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Map Map of Russian America or Alaska Territory.

About this Item


  • Map of Russian America or Alaska Territory.


  • "Imperial Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867. Acquisition of the territory was negotiated for the United States by Secretary of State William H. Seward for the bargain price of about two U.S. cents per acre (five cents per hectare). Even though most commentary was highly critical of "Seward's Folly," some Americans gradually began to travel to and settle in the new territory. At first they possessed little knowledge of its geography. There thus was a great need for maps and nautical charts to assist Americans in navigating the waterways and trails of this forbidding region. This map, compiled by a draftsman named J.F. Lewis, was based upon Russian charts and surveys mostly commissioned by the Russian Navy. It represented one of the earliest attempts in North America to create an English-language map of Alaska. The main map has no scale, but five inset maps at lower right show local harbors and the scale of each is in nautical miles. The map shows key mountain ranges and bodies of water. Few towns appear, as the Russians had established only a handful of permanent settlements along the Pacific coast. In the succeeding years, the U.S. government slowly built upon maps such as this and began to produce more extensive topographical maps and nautical charts. The detail and precision of these maps and charts went beyond Russian surveys and helped establish a modern base of geographical knowledge about Alaska." World Digital Library.


  • Lewis, J. F.

Created / Published

  • [S.l.], 1867.


  • -  Alaska--Maps
  • -  United States--Alaska


  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress web site as a raster image.


  • 1 map : col. ; 130 x 178 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • G4370 1867 .L4 TIL


  • Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 99446183

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lewis, J. F. Map of Russian America or Alaska Territory. [S.l, 1862] Map.

APA citation style:

Lewis, J. F. (1862) Map of Russian America or Alaska Territory. [S.l] [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lewis, J. F. Map of Russian America or Alaska Territory. [S.l, 1862] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.