This volume makes available for the first time in English a variety of primary source materials relating to the life and work of Natalia Shelikov, a pioneering nineteenth-century Russian American businesswoman. As a principal of the Russian-American Company, Shelikov worked in Alaska, and her business acumen and wide-ranging connections - including the empress of Russia and a swathe of northern leaders - were crucial to the growth of Alaska's economy, as well as to the welfare of the Native people, in whose life and culture she took a strong interest. The letters, petitions, and personal documents presented here will be indispensable for students of Alaska and nineteenth-century women's history.
Dawn Lea Black is a former teacher and businesswoman who currently owns and manages a family estate in Kodiak, Alaska. Alexander Petrov is a historian at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow.