TIL Alaska was never meant to be separated from the rest of the United States but would be linked when British Columbia also joined. Instead the Alaska Purchase compelled British Columbia to join the Canadian Confederation 3 months later.
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The signing of the Alaska Treaty of Cessation on March 30, 1867. L-R: Robert S. Chew, William H. Seward, William Hunter, Mr. Bodisco, Eduard de Stoeckl, Charles Sumner and Frederick W. Seward. He insisted that by doing so, Russia would avoid any future conflict with the United States, viewing further U.S. expansion in North America as inevitable.
In 1867 the United States, led by Secretary of State William Seward, purchased the Alaska territory from Russia. After controlling most of the area that is now Alaska from the late 1700s until 1867, Russia sold the territory for $7.2 million dollars. This equals out to roughly two cents per acre. The U.S. gained a new territory of around 600,000 square miles. Alaska was admitted into the union as the 49th state in 1959, also making it the largest state in the United States.
Painting: “Signing the Alaska Treaty of Cessation” by Emanuel Leutze (from left to right: Robert S. Chew, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, William Hunter, Mr. Bodisco, Russian Ambassador Baron de Stoeckl, Charles Sumner, Fredrick W. Seward). Source: Wikimedia Commons. Read more on the GenealogyBank blog: “Seward’s Alaska Purchase Not ‘Folly.’” https://blog.genealogybank.com/sewards-alaska-purchase-not-folly.html