Seward House Collections

William Henry Seward was one of the foremost politicians of nineteenth century America; a New York State Senator, Governor of New York, a U.S. Senator, and served as Secretary of State in the Lincoln and Johnson administrations. His task during the civil war was perhaps the most difficult ever faced by any Secretary of State; to maintain the neutrality of foreign countries in our darkest hour, at a period in history before international law and modern diplomacy.

Today the Seward House collections are considered an invaluable historic asset for historians, artists, and the public alike. The museum holds many special collections relating to the Seward family including the personal library of William H. Seward’s daughter Fanny, considered to be one of the only intact libraries of a 19th century teenager left in existence. Other collections include extensive Native Alaskan artifacts purchased by William H. Seward after he brokered the purchase of Russian America in 1867, a large number of Asian and ancient artifacts acquired by the Seward Family on their many travels throughout the world. Nationally-recognized artists Emanuel Leutze,  Henry Inman and Chester Harding are represented in the museum collection, along with regional painters, John E. Freeman, George Clough and John Carlin, as well as the horse drawn carriage that William H. Seward and Abraham Lincoln shared in Washington D.C. during the U.S. Civil War.