Seward House Internship

Madison Cosentino, History Major, traveled back in time and to Auburn, New York, for her summer 2023 internship.

Over this summer I was an intern at the Seward House Museum in Auburn, NY. At the museum I was giving tours, working in the gift shop, and working on a research project. I learned a lot about both the history of the family but also about the inner workings of a museum. Going into this internship I did not have much knowledge of the Seward family besides the fact that William H. Seward was the man responsible for the purchase of Alaska. However, I think my lack of knowledge made this internship even more interesting because it seemed like I was always learning new things. I was able to help a summer camp program and I got to dress up as Fannie Seward; the only daughter of William Seward. During the camp, a volunteer and I acted as if we were from the 1850s and had tea with the summer camp kids.

Giving tours was the highlight of my experience. I loved being able to share knowledge with people and seeing their reactions to some of the stories I was telling them. I was also able to meet some interesting people. On one tour I found out afterwards that someone on the tour was Former President Barack Obama’s college roommate and the ambassador to Belize. It was a pleasant surprise when visitors were able to tell me new things that I did not know before. That actually happened with the ambassador to Belize. He told me about how the portraits of people in the White House who have passed away do not ever look at you but instead, they always look off to the side.

See reports and reflections from all of the fall 2023 SUNY Brockport Public History interns.

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