Saturday, August 15, 2015

What $7.2 Million will Buy -- 7/16/2015

Oh, wait!  There's more to see in Sitka!

The grounds of the battles between the Tlingit and the Russians calls to us, and we go, stopping to enjoy two bald eagles resting on a boat mast in our marina.

From an interpretive panel on the battle grounds we learn that the Russian-American Company, which had managed the colonies, was losing money and it would be too expensive to continue to defend the colonies against the Tlingits. Deciding to sell to the United States, the ambassador Eduard de Stoecklmet with the US Secretary of State, William Seward, to work out a deal.

In 1867 the U.S.S. Ossipee arrived with Russian Commissioner Captain Alexis Pestchouroff and American Commissioner General Louvell H. Rousseau, and with a delegation attending, the transfer was made for a price of $7.2 million.

The Russian flag was caught in the lanyards during its lowering. Several soldiers were unsuccessful in attempts to climb the flagpole and free the flag.  A sling was rigged and a Russian soldier raised to the flag, but he dropped it after freeing it.  Gasps were heard as the flag dropped and was blown onto the Russian soldiers' bayonets.  The ceremony continued with the quick raising of the American flag.  Alaska's 586,412 sq. mi. now belonged to the United States. 

The Sitka Sound Science Museum is so named for the marine life and specimens taken from the Sound.

Humpback Whale Jawbone


Orca Skeleton

This raven helmet, displayed in the Shelton Jackson Museum, was part of the war garb worn by Katlian, battle leader of the Kiks.adi Clan of the Tlingit Indians during the conflict with the Russians.  

Of special interest to Herb and me is this early Ulu blade used by the Aleuts, because we have a more modern one - stainless steel blade -- which we purchased years ago on a trip to Anchorage AK.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, July 16, 2015

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