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Entries / Russian-American Company

Russian-American Company

Categories / Economy/Commerce

RUSSIAN-AMERICAN COMPANY, a group of entrepreneurs on the north-west coast of North America, the Aleutians, the Kurils, and other islands, and an organisation established by the government for consolidating and expanding Russia’s possessions in North America and the Far East. Founded in 1799, it was the only company allowed to conduct business and trade in the region; fur trade was their most important business. The Company arranged expeditions to explore the mainland and the islands, and develop the virgin lands. The company’s board was relocated from Irkutsk to St. Petersburg in 1800; it was located at 72 Moika River Embankment from 1824. A senior official was assigned by the government to serve as correspondent, or protector to control the company’s activities. The Provisional Committee was established in 1804 to solve issues affecting Russia’s political interests and transformed into the Permanent Council in 1813 to take control of company activities. Minister of the Navy N. S. Mordvinov, Deputy Minister of the Interior Count P. A. Stroganov, and admirals G. A. Sarychev, V. M. Golovin, F. P. Wrangel et al. were among the members of the Committee and the Council. N. I. Kusov, a merchant from St. Petersburg, was at the head of the company board in 1824-57. The council was liquidated in 1844, control over company activities was transferred to the board, in which four out of five members were state officials. The company was liquidated after Russian possessions in America were sold to the USA in 1867.

Reference: Окунь С. Б. Российско-Американская компания. М.; Л., 1939.

V. S. Solomko.

Golovnin Vasily Mikhailovich
Kusov Nikolay Ivanovich
Mordvinov Nikolay Semenovich, Count
Sarychev Gavriil Andreevich
Stroganov Pavel Alexandrovich, Count
Wrangel Ferdinand Petrovich

Moika River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 72

Окунь С. Б. Российско-американская компания. М.; Л., 1939