Seward's Folly is what Alaska was called when it was first purchased from Russia, as it was thought to be of no value. Only when it was discovered to be rich in natural resources was appreciation shown to Secretary of State William Seward, who was born MAY 16, 1801. Serving under Abraham Lincoln, he was wounded by an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth the same night Lincoln was shot. Seward stated: "I do not believe human society...ever has attained, or ever can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible." As the vice-president of the American Bible Society, 1836, William Seward stated: "I know not how long a republican government can flourish among a great people who have not the Bible; the experiment has never been tried; but this I do know: that the existing government of this country never could have had existence but for the Bible." Seward concluded: "And, further, I...believe that if at every decade of years a copy of the Bible could be found in every family in the land its republican institutions would be perpetuated."