Purchase of Alaska
March 30, 1867
How much do you think a state is worth? On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. Do you think this was too much to pay for a piece of land that was mostly unexplored? At the time, critics thought Seward was crazy and called the deal "Seward's folly." Seward was laughed at for his willingness to spend so much on "Seward's icebox" and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden."