Many people know that Russia is a long time in the XVIII-XIX centuries. owned a vast territory in North America - Alaska (Russian America), but few remember that among the other failed territories of the Russian state were the Hawaiian Islands, a part of California, Manchuria-Zheltorssiya, the Kara region, the Island Province in the Aegean Sea. Mongolia and Korea could also become part of the Russian Empire.
Russians get to know Hawaii
Hawaiian (Sandwich) Islands were discovered on the 1778 of the James Cook 3 Expedition. He also died here in February of 1779, when he re-entered here after sailing in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean (with a visit to Kamchatka). Cook gave them the name of the Sandwich (Sandwich) Islands in honor of the British Lord of the Admiralty. By the time Cook arrived, the Hawaiian islands had been inhabited by the Polynesians for almost one and a half thousand years. Since then, the fabulous archipelago amazed the imagination of any traveler. Pearl of the Pacific Ocean has become the object of attention of foreign navigators.
However, the Hawaiian king Kameamea (1752-1819), who was sometimes called the "Pacific Napoleon", managed to defend its independence by the end of the XVIII century. became the ruler of the entire archipelago, with the exception of the two northern islands - Kauai and Niihau, where his rival Kaumualia strengthened (he ruled in 1795-1821). Kameamea showed great interest in marine vessels and even formed his flotilla, in which there were not only small vessels, but also large three-masted ships. Kameamea was supported by British and American merchants who supplied him with a gunshot weapons and ammunition, but he did not live up to their expectations, pursuing an independent policy. True, in 1794, Mr. D. Vancouver persuaded him to enlist the patronage of the British king and raise the English flag, and for greater "incontestability" of the rights of George III to "possessing the Sandwich Islands" he installed a copper plate with a corresponding inscription. But the British government refused the "gift" of Vancouver. In Europe, there were big wars and, having no additional forces for active operations in the Hawaii area, Britain focused its attention on Australia and the adjacent part of Polynesia.
Meanwhile, the Boston shipbuilders, who gradually turned the islands into the main base of their intermediary trade between Russian America, California and China, began to explore the area. Until 1830, they were the most vehement competitors of Russian hunters in Russian America. “Boston shipbuilders” violated the monopoly privileges of the Russian-American company (RAC), they competed with the Russians on the Chinese market (fur trade), traded weapons with the Indians, etc. On the other hand, ties with the Americans allowed the Russian settlers in America to solve many problems, such as the purchase of food, vessels, the organization of joint fishing, etc.
Direct acquaintance of the Russians with the Hawaiian Islands occurred in June 1804, when Nadezhda and Neva, under the command of I. F. Kruzenshtern and Yu. F. Lisyansky, visited the archipelago during their round-the-world trip. The members of the expedition not only left valuable observations on the state of the economy, customs and life of Polynesians, but also replenished the museums of St. Petersburg with numerous exhibits. The most valuable observations were left by the commander of the sloop "Neva" Yuri Lisyansky, who dedicated more than 70 pages to the first volume of his "Travel" to the description of the archipelago. Russian sailors have developed good relations with the locals. Then it became clear that the islands can become an excellent food base for Kamchatka and Russian America. Expedition participant V.N. Berh noted later that every autumn it would be advisable to send a ship from Kamchatka to Hawaiian Islands, where he could stay for the whole winter, and in May return back with a cargo of food.
Lisyansky was able to form a very detailed opinion on the state of the economy, trade, customs and life of the islanders, as well as the successful activities of the energetic King Kamehamea I. The Neva also visited Ouvai (Kauai), where the Russian king was visited by the local king of Qaumualia. He was interested in developing trade with Europeans and wanted protection from his rival Kamehamea. Even then, the king of Qaumualia requested not only iron, but also the patronage of Russia. “It was desirable for him,” the clerk of the Cancer, N.I. Korobitsyn, wrote, “so that we ply our ship to his island to defend Evo from King Tomiomi, for whatever reason,” he even expressed a desire to “agree to enter the island of Russia as an island”.
Kamehamea also wanted to improve relations with the Russians. Upon learning that the Russian colonies lacked food, the king let A. Baranov, the ruler of Russian America, know that he was ready every year to send to Novo-Arkhangelsk (capital of Russian America) a merchant ship loaded with food (pigs, salt, sweet potatoes and other goods), if the “beaver skin at a reasonable price” is received in exchange.
Interesting considerations about the prospects for the development of relations between the Hawaiian Kingdom and Russian America were expressed by N. P. Rezanov in a letter to N. P. Rumyantsev from 17 (29) in June 1806. “The King of the Sandwich Islands Toome-Ome-o offered his friendship to Baranova. .. I bought one mast ships before 15, and now I bought a three-masted ship from the Americans. Navigator Clark ... two years as he settled on the Sandwich and there is a wife, children and various institutions. He visited several places in these places, was treated kindly by Alexander Andreyevich, and knowing the needs of the local region, he told his king so much that he sent to interpret about trade, and would be allowed ... Toome-Ome-o wanted to be in Novo-Arkhangelsk, laying the foundation of bargaining ... ". Hawaiian King Kamehamea promised to carry food and wanted to receive industrial goods and shipbuilding from the Russians.
In 1806, on their own initiative, a bold journey from California to the Sandwich Islands on the schooner “St. Nikolay ”was taken by Sysa Slobodchikov, an employee of the RAK Kamehamea received the Russians very favorably and sent gifts to Baranov. Slobodchikov also purchased the necessary food in exchange for furs and returned safely to Russian America.
The first project for the development of the Hawaiian Islands
In the autumn of 1808, taking advantage of the stay in Novo-Arkhangelsk of the sloop "Neva" under the command of Lieutenant L.A. Gagemeister (Gagenmeister), the ruler of Russian America Baranov decided to conduct a more serious study of the Hawaiian Islands. Lieutenant Gagemeister was supposed to familiarize himself with the archipelago, establish relations with the local king, find out the latest news from Europe from the Americans and try to find the island north-west of Hawaii, which allegedly were discovered by the Spaniards in the 17th century. The instructions of Baranov to the commander of the "Neva" instructed "to turn first to the Sandwich Islands for sufficient reserve of vital not only for the crew, but also for the local region, if there is an opportunity, provisions, where to delay the turbulent season." The lieutenant had to gather detailed information about the political situation in the kingdom, and then draw all the attention "to the most important subject of the search for the islands not discovered by anyone before" between Hawaii, Japan and Kamchatka.
Gagemeister collected information on the situation in the Hawaiian Islands and its potential significance for the supply of Russian possessions with food. The lieutenant concluded that it was possible to purchase a land plot on the islands or even to capture it, for which it was necessary to single out two ships.
Later, being in Kamchatka, Gagemeister sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs N.P. Rumyantsev project for the establishment of an agricultural colony in Hawaii. It was planned at the first stage to send two dozen workers and about the same number of soldiers with one gun, and also to build a blockhouse reinforcement. The Gagemeister project received support from the Main Board of the Russian-American Company. However, he did not find any response in the Russian government. Petersburg did not see the need to expand possessions, and in the conditions of a rupture with Great Britain (the Russian-English war of 1807-1812) the foundation of a colony on distant islands could become an obvious adventure. In addition, pro-Western sentiments were strong in St. Petersburg and any efforts of Russian devotees to expand our lands somewhere and in the east were perceived with hostility, immediately began to talk about the threat of deterioration in relations with the West - England, France or America.
An attempt to gain a foothold on the islands occurred only in 1816 year. The reason was the incident with the ship "Bering". At the end of January, 1815 off the coast of Kauai was wrecked by the ship "Bering" of Captain James Bennett, who was there on behalf of Baranov to buy food. The beached ship along with the cargo, which was estimated at 100 thousand rubles, was seized by the king of Qaumualia and the locals.
This was the reason for sending Dr. George Scheffer, (the Russians called him Yegor Nikolayevich), a German by birth, to the 1815 in the fall of Hawaii. Schaeffer received a medical education in Germany. Moved to Russia. In addition to medical practice, he spent a lot of time studying botany and minerals, participated in the experiment on the construction of a combat-controlled balloon in Vorontsovo. For his merits was granted the title of Baron. The loss of property in the fire of Moscow, and the illness of his wife forced him to take part in a naval expedition to Alaska in 1813. There he stayed.
Back in Novo-Arkhangelsk in the summer of 1815, Captain Bennett insisted on the need to send an armed expedition to the Hawaiian Islands. Two other American captains also convinced Baranov in a military response. However, apparently, Baranov doubted such a move and decided to use Scheffer for intelligence and diplomacy. According to Schaeffer, Baranov repeatedly consulted with him about this and they decided that it would be best to try to reach a friendly agreement with the Hawaiians. Schaeffer, apparently, at this time was the only person in Alaska who could perform such a delicate mission.
In the instructions that Baranov handed over to Schaeffer at the beginning of October 1815, the doctor was instructed to gain the favor of King Kamehame and initially engage only in scientific research. Only after that, Schaeffer should have raised the issue of compensation for the damage caused. As compensation, it was planned to get sandalwood. With success, Schaeffer should also have achieved trade privileges and a monopoly on the export of sandalwood, similar to the one that the Americans had previously received. At the same time, Baranov sent special gifts, a silver medal and a personal letter addressed to Kamehamea, which raised the question of compensation for damages in connection with the seizure of Bering’s cargo and confirmed the authority of Schaeffer as a representative of the company. Baranov noted that Russian America and the Hawaiian Kingdom are geographically closest to each other, and therefore they are especially interested in establishing friendly relations.
At the end of the letter there was a hidden threat to take its own measures against Caumuali if he refused to pay damages. In this case, Baranov gave instructions to the commander of the Discovery ship, Lieutenant Ya. A. Podushkin. After all peaceful means had been exhausted, the king of Qaumualia was to be given a lesson and show military force in the form of “wits,” if possible, however, avoiding human casualties. In case of victory, then in this “convenient case” Baranov recommended “that already the island of Atuvay take the name of our imp. All-Russian possession under his power. " Taking such a serious step, the ruler of Russian America Baranov apparently acted at his own peril and risk, hoping for the old rule that the winner is not judged.
In early October, 1815, aboard the American ship Isabella, Dr. Schaeffer went to the Hawaiian Islands, where he arrived about a month later. Judging from the notes of Schaeffer himself, right at the very beginning he had to face serious opposition from the Americans, who actively tried to persuade the Hawaiian king to their side and were afraid of the penetration of foreign influence in Hawaii. The American captains and among them the “governor” D. Jung, who has long been living on the island, had a great influence on the king. They assured Kamehameha and other notable Hawaiians that the arrival of Scheffer and the expected Russian ships express the hostile intentions of the Russians. Therefore, the letter Baranova returned without printing.
However, Schaeffer showed resourcefulness and infiltrated the Hawaiian king entourage. Apparently, his medical education helped. Schaeffer was a doctor of medicine. At the beginning of 1816, he reported to the company: “I have already managed to win the friendship and trust of the great King Kamehamea, whom I currently treat for heart disease. I also managed to cure his beloved wife, Queen Kaamanu, from the cruel fever. ”
The doctor clearly wanted his services. On the other hand, Schaeffer made several important observations. He noted the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants with the current position and policies of the king. The extraordinary delight of Schaeffer was caused by the natural conditions of Hawaii, especially Oahu Islands. He called him "paradise." The islands could become an excellent food base for Russian America and our fleet in the Pacific. Envoy Baranova noted that bread on the islands was “born on trees and on the ground”; each person can cook any food — pineapples, bananas, sugarcane, oranges, lemons grow everywhere, lots of wild and domestic cattle on the islands, and an abundance of fish in the ocean etc.
Having received permission to set up a trading post, as well as land plots on the islands of Hawaii and Oahu, Schaeffer “examined them and found them most capable of cultivation for many objects, abundant in various building forests and sandalwood, water, fish, wild bulls and other things”. He built a house and began to create a farm. However, the activity of Schaeffer increased the suspicion of foreigners. He was openly called the “Russian spy”. According to the doctor, he was even assassinated. As a result, Schaeffer chose to go to Oahu, where there was more food, "and people are better located to foreigners."
In May, Russian ships arrived at 1816 in Hawaii: first the Discovery commanded by Ya. A. Podushkin and then the Ilmen by Captain W. Wadsworth, who was returning from California and went to the islands for urgent repairs. On board this ship was a party of Aleuts, headed by T. Tarakanov. Thus, an enterprising doctor had the power to use for approval in Hawaii.
On his own initiative, Schaeffer detained Ilmen in Honolulu. He entrusted the factory with P. Kicherov, while he himself and Podushkin set off on the “Discovery” ship to the island of Hawaii to negotiate with Kamehame about the “Bering”. The Hawaiian king was still in no hurry to satisfy Dr. Schaeffer's demands. He declined to meet, and did not make any concessions on trade issues.
German traveler, Dr. Georg Schaeffer
Seeing that it’s impossible to get along with King Kamehamey, Scheffer decided, without wasting time, to go to the island of Kauai. 16 (28) May 1816 The ship "Discovery" anchored off the coast of this island. The most interesting and important part of the Dr. Schaeffer's Hawaiian expedition began. 21 May (2 June) 1816 The Russian envoy seemed to reach the incredible. In a solemn atmosphere, Qaumualia - “the king of the Sandwich Islands lying in the Pacific Ocean, Atuvai and Nigau, born prince of the Islands Ovagu and Mauvi” - humbly asked “e. at. Emperor Alexander Pavlovich ... to accept his remembered islands under his protection "and promised to be faithful to the" Russian scepter "forever. On the same day, another agreement was signed, under which Kaumualia undertook not only to return the saved part of the Bering cargo, but also to provide the Russian-American company with a monopoly on the sale of sandalwood. The company also received the right to freely create its trading posts in the possession of Kaumualia.
Thus, part of Hawaii passed under the protectorate of the Russian Empire. Russia could get a strategic base in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. It had value as a food base and could become an excellent naval base, and in the long run an air base. Given that Russia owned the Far East, the Kuriles, Kamchatka, the Aleuts, Alaska and part of California, the Russian Empire could gain control over the entire northern part of the Pacific Ocean.
In the best traditions of colonialism, Schaeffer did not stop there, and decided to consolidate his success. 1 (13) July 1816 was also concluded a "secret treatise", under the terms of which King Kaumualii singled out several hundred human soldiers to conquer "he owned by the power of the taken away" islands of Oahu, Lanai, Naui, Malokai "and others." The general leadership of the expedition was entrusted to an overly active "doctor of medicine." “The king gives Dr. Schaeffer,” it was stated in the treatise, “a form for this expedition and all help for building fortresses on all the islands in which there will be Russian commanders, just like in the harbor of Ganarua (Honolulu) on the island of Vagu” (Oahu) . Separately, it was stipulated that the Russian-American company receives from the king half of Oahu belonging to him, as well as all the sandalwood on this island. The Hawaiian king of Qaumualia undertook to pay for all the goods that he received and still receive (train, ship accessories, etc.) - “sandalwood”. King of Qaumualia also refused any trade with the Americans. And Schaeffer promised "to start factories and better savings, through which the local residents would be enlightened and enriched."
Thus, the Hawaiian king, Kaumualia, decided to use Russian patronage to strengthen his position with his rival, Pacific Napoleon. He hoped not only to retain the western islands, but also to expand his possessions. In accordance with this promise, Schaeffer bought the schooner Lydia for Kaumualia, and also agreed to buy a large armed ship Avon, owned by American I. Vittimore, for 200 thousand piastres. The ship was supposed to pay A. A. Baranov. For his part, the king of Qaumualia gave "his royal word that a Russian American company in excess of three cargoes of sandalwood, which the king owes for the received goods and the vessel, according to the first tract, concluded on this May 21 number, the Russian companies: cut sandalwood every year to recompensate the company without making any other payments. ”
In September, 1816, Mr. I. Whitmore, sailed aboard the Avon ship to Novo-Arkhangelsk. On board the ship was the son of Baranov, Antipater, with whom Scheffer sent the originals of the agreements concluded with the Hawaiian king. Trying to inform Petersburg of his successes as soon as possible, Dr. Schaeffer sent copies of the agreements on another American vessel to China and then through Western Europe to Russia. Describing his amazing adventures in the Hawaiian Islands, Schaeffer simultaneously asked to send two well-armed ships from Russia with a reliable crew. In his opinion, this was enough to protect and consolidate the interests of the Russian Empire off the northwestern coast of America.
Waiting for support from Russia, Dr. Schaeffer continued his vigorous efforts to assert Russian positions on the islands. Continuing to enjoy the location of the local king, for 14 months, with the help of the Hawaiians, he built several houses for the trading station, started gardens, “laid a fortress on three heights, calling one Aleksandrovskaya, the other Elizavetinskaya and the third name Barclay, and named the valley of Gunnarei at the request of the king by his name Shefferovoy ... To the structure of these fortresses the king gave his people. This province is rich in small rivers, rich fish, fields, mountains, and in general a fascinating location; the soil of the land is most reliable for planting grapes, cotton paper, and sugarcane, which he planted several, planting orchards and orchards for many tender fruits. The crop of these certified Schaeffer about the great benefits that this place and in general all the islands can bring to Russia, and even calculated the interest from the crop, which he saw from his plantings ”.
However, the calculations of Schaeffer for the support of Baranov, and most importantly the Russian government, were not justified. When 1816, Mr. I. Whitmore, arrived in Novo-Arkhangelsk in the fall, the ruler of the Russian possessions in America, Baranov, “did not test the purchase of the ship Avon and refused to pay.” Having received the originals of the agreements of an enterprising German doctor and having read his reports, “A. Baranov immediately wrote to him that he could not approve the conditions concluded by him without the permission of the main board, and forbade “to enter into any further speculation”.
To be continued ...