William H. Seward Photo

William H. Seward

Born: May 16, 1801

Death: Oct 10, 1872

Birthplace: Florida

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

William H. Seward

Date of Birth : May 16, 1801
Date of Death : Oct 10, 1872
Birth Place : Florida

William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and also served as Governor of New York and United States Senator. 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. Although regarded as the leading contender for the party's presidential nomination in 1860, he was defeated by Abraham Lincoln. Seward was born in southeastern New York, where his father, a farmer, owned slaves. He became educated as a lawyer, moving to the Western New York town of Auburn. Seward was elected to the New York State Senate in 1830 as an Anti-Mason. Four years later, he became the Whig Party's gubernatorial nominee. Though he was not successful in that race, Seward was elected governor in 1838, winning a second two-year term in 1840. During this period, he signed several laws advancing the rights and opportunities for black residents, as well as guaranteeing fugitive slaves jury trials in the state, protecting abolitionists, and using his position to intervene in cases of free blacks enslaved in the South.


  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Estate agent

Also known as

  • William Seward
  • William Henry Seward, Sr.


  • Mary Jennings Seward
  • Samuel Sweezy Seward


  • Frances Adeline Seward


  • Augustus Henry Seward
  • Frederick W. Seward
  • Cornelia Seward
  • Olive Risley Seward
  • Frances Adeline "Fanny" Seward
  • William H. Seward, Jr.
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