Anna PetrovnaAnna Petrovna Bulygin, a Russian woman notable for being the first European woman known to live in what is now Washington State, landed with the crew of the Sv. Nikolai. Anna was eighteen years old, the attractive wife of Sv. Nikolai ship captain Nikolai Isaakovich Bulygin. As the Russian American Company party fled south a subterfuge by tribes gathered at the mouth of the Hoh River, involving pulling the plug of a canoe crossing the river, resulted in the capture of Anna and Aleut women accompanying her. This caused her husband Captain Nikolai Bulygin to go mad temporarily. To survive, his party hiked up the Hoh River to build a primitive blockhouse to winter in.
During the winter, the captain wanted his men to offer a ransom of muskets in trade for her freedom, but much to his grief was turned down, as the muskets were essential for survival in the Hoh River wilderness. In spring 1809 Captain Bulygin and his men returned to the river mouth to speak to Anna. She shocked her husband when she advised him and his men to surrender, and told him she was being well treated by her Indian captors.
Bulygin collapsed, later surrendered. While being held captive as a slave at Neah Bay by the Makah Tribe, the Captain was reunited for a time with his wife. Anna died in August 1809, possibly
receiving a tribal burial; Bulygin, heartbroken, died of consumption in February 1810.
Timothei TarakanovSv. Nikolai supercargo Timothei Tarakanov was a natural leader who led the Russian American Company party through their ordeal in the West Olympic Peninsula wilderness to survival and safety. Tarakanov was a striking figure of a man, the leading promyshlennik (fur hunter) of Governor Baranov at Sitka, Alaska. A born adventurer, Tarakanov was raised in Kursk, Russia, recruited there as a man well able to survive and flourish in the wilds of Siberia and Alaska. He worked his way up in Russian society through daring and courage, one of the few surviving a massacre at the Russian American Company island fortress at Sitka in the early 1800s.
Though Baranov assigned Tarakanov to the Sv. Nikolai voyage as Captain Bulygin's aide, the powerful fur hunter became its leader from the Sv. Nikolai party's fleeing the shipwreck, to its wintertime refuge on the Upper Huh River, through their enslavement, and eventual rescue. The Makah tribe grew to embrace Tarakanov as a chief through his sage military advice, his cleverness in kite flying and introducing other western skills, and in recognizing him as an equal to their warriors and hunters. He later escaped from a Spanish dungeon in San Francisco Bay, served at the Russian Fort in Kaua'i,
Hawai'i, and returned with a wife and child to Kursk. There he received his freedom, becoming a citizen, in recognition of his heroic service to the Czar and the Russian American Company.