Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man

Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man

by Walter Stahr
Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man

Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man

by Walter Stahr


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The New York Times bestseller from one of the most acclaimed biographers—the first full life of the leader of Lincoln’s “team of rivals” to appear in more than forty years.

William Henry Seward was one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century. Progressive governor of New York and outspoken US senator, he was the odds-on favorite to win the 1860 Republican nomination for president. As secretary of state and Lincoln’s closest adviser during the Civil War, Seward not only managed foreign affairs but had a substantial role in military, political, and personnel matters.

Some of Lincoln’s critics even saw Seward, erroneously, as the power behind the throne; this is why John Wilkes Booth and his colleagues attempted to kill Seward as well as Lincoln. Seward survived the assassin’s attack, continued as secretary of state, and emerged as a staunch supporter of President Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s controversial successor. Through his purchase of Alaska (“Seward’s Folly”), and his groundwork for the purchase of the Canal Zone and other territory, Seward set America on course to become a world empire.

Seward was not only important, he was fascinating. Most nights this well-known raconteur with unruly hair and untidy clothes would gather diplomats, soldiers, politicians, or actors around his table to enjoy a cigar, a drink, and a good story. Drawing on hundreds of sources not available to or neglected by previous biographers, Walter Stahr’s bestselling biography sheds new light on this complex and central figure, as well as on pivotal events of the Civil War and its aftermath.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439121184
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 09/17/2013
Pages: 720
Sales rank: 407,606
Product dimensions: 6.28(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.33(d)

About the Author

Walter Stahr is the New York Times bestselling author of Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary, and John Jay: Founding Father. A two-time winner of the Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography, Stahr practiced law in Washington and Asia for more than two decades. He is an honors graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

Table of Contents

Map List and Illustration Credits ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 "Elements of a Statesman": 1801-1830 7

Chapter 2 "Who Is William H. Seward?": 1831-1838 32

Chapter 3 "A Higher Standard of Social Perfection": 1839-1842 59

Chapter 4 "You and I Can and Must Do It": 1843-1849 86

Chapter 5 "A Higher Law Than the Constitution": 1849-1854 116

Chapter 6 "Foremost Statesman of the Whole North": 1854-1856 144

Chapter 7 "An Irrepressible Conflict": 1857-1859 165

Chapter 8 "Lincoln Nominated Third Ballot": 1860 182

Chapter 9 "Save the Union in My Own Way": November 1860-March 1861 210

Chapter 10 "I Must Do It": March-April 1861 252

Chapter 11 "Through the Fires of Tophet": 1861 282

Chapter 12 "Remove Him!": 1862 324

Chapter 13 "Ask Not Whether the Enemy Is Near": 1863 361

Chapter 14 "Firm and Hopeful": 1864 390

Chapter 15 "I Am Not Dead": 1865 417

Chapter 16 "Political Apostasy": 1866 453

Chapter 17 "Let Us Make the Treaty Tonight": 1867 478

Chapter 18 "I'll See You Damned First": 1868-1869 506

Chapter 19 "Nothing Remained… But to Keep in Motion 1869-1872 530

Acknowledgments 549

Notes 551

Index 661

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