WILLIAM H. SEWARD
In March 1867, Czar Alexander II dispatched his ambassador to the US to negotiate the sale of Alaska from Russia to the United States. The price negotiated, $7.2 million ($106 million in 2016 dollars), or 2 cents/acre represented remarkable value at the time. At the time, the American West had yet to be settled, a brutal Civil War was still present in the American consciousness and Reconstruction divided the Nation. As a result, many derided this extraordinary purchase as “Seward’s Folly.” Detractors would be proven wrong with time, as Alaska became a strong contributor to the American economy beginning in the 1890s, first with natural resources (gold, timber, oil and commercial fishing) and more recently with eco/adventure-tourism.
Seward Capital is named for Secretary of State William H. Seward, who saw the strategic value in Alaska and had the wisdom and discipline to drive the right bargain when it mattered most.
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