The Russian Empire is usually thought of as an expansive continental realm, consisting of contiguous territories. The existence of Russian America challenges this image. The Russian Empire claimed territory and people in North America between 1741 and 1867 but not until 1799 was this colonial activity was organized and coordinated under a single entity-the Russian-American Company, a monopolistic charter company analogous to the West European-based colonial companies of the time. When the ships of Russia's first circumnavigation voyage arrived on the shores of Russian America in 1804, a clash of arms between the Russians and the Tlingit Indians ensued, and a new Russian fortpost was established at Sitka. Russian America was effectively transformed from a remote extension of Russia's Siberian frontier penetrated mainly by Siberianized Russians into an ostensibly modern overseas colony operated by Europeanized Russians. This book examines how Russians conceived and practiced the colonial rule that resulted from this transformation. Under the rule of the Russian-American Company, the colony was governed on different terms from the rest of the empire, a hybrid of elements carried over from Siberia and those imported from rival colonial systems. This approach was particularly evident in Russian strategies to convert the indigenous peoples of Russian America into loyal subjects of the Russian Empire. The first comprehensive history bringing together the history of Russia, the history of colonialism, and the history of contact between native peoples and Europeans on the American frontier, this work is invaluable for understanding the history of Alaska before its sale to the United States.