Seward's Folly, n. not getting a 25% handling fee when brokering a shady real estate transaction.
Just prior to the war, the United States agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for $1.4 million. Secretary William Henry Seward needed to prevent England from breaking the blockade and declaring her sympathy for the Southern Confederacy. Seward dropped $5.8 million arranging for the Russian fleet to come to New York and San Francisco, a little muscle flexing that worked. The costs were rolled together, and a check for $7,200,000 was made out to Russia for "the Alaska purchase." Nobody was the wiser. Only difference between Tony Soprano and William H. Seward is that Soprano doesn't forget to make worth his while.
In January, Dorene posted this story on the topic.
About Dorene: An august dignitary gracing this site, Dorene is a member of the Seward City Council, mother of Casmir, an artist, a model and a fast poster. An Alaskan since 1965, at least fifteen years before she was born, Dorene writes about life, passes on jokes, talks politics and shows us pictures of her land and family on her weblog. Another site (click here) gives us her online biography, some of her artwork and photos of her and friends.
A few of her posts I especially enjoyed are here, here and here.
Don't miss some of Dorene's paintings here.
How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.