William Seward was the definition of a true American diplomat. From the purchase of the great state of Alaska from Russia in 1867, to the spreading of the American-way into the island of Hawaii, Seward was a diplomatic machine. In the entire history of American land acclimation and territorial dominance, none waved the flag stronger and with as much political force as William Seward.
The 1820 graduate of Union College in New York, Seward set his sights higher than most men of his time in the middle of the 19th century.
A lawyer at the age of 24, William Seward was very much an active member of the newly created Anti-Masonic Party that set out to destroy anything the Masonic Lodges of America attempted to create.
After running out of gas with the minimalist-theories of the Anti-Masonic Party, Seward joined up with most of his peers and enlisted in the Whig Party of New York. A highly respected motivational politician, Seward soon ran for many offices in his home state.
Elected to the seat of Governor of New York in 1838, the newly elected Seward aimed to defend the anti-slavery groups that were rapidly spreading in the union controlled Northern states. Converting to the Republican Party during his mid 40’s, the Governor soon was elected as the candidate for the party. Losing to Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election, Governor Seward accepted the position of Secretary of State under Lincoln.
Secretary of State William Seward during the Civil War
With his never-ending vision for the American people and more importantly, for him, the right of hegemony, Seward would be recalled for his aggressive nature. Seen as one of the greatest “land gatherers” for the United States.
These territories would have been controlled by the likes of France and Great Britain had not the intestinal fortitude of Seward be so readily apparent. As the open and very vocal “voice of the country” Seward laid the foundation for over 13 territorial possessions for the young and rapidly expanding American empire.
It was not seen as that back then, colonization was something that was not spoke of yet the people of Alaska and Hawaii may have referred to it as just that, American empirical behavior.
The world, and all of its non-committed and secular territories, was seen as up for grabs in the eyes of Seward. The people that deny Seward’s impressive political abilities only have to open an atlas and look at the territory of the United States of America. From Alaska to the north to the tiny islands of the South Pacific, America’s influence can be felt worldwide and it is because of one man’ s passion.
In 1865 Seward found himself the target of an assassination attempt. Lewis Powell stormed into his bedroom on the same night that Lincoln was killed and stabbed Seward repeatedly in the face and neck. Seward survived this attack but carried the scars on his face for the rest of his life.
William Seward died in 1872 of rheumatic fever, a man that was ahead of his time and thankfully for that, right at home in international relations.