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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew York

William Henry SEWARD

(1801-1872)
Senate Years of Service:
1849-1861
Party:
Whig; Republican

SEWARD, William Henry, a Senator from New York; born in Florida, Orange County, N.Y., on May 16, 1801; after preparatory studies, graduated from Union College in 1820; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Auburn, N.Y., 1823; member, State senate 1830-1834; unsuccessful Whig candidate for governor in 1834; Governor of New York 1838-1842; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate in 1849; reelected as a Republican in 1855 and served from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1861; unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 1860; Secretary of State in the Cabinets of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson 1861-1869; while Secretary of State concluded the convention with Great Britain for the settlement of the Alabama claims and the treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska; died in Auburn, Cayuga County, N.Y., October 10, 1872; interment in Fort Hill Cemetery.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law; Seward, William Henry. William Henry Seward. Edited by Frederick Seward. 3 vols. New York: Derby and Miller, 1891; Taylor, John M. William Henry Seward: Lincoln’s Right Hand New York: HarperCollins, 1991.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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