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In 1806, the company was even granted its own flag, a replica of which is on display in the visitor center at Fort Ross.
For forty years thereafter, development of the province continued on a gradual basis.The first significant contact between the Russians and the Spanish came in April 1806.Nikolai Resanov had arrived in Sitka the previous year as an "imperial inspector and plenipotentiary of the Russian-American Company." He found the colony on the verge of starvation, and decided to sail southward to Spanish California in hopes of obtaining relief supplies for the beleaguered Alaskan colony.The organization he put together and led became the Russian-American Company in 1799.That same year, Tsar Paul granted the company a charter that gave it a complete monopoly over all Russian enterprises in North America.These Russians had come to hunt sea otter, to grow wheat and other crops for the Russian settlements in Alaska, and to trade with Spanish California.
In addition, though they were careful not to say so, they came with an eye toward continuing the saga of Russian eastward expansion, a process that had begun some 250 years earlier, in the time of Ivan the Terrible, Russia's first Tsar.
Another Russian, Mikhail Nevodchikov, reached Attu (the westernmost Aleutian island) on September 25, 1745, becoming the first of the flood of fur hunters to reach territory that was later to become part of the United States.
The first permanent settlement on Kodiak Island in what is now Alaska was built by Gregor Shelikov in 1784.
Emel'ian Basov holds the distinction of being the first to leave the Asian mainland to gather furs.
He and his crew spent the winter of 1742-43 on Bering Island.
After that the lure of furs, riches, and glory continued to propel these early fur hunters and free spirits rapidly eastward.