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Although it is prohibited by highest ukase to cut Government timber without the permission of the forestry officials, the Company is permitted, in view of the remoteness of the Okhotsk district, where much timber is needed for repairs and sometimes for the construction of new ships, to take timber from this district from the most convenient localities. It must, however, immediately inform the local forestry authorities of the place where the timber was cut, and of its quantity and quality.


For shooting animals, for marine signals, and for cases of unforeseen necessity on the mainland of America and on the islands, the Company may purchase annually for cash, at established prices, from the Irkutsk Imperial Artillery Arsenal, from 40 to 80 pouds of powder, and from the Nerchinsk Lead Works 200 pouds of lead.


In order to secure freedom of action and safety to the operations of the Company within its lawful sphere, all buildings occupied as its offices or stations are exempt from the quartering of soldiers.

In conclusion of these privileges granted to the Russian American Company, all civil and military authorities and courts of justice are hereby enjoined not only not to hinder or restrain, but in case of any event from which loss or injury may result to the Company, to give to it every assistance and protection upon the simple request of the board of administration or its subagents.


Minister of Finance.


Imperial charter granted to the Russian American Company.-Confirma

tion of its rights and privileges. By the helping grace of God, we, Nicholas the First, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, etc., etc., etc.

As we regard as an object of our particular care the development in our Empire of every kind of industry and commerce, we have turned our Imperial attention to the Russian American Company. Since its very foundation it has been favored with the protection of our most august late father and brother, and during the twenty-eight years of its existence it has steadily pursued its object, has coöperated in the progress of navigation, has opened to our subjects new and rich sources of commerce and industry, and has brought to its shareholders considerable profits.

Wishing to show our august benevolence towards this institution of common profit and to give it a firm and stable basis, we take the Russian American Company under our immediate protection, and confirming by the force of this, our imperial charter, the rules, rights, and priv. ileges granted to the Company by the supreme ukase of September 13, 1821, we order:

(1) That the Company which was founded for industry on the mainland of North America, on the Aleutian Islands, and on the Kurile Is. lands and in all parts of the Northeastern Sea shall, under our supreme patronage, be called, as before the Russian American Company.,

(2) The limits of navigation and industry of the Company are determined by the treaties concluded with the United States of America April 5, (17) 1824, and with England February 16, (28) 1825.

(3) In all the places allotted to Russia by these treaties there shall be reserved to the Company the right to profit by all the fur and fish industries, to the exclusion of all other Russian subjects.

(4) The part that neighboring nations may take in these industries, as well as the nature of the coast relations with the Russian American Company, shall remain on the basis of these same treaties until new rules shall be published on this subject.

(5) All the advantages and rights conceded to Russia by these treaties are granted to the Company, on which is also imposed the strict fultil ment of all the mutual obligations of Russia stipulated in these treaties.

(6) The internal administration of the affairs of the Company, its relations to the Government, the personnel and the duties of the supreme council of the chief administration of the directors of the Colonies, of the local agencies, and of the shareholders shall remain on the basis of the rules of September 13, 1821.

(7) All the articles of these rules and of the privileges published together with them, which are not limited by the aforesaid treaties, and which are not contrary to the ukase of October 14, 1827, concerning entrance into service, shall remain in full force and vigor in their full extent and for the whole time for which they were granted to the Russian American Company by our most august brother, the late Empreror Alexander the First.

In conclusion of this our Imperial charter, we order all our military and civil authorities and all our Government officers not only not to prevent the Russian American Company from availing itself of these rules and privileges granted to it by us, but in case of need to forewarn it of any damage or harm which may come to it, and to render all legal assistance and protection to its board of administration.

For the greater force of this charter which we have granted, we have signed it with our own hand and have ordered it to be strengthened by the attixing of our seal of the Empire.

Published by the Senate, March 29 (April 10), 1829.


Third Charter of the Russian American Company.
On the original is written in His Imperial Majesty's own hand:
“ Be it thus."
Gatchina, October 10, 1844.


SEC. 1. The Russian American Company, established for trading on the continent of Northwestern America and on the Aleutian and Kuriles Islands as in every part of the Northeastern Sea, stands under the Highest protection of His Imperial Majesty.

Related back to the year 1812. For Russian text see Tikhmenief, vol. II, first appendix, p. 11.

SEC. 2. The limits of the navigation and trade of the Company on the shore of the continent and on the islands of Northwestern America, are within the following line of demarcation between Russia, England, and America: Commencing with the southernmost point of the Island of Prince of Wales, which point is situated at 54° 40' north latitude and between 1310 and 1330 west longitude (reckoning from the meridian of Greenwich), the above line runs northward along the straits named Portland Channel to that point of the mainland where it touches the 56th degree of north latitude. Hence the line of demarcation follows the crest of the mountains which stretch in a direction parallel with the coast to the crossing at the 141st degree of west longitude (from the same meridian), and finally, from this point of intersection, the same meridian of the 141st degree constitutes in its extension to the Arctic Sea the boundary of the Russian Possessions on the continent of Northwestern America.

SEC. 3. In all places annexed to Russia by the above-mentioned de. limitation there is granted to the Company the right to carry on the fur and fishing industries to the exclusion of all Russian subjects.

SEC. 4. The Company is permitted to hold and use all things heretofore found and hereafter to be found in those places, as well on the surface as in the bowels of the earth, without regard for any claim thereto on the part of others.

SEC. 5. The Company is allowed in future according to necessity and its best judgment within the limits designated in Sec. 2, wherever it may be found necessary to establish new settlements and fortifications for safe habitation; and those formerly established may be extended and improved, the Company being allowed to send to those regions vessels carrying merchandise and laborers without any let or hindrance.

SEC. 6. The Company is authorized to send its vessels to all neighboring nations and to trade with them with the consent of their respective Governments. The Company is also authorized, if it so desires, to send its vessels for commercial intercourse to the Chinese ports of Can. ton, Amoy, Fouchowfou, Nynpofou, and Shanghai, on condition, however, that these vessels, in view of Section 2393 of the Customs Laws (Code of Laws, Volume 6, edition 1842), will in no case carry opium to China for sale.

SEC. 7. All Government institutions shall recognize the board of administration of the Russian American Company as an institution established for the management of the Company's affairs, and any demands of Government institutions relating to matters within the juris. diction of the Company shall be addressed, not to any person or member of the Company, but to the said board.

SEC. 8. With a view of affording to the Company the greatest possi. ble assistance in carrying out the aims of the Government which intrusted to the Company so vast an extent of territory with a considerable population, the employés of the Company, of the ranks specified in the table hereto annexed, are most graciously granted the following privileges :

1. Those of the employés who belong to the States having the right of entering into Goverment service while employed exclusively in the service of the Company, are considered as being actually in the Government service, and enjoy the right of being promoted to ranks and wearing the uniform of the Ministry of Finance. The order of promotion for them is the general civil order according to the rank and right of each of the employés. The promotion in rank is made on the recommendation of the board of administration to the Minister of Finance, who in the case of medical employés of the civil branch must confer with the Minister of Interior Affairs.

2. As the Company enjoys the right to invite and receive into its service from other branches of the Government officers, noncommissioned officers, sailors, cannoneers, medical employés, and assistant surgeons for employment on board the vessels sailing from Russia to the Colo. nies, as well as in the Colonies themselves, and at Okhotsk, therefore these persons while in the temporary service of the Company are considered to be in active service with regard to all recompenses, except ranks to which promotion is made according to seniority upon recommendations from their actual superiors. The officers preserve one-half of their salary and the right to the services of an orderly. The medical employés of the civil branch are confirmed in the Company's service by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

3. Retired employés of the Government, when entering into the employ of the Company, preserve their rank, as a general rule, and are considered to be in actual service, enjoying all the privileges above enumerated in paragraph 1.

4. The employés of the Company from classes not having the right to enter into Government service enjoy the privileges of the classes pertaining to their offices; but in retiring from the service of the Company before ten years return to their original status.

5. Those of the employés who shall have served ten years with special benefit to the Company are granted, upon recommendation of the board on being relieved from the service of the Company, personal honorable citizenship, upon transfer from the original class, and in case of particular deserts the board of administration of the Company is authorized to solicit the granting of hereditary honorable citizenship.

Sec. 9. Government employés while in the service of the Company preserve the right, if they afterwards continue in the service of the Government, to have their service in the Company counted with regard to pensions and orders of distinction for unimpeachable service.

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SEC, 16. The vessels sent by the Company from Cronstadt around the world, from Okhotsk and other Russian ports to the Russian colonies may be loaded with Russian products as well as with foreign goods, having once paid customs duty, and the vessels returning from such colonies with cargoes of furs and other merchandise and products may be discharged without detention upon declarations made by the board of administration at the custom-houses, and at the port of Okhotsk upon declarations from the Company's local office to the customs authorities of that place. Inasmuch as all said merchandise is being carried from one Russian port to another, it is not subject to customs duties or any other duties unless the furs are subjected by special law to an internal-revenue tax.

SEC. 17. In consideration of the remoteness of the province of Ochotsk, where the necessity arises for the repair and sometimes for the building of vessels, the Company is permitted to take in said province the necessary timber from convenient places, provided, however, that the Company's office at Okhotsk shall immediately inform the local forestry authorities of the place selected for the cutting of timber and of the quantity and quality of the timber cut.

SEC. 18. For the shooting of animals, for maritime signals, for the

Sections 10–15 contain regulations relating only to internal management, and have therefore been omitted in this translation.

arming of vessels, ports, and redoubts, and for other uses on the continent and islands of America, the Company may receive for cash from the stores of the port of Cronstadt, gunpowder, cannon, ammunition, and other artillery munitions which can not be acquired by purchase in the colonies. All these articles will be furnished to the Company at the prices paid by the Navy Department with the addition of 10 per cent for the maintenance of magazines. At times when there is no communication by sea between St. Petersburg and the Colonies, the Company may receive annually on the above-stated terms from 40 to 80 pounds of gunpowder from the Government artillery store situated at Irkutsk, and about 200 pounds of lead from the smelting establishment at Nerchinsk.

SEC. 19. In order to secure freedom of action and safety in the operations of the Company, all the premises occupied by its offices are exempted from military occupation,

SEC. 20. As the capital of the Company affords ainple security for private claims against its board of adninistration, the security required by law in case of litigation is waived on behalf of the board.

SEC. 21. It shall be the duty of all civil and military authorities and institutions not only to abstain from interfering with the Company in the enjoyment of the privileges granted, but also to warn the Company in case of necessity against any probable loss and injury, and upon requests of the board of administration and its subordinate counting and commission houses to afford all assistance and protection.

SEC. 22. The rights and privileges granted to the Company shall be in force for twenty years, reckoning from the 1st of January of the year 1842.

SEC. 23. Upon the taking effect of this charter all previous provisions relating to the Company are repealed, and will preserve their force only as to matters arising before the promulgation of the constitution.

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