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Online Auction Description
United States 1909 issue, Scott's Cat. # 370 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 2¢ Carmine with the portrait of William H Seward.
William Henry Seward (1801 – 1872) was US Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as Governor of New York and US Senator. A determined opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War, he was a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years. Although regarded as the leading contender for the party's presidential nomination in 1860, he was defeated by Abraham Lincoln.
Several factors, including attitudes to his vocal opposition to slavery, his support for immigrants and Catholics, and his association with editor and political boss Thurlow Weed, combined to defeat him. Although devastated by his loss, he campaigned for Lincoln, who was elected, and who appointed him Secretary of State.
Seward remained loyally at his post through the presidency of Andrew Johnson, during which he achieved the Alaska purchase. His contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as "one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints."
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