The Russians in America: New Archangel in Alaska and Fort Ross in California

Jan 29, 2022 · Toronto, Canada

By the early 1800s the Russians were exporting an average of 62000 fur pelts from North America. The first Russian Orthodox missionaries came to Alaska in 1794. In 1791 Alexander Baranov was appointed to manage the Alaskan trading operations. Shelikhov hired him to direct the activities in North America. One of Baranov’s first acts was to move Shelikhov’s settlement on Kodiak island to St. Paul harbor, the present location of Kodiak City. In 1799 the new Russian-American Company nominated him as the first chief manager and the tsar appointed him as the first governor of Russian America. Baranov served the company from 1799 until 1818. In 1799 Tsar Paul I chartered the Russian-American Company. The Company was authorized to use, explore and colonize the costal areas of North America as far southward as 55° north latitude. In 1799 the Company founded a permanent base called New Archangel on Sitka island. This base was the main headquarters of the Company in America. New Archangel was destroyed in 1802.

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