William Henry Seward Letters (1840-1842)
Finding Aid Completed by Eric Roth, 1997
Last revised September 20, 2000
Volume: 4 single-page letters
Acquisition: The letters were donated to the Huguenot Historical Society in 1971 by John Mackey.
Copyright: Request for permission to publish materials from these records should be discussed with the Archivist and Director of the Huguenot Historical Society.
Special thanks to Georgine Schiller for transcribing the letters.
William Henry Seward (1801-1872) is mainly known for his position as Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson from 1861-1869, and for the purchase of Alaska in 1867, also known as Seward's Folly. Before he became Secretary of State, Seward worked as a lawyer in Auburn, NY from 1822 to 1828 and became active in the Antimasonic Party in 1828. He served on the New York Senate from 1830 to 1834, joined the Jacksonian Democrats, served as governor of New York from 1839-1843 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1848. Following the collapse of the Whig party in 1855, he joined the then new Republican Party. Seward strongly opposed slavery, and worked particularly hard to fight its expansion into the new territories.
Four letters written from William Henry Seward to Dr. Sydney A. Doane, M.D. in New York City while Seward was governor of New York State. Issues discussed in the letters include a nomination of Dr. McNeven to Resident Physician (1840), a post that Dr. Doane obviously wanted for himself, and a quarantine on Staten Island. Transcriptions of the letters are available upon request.