Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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SEATON, William Winston, journalist, born in King William county, Virginia, 11 January, 1785; died in Washington, D. C., 16 June, 1866. He was a descendant of Henry Seaton (of the Scottish family of that name), an adherent of the fortunes of the Stuarts, who came as a political exile to Virginia at the end of the 17th century. His mother, whose maiden name was Winston, was a cousin of Patrick Henry. He was educated by Ogilvie, the Earl of Fin-later, a Scotchman, who for several years kept an academy at Richmond. When eighteen years of age he engaged ardently in politics, and became assistant editor of a Richmond paper. He next edited the Petersburg "Republican," but soon purchased the "North Carolina Journal," published at Halifax, which was then the capital of the state. When Raleigh became the capital, he removed thither and connected himself with the " Register," edited by Joseph Gales, Sr., whose daughter he married. In 1812 he removed to Washington and joined the " National Intelligencer," in company with his brother-in-law, Joseph Gales, Jr., which partnership lasted till the death of the latter in 1860. From 1812 till 1820 Messrs. Seaton and Gales were the exclusive congressional reporters as well as editors of their journal, one taking charge of the proceedings in the senate and the other in the house of representatives. Their "Register of Debates" was considered a standard authority. After the death of Mr. Gales, Mr. Seaton was sole editor and manager of the "National Intelligencer" until it was sold a short time before his death. In 1840 he was elected mayor of Washington, and he held that office for twelve successive years. Together with Mr. Gales, he published " Annals of Congress: Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States from 3 March, 1798, till 27 May, 1824" (42 vols., Washington, 1834-'56) ; "Register of Debates in Congress from 1824 to 1837" 14 vols. in 29, 1827-'37) ; and "American State Papers, selected and edited by Walter Lowne and M. St. Clair Clarke" (21 vols., 1832-'4). See his "Life," by his daughter (Boston, 1871).
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