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Andrei V. Grinëv

Sailing ships played a significant role in the colonization of Alaska during the Russian period (1741–1867). However, classifying them is sometimes very difficult because the historical sources are very scarce and even contradictory. These difficulties lead to many errors in classification of specific vessels on the pages of scholarly literature. In addition, some authors have poor knowledge of maritime affairs. As a result, “frigatomania” is especially frequently encountered in Russian (occasionally in American) historiography. A correct classification of the ships allows us to better understand the scale of colonial expansion.

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Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv

The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply strengthened the Russian trading fleet. It is not surprising that Finnish ships, despite their small number, visited the Russian colonies in America over a rather long period—from 1816 to 1856—though at times with substantial temporal intervals. Some of them belonged to the Russian-American Company (RAC), some were chartered by it, and some were in joint possession with the Russian-Finnish Whaling Company. In addition, many Finnish sailors and skippers served on ships of the RAC’s colonial flotilla and on company ships that carried out charter trips between Baltic ports and Russian America and eastern Siberia.

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Great Expectations

Revisiting Canadian Economic Footprints in Siberia, 1890s–1921

J.L. Black

Canada's interest in Russia's Far East and Siberia has a long history, propelled in the nineteenth century by London's Hudson's Bay Company driving eastward and St. Petersburg's Russian-American Company driving westward. Competition and sometime cooperation led to mutually beneficial projects shaping up in the early 20th century, among them plans to link up the Canadian Pacific Rail and Steamship Line with the Trans-Siberian in a trading complex that would have circumnavigated the world. The Great War, the Russian Revolution, and Civil War, sealed the fate of this grandiose vision. Studies on Western involvement in the Russian Civil War highlight, reasonably, the military dimensions of intervention. Canada sent troops to Siberia as well, but Ottawa's ambition was primarily trade. Using untapped Russian archival material and contemporary Siberian newspaper reports, this article revisits Canada's participation in Russia's postwar conflagration with emphasis on the extent to which expectation of economic gain shaped Canada's official and private presence in Siberia.