The William H. Seward House
(1801-1872) was the home of William H. Seward
, who was a state senator
of New York
state, U.S. senator, presidential candidate, and then Secretary of State under presidents Abraham Lincoln
and Andrew Johnson
. Among other notable accomplishments, he negotiated the 1869 purchase of Alaska
, later known as "Seward's Folly", but ultimately a major triumph of statesmanship. Although he spent many years in Albany
and Washington, D.C.
, he called this house his home from the time of his marriage in 1824 until his death.
The house was originally built by his father-in-law, Judge Elijah Miller
, in 1816, then substantially modified by the Sewards in 1840, then again in 1866, to accommodate the diplomatic entertainments expected of his office. The original, 10-room, brick house was expanded to over 30 rooms and was occupied by blood relatives until 1951. The entire house remains furnished with extensive Seward-family collections.
The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.