In 1776, under the flag of Czarist Russia, Gregor Shelikof and Ivan Golikof formed a trading company in the Alaskan territory that was under Russian rule. In 1799 they received trading privileges on the western coast of the U.S. and became the Russian-American Company. After the 1867 purchase of Alaska by the United States, the firm of Hutchison, Kohl and Company, including Hayward Hutchison, William Kohl and Louis Sloss bought the Russian-American Company. In 1868, Sloss, Lewis Gerstle and A. Wasserman bought the company, although Hutchison, Kohl and Company were operating simultaneously under the same ownership until 1872 when the new company paid off the purchase. This new company, formed in 1868 was the Alaska Commercial Company. In the 1901 merger with the International Mercantile Marine Company and Alaska Goldfields, Ltd., two new companies: the Northern Navigation Company and the Northern Commercial Company. The original owners of the Alaska Commercial Company carried on under the Northern Commercial Company. W.J. Erskine bought some of the old Alaska commercial Company boats ca. 1902 and set up a small successor to the Company in certain areas of Alaska. The Northern Commercial Company was still active in the 1970s, with its executive offices in Seattle, Washington. Volney Richmond Jr., son of long-time supervisor and owner, Volney Richmond, was the president of the Northern Commercial Company. Function: In the 1868 articles of incorporation, the stated purposes of the Alaska Commercial Company were "... to buy, sell, rent and lease real estate... to erect buildings... to buy, sell, exchange... merchandise, stocks, bonds, franchises... to build tramways and roads... to catch and pack fish... to manufacture..." The Company established stations in Alaska at Nome, Kodiak, Sunrise, Eagle City, Circle City, St. Michael, Unga, Unalaska and elsewhere, and in Dawson City, as well as other Canadian stations.