June 19 in Russian history

1739: Captain Martin Shpanberg arrived to Japan. On the orders of the empress Anna he had to get acquainted with the Japan's political system and establish trade between Japan and Russia.

1799: Joint Russian-Austrian army led by Alexander Suvorov defeats the French army lead by McDonald. The French lost 16,000 people out of 33,000-35,000. The allies lost 6,000 people out of 30,000. (See also April 28)

1799: Russian-American company was founded by Grigory Shelikhov and Nikolay Rezanov. This trading company was one of the most successful Russian enterprises of the time. It was granted a trade monopoly in Russian America and a large part of the profit went to the emperor. The company failed to attract a sufficient number of settlers to Alaska, but its first manager, Alexander Baranov, a unique and gifted personality, established good contacts with some of the native American tribes and guaranteed a stable flow of furs to Russia. In 1867, when Alaska was sold to the US government, the company ceased the activity. In 1804-1840 the RAC organized for Russia 25 geographical expeditions, 15 of which were circumnavigational expeditions, including the famous voyage of Ivan Kruzenshtern and Yuri Lisyansky. (See also March 13)

1901: Death of brigadier general of the US Union army John Basil Turchin. Ivan Vasilyevich Turchaninov was born in Russia in 1822. After the Crimean war (1853-1856) he was offered to continue the military service in the General Staff, but he was so disappointed with the military reform and the peace treaty which he thought was shameful, that he left with his wife to Germany and France and then to the USA. Three years later he wrote to his friend Alexander Herzen, who lived in London: "My disappointment is frustrating. I don't see a trace of the real freedom here. This republic is the paradise for the rich, they are really independent here. The worst crimes are justified here by money and profit. As for me, I am deeply grateful to America for one thing: she helped me to get rid of the aristocratic prejudices and brought me down to the level of a mere mortal, I am not afraid of any job now." He became an engineer. When the Civil War began, he joined the Union army as a volunteer and soon became a colonel. In 1862, his troops sacked a town and he was relieved of command and sent under the martial court. He denied all accusations besides presence of his wife in the army. Indeed, she followed him and there was one occasion when she led the troops to the attack when Turchin was ill. However, even before the court was over, he was appointed a brigadier general. In 1864 he resigned. He wrote a book on the art of war which was used later in the US army, but by the end of his life he fell into poverty and had to earn money as a street violinist. In 1901, he died in poverty.

1953: Death of Julius and Ethel Rosenbergs who were sentenced to the capital punishment for espionage for the USSR. All this story is still very unclear and I'd rather not re-tell it, it is too well known. Anyway, what I would like to say is that I take this story as a serious argument in favor of the abolition of the capital punishment.

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