Finnish Ships in Russian America

in Sibirica
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  • 1 Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
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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.

Contributor Notes

Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv works as a professor in the High School of Social Sciences at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and graduated from the History Department at Altai State University and completed graduate work at the Institute of Ethnography, Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He is a leading specialist on the history of Russian America and the author of several monographs and more than 150 scholarly articles, including ones translated and published in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China. E-mail:


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