The following information, though not an accomplishment specific to Governor Palin is important to our country’s history — and is an important part of who the Governor is, thus it warrants posting here.
Governor Sarah Palin today joins Alaskans in observing Seward’s Day, an official state holiday commemorating the anniversary of the date on which the Alaska Purchase Treaty was signed (Seward’s Day, 2009, ¶1).
“It is appropriate that we celebrate this day,” said the governor. “With the purchase of Alaska from Russia, the United States expanded its Pacific influence, gained tremendous natural resources, and made the United States an Arctic nation, one of only eight such nations today” (Seward’s Day, 2009, ¶2).
The agreement that finalized the purchase of Alaska from Russia was signed by U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Russian Minister to United States Edouard de Stoeckl on March 30, 1867. The purchase price was $7.2 million, and the official transfer followed many years of work by both sides (Seward’s Day, 2009, ¶3).
For more information about the 1867 purchase and the key players in the sale, see the United States Library of Congress website, “Meeting of Frontiers,” at http://international.loc.gov/intldl/mtfhtml/mfak/mfaksale_gkey.html (Seward’s Day, 2009, ¶4).
The purchase of Alaska 142 years ago yesterday is obviously not one of Governor Palin’s accomplishments, but it is nonetheless part and parcel of who she is. She is cut from the same mold as her forebears of 150 years ago and is arguably the last living American Pioneer. Governor Palin has devoted her entire life to the state of Alaska, including all 17 years of her political career. The Iditarod and the Iron Dog have punctuated her life. From the moment she held shrimp in her tiny hands in Skagway Bay, to the time she waited tables in Dillingham, commercially fished in Bristol Bay — with a broken hand, to those mornings she shot, cleaned, gutted, and brought home the moose meat, and her meteoric rise to the position of Governor — Sarah Louise Heath Palin is Mrs. Alaska. I don’t mean this in the beauty contest sense of the term, though she did win Miss Congeniality (second place) in that one and outright won another one.
When I say “Mrs. Alaska,” I mean that Alaska and Governor Palin are inextricably bound. She has named two of her children after locations in Alaska. When she was in Texas at the National Governor Association meeting and broke water for Trig, she excused herself and hauled herself back to Alaska — nine hours and over 5,000 miles specifically so Trig could be born on Alaskan soil.
In 1,390 days, we may be taking Governor Palin out of Alaska for four — hopefully eight years, when she is called to carry Ronald Reagan’s torch, re-establish American exceptionalism and capitalism, bring about energy independence, purge and cleanse Washington D.D. of the taint that now resides there. We are asking the people of Alaska to graciously loan their daughter to the nation. When she has completed her calling — hopefully on January 20, 2021, Governor Palin will make that long journey back home. But for now, Governor Palin must answer a calling that goes beyond her home state and extends to every state, every commonwealth, and every possession.
Rest assured: we can take Governor Sarah Palin out of Alaska, but no one will ever take Alaska out of who we hope to one day refer to as “President Palin.”
Governor Palin joins Alaskans in observing Seward’s Day. (2009, March 30). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 31, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1730
Meeting of Frontiers. (n.d.). Library of Congress. Retrieved March 31, 2009 from: http://international.loc.gov/intldl/mtfhtml/mfak/mfaksale_gkey.html