Aleut - Century of Servitude: From Russian to American Administration

Century of Servitude

Chapter 1. From Russian to American Administration

The Pribilof story takes place out in the Bering Sea, far from centers of human abundance. The Pribilof Islands lie between the mainlands of Siberia and Alaska, about 200 miles north of the islands of the Aleutian chain. 1 Until the twentieth century, the only outside contact occurred when sailing vessels and steamers called once or twice a year. The islands are unique from several aspects. Their severe weather and unusual setting cast a strange and exciting spell; typically fog lies close to the ground, and high winds and storms lash the rocky, treeless terrain. Until the Russians discovered them in the eighteenth century, the Pribilof Islands were uninhabited, probably because of the absence of natural harbors and fish-bearing streams and insufficient natural resources.2 Commercially valuable resources were also sparse, limited primarily to the Pacific fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus). The migratory fur seal utilizes the beaches of the Pribilofs for a birthing and breeding area. The animals arrive during the early summer and accomplish both processes in a relatively short time, then depart to warmer marine areas. Other commercially utilized marine resources such as halibut are available but are not commercially attractive because of their greater abundance in other parts of the Bering Sea-Aleutian area.

These stormy, windswept, isolated islands with a narrow resource base captured the United States' interest; in fact, the Pribilof fur seal industry was one of the government's main motivations for purchasing Alaska from Russia in 1867. Though many visitors raved about Alaska's rich resources -- fossil ivory, whales, walrus, many species of cold water fish, vast amounts of timber, and numerous fur-bearing land and sea mammals - only the Pribilof fur seals, estimated at two million animals, produced commercial profits of any significance. During Congressional hearings in 1868, experts l gave glowing accounts of the profits from the industry. In the last years of Russian administration of the territory, the Russians insured their animal skins for one million dollars a year.3 These were primarily seal skins, as the rest of the Russian fur trade had collapsed by then.4 In the first two sealing seasons after the purchase, San Francisco traders who bought skins from Aleut sealers for 35 to 40 cents each sold them raw for $6.50 in London and $4.50 in San Francisco. A customs officer said that one West Coast company alone reported profits of over one-half million dollars from the fur seal trade in a single year, 1868. Another customs officer estimated an annual revenue to the government of $100,000 from the industry.5

The promise of wealth in Alaska sparked keen interest among government officials sensitive to recent charges that the purchase of Alaska was "Seward's folly." Opponents of the purchase contended that the resources of Alaska were of dubious value and the costs of administering the territory would drain the treasury. The minority report of the Congressional committee debating the purchase echoed these views: "The possession of the country (Alaska) is of no value to the government . . . it will be a source of weakness instead of power, and a constant annual expense for which there will be no adequate return."6 Undoubtedly, officials realized that government revenues from the fur seal industry would silence the voices of opposition once and for all and exonerate the proponents of the purchase, especially with the high level of profits expected; some predicted that revenues from the seal industry would, in a few years, equal or exceed the original $7,200,000 purchase price of Alaska. The pressure to prove and realize the economic value of Alaska had a powerful influence on the evolution of Pribilof management policies and generated interest in natural resource conservation long before it attracted national attention, for revenues from sealing were inextricably bound to protection of the seal resource.

After the purchase the Pribilof fur trade operated similarly to that in other parts of Alaska. In line with the prevailing laissez-faire economic principle, the fur trade was in the hands of individual traders who set up posts and stores and traded with the native populations, exchanging store goods and later credit at the store for pelts. The traders had no responsibility for the welfare of the natives. No one raised objections to this system in the rest of Alaska where the fur trade was relatively inconsequential, but officials questioned its application to the Pribilofs where the potential for substantial revenues to the government existed and where free trade threatened the survival of the resource producing the revenue.

In 1867 and 1868 Pacific Coast companies plundered the seal rookeries. Rival traders took an estimated 240,000 seals in 1868 alone.7 At that rate the seals would be extinct in a relatively short time. Public officials expressed alarm. The seal herds, they warned, were seriously endangered by indiscriminate slaughter. Congress responded quickly with legislation prohibiting the killing of fur seals except those needed for the Aleuts' food, estimated at 30,000 seals a year. 8

Nonetheless, the seal slaughter continued. The following year, to assure permanent regulation of the seals, Congress declared the Pribilof Islands a special government reservation and barred persons from landing there without permission from the Secretary of the Treasury 9 (in whose department lay administrative responsibility for the Pribilofs). The Secretary granted landing permission to only two companies, ostensibly to take care of their properties which they had purchased from the Russians. Once there, however, these two companies reaped an excessive harvest, estimated at 100,000 seals, in complete disregard of the 30,000 limit.10 Clearly more stringent federal regulations were needed.

Officials' thoughts turned to the Russians' successful experience in seal management. What was its history? What had it entailed in terms of conservation practices, government relations with private industry, and private industry's relations with the Aleut sealers? The Treasury Secretary assigned a Russian-reading employee to translation of Russian works and secured the cooperation of the Smithsonian Institution in furnishing other translations. Congressmen sought information not only about Russian management of the Pribilofs but about its entire fur trade on this continent, because the Pribilofs were not an isolated case; they were an integral part of the total North American administration by the Russians. Here is the background.

After Vitus Bering first sighted the Aleutian Islands in 1741, a steady stream of fur hunters from Siberia came to the Aleutians. Later, they extended their operations to other coastal parts of Alaska and even established a settlement as far away as Fort Ross in California. In the first fifty years of Russian occupation, the free trade period, Russian fur hunters brutally mistreated the Aleuts and at the same time commanded their labor.11 The Russians stole the Aleuts' wives, slaves, and possessions, and slaughtered any who resisted their domination.12 They sent Aleut men on long sea hunting expeditions from which many never returned and during which many women and children, left alone in the villages, suffered severe deprivation.13 This mistreatment, combined with the diseases the Russians introduced, nearly decimated the Aleut population. In the first thirty years of Russian contact, the Aleut population declined from an estimated 12,000 to about 1,900.14

The fur traders plundered not only the Aleuts but also marine resources, especially the sea otter which produced the most valuable skins. After several decades of fierce competition between Russian companies, the sea otter population showed serious decline. In addition to competition with their own countrymen, the Russians also became concerned about the threat of competition from fur traders from other countries, especially the United States and Great Britain.

Eager to prevent ruinous competition between its companies, to regulate traders' treatment of the natives, and most importantly, to protect and expand its sovereignty in Russian America (its first overseas colony), the Russian government in 1799 granted a monopoly to a private firm, the Russian-American Company. The government gave the company not only a monopoly on trade but authority to govern and garrison the new territory. Apparently the Russians applied the experience of the British East India Company in using a private business as an instrument of government. The establishment of an outright Russian government administration in North America might have provoked conflict with the United States and Great Britain, which was averted by establishing a company administration.15

The first charter granted to the Russian-American Company contained no definite regulations about the status and treatment of natives other than an injunction to treat them amicably and convert them to Christianity.16 The second and third charters, in 1821 and 1844, however, specified natives' political status. Aleuts and other natives under company administration were declared Russian subjects: "Tribes inhabiting the places administered by the company are ... Islanders, Kurils, Aleuts, and others....As Russian subjects they shall conform to the general laws of the empire and shall enjoy the protection thereof.''17 The protection was hardly forthcoming.

The Russian government was thousands of miles away, and it stationed no officials in the territory to oversee company activities. Russian citizenship probably meant little to the Aleuts. They were faced with a more serious political problems;the threat company managers posed to their traditional political institutions. Aleut political authority consisted of a chief and council of elders in each village. Experts hold disparate views about the hereditary or elective basis of chieftainship,18 but this became a moot question under company administration. The company set up a system of joint village administration by its village manager and the chief, but it was a very unequal partnership. Managers changed the one-chief system to a hierarchy of three chiefs, apparently in an effort to diffuse the chiefs' prestige and power. Further, managers appropriated authority to appoint and remove chiefs, thereby undermining the Aleuts' political integrity. They reduced the chiefs' powers in other ways, for example, by eliminating their role in the administration of justice if one of the parties to a suit were a Russian or Creole (persons with native and Russian ancestry).l9

Semen Okun, a Soviet historian, claimed that the company "bought off" chiefs by paying them an attractive salary in exchange for which they performed policing functions and organized work parties for the company. 20 Nevertheless, chiefs retained considerable authority, especially because Aleuts continued to rely on the first chief and to turn to him for arbitrating disputes, making important community decisions, and organizing community activities. The Aleuts' political system was less damaged by company policies than other elements of their social structure and autonomy, such as their cycle of work and lack of freedom to choose their places of residence.

Before the Russian occupation the Aleuts lived in hundreds of villages in the Aleutian chain and western end of the Alaska Peninsula. The company resettled many Aleuts into artels at or near the sources of furs, and consolidated some villages for ease of administration. By 1834 only twenty-seven villages remained.21 The company apparently considered the artels temporary settlements, judging by its censuses which listed Aleuts from their villages of origin. Nonetheless, the artels and consolidated villages became permanent settlements.

The organization of artels reflected the Russians' dependence on Aleut labor, a dependence that grew from two sources. The paucity of Russian settlers in the territory was one. The existence of serfdom in the mother country limited emigration. To compound the problem, the Russian government restricted the residence of emigrants to seven years, although later in its administration, it liberalized this constraint.22 In 1818 only 400 Russians resided in Russian America; by 1867 their numbers had grown to only 812.23 The second source of this dependence was the Russian fur hunters' failure to master the Aleuts' seamanship and sea hunting skills - their ability to sail small skin boats, baidarkas, in rough seas, and use spears, darts, and throwing boards to capture sea mammals, including whales.

The company recruited an Aleut labor force by appropriating the Aleuts' slaves as permanent employees and commanding the labor of Creoles (whom it educated) for ten to fifteen years of compulsory service. But the bulk of its workers were full-blooded Aleuts compelled to labor not only by the company but by government edict as reflected in the charters to the company. The charters issued in 1821 and 1844 required half the Aleut men in every village between the ages of eighteen and fifty to labor for the company for three years at whatever pay the company fixed, usually merchandise or scrip for the company store.24 Actually, the work obligation was worse than that. Four-fifths of the men in the villages were usually recruited and the three-year work limitation was often overlooked.25 In addition to the work obligation, the company compelled old men, women,and children to perform other services for it, such as producing a specifiednumber of bird-feather parkas every year. Furthermore, the company for-bade Aleuts to sell furs or meats to any other firms, restricted their subsist-ence fishing along the shores of their villages, and prohibited them from leav-ing their villages without official permission.26

The Aleuts' economic status under the Russians was influenced in part by the institution of serfdom. The condition of Russian serfs varied at different times in history, in different regions, and in the practices of different lords. Generally the landlords required barshchina, a work obligation, usually three days a week of compulsory labor at no pay, and obrok, a cash payment, as well as lesser services such as providing produce from the land the serfs farmed. Serfs had virtually no rights; they were not even allowed to petition the state regarding abuses by the landowners; they could own no real property; they had no freedom of movement (they could not leave the estate without the landowner's permission); and they could be sold like challels. Furthermore, the owner exercised wide judicial and police powers extending even to the serfs' private lives and choice of marriage partners.27

The Russian-American Company had failed to secure serfs of its own, probably because of opposition from the nobility. But in practice, Aleuts belonged to the company as much as Russian serfs belonged to the land owning nobility. The power to compel the Aleuts to labor, force their resettlement, and confine them to their villages certainly bespeaks possession.

In many respects, then, the Aleuts' economic status resembled that of Russian serfs. But it also differed in a fundamental way. Unlike the relationships to his serfs, the company paid Aleuts for labor prefermed - 75 kopeks for a seal skin in the 1860s, equivalent to about 40 to 50 cents in American money.28 This rate was as high as that which American traders paid the Aleut sealers for several decades after the transfer of the territory. In this aspect, in paying a wage for labor performed, the Russian company treated Aleuts like other American wage workers were treated at that time.In yet another way, in the manner the company distributed wages, it treated the Aleuts uniquely. The Aleuts' traditional distributive system was essentially egalitarian. Aleuts shared the products of the hunt with the entire village and looked after the welfare of all individuals. In line with this tradition, company managers paid the Aleuts' wages into a community fund which the chiefs divided among the sealers according to their work classification and apparently also according to their need.29

Considering the extreme domination the company exercised over the Aleut's lives, it is puzzling why the company respected this Aleut institution. Of course, such methods cost the company nothing, and it seems reasonable to assume that because the company depended on the Aleuts' labor, it wanted to avoid alienating them; on this issue the Aleuts probably harbored intense feelings, for communal sharing was an integral and highly valued feature of their way of life.

In sum, then, the Aleuts' economic status under company administration was part serf, part proletariat, and part traditional Aleut.

The company's administration of the Pribilof Islands was not unique, although the fate of the Pribilof Aleuts differed from that of the others. This becomes apparent as we trace the evolution of the two Pribilof communities, St. Paul and St. George. Of the many fur-bearing animals in Russian America, Russian fur hunters' primary interest lay in two — sea otters andseals. Sea otters were easily captured in the water along the shores, but the best approach to fur seals was on their breeding grounds, where they concern I trate on beaches. At first the location of the breeding grounds was not known, but in 1786 Gerasim Pribilof, a navigator on a Russian ship, discovered one, an island with tens of thousands of seals. He named it George Island after his ship. The following year fur hunters on George Island discovered another island about thirty miles to the north which they named Peter and Paul Island.30 These two islands, now known as St. George and St. Paul, are the two main sealing islands in the Pribilof group and the only two on which humans reside.

Grigor Shelikhov, president of a large trading firm that preceded the Russian-American Company, at first harvested seals with imported labor from the Siberian port of Okhotsk. However, this system apparently failed, and he substituted imported Aleutian workers, primarily from the I villages of Atka and Unalaska. Importing laborers made economic sense i because of the highly seasonal nature of sealing, which was the main commercial activity on the Pribilofs. True, other species were harvested—blue and white foxes and sea lions for their fur, walruses for their tusks, and whales for their bones—but these were not sufficiently valuable to warrant year-round activity. At first the Russian-American Company followed Shelikhov's practice of importing Aleut laborers, but by the 1820s it had established permanent villages, evidently to ease administration and avoid the expense and trouble of carrying Aleuts to and from their villages.

Permanent villages meant a juncture for the Aleuts, turning those on the Pribilofs to a different path from the rest. With the coming of the Russians, all Aleuts were forced into specialized activities in the fur trade. Most became pelagic (open sea) hunters roaming along the coasts of northwest North America for part of the year and subsistence hunters in their villages for the rest of the year. Thus, they were able to maintain their aboriginal skills as boatmen, hunters, and fishermen. Those consigned to the Pribilofs suffered a different fate. Although they did some hunting and fishing, they basically became gatherers and processors on an industrial assembly line with a specialized division of labor that involved driving, slaughtering, and skinning seals on land, activities far removed from their traditional marine hunting. Furthermore, sealing occurred during the summer months, the prime time for many subsistence activities. As a result of confinement to the islands and assembly line work during the summers, the Pribilof Aleuts lost many of their aboriginal skills.

When it came to seal management, the Russian-American Company did an exemplary job. The Russian fur traders' senseless and unsystematic destruction of sea otters had threatened their survival. To protect the fur seal trade, the company, from the outset, established conservation measures. It suspended seal hunting in various periods and limited the harvests to males of two and three years of age.31

The purpose of the age limitation was to restrict harvests to the age groups whose skins were prime, but the prohibition against taking females reflected social characteristics of the seal population. Successful reproduction of seals requires only a small proportion of males who live in harems. Most males do not breed, and their slaughter does not affect the viability of the herd. Harvests can be limited to males of a certain age because seals sort themselves on beaches in ways that make age, sex, and breeding status apparent. Observing these conservation practices, the Russian Company was able to harvest seals consistently, averaging about 20,000 animals a year during the last forty years of its administration.32 At the time of the transfer of the territory, the seal herd was thriving with a population estimated at over two million.

In sum, the Russian system in its North American colony involved private monopoly of the fur trade with: (1) a private company having political and administrative authority over the territory; (2) labor practices characterized by a combination of serf-like, proletariat, and uniquely Aleut features; and (3) relatively advanced conservation practices.

How did this system strike American government officials? Undoubtedly they were impressed by the Russians' success at both seal conservation and operating a profitable business. But what did they think about the human abuses that occurred under the same system? They expressed humanitarian concern for the Aleuts. In fact, Secretary of the Treasury George Boutwell, in urging a public monopoly in the Pribilofs, stressed the import-ance of establishing humanitarian institutions for the care and welfare of thenatives.33

Despite the lack of precedence for government control of a profit making industry, other officials, in the name of humanitarianism, called for a public monopoly. But it is doubtful that humanitarian interests were the primary motivation; more likely it was rhetorical justification to mask economic interests. Special Indian Commissioner Vincent Colyer argued that "as it will require the same amount of governmental . . . expense to protectthe (private) lessors as it would for the government to manage the concern itself; it would seem practical economy for our government to take charge of the operations."34 In more blatant terms, Frank Wicker, special Treasury agent sent to investigate the fur seal operation, underscored the economic rationale for a government monopoly.

The habits and peculiarities of the fur seals are such that any deviation from the old established custom adopted by the "Russians" would have a tendency to drive them away from their rookeries; consequently, the necessity of surrounding this mine of wealth with the strong arm of goremment should be made apparent to all. This method not only insures a handsome revenue to the government, but at the same time does away with private monopolies, which are always obnoxious to the people.35

Clearly, the government had a vested economic interest in the Pribilofs, which it sought to protect by public monopoly and which it justified in terms of humanitarianism.

Counteracting these few officials was the louder and more persuasive voice of the fur trade lobby. Its spokesmen argued that a private lease was congruent with American sentiment and furthermore that it would still assure Treasury revenues in the form of rent and taxes.36 John Miller, one of the most persistent spokesmen for a private monopoly, was president of the recently organized Alaska Commercial Company (formed by a merger of several trading firms including the two that had purchased property from the Russians and been given permission to land on the islands in 1869). A former military officer and friend of General Grant, Miller had access to many legislators as well as to the President.37

Given the tenor of those times, Miller's agitations fell on receptive ears. It was a period of rapid industrial development, great land steals made possible by prodigious corruption in government circles, and the growth of giant corporations accompanied by intense exploitation of laborers who had no power to bargain individually; it was the era of the post Civil War robber barons; it was the gilded age of capitalism.

In this national mood, Congress in 1870 enacted legislation instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to grant an exclusive private lease.38 The Secretary awarded the lease to the Alaska Commercial Company which, although the lowest bidder (in terms of rent and royalties to the govermnent), had the advantages of already possessing property on the Pribilofs, experience in the fur trade, and influence in the White House.39

The American version of private monopoly control of the Pribilofs did not duplicate that of the Russians'. The legislation gave the company a monopoly on trade only; the government retained authority to regulate the seals and the Aleut sealers. In essence, the legislation and the lease that followed it established a dual system of government-company administration of the Pribilofs. How did this system affect the Aleut people? Did it protect them from forced labor, from serf-like features of the Russian system, from political domination? Which part of this dual system proved more fateful for the Aleut people—the reality of economic monopoly or the reality of protection by a democratic government? What sort of organzational forms did the government develop to monitor the private lease and manage the seals and the Aleut people? And what priorities did it set among its three main goals - seals, profits, and people?


1. The Pribilof group of islands occupies an isolated portion of the Bering Sea between 56°35' and 57°11' north latitude and 169°35' and 170°24' west longitude. The Pribilofs lie between Unalaska Island in the Aleutian archipelago, about 214 miles southeast; St. Mathew Island, about 220 miles northwest; and Cape Newenham on the mainland, 309 miles northeast. St. Paul and St. George, the two islands of concern, are approximately the same uze. St. Paul Island, 13-1/2 by 7-2/3 miles, has 45 miles of coastline and 43 square miles of area; St. George Island, 12 by 4-1/2 miles, has 30 miles of coastline and almost 36 square miles of area. Tom F.W. Barth, "Geology and Petrology of the Pribilof Islands, Alaska," Biological Survey Bulletin 1028-F (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956), p. 101-102; David Starr Jordon, et al., The Fur Seals and Fur-Seal Islands of the North Pacific Ocean (Washington, D.C.: Govemment Printing Office, 1898), p. 31. (Also issued as Treasury Department Doc. No. 2017)., Wilfred Osgood et al., The Fur Seals and Other Life of the Pribilof Islands in 1914. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, Vol. xxxiv, 1914, p. 17. (Also issued as Bureau of Fisheries Doc. No. 820, 1915 and Senate Doc. No. 980, 63rd Cong., 3rd sess.).

2. The archeological record reveals no signs of human habitation prior to the Russians' discovery of the islands. There were a few signs of recent visitation - a clay pipe, a copper sword hilt, and evidence of recent fires, suggesting that the Aleuts did visit or camp on the islands. Alan L. Bryan, "An Archeological Reconnaisance of the Pribilof Islands" (Anchorage: Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks, n.d.), Osgood, et. al., The Fur Seals and Other Life of the Pribilof Islands, p. 132. Ivan Veniaminov, Russian Orthodox priest in the Aleutians from 1825 to 1834, recorded a story indicating that Aleuts knew of the existence of the Pribilofs long before the advent of the Russians. The tale recounts the experience of a man from the Aleutian Island of Unimak, carried northward in his boat by a tempest, who landed his baidarka (skin boat) on St. Paul and spent the winter there. In the spring he sighted the peaks of Unimak Island several hundred miles distant, set out in his baidarka, and returned home. Ivan Veniaminov, Notes on the Islands of the Unalaska District, 3 vol. (St. Petersburg,1840), trans. Richard Geogehan, vol. 2, p. 223.

3. Vincent Colyer, Report of the Honorable Vincent Colyer, United States apecial Indian Commissioner, on Indian Tribes and Their Surroundings in Alaska Territory from Personal Observation and Inspection, 1869. H. Exec. Doc. No. 1414, 41st Cong., 2nd sess., 1869, pp. 1052-1054.

4. Petr Tikhmenov, Historical Review of the Formation of the Russian-American Company and Its Activity to the Present Time, 2 parts (St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Printing Office of Edward Weimar, 1861). Part I trans. Michael Dobrynin, Berkeley: Bancroft Library, University of California, pp. 308, 407, Part II. trans. Dmitri Krenov, Seattle: Works Public Administration, 1939-1940, p. 254. (Recently issued as A History of the Russian-American Company, trans. and ed. Richard A. Pierce and Alton S. Donnelly (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press,1978). 5. U.S. Treasury Department, Special Agents Division, Seal and Salmon Fisheries and General Resources of Alaska, 4 vol. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1898), Vol. I: Reports on the Conditions of Seal Life on the Pribilof Islands by Special Treasury Agents and Others from 1868 to 1895 Inclusive, pp. 7-13.

6. U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Foreign Relations, Minority Report No. 37 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1869), 50th Cong., 2nd sess., 1869, p. 65.

7. U S. Congress, House, The Alaska Commercial Company, H Rpt. No. 623, 44th Cong., 1st sess., 1876, p. 99.

8. 15 Stat. 241 (July 27, 1868).

9. 15 Stat.348 (March 3,1869)

10. Colyer, Report on Indian Tribes, p. 988, U.S Congress, House, Fur Seal Fisheries of Alaska, H. Exec. Doc. No. 136, 41st Cong., 2nd sess., 1869, p. 3; Frank N. Wicker to the Honorable Herbert C. Schenck, H. Misc. Doc. No. 11, 41st. Cong., 2nd sess., 1869, p. 2.

11. Aleuts of the Aleutian Islands and the western end of the Alaska Peninsula and Koniags of Kodiak Island whom the Russians classified as Kodiak Aleuts comprised the bulk of the companyb American Indian employees. William Sarafian, Russian-American Company Employee Policies and Practices 1799-1867 (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1970), p. 150.

12. The Aleuts' slaves were prisoners of war, taken in raids on other villages (Aleut and Eskimo). Slaves were accorded diverse treatment. Some became wives or adopted children and were integrated into the community. Others remained in slave status and were used or abused according to the inclination of the owner. He mig'nt liberate them, add them to a dowry, torture them, or burn them alive. An entire family of slaves might be murdered at funerals or during mourning rites. Dorothy Jones, Aleuts in Transition: A Comparison of Two Villages (Seattle: University of Washington Press,1976), p. 14.

13. Semen B. Okun, The Russian-American Company (Boston: Harvard University Press,1951), trans. Carl nsburg, pp. 175, 200.

14. Ales Hrdlicka, The Aleutian and Commander Islands and Their Inhabitants (Philadelphia. Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Botany, 1945), pp. 32-33.

15. Vladimir Gsovski, Russian Administration of Alaska and the Status of Alaska Natives (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,1950), p.9. (Also issued as S. Doc. No. 152, 81st Cong., 2nd sess., 1950).

16. Ibid., p. 5.

17. 1821 Charter, Sections 42, 44; 1844 Charter, Sections 247, 250. In Gsovski, Russian Administration, pp. 44, 49.

18. Margaret Lantis, "The Aleut Social System from 1750 to 1810," in Margaret Lantis (ed.) Ethnohistory of Southwestern Alaska and Yukon (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1970), pp. 250-251.

19.1844 Charter, Section 277, in Gsovski, Russian Administration, p. 51.

20. Okun, Russian-American Company, pp.198-200.

21. Hrdlicka, The Aleutian and Commander Islands, p. 41.

22. Okun, The Russian-American Company, pp. 172-174.

23. Svetlana G. Fedorova, The Russian Population in Alaska and California, Late Eighteenth Century - 1867 (Kingston, Ontario: Limestone Press, 1973), p.151.

24. 1821 Charter, Sections 51, 53; 1844 Charter, Sections 265, 266. In Gsovski, Russian Administration, pp. 44, 51; Tikhmenev, Historical Review, Part I, p. 292.

25. Sarafian, Russian-American Company, pp. 150-178, Veniaminov, Notes, trans. Geogehan, p. 228.

26. Okun, The Russian-American Company, pp. 196-201.

27. Jerome Blum, Lord and Peasant in Russia from the Ninth to the Ninteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961).

28. Source for Aleuts' rate of pay is Tikhmenev, Historical Review, Part I, pp. 319, 320, 399. In the 1860s there were 100 kopeks to the paper ruble; only paper rubles were used in Russian America and the nominal value of the caper ruble then was 75 cents. S.R. Tompkins, Alaskan Promyshlennik, and Sourdough (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1945), p. 185; The Alaska Commercial Company, H. Report No. 623, p. 7.

29. Veniaminov, Notes, trans. Geogehan, p. 234.

30. Ibid., pp. 223-225.

31. Tikhmenev, Historical Review, Part I., pp. 307, 403.

32. Ibid., Part I, pp. 308, 407; Part II, p. 254.

33. The Alaska Commercial Company, H. Rpt. No. 623, p. 12.

34. Colyer, Report, p. 991.

35. Frank N. Wicker, Special Agent, Treasury Department, to George S. Boutwell, Secretary of the Treasury, November 4, 1869, in Fur Seal Fisheries of Alaska, H. Exec. Doc. No. 136, p. 4.

36. See, for example, Seal and Salmon Fisheries of Alaska, Vol. I, p. 12.

37. The Alaska Commercial Company, H. Rpt. No. 623, pp. 23-24.

38.16 Stat.180. (July 1, 1870).

39. U.S. Congress, House, Fur Seal Fisheries of Alaska, H. Rpt. No. 3883, 50th Cong., 2nd sess., pp. vi, vii, 91.

Chapter 2 - The Reign of the Treasury Agent, 1870-1889

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