Alaska, the Great Country

Alaska, the Great Country

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Alaska, the Great Country

Alaska, the Great Country

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Excerpt

When the Russians first came to the island of Unalaska, they were told that a vast country lay to the eastward and that its name was Al-ay-ek-sa. Their own island the Aleuts called Nagun-Alayeksa, meaning "the land lying near Alayeksa."

The Russians in time came to call the country itself Alashka; the peninsula, Aliaska; and the island, Unalashka. Alaska is an English corruption of the original name.

A great Russian moved under inspiration when he sent Vitus Behring out to discover and explore the continent lying to the eastward; two great Americans--Seward and Sumner--were inspired when, nearly a century and a half later, they saved for us, in the face of the bitterest opposition, scorn, and ridicule, the country that Behring discovered and which is now coming to be recognized as the most glorious possession of any people; but, first of all, were the gentle, dark-eyed Aleuts inspired when they bestowed upon this same country--with the simplicity and dignified repression for which their character is noted --the beautiful and poetic name which means, "the great country. . . ."

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