Russian California, 1806-1860. A History in Documents / Volume II  book cover
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Russian California, 1806-1860. A History in Documents / Volume II

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ISBN 9781908145079
Published August 28, 2014 by Hakluyt Society

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Book Description

The development of the Russian state was marked by a steady growth of population and especially territory. Its colonial expansion was mainly an eastward movement in search of profitable resources, the way west being blocked by other European powers and the way south by other empires (Ottoman and Chinese). The push to the east proceeded rapidly and distantly, being eased not only by the absence of foreign opposition and native disunity but also by Siberia's interwoven river network and the North Pacific's convenient causeway of the Aleutian chain, plus the lure of 'soft gold' (furs) in the form of Siberian sables and Pacific sea otters.

Table of Contents

Contents: Documents: Parts IV-IX; Part IV Schemes for Bolstering, Expanding, and Delimiting Russian California, 1824-1825: Governor Matvey Murav’yov, the Decembrist Dmitry Zavalishin, and the Californios. Part V The Development of Russian California and Relations with Mexican California, 1825-1830: Governor Peter Chistyakov, Agent Kirill Khlebnikov, and Manager Paul Shelikhov. Part VI The Expansion of Russian California and Relations with Mexican California, 1830-1835: Governor Ferdinand Wrangell, Agent Kirill Khlebnikov, and Manager Peter Kostromitinov. Part VII. Attempts to Settle the Territorial Disagreement with Mexico over Russian California, 1831-1836: Governor Ferdinand Wrangell and the Russian and Mexican Governments. Part VIII The Final Efforts to Expand Russian California, 1836-1839: Governor Ivan Kupreyanov, Manager Peter Kostromitinov, and Agronomist Yegor Chernykh. Part IX The Sale of Ross Counter and the Problem of Payment, 1838-1860: Governors Ivan Kupreyanov, Arvid Etholén, and Michael Teben’kov, Managers Peter Kostromitinov and Alexander Rotchev, and Captain John Sutter. Bibliography; Index.

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James R. Gibson is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at York University in Toronto; Alexei Istomin is Senior Research Associate of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.


'Gibson and his co-editors are to be commended for the scholarly undertaking that has produced such substantial work on the RAC's history in California. ... Having focused such considerable attention on one of Russia's smallest colonial projects, we can only hope that the Hakluyt Society will continue to publish equally outstanding collections on the other parts of the Russian Empire. In the meantime, the field undoubtedly is enriched by such professional publications.' Russian Review