Poetry and Alaska: William Henry Seward's Alaskan purchase and Bret Harte's "An Arctic Vision"

Higginson, Ian N. (1997) Poetry and Alaska: William Henry Seward's Alaskan purchase and Bret Harte's "An Arctic Vision". Arctic, 50 (4). pp. 334-348. ISSN 0004-0843. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

On 30 Match 1867, William Henry Seward, American Secretary of State (1861-69), provoked controversy both at hom and abroad by si,signing: the treaty that ceded Russian America to the United States. On the East: Coast: cf. America, reactions to the newly renamed Alaska were, coloured bq a personal antipathy towards Seward and the administration that he sewed. The British considered the cession unfriendly towards their ongoing foreign policy of Canadian confederation in British North America. Geographically, Alaska, now under United States central, lay menacingly adjacent to the west and north of British Columbia. This potentially vulnerable British colony, which had not then entered thp Canadian; Confederation;nn quickly;,became the focus of conflicting territorial ambitions. For Britain, British Columbia would supply Canada with a much-needed Pacific coastline, while for Seward, it would link Alaska and Washington Territory to form a continuous Pacific coastline For the United States. For ten fraught days, Seward fought to ratify? the Alaska treaty. On the West Coast, where the economic benefits of Alaska's purchase were more immediate, Seward won the approval of the popular press. Among his less likely supporters was the American writer and journalise, (Francis) Bret Harte. Harte, author of such stories of mining life as "The Luck of Roaring, Camp," and conventionally thought to be a writer of western literature, turned his attention northward with a poem entitled "An Arctic Vision.".

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Alaska purchase; American imperialism; Arctic poetry/criticism; British Columbia; Canadian confederation; Francis Bret Harte; William Henry Seward; Frederick Whymper
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: M.A. Ziai
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2009 10:20
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 10:53
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/18103 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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