Book/Printed Material Senate Ratification of the Treaty on Cession of the Territory of Alaska.
About this Item
- Senate Ratification of the Treaty on Cession of the Territory of Alaska.
- Under the provisions of the U.S. Constitution relating to treaties, the U.S. Senate is required to give its advice and consent, by a two-thirds vote, for any treaty to be ratified and become law. On April 9, 1867, the Senate gave its advice and consent to the Alaska Purchase treaty by the necessary number of votes. Shown here is the notification, by John W. Forney, Chief Clerk, of the Senate's action. Secretary of State William H. Seward relied on a number of supporters within the Senate to provide the political momentum for the purchase. Prominent among these was Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate in support of the acquisition. In spite of his lofty rhetoric, Sumner was largely spurred by political calculation. The Russians had for years set a boundary that limited foreign fishing and whaling access to Alaskan waters. Yankee whalers sought unimpeded entry to new whaling grounds in Alaskan waters in both the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, especially since decades of intensive whaling had devastated whale stocks elsewhere. The global center of commercial whaling in the 19th century was southeastern Massachusetts, especially Nantucket and New Bedford. The whaling constituency was formidable at the state capitol on Beacon Hill in Boston and lobbied Sumner and other local politicians in support of the Alaska purchase. West coast fishing interests were also eager to gain access to the vast ocean expanses near Alaska, and this gained the votes of some Western senators. Bribery proved to be a part of the voting process as well, as the Russian ambassador in Washington paid secret kickbacks to select congressmen to secure their votes in favor of the purchase. Although pained by such corruption, Seward subsequently acknowledged its role to President Andrew Johnson.
- Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881 Associated Name.
- McDonald, William J., circa 1815-1878 Author.
- United States. Congress. Senate Associated Name.
Created / Published
- [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1867-04-09.
- - Russian Federation
- - United States of America--Alaska
- - United States of America--Pennsylvania--Washington
- - 1867-04-09
- - Alaska -- Annexation to the United States
- - Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, 1818-1881
- - Foreign relations
- - International law
- - Politics and government
- - Treaties
- - United States. Congress
- - Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
- - Original resource at: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- - Content in English.
- - Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.
- 1 online resource.
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- compressed data
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Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Forney, John W. , Associated Name, William J McDonald, and United States Congress. Senate Associated Name. Senate Ratification of the Treaty on Cession of the Territory of Alaska. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, -04-09, 1867] Image. https://www.loc.gov/item/2021671097/.
APA citation style:
Forney, J. W., McDonald, W. J. & United States Congress. Senate Associated Name. (1867) Senate Ratification of the Treaty on Cession of the Territory of Alaska. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, -04-09] [Image] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2021671097/.
MLA citation style:
Forney, John W. , Associated Name, William J McDonald, and United States Congress. Senate Associated Name. Senate Ratification of the Treaty on Cession of the Territory of Alaska. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, -04-09, 1867] Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2021671097/>.