Nikolai Rezanov's Dream of a Russian America

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Russian Empire once extended deep into America: in 1818 Russia’s furthest outposts were in California and Hawaii. The dreamer behind this great Imperial vision was Nikolai Rezanov – diplomat, adventurer, courtier, millionaire and gambler. In Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America, Owen Matthews gives an account of Rezanov’s quest to plant Russian colonies from Siberia to California led him to San Francisco.


Owen Matthews

Comments [3]

Miguel Lopez from Los Angeles

Interesting that your guest thinks Native Americans aren't human and Leonard did not question him on that point.

Dec. 17 2013 04:12 PM
Steve from Irvington

Great topic! Check out Renova Fort Ross Foundation's multimillion dollar effort to save Fort Ross! A sign of Russia-U.S friendship at a time when the bilateral relationship is challenged. The effort is NYC based. Fort Ross is a great symbol of scientific and human cooperation, especially given the Native and Russian exchange.

Dec. 02 2013 01:10 PM

Perhaps it was due to Peter the Great's care to emulate Europe and what was literally the "West" in the current sense, Russia's vast expanse east wasn't esteemed beyond its timber; Siberia was for exiles, and beyond the Bering Straight, Alaska, was for witches and others so afflicted with "second sight" etc. Sec. Seward's purchase of Alaska from the Russians was roundly ridiculed as "Seward Folly" though it was second only to the Louisiana Purchase, which itself had its most northern areas later ceded to Canada; there were cries of "54-40 or Fight" referring to pushing the "continental" border to that parallel - and lowering the southern panhandle of Alaska, effectively eliminating British Columbia/Canada's access to the Pacific.

Dec. 02 2013 11:37 AM

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