Russian Ship Names: Ships on the Shores of Russian America

By Andrei V. Grinev translated by Richard L. Bland, published May 2015


For this article the names of all Russian ships that travelled to the shores of Alaska during the Russian–American period are collated. These include small vessels of merchant companies that helped the Russians colonize the multitude of islands in the Aleutian chain and South Alaska, warships of the Russian navy, and the sailing ships and steamships of the Russian-American Company that managed Alaska from 1799 until its sale to the USA in 1867. The author analyses and explains the dynamic processes of naming ships from strictly religious names (merchant and warships bearing names in honour of this or that saint or saints) to secular names at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, as well as the specifics and character of ships’ names. The material in this article could help future studies broadly comparing fleets of different countries.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Administration | Merchant Marines | Navies

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