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Ignoring, as we do, the birthright of aboriginal races, that have no Christianity, steel, or gunpowder, we may say that the title to the Mississippi Valley (V) vi PREFACE.
Therein we did well, have that much more to be proud of, and to confirm us in our own esteem as a great and good nation; therein lies the great merit — the price we paid. What we did not steal ourselves we bought from those who did, and bought it cheap. BANCROFT, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. Trinkets and trickery in the first instance, followed by some bluster, a little fighting, and a little money, and we have a very fair patch of earth, with a good title, in which there is plenty of equity, humanity, sacred rights, and star-spangled banner. Srt'«a,'o N4680V2270 Entered according to Act of Congress ia the Year 1886, by HUBERT H. On the whole, the people of the United States have not paid an exorbitant price for the ground upon which to build a nation. Nor with money easy, was Alaska a bad bargain at two cents an acre. In the case of Alaska we have one instance where bluster would not win; fighting was not to be thought of; and so we could pay for the stationary icebergs or let them alone.
Texas came easily; while one month's interest, at the then current rates, on the gold picked up in the Sierra Foothills during the first five years of American occupation would repay the cost of the Mexican war, and all that was given for California and the adjoining territory.
was settled, and the Oregon Territory adjudged to be ours by divine right.
ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 3 1833 00560 9760 ^c 979,3 B22hi Bancroft. The area of Alaska is greater than that of the thirteen original states of the Union, its extreme length being more than two thousand miles, and its extreme breadth about fourteen hundred; while its coast-line, including bays and islands, is greater than the circumference of the earth.
If better known to-day, its resources are no better appreciated; and there are many who still deny that, apart from fish and fur-bearing ani mals, the country has any resources.
In 1867 there were few who held this opinion, and not one in a hundred, even of those who were best in- formed, believed the territory to be worth the pur- chase money.
It was indeed cheaper than stealing, now that the savages receive the teachings and diseases of civilization in reservations.