Soviet and US Troops Meet at Torgau — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
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While there he preached, instructed, and conducted weddings, confessions, communion services, baptisms, burials, and prayer services. He also held services for the Aleuts in translationconsecrated the waters of Fort Ross Creek, and led a festive procession around the stockade exterior.
The priest also described his visit to the missions of the San Francisco Bay area and the cordial relations he was able to establish with the Mexicans. Farming and Ranching at Fort Ross As early asthe sea otter catch showed signs of decline, and, by or so, attention was increasingly given to agriculture and stock raising.
But the initial intention of Company officials that the Ross settlement become an important food base for Alaska as well as for the Siberian seaboard Kamchatka and Okhotsk was not to be fulfilled. The reasons were many. The arable land around the settlement was limited and relatively infertile. Coastal fogs and encroaching wild oats often caused poor wheat harvest. Gophers, mice, and blackbirds damaged the tilled fields and adversely affected harvests. Despite some attempts at mechanization and scientific farming, introduced by Moscow-trained agronomist Yegor Leontievich Chernykh, the colonists had inadequate knowledge of crop rotation, fertilization, and other farming techniques, and for the most part were unable to reap even marginal yields of grain.
Better results were often gleaned from the small-scale plots of wheat and barley under private, individual cultivation. Most long-lasting of the first horticultural efforts at Ross were the Russian experiments with fruit trees. The first peach tree, brought from San Francisco, was planted inand inCaptain Hagemeister introduced grape stock brought from Peru and more peach trees from Monterey.
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Eventually the Russian orchard, located on the hillside less than a mile from Ross, included apples, peaches, grapes, cherries, and several types of pear. This orchard, which is still maintained today, contains several fruit-bearing trees that were possibly planted over a century and a half ago. Agriculture at Fort Ross peaked in the early s, but it fell far short of expectations. This disappointment gradually led Company officials to experiment with agriculture inland and to the south.
Between andthe Russians maintained three such ranches. The farthest ranch from Ross was that founded by the agronomist Yegor Chernykh. He established his ranch about ten miles from the coast, in a small valley watered by a wooded stream Purrington Creek, between Occidental and Graton. There he erected barracks and five other structures, and grew vegetables, fruit, wheat, and other grains. Chernykh also developed a large vineyard, introducing what has since become a major crop in the area.
The presumed founder was Peter Kostromitinov. Bythis farmstead consisted of one hundred acres and produced mainly wheat.
In addition to a ranch house, the property contained a barracks, granary, threshing and winnowing floors, and a house for Indian laborers. It also had a kitchen, bath house, corrals, and a boat landing for river crossings. The ranch of Vasily Khlebnikov, a Company employee, was located several miles inland, east of Bodega Bay in the upper Salmon Creek valley.
The largest of the three ranches, it had the same types of buildings as on the Kostromitinov Ranch, as well as a bakery, forge, and tobacco shed. Here the Russians used adobe brick in building the main house. A sizable amount of land was allotted to wheat, corn, beans, and tobacco. In the ranch site was chosen to host a two-day birthday celebration for Yelena Helena Pavlovna Rotcheva, the wife of the last manager.
The event was attended by guests from the Mexican community at Sonoma, foreign visitors, and Russians from Fort Ross. The festivities featured music and dancing which continued for almost forty-eight hours. Although the Russians never made it their major enterprise, stock raising was more consistently successful than growing crops, and in time it became an integral part of the economy.
Breeding stock, first obtained from the Spanish, produced several thousand head of cattle, horses, mules, and sheep, and enabled substantial shipments of wool, tallow, hides, salt beef, and butter to be sent to Alaska, as well as other destinations, for marketing. Moreover, sheep and cattle provided raw materials for clothing and a variety of household goods, much of which was used in trading.
In the early s, about 1, pounds of wool were produced annually, more than enough to cover the needs of the colony and to export to the California missions and elsewhere.
Although wool blankets and saddle-cloths were woven at Fort Ross, efforts to expand woolen manufacturing proved unsuccessful because of the lack of skilled workers. From tallow the Russians made candles, with wicks of flax or rush, and they also used animal fat combined with oakwood ashes, seashell lime and water to make soap.
Lanterns, combs, and powder horns were fashioned from the horns of oxen. Shoe soles and boot uppers were made from hides.
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The colonists made barrels from redwood at the cooperage, and navigational equipment from the harder wood of bay trees. They boiled pitch from fir and pine trees, and processed tannic acid from the bark of the tan oak tree. They sawed redwood beams, 21 feet long and in various widths, and even prefabricated sections of housing, all of which sold well on the California market.
Because of the abundance of timber, Company officials held high hope for the development of shipbuilding at Ross, primarily as a means of improving trans-Pacific trade and communication. Baranov, in particular, encouraged the enterprise and in sent a shipwright from Sitka, Vasily Grudinin, to supervise the project. After three or four years the changes in climate caused the rot to increase in all the main parts of the ship, and there was no way to repair it.
Nevertheless, the shipyard at Ross was the first of any size to operate in California, and many of the smaller boats constructed there found a ready market among the Californios, as the Spanish-Mexican settlers were called, of the San Francisco Bay area. Other commercial activities were more consistently successful, particularly tanning, milling, brickmaking, blacksmithing and foundry work.
At the tannery at the mouth of Fort Ross Creek, working with six redwood vats, an Aleut master tanner dressed, tanned, and fashioned hides and skins into shoes, boots, and other leather goods.
By the late s between 70 and 90 tanned hides were shipped to Sitka each year. Inthe first known wind-powered flour mill in California was built on a knoll north of the stockade; another windmill, added some time later, was able to grind over 30 bushels of grain a day.
A third mill was hand and animal-powered. Two mill-driven machines were used to crush tan-oak bark for the tannery.
A good-quality clay was found nearby, which led to the manufacture of bricks; their production and storage were moved to Bodega in Much has been written about the enmity and suspicion that existed between the Russian and the Spanish-Mexican authorities in California, but their disagreements have been overstated. The Spanish government officially forbade its subjects from trading with foreigners.
Because the Californios undertook almost no manufacturing of their own, they had considerable demand for farm implements and household wares. As the Russian colony grew, it was soon able to fulfill some of this demand. There was hardly a useful item of wood, metal, or leather that the promyshlenniki and artisans did not produce, and soon the Russians sold ploughs, axes, nails, wheels, metal cookware and longboats to their neighbors in exchange for grain, salt, and other raw materials.
After Mexico won her independence from Spain inforeign trade was no longer against the law. Trade between the Californios and the Russians continued, but now there was more competition from the Americans and British.
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Competition lowered the price of Russian goods and increased the price of California produce. Trade relations were further hampered by the Mexican imposition of new anchorage fees on all foreign vessels entering California ports.
One compensation for the Russians, however, was their control of Bodega Bay, their main shipping port. Here they had established storage and supply facilities as well as landing rights, all made available to foreign vessels. Here some supplies were warehoused and others taken to Fort Ross by baidara and baidarka or by horseback. The journey between the port facilities at Bodega Bay and Fort Ross usually took five hours, whether by land or by sea. With this port of entry and with their variety of goods for sale, the Russians were able to continue trading with the Californios, as evidenced, for example, by the records of the sale of gunpowder and uniforms, procured or produced by the Russians, to General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, on the nearby Mexican frontier.
Exploration and Natural Science Pursuits A number of explorers, scientists, artists, and men of letters from Imperial Russia used Ross as a base of operation while pursuing their investigations and recording their findings.What Americans ACTUALLY Think About Russia
Others used Russian ships in San Francisco Bay as springboards for exploration, travel, and scientific research. Some of these men were on expeditions sponsored by the Russian government or by private initiative; others were Company employees with a penchant for observation, who recorded what they saw around them.
Altogether, their pioneering work in the geography, botany, zoology, entomology, geology, meteorology, and ethnology of the region contributed information and insight valuable to the present day. The first of these observers, the physician and biologist Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff, accompanied Rezanov to California in Langsdorff was a correspondent member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, and the memoirs of his stay present a classic account of early Spanish California.
His sketches of California Indians and their artifacts are among the earliest portraits of native life to have survived. In Ivan Kuskov and his crew explored Bodega Bay; soon thereafter Kuskov traveled 45 miles up the Russian River which he named the Slavianka in search of a site suitable for settlement.
Later he sent parties of Native Alaskans on expeditions up the coastline as far north as Humboldt and Trinidad Bays. InCaptain Otto von Kotzebue headed a voyage around the world. Privately chartered by Count Rumiantsev, the ship brought the naturalist Adelbert von Chamisso, the artist Louis Andreyevich Choris, and the entomologist-zoologist Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz to California. During their stay in the San Francisco area, Chamisso collected the California poppy and gave it the botanical name Eschscholzia californica, after his friend and the land that they were investigating.
His memoirs describe the warm welcome given him by the Miwok chiefs at Bodega Bay, as well as many observations of Indian life and customs, including the autumn grass fires intentionally set to encourage the growth of seeds and grains. On board his ship was the young artist Mikhail Tikhonovich Tikhanov, who made a series of five color sketches of California Indians while ashore at Bodega Bay.
In an extensive literary portrait of the Spanish population and local geography he wrote that he traveled overland to Fort Ross, Santa Cruz and east to the Calaveras-Mariposa area. During the early s, Baron Ferdinand Petrovich von Wrangell, while manager-in-chief of the Russian-American Company, strongly encouraged the scientific study of the wildlife and geography of North America.
In on a journey to evaluate the possibilities of extending the Russian settlement farther inland, he personally conducted the first anthropological study of the Indian population of the Russian River area and the Santa Rosa plain. Along with his own written observations on the natural habitat and Indian customs Wrangell arranged to have the Imperial Academy of Sciences publish a comprehensive anthropological account of California Indians written by Manager Peter Kostromitinov.
Also invaluable today are the first systematic weather records kept in California, compiled by Yegor Chernykh between and These documented temperature, sky cover, air pressure, precipitation and wind conditions at Ross and at his ranch ten miles inland. Among the later visitors to Ross was the naturalist and artist, Ilya Gavrilovich Voznesenskii.
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A trained scientist and competent graphic artist, Voznesenskii was sent by the Imperial Academy of Sciences to explore and investigate Russian America. In MayChernykh and Voznesenskii joined forces to map and name the tributaries of the Russian River as far north as the Healdsburg area.
Shortly afterward they made the first recorded ascent of Mt. A metal plaque, in Russian and Spanish, was made in advance, and the explorers installed it on the north summit to mark their feat.
In the s the plaque was removed, but a facsimile was made for the Fort Ross centennial in to replace it; this marker remains atop Mt. On these and other expeditions, Voznesenskii was able to gather an ethnographically invaluable collection of California Indian artifacts.
These include ornaments, weapons, garments and baskets that can be seen today at the Museum of Ethnography, St. Many of these objects are the sole surviving items of their kind. They contain observations of the lives of Californians, from the children at Fort Ross to the foreign merchants at Yerba Buena San Francisco.
The California sea otter population had been largely depleted by the mids, and the Russian shift of emphasis from hunting to farming and stock raising, to produce large quantities of grain, beef, and dairy products, did not match expectations.
Moreover, the experiment in shipbuilding, while impressive in the short run, proved defective over time, and trade in manufactured goods did not return enough profit to offset deficits. Petersburg nor the Russian-American Company was able to meet. A last effort to avert a Russian withdrawal came in when Baron von Wrangell journeyed from Sitka to Mexico City to seek an improvement in relations with the new Mexican Republic.
The man charged with selling the colony and its assets was Alexander Rotchev, who had arrived at Fort Ross in mid, on a temporary assignment. Joining him later were his wife, Helena, the Princess Gagarina, and their three children.
A prominent writer and literary translator conversant in several languages, the energetic and talented Rotchev, together with his attractive wife, soon lent a new tone to life in the frontier community, giving it vigor, intensity, and sophistication in its last few years. Named to succeed Kostromitinov as manager of the colony in lateRotchev was quick to grasp the problems facing the distant colonial outpost and proved himself to be a resourceful administrator and diplomat.
Duflot made an extensive visit to Ross to investigate the area first-hand, but he, too, declined to put forth a bid, on the grounds that he lacked authority in such matters.
There is Russian activity, to be sure. But it appears aimed less at swaying the U. Coats said that while the U. The Internet Research Agency uses the fake accounts to drive attention to divisive issues in the U. USAReally plays a similar role. However, Toler said the site could build momentum by creating divisive content that then gets passed to other provocative news aggregators in the U. Prigozhin and 12 other Russians are personally charged with participating in a broad conspiracy to sow discord in the U.
But he says he has nothing to do with the indicted trolls, who once operated under the same roof. The big question is what Trump plans to do about this. Trump is under heavy pressure to tell Putin to stay out of U. After the top U. Maryland officials announced Friday that a vendor providing key election services is owned by a company whose chief investor is well-connected Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin.
Experts note that governments have been using technology to influence foreign powers for millennia, and caution against assuming the Russians are always at fault.