Role play is a big part of the environmental living program experience. To make the most of your program, here is a list of real people who were at Colony Ross, including short biographies of what we know about their lives. All officers and employees in the Clerks Role Group should choose one of the following people out of the history pages of Colony Ross to role-play while on site. Remember to have fun and ‘role’ with it!
Dmitrii Fedorovich Chernov (Dmit’rii Fyo’dor-o-vich Chern-ov’) – A Russian ship commander with the Russian American Company from 1825 to the 30’s. He mapped several areas in Alaska for the Company, and sailed to several locations in Siberia, California, and Okhotsk.
Illarion Ivanovich Arkhimandritov (Il-lar-ee-on’ Ee-van’o-vich Arkh-ee-man’dree-tov) – A Creole, Russian American Company skipper. He was assigned as a crewmember on the sloop Urup on a voyage to California. Another voyage to California was on the ship Naslednik Aleksandr in 1841.
Johann Joachim Bartram – A Scot Engineer/Seafarer. In 1839 he joined the Russian American Company. In 1841 he sailed to Baja California to collect salt for the colonies in Alaska.
Kirill Timofeevich Khlebnikov (Kee-reel’ Tee-mo-fay’e-vich Khleb’nee-kov) – A Russian who was born March 18th, 1785 in Russia to a merchant family. In 1820 Kirill joined Company service. He worked several years in Okhotsk in Siberia. Once he was arrested for refusing to listen to an officer’s orders to change prices of goods. He was imprisoned for three months. He returned to Russia and remained in service. On September 15th 1817 he arrived at the Ross Colony on the sloop Kutuzov. He visited the Ross settlement a total of twelve times. In 1818 he became office manager for the Company. On June 19th, 1820 he was on the brig Il’mena when they shipwrecked at Point Arena. As accountant for the Company, he detailed accounts of the Ross colony regarding the employees and how much they’re paid, how much was paid for what goods at the Spanish ports, and detailed records of daily life of the Ross Colony. Today his works are some of the most valued documents on the Ross Colony. He died of a stroke in 1838 in St. Petersburg.
Zakharii Petrovich Chichenev (Za-khar’ee Pe-tro’vich Chi-chen’ev) (scribe) – A Creole born to a Russian Irkutsk townsman and a Tlingit mother. By 1806 he was already asking to stay in America. In 1819 he was sent to St. Petersburg for medical education at the expense of the Company. In 1829 he married Lukeria Petelin at Unalaska. In 1833 he arrived at the Ross Colony with his wife Lukeria and two sons Prokopii and Il’ia and a girl Katerina Kychkova on the brig Polifem. He was assigned the duty of scribe at 500 rubles a year. When Ross was sold he and his family returned to Sitka. He died February 1879.
Pavel Akliaiuk (Pah’vel (Oglayuk) (Language Interpreter) – Possibly a Creole, he was a Russian American Company interpreter. He was raised at Fort Ross. We do not have his date of birth or know if he was born at Fort Ross. We do not have any information about him during his time at the Fort other than he served as an interpreter. He left Fort Ross when it was sold in 1841 and died in 1851.
Fedor Svin’in (Fyo’dor Sveen’in) (Accountant) – A Russian who started working for the Russian American Company in 1802. He arrived in Kodiak and then was assigned to the Ross settlement. About 1814, he worked keeping the books (also known as a prikazchik) for the Company. His salary was set at 400 rubles a year. In 1823 his salary was raised to 600 rubles. In 1831 he was to be removed from the Ross office because of shortages in the books. It was noted he owed the Company 6,000 rubles. He died at Ross on December 30, 1832. His wife, a Creole named Anis’ia, was given the house, agricultural field, and animals including one bull, two cows, and one horse. They had two sons, Alexander and Mikhail.
Andre Frantsovich Delivron (clerk) – A Russian who entered the naval service in 1803 and in 1812 he became a midshipman. In 1817 he was promoted to lieutenant. As a passenger on the sloop Kamchatka with Captain Golovnin, he sailed around the world to the Kamchatka region. He then joined Russian American Company service. In 1819 Delivron took the brig Il’mena to the Ross settlement where he then took command of the brig Rumiantsev, just built at Ross. He returned to Sitka and went to other areas of the Company colonies, including Okhotsk. In 1840 he was promoted to Captain of 1st Rank. In 1842 he retired from Company service.
Pavel Afanas’evich Dokhuturov (clerk) – A Russian, In 1787 he entered the naval cadet corps. In 1804 he became a midshipman. For several years he sailed in the Baltic and Finnish waters, with several trips to England. September 1820 he left Kronshtadt in command of the RAC vessel Kutuzov, bound for Sitka, around the Cape Horn. On June 27, 1821, he arrived at Rumiantsev Bay (Bodega Bay), in California. He sold some cargo and bought provisions then sailing on to Sitka. In January 1822 he left Sitka to return to Russia with furs worth 1,100,000 paper rubles. In 1824 he attempted another voyage like his first, but his ship ran into heavy storms and he returned to Russia.