Whilst Johan Furuhjelm used to be provided the governorship of Russian the USA in 1858, the 37-year-old Finnish officer came across himself in a problem. He wanted a spouse to help him within the new submit, with its mixture of mercantile and administrative tasks, and there have been no compatible applicants within the distant Siberian port the place he used to be harbourmaster. thankfully, on his journey again west to obtain his orders, Helsinki society got here to his reduction, determining for him a tender lady of excellent family members and overseas heritage, Anna von Schoultz. On their marriage ceremony day only one month later, the pair trigger via sleigh for St Petersburg and finally -- through London, Panama and San Francisco -- Sitka, the place they might stay for the subsequent 5 years. at the first actual day of that trip, Anna wrote the 1st of a protracted sequence of letters to her mom, letters during which she charted her evolving responses to the 2 new worlds that started to spread ahead of her: married lifestyles and Russian the USA. those letters make up the current e-book and supply the reader with a desirable portrait of non-public and public existence in Alaska almost immediately prior to it used to be offered to the USA in 1867, as saw by means of a lady at a different intersection of cultures -- Russian, ecu and local American.
These letters, for the 1st time, provide us a brilliant photograph of lifestyle within the colonial capital, Sitka, within the interval presently prior to america took over Alaska. The letters were edited and commented via Anna Furuhjelm's great-granddaughter, Anni Christensen.
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Additional resources for Letters from the Governor's Wife: A View of Russian Alaska 1859-1862
When we are ﬁrst invited to a dinner given by the “Amerikanska companiet” [Swed. (Russian-)American Company] – and then to Mr. Makzotoffs wedding, which takes place ﬁrst in the greek & then in the english church, after which the whole company drives home to supper I suppose. I would have wished not to go at all, seeing the expence my toilette for that one evening will be, but as Hampus is his chief, he says it would not do not to be present, and without me he will not go. – Florence is also invited to the dinner, which is very attentive of the charming Company.
Henry has taken Hampus to the Cosmopolitan Club, so I must read alone and go to bed, seeing it is 11. o’clock past. God bless you my own darling! Monday 28. Again no letter? darling Mama what am I to think of your silence – I had a letter from my Father in law, but he did not mention you, nor Esperance, which is wonderful indeed. We are now in great confusion, packing such heaps of things. I cannot tell you how I long for Sitka – our stay here and everywhere else has been exceedingly pleasant, but still we both wish for our own home, & long for the day when we have no more packing and unpacking to do – Fancy your Annie going to the West Indies?
Horses conducteur & coachman, may stop where we like and as long as we like – I thanked him exceedingly for all the trouble he had taken – […] We were photographed yesterday, & the artist promised to have it ﬁnnished by Wednesday – Our own Mother is the only one who gets a picture from here. […] anna furuhjelm’s letters 37 And now my ownest darling Mother Goodbye – May Gods best blessing ever surround you and His strong arm support you is the earnest prayer of Y[ou]r fondly loving happy Child Annie No.