The Alaska Purchase (March 30, 1867)
On this day in 1867: The U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for US$7.2 million.
Big deal, eh?
‘Historian Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer summarized the minority opinion of some American newspaper editors who opposed the purchase:
Already, so it was said, we were burdened with territory we had no population to fill. The Indians within the present boundaries of the republic strained our power to govern aboriginal peoples. Could it be that we would now, with open eyes, seek to add to our difficulties by increasing the number of such peoples under our national care? The purchase price was small; the annual charges for administration, civil and military, would be yet greater, and continuing. The territory included in the proposed cession was not contiguous to the national domain. It lay away at an inconvenient and a dangerous distance. The treaty had been secretly prepared, and signed and foisted upon the country at one o’clock in the morning. It was a dark deed done in the night… The New York World said that it was a “sucked orange.” It contained nothing of value but furbearing animals, and these had been hunted until they were nearly extinct. Except for the Aleutian Islands and a narrow strip of land extending along the southern coast the country would be not worth taking as a gift… Unless gold were found in the country much time would elapse before it would be blessed with Hoe printing presses, Methodist chapels and a metropolitan police. It was “a frozen wilderness.” — Oberholtzer’Wikipedia
When gold was found next door in the Yukon Territory, later, that helped to populate Alaska.
One in the morning… yields one inconjunct:
Moon Inconjunct Uranus
Your relationship with your mother [country] may be rather unstable. She may be very involved in her own interests, which prevent her from being as close to you as she would be otherwise. She may be an unconventional person, a real free spirit. The problem is that your feelings about her are mixed, both loving and unloving. You may secretly resent her. Probably you don’t feel that you can express this consciously, but it could come out when you are angry or upset. Certainly this will result in not wanting to form close relationships with other people, especially women. And the people you do choose as close friends are likely to be exciting and different from anyone you have known in the past. However, they may also be rather upsetting.
(One thought occurs to me: will Vladimir Putin decide to invade and ‘liberate’ Alaska, too?)
Yesterday in History page.