Last modified on July 6, 2024, at 03:35

William H. Seward

William Henry Seward
24th United States Secretary of State
From: March 6, 1861 – March 4, 1869
President Abraham Lincoln; Andrew Johnson
Predecessor Jeremiah S. Black
Successor Elihu B. Washburne
Former U.S. Senator from New York
From: March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1861
Predecessor John Dix
Successor Ira Harris
Former Governor of New York
From: January 1, 1839 – December 31, 1842
Lieutenant Luther Bradish
Predecessor William L. Marcy
Successor William C. Bouck
Party Anti-Masonic (until 1834)

Whig (1834 - 1855)

Republican (1855 - onwards)

Spouse(s) Frances Miller
Religion Christian

William Henry Seward, Sr. (1801–1872) was a two-term Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State from 1861 through 1869 under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Seward was wounded by an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth in an assassination attempt at the same time as Booth's assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Seward also served as the vice-president of the American Bible Society in the 1830s.

Seward is best known for his purchase of Alaska from Russia, which was derisively called "Seward's Folly" because it was not thought to have any value. Later valuable natural resources, including gold and oil, were discovered there.

Seward was a rival of Millard Fillmore and supported spending public funds on Christian private schools, even debating Fillmore on the subject.


Quotations of Seward include:[1]

I do not believe human society...ever has attained, or ever can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible.
I know not how long a republican government can flourish among a great people who have not the Bible; the experiment has never been tried; but this I do know: that the existing government of this country never could have had existence but for the Bible.
And, further, I...believe that if at every decade of years a copy of the Bible could be found in every family in the land its republican institutions would be perpetuated.