Oswego Historian presents in-depth look at William Seward Aug. 14 at Fort Ontario

Oswego native and historian Tom Ebert will speak on William Seward at Fort Ontario at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14. Friends of Fort Ontario member Tom Ebert donated materials to produce benches made by students at CITI for the bluff around the fort.

OSWEGO - Fort Ontario State Historic Site presents an in-depth look at William Seward, one of the most influential and controversial figures in American history, by Civil War historian and Oswego native Tom Ebert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14. Seward served as New York Governor, Senator, Secretary of State for Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson and was a well-known abolitionist and orator. 

The program is free and open to the public and will be held in the Enlisted Men’s Barracks inside the old stone fort. 

“William Seward was Lincoln’s most prominent cabinet member,” Paul Lear, Historic Site Manager of Fort Ontario State Historic Site, said. “Seward was an expansionist who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia, encouraged America’s growth as a commercial and diplomatic empire, and an ardent supporter of immigration as a source of strength. Seward also believed that Washington would become a center for inter-American affairs and international relations, a destiny fulfilled in the 20th century.”  

All these subjects, as well Seward’s early life and retirement to Auburn, N.Y, will be discussed by Ebert during his presentation. Seward’s home is preserved as an historic site and is open to the public.

A native Oswegonian, Ebert is a retired librarian and administrator at California State University, Fresno. He holds graduate degrees in History and Library Science from the University at Albany and is co-author of the newly released book  “John G. Nicolay: The Man in Lincoln’s Shadow,” published by the University of Tennessee Press in May 2019.

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego, NY. Plenty of free parking is available in the main visitor lot. A golf cart will be available to take patrons to and from the parking lot if needed.  For more information on Fort Ontario or the program contact Paul Lear at 315-343-4711 or Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov. Or, visit www.historicfortontario.com or the Friends of Fort Ontario Facebook page

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas call (518) 474—0456 or visit https://parks.ny.gov/.

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