Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Seward's Folly...!

I love a bargain as much as the next guy...but I think that America got the bargain of all bargains with the purchase of Alaska!

If I could find a nice little piece of land at this price, I'd jump right on it! Even I could afford 2 cents an acre! Heck, I might even sell something important to raise more! Something important...like maybe my prize comic book collection, or my favorite hand carved back scratcher, or...well, you get the idea!

No matter ! The point is this was a wonderful purchase at a excellent price! What a great addition to our country!
Jan 3, 1959:
Alaska admitted into Union

On January 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signs a special proclamation admitting the territory of Alaska into the Union as the 49th and largest state.

The European discovery of Alaska came in 1741, when a Russian expedition led by Danish navigator Vitus Bering sighted the Alaskan mainland. Russian hunters were soon making incursions into Alaska, and the native Aleut population suffered greatly after being exposed to foreign diseases. In 1784, Grigory Shelikhov established the first permanent Russian colony in Alaska on Kodiak Island. In the early 19th century, Russian settlements spread down the west coast of North America, with the southernmost fort located near Bodega Bay in California.

Russian activity in the New World declined in the 1820s, and the British and Americans were granted trading rights in Alaska after a few minor diplomatic conflicts. In the 1860s, a nearly bankrupt Russia decided to offer Alaska for sale to the United States, which earlier had expressed interest in such a purchase. On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward signed a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. 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.

Despite the fact that Texas lost the title of the biggest state in the union, despite the fact that I was born in Texas and should resent that loss, I don't! My personal thought is that Alaska was one of the best things to happen to the Union in a long time! Just my opinion, ya understand!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning! I have some fresh baked bread and some honey!


Rob's Bunker said...

Didn't Hawaii also become a state at the same time??

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
To tell you the truth, I don't know! I'll have to look that up and see!

I should know that...sorry!

Thanks for coming over today!

Ben in Texas said...

I remember the jokes at the time. Texans all saying that we could have one big ole beer bash and use all that ice to cool our beer and then Alaska won't be no bigger than Kansas!!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Alaska was a much bigger bargain than Hawaii in my opinion.

JOJO said...

First lesson of the New Year and a good one at that. Thank you.

Coffee in the kitchen with the smell and taste of home made bread.mmmmmmm I am lovin it.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
Seems like I remember some of those jokes!

At the time, it seemed like a big deal to me. don't remember why! Guess all things change in importance to us as we get older!

Hey, thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Dizzy...
I can't help but think you're right!

Certainly a lot more gold to be found in Alaska, I think!

Thanks for the visit, my friend!

Hey JoJo...
That smell of fresh coffee and baking bread is sure hard to ignore!

I can sit down with fresh bread and butter and gain about 5 pounds!

Have a great day, sweetie, and thanks for coming by!

TROUBLEnTX said...

My fondest memory of Alaska, is,,North to Alaska,,with Lee Marvin,,,lololol. Can still watch that movie.

Bob Mc said...

The Louisiana Purchase wasn't such a bad deal either. :)