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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 20th 2024

Curious about Seward”'s Folly and Sarah Palin?

By Harvey Winje
The only connection of Seward”'s Folly with Seward Neighborhood in Mpls. is the namesake””William Henry Seward, 1801-1872.

Seward was a staunch fighter of slavery and, in fact, was so outspoken that it probably lost him the nomination to the presidency in the year that Abraham Lincoln (a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate) won the nomination of a new political party called Republican. He had been the 12th Governor of New York and a U.S. Senator from New York.
After winning the presidency, Lincoln appointed Seward to be Secretary of State. Does this sound familiar? A Congressman from Illinois becomes President after winning nomination from a Senator from New York who then appoints his previous adversary as Secretary of State?.

Seward was stabbed in a associated, conspiratorial assignation attempt the same night that Lincoln was killed.

Seward survived and continued as Secretary of State under President Andrew Johnson, Lincoln”'s successor.

It was during that time that on March 30, 1867 he negotiated the purchase of the 586,412 square mile territory of Alaska from Russia for $7,200.000. It was broadly considered to be a wasteful purchase and thus was called Seward”'s Folly.

Perhaps, history has vindicated him giving the United States an outpost State to the North. If it wasn”'t for Seward”'s Folly, Sarah Palin would not be looking at Russia from her deck”“she would be Russian!

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