Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America by Owen Matthews. When the Wild West was also the Wild East. My Nudge review.
By 1812 the border of the Tsar’s dominions was on what is today called the Russian River, an hour’s drive north of San Francisco along California’s Highway 1. Russia also—briefly—had a colony on Hawaii. Rezanov spent much of his life passionately advocating the idea that America’s west coast could be a province of Russia, and the Pacific a Russian sea. This was no mad pipe dream but a very real possibility.