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U.S. Treasury Warrant in the Amount of $7.2 Million, for the Purchase of Alaska

Treasury Warrant for AlaskaAugust 1, 1868
National Archives,
Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury

With this check, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. The check was made payable to the Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl, who negotiated the deal for the Russians. Stoeckl’s endorsement on the back allowed for the transfer of funds and territory.

Student Interest:

  • Primary source documents often appear in a familiar format. The familiarity encourages students to build upon their prior knowledge.
  • When the significance of a document is a mystery, its clues prompt students to conduct further research.

Teachers' note:

You can find this document featured in a learning activity in the Digital Classroom section of the National Archives web site at www.archives.gov/education/lessons/alaska/cancelled-check.html, in the September 2003 issue of Cobblestone Magazine, and in Our Documents. In each instance, the learning activities emphasize foreign relations and suggest cross-curricular connections to economics.

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