HISTORIC FIGURE, FROM FLORIDA, NY
PLAYED PIVOTAL ROLE DURING CIVIL WAR UNDER PRESIDENT LINCOLN, NEGOTIATED PURCHASE OF ALASKA
Senator Bonacic announces the recognition of March 30 as William H. Seward Day in New York State. “Not only was Secretary of State Mr. Seward a leading figure in American history,” said Senator John Bonacic, “but he also served the State of New York as a Senator from 1830 to 1834, and as the state’s 12th Governor, from 1839 to 1842. He was one of the nation’s most ardent opponents of slavery. It is with great pleasure that we devote this day to his memory and his great accomplishments to our country.”
In 1867, as Secretary of State, Seward accepted Russia’s offer to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million dollars. By doing so, Russia ceased to expand trade and settlements on the Pacific Coast, and the United States would start its development into a great power in the Asia-Pacific region. For a time, the transaction was known as “Seward’s Folly,” but that sentiment was reversed over time, especially from its strategic importance during World War II.
The William Henry Seward Homestead, located in the heart of Florida, NY, was recently awarded a $50,000 grant through the efforts of Senator Bonacic and the Municipal Facilities Capital, to make necessary restorations. When completed, the site will host exhibits of historical works and items related to Seward’s early life. To learn more, visit sewardhomestead.org.