JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A statue of Secretary William Henry Seward is just days away from being installed in downtown Juneau.
The statue commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Cession that made Alaska a U.S. territory, The Juneau Empire reported (http://bit.ly/2sMTOiJ ). The statue arrived in Juneau a few weeks ago after traveling from Seward's longtime home in New York, through Nebraska and up to Juneau.
As Secretary of State in 1867, Steward signed and helped negotiate the Treaty of Cession with Russia.
The statue cost $250,000. Two grants from the Alaska Historical Commission contributed $28,000, while the City and Borough of Juneau and the Rasmuson Foundation gave $25,000 each. There were also numerous other corporate donations and private donations from citizens in town who wanted to see the statue go up.
Mary Becker, co-Chairwoman of the Seward Statue Committee, said she was a bit nervous at first that they wouldn't be able to raise enough money, but she quickly saw the statue was popular enough to get people involved.
The statue will be put in place at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza in front of the Alaska State Capitol. The public ceremony for the unveiling will take place at 3 p.m. July 3.
"You can kind of see how important he is to us who now call ourselves Alaskans," said Wayne Jensen, co-chairman of the committee. "It probably wouldn't have even been called Alaska. Hopefully it wouldn't have still been Russian America, but it might have been something else."
Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com