The First Russian Voyage Around the World and Its Influence
on the Exploration and Development of Russian America

Alexey V. Postnikov

At the end of the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth century, the  promyshlenniki (fur hunters and traders), as well as the official authorities of Russia, tried by all possible means to extend Russia’s colonial possessions in America, especially along the coasts and islands of southern Alaska. The active enterprises of the multi-talented chief manager of Russia’s colonies, A. A. Baranov (1746-1819), received at this time decisive governmental support. This support found its most concrete expression in the organization of the first Russian circumnavigating voyage under the command of I. F. Krusenstern and Yu. F. Lisianskii (1803-1806).

One of the most practical tasks of the expedition was to resupply Russia’s American colonies with needed food and materials. The method of transporting the supplies across Siberia and subsequently across the Pacific Ocean was exceptionally complex and expensive. The required number of horses alone was more than 4,000 annually. The idea of such an expedition was born in the beginning of the eighteenth century and was nearly accomplished during the reign of Catherine II. A circumnavigating voyage under the command of Captain of the First Rank G. I. Mulovskii did not materialize because of the Russo-Turkish wars. A detailed proposal for supplying the colonies by sea was presented to the Russian government by the Minister of Commerce, Count N. P. Rumiantsev (1754-1826). Rumiantsev was a rather enlightened person and a well-known statesman during the time of Alexander I. He founded the Rumiantsev Museum and an enormous library in Moscow (now Russia’s State Library). During the first decades of the nineteenth century, Rumiantsev, being deeply interested in geographical studies, spent a considerable amount of money from his own funds for the study of Russia’s American colonies. Together with the Russian-American Company, Rumiantsev undertook to bear the costs for one ship of the expedition, while the second ship was paid for by the Russian government. A considerable role was played in the organization of this circumnavigating voyage by an important royal courtier, Active State Councillor N. P. Rezanov who was closely tied to the interests of the Russian colonies in North America. On 10 June 1803 Rezanov was awarded the order of St. Anna, 1st Degree, the title of the Kammerherr (Chamberlain), and appointed as an ambassador to Japan. On Rumiantsev’s insistence, Alexander I decided to dispatch Rezanov to Japan aboard the same ships that were to deliver supplies to the Russian colonies in North America. Without doubt, this step enhanced the international importance of the expedition. It was also decided to dispatch a scientific team for the study of the coasts of the Pacific Ocean.

To head this first Russian world-circumnavigating scientific expedition, the young but experienced and well-educated officers of the navy, I.F. Krusenstern (1770-1846) and Yu F. Lisianskii (1773-1837) were nominated. Both Krusenstern and Lisianskii were graduates of the Naval Academy [Morskaia Akademiia] in St. Petersburg, and had trained and served in the Royal Navy of England, taking part in many sea battles. The general proposal for the organization of the circumnavigating expedition was presented to the Navy Minister by Krusenstern who had been appointed the expedition’s leader.

The material, scientific, and technical parts of the preparations were entrusted to Lisianskii. In 1803, he purchased in London, for the price of 22,000 pounds sterling, two vessels, named the Neva and the Nadezhda, along with navigational instruments, several sextants, pel-compasses, barometers, a hydrometer, Taunton’s artificial magnet, and chronometers made by Arnold and Pettington. Throughout the course of the expedition, special care was taken precisely to determine  astronomical coordinates, and for this reason all of the instruments, especially the chronometers, were checked at the Pulkovo Observatory by Academician F. I. Shubert (1758-1825). Among the members of the scientific team, who traveled aboard the flagship Nadezhda to Japan in the company of Ambassador Rezanov, were the naturalists Tilesius von Tillenau, Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff (1774-1852), and the astronomer Horner. The Neva, commanded by Lisianskii, was to sail to the shores of Russian America.

 The Neva arrived at Kodiak during a very complicated period for Russia’s North American colonies. The crux of the matter was that the southern advance along the coasts of Alaska, energetically pursued by Baranov, was checked one year prior to the expedition by a Tlingit uprising on Sitka (now Baranov) Island. Sitka Island was the main advance-post in Russia’s expansion plans for her colonial possessions. In 1802, the Tlingit took by storm the fortress Krepost, and burned it along with a merchant vessel then in the harbor. English sailors from the vessel of captain-cum-fur trader Barber actively participated in the attack.1

Baranov prepared long and hard for military operations against the Tlingit. The arrival in St. Paul Harbor at Kodiak of the Russian expeditionary vessel Neva was most fortunate for Baranov and the realization of his plans. Toward the end of August 1804, Lisianskii’s Neva approached Sitka where he was joined on September 19th by Baranov with the vessel Ermak. By September 25th at the Cross Harbor (Krestovskaia gavan’) on Sitka, the entire force of Russian promyshlenniki and the Kodiak Islanders were assembled. This force included 800 men with 350 baidarkas. On 28 September, the Neva, the Ermak, and Baranov’s baidarka fleet approached the Tlingit settlement. There, on September 29th,  “Baranov, having gone ashore accompanied by a number of armed men raised a flag atop of a rather high mountain in the middle of the abandoned settlement [Castle Hill].” According to Lisianskii, “six cannon, four of which were copper and two cast iron,”  were placed into this fortification that in Lisianskii’s words “by itself would be considered unassailable.” A landing party from the Neva, led by Captain-Lieutenant Lisianskii himself,  arrived at this fortification at noon “when it was named Novoarkhangel ‘skaia [krepost’], while several salvos were fired from all cannons.” Thus was the settlement established that soon became the center of Russia’s American colonies (modern-day city of Sitka).2

On October 1st, a Russian detachment approached the Tlingit fortification. The first attempt to capture it by storm was unsuccessful, ending with a retreat under the cover of the ship’s artillery. In the course of this assault, two sailors were killed and many were wounded, Baranov among them. On  October 7th it was discovered that the Tlingits had abandoned their fortress, leaving behind an old woman and a couple of small children. On October 8th, Lisianskii visited the abandoned Tlingit fortification and recorded his impressions of what he saw as follows: “Having come ashore, I observed a most barbaric sight that could bring even the most hardened heart to tremble and recoil. Assuming that we could trace them in the woods by the voices of infants and dogs, the Sitkans put them all to death. . . the entire set of circumstances led us to conclude that the fortress had contained no fewer than 800 persons of male gender.”3 On 10 November 1804, the Neva left Sitka,  and on November 15th arrived in St. Paul’s harbor on Kodiak. Here, the members of the expedition came ashore for the winter.

In spite of the need to take part in the battle operations against the Tlingit, Lisianskii, from the very beginning, organized hydrographic surveys and descriptions of the regions that were deemed by the Russian Admiralty to be insufficiently explored. Already in August 1804 Lisianskii “sent out his navigator (Shturman) into Chiniak Bay for its description.” The winter spent on Kodiak was utilized for natural history and ethnographic observations, the results of which are reflected in Lisianskii’s account. The Neva’s captain widely utilized in his description information obtained from local Alaska inhabitants, in particular, information about the appearance of a new volcanic island in the distant Aleutian (Fox) Islands. Lisianskii tells the story thus: 

The island appeared suddenly about the middle of April 1797. The first news about this miracle was brought by the Aleuts who, coming in from the sea, assured everyone in Captain’s Harbor (on Unalashka) that they saw not far away fire over the sea surface. The fire-breathing mountain, emitting flame, was emerging from the depth of the sea little by little so that in May 1798 the newly emerged island could be seen from the Makushin settlement on Unalashka, though it was situated not less than 70 verst to the  northwest. This island nowadays, so they say, resembles a hat, is relatively high and has a circumference of about 20 verst. It has been said that it has not grown since 1797. The molten matter that ruptured the surface of some peaks scattered the mountain rocks of which they were composed. It is asserted that this new work of nature could be seen from the very beginning of its emergence from the Island of Umnak.4

Profusely using native information in his descriptions, this enlightened Russian mariner did not always demonstrate the requisite tact when encountering the aboriginal beliefs and ritual practices of the local inhabitants, yielding in this respect to such missionaries as Ioasaf, Gedeon, and Veniaminov. Lisianskii, describing his encounter with one of the Kodiak toions, Minak, says that “this old man, about 80 years of age, is the greatest shaman or sorcerer on the island. Perhaps trying to impress us with his fables, he insisted that he often meets an unclean spirit with whose help he foretells the future of the folk. We laughed heartily at his tales and the poor old man got so angry that he left us without saying farewell to anyone.”5 Just the same, and in spite of his relatively short stay in the colonies, Lisianskii repeatedly noticed the depth of native knowledge about the natural environment of their islands and in particular their ability to foretell the weather. Thus, in April 1805, during the travel  with a baidarka  to Ugak island, Lisianskii disregarded the advice of the local toion to stay for the night on the island, because, the toion “insisted, the  north-east wind will begin to blow soon.” On the return trip to St. Paul harbor, Lisianskii got drenched because, just as the toion predicted, “in the afternoon the wind began to blow from the east creating such waves that they constantly washed over the baidarkas.”6 Speaking of the sea-going abilities of the natives, Lisianskii particularly notes that the Kodiak Islanders “sail without any kind of danger over a thousand verst” in their baidarkas.7

Describing Kodiak Island and other Russian possessions on American coasts, Lisianskii, with concern, remarks on the exhaustion of fur resources in the colonies. Insisting on the necessity to institute measures for protection of the colonies’ fauna, the perfection of fur-procurement methods,  and the improvement of the living conditions of the Aleut and Kodiak Islanders, he specifically supported Baranov’s measures for transporting native fur hunters to remote hunting grounds with their baidarkas aboard large company vessels, which later became a standard practice of the Russian-American Company.8

Having spent the winter on Kodiak, the Neva arrived on Sitka Island on 22 June 1805, and dropped anchor across from the Novoarkhangel’sk Fort. Lisianskii was struck by Baranov’s progress in enhancing the amenities in the new settlement. He thus writes (on  June 23rd):

About ten o’clock I went ashore and with the greatest of pleasure saw the remarkable fruits of the tireless labors of Baranov. During our short absence, he managed to put up eight new buildings, which in their size and appearance might be considered beautiful even in Europe. Besides, he developed fifteen vegetable gardens near the settlement. He has now 4 cows, 2 heifers, 3 bulls, a sheep and a ram, 3 goats and rather considerable quantity of swine and chickens.9

While standing off Sitka Island, Lisianskii and his officers continued hydrographic surveys and descriptions of Alaskan waters and land. Neva’s navigator, Danilo Kalinin, conducted the survey and description of the strait leading to Cross Harbor “and separated the island on which stands [Cape] Edgecumb.” Lisianskii named it Kruzov Island in memory of Admiral Aleksandr Ivanovich Kruz (1731-1799) to whom the seafarer was greatly indebted. During a visit with Lisianskii aboard the Neva, the Sitka toion told him “that from the Cross Sound [prokhod Kresta] to Cape Decision, the peoples are called koliushi,  and that they speak the same language as do the people of Stakine Inlet [guba] (Frederic Sound).”10

Speaking of his expedition’s explorations at Sitka and the sea around it, Lisianskii notes that, from the voyage of Chriikov to that of Vancouver, it was not known if Sitka was an island or part of the mainland. Vancouver discovered Chatham Strait and thus determined, in general outline, that Sitka was an island. Lisianskii’s and his officers’ investigations proved that among the multitude of islands off Sitka there are four main ones:  Iakobiev, Kruzov, Baranov and Chichagov. We see that Lisianskii, in his plan for naming islands, continued the “tradition” of the enlightened mariners to magnanimously bestow new geographic names without paying due attention to the local toponymns, in spite of the fact that Neva’s captain underscored that “the Sitka Islands are named by me for the name of the people [who] live there, and who call themselves sitkakhany or sitkintsy.”11

   On 2 September 1805, the Neva was ready to commence her homeward bound voyage. Taking leave from the Russian North American colonies Lisianskii remarked in his notes: “At this time Baranov came to us from the fort and I took my leave from him but not without regret. He deserves all sorts of respect in accordance with his abilities. In my opinion, the Russian-American Company cannot have a better head in America. Besides his knowledge, he is accustomed to perform various tasks and does not spare his own estate for the communal benefit.”12

The main cartographic results of the circumnavigating expedition to the shores of Russian America are reflected in Sobranie kart i Risunkov, prinadlezhashchikh k puteshestviiu Flota Kapitana of the First Rank and Cavalier Iurii Lisianskii aboard the ship Neva.13  This atlas contains the general Chart of the Russian Possessions in northwestern part of America, based on the newest descriptions and confirmed [checked] by observation of the Captain of the Fleet and Cavalier Iurii Lisianskii conducted on Kodiak Island and in the Port of Novoarkhangel’sk, 1805 [Karta Rossiskikh vladenii v severo-zapadnoi chasti Ameriki, vybrannaia iz noveishikh opisanii I utverzhdennaia po nabliudeniiam flota Kapitana I Kavalera Iuriia Lisianskago, uchinennym na ostrove Kad’iake I v Novoarkhangel’skom porte, 1805] (fo.4). Also contained within this atlas are four large-scale navigational charts: 1) Chiniak Bay and Pavlovskaia Harbor, described in 1805 by navigator Kalinin under special supervision by Captain of the Fleet and cavalier Iurii Lisianskii (6v) [Zaliv Chiniatskii I gavan’ Pavlovskaia opisannye v 1805 godu shturmanom kalininym pod osobennom nabliudeniem Flota Kapitana Iuriia Lisianskago]; 2) Kodiak with islands surrounding it, described by the Captain of the Fleet and Cavalier Iurii Lisianskii in 1805 [Kad’iak s okruzhaiushchimi ego ostrovami, opisannoi Flota Kapitanom I Kavalerom Iurii Lisianskii v 1805 godu] (fo. 7); 3) Sitka Bay described under supervision by the Captain of the Fleet and Cavalier Iurii lisianski, 1805 Novoarkhangel’sk [Zaliv Sitka, opisannoi pod smotreniem Flota Kapitana I Kavalera Iuriia Lisianskago, 1805 Novoarkhangel’sk] (fo. 8); 4) Three Saints Harbor [Gavam’ Trekh Sviatitelei] (fo.  9).

We can firmly state that all these charts were compiled in accordance with the highest level of scientific hydrography of the times. Their astronomical and geodesic base is guaranteed by the determination of numerous coordinates of latitude and longitude, utilizing field observatories that Lisianskii put up on Kodiak and at Sitka, and also by the use of contemporary (then modern) and meticulously checked instruments. Besides the depth measures indicated on the charts, there is also an indication of the nature of the sea bottom: shell, rock, sand, silt, silt with sand, etc.. Lisianskii, when compiling his charts, utilized all the sources that were available to him. This is evidenced, for example, by the inscription on the general chart in the area of Yakutat Bay, which states “shoal shown on Spanish charts, unknown to the Russians.” Charts comprising the atlas are complemented by sketches of the coast seen from the sea and approaches to main harbors or coastal segments where navigation is difficult, a practice by then obligatory in all publications of the Russian Admiralty. We must note that such sketches convey much more accurate representations of the character of Alaska’s coastal relief then the method of representation on the charts themselves by means of hatching. The latter as it appears on the marine charts of the time was rather conventional and qualitatively far inferior in comparison to the method of plastic representation of land according to the Lehman scale on topographic maps.

Lisianskii’s general chart, besides the basic hydrographic and navigational content, includes the areas of habitation of various indigenous peoples such as the Kenaitsy, the Chugachi, Ugalakhniut [Eyeak], and Koliuzhi (Tlingit), which are indicated by their tribal names. Serious attention was devoted (as evidenced by the work of the expedition) to natives. Lisianskii’s book contains detailed and precise descriptions of lifestyles (byt), mores (nravy), and the material and spiritual culture of the natives of Russia’s colonies. Lisianskii’s atlas includes drawings of objects in their everyday use such as weapons and clothing. Aboard the Neva, examples of Indian artifacts were brought to St. Petersburg and there enriched the collections of the Academy of Sciences. These were collected by members of the expedition in Russian America, and some were presented by the colonial leadership. Thus, Baranov delivered to Lisianskii “koloshenskie [Tlingit] items.”14 Lisianskii’s book, first published in St. Petersburg in 1812, appeared as early as 1814 in an English language edition in Weybridge. In this edition were included maps from Lisianskii’s Sobranie kart i risunkov. . ., reworked by Aaron Arrowsmith.15

After the Neva’s departure from the colonies, the brig Mariia arrived there bringing N.P. Rezanov, N. A. Khvostov, G. I. Davydov and the German naturalist and Full Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences Georg Heinrich (Grigorii Ivanovich) Langsdorf (1774-1852). The results of biogeographic investigations conducted by Langsdorf (1805-1806) in Russian America, and his description of Alaska and of Russian settlements,  gained widespread attention, particularly due to the publication of materials from his travels in Germany in 1812.16 In 1814, Langsdorf’s work was published in English.17 In his work, Langsdorf gave great attention to the ethnographic description of the native peoples of America and also to their relationships with the promyshlenniki. Mentioning many times the arbitrary acts of colonists against the aborigines, the German naturalist also stressed that ordinary rank-and-file Russian laborers suffered no less than the local inhabitants. Langsdorf wrote with indignation that not “only the Aleuts but many Russian Promyshlenniki who are not employed as skilled craftsmen or clerks (prikazchiki), but serve as sailors, perform agricultural tasks or transport timber find themselves in scarcely a better situation. They are treated exceptionally poorly and are kept at work until they are totally exhausted. . . The food of such people consists for the most part of fish, whale and walrus meat.”18

The sojourn in the colonies of the official representative of the Imperial Court, Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov (1764-1807), was of some significance for the future development of Russian America. He visited Unalaska, Kodiak, Novoarkhangel’sk, and California between 1805-1806. During this entire time he maintained an active correspondence with the Russian-American Company directors, part of which, pertaining to his plans for expansion and strengthening of Russia’s colonies in America, was published in the second part of P. A. Tikmenev’s work devoted to the Company’s history. A general account of Rezanov’s voyage appeared in several issues of the journal Otechestvennye zapiski  in the years 1822-1825.19 Rezanov strove by all means to realize the idea, advanced by Shelikhov, to expand the boundaries of the Russian colonies southward to the 40th parallel. For this reason, Rezanov, in 1806, sailed aboard the vessel Iunona to California. Upon arrival in  San Francisco Bay, Rezanov entered into trade negotiations with the Spaniards for food- stuffs needed in the colonies,  and ascertained that the Spaniards had no permanent settlements to the north. This was immediately conveyed to the Chief Manager of the Russian American colonies Baranov, who in turn did not delay in notifying the imperial government.20 Information obtained by Rezanov was immediately utilized to expand the areas of fur procurement. Already in 1806-1808 Russians visited Bodega Bay, naming it Ruminatsev Bay (Zaliv Rumiantseva)21 and established sea-otter hunting there. In November 1811, Baranov sent his assistant Ivan Aleksandrovich Kuskov to Bodega Bay, aboard the schooner Chirikov, accompanied by 25 Russian laborers and an Aleut party with 40 baidarkas. They determined that the bay was not suitable for settlements as there was no timber. For this reason the new Russian settlement site was chosen on a steep forested shore to the north from the harbor in Bodega Bay. Having acquired a sufficient quantity of timber in early 1812, in June of that same year Fort Ross was founded. It became the southern-most Russian outpost in America, if we do not count the odinochka in the Farallon Islands that was established somewhat later, at Cape Drake, where Russians hunted sea lions and fur seals.22

Among the materials sent by Rezanov to the main office of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg was a grand proposal for colonial reorganization. The main idea was the necessity of creating a large population of Russian settlers on the coasts of Alaska. In order to attract settlers, it was proposed that various incentives be offered, such as grants of land, as well as all necessary equipment needed to establish one’s self in the colonies. Rezanov also called for the improvement of the living conditions for the Russians, Creoles, and the native inhabitants of the colonies. One of the first measures proposed was the improvement of education in Russian America, to which Rezanov paid a great deal of attention throughout the course of his sojourn in the colonies. In 1805, he reformed the Kodiak School, transforming it into the Colonial School, part of which was later transferred to Novoarkhangel’sk. Students were accepted to this school without regard to their parentage, social origins or nationality.  Graduates were used in the colonies in many varied colonial tasks. They worked as sailors, craftsmen and clerks. Rezanov devoted great attention to the Creoles, assuming quite reasonably that children born to Russian promyshlenniki and native mothers would become most reliable servants of the company. In this connection, on 15 January 1818 the company’s management petitioned the Interior Ministry of Russia to liberate the Creoles from taxation and provide them with the opportunity to serve in the colonies “and gain through their talents and their service to the State ranked estates and honors.” The Council of the Interior Ministry, chaired by the Minister of Interior Affairs Kozodavlev, discussed this petition and stated that “the Council considers it beneficial to leave them as free Citizens of those localities where they were born, either as occupying positions with the Company or having their own establishments, as has been suggested by the late Mr. Chamberlain Rezanov. . .”23

This decision was incredibly liberal for the Russia of those years, as, perhaps only in theory, it offered an opportunity to attain, after having reached a certain rank, such as lieutenant in the navy, the honor of personal nobility (non-hereditary nobility, such as knighting nowadays in the United Kingdom), and even, if for example attaining a higher rank, such as that of a Staff Officer, the rank of a hereditary Russian nobleman. It should be noted that even before this decision, the Russian-American Company provided opportunities for such carriers when it dispatched, on Rezanov’s initiative, in 1805 eight Creole boys to continue their education in Russia, of whom the survivors were “only four, three having studied at Kronstadt navigational and one in shipbuilding school; after completion of their studies, they were sent back, the first mentioned with the rank of navigator apprentice (ucheniki morekhodstva), and the last mentioned as timmerman [German Zimmerman, joiner, ship’s carpenter]. They are to receive from the Company salaries from 500 to 1200 rubles per annum.”24 According to data for the year 1818, over 60 children were being educated in the colonial school. They were taught Russian philology, basic mathematics, drawing, navigation and English.25 Baranov labored to expand the curriculum, believing “that the subjects of instruction should be, besides Russian language, arts, arithmetic, geometry, mathematics, physics, navigation, mechanics, chemistry and experimental [laboratory] arts (“probirnoe iskusstvo”), drawing art and painting art, artillery, fortification, geodesy, English and Spanish languages.”26 We should note that this high level of instruction in the colonial schools would be achieved by the 1830s.

Beginning with the year 1816, it was decided that Creoles should be educated also at the St. Petersburg Academy of Medicine and Surgery (Meditsinsko-Khirurgicheskaia Akademii)], in order to satisfy the demand in the colonies for well-trained medical personnel. It is difficult to determine the exact number of Creoles who had been educated in Russia, but data in the annual reports of the Russian-American Company indicate that each year from five to twelve persons were being educated in the metropolis not only in naval, business and medical disciplines but also in various skilled trades needed in the colonies. Among the cadets of the Kronstadt Navigation School were such well-known explorers of Alaska as A. I. Klimovskii, A. F. Kashevarov, P. F.  Kolmakov, P. V. Malakhov and others.27

The colonial library, begun by Shelikhov, who in 1794 delivered “classical, historical, mathematical, moral and economic books,”28 was enlarged by the first circumnavigating expedition. The ship Neva, commanded by Lisianskii, brought to Kodiak a significant book-collection donated by Russian literary authors and foremost representatives of Russian society for the education of the colonies’ inhabitants. The books were collected after a call issued by Rezanov. According to Khlebnikov, in 1835 the library in Novoarkhangel’sk contained 1,200 volumes of which more then 600 were in Russian, 300 in French, 130 in German, 35 in English, 30 in Latin and the rest in Swedish, Dutch, Spanish and Italian. The collection was valued at 7500 rubles.29

An important consequence of the sojourn in Russian America of members of the first circumnavigating expedition from the homeland was the expansion and perfection of geographic investigations and the cartography of Alaska. Though Rezanov was not a professional sailor, a fact that resulted in the well known conflicts between him and Kruzenstern, materials from his correspondence with the directors of the Russian-American Company demonstrate that he clearly saw the direction of further development of functions of the colonies. In particular, he foresaw the improvement of vessels by promyshlenniki. In addition, Rezanov studied the American (or as they were called in Russian America, Bostonian) vessels. In his letter sent from Novoarkhangel’sk Port to St. Petersburg (2 July 1806) he noted the remarkable sailing capabilities, speed and longevity of these ships. He recommended following the American example and to skin-plate vessels with copper and to oil this with olifa and ocher as, according to American observations, this would increase the longevity of the vessel’s service by more than two years in the complex hydro-meteorological conditions in Alaska.30

To conclude our presentation we would like to point out that the First Russian Round-the-World Expedition had had a very strong and long-lasting influence upon the lives and affairs of the Russian-American colonists. The geographical exploration, charting and mapping of Alaskan waters and lands had received a powerful stimulus during the Expedition, its own achievements being of the highest possible scientific level for the time. The colonists had received a rare opportunity of relatively long-lasting social contacts with brilliantly educated naval officers, and their influence,  as well as Count Rezanov’s measures to improve the educational system and social relationships between very different groups of people within the Russian-American colonies. The first Russian circumnavigating expedition ushered in regular communication by sea between the Russian-American colonies and Central Russia.

1          Dumitrashko N.V. Yu.F. Lisyanskii I Russkie krugosvetnye plavaniya [N.V. Lisyankii and Russian round the World voyages] In book: Lisyanskii Yu.F. Puteshestvie vokrug sveta na korable “Neva” v 1803-1806 godakh [Round the World Voyage on board the “Neva” in 1803-1806] (Moscow, 1947): 8, 11, 15-22; Peterson, Edward S. The Russian-Indian Wars, 1741-1855. The Westerners Brand book. Vol 43, #1, (1994): 7-8, 16.
Lisyanskii Yu.F. Puteshestvie vokrug sveta na korable “Neva” v 1803-1806 godakh [Round the World Voyage on board the “Neva” in 1803-1806] (Moscow, 1947), p. 158-159.
Ibid., p. 161-162.
Ibid., p. 167.
Ibid., p. 167.
Ibid., p. 173-174.
Ibid., p. 188.
Ibid., p. 177, 192.
Ibid., p. 196.
Ibid., p. 197, 200.
Ibid., p. 208, 210.
Ibid., p. 217.
AVPRI [Archives of the Foreign Policy of Russian Empire], Fond Morskie karty, opis’ 504M, #14.
Lisyanskii Yu.F. Puteshestvie vokrug sveta na korable “Neva” v 1803-1806 godakh [Round the World Voyage on board the “Neva” in 1803-1806] (Moscow, 1947), p. 153.
Lisianski, Urei, A Voyage Round the World 1803 to 1806 (Weybridge, 1814). London edition: Lisianskii, I. F., Voyage around the World in the years 1803-15 and 1806. . . (London, 1814).
Langsdorff, G. H. von, Bermerkungen auf einer Reise um die Welt in der Jahren 1803 bis 1807, II (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1812).
Langsdorff, G. H., Voyages and travels in various parts of the world, during the years 1803-1807, vol 2. (London, 1814).
Izvlechenie iz zapisok G. Langsdorfa [Extracts from G. Langsdorff’s notes]. Materialy dlya istorii russkikh zaseleniy po beregam Vostochnogo okeana. Vypusk 4. (St Petersburg, 1861): 188; Langsdorff, G. H. Voyages and travels in various parts of the world, during the years 1803-1807, vol 2 (London, 1814), p. 72; Fedorova, S. F., The Russian Population in Alaska and California. Late 18th century- 1867. Translated and edited by R.A. Pierce and A. S. Donnelly (Kingston, 1973), p. 233.
Tikhmenev, P. A., Istoricheskow obozrenie obrazovaniya Rossiysko-Amerikanskoy kompanii I deystviy ee nastoyashchego vremeni [A Historical Outline of the Russian-American Company’s origin and its activities up to the recent times], Chast’ 1 (St. Petersburg, 1861); Rezanov N. P. Pervoe Puteshestvie rossiyan okolo sveta [The First Russians’ Travel around the World], Otechestvennye zapiski. #10-12 (1853); #20 (1824); #23-24 (1825).
Zapiski K. Khlebnikova, O Amerike [K. Khlebnikov’s Notes] Materialy dlya istorii russkikh zaseleniy po beregam Vostochnogo okeana. Vypusk 3 (St. Petersburg, 1861), p. 137.
On details of Bodega Bay’s exploration and naming consult Clinton R Edwards, “Wandering Toponyms: El Peurto de la Bodega and Bodega Bay,” Pacific Historical Review, volume XXXIII, number 3 (August 1964): 253-272.
Fedorova, S. F., The Russian Population in Alaska and California. Late 18th century–1867. Translated and edited by R. A. Pierce and A. S. Donnelly (Kingston, 1973), p. 134-135.
AVPRI, Fond 339 (RAK), opis’ 888, #251 (January 18, 1818-January 24, 1819) Donoshenie Glavnogo Pravleniya Rossiyskoy Amerikanskoy kompanii v MVD ob uchastii kreolov na ostrove Kad’yake v raznykh rabotakh, proizvodimykh dlyai zashchity portov, krepostey . . . pri uchenii, k voennoy sluzhbe, morekhodstvu, torgovle I proch [Main administration of the Russian American Company’s Report to the Ministry of Interior on Creoles of Kodiak’s usage in different capacities for forts’ and fortresses’ defence . . ., for education in military arts, navigation, trade, and so on], Sheets 4, 29.
AVPRI, Fond 339 (RAK), opis’ 888, #251 (January 18, 1818-January 24, 1819) Donoshenie Glavnogo Pravleniya Rossiyskoy Amerikanskoy kompanii v MVD ob uchastii kreolov na ostrove Kad’yake v raznykh rabotakh, proizvodimykh dlyai zashchity portov, krepostey . . . pri uchenii, k voennoy sluzhbe, morekhodstvu, torgovle I proch [Main administration of the Russian American Company’s Report to the Ministry of Interior on Creoles of Kodiak’s usage in different capacities for forts’ and fortresses’ defence . . ., for education in military arts, navigation, trade, and so on], Sheet 2.
AVPRI, Fond 339 (RAK), opis’ 888, #251 (January 18, 1818-January 24, 1819) Donoshenie Glavnogo Pravleniya Rossiyskoy Amerikanskoy kompanii v MVD ob uchastii kreolov na ostrove Kad’yake v raznykh rabotakh, proizvodimykh dlyai zashchity portov, krepostey . . . pri uchenii, k voennoy sluzhbe, morekhodstvu, torgovle I proch [Main administration of the Russian American Company’s Report to the Ministry of Interior on Creoles of Kodiak’s usage in different capacities for forts’ and fortresses’ defence . . ., for education in military arts, navigation, trade, and so on], Sheets 5-16. (Including List of Creoles).
AVPRI, Fond 339 (RAK), opis’ 888, #251 (January 18, 1818-January 24, 1819) Donoshenie Glavnogo Pravleniya Rossiyskoy Amerikanskoy kompanii v MVD ob uchastii kreolov na ostrove Kad’yake v raznykh rabotakh, proizvodimykh dlyai zashchity portov, krepostey . . . pri uchenii, k voennoy sluzhbe, morekhodstvu, torgovle I proch [Main administration of the Russian American Company’s Report to the Ministry of Interior on Creoles of Kodiak’s usage in different capacities for forts’ and fortresses’ defence . . ., for education in military arts, navigation, trade, and so on], Sheets 31-31 verso.
Fedorova, S. F., The Russian Population in Alaska and California. Late 18th century–1867. Translated and edited by R. A. Pierce and A. S. Donnelly (Kingston, 1973), p. 245-246.
Russkie otkrytiya v Tikhom okeane I Severnoy Amerike v XVIII v.
[Russian Discoveries in the Pacific Ocean and in North America (XVIII century)] (Moscow, 1948), p. 346.
Fedorova, S. F., The Russian Population in Alaska and California. Late 18th century–1867. Translated and edited by R. A. Pierce and A. S. Donnelly (Kingston, 1973), p. 247.
AVPRI, Fond 339 (RAK), opis’ 888, 174, sheets 2-2 verso.


Figure 1. Detail from one of the charts compiled during the voyage of the Nadezhda, 1803-6.

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