Historical Event

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Date:

January 1, 1745

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Short Description:

The Russians, with superior ships and firepower, took what they wanted from the Aleuts and killed any who obstructed their actions.

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Title:

Book:

Person:

Arctic Passage

Topics: (click to open)

Christianization
Pre-civilization races

Important Text:

Atrocities began in the winter of 1745: An explosion of deadly

firearms against a people who had only stone-tipped spears and

walrus-bone knives began the crude intrusions of the old world into the

new. On Attu Island of the Near Islands, at the extreme tip of the

Aleutian chain, the first native was injured by a bullet. Two days later on

Attu Island ten armed men, under Alexei Beliaief, went to explore their

landfall. Before long the men encountered a settlement of Aleuts. The

men, hungry for women after a long, arduous voyage, and unaccustomed

to exercising civilized restraint, provoked an argument that ended in the

outright killing of fifteen male natives. No other substantial reason, other

than securing the women, was recorded for the killing. Additional

gunpowder and bullets were rushed to the scene from the ship in support

of the murderers. For nearly an entire year the peoples of Attu were

ruthlessly harassed by the Russians at first welcomed to the island.

The years passed and the violence between the Aleuts and Russians

continued. The isolation of the scene lent itself to lawless and unbridled

actions. There was no effective government authority and might meant

right.

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