Preserving History and Honoring a Great Statesman
Born in Florida, New York in 1801, William H. Seward was one of our nation's most distinguished political leaders. Remembered primarily for his role as Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and his guiding influence in the purchase of Alaska as Secretary of State in the Andrew Johnson administration, Seward was also a Senator and New York Governor in his long career. Read more...
L. Lloyd Stewart on Gradual Abolition
We want to thank author L. Lloyd Stewart for his presentation (07.10.14) on his book A Far Cry from Freedom. Gradual Abolition, which details the monstrous laws and politics of “gradual abolition” in New York State. William Henry Seward's early life coincided with New York's implementation of that institution from 1799 through 1827. His relationship with the enslaved Africans in his family's household made an impression on him that lasted a lifetime. Mr. L. Lloyd Stewart also spoke about his latest book The Mysterious Black Migration. 1800 to 1820 and his own family history which he feels mirrors the plight of most Americans of African descent. His book is a must-read for everyone interested in New York State history. More than that, his books emphasize the fact that slavery wasn't unique to the South. In New York, it was systemic. Where to order his books.
Thank You Seward Shoppers!
We have a lot of generous people to thank for their wonderful donations and a lot of generous people to thank for coming to our Yard Sale on Saturday the 26th! We will be posting pictures on that soon. In the coming months we expect to have events of a more educational nature that promise to be fun and informative. Please sign up on our Email list.
West Pointers Visit Homestead
On April 24th, four American History instructors from West Point honored us with a visit. They had heard about our efforts through Johanna Porr, the newly appointed Orange County Historian. Expecting to provide our guests with a short tour and brief overview of our restoration efforts, we were very pleasantly surprised to discover how engaged and knowledgeable they are about William H. Seward. With boundless curiosity, they covered every foot of the grounds, inspecting architectural details and asking questions about Seward's early life in Florida. They were also curious about the Seward family and the lives of William E. Mapes and Mortimer Mapes, who built and occupied the Queen Anne style Victorian home that is also a part of the restoration.
Conducting the tour, which also included the First Presbyterian Church and S. S. Seward Institute, were committee members John Kimiecik, Robert Scott III and Roger Dowd. Demonstrating his well-deserved reputation as Florida's resident Seward expert, John impressed everyone when he pointed out the Seward family pew in the church and spoke about the family's life in the early to mid 1800's. We were also fortunate to be joined by Sue Gardner, Town of Warwick Deputy Historian, who was on hand to cover regional and Revolutionary War history, another subject of interest to the West Point instructors. Read more in The Florida Focus (page 4)...
Thank You, Senator Bonacic!
Recipient of one of three grants under the Municipal Facilities Capital program, the Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration will receive $50,000 in state funding for its preservation and community education efforts. Thanks to the support of New York State Senator John J. Bonacic, this generous grant is a very encouraging validation of our community's efforts in revitalizing a part of our nation's history. Village of Florida Mayor and committee founding member James Pawliczek, said the grant “...will go a long way to restoring the William Henry Seward Homestead.” Read more...
For more information about the MFC grant, as it applied to all three recipients, visit the The Florida Focus online.
A Work in Progress: