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city, southern Alaska, U.S. Situated on the Kenai Peninsula, at the head of Resurrection Bay, it lies (by highway) 125 miles (200 km) south of Anchorage. Settlers first came into the area in the 1890s, and the city was founded in 1903 as a supply base and ocean terminus for a railway to the Yukon Valley (since 1913, the Alaska Railroad). The city was named for William H. Seward, the U.S. secretary of state who negotiated the Alaska Purchase from Russia. The great earthquake of 1964 produced fires and tsunamis that destroyed 90 percent of Seward, including the city's railroad terminal.