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This last December (2021) I spent a few days in the Rasmuson library at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. They had an interesting display on statehood just outside one of their public entrances. It’s 21 total posters. (Is that the right word?) Kind of a nice tight introduction to the subject. I took pictures to share with my own students.

Thought I’d share them here too.

One of the more interesting themes brought to the fore in this series would have to be the complaints about exploitation by outsiders. The word “colonialism” even makes an appearance. Of course there is something more than a little ironic about the appearance of these themes in the rhetoric of whites just a few generations into America’s own entrance into the region, but then again, there is probably something ironic in my own swing at this issue, sitting as I am in Inupiat territory a couple generations further into that process colonization.

Meta-Irony, the white liberals burden!


I have enhanced the clarity of most of these pictures a bit and tweaked the lighting where necessary to try and reduce the light glare in a few of them. My main goal was to make the writing as clear as possible. I think you can make most of the main text out if you embiggen the pictures.

(Click to embiggen!)

1: Origins

2: “Seward’s Folly”

3: District
4: Territory
5: Half Step
6: Roots of Campaign for Statehood

7: Alaska for Alaskans

8: Bartlett and Gruening
9: Too Much Going Out
10: Not Enough Staying Here
11: Denied!
12: Uncaptioned Photo
13: Redenied (The bastards!)
14: Model Constitution!
15: Colonialism
16: Calling for the Convention
17: Organizing the Convention
18: Convention in Action

19: Ordinances, Tennessee Plan, and Fish Traps

20: Rights!
21: Adjournment