Baranov, Aleksandr Andreevich
Born 1746, in Kargopol’; died Apr. 16 (28), 1819, near the island of Java. First governor of the Russian settlements in America (1790 through 1818). Engaged in commerce and industry in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Siberia until 1790.
Through his energy and administrative abilities, Baranov considerably expanded the commercial ties of the Russian settlements in North America with California, the Hawaiian Islands, and China. New settlements were established, a number of expeditions for the investigation of coastal regions of the Pacific Ocean were outfitted, ship-building, copper smelting, and coal mining were started in Russian America, a school was organized in Alaska, and so forth. Baranov participated in the exploration and description of Chugach Bay, the adjacent islands, and other regions. An island in the Alexander Archipelago (in the Gulf of Alaska) was named after Baranov.