Americans began trading in the Pacific in the 1780s. Trade was interrupted by Jefferson’s embargo and the War of 1812, but subsequently small American ships crisscrossed the ocean with cargoes of furs from the Pacific Northwest, sandalwood from Hawaii, copper from Chile, ginseng from the U.S. Appalachian Mountains, and silk and tea from China (Old China Trade).
Far to the north, beyond the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea, Eskimos, Chukchis, and Russians traded across the Bering Strait. Furs from America moved west, in exchange for glass beads and iron. Coastal and island Eskimos were active intermediaries.
Briefly, in 1819 and 1820, Americans from the Pacific tested the waters in the Bering Straits: two American brigs, the General San Martin and the Pedlar, explored regional trading opportunities. King Island flits into sight in journals and reports of these visits.