Treaty with Russia for the Purchase of Alaska
On March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement
to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The
Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary
of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United
States Edouard de Stoeckl. Critics of the deal to purchase
Alaska called it "Sewards Folly or Sewards
Icebox." Opposition to the purchase of Alaska subsided
with the Klondike Gold Strike in 1896.
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American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides
and Other Printed Ephemera
In 1868, Joseph
Wilson, Commissioner of the General Land Office,
wrote a letter to Nathaniel Banks, Chairman of the
House Committee of Foreign Affairs, outlining his support
for the purchase of Alaska.
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
Senate ratified the Treaty with Russia on April 9,
1867, by a vote of 37 to 2. However, the appropriation
of money needed to purchase Alaska was delayed by more
than a year due to opposition in the House of Representatives.
finally approved the appropriation on July 14, 1868,
by a vote of 113 to 48.
in the 40th Congress using the word "Alaska"
to find additional Congressional documents on this topic.
Back in Time: Purchase of Alaska, March 30, 1867.
The Chronicling America site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the Treaty with Russia
A selection of articles on the Treaty with Russia includes:
In addition, the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room has created a series of topics guides to the newspapers included in Chronicling America, including a guide on the U.S. purchase of Alaska.
- "The Russian Treaty," New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]), April 01, 1867.
- "The Russian Treaty," The Charleston Daily News. (Charleston, S.C.), April 12, 1867.
- "The Russian Treaty...Price to be Paid only $7,200,000," The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]), April 12, 1867.
A bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library
that tells the story of the American exploration and
settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and
settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the
meeting of the Russian-American
frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Meeting of Frontiers includes a section on the purchase of Alaska that contains the official Russian and American copies of the treaty.
Lesson Plan - The Alaska Purchase: Debating the Sale from Russian and U.S. Perspectives
The 1867 Treaty of Cession, in which the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian empire, marked an unusually peaceful transition. The purchase of Alaska was done under amicable circumstances, and both Russia and the U.S. felt they gained from the Treaty. In this lesson, students use primary sources from Russia and the U.S. to examine the respective Russian and American rationales for agreeing to the sale.
Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to purchase
Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million on March 30, 1867.
Documents, Check for the Purchase of Alaska, National
Archives and Records Administration
Department of State
Farrar, Victor John. The Annexation
of Russian America to the United States. New York: Russell & Russell,
Hinckley, Ted C. The Americanization
of Alaska, 1867-1897.
Palo Alto, Calif.: Pacific Books, 1972. [Catalog
Jensen, Ronald J. The Alaska Purchase
and Russian-American Relations. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1975.
Kushner, Howard I. Conflict on the
Northwest Coast: American-Russian Rivalry in the Pacific
Northwest, 1790-1867. Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1975. [Catalog
Clinton, Susan. The Story of Seward's
Childrens Press, 1987. [Catalog
Cohen, Daniel. The Alaska Purchase. Brookfield, Conn.:
Millbrook Press, 1996. [Catalog
Fremon, David K. The Alaska Purchase
in American History.
Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 1999. [Catalog
Kent, Zachary. William Seward: The Mastermind of the Alaska
Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 2001. [Catalog