2

Several books and articles indicate that Osip Volkov defected from a Russian ship at Monterey around 1815, midway through the Mexican War of Independence. Naturalized as Jose Antonio Bolcof, he served as alcalde of Branciforte. The Russian-American Company had a royal monopoly on the fur trade in America. What was the ship on which Volkov arrived in California?

  • @Steve Bird, was he a fur trader? I've not seen any evidence supporting your edit. I thought he was a low ranked seaman on a fur trading voyage. – Aaron Brick Oct 21 '16 at 17:03
  • This article refers to him as a fur trader and I thought that adding that derail made sense of your reference to the Russian-American Company having a royal monopoly on the fur trade. – Steve Bird Oct 21 '16 at 18:26
  • Richard Pierce's "Russian America: A Biographical Dictionary" gives his job title as seaman. The ship was on a fur hunting, not a fur trading, voyage. Editing accordingly. – Aaron Brick Dec 18 '16 at 19:14
7

According to pg 317 of the Book California Through Russian Eyes, by James R Gibson,

...while hunting sea otters from the Ilmena, he either jumped ship or was captured by a Spanish patrol.

The Ilmena is listed as 'purchased from the Americans' on the Russia-America Company wiki page.

So there's your ship name, and yes he was employed in the fur trade.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.