Grigorii Ivanovich Shelikhov
Shelikhov, Grigorii Ivanovich
(also G. I. Shelekhov). Born 1747 in Ryl’sk, in what is now Kursk Oblast; died July 20 (31), 1795, in Irkutsk. Russian navigator and merchant.
Beginning in 1775, Shelikhov organized voyages of merchant vessels to the Kuril and Aleutian islands. Between 1783 and 1786 he led an expedition to the shores of Russian America; during this period the first Russian settlements were established in the territory. Shelikhov was one of the founders of the Russian-American Company, which was officially formed in 1799, and in 1790 he became governor of the Russian settlements in Russian America. Shelikhov’s name was given to a gulf in the Sea of Okhotsk, a strait between the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island, and a city in Irkutsk Oblast.