The organization he put together and led became the Russian-American Company in 1799.That same year, Tsar Paul granted the company a charter that gave it a complete monopoly over all Russian enterprises in North America.
Another Russian, Mikhail Nevodchikov, reached Attu (the westernmost Aleutian island) on September 25, 1745, becoming the first of the flood of fur hunters to reach territory that was later to become part of the United States.
The first permanent settlement on Kodiak Island in what is now Alaska was built by Gregor Shelikov in 1784.
The Juno was soon being loaded with grain for the starving settlement to the north, and on May 21 passed again through the Golden Gate.
Rezanov brought back two ideas from his venture into Spanish California - the desire to establish permanent trade relations, and the wish to found a trading base on what the Russians referred to as the "New Albion" coast north of Spanish territory.
The stage was set for further expansion to the east, across the Bering Strait.
Starting in 1742, Russian fur hunters, or "promysloviki," as they were called, began to leave the mainland to seek furs on and near the many islands to the east.
Sitka, which the Russians called New Archangel, was founded in 1799 and became the capital of the region in 1804.
Large profits began to flow to company shareholders, who included members of the royal family.
The operation expanded still further in 1804, when American ship captains began to contract with the Russians for joint ventures, seeking sea otter pelts along the coast of Alta and Baja California.
The man behind this surge of activity in Russian America was Alexander Baranov, an employee of the Russian-American Company since its founding, and a resident of North America since 1791.
The fort was complete, and though it was made of wood, it was well armed and vigilantly manned.