At the time, critics called it 'Seward's Folly
,' after Secretary of State William Seward, who fixed up the deal.
Guiana), DEVIL'S POSTPILE (Nat'l Mon, CA), DEVIL'S TOWER (Nat'l Mon, WY), DRAKE'S BAY (CA), GRANTS PASS (city, OR), HELLS CANYON (ID-OR), KING'S CANYON (Nat'l Park, CA), PIKE'S PEAK, SEWARD'S FOLLY
(Alaska), TOMS RIVER (city, NJ) VAN DIEMEN'S LAND
Seward was widely ridiculed by his contemporaries for the US purchase of Alaska, calling it "Seward's Folly
" and "Seward's Polar Bear Garden."
The purchase was met by substantial opposition in the US, some calling it "Seward's Folly
" or "Seward's Icebox".
It was called Seward's Folly
by opponents in reference to US Secretary of State William H Seward, who helped negotiate the deal.
Americans were skeptical that this frozen wilderness was worth $7.2 million, and called it "Seward's folly
," after Secretary of State William Seward, who negotiated the purchase.
In 1867, America purchased Alaska from Russia and with it Russia's assertion of sovereignty over Alaska's interior tribes, and because of its harsh climate and remote location, most Americans thought William Seward was foolish to have spent $7 million on these frozen acres, dubbing the new territory "Seward's Ice Box" or "Seward's Folly
." Great Britain, and later Canada, similarly bought their way to sovereign expansion, not by purchasing the land from a competing power but by entering into a series of numbered treaties, nation to nation, that brought the western tribes into its expanding confederation.
1867: Alaska was bought by America from Russia for 7.2 million dollars - less than two cents an acre, but the deal was still seen as so bad by some in the US it was called "Seward's Folly
" after the Secretary of State who pushed it through.
Epithets such as "Seward's Folly
" and "Seward's Icebox" began to sound across the land.
Even though he had little to do with it otherwise, he has been unfairly blamed by historians for "Seward's Folly
." At any rate, had Russia not intervened in the War Between the States, it might have ended very differently, and Alaska would likely still be a Russian territory !