Profession: US Secretary of State
Why Famous: Secretary of State for the Union during the American Civil War, Seward was widely praised for his work in this role and in the same position for the United States until 1869.
A leading candidate for the 1860 presidential nomination, Seward's outspoken opposition to slavery and his support for immigrants helped him lose the position to Abraham Lincoln, who selected him as Secretary of State.
Seriously wounded by Lewis Powell as part of the same plot that killed Lincoln, Seward continued in his role under Andrew Johnson. In 1867 he finalized the Alaska Purchase which added 586,412 square miles to the United States.
- 1865-04-14 U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family are attacked in his home by Lewis Powell as part of the same conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln
- 1868-07-28 US Secretary of State William H. Seward announces 14th Amendment ratified by states, grants citizenship to ex-slaves