When did Alaska become a state?

by | Sep 10, 2020

The Great State of Alaska was a Russian Colony known as Russian America from 1774 until the US finalized the purchase in 1867. After the Crimean (Krimeen) War in 1853, Russia was short on cash so they sold Russian America believing the land contained no useful resources.

The Russian Emperor, Alexander II, chose to sell to the United States instead of Canada, in fear of the land being seized by Britain if war broke out.

William Henry Seward, secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson, campaigned for the 586,412 Square miles of Russian America, about twice the size of TEXAS. The American people believed the land was barren, and labeled the purchase “Seward’s folly.”   

The sale finalized on October 18,1867 for $7.2 million, was less than 2 cents an acre. Public opinion changed when Gold was discovered in the Klondike River in 1896 sparking the gold rush.

Alaska became the 49th state Jan 3, 1959, now recognized for its vast natural resources. More than one third of Alaskan jobs are tied to the gas and oil industry and over 50% of seafood come from Alaska. 

Alaska is the largest state about one fifth the size of the lower states combined. The name ALASKA is derived from the Aliut word Alyeska which means Great Land. Alaska has two official state holidays to commemorate its origins. 

Seward’s Day observed the last Monday in March celebrates March 30th 1867, the day the land treaty of the US was signed. Then Alaska Day, October 18, marks the formal land transfer from Russia to the United States in 1867.  Stay with us at Alaska Backcountry Cottages and see the beauty for yourself! 

While your staying in a cottage, take a ride to Kink Glacier with ABAT!



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Linda Cox

With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 60 years old, happily married with eight children and has been living with Multiple Sclerosis since 1995. Linda’s unexpected path in life has led to her helping others choose happiness in their own realities. Linda thoroughly enjoys getting to know guests from all over the world, staying at Alaska Backcountry Cottages!