He was a governor and senator, a secretary of state under two presidents, and one of the foremost politicians of his time. In addition to all of this, William Seward also was a high- profile attorney who pioneered the insanity defense. As he defended William Freeman, accused of multiple murders in Cayuga County in 1846, Seward showed himself to be an advocate of human rights. His role in the Freeman trial will be explored in two upcoming programs at the library.
The book "Mr. Seward for the Defense" will be discussed at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23. The book, by Earl Conrad, is available at the library and is also available free online.
Guest speaker Allison Hinman, a Syracuse University graduate student and former Seward House intern, will speak about her research on the Freeman trial at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
The programs are being presented by the library along with Friends of Seymour Library, Seward House, and the Cayuga County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
William Freeman 1846 murder in Fleming