The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 70
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
each other with the result that the continent of America was dis-
covered independently by each ship. Chirikof made land at Bu-
careli Bay on July 15, while Bering reached the vicinity of Copper
River on July 20. The misfortunes and sufferings of the crews
were extreme, but while Chirikof succeeded in returning to Kam-
chatka, Bering died, December 8, 1741, on the island which now
bears his name.
The fur trade had led the Russians across Asia, and adventur-
ous spirits were at once attracted by it to the shores of Alaska, so
it came about that fur hunters played the same part of explorers
and pioneers on these northern coasts as in the western parts of
the United States. While it is unnecessary for my present pur-
pose to follow the exploration of the Alaska coast in detail, the
secret expedition of Krenitzen and Levashef, in 1768-69, may be
mentioned for the reason that it was contemporary with the Span-
ish expedition that resulted in the settlement of California. As
the undertaking had been set on foot by the empress Catherine in
1764 there is no improbability in supposing that information in
regard to it had been communicaed to his own government by the
Spanish ambassador in St. Petersburg.
There can, it seems to me, be no. reasonable doubt that Russia,
at the beginning of the nineteenth century, cherished designs of
a far-reaching character in regard to the North Pacific Ocean.
Her interest was by no means confined to Alaska. Explorations
were systematically made on the Asiatic coast as far south as
Japan, and on the American coast as far south as Lower Cali-
fornia. Under Baranof, one of the most striking figures in Amer-
ican history, two positions were occupied in the Hawaiian Islands,
a fortified post was established in California-first at Bodega
Head, and later at Fort Ross-and hunting stations were main-
tained on the Faralones outside San Francisco Bay, and on the
islands off Santa Barbara. Whatever projects there were, and
Russian commanders of the time in the Pacific speak with confi-
dence, the foothold in California was abandoned in 1841; by 1854
proposals had been made to the United States for the cession of
Alaska, and the Russian empire in America came to an end in
1867. Thus the eastward yielded to the westward advance.
The search for the Northwest passage continued from 1497,
when John Cabot discovered the entrance to Hudson Strait, until
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/76/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.