Seward’s Folly is what Alaska was called when it was first purchased from Russia in 1867, as it was thought to be of no value.
Only when it was discovered to be rich in natural resources was appreciation shown to Secretary of State William Seward.
William Henry Seward, who was born MAY 16, 1801, had been Governor of the State of New York, 1839-43; a U.S. Senator 1849-61; and Secretary of State serving under President Lincoln during the War between the States, 1861-65.
The same night Lincoln was shot, an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth broke into Seward’s home and wounded him in an attempted assassination.
Seward later served as Secretary of State under President Andrew Johnson, 1865-69, working to implement the “reconstruction” in the South.
William Henry Seward stated:
“I do not believe human society, including not merely a few persons in any state, but whole masses of men, ever have attained, or ever can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible.”
In 1836, as the vice-president of the American Bible Society, William Seward stated:
“I know not how long a republican government can flourish among a great people who have not the Bible; the experiment has never been tried; but this I do know: that the existing government of this country never could have had existence but for the Bible.
And, further, I do, in my conscience, believe that if at every decade of years a copy of the Bible could be found in every family in the land its republican institutions would be perpetuated.”
William Henry Seward gave an oration titled, The Destiny of America, in which he stated:
“Shall we look to the sacred desk? Yes, indeed; for it is of Divine institution, and is approved by human experience.
The ministers of Christ, inculcating Divine morals, under Divine authority, with Divine sanction, and sustained and aided by special cooperating influences of the Divine Spirit, are now carrying further and broadly onward the great work of the renewal of the civilization of the world, and its emancipation from superstition and despotism.”
William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America’s noble heritage.
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Featured image: Bettmann/Corbis of “Alaska Purchase: signing of the treaty, 1867”