Nikolai Rezanov


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Rezanov, Nikolai Petrovich

 

Born Mar. 28 (Apr. 8), 1764, in St. Petersburg; died Mar. 1 (13), 1807, in Krasnoiarsk. Russian state figure. Honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1803).

Rezanov was one of the founders of the Russian American Company. In 1799 he was appointed correspondent of the company but actually functioned as a governmental inspector in charge of the company’s operations. He later headed the company’s administrative board, which was transferred from Irkutsk to St. Petersburg in 1800. He helped organize I. F. Kruzenshtern’s and Iu. F. Lisianskii’s expedition around the world in 1803. On July 27, 1803, Rezanov departed with the expedition as a plenipotentiary envoy charged with establishing trade relations with Japan. During his journey he kept a diary and compiled A Dictionary of the Japanese Language and A Guide to Knowledge of the Japanese Language. He stayed in Japan from Sept. 26, 1804, to Apr. 6, 1805, but his mission was unsuccessful because of the opposition of the Japanese government. After visiting Russian settlements in America, Rezanov returned to Russia by way of Okhotsk. He died on the way to St. Petersburg.