Finnish Ships in Russian America

in Sibirica


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.

The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the victorious war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply changed the military-political situation in the Baltic. Into the hands of the Russians fell a vast territory with such important ports as Åbo (Turku), Gel’singfors (Helsinki), Rochensal’m (Kotka), Fridrikhsgám (Hamina), and Vasa (Vaasa), as well as the Åland Islands, significant in strategic regard. Together with the territories and ports, Russia obtained a large number of experienced Finnish sailors and shipwrights (most of them were not ethnically Finnish, but rather Swedes who had settled in the coastal regions of Finland). As a result, the significant number of Finnish sailors, ships, and shipyards very substantially increased the potential of the commercial fleet that belonged to Russia. It is sufficient to say that the merchant marine fleet of the Grand Duchy of Finland noticeably exceeded that of the Russians in number of ships and sailors. Thus, in 1861 Finnish long-voyage ships numbered 480 with displacement of 163,000 tons, while those of the Russians amounted to fewer than 300 with a total tonnage of 47,500 tons.1 There was nothing surprising in this since the imperial government traditionally allotted priority of attention to the needs of the naval fleet, and the merchant fleet was in the position of a “poor relative,” at least before the beginning of the Great Reforms of the second half of the nineteenth century. Up to this period, almost all the foreign maritime trade was carried out by foreign ships (95.7 percent).2 This situation was the result of the general backwardness of the Russian economy, especially in comparison with Western countries, which had already embarked by this time on the path of capitalist development. Therefore, the Russian naval fleet sometimes had to fulfill functions unusual for it, with ships under the St. Andrew’s flag of the Imperial Navy delivering supplies, goods, and passengers to the most distant regions of the empire—to the ports of eastern Siberia and to the Russian colonies in the New World.3 These colonies began forming during the second half of the eighteenth century after the discovery in 1741 of South and Southeast Alaska, as well as the chain of the Aleutian and Commander Islands, by the famous Second Kamchatka Expedition of V. I. Bering and A. I. Chirikov.4

At the moment of incorporation of Finland into the composition of Russia, the American possessions of the latter were managed by the Russian-American Company (RAC), a single monopolistic organization under the aegis of the state, created in 1799 from a conglomerate of Siberian merchant associations. It is natural that to maintain connections with the distant colonies it had a small transport fleet, numbering in different periods from 5 or 6 to 17 ships primarily of small or medium displacement. It is notable that the accession of Finland to the empire was immediately reflected in the name of the brig built in Okhotsk for the RAC in 1809, Novaia Finlyandiia (New Finland; usually the ship would have been named simply Finlyandiia).5

In 1815, with the means of the patron Count Nikolai Rumiantsev, the small (180-ton) brig Riurik, intended for polar research, was constructed in the shipyard of the Finnish port city of Åbo. Of course, some Russian historians write, possibly relying on inaccurate archival data, that it was purchased from the Americans, which is incorrect.6 The Riurik was probably the first ship from Finland that went into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean under the command of young Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue, later a well-known Russian seafarer.

Ships built by Finnish shipwrights were distinguished by their good quality and seaworthiness. This was demonstrated by the Ryurik, which left on a round-the-world voyage in 1815 for the purpose of passing from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic by a northern sea route. In the course of this expedition, Kotzebue discovered several atolls in the tropical part of the Pacific Ocean; investigated the west coast of Alaska in the Bering Strait region; and visited the Hawaiian and Aleutian Islands, California, and the shores of South America and South Africa.7 After accomplishing the voyage, the brig was obtained by the RAC board of directors in St. Petersburg and then sent in 1821 under the command of Navigator of 12th Class Efim Klochkov with goods from Kronshtadt to the colonies. There the Ryurik served about another decade (to 1831), after which it was dragged on shore and turned into a warehouse for materials in the capital of Russian America—Novo-Arkhangel’sk on Sitkha Island (modern Sitka on Baranof Island).8

However, despite the good quality of Finnish ships, the RAC especially preferred to buy ships built in the United States and Germany.9 Responding to accusations in the press by Captain of 1st Rank Andrei Popov, who in a fit of patriotic emotion wrote that the company did not rely on ships of domestic construction but on ships of foreign production, the RAC board of directors explained its position in the following way:

It is entirely correct that the company purchases its ships abroad, but no less correct is the fact that the construction of ships, and the lumber for this, is incomparably better abroad than in Russia. We have the best private shipyards in Finland. Foreign names of masters and laborers would not make it difficult to order ships there, but in fact the fragility of the lumber does not correspond to the benefits of the company, which considers it obligatory to build and purchase ships for itself that will last as long as possible. Experience has shown that a ship purchased in Germany, that is, in Hamburg or Bremen, and from the United States of America, of oak or other such strong wood, serves 20 or more years, while a ship built out of Finnish pine not more than 12 years, and a ship constructed in the colonies of fir or dushmianka [American cypress], no more than 7, if all the aforesaid ships would be sailing in hot climates. The cost of all these three ships is almost the same, and even the price of the latter is more, because all the materials for construction must be brought, and the wood itself is not cheap, despite the fact that Sitka itself is overgrown with forest.10

Nevertheless, the company tried to diversify the procurement of ships for its fleet and in the second half of the 1830s ordered two ships from Finnish shipbuilders. The first of them was the three-mast ship Nikolai I, launched in 1837 at Åbo. In the scholarly literature, its type is defined at times as a “frigate” and even as a “tender.”11 In fact, this was evidently a three-mast bark, not a large naval ship or small single-mast vessel. From 1837 to 1839, the Nikolai I went to Russian America under the command of Captain-Lieutenant (future admiral) Evgenii fon Berens (E. A. von Behrens), who took a cargo of furs and other products from the colonies worth the sum of 3 million rubles assignatsiia (one rubl’ assignatsiia, or banknote ruble, equaled approximately one-third of a rubl’ serebrianyi, or silver ruble). From 1839 to 1841, the Nikolai I again went repeatedly to the colonies and returned safely to Kronshtadt with a cargo worth 1.3 million rubles.12

Another Finnish ship, built for the RAC in Åbo of Finnish pine, was the three-mast bark Naslednik Aleksandr, which in 1840 went to Russian America under the leadership of Captain-Lieutenant Dionisii Zarembo and entered there the composition of the colonial flotilla. It sailed there on several voyages and almost sank during a severe storm on the night of 27/28 September 1842, when it was going from San Francisco to Novo-Arkhangel’sk with a cargo of goods and food. During the storm, its commander Captain-Lieutenant Nikolai Kadnikov and five members of the crew perished, and the ship itself was saved only by the presence and spirit of navigator Illarion Arkhimandritov.13 After several years of service in the colonies, the bark Naslednik Aleksandr was dismissed in 1848 from the colonial flotilla, becoming a floating hulk in the Novo-Arkhangel’sk harbor.14

In the mid-1840s, the RAC also began to use chartered Finnish ships to supply the colonies. Between 1846 and 1853, these ships went several times under the company flag from the Baltic to Novo-Arkhangel’sk under the command of experienced Finnish skippers. Thus, in 1846 the three-mast sailing ship Sitkha (470 tons) was chartered in Åbo for 20,000 silver rubles, going with goods to Novo-Arkhangel’sk and arriving there in the spring of 1847. It completed several voyages to the North Pacific at the command of the governor of Russian America and then in the summer of 1848 returned to Russia with colonial goods. By means of use of chartered vessels, the RAC tried to reduce its transportation costs, to decrease the time to deliver cargo (11 months by the sea route from Kronshtadt instead of 17 by the land route through Siberia), not to risk its own ships, and even to temporarily strengthen its own colonial flotilla.15

In 1847 the RAC in a similar way chartered in Finland the ship Atkha. The future “sea wolf” Otto Wilhelm Lindholm described this ship in his memoirs before departure from Åbo to Russian America in September 1849: “Here I found the most excellent ship that I had seen up to now, flying the flag of the Russian-American Company, pennant and figurehead, armament of ten cannon with five on each side, and the whole crew in uniform.”16 In Lindholm’s words, the captain of the ship, August Riedell, was a very handsome man, more like a Spaniard than a representative of the northern race. He spoke several European languages, such as Swedish, Finnish, Russian, German, French, and Spanish.17 The crew of the Atkha numbered besides Captain Riedell, his mates, a doctor, a cook, four cadets (including Lindholm), and 54 sailors, and they all were dressed in the RAC uniform. Besides them, on board were passengers going into the service in the colonies: naval officers Lieutenants V. I. Matskevich and P. A. Vitskii, three noncommissioned officers, and 35 naval sailors, so that the total on board the Atkha was 103 men.18

During all these round-the-world voyages, Finnish sailors received invaluable maritime experience. Many of them made two or three or more journeys on the Pacific Ocean, eventually becoming competent navigators, captains’ assistants, or skippers in the service of the RAC, like the son of the Finnish skipper Wilhelm Constantin Hjelt, a native of Åbo.19

The experience of the voyages of chartered Finnish ships to Russian America was considered successful by the RAC directors in St. Petersburg. In this regard, the company board of directors noted with satisfaction in their official report,

The experience, ongoing for several years, of round-the-world communications with the Colonies in chartered Finnish ships completely convinced one that the voyage between Kronshtadt and Novo-Arkhangel’sk can be accomplished with sufficient speed that the round-the-world ships, after their arrival in Novo-Arkhangel’sk, have the possibility of serving four to five months in the colonial seas for voyages assigned by the Governor and, then in fall setting off back, return to Kronshtadt with the opening of navigation, in order to have time to depart with a new cargo to the Colonies in this same year.20

Besides the abovementioned Finnish barks Sitkha and Atkha, which for seven years went with goods and passengers to Russian America and back to Baltic ports, there were at least two more chartered RAC Finnish vessels. The first of them was the ship Freia (alternatively Frea, Frëiia, Fröija) from Åbo, which set off in September 1849 to the colonies under the command of skipper Johan Christian Granberg. The ship arrived in Novo-Arkhangel’sk with a cargo of goods for the colonies in March 1850 and then returned home in 1851.21

One more ship chartered in Finland after the end of the Crimean War was the whaler Sofia Adelaida, which, under the command of skipper Wictor Rudolf Kålman, set off in 1858 to Russian America, where it delivered RAC cargo and passengers, after which it returned to Helsinki on 9 October 1860 [O.S.].22

Besides these chartered Finnish ships under the RAC flag, ships of the Russian-Finnish Whaling Company also sailed on the Pacific Ocean. This company came into being in 1850 in substantial degree on the initiative of Finnish shipowners, especially the major entrepreneur from Åbo Eric Julin, who actively collaborated with the RAC as early as the 1830s–1840s, providing the company with chartered ships for round-the-world voyages to Russian America (Atkha, Sitkha, and Freia). In addition, the governors-general of eastern Siberia V. Ia. Rupert and N. N. Murav’ev-Amurskii expressed great interest in this project. They actively sought the support of the tsar in the affair of organizing a Russian whaling business on the Pacific Ocean, where prior to this, foreign whalers, chiefly American, reigned completely.23

In an edict of 13 July 1850 [O.S.], the emperor granted rather significant benefits to the newly formed Russian-Finnish Whaling Company (RFKK or Rysk-Finska Hvalfiskeribolaget). Its cofounders were in equal shares the Finnish entrepreneurs from Åbo and the RAC. The latter laid out in this affair 100,000 silver rubles, purchasing 100 shares with a par value of 1,000 rubles. It was assumed that with their means, the RFKK shareholders would equip four whalers under the RAC flag, though the RAC limited itself to the acquisition of shares, whereas all the care for equipment and dispatch of the whaling vessels lay entirely on the shoulders of the Finnish entrepreneurs; it is no accident that the management of the RFKK was located in Åbo, and not in St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, it was the RAC that had the deciding voice at shareholders’ meetings.24

In the summer of 1851, the first ship of the RFKK, the Suomi (500 tons), went from Åbo to Pacific waters, along the way going to Bremen for final equipping and recruitment of experienced whaling specialists. On the 1852 voyage, the crew of the ship conducted a rather successful hunt in the North Pacific and in October of the same year visited Novo-Arkhangel’sk for replenishment of supplies and rest for the crew. In 1853 the crew of the Suomi continued the successful hunt for whales in the Pacific Ocean, and in 1854 the ship arrived in Bremen, where for the procured oil and baleen it received 88,000 silver rubles, though the ship itself was sold at a significant loss owing to the outbreak of the Crimean War.25

During this campaign, the ports and settlements of Russian America were not subjected to attack by an Anglo-French squadron, which was due only to a separate pact of neutrality concluded by the RAC with the British Hudson’s Bay Company, which was managing western Canada. This pact was ratified by the English and Russian governments literally on the eve of France and England entering into war against Russia.26 Nevertheless, a squadron of the allies seized and burned an RFKK ship—the whaler Aian (540 tons)—on 20 June 1855 [O.S.] near the harbor of Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. Its crew and captain, Gustaf Christian Enberg, were taken captive by the allies, and they were able to return home only in 1856. Three years before that, the whaling bark Aian, leaving Åbo in September 1853, arrived in spring 1854 in Novo-Arkhangel’sk, where it delivered RAC cargo and passengers. It then carried out the business of whaling in the Sea of Okhotsk, after which it left to winter over in Petropavlovsk. There the local leadership, because of the war that had begun, decided to use the ship for evacuation of passengers and government freight from Kamchatka, but the arrival of a squadron of allies interrupted these plans and led to the destruction of the Aian.27

Another RFKK whaling bark, the Turku, which wintered over in Petropavlovsk together with the Aian in 1854/1855, was able safely to hide from the Anglo-French squadron. This ship had been sent from Åbo to the Pacific Ocean with RAC cargo as early as September 1852, but because of a collision with another ship in Falmouth harbor (Great Britain), it lost much time in restoration, and only in July 1853 was it able to deliver the cargo to Novo-Arkhangel’sk, after which it left to hunt whales in the Sea of Okhotsk. There, late in the fall of 1853, its crew managed to procure only one whale. However, during the summer voyage of 1854, the hunt was very successful. Having wintered over in Petropavlovsk, the bark managed to leave the harbor before the arrival there of the Anglo-French squadron.28 To save itself from the enemy patrol, the Turku proceeded first to Kodiak Island, where it delivered cargo to the settlement of the RAC, and then hid in the port of Novo-Arkhangel’sk, where it stayed until the end of the war.29 After the conclusion of peace, the bark returned to Kodiak for its cargo, with which it set off to Bremen, where it arrived in March 1857. The whale oil and baleen it brought was sold there, and on 17 August the Turku returned to Åbo, from where in the fall it again left for the Pacific Ocean to hunt whales.

In this same year, the new RFKK whaling bark Graf Berg (Greve Berg, 600 tons) departed to the North Pacific from Åbo. It was commanded by the skipper G. C. Enberg, who before this was captain of the bark Aian. Enberg carried out the hunt for whales in the Sea of Okhotsk initially together with the Turku, but in 1859 the ships were joined by the small RFKK bark Amur (276 tons), which had been built in Åbo in 1858. However, despite all the efforts of the Finnish whalers, the hunt for whales was not very successful, and at the end of 1859, all the procured whale oil and baleen were loaded onto the bark Turku, which delivered the cargo to Europe, where it was sold together with the ship.30 The whalers Graf Berg and Amur, left on the Pacific Ocean, continued to hunt, but without visible success, and also returned to Europe in 1861 and 1862, respectively, where the RFKK sold them. This, in fact, completed the combined whaling undertaking by representatives of Finland and the RAC, which never brought its shareholders significant dividends (in particular, the RAC received a total income in the amount of only 7,875 silver rubles). In 1863 the RFKK ceased its existence, and what is more, the period of RAC’s privileges granted by the tsar in 1850 had at that time lapsed.31

The reasons for the lack of success of the joint Russian-Finnish project were inadequate experience in the organization and practice of whale hunting, sharp foreign competition, the Crimean War, the transfer of Finnish whalers from piecework pay to a fixed salary, exhaustion of the whale population, and a noticeable drop in the price of baleen and oil on the world market in 1861, and then the acute financial crisis that gripped the RAC in 1863. Contemporaries noted several of these aspects in their works.32

On the whole, the activity of the RFKK did not much influence the situation in Russian America, since its ships operated primarily in the western part of the Pacific Ocean and only the one bark Turku in 1855–1856 spent a rather long time in Alaska (at Kodiak and Novo-Arkhangel’sk). The other ships of the RFKK only episodically visited the capital of Russian America on the way to hunting whales, and some did not go to the ports of the Russian colonies at all. This category included the small brig Storfursten Konstantin (Grand Duke Konstantin, 214 tons), commanded by Otto Lindholm, which belonged to the company of the entrepreneurs in Helsinki. The brig went on the hunt for whales to the Pacific Ocean on 10 September 1857 (G.C.) and returned to Helsinki in May 1861. During its round-the-world voyage, the brig visited the shores of Russian America in the region of Kodiak Island, but its crew conducted its primary hunting off the Asian coast of Russia.33

Generally summing up, one can arrive at the following conclusions. Finnish ships, despite their small number, visited Russian America over the extent of a rather long period—from 1816 to 1856—though at times with substantial temporal intervals. Some of them belonged to the RAC, some were chartered by it, and some were in joint possession with the Russian-Finnish Whaling Company. The crews of all these ships were formed almost completely in Finland. 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 Siberia. There is no doubt that the acquisition of experienced Finnish sailors helped reduce the accident rate and improve the reliability of the voyages of the ships belonging to the Russian-American Company. They played a notable but until now undervalued role in the colonization of Russian America.34 In addition, two eminent naval officers from Finland, who later became admirals (Adolf Etolin [Etholén] and Ivan Furugel’m [Johan Furuhjelm]), at one time even managed the transoceanic possessions of the empire in 1840–1845 and 1859–1864, having done much for the development of Russian America and leaving good memories among their colleagues. After his service in Alaska, Furugel’m was promoted to rear admiral in 1865 and appointed military governor of the Primorskii region of Eastern Siberia (1865–1870), where other natives of Finland also lived and worked. So Otto Rehn, after the sale of Alaska to the US, moved to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur in 1867, and then to Vladivostok, where the aforementioned Lindholm became a big businessman with time. For many years, the former sailor and whaler Fabian Höök served in the Far East, where he performed shooting of the bays of unmapped sections of the coasts of Chukotka, Kamchatka, and the Sea of Japan. Höök discovered several new bays, compiled maps with measurements of the depths of estuaries of rivers, and made visual plans of many anchorages. But the fate of these people and other natives of Finland in Siberia—this is the plot for a separate study.


The author is very grateful to Dr. Richard L. Bland, an archaeologist for the State Museum of Anthropology at the University of Oregon, for his help in translating this and other works.


[Anonymous] “Kratkoe obozrenie prigotovitel’nykh rabot dlya izyskaniya mer k razvitiyu russkogo torgovago moreplavaniya.” Morskoi sbornik 53, no. 5 (1861): 10.


V. P. Puzyrev et al., Pod flagom Rossii: Istoriia zarozhdeniia i razvitiia morskogo torgovogo flota (Moscow: Soglasie, 1995), 195–196.


See N. A. Ivashintsov, Russkie krugosvetnye puteshestviia s 1803 po 1849 god (St. Petersburg: V tipografii Morskogo ministerstva, 1872).


For details about the Second Kamchatka Expedition, see A. Pokrovskii, ed., Ekspeditsiia Beringa: Sbornik dokumentov (Moscow: Glavnoe arkhivnoe upravlenie NKVD SSSR, 1941); D. M. Lebedev, Plavanie A. I. Chirikova na paketbote “Sv. Pavel” k poberezh’iam Ameriki: S prilozheniem sudovogo zhurnala 1741 g. (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Akademii nauk SSSR, 1951); A. L. Narochnitskii, ed., Russkie ekspeditsii po izucheniiu severnoi chasti Tikhogo okeana v pervoi polovine XVIII v.: Sbornik dokumentov (Moscow: Nauka, 1984); V. Bering, Kamchatskie ekspeditsii (Moscow: EKSMO, 2012); and O. W. Frost, ed., Bering and Chirikov: The American Voyages and Their Impact (Anchorage: University of Alaska Press, 1992).


See the complete list of names of ships that went to Russian America: A. V. Grinëv, “Russian Ship Names: Ships on the Shores of Russian America,” Mariner’s Mirror 101, no. 2 (2015): 200–212.


For the data, see Archive of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire, Obozrenie sostoianiia i deistvii Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii s 1797go po 1819i god, f. RAK, op. 888, d. 125, ll. 232–233. For the argument that Americans made the purchase, see N. N. Bolkhovitinov, “Russkaia Amerika na rubezhe 20-kh gg. XIX v. (Priniatie novykh pravil i privilegii RAK),” in Istoriia Russkoi Ameriki (1732–1867). T. 2. Deiatel’nost’ Rossiisko-amerikanskoi kompanii (1799–1825), ed. N. N. Bolkhovitinov (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1999), 306; A. Iu. Petrov, “Vzaimodeistvie Rossii i SShA na Severo-zapade Ameriki v nachale XIX veka,” Novaia i Noveishaia istoriia, no. 5 (2013): 171. For a reassessment, see A. V. Grinëv, “The Problem of Classification of Vessels of the Russian-American Company in Russian Historiography,” Sibirica 14, no. 2 (2015): 45–65.


O. E. Kotzebue, Puteshestvie v Iuzhnyi okean i v Beringov proliv dlia otyskaniia Severo-Vostochnago morskogo prokhoda, predpriniatoe v 1815, 1816, 1817 i 1818 godakh … na korable Riurike… (St. Petersburg: V tipografii N. Grecha, 1821–1823), pts. 1–3.


“Donesenie F. P. Vrangelia v Glavnoe pravlenie RAK o sostoianii postroek, kreposti i sudov v Novo-Arkhangel’ske. 30 aprelia 1831 g.,” in Rossiisko-Amerikanskaia kompaniia i izuchenie Tikhookeanskogo Severa, 1815–1841, ed. N. N. Bolkhovitinov (Moscow: Nauka, 2005), 246.


See A. V. Grinëv, “Foreign Ships in the Fleet of the Russian-American Company (1799–1867),” Mariner’s Mirror 100, no. 4 (2014): 405–421.


Ob’iasnenie na stat’i: g. Popova, v № 4-m “Morskogo sbornika” i g. Mel’nitskogo, № 171-m “Zhurnala dlia aktsionerov.” (Soobshcheno ot glavnogo pravleniia rossiisko-amerikanskoi kompanii) (St. Petersburg: V tipografii N. Grecha, 1860), 29–30.


A. V. Postnikov, Russkaia Amerika v geograficheskikh opisaniiakh i na kartakh: 1741–1867 gg. (St. Petersburg: DB, 2000), 214; and B. N. Bolgurtsev and V. I. Koriakin, Russkaia Amerika: Gidrograficheskie issledovaniia (k 200-letiiu osnovaniia Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii i 300-letiiu Sankt-Peterburga) (St. Petersburg: TsKF VMF, 2002), 278.


National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD, 26 aprelia, 1840 g., № 189. V Glavnoe Pravlenie. Donesenie. RG 261, RRAC, roll 43, pp. 193–194.


A. Khramtsov, “Bedstvie korablia Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii Naslednik Aleksandr,” Morskoi sbornik 1, nos. 3–4 (1848): 82–89.


Otchet Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii Glavnogo pravleniia za 1848 god [hereafter: ORAKGP] (St. Petersburg: V topografii Fishera, 1849), 24.


ORAKGP for 1844 (St. Petersburg: V topografii Fishera, 1845), 29; ORAKGP for 1845 (St. Petersburg: V topografii Fishera, 1846), 18–21; [Anonymous] “Dvizhenie sudov Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii s 1 yanvaria 1844 g. po 1 yanvaria 1854 goda,” Morskoi sbornik 19, no. 12 (1855): 119.


O. W. Lindholm, Beyond the Frontiers of Imperial Russia: From the Memoirs of Otto W. Lindholm, ed. A. de Haes Tyrtoff and N. Tyrtoff Davis (Chippenham, England: Etica Press, 2008), 16.


For more details about him, see L. M. Sverdlov, “Krugosvetnye plavaniia vol’nogo shkipera Avgusta Ridelia,” Priroda, no. 9 (2011): 61–67; M. J. Enckell, Biographical & Professional Data for Finnish Merchant Skipper August Wilhelm Fredriksson Riedell in Russian-American Company Service 1846–1861 (Mariehamn, Finland: Ålands Emigrantinstitut, 2012).


Lindholm, Beyond the Frontiers, 17.


M. J. Enckell, “Skepp, sjöfolk, guldfund och sjöresor: Styrman Wilhelm Constantin Hjelt och hans samtida i Rysk-amerikanska kompaniets tjänst, ett forsook till en over tiden 1822–1853, med slutsummering upp till 1875,” Vuosikirja, no. 6 (2009–2010): 7–94.


ORAKGP for 1850 (St. Petersburg: V tipografii Shtaba Inspektora po Inzhenernoi chasti, 1851), 9.


ORAKGP for 1852 (St. Petersburg: V tipografii Shtaba Inspektora po Inzhenernoi chasti, 1853), 8.


ORAKGP for 1863 (St. Petersburg: V tipografii E. Treimana, 1865), 11.


P. A. Tikhmenev, Istoricheskoe obozrenie obrazovaniia Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii i deistvii eia do nastoiashchago vremeni, pt. 2 (St. Petersburg: V tipografii Eduarda Veimara, 1863), 142–145.


Ibid., 145; see also E. Lindberg, Åbo Sjöfarts Historia II 1836–1928 (Åbo: Åbo Tryckeri Och Tidnings Aktiebolag, 1928), 99–139; A. N. Ermolaev, “Rossiisko-finliandskaia kitolovnaia kompaniia (1850–1863 gg.),” in Uchenie zapiski fakul’teta istorii i mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii: Sbornik nauchnykh statei pamiati d-ra ist. nauk, professora Iu. V. Galaktionova (Kemerovo: Kemerovskii gos. un-t: 2010), vyp. 3: 156–157.


Tikhmenev, Istoricheskoe obozrenie, 147–148.


A. V. Grinëv, “Vzaimootnosheniia Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii i Kompanii Gudzonova zaliva: Problema anglo-russkikh kontaktov v Severnoi Amerike (1821–1867 gg.),” in Aktual’nye voprosy istorii, istoriografii i mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii (Barnaul, Russia: Izdatel’stvo AGU, 1996), 61–92.


ORAKGP for 1856 (St. Petersburg: V tipografii Shtaba Inspektora po Inzhenernoi chasti, 1857), 36; A. Iu. Petrov, ed., Rossiisko-Amerikanskaia kompaniia i izuchenie Tikhookeanskogo Severa, 1841–1867: Sbornik dokumentov (Moscow: Nauka, 2010), 287–288.


Tikhmenev, Istoricheskoe obozrenie, 148–150.


See memories of an eyewitness: Lindholm, Beyond the Frontiers, 27–82.


Tikhmenev, Istoricheskoe obozrenie, 151–152; O. V. Lindholm, “Kitovyi promysel,” Russkoe sudokhodstvo, torgovoe i promyslovoe, na rekakh, ozerakh i moriakh, no. 33 (1888): (accessed 15 February 2016); Ermolaev, “Rossiisko-finliandskaia,” 158–159.


Ermolaev, “Rossiisko-finliandskaia,” 160–161.


See Tikhmenev, Istoricheskoe obozrenie, 152; V. Zbyshevskii, “Zamechaniia o kitolovnom promysle v Okhotskom more,” Morskoi sbornik 65, no. 4 (1863): 233–234; K. Zelenoi “Iz zapisok o krugosvetnom plavanii (1861–1864 gg.),” Morskoi sbornik 79, no. 8 (1863): 220 and other works.


Lindholm, Beyond the Frontiers, 87–158.


See for detail M. J. Enckell, “Documenting the Legacy of the Alaska Finns in the Russian Period,” Finnish-American Historical Society of the West 23, no. 1 (1996): 1–84; M. J. Enckell, “The Finnish Migration to and from Russian Alaska and the Pacific Siberian Rim 1800–1900,” Siirtolaisuus Migration, no. 4 (2002): 16–22; and M. J. Enckell, Those Not Russian Russians: Finlanders & Russian-American Company’s Multiethnic Evangelical Lutheran Community in the North Pacific Region 1800–1871 (Mariehamn, Finland: Ålands Emigrantinstitut, 2012).

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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:


Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies


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