On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward signed a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million.More recently, Alaska gave us Governor Palin who was the GOP nominee for Vice President in 2008.
Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s folly,” “Seward’s icebox,” and President Andrew Johnson’s “polar bear garden.”
Nevertheless, the Senate ratified purchase of the tremendous landmass, one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States.
Despite a slow start in settlement by Americans from the continental United States, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory. Alaska, rich in natural resources, has been contributing to American prosperity ever since.
This is a very good book about Alaska:
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