Fonds 70-1003 - William Henry Seward letter

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William Henry Seward letter

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70-1003

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  • 20 Sept. 1829 (Creation)
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    William Henry Seward

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William Henry Seward was born in May 1801 in Florida, New York. His father was Doctor Samuel S. Seward, a medical doctor and merchant. His mother was of Irish descent. William entered Union in 1816 after preparation at Farmer's Hall academy, Goshen, New York, and graduated in 1820. He read law with John Anthon in New York City, and with John Duer and Ogden Hoffman in Goshen, and was admitted to the bar at Utica in 1822. Seward then settled in Auburn, New York in January 1823 as the partner of Elijah Miller, the first Judge of Cayuga county. In 1824 he married Elijah Miller's daughter Frances Adeline. Throughout the late 1820's and 1830's Seward became involved in politics. The Whig party nominated him for governor in 1834, but Seward was defeated in the election by William L. Marcy. He was again nominated for governor in 1838 and won the election by a majority of 10,421. His liberal and democratic ideals caused much dissention within the Whig party, but he was once again re-elected in 1840 with a rather diminished majority. In February 1849, Seward was elected U.S senator and became known as the foremost opponent of slavery in the Whig party. In 1855, he was re-elected to the senate and again spent much of his time fighting slavery. In 1860, he was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination but he lost the nomination to Abraham Lincoln. Seward supported Lincoln's campaign, and in turn, after being elected President, Lincoln appointed Seward Secretary of State. After eight years of tenure, he retired from office in March 1869. In 1870 Seward embarked on a journey around the world and when he returned home, he dedicated his time to the writing of a narrative on his travels, and after its completion, he began a history of his life and times. Unfortunately, the autobiography was incomplete at the time of his death on October 10, 1872.

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This item is a letter from William Seward, in New York State, to his aunt.

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