Preserving History and Honoring a Great Statesman
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...
Honoring a Civil War Hero
On August 10, 1863, Lt. William E. Mapes, Company B, 124th New York State Volunteers, wrote home to his brother. The letter bore the heading, “Camp Near Sulphur Springs, Virginia,” where the Army of the Potomac was encamped following the Battle of Gettysburg. He had something to ask his brother and admonished him, “Don’t fail to answer this question. I want your opinion whether my acts and services to my country will be appreciated enough should I get killed for Florida to erect some lasting monument or tablet for 'Copperheads’* to look at in all ages to come, that is until they are extinct, & as they looked at it could feel the burnings of reproach, & regret that they were ever traitors & my opposers. It would ever put them in mind of it, but I hope I will live to be their scourge.” Read more...
*The Copperheads were a vocal group of Northerners who opposed the American Civil War.
When Being a Radical was Radical
Lynne McKenney Lydick's performance of “Yours for Humanity - Abby” brought our audience members to their feet in a standing ovation. Her one-woman play and lecture about Abby Kelley Foster (1811 - 1887) portrayed the radical abolitionist and women's rights activist who worked relentlessly, in the face of constant harassment and ridicule, to end both race and gender prejudice. At a time when society demanded that women be silent, submissive and obedient, Abby was none of those.
In 2011, Abby Kelley Foster was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the National Abolition Hall of Fame. The program is a joint effort by the Florida Union Free School District and the Seward / Mapes Homestead Committee to celebrate personal moral courage and shed light on the life and times of Wiliam H. Seward and Frances Seward. If you saw Lynne's remarkable performance and would like to see more historical re-enactments, please email us!
A Work in Progress: