Senators called it “reckless and wasteful,” the American people scoffed at the frozen wasteland- Secretary of State Seward’s purchase of Alaska from Russia was condemned and mocked by many Americans. However, Alaska would become a hub of natural resources and an important strategic position. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
March 30, 1867
America signs a treaty with Russia, purchasing the Russian American territories for $7.2 million.
October 18, 1867
Alaska is formally transferred from Russian to American control at Sitka, Alaska.
July 14, 1868
The House of Representatives approves funding for the purchase of Russia by a vote of 113-48.
The Nome Gold Rush begins, producing enough gold to vindicate Seward’s push to purchase Alaska.