuse Post-Standard, Auburn Doubledays add Seward to Lineup of Bobbleheads, July 28, 2010
- Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82490-6.
- Hale, Edward Everett (1910). William Henry Seward. American Crisis Biographies. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co. OCLC 823767.
- Stahr, Walter (2012). Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-2118-4.
- Tayor, John M. (1991). William Henry Seward: Lincoln's Right Hand. Washington, DC: Brassey's. ISBN 1-57488-119-1.
- Coulter, E. Merton (June, 1969). "Seward and the South: His Career as a Georgia Schoolmaster". The Georgia Historical Quarterly (Georgia Historical Society) 53 (2): 147–164. JSTOR 40579123.
- Adams, Ephraim Douglass. Great Britain and the American Civil War (2 vol. 1925) online edition of 1958 reprint
- Bancroft, Frederic (1900). The Life of William H. Seward 2 vol. vol 2 online
- Donald, David Herbert (2003). We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 140–176. ISBN 0-7432-5468-6.
- Ferris, Norman B. Desperate Diplomacy: William H. Seward's Foreign Policy, 1861. (1976) 265pp, scholarly study of 1861.
- Hendrick, Burton (1946). Lincoln's War Cabinet. Boston: Little, Brown.
- Jones, Howard. Union in Peril: The Crisis over British Intervention in the Civil War (1992)
- Milne, A. Taylor. "The Lyons-Seward Treaty of 1862," American Historical Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (1933), pp. 511–525 in JSTOR
- Neely, Mark E., Jr. (1991). The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506496-8.
- Van Deusen, Glyndon (1967). William Henry Seward. New York: Oxford University Press.
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|Media from Commons|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
- William H. Seward at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2009-04-30
- Seward House, Auburn, NY
- Works by William H. Seward at Project Gutenberg
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Seward, William Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- William H. Seward Letter, W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama
- Finding Aid to the William Henry Seward Collection, 1828-1936 (bulk 1828-1873), New York State Library
|New York State Senate|
William M. Oliver
|New York State Senate
Seventh District (Class 4)
William L. Marcy
|Governor of New York
William C. Bouck
Jeremiah S. Black
|U.S. Secretary of State
Served under: Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson
Elihu B. Washburne
|United States Senate|
John A. Dix
|U.S. Senator (Class 3) from New York
Served alongside: Daniel S. Dickinson, Hamilton Fish and Preston King