Gardeners Role Play Characters

1. Egor Leontievich Chernykh (Ye-gor’ Le-on’ti-ev-ich Cher-nikh’) – A Creole –  Born in Kamchatka about 1813. He was the son of a Russian priest and a native Kamchadl woman. He was sent to Moscow to enroll in the agricultural school that just opened by the Imperial Moscow Agriculture Society. He graduated in 1827. On August 18, 1835 he arrived on board the brig Sitkha and landed in Monterey. From there he traveled overland and in January 1836 arrived at Colony Ross. He developed agriculture at Fort Ross. His salary was 3,500 rubles per year. He built and worked at Rancho Chernykh located somewhere between Occidental and Graton. He wrote several articles for Russian journals while at the colony. When the colony was sold in 1841,
Chernykh returned to Sitka and was given a raise to 5,000 rubles a year. His wife, Ekaterina, gave birth to their son, Nikolai, in 1842. In 1843 Chernykh died of “nerve fever.”

2. Feofilat Druzhinin (Fe-o-fi’lat Druzh-een’in) – A Creole – living in Sitka, he became an assistant to Il’ia G. Voznesenskii.  Voznesenskii noted that “with his natural talent, was enterprising, stayed with me, and with Etholen’s approval accompanied me on all my journeys through the colonies.” Druzhinin came to Ross with Voznesenskii in 1841. He continued to work in the colonies after Ross was sold, and in 1853 was married to Iroida Kelgren in Kodiak. They had three sons. He died in 1862.

3. Ludovick Charles Adelaid Chamisso – A French – Born in 1781 in Champaign, France, to a noble family. His family moved to Germany during the French Revolution. He became a page to the royal court in Berlin in 1796. In 1801 he entered the Prussian Army, did not like military life and started writing. In 1810 he studied science and languages in Paris. He then went back to Berlin to study medicine, botany, and zoology. He was a poet and naturalist. In 1815 he was invited to serve as a naturalist on the round-the-world voyage on the ship Rurik. He researched languages, ethnography, geology, botany, zoology, and climate on his trip. He ported here at the Ross Colony on this voyage for just a short time. Chamisso named the California Poppy, our state wildflower, after Johann Eschscholtz, his friend and colleague, while on this trip, possibly while here at Fort Ross. He died in 1838.


4. Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz – A German- Born November 1, 1793 in Dorpat, Germany. He showed talent in natural history at a very young age. He received a degree as a doctor of medicine. He sailed on the round-the-world voyage on the ship Rurik, under Otto von Kotzebue. He worked with Adelbert V. Chamisso, a naturalist. Eschscholtz focused on insects and sea animals. He was the first to discover and record prehistoric bones in Alaska. When they were in California, Chamisso named the California Poppy, our state wildflower, after Eschscholtz, which has the Latin binomial Eschscholtzia Californica. In 1819 he became a professor of medicine of the zoological cabinet at the University of Dorpat. In 1823 he accepted an invitation by Kotzebue to sail again on an extensive voyage. In 1829 he died of “nerve fever.”

5. Paraskov’ia Kulika – A Creole – She was employed as a cowherd for the Company at Ross. She was married to the scribe, Kulilalov, who died in 1820. She died in 1827 leaving no property. She owed the Company 51 rubles and 59 kopeks. The Company wrote this off as a loss.

6. Kunuchami – A Kashia – She had a son, Izhuaok Peter, with a Koniag named Tlyualik

7. Unitma – A Coast Miwok – She married a Chugach man named Sipak Ishkhatskiy. She died in September of 1821 for unknown reasons. They had two daughters, Anusha Maria and Aglal’ya.