Battle of Sitka
The Battle of Sitka was the last major armed conflict between Russians and Alaska Natives, was initiated in response to the destruction of a Russian trading post two years before. The primary combatant groups were the Kiks.ádi Clan of Sheetʼká Xʼáatʼi of the Tlingit nation and agents of the Russian-American Company assisted by the Imperial Russian Navy. Members of the Kiks.ádi of the indigenous Tlingit people had occupied portions of the Alaska Panhandle, including Sheetʼká Xʼáat'i, for some 11,000 years. Alexandr Baranov first visited the island aboard the Ekaterina in 1795 while searching for new sea otter hunting grounds. Baranov paid the Tlingit a sum for the rights to the land in order to prevent "interlopers" from conducting trade on the island. On 7 July 1799, with 100 fellow Russians, sailed into Sitka Sound aboard the galley Olga, the brig Ekaterina, the packet boat Orel. Wishing to avoid a confrontation with the Kiks.ádi, the group passed by the strategic hilltop encampment where the Tlingit had established Noow Tlein and made landfall at their second-choice building site, some 7 miles north of the colony.
The location of the Russian settlement at Katlianski Bay, "Redoubt Saint Michael," is known today as Starrigavan Bay, or "Old Harbor" The outpost consisted of a large warehouse, blacksmith shop, cattle sheds, stockade, block house, a bath house, quarters for the hunters, a residence for Baranov. Though the Koloshi welcomed the newcomers, their animosity toward the Russians grew in short order; the Kiks.ádi objected to the Russian traders' custom of taking native women as their wives, were taunted by other Tlingit clans who looked upon the "Sitkas" as the outsiders' kalga, or slaves. The Kiks.ádi came to realize that the Russians' continued presence demanded their allegiance to the Tsar, that they therefore were expected to provide free labor to the Company. Competition between the two groups for the island's resources would escalate as well. Despite a number of unsuccessful Tlingit attacks against the post during the winter of 1799, business soon prospered. Urgent matters required that Baranov return to Kodiak in 1800.
25 Russians and 55 Aleuts, under the direction of Vasilii G. Medvednikov, were left to staff the post. In spring 1802, the population of Redoubt Saint Michael had grown to include 29 Russians, 3 British deserters, 200 Aleuts, a few Kodiak women, it was rumored that the British staged a meeting with the northern Tlingit clans in Angoon in 1801, wherein they offered muskets and gunpowder to the Tlingit in exchange for exclusive fur trading rights. In June 1802, a group of Tlingit warriors attacked the Russian fort at mid-day. Led by Skautlelt and Kotleian, the raiding party massacred many, looted the sea otter pelts, burned the settlement, including a ship under construction. A few Russians and Aleuts, away from the post hunting, or who had fled into the forest, subsequently reached safety and relayed news of the attack. British Captain Barber, seized the ringleaders, rescued 3 Russians, 20 other native allies, many of the pelts; the Unicorn set sail for Kodiak, where it delivered the survivors and the news of the attack to Baranov on June 24.
Barber extracted a ransom of 10,000 rubles for the return of the colonists — a mere 20% of his initial demand. Following the Kiks.ádi victory, Tlingit Shaman Stoonook, confident that the Russians would soon return, in force, urged the clan to construct a new fortification, capable of withstanding cannon fire, provided an ample water supply. Despite strong opposition, the Shaman's will prevailed, the Kiks.ádi made preparations for war. The Sitkas sent messages to their allies requesting assistance; the Tlingit chose to construct the 240 feet by 165 feet Shís'gi Noow at the high water line near the mouth of the Indian River to take advantage of the long gravel beach flats that extend far out into the bay. Some 1,000 native spruce logs were used in the construction of 14 buildings and the thick palisade wall that surrounded them; the Kiks.ádi battle plan was a simple one: they would gauge the Russians' strength and intentions at Noow Tlein strategically retreat to the perceived safety of the new fort.
Baranov returned to Sitka Sound in late September 1804 aboard the sloop-of-war Neva under the command of Lieutenant Commander Yuri Feodorovich Lisyansky. Neva was accompanied by the Ermak and two other smaller, armed sailing ships, manned by 150 promyshlenniks, along with 400–500 Aleuts in 250 baidarkas. In this engagement, fortune favored the Russians from the outset. On September 29, the Russians went ashore at the winter village. Lisyansky dubbed the site "Novo-Arkhangel'skaya Mikhailovskaya", a reference to the largest city in the region where Governor Baranov was born. Baranov sent forth envoys to the Tlingit settlement with offers of negotiation for the Noow Tlein site, all of which were rebuffed; the Tlingit hoped to stall the Russians long enough to allow the natives to abandon their winter village and occupy the "sapling fort" wi
Cape Dezhnyov or Cape Dezhnev is a cape that forms the eastmost mainland point of Asia. It is located on the Chukchi Peninsula in the sparsely populated Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of Russia; this cape is located between the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait, 82 kilometres across from Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska. The Diomede Islands and Fairway Rock are located in the midst of the strait. In 1898, the cape was renamed as Cape Dezhnev, replacing Captain James Cook's name, the "East Cape", it was named in honor of Semyon Dezhnev, the first recorded European to round its tip. There is a large monument to Dezhnev on the seacoast; the cape is the eastern tip of a high, rocky headland, about 20 kilometres from Uelen in the north to Cape Pe'ek in the south, connected to the mainland by a neck of lower-lying land peppered with swamps and shallow lakes. That low-lying land is so low in elevation that the cape appears as an island from a distance far to the south of it; the US Hydrographic Office publication Asiatic Pilot from 1909 gives the height of the headland as 2,521 feet, the US Office of Coast Survey chart of 2000 shows the highest peak at 2,638 feet.
The headland and the neck of low-lying land together form a peninsula. A well-established trail crossed the neck of land behind the headland in pre-historic and historic times, traversed by sleds in the winter and used as a portage in the summer to avoid traversing the strait; this route was important enough that, according to an analysis by linguist Michael Krauss, the Central Siberian Yupik language continued up the coast, un-interrupted by the Naukansky dialect spoken in Naukan village on the headland. The Great Circle distance from Cape Dezhnev to the shore of the Bab-el-Mandeb strait in Yemen is about 10,855 km, the longest land distance of Asia; the Cape Dezhnev peninsula, was a center for trade between American whalers and the fur traders and the native Yupik and Chukchi people of the coast in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early years, ships would call at Uelen to trade for furs produced along the arctic coast. Subsequently, there were established trading stations at Deshnevo.
When a source of that period speaks of stopping or trading at East Cape, either of these locations may be meant, or the Yupik village Naukan on the southeast shore of the cape, which had less trade because it lacked a good anchorage. Sources from that period sometimes speak of a village Emma-Town. Although this name may be derived from the nearby Yupik village Enmitahin the name appears to refer to Keniskun or to both villages together. Of the four historical villages on the cape itself, only Uelen is still inhabited. Naukan was evacuated in 1958 with most of the occupants relocated to Nunyamo near Saint Lawrence Bay and Keniskun was merged with Uelen a little earlier. In Josef Bauer's As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me, Cape Deshnev is given as the site of a Gulag lead-mine camp from which a German POW Clemens Forell escaped in 1949. Research cast serious doubt on the book's accuracy. For example, at the time of the escape described, no Cape Dezhnev Gulag camp lead mine existed. Extreme points of Russia Bartlett, Robert A. and Hale, Ralph T..
The last voyage of the Karluk: flagship of Vilhjalmar Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-16. McClelland, Toronto. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list. Bockstoce, John R. Furs and Frontiers in the Far North: The Contest Among Native and Foreign Nations for the Bering Strait Fur Trade The Lamar Series in Western History, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-14921-2, ISBN 978-0-300-14921-0 Cochran, C. S.. "Report of northern cruise, Coast Guard cutter Bear". Annual report of the United States Coast Guard. Washington: Government Printing Office. P. 82. Crow, Anastasia Yarzuktina, Oksana Kolomiets "American traders and the native people of Chukotka in the early 20th Century" 2010 International Conference on Russian America, Sitka, AK August 18–22. Fisher, Raymond H; the Voyage of Semen Dezhnev in 1648: Bering's precursor, with selected documents. Hakluyt Society, London. Hodge, Frederick Webb Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico: A-M Volume 30 of Bulletin. Part 1 of Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico..
Krauss, Michael E. Eskimo languages in Asia, 1791 on, the Wrangel Island-Point Hope connection Études/Inuit/Studies, vol. 29, 2005, pp 163–185. Krupnik and Mikhail Chlenov. "The end of'Eskimo land': Yupik relocation in Chukotka, 1958-1959" Études/Inuit/Studies 31 pp 59–81. Office of Coast Survey. "Bering Sea nautical charts". Historical chart project. Office of Coast Survey, NOAA, USA. Query Bering. Click desired location to enlarge and center. Petit Fute. Chukotka. Avant Garde, Moscow. ISBN 5863942584, ISBN 978-5-86394-258-2. Rasmussen, Knud. Across Arctic America: Narrative of the Fifth Thule Expedition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1927. Scanned, illustrated, at Internet Archive. Scull, Edward Marshall. Hunting in the Arctic and Alaska. John C. Winston co. United States Hydrographic Office. Asiatic pilot, Volume 1. Issues 122-126. O. pub. Gov. Printing Off. Washington. Cape Dezhnev east
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Vitus Jonassen Bering known as Ivan Ivanovich Bering, was a Danish cartographer and explorer in Russian service, an officer in the Russian Navy. He is known as a leader of two Russian expeditions, namely the First Kamchatka Expedition and the Great Northern Expedition, exploring the north-eastern coast of the Asian continent and from there the western coast on the North American continent; the Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, the Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge were all named in his honor. Taking to the seas at the age of 18, Bering travelled extensively over the next eight years, as well as taking naval training in Amsterdam. In 1704, he enrolled with the expanding Russian navy of Tsar Peter I. After serving with the navy in significant but non-combat roles during the Great Northern War, Bering resigned in 1724 to avoid the continuing embarrassment of his low rank to Anna, his wife of eleven years. Bering was permitted to keep the rank as he rejoined the Russian navy the same year.
He was selected by the Tsar to captain the First Kamchatka Expedition, an expedition set to sail north from Russian outposts on the Kamchatka peninsula, with the charge to map the new areas visited and to establish whether Asia and America shared a land border. Bering departed from St. Petersburg in February 1725 as the head of a 34-man expedition, aided by the expertise of Lieutenants Martin Spangberg and Aleksei Chirikov; the party took on men as it headed towards Okhotsk, encountering many difficulties before arriving at the settlement. From there, the men sailed to the Kamchatka peninsula, sailing north. In August 1728, Bering decided that they had sufficient evidence that there was clear sea between Asia and America, which he did not sight during the trip. For the first expedition, Bering was rewarded with money, a promotion to the noble rank of Captain Commander, he started preparations for a second trip. Having returned to Okhotsk with a much larger, better prepared, much more ambitious expedition, Bering set off for an expedition towards North America in 1741.
While doing so, the expedition spotted Mount Saint Elias, sailed past Kodiak Island. A storm separated the ships, but Bering sighted the southern coast of Alaska, a landing was made at Kayak Island or in the vicinity. Adverse conditions forced Bering to return, but he documented some of the Aleutian Islands on his way back. One of the sailors died and was buried on one of these islands, Bering named the island group Shumagin Islands after him. Bering himself became too ill to command his ship, at last driven to seek refuge on an uninhabited island in the Commander Islands group in the southwest Bering Sea. On 19 December 1741 Vitus Bering died on the island, given the name Bering Island after him, near the Kamchatka Peninsula from scurvy, along with 28 men of his company. Vitus Bering was born in the port town of Horsens in Denmark to Anne Pedderdatter and her husband Jonas Svendsen and was baptized in the Lutheran church there on 5 August 1681, he was named after a maternal great-uncle, Vitus Pedersen Bering, a chronicler in the royal court, was not long deceased at the time of Vitus Jonassen Bering's birth.
The family enjoyed reasonable financial security, with two of Vitus' elder half-brothers both attending the University of Copenhagen. Vitus however instead signed on at age 15 as a ship's boy. Between 1696 and 1704, Bering travelled the seas, reaching India and the Dutch East Indies while finding time to complete naval officer training in Amsterdam, he would claim to have served on Danish whalers in the North Atlantic, visiting European colonies in the Caribbean and on the eastern seaboard of North America. It was in Amsterdam, that in 1704 and under the guidance of Norwegian-born Russian admiral Cornelius Cruys, Bering enlisted with the Russian navy, taking the rank of sub-lieutenant, he would be promoted in Peter the Great's evolving navy, reaching the rank of second captain by 1720. In that time, it appears he was not involved in any sea battles, but commanded several vessels in dangerous missions, including the transport of a ship from the Azov Sea on Russia's southern coast to the Baltic on her northern coast.
His work in the latter stages of the Great Northern War, for example, was dominated by lightering duties. On 8 October 1713, Bering married Anna Christina Pülse. Over the next 18 years, they had nine children. During his time with the Russian navy – as part of the Great Northern War – he was unable to spend much time with Anna, eleven years Bering's junior and the daughter of a Swedish merchant. At the war's conclusion in 1721, Bering was not promoted like many of his contemporaries; the omission proved embarrassing when, in 1724, Anna's younger sister Eufemia upstaged her by marrying Thomas Saunders a rear-admiral despite a much shorter period of service. In order to save face, the 42-year-old Bering decided to retire from the navy, securing two months' pay and a notional promotion to first captain. Shortly after, the family – Bering, his wife Anna, two young sons – moved out of St. Petersburg to live with Anna's family
Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov was a Russian nobleman and statesman who promoted the project of Russian colonization of Alaska and California to three successive Tsars—Catherine the Great and Aleksander I. Aleksander I commissioned him as Russian ambassador to Japan to conclude a commercial treaty. In order to get there he was appointed co-commander of the First Russian circumnavigation, led by Adam Johann von Krusenstern. Rezanov departed the expedition when it reached Kamchatka after visiting Japan where he was unsuccessful in his ambassadorial mission, he was the author of a lexicon of the Japanese language and of several other works, which are preserved in the library of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences, of which he was a member. Rezanov's biggest legacy was the Russian-American Company. Rezanov was born in Saint Petersburg on March 28, 1764, he mastered five languages by the age of 14. He joined the Izmaylovsky Regiment at the same age and left five years in 1784 as captain. Rezanov spent five years as a court officer in Pskov.
In 1791, he joined the staff of Gavrila Derzhavin in his capacity as the private secretary to the Empress Catherine. Platon Zubov took interest in Rezanov, hiring him as an aide within a year of his employment with Derzhavin. Zubov became interested in the fur trade activities of Irkutsk merchant Grigory Shelikhov, his influence with Catherine II was used to secure priests from the Valaam Monastery and colonists for Shelikov's settlements on Kodiak Islands. In the winter of 1793 Rezanov was appointed as Zubov's personal representative to oversee the fledlging operations. In August 1794 Rezanov arrived at Irkutsk, the center of the Shelikhov-Golikov Company, a city where his father Pyotr had once served as a civil servant for several decades, he joined Shelikhov in visiting Kyakhta during the annual trading with the Qing Empire. Rezanov found the land routes to China "inefficient and archaic" when compared to the naval trade of the British in Guangzhou. In January 1795 he married Shelikhov's and Natalia Shelikova's 14-year-old daughter Anna, who came with a dowry in shares of Shelikhov's company.
Anna died in childbirth seven years later. Rezanov became a partner in the company developing into a keen and tireless man of business. At the death of Shelikhov in 1795, he became the leading spirit of the wealthy and amalgamated company, but felt marginalized and harassed because the heir to the company was Shelikhov's formidable wife Natalia. Rezanov resolved to develop the company by obtaining for himself and his partners a royal charter with monopoly privileges to exploit and rule, like the privileges granted by Great Britain to the East India Company. Rezanov had just succeeded in persuading Catherine II to sign his charter when she died, forcing him to begin again to obtain a charter from the unbalanced and intractable Tsar Paul I. For a time the outlook appeared hopeless, but Rezanov's skill and address prevailed, he obtained the Tsar's signature to the Ukase of 1799 shortly before the Tsar was assassinated; the Russian-American Company was granted a monopoly over the Pacific Northwest coast of North America, from latitude 55 degrees northward the southern border of Alaska today.
As a civil servant, Rezanov couldn't be directly named a director of the company, so he was designated the RAC's "High Representative in the Capital." The majority of the shares were owned by the Shelikhov family, although Rezanov, Tsar Paul, the future Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich were shareholders. The company turned a favorable profit until the first years of the 19th century, after which mismanagement and scarcity of nourishing food threatened it with serious losses, if not ultimate ruin. In order to get a fleet to the area, the First Russian circumnavigation was undertaken, with Rezanov on board, taking the route from St Petersburg to Brazil to the Kingdom of Hawaii to Kamchatka; the ships would not only supply the colonies in America but begin a Russian fur trade between Alaska and China, collect scientific data. Rezanov was appointed as minister plenipotentiary and given the special assignment of opening diplomatic relations with the isolationist Tokugawa Shogunate.
Before reaching Japan, the Russians visited Hawaii where they learned of the destruction of the Russian colony of Redoubt Saint Michael in America. The Neva, one of the two ships in the expedition, was dispatched north on 31 May 1804 and was critical in taking back Saint Michael in the Battle of Sitka that year. Rezanov was impressed with the agricultural potential of the Hawaiian Islands, exclaiming that "All of Siberia might be supplied by sugar from Owhyhee". On board the Nadezhda and the remaining crew under Adam Johann von Krusenstern sailed for Petropavlovsk. Departing for Japan in the autumn of 1804, the Nadezhda entered Nagasaki Bay in September. Rezanov didn't endear himself with his hosts, a Japanese translator telling him that "All of Japan is talking of you and saying that you are different from the Dutch, more heated and that you look down on the Japanese". After many months of waiting for the Shogun's decision about opening trade relations with Russia, first isolated on board ship confined in a small compound on shore, the Russians left Nagasaki on 5 April 1805, their efforts at opening trade an embarrassing failure.
Nadezhda returned to Petropavlovsk on 24 May 1805, where Rezanov found orders directing him to remain in the Russian colonies as Imperial inspector and p
The Russian-American Company Under the Supreme Patronage of His Imperial Majesty was a state-sponsored chartered company formed on the basis of the United American Company. The company was chartered by Tsar Paul I in the Ukase of 1799, its mission was to establish new settlements in Russian America, conduct trade with natives, carry out an expanded colonization program. This was Russia's first joint-stock company, it came under the direct authority of the Ministry of Commerce of Imperial Russia; the Minister of Commerce Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev was a pivotal influence upon the early Company's affairs. In 1801, the company's headquarters were moved from Irkutsk to Saint Petersburg, the merchants who were the major stockholders were soon replaced by Russia's nobility and aristocracy. Count Rumyantsev funded Russia's first naval circumnavigation under the joint command of Adam Johann von Krusenstern and Nikolai Rezanov in 1803–1806, he funded and directed the voyage of the Ryurik's circumnavigation of 1814–1816, which provided substantial scientific information on Alaska's and California's flora and fauna, important ethnographic information on Alaskan and Californian natives.
During the Russian-California period when they operated Fort Ross, the Russians named present-day Bodega Bay, California as "Rumyantsev Bay" in his honor. In 1799 the Russian government appointed an official, with the title'Correspondent', to maintain oversight of company affairs, the first being Nikolai Rezanov; this role was soon expanded to a three-seat board of directors, with two elected by the stockholders and one appointed by the government. Additionally the directors had to send reports of the company's activities directly to the tsar, they appointed a Chief Manager of the company, stationed in North America to directly administer the forts, trade stations and outposts. Alexander Andreyevich Baranov was appointed as the first Chief Manager. During his tenure, he founded both Pavlovskaya and New Archangel, settlements that became operating bases for the company, he was replaced in 1818 by an officer appointed from the Imperial Russian Navy. The position of Chief Manager was thereafter reserved for Imperial Naval officers.
The Ukase of 1799 granted the company a monopoly over trade in Russian America, defined with a southern border of 55° N latitude. Tsar Alexander I in the Ukase of 1821 asserted its domain to 45°50′ N latitude, revised by 1822 to 51° N latitude; this border was challenged by both Great Britain and the United States, which resulted in the Russo-American Treaty of 1824 and the Russo-British Treaty of 1825. These established 54°40′ as the ostensible southward limit of Russian interests; the only attempt by the Russians to enforce the ukase of 1821 was the seizure of the U. S. brig Pearl in 1822, by the Russian sloop Apollon. The Pearl, a vessel of the maritime fur trade, was sailing from Boston, Massachusetts to New Archangel/Sitka; when the U. S. government protested, the Russians paid compensation. Due to treaty violations in 1833 with the British by the company's governor, Baron Ferdinand von Wrangel, the Russians leased the southeastern sector of what is now the Alaska Panhandle, to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1838 as part of a damages settlement.
The lease gave the HBC authority as far north as 56° 30' N. Under Baranov, who governed the region between 1790 and 1818, a permanent settlement was established in 1804 at "Novo-Arkhangelsk", a thriving maritime trade was organized. Alutiiq and Aleut men from the Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands were forcibly conscripted to work for the company for three-year periods because they were "among the most sophisticated and effective sea otter hunters in the world." During its initial years, the company had problems in maintaining a pool of skilled crewmen for its ships. The limited number of Russian men proficient in naval craft in the Empire sought employment in the Imperial Russian Navy; the RAC had difficulty recruiting men for naval training, in part due to the continued practise of serfdom in the Empire, which kept most peasants tied to the land. In 1802 the Imperial government directed the Imperial Navy to send officers for employment in the RAC, with half of their pay to come from the company.
Russian merchants were excluded from the port of Guangzhou and its valuable markets, something the RAC endeavoured to change. The company funded a circumnavigation that lasted from 1803 to 1806, with the goals of expanding Russian navigational knowledge, supplying the RAC stations, opening commercial relations with the Qing Empire. While the expedition did sell its wares at the Chinese port, "no noticeable progress" towards securing Russian trading rights was made during the next half century. Due to the closed Chinese ports, the RAC had to ship its furs to the Russian port of Okhotsk. From there caravans took more than a year to reach Ayan and the Siberian Route; the majority of the pelts were traded in Kyakhta, where Chinese trade goods, principally cotton and tea, were traded. Fort Elizabeth was built in Hawaii by Georg Anton Schäffer, an agent of the RAC, his actions to attempt to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii is known as the Schäffer affair. Over the course of the RAC's first decade of enterprise, its officials became concerned about American ships trading in adjacent coastal regions their sale of firearms to natives.
Throughout 1808 to 1810
Siberian fur trade
The Siberian fur trade is an exchange concerned with the gathering and selling of valuable animal furs that originate from Siberia. The Siberian fur trade expanded from localized trade, Siberian fur is now traded around the world; the Siberian fur trade had a significant impact on the development of Siberia through exploration and colonization. The fur trade precipitated a decline in the number of fur-bearing animals and resulted in Siberia being conquered by Russia. Traditionally, Siberians hunted as a means of sustenance and only used the fur from animals they hunted and consumed for gloves and hats; the practice of hunting animals for fur began after the Russians came to Siberia. Sable became the most valuable and popular type of Siberian fur, still maintains the distinction to this day; the Siberian fur trade began in the sixteenth century, peaked in the seventeenth century, continues to the present day. While sable has always been the most coveted fur from Siberia, the Siberian fur trade has included a large variety of animals pelts used for a variety of products, most clothing.
Some of the richest fur regions in Siberia are the Yakutsk and Okhotsk Peninsulas. The Stroganov family, wealthy merchant-capitalists with extensive resources and influence in Russia, played a significant role in developing Siberia's fur trade; the Stroganovs owned several pieces of land in Siberia and made large profits trading with the natives for fur on these lands. The Stroganov family lead the way to fur trading in Siberia, which became both economically and culturally important to both Russia and Siberia. Russians implemented several methods of acquiring the fur pelts from the Siberian furriers: yasak, confiscation, hunting expeditions, trade with natives, in much years, farming of the most valued fur-bearing animals. Yasak was the easiest way of collecting furs, as the furs were demanded as a tribute or tax from the Siberian natives. Russian explorers and hunters were not as skilled as the Siberian natives at hunting fur-bearing animals without damaging the fur, which made trading with the Siberians the second easiest way to obtain pelts.
The Siberian natives knew. Yasak, otherwise known as Iasak, refers to the fur tax that the natives of Siberia were forced to pay to the tsarist government of Russia. Russians would set up winter camps known as zimovya while they waited for the Siberians to hunt and pay their taxes in fur. In return, the Siberians were promised to be able to look to the Russian government for protection. If a native tribe, community, or individual did not comply to the tax or otherwise resisted, they would face government-backed Cossack raids. Yasak could be levied on a tribe, or both. All men between the ages of eighteen and fifty years were subject to this tax; the type of fur and the amount of fur pelts required for this tax varied, depending on how available the pelts were. For example, in the beginning of the 17th century, yasak could be anywhere from five to twenty-two sables per man, but this dropped to three sable pelts by the mid-1600s due to decreases in the sable population. In 1601, Russian tax collectors in the Verkhoturye district collected about ten sables a year from every married man and five sables a year from every bachelor.
Officials collecting the yasak tribute demanded extra furs as "gifts". Fox and ermine pelts were accepted as yasuk after sable populations began to decline due to overhunting. Instead of one sable pelt, the following was accepted as its equivalent: one fox, glutton, or otter pelt; the Russian government decided the amount of other pelts. Within forty years all Siberian natives were forced into paying fur tribute to the Russians. Russian traders and explorers reached the Pacific coastline by 1650 and were collecting fur tribute from most natives along the coast. Beyond the yasuk, the Russians had two principal ways of obtaining Siberian furs: through hunting the animals themselves or through trading. Promyshlenniki was the Russian name for the small groups of Russian traders and trappers who took part in the Siberian fur trade, they were free-men. They worked together as a group making traps, collecting food and drink, building camps in the harsh climate; these groups would evenly split the fur caught between all the members of the group.
Working in groups gave these trappers protection against harsh Siberian winters, against unexpected attacks, other dangers they could encounter if they were alone. At the peak of the Siberia fur trade during the seventeenth century, over a thousand of these trappers and traders ventured into Siberia each year. Men were infected with "fur fever," wanting to strike it rich like the Stroganovs; the Siberian fur trade was composed of two main types of traders. Small groups of traders braved the dangers of Siberia's taiga wilderness to trade with natives themselves, but many more traders stayed in Russia and sent agents to work for them in Siberia. Both the independent traders and the agents of the traders in Russia would stay in Siberia anywhere from two to six years, depending on how far they wanted to travel, their luck at trading with natives and trapping the animals, the harshness of the weather; the most traded items included Russian-made goods such as metal wares and ironworks, hunting equipment and firearms, food and drink supplies.
For most of the natives, the hunting equipment and metal products were the most useful and coveted trade items. There was no oversight or rules for the tr