Captain William E. Mapes Honored at Last!

The Seward / Mapes Homestead presents a rare opportunity in historic preservation to focus on the lives and accomplishments of two men deeply engaged in the American Civil War on different levels – one as Secretary of State in the Lincoln Administration, and the other as a Union soldier in an illustrious volunteer regiment that fought in many horrific battles from Manassas Gap to Appomattox.

Three years ago, Charles J. LaRocca, author of the authoritative "The 124th New York State Volunteers in the Civil War" suggested to our organization that “Captain William E. Mapes be honored and that a lasting monument be erected in his memory” on the site of the Mapes family home in the Village of Florida, NY. Mr. LaRocca took an interest in William Mapes while doing research for his book and has remarked that he was like thousands of other young men who made great sacrifices to preserve the Union over 150 years ago.

We did just that on May 30th, 2016 at 10:00 am! After months of effort and two fundraisers we were able to produce this beautiful plaque that expresses Captain Mapes' character and vision. We still have a lot more to do.Mapes Plaque

The transcription:
“Tell my good friends that I think of them often, which inspires me to go forward in the performance of duty & with my sword hew out my way to distinction. I hope they may never have reason to regret that they advanced me ... Tell them my voice is still for war until the stars & stripes float again over every inch of American soil.”

“One thing more. I want your opinion whether my acts and services to my country will be appreciated enough … for Florida to erect some lasting monument or tablet for “Copperheads” to look at in all ages to come … & as they looked at it could feel the burnings of reproach & regret that they were forever traitors.”

From a letter to his brother Jesse Sandford Mapes, 1863

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Volunteers Needed!

As always, we welcome any assistance you might be able to provide, whether it be time or a talent. For volunteering, for donating or for further information, contact Roger at 845-294-3839 or any member of the Seward Homestead, Inc. committee. You may also email us at Thank you very much for your interest.

–The Seward Homestead, Inc.

The Seward / Mapes Homestead has been listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places (national registration is pending), We need your support to realize the landmark's potential as an inspirational educational center for generations of Americans.

The Seward Birthplace