Honoring a Great Statesman & a Courageous Civil War Soldier
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...
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 who survived many horrific battles before being severely wounded. That soldier was Captain William E. Mapes of the 124th New York State Volunteers, known as “The Orange Blossoms”.The Homestead is also uniquely located in the Village of Florida and has the potential to become a vital community learning and cultural center.
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If you have driven or walked past the Seward/Mapes Homestead recently, you have to be impressed by all of the restoration work being done on the property. Thanks to the Village of Florida, dedicated volunteers and support from all over Orange County from people like you, we have made considerable progress since we began in 2010. Download our brochure to read all about what we have been up to! Yes, we have a lot more to do. That's why any donation would be greatly appreciated. Please help us out!
Captain Mapes, Honored at last!
Captain William E. Mapes of the 124th New York State Volunteers, The Orange Blossoms, got his wish on the sunny morning of Saturday, May 30th. A monument was dedicated to him in the Village of Florida where he was born, 150 years after he wryly requsted one. Read the full inscription of the monument.
If you have had the opportunity to read about our organization's recent events and - even better, attend them - you know that the dedication ceremony on the grounds of the Seward / Mapes Homestead was the end result of a collaborative effort to honor Mapes' memory as well as thousands of Americans like him who fought to preserve the Union.
In days to come we will say more about Captain Mapes. Author Charles J. LaRocca has become a member of The Seward / Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee. We hope he will continue to educate us about Captain Mapes and the Ornage Blossoms. His presentation entitled “Tell Them I Am Still For War” on May 27th was very engaging, informing the public just why Mapes and others of his generation just like him deserve to be remembered.
A Work in Progress: