Walter Stahr - Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man
William Henry Seward was one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century: progressive governor of New York, outspoken federal senator, odds-on favorite to win the 1860 Republican nomination, secretary of state during the Civil War and its aftermath, Lincoln’s closest friend and adviser, target of the assassins who killed Lincoln, purchaser of Alaska, early architect of America’s empire.
was not only important, he was fascinating. His hair was unruly and his
clothes untidy, yet he was suave and sophisticated, quoting the classics
with ease. He and his wife, Frances Miller Seward, were often separated
by his work and her illness, and yet they were close, and he relied upon
her strong moral sense. Seward gathered around his table an eclectic
assortment of diplomats, soldiers, politicians, actors and others, men
who enjoyed a cigar, a drink and a good story. Even his enemies admitted
that Seward was good company.