Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Auburn, New York: The Seward House

William H. Seward (1801-1872) was a man of his time and a man ahead of his time. He was an abolitionist before the American Civil War, a leader of the new Republican Party, and a key player on Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. The fanatics who plotted to assassinate Lincoln also tried to kill Seward; he survived multiple stabbings from a Bowie knife a month before his 64th birthday. Afterward, his crowning achievement, the Alaska Purchase.

I visited Seward's home in the summer of 1998, travelling from Detroit to the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York to attend the 150th anniversary celebration of the Seneca Falls Declaration (1848).  While in the area, checked out Auburn, including the Harriet Tubman Home (more on the remarkable Tubman at some point):   The initial drive via the Ontario strip was only about seven hours -- Michiganders miss out if they think "Up North" is the only direction to travel, it occurred to me then.  There's so much to see around the Finger Lakes.

Drawing Room of Seward House. Victorian decor. Photo by Bruce Walter.

North Library. Pre-electricity setup. Photo by Bruce Walter.

Today's Rune: Fertility.


jodi said...

Erik, Gorgeous! I have no illusions about "up north"!

Lana Gramlich said...

To be honest, MUCH of "upstate" NY is lovely. The Finger Lakes region, the mountains (such as they are.) I always loved my travels "upstate." Never saw the Seward House, though.

the walking man said...

Have to agree there is a field of plenty to be found within ten hours in the other three directions.

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Charles Gramlich said...

My gosh, I love that library. sigh!