Promotion of the Russian-American company in the southern direction, which became in the 1800-ies. strategic task, needed to legitimize and support from the Russian government. The Cancer itself did not have the strength to succeed in such an expansion. Baranov appeals to the main board of the cancer and foreign minister, N. P. Rumyantsev, to take this situation into account and, at the same time, to prevent foreign colonization, at least "show the view." It was about the occupation by the Russian Empire of the coast of New Albion, that is, Oregon and Northern California. This was the dream of Rezanov. Such a step in combination with the deterrence of the “Bostonians” and the opening of trade with Canton and Spanish California, according to Baranov, was supposed to ensure the prosperity of cancer.
Baranov sent Rumyantsev a corresponding report of July 1 from 1808, and the main board of the RAK 5 in November 1809 presented reports to Emperor Alexander I and NP. Rumyantsev, on the basis of which the latter prepared a report to the king. In the report, the Kuskov expedition was motivated by Baranov’s desire to outrun the Americans, who planned to establish a settlement on the r. Columbia, and the company's marketing activities in California were camouflaged by Kuskov’s order to “barter for expensive wild furs there”. That is, the king, as it were, was confronted with the accomplished fact of the creation of a temporary Russian settlement in New Albion, which needs state protection, especially from the machinations of the Americans. Baranov reported that because of the small number of contingents, the company could not arrange a solid colony and create a fortress. He proposed to create a government settlement, so that it was under the protection of the state. 1 December 1809 Mr. Rumyantsev informed the CANCER of the decision of Alexander I, who “refusing to make a settlement in Albion in the present case, provides the Board with the will to establish it himself, encouraging in any case the monarch’s intercession”. Thus, the “highest” permission to begin the Russian colonization of New Albion was received, but the king retained the freedom of diplomatic maneuver.
New expedition Kuskov and the foundation of the fort
Until the decision of St. Petersburg, Baranov refrained from new expeditions to New Albion. Only at the beginning of 1811, Mr. Baranov sent an 2 expedition led by Kuskov to California on the ship “Chirikov”. The expedition was associated with the threat of American colonization of the r. Colombia. Baranov considered US expansion from this bridgehead across the coast between the Russian and Spanish possessions as the most likely prospect. The common goal of the expedition, as during the previous Kuskov expedition, was fishing on the shores of New Albion and exploring this region with “very careful attention and remarks to the future device if the government allowed it to be there”. Baranov had not yet received formal government approval for the establishment of a colony and was forced to limit the objectives of the expedition only by fishing and even more thorough intelligence.
The expedition leader was required to thoroughly examine the place of possible colonization, as well as "and all the district ... coastal places" from Bodega and Drake's Bay to Cape Mendocino and Trinidad, "also inside the land, as far as possible," including the inspection and description of the situation "Forests, rivers, lakes and lands. The entire coast south of Mendocino needed to be explored in detail in canoes, combining with the fishing, and above all the coves and bays: "will not the convenient and safe anchor and fishing places be opened?" In the “port of Rumyantsev”, so Baranov, in honor of the patron saint of Cancer, decided to name the most convenient parking place in Bodega Bay (the so-called “Small Bodiego”), the head of Russian America ordered to build earthworks - “a small redoubt”, which was supposed to contain expedition and serve as a defense against possible attacks by natives or Spaniards. In the parking lot Kuskov was supposed to start agricultural activities. The possibility of contact with the Spaniards on the subject of trade was expressed.
In February, the 1811 expedition arrived at Bodega. Pieces sent 22 kayaks to the San Francisco Bay. There they met the party of T. Tarakanov and the party under the supervision of Losev, who were engaged in fishing. The total number of kayaks in the bay has reached almost 140. The fishing here was successful, and on July 28 Kuskov returned to Novo-Arkhangelsk.
There is no exact information, but Fort Ross founded the 3 or 4 expedition of Kuskov in February-March of the 1812 of the year. Having received the long-awaited message from St. Petersburg, Baranov immediately sent a new expedition to establish a colony. With Kuskov, 25 was a man of Russian artisans and roughly 80-90 Aleuts. Kuskov decided to establish a colony 15 versts above the Slavyanka river. The construction of the walls began on March 15 1812. It was difficult to build, despite the fact that the forest was very close, but it was difficult to carry the logs into the manual one. Part of the settlers chopped wood and built walls, others - dragged trees from the forest. By the end of August, the fortress walls were enclosed in a place, on two opposite corners they erected 2 two-story bastions in which they originally lived.
The walls of the fort looked solid and impressive, had a height of 3,5 meters and were built from heavy thick blocks about 20 cm thick. The layout of Fort Ross was in many ways reminiscent of the wooden forts built by Russian pioneers in Siberia. The walls of the fort and most of the buildings located inside it were made of redwoods. Two somewhat protruding towers allowed observing the approaches to all four walls of the fort. For the defense of the settlement installed 12 guns. 30 August 1812, “they set a day for raising the flag on the fortress - for this in the middle of it, a mast with a topper was dug into the ground. After reading the usual prayers raised the flag with a gun and rifle firing. The fortress was named Ross - “by drawing lots, placed before the icon of the Savior”. Thus, the idea of Russian California began to be realized.
For a settlement founded so far from the rest of the Russian colonies, relations with neighbors acquired particular importance. Ross security was largely determined by relations with the Indians and Spaniards. Peace and alliance with the Indians was a pledge of security not only for the settlements, but also a serious factor in interstate relations, as it allowed Russia to gain a foothold in this region. The company simply did not have a significant number of people to force the new lands to be approved. The version of the Russian side here was this: Russians colonize lands not occupied by other powers, with the consent of the local population who voluntarily ceded lands to them under the colony, and the natives are not only independent of Spain, but also hostile to the Spaniards. In general, this version corresponded to the real state of affairs. Therefore, Baranov in the instructions constantly noted the need to arrange for the Russian Californian natives.
The Indians, with whom the Russian colonists maintained regular contacts, belonged to three ethnic communities. The immediate neighbors of the Russian fortress were Kashaya (south-west Pomo), who lived in the coastal region approximately between the mouths of the r. Russian (Slav) and Gualala. To the east of Ross, in the valley of the river. Russian, lived southern Pomo, and in the south, near the Bay of Bodega, - coastal mivok. Occasionally the Russians had contacts, apparently, with the central Pomo, which lived north of Kashaya and the southern Pomo. The locals looked much more peace-loving and less armed, as well as smaller in number than the warlike and numerous tribes belonging to the economic and cultural type of the north-west coast. This was one of the factors that determined the place of choice of the settlement.
According to the testimony of the Indians themselves (apparently coastal mivok), recorded by the Franciscan M. Payeras from Christianized Indians, the Russians bought a place for settlement, giving the chief a quality 3 blanket, 3 pairs of trousers, beads, 2 ax and 3 hoes. Thus, the settlement was built with the permission of the local natives.
In Ross 22 in September 1817, an official meeting was held between L. A. Gagemeister and the surrounding Indian leaders, recorded by a special act (preserved in copy), which was signed by Gagemeister, Kuskov, Khlebnikov and a number of officials from Kutuzov. The meeting was attended by "chiefs of the Indians Chu-gu-an, Amat-tang, Ghem-le-le with others." The conversation was conducted through a translator. The Gagemeister, on behalf of the RAC, thanked the leaders for “giving the Company land on the fortress, dispensations and establishments.” Chu-gu-an and Amat-tang replied, "that they are very pleased with the occupation of this place by the Russians," ensuring their safety. Gifts were made to the guests, and Chu-gu-an, who was named the "main" toenomg, was awarded the Allied Russia silver medal. He was announced that the medal "gives him the right to the respect of the Russians ... and imposes on him the duty of affection and help if the case demands it; to which both he and the others declared readiness ... "
Thus, the legality of the stay of Russians in California, the assignment of land for settlement was confirmed. Indians expressed loyalty to Russians and satisfaction with the nature of their relations. The document was of diplomatic importance, being an argument in a dispute with Spain. The Spaniards could see that, in spite of their protest, the Cancer owned Ross "legally" and did not offend the Indians.
It is worth noting that there is no reason to doubt the reliability of this information. The local people were really interested in the presence of the Russians and were looking for their union and patronage, were generally friendly towards the newcomers from the north. If on the northwest coast there are contacts of the indigenous population with foreigners (in particular, with the Americans, who supplied the Indians weapons) created a permanent source of concern for cancer, then, on the contrary, the Spanish colonization, which threatened the coastal coastal zone, gave the Russians, in their person, allies. At the beginning of the XIX century. Spanish missions were already “hunting” for Indians in the territories north of the Bay of San Francisco. And the Indians hoped that the Russians would protect them from the Spaniards. This particularly applies to coastal expeditions, the primary victims of Spanish raids.
As a result, friendly relations with the Indians were a strategic advantage of the Russians in California. This is confirmed by many sources, in particular the notes of the officers who visited Bodega in September 1818 of the sloop "Kamchatka". In a conversation with Matyushkin Kuskov, complaining about the Spaniards, he said that "the only wild attachment to the Russians and the hatred of the Spaniards support him." Matyushkin, apparently from Kuskov’s words, reports that during the Spanish raids on Big Bodega, “all Indian tribes run together under the guns of Ross or in the city of Rumyantsev.” In 1817, the Spaniards actually raided the Bodega area, and when “a lot of people” gathered at Ross asking for protection, Kuskov “persuaded them to sit in the forests and ravines of the mountains and then inadvertently attack the Spaniards. The wild ones obeyed him and settled in the forest, which is visible ... to the side of Big Bodegi. But the Spaniards, having learned this, abandoned their persecution. ”
The leader of the coastal villages Valennil, who visited Kamchatka, according to the ship’s commander V. Golovkin, in an interview with him “wanted more Russians to settle between them so that they could protect the inhabitants from oppression of the Spaniards.” In 1824, imprisoned in San Francisco fortress, Indian leader Pomponio (soon shot by the Spaniards) said to DI Zavalishin: “We know that you came to take this land from the damned Spaniards and free the poor Indians! The Indian will then be fine! ”Pomponio, a fugitive from the San Francisco mission, was a native of the San Rafael district, that is, he belonged to the coastal mivoc. Therefore, it is not surprising that he pinned his hopes on the Russians.
Thus, in general, the Russians and the Indians got along with each other. Moreover, the Indians singled out Russians in comparison with the Spaniards. The Russians did not apply a policy of violence and plunder against Aboriginal people, including the seizure of land and other resources.
However, one should not idealize this relationship. AT stories Russian California, even in the conditions of predominantly peaceful, good-neighborly relations with the Indians, there were separate private conflicts. In particular, there have been cases of the killing of Kadiaks Aleuts by Indians, as well as the theft of horses and other cattle. The perpetrators were usually arrested, forced labor in the colony was their punishment. In addition, the Indian prisoners were sent to Novo-Arkhangelsk, where they worked at the CANCER.
Nor did the Indians hope for an alliance with the Russians against the Spaniards. The presence of the Russians restrained the Spaniards - they did not dare to make raids north of Bodega, and even more north of Ross, who became a kind of shield that protected kashaya and all Indians north of Spanish colonization. However, the Cancer did not want to conflict with the Spaniards, for this there was neither the strength nor the desire. The company sought to preserve peace with all its neighbors, and in specific situations preferred to maintain relations with the Spaniards. In particular, both Russians (although not willingly) and Spaniards mutually betrayed the fugitives. Therefore, relations with the Indians did not become a military alliance.
In general, due to the weakness of RAK in America and St. Petersburg’s lack of a strategy for developing new lands, the administration of Fort Ross did not consider the Indians Russian subjects and did not expand the sphere of influence, although this could be done using the friendly relations of local residents. The leadership of the Cancer gave the installation to be careful, to keep a distance with the natives, not to involve them in the “Russian field”.
The main ruler of M.I. Ants in the prescription of K. Schmidt, he wrote: “Indians are not Russian subjects, they should not take them into their care, now is not the time to think about their education, and not bad, without forcing them to use their labors, so that, without reproach yourself with violence, derive benefit from them for the Company ”. Thus, the “Rules” of 1821 forbade the colonization of undeveloped territories without the consent of the natives, the Indians should not be subordinated (“to take care of”), respectively, there was no need for them to become part of Russian culture (“education”). At the same time, Muravyov calls for action “without coercion,” “not incurring reproach of violence,” while achieving the main goal — the exploitation of the labor of the Indians.
As a result, at this time the Russians in California, on the one hand, did not use violence against the Aborigines, did not rob them, and did not occupy new lands. They were interested in peace with the Indians. On the other hand, the Cancer, having no support in St. Petersburg, could not expand the expansion, so the Russians distanced themselves from the Indians, were extremely cautious, tried to keep peace with the Spaniards.
To be continued ...