Steamships and steamship construction in Russian America

Historical Science and Archeology

This article is dedicated to an analysis of the formation of steamship construction and the operation of steamships in the former Russian colonies in Alaska in 1838–1867. Development of this transportation component of the economy of Russian America proceeded with the active cooperation of representatives of the United States and their technical support. Though in the composition of the fleet of the Russian-American Company, which managed Alaska in those years, steamships were always in the minority in comparison with sailing ships, their number gradually increased. At the end of existence of Russian America they amounted to more than a third of all ships of the company and about half of all the colonial flotilla, contributing to the technical, transportation, and economic development of the most distant corners of the Russian Empire.