Military Review

Where is Russian California from?

23
Where is Russian California from?



15 March 1812 was founded the legendary Russian outpost on the North American coast of California - Fort Ross
The legendary sale of Alaska to the United States — a deal that deprived the Russian empire of one and a half million square kilometers of territory, albeit not the most convenient for life, but, as it turned out later, the gold-bearing one — was the last point in stories Russian America. However, one must be well aware that this geographical concept until the middle of the 19th century was not exhausted by Alaskan land alone. Of course, it was there that the main Russian colonies were located on the North American continent, but these were not the only Russian settlements. California was the most southerly point of advancement of Russians who had mastered North America, and in it was the Ross settlement.

The first stone and the first trunks of the redwoods, from which the walls were built to protect the village, were laid there more than a century ago - March 15, 1812. And on August 30 (September 11 in a new style) the flag was solemnly raised above the fortress. It was the flag of the Russian-American company - a semi-state colonial trading company, the full name of which sounded much more magnificent: Under the highest protection of His Imperial Majesty the patronage of the Russian American company. In the early years of the company, the emperor Paul I acted under the title of patron, and during the founding of the California colony Alexander I.

The appearance of the fortress Ross, which now bears the Americanized name Fort Ross and is a national historical monument of the United States, is obliged to the perpetual hardships experienced by Russian colonists in Alaska. The Russians began to develop the lands there much earlier, at the end of the 18th century. Through the efforts of the merchant families Grigory Shelekhov and Ivan Golikov, as well as their main competitor - Pavel Lebedev-Lastochkin (who, however, quickly survived from this business), the first commercial settlements and villages of the fur miners appeared on the Alaskan shores. It was Grigory Shelekhov, along with the legendary Nikolai Rezanov (thus, praised in the romantic production “Yunona and Avos”) and they founded the Russian-American company, the supply of which was conducted for a long time through the Russian Far East. But the peculiarities of navigation in the Bering Strait and in the North Pacific in general turned each supply expedition into a lottery, in which the win was often left behind the elements. And the cold land of Alaska, rich in furs, alas, could not provide the Russian settlers with bread and animal products.


Gregory Shelekhov. Photo: topwar.ru

In search of new places in the West of the North American continent, where it would be possible to grow bread and cattle without crazy tension and enormous expenses, Lieutenant Ivan Kuskov, an employee of the Russian-American Company, went south along the Pacific coast. In January, 1809, he found a good spot on the bay, which he called the Rumyantsev Bay in honor of Count Nikolai Rumyantsev, who was at that time the Minister of Commerce of the Russian Empire. Lieutenant Kuskova attracted not only the colossal colony of sea otters, which were one of the main objects of fur trade in Russian America, but also a comfortable plateau three dozen kilometers from the bay, which looked like a great place for a new settlement. Two years later, Kuskov returned to Rumyantsev Bay and carefully inspected the plateau, making sure that there was really no reason to start building serfs, which would become a stronghold for fur farmers, as well as tillers and pastoralists: nearby the expedition found many convenient places for fields and pastures.

Having studied the materials of these expeditions, the then head of the Russian-American company, Alexander Baranov, at the end of 1811, decided to support the proposal of the researcher and build a village in Rumyantsev Bay, which would become the southern outpost of Russian America. At the end of February 1812, Ivan Kuskov returned to the selected site, along with 25 Russian colonists and nine dozen Aleutians, whom he was going to use on the preparation of furs. It was this one hundred brave souls who were the first builders and inhabitants of the Ross fortress — they gave that name to her, drawing him out from several other proposals (alas, their history did not preserve). And the creek, which flowed ten kilometers from the fortress and supplied the newly laid fields with water, was called Slavyanka - now it bears the name Russian River, that is, “Russian River”.

The village of Ross was not just the first Russian colony in California - it became the first in many areas of agriculture in this part of North America. It was here that, for the first time on this land, they began to cultivate wheat and rye, set up windmills, smashed orchards and vineyards. And perhaps the first shipyard in California, the boat workshop and the boat shed became the most amazing structures of the colony. Russian shipbuilders initially built there only small Kochi boats for coastal navigation and mining of sea otters, but over time they got around to larger sailing ships, such as brigs, which were used to deliver Californian products to Alaska. Remarkably, almost all the metal parts for ship equipment were made in the same place in the Ross fortress.

From the very first Russian vineyards, Californian winegrowing began, which this most densely populated state of the United States is now so proud of. And in those years, few Europeans - mostly Spaniards - and slightly more numerous Indians looked at the Russians as if they were newcomers from another planet. After all, these people behaved quite differently from the "enlightened" colonialists from the Old World. They - and this requirement was rigidly fixed by the statutes of the Russian-American company! - did not humiliate and did not oppress the Aborigines, and tried to maintain with them the most good-neighborly relations. If Indians were attracted to work, most often agricultural, then they were paid for it - a step inconceivable for the Spanish colonialists!


Fort Ross. Engraving 1828 of the year. From the archive of the Historical Society of Fort Ross

By the way, the Russian colony in California was distinguished by enviable tolerance and internationalism. There were a minority of ethnic Russians in Ross Fortress: in different years from 25 to 100 people, almost exclusively men, who worked for a Russian-American company. Most of the population were Aleuts - the indigenous people of Alaska, whom the Russians called the common name: from 50 to 125 people. In addition to them, local Indians, mainly wives of Russians and Aleuts, as well as children from such mixed marriages, called the common word “Creoles” (by the middle of the 1830-s, they constituted one third of the total population), appeared in the census sheets of the Californian colony. Besides them, there were very rare nationalities: Yakuts, cattlemen, Finns, Swedes and even Polynesians. On better days, the population of Ross Fortress and the ranch settlements around it comprised up to 260 people who not only provided themselves with everything they needed, but also supplied provisions and goods to Alaska, and also engaged, again to the surprise of “civilized colonialists” organized by training Californian Indians account, literacy and blue-collar occupations.

Ross Fortress in California lasted less than three decades, never becoming, alas, the beginning of a large Russian colony in these lands. The remoteness from other Russian lands, primarily from the metropolis, and the difficulties in relations with the Spaniards, who refused to recognize the right of the Russians to the areas they inhabited, and the climatic features of the area, also affected. Because of them, only cattle breeding was truly successful: coastal areas were not very suitable for grain farming, and the settlers had neither the strength nor the consent of the Spanish authorities to move deeper into the continent. The ryan fishing, which gave a substantial profit in the first years of the existence of the Ross fortress, began to decline as soon as the hunters exterminated most of the local population of these animals. As a result, from the middle of the 1820-s, the California colony became unprofitable, its products did not provide all the needs of Russian America, which they expected at the beginning, and it was decided to sell the settlement. I bought it in 1841 for 30 thousand dollars - 42 thousand rubles in silver - a businessman John Sutter, who ultimately did not pay the full amount due, most of which was the supply of grain to Alaska.
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http://rusplt.ru/wins/otkuda-est-poshla-russkaya-kaliforniya-22138.html
23 comments
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  1. venaya
    venaya 19 March 2016 07: 00
    +4
    in those years, few Europeans - mostly Spaniards - and a little more numerous Indians looked at Russians as if they were aliens from another planet. After all, these people did not behave at all like the "enlightened" colonizers from the Old World

    That is the question! There is a fundamentally different culture of its own. Only one thing is not clear, in the neighboring state of Washington on Brighton Beach, in the coastal breakwaters, the faces of Russian gods were recently discovered. There were reports that, in addition to our now familiar "Indians", the first settlers met among them representatives of tall, blue-eyed, fair-haired, as it were, Indians, only very different from our now familiar local aborigines.
    1. Sweles
      Sweles 19 March 2016 07: 23
      +1


      yes yes there is
      1. Sweles
        Sweles 19 March 2016 07: 38
        +2

        the same brightonbitch new York, there were some kind of stone images and obviously not Indians, and the manufacturing technique CONVEX, how is this done? But everything has been thrown away, like this, a story that is objectionable to them is thrown into the landfill, and another is written in return ...
      2. Nagaibak
        Nagaibak 19 March 2016 14: 22
        0
        Sveles "yes, yes there is"
        Yeah ... With a certain dexterity, it’s possible not to rivet it that much either.)))) The burry author of the video especially touches. This is not you for an hour?)))) I'm joking ... Faces on Brighton Beach hehehehehe)))) it’s like the author’s intellect is at the second class level. If you believe this nonsense, okay ... but why on spread the site? Here, it seems, adequate people are gathering, and you’re braining them with such a vidos.)))
    2. xetai9977
      xetai9977 19 March 2016 08: 53
      +2
      Admiral Otto Kotzebue wrote in great detail about the history of Fort Ross in his book A New Journey Around the World.
      1. Oorfene Deuce
        Oorfene Deuce 19 March 2016 16: 28
        +1
        There is some interesting information, here is the layout from Wiki:
        The Spaniards claimed rights to these territories; territories were practically not colonized by them. The direct owners were the Kashai-Pomo Indians, who, according to some reports, allowed the Russians to use the land to create Ross for three blankets, three pairs of pants, two axes, three hoes, several beads of thread.
  2. EvgNik
    EvgNik 19 March 2016 07: 02
    +9
    I bought it in 1841 for 30 thousand dollars - 42 thousand rubles in silver - businessman John Sutter, who ultimately did not pay the full amount due, the bulk of which was the supply of grain to Alaska

    Since the debt has not been paid, we can rightly consider these lands to be ours.
    And about tolerance. True, and not what they mean now by this term. Russia did not seize land, but settled, merging with the indigenous population. What never happened to the peoples of Europe, who seized the land destroying the indigenous population.
    1. King, just king
      King, just king 19 March 2016 13: 52
      -4
      With good reason ....

      What are some suggestions for taking Alaska back?

      Stupid stupid with Russian America. What are the transportation links. A minimum of people. Bering Strait. And all because of what and for what? Was there not enough Kamchatka and the Commander’s?
      I'm not talking about the heroism of the pioneers, I'm talking about the expediency of Fort-Ros and Russian America.
      1. Rivares
        Rivares 19 March 2016 15: 48
        +3
        Quote: King, just king
        Kamchatka and the Commander’s

        Kemska volost ?? !! Ya-ya!
        1. Rezident007
          Rezident007 20 March 2016 05: 54
          0
          Already .. Esm .. king)))
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 19 March 2016 07: 31
    +6
    Fort Ross in California lasted for less than three decades, and without becoming, alas, the beginning of a large Russian colony on these lands... It's a pity .... When the Russian colonists left the fort, it was officially and solemnly held, when the flag was lowered, the flag did not go down for a long time .. those present were worried: This land does not want us to leave here ...
    1. sa-ag
      sa-ag 19 March 2016 07: 43
      +3
      Quote: parusnik
      : This land does not want us to leave here ...

      You need to live where there are pine trees, well, or sequoias :-)
  4. am808s
    am808s 19 March 2016 08: 00
    +7
    Anglo-Saxons like evil aliens capturing foreign lands destroy the natives and try to erase the memory of the past of these lands.
  5. Koshak
    Koshak 19 March 2016 08: 20
    +2
    Quote: am808s
    Anglo-Saxons as evil aliens

    +100500! they have fiction of the same type
  6. PKK
    PKK 19 March 2016 10: 00
    -8
    The Russians settled and traveled all over the West Coast. But in 1812 Muscovy (possibly Tartaria) lost the war to St. Petersburg, and all its lands became ownerless. That is why the Spaniards were able to overtake ours from Fort Ross. Petersburg, then had no power over distant lands. Russians settled around the world and even to Australia.
    1. Nagaibak
      Nagaibak 19 March 2016 13: 38
      +1
      RPK ". But in 1812 Muscovy (possibly Tartary) lost the war to Petersburg, and all its lands became ownerless."
      Your grass is picky.))) Where do you get if it's not a secret?))))
    2. Gorodovik
      Gorodovik 19 March 2016 14: 06
      +1
      Sorry that7 What a war of St. Petersburg and Muscovy7 You are completely mad! 7 What are the Spaniards7 Or is this such a joke7 So it's not even funny.
    3. V.ic
      V.ic 19 March 2016 14: 08
      +2
      Quote: PKK
      .But in 1812 Muscovy (possibly Tartaria) lost the war to St. Petersburg, and all its lands became ownerless

      Fomenko-Nosovsky re-read?
      1. PKK
        PKK 19 March 2016 15: 46
        -3
        http://igor-grek.ucoz.ru/index/1812/0-14 Почитайте умных людей.А то видимо вы таких не встречали.
      2. PKK
        PKK 19 March 2016 15: 46
        0
        http://igor-grek.ucoz.ru/index/1812/0-14 Почитайте умных людей.А то видимо вы таких не встречали.
  7. Generalissimo
    Generalissimo 19 March 2016 10: 29
    +1
    Not selling, but renting for 99 years. Russian Old Believers were simply confused with "as if Indians". A lot of "tall, blue-eyed, fair-haired" Indians, too?
  8. Nagaibak
    Nagaibak 19 March 2016 14: 12
    +5
    Somehow we forgot about our fort Elizabeth in Hawaii.
  9. Nagaibak
    Nagaibak 19 March 2016 14: 13
    +2
    Tourists roam the Americans.
  10. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 19 March 2016 18: 04
    -1
    If the Indians were attracted to work, most often agricultural, then they were paid for it - a step unthinkable for the Spanish colonialists!

    By the way, Spain also had problems with the settlement of territories.
    At the same time, the Spanish government began to attract immigrants from the northern regions of Spain. The resettlement of peasants who were given plots of land was especially encouraged, they were exempted from taxes for 20 years, they were paid bonuses for the production of spices.

    Quote: EvgNik
    Since the debt has not been paid, we can rightly consider these lands to be ours.
    And about tolerance. True, and not what they mean now by this term. Russia did not seize land, but settled, merging with the indigenous population. What never happened to the peoples of Europe, who seized the land destroying the indigenous population.

    Regarding the debt, you probably didn’t read it to the end: the debt was paid, only part in cash, part - in-kind deliveries of grain to Russian trading posts. Russia legally correctly transferred the rights, the United States did not violate anything.

    Regarding the fact that Russia did not seize land. Well, this is of course a clear stereotype, but ... historically incorrect. In general, Russia traditionally behaved like any colonial power, but it basically did not come across large state formations on the way.

    And so - the article is wonderful, the author - respect! picked up rare material and outlined it very efficiently!
    1. Pissarro
      Pissarro 19 March 2016 23: 29
      0
      Bukhara, Khiva, Kokand is not a large state education? The scalps were not removed from the Uzbeks, as from the Indians. An absolutely different approach than that of the traditional colonial power
  11. Alisher
    Alisher 19 March 2016 22: 01
    +2
    In California, the descendants of those Indians who contacted the Russians at Fort Ross still live. So they call cow's milk "milk" in their own language, not milk, as they learned this word from the Russians.
  12. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 20 March 2016 13: 34
    0
    Thanks for the wonderful story, Sergey!
    When the little one was and found out about Alaska and California --- he began to dream of reuniting with them.
    Recently (at the end of the 15th year) I read the book "Alexander Baranov and the Pacific Empire". Now I am reading the 8-volume "History of the XIX century". Soon I read the topic of your article.
    Especially shocking about the Yakuts and Finns in California !!! Although, when I was on an excursion to the Special Pantries of the Hermitage --- the guide spoke about the military campaigns of the North American tribes in ... Siberia !!! They reached Altai! Artifacts testify to this.
    Sincerely.
  13. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 21 March 2016 00: 27
    -2
    Quote: Pissarro
    A completely different approach than the traditional colonial power
    In what, you will not prompt? Economically - identical.
    By the way, the Indians were mostly scalped ... other Indians, from the warring tribes who were simply paid for it.


    Quote: Reptiloid
    when I was on an excursion to the Special Pantries of the Hermitage --- the guide spoke about the military campaigns of the North American tribes in ... Siberia !!! They reached Altai! Artifacts testify to this.
    Oh, comrade Reptiloid, but do not tell me what kind of artifacts testify to this? accidentally the direction did not make a mistake, no? I've been to all the Special Pantries of the Hermitage but for some reason they didn’t tell me such nonsense ....
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 23 March 2016 07: 15
      0
      It matters the time you visited. Year. Some expositions may change. You are to blame for not seeing. No, to think in advance and go at the same time with me. And the guide always says that there are much more exhibits in the storerooms.