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Stats for Stories: *Special Edition* Russia Transfers Alaska to the United States: 150th Anniversary

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Presidential Proclamation (1967): The purchase of Alaska was the largest acquisition of land since the Louisiana Purchase. It was the last great land area that the United States was to acquire. When the Stars and Stripes were unfurled over what is now Sitka, Alaska, on October 18, 1867, the destiny of the North American Continent was permanently altered.

From the U.S. Department of State: Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859, believing the United States would offset the designs of Russia’s greatest rival in the Pacific, Great Britain. The looming U.S. Civil War delayed the sale, but after the war, Secretary of State William Seward quickly took up a renewed offer from Russia and on March 30, 1867, in Washington, agreed to a proposal from Russian Minister, Edouard de Stoeckl to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. The Senate approved the treaty of purchase on April 9, President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on May 28, and Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867. This purchase ended Russia’s presence in North America and ensured U.S. access to the Pacific northern rim.

From C-SPAN - American History TV, American Artifacts: Inside the Archivist's Office. Archivist of the United States David Ferriero showed some of his favorite documents from the holdings of the National Archives. (16:39) “This is the check with which we purchased Alaska, $7.2 million made out to the Russians.”

Key Stats:

Source: QuickFacts.
QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.

Component ID: #ti2079190411

Note: The Dashboard – Alaska (shown above) is a combination of all three views: Table, Map and Chart. The dashboard is cropped at the bottom. Click on the image to see the full dashboard.


More Stats - Alaska:

From: Foreign Trade › U.S. International Trade Data.

Source: Statistics in Schools.

The program provides resources for teaching and learning with real life data.

Source: Guide to 2010 Census State and Local Geography.

Source: U.S. International Trade Data: 1992-2017.

Source: International Data Base: 1995-2025.

Source: 2015 County Business Patterns (on employer businesses).

Source: 2015 Nonemployer Statistics.

Source: 2012 Economic Census (includes revenue data missing from County Business Patterns).

Component ID: #ti1808005975

Source: C-SPAN - American History TV, American Artifacts: Inside the Archivist's Office.

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero showed some of his favorite documents from the holdings of the National Archives. (16:39) “This is the check with which we purchased Alaska, $7.2 million made out to the Russians. If you flip it over, here is the endorsement by the Russians. So what happened was it's drawn on the Riggs Bank. They took this to the Riggs Bank. They were given $7.2 million in gold. This is the documentation that proves it. This is an example of how I am daily dazzled by what we have in the records. I know from history that the United States bought Alaska from the Russians, but I never associated the fact it was actually a check that documented it and this is one of my favorite records now because of that.” (17:27)

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