William H. Seward
William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801–October 10, 1872) was an American politician. He was the 12th Governor of New York, and later a United States Senator. He was also the United States Secretary of State for two presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was very much against slavery. He was an important person in the Republican Party when it was starting. Many people thought he would be nominated by the Republican Party to run for President of the United States in 1860, but that did not happen.
On the night that President Abraham Lincoln was killed, someone also tried to kill Seward. For the rest of his life, Seward had scars on his face from the attack. Later, the man who attacked him was caught and put to death.
When Seward was Secretary of State, he arranged for the United States to buy Alaska from Russia. People made fun of him for doing that. They called it "Seward's Folly". When asked what he thought was the most important thing he did as Secretary of State, Seward said "The purchase of Alaska—but it will take the people a generation to find it out".
- "Alaska's History and Value". The New York Times. 20 September 1886.