1801 - born in Orange County, NY.
1822 - became lawyer, home in Auburn, NY.
1825 - supported DeWitt Clinton, Erie Canal.
1830 - elected to state Senate with help of Thurlow Weed.
1834 - ran as Whig for NY governor, lost to William Marcy.
1838 - elected Whig governor of NY.
1840 - supported private Catholic schools in NY.
1841 - refused to surrender 3 escaped sailers to fugitive sclave catchers from VA.
1845 - supported Ireland independence from England.
1848 - elected to U. S. Senate.
1850 - opposed any compromise on slavery, speech of Mar. 11: "a higher law than the Constitution."
1851 - wecomed Kossuth, protested Russian intervention in Hungary.
1854 - reelected to Senate with help of Know-Nothing party, but disavowed their support later.
1855 - joined Republican party.
1856 - supported free state Kansas under Topeka Constitution, opposed Dred Scott decision.
1858 - speech Oct. 25 at Rochester that the slavery struggle was "an irrepressible conflict" and Southerners said this speech had inspired John Brown.
1860 - At Republican National Convention met in Chicago in June, was opposed by Horace Greeley and the Know-Nothings, then supported campaign of Lincoln, was also one of the Senate committee of 13 seeking compromise, proposed on Dec. 24 that Congress guarantee slavery in the slave states, and request the repeal of the personal liberty laws in exchange for the grant of jury trial to fugitive slaves.
1861 - became Lincoln's Secretary of State