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As the runs from Asiatic Russia to America became longer expeditions (lasting two to four years or more), the crews established hunting and trading posts.
By the late 1790s, some of these had become permanent settlements.
The high quality of the sea-otter pelts they brought sparked Russian settlement in Alaska.
When the Aleuts revolted and won some victories, the Russians retaliated, killing many and destroying their boats and hunting gear, leaving them no means of survival.
The earliest written accounts indicate that the first Europeans to reach Alaska came from Russia.
In 1648 Semyon Dezhnev sailed from the mouth of the Kolyma River through the Arctic Ocean and around the eastern tip of Asia to the Anadyr River.
One legend holds that some of his boats were carried off course and reached Alaska. Dezhnev's discovery was never forwarded to the central government, leaving open the question of whether or not Siberia was connected to North America.
In 1725, Tsar Peter the Great called for another expedition.