Nikolay Petrovich Rezanov (Russian: Николай Петрович Резанов) (1764 – 1807) was a Russian nobleman and statesman who promoted the project of Russian colonization of Alaska and California. One of the ten barons of Russia, he was the first Russian ambassador to Japan (1804), and as such participated in the First Russian circumnavigation (1803-1806), led by Adam Johann von Krusenstern, commanding the expedition himself as far as Kamchatka. He was also the author of a lexicon of the Japanese language and of several other works, which are preserved in the library of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences, of which he was a member. But Rezanov's monument for many years after his death was the great Russian American Company. Born in Saint Petersburg on March 28, 1764, Rezanov mastered five languages by the age of 14. In 1791, he joined the staff of Gavrila Derzhavin in his capacity as the private secretary to the Empress Catherine. Several years earlier, meeting Grigory Shelikhov, of the Shelikhov-Golikov Fur Company, Rezanov became interested in the merchant's project to obtain a monopoly of the fur trade in those distant dependencies.
|Date of birth|
|March 28th, 1764|
|United States of America|
1. Russian-American Company
The Russian-American Company was a state-sponsored chartered company formed largely on the basis of the United American Company. The company was chartered by Tsar Paul I in the Ukase of 1799, and was mainly expected to establish establish new settlements in Alaska and carry out an expanded colonization program. It was Russia's first joint-stock company, and came under the direct authority of the Ministry of Commerce of Imperial Russia. The Minister of Commerce Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev was a pivotal influence upon the early Company's affairs. In 1801 the Company's headquarters were moved from Irkutsk to St.Petersburg and the merchants who were initially the major stockholders were soon replaced by Russia's nobility and aristocracy. Count Rumyantsev funded Russia's first naval circumnavigation under the joint command of Adam Johann von Krusenstern and Nikolai Rezanov in 1803-1806, and later funded and directed the voyage of the Riurik's circumnavigation of 1814–16, which provided substantial scientific information on Alaska's and California's flora and fauna, and important ethnographic information on Alaskan and Californian natives.