Russian-American Company

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Russian-American Company

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The Russian-American Company was a semi-official colonial trading company chartered by tsar Paul I in 1799. The 20-year revolving charter granted the company monopoly over trade in Russian America, which included the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and the territory down to 55� N latitude. A second charter, in 1821, extended its domain to 51� N latitude. Under the charter, one-third of all profits were to go to the emperor.

Under Alexandr Baranov, who governed the region between 1790 and 1818, a permanent settlement was established in 1804 at Novo-Arkhangelsk (today's Sitka, Alaska), and a thriving fur trade was organized.

The company constructed forts in what is today Alaska and California. Fort Ross, on the California coast just north of San Francisco, was the southernmost outpost of Russian America, and is now reconstructed and an open air museum.

But from the 1820s onwards the profits from the fur trade began to decline. Already in 1818 the Russian government had taken control of the Russian-American Company from the merchants who held the charter. The explorer and government official Ferdinand Petrovich Wrangel, who had been administrator of Russian government interests in Russian America a decade before, was the first president of the company during the government period. The company ceased its commercial activities in 1867, when the Alaska Purchase transferred control of Alaska to the United States.

See also: Alaska Commercial Company

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Governors of the Russian American Company

Below is a list of the governors/general managers of the Russian American Company. Many of their names occur as place names in southeastern Alaska. Please note that the English spelling of the names varies between sources.

# Name Beginning of Term End of Term
1 Alexandr Andreyevich Baranov (1747-1819) 1799 Jan. 11, 1818
2 Leonty Andrianovich Gagemeister (1780-1833) Jan. 11, 1818 Oct. 24, 1818
3 Semyon Ivanovich Yanovsky Oct. 24, 1818 Sep. 15, 1820
4 Matvey Ivanovich Muravyev (1784-1826) Sep. 15, 1820 Oct. 14, 1825
5 Pyotr Igorovich Chistyakov (1790-1862) Oct. 14, 1825 Jun. 1, 1830
6 Baron Ferdinand Petrovich Wrangel (1797-1870) Jun. 1, 1830 Oct. 29, 1835
7 Ivan Antonovich Kupreianov (1800-1857) Oct. 29, 1835 May. 25, 1840
8 Adolf Karlovich Etolin (1798-1876) May. 25, 1840 Jul. 9, 1845
9 Mikhail Dmitriyevich Tebenkov (1802-1872) Jul. 9, 1845 Oct. 14, 1850
10 Nikolay Yakovlevich Rozenberg (-1857) Oct. 14, 1850 Mar. 31, 1853
11 Alexandr Ilich Rudakov Mar. 31, 1853 Apr. 22, 1854
12 Stepan Vasiliyevich Voyevodsky (-1884) Apr. 22, 1854 Jun. 22, 1859
13 Ivan Vasiliyevich Furugelm (1821-1909) Jun. 22, 1859 Dec. 2, 1863
14 Prince Dmitry Petrovich Maksutov (1832-1889) Dec. 2, 1863 Oct. 18, 1867
hu:Orosz-Amerikai Társaság

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