Fridays with Manny


What is Seward’s Ice Box?

Our journey in Alaska started in Seward. Only when I checked online, I learned that it was named after United States Secretary of State, William H. Seward who negotiated to buy Alaska from the Russians on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million. “Seward’s Folly” was widely criticized. It was called Icebergia, Polaria, Walrussia and Seward’s Ice Box. After the purchase was made, Alaska was neglected for awhile. The first census in 1880 found 33,426 people living there. 1,756 Creoles – children of mixed marriages between the Russians and local women; the rest were different tribes of Alaskan Natives. There were only 430 non-natives.

Things changed with the Klondike Gold Rush, when between 1896 and 1899, 100,000 prospectors arrived there. Some of them left when there was not enough gold; however, many stayed. In 2021, the population of Alaska was 732,670 people, with the Alaskan Natives representing about fifteen percent. Seward, a city with the population of less than three thousand, is a port located in the inlet of the Kenai Peninsula. 

From here, our ship will take us to see ice fields, coastal fjords, glaciers, and perhaps some wild animals.

These images show the beginning of our journey.

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