Baranov, Aleksandr Andreyevich (əlyĭksänˈdər əndrāˈəvyĭch bəräˈnôf) [key], 1747–1819, Russian trader, chief figure in the period of Russian control in Alaska. When his Siberian business faltered, Baranov accepted (1790) an offer to become managing agent of a Russian fur-trading company on Kodiak Island. The organization of the Russian American Company in 1799 made him virtual governor of all Russian activities in North America until 1818, except for a brief challenge by Rezanov. Baranov's dogged determination to keep the settlement going despite Native American attacks and challenges by British and American trading vessels brought steady profits to the company. He was supplanted in 1818 and died en route to Russia.
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