Category Archives: Fort Ross

Russian Claims Fort Ross

According to this news story, a Russian politician has called for the return of Alaska and Fort Ross to Russia. Speaking in an interview, Oleg Matveychev, a member of the Duma (parliament), outlined his demands. He called for reparations from … Continue reading

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When the Russians Left California

In 1841 the Russian-American Fur Company decided to leave California. They sold their holdings — lock, stock, and barrel — to John Sutter. The contract was signed in December, 1841, not long after John Bidwell arrived at Sutter’s Fort. Sutter … Continue reading

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A Trip to Fort Ross on the Penultimate Day of 2019

Last Monday I took a trip up the California coast to Fort Ross with some family members. Our #2 son and his family live in the Midwest; his wife was born in Russia. They were in California visiting us for … Continue reading

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Rotchev and Bidwell (not)

I was hoping that John Bidwell met Alexander Rotchev before the latter left California, but evidently not. Rotchev, having sold the assets of the Russian-American Company in California to John Sutter, departed for Sitka on January 1, 1842. Bidwell had … Continue reading

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Before They Close

This last week Jim and I visited several State Historic Parks, all but one of which is on the closure list, and every one of them with some connection to John Bidwell. That’s because John Bidwell knew everybody (and I … Continue reading

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A Long and Curious Journey

Arriving at Fort Ross in January 1842, John Bidwell undoubtedly found it cold, wet, and windy. But he went right to work, overseeing the job of packing and shipping every useful item at the Russian settlement to Sutter. “Sutter bought … Continue reading

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January 8, 1842

“On the 8th of January ’42, I left Capt. S’s, in his employ for the Russian settlement. I descended the Sacramento in a launch of 30 tons, into the Bay of St. Francisco. I landed at Sousalita [Sausalito] pronounced Sow … Continue reading

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