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Old 05-28-2009, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,539 posts, read 6,130,607 times
Reputation: 1818

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Fort Yukon was indeed established in 1847... as a Hudson Bay Company trading post, by a 27 year old fellow named Alexander Murray, on the direct orders of Sir George Simpson. The post remained in operation until 1869, when the US informed them they were on US soil and told them to leave.

It's interesting because, while it was established during the Russian American period in Alaska's history, the the farthest up river trading post established by the Russians was at Nulato. A Russian Orthodox church was at Russian Mission.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,582 posts, read 33,175,804 times
Reputation: 14541
Bummer. You'd think the US would have allowed some established spot to remain after the sale.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,539 posts, read 6,130,607 times
Reputation: 1818
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rance View Post
Bummer. You'd think the US would have allowed some established spot to remain after the sale.
It is kind of odd. When Murray first went to that location he was continuously told by the Gwich'in people that the Russians claimed trade rights there and visited often (with trading expeditions from the post at Nulato), and that he could expect to be tossed out with violence if he resisted. As a result, he did literally build a "fort", with words to the effect of "let 'em come"! But the Russians never bothered him.

The original name was Fort Youcon, and the spelling was later changed. Whatever, there is no pre-1867 Russian heritage at Fort Yukon.

Along the same lines, the Russians at Sitka were trading with the British (which didn't make the Russian government too happy) in order to get enough supplies to support the colony. that too was ended with the US takeover in 1867.

A huge part of the dismal history of Sitka under US Army rule was that General Davis had no authority to make any kind of agreement with Natives (even an agreement to employ individuals) and the US did not want the British trading in Alaska. Commerce ceased, and there were no jobs because the US Army, unlike the Russians, could not hire anyone for anything. Sitka had been a town of thousands, and shrank to almost nothing.
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