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BARANOV

BARANOV, Aleksandr Andreyevich (1746-1819), industrialist, manufacturer, chief of the Russian colonies in America. Born in the town of Kargopol. In Irkutsk owned a glass-factory and a distillery, was engaged in contracting and leasing. Member of the Free Economic Society, in 1787, published his notes and observations in the Society’s Notes. From 1790, served in G.I. Golikov’s company, was the ruler of the Russian settlements in North America. After the appearance of the Russian-American Company (RAC)—chief ruler of the Russian colonies in America. Contributed to consolidation of Russia in the North Western part of the Pacific Ocean, and to arrangement of permanent settlements, organization of trade and commercial operations with the local population and foreign merchants. Supported the development of new territories, turning local population into citizens of the Russian empire, protected state interests in its far-away territories. Baranov supervised the construction of Novoarkhangelsk, which became the capital of Russian America . Took part in sea and land expeditions, which studied the natural resources of Russian America (especially—in exploring and describing Chigar Gulf and the adjacent islands), contributed to the spread of tillage, market-gardening, copper smelting production, coal extraction, ship-building, etc. in the Russian lands, looked for ways of rapprochement with the native population. On Baranov’s initiative, the expedition of I.A. Kuskov to North California was carried out, where the latter erected Fort Ross (1812) and became its first governor. Baranov’s plans also included creation of a Russian trading station on the Hawaii Islands. But his initiative was not supported by the Council of RAC or Emperor Alexander I.  In 1818-19, Baranov organized the expedition of P.G. Korsakovski and F. Kolmakov, who were the first to cover 1,200 km of the coast of Alaska in umiaks, after discovering Kuskokwim, Kvichak, Nushagak, and Kulakak bays, as well as the Islands of Gagemeister and Nunivak.  Baranov’s almost 30-year stay in the New World promoted the activities of RAC. In 1799, Emperor Pavel I awarded Baranov a medal engraved with his name.  Baranov died aboard the “Kutuzov,” near the Island of Java, and was buried in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.  An island and a town (in the Alexander Archipelago), Alexander Bay (the Pacific coast of North America), an island in the Minin skerries (the Kara Sea), a mountain, and a cape in Sakhalin were named after Baranov.  

А.А. Баранов
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