The article discusses the activities of members of the Siberian commercial elite and public figures, known collectively as the "Zealots of the North," aimed at formulating and promoting the economic interests of their region in the 1860s. People such as the gold mine owners V. N. Latkin and M. K. Sidorov strove to draw the attention of the government, business circles, and the educated public to the problems of the Russian Empire's "northern borderlands." They were doing this by politicizing economic concerns and concealing their own business interests by using the rhetoric of patriotism and national security. By denouncing their foreign competitors as agents of anti-Russian foreign policies in Britain and other countries and criticizing the government for a lack of protectionist measures, the Zealots of the North found themselves in the camp of conservative and nationalist critics of the Great Reforms. The hopes of Latkin and Sidorov to convert their propaganda efforts into commercial profit turned out to be futile. However, the discourse of economic protectionism and antiforeign suspicions that they had fostered would become popular with supporters of various scenarios of Russia's economic and political isolationism.