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Although he was one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century, most Americans don't know much about William Henry Seward other than that he purchased Alaska. Walter Stahr, author of the acclaimed new biography Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man, shares insights into this powerful and fascinating figure.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Seward served four years as progressive governor of the state, twelve controversial years in the U.S. Senate, and eight years as Secretary of State. Seward was Lincoln's closest adviser and friend during the Civil War; indeed, some saw him as the "power behind the throne" who made decisions for the president.
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