The Alaska Purchase Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The treaty covering the sale of Alaska to the United States has been a document of interest to more than just those residents of what is now the forty-ninth state. It was and is, rather, the second largest purchase of territory by the United States; only the Louisiana Purchase is larger. The Alaska Purchase represented one of the high points in diplomatic relations between the Unites States and Russia. The treaty outlined the peaceful transfer of ownership from Russia to the United States and recognized the rights of the Russians who were living in the territory. At the same time, no rights were given to the Native peoples.

Summary Overview

The treaty covering the sale of Alaska to the United States has been a document of interest to more than just those residents of what is now the forty-ninth state. It was and is, rather, the second largest purchase of territory by the United States; only the Louisiana Purchase is larger. The Alaska Purchase represented one of the high points in diplomatic relations between the Unites States and Russia. The treaty outlined the peaceful transfer of ownership from Russia to the United States and recognized the rights of the Russians who were living in the territory. At the same time, no rights were given to the Native peoples.

The second document examined here—a brief memoir by the son of US Senator and Secretary of State William Seward—who was principally responsible for the treaty, adds a human dimension to the story. It illustrates the degree of trust existing at the time between the two nations and their leaders. The anecdotes that make up this narrative help one to understand the difference between diplomacy in 1867 and diplomacy in later years.

Defining Moment

With the Civil War having ended in 1865, the vision of many once again turned to the expansion of the nation and the development of the West. Although much still needed to be done to reincorporate the South into the Union, the West represented the hopes of many, even before the war ended. Thus, the administration of President Andrew Johnson sought to move forward on an issue on which the nation was relatively unified. Having given then Secretary of State William Seward full control of American diplomacy, the Johnson administration followed Seward's lead with respect to the acquisition of Alaska. From the Russian perspective, Alaska had come to be seen as a rather precarious asset. Russia was now determined to gain some benefit from its territory, and the Americans seemed to be the only nation interested in it. Additionally, great changes that had occurred in Russia during the early 1860s meant that the Russian Empire was now in need of money. The sale of Alaska satisfied the desires of both nations and their leaders.

Although Congress was skeptical of anything that President Johnson proposed, Secretary Seward was a consummate politician, and he enlisted leaders in the Senate to get the treaty ratified. Thus, the proposal that he had set forth was not altered by the Senate. The technical descriptions of the territory, and the manner in which private and governmental property was to be treated, served both nations well, and no further problems arose regarding the change in nationality. The exchange was also accepted by the other nations of the world as a valid exercise.

The reflections by Frederick Seward on the Alaska Purchase were included in his autobiography, published a year after his death. The passage included here was, it seems, written in the previous decade and intended as a speech. While it was principally written to strengthen the Sewards' legacy, it was also used to create continued public support for the expansion of American territorial interests. The younger Seward's ability to supply details not normally included in history books and his understanding of how Alaska had contributed far more than the pessimists at the time had assumed turned his account into something that supported the continued presence of the United States in Alaska (and other territories acquired at the end of the nineteenth century).

Author Biography

The Treaty with Russia (Alaska Purchase) was negotiated by William H. Seward (1801–1872) for the United States and Edward de Stoeckl (1804–1892) for the Russian Empire. It was ratified by the US Senate in a special session that opened the Fortieth Congress. Seward served as secretary of state under both presidents Lincoln and Johnson; previously, he had served as governor of New York and as a US senator from that state. His counterpart, de Stoeckl, was a career diplomat and served Russia in Washington from 1850 to 1869. The Senate that ratified the treaty was overwhelmingly (85 percent) Republican in composition—at a time when Republicans were the more liberal and progressive of the two major political parties.

Frederick Seward (1830–1915) was the son of William Seward and served as assistant secretary of state in the 1860s, when his father was secretary of state, and then again in the late 1870s. His reflections on the events surrounding the purchase of Alaska were included in the book Reminiscences of a War-Time Statesman and Diplomat, 1840–1915. In between stints in the State Department, he served in the New York State Assembly.

Historical Document

CONVENTION between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, for the Cession of the Russian Possessions in North America to the United States, Concluded at Washington, March 30, 1867; Ratification Advised by Senate, April 9, 1867; Ratified by President, May 28, 1867; Ratification Exchanged at Washington, June 20, 1867; Proclaimed, June 20, 1867.

The United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, being desirous of strengthening, if possible, the good understanding which exists between them, have, for that purpose, appointed as their Plenipotentiaries, the President of the United States, William H. Seward, Secretary of State; and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the Privy Counsellor Edward de Stoeckl, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States;

And the said Plenipotentiaries, having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due form, have agreed upon and signed the following articles:

Article I

His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, agrees to cede to the United States, by this convention, immediately upon the exchange of the ratifications thereof, all the territory and dominion now possessed by his said Majesty on the continent of America and in adjacent islands, the same being contained within the geographical limits herein set forth, to wit: The eastern limit is the line of demarcation between the Russian and the British possessions in North America, as established by the convention between Russia and Great Britain, of February 28—16, 1825, and described in Articles III and IV of said convention, in the following terms:

“III Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of 54 degrees 40 minutes north latitude, and between the 131st and 133d degree of west longitude (meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the north along the channel called Portland Channel, as far as the point of the continent where it strikes the 56th degree of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast, as far as the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude (of the same meridian); and finally, from the said point of intersection, the said meridian line of the 141st degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean.

“IV With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the preceding article, it is understood—

“1st That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia” (now, by this cession to the United States).

“2d That whenever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction parallel to the coast, from the 56th degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude, shall prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between the British possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia as above mentioned (that is to say, the limit to the possessions ceded by this convention), shall be formed by a line parallel to the winding of the coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom.”

The western limit within which the territories and dominion conveyed are contained passes through a point in Behring's Straits on the parallel of sixty-five degrees thirty minutes north latitude, at its intersection by the meridian which passes midway between the islands of Krusenstern of Ignalook, and the island of Ratmanoff, or Noonarbook, and proceeds due north without limitation, into the same Frozen Ocean. The same western limit, beginning at the same initial point, proceeds thence in a course nearly southwest, through Behring's Straits and Behring's Sea, so as to pass midway between the northwest point of the island of St. Lawrence and the southeast point of Cape Choukotski, to the meridian of one hundred and seventy-two west longitude; thence, from the intersection of that meridian, in a southwesterly direction, so as to pass midway between the island of Attou and the Copper Island of the Kormandorski couplet or group, in the North Pacific Ocean, to the meridian of one hundred and ninety-three degrees west longitude, so as to include in the territory conveyed the whole of the Aleutian Islands east of that meridian.

Article II

In the cession of territory and dominion made by the preceding article, are included the right of property in all public lots and squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks, and other edifies which are not private individual property. It is, however, understood and agreed, that the churches which have been built in the ceded territory by the Russian Government, shall remain the property of such members of the Greek Oriental Church resident in the territory as may choose to worship therein. Any Government archives, papers, and documents relative to the territory and dominion aforesaid, which may now be existing there, will be left in the possession of the agent of the United States; but an authenticated copy of such of them as may be required, will be, at all times, given by the United States to the Russian Government, or to such Russian officers or subjects as they may apply for.

Article III

The inhabitants of the ceded territory, according to their choice, reserving their natural allegiance, may return to Russia within three years; but if they should prefer to remain in the ceded territory, they, with the exception of uncivilized native tribes, shall be admitted to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States, and shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion. The uncivilized tribes will be subject to such laws and regulations as the United States may from time to time adopt in regard to aboriginal tribes of that country.

Article IV

His Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, shall appoint, with convenient despatch, an agent or agents for the purpose of formally delivering to a similar agent or agents, appointed on behalf of the United States, the territory, dominion, property, dependencies, and appurtenances which are ceded as above, and for doing any other act which may be necessary in regard thereto. But the cession, with the right of immediate possession, is nevertheless to be deemed complete and absolute on the exchange of ratifications, without waiting for such formal delivery.

Article V

Immediately after the exchange of the ratifications of this convention, any fortifications or military posts which may be in the ceded territory shall be delivered to the agent of the United States, and any Russian troops which may be in the territory shall be withdrawn as soon as may be reasonably and conveniently practicable.

Article VI

In consideration of the cession aforesaid, the United States agree to pay at the Treasury in Washington, within ten months after the exchange of the ratifications of this convention, to the diplomatic representative or other agent of His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, duly authorized to receive the same, seven million two hundred thousand dollars in gold. The cession of territory and dominion herein made is hereby declared to be free and unincumbered by any reservations, privileges, franchises, grants, or possessions, by any associated companies, whether corporate or incorporate, Russian or any other; or by any parties, except merely private individual property-holders; and the cession hereby made conveys all the rights, franchises, and privileges now belonging to Russia in the said territory or dominion, and appurtenances thereto.

Article VII

When this convention shall have been duly ratified by the President, of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the one part, and, on the other, by His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington within three months from the date thereof, or sooner if possible.

In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this convention, and thereto affixed the seals of their arms.

Done at Washington, the thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven.

William H. Seward [L. S.]

Edward de Stoeckl [L. S.]

* * *

[Frederick Seward, son of Senator William Seward, reflects on the Alaska Purchase, circa 1916]

It was during this period [c. 1860], that Senator William Henry Seward, in a speech at St. Paul, Minnesota, made his memorable prediction:

“Standing here and looking far off into the Northwest, I see the Russian, as he busily occupies himself in establishing sea-ports and towns and fortifications, on the verge of this continent as the outposts of St Petersburg: and I can say…Go on, and build up your outposts all along the coast, up even to the Arctic Ocean, they will yet become the outposts of my own country, —monuments of the civilization of the United States in the Northwest.”

Soon after came our great Civil War. There were many evidences of unfriendly feeling on the part of foreign powers. But Russia remained a constant friend. Unequivocal good wishes for the maintenance and restoration of the Union were expressed by the Emperor Alexander II, and his prime minister, Prince Gortschakoff, and their diplomatic agents. As a manifestation of national amity two fleets were sent over, one anchoring at San Francisco, and the other visiting Washington and New York, where exchange of hospitalities marked the entente cordiale, between the governments.

Senator Seward had now become Secretary of State. One of the lessons which the war had forcibly impressed upon him was our lack of naval outposts in the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. The cordial relations existing with Russia enabled him to at once open informal discussion of the subject with Mr. Stoecki, the Russian Minister. He found that Russia would in no case allow her American possessions to pass into the hands of any European power. But the United States always had been, and probably always would be a friend. Russian America was a remote province, not easily defensible, and not likely to be soon developed. Under American control it would develop more rapidly and be more easily defended. To Russia, instead of a source of danger, it might become a safeguard. To the United States it would give a foothold for commercial and naval operations, accessible from the Pacific States.

Seward and Gortschakoff were not long in arriving at an agreement upon a subject which instead of embarrassing with conflicting interests, presented some mutual advantages. After the graver question of national ownership came the minor one of pecuniary cost. The measure of the value of land to an individual owner, is the amount of yearly income it can be made to produce. But national domain gives prestige, power and safety to the state, and so is not easily to be measured by dollars and cents. Millions cannot purchase these, nor compensate for their loss. However, it was necessary to fix upon a definite sum, to be named in the treaty,—not so small as to belittle the transaction in the public eye, nor so large as to deprive it of its real character as an act of friendship on the part of Russia toward the United States. Neither side was especially tenacious about the amount. The previous treaties for the acquisition of territory from France, Spain and Mexico seemed to afford an index for valuation. The Russians thought $10,000,000 would be a reasonable amount. Seward proposed $5,000,000. Dividing the difference made it $7,500,000. Then at Seward's suggestion, the half million was thrown off, but the territory was still subject to some franchises and privileges of the Russian Fur Company. Seward insisted that these should be extinguished by the Russian Government before the transfer, and was willing that $200,000 should be added on that account to the $7,000,000. At this valuation of $7,200,000 the bargain could be deemed satisfactory, even from the stand point of an individual fisherman, miner, or woodcutter, for the timber, mines, furs and fisheries would easily yield the annual interest on that sum.

On the evening of Friday, March 29th, Seward was playing whist in his parlor with some of his family, when the Russian Minister was announced.

“I have a dispatch, Mr. Seward, from my government, by cable. The Emperor gives his consent to the cession. Tomorrow, if you like, I will come to the Department and we can enter upon the treaty.”

Seward, with a smile of satisfaction pushed away the whist table, saying:

“Why wait till tomorrow, Mr. Stoeckl? Let us make the treaty tonight.”

“But your Department is closed. You have no clerks, and my secretaries are scattered about the town,” said Stoeckl.

“Never mind that,” responded Seward. “If you can muster your legation together before midnight, you will find me awaiting you at the Department, which will be open and ready for business.”

In less than two hours afterward light was streaming out of the windows of the Department of State and apparently business was going on as at midday. By four o'clock on Saturday morning, the treaty was engrossed, signed, sealed and ready for transmission by the President to the Senate. There was need of this haste, in order that it might be acted upon before the end of the session, now near at hand.

I was then the Assistant Secretary of State. To me had been assigned the duty of finding Mr. [Charles] Sumner, the Chairman of the Committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, to inform him of the negotiations in progress, and to urge his advocacy of the treaty in the Senate…

On the following morning, while the Senate was considering its favorite theme of administrative delinquencies the Sergeant-at-Arms announced: “A message from the President of the United States.” Glances were significantly exchanged, with the muttered remark, “Another veto!”—Great was the surprise in the Chamber, when the Secretary read, “A Treaty for the cession of Russian America.”—Nor was the surprise lessened, when the Chairman of Foreign Relations, a leading opponent of the President, rose, to move favorable action. His remarks showed easy familiarity with the subject, and that he was prepared to give reasons for the speedy approval of the treaty.

The debate which followed in the Senate was animated and earnest, but in the end the treaty was confirmed. But the purchase was not consummated without a storm of raillery in conversation and ridicule in the press. Russian America was declared to be, “a barren, worthless, God-forsaken region, whose only products were ice bergs and polar bears.” It was said that the ground was frozen six feet deep and the streams were glaciers. “Walrussia” was suggested as a name for it, if it deserved to have any. Vegetation was said to be limited to mosses, and no useful animals could live there. There might be some few wretched fish, only fit for wretched Esquimaux to eat. But nothing could be raised there. Seven millions of good money were going to be wasted in buying it. Many more millions would have to be spent in holding and defending it,—for it was remote, inhospitable, and inaccessible. It was “Seward's Folly.” It was “Johnson's Polar Bear Garden.” It was “an egregious blunder, a bad bargain, palmed off on a silly Administration by the shrewd Russians”…

Most of these jeers and flings were from those who disliked the President and blamed Seward for remaining in his Cabinet. Perhaps unwillingness to believe that anything wise or right could be done by “Andy Johnson's Administration,” was the real reason for the wrath visited upon the unoffending Territory. The feeling of hostility to the purchase was so strong that the House of Representatives would not take action toward accepting the territory or appropriate any money to pay for it.

The Russian Government courteously waived any demand for immediate payment, and signified readiness to make the final transfer whenever the United States might desire. Accordingly, commissioners were appointed, who proceeded to Sitka. On a bright day in August, 1867, with brief but impressive ceremonies, amid salutes from the Russian and American naval vessels, the American flag was raised over the new territory to be thenceforth known as “Alaska.”

It was not until the 27th of July in the following year that the act making appropriation to pay for Alaska was finally passed and approved—the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House, Gen. Banks, being its effective advocate. On the next day the Secretary of State made his requisition upon the Treasury for $7,200,000 to be paid to the Russian Government.

The United States, at first, merely garrisoned the forts at Wrangell, Tongass and Sitka, with small detachments of troops. The Russian inhabitants generally remained, but they were few. The Indians were peaceable and friendly in the neighborhood of the forts, though sometimes warlike in the remoter regions. A shrewd old Indian chief was one day watching the soldiers drilling. He said to the commander: “What for you work your men on land with guns? Why you no work them on water with canoes?” It was a valuable suggestion. As the Indians lived principally on fish and marine animals, their villages were all on the shores of bays, sounds and rivers. Armed vessels, patrolling the waters could easily control them, while soldiers cooped up in garrison or struggling through forests would be useless. When this became understood at Washington, naval vessels and revenue cutters were ordered to Alaskan waters, and rendered good service there…

Alaska was left for some years under the supervision of the military and naval and revenue officers of the government—their chief duties being, to keep the peace, arrest criminals, collect the revenue and prevent smuggling, especially of illicit liquors and firearms.—Meanwhile, fur traders and explorers continued to go there in increasing numbers, but emigrants generally were deterred from going to a region where the settler could not get a title to house or land, and could not feel assured of adequate protection or redress at law. Congress was engrossed by other matters, and so neglected the remote province, which the general public seemed to regard with indifference,—for the old notion of its being all bleak and barren still had hold of the popular imagination.

Yet there were sagacious and enterprising business men, especially on the Pacific Coast, who perceived that there were potentialities of wealth in Alaska. They availed themselves of the opportunities and organized companies for seal fishing, fur trading, salmon canning and quartz mining, —most of which succeeded beyond expectation.

But most important and most beneficent of all was the work done by the missionaries and school teachers. Various denominations established missions, churches and schools at widely separated points. The Presbyterians took the lead, but were soon followed by others. Wisely devoting their chief attention to the education of the native children, they soon wrought a marvellous transformation. Laying aside the habits and ideas of savage life, these pupils began to acquire those of educated American citizens. The government at Washington next took part in the good work, and Congress made an appropriation for schools, that were placed under the supervision of the Bureau of Education. Under the judicious direction of Dr. Sheldon Jackson and others, instruction was given not merely in school books but in useful trades and handicrafts, enabling the pupils to become at once civilized and self supporting.

It was a surprise to the Eastern public, when they were informed, a few years since, that the neglected territory was already paying into the national treasury more than it had cost, and that its productions and revenue were yearly increasing. Within another decade, the explorers, miners and prospectors began to report their discoveries of gold, silver, copper and coal in apparently inexhaustible supply. Alaska commenced repaying its cost price over and over again, each year,—so that now, in return for our seven millions, we are likely to have seventy times seven.

During the last year of Seward's life [1872] he was visited at Auburn by Frank Carpenter, who painted the historic picture of “The Emancipation Proclamation.” The artist asked him:

“Governor Seward, which of your public acts do you think will live longest in the memory of the American People?” Seward replied, “The purchase of Alaska. But,” he added, “it will take another generation to find it out.”

Glossary

entente cordiale: friendship between nations, but not a formal treaty

Frozen Ocean: the Arctic Ocean

plenipotentiary: a diplomat with power to represent all aspects of a government

Document Analysis

The acquisition of Alaska by the United States, was an important step in the development of the nation and in its relations with European powers. The official treaty outlined a clear process for the transition of power and illustrated the ease of friendly nations working together. The treaty, as well as the memoir, demonstrate some of the differences in nineteenth-century diplomacy versus that of the twenty-first century. Two men in 1867 could sit in an office and draw up a major agreement without outside interference or assistance. The memoir also demonstrates the vision that William Seward had for the nation, as well as his understanding of the American political system. From the time of the Klondike gold rush (1896–99), most have accepted the purchase as having been a good economic investment, quite beside the military and other civilian values the territory has had for the United States down through the decades.

While the memoir only mentions the highpoints in the process of negotiations, it can easily be seen that the talks flowed very smoothly. Although not formal allies, Russia and the United States had been on good terms since America's independence. With the common goal of limiting the power of Western European nations, the two had worked peacefully together, even when there had been territorial competition between the nations over the West Coast of North America. The terms used to describe the boundaries of Alaska were taken from previous treaties, to clearly show that Russia would have no territorial claims in North America. The ease of arriving at a common figure of $7 million for the territory was facilitated by the fact that, while asking for $10 million, the Russian minister had actually been instructed to get no less than $5 million for the sale. Seward's decision to work through the night to prepare the final text suggests a somewhat unusual way of doing business, but it reflects his understanding regarding the Congressional schedule and the need to get the treaty completed and ratified quickly.

Although Russia might have been seen as a second-tier European nation, having lost the Crimean War ten years earlier, the fact that the United States and Russia could negotiate as equals helped reestablish America's position in Europe. The American Civil War had caused many in Europe to question America's viability, but this latest diplomatic undertaking, two years after the end of the war, put the European nations on notice that things in the Western Hemisphere were back to normal. Thus, the purchase of Alaska not only helped solidify American's position in the Pacific, it also indicated that the United States was once again looking outward.

Much of the memoir has to do with American politics. The fact that the secretary of state was given a free hand to negotiate with Russia was unusual. Placing the document before the Senate less than twelve hours after its completion is something that is unheard of in the present era. The Sewards' understanding of who needed to be convinced prior to taking it to the Senate and their ability to do so quickly was a key to the treaty's ratification. Also, although appropriating the money that was required represented a longer process, the Sewards' ability to get that done under an unpopular president indicates their prowess regarding the political system in which they worked. They seem to have understood the significance of the Alaska acquisition to a much greater degree than most, not just in economic terms but in terms of the possibilities it offered to the United States.

Essential Themes

The treaty transferring Alaska to the United States was clear in its intent, and the eastern border of Alaska was the same as that outlined in the 1825 Anglo-Russian Convention. Exactly how to measure the line determined by the “summit of the mountains” parallel to the coast, however, was somewhat ambiguous, and the exact line was only clarified by arbitration between the Americans and British in 1903. The southernmost point in Alaska had been settled by the 1825 Anglo-Russian Convention, and the 1824 Russo-American Treaty. The exclusion of the “uncivilized native tribes” from any protections regarding their civil liberties and their exclusion from automatic American citizenship reflects the era in which the treaty was written. Just as Russia had not included native peoples as citizens in its empire, so too in this case would they be turned over to the mercies of the American government. They were included in the sale, rather, as part of the “appurtenances” conveyed to the United States. The work to “civilize” the Native inhabitants was seen by Frederick Seward as a major accomplishment of the early decades, although many today might see things differently. As the territory increasingly became a military district, the movement of people into Alaska from the states and territories south of Canada was very slow. The types of military conflicts experienced elsewhere in the West—i.e., wars between Native Americans and Euroamerican settlers—did not occur in the case of Alaska.

The fact that William Seward so eagerly entered into negotiations for the purchase of Alaska illustrates that he regarded the territory as important not only militarily but economically and in other respects as well. His observation that this act was his greatest accomplishment says much, particularly since he had worked hard during the Civil War to keep the British and French from aligning themselves with the Confederates and, after the war, had pressured Napoleon III into leaving Mexico. If any of these other endeavors had turned out differently, the United States might have had to forge a different path to achieve its goals. Seward's willingness to work with an unpopular president and with a sluggish Congress showed his determination to help the nation move toward the goals he had set for it: to become the preeminent nation in the world. For him and for others, the purchase of Alaska was a major step toward that goal.

Bibliography and Additional Reading
  • Office of the Historian. “Biographies of the Secretaries of State: William Henry Seward.” U.S. Department of State, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
  • Manaev, Georgy. “Why Did Russia Sell Alaska to the United States?” Russia Beyond the Headlines. Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 20 Apr. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
  • Seward, Frederick W. Reminiscences of a War-Time Statesman and Diplomat 1830–1915. New York: Putnam's Sons, 1916. Print.
  • Stahr, Walter. Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man. Boston: Simon & Schuster, 2012. Print.
  • “Treaty with Russia for the Purchase of Alaska.” Web Guides: Primary Documents in American History. Library of Congress, 2012. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
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