Alaska Borough Histories

Alaska is divided into boroughs, not counties. Unlike county-equivalents in the other 49 states, boroughs do not cover the entire land area of the state. An area not part of any borough is referred to as the Unorganized Borough.

Flag of AlaskaAlaska was purchased from Russia on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million at approximately two cents per acre. The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized territory on May 11, 1912, and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.

The name “Alaska” was already introduced in the Russian colonial period, when it was used only for the peninsula and is derived from the Aleut alaxsxaq, meaning “the mainland” or, more literally, “the object towards which the action of the sea is directed”. It is also known as Alyeska, the “great land”, an Aleut word derived from the same root.

Starting in the 1890s and stretching in some places to the early 1910s, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska. Alaska was officially incorporated as an organized territory in 1912. Alaska’s capital, which had been in Sitka until 1906, was moved north to Juneau, and began to take shape with the construction of the Alaska Governor’s Mansion that same year.

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Collection Details

  1. JOHN J. UNDERWOOD, ALASKA AN EMPIRE IN THE MAKING. , DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY, 1915
  2. WILLIAM OGILVIE, EARLY DAYS ON THE YUKON & THE STORY OF ITS GOLD FINDS. , THORNBURN & ABBOTT, 1913
  3. MAJOR-GENERAL A. W. GREELY, U. S. A, HANDBOOK OF ALASKA: ITS RESOURCES, PRODUCTS, AND ATTRACTIONS. , CHARLES SCRIBNER#X0027;S SONS, 1909
  4. E. S. HARRISON, NOME AND SEWARD PENINSULA: HISTORY, DESCRIPTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND STORIES. , THE METROPOLITAN PRESS, 1905
  5. L. H. FRENCH, M. D, NOME NUGGETS: SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES OF A PARTY OF GOLD SEEKERS IN NORTHWESTERN ALASKA IN 1900. , MONTROSS, CLARKE & EMMONS, 1901
  6. LUCIA J. FRANKLIN, STORIES AND FACTS OF ALASKA: A WONDERFUL BOOK OF FASCINATING AND SURPRISING INFORMATION OF ALASKA’S VAST RESOURCES; A TRAVELERS GUIDE TO THE GOLD MINES, THE FARMING VALLEYS, THE COAL AND OIL FIELDS, AND THE DIFFERENT ROUTES TO ALASKA, AND COSTS OF TRIPS. , L. J. FRANKLIN, 1921
  7. LANIER MCKEE, THE LAND OF NOME. , THE GRAFTON PRESS, 1902
  8. C. L. ANDREWS, THE STORY OF SITKA: THE HISTORIC OUTPOST OF THE NORTHWEST COAST, THE CHIEF FACTORY OF THE RUSSIAN AMERICAN COMPANY. , PRESS OF LOWMAN & HANFORD CO, 1922
  9. HUBERT H. BANCROFT, THE WORKS OF HUBERT HOWE BANCROFT: HISTORY OF ALASKA. 1730-1885 – VOLUME XXXIII. , A. L. BANCROFT & COMPANY, 1886

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