Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Alaska, a territory of the United States, to which it was ceded by Russia in 1867 for a payment of $7,200,000. It comprises not merely the peninsula that bears the name but a vast tract 1,100 miles long and 800 miles wide, with an area of 514,700 square miles. A line drawn N. from Mount St. Elias along the 141° W. long, to the Arctic Ocean would cut off the territory from the continent of N. America, but in addition to this there is a narrow strip some 50 miles in breadth that extends down the Pacific Coast to British Columbia. The coast-line is not less than 7,860 miles, and there are innumerable islands. The principal river, the Yukon or Kwichpak, rises in British America, receives the Porcupine and other large tributaries and empties an enormous body of water into the sea near Norton Sound. The Copper river, the Suschitna, the Mischagak, etc., fall into the Pacific, and the Colville into the Arctic Ocean. The mountain range that runs all along the Pacific shore is prolonged into Alaska, and besides Mount St. Elias (14,970 ft.) has several other active volcanoes. The wealth of the country consists in fur-bearing animals, timber, and fish, for it is too cold and wet for agriculture. There are probably mineral resources, especially coal and iron. Sitka in the island of that name, lat. 57° 3' N. (average temperature 42° Fahr.), is the seat of government, which is purely military. Other settlements are Fort Nicholas on Cook's Inlet, and Fort St. Michael on Norton Sound.