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GOVERNMENT OF ALASKA

STATEMENTS

338
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON TERRITORIES 730

UNITED STATES SENATE

11

ON THE BILL

S. 5436

TO CREATE A LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL IN
THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA, TO CONFER
LEGISLATIVE POWERS THEREON

AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

WASHINGTON

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

1910

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ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE, Indiana, Chairman. WILLIAM P. DILLINGHAM, Vermont. SAMUEL H. PILES, Washington. KNUTE NELSON, Minnesota.

JAMES P. CLARKE, Arkansas. HENRY E. BURNHAM, New Hampshire. JAMES B. FRAZIER, Tennessee. John KEAN, New Jersey.

Robert L. Owen, Oklahoma. CHARLES Dick, Ohio.

('ILARLES J. HUGHES, Jr., Colorado.

MAR 12 1910

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 1910. The committee met at 10.30 a. m.

Present: Senators Beveridge (chairman), Dillingham, Nelson, Burnham, Kean, Dick, Piles, Clarke, of Arkansas, Frazier, Owen, and Hughes.

Hon. James Wickersham, Delegate in Congress from Alaska, appeared.

STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES WICKERSHAM.

area.

Mr. WICKERSHAM. Gentlemen of the committee, the inquiry at this time is in reference to Senate bill 5436, introduced by Senator Beveridge, which is said to represent the wishes of the President in respect to a form of government to be given to the Territory of Alaska.

One of the Senators this morning has suggested that we have a very small population in that country, scattered over a very large

I wish to say to the committee that in my judgment we have about 50,000 white people in the Territory of Alaska, and the census gives us 35,000 Indians. So, there are more than 75,000 people in the Territory.

It is true it is a large country, and it is also true that those people have been living in that country now very largely for forty-three years. The towns of Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Fairbanks, Nome, and a dozen other towns of that kind are well settled, well established, well built, and filled with churches and schools, with electric lights and everything which goes with civilization.

As I stated to the committee yesterday, we have in the Territory of Alaska the immense Tanana Valley, an area of country larger than many States of the Union, of the finest possible agricultural land, in which men are now settling, and in a short time there will be a large farming population there. We raise fine crops, and as soon as we get communication with the outside world so that our products can be carried out, we will not only be able to produce everything that now goes into Alaska, but will even have everything to supply people outside on the coast.

So, it is a mistake when gentlemen think that Alaska is a barren country. It is a magnificent agricultural country. It is a magnificent country in its great natural resources. We have more coal, as I said to you yesterday, than Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia; we have more copper than Montana and Arizona; we have more gold than California and Colorado; and we have more fish

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