Visit the William H. Seward House in Auburn, NY. Seward, with a political career spanning four decades, was a former New York State Governor, US Senator and US Secretary of State. He largely influenced the decision to purchase Alaska from Russia, a choice that was criticized in its day. Seward also signed, and helped write, the Emancipation Proclamation. His family was active in fighting for the rights of black slaves; their home was an integral stop on the Underground Railroad. The family assisted many slaves including Harriet Tubman, who later became a conductor on the Underground Railroad from her home located just 1.3 miles from the Seward’s mansion.
Perhaps one of the most impressive historical landmarks in the Finger Lakes, the Seward House contains an expansive collection of items from life in the 1800s. This magnificent home holds its original furnishings, artworks, personal diaries of the Seward family and collectables from around the globe. The grounds are also worth exploring; there is a beautiful fountain and a gazebo in the side yard. The house is open year-round, Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm, except on holidays. From July – mid October they are also open Sundays 1 pm – 4 pm. Tours are given on the hour. Parties of ten or more should call ahead to schedule an appointment. Call (315) 252-1283 for details.