What happened to the money from the sale of Alaska

What happened to the money from the sale of Alaska

The purchase of Alaska has strengthened the United States. The money paid for it paid off in a short time, and the strategic plus for the United States from this transaction simply cannot be overestimated. As for Russia ... The money from the sale of Alaska did not fall into the Empire.

The sale of Alaska is unique in that it consisted in a very narrow circle. Only six people knew about the proposed sale: Alexander II, Konstantin Romanov, Alexander Gorchakov (foreign minister), Mikhail Reytern (finance minister), Nikolai Krabbe (maritime minister) and Edaurd Stekl (Russian envoy to the USA). The fact that Alaska is sold to America became known only two months after the transaction. Its initiator is traditionally considered to be Reuters Finance Minister.

A year before the transfer of Alaska, he sent Alexander II a special note in which he pointed out the need for the strictest economy and stressed that the normal operation of the empire requires a three-year foreign loan of 15 million rubles each. in year.Thus, even the lower limit of the transaction amount designated by Reuters to 5 million rubles could cover a third of the annual loan. In addition, the state annually paid subsidies to the Russian-American company, the sale of Alaska saved Russia from these expenses. From the sale of Alaska, Cancer did not receive a penny.

Even before the Minister of Finance’s historical note, the idea of ​​selling Alaska was expressed by the Governor-General of Eastern Siberia Muraviev-Amursky. He said that it would be in the interests of Russia to improve relations with the United States in order to strengthen its positions on the Asian Pacific coast and to be friends with America against the British.


Alaska was for Russia a real gold mine. In the literal and figurative sense. One of the most expensive acquisitions of Alaska was the valuable fur of a rye, which was worth more than gold, but due to the greed and short-sightedness of the miners, by the forties of the 19th century, valuable animals were practically destroyed. In addition, oil and gold were discovered in Alaska. Oil was used for medicinal purposes at the time, and gold found in Alaska was, ironically, one of the incentives to sell Alaska as soon as possible.

American prospectors began to arrive in Alaska, and the Russian government rightly feared that American troops would come after the prospectors. Russia was not ready for war. To give Alaska, not receiving a penny for it, was at least imprudent.

Mormons and creeping colonization

Ten years before the sale of Alaska E.A. In 1857, Glass sent a dispatch to Petersburg in which he set forth a rumor about the possible emigration of representatives of the religious Mormon sect from the United States to Russian America, which the American president J. Buchanan himself hinted at in humorous form. Although it was only a rumor, Stekl wrote with dismay that in the event of a massive resettlement of American sectarians to Alaska, the Russian government would have an alternative: to offer armed resistance or to give up part of its territory.

In addition, there was a "creeping colonization", which consisted in the gradual resettlement of the British and Americans in Russian America and on adjacent lands. In the early 1860s, British smugglers began settling on Russian territory in the southern part of the arch. Alexander,despite the formal prohibitions of the colonial administration. Sooner or later it could lead to tensions and military conflicts.

Flag fall

October 18, 1867, at 15:30, the flag was changed on the flagpole in front of the house of the main ruler of Alaska. American and Russian troops lined up at the flagpole. At a signal, two non-commissioned officers began to lower the flag of a Russian-American company. The ceremony did not lose degrees of solemnity until the flag was tangled by the ropes at the very top, and the wig was not torn off. By order of the Russian Commissioner, several sailors rushed to climb up to unravel the flag, which hung on the mast in tatters. You didn’t have time to shout out to the sailor, who was the first to reach him, so that he did not throw the flag down, but would get down with him as he threw it from above: the flag fell directly on the Russian bayonets. Conspiracy therapists and mystics in this place should rejoice.

Bad reputation

Edward Glass played a significant role in the sale of Alaska. From 1850, he served as Chargé d'affaires ai of the Russian Embassy in Washington, and in 1854 he assumed the post of envoy. Glass was married to an American and was deeply integrated into the higher circles.American society. Extensive contacts helped him carry out the deal, he actively lobbied for the interests of his leadership. In order to persuade the US Senate to buy Alaska, he gave bribes and used all his connections.

Glass was dissatisfied with its remuneration in the amount of 25 thousand dollars and an annual pension of 6 thousand rubles. Edward Andreevich briefly arrived in St. Petersburg, but after leaving for Paris. Until the end of his life, he eschewed Russian society, just as it did. After selling Alaska, Glass had a bad name.

Was there gold?

The main secret of selling Alaska lies in the question: "Where is the money?". Glass received a check in the amount of 7 million 035 thousand dollars - from the original 7.2 million 21 thousand he kept for himself, and 144 thousand distributed as bribes to senators who had voted to ratify the treaty. 7 million were transferred to London by bank transfer, and already from London to St. Petersburg by sea they brought the gold bars bought for this amount.

When converting first to pounds, and then to gold, another 1.5 million were lost, but this was not the last loss. Bark "Orkney" (Orkney), on board which was a precious cargo, sank on July 16, 1868 on the approach to St. Petersburg. Whether gold was in it at that time, or whether it did not leave the limits of Albion at all, is unknown.The insurance company that insured the vessel and the cargo declared itself bankrupt, and the damage was only partially compensated.

Most likely, there was no gold at Orkney. During the search operation it was not found. Where has gone - the main mystery of the sale of Alaska.

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