The Alaska Debate
Controversy over Purchase

William H. Seward

William H. Seward Secretary of State
    William Seward was born in New York, on May 16, 1801. In his life he served as a state governor and United States Secretary of State. William Seward was well known in the Republican party and was against the spread of slavery. William Seward served as the Secretary of State for presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. William Seward was most famous for the purchase of Alaska. He was the man that negotiated the deal with Russia for Alaska. While William was Secretary of State he really liked the territory of Alaska and really wished he could buy it. He thought that Alaska could be land of very great opportunity. On March 30, 1867, William Seward agreed to purchase Alaska and signed the treaty. The Critics attacked him because there was secrecy about the deal. Then people started calling the purchase "Seward's Folly" and also "Seward's Icebox". The people mocked him on how willing he was to spend millions of dollars on "Seward's Folly". Even though he was being mocked William Seward still thought purchase of Alaska was a bargain. Still, the purchase is one of the main reasons why he lost the chance to become president.