Menu
Image 1 of
Zoom In
Zoom Out
Fullscreen

S. 956, A Bill providing for the election of a Delegate to the House of Representatives from the district of Alaska, December 7, 1905

S. 956, A Bill providing for the election of a Delegate to the House of Representatives from the district of Alaska, December 7, 1905

Many miners who streamed to Alaska seeking gold took up residence there. Once settled, they sought territorial status and representation for Alaska in Congress, so that their needs for roads, regulations, and other federal support could be addressed. In 1906 Congress passed this bill granting the District of Alaska one elected, nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

the people of the district of Alaska shall hereafter be entitled to be represented by a Delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States

S. 956, A Bill providing for the election of a Delegate to the House of Representatives from the district of Alaska, December 7, 1905 the people of the district of Alaska shall hereafter be entitled to be represented by a Delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States

Alaskan Delegates to Congress

Congress narrowly approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. It largely ignored the region until 1884, when it passed an Organic Act defining Alaska as a federal district with fewer privileges than a territory. When gold was discovered there in 1898, Alaska’s population swelled, and its residents pressed for territorial status and congressional representation. Congress responded in 1906 by authorizing the election of a nonvoting Alaskan delegate to the House of Representatives. Congress granted Alaska territorial status in 1912 and statehood in 1959.

My efforts and my wishes, and I might say the wishes of the people of Alaska, are for a Territorial legislature.

Delegate Thomas Cale of Alaska, Territorial Government for Alaska, U.S. Congress, 1908