William H. Seward

(William Henry Seward)

William H. Seward
William H. Seward
  • Born: May 16, 1801
  • Died: October 10, 1872
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Statesman

51

Quotes

31

Citations

151

Concepts

0

Videos

William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as Governor of New York and United States Senator. A determined opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, he was a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was praised for his work on behalf of the Union as Secretary of State during the American Civil War.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Anonymous Seward is in league with the Pope!
Abraham Lincoln I shall have to depend upon you for taking care of these matters of foreign affairs, of which I know so little, and with which I reckon you are familiar.
Doris Kearns Goodwin Lincoln, like Seward, had developed a cadre of lifelong friends who were willing to do anything in their power to ensure his nomination. But unlike Seward, he had not made enemies or aroused envy along the way.
Murat Halstead …the fact of the Convention was the defeat of Seward rather than the nomination of Lincoln.
Horace Greeley After your first victory as New York Governor you gave jobs worth $3,000 to $20,000 per year to your friends and compatriots, and I returned to my garret and my crust, and my desperate battle with pecuniary obligations.
Henry Steele Commager Who would be cleared by their committees? Not Washington, who was a rebel. Not Jefferson. who wrote that ... "rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." Not Garrison, who publicly burned the Constitution; or Wendell Phillips ... a philosophical anarchist; nor [William] Seward of the Higher Law.... Not Lincoln ... or Wilson ... or Justice Holmes.
George B. McClellan a meddling, officious, incompetent little puppy.
Joseph Medill If you can throw the Ohio delegation to Lincoln, Chase can have anything he wants.
Joseph Medill Seward must be got out of the cabinet. He is Lincoln's evil genius. He has been President de Facto, and has kept a sponge saturated with chloroform to Uncle Abe's nose.
Murat Halstead a triumph of a presumption of availability over pre-eminence in intellect and unrivalled ... success of the ruder qualities of manhood and the more homely attributes of popularity, over the arts of a consummate politician, and the splendor of accomplished statesmanship.
John C. Henley Glorious News. Lincoln and Seward Assassinated! Andy Johnson Inaugurated President.
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
… irrepressible conflict War & Peace ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Are the welfare and safety of the whole body politic anything else than the welfare and safety of all its individual members? Defense & National Security
Assassination is not an American habit. Miscellaneous
Come on then, Gentlemen of the Slave States. Since there is no escaping your challenge, I accept it in behalf of the cause of freedom. We will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give the victory to the side which is stronger in numbers as it is in the right. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Come on then, Gentlemen of the Slave States. Since there is no escaping your challenge, I accept it in behalf of the cause of freedom. We will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give the victory to the side which is stronger in numbers as it is in the right. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them. Democracies & Republics ;War & Peace
Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them. Democracies & Republics
Disappointment! You speak to me of disappointment. To me, who was justly entitled to the Republican nomination for the presidency, and who had to stand aside and see it given to a little Illinois lawyer!
Go ask Virginia— go ask even noble Maryland . . . to show you her people, canals, railroads, universities, schools, charities, commerce cities, and cultivated areas. Development & Growth ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Hitherto, this tyranny of slaveholders over non-slaveholding citizens has been mainly confined to slaveholding communities. But Slavery has of late arrogantly claimed to be national. Congress is sanctioning the usurpation, and the Federal Courts and even State Courts are boldly enforcing it. In violation of the Constitution, Congress compels the non-slaveholders in the free States to capture and deliver the fugitive slave. Congress at its last session was on the eve of subverting the original, honored jurisdiction of State Courts over Federal officers Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
I have learned, by some experience, that virtue and patriotism, vice and selfishness, are found in all parties, and that they differ less in their motives than in the policies they pursue. Political Parties & Machines
I saw exhausted soil, old and decaying towns, wretchedly-neglected roads, and, in every respect, an absence of enterprise and improvement, distinguish the region through which we have come, in contrast to that in which we live. Such has been the effect of slavery. Development & Growth ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
I shall be nominated on the next ballot. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I would sooner attack either of those gentlemen in the open street than consent to oppose any local appointment they might desire to make in their respective states.
If any European Power provokes a war, we shall not shrink from it. A contest between Great Britain and the United States would wrap the world in fire. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
It pains me to learn that things are even worse than is understood… A plot is forming to seize the Capitol on or before the 4th of March… Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Lincoln has no conception of his situation—much absorption in the details of office dispensation, but little application to great ideas. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means the United States must and will, sooner or later, become entirely a slave-holding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Spaniards planted slave States in America; England planted not only slave States, but free ones. Spain planted twice as many as England, and cultivated them with more assiduous and maternal care. The Anglo-American free States are all of them strong and vigorous, and already over-shadow the Continent. Europe regards them with respect and admiration. There is not one Spanish American State that is truly self-subsisting and independent. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The color of the prisoner’s skin, and the form of his features, are not impressed upon the spiritual immortal mind which works beneath. In spite of human pride, he is still your brother, and mine, in form and color accepted and approved by his Father, and yours, and mine, and bears equally with us the proudest inheritance of our race — the image of our Maker. Hold him then to be a Man. Equality & Equal Opportunity
The leader of a political party in a country like ours is so exposed that his enemies become as numerous and formidable as his friends. Political Parties & Machines
The people of the North are not enemies but friends and brethren of the South, faithful and true as in the days when death has dealt his arrows promiscuously among them on the common battlefields of freedom. Miscellaneous
The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, suspicion, and watchfulness. It debases those whose toil alone can produce wealth and resources for defense, to the lowest degree of which human nature is capable, to guard against mutiny and insurrection, and thus wastes energies which otherwise might be employed in national development and aggrandizement. Miscellaneous ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The U.S. government should deny to disunionists any new provocation or apparent offence, while it would enable the Unionists in the slave states to maintain with truth and with effect that the alarms and apprehensions put forth by the disunionists are groundless and false. War & Peace
The United States constitute only one nation. Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results. Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
There is a higher law than the Constitution. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free—labor nation. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
What can equal the caprices of politics? Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Whatever policy we adopt, there must be an energetic prosecution of it. Policy & Policy Making
When the insurgents shall have abandoned their armies and laid down their arms, the war will instantly cease; and all the war measures then existing, including those which affect slavery, will cease also. War & Peace ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
You are now public property, and ought to be where you can be reached by the people until you are inaugurated. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
But assuming the same premises, to wit, that all men are equal by the law of nature and of nations, the right of property in slaves falls to the ground; for one who is equal to another cannot be the owner or property of that other. Nature
But I deny that the Constitution recognizes property in man.
But the Constitution was made not only for southern and northern states, but for states neither northern nor southern, namely, the western states, their coming in being foreseen and provided for.
But there is a higher law than the Constitution, which regulates our authority over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble purposes.
But you answer, that the Constitution recognizes property in slaves. It would be sufficient, then, to reply, that this constitutional recognition must be void, because it is repugnant to the law of nature and of nations. Nature
I deem it established, then, that the Constitution does not recognize property in man, but leaves that question, as between the states, to the law of nature and of nations. Nature
I mean to say that Congress can hereafter decide whether any states, slave or free, can be framed out of Texas. If they should never be framed out of Texas, they never could be admitted.
I speak on due consideration because Britain, France, and Mexico, have abolished slavery, and all other European states are preparing to abolish it as speedily as they can.
I submit, on the other hand, most respectfully, that the Constitution not merely does not affirm that principle, but, on the contrary, altogether excludes it.
If slavery, limited as it yet is, now threatens to subvert the Constitution, how can we as wise and prudent statesmen, enlarge its boundaries and increase its influence, and thus increase already impending dangers?
It is the maintenance of slavery by law in a state, not parallels of latitude, that makes its a southern state; and the absence of this, that makes it a northern state.
It is true, indeed, that the national domain is ours. It is true it was acquired by the valor and with the wealth of the whole nation. But we hold, nevertheless, no arbitrary power over it. Power
Simultaneously with the establishment of the Constitution, Virginia ceded to the United States her domain, which then extended to the Mississippi, and was even claimed to extend to the Pacific Ocean.
Sir, there is no Christian nation, thus free to choose as we are, which would establish slavery.
The proposition of an established classification of states as slave states and free states, as insisted on by some, and into northern and southern, as maintained by others, seems to me purely imaginary, and of course the supposed equilibrium of those classes a mere conceit.
The right to have a slave implies the right in some one to make the slave; that right must be equal and mutual, and this would resolve society into a state of perpetual war. Society ;War & Peace
The United States are a political state, or organized society, whose end is government, for the security, welfare, and happiness of all who live under its protection. Society ;Happiness & Unhappiness
There is not only no free state which would now establish it, but there is no slave state, which, if it had had the free alternative as we now have, would have founded slavery.
Therefore, states are equal in natural rights.
To reduce this claim of slavery to an absurdity, it is only necessary to add that there are only two states in which slaves are a majority, and not one in which the slaveholders are not a very disproportionate minority.