In the year 1866 the Russians wanted to sell a large piece of land. They wanted to sell this land to the United States. Nobody in the United States was interested. But one man was interested and his name was William H. Seward. He was the United States Secretary of State during the Civil War. Seward convinced the United States congress that they should buy this land. He worked out an agreement with Baron Edward Stoeckl of Russia.
In 1866 the United States bought this land for $7,200,000. It only cost 2¢ an acre but most of the people in the United States were angry that Seward bought this land. It came to be known as Seward's Folly. Later the United States named this land Alaska.
At first it seemed like a lot of money, but when oil was discovered 100 years later the United States government made a lot of money. It wasn't really a mistake to buy Alaska. At this site you will learn about the regions of Alaska and you can make your own judgment about the land that is called Alaska and sometimes Seward's Folly. Click on the region you want to learn about and it will take you straight to that region.