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Department of Trade and Manufactures Ministry of Finance 







Vol V 




Published by tlie Department of Trade and Manufactures Imperial Ministrj' of Finance. 


Printers E. A. Evdokimov, Great Italianskaia 11. 




The beginning of the construction of the Great Siberian Rail- 
way, which will unite the most distant points of Europe and Asia 
and will draw the Old World nearer to the Xew, practically coincides 
with the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of 

The accomplishment of this magnificent and historic task has 
fallen to the lot of Russia. Notwithstanding the enormity of the ma- 
terial expenses, Russia has cheerfully and earnestly accepted the 
undertaking, one of the most important in the history of peaceful 
acquisition, of knowledge and of labour. 

The Great Siberian Railway will benefit not only Russia, it 
will do great service to the material and spiritual cultivation ot hu- 
manity, and from this point of view will acquire much importance 
and interest for the whole civilized world. Following this idea, Mr. 
S. J. Vitte, Minister of Finance, commissioned the Department ot 
Trade and Manufactures, to prepare for the World's Columbian Ex- 
position at Chicago a description of this great r-ailroad, and also of 
Siberia, a land little known to the people outside ol the Empire. 

The present volume therefore contains a history ot the occupation 
and colonization of this extensive territory, its geographical description, 
the review of its industry and trade, the description of its land and water 
communications, and finally the history and contemporary state ot 
the questions concerning the construction of the Great Siberian 



Kailwav. In order to explain inoie clearly the <,a-ography of the 
laiui, this work is liiriiishecl with a map of the Russian Empire 
showiii.^ the .general network of Kiissian railways, together with the 
(ireat Siberian l\ailwa\ as well as the principal deposits ol the noble 
metals, with which the coiinlrv is richly provieled. 

The present edition has been accomplished under the direction 
of Mr. \'. I. Kovalevsky, Director of the Department of Trade and 
Manufactures, and President of the Imperial Russian Commission lor the 
World's Columbian ]:xposition at Chicago, together with the active 
assistance of Scnatc^r P. P. Semenov, Vice-President of the Imperial 
Russian Geographical Society, a man well known to the civilized 
world through his geographical works, lliis volume is being simul- 
taneously translated into the English language with the kind assistance 
of the Consul-General of the United States, Mr. J. M.Crawford, who 
consented at the request of the Imperial Ministry ot Pinance to 
supervise and edit the English translation of this work. 






Of that great expanse of territory reaching all the way from 
the Ural mountains to the Pacific Ocean and from the Frozen seas 
to the borders of the Celestial Empire there is perhaps little more 
than the name, S i b e r i a, authentically known to the general public. 
Yet Avith its wide-stretching plains, its magnilicent water systems and 
its unknown wealth of noble metals and other valuable mineral de- 
posits buried in its bosom, there is for such a land a future too 
great to be overlooked at the present day. 

With the steel rails of the Great Siberian Railway piercing 
their steady way through the vast country to the Far East, thus 
completing the great arc of the circle that in direct lines, winding 
about the 50th parallel of north latitude, will steam around the 
world, the resources of this great unknown become of immediate 
importance to our own Paciiic slopes, and through them to the 
whole people of the United States. It was therefore with great 
satisfaction that I welcomed this the 5th \-olume of the series on 
The Industries of Russia, designed for the World's Columbian 
Exposition, and accepted the invitation oi the Imperial Minister 

Yl j'i;i;iA' i; im iiii. i.m.i i^ii 1 1; \\>j.aii<)N. 

of l-'iiiancc to cilii and supervise its translation into l-n_i;lish. In lull 
realization ol its unquestionable interest and value to tlie Amer- 
ican i^eople I ha\e labouretl hard to make this lidition as laithlul 
to the ori_i;inal as the \ery limited time and cxii^cncics ol the case 
wouki permit. 

Together with an historical account ol tlie conquest ol .Siberia, 
of the subjui^ation ol the petty princedoms and nomads, with a 
glimpse of the colonization going on up to the present day, and 
with a re\iew ol the efforts of the Governmcni to induce the various 
Siberian tribes to adopt settled modes ol lile and engage in regular 
industrial pursuits, will be iound a lull and scientific resume of its 
flora and fauna, of its mineral resources, its possibilities of agriculture 
and trade, and oi its climatic and physical characteristics. 

This work contains also numerous official tables and statistics 
covering the several industries ol the country, and is accompanied 
with a general map, showing among other matters oi interest the 
various railway surveys that have been made, examined and rejected, 
as well as the line which now, in process oi construction, winds its 
way along the rivers, over the mountains and across the vast plains 
on its way to the eastern shores, thus to form a tiirough raihvay 
route from ocean to ocean in the Old as in the New W^orld, to the 
mutual advantage of the two great and friendly nations, the Empire 
of Russia and the Republic of the United States of America. 

To His Excellence, Mr. \'. 1. Kovalevsky, Director of the De- 
partment of Trade and Manufactures, Actual Councillor ol State, 
and President ol the Imperial Russian Commission, World's Colum- 
bian Exposition, ably assisted by Senator P. P. Semeno\', Mce-Pres- 
ident ol the Liiperial Russian Geographical Society, is due the well- 
earned credit and honour of formulating and of carrying out the 
original idea of His Excellence, Mr. S. J. \^itte. Imperial Minister of 
Finance, with reference to the preparation of this work, and ol 
editing and publishing the same in the Russian language. 


Although this volume, like all the others ot this series, has been 
prepared in extreme haste and under very great difficulties, rendering 
it impossible to avoid errors, nevertheless, I trust the reader will 
find pleasure and profit in examining this authentic and official 
resume of the present and future interests of that enormous and 
immensely rich country, Siberia, the Great East of the Russian 
Empire, separated only by pacific waters from the Great West 
of the United States, and which are destined in the near future to 
be in intimate commercial relations with each other. 

J. M. Crawford. 
St. Petersburg, August 15, 1893. 




Preface Ill 

Preface to the English Translation V 

Russian weights and measures ■ . . . . XI 

CHAPTER I. Historical sketch 1 

Geographical and administrative division of Siberia; its occupation, exploration 
and settlement; the first contact of the Russians with Siberia; their appearance 
upon the Amour; struggle with China; beginning of permanent colonization: 
surrender of Russo-American possessions to the United States Government: 
scientific explorations in the Amour country; occupation of the Kirghiz steppe; 
annexation of Semirechinsk and Zailisk; necessity of building a great railway; 
visit to Siberia of His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Tsessarevich: 
foundation of the Siberian Railway Committee. 

CHAPTER II. Geographical Review of Siberia 22 

Western Siberia: its component parts; review of the Altai slopes; the lowlands: 
their division into three zones; their climatic conditions; flora of the Altai 
slopes and valley; fauna of Western Siberia; its population; distribution of 
domestic animals. 

CHAPTER III. Eastern Original Siberia . 34 

Its Sayan borderland; the division of Eastern Siberia into three zones; clima- 
tic conditions of each; the flora and fauna of Eastern Siberia; its population; 
distribution of domestic animals. 

CHAPTER IV. The Yakutsk Frontier Country 44 

Orographic and hydrographic review; division into two zones; their climatic 

conditions; vegetation and fauna; composition of population; natives of Yakutsk 

borderland; Arctic ocean, its islands, flora and fauna. 
CHAPTER V. The Amour-Littoral Borderland ' . 55 

Division into four regions; the contours, climatic conditions, flora, fauna and 

population of each of them; Okhotsk and Behring seas. 
CHAPTER VI. The Kirghiz steppe Region 76 

Its division into the mountain and steppe teiTitories; orography and hydrography 

of each; flora; fauna; population, its composition and distribution in the 

mountain and steppe zones; importance of cattle breeding. 
CHAPTER VII. Tenure and use of land 86 

Foundations of land tenure; dividiug Siberia into districts and their general 

character; agriculture; production of bi'eadstuffs; raising of cattle; live stock 

industry among the Kirghiz. 



( ll.\r'J'i;i; \III. riic forosl w.-allti of Siberia 116 

An.'ii or(iii)i<ti hy imcsi; iioiiln;rii lull trco forests; bircli forest zone; mountain 
woodlands; ohstuclos to tin! iiitrodiiftii.ri of forr;stry into Siberia; Forest Adniin- 
istration; linsbandry in lOaslein Sibfiia; ('rown forests in tbe Amour ref,'ion. 

(]l.\r'n:R IX. The industries of the rural population 122 

iiniiistrial oaniiiit;s; lisbin^,' and linntin^'; f/atberiiif,' of cedar nuts; bee keeping; 
bowltif^' (d' tinihcr and wood fin-i; kiisiar industries; currying trade; concluding 

( IIAI'li;!;. X. Hiintinij and fii.' fur industry in the Far East 129 

Seal industry; Kussiun Anierican Company; Hutchinson, Cool, Filipeus and Co; 
yield of seal skins; Iraile in skins; piratical destruction of the seals; iuterna- 
tioiuil ugreeuients for the seal industry; beaver, arctic fox, morse and whale 
trades; fur imlustrics; mammoth ivory. 

(11 A ITER XI. Industry, Commerce and Ways of Communication. . 145 

Mineral wealth and the mining and metallurgical industries; gold, silver, lead 
and copper; ir6n, tin, mercury and sulphur; coal, graphite, naphtha, salt; 
precious minerals and building materials, 

CHAPTER XII. Manufacturing Industry and the home trade 194 

Excisable industries, spirit, vodka, beer and mead; beet sugar, tobacco and 
matches; non-excisable productions; trade dues; turnover and profits; trade in 
towns; fairs and their importance. 

CHAPTER Xin. The foreign trade of Siberia 206 

The Far East; import and export of Russian and foreign goods; trade with 
China; ports of the Arctic Ocean; tea trade; freights; western China and 

CHAPTER XIV. Water and overland communication 223 

Transport of goods between European Russia and Siberia by the Volga and 
Obi; Obi- Yenisei canal; Yenisei and Angara; the Baikal; Lena and Amour basin; 
the Volunteer Fleet; overland communication. 

CHAPTER X'W The Great Siberian Railroad; historical review of the question concerning 

the Siberian railway 238 

The first proposals; northern, central and southern directions of the road; 
engineers Ostrovski and Siedcnsner; construction of the road in Vladivostok; 
its condition on March 10, 1893. 

CHAPTER XYL Topographical and technical conditions of the Great Siberian Railway 

and its cost 248 

Cheliabinsk-Obi; Obi-Irkutsk; Irkutsk-Mysovsk; Mysovsk-Sretensk; Sretensk- 
Khabarovka; Khabarovka-Gvafskaia; Grafskaia-Vladivostok; the total cost. 

CHAPTER XYII. Importance of the Great Siberian Railway 260 

Its importance for agriculture, colonization, metallurgy, gold industry and for 
the home and foreign trade. 

— ^<S- — 



The following tables will serve to define the Russian weights and measures in 

terms of the French Metric System, as also those which are used in the United 


I. Long measure. 

The lineal measures of Russia have for a unit the foot, which, according to the 

laws of Peter the Great, is the same as the English foot. 

1 Russian foot = 1 English or United States foot. 

» = 12 inches = 120 lines = l,2iX) points. 

» = 0-304794 metre = 30-4794 centimetres. 

1 Russian arshine =16 vershoks = 28 inches. 

- = 2^'3 feet = 'I'g or 0*77778 yard = 0-71118 metre. 

1 Russian sagene = 7 feet = 3 arshines. 

» z= 2-13356 metres = 213-356 centimetres. 

» = 2-3333 yards. 

1 Russian verst --= 500 sagenes = 3,500 feet. 

» = 1066-78 metres = 1-06678 kilometres. 

» = 0-66269 English mile. 
1 geographical mile = 6-956 versts = 7*420 kilometres. 

» = 4-601 English miles 

II. Square measure. 

1 square sagene = 49 sq. feet := 4-5521 sq. metres. 

» = 5-4444 sq. yards. 

1 dessiatine (Russian land measure) = 2,400 sq. sagenes. 

;^ = 1-0925 hectars = 2-6997 acres. 

1 square verst ^= 250,000 sq. sagenes =^ 104-17 dessiatines. 

» = 1-1380 sq. kilometres. 

» = 0-43916 sq. English mile. 

1 square geographical mile — 48*38 square versts. 

" =: 55-O6 » kilometres. 

-■> =: 21*25 ;> English miles. 

III. Cubic measure. 

1 cubic inch = 16*386 cubic centimetres. 

1 cubic sagene = 343 cubic feet. 

» =: 9-7 J 2 metres. 

» = 12-704 cubic yards. 


A(;icirri.TL'R!- and fokkstuv in hissia. 

1 cliciveit 
J clit'tverik 

I vciiro 

1 berkovets 

J poiul 

1 Russian poiim 

1 zolotnik 

I) i; ^ M i: A s I' K K. 
H cliftvciiks — 2WU heclolilro!?. 
bVblu Amorlcari biisliel.s. 
8 quarts — 1601*22 cubic inches. 

lilt' volume of G-1 Russian pounds of water at iSVa" R. temperature. 
20-208 litres = 0-2G238 hectolitre. 
0'74'l(i AmiMicaii bushel. 

L I c^ r I ii M K A s r K !•:. 
V<n of a barrel -- 1<» shtolTs or kroiizliki = Ty0"57 cubic inches = 
volume of 30 Russian poun<ls of water at IS'/a" R. temperature. 
: 2-290 litres. 
2-707 English or 3-249 American gallons. 

IV. Avoirdupois weight. 

10 pouds = 0-1638 metric ton = 163-80 kilograms. 

0-161217 English ton = 3-2243 cwt. 

40 Russian pounds = 0-0J638 metric ton = 16-380 kilograms. 

0-32243 cwt. or 32-243 Eng. lbs. 

32 lots = 96 zolotniks = weight of 25-019 cubic inches of water 

at 13^/3° R. in vacuo. 

0-40951 kilogram = 409.51 grams, 

0-90282 English pound. 

T K Y 
= 90 dolee. 
= 4-2657 grams. 
= 65-830 grains Troy, 


1 rouble paper per dessiatine 
J » gold ■> » 

1 kopeck paper 






poud of. wheat 



gold ;> •■> 

1 chervert per dessiatine 
1 poud » >> 

1 vedro -> ■> 

1 kopeck paper per poud and verst 
1 » sold 2 » s » 

V. Complex table. 

= 19-06 cents per acre. 
= 28-59 :> » » 
= 31-9 :> 
= 47-88 ;> 
= 0-0863 » 
= 0-1295 » ;>. » 
= 1-282 :> » » 
= 1-923 ;> :> ^ 
= 2-2081 bushels per acre. 
= 13-377 English pounds per acre. 
= 1-204 American gallons per acre. 
= 48.15 cents per ton and mile. 
" 72-225 » .-> » » » 





Historical Sketch. 

Geographical and administrative division of Siberia; liistorical review of its occupation, explo- 
ration and settlement; its subdivision into five large geographical regions; its administrative 
division; the first contact of the Russians with Siberia by means of the Stroganovs; annexation 
of a part of Siberia to Russia at the end of the sixteenth century; gradual occupation by the 
Russians of the v^-hole of Siberia in the course of the seventeenth century; first attempts at 
navigating the Arctic Ocean, and the Behring and Okhotsk seas; appearance of the Russians 
upon the Amour; struggle with China for the possession of the Littoral-Amour country; the 
Xerchinsk treaty ; beginning of permanent colonization of Siberia at the end of the seventeenth, 
and its gradual realization during the eighteenth century; establishment of frontier defense 
lines called forth by the necessity of protecting colonization; development of colonization 
under the shelter of these lines; scientific explorations by sea and land in Siberia in the 
eighteenth century; surrender of Russo- American possessions to the Government of the 
United States; acquisition of Sakhalin and surrender of the Kuril Islands to Japan; settlement 
and exploration of Siberia in the first half of the nineteenth century; annaxation of the Amour 
tract in the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century; scientific explorations in 
the Amour Littoral country; gradual occupation of the Kirghiz steppe country in the course 
of the nineteenth century; annexation to Russia of the country of Semirechinsk and Zailisk 
in the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century; significance and consequence 
of this fact so important to the, history of Asiatic Russia; colonization of Siberia in the 
second half of the nineteenth century, and the position of the colonization question at the 
present time; recognition of the necessity of building a great railway through Siberia; visit to 
Siberia of the Tsarevich; and the foundation of the Siberian Railway Committee. 

UNDER the name Siberia, in the most widely accepted meaning of the word, are understood 
all Russia's Asiatic possessions, with the exception of Transcaucasia, the Transcaspian 
territory and the Turkestan governor - generalship. Accordingly the Ural chain and river 
would appear to be the natural boundary between European Russia and Siberia. But the 
Ural chain, colossal in its linear extension, but not attaining any elevation and traversable 
almost imperceptibly in its lowest passes, with its mineral wealth scattered chiefly over its 
eastern slope, was never like other great mountain chains on the earth's surface, a separa- 
ting banler in the etnographical and economical life of the peoples, but on the contrary, from 
the time of the occupation of Siberia by the Russians, proved as it were, a line uniting Euro- 
pean and Asiatic Russia. 

The Transural districts of the Perm govornnient, in which the mineral wealth of 
the Urals is most abundant, and which ai'c the lai'gest furnishers of grain to the Ural mining 
population, have long been reckoned not to Siberia but to European Russia. In like manner 



iilsd 111-- M.).|M 1 ,.M and Tiiif/ai ivt,'ioiis, \)iisH\nt! far bnyoiid tin- I'ral river and pc-netrating 
dfM!|)ly into 111.' inl.'rior of Asia, an- not counti-d as bidoiitfing to Siberia, because tho centres 
of Kravity of iln'Sf rf^jons, tbal is, lh<'ir administrative fentrr-s, are situated iu EunjiM^an Russia. 
'J'iiiis, Sil).Tia is .•oiniM.s.Ml of tli.' followiuK' parts: ]. Two ^'ov•!rn^l<'Ilts of the basin of the 
riviTOhi, naMi<'ly,Tol).dslv and Tomsk, formiiif^ tin- so-raijr-d Woslcrn Siberia; these governments 
cuten-d foiinrrly intu lli.'|M,sition <>{ a sprdal (.'ovcrnor-gi-ncralship now abolished, but 
art' at prt's.-nt gov.'rn.'d,rarli s.-parat.-ly, iip(«n idmliral lim-s with lli.- governments of Europ<'an 
Russia. 2. 'I'wn govi-rnnKMils of tin' basin (d" lln^ Yt'uissci, namely Ycnisseisk ami Irkutsk, f«jr- 
niing 111"' so-eallrd Kaslmi Siberia, in llie slriel srnse (d' Uir Iitmi, and .■nlcring into the 
composition of the Kasi Siberian g(»vernor-generalship. These two component parts of Siberia 
form the original Siberia, iliat is, that Siberia which was long ago and constantly occupied 
by I{iissian colonists, and where from ei(/lity to ninety per cent of the population belong to 
tiir Kussiaii rae.«. The rrinainin^r parts of Siberia form those outskirts of the country, which 
from their very nature or from their remoteness are yet very little settled by the Russians 
and either oeciipird by primitive Asiatic or native peoples or arc deserts and even absolutely 
niiiMliaiiit.'il, and may In' cniiipaivd iidt with the states but with the territories of the United 
States. To these outlying regions of Sitx-ria belong: 3. The Yakutsk region, constitutinj/ in 
respect to administration the Yakutsk territory alone. This, the most vast of all the Siberian 
territories, occupies the Immense basin of the Lena and the less considerable basins of the 
smaller rivers, for example, the Yana, Indighirka and Kolyma falling into the Arctic Ocean. 
The Yakutsk territory in administrative respects forms a part of the East Siberian governor- 
generalship. 4. The Amour and Littoral region; this consists of three teiTitories, constituting 
the Amour governor-generalsliip, namely Transbaikalia, the Amour and the Littoral. These 
teiTitories cover the whole of the Russian part of the basin of the Amour and the whole 
coast zone bidonging to the basin of tlie Pacific or rather of the Japan, Okhotsk and Behring 
seas, including the vast peninsula of Kamchatka and the island of Sakhalin. 5. The steppe 
Kirghiz resioii: this consists of three territories, comprised in the Steppe governor-generalship, 
namely: those of Akmolinsk, Semipalatinsk and Semirechensk, in former times known under 
the collective name of the Kirghiz-Kaissak Hordes and Steppes. Composed as above, Siberia 
occupies the immense area of 250,000 square geographical miles, being twenty-five times greater 
than Germany and tw'o and a half times Euporean Russia. 

The annexation of Siberia to the Russian Empire took place at the end of the 
sixteenth century. The occupation by the Russians of this vast country was effected without 
any particularly bloody wars and hardly cost the Government an effort. The free Cossacks 
very rapidly conquered Siberia, and after them other intrepid seekers of booty poured in 
like a wave. 

The principal pioneers in the occupation of Siberia at that time were adventurers, 
such as traders, sable hunters, trappers and fishermen. Organizing artels or societies they 
distanced by far the Government colonization, and scattered themselves over unknown wastes. 
In one spot they collected yassak, or a tax on furs; in another they destroyed wild 
animals, and looked for fish and mammoth tusks; they drove off or bartered the cattle 
belonging to the natives; they established whole industries by collecting hops, cedar nuts et 


cetera. In the steps of the traders followed the inoiind men or excavators of barrows (kur- 
gans) for the precious objects contained in them. Under the inflneuce of searches for riches 
the Siberian pioneers became transformed Into vagabonds and nomad adventurers, S(» that 
the Government had afterwards to make great efforts to bind them to the land. 

A short history of the conquest of Siberia may be marked by the following facts. 
The first raids upon the Yugra, a Finnish tribe, one inhabiting the present government of 
Tobolsk, were already made in the twelfth century by enterprising traders from Novgorod, 
whom the Yugra attracted by their valuable peltry. These raids, be it observed, had no 
character of conquest but always ended with the taking of ransom in the form of costly 
furs. More definite relations of the Russians to the Siberian peoples began only with the 
sixteenth century, namely, with the time when Russia, after destroying the Tartar kingdoms 
of Kazan and Astrakhan, took possession of the whole extensive basin of the river Volga, 
whose branches brought pioneers of Russian colonization into the deptlis of the Urals, with its 
abundant mineral wealth. Passing over the easily traversed Ural chain, these pioneers were 
bound to come into conflict with Tartar tribes, inhabiting or wandering over the region 
across the Urals, and under the powerful hand and protection of Ivan the Terrible began 
gradually to subject them, at first to their influence, and then to their sovereignty. 

In the year 1555 ambassadors came to the Tsar from Y^ediger and other Siberian 
princelings, oppressed by their southern co-tribesmen, praying to be accepted as his subjects, 
agreeing to the imposition of a tribute on condition that he should send them some of his 
people. The Tsar assented, but such allegiance was very unstable as Y'ediger hoped that the 
protection and help of the Tsar would restrain his enemies from attacking his possessions, 
but these expectations were not realized. Xot receiving the desired protection and help, ami 
as hard pressed as before by his hostile neighbours, he began to pay his tribute irregularly, 
and on the accession to the Khanate, of Kuchum this tribute ceased altogether, and the 
Russians who came for it were not infrequently killed. The firm allegiance of Trausuralia 
only came about in consequence of the movement of the Russian population undertaken with 
industrial and commercial objects towards the north-east. 

A great importance in the history of this movement attaches to the family of the 
Stroganovs. The Russian princes possessing vast tracts of unsettled lands, very willingly assigned 
them temporarily to enterprising and rich people on the condition that they should settle them 
and cultivate the land, the said pioneers being afforded every possible privilege, such as 
freedom from taxes, trade unfettered by duties, and the right of administering justice to the 
settlers. The Stroganovs with their great wealth appear as the chief settlers of the great north- 
eastern tracts. In the reign of Ivan the IV, these rich manufacturers and traders penetrated 
into the depths of the river region of the Kama, and in 155S petitioned the Tsar to grant 
them land along the Kama to the Chussovaya on condition that they should build a town 
there, develop industry, raise troops and defend the region from the attacks of wild hordes. 
It was difficult for the Government to (h^fend the Kama region with its owft forces, on account 
of its remoteness, and at the same time it was constantly being subjected to attacks and 
forcible devastations on the part of tln' Cisural and Traiisural tribes. Therefore, the propo- 
sition made by the Strogonovs seemed very advantageous: their prayer was granted, all 


4 >I1IKKIA. 

l<imls of privili'p's w.-iv j/ivi'ii tlif^m for 20 ycai-. ..uu in.- >.-illers bound themselves to 
build st(.fkadfs and to inaintiiiii troops at their own expense. A few small towns quickly 
a|pp';iiv,| <,ii the sput, iniliisiry iii<n'asi-d, the Russian population grew and eslahlished itself 
lirnily in places till thru unknown V> it. Thus, the Stro^'anovs, thanks to their vast resources 
and ihcir iiiln'pidiiy, cntfrpris.- and ••rn-rf/y, not only eoiis(didated the Russian sovereignty in 
the Crals, hut ishm' Kussiun settlers the possihiljiy of passing over to the Eastern siile of 
till' iiiouniain range; so richly eiulowed by natun'. 

CiMseless collisicms with the natives and the striving U> ileve|ii(i their industry over 
a widci ti'nitory indneed the Stroganovs to heg the Tsar to aiithori/e them to scllle 
places oil the nihiT side of till' Urals also. The lirilliant example of the settlement of the 
Kama district hail denioiistrated to the Ciovernment the advantageousness of undertakings of 
this kind. The permissiuii was given, and the Stroganovs bound themselves by the same condi- 
tions as liei'iire, and were even empowered to wage war not only of a defensive but of an 
olTeiisive nature. J''nr nmre extended offensive operations the Stroganovs could not at once 
lind enough armed jiien, hut these were not long forthcoming. 

In the second half of the sixteenth century, during the reign of Ivan the Tenible, a 
mass of people lied into Lithuania while not a few bent their steps into the waste regions 
forming the new acquisitions of Russia. There in those outlying regions the fugitives found 
libeity. ease and abundant space; whole bands were formed out of chance associates, who 
almost completely severed themselves from the State, paid but scant attention to the latter and 
lived their free Cossack life. But the Cossacks, engaged In robbery, harried also the territories 
which were under the authority of the Tsar, and were prosecuted by the Government for 
their brigandage. One of these parties of Don Cossacks, which had particnlarly destinguished 
itself by its freebooting expedition on the Volga, and which was being pursued by the Tsar's 
troops, proceeded under the leadership of its ataman Yermak Timofeev up the Kama and so 
reached tlie Stroganov possessions. The Stroganovs availed themselves of the opportunity and 
invited the Cossacks to enter their service. The latter consented and in a short time, equipped 
by the Stroganovs and with Yermak at their head, started across the Ural mountains and 
entered the limits of Kuchum's kingdom. 

In 1580 Yermak was already on the banks of the Tura, defeated the Tartar princelet 
Yepancha, then took by storm the town of Shingi-Tura, upon whose site stands at the pre- 
sent time the town of Tinmen, and there took up his winter quarters. In the spring of the 
subsequent year Yermak moved on to the capital of Kuchum, the town of Isker or Siberia. 
Having navigated the Tura, Tobol and Irtycli in barges, the Cossacks on October 26, 1581, 
reached the Khaif s residence, and after a fierce fight took possession of it. Kuchum fled 
with the remains of his troops into the southern steppes. Yermak immediatety sent his trusty 
lieutenant and ataman, KoHso, with the news of this conquest to Moscow, having furnished 
him with costly furs and commanded him <Ao humbly salute the Lord Ivan Yasilevich the 
Terrible with the acquisition of the new Siberian kingdom;). The Tsar forgave Yermak his 
foriuer faults, presented him Avith a cloak and medal, and sent the leader Glukhov to his 
assistance. Yermak Timofeev was however not long fated to rule Siberia. In 158-1, enticed 
too far by the cunning of the Tartars, he perished together with his band in a fight upon 


the bauks of the Irlysli. In Moscow, meanwhile, nothing was known of the destruction of 
Yermak, and in 1586 ariived on the Tiira a fresh reinforcement of 300 men under their 
leaders Sukin, Miasnov and Chulkov, who founded upon this river the town of Tinmen and 
thence began to spread the Russian authority over the Siberian natives. In 1587 yet anotlier 
500 troops were sent from Moscow into Siberia, and the order was given to build the 11 us- 
sian town of Tobolsk in the place of the ruined capital of Kuchum. 

As soon as the Siberian kingdom was united to the Russian possessions the Govern- 
ment began to concern itself about the strengthening of the bond between the new possessions 
and the old. It could not have the extensive countries, seized by the Russians, deserted, and 
was compelled to move forth certain portions of its own population to create points of 
resistance, or so to say, cadres of the future natural colonization. Such points of resistance, 
founded beyond the Urals in the sixteenth century, were besides Tiumen and Tobolsk, Yerkho- 
turie, Pelym, Beriozov, Surgut, Obdorsk, Narym, Ketsk and Tara. All these little towns 
served only as centres from which the conquerors were able to exploit the Siberian natives 
by means of collecting from them y a s s a k and trading with them in furs. In the seventeenth 
century the construction of rallying points continues, and Russian dominion rapidly extends 
further and farther to the east. From the year 1604 the following strongholds were gradually 
built, out of which subsequently grew the towns of Tomsk, Turukhausk, Kuznetsk, Yeni- 
seisk, Kansk, Krasnoyarsk, Yakutsk, Olekminsk, Achinsk, Barguzinsk, Irkutsk, Balagansk, 
Kerchinsk, Kireusk, and thus the Russian power was quickly extended over the basins of the 
three giant rivers of Siberia, the Obi, Yenissei and Lena. Between 1630 and 1640 Russian 
Cossack parties reached, on the one hand, the Arctic Ocean, and on the other, to the Sea of 
Okhotsk, and to this period belong their first attempts at sea voyages. In 1636 the Cossack 
Yellissei Buza was sent from Yeuisseisk with the positive instruction to put to sea, and folli)W- 
ing along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, to impose y a s s a k upon its inhabitants. Only in 
1637 did Buza succeed in descending the Lena, coming out by its western arm upon the coast 
of the Arctic Ocean, and in making his way along it to the mouth of the Oleuek. In the 
following year however, 1638, having built himself two vessels, called «Kocha», Buza sailed 
into the ocean by the eastern arm of the Lena and succeeded in reaching the mouth of the 
Yana. Almost at the same time Ivan Postnik reached the Yana and the more distant Inidi- 
ghirka by land. In 1644 the Cossack Mikhail Stodukhin discovered the most eastern of the 
great rivers falling into the Arctic Ocean, the Kolyma, and there founded a winter station, 
subsequently transformed into Nizhui-Kolpusk, 

From the extreme point of resistance at that time id' the Russian dominion in the east, 
Kolymsk, a complete expedition was equipped in the year 1647 under the command of the 
Kholmogorsk emigrant, Fedot Alexeev and the Cossack Semion Dezhniev. In 1647 the expe- 
dition consisted of only four vessels; it reached the Chukotsk coast but did not succeed in 
penetrating further. On the other hand in the following year, 1648, an expedition of seven 
vessels with more than ten men on each vessel, under the leadership of Semion Dezhniev, 
Fedot Alexeev and Gerassim Ankundinov, was more fortunate. Quitting the Kolyma on the 
30th of June, the intrepid sailors found the sea free from ice, and without meeting 
with any particular obstacles weathered the cape, called in recent times by Xordeuskjold 

(i Hill I.I \. 

(!apo Dczlmicv, sailcl ilimiij/li iIk- wlinlc of tin- straits tliviilinn; Asia from America and subse- 
i|ii('iilly oallcil alicr Hr'n-ml aiiil fjiinfil tjic Cliiikotsk Cafio. Ilfif' tlio fX|MMlltioM fiio<)iiiit<'r«-<l 
a scvcif storm, iliiriii^' \vlii<li Ankiiiiiliiiov's vcssoj {icrisjicd, Imt liis new w.ts <listribul<Mi 
aiMiiii^' till' vessels nf Itezliiiiev ami Alexecv. Oil the ^JOtli "iC September llie Russians landed, 
lull here hail a skirmish with the ('hiik<|iis in wliieli Fedut Alexeev was woimdod. After tills 
a liiL'litriil storm separated forever tiie vessels of Semi(tn Dezliiiiev and Feilot Aloxoev. 
I»i/lmirv hravely slrll^'fJrled in the open sea with storms ami opposing wimls, which bore him 
away to the soiilh of ihc entiy into the Anadyr hay, and finally ho ciLSt upon the coast 
rif-'ht heyoiid Ciipc Oliiiinr near Ihe mouth of the river Oliiitora, that is, upon the limits of 
KaiiK'hatka heiweeii 61" ami 60" X. L. I'roiii there Dezliiiiev and his twenty-five eompanions 
made llicir way to Aiiadyi- where he foiimlcil a winter slalioii, whieh afterwards heeame the 
Anadyr slr(lll^!llold, as liiiher arrived soon after by land Russians niider the command of 
Semion Moloni from ilie Knjyuia. Dezhniov liimscdf returned to the Kolyma not earlier than 
165i!. In the meanwhile Fedot Alexeev parted from Dezliiiiev by the storrn, according to 
iiildiiiialioii nilh^cted subsequently by the dcscriber of Kamchatka, Krasheninnikov, traversed, 
it Would seem, the whole of Kanichatka and perished on the river Tighiia, that is, on the 
western shore of the peninsula. 

Only in 161)7 Kaiiirhalka was discovcreil afresh and occnpied by the Cossack Vladimir 
Atlassov, who startinjLT from the Anadyr stronghold, destroyed four Koriak towns and having 
founded on the river Kamchatka the stockaded fort of Xizhni-Kamchatsk reduced the whole 
nf Kaiiu'lialka. 

At the same time the inovement of the Russians towards the coast went its course in 
more southern latitudes. After the foundation on the middle course of the Lena of the Yakutsk 
fort by Peter Beketov, parties of Russians began to ascend the Aldan and to reach the Sta- 
novoi range. It was by this road, passing the Stanovoi range, that the Cossack Ivan Mosko- 
vitin's party, sent in 1639 to impose y a s s a k upon all the Tungus tribes, came out upon ]}ie 
river Ud and so reached the Sea of Okhotsk. After this, stockaded forts were founded at the 
mouths of the Ud and Tuiigura, and in 1643 the Russians for the first time appear upon the 
Amour. Equipped by the Yakutsk v o e v o d e the elder Vassili Poyarkov with 130 Cossacks 
ascended the rivers Aldan, Uchur and Gonam, crossed the Stanovoi range and then came out 
by the Erianda and Zeya upon the Amour and, descending the river, sailed into the Sea of 
Okhotsk. Ill J 647 the Cossack Shelkovuikov crossed fruiii the mouths of the Amour to the 
tnouth of the river Okhota and here founded the fort of Okhotsk. 

But it was the Cossack elder Yerofei Khabarov who specially distinguished himself 
by his exploits upon the Amour. This intrepid Cossack who had formerly occupied himself at 
one time with corn growing, at another with salt boiling, undertook at his own costs to 
subjugate the Amour country. Having received the authorization from the Yakutsk vocvoda, 
he in 1649 and 1650 reached the Amour by the rivers Olekma and Tunghir, destroyed a few 
Daur cities and having personally convinced himself of the natural riches of the country vis- 
ited by him, hurriedly returned to Yakutsk in order to there excite interest and attention to 
the hitherto unknown country which was so remarkable in every respect. Having mustered a 
party uf voliuiieers to the number of 150 men, and having received three guns from the 


V e V (1 0, in 1651 he again made his appearance upon the banks of the Amour and stopped 
to winter in the station of Albazin founded by him. During two years notwithstanding the 
opposition of the Manchuro who surrounded him on every side he occupied the whole 
course of the Amour and reported his success to Yakutsk. 

The rumour of the wealth of the river conquered by Khabarov quickly spread not only 
tlirough the Siberian v o e v o d e s h i p s but reached the Tsar himself, so that in 1654 Kha- 
barov was recalled to Moscow to make a personal report upon the Amour, and the whole of his 
brave company was placed under the command of the Cossack Ouufri Stepanov. This worthy 
successor of Khabarov closely pressed by the enemy, was obliged to fortify himself in the 
newly built Kamora stronghold and in 1655 withstood a severe siege at the hands of a 
numerous Manchur army. Later, after three years of obstinate struggle with the Manchurs, 
he fell in a skirmish in 1658. 

Meanwhile, a road to the Amour was opened through Transbaikalia. The Yenlsseisk 

V e V d a Pashkov proposed to the Government, for the expeditious subjugation of the 
Amour, to select in the vicinity of the steppes a rallying point, where all the warlike force 
might be concentrated and whence it might undertake offensive movements. His plan was 
approved and an expedition to the Amour was entrusted to him; at the same time all the 
detachments along the Amour were ordered to place themselves under Pashkov's orders. This 

V e V d e then, from Yenisseisk, following the Upper Tunguzka, Baikal, the Selenga and the 
Khilka, reached the river Nerch, and at a distance of four versts from its mouth founded in 1658 
the Xerchinsk stockaded fort. Here he wished to gather all the Amour bands which had 
been under the command of Stepanov, but as upon the death of the latter these parties 
scattered, Pashkov did not venture, with the miserable remnants of those who answered to his 
summons, to undertake any decisive operations and thus his expedition met with no success. 

In 1665 a crowd of Russians under the leadership of Xikifor Chernigovski consisting 
of fugitive criminals, wishing to earn their pardon, appeared upon the ruins of Albazin, re- 
newed the fortress there, began to collect y a s s a k from the previous tributaries, the Tuuguzes, 
and founded some strongholds. In 1677 the fort Verkhozeissk was built on the upper waters 
of the Zeya, followed by forts Selimbaevsk aud Dodonsk. For almost 20 years Albazin enjoyed 
comparative tranquillity, but in 1685 the Manchur troops, with considerably superior forces, 
devastated the environs of Albazin and from the 12th of June of the same year commenced 
the celebrated siege of this town. The voevode T o 1 b u z i n, with a body of 500 men pitched 
against a horde of 15,000 Manchurs-, was obliged to surrender Albazin and retreat; but in 
the same year, reinforced by fresh troops that had come to his aid, he returned and built upon 
the site of the burnt wooden fortification an eartlioru entrenchment. The Manchurs observing 
the restablishment of Albazin undertook a second siege in 1686, during which Tolbuzin was 
killed and his successor Afanasi Beiton stubbornly continued to hold his earthworks for a whole 
year, until at last in 1687 the exhausted Manchurs were themselves couipelled to raise the 
siege. In 1688, a congress was appointed of the plenipotentiaries of the two warring sides, at 
which the Chinese gained a diplomatic victory. In August 27, 1689, the Xerchinsk treaty 
was signed, confirming the Amour to the Chinese, and for 160 years depriving the Russians 
of the possession of lliis outskirt of Siberia. 

b SIHKklA. 

Only from the oml of (lie .M!vciitr..|iili (•.•ntmy wlieii the Ijuiiii'lariu- ul hiU-ria in itie 
lar^'o soiiMi 1)1' lln; term wort! alrnmly imlicatcMl iikuo or les.s by the points of ilefeiise, could the 
aclnal ponnancnl cdloni/atiiMi \irf\])'r,u>A; the Govcnirncnt hositles buililiiif( cities and yamas, or 
postin;,? .slatimis, .strove Id cnMlo a dans of peasant artisans aii<i io spread corn growing. With 
tills ohjcct, hy eoinniaml of Ihe Tsar J-'eodctr Ahjxeovich, volunteer ploufilinien were sent 
Intiii Solvy('liej,'fH|sk ami oilier (owns of Ihe J'ernila (d' that lime, wh<» received besides every 
kind of privil(';,'e, aKiieiilliiral iinplenienis and assislaiiee in money. The road of the first 
setllemenis lay by Ihe rivers Tnra, Tavda, Tohol,' Irlysh, Ohi and Iheir tributaries. The enii- 
f.'ninls cnt into tlie very heart of Ihe native popnialion; the Chuilic tribes Ihnisl back in Ihe 
lilii'iiiih eeiiliiiy liv the Tiiiiks pe(i|ilc, themselves pi'csseil i'orwai'd by the Moiit.'oliaii movement 
and known by the ^a'lieral name of 'J'artars, lemained in Iheir j)laees. fVoni the sonlli the greater 
part of the Tartars had wandered away fiirthor into the dopllis (d' Ihe steppes, while the Oslyak 
and Samoye<l tribes wei'c moved back to the north and east. 

The Government had to concern itself with llie provisioning of the people it had settled, 
who reipdred to be supplied with everything. Grain was imported from Perm, Viatka and Solvycln- 
godsk. In consequence of the bad roads the furnishing of provisions was delayed, and hence Govern- 
menl servants siineiv(l terrible want. The niercliaiits oceuiiieil themselves with the furnishing of the 
colonists with gootls. But trade relations of the new country with its metropolis Moscow \vere very 
diilirult and were oifected but once a year. Corannnncations were accomplished by means of 
the rivers. Tlit^ wares were transported on barges or plank levats. The Siberian sledges called 
<^narta» were dragged over the portages by men. The merchants sometimes took up winter 
quarters on their way. The method of trading was slow and therefore only a few dealers 
penetrated into Siberia, but having reached there, from the absence of competition, became at 
ouc(! monopolists. 

The spread of agriculture and the establishment of fixed settlements within the limits 
of the new country were supported by the sending out of ploughmen, post drivers, and with 
them girls to be married'to the Cossacks, and also by the alleviation of the burdens imposeil 
by the vucvodes. By the care of the Government the growing of grain was spread not 
only among the Russian population but among the Tartars and Yoguls of the present 
Tinmen and Turinsk districts. The agricultural population having dotted the country with 
villages forined the chief foundation (d" roldui/ation in the east. It may be said that the true 
foundation of life in the region was laid when the conqueror's lirst grain of corn fell into the 
soil of the conquered countries. 

Beginning with the end of the seventeenth centuiy, this permanent colonization obtained 
iu the eighteenth a more regular form. The Government, settling the unoccupied spots, 
at the same time took care to secure thom from the raids of the nomads, who had been driven 
back into the steppe regions of 'Central Asia, and which were so frequent and so destructive to the 
young colonies. Such raids indeed arrested the development of agi'icultural settlements in Siberia 
and Zavolzhia not only in the end of the seventeenth but also in the lirst half of the eight- 
eenth century. To protect the colonization as yet not firmly established, the fortresses of 
Omsk, Yamyshevsk and Petropavlovsk were built, as well as among others the towns of Biysk, 
Semipalatinsk and L'st-Kamenogorsk. 


As al the very beginning of Russia's acciuaintauce witU Siberia the enterprise of pri- 
vate persons had a great significance in the movement of the Russians eastward, so in the 
beginning of the eighteentli century no slight services were rendered the Government by the 
rich trader Akinfi Demidov. In 1723 his parties penetrated, with trading and industrial objects 
in the Altai mountains to Mount Siniukha near lake Kolyvans, and here found Chudie mines 
and traces of ores. In 1726 artisans and clerks were sent here by Demidov from his Nevian 
works in the Urals, and on the small stream of the Loktevka falling into tlie AUei was built 
the first works, called Kolyvansk. Soon other mines were discovered in the neighbourhood of 
whose existence Demidov presented a report to the Government and by an ukaz of the year 
1747 the works of Kolyvansk and Voskresensk were taken over from Demidov by the Cruwn. 

"With the development of mining in the Ural, Altai and at the Nerchinsk works, there 
was requii'ed an increased number of workmen. To meet this demand hundreds of families 
were sent furth from the interior of Russia to the works ami attached to the latter, and in 
this way the Russian population of Siberia grew every year. 

To unite the limits of conquest already indicated by stockades and fortresses to inter- 
mediate points as also for the defense of the mining works from the raids of nomads, the 
tracts or main routes were settled, and Cossack defense posts and settlements established. 
In 1744 to 1745 the tract between Tobolsk and Tara was so inhabited, followed by those be- 
tween Ishim and Omsk, and the Chauss stockade and Tomsk. In 1762 to 1780 the tract be- 
tween Tara and the Chauss stockade was settled, and in 1763 the Ekaterinburg road was 
built. Among the Cossack defense lines in 1720 to 1773 was constructed that of the Irtysch, 
in 1755 that between Omsk and Zverinogolovsk. Further, with the movement of colonization 
Into the depths of the Altai, the Kolyvan-Kusnetsk, Novokolyvau-Kusnetsk, and in 1780 the 
Bukhtarminsk lines. 

Parallel to the colonization patronized by the Government, at times during the critical 
moments in Russia's historical and economical life, another kind of colonization, namely, secret 
colonization was effected. 

The government of Tobolsk, as the first zone lying on the road to the little kniiwu 
country, was more thickly populated with fugitives belonging to those groups of the population 
of European Russia who were there faring ill. In Siberia these fugitives nnder the protection 
of dense forests and swamps raised their solitary dwellings, made so-called «;zaimkas-> or 
enclosures, cleared forests and introduced tillage. The voevodes on discovering such settle- 
ments did not destroy them but only levied upon them state taxes. Such emigrants, settling 
and at the same time securing the possession of an alien region, were not without their advant- 
ages to the voevodes. Thus the acceptance with an amnesty of the allegiance of the so-called 
Bukhtarmin masons, the fugitive families of dissenters and criminals who had taken up their 
abodes beyond the Kamen, one of the ridges of the Altai, spread the dominion of Russia to 
one of the best valleys of the Altai. 

With the extension of the settlements the people became acquainted with the surroundo 
ing spots and finding more convenient places, built themselves new outlying hamlets and 
suburbs. Each settled upon a separate patch over which he had arbitrary control; when, how- 
ever, he did not wish to remain any longer in llie same place, he handed over his land to 
another and sought a new home. 

] () SIBKIfl A. 

Such sf'frct otilmiizalioii at times atliiiin'il lairly consjilcratjlo iliiiifii^ioii*;, so that llie 
Stal(! authority had tu tako scvcic uicasun's to stop this uinh'sirahki moveiiifiit. 

To^cthfr Willi llic scttlcnu-nt iil'Sihcria iti the cowrsi; of thf cij/hteonth century apju-ared 
tlio uffossity lor its cxploratiou. The l-'-nipfior Pfter the (ircat heoomos the initiat4»r 
in this matter, as iti evorylhiti^' else, lieco^'ni/.iiif,' that the attempts to ostahlish ic{.'uhir sea 
lommuiiieation with Kamchatka in plaee of the distant and circuitous road throufrli tlie nortli- 
ern tuiMlnis, iljd not siiccceil, IVom the inaliility to build ships, lie sent on this aceoiint 
Swedish inisniiers acrjuainted with ship huildiii^ to Okhotsk. On a ship built by Henry 
lliisch the lirst attempt \vas made in 171fi, and in J717 took place the perfectly successful 
voyajre (d' the Cossack Sokiilii\, alter whiih re^Milar communication between Okhotsk and 
Kamchatka was established. Next, I'eter the Great was interested in the (piestion of whether 
there is a passajje into the Arctic Ocean between the Asiatic and American continents, the 
solution of this question ])y the voyage of Dezhniev being unknown to the Emperor, 
lie equippeil Inr the purpose of deciding this question a great Northern Expedition, under 
the commauil (d' the Danish sailor in the Russian service, Vitus Berend, Lieutenant Shpanherg 
and Alexei Chirikov. The expedition started from St. Petersburg in the year of Peter the 
Great's death, 1725, and only alter tliiee years reaehed Kamehatka through Siberia. Berend 
sailed out into the sea from Xizhni-Kamchatsk on the 31st of .July, 1728, on the 19th of 
August, approached the Chukot peninsula under 64*^ .^,0' X. L., on the 21st of August dis- 
covered the island (d' SI. Lawrence and on the 20111 id' August saw under 67" 18' X. L. the 
north-eastern extremity of Asia, Cape Dezhniev, and considering the question of the existence 
of a strait between Asia and America completely solved, returned to Xizhni-Kamcliatsk. 
Berend's successful voyage did not remain without consequences. 

"The Russians commenced a whole series of attempts with the object of exploring 
the coasts of the Arctic Ocean and thus discovering a passage through it to America. la 
1739 the expedition of Lieutenant Proncliischev fitted out for the Lena had imposed upon it 
the problem of exploring the seacoast between the mouths of the Lena and the Yenissei. 
But the expedition only succeeded in getting as far as the mouth of the Olenek and Pron- 
chischev himself and his wife died on the desert shore of the ocean. The expedition of 
Lieutenant Laptev, which followed next, succeded in reaching the Taimir peninsula, namely, to 
Cape St. Thaddeus, but was not able to weather Cape Cheliuskin and Laptev's companion^ 
Clieliuskiu, was obliged to survey it only from the land side. At the same time, that is, in 
1739 to 1740, Lieutenant Dmitri Laptev was commissioned to describe the littoral to the east 
of the mouth of the Lena. Only after these two years efforts did Laptev, passing by the 
JMedviezhi Islands, reach Cape Baranov, but was unable to make the passage into Behring 

from 1733 to 1743 belongs the remarkable scientific land expedition fitted out to explore 
the whole of Siberia under the guidance of the best men of science of the time, the naturalist 
Gmelin, subsequently author of the first Siberian Flora, and the historian iliiller, the author 
of the History of Siberia. Into the composition of this remarkable scientific expedition entered 
also the astronomer Delille, Professor Fisher, assistant Steller, several students and geodesists. 
The expedition returned from Yakutsk, but Delille, Steller and the student Krasheninnikov 


reached Kamchatka. Delille and Steller formed part of the second Berend expedition, equipped 
by the Government in 1740, which on this occasion liad for its principal object the problem 
of exploring the north-western shore of America. Berend and Chirikov commanded the two 
vessels of the expedition. On the 15th of June, 1741, both vessels left Petropavlovsk for Kam- 
chatka, but on the first of July a storm separated them. Berend reached the American shore 
between 68'' and 69", in view of the marvellous giant volcano of St. Elias. Then after a long 
and tiring voyage along the line of the Alleutian islands, Berend, sick and tortured by his 
voyage over the stormy sea, suffered ship^Teck on the 5th of Xovember at an island 
called subsequently by his name, and died after having landed, on the shore of the island. 
Lieutenant Waxel and Steller, having built a new ship from tlie fragments of the old, returned 
to Kamchatka after fourteen months voyage. Chirikov's vessel reached America much further 
to the south, under 56° N". L., that is, opposite the island Sitkha; but having lost two of his boats 
with their crews, destroyed by the natives on landing, sailed along the American coast, not 
putting to land anywhere, ami with friglitful losses from scmwy to which Delille fell a victim, 
returned to Kamchatka. The best result of the expedition were the splendid observations of 
Steller, who with Krasheninnikov composed the first descriptions of Kamchatka. But the 
practical results of Berend and Chirikov's expedition were the gradual discovery and occupa- 
tion by the Russians of the north-western part of the American Continent. Thus, in 1743 the 
Russian trader Bassov already wintered upon Behring Island, and from 1745 to 1764 all the 
Alleutian islands were discovered and occupied. Much greater success attended the expeditions of 
Captain Shpanberg and Lieutenant Walton in 1738, 1739 and 1742, from Okhotsk to Japan 
and the Kuril islands. 

In the second half of the eigliteenth century, during the reign of the Empress Catherine 11, 
began a new and brilliant era in the history of the geographical and scientific explorations 
oj Siberia. The Yakutsk merchant Shalaurov, one of the prominent local Siberians, having 
equipped at his own cost a sea expediton, having for its object the passage into Behring sea 
from the mouth of the Lena, doubled in 1761 the H(dy Xoss and discovered the neighbouring 
island of Liakhov one of the new Siberian group. In the course, however, of the three years, 
1761 to 1763, he was unable to penetrate to the east further than Cape Shelag, upon which he 
met his death during his second expedition undertaken in 1766. At the same time in conse- 
quence of the indications of the existence of lands in the Arctic Ocean, wliit'h had been 
known from the times of Dezhniev, attempts were made to reach these lauds in winter on 
sledges over the ice. One of such successful attempts was the journey of Sergeant Andreev, 
who discovered in 1763 a whole group of islands upon which he found traces of former habi- 
tation by people acquainted only with the use of stone implements and unfamiliar with the 
metals. This group of Islands in the opinion of Nordenskjold was Wrangel laud. In 1770 the 
discoveries of the Russians touched the group of the New Siberian islands. In ihal year 
Liakhov not only investigated the island subsequently called by his uaiuo. hui went as far as 
Kotel island. 

The particular altculiou of the enlightened (iovernmont o( the Empress Caiherine 
was directed to the scientific exploration of the southern colonizational zone of Siberia. Among 
the expediljons which marked an epoch in geographical science, equipped by the Academy of 


ScJoiK'Os al tlic (Ir^siio of lli<; l-liiiiufss CallicriiK! II, lni tlio iiiuiiy-^iil(;il invchtitfaliuii ol tliL- 
liflli! known part's of lluj Enipin.*, tlio oxpi-ilitions into Sihoiia, accomplislieii in 1770 to 1774 
liy till! Acaili!ini(;ians Pallas and Lopokliin, take ulniost llio lirst |)laco on account of their 
scientific vaiiii'. 

Tlio allcntion ol ilio Empress was also (lir(M;lcil to llio exlrcnie east willi its Helirint.' >■ .i .u,m 
iiorlli-woslcrn corner of Aniorica. Tlio cxpoilition litted ont by the (jovcninienl in 1768 to 170!> 
under Caplaiii Kriiiil>iM and fdi'iilciiaiil Li'Vasliov, visited tin.- Alleutiaii islanils and gained 
A I as k a. In llH'j the trader riihylov discovered the island, called by his name, and it has since 
hecomo the contro of the and whalini: ti-ad(^ in Belirin^' Sea, From 1790 to 1794 Captain 
r.illiiiL'sainl Lieutenant Sarychev's exprdiiiim i|iii.kly regulated tlie devclopini,' and too rapa- 
cious lisiiiiiii: of the l]ellrin^' Sea. In 17!)2 a private company, consistinfi: of Doliar<jv, Sholokhov 
and Golikov founded the Russian seltlemeul in Paul liarbour upon Kadiak island, ami in 
1796 Novoarkhangelsk, on the island of Sitkha, upon wliich Russian authority was lirmly estab- 
lished by Raranov, only in 1799. Similar permanent settlements arose also upon several of 
the Alleiitiau and Commandor islands and even ii|»on the peninsula of Alaska, then con.^istimr 
of the Alleutians. 

Ill 1799 a great company was organized in St. Petersburg iiiuler the name of the Ru>- 
siau American Company with the object of working the Russian possessions upon the Amer- 
ican Continent, as also the shores and islands of Behriug Sea and of the Sea of Okhotsk. 
The company was granted very ample privileges, to secure which the Government recognized 
it as necessary to conclude a couventiou with the United States in 1820, and with Great 
Britain in 1825. The term of the privileges was originally fixed for twenty years but it was 
subsequently several times renewed, so that the Russs-Ameiican Company continued lo 
exist till 1867 and was compelled to lliiuidate lis allairs only in consequence of the surrender 
of the Russian American possessions with the Pribylov's islands to the Government of the 
Uuitetl States. The Emperor, as is said in the treaty concluded on this subject on the 
3rd of May, 1867, wishing to cement the good understanding existing with the Government 
td" the United States, surrendered to the latter the whole territory with the sovereign rights 
thereto, then held by His Majesty on the American Continent, as also the adjacent islands. 

Simiiltaneoiisly therewith arose the question of the inconveniences of joint dominion 
(jver Sakhalin with .Japan, and wishing to put an end In misunderstandings which arose in 
reference to this subject, it was recognized as advantageous to enter in 1875 into an agree- 
ment with Japan. The result of this agreement was the conclusion of the treaty with 
Japan of the 25th of April, 1875, upon the mutual surrender on the part of Russia of the 
group of the Kuril islands and on the part of Japan of the island of Sakhalin or Krafts. 
From this time the whole island of Sakhalin came under the sway of the Russian sceptre. 

With the nineteenth century, when a complete administration and civil government was 
formed in Siberia, it became extremely diflicnlt to wander freely over the country or to con- 
ceal oneself. The passport system and the prohibition of founding settlements or villages, without 
authorization lettered the emigrational movements, keeping them within narrower limits. 
P)Ul on the niher hand, when the Government opened an issue to colonization it poured in like 
a wide torrent. 


In the first half of tlie nineteenth century, as in the eighteenth, much attention was 
directed by both the Russian Government, and by Russian men of science, to the exploration 
of Siberia from both a geographical and scientific point of view. In the Arctic Ocean, San- 
nikov in 1805 discovered in the Xew Siberian group, the Stolbovoi island, and Bielkov, the 
Bielkov island and New Siberia. In 1809 to 1810 the first scientific expedition was undertaken 
for the exploration of the New Siberian islands, by order of the Chancellor Count Rumiantsev 
under the leadership of Hedenstrom. In 1821 to 1824, expeditions for their exploration were 
ofitted out under the command of the best Russian navigators in two parts of the Arctic 
•Ocean, situated wide apart from each other. One of them under the command of the energetic 
sailor Littke, subsequently Count and Vice President of the Russian Geographical Society, 
attempted during four successive years to reach the Siberian Frozen Ocean, at one time trying 
to double Nova Zembla, at another striving to force its way into the Kara sea through the 
Kara gates, but without success. Extremely valuable investigations, on account of their scien- 
tific results, were carried out at the same time by the expeditions under Captain "Wrangel and 
Lieutenant Anjou in the eastern part of the Siberian Frozen Ocean, between the mouths of 
the Lena ami Kolyma. Behring Sea was also circumstantially explored by the two celebrated 
Russian navigators Kotsebu, 1815 to 1818, and Littke, 1826 to 1829. 

The Russian Government was still more concerned about the exploration of the southern 
area of colonization. The expedition of Ledebur, Meier and Bnnge in 1826 made an excellent 
investigation of the peculiar and interesting fl(jra of the Altai and the expedition under Hum- 
boldt, Rose and Ehrenberg, fitted out by the Emperor Nicholas I, did the same for the geo- 
logical formation of the Altai tableland. Local .men of science also and observers did much 
for the sciences ^in Siberia. In the beginning of the thirties. Dr. Gebler in the Altai and 
Turchaninov in Circumbaikalia made excellent studies, one of the entomology and the other 
of the flora. The Altai, town of Barnaoul, the centre of the government of the Altai mining 
district, due to the solid scientific foundation of the mining engineers living there, became 
one of the three principal centres of culture of Siberia, thanks to which the metalliferous 
position of the Altai was well explored in geological respects. Between 1842 and 1845 two 
important scientific journeys were undertaken into Siberia, that of Peter Chikhachov, into the 
least accessible parts of the Altai, and that (if Mitldeiidoif, to two little known and little 
exploreil outskirts of Siberia, the Tairair peninsula in the extreme north, and tiie coast of 
the Okhotsk Sea as far as the Shantar islands. Middendorf reached the latter region by fol- 
lowing the southern slope of the Stanovoi range, which became a Russian possession only 
subsequently, namely in the early years of the second half (d' the niueti>enth century, in con- 
sequence of the annexation to Russia of the whole Amour tract. 

This great achievement in the history of Siberia owed its accnuipllslimeut to the extraor- 
dinary energy of the then Governor-General of Eastern Siberia, Muraviov, afterwards known 
as Count Muraviov Amoursky. Immediately on his airival in the region committed to his 
care, Muraviov clearly perceived that Eastern Siberia willi its vast region of Yakutsk, quite 
unfitted to permanent settlement, had very small prospect in the futiu'e, without the gigantic 
and sole river in Siberia, flowing its whole cuuisi' I'mm west to east, which leads to a sea not 
eternally closed by ice. To seize the whide course of this river was the task which ]\Iuraviov 



liiinly and caielully .set liiiii>ioll ahuijl wln-ii Im- tjei/aii lljc administration of the country 
ontnislod to idni. Tlio lirst slcj) for tlio atlaiiinicnt of this ohject was to avail hinistdf of the 
transport <I5aikai», sent hy the (iovciiinicnt already in 1848 to carry cargoes from the Naval 
Department to I'etnipavlovsk under the command of Captain Nevel.skoy. He aecordin^-'ly im|M)>ed 
npon this sinrdy and enterprising' sailor the discovery and exploration of the mouth of the 
Allium. ||;i\iiii/ icicjvcd lull an aiiiliori/aiiiiM, liniitcd liy vaiioiis ••ondilions, Muraviov found 
in Ncvelskoy an fxccllcnt performer of his plans. Nevelskoy having landed his cargo in I'elro- 
j)avlovsk on tlir^ 3]sl of May, 1849, started with the transpoit Baikal for the eastern 
slioic of Sakhalin, ilicrice to begin his exi)loralioiis. II(; doubled the northern extremity of 
the island, enteic(l tiic hay of Oimian, called it after the name of his transport, and making 
lurllicr investigations on tli(! 28lh of June, entered the frith of the Amour. He soon found 
the mouth of the river. A few days afterwards Nevelskoy entered the straits between the 
Continent ami llie western shore of Sakhalin at the Capes called by him La/an-v and Mu- 
laviov. 'rims, contrary to the oj)inion8 of J. a I'erouse, Krusenstjern ami others, Sakhalin 
proved !(i he an island. After forty-five vain ctforts to enter with the transport Uaikal the 
iiioiitii of the Anioiii', he tinned back northwards into the sea of Okhotsk. 

From this time the (juesUon of the auuexatiou of the Amour obtained more serious significa- 
tion in Goveiiiment spheres. In 1850 the Amour expedition was formed, having for its chief object 
the roiiiidaiion upon the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk near the frith of the Amour, at a point 
for the estahlishiiiciit of iclaliniis and Hade with the Giliaks, and Nevelskoy was appointeil 
commander (d' the Amour expedition. On the 29th of June he founded in Fortune Bay the 
Peter winter station, and in August he first hoisted on the shores of the Amour the Russian 
military flag, declared to the Ciliaks that they were coming under Russian protection and 
founded at this point, iweiity-live versts Irum the mouth the post of Nikolaevsk. Between 
1851 and 1853 were founded the posts of Ilinsk at the mouth of the river Kusnnaya, Alexan- 
drovsk in the bay of De Castri and Mariinsk near lake Kizi. 

In 1854, thanks to his repeated requests and perseverance, Muraviov received the Imperial 
authorization to <;navigatc the Amour». The Chinese government was warned of the intended 
first voyage on the river ami without -waiting for any answer from it, the small but powerful 
flotilla under the coinmaml of the (iovernor-General himself solemnly took the waters of the 
Amour on the 18th of May, descending to this river from the Shilka. On tlie 14th of June 
the expedition already reached the pool of Mariinsk, and thus the road was opened from the 
Russian upper waters of the Amour to the lower reaches of this great river only just occu- 
pied by the Russians. 

The success of this first expedition marks an important epoch lu the history of Siberia. 
The convenience and possibility of the settlement of the shores of the Amour, on account of 
the sparsely inhabited condition of the country, the peaceable character of the natives and the 
w^eakness of the Chinese, were demonstrated. The importance of the acquisition of the Amour 
was proved also by the fact that thanks to the sending in good time of provisions and arms 
to Kamchatka the port of Petropavlovsk was saved. Near this port the Anglo-French fleet 
stood in Avvachinsk bay with distinctly hostile intentions, and even opened fire upon the for- 
tifications. Attempts of a simihir nature were made in the following year but also with- 
out success. 


lu 1855 Governor- General Moura^^ov laid upon his successor General Korsakov the 
task of the immediate and rapid realization of a Russian colonization along the course of the 
Ainuur. Emigrants were invited from the governments of Irkutsk and Zahaikal and owing to 
the numerous advantages offered in the form of liberation from military service, State provi- 
sion for two years and the supply of agricultural implements, the number of applicants proved 
far greater tlian was at first thought necessary. 

The flow of emigrants and arms continued during the following years, notwithstanding 
the expressed dissatisfaction of the Chinese authorities and in the meanwhile the diplomatic 
negotiations led to no results, due to the voluntary drlatoriness of the Chinese officials. 

At length a project of a treaty was composed at Aigun in 1857 and handed to the 
consideration of the Chinese Government. In order to reserve himself the higher authority in 
the case of any misunderstanding General Mouraviov entrusted the ultimate direction of the 
negotiations to Perovski and thanks to the firmness of the latter the treaty was signed on 
the 16th day of May. The left banks of the Amour from Argun to the mouth were ceded 
to Russia and the right banks as far as the Ussuri, to China; only Russian and Chinese vessels 
were allowed to navigate the Amour, Sungari and Ussuri; the Mandzhurian inhabitants of 
the left banks of the Amour, from the river Zei on the south to the village of Harmandzin 
were to remain in their former places of habitation, under the rule of a Mandzhurian governor, 
there was to be free trade along all three rivers. These were the conditions of the Ai- 
gun treaty. 

In order to enjoy the full advantages of this treaty it was necessary to colonize the 
province of the Amour; to cultivate a Russian population in it and to open a steam navig-a- 
tion along the Amour. And hence the Government came to the conclusion that it was necessary 
to institute an obligatory Cossack colonization of the Amour, Ussuri, and of all the region of 
the Ussuri. In 1858 Cossack stations were established along the left banks of the river from 
the beginning of the Little Hingan mountain range to the mouth of the Ussuri, and a Cossack 
colony was founded at the junction of the latter with the Amour, named after the first con- 
queror of the Amour, Khabarovski; this was followed by the colony of Blagoveschensk at 
the mouth of the Ze'i, of Sophisk and others. And in this manner the Russian rule over the 
vast region of the Amour, was ultimately established. In 1860 there were already as many as 
twelve thousand colonists of both sexes in the province of the Amour and there were 61 
Cossack stations. In the same year Count Ignatiev after prolonged negotiations with the 
Chinese Government succeeded in concluding the Pekin treaty by which the Chinese Govern- 
ment ultimately recognized the Russian rule over the river Anu»ur and the entire region of 
the Ussuri. This treaty also confirmed all the points of the Aigun treaty and of the Tiantsin 
treaty previously made by Count Putiatin with the Chinese. 

The occupation of the Amour was tulliiwcd by a scientific survey of the Amour-Lit- 
toral region. This was inaugurated by the Russian Geographical Society, which in 1858 had 
opened an Eastern Siberian branch at Irkutsk. In 1854 the Society equipped its great Sibe- 
rian expedition for the exploration of the regions of the Baikal, and especially of the Amour 
Littoral province. This expedition included the astronomer Schwartz, naturalist Raddey, 
geologist Schmidt, the envoy of the Eastern Siheriau branch, R. Maack, and also the envoy 

] (', SIBKKIA. 

Ill' iIk! Aciiiloiiiy of Sfifjircs, Slnciik, zoold^'isi, who was soul at tlu- initiative' of ilie Grand 
I)iiko Constantin, tiif-n Piosidcnt of tlif Aradcmy, and lastly the onv(ty of the liotanical Gar- 
ilciis, Miixiiiinv, huiMiii^l. Tliis expcdiiinii iciidcrcd incalcuhible service to the scientific knowl- 
cdf/c of tlio nri<»"- J he l-lastfiii Siiicriaii iuarich wliifli siihs(;f|ii('ntly bfcame the most prom- 
iiK'iit, local centre of r-iiltnn' in Masleni Siiieria and its frontiers ilid not its useful 
activity, and at a later [leriod the distriel was explored in all i)arts hy lueal scientists sent 
under tli(! pntteetion of the S<n'iety ami at its exj)ense. Anion^^ these explorers mention may 
])('. made of Cliekaiiovski, Dyhovski, I'otanin, Yadrintsev, Kropotkin, Cherski, Dindiir. K'nr- 
zhinski and many ntliers. 

Ill L'ciieial, diiriii^r the last thirty years, an independent effort is already wbservuble on 
ihe part of the local Siberian maj-mates to investif,'ato the prodnctivc powers of their vast 
country, Amonp those persons who have enriched themselves by a prudent exploitation of the 
iiaiiiral wealth of Siiieria there arc many who have shown themselves the patrons of every 
scientilic exploralinn ami darinf,' enterprise which could briuiL,' advantage to Siberia. Some 
of these persiiiis, like A. IM. Sibiriakov and M. K. Sidorov have spared neither labour 
nor nioiiey inr the exploialion ami disecvery of a sea route to the mouths of the Siberian 
rivers, whilo others lik(! I. M. Siiiiriakov and lukachev have spared no expense for the 
support and even equipmenl of scientific expeditions to the little known Siberian outlying 
provinces and adjacent parts of Central Asia, to the exploration of which the Russian Geo- 
^M'aphical Society has given particular attention. 

During the last twenty-five years not only Russian, but also Scandinavian, English 
anil American navigators, have been greatly attracted by the question of the investigation of 
the climatic conditions of the Arctic Ocean with the object of establishing a regular sea route 
to the months of the great Siberian rivers. As early as 1868 and 1869 the first successful 
endeavours to penetrate into the Kara sea were made by Swedisli traders. The most conven- 
ient time of year for this was found to be the early autumn, when the Kara sea is most 
free from ice. Xordenskjold"s scii'uliiic expiMJition in 1875 showed that the niuiiih of the Yenissei 
is accessible in autumn, naturally for a very short time, and with the exception of particularly 
unfavourable years: and that for trading purposes it would be necessary to erect warehouses 
at tlie niouth of the river where the unloading and loading of the vessels could be effected in 
a few days. In 1873 to 1879 Kordenskjold's famous expedition was efpiipped with the active 
cooperation of the Siberian magnate Sibiriakov. This expedition was the first to succeed in 
navigating along the entire Siberian coast and passing through the Behring straits into the 
Pacific Ocean. This expedition which extended over a space of two years, was naturally a 
triumph to science, but as yet it only proved, that although it is possible under particularly 
favourable circumstances to navigate through the Arctic Ocean along the entire Siberian 
coast, even in one year, yet with the exception of the above mentioned access to the 
mouth of the Yenissei, this coast cannot serve for regular maritime or mercantile relations. 
The heroic endeavours of the last American expedition under Captain Long, whose vessel the 
«Jeanetta» was lost on the coast of the Xovo-Sibirsk islands and the survivors only saved 
after the death of Captain Long by Russians at the mouth of the Lena in 1881, proved the 
same truth. In the meantime the climatic conditions of the entire Arctic Ocean have now been 


eonsldonibly enlightened hy a large internal idual enterprise, namely by the siiiuiltaneoiis 
(thscivaiidns of a series u[ pular meteorological stations erected in 1883 to 1884 on a common 
}ilaii. with the consent of many Powers along the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Two of iliese 
stations were erected hy tiie Russian Geographical Society, one at the mouth of the Lena, 
the other at Xova Zembla. The Russian Academy of Sciences also took advantage of tlie 
staff of the Lena ohservatory, for a new scientific exploration of the jSTovo-Sibirsk islands in 
1885 under Bunglie and Baron Toll. 

The opening of the Tomsk rinversity in 1888, thanks to the large donations of the 
Siberian magnates. A. M. Sibiriakov and Tsibulski, made Tomsk a third centre of culture 
within Siberia proper and greatly aids the direction and development of the young scientific 
forces in the depths of Siberia. 

The Russian rule has also gradually advanced into the depths of Asia on the other 
froutim- opposite the Arcti<3 Ocean, namely the Kirghiz steppes. This movement was started 
as early as 1731 by the acceptation of the Little Kirghiz Horde into the Russian rule. The 
fall of the r)zhuiigar kingdom to tin,' Chinese in 1769 deprived the Kirghiz Kaissacks of a 
firm ally and obliged them to ultimately gravitate towards Russia. The daring and clever 
Jvhan of the Central Kirghiz Horde, Alhai, managed to preserve the nominal ind<»pendence of 
his people by artfully playing between China and Russia. But after his death in 178 J, the 
feeble character of his successor Bali-Khan and the constant disputes among the difl'erent 
Kirghiz tribes and hordes resulted in one tribe after another seeking salvation from the oppres- 
sion of its neighbours by submitting to the sway and powerful prot(!ction of Russia. These 
neighbouring tribes, placed, as it were, between the hammer and the anvil. betwe(ni tlie plun- 
dering onslaughts of their still independent neighbours, on the oiu; hand, ami the Russian pro- 
tection of its already subjected tribes on the other, sought the Russia rule, one after another. 
Such a gradtial subjection of the Kirghiz steppes obliged the Russian (iovernnii'ut to ad\aiice 
its foreposts far beyond the Irtysh into the depths of the Kirghiz steppes. 

BetW'Cen 1824 and 1834 the first Russian settlements were founded in the steppes of the 
Kirghiz of the Siberian department; the numher of these settlements afterwarils inereased. but 
between 1836 and 1847 the successes of the Russian rule (i\erilic Kirghiz steppes, were hindered 
hy a ten years struggle with the energetic grandson of Rhaii Ablai, the sultan Kenissara, who 
succeeded during ten years to play between the two neighbouring Russian Governor-Generals, on the 
one hand, and the independent Tnikestaii rnlei's on the oilier, until at last he fell in an insig- 
nificant dispute at the hands of his noinadic: neighbouis. the Karakirghiz, in 1847. Unfortun- 
ately th(! Russian settlements in the country of the Ci'iitral horde were founded in places 
([uite inilit lor a settled agricultiii-al life, loi- e\iini|i|e. r>ayan-Aoul, Larkarala, Akm(dinsk, 
Atbassar et cetera, and ctmld not therefore serve as points of support for the Russian control 
over the steppes of the Kiigliiz limits (d' Siberia. But as soou as the beginning of the forties 
tiie explorations made iiy Russian naturalists and geologists, sncli as Karelin, Kirilov, A. Shrenk 
and ATangali, showed thai ind all of tin; counliy is nnlitied i'nv selilenient, imt that on the 
contrary, at tin; foot id' the Taibagataia and Sendrechinsk Altai, there are excellent and 
convenient lands for agriculture ami cidouization. Since the subjection in 1847 of the Great 
Kirghiz horde, whose lands were situated abiu.u the luMUtiriil ami fertile slopes of the Semi- 


iTir-liinHk and Zailii>k Altai, it was luimil |Mi.ssih|i' !'• stail u .s«;ttlt»d ami a4,'rioijltiiial 
rolftnizatidii in tln' conicr nf tin- Kii^'liiz laipls. Thus in 1h47 tlio town of Koj»al 
was hiiilt ill tli<' I'uot of tlic Si'mini'liiiisk Altai, ari'l in \><ol tin- lort of Vt-nioitj on tin- 
slopes of III!' Zailijsk Altai, anil sut)si'r|MiMitly, a wliolo siM-ios of ronsidi-rable st'ttlemcrits wt'i*' 

fonmli'il .ijnnt,' the loot of lliis inonntain ••ji.iin. 

Th cniialidn nf llir' /ailii>k slM|»fs was i>f similar iin|iorlan<'»' in tlii' history of 

Asialjc lliissia Ut iliai t>\' m'IIIIiil' iIh' n-LMcn of ilir Ainoiir. As soon as Knssian colonization 
lia«I set a liini fndt in this fnniticr laml of (Jcntral Asia, tli*- piont'ors of Russian scionoo pp;- 
cipilatoil thcnisolvrs tliiihcT-. In ] 855 to lft57 ami tho following years, the Russian Goographi<.-al 
Society e(|Mip|)e(l its lirst expiMiitinn innh'i- Hk! direction of its Vice-President Semenov to this 
ri'LTloii, and snbs('i|iiciitly used eveiy rndcavDiii- for a scientifif exploratimi nf not only tlii> 
ivtrjdii, liiit takiiif,' it as a starting |)oiiit, foi- a gradual exploitation of the natural trea>ur''> 
of ilir interior of Asia. The names nf the most active agents of the Russian fjeographical 
Society are connected wiih tli(> e\|)!oiatioii of this region of Sibei-ia and of the adjacent 
countries of Central Asia. After Semenuv's expedition, Scvortsov, Veniukov, Baron Osten- 
Sacken, Mousliketov, Romanov, Przhevalski, Potanin, Berosovski, Pevtsov, Groniclievski, the 
brothers Groom-Grzhimailo, Kiasnov, Bogdanovich, Obruchev and Roborovski appear a.s the 
pioneers of scienc(^ not only in tliis ivgioii but in the depths of the Asiatic deserts and their 
oases and hills. In the interim Vcrnoie, with its excellently colonized area, not only became 
the lever point of Russian influence over the neighbouring nomadic tribes, which soon voluntarily 
subjected themselves to Russia, but it also succeeiled in binding such a knot of relations witli 
the long settled rulers of Turaii as could never have been done from the distant Orenburg. 

In the meanwhile, in 1858, the fort of PiMuvsk was erected on the lowlands of the 
SyT-Daria on the spot taken from the Kokaml tiibe of Ak-mecheti and a line of outposts 
established along the Syr-Daria from Perovsk to Kasalinsk. At the end of the fifties the 
Russian Government gradually came to the conclusion of the necessity of advancing the fron- 
tier to include the tribes -which had gone over to Russian rule, and of entirely subjecting 
till' Kirghiz hordes lar into the Kiidiiz steppes, witji the kingdoms of Turkestan, and of occu- 
pying the slopes of the mountain chain limiting the upper cDursc of tln^ Syr-Daria on tlie 
north between the meridians of tlie already occupied limits of lake Issyk-Kule and fort Pe- 
rovsk. This occupation which was begun by Colonel Tsiinraermaini in 1860, and realized by 
Colonel Cherniaev in 1864, resulted in the subjection of Tashkend, gradually brought the whole 
of Turkestan under Russian rule and was completed in 1881 by the occupation of the pre- 
sent Transcaspian province to the very frontiers of Persia and Afghanistan and the laying 
down of the Transcaspian Railway. 

The colonization of Siberia proper has followed its natural course. The emigration move- 
ment was very strong before the Ciimean campaign; then in 1855 it decreased, but after 
the close of the campaign it again increased. Before 1861 at the time of the liberation of the 
serfs the number of emigrants again began to decrease, but after the libm-ation it attained 
the largest dimensions. From the time of their liberation the peasant population increased in a 
manner unprecedented in the present century; so that evident signs of an over population 
evinced themselves in many jiarishes and even districts of Russia, and emigration on a large 


scale appeared as a natural necessity. Between 1860 and 1880 the emigration into the two 
western Siberian governments was estimated at 60,000 souls, and if the eastern governments 
and the Semirechinsk province be included, then the number during that period may be taken 
as about 110,000 souls. The emigration returns for recent years show that during the six years 
between 1879 and 1885 over 55,000 people passed into Siberia. Last year, 1892, after the 
famine in European Russia, abont ninety thousand were registered at Tinmen. The emigra- 
tion to the Altai mining district was particularly strong, ami between 1884 and 18^9 about 
95,500 emigrants settled there. 

Since 1861 the emigrants to the Amour anil Littoral provinces are given special ad- 
vantages, which with certain modifications are in force to the present day and consist in the 
following: Crown land to the amount of not over 100 dessiatines per family is allotted to 
each family or company under the condition of a free use of this land for the first twenty 
years, with the right of buying it, or after the lapse of these twenty years, of paying a rent 
fixed by the State. Li those cases where the emigrant may desire to acquire more land than 
thai allotted to a family, it can immediately do so by paying three roubles per dessiatine. 
And in general this is the price fixed for the purchase of land in the districts assigned by 
the Government for emigration, the pioneer being given the choice of his place of settlement. 
Being freed from the payment of taxes and State service for twenty years the settlers were 
freed from military service for ten years, and from the payment of rural taxes for three years. 
These advantages attracted settlers to the Amour and they gravitated through the whole of 
Siberia to Blagoveschensk and the valleys of the rivers Zei and Bourrei. Li 1883 the Goviuu- 
ment started the peopling of the south Ussuri region, whither the peasants of European Ilussia 
were transported at the expense of the Government by steamer from Odessa through tiie Suez 
canal. The result of a three years trial was the settlement of over 4,500 souls in this region. 
at a cost of over a million roubles to the State. Emigrants to this region were also allowed 
to settle at their own expense, with the condition that each family should have a capital of 
not less than 600 roubles, beyond the travelling expenses, for starting farming in tlie new 
locality; and should they desire to enlarge their farms, they were given advances of 
600 roubles per family for a period of 33 years. 

In speaking of the colonization of Siberia it is necessary to UKMition also the sending 
of criminals into that region. It is generally thought that such transportation forms one of 
the modes of colonizing a country, but this is hardly the case. The distribution of the exiles 
in the different governments and regions is extremely uneven. In certain localities they are 
crowded to the extreme, for instance, in tlie Kainsk and Mariinsk districtsof the government of 
Tomsk, they form alnmst one-sixth of the i)opulation, wlii](> in olln'r districts autl even pro- 
vinces there are none, such as for example at Semipalatinsk, Kamchatka, the region of 
Okhotsk, and province of AkmoJinsk. There are no accurate data respecting the increase of 
exiles through marriage, but judging fVoiii llio ii'asous which hinder tlie iniillipiii'ation nf the 
exiles it may be concluded that this increase is very insignificant. The pintpie transported for 
criminal offences are in the majority of cases single, husbands without their wives, wives 
without their husbands; and as, moreover, the number of males (^xihnl into Siberia is ten 
times that of the femah's. tin' married ('onplt\s made i)('t\veiMi the eriminals must be coiunar- 

2Q SlitKi;iA. 

alivcly small; bosidcs this the iridispoMtiiiii of iIk- vaf-'alitiml cxilfs to a iloiiK-stic life and of 
llic nativi's In enter into inama//e with the eiiininals ami the predciminanee of prostitution, 
sickness, sipliilis et ecirra, aiiKiiit.' Ilii- fxilfil population, all this eomhincs to pn-Vfiit th<' iniil- 
tipliiaiioii I, I ihc fxiji'il sciilcrs and lo paralyze it. 

'I his historieal ski'ldi id' tlii' conquest and e(doni/alon of llic va^i aira known und<T ilic 
^'(111 ral nauH' of Sihi-ria cimics down almost to the [)n'sent lime. Wlit-n duriiif.' the st-cund 
liall (d' the present ceiilury it was discovered that the pi)|iidaiion was fast out^Towint/ 
its terrilory then colonization hecame one (d' ilie uio-t important prol)|ems of Iho State, 
And thus ii is thai the (invernment has resid\ed to innie to the aid of tho national 
iiiovemi'nt, and to re(.MdaIe il hy a series id' measures. The matter was hcfinu by the law 
of 18S9, respeclinj.' llie voliniiaiy emiLTation of peasants and hiirtrliers to State lands where 
they previously had not the ri^dit of settlement. Accoidinj-- to this law the Ministry of 
Stale Domains foinis special allotments on the State lands for settlers and communicates 
concenniiii' llii'in to the .Ministiv nl tlie Interior, wlm alter investi^aliiii.' the local positinii of 
tile families desirous of emijfrali!i,i>- Includes those which satisfy the necessary conditions in 
the emigration iist and excludes those wtiicli are deemed unfitted. Emif-Tation was also allowed 
to tlic soutfi-western Siheiian jirovinces peopled by the Kiii-ddz, and where l^issians were not 
previt)usly admitted, and in \b'J2 this permission was extended to the two govemments of 
East(>rn Sibeiia, those of Yenisseisk and Irkutsk. 

The result of this emigration movement to Siberia was tlie settlement id' Russian emi- 
grants over the whole of the narrow southern band exiending f'lom the Urals over Western 
and Eastern Siberia proper and beyond the Baikal over the basin of the Amour to the Sea 
of Japan. And this is why, during the last ten years, the nec(^ssiiy dl' uniting all this extensive 
and in parts even, interrupted colonized area of Sib(M-ia by an nninternipted railroad has be- 
come more and more evident l)otli in Russia and Siberia. But the question of the construction 
of this line only came to the fore after the memorable journey of the Heir Apparent through 
the whole of Siberia. On bis return to Russia from his long journey to the East, His Imperial 
Highness landed on Russian territory at Vladivostok, on the lltli of May. 189 1. and read there 
the immemorial Imperial rescript of the ITili of March, 1891, published at St. Petersburg in 
the name of His Imperial Highness the Tsaiwich and Grand Duke Nicolai Alexandrovich. 

«IIaving now commanded the iminediaie censt ruction of a railroad through the entire 
length of Siberia with the object of connecting these richly endowed provinces of Siberia 
with the internal network of railways, I commission you to aiinou:ice such as my will on 
your return to the Jxussian territory al'tei' having visited the fiiiei^iii lands of the East. At 
the same time I lay upon you the act of inaugurating the construction, at the expense of the 
Crown, of the Ussuri section of the (irand Siberian Railway at Vladivostok. 

v;May your auspicious participation in the inauguration of this truly national work which 
I have undertaken, serve as a fresh witness of my heartful desire to facilitate the relations 
between Sibeiia and the other portions of the Empire, and in such wise make known to this 
region, which is so dear to my heart, my liveliest care for its pacific progress^>. 

This decided the question of the construction of tho Great Siberian Railway which had 
occupied the attention of the Government and nation for over a third of a century: and this 
fact is one id' the most important events of the present reign. 


His Imperial Higluit'ss, the Tsarevich, in his voyage tlirongh the whole of Siberia 
from Vladivostok to the Urals, became personally acquainted with many of the immediate 
needs of this distant portion of the Empire and from that time the problem of the realiza- 
tion of this colossal work took a practical form. The construction was started simultaneously 
from the two opposite extremities of Siberia and as its completion necessitated numerous other 
subsidiary woiks having both the oljject of facilitating the actual construction and the peopling 
and industrial development of the districts adjoining the line, it was therefore decided at 
the end of 1892 to institute a special committee at St.-Petersburg under the title of the 
«Committee of the Siberian Railway* and to concentrate the entire direction of the matter in 
this Committee. His Imperial Highness the Tsarevich named by Imperial decree the Presi- 
dent of this Committee, has already instituted a series of practical measures for the most 
rapid realization of this line connecting the Russian railway system with the Pacific coasts 
of Siberia. 



(' II A I'Ti'.I! II. 

Geographical Review of Siberia. 

If li;is alrojidy liccii .sliowii (liat SitKuia may Ik' iliviilod iiitu five component purls each 
(1 wliirli, ill virtue not only of tin' vastnoss of its area, l»nt also from the difference of its 
Manual coMililions, (»f tlio coiii|Mi,silinii of its population ami of its historical development, 
slMMild l)c (•(iMsidcrod separately. The present review commences with those two portions 
which aiv known separately as Western and Eastern Siberia, and together as Siberia pro- 
per, In lilt' limited sense of the word. 

Western Siberia. 

Its component parts: the Altai slopes and the western Siberian lowlands; geographical 
and iirographical review of the Altai slopes; the western Siberian lowlands, their hydrography 
and divisit)n into three zones or bands; the cultivated agricultural, the forest and the polar- 
tundrys (frozen marshes); climatic conditions of those zones; the flora of the Avestern Siberian 
valley and of the Altai slopes; the character of the fauna of Western Siberia; its population 
and its ethnograpliical composition and emigration; the distribution of domestic animals. 

WES'J'KKN Siberia, in the above sense of the tei'm, is in its administrative aspect composed 
of the two governments, Tobolsk and Tomsk, and from a geographical point of view it 
occupies the greater portion, that is, 68 per cent, of the basin of the river Obi, or an area of 
41,500 scpiare geographical miles, that is, more than two-iiftlis of the area of the whole of 
European Russia and four times that of Germany. 

With the exception of its north-western limits, where the low mountain chain of the 
Urals, from the sources of the river Kara to the northern extremity of the governments of 
Perm, form a boundary between Western Siberia on the one hand and the government of Volog- 
da and Archangel on the other, and its entire south-eastern corner composed of the vast high- 
lands of the Altai, the whole of Western Siberia presents a vast plain, very slightly elevated 
above the level of the Xortiiern Ocean and plentifully watered by the numerous tributaries 
of the two immense branches of the vast system of the Obi, the rivers Irtysh and Obi. 

The entire south-eastern corner of Western Siberia is occupied by the Altai highlands 
and lowlands forming the Altai IMininur Kesrion. the whole of which, to the extent of over 


380,000 siiuare verst^, or 7,800 square geugrapbical iiiilrs, formh a inoiintaiuuu.s coiiiUry right 
times as large as Switzerland, and belonging not to the State but to His Imperial Majesty's 
Cabinet, that is, forming the private property of the Emperor. These lands passed into the 
hands of the Cabinet at the middle of the eighteenth century, from those of the Demidovs, 
tlie first occupiers and settlers, and the first to .•-tari a true mining industry in the country. 
t»ne-tliiril of ihe area of the Altai mining region is covered by the high mountain masses of 
the Altai. This is not a mountain chain but an immense highland, situated at the western 
extremity of the long chain of the Saian mountains which form ihe noriliern boundary of 
ihe internal highland of Asia and descends to the lowlands of Siberia. The Altai highlands 
are almost as broad as tliey are long and consist of a number of mountain ridges separated 
from each other by longitudinal and, in places, transversal valleys. The ridges extend in a 
not entirely parallel east to west direction, but slightly diverge towards the west after the 
fashion of a half-opened fan. Thus the Xarimsk ridge which limits the longest of the Altai 
valleys, the Bukhtarminsk on the south, extends almost along the parallel, while the cor- 
responding Kusnetsk Alatau, on the eastern extremity of the Altai highlands, has an almost 
meridional direction, while the rich in ores, but low Salairsk riilge extends to the north-east 
in a diagonal direction between the two above named ridges. 

The high ranges of the Altai known under the name of «belki;>, which exactly corresponds to 
the word «Alps >,rise far beyond the snow line; they extend for a certain distance almost parallel, 
being divided from one another by the d('ep ravines of Ihe mountain streams. The highest of all 
the ridges is that known under the name of the Katunsk Stolby. or Pillars of Katoun, 
whi(di includes the picturesque Siberian Mont Blanc, the Beloukha, 11,500 feet high. Many 
other of the mountain ridges of the Altai rise beyond the line ot eternal snow, such as 
the Sailughemsk, Chuisk, Aigulaksk, Kholsunsk and Turgussuu belki. The height of these 
motnitains in many cases exceeds nine thousand feet, while the snow line on the northern 
side of the Altai is not more than 7,000 feet, while on the southern aspect it is not under 
eight thousand feet. In its south-eastern portion the Altai evince an ini-liiiation to form 
tablelands, that is, more or less wide highland plains exten(^ling into the Alpine zone 
of the steppes, like the Chuisk ami Kuraisk. The Altai belkl chiefly consist of crystalline 
rocks, such as granites, cianites, diorites and porphyries and of metamori»hic rocks, such 
as crystalline schists and also of grauvacke. The strata of the sedimentary rocks have been lifted 
by the crystalline and belong to the ancient paleozoic formations, such as the upper, Silu- 
rian, devoniaji and caiiioniferous systems. Secondary fonnaiiims like the Jurassic are only met 
with in the most unrtliern branches of ilie Altai. All the formerly ri^di deposits of argentifer- 
ous lead and copper ores, occur at the juiieiion id' ihe crystalline and sedimentary rocks 
Considerable glaciers descend from the lielouklia and feed the sources of the Katoun, one 
of the two component Iiranehes (d' the ri\er Ubi. The other of these branches, the Bea 
forms the outlet of the wonderful and vast Alpine lake Telets which in its beauty recalls 
the lake of the Four Cantons in Switzeiiajid. Immediately over the lake rise the Telets 
belki, the highest of wliicli, lln' Altyn-Tag, rises over 8,000 feet. At this point the steep 
declivities of the belki descend straight into the lake, which is fed by the mountain streams 
falling from the Sailughemsk ridge. 


Tlir I'.iM iiml llir Kiiloiiii iiliviiih iiiiili' ill III'' fiiDl III till- Altai ainl foiui tlii- 

lliajolir Olil. All lili- IIJIjHT l|llilllailr> 1,11 lllr l''ll i>\ t||r l}\)\ ||ii\i; lllfir Mri),Mll III tlic 

Altai higlilaiiiN, Ini iii>iaiirr, ilic Aiiniii, Cliaiy.>.li ami Ali-i, wliili- tliuM- on tlw rigiit li.iml 
pron-cd I'll. Ill llir KiiMni>k Aliai, Inr cxjiiiiitlf, llic Cliiiiiiy>li, 'i'oiii and Cliuliiii. Iliil ilif 
iipiMT .stivaiiis III' til"' Iilysli, llir (pIIkt iiiiiiH'iiM' liiaijfli of llic Obi, initiUtdU- mi tli'* 
sdiillpiii ili'i'ii\ii\ uf III.' Altai liiKlilaiuls within llu- rruiilicr of the Cliiiieso Empire. The n's- 
('i\uir (•(illi'ciiii;.' Ilicsi' iijipiT slicaiiis i.s lakr /ai»aii wliidi lies oiitsitli' the limits of Wi'M<tii 
Silirria ill tin' pioviiii'i- nl' Scmipalatiiisk, wliili' the rif/lit liraiidi ami largi; iippi-r striMiiis of 
llir lilysli hi'lnw /ai,>s,iii, Midi as llir lliiklilaiiiia. i;i)ii ami Tlha, oii^'iiiat"' in iIh- Siberian 
Altai lieiki uml I'luw tiiioii/^li Ilirir lini'st valleys. It is in these valleys, as wi-II as ovef the 
wlinle ul' the mn tli-westeiii side nl' the Altai and of tablelands extending far into the Sibe- 
rian valh'V, iiiaiiily the Salaiisk ami Kiisin'tsk Altiii, that the mineral wealth of the 
eiMiiitiy iiniirs. 'Jiii'sc iiiiiit'ials roiisist nl' ai7-^i'iitirenjiis lead and copper ores, coloured 
stuii'' I'rniii the sii-ralleil Kni-/zoiisl< ((Harries, in tlie Korirnnsk valley, and alluvial gold, 
while vast deposits of rnal and iron mv neriii- In tlic sn-callrd Kusnetsk coal basin br-iweeii 
the KiisiM'tsk AlalaiMi and Salaiisk iiiniiniaiii lidLii's. AlUiuiigli the larger half of llir Altai min- 
ing region, owing to its height above the h'vd nf ihc sea and the chaiacter of its soil, r-uii- 
sisting as it does of rocks ami rocky avalanches, is not habitabh', still the remaining area 
which comprises not less than three thousand geographical square miles cd' the Altai lowlands 
is composed of fertile plains, hilly iijilands ami spaeioiis valleys, and is exti'emely suitable for 
cultivation and colonization. 

The remaining vast plain of Western Sitn'ria whirh presenis one of the most extensive 
liiwlaiids in llie world is covered wilh alluvial soil and in no portion of it do any denuded 
rock forinalious occur. 

Only fresh water shells (d' the upper teiiiai-y Innaalion liavr brm loinid in thr friable 
strata whi<'li foiiiis the under-soil. These strata consist of sand and clay and are chiefly exposed 
along the decli\ilies (d' the right and always slightly drvated banks of the rivers. Xo point 
oi' these lowlands api)areiiily rises over 400 feet above the sea level. Nevertheless the western 
Siberiau lowland is i)leutifully watered by the two high rivers Obi and Irtysh and their nu- 
merous iiihiitaries which flow together to the far north. The Obi-Irtysh river system com- 
prises one of the most colossal basins of the earth and can compete with the river regions of 
the Yellow and Blue rivers and the Nile of the Old world, or the Amazon and the Mississippi 
of the Xew, besides the neiglibouring river systems of Siberia. The area of the river basin of 
the Obi within "Western Siberia and the Chinese Empire is over 60,000 geogTaphical square 
miles aud the length of the river course, counting its source as either the Obi and Katoun or 
the Irtysh, Zaissan and Kara Irtysh, gives almost one and the same lignre of 4,900 versts. 
Moreover the navigable network of the river includes the whole of lln' Obi from its mouth 
to the junction of the Beawith the Katoun and the Irtysh from its mouth to its rapids through 
the mountain gorge, above Ust-Kamenogorsk and the tributaries of the two chief branches 
of the system, the Tura, Tavda, ("liulym aud Tom to their lower courses, rnfortunately the 
colossal water way of Western Siberia has the great disadvantage, that it is locked by the 
ice of the gulf of Obi for the greater part of the year aud is almost inaccessible to the sea 


for this roa:>(>u and also Iliat llio two chief rivers intersect the main line of the Siberian trade 
traffic at right angles. Although fortunately the junction of the two branches of the Obi forms 
an uninterrupted and exc(3llent navigable route between the most important and almost extreme 
points of this line of traific in Western Siberia, the cities of Tinmen and Tomsk, ihis 
route is too circuitous and fur the greater part lies outside the cultivated and agricultural 
regions of Siberia. 

Western Siberia abounds in lakes. Besides the picturesque mountain lakes in the nar- 
row valleys and ciicular basins of the Altai, a very large quantity are situated in the West- 
ern Siberian lowlands, and especially in its southern limits, in the Ishimsk, Barabinsk and 
Kouloudinsk steppes. Among the lakes there are some of vast dimensions, such as lake Chan 
which covers over 60 geographical square miles. There are also numberless small lakes which 
have no outlets, although some are fresh water, as well as salt lakes. 

In order to explain better the character of the vast Western Siberian lowlands and 
their capacity for settlements and cultivation, it is necessary to subdivide it into three zones 
presenting quite different types. The first of these types is the cultivated agricultural zone of 
Western Siberia. It is composed of all the districts of the government of Tobolsk, except the two 
northern, that is, the Berezovsk and Sourgoutsk districts, and also of the lesser northern portions of 
theTarsk district and the greater northern portions of the Tourinsk and Tobolsk districts, of the gov- 
erimient of Tobolsk and of all the lowland portions of the government of Tomsk which 
do not enter into the composition of the Altai mining district, with the exception, however, of 
the so-called Narymsk region which occupies fonr-lifths of the area of the Tomsk district. 
Under these conditions the cultivated agricultural zone of the Western Siberian plain occupies 
an area of 8,500 geographical square miles, and is characterized by the fact that it is capable of 
an agricultural and settled colonization, and at the same time is throughout plentiful in forest. 
Naturally in this zone there are also large areas which are unfitted for cultivation and a 
settled population. The must important example of such a locality are the so-called Barabinsk 
steppes, where the stagnant water of the fresh water lakes alternates ^vith salt lakes and marshes, 
and the vast Vasugansk bog which occurs on the boundary of the cultivated agricultural 
zone. But it may be estimated that six thousand geographical s(iuare miles of this zone are 
suitable for colonization and agricultiii-e. The second type is represented by the Western Si- 
berian zone of high-stemmed forests, which comprise thegreat northern portions of the Tourinsk 
and Tobolsk districts, the northern portions of the Tarsk aud the southern portions of (ho 
Sourgoutsk and Berezovsk districts of the government of Tobolsk, and the whole of the vast 
regions of Naryni in the government of Tomsk. This zmn' (ic<'ui»ies an area greater flian that 
of the Altai niiuing region and the cultivateil agricultural zone taken together, namely, eighteen 
thousand geographical square miles, and it is characleriztid by the fact that it consists, like the 
greater part of the government of Archangel and the nurth-easlern iturliuns id" the government 
of Vologda in European llussia, of a continuous mass of foi-ests and bogs, in which there are 
only isles or oases in any way suital)le for settlement, scattered chieHy on the lirm banks of the 
rivers. And lastly the third type comprises the portions of the Beresovsk and Soin-goutsk 
districts lying beyond the paralh'l of lieresov, thai is, 61" north latitude, and forming the [lolar 
marsh land zone which (.'xtends over seven thousand geograpliieal s(|uare niih^s of Western 


Mhciia. Ill lliis |(iiiliuii till! loii'sls hriDitu; lliiiiii"'!' ami siiiiilliT aii<l (.liuii^'c into low biLshes. 
I lit' bdf/^'y iiiar>li laml ciivcicil wllli iiinssrs ami lifln.-ns is fioz«.'ii lor llii; giealcr purl of Iho 
\<ni ami i> lutalU iiiilitliii Ini an a^M'i<'iil(iiral M-ltlctl liatjitatioii. Tin; iimloi-.soil of tlio mursbes 
iiiv< r I haws Im^Iow a dcptli nT oiii- ami a liall aisliiiios ami coiisists of jiitfniiiltf'iil strata of 
Imzi'ii cat 111 mill clay ami nl pun; i<i', wliirli tliiis i'oniis, as it wen', lln' rurk rDiiijatirni of 
till- ili>ll'irt. 

TIm' cliiiiatic comlitidiis of i;af.|i nl' tlicso llirco zoinis an- iialiirally v<;ry «liiri;reril, and 
ill iliiiii i^ alsii I'liiiml ilic r\|ilaiialioii of tin; liiircix'iici.! in iIh: coinparativo lilm-ss of each 
liir <iilii\iiii(iii ami ((ildiii/jiliiiii. Jn fjfcmTai, ronipared uilli llic cJiiMalt.' of ili<; coiTCSponding 
lalilmk's df ]Mii(i|i(.'aii Kiissia, llie <liiiial(; of Western Siberia is distinguislicd by its 
//real (■iiiiiiiiciilaliiy, uliirli is seen in ilie lower average yearly temperature coinpareil with the 
hiialiiics lyiiit!; niider nm; ami the same degree of lalitutle in European Russia, in the greater 
severily (d the wiiilds and|iiciiily in I lie greater diirereiice between the average temper- 
ature id .MiniimT and wiiilec, and between I he coldest and warmest iiiuiitlis, and lastly in the 
somewiial sinaller rainrall and snowt'ail. 

'J'iius in the eiillivated agriculinial zuiie ul Wesleiii Siberia, the average yearly lem|ter- 
aiiire is iiraiiy zere, or fur tiie average, taken at eight points of observation -j-O'SS", while 
iliat ul liii' saiiii' laiiiiidcs in European Russia does not exceed 8" Celsius. The average 
winter leinpiTaiun' ol iIk^ ciiliivated agricultural zone of Western Siberia is — 17'\ and during 
the culdrst nidiillis — 18", wliih; in llie conespdiidiiig parts of Eurupoan Russia it is — 11.5' 
and during the coldest mouth — 12.5" Celsius. On the other hand the average summer temperature 
(if -)- 17.5" and that of the warmest month -|- 19.5" even exceed, although not more than half 
a degree, the similar lciii[)eraiiires in the corresponding latitudes of European Russia. Thus 
the diil'erence of the average siimmei- and winter temperatures in the agricultural zone of 
WX'Stern Siberia is 35", wliile in the corresponding parts of European Russia it is 28". The 
difference of tlie averagt; temperatures oftlie coldest and warmest months in Western Siberia 
is 39", and in the currespunding parts of European Russia 32"; but there is an entire simi- 
larity between the average temperatures of the cultivated agricultural zone of Western 
Siberia and tlie corresponding parts of European Russia during the five months of vegetation, 
that is, I'liim ilie first of May tu the first cd' October, new style, when the average temperature 
of one and ihe oiln'r is + 15". Hence this region of Western Siberia is not less suitable for 
a Settled agricultural lifi; than European Russia between 55" and 58" of the northern latitude, 
and indeed it is better filled, because the soil (d' Western Siberia is fresher than that of 
European Russia, the juisiurage richer and vaster, the rivers more abundant in water and 
there is no want of forests. 

The climatic conditions of the more soulhern lowland and of the excellently sheltered 
from llic iiorili. although more elevated, valleys of the Altai are still belter. But naturally 
these conditions in the Altai mining region become less favourable as the elevation increases. 
Thus at Barnaoul at an absolute elevation of 460 feet the average temperature din'iug the 
five nioiulis of vegetation is -f- f5°, which is most favourable for the development of agricul- 
ture, wliili! at Salair at an absolute height of 1,180 feet this temperature scarcely exceeds+lS" 
Celsius, whieh is noi suitable for the ripenini'- id' the more tender kinds of grain. 

ueo^tKaphical review. 27 

Tlie more ooiiiiiieiUal cliaracier ul' ilie culiivatt'd agricultural zone of Western Siberia, 
as ruiuparcil with the coiresponiliiig latitudes of European Russia, is also observable in tlie 
amount (if rain and snow. In the ro/^ion under consideration tlie animal rain and snowfall 
is 38U niillinietres, while in the corresponding parts uf European Kussia it is as much as 500. 
A still greater difference is seen in the winter fall, which in the Siberian zone is only 50 
millimetres while in tlu; corresponding poriions of Eiiropfan Russia it is over 80. In summer 
the difference is not so great, namely, the fall in the Western Siberian zone is 175 milli- 
metres and in the corresponding parts of European Russia, 185. Hence in the agricultural 
zone of Siberia the winters are in general far poorer in snow than in European Russia, so 
that in the southern limits of the agricultural zone the cattle scratch away the snow with 
their hoofs and lind fodder under their feet in winter, only the winds (bouran) which rise at a 
temperature of not under — 10*^ Celsius, and meeting with no impediment in the vast plain, sweep 
away the snow iniu huge drifts and snow ridges. 

The Altai lowlands differ but little from the cultivated agricuhural zone in respect to 
the rain and snow fall, oidy the ([uantity is far greater on the very slopes of the north and north- 
west Altai, and especially in the valleys. Thus at the station of the Altai clergy Ulal, the 
yearly fall is COO millimetres, half of which fall is during the three summer months. This explains 
the luxurious vegetation of the Altai. The dews, for instance, in the L'lbinsk and Oubinsk 
valley are so powerful that when riding in clear sunny weather along the naiTow pathway 
the rider becomes quite wet, as his horse breaks through the tali grass, hint on the other hand, 
on the southern Altai, the slopes of the wide valleys facing the south are so dry that they are 
quite void of forest vegetation and only exhibit the high steppe plants of Central Asia, The so- 
called forest and forestry zone of Western Siberia presents quite other climatic conditions, industries 
and sporadii; agriculture. Here the average annual temperature is as low as — 2°, while in the 
corresponding zone of European Russia it exceeds + 1°; the winter temperature is — 20°, and 
that of the coldest month, — 22°, while in the' corresponding parts of European Russia, the 
mean winter temperature is — 14'\ and that of the coldest month — 16°. Even the average summer 
temperature, -f- 14°, is lower than that of the corresponding localities of European Russia, + 16°: 
and only the temperature of the hottest month (IB^^), surpasses that in European Russia (17°J. 
Thus, the difference, too, between the mean temperatures of winter and summer, (34°), and 
in particular, between the coldest and hottest months, (40'-'), is more considerable than the 
difference for the corresponding parts of European Russia, the lirst being there 30° and the second 
33° Celsius. As far, however, as concerns the temperature of the vegetative period, especially 
important for agriculture, it falls in the zuue under consideration to 12° and lower, and is 
even mere unfavourable than in the corresponding parts of European Russia, where it for the 
most part certainly, stands higher than 12°, and here and there even, than 13°, as in St. Pe- 
tersburg, Bielozersk, Vologda, Ustiug, Slobodskaia ami Cherdyn. Everywhere where the tem- 
perature of the vegetative period does not exceed on an average 12" Celsius, agriculture 
reaches, so to say, its limit, and shows itself only in a sporadic form, scanty cultivated oases 
being lost in vast areas, covered with forest and morass and nnsuited to tillage. As far, how- 
ever, as concerns rainfall, its amount is very much more ceiisiderable in the forest zone of 
Western Siberia lliau in ilie uLiriculluial zone, fermiiig 470 niilliiuetres a year, which differs 

28 srnEiMA. 

very liltli- (loiii llin ifii?ifall oiviiiririi.' in tin- roiirsc r>f Hm- yi-ar in tin* (•(iin^sp^iiiliiii.' parts ol" 
Eiiropfs'iii Russia, IRO iiiiiiiificiivs. Oiilv a Jaii/rT propdilifni than in Enidpcan Hn^sia falls in 
the siiiniiirr nidiitjis, naiiii'ly 2L'() iiiilliiiP'ircs, the avrra^'i- lor Knr<ip<;an Russia br-in^ 190. 

]'"iMally, vi'iy variims arc llic cliniatic conditions pn'scritfil liy tlic polar t ii ml r a 
/.((lie, of wlik'li nnlorlnnati^ly \vc aif in a position to jnd^'r almost oxclnsivfly from tlio ob- 
servations taki'n on tin' siiiitlnTn liuril<'i- of ilic /ono at Rcriozov, Jtnlpinf? from llioso obspr- 
vations till' MM'an anniiMl tciii|ii'i;itiiii' Falls lii-ro as low as — 5", antl fvcn lowor, tlic soil at 
ii ticptli of lliri'r-(|narl('rs in oiii' aisliiiif lu'infr porpotually frozen. Tin- winter tomperatnre is 
lower than — 21", that of the eoldest month, below — 23", while tlii; snmmer ttmiperature does 
not exceed 4- i;5". 5, and thai id' the hottest month, -j- 18", formin;/ a dilToronoo botwoon Slimmer 
and winter of 34", and b(3tweeii the hottest and cohlost months, of 49° Celsius, In Reriozov the 
nieaii lemperntnre oi' the live-mnntli vogelath^e period scarcely oxceods 9°. and it is there- 
I'me iiilelliLijhle iliiit the riveis are here ice lioniid i'uity days lonf2:er than on tin' rioiiiii-r of the 
forest and afj;riciiltiiral zones, that the cereals arc ([iiitc^ incapable of growing and that the forests 
attain the exti'cine range of their existence. Domestic animals also reach their limit in the 
polar tiiiidia zone, with the exeepiinn nf the reindeer, which is peculiar to the tundras of 
this zone. To the iioitli nf Uerinznv. beyond the aictic circle, the rainfall also decreases: in 
Ohdorsk thi^ annual aiiiniiiiT is nnly 218 inillinieties. while in Beriuznv it is as ranch as 407 

The I'liiiiatic rdiidiiiiins of a cnuntiy appeal- most clearly and directly expressed 
in its veiietable covering. It follows IViini iIh' aliove explained climatic conditions that the 
herbaceous vegetation of the Western Siberia lowland differs very little from the flora of the 
corresponding zones of European Russia, the more so that the comparatively low range of 
the Ural is no barriei- to the disseiniiuilioii of plants whose seeds are freely htniw liillni- and 
tliitliei- by the wind over the vast plains adjacent to either side of the mountain range and 
lighting upon analogous conditions are sown and i-eproiliice their kind without let or liindrtince. 
The traveller entering- Siberia tlirouaii ]''katerinl)nrL;- or Zlatoust, crossing the wliuji' Siberian 
plain as far as Tomsk and further to the Yenissei. is not struck with any difference in the 
herbaceous vegetation, but very few western species disappear, at times changing to eastern 
varieties, as for example, the pale yellow heads of the European crow's-foot (troUius euro- 
peus ],.) ail' replaced by the liery orange of its Asiatic variety (trollius asiaticns L.). Only 
very few oriental forms appear not occurring in European Russia, or only here and there cross- 
ing its frontier, as for example, some anemones (anemone reflexa Steph., altaica Fisch. and 
pennsylvanica L), one beautiful species of paeony (paeonia anoraala L), a few crnciferae 
(dentaria teniiifolia Led, chorispora sibirica, D.C., hesperis aprica poir), one species of \1olet 
(violla iiniflora), araonir the.caryophyllaceae, lychnis sibirica L, among the compositae, a few 
species of wormwood (artemisia desertorura Spr., turczanoviana Bess; macrantha Led 
latifolia Led), the eastern forms of gentians (gentiana auriculata, Pall., aquatica L, 
halenia sibirica Rorkh), et cetera. But the general character of the herbaceous flora remains, 
the same. llit> plants merely becoming somewhat more sappy and fresh, and the flowers brighter 
coloured than in European Russia, It is different with the trees upon which not the mean 
temperature of the vegetative period aloue, almost constant on that side of the Lral, exerts 


an iiiHiionco, but tlie comparative severity of the winters and their relative dryness. Of the 
trees spread over all European Russia, there disappear, immediately on crossiui: the Ural: 
The oak, two species, (quercus sessiliflora, Im. and quercus pediinculataEhr.), the hazel (corylus 
avellana L.), the two elms (nlnius campestris L. and ulmus pedunculata Fouq.), all species of 
maple (acer), the ash (fraxinus excelsior L), and finally, the apple tree (pniis mains L). The 
woods of the agricultural and forest regions of Silioria are composed of the conifers: the Si- 
lierian fir (abies sibirica Led.), passing from Siberia into north-eastern Russia, and in Siberia 
itself reaching to Kamchatka, the oriental or Siberian pitch-pine (picea orieutalis L.), also 
passing into the northern and north-eastern part of European Russia, and through Siberia 
reaching the Kuril ishmds; two species of larch, the Siberian (larix sibirica Led.), also pass- 
ing into the north-eastern part of European Russia and in Siberia spread as far as Baikal, 
and the dahur larch (larix dahurica Trautv.) a purely Siberian form, occurring in Western 
Siberia between Beriozov and Obdorsk; the Siberian cedar (pinus cembra L.), scarcely cross- 
ing the Ural on the European side, but in Siberia spread as far as Behring Sea and cross- 
ing into the northern part of America; finally, the common pine (pinus communis L.). The 
Siberian taigas and urmans are formed of these species. With the conifers in these taigas are 
associated certain foliage trees, in particular the aspen, and to some extent, the Inreh on the 
skirts of the taiga. In the cultivated or agricultural zone, with soils similar to Chernoziom of 
European Russia, foliage trees prevail, and even (jver such areas as are called ste|)pes by the 
Siberians; for example, on the Baraba steppe, groves of trees alternate pleasantly with prairie, 
and in localities occupied by a permanent colonization with field and fallow. The foliage for- 
ests of the Western Siberian plain consist of the following species: the common birch (betnia 
alba L.), aspen (populus trcmula L. ), the abele (populus alba L.) occurring only in the 
southern part of the plain; both species of alder (alniiis gluliiiosa W. and alnuis ini'ana W), 
linden (tilia parvifolia Ehrh), the last also confined h) the sdUibiTii part df the cultivated 
Zone. To these lofty kinds must be added two kinds of mwan. ihe ordinary inoiuitain ash 
(sorbus aucnparia L.) and the Siberian species (sorbus tomenlosa. J,.): the common bird cherry 
(pruniis padus L.) and also many sorts of willow (salix) of wliicli nioi-i' than liliccu European 
Russian species occur in the forest and agricnlinral zones of Silioria. 

There are very f(;w shrubs thriving in the Western Siberian |)lain wliii'li are not fouml 
in the wild slate in l']iU'opeaii Russia. Among such inusi however be reckoned the common 
garden acacia (caragana arborescens Lam.), I he reil hawthorn (Crataegus sanguinea Pall) 
the cornel (cornus alba L.), so well acclimatized in the gardens of European Russia, and one 
kiml of meadow sweet (s[)iraea liiiticosa L). 

The flora of tlie p(dar tundia zone presents very little ilillerenco from that of the Eu- 
ropean Russia tundras ol' Lapland and Samoyed. Nearly all ibis zone's characteristic low- 
growing, sluiileil sbrubs, for exaiuple one species ui' aibulus, (areto^laphilus alpiua Ail.) the 
heathers or aiidrouiedas (cassiope tetragona Don., C. hypnoides Don.), phylodoce saxifidia Sa- 
lisb.. loiseleiiria proeuuibeus Don., a speeies of lediiui — latifoliiiiu Ail., also l)elonging to 
the European floia, ami only one sjiecies of the jiolar azalea (^nMimihamaus fragrans 
D. C.) and one polar willow (salix arctica L.) are not met within European liussia. 


TIh; mountain fliini of tin; Altai nplaiuls mm lli<r o(ln;r haml is in r|iiito a difft'iont con- 
dition. Ilfsifi, bi!f,'innin(^ uliDady at a lioi(,'lil nf tliron tlioiisand IVft, tlio v<((retaliou is oxtivmely 
peculiar and j^Maduaily passos into llio alpint; flora, proper to tho Asiatic Alps, Of coui-so this 
flora contains not a lew plants \vlii<li liiduni.' In tlie arctic zone of Ihf Old World, which 
also climb tlio Europ<;an Alps, but an enormous prujiorlion of tho plants arc the typical and 
p(?culiar property of llie alpine and sulialpine zones (d' the Altai Saian mounl;iiuous ret'ion, 
wlii'ii only a low species cros.s the ran^'es of (Jruitral Asia, sudi ;is ibf Tian-Shan and the 
connected Stiuiirocliinsk and Zailisk Altai. Anions the shrubs eharacteristic of the subal- 
pino zone (d' tho Altai may be notieed: a few species of acacia (carapano mierophylla Zam.. 
bungei Led., pygmaoa D. C, si)iiiosa I). C, tragacanthoides Poir), two dog roses (rosa platya- 
cantha Silir. and Gebloiiana Scbr.), the galton troo (cotoucaster uniflora Bgo), some species 
of currant (ribes aciculare Sm., saxatilo Pall, cunoatum Kar., heterotrichum Moq., procum- 
bens Pall), two species of tamarisk (tamariscenao), myricaria aloi)ccnroidos Sch. and daurica 
Elir. ), three honeysuckles (lonicora humilis Kai., Iiispidii. L. and liiingeana Led.), one species 
of azalea (osmothamnus pallidus D.C.) ami two rhodudendra (rhododendron •■hrysanthum 
J'all. and davuricum L.); among- acicular leaved shrubs, ephedra stenosperma Schr., and inter- 
media Schr., juniperus pseudosabina Fiseh. ami davurica Pall., and two kinds of birch, betula 
mierophylla Pge, and betula lortuosa Led. 

Much more characteristic is the herbaceous vegetation of the alpine and subalpine 
meatlows and slopes, which enchant the eye with the richness and brilliancy of their flowers. 
'J'lie lollowiiig may be indicated as amoncf the species most eharacteristic for the Altai Sayan 
mountainous system, a few beautiful anemones (anemone umbrosa Mey., Fischeriana D. C. and 
Pulsatilla bungcana Mey.), peculiar kinds of crow's-foot (ranunculus altaicus Laxm.. longi- 
caulis, pulclicllus, natans, lasiocarpus, propinquus. graiidifolius Mey., and the exceptionally 
interesting oxygraphis glacialis Bge. and callianhemum rutaefoliura Mey), a ranuneulus with 
pale lilac flowers (hcgenione lilacina Bge.) larkspurs (delphinium laxiflorum and dictyocarpum 
D. C), three fumitories (corydalis nobilis Pers., stricta Pers. and inconpticua Bge.), as many 
as thirty altaic species of ci-ncifers, belonging to the high alpine zone (of the genera mathiola, 
arabis, ])arrya, macropodium, psilotrichum, draba, holargidium, chorispora, dontostemon, 
braya, (Mitrema, Hutchinsia) charming species of violets (viola altaica Pall., macrocarpa 
Bge., imberbis Led. and acuminata Led.), fifteen or so pecidiar species of caryophylleae and 
stellariae, altaie varieties of flat a (linum violaceum Bge), St. John's worts (hypericum 
gebleri Bge), some forty beautiful vaiiegated sort of leguminosae, among which especially 
prominent are numerous species of astragalus (astragalus and oxytropis), whose extensive 
family climbs from the Central Asiatic steppes to the etenial snows of the Asiatic 
mountain ranges. Xext follow the quaint, high alpine forms of rosaceae (sibbaldia 
adprcssa Bge., dryadantlK^ bimgeana Led.,- chamaerodon altaica Bge., potentilla altaiea 
Bge., comarum salessowi Bge.). Further there are a few characteristic saxifrages, among 
which in particular the so-called Chagyr tea (saxifraga crassifolia L.), the large leaves 
of which serve as a surrogate to tea. There are some twenty species of Altai com- 
positae, among them several species of saussure (pygmea Spr., pycnocephala Led., latifolia 
Led., acuminata Tiircz.. foliosa Led.) Finally the primalaceae largely contribute to the adorn- 


ment of tlie alpine meadows of tlie Altai (primula longiscapa Led.), charming blue and 
yellow gentians (gentiaua atrata Bge., azurea Bge., tenuis Bge, altaioa Pall, karelini Fries., 
frigida Haenk., macrophylla Pall.), irises, (iris glancescens Bge., hloudowi Led. and tii>iidia 
Bge.) and some bulbous plants: tulipa altaica Pali., lilinin tennifnliuni Fisf^h. and L. specta- 
bile Link, fritillaria verticillata W. et cetera. 

The extraordinary wealth and variety of the Altai flora finds its explanation not oidy 
in the circumstance that in the Altai, as in every mountainous country, within a comparitiv.dy 
nan'ow compass, various climates are superimposed one upon another, but also in this 
that the extremely varied contour of the Altai mountain region presents very distinct ridges, 
cut off by deep longitudinal valleys and intersected by short transverse valleys, anil at the 
same time extensive elevated plateaux and low hummocky foot hills. Over the whole of this 
vast mountainous area situated between the limitless and relatively moist plain of Western 
Siberia sloping to the Arctic Ocean, and the almost equally unlimited parched steppes of Cen- 
tral Asia, a struggle is constantly going on between the north and north-west damp ai'i-ial 
currents and the southern and perfectly dry winds in the lower layers of the atmosplier(\ In 
consequence of this, polar forms, or an isolated high alpine vegetation, prevail upon the north- 
ern slopes of the Altai, while its southern slopes are climbed by the flora of the Contral 
Asian steppes, which chancing as it rises upon moi-e favourable climatic conditions, becomes 
differentiated into a whole series of original high steppe varieties. To such forms bidong, for 
example, the peculiar species of astragalus and oxytropis of the Altaic meadows of the 
alpine zone. 

A like dependence upon climatic conditions is also sho^vn by the higher invertebi-ates, 
namely, the insects, and especially such of them as for example, the majority of the cideoptera. 
not possessing any considerable capacity for flight, have not any extended regions cd" distri- 
bution and are accordingly dependent to a greater extent upon local conditions id' climate. 
soil and vegetation. But hero, as in the case of the flora, the insect fauna of the WesttM-n 
Siberian plain differs little from that of European Russia and only the fauna of the Altai 
mountain region is as richly varied ami original as the flora. The loral forms of coleoptera 
incapable of flight, are peculiarly eccentric: for example, species of carabns, some of which 
are exceedingly rare: car. imperialis Fiscli., car. reffalis Boeb., car. Gebleri Fisch., cai'. Leachi 
Fisch; car. Loschnikowii Fisch, et cetera, iind wingh^ss wood cutters (for e\anipl(>. dorcadion 
politum Dalm.) et cetera. The vertebrates have a wider area of distribution. Those which are 
hunted maintain themselves best in the vast uninhabited regions of Eastern Siberiii. and will 
accordingly be dealt with when that ronntry comes to ho described. 

The question of the distribution and classification of the native anil Russian population 
of Western Siberia will now be considered. 

The total population of Western Siberia amounts to 2,70(\000 of imth sexes, of whom 
only eight per cent are natives, the immigrant Russian elenieni forming ninety-two per cent. 
Among the imtive population the first place in point of numbers is occupied by Finiio-turkish 
tribes, known under the collective name of Tartars. They are a remnant of the tribes which 
composed the ancient Kuchum Siberian Kingdiun. Tliore are now calculated to be ninety 
thousand of these Tartars in WestiMii Sil)i>ria. They are distiihiiti'd in smdi a way that as 

;;2 siiinMA. 

iiiiiny as i;<> llmiisiiiMl «lur|| in ilir Altai IllilliIl^' tlistrin. Hall arc scitjr'il, ar-ccpu-il lon^' a|,'o 
ilic (.rilimldx iaiih ami an- siimif/ly riissiljcil : ihc diher lialT ii(tina<li/os, (ir niorft accurately, 
leads a vat/al)(iiiil lil'' ami Imlds In sliaiiianisiii. In iIk- fultivalfd or a^frifiiUural zone are 
50,000 Tarlais: piiii nj iln'in liavr Iicciiuk; nissilicd. Imi ilic iiiajuriiy |»nif<'ss indhammtMhuiism, 
and III a icriain rxicnt, as loi- cxainpli', in llic Uaraha slcppo, lead a mtniad lif".'. Finally, 
in ilii' zunc of lorcst indnsiri<'s and spuradif atMiciilliirf; thon' arc yr^t another 2O.f»0O Tartars, 
iiailly Willi lixcd liaiiilallnns. |iaiiiy wandcrint/. and mainly innrrssifii/ i|i«' nioliawiincdan rdi- 
;-M(in. Till' Tartars speak rmlln' innsl part a Tiurksk dialect, rcsemhlinf,' that ol' the Kazan Tar- 
tars in European Russia, but among some of the Tartar tribes of the Altai jninitiL' district 
l'iniii>li dialects are still prosorvod, 

Amillier nali\e element consists of llie pniely l''innisli iiilies nj' the Voguls ami Ustiaks. 
The iinmlier of huih legether amounts to 40,000 souls, 'ilie inajoiiiy ol these tribes, namely 
MO.O'K), inliahir the lores I zone of Western Siberia and belong to the hunting peoples. Only the 
souilieiu nienilieis have acccpteil luiliodoxy and become rnssiauizi-d: the majority adheres to 
shauuiaism. As many as lO.OiX) Ostiaks dwell in the polar tundra zone, where they occupy 
themselves wiih reimleer breeding and li.shing, and lia\e become largely assimilated with the 

The ihiiil native element is the polar iiibe of the Samoyeds. They are reckoned to 
number 20X)0o smils, id whom Hit! Jiiajority still inhabit the forest zone; the minority, the 
polar tundra zone, wlieiv ibey are engaged in rearing reindeer and in fishing. 

Finally the roiiiih native element is formed by the Mongol tribe ofKalmycks, inhabit- 
ing the Altai mining region lo the number of 20,(K)0. The riissiiication of the natives only 
proceeds in ilie cultivated zone and in the Altai foothills. In the forest region, and still more 
in the polar tundra, region and in the inteiiuil valleys of the Altai, the natives preserve their 
national trails. On the whole iliere is no eviileiice ol' the eMinciion of the natives in Western 

'I'lie most considerabli' part of the [lopulaiion of AVesteru Siberia is composed of Rus- 
sian emigrants, who are very uiioveuly distributed over tin' tlilferent zones or regions of 
Western Sibeiia. In the cultivated zone of Western Siberia dwell 1,80)0,000 persons of both 
sexes, that is, L>12 iiduibitaiits to the square geographical mile, out of whom less than three 
per cent belong to the native non-Russian population. Considerable also is the population 
of the Altai mining ilistrict. amounting to 600,000 souls of both sexes, or 78 per square 
geographical mile, id' whom the native tribes form not more than seven per cent. The popu- 
lation scaiiered in small oases among an unbroken stretch of forests and swamps, namely that 
of the zone of high growing trees, forest industries and sj»ora<lic agricnlture, is much thinner. 
Its eMeiii does not cxcced- 270,000, or 15 inhabitants to the s(iuare geographical mile, among 
whom the native tribes form 15 per cent. Fiiuilly in the polar tundra zone the population 
does not i-xceed 30,0<J0 of both sexes, the natives here, however, constituting moi-e than 95 per 
cent, wli'ich i-learly demonstrates that the Russian settled population cannot live in this zone, 
the Russians here appearing not as settlers but only as proprietors and exploiters of the country. 
It is evident that in Western Siberia the idation borne by the town inhabitants to the 
total popnlaiiou is even lower than in European Russia, where in its turn, the proportion of 


the town population is low enough compared with the same proportion in Western Europe and 
America. In European Russia the proportion of the inhahitants of the towns to the total 
population is 13 per cent, in Western Siheria, less than eight per cent. 

Of the towns of any importance in Western Siberia possessing at the same time a really 
urban character, there are only seven: Tomsk, with a population of about 40,000; Tobolsk, 
with 20,000 inhabitants; Barnaoul and Biisk each with 17,000; Tiumen, with 14,000; Mariinsk 
and Kolyvan, each with 13,000 inhabitants. 

In immediate connection with the density, distribution and manner of hfe of the popula- 
tion is the distribution and apportionment of the domestic animals, of which the nearest to 
man, at any rate in country life, is the horse, serving as it does not only for field work but 
for travelling from place to place and for the conveyance of goods. The population of Western 
Siberia, occupying as it does a vast and thinly inhabited territory, upon which agiiculture, 
working a virgin soil without steam motors, leaving extensive wastes covered with a luxu- 
riant herbaceous vegetation, has a particular need for tlie horse and is in a position to feed 
it from the abundance of fodder. Therefore, while in the thickly populated and most highly 
industrial countries of Europe like, for example, Belgium and Great Britain, the proportion 
of horses per 100 inhabitants hardly exceeds the figure five; in the inore agricultural 
countries of France and Germany, does not surpass eight; in those still very rich in 
natural meadows and pastures, such as Hungary and Denmark, it reaches twelve and seventeen, 
and in European Russia and the United States of America, twenty-two; in Western Siberia 
the number of horses per 100 inhabitants reaches sixty-three, the absolute number being 
1,700,000, in other words, to each man of working age there are two to three horses. 

Under such circumstances, as might be inferred, the number (»f the other domestic 
animals is also proportionately very high. To every 100 inhaliitants in Western Siberia there 
are fifty-two head of horned cattle, the absolute number being 1,400,000, that is, from two 
to three head per mairied couple. Finally there are eighty-five sheep and goats per 100 in- 
habitants, the absolute number being 2,300,000. The northern reindeer is the domestic animal 
of the polar tribes, inhabiting the polar tundra zone which might in Western Siberia be called 
the region of reindeer breeding. The absolute number of these animals in Western Siberia 
extends to 240,000 head. As the population employed in rearing reindeer in the polar tundra 
zone and in the northern part of the forest zone, Samoyeds and a portion of the Ostiaks, does 
not exceed 40,000, it follows that there arc 600 reindeer to every 100 inhaliiiauis: and as 
long as such a proportion per man of domestic animals in the far north can be maintained, 
so long the polar tribes of Western Siberia will not exhibit any tendency to become extin- 

— ^<$^- 


en A I'TKK iji. 

Eastern Original Siberia. 

Its Sayan hmdi'i laiiil: llii' livilinLiraiiliy dI' l'ja,>lciii Sihi'ii.i ami ils division iiitn tlin-i^ zoiii!> 
or Iracls, iIh' ciiltivalfd ur amirnlimal. iiiiiiMiinii- with tlio Suyari I'ooliiills: tlic; zoiie of 
lii^li stciiiiiiril livfs and fnivst iiidiistiirs, ;iiid tile polar liMidia; llic cliiiiatir foiiditioiis of ('ar-li 
of tiicsc zones: till' NcL'ctatiM' rovrrin.i.^ of Kastciii Siiicria and its fauna: inaniinalia of tlir 
polar ,ind Inivst zinn's; the popniation of I'^astci-n Siljf.'ria, its rllnio^'-rapiiii'al (;oia|)osition and 
disposition; the distrilMition of Ilic tloincstir animals. 

EASTMliX Sihciia in tiir iiaiiuw sense, that is. the eastern half of tlio original pari 
of Silieria inlialiiled |)rineipally l»y a llnssian pujiulation, in administrative relation 
is made np of two governments, those (d' Yenisscisk and Irknlsk, and in geoirraphical 
respects occupies the Lircater jtart of the hasin of the twin river Yenissei-Aiigara, and farther 
(>mbraees the liveiine regions of the polar streams, Piassina, Taimyr, ami Khatanga, the 
small ii|ii)ei- pari id' the basin of tln' liver fj'iia ami jjarts of the frontier basins (d' the rivers 
Taz on the iKuth-wi'si. and Anabeia on the north-east. Even thus limited. Eastern Siberia 
coviMs an immense area of si\ty-t\vi> thonsand square geographical miles, exceeding twice the 
ext(Mil ill' (iermaiiy, Austria, and France taken together. 

The sonlherii bordeiland of Eastern Siberia is formed by the noi'thern chain of the 
long and lofty Sayan laiige, which for a considerable i)art of its exteut bears the name of 
Erghik-'I'aigak-Taiga and selves as the frontier between Iliissiaii territory and the Chinese 
possessions. 'J'liis chain lollnws roughly a direction from west to east, but ileparts from tiie 
paralhd by a wide bend to the north. South of this chain, between it and one further to the 
south bearinu the name of Tannu-Ola and connecled at both its extremities with the Sayan 
by mouiitaiii spurs, spreads a very wide valley shut in on all sides by mountains known in 
the most ancient tinn's ])y the name of Ergheue-Koii or Iigana-Kon, and cidebrated in history 
for having accoiding In tradition served as the ciadle of the Tinrk tribe, which it is said 
expanded itsidf IVoin this point ov(!r all Asia. In this valley mingle the two great constituent 
branches (d' the Yeniss(d, flowing IVom the southern slope (d' the Sayan, the rivers riukem 
and IJeikem. Alter its confluence with three tiibutari(>s, the rivei- Rem so reinforced receives 
the Kemchik on the left or western side of the valley, and taking the name of Yenissei, 
bursts throiiiih the narrow defile of the Sayan and comes out on the Sayan slope of Eastern 
Siberia. 'Within the limits of the Yenisseisk, and in the western part of the Irkutsk 
government the Sayan range proceeds without subdivision, merely sending off a few spurs 
penetrating deeply into the .southern part (d' the Yenisseisk government on the north. 


Soniowhat more complex is the coustriietion of the Sayan in the south-eastern portion of the 
Irkutsk government, beginning with its most elevated mass situated between the head waters 
of the Beikem and Ulukem, on the one hand, and tliose of the ji'ft tributaries of the Angara, 
Oka, Belaia and Irkut, on the other. Here this range shows a tendency to break up 
into chains, or ridges, parallel to each other and separated by longitudinal valleys, here 
united by projections of the main ci'est, there cut asunder by transverse dales through which 
the nunii'rous rivers struggle out the slope of Eastern Siberia and form the left tributaries 
of the Angara. 

In the midst of the main crest of the Sayan, at the MMilh-eastern corner of the Irkutsk 
government, the highest mountain mass of the Sayan range lifts itself far above the limits of 
eternal snow in its highest point, the Munku-Sardyk peak, lying on the Chinese frontier, 
reaching an elevation of 11,430 feet above the sea level. This mountain, as also some other sum- 
mits in its neighbourhood sitiiateil on the projectiDns of the Sayan range crossing into Russian 
territory and called hi're not belki as in the Altai, but «golets>>, feeds more or less consider- 
able glaciers and ice fields, occurring on a somewhat greater scale in this part of the Sayan 
than in the Katun Pillars of the Altai. A little lower than those golets rise, parallel to the 
main crest of the Sayan, the forward ridges, among which the most remarkable is the Tuuka 
range lying close to Irkutsk. In another of these ridges, at a distance cd' 120 versts to the 
south-west of Irkutsk, is the mountain Khamar-Daban, reaching an elevation of 8,940 feet 
above the sea level. In connection with this Khamar-Daban are two ridges stretching almost 
parallel to each other in a north-easterly dinM/tion. In the wide and very long valley separat- 
ing them, is situated one of the largest lakes on the world's surface, Baikal, whose area of 640 
square geographical miles is equal to the extent of the Kingdom of Holland with the Grand 
Duchy of Luxemburg: its breadth exceeds the huigth (d' Lake Geneva, and its length 
is 670 versts. Lake Baikal is fed mainly by rivers flowing over the Transbaikal region, the 
Upper Angara, Barguzin and Selenga. Its outlet is the colossal right branch of the vast 
river system of Eastern Siberia, the Angara, bursting first through the tlefih^ of the Baikal 
range, confining the lake on the north-west, and afterwards intersecting the extremities of sev- 
eral of the spurs of the Sayan extending far over its slo|).>. It is at these points of inter- 
section that the Angara forms its celebrated rapids. 

All the cliief summits of the Sayan range, and even of its oil'spurs, consist of crystalline 
rocks, granites, sienites, more seldom diorites, porphyrirs and diabases, and also of gneiss and 
crystalline schists. In the eastern part of the Sayan range, and also in the low ridges intei"secting 
the Eastern Siberian plain between the Angara and thePodkamennaia Tunguzka,real plutonic rocks 
are met with, sucii as bazalts, dolerites and even lavas, fiom the long since extinct volcanoes, with 
vulcanic tufas, oljsidian and pumice. The sedimentary rocks upon the slopes of the Sayan 
ridg(^s consist of sandstones, schists ami limesloiK^ b(diniging to the paleozoic formations, Si- 
lurian, devoiuan and I'arbonil'erous, but furtlirr to tin' north in the di'umled |>ai'ts (d the low 
ridges, intersecting the Eastern Siberia plain, sei'ondary I'oruiations also ari' met with, such as 
triassic and Jurassic. 

The mineral resourc(\s of Eastern Siberia are considerable. I'pou thi' inuthcru aeclivity or 
the Sayan in the Yi'insseisk goveiiiinont, mines of argentiferous leail and coppei- aie found, and 


in tlio rc'^Mon ol' tlir l<i(ii lulls an' xalk-R-il hen* and tlicro seams of coal and iron ores. De- 
posits ol" oxfudlcnl |/ra[diit(' arc found njion one (tf the offsets of the Sayan range, and lapis 
lazuli has l)rcn discovered alon^' tin' rivT Sliudianka, also in thai rej/inn. Kaslern Siberia, 
however, is ridiest ai' all in iJiM l)(•arin^' sands, situated not only on ibe slopo of tb<' 
Kiizneisl<i Altai and u|i(ui the spurs of the Sayan range, but to a yet greater degree upon the 
extensive aiea hitweeu the Angara and the Podkaniennaia Tnngiizka. 

I'lastern Siberia is watered as alHindanily as Western. The great river Yenissei, con- 
sisting like the Obi of two almost (Mjiial branches, the Yenissei propr-r and the Angara, has 
a Icngtli of 3,H00 versts, if the I'lukem be reckoned as its beginning; and of 4,800 versts, if 
its hi'ail waters be taken as the Cpper Angara or th(! Selenga. The wai watershed of this 
river covers an area of 54,00() s(iuart.' geographical miles. 

As a water way, the Yenissei has the same inconveniences as the Ubi; it intersects 
the great Siberian tract at right angles, flows northwards, almost without swerving, and falls 
into the inhospitable Jvara Sea, ice-bound the greater part of the year. However, the expe- 
rience of the last twenty years has shown that the mouth of the Yenissei is more accessible 
to communication by sea, than that of the (Jbi, and that for the most part ships penetrating in 
late auiimiii into the Kara Sea through the narrow straits dividing the two islands of Nova 
Zembla, the so-called Matochkin Sliar, or through the Kara Gates, cannot only reach the 
Yenissei bay without encountering any obstacle, but having unloaded and reloaded at the 
wharf, constructed near the entrance to the frith previously to the closing of the navigation, 
may I'etuni to Europe. 

'ihe Angara and Yenissei mingle their waters precisely as do the Obi and Irtysch, 
but the curve ioimed by them is not thrust so far to the north, passes through localities less 
desert in their character, and with the existing hydrographic communication between the Obi 
and Yenissei by means of the Ket ami ]\oss. the Angara might serve as an excellent water 
way to iJaikal and Transbaikalia, were it nut intersected by a whole series of cataracts and 
falls, which are however now being gradually cleared away. Besides the Angara both the 
tributaries of the Yenissei falling Into that river below the Angara, the Podkaraennaia and 
Lower Tunguzka, are navigable, flowing however through regions almost absolutely deserted. 

'J'he great expanse of Eastern Siberia may be subdivided into three tracts or zones 
ililfering very much from each other. The first and most southeni of them is that which 
is called the cultivated or agricultural, but which properly corresponds to the two regions of 
Western Siberia characterized above, namely, the Altai mining and low-lying agricultural, as 
the foothills of the Sayan range audits offshoots occupy the whole cultivated zone of Eastern 
Siberia, and as it is impossible to draw a definite boundary between the agricultural and 
the mining zones of Sayan. The cultivated agricultural zone is composed accordingly of the 
four southern districts of the Y^enissei government, namely, Minussinsk, Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk 
and Kansk, and all the districts of the government of Irkutsk, but Kerensk. This zone of 
Eastern Siberia so defined, includes an area of J0,500 square geographical miles, but as the 
greater half of this area, partly on account of its high absolute altitude, partly on account of 
its mounlainous and rocky couditiou, stouy or swampy soil, is entirely unsuited for agricultural 
purposes; the whole zone hardly counts above 5,000 square geogi'aphical miles for colonization. 


The very climatic conditions of the cultivated or agricultural zone of Eastern Siberia 
are less advantageous than in the corresponding region of Western Siberia. The mean annual 
temperature here and there approaches zero, hut in the eastern zone it is a negative quantity 
(— 2-3), and therefore 0-5" colder tlian in the western. The average winter temperatures are 
— 18° Celsius, and that of the coldest month — 20°, or 1° and 2-5° below the corresponding 
temperatures of Western Siberia. The average summer temperature is IG-S*^, and that of the 
hottest mouth 19°, which also fall short of the corresponding temperatures of Western Siberia 
by 1° and 0-5°; only the differences between the temperatures of summer and winter, 35°, and 
between those of the hottest and coldest months, 39°, remain approximately identical. But on 
the other hand, the most important factor in the capacity of the country for agriculture, the 
mean temperature of the five-month vegetative period, amounting in the zone under conside- 
ration to only 14°, is in this part of Eastern Siberia less advantageous than in the correspond- 
ing zone of Western Siberia. 

And as regards the quantity of rain and snow falling during the whole year, the 
cultivated or agricultural zone of Eastern Siberia is placed in less advantageous circum- 
stances than the same zone of Western Siberia, namely, the total precipitation is 
360 millimetres instead of 380; the summer rainfall is 150 instead of 175, and only tln' 
winter shows a certain preponderancy, 56, or in other words is more snowy. The more 
elevated foothills of the cultivated or agricultural zone are placed in incomparably less 
advantageous climatic conditions, situated as, for example, Kultuk, at the southern extremity 
of Baikal at an absolute height of 1,600 feet, at the very foot of the Sayan, or as the mine 
of Preobrazhensk on the Biriussa at an elevation of 3,800 feet in a mountainous valley. Here 
the mean annual temperature is on an average less than — 8°, the winter almost the same, 
but the summer colder, the mean temperature being 12"5°, that of the hottest month 14°. 
in consequence of which the average temperature of the five-month vegetative period is so 
low, 10'2°, that it is an obstacle to agriculture. 

The second zone, like the corresponding one in Western Siberia, 'may be called 
the zone of tall trees, forest industries and spdradic agriculture. It includes the Kerensk 
district of the government of Yenissei and part of the Yenissei district as far as 66°, or 
the limit of the high-stemmed forests. The area occupied by this zone in Eastern is 
still more extensive than in Western Siberia, namely, about 27,000 square geographical 
miles, and consists of a continuous mass of forest and morass, with only here and 
there, and_ that mainly in its southern part in the neighbourhood of the rivers, islets of 
small extent and luirrow strips of land in a slight degree fit for the establishment of a 
settled population. The climatic conditions of this zone are also less favourable than in the 
corresponding zone of Western Siberia. The average temperature here is lower, — 3 instead 
of — 2° Celsius, the winters are more severe, having a mean temperature of —21° instead 
of— 20°, the coldest month being— -25° iusteail of — 23°. Only the summer is somewhat 
warmer, 15° instead of 14°, the difference between sunmier and winter being therefore 36° 
instead of 33", and that between the hottest and coldest mouths, 43° instead of 40°. From all 
this it appears that the climate presents a still more continental character than in the 
coiTesponding tract of Western Siberia. As for the mean temperature of the five-month 


vc^M'iiiiivc jxTiod it is licio only IV iiiid inovcs <'Xlri')iic|y iiii(av()iiiali|«- lo lln- i|i-v<'l<i|imeiil 
of {igrioiiltinf, wliicli Ikti- ciiniiot lie tlic muiti oc(^ui|)iiiir>ii (,i iIm- inliahiianis. Ijiii diily 
a lijiiilcil ami fifcasional siipjiorl lo llic lorcst, iiidiislrie.s. i'liithiT, in ri-t-'anl to tli<' 
aiiiinal alinosjdicric, pit'cijjiiation iailin;/ lu its stiaic, ijif lon-sl '/oik; of Kastf-ni is \v(irs<' 
situated than that in Wcslcrn Siticiia: il Imic dcics nut cxrccd 40f) iiiilliincln's, ol which 
rrioreov(!r. iiall' or L'OO inillinn'iirs lalls in ihc conrsc of tin- llircc sntiinnT inonihs, 

Tlic iliiiil nr [Mihir inndra zon<' is I'ai' inoic dcvi'Inpcd in Kaslorn than in Wi'Sii-ru 
Sitx'iia, occupying'' as il dues in tin; IdrnnT an an-a 3.5 linn's that \vlii<di it covi-is in 
the latter. With an cMmt nl 2 l/XK) sipian; ^a'o^M'apliifal niilrs it yields a wiilo f'ielil lor the 
invcstif^Mlion (d' all llir (•(niilitinns (d lilc upon llic erjntincnls nl' \\\r cartli sitnatcfj bi-yoMii 
tlic arciic rirclr. As a saiii})lc of the climatic conditions ol' this cxticino nortli ol' tin- fonti- 
iK'nl <d Ilic Old World, are llie nieteorolojrical observations in one of the lartliest liahitable 
pdiiils en 111!' Ycnissci, the si'tllcineiit called Tolsty Xos, lyin^ in laiiinde 70"10'X. Hero 
Ihe mean ainnial lemperalnre is (ndy — 13", and ilir mean w inter tempei'atnre — 30°. The 
cohUiSt montli siuiws almost — 31': ilie mean summer temperature is -|- 5", and that ol' the 
hottest month -f 9". Tlicre can tic no (piestion of the mean temperature of the vegetative period, 
as that is so liriid' thai it excludes all possibility of even ilie ilioiight of agriculture. L'nder 
such circumstances all this country can be exploiied only by polai- leindeei- breeding/ tribes 
or by native or immigrant liunters or fishermen. 

In Easieni as in W'esieiii Sibeiia, the [Una of the country is extremely sensitive and 
reflects to a nicely its climatic c(mditions. The alpine and subalpine flora of the Sayan 
lange has a great resemblance to thai of ilie Allai, while at the same time exhibiting 
ceriain ilepariures from it. Thus in ihe Alpine Sayan flora, appear certain polar forms not 
mel with in ihe arctic zon(> of iMiidpe and Western Siberia, but peeuliar to ihe arctic zone 
of Eastern Siberia and America; many Altaic species vanish, which rise high on the Altai 
slop(> Iroin tlie steppes id' Central Asia, adjacent to that region, and on the other hand 
vegetable forms appear wliieh do ik,i oecni- ai all in the Altai, but are either entirely local 
or coninion lo the Sayan and ihe Stanovoi ranges, and even lo the more remote Tian-Shan. 
To the laller forms belongs ihe prickly shrub with gray foliage and yellow flowers character- 
isiic (d' the Alpine zone, known under ihe name of the camel's tail among the Tiurk tribes 
Tiiiek-iiiriuk, (<;aiagaiia jubata P(dr). 

The flora of the Sayan slope, that is, of the cultivated or agricultural tract of Eastern 
Siberia also possesses essential distinctions from that of the Western Siberian lowland, 
(iiiieliii ali'eady noticed iliai on crossing the Yenissei ihe flora considerably alters. And in 
fact, lo the east of the Yenissei noi a few characteristic Siberian plants occur, not to be 
luei with in ihe "Western. Siberian lowland. But this is explained not so much by any sharp 
change in the climatic conditions, which really does not exist, as by the circumstance that 
the slope of the Sayan ridge where il is intersected by the great Siberian tract, does not 
exhibit a flat low lying expanse like Western Siberia, but is scored by more or less elevated 
ofl'shoots of the Sayan, by Mhich its mountain flora pushes its way deep into the cultivated 
or agricultural zone of Eastern Siberia. Examples such as struck the eye of such an expe- 
rienced naiiiralisi as (imelin might be quoted in large number. Thus, of the family of crow's 

EASTEKN ORIGINAL SIBERIA. 39 (laiimiciilaceao) beyond tin." Yi'nissoi mv met wiili i'or ilie I'irsl limc: tlmliciiiim 
coiiiortuin L.. aiieijioiie sibiiica L., caltlia nataiis Pall.; ol' ilie I'liniitories (fiunariaeeae): 
corydalis ambigua Cliain.. curydalis gracilis Led.; (,[ ilie criicifers (orucifereae): two species 
n{ doiitosteinon, sisymbrium humile Mey. ; of tlie violels (violarieae): viola dissecta Led.: 
(d' the pea iamily (Irgmuiiioseae): some astragalus (oxytropis muricata D.C, brevirostre 
D.C, ammophila Turcz., grandistore D.C, leiicantba Pers., caepitosa Pers., ainpuUata Pers. 
These latter are merely mouiilainnus loiins of the Altai-Sayau system, which have descended 
into the Siberian lowlaml ou the light hilly bank id the Yenissei by means of the Sayan 

Least difference of all is noticeable between the flora of the forest zone of Eastern and 
AVesterii Siberia. The woody races are absolutely identical. Of the coniferous families the piui' 
(pinus sylvcstris L.), and tiie Siberian larch (larix Ledebourii Endl.) do not cross the boun- 
ilary of the forest zone; but the remaining forms also pass over into tin' polar zone, becom- 
ing of course stunted, crooked and gradually losing their proper character (d' high-stemmed 
trees. Thus the Siberian fir (j)inus sibirica Led.), attains on the Yenissei a heiglit of GT'S" nortii 
latitude, the Siberian cedar ({linus cenibra L.), OS'S", the pitch pine (picea orientalis L.), fiQ-o"; 
finally the (hiur larch (larix duviirica Fisch.) is found on the river Boganida as far north as 
72"5°. As far as regards the lierbaceons plants of the forest zone, it is not distinguished by 
any special differences from tln' like flora <d' the corresponding zone of Western Silteria. and 
is on the whole pool-; in the thick bjrest growths there is no herbage, the s(dl l)(dng mainly 
carpeted with mosses and lichens. 

Particularly typical on the other liand is the very limited flora of the far north of the 
judar tundra tract. Middeiidorf found on the Taimyr peninsula 124 plants, among which were 
the very lowest, it might be said, ilwarf shrubs of the arctic species of birch (betula nana 
Ti.); willow, (salix polaris Wahl, laiiala L., glauca L., arctica Pall., taimyrensis Trautv.). 
and also a ledum, (ledum paliistre L.) and an aiulromeda (cassiope tetragona Don.): and of 
herbaceous plants, 17 species of crucifereae, 14 compositeae, 7 stellarieae, (alsine, st(dlaria, 
cerastium), 12 stonecrops (saxifraga), 6 species of pediciilaris, 5 astragals (of the geiiea phaca 
and oxytropis), 5 rosaceae (dryas, sieversia, potent ilia) and G I'low's foots (ranunculus, caltha, 
delphinum). Of the 124 jdaiiis nieiiiioned. ;'0 do not belong to the polar types, but are common 
to the whole of Siberia and tor the most part cross over on the one side into Europe, and on the 
other into America. The remaining 94 jdants are completidy arctic typi's. Miudi more than 
ball' of tlieiii (54) are met with o\cr the wlnde pdjar zone, alike of the Old and (d' the New 
World, and in pari come [dith upon the alps (d the Altai Sayan range; but some are pecul- 
iar to Siberia alone (12), or only ap|)ear outside in Europe (10), or more frequently in Amer- 
ica (18 spe<'ies). To ihe lallei', for example, bcdong of the crow's I'oois (raniinculaceae): ra- 
nunculus alTinis U. Uv.: of ilie cnndfers, (ciiicifereac): draba pauciflora K. Br., dralia glacialis 
Ad., drat)a algida Ad., draba rupestris 11. \k., hesperis llookeri Led., sisymbrium soplii(ddes 
Hook.; of the caryophyllac(>ae (alsineae): alsine macrocarpa Eetizl., alsine arctica Fisch.; of the 
pea family (leguminoseae): oxytropis nigresceiis Fis(di.: of the rosaceae: sieversia glasialis 
Iv. Ifr.; (d' the stone crops (saxifragaceae): saxifraga serpyllifolia Pursli. punctata L.; of 
the scrojihnlariaceae: pediciilaris [.angsdoiffi Fisidi.. pediciilaris capitala Ad. 


Tli(! iusoci Imiiiii lulluw'.s oil I 111! wlioli! thii saini) laws a.s tbo Hora, but in tlio Sayau 
raiij.'(' it, is soinowiiat pdonT than in llie Altai, and on the slope presents less difference from 
the fauna of Die Altai slope than does the llora. Highly eccentric arctic forms are met with 
amoiif,,' the coleoptora devoid of lli^'lit, as for <;xarnpln the carabidae: carabus Baerii Men., 
lypcroplioriis rribelliis Men., lyperoplionis costatiis Men., j)latysina borealis Men. Xoi lt;ss 
peculiar are the lulinwiiij,' arctic fornis (d' other categories of insects, of the mollis (lepidoptera): 
amphiiliisis iiidiisciata Men.; of hyinenoptera: ichiieiinioii Middendoi-fii Er., ichneumon lit.'ulii> 
I'll-.: Ill' the di|)tera: miisca buganidae Er., anlhoinya wrsiila l-^r., lisjie fiiL'iii;i Er., neplnotoma 
cii|iiiliiiiia Va:. Ill I lie iH'iiniptera: hemorobius algidus Er. 

As the forest and polar tiimlra zones in Eastern Siberia reach their full tlevelopnuMit 
the questions, having reference to the distribution of the vertebrates over Siberia, are most 
clearly answered by the study of these zones. At first sight it might be expected that in such 
deserted spots as are the forests and tundras of Siberia, where there is no reguhir In-wing of 
timber, where llnM-e are not more than seven men living per square geographical mile, 
the fauna should be extraordinarily rich, if not in the variety of species, as in more southern 
countries, here opposed by climatic conditions, tiien at least in numbers. Unfortunately even 
in the forest zone the fauna of Siberia is very poor in both respects, and if the spoilsman 
with gun in hand should traverse the whole forest zone of Siberia to its very heart, for example, 
to about 60" north latitude, he would be very much disenchanted by the fact that at time> 
whole days would pass without his making any bag. In the uiit)nikeii and thick forest gi-owths 
of Siberia, there are hardly any wild animals. They keep gladly to the skirts of the woods, 
the forest glades, to areas devastated by fon^st contiagTations, nay, even to the clearings wrought 
by man, near to his habitat inn. luit not in the forest depths, and not in tin; forest thicket. 

Such spots, free from trees and also convenient fords across rivers at certain seasons 
of the year, serve the wild animals as phices of assembly, and the whole skill of tlie native 
trapper is confined to watching for them here at the right time, knowing these spots and the 
season of their IVeiiueuting by animals. This nietlnnl nf liunting explains also why the 
sparse ])opulation of the forest regions of Siberia, unable to exhaust its woody wealth, is 
gradually exhausting its animal life. This circumstance leads to the thought that the establish- 
ment of vast forest clearings or glades, hunters lands and the preservation of the animals 
assembling upon them at certain seasons of the year, might not only conduce to the preser- 
vation from destruction, but also to the increase of valuable races of animals. 

Generally speaking in the forest and polar tundra zones of the whole of Siberia, 
which are comparatively so poorly endowed by nature, the natural liches are so scattered over 
the enormous surface in a thin and sparse layer, altogether wanting in some parts, that it is 
as difficult to collect them as it is to amass the separate grains of gold in auriferous strata, 
such work being only feasible when they have been agglomerated by accident or by nature or 
else by the ingenuity id" man. 

Passing on to the mammalia of the forest and polar tundra zones of Siberia, the few 
animals peculiar to the tundra region may be first of all described. The most arctic animal 
is the white bear, (ursus niaritimus L), properly an iuhabiiaut of the islands of tlie Arctic 
Ocean: it is carried by the floating ice to the arctic shores of Siberia and is found, for 


instance, at the mouth of the Yenissei where it was tlie liist living creature seen hy Noi- 
denskjold's oxpeiiition on the Siberian sho^'e at the entrance of the gulf of Yenissei; it some- 
times even reaches the settlement of Tolstyi Nos, which is the first inhabited spot on the 
Yenissei from the ocean, but it does not penetrate further. Xext come those arctic wild 
animals which almost oxclusively inhabit the polar tundra region: the arctic fox, (canis la- 
gopus L), found in the Taimyi-sk peninsula under 75" northern latitude, and the small striped 
or Obi lemings, (myodes torquatus and inyodes obensis). There was formerly another large ani- 
mal contemporaneous with mankind existing in the polar tundra region corresponding to the 
musk ox, (bos moschatus), which is found in the polar regions of America, but has now 
entirely disappeared: this Siberian ox (bos pallasii) was distinct from the American variety, but 
is only known by the skulls and bones found in the TaimjTsk tundras. Finally as character- 
istic animals of the tundras the northern hare, (lepus variabilis Pall.) and the reindeer, (cervus 
tarandus L), may be mentioned, although they spread far do\Mi into the forest zone. The latter is 
found in the mi)untatnous parts of South Siberia; on the Urals it goes down south as far as 
52° northern latitude, on the Altai to 49", on the Sayan and Stauovoi chain to 53", and in 
the Amour region it reaches the mouth of the Ussuri under 49° north latitude. 

The rest of the mammalia dwelling in the Siberian plains may be regarded as animals 
of the forest zone, although many of them penetrate into the polar tundra region. These are 
the glutton, (gulo borealis Nilss.), the common bear, (ursus arctus L), the very rare sable, 
(mustella zibellina L), the ermine, (inustolla erminea L), the Siberian weasel (mustella sibirica 
Pall.), the common weasel (mustella vulgaris Ertl.) the otter, (Intra vulgaris, Erkl.) although 
rare, the wolf, (canis lupus L), the fox, (canis vulpes L), the black variety being only 
peculiar to the extreme north, the lynx, (felis lynx L), the elk (cervus alces L), the flying 
squirrel, (pteromys volans L), the comninn S([uirrel, (sciurus vulgaris L), thr striped squirrel, 
(tamias striatus L) and some small species of rodents. Finally on the low mountain ridges inter- 
secting the polar and forest regions of Easttn-n Siberia, for instance, on the Severma chain east of 
the Yenissei under 67" north latitude, and on the mountains following the current of the 
lower Tnnguzka there are animals belonging to the mountain fauna, namely the mountain 
sheep, (aegoceros montanus Desm.) and the musk, (mosclius moschiferus L.). 

On the Altai-Sayan elevations in Eastern and particularly Western Siberia, there are 
naturally species of such mammals as are not found on the Siberian plains. These are 
the Alpine wolf, (canis alpinus. Pall), two races of large cats, (felis irbis Miill and felis manul), 
the chtonoergus alpinus, spermophylus Eversmanni, the alpine hare (lagomys Alpinus Pali), the 
stag, (cervus elaphus) and others. 

Birds, being \mvo widely spread than any other vertebrates, are fairly plentiful in all 
three zones of Easteiu and Western Siberia. The birds of prey, which are found as far as the 
Taimyr peninsula, iw: one of the eagle tribe, probably aquila albicilla Bris. and a buzzard 
(buteo lagopiis), two sorts of falcons, (falco iivrlalco L., falco tinuncula St.) and some bats, (stryx 
brachyotus F(n-st, stryx nictea L., stryx funeroa Lath). The small birds, [lasseres, which nest far 
north in Siberia are some varieties of larks, (alauda alpestris L., plectroph nivalis L., plectroph 
lapponica, emberiiiza i)olaris Mid., fringilla liuaria L., parus sibiricns Pm., motacilla alba L). The 
fowls which are found [»artly in the polar zone and especially in the forest zone are partic- 


iiliiily tlif la{.'<i|»iJ.s iilhiis I, hihI lu^'opiis iilniniis N'ilss., iln' licaili rock, (t<-ii.ii> iiiu;.miiii- I,, 
U'Ai\\ l,..iiiiil tctnid iMinasiii I,.). 'riii'if arc iiniiK'roii.s lon^:-l»•^'^.'^•^l hinl.s in Sitx-ria. Imt piiiM-ijially 
of ihc saiiir kinds as llMtsc in IjiiDpi'. Siliciia is liuurvfr |»arti(;iilai'ly ri<-|i in wutr-r lowl.s 
wiiicii iii'sl ill (•oiiiillcss iiiiiiiIh'Is ciii liic shoirs (if llic Arctic (JccuM ami also on tin- liaiiks 
of the livi'is anil lakes. On I-akc IJaikal llic fjriills arc so niiiiHToiis llmt ilic cra^/s ami rocks 
ovciliaiif/in^' il air cdvcivil wiih a liiirk layer nl' f/uano wliiili |u|- a Inn^' linic will sfrve as 
nianiiic In; tlic rniiiiv j/cncialions of Siberian I'aruiers. The lemarkablc SCX'Jth froo^rapliical 
liJii'iiDMieniin III Lake I'aikal is tlic exisleiicc nl' a species ol' seal (pli.ica haicalcnsis), in the 
ualiT i.r ihis iiilaml sea. 

'i'lic idtal piipulalidii urKastcrn Siberia, niniiiin^'; tlio Yakutsk region, is about IKX) thousami 
(i[ both sexes, of w liuin not 8 per ccni. as in W(!sterii Siberia,bnl 2.3 per rent are natives, the rejnain- 
in^f 77 per cent lieiii^ arrivals I'lom Russia. Tlie Mon^'-nlian tribe ol'lJiiriats is tlie most nnnieroiis 
inili^'i'imns race, seiili'il here since ilie iliiiieenili eeiiliiry. when tin' woijil-renowneil Kingdom of 
Chengis-Klian nriginated in Mongolia. The first liiissian .settlers, when first taking possession of 
the pafi they were about to colonize, during the seventeenth century, wagetl desperate war with the 
liiiriais. whiili ended in their being completely subdued at the end of that century. At present 
flieie are about 1G0,0'I0 Burials of iinih sexes, exclusively inhabiiing the agricultural 
ziiue of Eastern Siberia. Their principal occupation is cattle breeding; they are of the Budd- 
hist faith and are only partly engaged in auricnlture. The space covered by the Buriat camps 
is liniileil, and lliey aie in leality tint half-nuinadic, whilst part of them already lead a settled 
life. About 20 per cent of Ihern have been converted to Christianity and have become to a great 
extent russiaiuzcd. The must uortliern Buiiats still adhere to shamanism. It is a remarkable 
fact that the Burials do not exhibit any temlency to die out, but on the contrary increase 
at almost the same rale as the Uussian population. 

The Turco-Fiiuiish tribes form another indigenous element, known by the collective 
nauu' of Tartars. They luimber about 22 tliousaml and dwell exclusiv(dy at the foot of the 
Sayan mountains in the Yenisseisk goveinnienl. The celebrated Russian savants and authorities 
nil I'^innish and Tiurks dialects, Kastren and Radlov, studied their language and proved that 
it- was uiidoubledly allied to the Finnish. The Finnish tribes were at one time spread 
over all the contiuent froui ilie Sayan chain iliiuiiijli Western Siberia, the Urals and the 
plains of Russia in Europe as far as the (julfs of Finland and of Bnthnia and the Baltic 
Sea. In the country at the foot of the Sayan mountains the subjection of this race to the 
Tiurksk tribe in Erghene-Koua has transformed them into the so-called Tartars. The Tartars 
of Eastern Siberia have, however, already adopted a settled mode of life; ih(> majoiity of 
them have been converted to Christianity and become russianized: the gi-adual progress of 
their assiinilaliou is still fiiiihei- facilitated by their decreasing nuinbers, wiiich were never very 
huge. The third indigenous element is composed of a mixed collection inhabiting the forest 
and p(dar zones of Eastern Siberia cimsisting of 3.W0 Tungues, ],000 Jakuts and about 
4,0110 Ostiak-Samoyedes, forming a ualive popnlaiiou of 8.000 leading a nomadic life in 
the forest and polar tundra zones. 

The greater [)art of the population of Eastern Siberia, over 770 thousand of both sexes 
inhabit the cullivated zone at the foot of the niouniains where the density of population 


amdiints to 73 per square mile, being almost equal to that of the Altai minini? district with 
which it has the greatest similarity. The indigenous population is however much larger and 
aiiiounis to 21 per cent, as this region was inhabited by the Mongolian tribe of Buriats as 
early as the thirteenth century. Tlie population of those districts comprising the wood indus- 
try zone of Eastern Siberia, excepting the Touroukhansk district, the southern part of which 
may be annexed to the forest zone, amounts to 120 thousand of both sexes, or about 7 per square 
mile, which is comparatively still less than that of the forest zone of Western Siberia and is 
due to unfavourable conditions. The wliole of the Touroukhansk region does not contain more 
than 9,00() inhabitants, and of these over 90 per cent are natives, which is sufficient to sliow 
that the polar tundra zone is entirely unsuitable for a settled population. 

In Eastern Siberia the relative population of the towns is souiewliat higher than in 
the west, and amounts to 10.5 per cent; this clearly shows that agricultural colonization is 
less developed. The population of the regular towns is as follows: IrkiUsk 44 thousand, Krasno- 
yarsk 15 thousand, Miiuissinsk 10 thousand souls. 

The distribution of domestic animals depends upon the density, mode of life and tlisiri- 
biition of the inhabitants, and in this respect the conditions of Eastern and Western Siberia 
are very similar. In the former there are 72 horses for every 100 inhabitants, or 3 to 4 horses 
for every grown man, in all 640,000 lun'ses, or more than in Western Siberia. There is 
a still gi-eater proportion of large-horned cattle, namely, 70 head for every 100 inhabitants, 
or 630,000 head of cattle in all, which amount to no less than 3 cows per every married 
couple, whilst in Western Siberia there are only 52 per lOt) inhabitants. The proportion of 
small cattle is still more favourable in the east being 135 per 100 inhabitants, or over 
1,200,000 head, and in Western Siberia it is only 85 per 100 inhabitants. This difference is 
explained by the fact that cattle raising is in a high slat(> of development among the 
Buriats who number 18 per cent of the total populaliim of Eastern Siberia. As regards the 
reindeer, the total number of head of this species does not exceed 34 thousand in Eastern 
Siberia, as there are very few breeders, not more than about 6 thousand. The innnber of 
reindeer is about the same as in Western Siberia or 600 for every 100 inhabitants. The draught 
dogs are of great use to the inhabitants of the polar tundra zone. These animals are sharp- 
nosed, with elevated ears and downy hair; they are of dilferent ccdours, white, black, spot- 
ted, gray and brown; they never bark, are very hardy and slmnu, with a fine scent, and are 
satisfied with a very small amount of inost unappetizing food. They are harnessed in numbers 
from 3 to 11, without any reins or bridles, with one dog as an outrunner to show the 
way, the driver being only provided with an iron-[)oiiited rod which serves as a break. Each 
dog will draw a load of 3 ponds; they run in harness at a speed of 10 to 15 versts 
per hour. The outrunning dogs are the most highly prized and they cost from 60 to 70 roubles 

— ^<$- 


The Yakutsk Frontier Country. 

Orognipliic ami liydrogfapliic review; divi.sioii iiitu two regiou.s or zones, tlie region of 
liigli-slonimed trcc^ and forest indu.stries witli a mixture of cattle raising and the polar tundra 
zone: the climatic conditions of each of these regions; vegetation and fauna; composition and 
distribution of tlie population: the natives of the Yakutsk border land; the Arctic Ocean, its 

islands, flora and fauna. 

TO the east, south-east and south-west of Siberia proper, which has just been described, 
stretch enormous tracts of land which have as yet been but little touched by Russian 
civilization, and which may be termed the border lands of Siberia. 

The most extensive of these is the Yakutsk frontier country. It consists exclusively of 
tlie Yakutsk region which is under the aihuinistration of the Governor-Generalship of Irkutsk, 
formerly that of Eastern Siberia. With regard to its geographical position the Yakutsk bor- 
der land occupies a largo part of the country watered by the gigantic river Lena and 
also the basins of some of the smaller tributaries of the Northern Ocean, such as the Ole- 
nek, the Yana, the Indighirka, the Alazea and the Kolyma. Its surface covers the enormous 
area of 70 thousand square geographical miles; this considerably exceeds that of the govern- 
ments of Yenisseisk and Irkutsk taken together, or that part of Siberia proper called Eastern 
Siberia. It is bounded on the south-east and east for more than 3,000 miles by the Stanovoi 
or Yablouoi mountains, which throughout the whole of their length serve as a barrier between 
the waters flowing from the north-western side into the Xortheru Ocean, and those flowing 
from the south-east and east into the Okhotsk and Behring Sea of the Pacific. The Stan- 
ovoi or Yablouoi chain is not very elevated, the summits of Kogahin, Gonam and the road 
leading to the prison of Udsk have an altitude of 2,500 to 4,000 feet above the level 
of the sea, whilst some of the highest peaks have an elevation of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. On 
the Stanovoi chain and the mountains adjoining it, as for instance the Yerkhnoyarsk chain, 
not only do the numerous branches of the large straight tributaries of the Lena, like the 
Olekma and Aldan, take their rise, but also those of the ocean rivers, the Yana, the Indi- 
ghirka and the Kolyma. The Lena itself rises in the borders of Eastern Siberia in the Baikal 
mountain range, the summits of which, as for instance the Yetkin peak, are not more than 
4,200 feet above the level of the sea. The outlying mountains of the Stanovoi chain, stretch- 


ing into the Zabaikalsk region between the Vitim and the Olekma, have some summits as 
high as this. Generally speaking, the whole of the Yakutsk region is not such a continuous 
plain as a large portion of Western Siberia, and is even far less level than the forest and 
tundra belts of Eastern Siberia. The whole of the southern part of the Yakutsk region, south 
of the latitude where the Lena blends with the Aldan, is indeed fairly mountainous, and north 
of this latitude there are also many chains of mountains. Those to the east of the Lena, 
such as the Yerkhnoyansk chain, which seperates the Aldan from the sources of the Yana 
and Indighirka, the mountains of Kolymsk, Alazeysk, Tak-Tayakhtakh are all more or less con- 
nected with the Yablonoi chain, whilst those chains stretching to the west of the Lena, like 
the Yiluisk range and the summit dead levels of tlie Vilui and the Olenek, are distinct inde^ 
pendent upheavals. 

The geognostic composition of the mountains of the Yakutsk region is principally 
made up of crystalline formations, granites, syenites, diorites, diabases, gneiss, crystalline 
schists and sometimes porphyries and even trichytes, whilst in the Aldansk range, besides these 
crystalline formations, there are also volcanic rocks such as basalts and dolerites. The slopes 
and outlying parts of the Stanovoi chain and other ranges in the Y'akutsk region like the 
Yiluisk mountains are principally composed of upheaved sedementary strata, partly belonging 
to the paleozoic formations, upper siluriau, devonian and carboniferous, but more especially 
to the secondary formations, particularly the Jurassic and partly to the tertiary. The Yakutsk 
region is well endowed with mineral wealth. 

The silver-lead ores, iron and coal, found iu the Stanovoi mountains, are well diffused 
over the Yakutsk region but the auriferous sand is the only substance worked, particularly 
the rich deposits near the river Olekma and some other tributaries of the Lena. 

The Yakutsk region is abundantly watered by magnificent full rivers which are iu 
summer the only means of communication. The gigantic Lena is 4,300 versts long and with 
its tributaries, the Yitim, Olekma, Aldan and Vilui, forms one of the richest river systems 
of the Old World, watering an area of over 43 thousand square geographical miles. Unfortun- 
ately the Lena system possesses even to a greater extent the same disadvantages as the 
systems of the Yenessei and Obi, as they all flow to the north and fall into the Arctic Oceau, 
which cannot be navigated with any regularity. It is also maile up of two enormous com- 
ponent branches, the Lena and the Aldau, wliicli nu'ct still farther nurtli than the 
branches of the Obi, in a country quite unsuitable to settled cultured life. Besides this the 
mouth of the Lena does not form a wide, open estuary like the mouth of the Yenessei, or a 
large gulf like the Obi, but an enormous delta, projecting into the Arctic Ocean, which with 
its labyrinth of islands, intersected by numerous channels, makes (lie mouth of the Lena far 
less accessible from the sea than that of the Yenessei. The other large rivers falling into the 
Arctic Ocean, the Yana and Indighirka, also have a tendency to form deltas. 

The climate of the Yakutsk region is the most continental of the Arctic and suh-Arctic 
zones of the Old World. It may be divided into two regions or belts, the one corresponding 
to the region of high-stemmed trees, forest industries and sporadic agriculture of Eastern 
and Western Siberia, and the other to the polar tundra belt of reindeer breeding and dog- 
conveyance. The first region comprises the districts nf Yakutsk, Olekminsk and a large southern 


iMiilinii of that f;f Viliiisk, and tin' sccijuil i:(»iisisLs of tlii- ilistricis of, 
iiinl till' hasins of llio (Jli'iirk ami Loiia holow Zlii^'ansk in the Vihiisk and Yakutsk distiifts. 
Till- liisl, sonlli-w'i'sloiii ZMMi', lias an an^a of 38 tliousarnl sr|nan' f/orj^rapliioal inilfs, \ho 
.scconii, Murili-castcni znni', covi-r.^ .'52 tlniusand. Taken Ironi loin |Miints id' observation silnatfd 
in till' lir>l part of tin- Yakutsk n•^'ioIl, tin- mean yearly teni|)i'ratiire is about — 8" Cel., the 
mean winter tciniieraliiic is — 33", that id" the eoldest month — 36". tlie mean snmtner temjK'- 
ratiiro +15", that of the hoitest month -}-\l": the ilillerenn.- between the temperatnres of 
winter and siimima' is 48", the dilfereiiee bi;tween the e.oldi^st and hottest months is 53"; that 
is to say, the climato is far moie enntinental than that of the nei^'iibonring forest zone of 
Eastern Siberia. I'ndei- these eliniatic conditions, the soil wliifli the snn's rays do not i)eiietrato 
to a j,neater ileplli than iliiee-joinths of an arsliine, is always frozen. Nevertheless the mean 
temperature of the livi'-months period of vegetation is -j- 11", and even -|- 12" in Olekminsk 
anil Yakutsk, whilst the high summer temperiiliire of -\-lb° during the powerful insolation of 
the short summer period permits (d' sporadic agrieultnre in some parts of this portion of 
the Yakutsk region. 

One of the cold poles of the northern hemisphere is situated in the north-eastern polar- 
tuiulra pait of the Yakutsk frontier country. Thus, in Yerkhoyansk under 67" 34' north lati- 
tude ilu^ iiieaii yearly temperature falls to — 17" Cel.; the mean winter temperature is — 47'*, 
that of the coldest month — 49" Cel., whilst the mean summer temperature hardly exceeds 
-|-13" and that of the hottest month +15"; the difference of temperature betw"een winter and 
summer is 60'\ ami between the hottest ami coldest months G4"; this is a type of the most 
continental climate in the Old A\'orld. Three and a half degrees farther north at Ustiansk, 
nnder 70" 53' north latitude, the climate is already milder. The mean yearly temperature 
exceeds —16" Cel.; the winter temperature is— 37" Cel.; that of the coldest month is — 41°; 
the summer temperature is +9", and that of the hottest month -fl3: the difference between 
the temperatures of winter and summer is only 47**, and that between the hottest and coldest 
months 54", On the other hand the mean temperature of the five-months period of vegetation, 
which in Yerkhoyansk hardly exceeds 8", does not amount to inore than 3" at Ustiansk, or 
in other words, the mean temperature of 9" lasts about five months at Yerkhoyansk and only 
three months at Ustiansk. 

At the mouth of the Lena, at Sagastyr, where there was for nearly two years a 
meteorological station of the Russian Imperial Geographical Society, the climatic condi- 
tions are still more unfavourable. The mean temperature (below — 17"), the winter temperature 
(—36") and that of the coldest month (—42") at, Sagastyr are closely approximate to 
those of Ustiansk, but the mean summer temperature of less than -{-3", and that of 
the hottest month of lessUhan +5°, place all organic life under the most unfavourable condi- 
tions of existence, especially as at a depth of 0.8 metre the soil never thaws and in winter 
has a temperature below —20" Cel. Under these circumstances, cultured life in the polar 
tundra zone of the Yakutsk frontier country is rjuite impossible. At Yakutsk in the forest 
zone the Lena is clear of ice during 160 days in the year, whilst at Ustiansk the Yana is 
only clear during 100 days. The climate of the south-western forest pai't of the Yakutsk region 
is also less favourable than that of East Siberia, with reference to the amount of rainfall 


(luring the year, wiiich only amounts to 310 millimetres compared to 360 millimetres depos- 
ited in the forest zone of Eastern Siberia. The winters are also less snowy (38 millimetres 
against 56): the summer rainfall is however almost the same in both places. According to 
observations made at Sagaslyr near the mouth of the Lena, there is very little moisture de- 
posited iu the polar tundra zone, not more than 86 millimeters in the year, 45 millimeters 
of which fall during the three summer months, which clearly shows the extremely continental 
nature of the climate of the Yakutsk frontier country, and especially of its north-eastern portion. 

The vegetation of the south-western part of the Yakutsk region differs in general but 
little from that of Eastern Siberia. The trees are the same as those of Siberia proper and 
only outside the borders of the Yakutsk region on the south-western slopes of the Staiiovoi 
range there exist certain varieties which disappear in Siberia as soon as the Ural mountains 
are reached. Generally speaking, the zone of forests of full grown trees and forest industries 
In the Yakutsk frontier country is completely covered with continuous, dense and often impen- 
etrable forests and extensive morasses above which rise, in some places, little islands from 
the surface of the sea, barren mountain heights either connected in chains or standing isolate 
and bare. 

The flora of the grasses in the forest zone is naturally poor in the thick of the woods 
where grass hardly grows at all, but in the forest glades and clearings and on the open 
marshes, river banks, mountain slopes and rocks, the flora is rich and characterized by local 
plants which make their appearance beyond the Yenessei along the mountain slopes of the 
Sayan chain and spreading over all the mountain ranges intersecting the Yakutsk frontier 
country. These plants include, for instance, some of the spear-wort family, namely, three varieties 
of thallchtrum, (petaloideum T., rufinerve, L. et sparsiflorum Turcz), two anemones (anemone 
Sibirica L., and Pulsatilla davurica Spr.), chickweed (calthanataus Pall), isopyrum fumarioides, 
L. two aquilegiae (aquilegia sibirica Lm and parviflora Led.), one variety of larkspur, (d(^lph- 
inium grandiflorum L.), three kinds of aconites (aconitum volubile Pall., villosum Rch., Kus- 
netzovi Turcz.); some of the plants found here only grow within the borders of the Yakutsk 
frontier country, like delphinium crassicaule TiOd and others, and are American types like ran- 
nunculus Purshii Hook and afl'inis Pi. Br. and otlu-r numerous families of plants. The polar 
tundra zone is of a very different character; in summer the tnudraS' are free from snow but 
the soil is always frozen to a depth of half an arshino below the surface and consists of 
alternate layers of earth and ice. Li these strata besides the semi-fossil sea shells, of types 
still existing in the Arctic Ocean, bones and skeletons and even bodies of extinct animals of 
Northern Siberia are found, such as the mammoth and rhinoceros, often in an excellent state 
of preservation. 

The surface vegetation of the tundras consists principally of moss, of the poly- 
trichum, bryum and hypnum varieties. From underneath the dai-k brown surface, grass crops 
up in places, here and there forming grass plots, but more oftet growing in seperate patches 
on the bare clay sitil. This kiml of grass flora nut (uily closely resembles that of the corres- 
ponding parts of Siberia proper but is also much like the flora of Western Europe. Thus, 
out of 92 distinctly flowering plants collected by Xordenskjold's expedition, at their winter 
quarters beyond the eastern extremity of the Yakutsk frontier country, but still on the shore 


of the Arctic Ocfan, iriorc tliaii iwo-tliinls, namely 63, were varieties comiuon to the Arctic 
/one of Europe hut not liesccntiing inio Russia in Europe; 17 were American varieties also 
common to the arctic zone (if Siheria. but not known in European Russia, whilst 12 were exclu- 
sively Siliciiaii arctic lornis. Very lew ol' these latter are peculiar only to the north-cistern 
corner oC Siberia. The first vernal plant wliieh tlowered near Nonlenskjolil's winter quarters 
was the s[)(i(inwort (cochlearia fenestrata K. I'.r. I. This happened on the 23nl of June, new 
style, ami duly a week after this, about July 1, ilid nalurc thoroughly awake, the tundras 
became green, Howers blossomed and insects made their appearance, first of all Hies and then 
coleoptera, amongst which there were two rather large kinds of cockchafers (carabus, C. 
truncatipeniiis Esch). The local flora is characterized by the large amount of gramineous 
plants, wiiicli in some place form a continuous sward. There were in all i;j dilTeront kinils 
found and amongst these the original varieties were glyceria vilfoidea Th, Fr., Gl. 
vaginata I., arctophylla elTusa I. T^ge. There are plenty of bushes of different kinds 
of low [)olar willows, the rarer vaiirties being salix chamissonis And., salix cuneata Trautv., 
and salix boganidensis Trautv. 

The fauna of both zones of the Yakutsk region also closely resemble that of the 
corresponding zones of Eastern Siberia, but the fur animals are more abundant and of a bet- 
ter (lualily, pnd)ably because the outline of the Yakutsk frontier country is more varied and 
the mountains and rocks which rise above the forests afford more free spaces for the species 
of this region. In describing the animals which at present inhabit the forest and tundra zones 
of the Yakutsk frontier country it is impossible to ignore those varieties which are now extinct 
in these zones of Siberia. The genus elephant (elephas primigenius Bl) at a recent geolog- 
ical epoch, when man already existed, inhabited the Avhole of the palearctic zone of the northern 
hemisphere and, in contrast to the southern Indian elephants, it was covered with thick, long, 
red hair. A splendidly preserved specimen of a whole mammoth with perfect skin and hair 
was lately found in the polar tundra zone of the Yakutsk frontier country, and in 1892 a 
special expedition was sent by the Academy of Sciences to examine it. The two varieties 
of the rhinoceros (rhinoceros anticjuitatis Blumb. and rhinoceros MaerckiiJag.), which flourished 
here at the same period, are no less interesting. They are discovered under the same conditions 
as the mammoths; a fine head of one of these animals, found in the southern part of the 
Yakutsk region, is preserved in the Academy of Sciences having been presented by the .Si- 
berian Section of the Russian Geographical Society. 

As regards the population of the Yakutsk region, which has been iu the possession of 
the Russians since the seventeenth century, the number and composition of the inhabitants 
clearly show how little this country is suitable for settled colonization. The total population does 
not exceed 250 thousand^ of both sexes, of which the Russian element only numbers 15 thous- 
and or about 6 . 5 per cent, the remaining 93 . 5 per cent being made up of other tribes. The 
greater part of these are the Yakuts, numbering about 220 thousand; they are of Tiurksk 
origin, their language is a Tiurksk dalect with a mixture of Mongolian words. They have 
preserved all their ethnographical features to a remarkable extent, type, language, manners 
and customs and even dress. This Tiurksk tribe was driven to the far north by the Mongo- 
lians at the time when their rule in Central Asia was supreme. Whilst preserving a nomadic 


form of life the Yakuts however adapted themselves to the hard conditions of life of the 
northern forest zone and, exchanging the grassy steppes of Central Asia for the forests and 
tundras, they hecame a race of hunters and cattle breeders. Cattle rearing is however their 
chief occupation, after which come hunting and iishing and lastly agriculture, which is but 
little developed. The Russians, being weak in numbers, have not had an influence upon the 
Yakuts, except in converting the greater part of them to Christianity, but even this conversion 
is more apparent than real as the Yakuts are still to a very great extent addicted to shaman- 
ism, and their former faitli. The Tungues lead almost the same form of life as the Yakuts 
and number over 10 thousand of both sexes. The other races inhabiting the Yakutsk frontier 
country, counting about 3,000 men, consist of polar tribes like the Lamuts, Ukagirs, Tchuktchis, 
Tchuvantsis and Koryaks. These tribes principally occupy the north-eastern polar tundra por- 
tion of the country. 

The population is very unevenly distributed between the two zones of the Yakutsk 
frontier country: whilst the region of high forest trees, forest industries and sporadic agricul- 
ture has 230 thousand inhabitants of both sexes, or about 6 men per square geographical 
mile; the population of the polar tundra region does not exceed 20 thousand, or about 6 men 
for every 10 square geographical miles, and is entirely composed of other tribes, as the Rus- 
sian population principally dwells in the forest zone and the towns. The people of the 
towns do not however exceed 8,000 of both sexes, or rather more than 3 per cent of 
the total population of tliis region, and indeed all the towns with the exception of Yakutsk, 
which has 6,000 inhabitants, are nothing more than small Russian settlements serving 
as points of support for the Russian rule in the country. In these settlements in the zone of 
high forest trees the Russians occupy themselves to some extent with agriculture and 
partly with cattle breeding, but their occupations in the polar tundra zone do not dllTor 
from' those of the natives. It is a remarkable fact that, whilst the Russian population of Si- 
beria proper, living under conditions of life approaching those of its native land, has not only 
gradually increased in numbers, far exceeding the native tribes, but has succeeded to a great 
extent in assimilating them and even in the Amour-littoral and Kirghiz steppe regions has 
preserved intact all the national qualities and appearance, here in the Yakutsk frontier country 
under the heavy yoke of nature the Russian settlers seem to have deviated from their na- 
tionality. Placed under the most unfavourable conditions fur civilizatidu, they have in some 
places assimilated themselves with the native tribes and, adopting their mode of life, have 
descended to their level. This is particularly the case with the population of Yerkhoyansk, Us- 
tiansk, Zashiversk, upper, middle and lower Kolymsk, and naturally, mixed marriages with the 
natives have greatly contributed to this state of things. 

The distribution of domestic animals is closely connected with that of the inhabitants 
over the surface of the country, and with their mode of life and their relation to the ground 
upon which they dwell. In the Yakutsk frontier country there are more than 50 horses per 
every 100 inhabitants, or 130 thousand horses in all, or about the same quantity as in West- 
ern Siberia, but the quantity oC large-horned cattle, 260 thousand beasts in all, exceeds 100 
head per 100 inhabitants or more than double the quantity in AVestern Siberia, and one and 
a half times more ihaii in Eastern Siberia: this amounts to 5 head of horned cattle per every 



rnimied couple, ami clearly sliows that the Vakuts are a cattle reariiij,' people of the steppes 
oi' Central Asia, accitlentully driven to the forest zuuc of the cruel north. The trari.sition of 
the most northern Yakuts to reindeei- breeding in a region unsuited to horned cattle and horses, 
confirms this llioory. The reindeer in the polar tundra zone number about 50 thousand head, 
or about 200 head lor every 100 inhabitants of reindeer breeding population. Small animals 
are not raised in llic Yakutsk region except the tlogs used for travelling in the polar tundra 
zone, wliii'li are kepi by the indigenous tribes in even greater numbers than in JCa^t'TU 

All that has been said about tin' Yakutsk frontier country, where there is no regular 
agricultural zone, clearly shows that this region has but very little importance for settled 
Russian colonization and that this most extensive portion of Siberia is destined by nature 
itself to be inhabited by wandering or nomadic tribes or by those who from time immemorial 
have been aborigenes of polar countries, hyperboreans or nomads, who have found their way 
hitlicr from the plains of Central Asia and succeeded somehow in acclimating themselves in 
the forest zone of the north. This region can be of only one use to Russia, on account of 
the impossibility of peopling it by means of settled agi'icultural colonization, which was effect- 
ed under such favourable circumstances in the agricultural zone of Siberia proper and in 
the country round about the Altai mountains; the Yakutsk region might, like British Amer- 
ica, excepting Canada, be organized for w'orking the natural riches of the country which, 
without doubt, exist there but they are distributed, as has been already mentioned, in 
scanty and scattered layers over the enormous surface of the coldest land of the Old World. 

There is no positive evidence to show^ that the stranger tribes of the Yakutsk region 
are decreasing in numbers, or in other words dying out; but of late years this opinion has 
been expresseil by people well acquainted with Siberia. If this only referred to the small 
polar tribes of the Yakutsk frontier country, such as the Lamuts, Ukagirs, Koryaks, Tchou- 
vans and Tchuktchis it would be highly probable. Before the arrival of the Yakuts these 
tribes were spread much more to the south and occupied a far greater expanse of country, 
and on being driven from their former place of habitation by the Yakuts they congregated 
about the north-east polar tundra part of the Yakutsk frontier country and the Chukotsk penin- 
sula. Every country has, however, a limit of capacity in relation to the population inhabiting 
it, depending upon the conditions of climate and soil and the state of culture of the inhabi- 
tants, and the frozen tundras, inhabited only by hunters presents the most limited accomo- 
dations for population in all the continent of the Old World. When once this limit was reached, 
which happened as soon as the numerous Yakuts who occupied the laud drove the aborigenes 
to the north-east into the polar tundra zone, these aborigenes ought to evince symptoms of 
dying out, as the country in which they were congregated was not, with their means of pro- 
curing food, capable of nourishing them. There is yet another argument in favour of the 
Yakuts. The forest zone affords far greater capacity for population than the tundras, and 
this capacity was considerably further increased when the Yakuts arrived, in virtue of the 
difference of their state of culture from that of the former aborigenes of the country, as every 
country has greater capacity for a race of cattle breeders than of hunters. The Yakuts, there- 
fore, having driven out the natives into the polar tundra zone, had ample space in the 


forest zone of the Yakutsk frontier country and their dying out could only arise from their 
being unable to accomodate themselves with the conditions of the country and acclimate 
themselves. But this was not the case, as they became indigenous, and the occupa- 
tion of the country by the Russians did not in any way deteriorate their position. The 
Russian settlers, whose number does not exceed 6 • 5 per cent of the indigenous pop- 
ulation, congregated together in a few spots of this region and could not in any 
way oppress the Yakuts who have up to late years shown a natural increase. But the lives 
of nations, living, not as cultured people, but as children of nature (naturvolker) are some- 
times visited by scourges of nature which they are not in a condition to withstand. Epidem- 
ics like small pox, epizootic which destroys the principal means of existence of cattle breed- 
ing races, or temporary scarcity of wild animals or fish can all tend to decrease the pop- 
ulation during certain periods, and when these evils are removed it again shows signs of 
increasing. However the question as to whether a temporary decrease in the population has 
brought about the idea that the natives of the Yakutsk frontier country are dying out, or 
whether a cattle breeding race inhabiting a forest country, not entirely corresponding to 
their pursuits, has attained the limit of capacity of the country, can only be decided by the future. 

To the north of the shore of Siberia proper and the borderland of Yakutsk stretches 
the boundless surface of the Arctic Ocean. This cannot be regarded as being perfectly smooth, 
not only because in many places more or less elevated islands or gi'oups of islands rise out 
of it, but also because during nearly the whole year, except short and irregular periods, the 
surface of the ocean is covered with ice. If it were not for this ice, which is an insurmount- 
able barrier against navigation, and if the plains of Siberia as they gi'adually approach the 
ocean were not transformed into ban'en tundras, from wliich not only is forest vegetation 
banished but even all forms of organic life, and if the mouths of the Siberian rivers were not 
ice bound during the greater part of the year, then the geographical position of Siberia 
would be most brilliant for ocean communication and universal trade. 

Unfortunately the whole of the Arctic Ocean along the coast of Siberia is blocked 
with ice during the greater part of the year. It is true that along the whole of the Asiatic 
from the Yugorsky Sound to Cape Dezhnev at the entrance to the Behring Sea there are 
no glaciers descending into the sea, so that there are but very few icebergs on the 
coast of Siberia and those which are formed are very small, rarely more than 100 or 150 
feet high; but in winter the surface of the sea is covered with ice, and there is hardly an 
open space to be found along the whole of the Siberian coast. In winter the ice is often 
more than 9 feet thick and the pressure of ice forms heaps of blocks piled up to a height of 
60 or 70 feet. When the wind is fri^sh the falling snow causes fearful snowdrifts and snow- 
storms. During such snowstorms tongue-shaped crests are formed upon the surface of tlie 
snow running parallel with the direction of the predominating winds from west-north-west to 
east-south-east and thus serve as a compass to guide travellers. During hard I'rosts numerous 
chasms are formed in the ice through whicli water penetrates in spring and promotes the 
thawing and breaking up of the ice in an astonishing degree. 

On the coast of Siberia the ice begins to break up at the end of .liuie, but further out 
at sea it often lasts until the end of July. During the rest of the summer, however, 


52 SlIiKKIA. 

Docks of ice of various sizes, partly ilic reiric'iins of the winter covering of the sea, and 
partly carried do \ n by ilu; lilr^'o Siberian rivers, arc carried by the winds and the 
currents over tlie ocean iuid collect sometimes in one place and sometimes in another 
willioiit li.isiii^' any regular egress to the southern waters. The pressure of water car- 
ried by the (liiHstrnam doubling Nova Zcmbla forms a contrary current in th<.' Sea of 
Kara, carrying llif ice of this sea tlirougli llic Kara Straits and Waigach Sound and thus 
coiiiplctely clcuriii^' it bdnre the autumn. 'Ibis cnablrs sliijis t(j jicnetrate tbrougb .Ma- 
toctikin Sliai, a narrow sound, separating tlu; two islands of Nova Zembla, into the Sea 
of Kara, and, if it bi; clear of ice, to reach the gulf of Yenesseisk and make a return voyjige 
the same autumn. This however is not always possible and ships cannot rely upon reaching 
and leaving the gulf of Yenessei the same autumn. The ice, covering the enormous expanse 
of ocean between the mouth of the Yenessei and Cape Dezhnev, has no other outlet than through 
some of the sounds of the unknown polar lands to the shores of Greenland, and then along this 
coast to the south. At all fvents this was the course taken by the ice upon which the crew 
of the lost American ship Jeanette accidentally left the things they had cast away and 
which were eventually found oil the coast of Greenland. Naturally this circuitous route does 
not completely ensure the egress of the ice, formed off the Siberian shores, into more southern 
latitudes where it would be quite melted. For this reason the route through the Arctic Ocean 
from European seas to the mouth of the Lena and especially to the Behring Straits is by no 
means sure, and although Nordenskjold's expedition on the Vega, for the first time In the 
history of navigation, penetrated through the ice of the Arctic Ocean from the seas of Europe 
to the Pacific Ocean, this can at present be only regarded as a stroke of luck, the difTiculty 
of the undertaking being shown by the fact that through a few days delay on the road the 
Vega was still obliged to pass the winter on the coast of the Chukotsk Peninsula, and was 
only able to leave winter quarters and, doubling Cape Dezhnev, get out Into the adjacent 
Behring Straits by the 20th of July of the following year. In the same way Dezhnev who dis- 
covered the sound dividing Siberia from America, called after him In 1647, was unable to 
ilouble the Cape in that year and only succeeded in doing so In 1G48. 

There are not many islands along the Siberian coast to the east of the large double 
island of Nova Zembla. It is unnecessary to describe such islands as the White, Siblriakov 
and Taimur. and likewise those formed by the deltas of the Lena, Yana and Indlghirka, 
all of which are adjacent to the continent, but those which are further from the coast, like 
Wrangel's land and the group of New Siberia Islands, are quite worthy of mention. 

Wrangel's land Is an island quite uninvestigated by the Russians and only a little 
known by the American whalers. The Americans have doubled it from the north and shown 
that its dimensions do not, exceed those of the New Siberian Islands, and from which it does 
not apparently iliffer in its physical conditions. 

The New-Siberian group is well known to the Russians and consists of three large 
islands, Kotelnoi, Fadievskoi and New Siberia lying in the open sea to the north-east of 
the delta of the Lena, and a few smaller ones situated like Liakhov Island and others near- 
er to Cape Sviatoi. Further to the north beyond the islands of Nova Zembla, the Ameri- 
can expedition of the lost Jeanette discovered some other small islands, but the three large 


New Siberians are the only ones visited by Russian traders and inhabitants of the polar 
tundra zone. These islands are generally reached in spring before the thawing of the ocean 
ice, and the traders drive over the frozen surface of the sea on light sledges drawn by reindeer 
or dogs and, passing the short summer on the islands, return home in antumn when the ice has 
again set on the surface of the sea. The Siberian traders are generally drawn to these islands 
by the quantity of mammoth bones found there. The New Siberian Islands are of gi-eat impor- 
tance from a scientific point of view as they form a vast and interesting cemetry of the whole 
organic world, as it at one time existed under 75° and 76° of north latitude. This organic world 
not only consisted of the large extinct animals like the mammoth, two varieties of the rhinoce- 
ros, buffalo, muskox, three varieties of deer and even a breed of horses, but also of the 
numerous trunks of extinct trees belonging to the middle tertiary, mioceue formations, allied 
to the genus of deciduous trees peculiar to the temperate zone and not gi'owing at present in 
any part of Siberia, like the elm and hazel. 

The unusual abundance of skeletons and remains of extinct animals and plants in the 
New Siberian Islands is due to the conditions of the soil consisting of post-tertiary strata 
with intermittent layers of pure ice, spread over such an enormous area that if, for example, 
the temperature of the air upon the island of New Siberia rose for a prolonged period above 
zero, except the four mountains forming its framework, consisting of masses of granite that 
have abruptly raised the rocky strata of the Jurassic formation, the whole island would become 
converted into a liquid paste, which together with the fossil remains included in it, would 
become the prey of the waves. At the present time the flora and fauna alike of the New 
Siberian islands are extremely meagre. In the whole summer passed during the years 
1885 and 1886 by the members of the Academy Expedition, Doctor Bunge and Baron Toll, 
upon the New Siberian islands, there were but few days when it was possible to make any 
collections of flowering plants or live insects. One or two clear and comparatively warm days 
alternated with cold and cloudy weather, and the living vegetable covering again disappeared 
beneath a layer of snow. Upon the rocks of the lesser New Siberian islands, Stolbovoi and 
Liakhov, past which Nordenskjold's expedition went in the second half of August, the weather 
being fine and the sea perfectly free from ice, comparatively few birds were nesting and the 
neighbouring sea shewed no traces of large marine animals. 

But however unfavourable the climatic conditions of the Siberian littoral of the Arctic 
Ocean, it cannot be said that its depths are absolutely devoid of life. The deep ocean flora 
consists of seaweeds (algae), of which in the whole of the shore waters of the Arctic Ocean, 
thanks to the careful investigations of Nordenskjold's expedition, 35 species were found, among 
them 16 belonging to the family of the fucoideae and 12 to that of llie florideao. At the 
same time the seaweeds of the Siberian shore are far from attaining the luxuriant develop- 
ment and the vast dimensions which are as a rule proper to the algae of the polar seas. On 
the other hand seaweeds are almost entirely absent from the iuiniediale coast zone of the Si- 
berian sea. The marine flora attains its highest development at some distance from the shore 
in the sub-littoral zone, and only there in some few spots, as for example around the island 
of Taimyr are to be found localities rich in seaweeds. 

The Siberian coast of the Arctic Ocean has no lack of marine animals. Of the lower 
animals, Nodenskjold's expedition found near the mouth of the Kolyma cup-shaped sponges, 

54 siiiJ.uiA. 

Hiunnil tlie shoros of the Taimyr peninsula and cape .mkhhis iiimikiiim lorms 
of marine star-fisli, antiMlou l^selirielitii J. Miiil., an«] uphiacantlia biilenlata Iletz, and near 
tlie winter (iiiiuicis oi tin' cxpiiiitioii, tlie star-fish (opliioglypha nodosa Liilaen). The Arctic 
Ocean is incoinparahly riclicr in species of molluscs and crustaceans. The species of the latter, 
as for example, idothea entomon L. and idothoa Sabinei Kr., are met with in large quantities 
even wliere organic life in gen(!ral is poor, as for example near the delta of the Lena. Further 
to the east and nearer to Behring Straits small crayfish (sahinea septemcarinata Seb.) and 
species of crabs (chionoccoetos opilis Kr.) are met with. 

As regards v(!rtcbrates, the Arctic Ocean is fairly rich in iliilerenl kinds of fish, ascend- 
ing the riill-stivainnl rivers cd" the ocean basin. The Siberian rivers possess a particularly 
large niinilier (d' kinds of gwiniad (corregonus), among which are the nelma (corregonus leu- 
ciclitis), i)eliad (corregoinis pclcd), chir (corregonus nasutus), omul (coiTegonus omul), 
niuksun (corregonus inuksun), pechora gwiniad (corregonus polkur), et cetera. The dorse 
(gadus navaga Kocrl.) and smelt (asmerus eperlanus) breed in considerable quantities in the 
Arctic Ocean. But special interest is attached to the black fish (dallia delicatissima Sm.) 
newly discovered by Nordenskjold's expedition and possessing an exquisite taste, with which 
the Chukches have been ac(|uainted from the earliest times. As for the marine mammals, 
they are of course the same as in all the polar seas, namely various kinds of seals (phoca 
barbata, hispida, cristata, leporina, groenlandica, foetida), the dolphin (delphinus leucas), the 
morse (tricliecus rosmarus), the ork (phocacna orca), and finally whales, which while rarely 
approaching the Siberian shore waters are very frequent to the north of the oceanic islands, 
Wrangel Land and New Siberia. They however fall as booty not to the Siberians but to the 
American whalers, and indeed it may be said that the resources of the Arctic Ocean are little 
worked I'mni the Siberian side. 



The Amour-Littoral Border Land. 

Division into four regions; Transbaikal region; its contour, climatic conditions, flora, fauna 
and population ; the Amour region, its orography, climate, vegetative covering, fauna and pop- 
ulation; the Ussuri-Llttoral region, its orography, hydrography, climate, fauna and flora: 
the island of Sakhalin; the population of the country; the Okhots-Kamchatka region, and 
its component parts; the Okhotsk shore, Kamchatka and the Chukot country; their orogi-aphy, 
flora and fauna; scantiness of the population, and its disposition; the Okhotsk and 

Behring seas. 

AFAR greater importance than is possessed hy the above described regions belongs to the Amour- 
Littoral border land of Siberia, consisting from an administrative point of view of three 
territories, the Transbaikal, Amour and Littoral, forming together the Littoral Governor-Gen- 
eralship. Geographically, the Amour-Littoral region occupies the whole Russian part of the 
Amour basin, the Transbaikal part of the Yenissei watershed, the whole Russian coast zone 
of the Japan Sea, the island of Sakhalin, the whole shore of the Okhotsk Sea up to the 
Stanovoi or Yablonovol range, the whole peninsula of Kamchatka and the whole north- 
eastern extremity of the Asiatic continent, beyond the Yablonovoi range, with the river re- 
gion of the Anadyr and the Chukotsk peninsula. The Amour-Littoral country thus extends over 
an area exceeding iifty-two thousand square geographical miles. This expanse is divided on 
account of its natural conditions into four sharply contrasted regions, the Transbaikal, Amour, 
Ussuri-Littoral and Okhotsk-Kamchatka. 

The first of these, the Transbaikal country, coincides with the Transbaikal territory, 
and covers eleven thousand square geographical miles. It is intersected diagonally through the 
very centre by the Stanovoi range, which is the watershed between the waters flowing from 
its north-western side into Baikal Lake, namely the Selenga, Barguzin and Upper Angara, 
and into the Vitim, the right tributary of the Lena, and for the streams (lowing from the 
south-east into the Shilka, one of the two upper rivers of the system of the Amour. In an 
offset of this range which nowhere attains the limit of eternal snow but serves to divide the 
longitudinal valleys of the Ingoda and Onon, component branches of the river Shilka, rises 
the highest mountain of the whole region, Chokondo 8,200 feet above sea level. Its summit 
is in the Alpine zone but nevertheless does not reach the snow line. The whole Transbaikal 
country with the exception of the steppe tract passing along the Chinese frontier between 


tin; (Jiioii uiul llio Argun, tin; siDiitliorii coiistiliKMit of the Amour, Is more or less mouulaiuous. 
'J'lie |)iivailiiig trend (jf the mountain ridges of the Transbaika! country is from the south- 
west to tlir imiili-easl. Tills (Jinjction is not only ftjllowed by the Yablonovoi range itself, but 
also by the lidgi; wliifh is detached from the Khamar-Daban in the south-western corm-r of 
the territory and Ixjumls the longitudinal valley occupied by Jiake I'jaikal on tiie, 
as also by the rlilg(! above mentioned separating the longitudinal valleys of tin; Uiion and 
Ingoda, and by the Nerchinsk range which serves as the watershed between tiie Shilka ami 
the Argun as far as their conlluence, and finally by the ridge accompanying the Shilka on 
its left bank. None of these mountains attain any great absolute altitude; the height of 
the passes of tin- Vaiiloiiov(d range between A'crkhneudinsk and Chita does not exceed 3,4t/J 
feet, and the loftiest points, 4,000 feet. The Jvhamar-Daban ofllset contains mountains which 
reach G,000 and even (i,700 feet. There is no lack of outcrops of rocky strata in this region; 
the majority of the mountain riilges exhibit <'rystalline rocks, granite, gneiss and mica schLsts. 
Iferc and tliere diorilc is met with, as also true volcanic rocks such as trachyte and basalt. 
The stratified rocks, in their upheaved crystalline layers, disclose the presence of paleozoic 
formations, especially the silurian and carboniferous, and also secondary such as Jurassic, and 
tertiary. Such a variety in the geological constitution of the Transbaikal country ensures mineral 
wealth of the first order. Here there are to be found not only gold bearing sands, argentiferous 
lead and copper ores, but also deposits of tin and mercury. There is no want of iron ores. 

The 'i'ransbaikal is oxticnu'ly rirh in mineral springs. The country is well watered in spite 
of its continental situation. The Selenga and its tributaries, the Chikoi, Jvhilok, and Uda, as also 
the head streams of the Amour, the Ingoda, Onon, Sliilka, and Argun, water beautiful valleys 
and plains, excellently adapted to cultivation and settled life. Not less well irrigated, but less 
fertile on account of the greater severity of the climate, are the valleys of Barguzinsk the 
most northern distiict in the Transbaikal territory, namely those of the Vitim, its tributary 
the Tsypa, of the Jiarguzin antl the Upper Angara. In the Transbaikal country there are 
also plains although of not any great extent, as for example the tableland along the Uda known 
under the name of the Khoriusk and Bratsk steppes, and in the southern part of the territory 
near to the Chinese frontier, the Tareisk, Kydara and Argun steppes. At a rough estimate, more 
than a third of the area of the Transbaikal, or 4,000 square geographical miles may be re- 
ferred to lands suitable for cultivation and permanent settlement. 

The climatic conditions of the Transbaikal country differ widely from those of the 
other constituent parts of the region under consideration. The climate of Transbaikalia is 
purely continental. The moan annual tomperatui'e ( — 2^/i° Celsius), approaches the average 
temperature not of the cultivated or agricultural, but of the forest zone of Eastern Siberia. 
From its winter temperature (—25°) and that of the coldest month (—28°) the climate has 
a severer character than even in the said forest zone, but from the temperature in summer 
(17°) and during the hottest month (19°) Transbaikalia shews better conditions than the agri- 
cultural zone of Eastern Siberia. Thus, the difference between the winter and summer tem- 
peratures (42°) and between the hottest and coldest months (47") indicates the highly conti- 
nental character of the climate compared with that of Eastern Siberia. As for the mean tem- 
perature of the vegetative period, although it is '/2° below that of the cultivated zone of East- 


ern Siberia, amoimtiiig to only 13°.5, yet the cereals, notwithstanding the constantly frozen 
soil in some places of this country at a depth of Vh arshine, ripen well, thanks to the 
more powerful action of the sun's rays, depending not only on the southerly situation of the 
Transbaikal but also on the cloudless and transparent atmosphere, as compared with the culti- 
vated regions of Eastern and Western Siberia. 

In reference to the amount of rainfall, the climate of Transbaikalia is also incompar- 
ably more continental than that of the agricultural zone of Eastern and Western Siberia. 
Tbe quantity of moisture precipitated here in the course of the whole year does not exceed 
290 millimetres, instead of the 360 and 380 of the agricultural zones of Eastern and Western 
Siberia, while the winters are almost entirely snowless, with 13 millimetres during the whole 
season. Eortunately, the summer rainfall, as much as 200 millimetrus, is considerably higher 
not only than that in Eastern but than that in Western Siberia, and the conjunction of these 
conditions explains the I'act that the Transbaikal country may even to-day be considered 
the chief granary of the whole Amour-Littoral region. 

The vegetable covering of Transbaikalia reflects all the minutest features of its cli- 
matic peculiarities: In that half of the country which is situated between the north-west 
slope of the Yablonovoi range and the Baikal Lake, the flora still bears completely the char- 
acter of the mountain flora of the extremity of the Altai-Sayan system. Among shrubs 
this flora includes rhododendra (rododendron chrysanthum Pall, et dahuricum Pall.), the 
Siberian berberry (berberis sibirica Pall.), species of meadow-sweet (spiraea trilobata L., alpina 
Pall, digitata W.), clothing the mountain steeps with their snow-white flowers, a species of 
tamarisk (myricaria davurica Ehr.), species of currant (ribes fragrans Pall., et procumbens 
Pall.). Alpine herbs, exclusively peculiar to the Altai-Sayan system grow in profusion in the 
Transbaikal; but on crossing to the other side of the Yablonovoi range the flora becomes greatly 
changed, and plants appear belonging to the far east of the temperate zone of the Asiatic 
continent. Thus, of the woody races, trees are here to be met with belonging to those general- 
ly thriving in Siberia from the very Ural, the oak (quercus mongolica Fisch.), the elm (ulmus 
campestris L. var. pumila L.), the hazel (corylus heterophylla Fisch.) and the wild apple 
(pyi'us baccata L.). 

It is remarkable that but few of the shrubs flrst appearing beyond Lake Paikal, as 
for example the daur blackthorn (rhamnus davurica Pall.), of the leguminosae lespedeza 
juncea Pers., one species of meadow-sweet (spiraea angustifolia Turcz.), one species of cur- 
rant (ribes diacantha Pall.), the daur snow-ball tree (viburnum davuricum Pall.), a small 
shrub belonging to the spurge family (geblcra suifruticosa Fisch.), and one of the low grow- 
ing birches (betula fruticosa Pall.) belong to the Amour flora. The rest are peculiar to the 
so-called daur flora and common to the Transbaikal and the neighbouring Mongolia. 
There are two kinds of traveller's joy (clematis davurica Pall, et atragene macropetala 
Led.), one blackthorn (rhamnus eiythro-xylon Pall.), among the leguminosae (lespedeza 
trichocarpa Pors. et hedysaruin IVuticosum L.), auiong the rosaccae, the local wild almond 
(amygdalus pedunculata Pall.), tln' wild apricot, widely spread on the mountain sides (prunus 
sibirica L.), a species of dog-rose (rosa al|»iua L.). a gattentree (cotoneaster acutifolia 
Lindl.), tli(^ shruliby pulcutilUi glabra L., a species of tamarisk (myiicaria lougifolia Ehr.), 

58 SIlfKIJlA. 

two species of currant (ribes trisle Pall, and piilcheiliini Tiircz.), honey-suckle (lonicera 
chrysantlia Turcz.), two species of shrubby birch (belula divaricata Led. an<l Gmelini Bi-'c.) 
and the willows (salix berberifolia Pers. et divaricata Pall.), the remaining willows found 
here belonging to the Eiiiopean kimls. 

To the kinds dissominatod over the whole of Siberia belong not only all the coniferous 
trees of Transbaikalia, namely, the pine (pinus sylvestris L.), the Siberian and daur larches 
(iaiix sibiricii lii'il. and daviiiica Fiijch.), the Siberian lir (allies sibirica Led.), the Siberian 
pitch pine (picea orientalis L.) and the cedar (pinus cernbra L.), but also many of the 
deciduous trees, the white and daur birches (betula alba L. and davurica), the aspen (po- 
puhis tremula L.), et cetera. The fine-scented pojilar (poplns suaveolens Fisch.) is met 
with on both sides of Lake Baikal. 

As for the herbaceous floia, of 112 .species of them, first met with beyond Baikal, 
only 46 pass over to the Amour, the rest belonging to the local so-called daur flora, which 
serves as the connecting link between Siberia and Mongolia, whither indeed many plants cross 
over. Among the latter are, for example, of the crow's foot family (ranunculaceae) two spe- 
cies of hollcboie (eranthis sibirica Dc. and uncinnata Turcz.) and actinospora davurica Turcz.; 
5 crucifeiae draba, mongolica Turcz., tetrapoma barbareaefolium Turcz., dontostamon eglan- 
diilosus Led. and oblongifolius Led.; of the leguminosae 10 species of oxytropis (a genus 
characteristic of the mountain steppos of Central Asia, entirely unknown on the Amour), two 
astragals; of the rose family (chamaerhodos grandiflora Led. and trifidaLed.); of the stonecrops, 
(saxifraga inultiflora Led.); 6 unibelliferae, 6 compositae; of the corolliflorae. pinguicula spa- 
thulata Led.; three species of bindweeds (ipomea sibirica Pers,, calystegiapellitaLed. and cal- 
ystegia subvolubilis Led.); 4 borragincae, 3 scrophularieae, 3 labiatcae and 3 species of statice 
characteristic of the salt steppe; of the family of moiioclihuuydae, two species of rhubarb 
(rheum undulatura L. et campcstre L.), one of sorrel (rumex Gmelini Turcz,), passerina 
Stelleri Wickstr. and a spurge (euphorbia Pallasii Turcz.); of the monocotyledons, sparganium 
longifolium Turcz.; two orchids (orchis salina Turcz. gymnadenia pauciflora Lindl.), iris vent- 
ricosa Pall., panlanthus dichotomus Led., polygonatum sibiricum Led., two sedges and two 

Corresponding to the striking change in the vegetable covering of the Transbaikal 
country is that of the fauna: of the invertebrates. Very many of their forms, entirely absent 
from Siberia, as for example among the articulate animals the river crayfish, appear upon the 
upper streams of the Amour system, of course with specific distinctions from the European 
(astacus amourensis). The approach to the sea makes itself felt in the appearance of such 
forms of insects also as serve as transitional forms from the continental to the littoral. Thus, 
for example, in the genus; carabus of the family of the coleoptera, not possessing true wings 
under their brilliant elytra, the local elongated, comparatively narrow forms of the subgenus 
coptolabrus (species coptolabrus smaragdinus Fisch), serve as the transition to the still more 
elongated forms of the Japanese subgenus of carabs damaster. 

As regards the vertebrate fauna, with the more extensive regions of distribution of 
these animals, the Transbaikal fauna naturally shews incomparably more resemblance to the 
remaining fauna of Siberia. Nevertheless, to the animals occurrinc over the whole forest zone 


of Eastern Siberia (v. supra), are added a few mountain forms of the Altai-Sayan system, 
steppe forms of Mongolia, and finally, animals breeding in the Amour Territory and in Man- 
churia. To the first belong, the musk deer (moschus moschiferus L.), roebuck (cervus capreo- 
lus L.), badger (meles taxus Schr.), polecat (mustela putorius L.), Eversmann's marmot 
(spermophilus Eversmanni Br.) and the rat hare (lagomys alpinus Pall.). To the second belong, 
the korsak (canis corsac L.), steppe cat (felis manul Pall.), baibak (arctomys bobac Schr.), 
lagomys ogotona Pall., the jerboa (dipus jaculus Pall.), tolai (lepus tolai Pall.), two species 
of saiga (antilope gutturosa Pall., antilope crispa Temm.) and finally, the kulan or dzhigetai 
(equus hemionus Pall.). To the third belongs the Amour raccoon (canis procyonoides Gr.), a 
species of dur (cervus elaphus L.) and wild boar (sus scropha L.). 

The fauna of the birds which from the very nature of their mode of locomotion aie 
capable of having the most extensive region of distribution, also here includes both northern 
and southern forms. To the first, for example, belong the capercailzie (tetrao urogallus L.), 
blackcock (tetras tetrix L.), hazel-hen (tetrao bonasia L.), white and alpine ptarmigan (lago- 
pus albus Gm. and alpinus Xilss.); to the second, the steppe blackcock (syrrhaptes paradoxus 
Pall.), black crane (grus monachus Tem.), and two more southern species of crane (grus 
leucogrammus Pall, and grus virgo L.), the blue magpie (pica cyanea Pall.), et cetera. 

In regard to snakes and other reptiles, on the whole occurring so rarely in northern 
Siberia, the Transbaikal country is comparatively rich. Besides the harmless snake (coluber 
rufodorsatus Cant.) and elaphis dione Pall., there are here to be met with the extremely 
venomous varieties, trigonocephalus intermedius Strauch and trigonocephalus BlomhofTii Boje. 
Finally the piscino fauna on crossing the Yablonovoi range into the system of the Amour 
completely alters its character (v. infra). 

Thanks to comparatively favourable climatic conditions and the early colonization, 
which began here already from the end of the XVII century (in 1692 there were already 
7,000 Russians, in 1720, 10,000, in 1740, 20,000 and in 1760, 40,000) the Transbaikal terri- 
tory has now as many as 570,000 inhabitants, that is, above five souls to the square geog- 
raphical mile, of whom the natives, mainly Buriatsand to a small extent Tungus, count 170,000 
or about 30 per cent of the total population. These Buriats of Mongol race and Buddhist 
faith, nomads within narrow limits, have here preserved, in the immediate neighbourhood and 
communication with Mongolia, their national characters in a greater degree than In the 
government of Irkutsk. They are here occupied chiefly in cattle rearing, while agriculture 
occupies the first place among the Russian population. The proportion of the to^Mi population 
in the Transbaikal country is insignificant; it does not exceed ffvo per cent; indeed there 
are no collections at all considerable of town population except in Chita whose inhabitants 
have now attained 13,000 souls. 

The preponderance of the rural over town industries is sufficiently indicated by the rela- 
tion of the numbers of the population to the domestic animals reared. There are here 70 horses 
per 100 inhabitants, with an absolute number of 400,000 head, that is, as many in proportion 
as in Eastern Siberia. As for the relative number of horned and other cattle, the Transbaikal 
is in this respect in the most favourable conditions compared with early colonized Siberia. 
There are here over 100 head of horned cattle per 100 inhabitants, tlie absolute number being 

60 SlIiKKlA. 

570,000, thai is, 5 head por nianiiMl couple, \vhil<! of othi-r ciUtli; tht'ie are 350 h'.-ad per 
100 iiiliahitarits, the a?),si)liit(! iiiiiiihfr Iji-iii^' as many ;i.s 2,000,000, whicli directly lieijujaslrates 
till' liii-'li pi(i|ioi lidii jiiiiouj,' till! jMipiihitioii of tli(j rattli! bn.M'diiif,' class, and the wealth of 
pastures possessed liy IIm' roiiiiiiy. 

The Amour Country. 

This couiitiy, the second part of iIhj Aiuoiir-Littoriil region, piesents in all its physical 
conditions a type absolutely diflerent linm that of Transbaikalia, By the Amour country is 
understood all the vast area occupied by the basin of the Amour along its left bank from 
the conlluence of the Shilka with the Argun to the Stanovoi range and the Dzhugdyr ridge, 
dividing the Amour basin from that of the river Uda. Thus into the country of the Amour 
enters the whole Amour territory and the expanse between the eastern frontier running along 
the ineridian and the course of the Amour to its mouth. In tlus way the Amour country occu- 
pies, just as Transbaikalia, not less than 11,000 square geographical miles. 

Mention has been already made above of the Stanovoi or Yablonovoi range, serving for 
a long distance as the northern boundary of the country, as this range separates the Yakutsk 
and Amour-Littoral regions of Siberia, But independent of this range, descending less abruptly 
into the Amour territory than into that of Yakutsk, a considerable part of the country is 
mountainous and filled with the spurs of the Stanovoi range and by such ofl'sets as, like the 
Little Khingan or Bureiu range, have an almost meridional direction and fling back the 
Amour by their prolongations, forcing it to take a wide curve to the south. The con- 
necting link between the Little Khingan and the Stanovoi range is the Dzhugdyr ridge, form- 
ing the watershed between the basins of the Amour and the Uda, falling into the sea of 
Okhotsk in the Littoral Territory. The Little Khingan, with an average altitude of 2,500 feet 
reaches as much as 4,C00 and oven 6,000 feet at its summits near the head waters of the 
Bureya. The crest of the Khingan and especially its peaks are formed of «golets^> sprinkled 
on their slopes with stone heaps. The rocks prevailing in the mountain ridge are crystalline 
and consist mainly of granites which are also discovered on the Amour, where the mountains 
approaching the bed of the river nowhere rise higher than 1,000 feet above the level of the river. 
Upon the mountain slopes of the Stanovoi range and the Little Khingan and their offshoots 
arc developed stratified rocks of paleozoic formations, especially the devonian, upon the 
southern incline of the Stanovoi range: secondary, namely, Jurassic, upon the lower reaches 
of the Oldoi and Zeya and upon the upper waters of the Bureya, and finally tertiary along 
the Amour, Zeya and Bureya. 

The country is abundantly watered. Its chief stieam the Amour is one of the three co- 
lossal rivers of Asia falling into the Pacific, Its length, counting the rivers Argun and 
Keruleu as its head waters, amounts to not less than 4,600 versts. Having described its great 
arc, whose southern part crossed 48" N. lat., and having embraced with this arc on the south 
the whole Russian region of the Amour, it turns to the north-east and after reaching 51*5° 
X. lat., approaches so closely to the part of the Tartar stiait, forming the northern extremity 


of the Sea of Japan, that Lake Kizi, a lateral enlargement of the ted of the Amour on the 
right side is only separated by a twelve-verst isthmus from the Tartar strait, a little to the 
north of the beautiful hay of De Kastri. Here meeting with an impossible barrier to its 
exit towards the sea, the Amour swerves to the north, and only about 53" X. lat. finally turns 
to the sea and falls into that part of the Tartar strait which forms a part of the cold and inhos- 
pitable Sea of Okhotsk. The left tributaries of the Amour, the Zeya and Selimdzheya, the Bureya 
and the Argun are after the Amour the chief arteries of the Amour country. It is only in 
the lower reaches of these streams that more or less extensive plains spread out on either 
side; nearest the Stanovoi range and the Little Khingan the region is mountainous. 

The climate of the Amour country, although still continental, is yet characterized by 
a greater humidity than in original Siberia. Li Blagoveschensk the mean annual tempara- 
ture is — LS" Celsius, but the mean winter temperature is — 24°, that of the coldest 
month — 27°, that of summer 19° and that of the hottest month 21°. This yields a difference 
between summer and winter temperatures of 43°, and between the hottest and coldest months 
of 48°, almost the same as in Transbaikalia. But the mean temperature of the five-months 
vegetative period, 15°'6, is still more favourable than in the Transbaikal country, and perfectly 
admits of the free development of agriculture, while upon the lower reaches of the Amour, 
in Nikolaevsk, where the average temperature of the year is —2*6°, the temperature of the 
winter — 22°, that of summer 15° and the climate is less continental, with differences of 37° 
and 40°, the free development of agriculture is very difficult, as the mean temperature of the 
five-months vegetative period only amounts to 11*6°. 

In the quantity of the annual rain, over 500 millimetres, of which 290 fall during the 
three summer months, the Amour country has not only a more humid climate than Transbai- 
kalia with 290, and the agricultural zones of Eastern and Western Siberia, 360 and 380 respec- 
tively, but even more than their forest zones which have 400 and 470 millimetres. The excess 
of moisture in the Amour country exercises an unfavourable influence upon agriculture, which 
is still further intensified by the character of the vegetable covering of the region. All the 
lower slopes of the mountain ridges and their offsets are overgrown with weeds, and the upper 
declivities with trees which so powerfully arrest the moisture that the soil does not dry up. 
In consequence of this the greater part of the area is covered with imbroken swamps and 
forests, above which rise only the denuded «golets» of the rocky crests covered with stony 
talus upon their slopes. Cereals sown upon clearings run to straw reaching an incredible 
height, but frequently yield a poor grain sometimes not ripening completely. An exception to 
this is shewn by a few spots situated partly along the Amour in places not drowaicd by its 
inundations, partly near the lower course of the Zeya. There are at present few such spots 
suitable for agriculture, and of its area of 11,000 square geographical miles not more than 
2,000 can as yet be recognized as fit for agricultural settlement. 

Fortunately, experience has shewn that the struggle with the excess of moisinre which 
is an impediment to tho cultivation and colonization of the Amour, which is to-day in the posi- 
tion of Germany in the days of Tacitus, is possible. The settlers in the Amour territory blaze 
over large areas the growths of reeds, the damp soil gradually dries and becomes converted 
into fertile arable laud. In the course of 38 years, which had expired between the geograph- 


iciil and botiiiiical f!X|)loialion.s of tin; acadfiiiiciaii?* Maximov (1854) ami Korzliinsky (Ii92), 
tlu! climatic coinlilions of tlio coiiiitiy liavfi alroady manifestly cliangod for lli<; haWiV and tlio 
giadnal progress of tiio country, oxcooding Germany in extent, in the sense of its gradual 
passage from the condition of the Germany of Tacitus to its present state, has already begun. 
Hut of conrsf much time will still pass, before Russian colonization, now capable of occupying 
not more than (jiie-fiftli of the ci^nntry, wrests step by step fnnn a stern nature even half of 
tiie area fur I'liJlivntiipn ami civilizutiDii, and so far, wilhuiit the spots which are accessibh: 
to cultivation ami colonization, the Amour country, in the mountainous region of which thep' 
is still nmch gold to be found, is condemned only to sporadic and partly rapacious cultivation. 

The vegetative covering of the Amour country is luxuriant and peculiar, and display- 
a great dill'erence from the floras of the other parts of Siberia. Even the woody vegetation 
exhibits striking differences from the similar vegetation of not only Siberia but also Transbai- 
kalia. With the onlinary Siberian races of conifers are here associated the Manchurian cedai- 
(piniis laandslmrica Riipr.), the ayau pitch-pine (picea ajanensis Fisch.) and an ally of the 
conifers, the yew (taxus baccata L.) peculiar to the mountains of the Caucasus. The ymv 
nowhere else is to be met with in Siberia, and shews by its appearance on the lower Amour 
the nearness of the sea. The flora of the foliage trees and shrubs is both richer and mon^ 
varied, here going to meet the beneficent marine influences of the Eastern Ocean. The lime 
genus is here represented by two peculiarly eastern forms, tilia cordata Mill, and tilia mandshu- 
rica Rupr. et Max. The maple, a stranger to the whole of Siberia, has here four representa- 
tives, of which the acer mono Max. is the characteristic local kind, the acor ginnala Max., 
a species closely allied to the eastern European acer tataricum L. and the Semirecheusk 
acer Semenowii Reg.; the acer tegmentosum Maxim, bears a resemblance to the American 
kind (acer pensylvanicum L.); finally, the acer spicatum Lam. is undoubtedly an American 
variety. The apple, already appearing in Transbaikalia in the shape of a very small fruited 
variety (pyrus baccata), is here represented by a beautiful new species (pyrus ussuriensis 
Max.), and the bird cherry by two local varieties, (prunus Maackii Rupr. et Maximo wiczil 
Rupr.). Two local species of walnut embellish the forests of the Amour, juglans mandshurica 
Max. and juglans stenocarpa Max., as also the local species of the ash unknown to the whole 
of Siberia, fraxinus mandshurica Rupr. With the European and Transbaikal varieties of the 
elm is associated the local ulmus montana Winckl. Further alongside the species of hazel 
already appearing in Transbaikalia, corylus heterophylla Fisch., is found a new species, co- 
rylus mandshurica Max. Finally, among the birches reappear a Kamchatka variety (betula 
Ermanni Cham.) and one local timber tree (betula costata Trautv.). The third local variety of 
birch, (betula Middendorfii Trautv.) is a shrub. The charming little tree of the Amour country 
with a palmy crown, (dimorphantus mandshuricus Rupr.) is far removed from the character of 
the Siberian trees. It belongs to the family of araliacea? which loves a moist climate and is 
nowhere to be met with in Siberia. Xot less remarkable is the cork tree of this country (phello- 
dendron amurense Rupr.), belonging to the family of zanthoxylea? nowhere to be met with 
in the whole of Russia. 

The shrubs of the Amour country are still more peculiar than the trees. Not less than 
24 varieties of shrubs here met with are entirely new for any one arriving from Siberia 


and Transbaikalia. Of these, three climbers are the lianas of the woods here. They are first of 
all. a beautiful plant belonging to the rare family of schizandraceae with pale rose-scented 
flowers and red berries, (maximoviczia chinensis Rupr.), spread from northern China through 
Manchuria to the Amour country ; a species of vine, very slightly distinguished from the true 
vine (vitis amurensis Rupr.); and iiually the wild vine (cissus brevipedunculata Max.). The 
species of clematis appearing here for the first time, clematis mandshurica Rupr. and aethus- 
aefolia Turcz., belong to the non-climbing shrubby varieties of this genus. Of the two species 
of local berberry one is also peculiar to northern China (berberis sinensis Desf.); another, 
local (berberis amurensis). The very curious shrub of the Amour country, actinidia kolomikta 
Rupr., covered with large Avhite scented flowers, has not yet found a strictly definite position 
in systematic botany, it being now referred to one now to another of the exotic families. Of the 
four local varieties of spindle-tree there is one Japanese (evonymus alatus Th.) and three 
local (evonymus pauciflorus Max., evonymus Maackii Rupr. and evonymus macropterusRupr.). 
Of the leguminosae the small shrub found here lespedeza stipulacea Max., also grows in the 
environs of Pekin. Of the rose family, the local species of cherry (prunus glandulifolia Rupr. 
and meadowsweet (spiraea amurensis Max.) are shrubs. Two local species, belonging to the 
same genus as our so-called garden jasmine (philadelphus) are a conspicuous adornment of the 
forests, philadelphus tenuifolius Rupr. and philadelphus Schrenkii Rupr. The beautiful local 
shrub of the same family Deutzia parviflora Bge. is a Chinese plant, spread by cultivation. 
To the family of araliaceae not to be met with in Siberia belong two shrubs common to this 
flora and that of northern China (panax sessiliflorum Rupr. and eleutherococcus senticosus 
Max). Of the honeysuckles there are here one Chinese species (lonicera chrysantha Turcz.) 
and two local (lonicera Maackll Rupr. and lonicera Maximowiczii Ptupr.). Common to northern 
China is a species of lilac occurring here on the skirts of the woods with somewhat minute 
whitish flowers (syringa amurensis Rupr.). A vaiety of laurel, met with on the lower Amour 
Is that called after Kamchatka (daphne kamtchatica Max.). 

Among the herbs of the Amour country, not less than 110 species are exclusively pe- 
culiar to this region, the rest are common to the Amour with China, Japan, Kamchatka and 
even America, but especially with Transbaikalia and Siberia. The whole flora of the Amour 
has 340 plants common with that of European Russia, that is, 38 per cent, while with Trans- 
baikalia it has 527, or more than 58 per cent. 

Equally peculiar with the flora of the Amour country is its Invertebrate fauna and 
particularly the insects which are dependent on the same climatic comlltions as the plants. 
Not less than GO per cent of all the species of insects occurring in the Amour country are 
unknown to Europe, although the general character of the fauna is palearctie, that is, 
proper to the whole sub-polar and temperate zones of the Old World. 

As for the vertebrata, in Amourla associated with the mammals occurring in the for- 
est zone of Siberia are not only those animals which were mentioned in the survey of the 
fauna of Transbaikalia, but also some others. There belong the maral (cervus elaphus L.), 
whose horns are so highly prized by the Chinese, the tiger (fells tigris L.), the Irbis (felis 
iibis Pall.), the mountain wolf (canis alpiuus Pall.) and the thibetan bear (ursus tibetanus). 
The fish of the Amour country are in the highest degree interesting, the river and its trib- 


iitarios being oxtmonliiiarily rich in tlicin, Ul ilic stuig'-on family. ih<,' lucal spocios of bie- 
luga attains cnonnoiis diinonsions (huso oiicntalis Pall, iiml arnurcnsis Pall.), weighing some- 
limes from 30 to 50 pouds. The sturgeon of this region (slurio Sdm-nkii Br.) likewise differs 
from the Russian type, hut tlie sterlet belongs to the Ciuspiau speries (acipencer ruthenus L,). 
Two species of salmon which ascend the Amour and Ussuri, to the present day in countless 
numbers, have a great significance for the country, the gorbusha (trutta proteus Pall.) and 
ket (trutta lagocephalus Pull.). Of the other fish c(jmmon to Siberia are the delicious taimen 
(salmo [liiviatills Pall.), the char (salmo coregonoides Pall.), the smelt (salmo eperlanus), the 
carp (cypriiuis carpis) and eelpont (lota vulgaris Cus.). But there are also a few fish 
wliicli are extremely characteristic of the Amour basin. Among these are to be reckoned 
the Amour fish (pristidion Scmenovii Dyb.), the daur silarus (silurus asotus Pall.), the 
barbodon locustris L., plagiogratlius Yelskii Dyb., the white fish (culter abramoides Dyb,), the 
vcrkhogliadka (cutter Sieboldi Dyb.), the verkhobriushka (culter lucidus Dyb.) and the local 
variety of pike (csox Reicborti Dyb.), the latter attaining an enormous size. 

The population of the Arnouv country consists of only 90,000 inhabitants of both sexes, 
among whom are 3,000 wandering natives. The majority of these natives (Orochons, Mang- 
(iiiiitsi, liirars) belong to tlie Tuiiguz tribes, and only the minority to the Ghiliaks, who have 
nothing do with them ethnographicully, and speak a language of their own. The latter are more 
numerous only on the Amour frith and on the seacoast of the Littoral teiTitory, as also on 
the island of Sakhalin. The Ghiliaks together with the Ainos, Kurils and ancient aborigenes 
of Kanicliatka belong to a special coast tribe which once, occupied the whole shore of the 
Eastern Ocean inclusive of the Japanese islands, at least the northern islands, the Kuril line 
and the peninsula of Kamchatka. They were driven out from their places of aboile on the Jap- 
anese series of islands by the Japanese, and on the coast by the Manchurian tribes. 

The Ghiliaks are principally fishermen and are engaged in sea industries, while among the 
Manchurian tribes, as ancient cattle breeders, the polar form of this occupation, the rearing 
of reindeer, is in a state of more or less equilibrium with trapping and fishing. Much more 
numerous than these weak and it may be said dying-out tribes of Tunguz in the Amour 
country is the settled agricultural Tunguz tribe of Manchurians. These Manchurians, now 
numbering 14,000, occupied in the times preceding the Russian dominion an excellent area 
for colonization, upon the left bank of the Amour, opposite the Chinese tomi of Aigun 
and by the terms of the Aigun and Pekin treaties remain established upon Russian terri- 
tory, but upon their own lands, as Chinese subjects, and are occupied mainly with agri- 
culture. To this settled native population must be added further about 1,000 Coreas now 
established in the country. 

Russian immigrants -still form SO per cent of the population of the country. They have 
settled in more or less considerable villages along the whole course of the Amour with the 
exception of those portions adjacent to its banks where constant inundations impede the set- 
tled and agricultural mode of life of the Russian colonies, as also upon the extensive and 
excellent area for purposes of colonization stretching along both sides of the lower reaches 
of the Zeya and its lower tributaries. Another area adapted to colonization is mo\ing grad-, 
ually into the heart of the country, along the river Bureya and the neighbouring minor 


liibiitaries of the Amour, and may in time occupy the Avhole space between the curve of 
the Amonr and the Vanda tableland, which extends in the direction of the chord of the 
arc formed by the Amour, between the mouth of the Bureya and the Khabarovka. In the 
few and scantily populated towns of Amouria, among which Blagoveshchensk alone has 9,000 
inhabitants, lives a little more than 11 per cent of its population, which clearly shews the 
predominance in the country of the rural population and of rural industries. The development 
of the latter is also demonstrated by the number of domestic animals in the country, although 
this number is comparatively lower than in the neighbouring Transbaikalia. Thus, in the Amour 
country there are 55 horses per 100 inhabitants (instead of 70), that is, a little more 
than in Western Siberia. Horned cattle give 70 head (instead of 100), but still more than 
in Western Siberia, and almost as many as in Eastern Siberia. Only the number of sheep 
and goats is as yet insignificant, 30 head per 100 inhabitants, instead of 380 as in the 
Transbaikal country. This is explained not merely by the recent settlement of the region but 
by the absence of a cattle breeding population. , 

The Ussuri-Littoral Tract. 

The third type in the Amour-Littoral region is the Ussuri-Littoral tract, occupying the 
whole southern portion of the Littoral Territory, lying on the right side of the Amour, between 
its right tributary, the Ussuri, and the Sea of Japan. Including in the Ussuri country the island 
of Sakhalin lying opposite it in the Sea of Japan, an expanse of 7,000 square geographical 
miles is obtained. The greater part of this space is occupied by the right sides of the basins 
of the Ussuri and of the lower part of the course of the Amour from its confluence with 
the Ussuri. The long but low and very wooded range of Sikhete-Alin, stretching more or 
less parallel to the coast line of the Japanese Sea, separates a narrow shore land from 
the basin of the Ussuri, which has not sufficient room for the formation of any considerable 
rivers, excepting the southern ])art of it turned directly to the south, which has both deeply 
indented bays with fine harbours and a few tributaries of more importance than in the coast 
zone, as for example the river Suifun. The whole of the extonsive hollow turned in the 
south of the coast line of this part of the littoral of the Ussuri country has received the 
name of the Bay of Peter the Great. Upon the peninsula, separating the Amour and Ussuri 
bays penetrating deep into tlie Continent, somewhat to the south of 43" north latitude is situated 
the town and port of Vladivostok, from which a railway is now being carried through the 
Ussuri country to Khabarovka, situated at the junction t)f the Ussuri ami the Amour upon 
the right bank of the lattei', the residence of the Governor-General of the three territories 
constituting the whole of the Amour-Li tloia I region of Siberia. 

The height of the Sikhete-Alin is inconsiderable; in the case of the passes it amounts 
to from 1,270 to 2,370 feet, and in that of the highest of the mountain peaks yet measured, 
Mount Camel (Khuntami), it reaches 3,600 feet. In the crest of the Sikliet(^-Alin crystalline 
rocks such as granit(! are laid bare, and in its northeni part which throws the lower course 
of the Amour back from De Castri Bay to the north, volcanic rocks such as trachyte and 


basalt are to bo met willi. At tlio contact of the crystalline with tin; siiiUui'Mi ioi-k, m Up; 
h>ikhot(;-AIin, argontiifrous lead deposits occur, and twenty vcrsts from St. Olga Bay, rich 
deposits of iron ores. The (!astem slope of llx' Sil<hi't<:-Alin, in its offspurs, sometimes descends 
in sheer preci|)ices into the sea, and at others, leaves a certain space for the streams run- 
ning along short parallel valleys to fall into tlie sea. In the neighbourhood of their moutlis 
there are at times very convenient bays and bights, as for example, the bays of St. Olga 
and St. Vladimir in ihi' soutliem part of the country and of Do Kastri in the northern part. 
Upon ilie wide space dividing the Sikhctc-Alin from the course of the Ussuri, run the impor- 
tant riiiht tributaries of this river; in the south-western corner of this country the Russian 
possessions cross over in the Id't side df the Ussuri and I'nihrace the extensive lake Khanka. 
The whole of this expanse includes the areas of colonization belonging to the country, which 
are only embaiTassed by the abundance of swamps and forests ami the extraordinary humid- 
ity of tlu! climate. 

The s(^^shorc range of the Sikhete-Alin, in spite of its slight elevation, serves how- 
ever as an extremely important climatic line of division. The coast zone, situated upon the 
eastern acclivity of the Sikhete-Alin, wrapped for the greater part of the year in impene- 
trable fogs, differs extremely from the wide Ussuri zone, incomparably more continental in 
its climate, whose more favourable climatic conditions are also extended to the seacoast 
strip of the southward trending Bay of Peter the Great. This difference comes out most clearly 
on comparing the climates of points placed at no great distances from each other, Vlad- 
ivostok, situated in the depths of the Bay of Peter the Great, and the Bay of St. Olga, 
situated 200 versts behind the cape which forms the turning point, separating the southern 
littoral of the country from the south-eastern, upon the foggy and damp south-eastern shore. 
The mean temperature for the year in both [xtiuts, differing in latitude by only V2*', is the 
same, namely 4*5°, but in the Bay of St. Olga the mean winter temperature is — IC Celsius, 
that of the coldest month —13°, the summer temperature IS*^, that of the hottest month 20°; 
accordingly, the difference between summer and winter is 28'', that between the hottest and 
coldest mouths 33°; while the mean winter temperature in Vladivostok is —12°, that of the 
coldest month — 16°, the summer temperature 18°, that of the hottest month 21°; accordingly, 
the difference between summer and winter is 30°, between the hottest and coldest months 37°, 
so that the climate of Vladivostok is more continental than marine. In Khabarovka the mean 
annual temperature is of course lower than in Vladivostok and in the Bay of St. Olga, it is 
equal to 0°, but the remaining elements of the climate are favourable, notwithstanding the 
severity of the winters. With an average winter temperature of — 22° and coldest month of 
— 25°, the summer shews 19°, the hottest month 20°; the difference between summer and winter 
is, 41°, and that between the hottest and coldest months 45°. As might be expected, the mean 
temperature of the five-months vegetative period throughout the Ussuri country, in the Bay 
of St. Olga 15°, in Vladivostok 16°, and in Khabarovka 17°, is distinctly favourable to agri- 
culture, but the climatic discrepancy between the two points shews itself most strongly in 
the quantity of moisture precipitated in the course of the year. In Vladivostok the annual rain 
fall is 336 millimetres, of which 158 belong to the three summer mouths, while in the Bay of 
St. Olga it is 1,024 millimetres, of which 452 millimetres fall to the summer months. Thus, 


compared with the Bay of St. Olga, which represents the type of the most humid marine 
climate, the climate of Vladivostok appears to be far more continental, indeed even more so 
than that of Khabarovka, where 560 millimetres of moisture is precipitated in the course of 
the year, of which 312 falls during the summer months. Under such comparatively excellent 
climatic conditions, the port of Vladivostok remains open and accessible at almost all seasons 
of the year, with the exception only of an extremely short winter period, lasting here as in 
Odessa not more than VJ2 to 2 months. 

Further, upon the western slope of the Sikhete-Alin, in the broad zone, covered to a 
considerable extent with woods and morasses, between the coast range and the river Ussuri, 
the climate is far moister than in Vladivostok and in particular is more rainy in summer.; The 
humidity of the climate and the dampness of the soil, which never dries up owing to the dense 
vegetation, have determined the method of sowing grain in rows or beds, to allow the 
free passage of streams of air to prevent the rotting of the crop at the root. But however 
this may be, it has become evident that certain localities of the country are so damp that in 
them such a development of sporiferous plants or micro fungi takes places on the ears that 
bread baked from the flour of grain st i iukcn ^v t ^fa - t ' hoijO . t > li §bte becomes intoxicating, producing 
in fact such symptoms in those who eat it. This inconvenience called forth by climatic 
conditions sometimes even causes immigi'ants to abandon the «spots which produce intoxica- 
ting bread»^ 

Absolutely different and far less favourable are the conditions (as far as agriculture is 
concerned, as a consequence of its geographical situation), of the island of Sakhalin, which 
has acquired latterly a world-wide notoriety as a Russian convict settlement. This island, severed 
from the Ussuri country by the most northern part of the Sea of Japan, the Tartar or Xe- 
velsky's straits, stretches exactly along the 8 dergees of latitude, between 54° and 46*^, and 
projects with its northern extremity, Cape St. Elisabeth, into the Sea of Okhotsk, and with its 
southern extremity, bending round the extensive bay of Aniva in the shape of a horseshoe, 
approaches Japan, from which it is separated by the straits of Laperouse. Somewhat to the 
norths of the bay of De Castri, the straits dividing Sakhalin from the Ussuri country are so 
narrow and shallow that they are inaccessible to large ocean-going ships, and in conse- 
quence rather separate than unite the mouth of the Amour with the Sea of Japan. The 
skeleton of Sakhalin is formed of a fairly elevated range with steep summits, consisting of 
volcanic rocks, such as basalt, which have lifted beds of stratified rocks belonging to the 
rare, in Siberia, cretaceous formation. It is here rich in shells, ammonites of great size, inoce- 
ramus, patella, rhynchonella et cetera. There also occur layers of middle tertiary or miocene 
formation, in which many remains of vegetation are to be met with, consisting of the leaves 
of the beech (fagus), walnut (juglans), and salisburia, now no longer thriving in Sakhalin. To 
the north of parallel 52" the Sakhalin range, attaining in its loftiest points (Three Brothers, 
on the northern extremity of the island and Engys-Pal, somewhat nurth of 52" X. lat.) 2,000 
feet upon sea level, falls abruptly on the eastern side to the Sea of Okhotsk, and on the west, 
on the side of the Tartar straits, forms a low and marshy coast land between its foothills and 
the shore line. To the south of 52" the range is cleft into two crests by a longittidinal valley, 
along which from their jinictiou nui in tlii' line of the meridian in opposite directions the 



two principal streams of the islaml, the Tym and the Poronai. Th<! extremity of the eastern 
ridge, altainiiij,' in Mount Tiara a hei^dit of 3,000 f(.'et, decliuing a little from the meridiiin 
line to the south-east, beyond the month of the Poronai, forms the hroad Bay of Patience. 
The western crest as far as the very extremity of the island falls abruptly into the Sea of 
Japan, risinji above it to 3,00f) ami even 4,000 feet, and does not present on this side any 
convenient harbours, but exhibits near Due splendid deposits of coal. Those coal fields, as also 
the pclrdlciiin springs discovered recently in Sakhalin, together with the fine fisheries of the 
Bay of Aniva, the bottom of which is luxuriantly covered with weeds going by the name of 
sca-cabbaf:e, promise an economical futuie to this otherwise inhospitable island. 

In what uiiravdurahlc climatic conditions, notwithstanding a comparatively not very 
northerly situation, the island of Sakhalin is placed, thanks to the current flowing down from 
the bleak Okhotsk Sea along the eastern littoral, bringing with it huge masses of ice, is evident 
from the following data. The mean temperature in the principal settlement of the island, Due. 
abuiil 5P nortli latitude upon the western and warmer coast, isO.S^.the winter temperature — 15", 
that of the coldest month — 16", of summer + 14", of the hottest month 16.5". Moreover the 
mean temperature of the five-months vegetative period, less than 12", is insufficient for the 
development here of permanent agricultm-t'. Little better is the climate in the Muraviov post 
lying 4" furtlier south in the extreme south-eastern corner of the island. Here, it is true, 
the mean annual temperature is higher, 2.3°, the winter more moderate; the mean temperature 
is— 11", coldest month — 12"; but on the other hand the summer is colder, the mean summer 
temperature being— 13", tliat of the hottest month -|- 16", so that the average temperature of 
tlie five-months vegetative period, less than 12", is equally unfavourable to the raising of grain. 
This is explained by the circumstance that the eastern coast of Sakhalin, along which polar 
glacial currents descend to the south is in summer considerably colder than the western. As 
for the rainfall, it is much less considerable on the western littoral of Sakhalin than on the 
Bay of St. Olga, and amounts during the year to a little more than 509 millimetres, of 
winch only 184 fall to the tlu'ee summer months, while the autumns are almost as rainy as 
the summer. In a word, Sakhalin is unfit for agricultural colonization. Eijually unfit is the 
whole nortliern half of the Sikhete-Alin and the corresponding part of the littoral, so that 
there can hardly be found more than 3,000 square geographical miles as an area for coloni- 
zation in the whole Ussuri-Littoral country, after deduction is made of the too swampy ami 
too damp spots, which so severely hamper the development of colonization in the Ussuri zone. 

In the vegetable growth of the Ussuri country little difference is observable from 
that of the Amour. The greater part of the characteristic plants of Amouria cross 
over into Ussuria. It is however noteworthy that the proportion of European Russian forms 
is higher in the Ussuri country than in the Amour, namely 47 instead of 38 per cent, which 
is a direct indication of the less continental nature of the climate. The species of trees are 
identical with those in the Amour country. Only one new tree appears, a hard-beam (car- 
pinus cordata Bl.) and two shrubs, the wild vine crossing from North China (cissus humuli- 
folia Bge.) and the common European berberry (berberis vulgaris L.). Only a little over 80 
species of herbaceous plants are found in the Ussuri Country, and not met with in Amouria, 
among them being species common to North China, Japan and America. Only 17 local plants 


are known which have been found nowhere except in Ussuria. Among them is the celebrated 
ginseng (panax ginseng Reg.), whose root is so prized as a remedy by the Chinese. Prob- 
ably many of these plants will be subsequently found in the Amour Country also, but some 
of them bear undoubtedly a more southern character. To the latter are to be referred, from 
the pea family, the beautiful climbing glycine ussuriensis Reg., of the exotic family ponte- 
deriaceae, the very showy marsh plant (monochoria Korsakavii Reg.); of the family of erio- 
caulaceae, eriocanlon ussuriense; finally, of the ferns, with a subtropical appearance, pleopeltis 
ussuriensis Reg. The flora of the LTssuri country has many forms common to Xorth America; 
25 per cent of the whole Ussuri flora is met with in North America, but of course the ma- 
jority of these species belong to those equally existent over the whole northern zone alike 
of the Old and the New World, and only 32 species, entirely foreign to European Russia, 
cross from America, 14 through the Yakutsk region and 18 direct. 

Almost the same may be said in reference to the invertebrate fauna, and especially of 
the insects, as to the flora. The majority of the species here are met with also in the Amour 
country, while the proportion of peculiar forms is very high, but approaching the Sea of Japan 
on the one hand a few forms appear not found in the Amour Country and bearing a subtrop- 
ical character, and on the other, the proportion increases of purely European species or their 
analogues, a fact particularly noticeable in those orders of insects possessing a highly developeil 
power of flight, as for example the butterflies and moths (lepidoptera). On the whole, both 
the flora and the fauna of the Ussuri country as also of the whole Amour-Littoral region 
bears a completely palearctic character, that is, the character of the northei'u zone of the 
Old World, here reaching right as far as the Eastern Ocean, while in the more southern zone 
the palearctic fauna crossing the whole tableland of Central Asia and Tibet together finds 
its limit in a more western meridian upon the frontier of the warm subtropical plains of 
China, falling far short of the Eastern Ocean. 

The vertebrate animals of the Ussuri-Littoral country are the same as those in 
Amouria ; only one species of deer (cervus axis), a few small rodents, and fish in the Sea of 
Japan appearing in its bays like the herrings and pilchards in countless numbers at certain 
seasons of the year, constitute the difference between the fauna of the Ussuri-Littoral region 
and that of the Amour. 

The population of the Ussuri-Littoral region together with the island of Sakhalin at 
present already amounts to 90,000 souls. Li this number are only 6,500 wandering aborigones 
of the country belonging to the Tunguz tribes of Manguns, Golds, Oroks, and also to the Ghil- 
iaks. There are 13,000 Coreans with fixed abodes, and 8,000 Chinese. The Russian immi- 
grants amount to more than 60,000, or 67 per cent, so that contrary of the Yakutsk re- 
gion, the Ussuri-Littoral, Amour and Transbaikal districts may be considered completely 
Russian. In the towns of the Ussuri-Littoral country live about 18 per cent of its 
population, and only one of these towns, Vladivostok, with 13,(X)0 in hahiiants. has the char- 
acter of a true town population. It is not then astonishing that in the Ussuri-Littoral country the 
rural predominate over the town industries, a fact appearing in the number of domestic animals 
reared by the population, although this figure is lower than in Transbaicalia and Amouria 
on account of the recent settlement of the 0(unitrv. Thus, there are about 4j horses in tiie 

70 SlUEklA. 

Ussnri-Jjittoial coiuitry to IfX) inhabitants, 55 hoad of horned cattle, anil a little nioie than 
30 iihci'.\) and ^'oat.<. But of comso tlii'se {Vniios are rapidly growing with the extremely no- 
ticeahlc iiK'irasc nC ludsperity oi' thi' iimnigranls in the Ussuri country, who latterly have 
even begun to pay oil all at once the loans ol' money given them on their immigration. 

Completely different is the character of the I'onrlh district of the Amour-Littoral region 
wlii'li may bo called the Okhotsk-Kamchatka. This iioi1,h-ea.stem part of the region under 
consideration, embracing, beginning with the basin of the river Qda, the watersheds of all 
the rivers falling into the Okhotsk and Behring seas, occupies an area of more than 27,000 
square geographical miles. The Okholsk-Kanichatka country is geographically composed of 
the somewhat narrow iKirth-wcstcrn liitdtal of the Sea of Okhotsk, the districts of Udsk, 
Okliotsk and Ghizhiginsk, the peninsula of Kamchatka or district of Petropavlovsk, Chukot 
land and the islands of the Okhotsk and Behring seas. In the first part the Stanovoi range, 
with not more than an average height of 3,000 feet, divides the Littoral Territory from that 
of Yakutsk, sending forth considerable offshoots, more or less filling up the shore zone, which 
is on the whole mountainous and in some places descends abruptly to the sea, especially 
between the basins of the Uda and Okliota. The basin of the Uda and the whole of the 
extensive bay of that uam(\ penetrating between Cape St. Alexander and the port of Ayansk 
deep into the mainland by its inlets of Udsk, Tugursk, Ulbansk and St. Nicholas, in front of 
which lie the uninhabited but elevated and fairly extensive Shantar islands, are nevertheless 
the best part of the Okhotsk-Kamchatka country, while the wide and roomy northern littoral 
of the Okhotsk Sea, with its Ghizhiginsk and Penzhinsk inlets entering deeply into the main- 
land to the north-east, represents the most unsuitable spots in the country for the purposes 
of settlement on account of its climatic conditions. The geological composition of the north- 
western coast land of the Okhotsk Sea is very various. Along it crystalline rocks, gi^anite, 
diorite, porphyry, and even labrador, are met with, as also volcanic rocks, such as trachyte 
and basalt, as for example in the Marekan mountains at Okhotsk, upon the peninsula of 
Segneka and on the littoral of the Uyanon inlet in the Udsk district. Among stratified rocks, 
paleozoic formations were found in Cape Karaul in the same locality. 

A great scientific interest, but of very little economical future, is afforded by the penin- 
sula of Kamchatka stretching to the south almost as far as 50° north latitude. The skeleton of 
Kamchatka is formed by the middle Kamchatka range, the southern half of which consists 
of crystalline schists, and also of granite, syenite and porphyry, while the northern is composed 
of tertiary sandstones and volcanic rocks. Upon the boundary between these halves rises the 
extinct volcano Icha to a height of 16,900. Parallel with the main Middle Kamchatka range, 
along the eastern shore of the peninsula, stretches a whole row of active and extinct volca- 
noes, forming as it were the fiery wreaths of Kamchatka. The most southern of the perma- 
nently active volcanoes is the small Avacha, wiiose coue in the year 1848 fell quite in, but in 
which the extensive crater which was formed after the catastrophe kept constantly smoking 
from 1852 to 1855. The crown of the system in the neighbourhood of the Avacha bay, upon 
which is situated the chief town of Kamchatka, is formed by the cones Povorot (7,900 feet), 
Viliucha (6,750), Strelka or Koriak (a marvellously beautiful cone, scored with longitudinal 
ribs, 10,630 feet;, Avacha (8,700 feet) and Zhupan (8,800 feet); the last two are always active. 


Avacha produced frightful eruptions in the years 1825 and 1855. Traces of the first of these 
eruptions were left in the gullies deeply cut in the sides of the mountain, washed away hy the 
torrents of hot water proceeding from the mass of melted snows. Further to the north, volcanoes 
are grouped round Lake Kronotskoe. The highest of them, the Kronotsk, is 9,940 feet high. 
Still further to the north, in view of the Gulf of Kamchatka and the mouths of the river 
Kamchatka, the principal stream on the peninsula, are collected other volcanoes still active, 
of which the Kliuchevsk is the highest of all the active volcanoes of Kamchatka, and consid- 
erahly exceeds in height not only Mont Blanc hut even Kazhek, rising from 16,000 and 
17,000 feet above sea level. The stream of lava which descended from the Kliuchevsk 
at the eruption of 1843 almost reached the river Kamchatka. The other active volcanoes of 
this group also attain colossal altitudes, namely the Krestovsk 11,000 feet, and Siveliuch 10,500 
feet. Kamchatka reckons in all 12 active and over 26 extinct volcanoes. 

The greater part of the Chukot land is occupied hy the hasin of the Anadyr, hut the 
Chukot or Behring peninsula proper, forming the extreme north-eastern extremity of Asia, 
separated from America by Behring Straits, is mountainous and deeply indented with iiords. 
In the neighbourhood of Kamchatka in the Behring Sea are the somewhat elevated and inhabited 
Commander Islands partly composed of volcanic rocks, enjoying a world-wide reputation on 
account of their seal fisheries and other marine industries. 

The climatic conditions of the whole Okhotsk-Kamchatka country are extremely unfa- 
vourable. The Okhotsk Sea, notwithstanding it does not reach as far north as the Baltic, 
its most northern entrances being on one line of latitude with the Channel, has the char- 
acter of a thoroughly polar sea, frequently visited by whales. In the most southern ports of 
the Okhotsk Sea, Udsk and Ayan, the mean annual temperature is about 4", the winters, 
notwithstanding the nearness of the Sea, are severe, the mean winter temperature in Ayan 
being — 20^, and in Udsk with its more continental climate, — 28°. The summer is cool; in 
Ayan 11°, in Udsk, 13.5°. If agriculture in Udsk with an average temperature during the 
five-months vegetative period of about 12° is extremely precarious, in Ayan with 8° it is 
impossible. In Okhotsk the mean annual temperature is even lower, — 5°; the winters are 
colder than in Ayan, — 19.5°, the summer the same, 11". The same also is the mean tem- 
perature of the five-months vegetative period, 8", completely excluding the possibility of the 
development here of agriculture. Somewhat differently situated is Petropavlovsk, in Kam- 
chatka on Behring Sea, which is subject to a purely marine climate. The average annual 
temperature, 2°, is here higher than in the Okhotsk Sea, the winter much more moderate, — 
8°, the summer almost the same as at the Udsk penal settlement, 13°, but the mean temper- 
ature of the five-months vegetative period, 10. 6°, is less favourable to agriculture than in 
Udsk. As to the dampness of the climate and the annual rainfall, the Okhotsk-Kam- 
chatka country presents in this respect two sharp contrasts. The larger southern part 
of the Sea of Okhotsk and the southern extremity of Kamchatka are constantly wrapped 
in fogs, drenched with rain or smothered with snow, so that in Ayan the quantity of 
the annual rainfall amounts to 1,113 millimetres, in Petropavlovsk to 1,240 millimetres, in 
Ayan summer precipitation 526 millimetres, and autumn 452 predominating, while in Pe- 
tropavlovsk summer has the smallest precipitation, which is however very great in autumn, 


winter ami .spriiii^. On tlic; cfjiilraiy, on tin; wliol<^ iiurlhuru littoral of tijo Sea of Okhotsk, 
from Okhotsk to Ti^, in the northern j)ait of Kamchatka and in Chukot laud, there i.s a 
very small rainfall^ reachin^'ln Oklliotsk in the course of tho year (jnly IIX) millimetres, and the 
\viiil(!rs are almost ah.solnli-ly snowless, uilli liiil !t inillinielres. The climate of the Sea of Okhotsk 
i> liii ilni characli'rized hy monsoons, that is, winds hlowing in summer fiom the sea and in winter 
inmi 111!' hunl. In winUu' tin; aerial cuirent of llie monsoons pours across the crest of the 
Stanovoi lan^e' with such I'orci; that men and pack animals cannot go a^'ainst it. In the lali; 
autumn ships avail themselves id' these winds on the voya^'e from Okhotsk to Kamchatka. In 
siiiMiiiri-, (in till' contrary, strong winds blow from the sea into the Okhotsk shore; they bring 
Willi iliciii cold, impenetrable fog and <;bus/>, a fine cold misty rain. These monsoons are 
explained by the strong heating of the land compariMl with llie sea in summer and its cortling 
iu winter. 

The llora of the whole u[ the Okhotsk-Kamchatka country is poor in the number of 
species and exhibits but small variety, but ilie vegetable growth over the whole of its damp 
part upon the western littoral of the Sea of Okhotsk and iu southern Kamchatka is luxuriaui. 
The forests of southern Kamchatka consist only of the two coniferous species, the Siberian 
fir (abics sibirica Led.) and of the Siberian cedar (piuus cembra L.), and of a few deciduous 
trees, a birch (betula pubescens Khr.), an alder (alnus incaua W.), a poplar (populus suave- 
olens Kisch.), a rowan (pyrus sambucifolia Ch.), a willow (salix peutandra L.), to which must 
be added further a few shrubs belonging to the genera of clematis (atragene ocholensis Pall.j, 
dog-rose (two Siberian species) honeysuckle (loniccra nigra L.), birch (betula Ermanni Ch.) and 
willow, several species, not counting the smallest bushes of the family of heathers (ericace*). 

The herbaceous plants, while very poor in the number of species, grow' luxuriantly, 
far exceeding a man's height. Ljifortunately among such is a species of nettle with divided 
leaves (urtica cannabina L.), which has latterly increased here to such an extent that it 
literally, over large areas, completely crowds out all other vegetation and will be fatal to 
Kamchatka until its fibre finds some practical application. 

The western coast of the Sea of Okhotsk presents a great resemblance in its vegetation 
with Kamchatka. Some plants however cross over into its southern portion from the Cssuri- 
Littoral region, as for example is the case with the tree, picea ajanensis. As for the northern 
coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, and the perfectly treeless tableland, occupying northern Kamchatka, 
and Chukot land, their flora bears a greater resemblance to that existing under similar cli- 
matic conditions in the polar tundra zone of the Yakutsk region. 

The laud fauna of the Ochotsk-Kamchatka country differs little from the Siberian. 
Its marine fauna has an incomparably greater importance for the district, for the simple 
reason that uow^here does ".the marine fauna of the polar seas come so far south as in Beh- 
ring Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk whither, together with marine currents and icebergs, the 
mammals and fish of the Arctic Ocean penetrate in large numbers. 

The Sea of Okhotsk, occupying an extensive area between the coast of the Asiatic 
continent and the peninsula of Kamchatka, and shut in on the south-east by the Kuril ridge, 
which leaves as many as 20 convenient entrances into it from the Pacific Ocean and the Sea 
of Japan, is placed in quite exceptional climatic conditions. Notwithstanding its geographical 


situation in the temperate zone, between 44^ and 62" north latitude, it possesses the t^-pe of a 
polar sea like Hudson's Bay. The greatest depth of the Sea of Okhotsk in its centre is apparently 
not more than 1,400 to 1,500 feet. While towards the end of the summer in July and August 
the temperature of the water upon the surface of the sea rises to 7" and even 10", that at 
a depth of over 100 feet is below 0" C, and deeper thanTOOfeet it is— 1"5". Low^er than 1 ,350 
feet, the water being salter, the temperature again rises, reaching 2'4'' and remains so to the 
bottom of the sea. But however this may be, the Sea of Okhotsk has all the appearance of 
what might be called a «tundra» sea, from the valleys of the northern shore of which are 
carried to the south the so-called «scum» or ice masses floating almost the whole summer on 
the Sea of Okhotsk. In summer the floating ice collects especially in the southern part of the 
sea, off the coast to the east of Sakhalin and around the Shantar islands and even in the 
Amour frith. In Udsk Bay the ice clears out only in July, in Tugursk Bay it holds till Au- 
gust. The marine currents of the Okhotsk sea on its eastern Kamchatka shore flow apparently 
on the whole in a northerly direction, and from its north-eastern Ghizhiginsk and Peuzhinsk 
extremities swerve to the west, and afterwards following the change of direction of the coast- 
line turn to the south, passing by the eastern shore of Sakhalin. These cuiTcnts it is that 
fill the whole south-western part of the sea in summer with floating ice, in some places form- 
ing an obstacle to ships entering it from the Pacific Ocean. 

Both the subaqueous flora and the invertebrate fauna of the Okhotsk Sea are extremely 
rich in comparison with not only those of the Northern Ocean coast, but even with those 
of Behring Sea. As many as 53 species of seeweeds (algae) have been found in this sea. 
The algae here, moreover, bear a much greater resemblance to the flora of the Artie Ocean 
than to that of the Pacific. The majority of the seaweeds of the European Arctic Ocean are 
also to be found in the Sea of Okhotsk, while the flora of this sea presents very few species 
common to the Pacific, possessing however not a few peculiar species. The Sea of Okhotsk is 
extraordinarily rich in mollusks. As many as 70 species of shellfish have been found there, 
of which 31 species belong to the general polar or circumpolar forms, 15 to the polar forms 
of Behring Sea, 14 to the Pacific fauna, also met with upon the Aniericau coasts, and finally 
10, peculiar to the Sea of Okhotsk itself. Twenty-one species of crustaceans have been found, 
5 of these circumpolar, 5 Pacific, and 11 peculiar to Okhotsk. There, is scant information on 
the fish of the Sea of Okhotsk, but the pisciae wealthof this sea is very considerable. In partic- 
ular the «keta» (salmo lagocephalus) and «malma» (salma callaris) are met here in count- 
less shoals. It is a natural consequence of the wealth of the marine flora and fauna of the 
Sea of Okhotsk and of its polar character, that this sea has ever been the chosen hunting 
ground of large marine mammals, swimming hither from the Arctic Ocean. Among these must 
be counted not only several species of seal (phoca barbata, groenlandica, leouina, nautica, numu- 
laria and ochotensis), dolphins (phocaena orca, delphinapteros leucas); but three species of whale 
of which only one has been identified with certainty (balaenoptera longimana). The whal- 
ing industry began to be developed here in the forties of the present century, and since 
1847 the American whalers have not given these creatures one single year's rest, and have 
carried away, according to the testimony of the American ship owners, in the 14 years between 
1847 and 18G1, blubber and whulr bone lo ilu' amuuul of 130,000,000 dollars, employing 


firiniially for tlio piiifioso 200 vossols, Urnlcr scunowliat (linoroiit conflitions is Bohring Sea, 
since the surremlcr to the United States of the Russian possessions in America, enjoyed in com- 
mon hy the States and Rnssia, It is boimded on the south, that is on the side of the Pacific 
by Ihe r'uliir of thi' Aleutian islands, and on the north rommiinicates with the Frozen Ocean 
hy means of Bcliriiif,' Straits. Situated in more northern hititndes, between 52" and 04" N. 
lat., and separated from tlie Pacific Ocean only hy a ridge of islands interrupted hy sea 
channels, Behriiig Sfa is a type not of a close meiliteiranean sea liki; that of Okhotsk, but 
of an ocean sea open at both emls, whose climate is still more marine at all seasons of the 
year than that of the Sea of Okhotsk. It is enough to state that in the southern part of the 
sea with a moan annual temperature of 3", the average temperature of the coldest month is 
a little below zero, and that of the hottest 7°, to understand why all the islands of Behring 
Sea are devoid of trees. Xo agriculture is possible upon them, and both these islands and the 
shores of Behring Sea are incapable of settled colonization, and arc for ever doomed to be 
rostrictod to the working of their marine resources. The water flora of Behring Sea is poorer 
than that of Okhotsk, but it cannot be called alsolutely poor, and it is at any rate incom- 
parably richer than the flora of the Siberian coast of the Arctic Ocean. 

Thanks to this circumstance and to the abundance of mollusks, crustaceans and fish, 
this sea like that of Okhotsk has always been a splendid feeding gi-ound for marine animals, 
which once used to visit these shores in countless numbers, in particular the islands of Behring Sea. 
The most interesting of these visitors was, till the commencement of this century, the huge ani- 
mal. 35 feet in length and weighing 50,000 pounds, known by tlic name of the seacow (rytina 
Stelleri), first described by the highly talented follow traveller of Behring, the Russian natur- 
alist Steller; this enormous beast has now entirely vanished from the face of the earth, like 
tlie mammoth of the prehistoric age and the gi-eat birds dodo and moa in more recent times. 
The last seacows were killed on Behring island, one of the most remarkable islands in the 
world, alike from a geographical and from a natural history point of view, in 1780. According 
however to information gathered by Nordenskjold the half-castes of Behring island saw sea- 
cows last as late as 1855. Another visitor of the islands of Behring Sea, the so-called sea 
lion or «sivuch» (eumetopias Stelleri Less.) has now become so rare that it is only seen 
in individual specimens. On the other hand Behring Sea and especially Behring islands are 
still rich in seals (otaria ursina), of which annually from 10,000 to 50,0<X) are taken. One other 
very valuable visitor of the Behring islands is the so-called Kamchatka or sea beaver (enhydris 
lutris L.), which in zoological respects has nothing in common with the genus beaver (biber) or 
otter (Ultra), but belongs to a genus of animals analogous to the morse (trichecus rosmarus). 
Of the remaining marine mammals the same occur in Behring Sea as in that of Okhotsk, 
namely species of seals, dolphins and whales. Behring Sea is also extraordinarily abundant in 
fish. Some kinds of fish as for example herrings, cod and gwyniad, appear periodically off the 
islands and shores of Behring Sea from April to July in countless numbers. Finally, upon the 
shores and islands of this sea breed several kinds of land fur animals, as for example river 
heavers, otters, arctic foxes, foxes, sables and muskrats. 

Possessing such extremely unfavourable conditions, not so much on account of its geo- 
graphical situation as of Its climate, the Okhotsk-Kamchatka region, being included among 


the hyperborean countries, has a quite insignificant population. Its 35,000 inhabitants makes 
a little more than one to the square geographical mile, the number of the Russian contingent 
not exceeding 1.000, or 20 per cent of the total population. Half of the Russian people 
are distributed through small towns, containing 11 per cent of the inhabitants of the country. 
The native tribes consist of wandering Chukches, Koriaks, Kamchadals, Lamuts, and reindeer 
Tunguz. Evidently, the whole Okhotsk-Kamchatka country, like the neighbouring Yakutsk region 
of Eastern Siberia, is absolutely unadapted to premanent agricultural colonization and possesses 
the very smallest capacity for settlement, which can only be enlarged by the development, 
protection and regulation of the sea industries. 



CIl A i'Ti:i{ VI. 
The Kirghiz Steppe Region. 

Its division into the mountain and steppe territories; orography and hydrography of each: climatic 

conditions; vegetable covering; fauna; composition and distribution of the population in the 

mountain and steppe zones; importance of cattle breeding to the native population. 

THE Kirghiz steppe region in an administrative sense forms the steppe Governor-Generalship 
and is composed of three territories, Akmolinsk, Semipalatinsk and Semirechensk. In 
a geographical sense it occupies the southern part of the river region of the Irtysh and the 
basins of several central Asiatic rivers, not possessing sea communication, but either falling into 
Lake Balkhash, as the III and other rivers of Somirechia, Lake Issyk-Kul and Ala-Kul or 
losing themselves in the sands or steppe marshes. 

The whole Kirghiz region occupies a space of 25,000 square geographical miles and 
may be divided into two parts, mountain and steppe. The former consists of the whole 
Semirechensk territory, except the Sergiopol district, and of the Zaissan district of Semipala- 
tinsk, and occupies 7,000 square geographical miles, the latter comprises the whole remaining 
space of 18,000 square geographical miles. 

To the mountain zone belongs the gigantic Russian western Thian-Shan with the exception 
of its western prolongations, which cross over into the Turkestan Governor-Generalship. Like 
the Sayan-Altai mountain system, the Thian-Shan at its western extremity branches into sep- 
arate mountain ridges partly parallel to each other, partly spreading out like the feathers 
of a slightly opened fan. In the main range of the Thian-Shan on the Chinese fron- 
tier a little north of 42° N. lat. is the highest peak, mount Khan-Teugi-i, lifting itself 
above a whole group of gigantic snow-clad summits and reaching an altitude of 24,000 feet. 
The glaciers descending from the Khan-Tengii group feed, on the one hand, the upper waters 
of the Tekes, that is, the head stream of the chief river of Semirechia, the Hi, faUing into 
Lake Balkhash, on the other hand, tributaries themselves feeding the hollow of lake Issyk-Kul, 
and yet again, the head waters of the Sary-Dzhaz, which has its source on the northern 
slope of the Thian-Shan, but breaks through a defile in that range on its southern side and 
falls into the river Parim, belonging to the system of lake Lob-Xor. At the same time, a 
little further to the west, the river Xaryn, the head waters of the Yaxartes or Sn--Darya 
springs from the lakes lying on the extensive alpine tablelands or «sazas» of the Thian- 


Slian, at a height of 13,000 feet. From Khan-Tengti, the Thian-Shan range already 
shews a tendency to branch into ridges, lying almost parallel to each other. The 
southern of these forms the Chinese frontier and is separated from the more northern 
by longitudinal valleys, in which flow the rivers Sarydzhaz and Naryu. The crests 
of these separate ridges consist of an uninterrupted series of snow-clad summits, the passes 
between which attain an absolute height from 10,000 to 13,000 feet, and are very rugged. 
Finally, the northernmost ridge of the Thian-Shan descends into the long deep valley stretching 
from west to east of the large and beautiful lake of Issyk-Kul, situated at a height of 
5,300 feet. But still further north than lake Issyk-Kul rises also above the limits of eternal 
snow a double range, that is split into two parallel ridges by a longitudinal valley, the chain 
of the Zailisk Altai, which is connected with the Thian-Shan by mountain spurs at its 
northern depressed extremity. At its very centre it reaches a height of 15,000 feet, and 
over a considerable part of the Zailisk Altai the passes over both its ridges attain an altitude 
of 9,000 feet and are very difficult to climb. The splendid northern acclivity of the Thian- 
Shan descends to the broad steppe valley of the Hi, but upon its northern side the Semirecheusk 
range or Dzhungar Altai rises again to the snow line, and at its eastern extremity, within 
Chinese territory, is in immediate connexion with the Thian-Shan. Finally, still further to the 
north, in parallel 47° N. lat., stretches the Tarbagatai range also clad in eternal snows, and 
parallel to the general direction of the Thian-Shan, reaching an extreme limit of 10,000 feet. 
The deep hollow of Lake Zaissan lying at a height of 1,356 feet, and of the Black Irtysh 
which falls into it, divides Tarbagatai from the Narym range of the southern ridge of the 
Altai system. The mountains of the Thian-Shan and of the two Altai consist mainly of 
the crystalline rocks, granite, syenite, gneiss, diorite, porphyi-y, and of the metamorphic rocks, 
crystalline schist; but volcanic rocks have so far not been seen in the Thian-Shan. Cpon 
the mountain slopes are also found rocks in beds lifted up by the crystalline formations. Wherevei- 
fossils were met with in the stratified rocks they betray the fact that the latter belong to 
the paleozoic formations of the devonian ' and carboniferous systems. Secondary formations, 
namely Jurassic, are found in the continuations and offsets of tin; Thian-Shan range in 
the Turkestan territory. At the foot of all the mountains described extend zones excellently 
watered wherever there are snow peaks, and covered with a fertile soil by the torrents, de- 
scending from them and extremely convenient for agriculture and settled colonization, but not 
otherwise than with the aid of artificial irrigation. Unfortunately, these zones are narrow; 
they occupy a submountainons tract of an elevation of 1,800 to 5,000 feet above sea 
level, in the Issyk-Kul valley even attaining 7,000 feet, above which the cultivation of grain 
reaches its limit, ceasing also wherever the mountains descend below the snow line and 
accordingly do not feed any torrents. Moreover these streams lead away into «aryks» or irri- 
gation canals, become quickly exhausted, and passing over into the hot and arid zone lying 
below 2,000 feet, being absorbed by the sands or rapidly evaporating, fall it might almost be 
said into the atmospheric ocean. Therefore of the rivers of Semirechia only the full flowing 
Hi reaches as it should the extensive Lake Balkhash, bounding this region on the north- 
east, the other quite insignificant streams, Koksu, Karatal, Bien, Aksu, Baskan and Lepsa, 
either become lost in shallow washes among the sands, or like the last nanieil, in the impene- 


liable reeds of llio shore of Lake Balkliasli. This lake, gradually dryiug up and retreating from 
the submountainous region, has left between the latter and its south-eastern shore line a desert 
and unfruitful space at least 1,000 square geographical miles in extent. Thus, that part of 
the foothill zone wiijcji, rnmi its absolute height, irrigation and soil, may be regarded as an 
area suitable to colonization, scarcely amounts to more than ],000 square geographical m'iUi<, 
oven reckoning in the valleys adapted to cultivation. 

The submountainous zone of the Kirghiz steppe region, extending between the Thian- 
Shan and Altai, is almost the best part of Siberia, and is remarkable also on account of th'- 
fact that it played a great part in the history of the great migration of peoples, beginning 
with the movement of the Huns to the west already in the second century before Christ and 
ending with the great Mongolian in'uplion of the thirteentli ciTilury. All the national migra- 
tions starting from the interior of Asia were caused by the fact that the nomad population 
of Central Asia gradually increasing reached the limits of the capacity of the country, and 
then was compelled to seek an exit either to the far oast into the rich and fertile plains of 
the Chinese Empire, or to the far west, at first into the Aral-Caspian plain, and later, turn- 
ing the Si-Khai, the «dislant west», that is, the Caspian Sea, on the north or south, into 
Europe. But as the elevated region of Central Asia between the Thian-Shan and the Hima- 
laya range on the side of the Aral-Caspian depression is shut in by such lofty mountains, 
whose passage is entirely impossible for nomads moving with all their herds, the importance 
in the history of national migrations of those three wide and convenient intervals, which are 
situated between the Thian-Shan and the Altai in the region under consideration, is evident. 
These gaps are, the wide valley of the Hi between the two Altai, the depression surround- 
ing Lake Alacul, between the Semirechian Altai and Tarbagatai, and the Circumzaissan 
plain between Tarbagatai and the Altai. These three intervals in the mountains served as 
wide gates for the exodus of the nomads with the low-lying plain, now called the Kirghiz steppe. 

The steppe district of the Kirghiz steppe region differs entirely from not only the zone 
just considered, but also from the neighbouring Western Siberian plain. The Kirghiz steppe is 
unlike the latter in that it does not present an absolute level. On the contrary it is for a 
considerable extent intersected by low, but very prominent mountain ridges and masses, con- 
sisting for the most part of granite, diorite, diabase, porphyry and other crystalline rocks. 
Granitic mountains rear themselves above the steppe in the form of crests, while the porphy- 
ritic are arranged for the most part in groups of cupola-shaped summits, the resulting effect 
being a very varied contour. The steppe character of the Kirghiz country appears in the 
extreme scantiness of its watering and in the almost complete absence of forest vegetation, 
which only occurs in the north-western corner of the steppe in the Kokchetavsk district of 
the Akmoliusk Territory. Only the uoilh-eastern portion of the steppe is watered by the 
Htysh, while through the north-western flows a large tributary of the same river, the Ishim. 
All the other rivers of the steppe as for example the Nura, Sary-Su, and Chu bear the character 
of sluggish prairie streams, disappearing in ovei-flows, which rapidly evaporate in the sandy 
waste. The low mountain ridges, intersecting the steppe, contain various minerals, such as cop- 
per and argentiferous lead ores. In the Kokbekta district of the Semipalatinsk territory occur . 
deposits of gold. But the absence of fuel places mining industry here under unfavourable conditions. 


The greater part of the steppe is ouly suited to the existence of uomads, as it contains very- 
few oases adapted to cultivation and colonization. The climate of the steppe portion of the 
Kirghiz steppe region is considerably warmer than in the neighbouring cultivated or agricul- 
tural zone of AVestern Siberia, but still more continental. The mean annual temperature in 
Akmoliusk and Semipalatinsk lying in 51° and 50^/2° X. lat, is from 2° to 2.5 Celsius, that 
is, 2'^ higher than in Siberia. The temperature in winter is — 16", that of the coldest 
mouth — 18.5°, almost identical with the Western Siberia agricultural zone. But the average 
summer tempeiature, rising as high as 20" and of the hottest month 22°, is more considerable 
than in Western Siberia. The difference of temperature in summer and winter, 36°, as also 
that between the hottest and coldest months, 40°, are greater than in Western Siberia. The 
mean temperature of the five-months vegetative period (18°) considerably exceeds that of 
Western Siberia. On the other hand the amount of atmospheric precipitation in the course of 
the year in Akmolinsk only reaches 229 millimetres, of which 166 fall to the three summer 
months, and in Semipalatinsk 186 millimetres, of which 80 are in summer. Still less moisture 
falls in the southern part of the steppe, of which an idea may be formed from the observations 
taken in the Turgai bordering on this country. There the fall in the course of the year is 
122 millimetres, of which only 16 millimetres belong to the summer. In the Ilungry-Steppe 
or Bed-Pak-Dala, lying on the southern frontier of the steppe on the river Chu, there is no 
rain at all in summer. Evideutly there being no possibility of irrigation, as the river Chu 
is very shallow, this zone is nothing but a dead wilderness. 

Incomparably more favourable are the climatic conditions of the submountainous region. 
According to the averages derived from the observations made in Alerny and Kuldzha, thai 
is, in the foot hills of the Transilian Altai and the Thian-Shan about 44° X. lat., the annual 
temperature is 9° Celsius, that in winter only — 6°, that of the coldest month — 10°, of 
summer 22°, and of the hottest month 26". The difference between summer and winter is 28", 
that between the coldest and hottest months 36°. Almost as mild is the climate of Kopal, 
situated 2° further north in the submountainous region of the Semirecheusk Altai. Here the 
mean annual temperature is 7*5°, of winter — 5°, of the coldest month — 6", of summer 20", 
of the hottest month 21°. The difference between winter and summer is 25°, and between the 
hottest and coldest months 27°. The average temperature of the five-months vegetative period 
is 21° in A'ierny and Kuldzha, and 1«" in Kopal. The mild winters afford a sufficient explan- 
ation why in this country not only is gardening possible, which does not exist anywhere in 
Siberia, but even grape growing. Vierny has a precipitation of more than 560 millimetres 
a year, of which most falls in spring, namely 226 millimetres, and in summer 115 millimetres. 
Such a climate may be counted among the best in lUissia. 

The vegetable covering of the submountainous region is luxuriant and extremely varied, 
the more so that the climatic zones are there disposed in layers one above another and exhibit 
perfectly different types of vegetation. The greatest resemblance to the flora of Russia is 
presented by that of the foothills at an elevation of 2,000 to 7,500 feet, that is, that part 
which is most capable of development in reference to civilized and settled life, and in 
which are placed all the Russian coloiues of the country. At 7,500 feet the forest 
vegetation ceases; above spreads the zone of alpine meadows, while below 2,500 feet the 


scantily walerod country lakes the cliaiiictcr of the sk-jipo poriion of tli- ,.|^,.,ii iimler 

TIio forest ^Mowili ol' tlif siihiiioiiiitiiinoii^ and mountainous zones, from 2,000 to 7,500 
feet in iiltitudc is not very viiricij. Among tlin fonilcrs upon tlif slopes of botli the Altai 
and llic Tliian-Shan ocenrs a fine kind of fir, whifh Russian botanists have name<l picea 
Schrenkiana Fisch., Imt wlii'h has proved to be the same as one of tlic Himalayan speeios 
(abies Smithiana Bed.). iMiillier the; cliaracter of a tree is possessed by thr; kiml of juniper 
{.JMiiiperiis pseudosabiiia Fisch.) more often adhering to the rocks, but at times rising in the 
Joiiii of iliiek and lofiy but very crooked trees, as for example in the Buam defile. 

Of the deciduous species hcie occur the common birch (betula alba L.), the scented poplar 
(populus suave(dens Fisch.), a low kind of maple (acer Semenovii Reg.) almost identical with 
that fd" the Amour (acer ginnala), the common rowan (pyrus aucuparia L.) the wild apple 
not iiiei Willi ill Siberia (pyrus mains) and tlu^ apricot (pruniis armeniaca L.) producing even 
ill the wild state very good fruit. The shrubs are somewhat more varied. Among them there 
aie common European species, as for example, sallow-thorn (rhamnus catharticus L.), a bramble 
(rubus caesius L.), two wild roses (rosa pimpinellifolia D.C. and rosa cinamomea L.), the snow- 
ball tree (viburnum opulus L.), honeysuckle (lonicera xylostcum and coerulea L.), species of 
willow (salix nigricans Sm. and salix purpurea L.), and of the conifers, ephedra vulgaris Rich, 
and juniporus sabina I;. There aio also Caucasian species, a cherry (prunus prostrata Lab.), 
gatten tree (cotoneaster iiuniularia Fisch.), currant (ribes petraeum ^Yulf.), and one species 
occurring in Finland and the extreme north of Russia and Siberia, bipophoea rhamnoides L. 
The Siberian altaic species include, rosa alpina L., crateaegus sanguinea Pall., lonicera nii- 
crophylla, W., lonicera liispidaL., salix sihirica Pall. But most interesting of all are a few local 
forms, a traveller's joy (clematis soongorica Bge), berberry (berberis heteropodaSchr.), spindlc- 
trce (evonymus Semenovii Reg.), a rose (rosa platyacantha Schr.). Of the herbaceous plants 
of the cultivated mountainous zone 70 per cent belong to species also found in European 
Russia. Of Asiatic species half occur in the Altai-Sayan upland or in the Siberian plain; 
three species, dracocephalura heterophyllum Benth. and two rhubarbs (iheum Emodi Wall, 
and rheum spiciforme Royl.) belong to the Himalayan flora and more then 50 species are pecul- 
iar to the local flora. Especially among these are a few crow's foots (ranunculus soongoricus 
Schr. and a(|uilegia lactiflora Kar.), astragals (astragalus leucocladus Bge. and oxytropis mer- 
kensis Bge.), compositae (cousinia Semenovii Reg. and cousinia uncinuata Reg.), of the calyci- 
floreae (pedicularis Semenovii Reg,, eremonstachys Sewertsovii, Herd,) and finally some beautiful 
bulbous jdants, as heningia robusta Reg, It is remarkable iliat in this zone a few European 
cultivated plants are met with growing wild, as for example rye (secale cereale L.) and 
hemp (cannabis sativa L.),, 

Quite different is the character of the vegetation on the luxuriant meadows of the 
Alpine zone, Plere there is no forest growth, only a few shrubs forcing their way in, reaching 
here their highest limit. Among them especially remarkable are two strange forms of acacia 
(caragana jubata Pall.) and a second species undescrlbed, which with their thickly clustered 
foliage and hard woody stalks sticking upright and furnished with long needles, resemble the 
tails of some large animals, such as the camel. Their dense pale grey leaves beautifully divided as 


in all acacias and papilionaceous flowers tender yellow in the case of one species and pale 
rose in the other are a strange charm to these bushes so characteristic of the Alpine zone 
of the Thian-Shan. Of the other bushes the following Siberian Altaic species attain the alpine 
zone: two meadow sweets (spiraea), potentilla fruticosa L., one species of gatten-tree (coto- 
neaster), and one of tamariks (myricaria Davurica Ehr.), currant (ribes), willow (salix Sibirica 
Pall.)- The local forms are two species of honeysuckle (lonicera humilis Kar. and L. Karelini 
Bge.) and one currant (ribes heterotrichum Mey.). The Alpine herbaceous flora attains here a 
peculiar luxuriance and variety, with only 15 per cent of general European and 15 per cent of 
Caucasian plants. Of the remaining 70 per cent of Asiatic species more than half are met 
with on the Altai-Sayan «bieloks» and «golets», 7 species on the Himalayan range, while not 
less than 70 species form a speciality of the local flora and probably will be found again only 
in the Alps of Central Asia. The 7 species are: anemone Falconeri Th., anemone micraniha Kl., 
corydalis Gortchakovii Schr., oxytropis Kashemiriana Camb., sedum coccineum Royl., carum 
iudicum Lindl., gentiana Kurroo Royl. Among the 70 species referred to the most remarkable 
are: one species of aconite (aconitum grandiflorum Kar.), a beautiful species of fumitory, re- 
cently adopted for cultivation, (corydalis Semenovi Reg.), 22 new species of astragals, mostly 
of the genus oxytropis su characteristic of the Asiatic Alps, several thick-leaved plants (umbilicus 
alpestris Kar., umbilicus Semenovi Reg., sedum gelidum Schr.), umbelliferae (for example, 
peucedanum transiliense Reg. and Semenovia transiliensis Reg.), ten new species of compos- 
ite cotton-thistles (as, cirsium nidulaus Reg. and cirsium Semenovi Reg., sanssurea glacialis 
Herd, and sorocephala Schr., alfredia nivea Kar., jurinea sufFruticosa Reg.), a beautiful species of 
primulaceae (cortusa Semenovii Led.), species of gentians (gentiana Olivieri Oris., swerlia margi- 
nata Schr.) and some beautiful bulbous plants, as crocus alatavicus Sem., orithya heterophylla 
Reg., intillaria pallidiflora Schr., fritillaria Severtzovii Reg. and 5 species of onion (allium), 
of which one (allium Semenovii Reg.) covers the <;sazas;> or elevated Alpine meadows of the 
Thian-Shan with its largo golden yellow flowers. It is from this characteristic species that 
the Thian-Shan received its Chinese name of Tsun-Liu or Onion Mountains. 

The vegetation of the lower steppe zone of the submountainous region, below 2,000 feet, 
approaches the type of the flora of the whole steppe territory of the Kirghiz region, in other 
words, to that of the Aralo-Caspian depression. This vegetation in the Kirghiz steppe region is 
in the highest degree peculiar and distinct, compared not only with that of European Russia 
and Siberia, but with that of their steppes. In it are clearly reflected the climatic conditions; 
the intensity of the summer heats, the severity of the winters and the absence of moisture. 
As already stated there are no forests, particuhirly no conifers in the Kirghiz steppe, with the 
exception of the Kokchetav district, but trees grow along the courses of the rivers. Here be- 
long: a particular kind of ash '(fraxinus potamophylla Herd.) and four kinds of poplar, populus 
laurifolia Led., populus nigra L., populus euphratica (01. and p. pruinosa Schr.), as also three 
European sorts of willow (salix fragilis L., s. purpurea L., s. viniinalis L.) and a very 
tall species of barberry with roundish rose-coloured berries (berberis integerrima Rge). 

Much more characteristic for the steppe flora are its low growing shrubs, frequently 
prickly, often covered with a gray or silvery foliage and not seldom characterised by their 
crookedness. They belong to the families of rues (rutacea"), haplophyllum Sieversii Fiscli. and 



lutifolinm Kar.; li.'gumino.sfc, lialimodondron aigi'iitomii Lain., sphai-iujjliysa salsiila Pali., 
aininodondroii SiovtMsii Fiscli.; iusk.s (losacoii^), Iliilthoiniia btiiborifolia Pall.; tamariks (lama- 
riscinea?), tamarix liispida W. and myiicaiia alopcciii'oidcs Sclir.; cuirants (ribesiaceae), 
ribes discantlia Pall.; solamim (solanciB), lyciura tiircomaiiiciim Fiscb.; buckwboat (poly- 
gonoae), tlueo new spocios, a cal!if,'(jiium and two atiaphaxis. 

Yet rnori! cliaracteristic are the steppe herbaceous plants. Among tlp-in aie not lumn 
tliau 40 per ci'iit of Enropcan .species, ami tliey lor the most part belong, like the two spe- 
cies of featlicr grass (stipa pennata L. and capillata L,), to the steppe forms of European 
Russia, or like the curious plant of the sandy (l(!serts belonging to the exotic family of ba- 
lanophoreae (cynomorium cocciiH'iini L.) are mot with on the sandy shores of the Mediterra- 
nean Sea. Further, besides plants occurring all over the Aralo-Caspian depression, Russian 
explorers of the steppe flora of the Kii'ghiz region, such as Karelin, Shrenk, Semionov, Sie- 
vertsev, and Baron Osten-Saken, have discovered here as many as 150 new species, charac- 
teristic of this tlora, among them 30 species of astragals alone, and 10 salicornias (salso- 
laceae). The following forms are particularly worthy of mention, leontice vesicaria Bge., 
mcgacarpEea laciniata D., physolepidium repens Schr., acanthophyllum spinosum Mey, and 
p.uiiculatuHi Ri'g., orobus Semenovi, Reg., alhagi camfdoruni Fisch., eryngium macrocalyx 'SL, 
dipsacus azureus Schr., karelinia caspica Led., acanthoceplialus amplicaulis Kar., saussurea 
Semenovi Kar^, and corouata Schr., echenais sieversi Fisch., streptorhempus hispidulus Reg., 
non-climbing bind-weeds (convolvulus Semenovi Reg. and subsericeus Schr.), physochlaena 
Semenovi Reg., eioniostachys sanguinea Jaub. and rotata Schr.); 4 species of statice (Seme- 
novi Herd, otolepis Schr. etc.); 5 new species of spurge (euphorbia), irises (iris soongorica 
Schr.), bulbous plants, rhinopetalum Karelini Fisch. and 4 species of onions; finally some 
characteristic grasses (gramineae), as elymus lanuginosus Fr., nephelochloa soongorica Gris., 
aelorupus intermedins Reg. et cetera. 

The fauna of the invertebrates in the Kirghiz steppe region is as peculiar and original 
as the flora. The difference between it and that of Western Siberia and European Russia 
is striking. On the other hand it is heyond doubt that this fauna differs very little from 
that of the deserts and steppes of the Aralo-Caspian depression. The fauna of the 
submountainous zone presents quite a different character, bearing a close resemblance 
tit that of Turkestan and the Pamir. Among the coleopterous insects not only of the sandy 
desert of the steppe zone, but throughout the whole of it, the sluggishly moving tene- 
brionidae, without wings under their hard coherent elytra, predominate. On the contrary, in 
the mountainous zone of the Thian-Shan and Alatau the tenebrionidae, who like the dry 
steppe, are met with in smaller numbers, while here occur numerous kinds of carabidae, 
among which are very rare mountain forms characteristic of the Central Asiatic mountain- 
ous zones. 

Of the vertebrates a gi-eat number of birds come during winter from the far north 
and nestle in the steppe and submountainous regions. The ornithological fauna of this region 
is especially rich. In the warm valleys exist different species of fowls, as also the most 
heautiful sorts of Asiatic pheasants; on the rivers and lakes is found a great variety of 
birds, native of the Mediterranean basin, among which are covies of pelicans; and on the 


Alpian zone, numbers of mouutainous birds, the greater part of which are natives of the 
Asiatic mountains. 

Even the fauna of the mammals is much richer and more varied than in Siberia. The 
tiger and the irbis (felis irbis) reach the northern limit of their distribution in the reeds 
of Balkhash, but occasionally stray northward into the neighbourhood of the Alatau. Wild boars 
occur in all the submountainous zone, in the Thian-Shan and Transilian Alatau. There are 
two species of bear belonging to the Pamir and the range of the Himalai (ursus thibetanus 
and Isabellinus). Besides the <;arkhar» (ovis argali), extremely common in the alpine and sub- 
alpine zones of the Thian-Shan and both Alatau, the kochgar, a mountain sheep first des- 
cribed by the celebrated traveller, Marco Polo, and subsequently called in his honour, ovis 
Polii, from the bonis and skeletons found in abundance on the Pamir, breeds in the wildest 
parts of the Thian-Shan. This species was long considered extinct, until discovered by the 
most recent Russian travellers, Semionov, Sievertsov and Przhevalsky. In the mountainous 
zone of the submountainous region also breed the cervus pygargus, capra sibirica, several species of 
<csaiga» (for example antilope subgutturosa) and the porcupine (hystrix), while the steppe 
zone contains «kulans» (eguus hemionus). 

Passing next to man, it must be observed that the whole population of the Kirghiz 
steppe region amounts to 1,860,000 souls, of whom the immigi-ant Russians form only l-t 
per cent (260,0C0), and the remainder, 86 per cent, belong to the native tribes of Central 
Asia. Of the latter, the Tartars and Sarts (35,000) live principally in towns and per- 
manent settlements, the Dungans and Taranch (86,000) employed in agriculture, may also be 
reckoned to the settled population of the country, while the Kirghiz (146,000) and Kalmyks 
(25,000) are nomads, living almost exclusively by cattle breeding. The Kirghiz, in number the 
predominating tribe of the region, speak a Tiurk idiom, but in effect in their origin form a 
motley amalgamation of various tribes, who were attracted hither in the Xlllth century by 
the last mass migi-ation of Mongols and who squatted here, on the road taken by the great 
migration, on the first spots suitable for a nomad life met with by the wanderers from the 
mountainous region of Asia. As among the people who entered into the composition of the 
Kirghiz alliance, the Tiurk tribes had a numerical preponderance, all the Kirghiz adopted 
their language, but the various clans and tribes have preserved to this day their clannish and 
tribal names, thus betraying their true nationality. The total number of the Kirghiz exceeds 
3,000,000 souls, of whom 1,470,000 dwell in the steppe Governor-Generalship, 760,000 in the 
Turgai and Ural territories, 740,000 in Turkestan, and over 140,000 in the home Kirghiz 
Bukeev horde in European Russia. 

In the two component parts of the Kirghiz steppe region the population is unequally, 
divided. In the steppe part of the region live 1,000,000 inhabitants, making 55 to the square 
geographical mile. Russians form here 20 per cent, or 210,000, of the population, merely 
because the former Siberian Irtysh colony, except three large towns, Semipalatinsk, Omsk 
kud Petropavlovsk, is wholly settled by them, as well as a whole string of Kossack camps or 
«stanitsas» and hamlets which served formerly as the fortifiications of the frontier line. 
"Within the steppe zone there are very few permanent Russian settlements, as suitable spots 
for agricultural colonies occur hero only as rare and limited oases, and if the Siberian Irtysh 


84 sibi:kia. 

ine be left out of ilic accouni, ilie proportion of llio perinanoiit Russian population in the 
Kirghiz stoppe will not oxceeil 2 or :J per cent. On the whole the towns of the steppi- zone 
contain KXVKX) souls or 10 per cont of the total population. Of the towns, actual importance 
as centres of trade ami imlnstry, possess only Omsk (34,rKK) inhabitants), Semipalatinsk 
(18/X)f) inhabitants) and Tctropavlovsk (IfijfKJO inhabitants). 

The subinoiiiitainous zone of tho Kirghiz region is situated under different circumstances. 
Here 860,fX)0 inhabitants find a place, there being over 120 to the square geographical mil"-. 
Russians form 7 per cent of the total population or 00,000. Adding to them the Tartars and 
Sarts which have their permanent abodes in the Russian settleuKints, as well as the agricultural 
Dungans and Tarandi, the number fd' the fixed jxtpiilation forms 18 per cent, while in the 
towns alone dwell less than 6 per cent of the total population (50,000). Among all of them 
Vierny, with its 25,000 inhabitants, alone possesses the importance of a true town, and 
which enjoyed a flourishing existence until its destruction by an earthquake. 

Tlie distribution of the population in the subniountainous zone and in particular the 
relation of the fixed population to the nomad, can be made quite clear by dividing the whole 
submountainous zone according to absolute altitude into vertical zones or levels. The lowest or 
steppe zone, the liottest and driest, and in winter the freest from snow, occupies the portions of 
the foothills lying below 2,500 feet, and is taken up with the winter quarters of the nomafls, 
who here find abundant fodder for their herds under the snow. This fodder is formed of grasses, 
such as schismus minutus, crypsis schoenoides, small species of triticum and the like which 
rapidly dry up on the approach of the summer heats. The true submountainous zone, following 
with an elevation of 2,500to something over5,000 feet, includes all the fixed settlements and arable 
laud of the country and represents a level occupied almost exclusively by a permanent population, 
through wliich the nomads pass without stopping by definite roads or tracts, proceeding in 
summer from the wintin- quarters to their beautiful cool mountain pastures. Before the airival 
of the Russians, the Kirghiz were employed, although to a limited extent, with agriculture in 
this cultivated level, and had here their fields which they sowed with the aid of irrigation on 
their way to their summer grounds. With the coming of the Russian settlers, the Kirghiz 
suiTended to them the whole of the second level of the country, but lost nothing by this, 
as the abandonment by theip of inconsiderable tracts of arable land was fully compensated 
by the sale to Russian agriculturalists of the produce of Kirghiz cattle breeding; the former 
supplying them in turn with grain. The third level, from 5,<300 to 8,000 feet in altitude, is 
the forest zone, providing a subsidiary industry to the Russian permanent settlements of the 
submountainous zone. Finally, the fourth level, upon which the Kirghiz have their excellent 
summer pastures, extends from 8,000 to 11.000 feet, that is to the limits of eternal snow. 
This is a zone of alpine meadows, occupied only in summer almost exclusively by Kirghiz 
nomad camps. 

The pastoral life of 80 per cent of the population of the country is reflected in the 
number of domestic animals bred in the Kirghiz steppe zone, the proportion of which to 
every 100 inhabitants here attains the maximum dimensions for the whole of Siberia. To 
each 100 inhabitants fall 100 horses, the absolute number being 1,800,000, 60 large horned 
cattle of a total 1,050,000, and 580 goats, the absolute number being 10,400,000. Finally, 


even the quota of camels is 15 bead to each 100 inhabitants. This is a direct proof of the 
fact that the Kirghiz steppe region is preeminently a cattle-rearing country and that only its 
foothills are capable of affording all the conveniences albeit of, a nan-ovv,yet almost the best 
area for colonization in all Siberia. And this same area of colonization having already done 
its service to Russia, as only thanks to its development did the Russians become masters of 
Turkestan, has even to-day an immense importance for Russia, as the most solid and inde- 
structible connecting link between the genuine Russian possessions in Siberia and Russia's 
Turkestan region. 



Tenure and use of land. 

The foundations of land teniiio and the forms of land usufruct; the dividing of Siberia 
into districts and their general character: the northern borderland, the transition zone, the 
agricultural region, the steppe districts, the Amour tract; agriculture; sketch of the conditions 
of the soil, systems of field culture and rotation of crops; tillage and cost of production of 
breadstulfs; proportion of seed for different crops; sale of grain and grain prices; agriculture 
in the steppes and the Amour tract; raising of cattle among the peasants, its extent and 
importance; kinds of animals, diseases; live stock industry among the Kirghiz. 

THE whole of Siberia, alike that which is completely uninhabited and that which is 
settled by peasants of Russian origin or by the aborigines of the country, natives 
belonging to various tribes and classes, is reckoned as crown land. Exceptions to the general 
rule are, first of all, the southern part of the Tomsk government which forms under the name 
of the Altai mining district the property of His Majesty's Cabinet, and next a series of 
small parcels granted and sold in the fifties to various private persons, the lands of the monaster- 
ies, of the town communes, et cetera. But all forms of private land holdings are completely lost in 
the vast mass of Crown lands, both on account of their insignificant extent, and as regards 
their economical importance. Private owners have nowhere started regular management of 
their property; some exploit their estates by means of leasing their land to the peasants, and 
others have utterly neglected them, drawing from them no revenue whatever. 

In Western Siberia the sale of lands to private persons continued until recent years 
when, with the abolition of the west Siberian Governor-Generalship, an Imperial order was 
given to discontinue the sale of Crown lands. Private owners in Western Siberia do not 
possess more than 300,000 dessiatines, exlusive of course of the Cabinet lands. 

A very considerable portion of the lands belonging to the Crown and to the Cabinet, 
almost exclusively forests or regions not adapted to cultivation, is under the immediate 
control and disposition of the Government and the Cabinet which, where there is a possibility 
of so doing, draw an income from them by felling the timber and leasing the meadows and 
pastures, fishing rights et cetera. Another part, enormous in extent but insignificant in 
respect to the number of inhabitants living thereon, and its capacity for cultivation, namely, 


the whole of the far north, consists entirely of ur mans, taigas (uninhabited expanses 
of forest), tundras and wildernesses, a part being absolute desert, and a part being at the 
disorderly disposition of tribes of wandering natives. Finally, all the lands best fitted for 
agriculture and cattle raising, are in the usufruct of the peasants and of the more civilized 
natives. The latter use the land either on the basis of mere actual prescription, or on that of 
ancient documents existing in a great many native communities. The foundation of the 
peasants usufruct is extremely varied in its nature. The activity of the Government in intro- 
ducing order into the use of the land by the peasants, which has already continued during 
several decades, is even now far from showing complete results. There still remain not a 
few peasant communities, and even whole volosts, in which the existing enjoyment of the 
land is restricted within no definite limits. The peasants dwell upon the Cro>vn lands and 
use them to the extent permitted by their working powers and the amount of their capital. 
They plough, mow and harvest, cut timber, catch fish, as the expression is, wherever only 
<^hatchet, scythe and plough may go». But the greater part of the peasant population use 
the land within definite limits, although these limits are without complete legal force. 

Siberia has not yet seen a final land survey, like that which has established the surface 
relations of European Russia. Land has been allotted to the greater part of the peasants in the 
proportion of eighteen dessiatines per caput of the male population, according to the returns of 
the tenth census of 1859, with the addition, whenever possible, of three dessiatines for convict 
settlers. In some cases the provisions of land were made for a whole volost with a population 
ranging from 4 to 15 thousand souls, in others separately for each settlement; in yet other 
cases, for small groups containing each a few villages. In the first case, the territory of the 
whole volost was surrounded with one common boundary line, within which the peasants of 
all the settlements were given the right at their discretion either to use the land in common 
or to confine themselves by mutual agreement to separate subdivisions thereof. In the second 
case, such estates were laid out for the settlements by Government surveyors, and the volost 
consequently lost completely its territorial unity and preserved only an administrative impor- 
tance. Finally, in the third case, both the volost and the settlement, remained only adminis- 
trative units, while the group of settlements became the territorial unit. 

The use of the laud within each separate territorial unit, more or less extensive, was 
also organized in extremely various ways. It is true, the Russiau peasant, at all times and 
in all places, at any rate in the explored parts of Siberia, brought with him the communal 
principle and even ingrafted it upon the natives. But this single principle was clothed in 
the most various forms. This is indeed comprehensible, for the forms of land tenure, if not 
entirely, yet to a considerable degree, are conditioned by the density of the population and 
the relative supply of land; and in this respect Siberia presents an extraordinary variety. 
Side by side with localities where there is, even till now, much more land than the popula- 
tion can till, there are, especially in Western Siberia and in particular in the Tobolsk 
government, not a few places where there arc not more than six to eight dessiatines of 
land really fit for agriculture, per male inhabitant. There are, finally, even localities where 
the tillable land has to be created by means of artificial irrigation, or on the contrary, by 
the removal of the superabundance of water. "While furthermore, some places rich in arable 


liiiid siiirer Iroiii a lack nf niftadows or from an abseiK-u ol troes; otlicrs, on iIil- <uiiiiary, 
present an unbroken dense forest or are cxci'eilinf,'ly rich in meadows and pastures, but little 
suited to af,Tieiiltiiial indiisny. It is evident then thai all these and similar distinctions 
could not fail to he lellccted in tin; forms of land tiMUire. These forms in Siberia exhibit 
an nninteriiii)leil series, allowing the observation of tlie development of land usufruct under 
the inllnence of the increasing density of the population. Under such circurastauces the liigh 
interest all'orded liy tlie investigation of Siberian institutions, that living spray from the 
history of the j)riniitive forms of land enjoyment, is perfectly intelligible. Here of course 
it is impossible! to refer to these institutions otherwise than in the most gentiral terms, to 
characterize the most important types of the use of land, corresponding to the principal 
stages through which the people of the country are gi-adually passing. 

In loralitiivs eomparatively recently and very sparsely settled, mainly in Eastern Si- 
beria and on llie Anionr, there predominates a form of land use which externally presents 
much resemblance to homestead, personal land tenure. The commune here has not yet had 
time to form, or if it exists, has no need to show its power. There is so much land that 
each may plough, mow, put under garden or hedge in as pasture lands, any space he likes, 
without incommoding any one else thereby. As a result of such enclosures, zaimka, or 
farmsteads are formed. Each peasant, even if he have a home in the village, builds 
liimself structures in the field or forest wherein he lives in the summer and sometimes 
all the year round, all the land surrounding such a building becoming his zaimka, 
his sole property, where he alone plouglis, mows and pastures his cattle. Zaimka, in the 
sense of actual land enjoyment, is moreover perfectly possible without any buildings. The 
rights of the owner to the zaimka are almost unlimited. He owns within its bounds not 
only the land, which he is actually tilling at a given time, but that which lies waste and 
no one has the right to molest him thereon. Such land passes by inheritance, may be 
sold and leased, although the right in consequence of the abundance of free lands has rarely 
an opportunity of being realized. No one interferes with the occupant in his acts or dispo- 
sitions referring to his land. The extent of the zaimka depends exclusively upon the 
degree of prosperity of each given owner. The zaimka of a rich man embraces 500 to 
1,(X)0 or more dessiatines, the average owner occupies 50 to 60 dessiatines, and a poor 
peasant, 5 to 10 dessiatines; the poor man caiuiot have any grudge against the rich man, 
as no one prevents him from seizing 1,000 dessiatines or more of the free land, if he wishes. 

However there comes a time when there are no more free lands left, at any rate of 
good (juality. Every convenient plat of ground has entered into the general total of the 
zaimka s, but nevertheless the growing population and immigrants require land for their 
use as well. Then the occupation form loses its r a i s o n d'e t r e, and gradually a new 
form, the v o 1 n a i a or, free form of land usufruct is introduced. The essence of this form, 
observed principally in the governments of Tomsk and Tobolsk, consists in this, that everyone 
has the right only to that land into which he puts his labour, and only so long as he con- 
tinues to till it. The peasant owns arable land so long as he ploughs it and sows it, but the 
moment he leaves it to rest, the land becomes free and the first comer may occupy and 
plough it afresh. Upon meadow lands the grass wliicli has grown without individual labour 


is free. Everyoue mows where he will, and the hay becomes the property only of him, who 
cnts and preserves it. Free and accessible to all is the forest also, and only he may seize 
for his own exclusive use a given portion of wood, who has enclosed it with a ditch, cleared 
it of dead wood, and in general expended his labour upon it to protect it from tire. Finally, 
the pastures are also free; every member of the community may feed his cattle over the 
whole area appointed by the community for this purpose, but no one may enclose a single 
plat of pasture for his own exclusive use. 

The occupation and free forms of enjoyment of land till to-day prevail in the greater 
part of Siberia; but with the increasing density of the excess of land, compared with the 
standard of labour, the free form begins to become as oppressive for the immigi-ant population 
as the occupation form had once appeared to be. Then gradually, at the cost of a severe 
struggle between the different groups of peasantry, entering into the composition of the 
community, a passage is accomplished to a communal form of enjoyment of the land in 
the narrow sense of the term, accompanied with a redivision. This passage begins ordinarily 
with that group of lands of which in each given place there is felt comparatively the gi'eatest 
lack. The free and occupation forms, on the contrary, are preserved longest of all in 
regard to those lauds, of which there is an abundance in the given commune and to those 
whose bringing under cultivation demands particularly a great expenditure of labour. The 
passage to a re-deal begins sometimes with the ploughed land, sometimes with the meadows, 
and sometimes with the forests or cedar groves. 

The very forms of repartition met with iu Siberia are exceedingly various. In regard 
to meadows everywhere, and when there is comparatively much arable land, forms of redis- 
tribution prevail which are completely distinct from those elaborated by the commune of 
European Russia. The principal distinctive peculiarity of Siberian repartitions is the striving 
to avoid the breaking up of the laud into small lots; the latter are seldom less than a 
dessiatine. Another not less characteristic feature is, that it is not so much the area which 
is taken as the basis for the distribution of the land among the commoners, as the productive- 
ness and other qualities of the soil, which determine its value for each given owner. Each 
commoner is allowed to take at his discretion a greater quantity of poor land remote from 
the homesteads or inconveniently situated, or on the contrary, a smaller quantity of good 
land or that which is situated near the liouse. In the localities where there is little arable 
land, principally the northern region of the agricultural part of the government of To- 
bolsk, on the contrary, methods of repartition have been established, on the whole agreeing 
with the Great Russia methods and characterized by a strict quantitative and qualitative 
equalization which is attained by breaking up the allotnieiil per head into a large luimber of 
small lots. 

The lands belonging to the Crown, peasant or native, occupied or waste, cover in 
Siberia vast areas measured by millions of square versts ami hundreds of millions of dessia- 
tines. Compared with the few millions, now forming the population of Siberia, these expanses 
seem iuQnite and the thought involuntarily arises that Siberia can make room for many tens 
of millions more of iidiabitants, and for many tens, if not hundreds, of years guarantee 
European Russia from over pupiilaliDU and serve, as it were, as a reserve, capable of taking 


I'rom the goveniinerits, suiroring liom u hick ot land, all ilioir Mirjjlu.- jioj/uluiioii, JJiii if it be 
remembered that alrnust all Siberia lies in the same latitude with the expanse of Britisli 
North America iinsuitcd to agiucultiire, and only its southern borderlands are in the same 
latitude with the northern borders of the United states; if it be further remembered what 
arc the climatic and, in general, the natural conditions of the greater part of Siberia, it will 
be clear that only a part of Siberia is destined by nature for civilized life. The vast regions 
of the iiorili of Siberia are doomed for all lime to remain entirely, or almost entirely, 
uninhabited and inaccessible to cultivation. Xor is this all; even where this cultivation 
already exists along the rivers at the present time or may develop in the more or less 
near Jiiture, the interrivcrine sjiaces present vast swamps, tundras or mountainous 
regions, absolutely unadaptcd to cultivation. Such a character is possessed by the central 
part of the Tobolsk and the northern part of the Tomsk governments, almost the whole of 
the Amour country, and the same may be said of the three steppe territories where but 
insignificant patches are suitable for agiiculture, and all the remainder presents an expanse 
of salt marsh, probably doomed forever to remain the scene of Kirghiz nomad life. 

The proper arable part of Siberia embraces at the present time four governments of 
the original Siberia, western and eastern, with the exception, however, of their northern 
regions, namely, in the government of Tobolsk, the Berezov and Surgut districts, and the north- 
ern halves of those of Tobolsk, Tourinsk and Tarsk; i'rom Tomsk must be excluded the Xarymsk 
country; from the government of the Yenisei, the Yeniseisk district; in Irkutsk the districts 
of Kirensk and Verkholensk. Besides this, almost the whole of Transbaikalia has a culti- 
vable character, and the banks of the Amour and the Ussuri in the far east, although here 
as will be scon, cultivation exists rather in the future than in the present. Finally, in the 
steppe territories agriculture exists and is capable of development only in a few parts of the 
following districts: Kokchetavsk, Atbasarsk and Petropavlovsk in the Akmolinsk territory and 
in Semlpalatinsk and Pavlodar in that of Semipalatinsk. Furthermore, are to be named the 
regions of artificial irrigation in the Zaisan district of the latter territory and in the foot- 
hill tracts of the territory of Scmirctchensk. 

Next, the whole north, namely, the above enumerated districts of the four govern- 
ments of original Siberia, the whole Yakutsk territory, with the exception of the insignifi- 
cant riverine zones, Kamchatka and the littoral of the Okhotsk Sea; all this consists of 
millions of square versts of tundras ami wildwoods growing on a swampy soil. The 
llussian population is here confined to the officials of the local government, and to mer- 
chants and their agents, engaged in barter with the native nomads. The remaining popu- 
lation, the density of which moreover does not exceed three, and in the tenitory of Yakutsk 
even less than one inhabitant per square mile, consists of native Samoyeds, Ostiaks, Tun- 
guz, Yakutsk, Kamchadals and others, who live exclusively by hunting and fishing. The 
produce of these industries partly serves for their own consumption, but mainly goes in bar- 
ter for bread and other provisions furnished by the Russian traders. Between this north- 
ern, absolutely uncivilized portion of Siberia and its purely agricultural regions stretches 
as it w'ere a zone of a transitional character. To it belong, in the government of To- 
bolsk, the southern half of the Turinsk and the central part of the Tobolsk district, as also 


the northern volosts of the Tarsk district; in the government of Tomsk, the northern border- 
lands of the Tomsk and Marinsk districts; in Yeniseisk, part of the district of the same name; 
in Irkutsk, the Tunkinsk country and some other places. This transitional zone is character- 
ized by the circumstance that agriculture there attains at last a more or less considerable 
development, while dividing its part as the main source of prosperity with several other 
industries. Along the rivers everywhere extend great reaches of lands suitable to cereals but 
their extent is insufficient to occupy the whole labour of the population and completely 
secure its well-being. At the same time the forests and waters open a wide field to the 
development of trapping and fishing, the cedar nut industry, the cutting of fuel and the 
felling of timber and a few household trades. In the population of this transitional zone the 
Russian peasants are mingled with more or less russified natives, and in the mode of life 
of both races no substantial difference can be observed. 

Natives, in the main Buriats, still compose a considerable part of the population in 
those portions of the cultivated zone proper of Siberia lying further to the east, and whose 
settlement by Russians was accomplished comparatively recently. In the agricultural districts 
of the Irkutsk government the natives still form about 17 per cent, in the Thansbaikal ter- 
ritory, 30 per cent of the population ; in the cultivated region of the governments of Yenis- 
seisk and Tomsk the number of natives is already quite insignificant, while in the purely 
agricultural districts of the government of Tobolsk they are almost non-existent. 

The chief characteristic feature of the cultivated tract of Siberia consists in the 
considerable dimensions attained by agriculture and in its predominating importance, as the 
fundamental source of the prosperity of the population. The average extent of the sown area 
per household of the rural population, including under this term peasants, natives aud con- 
victs, according to the latest statistical data, is as follows: 

In the southern districts of the Tobolsk government . . 5.4 des. 
» » central part » » Tomsk * . . 5.8 » 

» » agricultural region » » Irkutsk » . . 5.4 » 

and to every 100 souls of the actual population there is an area sown with grain, as 

below : 

In the southern districts of the Tobolsk government . . . 104 des. 
» » central part » » Tomsk » ... 87 » 
» » agricultural region :> -> Irkutsk » . . . 97 ;> 

The relation between the production and consumption of grain varies of course for every 
volost, and not unfrequently for an individual settlement, in dependence upon the quantity of 
lands suitable for grain growing and their conditions of soil. Taken as a whole, the agri- 
cultural region not only supports its population, but yields very considerable surpluses of 
grain. The sale of these surpluses is the chief source whence the population pays its taxes 
and satisfies its principal wants. According to the latest data the people of the agricultural 
districts of the Irkutsk government consume on an average crop not more than about 59 
per cent of the grain raised; that of the north-eastern corner of the agricultural region of 


tlie Tomsk govenmiont, about GG per coiil; 41 jji-i > i-ni m im- lirst of llie said localities, ami 
34 per cent in tlio socoinl, loriii saleable surplus. And yet llie regions in question are far 
Iroiii l)(;lonf,Mng to tlio uunibrr of tiic most fertile areas of agricultural Siberia. In such local- 
ities as the Altai mining district, the Minusinsk district of the government, the 
best volosts of the south-westi'rn districts of the Tobolsk government, the proportion borne 
by the produce dH grain to its consumption is yet considerably more favourable and the sale- 
able surplus, on average harvests, forms not less than half of the whole yield. The expoil 
of grain, principally spring wheat from Western Siberia, reached in recent years 10,000,000 
to 12,00<),000 ponds ainiually. The total (piantlty therefore of grain raised in this part of 
SibiTia forms not los;, than 85,0Of),0<JO pomls a year. It must not be forgotten, however, that 
in the i)alo of the agricultural tract of Siberia occur such patches where the land, on account 
of the ba<l conditions of soil and climate, cannot feed the population. But such .spots are 
very small and their population exists upon the surplus grain of the nearest more fertile 

However this may be, the whole economical fate of the population of the cultivated 
zone of Siberia is entirely determined as a general rule by the condition of agriculture and 
of cattle-breeding so closely connected therewith. "Where the land is good the population 
attains a high degree of wealth and gi'ows alike by natural increase and by the tide of 
immigrant elements; when the land is poor, the population ordinarily lives In poverty and not 
unfrequeutly dwindles away in search of better places of settlement. 

Trades and industries speaking in general terms, play the least considerable part 
in the economical life of the population of the agricultural tract of Siberia. But there 
are within the agricultural zone such regions also where agriculture loses its position as 
the sole source of prosperity and either shares it with other earnings or even altogether 
yields it to the latter. Thus, first of all may be pointed out many localities lying along 
the banks of great rivers where a very essential part in the economic life of the 
pcipulation is played by fishing, service on vessels and in the neighbourhood of fine forests, 
the raftage of timber. In localities nearly approaching uninhabited taigas and urmans great 
importance is possessed by hunting, the gathering of cedar nuts, and in the presence of a good 
market, the felling of timber. The volosts bordering on such great town centres as Tomsk, 
Tinmen, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk have the character usual for suburban regions. Agriculture is 
little developed in Ihem or nou-existont, and the population lives by market-gardening, dairy 
farming, the furnishing of hay and wood fuel, the letting in summer of \"illa residence, 
works in connexion with the cleansing of the streets and other similar occupations, directly 
serving to satisfy the wants of the town population. There are furthermore a few regions 
engaged in household industries. The largest of these suiTounds the town Tinmen stretching 
therefrom to the north-west; the second is situated around the town of Tomsk; other such 
small industries occur in all the governments of the agricultural tract of Siberia. In all these 
regions articles of wood are principally manufactured, as also the results of wood distillation. 
These products are destined partly for the needs of the local true peasant population, partly 
to furnish the caravans moving over the great Siberian and other tracts. But the importance 
of all the enumerated non-agricultural earnings in the general economy of Siberia and in 


particular in its agricultural zone is absolutely insignificant compared with the part which the 
great Siberian tract plays, and still more in former years. Formerly when yet there was 
no communication by steamer, this tract was the sole aftery uniting European Russia with 
Siberia, and through it, with China. The traffic over the tract both summer and winter was 
enormous. The conveyance of travellers and goods, posts and prisoners, local officials and 
bodies of troops, absorbed almost the whole working power of the population along the tract. 
Comparatively few were engaged in agriculture along the tract and even they did not see 
in it their principal occupation. The mass of the population lived exclusively or almost 
exclusively by the trade of carriers or innkeepers. At the present time the importance of the 
tract is far from being what it was. The steamer communication on the Irtysh and Obi has 
almost completely killed the summer traffic upon the section of the tract between Tinmen 
and Tomsk, the steamer communication on the Chulym has absorbed a considerable part of 
the traffic between Tomsk and Achinsk. The tract here only wakes up in the winter, and 
even then the traffic now is much less than formerly, and is far from yielding the former 
profits to the tract population. The latter has therefore thrown itself into agriculture, the 
cultivated patches have everywhere been increased, and will be still further enlarged in 
future, and the population of the tract have alreaiiy lost a considerable part of their 
former peculiar character. 

Here the general description of the agricultural zone of Siberia may be closed. As 
far as concerns the outlying regions, mention has already been made of the territory of 
Yakutsk as a district absolutely uncultivable and inhabited by native trappers and fishermen. 
Here it may be permitted to indicate only the importance of the Lena tract, along which 
almost all the Russian population of the territory is gathered and which furnishes thereto 
its chief source of existence. The three steppe territories as already intimated contain cultivable 
oases where agriculture both exists and is capable of further development. Beyond these the 
whole expanse of these territories serves but as the wandering grounds of the Kirghiz, who 
live exclusively by the products of their cattle raising and do not promise at any near future 
date to pass over into the agricultural or industrial state. The attempts at such a passage to 
agriculture met with among the Kirghiz are as a rule quite isolated and devoid of any 
serious importance. Even the Kirghiz settled in separate households in the peasant colonies 
of the southern part of the Tobolsk government and who have not unfrequently accepted 
orthodoxy are also employed exclusively in cattle raising, th(^ pasturing of cattle on land 
hired from the peasants, not seldom in horse-stealing; only the more wealthy among them 
sow oats, in order to feed their numerous horses. The only exception to this general charac- 
terization are the Kirhgiz living in a part of the Zaisan district and upon the foothills of the 
Scmirechensk territory, the so-called Kirghiz of the Great Horde and the Dikokamenny, whose 
life is woven of a very curious combination of nomad existence with very intensive irrigat- 
ional agriculture. Tliese Kirghiz too, like the others, have their places for winter and summer 
roaming, but from the latter they wander otf several times in the course of the summer to 
their lands under tillage in order to water, plough and sow them, and to harvest the grain. 
On the arrival of the Russian population the Kirghiz not only taught them their own agric- 
ultural methods, but surrendered to them a considerable part of their irrigated lands, while 


themselves tninsreirin^ tin; centre of f,nuvily of tln-ir economy to cattle laisiiif.'. By <loiag so 
they lost nothliif,' as the profitable sale opened to the produce of their cattle breeding, which 
a|)|)eared with iln; arrival nf ili.- Russians, fully compensated tlii-m for the contraction in the 
extent of their agricullnic 

Passing at last the Amour border huul, it appears that Amouria may bii split up into 
three pjiits, the lirst of which is situated above the confluence of the Zeya with the Amour, 
the second hdow the coidliience of the Bureya, the third between the lower reaches of these 
two streams. In the lirst tracts the only lauds at present suitabh; for cultivation are those 
situated on the second terrace of the AiiiDiir valley, the terrace is inundated several 
times every summer and therefore is unsuited to either settlement or agriculture. Outside this 
valley the region presents partly mountain ranges, partly tablelands scored with gullies and 
valleys, whose summits, thanks to the dense forest covering them, never dry up properly and 
therefore have to a considerable degree a swampy character. With the gradual felling and 
bMniing of the forest, the soil of the tablelands is slowly drying and becoming suitable for 
cultivation, so that in time the latter will undoubtedly take in a wider and yet wider 
tract. But this question is incapable of rapid settlement, and at any rate at the present 
time the whole mountainous part of the locality under consideration is absolutely desert ami 
affords only an arena for the industry of the trappers of the Amour population. The main 
occupation of the latter is agriculture. Sowing on an average four to five dessiatines per 
household the local population on the whole secures its own provision but has no surplus 
grain for sale. The chief supplementary earnings are the carriage of goods and the 
furnishing of hay to the gold mines, fishing, trapping and the supply of wood fuel to 
the steamers. Upon section between the lower reaches of the Zeya and Bureya the zone 
adapted to cultivation is much wider, here not only is the second terrace of the Amour 
valley suited to agriculture, but also the watershed of the Zeya and Bureya, which has earned 
the name of the «prairie of the Amour», The population, partly Russian, partly Manchurian, 
is here much denser than in the rest of Amouria, the extent of the arable land much 
greater, and grain is produced not only for home consumption, but for sale. But in this 
district, as in the whole of Amouria, climatic conditions stand in the way of the development 
of cultivation; there is in effect an excess of moisture. The beyoml measure damp and rainy 
climate has a sinister effect upon both the quality of the grain and upon the raising of live 
stock. The latter industry so far brings hardly any profit to the local population. For the 
development here of cultivation, there is wanted either a change in the climatic conditions, 
of which there is a hope in the future, or the elaboration of methods of agriculture and 
cattle raising more suitable to these conditions. Such a change in the climate was observed 
by the latest explorer of the country, the Academician Korzhinsky, as a result of the com- 
parison of his own observations with the statements made by the academician Maximovich, 
who travelled in the Amour region thirty years earlier. 

A still greater excess of moisture is met with in the most eastern borderland of 
Amouria and indeed of the whole of Siberia, namely in the Ussuri country. Here it is 
impossible to sow grain otherwise than in ridges leaving between them trenches for the 
drainage of the water and the free movement of the air. The development of cultivation is 


hero still less possible than in the rest of Amouria otherwise than after a preliminary drain- 
age of the country, or by the adoption of some other measures for combatting the excess of 

With this may be closed the general economical appreciation of those regions into 
which Siberia falls according to the degree of development of the practice of agriculture, 
and the transition may now be made to the survey of the separate sources of prosperity of 
the population of Siberia. In consequence of the predominating importance of agriculture 
for the main mass of this population the largest share of attention must be devoted to its 

The fashion and character of agricultural production are determined, on the one hand, 
by the deuseness of the population, the conditions of sale and other similar economical ques- 
tions, and on the other, by the natural and physical conditions, mainly those dependent on 
soil and climate. The density of the population and the climate have been discussed in the 
preceding descriptions. The discussion of the conditions of sale and of the general economical 
situation will appear below. Here then it is necessary to give a general characterization of 
the Siberian soils. Unfortunately, the data existing upon this subject are far from complete. 
An exact scientific exploration of the soils, accompanied by chemical analyses, has hitherto 
been carried on only in two limited regions, in one district of the government of Irkutsk 
and in the Barabinsk steppe in the Tomsk government. Further descriptions of the soil exist in 
reference to a few districts of the Tobolsk and Tomsk governments and to the Amour 
country. These are founded upon mere surveys, connected with measurements of the depth 
of the soil and in a few cases only with the determination of samples of it, based upon a 
superficial inspection, more rarely by means of the method of subsidence, the determination 
of the humus contained, and other more exact methods. In reference to many localities there 
exist no published indications v^hatever upon the conditions of the soil. It may thus be said 
that the soil of Siberia still awaits a serious investigation. A great step will be made in 
this direction in the near future when fruit shall be borne by the expedition now projected 
by the Ministry of State Domains, having for its object the exploration of the conditions 
of the soil of the whole expanse of Siberia, traversed by the line of the Great Siberian 
Eailway. Till then it is only possible to present the most general sketch of these conditions, 
only a superficial characterization is possible, far from satisfying the demands of a strict 
scientific description. 

The greatest variety and at the same time the fullest account are met with in the 
case of the soil conditions of the government of Tobolsk. That portion of the latter possess- 
ing agriculture may, in respect to the situation of its arable lands and of the conditions of 
the soil, be divided into three zones, the northern, lying approximately between the parallels 
58" and 59° and embracing the northern parts of the districts of the Turinsk and Tobolsk; 
the middle zone, lying between 56'^ and 58V2°, and including the southern halves of the above 
named districts, the whole Tiumen district and the northern parts of those of Tarsk, Ishimsk 
andYalutorovsk; and the southern, taking in the southern portions of the last named three 
districts, the whole of Knrgausk and Tiukaliusk, and the strip of the Akmolinsk territory 
adjacent to the frontier of the govenunent of Tobolsk. 

96 SIliEKlA. 

The iiortlioniiiioht ot the zrtnoH just describeil is a region where tigriculture exists but 
sporadically. It consists ol' unbroken urinans or expanses of forest and swamp, for the most 
part wholly unsuiteii to tillage and brought under the plough only in narrow strips, on the 
margins of the larger rivers and owing their conversion to a condition fit for cultivation to 
their influence on the drainage. The arable lands are disposed partly on portions of the 
river valleys roinparatively elevated, and so not subject to being drowned by the ordinary 
overflow of the rivers; partly ou Ihe inclined banks calleil u v a I s, uniting the bottom of the 
valley with the flat interriveriiie space; and partly in places where the valley is not bounded 
by gently sloping sides but by abriijil precipices or yars; in such cases the narrow strips 
of the plateau bordering these yars are cultivated, behind whicli again commence the untilled 
expanses of the swampy urman. As reganls the soils, in the lields belonging to the first grouj) 
prevail very sticky clayey soils, partly gray, slightly tinged with humus, partly black, con- 
taining from ]0 to 15 per cent of this substance. The black soils present two varieties; the 
lirst is an argillaceous chernoziora upon the localities with a raised contour, the most fertile 
of all the soils met with in the given region. The second shows black earth upon the spots, 
which are depressed and sull'er from an excess of inoisturo; it is a very poor and baiTen 
soil of a peaty character unable even to yield satisfactory crops of winter rye and only 
atlapted to sowing oats. Upon the sloping valley sides, or uvals, soils of a more friable nature 
predominate, although for the most part of a clayey character, fairly rich in humus and stained dark 
brown, upon a reddish-yellow clayey subsoil. These soils together with the clayey chernoziom 
of the river valleys are reputed to be the best, Uval fields are valued the more that owing 
to their situation they are better secured than the others from unfavourable atmospheric influ- 
ences. Finally tlie lands tilled along the yars on the skirts of the interriverine plateaux have 
a soil very poor in humus and capable of yielding harvests only by the liberal application 
of manure. They are partly crumbly sandy tracts in the regions nearest to the Ural with an 
appreciable admixture of small stones or g a 1 k a s, partly sour clayey soils of the type pre- 
vailing in the localities lying further to the south. 

The whole central zone of the Tobolsk government presents a perfectly flat plain in- 
tersected more or less by wide valleys belonging to difl'erent rivers and streams. Like the 
northern zone, it has for the most part a forest character. But in contradistinction to the 
northern zone, forests of deciduous trees, principally birch predominate instead of conifers. More- 
over, the morasses although very extensive yet here occupy much less of the total area 
than in the northern zone. Hence it is that in the localities situated in the middle zone not 
only are the river valleys suited for agricultural operations together with the bordering lands, 
but more or less considerable portions also of the inteniverine plateaux. The lands suitable for 
raising grain are here at times spread over more or less extensive tracts, at others in small 
patches between woody or swampy lauds unfitted for cultivation. The soil conditions of 
these forest fields are > very monotonous, they are almost exclusively so-called b i e 1 i k s, 
characterised by a very thin layer of turf, a vershok or vershok and a half thick, under 
which lies a stratum five or six vershoks thick of almost unproductive, light-gray, sour, 
clayey soil, superimposed upon a reddish yellow clay. These bieliks fairly useful to the farmer 
when manured, without it are very illsuited to agriculture on account of their properties 


ami are very stingy. Cereals only derive nourishment from the superior turf layer, and 
when the latter becomes exhausted, which ensues after three or four crops, it is necessary to 
abandon the field for twenty to twenty-five and more years, until a new turf layer is 
formed. It is clear under these circumstances why agriculture upon soils of this kind is only 
capable of a feeble development. It is concentrated in the whole of the central zone along 
the rivers where the conditions of soil are much more favourable. It is principally the sloping 
uvals near the rivers that are brought under the plough; these extend in some instances along 
both banks, in others along one only, attaining in the case of more considerable rivers a 
breadth of several versts with a height above the valley of thirty to forty sagenes. The soil 
conditions of the uval lands show little variation; is everywhere a dark brown and clayey, 
pretty friable, not seldom with an admixture of large gi'ains of quartz visible to the eye; 
the subsoil is reddish yellow clay. The thickness of the workable layer varies ordinarily 
from five to eight vershoks. The soil is the richer in vegetable mould and therefore more 
fertile, the greater the depth of the tillable layer. Above the uvals on the tracts of the 
interriverine plateau bordering on the same, the soil frequently passes into a black friable 
form of great thickness, 10 to 12 vershoks and more, and rich in humus, as much as 15 to 
17 per cent but of little fertility, possessing an undoubted peaty character. Little ploughing 
is done within the river valleys, for the most part presenting meadows subject to inundation 
or so narrow that they leave no room for agricultural operations. Where however the valleys 
are tilled, tenaceous clayey soils prevail of the same types as were described in speaking of 
the soils of the northern zone. 

But the greatest interest and the greatest variety are afforded by the soil conditions 
of the southern zone of the government of Tobolsk, which enters into the composition of the 
so-called Ishimsk steppe. The contour of this steppe is remarkable in the highest degree. 
On the whole absolutely level, it is scattered over with a number of lakes, between which 
extend small elevations, ridges or islands. Always long and narrow in horizontal section, 
their length sometimes reaches many versts, while their breadth at the level of the horizon 
is measured by hundreds of sagenes and never exceeds a verst, they always trend in the 
direction of their long axis from W.S.W. to E.X.E. and are not more thai three to four 
sagenes in height. They have extremely sloping sides and are distinguished by the predomi- 
nance of dark brown, friable clayey soils with a heavy admixture of white sand, upon a 
reddish clay subsoil. In appearance closely resembling the uval soils of the middle zone, the 
soils upon the islands of the Ishimsk steppe, characterized by the thriving upon them in the 
unploughed state of the wild cherry, are much more fertile and are particularly adapted to 
the raising of wheat, with which they are accordingly chiefly sown. As for the flat spaces 
lying between the islands, they are partly naked salt marsh, absolutely stripped of all vege- 
tation or clothed with a typical flora such as salsola et cetera, partly feather-grass steppe over 
wtdch are scattered, in scarcely perceptible hollows, spinnies of birch and aspen called 
«k 1 k a s;>. The soil conditions of the two classes are absolutely different. Upon the open steppe- 
the soil is so-called podsolonok, that is, dark grey, very tenacious clay, covered with 
a thin layer of turf. In the kolkas, it is black, very deep, but at the same time very barren, 
with a decided peaty character. 



Jiotli till) f4.,'iiera! appcaiunco and tlie soil comlitions of llin I>liinisk steppe chauge a 
littlo (Ml moving from the west to the east. Upon its western border in the Knr},'ansk dis- 
trict and the soiitii-wf.'-li'ni part of tiiat of Ishinisk, Ihi^ islands are small, but vi-ry thickly 
sot, so that they occupy the j,'n^ater part of the expanse, and communicate to the latter a 
rolling character. The soil upon the islands is very darkly stained and the wild cherry, tli" 
sign of its excellent quality, is evrywhere to be i\v\ with. I'lirther to the east, in the .south- 
eastern corner of the Ishimsk district and in that of Tiukalinsk, the cherry vanishes, th'* 
soil on the islands has on the whole a paler tinge and is much fertile. The island> 
themselves, each by itself much longer, are scattered over the steppe .somewhat thinly, so 
that llir latter here assumes rather a Hat than a rolling character. 

A contour very similar to that of the Ishimsk steppe is possessed by tlie Harabinsk 
steppe lying to the east of it, embracing in the Tobolsk government the eastern half of the 
Tiukalinsk district and in that of Tomsk, the south-western half of the Kainsk ilistrict. . Here 
also the horizontal surface of the steppe is sprinkled on the one hand with lakes ami on the 
other with oblong elevations, ridges or islands. Here as in the Ishimsk steppe, the dependence 
between the contour and the soil is so close that, as one of the latest explorers remarks, 
<; knowing the contour of this or that site, it is easy to determine the soil itself, lying there ». 
Upon tbe broad and sloping ridges chernoziom is everywhere deposited; upon the nan^ow 
and more abrupt ridges, a clayey soil. Some broad ridges possess sloping northern and more 
precipitous southern sides. In such cases chernoziom is to be found on the northern incline 
and clayey soil on the southern. As for the flat space between the ridges the more low lying 
plots are composed of saltmarsh, partly white or covered with a saline efflorescence and 
deprived of all vegatation, partly black, covered with a herbaceous growth but equally unsuit- 
ed to the raising of grain. Upon the more elevated parts, lying nearest to the foot of the 
ridges, the soil is p o d s o 1 o n o k of the same type as in the Ishimsk steppe and adapted 
to the cultivation of cereals. 

In respect to the fertility of its arable lands the Barabinsk steppe is placed in the same 
conditions as the eastern Ishimsk borderland, and in worse than the western part of the 
latter. In the Barabinsk steppe, as in the eastern part of the Ishimsk steppe, the wild cherry, 
characteristic of the best wheat lands of the western part of the Ishimsk steppe, does not 
occur. Within the Barabinsk steppe itself the general level of fertility is not without variation. 
Least fertile is the northern borderland of Barabinsk, where the steppe gradually passes over 
into an expanse of urman and swamp. Most fertile is the southern borderland, embracing a 
part of the liarnaul and Bisk districts and reaching to the foothills of the Altai. 

From the eastern frontier of the Barabinsk steppe right up to lake Baikal, including the 
eastern districts of the Tomsk government and the whole cultivated portion of those of Yeni- 
seisk and Irkutsk, stretches a tract showing great uniformity both in its general character 
and in its soil conditions.' A certain peculiarity is presented only by the southern border- 
lands of the Yeniseisk and Irkutsk governments, especially the Minusinsk district, which 
possess a steppe character, with a predominance of chernoziom soils of good quality, yielding 
excellent harvests of wheat. The whole remaining space has the appearance of what may be 
called the central Siberian p o 1 e s i e or forest region. 


On the south, tlie whole of central Siberia is bordered as is known by lofty mountain 
ranges, the Altai, Alatau and Sayan. But the mountain systems of these ranges fill up a 
locality, almost uninhabitable and in no way belonging to the composition of the cultivated 
zone of Siberia. Only here and there the last offshoots of the mountains having the form of 
small hills enter into the limits of this zone. Further the whole cultivated part of the cen- 
tral Siberian polesie presents, speaking generally, a typical flat elevation, and the considerable 
inequalities to be found upon its susface proceeded almost exclusively from the fact that 
the rivers have washed out in it more or less deep valleys. "Where the rivers are well filled 
and their beds situated near to each other, there the general plain character of the locality 
is completely masked. Flat expanses are hardly to be seen, the whole contour is composed 
of the uvals bordering the river valleys, and the locality produces the Impression of a hilly 
district, where the interriverine watersheds seem to be as it were low mountain ranges. 
Where the rivers are less close together and not so full, the flat character of the locality 
s.hows itself quite manifestly, and the narrow river valleys occupy only an insignificant part 
of the space compared with the flat watersheds. As will immediately appear, such a flat 
contour, on account of the soil conditions connected therewith, is much less favourable to 
the successful development of agriculture, than a more rolling contour. 

As far as regards soil, a characteristic feature of the central Siberian forest region, 
at any rate of its cultivated portion, (in the taiga, tenacious gray clayey soils prevail) is the 
predominance of chenioziom, and in general, dark-coloured soil. At the same time, in distinction 
to the soils of the Tobolsk government rich in humus, the chernozioms of this locality do not 
possess a brownish tinge but are dyed a perfect black. As in the localities, described earlier, 
the character of the soil is here also in the closest dependence upon the contour. The high- 
quality soils with a dry land flora are situated exclusively upon spots with a high relief, 
affording a free drainage to the water, and consequently mainly on the uvals bordering the 
river valleys. Where the uvals are more gently sloping, the soil is deeper (from 6 to 8 ver- 
shoks) and richer in humus, (10 to 12 per cent). It has a perfectly black colour and while 
preserving its clayey character, is yet faiiiy friable. Both in lespect to its physical ijualities 
and the degree of abundance of nutritious substances, this soil is very favourable for the 
cultivation of grain and especially for rye. Where the uvals are more abrupt, the percentage 
of humus is less (from 5 to 6 per cent), the thickness of the soil does not exceed 4 to 6 
vershoks, its colour instead of black becomes gray, the soil itself is much more tenacious, 
and its productiveness perceptibly lower than that of the black soils, earlier characterized. As 
for the flat interriverine plateaux, there black soils with a vegetable character prevail. More 
often tenacious, muddy, clayey soils are met with, more rarely friable soils composed of huuius 
and peat. Notwithstanding the considerable depth (12 to 16 vershoks and more) and the rich- 
ness in humus (15 to 17 per cent), the soils of both types are little adapted to the cultiva- 
tion of grain. Not to speak of wheat, even rye grows badly on them, so that the lands with 
a vegetable soil are principally sown with oats. 

It is now clear why the rolling contour of the locality in the central Siberian forest 
region is more suited to raising grain than the flat relief. Where slopes prevail, there black 
and grey soils of good quality preilominate, so that in localities ploughed up in all directions by 


rivers and .streams, uoarly ilic \vfiol(j groiiml is not seliiom occupied with arable land with 
go(xl chernoziom soil. Where Hat {dateaux prevail, there soils of good quality occupy but nar- 
rovf strips, h(jiiridiiif,' the banks ol' rivers, and there predominate partly wet lands unsuited to 
agriculture, [)artly arable lamls with a bad soil, of a swampy and vegetable nature. 

With this the sketch of the soil conditions of the Ji^ricultural zone of primitive Si- 
beria may be terminated. In conclusion it is necessary to say still a few words on the soil 
conditions of one of the borderlands of Siberia, in reference to which more precise information 
exists, namely Amouria. 

The three sections into which Amouria was divided above are sharply distinguished in 
reference to soil. Above the mouth of the Zeya and below that of the iJureya prevail dark 
brown, clayey soils lying on stony fundamental rocks, in some places covered with a thin 
turfy layer of liumus, in others entirely free from a tinge of mould. In the inundated meadows 
of the Amour the clayey soils yield place to coarse-grained, sandy, much less fertile soils, 
and in the thick woods, to a sour soil with a pale gray tint in the upper layer, and a whitish 
in the lower. Over the expanse included between the valleys of the Zeya and Bureya the 
whole area as stated by Professor Korzhinsky <ds composed of sandy clays fairly tenacious 
in ilie upper levels. They are covered witii a layer of dark mould, having a depth of 4 to 6 
veishoks on the sloping uvals, and one and a half arshines on the bottoms^. Upon dry ele- 
vated places this soil in its physical properties and structure recalls the Russian cheraoziom; 
in the lower places it is manifestly of a half-swampy origin, recalling in all respects the 
black vegetable soils of Western Siberia and neither in its origin nor significance in farming 
having anything in common with true chernoziom. 

W^itli the extraordinary variety of climatic and soil conditions ami population sketched 
in the preceding pages, it is impossible to look for any uniformity in the methods of farming 
employed in Siberia and especially in the system of field culture. And in fact the systems 
and types of field culture and the rotations of c¥eps are very varied. 

In those of the Siberian governments which comprise the mass of the agricultural pop- 
ulation and lands suitable for farming operations, Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yeniseisk and Irkutsk 
the Transbaikal territory and the cultivated portions of the Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk, a 
peculiar system of agriculture prevails which is absolutely unknown in European Russia. It 
bears the name of the resting and fallow system. Agriculture is in this case founded exclu- 
sively upon the exploitation of the productive forces of the land, unsupported by any ma- 
nuring, and renewed by the combination "of two means, the abandoning of the land to waste, 
and the rotation of crops with fallow. The land, whether cleared from forest or ploughed up 
in the open steppe, is sown two or three years consecutively with grain, and then left a 
year in fallow. It is then sown one or two years with gi'ain and then again goes under 
fallow. Such a rotation is continued until the severe falling off in yield and the choking 
with weeds compel the land to be abandoned to rest, and a new patch to be broken up. The 
land is allowed to rest until definite signs, which are well known to the peasants, show that 
its productiveness has been sufficiently renewed. Then it is again ploughed up and the same 
process is gone through from the very beginning. At the same time it may be said, as a 
general rule, that in the beginning of the period of cultivation and on the fallows more 


exhausting gi'aiiis are sown, such as wheat, winter and spring rye; towards the end of the 
period, and upon the stubble fields, such gi-ains as barley and oats. Moreover, at the begin- 
ning of the period of tillage the land is more seldom left fallow; at the end, more often; 
thus, at first after every two crops, at last after every single crop harvested. Finally, the 
duration itself of the periods of tillage for freshly broken lands, that is, such as have never 
been under cultivation, is in general longer than for lands which have been ploughed before 
and again broken up after a prolonged rest, as such rest seldom completely renews the fer- 
tility of the soil. 

Such is the general character of the rest and fallow system. As for its varieties, they 
are extremely numerous. Siberian farming is distinguished by the absence of all pedantry. 
Not only every volost or commune, but each farmer independently determines the rotation of 
crops for every patch of land which he is using, adapting himself to its soil and situation, 
to the climate and conditions of the market, finally, to his personal means. The number of 
crops taken from the land during the period of tillage fluctuates between 3 and 4, for poor 
sour lands, and 25 to 30 for the best chernoziom, and there even exist lands, especially in the 
southern part of the Tobolsk government, which have been under the plough more than 
100 years and have never yet been left to rest. The duration of the period of rest varies 
between 5 and 10, and 25 and 30 years, depending on the one hand, upon the soil conditions, 
and on the other, upon the degree of exhaustion to which the land has been brought by 
previous sowings. In some places and on some lands, sowing on the stubble field is a normal 
occurrence, so that the rotation of crops approaches the rest-three-field type; in other places 
and upon other lands such sowings form an exception, or are not carried out at all; the land 
is fallowed after each crop and the rotation approximates to the rest-two-field type, and 
so on. As to the predominating sorts, in each locality the more exacting grains are to be 
found on the best lands, and the coarser kinds on the worst. But however this may be, whole 
districts are characterized by the prevalence now of one, now of another kind of grain. 
Thus upon the splendid sandy chernoziom of the steppes of the south-western part of the 
Tobolsk government, and of the agricultural localities of the Akmolinsk territory, as also in 
the Altai raining district and the southern part of the Yenisei government, wheat predomin- 
ates, in some places occupying as much as half of the whole area sown, and more. In the 
central agricultural part of the Tobolsk government, distinguished by the prevalence of 
sourish soils, the crops are mainly barley and spring rye. Over the whole expanse from 
Tomsk to Irkutsk the forests and friable chernoziom soils favour winter rye, which only 
yields place to spring rye in the places stripped of forest. Along the whole line of the Siber- 
ian tract the largest areas are sown with oats, which here have a certain and profitable sale. 
Besides the cereals enumerated, there are further sown here and there, millet, buckwheat, 
peas and potatoes, while of the industrial plants flax is almost universally sown, hemp in the 
chernoziom localities, and sunflower in the Altai. 

The system of agriculture prevalent in Siberia exhibits the greatest variety not only 
in space, but in time. With the growing density of the population and the contraction of the 
land space, the periods of rest of the land are gradually reduced, and the periods of tillage 
increased. The rapidly progressive exhauslion of the land, resulting from this, it is attempted 


to arrest by more J'requent fallow, ihe rest-ihree field rotation is gradually abandoned for a 
rest-two-field. At the sann! time the exhaustion of the land makes it ever less capable of 
yielding satisfactory harvests (d' the more valuable grains and c(jm|i*'ls their replacement by 
coarser kinds. Wheat and, where the forest luis been most cut, winter rye, are expelled by 
spiing rye; Ihe latter, by barley. At the same tim(,' the lowering of the crops gradually brings 
the iioj)ulalion to tli(! coiiviclion of the impossibility, under the changed conditions, of carrying 
on farming in the old way and of the necessity of passing to new methods, namely with the 
use of manure. Part of the population however does not wish to reconcile itself to this 
necessity and prefers to leave for new places, where there is still plenty of land and where 
its freshness permits farming by the customary rest method. The other part, the majority, 
remains and continues in spite of everything to carry on the old methods. Finally, the moix' 
energetic minority begins by degrees to pass over to the manuring system. As first individual 
laint-hearted and frequently unsuccessful attempts at manuring the lanil lind more and more 
imitators, and littl<> by little agriculture with manure from being a rare exception becomes 
the general rule. 

Some localities of Siberia, in the main, the northern borderland of the agricultural 
zone of the Tobolsk government, that is, the Turinsk district and the middle of the Tobolsk 
district, have already passed through that critical period. In these localities, in some places 
as regards all the lands under the plough, in others as regards only those nearest to the 
farmsteads, this system has become firmly established. It is precisely of the form of the 
three-field system as it has long existed in the central governments of European Russia, that 
is, with a predominance of rye in the winter Held, oats and barley in the spring, and with 
green fallow. As for the manuring, the extent to which it is carried is very different, in 
dependence on the relation of the quantity of meadow land to that of the land under crops. 
In the comparatively southern localities, where there is a fairly large amount of arable land, 
and few meadows, a part of the fallow field, equivalent to ^h to ^'2, is manured. Further 
to the north where there is very little arable land, and much meadow land, the whole fallow 
field is manured, and as a consequence in spite of the comparatively unfavourable natural 
conditions, larger and, what is particularly important, more constant crops are obtained than 
anywhere in Siberia. Finally, still further to the north near the 60th parallel, at the very 
northernmost limit of agriculture, even a heavy application of manure does not make it 
possible to carry on the three-field system. Here two fields are used, with winter rye predom- 
inating on the best lands, and barley on the rest. With heavy manuring agriculture even 
here yields excellent results, but is incapable of attaining any considerable development, in 
consequence of the extremely limited supply of lands suitable for sowing grain. 

The cultivation of the arable lands in Siberia is on the whole very satisfactory, far 
better than on the peasant farms in central Russia. Such a superiority of the Siberian peas- 
ant farming is determined mainly by the abundance there of w^orking cattle, possible on 
account of the wealth of the country in hayland and pasture, and secondly of the compara- 
tively good construction of the agricultural implements. 

The implements used in Siberia for ploughing, to wit, ploughs, here bear various names, 
kolesianka, saban, rogaliukha, et cetera; but their fundamental construction is 


everywhere the same. They consist of a broad triangular ploughshare (more often made in 
two parts) whose left angle is bent forward and plays the part of the weh, a w^ooden mould- 
hoard, a lifting screw or a system of wedges regulating the depth of ploughing. The work of 
this plough has no resemblance to that of the Great Russia plough (s o k h a) but is very 
like that of the p 1 u g. The depth ploughed may he carried to four and even six vershoks, 
the breadth of the clod being also six vershoks. The latter is cut off very cleanly and a 
field ploughed by aSiberiansokhahardly differs in appearance from one ploughed by a plug. In 
the regions where agriculture is most developed the sokha is fastened to a two-wheeled car- 
riage and furnished with two or three horses. In localities lying near to the northern 
limit of agriculture, the shafts are fastened directly to the mouldboard and the plough is 
harnessed to one horse. The harrows used in Siberia belong to the half-heavy type. Thy consist 
of a wooden frame with iron teeth, in number from 16 to 20. In the purely agricultural zone 
of Siberia, the average farmer harrows with three harrows, while the rich farmers send one 
after another up to six. In the north, where the strips are not large, usually one harrow is 
used, but they here have very many more teeth. The other implements, sickles, scythes, 
both simple and with fingers (cradles), flails for thrashing, shovels for winnowing, present no 
differences from those employed in European Russia. Until lately there were no machines in 
Siberia. Recently small hand winnowers of the Grant system have been largely adopted in the 
Altai and in localities lying to the east of Tomsk, and horse thrashing-machines have begun 
to appear among the rich peasants. 

The chief object that the Siberian peasant places before himself in preparing the 
land for sowing is the struggle with weeds, which with the freshness of the soils and their 
richness in organic substances grow up in great abundance and are one of the worst enemies 
of grain crops. Another problem, the bringing of the soil into the I'equisite condition of fria- 
bleness, in the mind of the Siberian peasant, yields to that of destroying the weeds. The 
degree of their abundance mainly determines in each case the greater or less extent of 
ploughing and harrowing, the time for these processes and for sowing and a mass of other 
less essential details. 

The normal type of .the cultivation of fallow in Siberia is twice ploughing, with har- 
rowing after the first. All these operations are carried out in the interval of time between 
the beginning of June and the end of July. An additional third ploughing is added in the 
case of many weeds or heavy soil, especially if the later has been washed with snow water 
and threatens to become covered with an impenatrable hard crust. Upon such heavy, clay 
soils the third ploughing of the fallow is effected in spring, upon friable soils in late autumn. 
Stubble fields are ploughed once only, usually in spring, and only rarely on very crumbly 
soils in autumn. Before ploughing the remaining stubble is burnt and the ash serves in some 
sort as a manure. The sowing of winter grain begins from the very last days of July and 
where possible is concluded in the middle of August, although in the case of poor men it 
not seldom drags on to the beginning of September. The spring grains in the southern local- 
ities of agricultural Siberia are begun to be sown at the end of April, in the northern re- 
gions, in the beginning of May, wheat being sown earliest of all, and latest oats and espec- 
ially barley. The time of sowing has on account of the Siberian climatic conditions a vt>ry 



groat importance. Willi lu.. raiij sowing: "'"' .^'^'I'l >iiiii,T.> liom I'pnn;^' lnj>i>; with iw late, 
from weeds and autumn hoar frosts. A day's diflerence in the time of sowing often deter- 
mines a good or a had harvest. 

Tlio liold once sown is not attended to any more. Only youug spring crops, in the 
main wheat and spring lye, have to he very frequently weeded, as often neither ploughing 
iini JKuidwing aie capahli' of stopping the growth of weeds. The harvesting of winter grain 
begins ordinarily at the end of July; of spring, at the beginning of August. The har- 
vesting of all grains is concluded under ordinary circumstances at the beginning of September, 
l)ut when the weather is unfavourable, is frequently delayed much later, sometimes to the 
beginning of October. The grain, cut with sickle or scythe, after drying is gathered into heaps 
on the lield and on the arrival of winter is carried on sledges into the farmsteads or to the 
zaimkas. It is then kiln-dried in out-houses or barns, thrashed and winuowed. Next the 
grain intended for sowing is subjected to a final cleansing by means of special instruments, 
so-called podsievs, cylinders turning about a horizontal axis, made of sheet iron with 
holes of various sizes. That which is intended for food or sale is subjected to no further 

It is impossible to give any data on the cost of production of grain, in consequence 
of the considerable variety in the level and the violent fluctuations in wages, which should 
apply to the whole of Siberia or even to its agricultural region only. The cost of separate 
operations and of the whole together, in the production of gi-aiu whether per dessiatine or 
per poud in different localities presents very wide variations. The figures below, showing the 
cost in some parts of agilcultural Siberia of the more important operations in the raising 
of grain, may give some idea thereof. 

Per dessiatine. 

Soutlicru part ofTobolsk. 



ral parts of 




Rouble s. 


j Ploughing (ouce) 

Harrowing » 

Reaping i . . . . < 

1 ^, , > average crop. < 

Thrashing ' ^ ^ .... I 






G to 10 

4.0<3 ; 

The entire cost of the cultivation of a dessiatine of land together with the harvest- 

iug of the crop and the cleansing of the grain is expressed for the same localities by the 

following figures: 

• Fallow. Stubble. 

Best localities | ^ 23 — 27 roubles 14 — 18 roubles 

> southern Tobolsk 

Worst » f 15 — 20 » 8— 9 » 

Central Tomsk 22 — 27 » 13 — 15 » 

Irkutsk 25 — 27 » 14 » 


Thus 22 to 25 roubles per dessiatine for spring grain, sown ou fallow, and 15 roubles 
per dessiatine ou stubble field, are the approximate standards, around which the entire cost 
of the production of grain in agricultural Siberia fluctuates, and in particular in such parts 
of it where farming is carried on according to the rest-fallow system. In those localities of the To- 
bolsk government, where the passage has already been effected to farming with manure and a 
necessary three-field or two-field rotation of crops, the total cost of the operations per dessiatine 
is as follows: 

Three-field region with manuring of part of fallow 32 to 34 roubles t 2 gi'ain crops in 
» » » .■> » » whole » » 43 •!> f rotation. 

» » » 19 to 20 » per crop. 

Before passing to the question of the yield, it is necessary to say a few words on the 
thickness of sowing. Here, as in what has preceded, it is impossible to cite any figures having 
au application to the whole of Siberia. The thickness of sowing per dessiatine in different 
localities varies as follows: 

For winter rye between .... 6 — 7 and 14 — 16 chetveriks. 

» spring i> » .... 5 — 7 » 11 — 12 » 

» » wheat » .... 6 — 8 » 14 — 16 » 

» oats » » ... .12— 16 » 23 — 32 » 

» barley » » .... 8 — 12 » 20 — 24 » 

But the lowest of these figures now are very rarely met with, namely only upon freshly 
cleared, very fertile lauds. The highest refer exclusively to the northern border land of agri- 
culture, to localities with two-field farming, and also three-field with manuring of the whole 
of the fallow. In the case of the region of greatest development of agriculture the limits of 
variation are much narrower. The amount sown per dessiatine is ordinarily: 

Rye, winter and spring from 8 to 10 chetveriks. 

Wheat » 10 » 12 » 

Barley » 12 » 14 » 

Oats » 16 » 20 » 

The sowing is the thinner the more southern the locality; the better and fresher the 
soil, the earlier the given land is sown; it is, on the contrary, the thicker, the further to the 
north, the more the land is exhausted and the poorer in organic matter. A mistake in the 
thickness of the sowing threatens the farmer with very lamentable consequences. If the 
sowing has been carried out too tliinly, the young plants are threatened with danger from 
weeds; if too thickly, with a rich soil and moist weather, the grain may easily over tiller 
and the ears fill badly. 

The extremely treacherous nature of the harvests, their violent fluctuations from very 
high figures to zero, form an important and characteristic feature of Siberian agricultural 
economy. An exception is only formed by the localities lying near the northern limit of 
agriculture, those localities where the transition has already been accomplished to manuring and 
the three or two-field system. Thanks to the influence of manure and the treading of the fallow 


field by caltle, and also lo the ravouiable natural conditious, the abt^ence of droughts and 
hailstorms et cetera, complete crop failures here hardly ever occur, and in general very bad 
harvests are rare. Xot often rising very high, the harvests ordinarily keep near the average 
standard, which is hero very fair. In hjcalities where part of the fallow field is manured the 
averiige yi(;ld of rye lluctuates between 70 and 80 pouds per dessiatine, only on the very 
worst fields falling to fiO pomls. Tin- yields for t)ats and barley vary within about the same 
limits. J-'urtlicr to the north where the whole fallow' liebl is manured, rye gives on an average 
80, oats and barley, from 90 to 100 pouds per dessiatine. On the region of two-field farming 
the yields of rye also flactuate from 70 to 80 pouds, but spring crops give considerably more. 
Oats give on an average 110 to 120, barley 100 or 110 pouds per dessiatine. Thanks to 
such high yields the population of some localities of the Tobolsk government, lying near the 
very northernmost limit of husbandry, lives notwithstanding the insignificant extent of the 
arable land, on its own grain. 

Very dillerent is the case in localities where the rest-system still prevails. The average 
figures of the productivity are here also fairly, and in some places, very satisfactory. Thus, 
the average figures of the harvests for w^heat fluctuate in the above indicated wheat regions 
between 60 and 80 pouds, and only where wheat reaches its extreme northern limits, or 
encounters unfavourable conditions of soil, fall to 50, 40 pouds and lower. Winter rye in 
localities abounding in forest and having suitable soils, gives on an average also from 60 to 
80, sometimes even as much us 90 ponds per dessiatine, and only on the very worst soils 
does the average yield sink from 40 to 50 pouds. Such are also the limits of fluctuation and the 
average figure for the yield of spring rye in the localities where it is most grown. As for 
oats, two figures representing the average yield must be noted : when sown on fallow, and 
when sown on stubble fields. In the first case oats, even upon comparatively bad lands, yield 
on an average not less than 80 to 100 pouds per dessiatine. When the sowing is on stubble, 
even the best lands do not reach this average standard, while bad lands yield not more than 
40 to 50 ponds per dessiatine. Finally, barley in the region of the rest-system of farming is 
only sown on bad and exhausted lamls, where it gives better crops than any other breadstuff. 
Where rye either does not grow^ at all, or yields some 30 to 40 pouds per dessiatine, barley 
with an average harvest gives 50 to 60 pouds. 

But the figures quoted are far from affording material for drawing true conclusions in 
reference to the economical position of the Siberian agriculturist. The extremely violent and 
W'ide fluctuations deprive these averages of almost all significance. The upper limits of these 
fluctuations are very high, 180, 200, 240 pouds of wheat, 180 to 200 pouds of rye, 200 to 
250 pouds of barley, 250 to 350 pouds of oats per dessiatine; such yields without irrigation 
or manuring have excited the wonder of travellers and created for Siberia the reputation of 
a country of fabulous fertility. But such harvests occur once in several dozen years, and 
then only upon the lands which are best in respect to conditions of climate and freshness. 
Of course, a much less yield, 100 or 120 pouds of wheat or rye, 150 to 180 pouds of oats, 
and so on is sufficient to enrich the argiculturist. Such harvests formerly happened 
pretty often, and it was they that created the prosperity of the Siberian peasant farmer. 
During the last decades there have been not seldom more or less complete crop failures. 


This is, be it remembered, true only as regards spring crops. The yields of winter rye in 
places suited to it never fall to zero; a complete failure only occurs on separate strips, 
and therefore bad harvests in the forest rye region, lying to the east of Tomsk, never place 
the population in such a difficult position, as in the region of spring crops, and particularly 
in the wheat steppes. Here occur complete failures, and very bad harvests not unfrequently 
follow each other three and four years running. 

The chief causes of the failure of the crops in these steppe localities are drought and the 
k byl ka, an insect belonging to the order of orthoptera, similar to the locust and applied to several 
species of grasshopper. In forest localities these causes yield place to the baneful conse- 
quences of unfavourable winters, which react destructively upon the winter crops, but these 
circumstances never here attain such a character as the droughts in the steppe localities. 
Not less essential causes of crop failures, operating equally in the forests and steppes, are 
the spring frosts and autumn hoar frosts, of which the former damage the sprouting grain 
the latter injure It when filling. According to the soil, situation and time of sowing, the hoar 
frosts and frosts sometimes destroy the grain without leaving anything, sometimes destroy or 
spoil only part of the crop. The influence of frosts is different in different localities. In some 
they injure the crops once in several years, in others, much more frequently. There are even 
spots, as to the north-east of Tomsk, where the spring crops freeze every year. Oats in such 
places are sown for straw and feed; the seeds are always brought from without. Further men- 
tion must be made of the fogs and especially of the appearance of microscopic fungi, such as 
smut and ergot. At times, continuous rains prevent the grain from ripening and hinder 
harvest operations; at others hail, laying the crop, are the cause of failure. 

It is stated above that in localities forming part of the zone where the rest-system 
is practised agriculture is, if not the only at any rate, an essential source of the peaple's pros- 
perity, and the sale of the surplus produce, the principal source of its money income. Such 
grain surplus finds a market in different directions. The wheat from the Altai, the steppe re- 
gions, and the southern part of the Tobolsk government, goes partly in a raw state, partly in 
meal, to the west, namely to European Russia. Nearly the whole of the surplus of oats is 
consumed by the great Siberian tract. The same traffic over the tract swallows up a consid- 
erable part of the grain produced in its neighbourhood. Lastly a large part of the grain 
surplus of the agricultural region contributes to the food supply of the population of the non- 
agricultural borderlands of Siberia, or is bought up by the gold mines for the needs of their 
miners. There still remains a large quantity which goes to the distilleries to be converted 
into spirits. All these outlets for the grain produce, in spite of their apparent variety, have one 
common feature, namely they all absorb the surplus from good harvests and do not return it 
when there is a crop failure. 

Siberia does not yet possess a properly organized local grain trade, capable of 
equalizing surplus and deficit according to good and bad seasons, and regularizing the 
prices of grain. Neither does there exist such a regulator of the fluctuations in harvests 
and prices according to locality. In consequence of the immensity of the distances in 
Siberia and the insufficiency of the ways of communication grain, grown in abundance 
for example, in the Yenisei and even Tomsk governments, cannot supply the deficit 

] 08 SIBERIA. 

in Unit or The cost of caniage would hn too yieat, aud accoidiugiy extieiuii want 
Kiiiy b(! oxporieiiceil in one t'oveniment simultanfjously with an extraordinary .surplus iu another. 
Add lo tills till! complete absence of organized credit in Siberia, whether for general purposes 
or in releronce to grain, and tlii; fact that the peasant makes his chief outlays in antumn 
wlion grain is cheap, while in years of scarcity he must buy it in spring when it is dear, 
it follows tlial tile peisant is obligeil to throw the more grain on the market the cheaper it 
is, and to buy in propoition to its dearness. From all this results one more charateristic fea- 
ture of Siberian farming, tlie extraordinary want of fixity in the prices of grain, rising iu 
times of scarcity higher than anywhere in European Russia, and falling in good years to 
an extremely low level. 

In the sketch made in the preceding pages of the position of agricultural production, 
original Siberia, or the four governments with the adjacent teiritories of Yakutsk and Trans- 
baikalia to the east, were mainly in view. Ol'tlif two lust-named territories the former, as far 
as the beginnings of agricultiiie exist there, presents a complete agreement with the pails 
of the Tobolsk government adjacent to tlie northern boundary of grain raising. Transbaikalia 
with insignificant differences resulting from its more steppe like character and better climate, 
approaches tlie conditions of the conterminous Irkutsk government. No special account is required 
of the conditions of agriculture in those districts of the territories of Akmolinsk and 
Semipalatinsk where grain is raised without artificial irrigation; they present complete accord- 
ance with the conditions obtaining in the wheat regions of the Siberian governments, with 
but one difference, that the lands are here fresher, and therefore their yield is higher and 
crop failures occur more seldom. 

To complete the picture of agriculture it is however necessary to add a few words 
on its position in localities where it is placed in conditions absolutely different from those 
tlescribed above, In the Zaisan district of the Semipalatinsk territory and in Semirechia, as 
well as in the Amour-Ussuri region. 

Alike in the Zaisan district and Semirechia, agriculture, as was indicated above, is 
only possible with artificial irrigation. The fields are here intersected by great irrigating 
ditches, aryks, from which when ploughing, little runlets are led in all directions by the 
s k li a, thus distributing the moisture equally over the whole field. In the Zaisan district 
the irrigated fields are sometimes also manured, and the water is let on first before ploughing, 
and then, during the growth of the plant, according to the weather, from twice to four times 
more. As a rule the crops are watered first thirty days after sowing, again fifteen days 
later, and a third time after the lapse of forty days more. After eight crops the field requires 
either a three years rest or manuring. During the whole eight years however it is sown with 
one and the same kind of grain, wheat, rye, millet or oats. An alternation of crops, aud 
even a mere change to another kind of grain, are not practised here, because the seed, falling 
during the operation 'of harvesting, springs up and would only spoil the next crop. In the 
Semirechensk territory, the irrigated laud in consequence of the hot climate yields two crops 
a year; the winter field sown with wheat and barley ripens at the end of May, and when 
harvested is sown with a second crop mash, a small pea, millet or carrot, more rarely 
kunzhut, poppy or lentil. The second crops ripen and are removed in the autumn of the 



same year. Then the lield is sown for the next spring with spring plants, mainly rice and 
sorghum, and also in small quantities, cotton and lucerne. The harvests in the irrigated lands 
both of Semipalatinsk and Semirechensk produce very heavy yields, and crop failure are 
unknown. The grain raised on the Irrigated lands not only suffices for the uses of the farmers, 
hut a portion of it goes for sale to China and the nearest Kirghiz nomads. 

In the Amour territory a strict distinction must he made between the farming of the 
Russian population, peasant and Cossack, and that of the natives. Coreans and Manchurians. 
The Russians practise an extremely extensive system of farming, the newly cleared arable 
land is ploughed over several times during a whole year, and is then annually sown with 
grain without fallow or manure until it is completely exhausted. The best clayey soils thus 
are made to yield as many as fifteen crops, one after another, poor soils not more than seven 
or eight. During the first years after the clearing, wheat or spring rye is sown, next a passage is 
made to oats, and then for a year or two, buckwheat. After the last, a crop which somewhat 
reestablishes the fertility of the soil, they again sow wheat or spring rye, followed by oats, 
until the latter ceases to produce satisfactory crops. Fields once abandoned are very seldom 
ploughed up afresh, although they might after a rest yield very fair crops. It is the custom to 
break up, almost exclusively, fresh hitherto untouched lands, of which up till now, on account 
of the recent settlement of the country, there is no lack. The yields of grain are in a quanti- 
tative respect very high, but the quality of the Amour grain is far from satisfactory. The 
excess of moisture prevents the regular ripening of the grain, which is dark, of light weight 
and of low nutritive value. 

The same character on the whole attaches to Russian agriculture in the Ussuri region 
except that in order to avoid soaking, sowing is here carried on in rows in the form of 
small ridges, the furrows remaining between them serving as drains and for ventilation. 

As far as concerns the Coreans and Manchurians living in Amouria their farming, in 
opposition to the Russian, is distinguished by great intensiveness. The size of the cultivated 
plots is not great, but on the other hand the fields are most carefully tilled, the sowing is 
in rows by hand or machine; the young plants are weeded several times during the summer, so 
that weeds are hardly to be seen on the fields of the Coreans and Manchurians. while they 
are such a dangerous enemy of the crops of the Russian population. The chief crop among 
the Coreans and Manchurians is buda (setaria Italica); next follow various other cereals and 
garden plants; buda is also their chief food. An expenditure of eighteen to twenty pounds of 
seed on a dessiatine gives one hundred and fifty to two hundred ponds or more, so that the 
yield of one dessiatine provides a whole family for a year, or a year and a half. 

Having finished the description of the principal systems of agriculture existing in Si- 
beria, it is necessary to proceed to the consideration of the statistics of its present position. 
«The Chernoziom constitutes^, says Erehm «the true gold of Siberia->. And in fact agriculture 
is now the chief and safest occupation of the settled Siberian, and in it consists the whole 
future of the country. It may be assumed that from the whole territory of Siberia there is, 
on an average, harvested about 160,000,000 pouds of various grains, of which approximately 
20 per cent fall to Tobolsk and Tomsk, as the most densely populated, 12 to 15 per cent to 
Yeniseisk and Irkutsk and Semirechia, 3 to 5 per cent to each of the territories of Semi- 


palatinsk, iiinl 'J ratisbaikulia. TIhj nMiiainilei is divided bot\vet;u Yakutsk, the Lit- 
toral and tlic Anioiii- tonitories. As regards the two latter temtones and certain localities of 
steppe n.'gions it must Ix; observed that, thanks to successful colonization, th<; agricultural 
productivity of tln;s(! hjcalities has latti.Tly grown extraordinarily rapidly, and that there is no 
doiiht hut that in lli<! near I'liture they will occupy a very prominent place in the ranks of grain 
jJiodurjML'- couiiiiii's. 'J'urning to the kind of trrain cultivated in Siberia, it must be observed 
that about 00 i)er cent of llii- whole production consists of spring wheat and oaLs, about 20 
per cent winter rye, while tiu^ remaining 20 per cent represents all other kinds of grain. 

The instability of the prices is the most striking feature, as also the uncertainty of 
the harvests, in the wheat area, and lliis is particularly the ease in the southern part of tho 
Tobidsk govcrnniciit. The average prices for this locality are as follows: 

Kye In kernel . . . .20 — 25 kopecks per poud 

Wheat 50 — 60 » » » 

Oats 1.20 — 1.30 roubles per chetvert 

or 20 — 22 kopecks per poud 

The miniiiiiiin prici' to which rye has fallen during the last 20 years was 8 to 10 kopecks a 
poud; the maxinuun limit, in 1870, 80 kopecks to 1.20 roubles; in 1884, 1.50 roubles, and 1892, 
over 2 roubles per poud. The rapid change of prices may be seen for example from the fact that 
between the autumn of 1887 and that of 1888 the price of rye in the southern part of 
Tobolsk enhanced almost fivefold, namely from 12 to 15 kopecks to 60 to 70 kopecks per poud. 
In localities situated to the east of Tomsk, which sow for the most part rye, the fluctuations of 
grain prices, as also those of the harvests, are somewhat less severe. The average grain 
prices rise in moving from west to east. Thus, in the north-eastern part of the government 
of Tomsk the prices during a twenty-five years period were as follows: 

Rye Hour. . . . 4S kopecks per poud 
"VMieat flour. . . 76 » » » 
Oats 41 » » » 

In the Irkutsk government the stan<iard average prices for the last seven years were: 

Rye flour about 1. 20 roubles per poud 

Wheat !> 1. 90 » » » 

Oats 1. 10 » » » 

The fluctuations for the Tomsk market during the last twenty-five years fall between the 
following limits: 

Maximum. Minimum. Ratio of max. to miu. 
Rye flour . . . 1. 45 roubles 23 kopecks 6. 3 

Wheat » ... 1. 80 » 30 » 6. 

Oats 1. 10 » 17 » 6. 5 



Thus, the fluctuations in the prices of grain in the Tomsk government although considerable 
are far from reaching the intensity attained by the fluctuations in the wheat localities of 
the Tobolsk government. In the agricultural governments of Eastern Siberia the fluctuations in 
prices exhibit approximately the same character. In such localities of the Tobolsk govern- 
ment, where farming with the application of manure has already become established, the 
prices and harvests are distinguished by great stability, which naturally has a very good 
influence upon the prosperity of the population. Thus, at the extreme northern boundary of 
agricultural operations in the Tobolsk government the prices for grain during the last ten 
years were : 

Maximum. Minimum. Average. 
Per poud of rye flour. . . . 1.30 roubles 55 k. 80 k. 

» » » oats ..... 1.0() » 40 k. 55 k. 

Thus the maximum price exceeds here the minimum 2'/^ times. Independently of the 
fluctuating niovemont, the prices of grain in all the agricultural localities of Siberia have 
further a tendency to rise, which is explained among other causes by the expansion of the 
sale of Siberian grain for distilling and export to European Russia. The prices of the 
Tomsk market may give a perfectly clear idea of this rise. These prices, during a twenty 
years period, taken for each five years, give the following increasing series: 

Y e i 

I r s: 

Average price per 

poud. j 

Rye flour. | Wheat flour. 

Oats. 1 

Five years . . . 

. . . 1870 — 1874 

31 k. 66 k. 

33 k. 

j » » ... 

. . . 1875-1879 

32 » 

54 » 

34 » 

1 » » ... 

. . . 1880-1884 

58 ;> 

86 » 

43 » 

/> » ... 

. . . 1885 — 1889 

60 » 

88 » 

44 » 

In proportion to the progress made by the works on the Siberian railway, the rise in 
the prices for grain in the agricultural regions will doubtless proceed still faster. 

Live Stock Industry. 

Cattle raising in the localities containing the main mass of the Siberian population, 
tluit is, in the whole agricultural tract of Siberia, plays only a secondary part in the eco- 
nomical life of the population. Its dimensions and relative importance change in dependence 
mainly upon the relation between the quantity ami quality of arable lands, on the one hand, 
and of the lands adapted to the purpose, namely meadows and pastures, on the other. Siberia 
is on the whole very rich both In meadows and pastures, although the low nutritive value of 
forest herbage makes it necessary in the greater part of Siberia to expend much more hay 
and grazing space upon rearing cattle than is re(iuireii under similar circumstances in European 
Russia. Siberia nevertheless is capable of sustaining mucli more cattle than it does at 

] 1 2 SIBERIA. 

pjoscnt. iJut us the main luass of pt-a-sant labour is expornkil upon agriculture, cattle 
breeding actually attains largo dimensions only where there exsists, on the one hand, an abund- 
ance of meadows and pastures, and on the other hand, the lack of arable land liberates in 
summer time tli(! giealrr part of tin; working capacity of the peasantry, and where at the 
same time the bail ((iiality of the ploughed land forces the peasants to seek some supplement- 
ary source of existence. Thus, in the Tobolsk government cattle raising is especially devel- 
oped ill the steppi! localiti(!s of the Tiukalinsk district, in llie Tomsk government, in the steppes 
of the Kuinsk district and in the Clnilym part of the Tomsk district, all of them being localities 
where agriculture is placed in comparatively bad rundiiions. Jiut in these places even th-; 
importance of cattle breeding can nowhere be placed above that of agriculture. The latter 
still yields the main support of existence, it feeds the population, while cattle breeding only 
serves to satisfy its comparatively secondary necessities, and to make good those deficits 
which appear in the peasant economy in consequence of bad harvests. 

The extent of live stock breeding is very various both for whole locatities and for in- 
dividual homesteads. There are well to do farmers who have from 10 to 15 farm horses, 25 
to 30 head of large-horned cattle, 40 to 50 sheep. There are again wealthy men who have 
40 to 50 horses and a hundred or more head of cattle. Finally, some men are so poor 
that they possess either no live stock at all, or only one horse or a cow. Turning then to 
averages it appears that there are volosts where the household, leaving out of account young 
animals, owns 5 or G farm horses, 5 to 6 cows, and 15 to 20 sheep. Others again on an 
average per household have not more than two horses, one cow and 3 or 4 sheep, or even less. 
Summing up for the whole agricultural tract of Siberia, the standard allowance of live stock 
per household may be taken at 3 to 4 working horses, 2 to 3 milch cows, with the corres- 
ponding number of young cattle, and 6 to 8 sheep. 

Horses in the agricultural tract of Siberia are kept mainly for farm work, but in 
many localities besides this for the conveyance of goods. Upon the tract a considerable part 
of the horses are kept specially for the passenger traffic, the post et cetera. The Siberian horse 
is on the whole small, is easily satisfied as regards food and water, and supports alike heat 
and cold. He is fast but not strong, so that the normal load of the ordinary peasant horse 
on a good road docs not exceed 20 to 25 pouds. Only the better sort of dray horses draw 
28 to 30 pouds and for short distances, 35 pouds. The types of horses in different localities of 
Siberia are not imiform. Thus, in the southern steppe portion of the Tobolsk government 
the horses are a cross with the steppe or Kirghiz strain, and are distinguished by extraor- 
dinary speed and staying powers. In the region around Tomsk the horses are somewhat 
bigger and do not possess the speed of the steppe or Kirghiz breed, but are on the other 
hand, very good for heavy draught and farm work, for which the Tomsk horses are famous and 
fetch a high price over all Eastern Siberia and Amouria. The Transbaikal horse on the other 
hand, is short and thin' and is not distinguished either by its pace or capacity for draught. 
The prices of horses are everywhere subject to ^^^de fluctuations. In the steppe districts 
of the Tobolsk government and in the localities of the Tomsk government remote from the 
tract, the average peasant horse Is not worth more than 12 to 15 roubles. In the northern 
districts of the Tobolsk government and in the tract localities of that of Tomsk, it fetches 



20 to 25 roubles. A horse fit for post service costs In either government 50 to 60 roubles. 
In Eastern Siberia horses are considerably dearer; in the Irkutsk government the average 
price of a working horse is not less than 35 to 40 roubles; on the Amour a small Transbai- 
kal horse fetches from 50 to 80, and a Tomsk horse, 100 to 150 roubles. 

The horned cattle over all Siberia belong to the ordinary Russian breed. They are small; 
a full-grown cow has a carcass weighing 5V« to 7 pouds, rather lean and gives little milk. In 
summer, on usual feed, a cow gives about V* to ^/h vedro, and only when fed on oil cake, 
from ^2 to ^,8 of a vedro. In winter, the yield is much less and does not on an average 
exceed Vs vedro a day. Most of the milk obtained from the cows, as well as such products 
as curds and buttermilk, are used by the peasants at home, and only localities near the 
towns sell their milk. On the contrary, butter forming an important article of Siberian export 
is sold from every household possessing more than one or two cows. Here too the butter does 
not all go to market; the greater part is consumed by the peasants, only the surplus being 
offered for sale. The quantity sold therefore depends not only on the number of cows, but on the 
composition of the family. Taking the average family as containing 5 to 6 members, it can with two 
to three cows, in the localities most favourable to cattle raising in the agricultural zone, sell 
not more than 10 to 15 pounds per cow; with 5 to 7 cows, 25 to 30 pounds; with 8 to 10 cows, 
a poud for each milch cow or somewhat more. The butter is made from sour cream. It is not sold 
in the fresh state but salted down and kept till certain dates, occurring once or twice in the year, 
when it is bought up by factors who supply it to large merchants who melt it down and clarify it. 

The sale of milk and dairy produce has a prime importance for the peasant only in a few 
localities, principally in the neighbourhood of towns or in the steppes. For the most part horned 
cattle are kept for slaughter. The meat is consumed mostly by the peasants themselves, only a 
small quantity being sold in the towns; the tallow and hides are as a rule sold; they go from 
Western Siberian to European Russia, while a considerable proportion of the h'des from Eastern 
Siberia, of which come from Transbaikalia alone 150,000 skins a year, is used to cover tea boxes. 

Dairy farming, and even so very badly organized, is carried on only by peasants in 
the neighbourhood of the more important towns, Tomsk, Irkutsk, and a few others. Perhaps 
the most important source of revenue from cattle is the sale of the live beasts, the more 
well to do peasants selling them at a later age than their poorer brethren. The cattle are 
bought up by a special class of traders, who slaughter them and either sell the produce in 
the towns or export the same to Europeaii Russia. 

The average prices for cattle for some parts of Siberia appear in the following table. 

Region s. 


3 yrs. 

l*/3 yrs. 


u b 1 

• ' s. 

Southern part of Tobolsk gov 

9 — 12 

6- 8 

3- 4 

Middle > ;> 3> s . . . . 

10 — 12 

7- 9 

4- 5 

Tomsk gov. near capital and on the tract 

12 — 15 

5 — 7 

Remote parts of Tomsk gov. ... 


8— 9 

4— 5 1 

Irkutsk government 


20 — 25 

5 — 10 

] 11 SIBERIA. 

Cattlo, likt; horsiis, bocomo dearer tliu further uasl. At the same lime the prices are 
subject to extremiily .sharp fliictiiatioris in <iopen<ience upon the harvest ami the cattle plague. 

"Wlii'ii tliei'e is u bail harvest tin; j)oor larim-r si-lis his cattli; Id mak"! up tin; deficit iti his 
commissarial. On tli') ap|)roa(;li of an (.'pidemii; all try to sell fh"!ir cattle, preferring to do so 
oven lor a sdiik than to risk the [)lat,'n(!. In both cases a (|uaiitlty of cattle is thrown up<)u 
llic market, and the juicus fall to almost half, in ordnr to risri mor*! or less considerably 
after the lirst good harvcist, or after the subsidence of the plague. 

The sheep bred in agricultural Siberia belong for the most part to a vt;ry bad br^ed. 
They yii'Id little meat; a three-year old sheep gives a carcass of 30 to 40 pounds, very 
littli! tallow, and woo! of inf(MMor (juality and of small (|nantity, namely from 25 to 40 pound > 
per ten shw\). The prodncn of sheep farming is almost entirely consumed by the peas- 
ant at home. Tht; Ix'St breeds of sheep are raisiMl, on tlin one hand, on the southern bordtr-r- 
laiids of the governments of Tobolsk and Tomsk, adjacent to the Kirghiz steppe, and on tli" 
other, in the Minusinsk region and in Transbaikalia. In the former a considerable part of the 
sheep belong to the Kirghiz Kurdiuk or fat-tailed breed, kept for its tallow; a yearling 
yields 20 pounds, a three-year old, a poud or more; in the latter place a degenerated race of 
merinos is bred chiefly for its wool. 

Cattle breeding, although as already remarked only a secondary source of the prosp'-rity 
of agricultural Siberia, affords an essential help in bad years. A terrible calamity for the 
people, hardly less so than a bad harvest, is the plague, whether the Siberian or c h u m a. Both 
forms of disease are particularly destinctive in the Barabinsk steppe and the localities adjacent 
to the Kirghiz steppe, which are the chief foci of the Siberian plague for the whole of 
Western Siberia. The propagation of epizootic diseases is here facilitated by the careless 
treatment of the cattle, although they are on the whole very well fed. The standard feed in 
the majority of places in agricultural Siberia is 150 to 200 and more pouds of hay per work- 
ing horse with an addition of 10 to 15 pouds of oats, 50 to 100 pouds of hay with a cor- 
rospon<ling (juantity of straw per cow, and 25 pouds of hay per sheep. 

For the Kirghiz of the steppe regions and in part for the Transbaikal Bu- 
riats, cattle raising is no longer a secondary but the chief source of livelihood. In the 
steppes, horses and sheep are the principal live stock, there being but few cattle. The horses 
are bred for transport and for food in the form of meat and k u ra y s, and for sale to the 
neighbouring settled population, sheep for slaughter for their meat and tallow, of which the 
steppe variety produces a large quantity. The surplus flocks are sold alive to cattle drivers 
who take them to the tallow works, where they are slaughtered. The Kirghiz also keep cam- 
els which they employ in summer as beasts of burden and in \nuter harness to common 
peasant sledges. 

The Kirghiz scarcely prepare any hay for winter, but leave the cattle to wander over 
the snow-clad steppe and pick up whatever food they can. When the snow is soft and does 
not lie thick, large cattle easily dig down to the dry herbage, and are then followed by 
the sheep. But when the first snows are succeeded by rain and then by frosts, and the ground 
is covered with a crust of hard ice, a consequence of such a glazed frost is a lack of fodder 
during the continuance of which tens and hundreds of thousands of large and especially small 


cattle perish. No small number also perish from blizzards or b u r a u s, lasting in the 
steppes several days in succession. Herds of horses and flocks of sheep caught by the storm 
are unable to stand against the force of the wind. Driven in the direction taken by the bliz- 
zard they fall into gullies and ravines covered up with snow and there perish in masses. 

In the northern uncultivated borderland of Siberia the wandering native population 
keep reindeer and harness dogs. The former are indispensable companions of the wandering 
native. The extreme indifference in the matter of food allows of their being kept in places 
where no other domestic animals could live, and their services to man are most various. As 
long as the reindeer is alive he is a beast of draught; killed, his flesh goes as food, his skin 
furnishes warm clothing, and his sinews yield thread. 





The forest wealth of Siberia. 

The area occupied by forest; the division of the forests into zones; the northern: zone of tall 
conifers and its boundaries; the prevailing kinds of trees; the birch zone and its limits; the 
importance of this zone for the agriculture and economy of the inhabitants; the zone of mountain 
forests and its significance; causes serving as an obstach; to the introduction of forestry into Si- 
beria; measures of the Government for the regulating of the forests of Western Siberia: 
establishment of a Forest Administration; results attained in a short time: the position 
of forest husbandry in Eastern Siberia; measures for ascertaining Crown forests in 

the Amour region. 

SIBERIA belongs to the number of countries abounding in forests. In Western Siberia alone- 
the area of forests belonging to the Crown is estimated at 110,000;000 dessiatines. In 
Eastern Siberia the area so occupied is considerably gi-ealer, but is there not exactly ascer- 
tained. The Littoral Amour region is also rich in forest consisting of very various and 
valuable species. 

The vast forest resources are however distributed unequally over the extensive terri- 
tory of Siberia. The greatest expanse of forest is situated in its northern part, and it is al- 
most entirely absent in the south. According to the density of its tree covering, the whole 
of Siberia may be divided into three zones, of which each is distinguished by characteristic 
features and situated in a direction from west to east. 

Northern tall tree Forests. 

The zone of the northern tall-stemmed woodlands stretches uninterruptedly through, 
all Siberia from the Ural to the eastern shores of Kamchatka. This is the zone of the Sibe- 
rian urmans ar.l taigas. To the north it borders on the tundras which is the limit of 
the growth of the larger vegetation. The southern side of this forest zone is determined by 
the line of the greatest development of corn raising and settled life. Beginning with the Tu- 
rinsk district it passes through the northern part of that of Tobolsk and abruptly rises along, 
the right bank of the Irtysh to the river Tara, embracing the northern parts of the districts 
of Kainsk, Tomsk and Mariinsk. thence passes through the whole of Eastern Siberia almost 
parallel to the main Siberian tract, and in the Transbaikal territory becomes confounded 
with the southern zone of the mountain forests upon the Stanovoi or Yablonovi range. These 
forest expanses are interrupted only by large marshes and impassable bogs wherefore many 
parts of this immense northern taiga have an undisputed right to be called virgin soil, as so 
far they have not been penetrated by the most fearless trapper. These localities, inaccessible- 
to man, will yet long be subject to only the elemental forces of nature.. 


The prevailing arboreal forms in this zone are the conifers, the pine, larch, pi'fch pine, 
lir and so-called cedar. A complete enumeration of all the species of trees occurring in the 
Siberian flora with their systematic names has been made already in Chapter II, on the Geo- 
graphy of Siberia. In forestry it is not trees that grow solitarily but those that grow in gi-eat 
masses that are of importance. The deciduous trees possess in this zone an insignificant import- 
ance; the swamps show an occasional admixture of aspen and willow, and birch occurs on 
the skirts of the taiga. In Western Siberia, chiefly in the urmans of Tarsk, Tobolsk and Tu- 
rinsk, a lime-tree is met with in the form of underwood, which supplies bark and bast which 
serve as a source of income to the local population. 

The northern forest zone occupies all those regions of Siberia where agriculture is 
impossible from the deficient quantity of heat during the five months vegetative period. The 
fixed population in this zone is insignificant and grain raising is met with sporadically, here 
and there, in small patches on its southern border. The forest reaches of this vast zone have 
up to the present time been abandoned exclusively to the forces of nature and cannot present 
a pleasant spectacle to civilized man, but preserve within themselves an inexhaustible 
supply of splendid building material. There are many localities where for tens and hundreds 
of versts in every direction stand clean plantations of pine, which with their interlaced sum- 
mits hide the sky. The absolutely naked trunks rising perfectly straight to an enormous height 
are so monotonous, that a man who once chances into such a part of the Siberian taiga, or 
even a wild beast, cannot find his way out again. Experienced native trappers are afraid to 
penetrate into these, in their opinion, enchanted spots, and they record every step they take by 
scoring the trees. Access to such places is difficult, and the timber contained in them is so far 
without value, but with the growth of the population, the improvement of the roads and the 
destruction of the forests in the inhabited parts, means will be found to make use of the now 
remote forest resources. They form indeed the wealth of the future and are merely awaiting 
their turn. The scourge of the forests of this zone at the present time is only the forest fires, 
not unfrequently devastating hundreds of versts. The burned timber is however rapidly replaced 
by young underwood growing up under the influence of natural selection. It must be 
observed however that the southern limit of the zone of high-trunked trees is gradually retreat- 
ing to the north, yielding place to the raising of grain. 

Birch forest zone. 

The zone of birch forest covers the whole low lying or so-called steppe portion of 
Siberia. This area is occupied by a settled population and nearly coincides with the so-called 
cultivated or agricultural zone of Siberia. The principal, it may almost be said, the only forest 
growth of this zone is the birch with a slight admixture of aspen and t a 1 (salix) upon the 
damper spots and along the banks of the rivers. Coniferous trees are entirely absent. Merely 
a few plantations of these species occur on the outskirts of the birch zone, namely those of 
Borovliansk and Yelets-Ikovsk on the left bank of the Tobol, and Pavlodarsk and Semipala- 
tinsk upon the right bank of the Irtysh. The two latter estates are outside the birch zone. 

1]S ^^lUElClA. 

Tbi' bucii iiiiivcs on a chernoziiuu -oii ainl iberefore this zone Is the most populated 
and particularly characteristic of Western Siberia, between the middle course of the Tobol 
and ibe upper waters of the Obi. This space embraces the so-called steppes- of Ishimsk, Akrao- 
linsk, Kurudzbinsk, and iJarabinsk. Altb(Mif,'h it is usual to und*,'rsland by the word steppe an 
absolutely treeless space, in Siberia with the exception id' the whole Kirghiz steppe region, 
which also produces over large areas shrubs used a,s fuel in the mining works, all the remain- 
ing plains are covered more or less thickly with birch patches or spinnies, in local languiige 
k 1 k s, giving the locality a very peculiar appearance. These birch copses, mingling when 
viewed at a distance, produce the effect of an unbroken forest. Traversing hundreds and thous- 
ands of vcrsls by the Western Siberian tract, the; traveller sees everywhere on the horizon 
as it were uninterrupted forests. Where here and there these birch spinnies are absent, it 
is in the majority of cases due to their destruction by the axe and fire and the subsequent 
pasturing of cattle. Thus the nomad population of the Akmolinsk territory with its numerous 
herds is gradually thrusting back towards the north the line of forest vegetation in the steppes, 
on which account the barren desert is ever advancing more and more from the south. 
The care of preserving these groves in the steppes should be one of the chief duties of the 
local authorities, especially now that a railway is being carried through this locality. The 
distribution of birch patches over the steppe surface may for the most part be called ideal, 
constituting precisely that combination of wood, arable land and pasture which is everywhere 
and at all times desirable in the interests of agriculture. Thanks alone to this happy dispo- 
sition of the forests in this part of Siberia, notwithstanding the not wholly favourable atmos- 
pheric conditions and the mediocre soil, crops and grass thrive well. The population of this 
zone would not know bad harvests, were it not that the grasshopper, always laying its eggs 
in the treeless Kirghiz steppe, creeps thence into the rich crops of the cultivated fields. In 
this the most densely inhabited zone the birch furnishes the peasant with everything, timber 
and fuel and wood for every purpose. All the huts and farm buildings in the villages are made 
of it, even the roofs are of birch bark. Birch is the exclusive fuel in towns and settlements 
as in works, and furnishes the sole material for all farming implements. The consumption is 
enormous, and the birch spinnies are melting away like spring snow. This zone is now being 
cut through by the chief artery of the railway, which will call forth a still greater consump- 
tion of birch fuel. 

The predominance of the hirch in the middle low lying cultivated zone is manifested 
over the whole extent of Siberia from the Obi to the east. Here the birch zone continues 
however with some interruptions caused by the contour of the locality. It shows a more char- 
acteristic appearance in the Achinsk district and in Transbaikalia. 

Mountain Woodlands. 

The zone of mountain forests embraces the whole of Siberia from the south. FromSemi- 
rechia to Vladivostok lies an almost uninterrupted chain of mountains, under various names, 
Thian-Shan, the two Alatau, Tarbagatai, Altai, Sayan, Stanovoi range, Yablonovy, and 


others. The northern slopes of these mountains are almost everywhere covered with forest. 
Here the forest vegetation Is very various, but conifers prevail, such as the larch, pitchpine, 
pine, cedar. They yield a timber of excellent quality, but the exploitation of mountain 
forest presents gi-eat difficulties. Such plantations are remote from inhabited spots, the felling 
of the timber upon the steep slopes is accompanied with no' small risk. Xot seldom the trees 
grow upon cones with such abrupt sides that the felled tree falls down below and is broken 
into shivers, damaging at the same time all the small saplings it meets with on its way. 
The rivers in the mountainous places are full of rapids and do not permit of raftage. In the 
territories of Semipalatinsk and Semirechensk the Kirghiz transport logs from the defiles upon 
camels. The mountain forests have an extremely great importance in the economy of the 
country. Independently of the fact that with the carrying through of the railway there will 
appear private initiative in the exploitation of the forest wealth, the forests covering the 
steep sides of the mountains serve as a mighty regulator of the flushing of rivers and of 
the humidity of the atmosphere. Hence the proper management of the mountain forests and 
their defense from destruction constitute a pressing need of Siberia. 

The forest ai-eas of Siberia which have brought in, and in many places even where they 
do not bring in any revenue to the Crown, were for a long time free from any surveillance. Even 
now there is a direction in the law to the effect that «the inhabitants of Siberia are allowed the 
free use of the forests for all their needs and for the construction of vessels, without payment (Art. 
411, Forest Code, ed. 1876). The law regarding the Siberian forests as a «gift of God», 
according to the expression of the peasants, or as a free gift like air and water, it was not 
to be expected that the local population should take any trouble to preserve them; the heap- 
ing up of windfalls, frequent fires, unsystematic felling, the pasturing of cattle upon the 
nearest clearings, have brought the majority of timber estates to a chaotic condition, while 
in the more inhabited parts of Siberia even a lack of forest has made itself felt. 

From the beginning of the sixties the Government began to trouble itself about the 
introduction of some order into the use of the timber of Western Siberia. In 1863 in the 
governments of Tomsk and Tobolsk, and in the territories of Akmolinsk and Semirechensk, 
temporary regulations were introduced establishing a tax per stump and sagene for the use 
of wood. The preservation of the forests in "Western Siberia was imposed by the said rules 
exclusively upon the rural population, allowing them in return the right of free use for their 
own needs, but not for sale. The looking after the fulfilment of the rules was imposed upon 
the volost administrations. This measure however did not bring the expected advantage. The 
population was burdened with a natural service, timber was cut for the works and towns, but 
the Crown received nothing. Nor was this all, in 1869 a law was promulgated, granting a 
certain company the unlimited right of making use of Siberian timber for industrial purposes. 
This company was permitted to cut timber free on the banks of the Obi and Yenisei and 
their tributaries for the building of ships and the export of lumber. (Art. 412, Forest 
Code, ed. 1876). Apparently this company made a generous use of the right granted it, as 
timber trees have almost entirely disappeared from the shores of these chief rivers of Siberia. 
It must however be remarked that the term of the priveleges, granted the company, has 



Witli a viuw tu Uiu proper administiatiuii of tlio forests of Wosluni Siberia siuco Iho 
year 1884 it lias been placed upon tlie same footing as that by which the Crown forests of 
European Russia an- rnana^.-d, ;i paid forest guard being introduced. The peasants are required 
to look after the funist piaeed at their disposal. In the course of its eight years existence, 
the Administration has eJTocted not a little for the organization of the Crown forests of 
Western Sibeiia. 'I'ln' tiinldT estat(!S have been <iscerlaiiii'd and described, every year only 
that pait is api)oinleil to be cut which is permissible according to the conditions of each 
estate; the dues have been regulated, control over the raftage of the timber has been 
established, as well as over the conveyance of it to the stea:ner wharves and the works 
anil inanufactories. By means of such measures, without any i)urdening of the local ru- 
ral population, which as before enjoys the timber for its own domestic uses free, 
it has been found possible to bring the revenue of the Crown from its property 
in Western Siberia to 500,000 roubles a year. This figure, considerable for tin; present 
time with the existing very low prices for wood, cannot give even an approximate idea of 
that enormous revenue which the forest resources of Siberia promise in the near future, when 
the railway now being earned through the country increases the consumption of wood from 
the northern timber zone, and when in the south a regular sale of the same is organized to 
the conterminous and absolutely treeless regions of the Chinese Empire. 

In Eastern Siberia all the inhabitants are allowed, as before, free use of the State 
foiests for all their needs, and all forest control is entirely absent. To the present time only 
one forest estate has been declared exclusively belonging to the Crown, and this only in 
consequeuce of a petition of the Irkutsk Hunting Company, who took upon itself the pres- 
ervation of this estate. The law, although it requires that payment for the benefit of the 
Crown should be exacted for all wood received from the free Government forests by the 
various works, and this payment be determined by tlie quantity of wood consumed by the 
works, yet as the superintendence of this is imposed upon the Crown courts and the local 
authorities (Art. 415 Forest Code, ed. 1876) the amount of revenue obtained is extremely 
insignificant. According to the returns furnished by the Irkutsk and Yeniseisk Crown 
Courts, the revenue received from the sale of timber and the fines for the breach of the 
forest code were as in the following table. 





1891. 1 


n b 1 

e s. 





1 Yeniseisk 

At the present time in consequence of the Increase of the population and of the activity 
of the works, and also of the contemplated building of the Siberian Railway and the settlement 
and industrial development of the adjacent localities expected to ensue therefrom, the adoption 
of measures for the protection of the most important forests of Eastern Siberia is recognized 


to brook no delay. The Ministry of Crown Domains is now despatching a party of forest 
officials to carry out the law of removing the best and most important Crown forests 
from the free use of the inhabitants, and of their preservation for future time by means of 
the formation of closed forest estates, and also for the protection of the State forests attached 
to various industries, works and manufactories. 

In the Amour country, steps have been taken since 188S towards ascertaining the 
Crown forests and the setting aside of the best of them as closed estates, but the results of 
the efforts of the forest officials sent into this country have not yet been made clear, the 
dues on the sale of timber are not yet established and the State so far receives no revenues 
from its vast property iu this part of Siberia. 

— ^<$^ — 

122 SIflEKIA. 

The Industries of the rural population. 

Indiiytriiil oarnin{/s; tisliiiig and iiuriiirig; ilie galhoring oi Cf'dar nuts; boo koeping; th*; 
hewing of limbor and wood fuel; knstar industries; the carrying trade; conchiding remarks. 

AFTER the sketch of agricuUine, cattle raising and forestry presented in the preceding 
account, which constitute the cliief sources of the prosperity of the mass of the Siberian 
popuUition, theie remains now to pass to a survey of the other and secondary sources. In 
consequence of their merely auxiliary importance, it is only possible to set apart a much less 
space than was necessary to devote to agriculture, so that the pages here following will form 
not so much a description as a short survey, a catalogue raisonne of those industries in 
which the Siberian people are occupied. 

Most prominent on account of the number of hands employed must be placed the 
fishing and hunting industries. 

The internal waters of Siberia, both the large rivers and the greater part of the steppe 
lakes, were once very rich in fish. In the lakes there chiefly bred perch, crucian carp, pike, 
dace and such coarse fish; in the rivers, the most various species of white and red fish, 
beginning with the same perch and pike and ending with n e 1 m a, sturgeon, sterlet, eel pout, 
trout. The abundance of fish was fabulous. There exist credible evidence of a mass of fish, 
which completely filled the bed of the river from its bottom to its surface, and which even 
leaped into the windows of passing steamers. At the present time the supplies of fish in the 
Siberian waters have become considerably exhausted. In the limits of the purely agricultural zone 
thickly populated with Russians, fishing already almost exclusively serves the wants of the 
population along the banks for their own consumption, and in but few locaUties provides 
them with more important earnings. Fisheries are now principally concentrated in the lower 
reaches of the great Siberian rivers, outside the limits of the cultivated zone. Thus in West- 
ern Siberia there are the districts of Berezovsk, Surgutsk and Tobolsk, and the Xarymsk 
country; in Eastern Siberia, the lower waters of the Yenisei, the Yakutsk territory, Kam- 
chatka, et cetera. The fisheries in these parts are partly without owners, partly belong to the 
bank population consisting of peasants or natives. The grounds belonging to the peasants 
are for the most part exploited by themselves individually or on the artel principle. On the 
contrary, the natives work but insignificant portions of the immense fisheries which actually 
belong to them. The remainder they let, as a rule for a mere trifle, to the neighbouring 


peasants, or, in the majority of cases, to capitalists who conduct the industry on commercial 
principles with the assistance of numerous parties of hired labourers. 

The catching of fish is carried hoth summer and winter, the most various means being 
made use of. According to the habit of this or that fish, nets of the most various sizes, 
lines, seines with several scores of hooks, with bait and without, are employed. In winter, some 
rivers are fenced right across, and traps are placed in gaps left in the weir. At the end of 
the winter when the water in the rivers goes bad and the fish rushes for fresh water into 
the small spring streams, they are caught at such points through holes in the ice in bag- 
nets, ladles, and even by hand. But the wholesale fishing on commercial lines in the lower 
reaches of the rivers is carried on exclusively in summer, with the aid of huge drift nets 
250 to 300 or more sagenes in length. In their choice of means for catching the fish, peas- 
ants and natives and the traders on a large scale trouble themselves very little about the 
future and do not disdain to use the most rapacious methods, to which in a large measure 
must be attributed the exhaustion of the supply of fish in the Siberian waters. 

The fish once got, if not consumed on the spot, goes on the market either frozen or 
salted. But salting in Siberia is carried out very badly so that the fish acquires a bad taste 
and quickly spoils. This circumstance is a great obstacle to the proper development of the 
Siberian fishing trade. 

This industry also exists in the Littoral territory in the waters of the Northern Pacific. 
Besides fish, seals and morses are caught. The meat and fat of the latter are eaten by the 
natives, the tusks alone being sold. Whales are taken in the same waters, and fur seals on 
the Commander Islands. This industry will be described in the next Chapter. 

Hunting and trapping form the employment mainly of the population of the northern 
uncultivated borderland of Siberia, as also of the transition zone, separating this region 
from the cultivated tract. As a secondary occupation they exist also in a fair number 
of localities of the agricultural zone, situated near enough to the uninhabited forest 

The taigas and urmans form the arena of the hunter's industry, these boundless forest 
lands everywhere lying adjacent to the inhabited zone of Siberia on the north. This industry is 
conducted partly with firearms or, in the case of some natives, with bows and arrows, partly 
with traps of the most variable construction. The most widely spread form of sport is squirrel 
shooting, after which come the killing of various wood and water birds. Fur animals, formerly bre- 
eding in abundance throughout Siberia, have now, with the exception of the squirrel, common fox, 
ermine and bear, almost disappeared from Western Siberia, so that in that country but very 
few hunters are now occupied in catching either the sable or the marten. The chief supply 
of valuable peltry now proceeds from the northern regions of Eastern Siberia, where the 
destruction of wild animals has not yet assumed such dimensions. Large animals, such as 
bear and elk, ai'e hunted over all Siberia, but this kind of sport is not open to every hunter 
but only to the more skilful and courageous. In the tundras of Eastern Siberia the native 
Tunguz and others hunt the northern reindeer; in the southern mountainous parts of the East- 
ern Siberian governments and Amouria, various kinds of animals, among others the m a r a I, 
or Siberian stag, whose horns fetch a high price. 

] 24 8HJKHIA. 

Tho exci!.isivf hiiiiiiiiL.' (it viiiiiatii'- wild ,iMiiii;u>, iiiid in particular, extensive forest 
lircs in Wostorn Silx^riu, compel (hem to emit^rate, drivinf,' tlicm mainly eastwards into the 
vir^Mn tliirk<!ts of tin- Yakutsk forests. Here the precious sable is fairly abundant, but hunters 
are rare. Ilnntinf,' the arctic fox also forms a not inconsiderable addition to the livelihood of 
the Yakutsk, I)olf,'ans and other natives. During.' his mit,Mation from the sea up the river, the 
latter is barred across with nets or fences, and this animal is sometimes cau^'lit with the aid 
of special traps in considerable quantities. Thus, in 1860, during' a great micration of arctic 
foxes on the Yenisei some 7,fXX) of them were cautrht. 

The earninf,'S of the inhabitants from hunting' and trappiuL' belonL' to the number of 
the most variable. A less accidental character is attached to sriniri'-I hnntiiiL', but even this 
animal, in dependence upon the harvest of fir-cones formini.' its chief food, srimetimes retires 
into the most distant forests least accessible to the hunter, at others comes out upon the 
more nearly situated spots. In the latter case the sport yields frood results. Good hunters pet 
durin^^ a winter in the Tobolsk fjovernment 200 to 300 head, while further to the east they 
kill as many as 500 squirrels per iiun. When the majority of the squiirels retire to the 
remote parts of the forest, the best hunter will not shoot even a fifth part of this fi^rure. 
The hazel hen or riabchik, shot in tho Tobolsk goveiiiraent mainly for the European 
Russian market, yields a fairly constant oarninirs, the bag in one winter reaching 50 to 100 
brace, and if very successful much more. The shooting of other birds such as blackcock, 
wildgeese, and ducks, has not much importance in Siberia. Such birds are mostly shot for 
sport, and but small quantities are offered for sale. As to the pursuit of fur animals, as 
well as bears and other such wild animals, all here depends on chance. With luck such a 
chase produces earnings of hundreds of roubles. With bad luck it happens that the hunter, 
after wandering through the forest half the winter, returns either with nothing at all or with 
a booty which does not cover the cost of feeding himself and his dogs. The main fur animals 
taken in Eastern Siberia are the sable, fox, marten and k o 1 o n o k or Siberian weasel. 
Ermine for the lack of demand are hardly shot at all. The chief fur traders are the natives, 
both because they own by prescription all the best grounds, and because they possess as 
regards this industry much greater knowledge, skill and endurance than the Russian peasant. 

For the convenience of the natives of the northern region of the goveniments of 
Tobolsk and Yeniseisk and the territory of Yakutsk, for whom luinting forms if not the only, 
at any rate, one of the chief means of existence, the Government in many places makes 
them loans of powder, shot and lead. For this purpose the native grain stores are constantly 
provided with the necessary supplies of these articles, and the natives very eagerly avail 
themselves of the privilege in order to avoid being indebted to private traders. 

The same boundless Siberian forests are the centre of another industry also very im- 
portant in the economy of pretty considerable portion of the population, the gathering of 
cedar nuts. This industry exists in all the Sibeiian governments. The cedar forests, sometimes 
of small size, but not seldom extending to tens and hundreds of square versts, are scattered 
through all the urmans and taigas, and are for the most part, as mentioned above, left by 
the Government to the free enjoyment of all who wish to make use of them. People collect 
to gather these nuts from settlements situated thirty and fifty versts from the grove, and 
sometimes over one hundred versts. 


They assemWe from the more extensive regions according to the greater size of the 
cedar plantation itself and the tetter the crop. Crops do not happen every year. On an aver- 
age the nut ripens once in two years, hut frequently the harvests are so insignificant that 
cedar groves that are at all remote do not attract any traders. Good harvests generally do 
not occur more often than once in four or five years, and excellent harvests happen once 
in ten to filteen years. In the gathering of the nut a division of labour is commonly practised. 
The fir cone is plucked from the cedar by the strong, skilful workmen called 1 a z o k s or 
climbers. They throw the fir cones on the ground where they are picked up by others, mostly 
youths and women. With a good harvest, a lazok and his two or three helpers will gather thirty 
to fifty pouds of nuts, or when the harvest is exceptional, one hundred pouds or more. la 
the Tobolsk government the harvests are not so great as further to the east. But as the nut 
sells in the government of Tobolsk much dearer, the earnings are about the same in all the 
Siberian governments, the relative crop being the same also. A lazok gets 50 to 100 roubles 
from an average harvest, and 200 to 250 roubles and more from an exceptional one. One 
such harvest sometimes leads to the prolonged improvement of the economical condition of 
that part of the population which has chanced to avail itself of it. 

Among the forest industries in Siberia must also be referred bee keeping, which is fairly 
developed throughout the Altai mining district and in the nearest parts of the remaining dis- 
tricts of the Tomsk government. Bee keeping in Siberia is carried on with the help of hives 
of very simple construction called b o r t s, hollowed out of thick trees. The bees are bred in 
the woods, and receive no artificial food, but feed themselves en the plants and bushes flour- 
ishing in the taiga. The dimensions of these bee farms are very various. Some beemasters 
own not more than three to live hives while others possess from five hundred to a thousand, and 
more. The average size of a peasant's bee garden in the localities where the industry is most 
highly developed, namely in the groups of settlements lying on the very edge of the taiga, 
may be taken as seventy-five to a hundred hives. In such places the number of beemasters 
forms a third, half or more of the total householders. The extent of bee keeping has now con- 
siderably diminished compared with what it was fifteen or twenty years ago. Not a few bee 
gardens have ceased to exist, and in those that remain the number of hives has diminished 
by half or more. Two causes lie at the root of this state of things, bad harvests of bee food, 
and diseases of the insects themselves. Numbers of hives perished altogether, while others 
began to yield much less honey. Formerly each hive gave not less than an average of one 
pond of honey, while half the quantity is now considered a very good yield. 

The forest again is the arena of a whole series of industries, where nature gives man 
not a finished or almost finished product as in the cases above, but only a material, upon 
which he must expend his labour. Here first and foremost comes the hewing of timber and 
especially the cutting of wood fuel. The regions where these industries are most developed 
are scattered over all Siberia, being concentrated in the neighbourhood of the more consider- 
able towns and along the navigable and raftable rivers. Thus Tomsk is surrounded with a 
region containing about fifteen thousand souls, where the preparation of wood fuel for the 
town population is one of the chief sources of livelihood. Similar districts encircle Tinmen, 
Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, although these towns receive the greater part of the timber and wood 
they require by ral'tage froui comparatively distant localities. 

126 fJintiiiA. 

As to the rivorsido localities, tLoro tLc priucipal activity is connectad with the fiiru- 
ishirif,' tlu3 stoaiuor.s with wood fuel ariuiiaiiy consuming on the Obi alone enormous quantities. 
Some spots situati,'i| u|) stnium ahovt; the more considerable towns, hew and make up into 
lal'ls both tiiiilier nwl I'ui'l foi iIk' latter. Thus 'J'iiimen gets nearly ail it.-> timber from the 
soutli(!ni part of the Tiirinsk district, 'J' from volosts of the .same district and from 
that of Tobolsk, lying along the rivisr Tavda. 

Every peasant hews for himself, while the large orders are undertaken by more or 
less extensive firms. 'J'lie latli;r employ a mass of worknuMi eithei on hire or by special 

Household industries in Siberia do not pniseut any great variety. The most important 
branch, employing the greatest niimliei of bauds and alTonling the population the largest 
eandngs, comprises various forms of wood industry, partly in satisfaction of the needs of the 
local peasantry, partly of those of the carrying trade occupying such a prominent position 
in Siberia. Individual ku stars are met with everywhere. More or less extensive 
groups of kustar population are concentrated mainly in spots where there is easy access 
to the raw material, and a ready sale for the manufactured articles. The largest of 
these groups are situated around the towns of Tinmen, Tomsk and Irkutsk. The first embra- 
ces a considerable part of tlu; Tiiimensk and Turinsk districts. The articles here made are 
carts, shovels, wooden vessels, simple furniture, and other things used in the life of the peas- 
antry, to which must be added wood fibre, mats, wheels, trade sledges and appliances used 
in fitting out caravans. Articles belonging to the first class are hawked about the villages 
and sold to the peasants, while those belonging to the second class find a market in Tinmen 
among the carriers employed in the inland trade. The needs of the latter traffic employ most 
of the energies of the kuslars in the Tomsk region. They make sledges, carts, wheels, axies, 
yokes, thills, horse collars, tar, troughs for the horses, charcoal for the smithies, all of which 
are sold in the bazaar in Tomsk. The same goods predominate in the kustar industry of the 
Irkutsk region. Here, as in the Tomsk region, various kinds of wooden vessels, furniture, 
articles made of birch bark and some kinds of turned goods are produced, all constituting 
objects of every-day use among the peasantry. 

It thus appears that the forest yields the Siberian peasant the most varied earnings, 
and is the chief source whence deficits on account of agi'iculture and cattle rearing are made 
good and the peasant's budget balanced. Unfortunately however the forest wealth of Siberia 
is in a lamentable state. The exhaustion of the supplies of game and fur animals was re- 
ferred to above, but the forests themselves in Siberia are being destroyed exceedingly rapidly, 
considerably more rapidly indeed than might be expected with the actual insignificant density 
of the population. Of fine, actually virgin forests, at any rate in the cultivated part of Siberia, 
very little has remained, -while the southern districts of the Western Siberian governments 
are already to a considerable extent stripped of trees and are experiencing a deficiency not 
only in timber, but not seldom also in wood fuel. The cause of this phenomenon lies in the 
immoderate and disorderly fellings, destroying many times more than the annual addition 
permits, and in the forest conflagrations extending over hundreds and thousands of square 


The importance of the industries not connected with the exploitation of the forests in 
regard to the general economy of the country is not great. Attention must here in the first 
place be directed to hand spinning and weaving, converting flax and wool into linen and 
coarse cloth. Weaving has an almost exclusively domestic character; but small quantities of 
linen and cloth are oifered for sale, the main mass being consumed in the form of clothing 
by the peasantry. Further, in many localities, particularly those near the towns or the tract, 
home-spun linens and cloths are driven out by imported manufactured fabrics. Next, notice 
must be taken of the leather, sheepskin, wool beating in coiniection with the making of felt 
shoes, hat, girdle, worsted glove, and other industries, all of which are of universal occurrence. 
Ordinarily those employed in these industries live isolated in different settlements, occupying 
themselves with their particular industry as an aid to agriculture, and working in their own 
or the neighbouring villages at piece work upon material not their own. In some places 
however sheepskin dressers, makers of felt shoes, and tanners live in whole communities, 
specialize to a greater extent in their trade and work for the population of more consid- 
erable regions lying around. The second of these trades is established on a large scale in the 
Kurgan and Tinmen districts of the government of Tobolsk, which supply not only the neigh- 
bouring localities, but also the Eastern Siberian market. 

Other trades are carpentry and joinery, brick making, and similar branches, which 
while existing everywhere, here and there form small industrial communities. Of the more 
refined industries may be mentioned the making of metallic sieves, carpet weaving and sign 
painting in the Tinmen district, the construction of mills in Ishim, the dressing of hare 
skins neai' Tomsk, the winnowing fan industry in the Mariinsk district and in the Altai, as 
well as some others. All these industries exist only in distinct settlements or groups of set- 
tlements, but are somewhat highly specialized in the region of their distribution and provide 
the population employed in them very considerable wages. 

To complete the description of the peasant industries, there still remains to say a few 
words upon the carrier trade and the occupations connected with it. The conveyance of 
goods constitutes the chief form taken by this industry, and with it is occupied not only a 
considerable part of the population dwelling in the immediate vicinity of the tracts, but a 
large number of peasants living at a distance from the latter in the sphere of attraction of 
one or other of the leading depots, that is, mainly Tiuraen, Tomsk and Irkutsk. The principal 
branch of this trade is that along the great Siberian tract, including the carriage of goods 
between the different localities of Siberia and European Russia. Next in order comes the 
conveyance of provisions of all kinds to the gold mines and the grounds of the native nom 
ads, situated without tht; pale of the cultivated zone of Siberia; after this, follow the rest. 
But by far the most important of all is the traffic ovox the great Siberian tract of which 
it is necessary to speak. 

The chief articles of export fioni Eiiro|)ean Ilussja into Siberia are the most varied 
productions of manufacturing industry, beginning with ladies fashions and confection- 
ery and ending with machinery and bar iron. From Western Siberia into European Rus- 
sia are conveyed grain and the produce from the slaughter of cattle, such as hides and 
tallow, while from Eastern Siberia goes almost exclusively tea with which many Ihous- 


arids ol ciui.-i mv amiuiilly loaded. iii(; luiiil >.'ui*dft iraffic over Iho Siberian tract fvi'ij 
Jiow cnifdoys hundreds of tliousainis ol' horses and tens of thousands of people, alihoii(:li 
as was said nhove its dimensions at the |iies(;Mi liuie liavt; considerably shrunk, compared 
with loriner times. At the sauio time tin; revenue tlifMeliom has notably fallen off. While the 
average payment lor carriii^'e formerly fni examidi; helween Tomsk and Irkutsk, about 1,500 
versts, was from 2.50 U) :', roiildes per pond id lieij/lit, it does not now ordinarily exceed 
1.60 roubles to 1.80 roubles, and sometimes falls short of this li^jure. The expenses of tho 
road on the other hand have not only not diminished, but rather, thanks to the enhancement 
in the price of ^rain, have even increased. Thus in former times a man with live horses dui- 
iiig a tiip Iniin Tomsk to Irkutsk and back lastin^' two months earne<l, after covering all 
expenses, from 200 to 250 roubles. Now the net jtroiit uiidei- avi'ra^'e conditions does not exceed 
40 to 50 roubles, and in case of misfortune, especially embezzh-ment of goods for which thi; 
carriers are bound to answer, not seldom huye losst;s ar<; incurred. The peasants continue to 
occupy themselves with the business of carriers under these circiimstanc(.'s only because, on 
the one hand, it is important for them to receive at one time in the form of earnest money 
comparatively large sums, and on the other, they count as pur<.' prolit the maintenance during 
the journey of man and beast wlinm it wouM utliei wise be ni,'cessary to kei-p during tin,' 
course of the winter with no return. 

In any case the carrier trade on the h>iberian tract is at ihe pn'sent day far frjjii 
being what it was formerly ami together with it all the earnings of the population of thi- 
points situated along the tract have fallen into decline. Among such earnings were the baiting 
of the caravans, the conveyance from station to station of fast traffic goods, which went by 
changes of horses, the replacement of tired horses in the trains of carts, the unloading and 
transhipping, ensuing on the freezing of rivers, or the damaging of roads, passenger traffic of 
the most various kinds and various occasional earnings. All this now does not yield the 
fourth part of the former income, and the population of the tract is forced to occupy itself 
ever more and more with agriculture. 

The preceding diS(iuisition has not exhausted, nay had not in view, the exhaustion of 
all the kinds of non-agricultural earnings falling to the peasant population of Siberia. The 
review of these earnings had to keep in view only the most important and to indicate their 
place in the economic life of the population. This place, speaking of non-agricultural earnings 
on the whole, is at the present time considerable only for those parts of Siberia which lie 
without its cultivated zone or on the borderlands of the same. In the agricultural zone non- 
agricultural earnings now too play a secondary part. The future of the Siberian peasantry is 
inseparably bound up with the future of agriculture and is therefore In close dependence on 
the improvement of the technical and especially of the economical surroundings of the 

— ^x5>— 


Hunting and the fur industry in the Far East. 

The seal industry; cursory sketch thereof from the end of the eighteenth century; the 
Russian-American Company; Hutchinson, Cool, Filipeus and Co.; statistics of the yield 
of seal skins; the preparation of the fur; the trade in skins in London; activity of the 
firm of Hutchison and Co.; formation of the Russian Association of Seal Traders; new con- 
ditions of the lease; piratical destruction of the seals; international agreements for the reg- 
ulation of the seal industry; heaver, arctic fox, morse and whale trades; fur industries; 
total dimensions of the yield of furs for all Siberia; mammoth ivory. 

THE hunting of fur and other animals in the Far East has formed for more than a 
hundred years a source of revenue to the State. In consequence of the remoteness of 
this region, the Government always farmed out these industries to private undertakers, reserv- 
ing to itself the sovereign right of controlling the regular carrying on of the industry and 
preserving the animals from extermination. 

The most considerable of the industries named is the catching of the sea fur seal 
(otaria), that bear-like seal yielding an exceedingly valuable fur, while its capture is com- 
paratively easy. The Russian name m o r s k o i k o t i k, or sea-cat, is far from answering 
to its appearance. The fur seal is a fairly large animal, attaining a length of seven feet, its 
average length being about an arshine. Extremely lively and quick in its movements in the 
water, on land it is exceedingly clumsy and therefore exceedingly helpless. This animal has 
several varieties, of which the best known is the otaria ursina or calorhinus ursinus, breed- 
ing in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean between California, Japan and Behring 
Straits. Another variety, otaria australis, breeds in South America on the Galopagos Islands; 
A third variety, otaria pusilla or arctocephalus antarcticus, breeds at the Cape of Good Hope, 
a fourth variety, otaria Forsteri, upon the oceanic islands near Tasmania, and others. Possessing 
splendid fur the otaria early attracted the attention of sea hunters, who long sought the spot 
where this animal comes out upon dry land to breed. 

It was only at the end of the last century that the celebrated navigator. Commander 
Behring, succeeded in discovering a group of four islands, called in his honour the Commander 
Islands. One of them, upon which subsequently the navigator himself perished, was called 
Behring Island, and another Miedny. The two others, on account of their small dimensions, 


1 BO SIUKltlA. 

li;iv(.' no iiii|)oiiiiiii". J I was asceitaiiidl lliat upon Bobriug Island at a particular Stiasoii 
of Iho year tin; fur soals appiiai- in (3norraous numbers. However the hunters, intimately 
acquaintfid with tin; soal industry, wore convinced that hosidos the said group of islands th- 
seal must have otlit-i' asylums, in the si-arch for which much time and trouble were ex- 
pended. A daring skipper, Prihylov, in a small sailing craft, the tSt. George*, sp<int two 
years in such (|ii(!sls, i'ortuuatoly crowned with complete success by the discovery of a group 
of islands in the sauje Bt.'hring Sea, and called in honour of this navigator, Ihe Piibyl(tv>. 
One of those islamls was named after the ship St. George; another, St. Paul. Inde|)endently 
of the two ahovc-nami'il navigiiiors, in tin' part of the Pacific between the north-western 
shore of America ami the north-eastern shore of Siberia, there constantly hovered a crowii 
of ditferent adventurers, hunters of fur animals, who not seMom succeeded in discovering new 
lands and planting there the Russian flag. Thus, the sailor Nevodchikov, in charge of the 
merchant Guprov's expedition, discoverd in 1745 the Blizhni, Attn and Agatu islands. In 175(t 
the trader Glotov discovered the Lisi Islands. In 1760 the trader Tolstykh discovered th'- 
Androanovsk islands, called after his Christian name, and others belonging to the Aleutian 
anil Kuril groups. 

On close examination of the matter it proved that the main mass of fur seals came out 
on the Pribylovs Islands. Not so very long ago there appeared upon tbem annually five million 
seals, while the number on the Commander Islands was not more than two millions. Judging 
however from the latest information these figures must be considerably diminished especially 
for the Pribylov Islands, for the animals scared by the piratical traders have of late year- 
begun to appear more frequently upon the shore of the Kamchatka peninsula, upon the north- 
eastern shore of Siberia and the north-western shore of North America, and apparently the 
animal is becoming more marine, rarely coming out on land. Again the seals are already 
appearing in diminished numbers upon Tiuleu Island near Sakhalin, about 10,000 only, upon 
the Kuril Islands forming part of Japan, at the Cape of Corinth in the Argentine Republic, 
at the Cape of Good Hope, upon the Falkland Islands, in Tasmania and many other places 
of the southern hemisphere, where it would seem the animal in question in former times was 
met with in countless numbers. Thus it resulted that not far back, only twenty-five years 
ago, Russia was the only country in whose territories the highly valuable seal industry was 
carried on. But since 1867, when the Russian possessions in North America, together with 
some islands from the Aleutian archipelago, were ceded to the Government of the United 
States, the advantages of this trade are shared with the latter country. 

In order to explain the economical importance of the seal industry to the State and 
to define its dimensions, it is necessary to say something on the life of the animal itself and 
the value of its fur. 

Of the favourite haunts of the seal in the Behring and Okhotsk seas, the Pribylov Islands, 
St. George and St. Paul; are now the property of the United States, and the Commander 
Islands, Behring and Miedny, and Tiulen are within the limits of the Russian dominions. 
The Commander Islands, lying at a distance apart of 30 miles, and 100 miles from the 
nearest point of the continent of Kamchatka, are deprived of all vegetation, covered with 
rocky mountains and in part with marshy tundras. The damp sea air yielding abundant 


atmospheric precipitation makes the climate of these islands extremely unhealthful, and it is 
exceedingly probable that but for the existence there of seal rookeries they would remain 
uninhabited. The Tiulen Island adjoins the eastern shore of the island of Sakhalin and is as 
inhospitable as the Commander Islands. 

At the end of April or the beginning of May the seals approach these islands; the 
males come out on the shore, choosing spots for the establishment of the family and 
defending them form being seized by others. By the end of May the females approach the 
shore, and are enticed upon the selected locations by the males, each male absorbing ten to 
fifteen females. 

A male that has reached full physical development is called on the islands s i e k a c h, 
corrupted from the English «sea catch»; a young siekach with small withers is called a half-siekach, 
one without withers, a kholostiakor bachelor, and so on. The chief constituent of the 
catch is the kholostiak, two and three years old, which is taken at the time preceding 
moulting, that is to say, from the beginning of June to the middle of July, although the 
slaughter of the seals continues not unfrequently to September. According to Colonel Vo- 
loshinov, who was sent by the Government to investigate the position of the seal industry, the 
seals are killed as follows. Having found the spot upon which the flock of kholostiaks has 
taken up its position, the inhabitants early in the morning run out to the seashore thus cut- 
ting off the animals retreat and drive them with sticks further to the point where it is pro- 
posed to slaughter them. The seals are so helpless that ten to lifteeu men can drive at once 
almost the same number of thousands of the animals, and then even one or two men are 
sufficient to hold a herd of five or six thousand seals in the drive. A group of twenty to thirty 
head are cut out, and when those which are suitable as to sex and age have been ascertained, 
they are killed by a blow on the head with a stick. The head bones of the fur seal are so 
weak, that with one slight blow with a stick the animal may be killed on the spot. In a 
few minutes on the place chosen for their slaughter a heap of slain, among which the mor- 
tally frightened animals left alive on account of their unsuitability are seen writhing, with 
difficulty finding their way to the sea. After finishing with one heap, a second party is di- 
vided off, and then a third, and so on. In a short while thousands of bodies fill the place 
of slaughter. Twenty men can easily drive off and kill a thousand seals in the twenty-four 
hours. Simultaneously with the carrying on of the slaughter, another party of workmen 
is employed in removing the skins and salting and packing them in rows in sheds. The pop- 
ulation of the Commander Islands occupied in killing seals consists of extremely various 
elements. It was formed from the workmen who were brought thither by the traders partly 
from the continent of Asia, partly from that of America, while others chanced here accident- 
ally. There are thus to be met with here together with Kamchadals and Aleuts, Yakuts, 
Cossacks and others. 

On Behring Island the conditions of life are less severe than on Miedny, and therefore 
the population on the former is twice that on the latter. The total population of both islands 
does not exceed six hundred souls. On Tiulen Island there are no fixed inhabitants, men 
coming there from Behring Island for the slaughter of the seals and, the work done, returning 
home. During nearly half the year the island is thus left unprotected and then foreign vessels 


] 32 SIBEUIA. 

|jc(|ueiilly call and rheir crews compiole Uio slaughler of those uuiirials siill left ou tLe 
island. The population ol' both the Commander Islands has an organization based on the 
commune, the whole earnings being divided among all the workmen on certain principles, a 
small sum beiii(.' annually set apart as reserve capital. In consequence of the exceptional 
conditions under which fho seal industry is carried on, only the ships of the lessees come 
near the Commander and 'i'iulcti islands, and consequently the liirnisliiiif.' of the jiopulalion 
with the necessary supplies is entirely in the hands of the Crown contractors. The latter here 
are afforded the right of free trade, and although by agreement the company is obliged to sell 
its goods at a lixed price confirmed by the authorities of the islands, this point has always 
called forth a number of misunderstandings. In the same vv^y, from the absence of compe- 
tition, the inhabitants of the islands were compelled to sell beaver, arctic fox, and other 
furs which were not included in the company's rights, at prices fixed by the agents of the 
latter. On concluding the agreement with the lessees of the industry, the Government held 
only the seal industry to be the properly of the Crown, not touching the question of the 
beaver and arctic fox. At the same time the two latter together yielded the company enor- 
mous gains, without in any way proliting not only the State, but even the inhabitants them- 
selves, from whorh the company obtained the skins at an incredibly low price. The fishing 
was also free from any control on the part of the State, and beyond providing the inhabitants 
with food brought the latter very little advantage, although they expended no little labour 
upon it. Now with the new^ contract these conditions have been considerably changed for 
the better, and the relations between the aborigenes of the islands and the lessees of the 
industry are more clearly defined. To render clear the present position of these industries in 
the Far East, it is necessary to throw a hurried glance at the relation of the Government to 
this matter. 

In the XYIIIth century, as has been already said, the fishing, fur and other industries 
upon the Siberian shore of the Pacific, and in the Russian possessions in North America, 
as well as on the Pribylov, Commander, the Kuril and other islands lying in Behring and 
Okhotsk seas, occupied many individual traders and companies, who possessed no regular organi- 
zation. This latter fact led to constant misunderstandings among them in the settlement 
of which the Government was forced to interfere. To put an end to the disputes among the 
hunters and traders in furs and to sstablish a regular order for the exploitation of the 
business, the largest representatives of it, the merchants Shelekhov and Galikov, in 1780 
formed a company with the object of despatching small expeditions «to Alaska, called the 
American land, to islands known and unknown, for the carrying on of the fur industry and 
all explorations and the establishment of free t)-ade with the natives». The energetic initia- 
tors personally visited all the nearest islands, crossed over to the American continent and 
having become acquainted with the local conditions were easily convinced of the advantages 
of the undertaking. However to guarantee success it was necessary for them to further ensure 
themselves from the Government the exclusive right of carrying on the industry, which Shele- 
khov and Galikov succeeded, in 1788, in doing, without any particular trouble, as the 
Government at that time had not its owti representatives in the Far East. Soon the new 
company was completely reorganized; new workers with fresh capital entered it, and in 1798 


it was Imperially confirmed under the title of the United American Company. The Emperor Paul 
took a lively interest in the fate of this company; by an ukase of the 8th .June, 1799, he took it 
under His protection and ordered it to be called the Russian-American Company, at the same 
time granting «in reinforcement of the undertakings of the company all possible assistance ou 
the part of the military authorities with land and sea forces on demand made by the same». 
In virtue of this ukase the Russian- American Company was granted, among other things, «the 
right to make use of the fisheries and establishments upon the north-western shore of Amer- 
ica, north of 55" north latitude in Behring Sea, and further on the Aleutian, Kuril and 
other islands; to discover and occupy lands to the south of 55° north latitude, if these lands 
are unoccupied by any nation; to enjoy the use of all that has yet been discovered or 
shall in the future be discovered in these places, both .on the surface and in the bowels 
of the earth, without any claim on the part of others; to navigate to all the neighbouring 
peoples and to can-y ou trade with all the powers lying around» 

Thus the Russian-American Company did not limit its activity to the fur trade aloue, 
but set itself a wider scope and even had a political character. Thanks to its exclusive 
position, during the first term of its privilege, namely twenty years, it earned 20,024,698 
roubles, paying its shareholders a dividend of 30 per cent. The continued progress of the 
company was still further assured when in the beginning of the twenties of the present 
century the Government recognized the necessity of limiting the rights of foreigners to trade 
in Behring Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, as also on their shores. With varied fortune the 
company at the expiration of one term renewed its privilege, enjoying without competition, 
if not the sole, at any rate the richest fur seal fishery in the world, namely that of the 
Commander and Pribylov Islands, as also on the less important points of the Pacific coast of 
North America and Siberia within the limits of Behring Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. 

The demand for seal skins was then very small, and it was apparently declining from 
the beginning of the present century, as in 1817, 60,000 seals were caught on the Pribylov 
islands alone, while twenty years later the Russian American company took on the same islands 
only 7,000 skins. In the same year, 1837, about 4,000 seals were caught on the two Com- 
mander Islands, so that the total quantity of skins got by the American Company in the 
thirties did not exceed 11,000. These skins, dressed like any others, and even rather roughly, 
found a sale almost exclusively in Russia and China, in the former country fetching about 
six roubles apiece. In Kiakhta these goods until March 30, 1861, were bartered for silk 
goods, tea, and other productions of China. In the thirties a sharp change took place in the 
sealskin trade. Instead of merely preparing the skin as heretofore, the fur itself was sub- 
jected to treatment, the long hair being all plucked out and the remaining down dyed a dark 
brown colour. An exceedingly elegant article was thus obtained and quickly a large demand 
for it arose in England. But in consequence of inability to salt the skins, they spoiled in the 
prolonged voyage in sailing vessels from the Pribylov and Commander islands to London 
past Cape Horn. 

Notwithstanding however this inconvenience, sealskin furs began to be more highly 
valued in England, than in Russia and other places, so that the whole of these goods 
began to gravitate to London, and .soon the latter became the centre of the world's 



InuJe in sealskins. The business was so profitable that already in 1849 a special manufactory 
was founded in London which to this day turns out false sealskin materials. The decision 
taken in 1867 by the Russian (jovernmcni in regard to the cession of its North American 
possessions with fiarl of the Aleutian Islands, nai/idy thi.' Pribylovs, to the United States, 
put an <'nd to the nionupoly of the Russian-Anicncan Company. Dc|irived of its best fishery 
upon the Pribylov Islands it could not count on its former profits and therefore resolved to 
wind up its allairs, making various claims against the (jovernment for breach of contract 
before its termination. In satisfaction of these the Government was obliged to buy all the 
company's shares, while A, Filipeus, carrying on trade in the Far East, acquired the latter's 
property in the ports of Kamchatka and the Sea of Okhotsk. 

The Russian-American Company during the lirst peri(jd of its activity from 1799 to 
IHU!, that is, 23 years, took upon the Commander, and other islands, 1,232,374 fur sealskins; 
during the second period from 1822 to 1841, that is, 20 years, 458,502 skins; and during the 
llnrd period from 1842 to 1861, that is, 20 years, the catch was 338,600 skins. 

During the last years of its existence the company considerably increased its activity, 
and finally in the last year, 1868, the slaughter of seals reached unheard of dimensions. 


Piibylov : 













25,000 (?) 






26,000 (?) 






40,000 (?) 






42,000 (?) 




— i 

On the termination of the activity of the company, the seal industry and trade in 
furs in those remote localities remained without Government control, in consequence of which 
the inhabitants of the Commander Islands were left without regular supplies. Interesting 
himself in their fate, the local Governor-General Korsakov proposed to M. Filipeus to under- 
take to provide the islands in question with the necessary provisions. At the same time in 
St. Petersburg lively negotiations were being carried on in reference to the concession of 
the seal industry in the Far East to a new lessee. There was no lack of candidates, but 
the choice fell to the American house of «Hutchison, Cool and Co» which half a yctir 
before, on the 3rd of August, 1870, under the title of the ^Alaska Trading Company* had 
concluded a contract with the Government of the United States of Xorth America for the 
right of caching fur seals on the islands of St. George and St. Paul, forming part of the 
territory of Alaska. On the whole the contract with America consisted in this that the com- 
pany paid the treasury 55,000 dollars a year, and in addition two dollars per skin, under- 
taking at the same time to engage in catching the seals only during certain named months 



of the year, to the number of not more than 100,000 skins In the season on' both islands 
The contract was concluded for 20 years till the 1st of May, 1890. For the same term the 
company on the 18th February, 1871, concluded a contract with the Russian Government for 
catching seals on the Commander Islands, Behring and Miedny, and on Tiulen Island. They 
bound themselves: 1. to lake into their body a Russian subject; 2. to pay 5,000 roubles a 
year and two roubles for each fur seal skin taken from the said islands, and further to pay 
50 kopecks to the inhabitants of the islands for each full-grown and perfect skin received 
from them. In 1877 these conditions were subjected to substantial alterations in respect to 
the payment per skin, so that the inhabitants were paid at the rate of one rouble instead 
of 50 kopecks for the first 30,000 skins, and the Crown received at the same time instead of 
two roubles only one rouble 75 kopecks. 

The new company without delay set about placing the trade in seal skins on a more 
regular footing, to which contributed in particular the opening not long before, in 1869, of 
the Paciiic Railway connecting the Atlantic with that ocean. Thanks to this new communi- 
cation the Alaska Company was in a position to forward its fur goods from the Pribylov and 
Commander Islands to London in a shorter time. Independently of the shortening of the 
route, it was then recognized as advisable for the convenience of the preparation of the skin 
and its preservation from damage during the voyage, to salt it without previously removing 
the fat, which with the former method of transport oxidised and spoiled the goods. Soon the 
Alaska Company began to put on the London market a large quantity of skins, striving at 
the same time to improve the quality of their goods and to attain uniformity of selection. 

The Company introduced order and system into the selection of the sort of skins 
and in their preparation for transport, attaining in this respect the very best results. Its 
goods became exemplary. During the time of its existence from 1871 to 1891 the Alaska 
Company got skins to the following amounts. 






Pribylov I 







i 1872 

























! 1877 

























Judging by these data, the catch of seals on the Commander Islands is systematically 
increasing, while in the figures for the yield on the Pribylov Islands a certain diminuticii seems 



to be noticoablo, Aiin'riciui iiivcsiigjiiuii ot tiiu >ijal iiiilnsiiy plaoo tlii,> ';ucuin>iaiic<i in 
(lopondcncc upon tht; oiiliaiicoil destruction of tini animal on the Pribylov Islamls, in couse- 
qu(!nc(3 of which tlio soals iin; bof^iiiiiiiif^ to avoid i,hi;ni, prefcininj,' the Commander Islands 
and the remotest parts (»f Kamchatka. But however it may be, during recent years .seals have 
begun to app(;ar more freijueiitly on Russian possessions, the quality of the skins it would seem 
at the same time becoming bettor. The cause of such a change is as yet not sufficiently 
elucidated, hut the fact ils(;lf only is established. 

Although do jure the Alaska Company was the only firm possivssing ricli seal fisli-.-i- 
ies, yet do facto the London market was furnished with the goods in question from othei 
sources. Skins wen; obtained from various parts of the Southern, Indian and Pacific oceans. 
In the majority of cases however the goods proved to be contraband, that is, they consisted 
of seal skins, taken without distinction of seX or age, on every convenient opportunity on 
land and sea. In consequence of sucli piratical character of the industry, the goods could 
not only not bo prepared properly, but couKi not even be kept in good condition. They came on 
the London market in the majority of cases in a very bad shape, and there had to be 
elfected the diiricult task of sorting and dressing them. Of the best quality were consid- 
ered the skins from the Scottish Islands, in the Antarctic Sea, next the product of the Prib- 
ylov, Commander, Tiulen, and lastly, those obtained near the shores of Victoria, upon 
the Kuril Islands, and near Cape Horn. 

The dressing of the fur consisted of three processes, the plucking of all the long hair, 
the tanning of the skin and the dyeing of the short down that was left. The last operation 
was considered the most difficult and the secret of the process was long the property of one 
firm only. The whole treatment of the skin cost from 5 to 15 roubles, according to its siz^- 
and ([uality. The selling piices were subject to great fluctuations, but on the whole, Amer- 
ican skins were valued higher than Russian, the former fetching 30 to 45 roubles apiece, 
the latter only 20 to 25 roubles. According to the data of 1882, skins from the Pribylov 
Islands, vsrith an average weight of s.2 pounds, were valued at 41*62 roubles; those from 
Tiulen Island, weighing 9.3 pounds, 23.50 roubles; and from the Commander Islands, 9.5 
pounds, 23 roubles, that is, little more than half the American. When finished, sealskins from 
London find a sale, mainly in America, namely about 100,000 skins per annum; next in 
England, 80,000; France, 15,000; Germany ;ind other counties, 7,000; and Russia, 1,000. 

Thanks to the measures referred to as taken by the Alaska Company the London fur 
market became more lively; in 1860, some 20,000 skins were sold there; in 1867, 
52,000; in 1869, 108,000; in 1872, 129,000; in 1875, 136,000; in 1830, 148,000: in 
1885, 141,000. 

Almost the whole of this quantity of furs was furnished by the Pribylov and Commander 

Year. Pribylov Islands. Commander Islands. 








Pribylov Islands. 

Commander Islands. 1 



48,929 1 










1 1889 









1871 — 1891 


730,539 (1873 — 1891) 

Thus the success of the sealskin trade is due in a considerable degree to the Alaska 
Company having been able to organize on a sound basis the commercial and the industrial 
part of the undertaking. And yet at the same time it acted upon the islands leased by it so 
rapaciously, and reduced the scanty population to such a hopeless position, that it excited just 
reproaches both in America and in Russia. Making use of its privileged position, the Alaska 
Company furnished the inhabitants of the islands with all the necessary supplies, but fixed 
the prices so high that notwithstanding the high earnings of the inhabitants from the seal, 
beaver, arctic fox and fishing industries, they always remained in debt to the Company, and 
were constantly in want of every necessary. During the first fifteen years Messrs. Hutchinson, 
Cool, Filipeus and Co. paid the treasury annually 5,000 roubles, and in addition to this a 
payment per skin to the extent above stated, which on an average amounted to 64,420 roubles 
per annum, assuming the average yearly catch in Russian fisheries at 34,200 fur seals. 
Independently of the said payment to the Crown, the Company paid the inhabitants on an 
average 37,588 roubles per annum. The same Company for the same 15 years caught on the 
Pribylov islands on an average 95,930 seals per annum, that is, about two and a half times 
as many as in the Russian waters, but paid the Government of the United States much more 
in proportion. The lease cost 110,000 roubles, that is, 22 times that paid in Russia; the royalty 
payments amounted on an average to 504,000 roubles, that is, 8 times as much, and 
finally the inhabitants received 77,000 roubles, that is, quite twice as much, although their 
number on the Pribylov and Commander Islands was approximately the same. In consequence 
of this, in order on the one hand, to somewhat increase the revenue to the Crown from the 
seal industry, and on the other, as far as possible, to regulate the relations between the lessee 
from the Crown and the inhabitants of the Commander Islands, the question arose of the 
renewal of the contract with the firm of Hutchinson, Cool, Filipeus and Co. before the expiration 
of the lease, with the cundition of the immediate increase of the payment per skin in favour 
of the Government. 

The company expressed its readiness to increase the piece payment to 7 roubles, during 
the course of both a new 10 years lease and the three years unexpired of the action of the 
old contract. Under these conditions, the increase of the rent came out approximately at 

1 :^,,S siBi:i:iA. 

oW^W) roubles per arinurn. However, iiotwiUi^iainJiiig Uie obvious ailvanta^/eousuess of thi-^ 
proposition, nearer acquaintance with tlie matter showed the necessity of deferrinf: for some 
lime the solution of ilie (luestidii of retaxinj/ the seal industry, in consequence of the question 
raised in 1887 of an international agreement for the adoption of measures ai^ainst the pirat- 
ical destruction of seals in Behring Sea. The result of this agreement determined, to a 
considerable degree, the prolitableness of the undertaking. Moreover, it was borne in mind that 
the renewal (if the rating of the Pribylov Islands, immiiifiit in 18!/', must afiv-ct the issue of 
the lixing of the rent of the Commander Islands. 

The subsequent circumstances fully justified all llic above stated presup|)OSitions and 
at the new auction a mass of candidates appeared fmrn among the n.-presentatives of Russian 
industry with more advantageous propositions. Out of many competitors the Government gave 
the preference to the firm «The Russian Seal Fisheries Association ;>, founded by (jriinwaldt, 
Lepeshkin, Prozorov and Savich, and concluded a contract with it on the following princi- 
pal bases: Section 1. Tiie terra of the lease is for 10 years, till February 19, 1901; the asso- 
ciation is to receive from the administration of the Commander Islands the skins of seals, 
beavers, and arctic foxes. Section 2. The quantity, season, place and method of killing the 
animals is determined by the local authorities. Section 4. The association pays to the Crown 
per sealskin 10.38 roubles; per first class beaver, 115.33') roubles; per second class beaver. 
57.6675 roubles; per first class blue fox, 11 . 535 roubles; per second class blue fox, 5.77 roubles, 
and per white fox, 2.31 roubles, all in gold. Section 8. The association is bound once a year to 
furnish the islands with all necessaries with an addition of only 20 per cent to the purchase price. 
Section 11. The association must employ ships exlusively under the Russian flag. During the first 
year of its existence, 1891, the «Russian Seal Fisheries Association;) took from the administration 
of the islands 30,689 sealskins, one first class and one second class beaver. In the following 
year, 1892, there were handed over to the same association 31,315 sealskins, to the amount 
of 325,049.70 roubles gold; beaver skins of the first class, 88, for 10.149.40 roubles, of the 
second class 108, for 6,228.9 roubles; arctic foxes of the first quanlity 1,601 for 18.467.535 
roubles; of the second 807, for 4.656.39 roubles, and finally, 9 white foxes, for 20.79 roubles, 
or a total of 364,571.95 roubles gold, which is equivalent to half a million paper 

Thus the new lessee from the Crown, notwithstanding a considerable diminution in 
the number of animals killed, gave the Government fully five times as much as, in the course 
of 20 years, was received from Hutchinson, Cool and Filipeus. 

The falling off in the number of animals killed, above referred to, is explained by the acti- 
vity of the piratical schooners in Russian waters, which is increasing with every year. This is 
caused by the increased protection of the American waters on the part of the Government 
of the United States. The question of the preservation of the seal industry from destruction 
by persons occupied in the illegal catching of these animals, possesses an extremely great 
international Importance and therefore it is necessary to elucidate it as fully as possible. Already 
in the lime of llie Russian - American Company, which acted almost without control in Behr- 
ing Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, foreign vessels were sometimes observed to appear off Russian 
shores with the object of secretly bartering various goods for furs with the local inhabitants, or 



even of secretly killing seals, but the said company on its part took energetic . measures 
against such piracy, thanks to which the latter was not ahle to assume large dimensions. 
When the company's affairs were wound up, in 1868, and particularly during the time pre- 
ceding the concession of the seal industry to another company in 1871, according to the 
evidence of the Russian Consul General in San Francisco, the regular organization of the 
illegal exploitation of both the seas commenced at first by the Americans and Canadians 
and then by all other lovers of gain at other people's expense. 

In particular, Anadyr Bay with the Holy Cross and Anadyr gulfs, not being protected 
by Russian authorities and little visited by cruisers, became, thanks to their convenient 
anchorage, the favourite ground of those occupying themselves with the illegal industry. 
They systematically depraved the uncivilized native population, intoxicating them with 
brandy and receiving from them valuable furs for almost nothing. Besides this, several 
considerable fishing firms in San Francisco openly caught cod and other fish between 
Sakhalin and the Kuril chain, in the bays of Penzha, Gizhiga, Tauisk and Udsk. This 
they practised unpunished, due to the absence of Russian cruisers in those waters. In 
Kamchatka, and on the nearest islands also, a considerable quantity of fur animals 
were killed, such as arctic foxes, beaver, bear, red and black foxes, Siberian gray-chested 
foxes, sable, martens. All these valuable furs were sold by the natives to var- 
ious piratical traders for brandy, powder, shot, guns and all kinds of rubbish. From this 
cause the sea beaver particularly suffered, their number beginning to rapidly decline from 
the irregular way in which they were hunted. This circumstance compelled the Russian Gov- 
ernment to take measures against such injurious trade and with this object, in 1875 it first 
despatched to the Far East the clipper «Gaidamak» to suppress the illegal trade in spirits with 
the inhabitants of the Russian coast. Afterwards, more than once, other vessels were detached 
from the Pacific squadron with the same object, and since 1884 a military guard has been 
maintained on the Tiulen Island during the summer and autumn months. The occasional des- 
patch of Men of War to protect the fur industries did not always attain its object, and 
therefore since 1891 the transport cYakut» has been sent to cruise constantly in Behring 
Sea. The result was the confiscation of the piratical schooners, employed in the prohibited 
catching of fur seals, the crew being always set at liberty without the exaction of 
any fine. 

The Americans on their part took a series of more energetic measures for the protec- 
tion of their coast from the piratical catching of marine fur animals. For the regulation of 
this matter, and the establishment of a close season for seals, in 1887 arose the question of 
the necessity of an agreement between the governments of Russia, Great Britain, and the 
United States of America. The conferences however appointed to deliberate the subject, at 
first in London and then in Washington, with the participation of the countries interested, did 
not lead to any deiinite results; and meanwhile the piratical activity of foreigners not only 
continued, but apparently even increased. Fur seals were killed not only on land, but in the 
water without distinction of age or sex in consequence of which a quantity of animals 
perished without profit to anyone, as the wounded retired to sea and there died in large 
numbers. The destruction of the females led to the death of the young seals still dependent on 


Ih<;ir inoUier.sKuik. (Jii tin- Iiiih'M i^iaii'i iin' iiii->.'5iaii-, on ii;tuiiJiiit.' tint Iter iii iii'' >j>iiiiu', li'-ijijt.'iniy 
round tlioijsuml of ItniJios of various a^e.s, iho traces loft of tliu preseuce there of the pirates 
ill th(! late aiitnniii, ami of llieir slaughter of all the animals still remainin(( up^m the islaml. 

The chief ohstacle to the establishnieiit of an international agreement was the ileclaratiou 
ol tiiL- Canadian minister of navigation and lisheries, T<!nner, that the multiplication of fur seals 
is not harmed by hunting them in the open sea but by the piratical attacks to which certain 
islands are subjecteil which possess seal rookeries, and that for the preservation of the fisheries 
it is perfectly sufilcient to protect the rookeries. Great Britain demanded preliminarily to the 
decision of the question of preservation, the collection of the results of supplementary inves- 
tigations upon the mode of life of the fur seal, but the Government of the United States 
energetically opposed the further postponement of the question of the establishment of the 
necessary agreement and succeeded in winning the point. In 1891 the United States of 
America concluded a treaty with Great Britain by which the killing of seals was tempor- 
arily prohibited for the subjects of both the said states in the waters of Behring Sea, 
situated to the east of a line of demarcation fixed by the treaty of 1867 between Russia and 
the United States. This agreement had a peculiarly fatal effect upon the Russian seal industry, 
as the Anglo-American pirates incommoded in the limits of the Canadian and Federal possessions, 
directed their criminal activity mainly to Russian waters. According to information afforded by 
the New- York Russian Consulate in 1891, 8J schooners were employed in the clandestine catching 
of seals by whom more than 50,000 skins were taken, of which about 9,500 were in Russian 
waters. According to the same authority, in 1892, 62 vessels were employed in this trade, two 
of which being steamers, and they took 45,000 skins, 15,000 of which were from Russian 
waters. Notwithstanding the considerable character of the figures quoted there Is reason to 
think that they are far below the fact. The returns of the London market, which is the centre 
of the sealskin trade, lead to the same conclusion. According to the communication of the 
Governor of the Commander Islands, 60 schooners were observed in their neighbourhood in 
1892, which occupied themselves with killing seals on land and on the water, one party of 
the pirates carrying out the slaughter while the other returned the fire of the guard protecting 
the fisheries. Their audacity reached such a height, that the slaughter of the seals was 
carried on in the rookeries themselves. This piracy is growii>g more and more every year 
and as it is the interests of Russian subjects that suffer most from it, this Government 
could not but direct attention to such an abnormal state of things. 

The consent of Russia to the above mentioned Anglo-American agreement of 1S91 
would only have a value for her in case of the extension of the prohibition mentioned to 
the waters of Behring Sea also lying to the west of the line of demarcation of 1867. How- 
ever the Government of Great Britain has declined such a statement of the question and 
from that time Russia has taken no further part In the negotiations. But protecting her own 
interests she has found it necessary to pass a new law by which the seal industry on the 
sea is absolutely prohibited, the killing or catching of seals, or in general, the seal industry 
on land, is only allowed with the permission of the Government, according to regulations 
established by it for the purpose. For carrying on the sea industry, as well as for the 
unauthorized killing on land, the guilty parties are subject to imprisonment from two 


months to a year and four months, their appliances, catch and vessels used in the industry 
with cargo and everything on board being confiscated. To make the protection still more 
effective, the number of special cruisers occupied with enforcing them will soon be increased 
by two new vessels. 

The beaver and arctic fox industries continue to remain in the same unfavourable con- 
ditions in which the seal industry was till the promulgation of the last law. Beavers appear 
not only on the Commander Islands but also on the coast of Kamchatka, especially near 
Yellow Cape where they have their dams. However the predaceous persecution to which they 
are subjected is forcing the animals to constantly seek new sites for their dams, more remote 
from man. Latterly beavers have begun to come out on the land between Capes Kamchatka 
and Stolbovy. The fur of the Kamchatka beaver is peculiarly highly esteemed, fetching 
from 300 to 400 roubles per skin, while the Commander beaver is sold at a third of that price. 
Thanks to the high value of the fur, beaver are hunted very energetically, in consequence of 
which their destruction is taking place very fast and they are becoming more and more rare. 

The morse industry, like the last, is gradually declining, this circumstance being a 
direct consequence of the development of the piratical catching of sea mammals by English 
and American filibusters who shoot them with guns. The flesh of the morse is used as food, 
the skin for making the covering of the y u r t a s of the aborigenes in the Far East, The 
tusks form the subject of a lively trade. The filibusters further clandestinely distribute to 
the Chukches guns and powder for hunting the morse, and then barter the tusks for rum, 
brandy and tobacco. 

The whale trade, as is already mentioned above, never possessed a regular organi- 
zation and large commercial development in the Russian territories of Behring Sea and the 
Sea of Okhotsk. The whale, proceeding from the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean, collect in con- 
siderable numbers near the Chukotsk peninsula, especially between the Providence Bay and 
East Cape. This industry annually attracts here a crowd of American and English whalers, 
who partly are themselves employed in killing thera,and partlyin obtaining the whalebone from 
the Chukches. Judging from the accounts in the American papers, specially devoted to this 
industry, it may be assumed that foreign whalers annually carry away from the Pacific coast 
of Siberia from 100,000 to 150,000 pounds of whalebone, valued at about 6 roubles a pound, 
not less than 100,000 pounds of morse tusks at about one rouble and fifty kopecks a pound, and 
a quantity of blubber and other products. Thus the whole industry in the Russian waters of 
the Pacific yields various products to the amount of one and a half million roubles per 
annum; but this trade escapes Government control being always carried on in a contraband 

There have been several attempts to organize the whale industry in the Ear East of Russia, 
but not one has met with success. The credit of the last attempt of the kind belongs to the retired 
Captain of the second rank A. G. Dydymov, to whom the Ministry of Finance granted in 
1887 a loan of 50,000 roubles for three years, for the equipment of a steam whaler, but 
this officer having made an excellent beginning to his enterprise in the Sea of Japan perished 
somewhere on the coast ot Korea at the very commencement, leaving the killing of whales 
in the Russian waters of the Pacific still an open question. The said industry requiring the 


prcliriihiary expenditun! of a consideiabli! capital, and presenting great danger, at the same 
lime is ceasing to bo profitable;. Tlie last circumstance is in connexion with the progress of 
the Russian petroleum business. With tin* appearand; of Russian cheap kerosene in the Far 
East, the price of animal illuminating oil began to fall fast, and was of course unable to 
stand the coin|)i;lition of mineral oil. In consequence of this the most valuable article of 
the vvliali! industry at the pn-^eiit time is whalebone, from which extremely .solid and lino 
libres an; prepareii wliicli aiimiral)ly replace horsehair in various plaited goods. 

Indepeiidt.'ullY of these two industries, there are yet others neeiling protection from 
piratira! oi' nipacinus exi)Ioitation, whether by foreigners or Russian subjects. The necessary 
information is being coll(;cted by the Government on the basis of which at no distant date 
the required rules will be drawn up. 

The Okhotsk Sea, long celebrated for its abundance of fish of every kind, always 
attracts a crowd of fishermen who carry away out of Russian waters great quantities of fish, 
the most important being cod. This fish is caught most of all between Sakhalin and 
the Kuril Islands, and in particular between capes Olotersk and Stolbovy. 

For completeness, the sketch of the fur industries in the Far Fiast carried on in the 
sea and on the coast, must be supplemented by an account of the condition of analogous industries 
on laud. Great forest fires started partly intentionally for the purpose of clearing the land for til- 
lage, partly arising accidentally from the careless handling of fire, and most of all the rapacious 
destruction of timber accompanying the construction of bamers when hunting fur animals, all 
these causes have combined to thin the forests, which circumstance has again affected the 
diminution of such animals in the forests. Among the most valuable species the foremost 
place is taken by the sable which not so long ago occurred in vast numbers in all the 
forests of the Littoral Territory. Now comparatively smaller numbers are caught, namely 
abont 10,000 skins valued at about 100,000 roubles. Next come the ordinary, and the excess- 
ively rare black foxes, blue foxes, gluttons, ermine, raccoon, polecats, squirrels, otter, the 
brown and white bear, Siberian weasel et cetera. 

The main mass of the peltry of the Far East on account of the insufficiency 
of the ordinary communications, is sold for almost nothing to Chinese factors, who 
export this class of goods principally to their own country. For example, in 1891 there 
passed through Kiakhta into China 22,590 roubles worth of otter, beaver and bear skins, 
112,000 roubles worth of wolf, lynx and fox skins, and other kinds not specially named 
to the amount of 130,774 roubles. Thus organized the fur trade brings the country compar- 
atively little. And yet undoubtedly this industry has a gi'eat importance especially in a 
country where nature has placed impassable obstacles in the way of the development of agri- 
culture. In the greater part of the territory of the Far East, particularly in the northern zone, 
the nomad, nay even the settled population, is placed by climatic conditions in the regrettable 
necessity of contenting itself with hunting various animals, and with fishing. In many cases 
the Government comes to the aid of the helpless aborlgenes, furnishing them with powder and 
shot for hunting, and in those places where fishing is the sole source of existence, Govern- 
ment stores are always ready, with hemp, horseh air and other articles required in the prep- 
ration of nets, and other fishing tackle. These things are distributed to the remotest re- 


gions, being supplied to the well-to-do at the cost price to the Government and being 
issued to the poorer classes according to the resolution of the rural societies by way of 
loans with obligatory payment next year. Without such Government aid the population, 
in consequence of its extreme poverty and its not being able to acquire the tackle in 
sufficient quantity and of due quality, would in many places suffer frightful want of food, 
even although the rivers abound in fish. 

As has been explained before, not only the aborigenes of the Far East but the inhab- 
itants of many places of the original Siberia have converted the chase of wild, mainly fur 
animals, into an industry providing them with the necessities of life. And as nature has 
endowed Siberia with an enormous quantity of valuable fur animals, the said industry has 
a great importance to the country, the more so that, as already said, the Far East is the 
chief centre of the Siberian fur industries, where virgin forests, affording asylum to every 
wild beast, are yet preserved. 

There unfortunately exist no exact statistics of the fur industry, but summing up the 
information in the hands of the Government and of private institutions interested in the fur 
trade, it may be assumed that the dimensions of the former for the whole of Siberia are 
approximately given in the following table: 

1879. 1886. 1887. 1888. 1889. 1890. 1891. 1392. 

Black foxes — 2 45 34 33 30 29 24 

Grey-chested 2,684 1,812 1,694 813 436 1,694 1,913 2,321 

Ermine ■ ... 18,454 26,313 34,254 24,536 21,618 19,011 7,306 12,416 

Arctic foxes and cubs . . 116 294 2,495 2,891 2,927 2,866 4,099 2,986 

Sable of all kinds . . - . 22,752 7,317 7,441 9,825 18,610 18,176 20,149 31,312 

Otters 165 168 3,295 2,706 3,866 4,246 3,508 2,300 

Red foxes — 4,111 23,758 12,218 22,0*00 19,405 22,334 16,«)59 

White (arctic) bears. . . 3 — 10 9 3 38 28 45 

Bears 314 526 1,643 1,389 1,118 432 1,114 218 

Wolves and dogs .... 1,456 — 5,008 2,664 19,840 23,916 31,932 7,803 

Mink 449 3,423 4,689 1,956 1,867 2,624 1,108 6,215 

Siberian weasel 3,432 19,431 4,3G7 12,257 5,634 11,367 4,612 10,123 

Squirrels On an average a million skins. 

Lynx 75 - 3,597 5,206 3,109 2,489 3,485 3,395 

Martens — 4,860 6,256 1,364 9,244 4,684 2,492 6,384 

Siberian tigers 6 8 4 11 21 15 9 4 

leopards .... 32 38 39 24 29 28 26 23 

Pyzhiks 1,109 1,364 1,684 1,573 1,932 1,917 716 1,223 

Cats 9,681 13,412 18,450 16,486 31,434 29,318 26,415 15,773 

In explanation of the liguros quoted it may be observed that heroin are not included 
hares, as this small animal is everywhere caught, and on account of its little value, does 
not form an article of export, but is confined to local consumption. Moreover, herein are not 
included the furs taken in the lands belonging to the Cabinet of His Majesty. 

144 8IBERIA. 

From the f^arrio table it is clearly to be seen bow rich Siberia is in every kind of 
lur, which is far Irdm being absorbed by the local consumpticn. A large amount is sent 
through the Pacific ports of Siberia abroad, partly to America, partly to Europe, or more 
strictly to Lond(in. Part of the goods, offered for sale in the markets, is despatched over- 
land through Irbit and Nizhni-Novgorod to Moscow, whence it is distributed to the whole 
of Russia and finds its way in considerable quantities to Leipzig. Thus the Rus-sian fur trade 
is concentrated mainly not in Russia but in London and Leipzig, the more valuable furs 
being collecti^d in London. 

In concluding this review of llic industry in fur and fither wild animals in the Fai 
East it will not be superfluous to say a few words on the gathering of niiimmoth ivory in 
supplement to what is stated above on the same subject. This business, although not organ- 
ized into a regular industry, but having rather a casual character, altogether furnishes the 
population a pretty considerable source of income. From the Yakutsk territory alone in 1891 
about 100 pouds of mammoth ivory valued at 15,000 roubles were exported. This article 
and morse tusks annually appear on the Yakutsk market to the amount of 30,000 to 
40,000 roubles. 

— ^<§-— 




Industry, Commerce and Ways of Communication. 

The mineral wealth and the mining and metallui'gical industries of Siberia; general items of 

the mining and metallurgical industries of the Urals; the mining and metallurgical industries 

of Sibei'ia; gold, silver, lead, copper, iron, tin, mercury, sulphur, coal, graphite, naphtha, 

salt, rare minerals and building materials. 

THE Great Siberian Railway enters upon the borders of Siberia after having traversed the 
southern portion of the Urals, that metallurgical treasure house of Russia. The numer- 
ous iron and copper works, the gold diggings and coal fields situated along the eastern side 
of the Urals are, speaking strictly in a geographical sense, already within the limits of Asia, 
although in an administrative sense they are included in the governments of European 
Russia. Without touching upon the details of the mining and metallurgical industries of the 
Urals, it is however impossible not to mention them in an article devoted to Siberia, all the 
more as the construction of the Great Siberian Railway is of very great importance to the 
works of the Urals as a means of extending their market. During the last five years the 
works, mines and gold diggings of the Urals have yielded as in the following table. 


Platinum . . . 
Copper .... 
Pig iron. . . . 


Steel .... 
Manganese ore . 



Sulphur pyrites. 
Chrome iron ore. 




























































] 46 ilHEKlA. 

The value ol' the chief products ol' the iniuiiig and metalhirgical industries is estimated 
at Irom twenty to iwonty-live million metallic roubles. 

The southern portion of Siberia contains considerable deposits of every kind of mineral, 
and a milling' imliistry has existed in its iliU'erent regions for about two centuries. But greai 
mineral wt-alth still lies untouched in the bowels of Siberia, and its exploitation will become 
possible when tli(! oxistinf,' economical Cdiiditions will be modified by the construction of th"- 
Great Siberian llaihvay. 

The chief mineral riches of Siberia include, among metals, gold, silver, copper and 
iron. There are also deposits of mercury and tin ores. Among the carboniferous and 
combustible substances there are, coal and lignite, graphite, sulphur and naphtha; and amon(/ 
salts, cominuM and glauber salts; besides which, Siberia is rich in all kinds of rare stones. 


At the lime when the gold industry of the Urals was extending more, and penetrat- 
ing to their utmost northern limits, the existence of gold was not known in Siberia and it 
was only in J831 that it w^as found by private individuals in the mountains between the 
rivers Toma and Yenisei in the system of the river Kiya. And for a certain period all thf 
endeavours of the gold workers were concentrated in this district. In 1836 they transferred 
their prospectings further to the east in the spurs of the Sayansk mountain chain, to the 
borders of the governments of Yenisei and Irkutsk. There rich deposits of gold were found 
in the wildest and most inaccessible places along the river Birusa. But the activity of the 
gold miners, whose number was constantly increasing, did not long restrict itself to the gold 
bearing system of the Birusa. It was enough for one daring gold miner to push tow^ards 
the north, to the rivers Toungousk, to be followed by many others, and in 1840 and 1811 a 
large number of rich and very durable gold deposits were discovered between the Verkhnaya 
and Podkamenuaya Toungouski, which presented a vast store of gold exceeding all those 
known at that time. The prospectings were pushed further and further to the east, and in 
1849 the gold deposits of the Olekminsk system in the government of Yakutsk were put 
under exploitation. In 1854 the gold industry was established in the Bargouzinsk region of 
the Transbaikal province. In the Xerchinsk mining region the exploitation of gold has been 
carried on by the State since 1832, and private individuals were first permitted to prospect 
for gold in 1864, and in 1865 the exploitation of gold by private individuals was started. In 
the Littoral province prospecting for gold was permitted in 1866, and in 1868 it was begun 
in the Amour province. And lastly the discovery of gold deposits in the tributaries of the 
river Boureya, which fall into the Amour from the left side, was only made in 1875. 

At the present time the Siberian gold industry extends over a vast area, and gold is 
exploited in the basins di the Obi, Yenisei, (with the Baikal) Lena and Amour, within the 
limits of all the governments and provinces of Siberia. The gold bearing localities along 
the Obi, Yenisei and Lena are situated in the basins of rivers flowing from the east 
that is, along the western declivity of the mountain chains which descend into the north- 
ern Siberian lowlands from the mountains which border the Arctic Ocean on the south. 
There are rare exceptions; the gold deposits in diiferent parts of Siberia lie at different 

GOLD. 147 

altitudes above the level of the sea, but as a rule they do not rise above 2,000 feet, the 
height of the mountain chains being twice and three times greater. In the Kousnets Alatau 
the height of the mountains is from five to six thousand feet and the gold deposits become 
smaller and poorer as the mountain chain rises towards the south. 

The geognostic character of the gold deposits of Siberia also varies in different local- 
ities. The gold bearing rock of the Kousnets Alatau is greenstone ; on the eastern declinity 
of this mountain ridge the extreme slopes, down to the openings of the valleys, are composed 
of clay slate, which higher up the current changes into metamorphic and calcareous clay slates, 
which change into jaspers and hornblendes near their contact with the gi-anites and diorites. 

The predominating rocks of both the northern and southern parts of the Yenisei region 
is made up of various kinds of metamorphic slates among which clay slate predominates and 
in some instances passes into mica schist. The northern system also presents gi-auites, 
gneisses, diorites and porphyries, which appear more rarely in the southern system. In the 
northern system, limestones, sandstones and conglomerites are also found in places. The gold 
bearing strata lie in various kinds of slates, near their contact with gi-anites and diorites; 
and wherever this combination occurs gold is sure to be found. The predominating rocks in 
the southern regions of the government of Yenisei in the spurs of the Sayansk mountains 
are granite, cyanite, limestone and metamorphic slates. 

In the province of Yakutsk the chief rock of the gold bearing systems of the rivers 
Olekma and Yitima is a granitic cyanite, which changes in places into a more laminated 
structure, passing into gneiss, which imperceptibly passes into micaceous, chloritic talc and 
clay schists. All these rocks are distinguished for their being gold bearing, especially the 
clay schists. The general character of the rocks of the valleys of the Nerchinsk region is the 
same, consisting as they do of granite, gneiss, cyanite, greenstone, diorite and dioritic cyanite 
and felspar porphyries. The geological structure of the gold bearing region of the Amour 
province, along the river Zei, is composed of micaceous and hornblend gneisses and slates. The 
characteristic feature of the presence of gold is the passage of the one class of rocks into the other. 

The composition of the gold deposits themselves depends upon the rocks surrounding 
them. The thickness of the deposits varies greatly, from two feet to three sagenes and more ; 
but generally it varies between two and seven feet. The upper strata of the deposits 
contain bones of mammoths, rhinoceros, and other extinct and existing animals. All the deposits 
are covered by a layer of earth, known as peat. The length of the deposits varies from 
one to fifty versts and more, sometimes with a layer of gold bearing sand, extending along 
their entire length of sufficient thickness for profitable working. As a rule the richness of the 
gold bearing strata varies in each deposit; the upper portion generally contains a small 
accumulation of coarse particles of gold mixed with quartz, magnetic iron and pyrites; in 
the middle portion the gold is finer in its particles and the sand poorer in gold, and lastly 
ill the tail of the deposit there remains a floating gold dust which only gives traces of gold. 
The soil of nearly all the northern portion of Eastern Siberia is perpetually frozen. The frozen 
state of the soil and the dense forests which subsequently covered the deposits have favoured 
the preservation of the gold in them, from the wearing and denuding action of the water. 
Many of the Eastern Siberian gold deposits show undimbted traces of the influence of glaciers. 




'riiiuiks to tlio cold climate wiiich, lulluwiiij,' iIk- glacial jM.-riod, many ol tli<- t,'(dd d.'p<i>it> 
have been proserved to the present ilay in their original form, so that tlioy present 
an inslructivo example and tiaci-s of a (,'eological period partially contempoiaiy with man, 
who has even I'di indiiljitable traces of his presence in the form of arrow h"ad> mad • 
of Jasper and i|uailz, liammer heads, ornaments, coins, bones et cetera. 

The following' table gives comparative data for the general production of gold in 
Jlussia (hiring the last ten years together with its vain*-, an<l th'- pr-idnrii,,ii in Wi-stf-in and 
Eastern Siberi.i. 


Total prodnr,- 




C 1 1 

1 -l i 




tion of go 

(1 in 


la Weastern 

Per cent j 
of total 

In Eastern 

Per cent 
of total 

















J, 621' 





















25' 2 





















: 65.86 


















































1 63.32 

The number of men employed in the extraction of gold in Western and Eastern Siberia 
during the same period is shown in the following table. 

Y e a r. 

X u m b 

e r of m 

n e r s. 



Total in ; 





! 1882 


26,768 ' 


' 1«S3 








'J ^85 




















1 1890 








GOLD. 149 

On compariiig these two tables it is seen that although Eastern Siberia employs only 
three times as many men as Western Siberia yet its production is nine or ten times as great. 
This is due to the greater richness of the deposits worked in the former region. Owing to 
the dearness of provisions and forage, and consequently of labour and horses in Eastern Si- 
beria, the exploitation of the poorer deposits is impossible with the methods now in use for 
treating the gold bearing sand. 

When in 1829 the Siberian gold industry was made free to private individuals a 
great number of enterprising men and large capital found their way to this remote region. 
The gold miners became rich themselves and aided the development of the region with a 
generous hand, laying down roads to inaccessible places, establishing a steam navigation 
along the abundant Siberian rivers, and sacrificing considerable sums to the erection of 
national institutions, such as schools, churches and every kind of charitable and pious work. 
The development of the gold industry reflected itself upon the towns of Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, 
Irkutsk, Chita, ^Nerchinsk and Blagoveschensk. 

Beyond the 40,000 miners employed at the mines themselves, the Siberian gold in- 
dustry gives occupation to a considerable population in the transport of goods to the mines 
and other auxiliary works. Indeed it indirectly aids the development of agriculture in the 
neighbouring agricultural districts and it presents a profitable market for their produce. 

The extent of the sums acquired by the country from the gold industry is seen from 
the following example. During the three years 1887 to 1889, the wages of the men employed 
in the gold mines of the Olekminsk and Vitimsk systems amounted to 6.789,000 roubles, 
while the cost of the chief objects of consumption at those mines was 12,268,000 roubles. 
These figures give an excellent idea of how vast an amount of money the gold industry 
distributes over the entire region and how it supports its population, trade and industry. 

Passing from these general data respecting the Siberian gold industry, its individuci! 
features according to the systems of the chief Siberian rivers may be considered. 

In the vast basin of the Obi the gold industry has been established: 1. On the steppe 
land extremity of Siberia in the provinces of Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk, along the rivers 
belonging to the system of the left branch of the Obi-Irtysh system of the river Irtysh: 
2. On the western side of the Kouznets Alatau in the Mariinsk region of the government 
of Tomsk. 3. In the Altai mining region; 4. On the eastern side of the Kouznets Alataou 
in the Achinsk region of the government of Yenisei. 

Owing to the difl'erence of the natural conditions in the different gold bearing regions, 
the modes and processes of extraction also differ. In the steppe region the fiiiniug is 
exclusively open workings, so that deposits with deep lying strata are not worked owing to the 
great expense of the timber required for supporting underground minings. Thanks to the warm 
climate the washing of the sand is carried on from April to October, that is, during about 
seven months. The workings are surrounded by a nomad Kirghiz and Cossacks population, 
who work in the mines partly for so much per cubic sageue of earth, and partly at so much 
per zolotnik of gold extracted, and besides this, they serve as the providers of provisions to 
the mines. Hence the gold industry in the steppe region is not hampered by great preliminary 
expenses. Moreover, the wages and living of the ininers is far less in the steppe than 



Ill iIk; I'orcst region, ami ihtiriDir h i> imi»iI.1i- i.j exploit coiiipanilively very poor deposits, 
ill wiiicli Uie amuunt of <,'old docs not in .some cases exceed 8 doleys per Inindred jtouds, ol 
sand, or 0.00002 per cent. 

In tlie I'ornst region which embraces the Altai mining region, the .Mariinsk rt;giou ol 
the government of Tomsk, and tlie Achinsk region of the goveinment of Yenisei, tlie climate 
is more severe and the washing (d' the gold can only be carried on during live or at most six 
months. The population is more sparse and the conditions of the industry begin to aci|uiri! 
aiiollicr aspect, more like that which predominated, in general, in Eastern Siberia. 

In the Achinsk region the gold industry is concentrated at the sources of the Chiilyma 
aloiiu' the livers Bdaya, Cheniaya ami Saiahi-Use. 

In the Altai mining region the gold mines are exploited l)f)tli by His Imperial Majesty■.>^ 
(Cabinet and by private individuals. 

The following table gives the number of gold mines worked and their yield during th*- 
last ten years both in the difTcreiil provinces and in the various regions of the Obi system. 


Cm i 




(iovernment of Tomsk. 



Altai mining region. 
Alluvial gold.! Quartz gold. 


a -s 


v. of Yenifi'i. 


-2 ! "5' 













20 ! 7 



































































( 32 



77 11 
79 14VJ 





77 105 6 

77 II3IOV4 2 

































Thus the gold industry is very feebly developed in the Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk 
provinces. In the Mariinsk region the production of gold is subject to very slight fluctuations, 
notwithstanding the increased number of deposits under exploitation and the larger amount 
of gold bearing sand treated in them. This shows that the richer deposits have been exhausted 
and that the exploitation of the poorer can be carried on profitably owing to the 



low price of labour and provisions al the gold mines of this region. The amount of gold 
obtained in the Altai region is constantly increasing owing to the gold bearing sands being of 
very uniform richness while the number of deposits worked is on the increase. This also proves 
that the stores of gold ,in the deposits of the Altai region are not yet exhausted. Gold quartz 
is worked at two mines in the Altai but the amount produced is still inconsiderable. During 
the last ten years the production of the Achinsk region has varied very slightly. Of all the 
gold deposits in the Obi system, those in the Mariinsk, Altai and Achinsk regions are the 
most profitable for exploitation, owing to their proximity to the railway: and there is reason 
for thinking that the extraction of gold will be further developed in these districts. 

The foilowing table gives the number of men employed at the gold mines duriug' the 
last ten years. 




Gov. of 

Tomsk. i 

Gov. of 







Achinsk | 

■ 1882 

















825 1 

! 1885 


1 ,565 




; 1886 








1 ],928 












1 2,114 






; 2,045 






i 2,688 




The great river province of the Yenisei compiises four gold bearing regions, the Mi- 
uousinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseisk (which subdivides itself into two parts or systems, the 
northern and southern), and Nizhneoudlnsk. 

The Minousinsk region, where gold was first prospected for in 1832, enjoys a compar- 
atively moderate climate, an abundance of pasture and corn, and yet the gold industry of 
this region developes very slowly. This is chiefly owing to the distance, 300 to 350 versts, of 
the deposits from the centres of population. The amoimt of goiil produced in the Minousinsk 
district remains nearly stationary. 

In the Krasnoyarsk I'cgion, whore the exploitation of gold was started in 1847, only 
three deposits are worked at the present day. The amount of gold washed in 1884 was 
nearly six ponds, while in the remaining years it varied between one and four ponds. 

In the Yeniseisk region the most important gold producing localities are the valleys 
of the rivers Sevaglikone, Ogiie, Kalami and Enashirao, belonging to the system of the Pod- 
kameimaya Toungouska, and also of the Aktolika and Bangash boloiniing to the basin of the 


Pita, <ill in lilt' iiurtliciii sysicm; the basin of tlio river Ouden-i which falls into the tributary 
of thi' Angara, the Kainenka and tlio bivsins of the rivers Bolshaya Mourozhnaya ami Pita, 
all in the southern system. In the majority of instances the rivers of both systems have a 
rapid current owing to the sharpness of their fall. During tiie heavy, spring rains, they rap- 
idly become swollen and overflow their courses, and although, owing to the steapness of 
their beds, Ihcy do not overflow to any great extent, nevertheless they frequently cause 
groat damage to the gold workings. On the other hand during the prolonged summer droughts 
some of them become so shallow that it is necessary to stop washing the sands. 

'J'iic rivcis ill ihc Yenisei region are not navigable, with the exception of th"' lower 
portions of the Yenisei, Podkamenaya Toungouska and liolshaia Pita. The more consider- 
able tributaries of these rivers are only navigable to small boats and rafts. 

The gold extracted in the Yeniseisk region is generally finely granular, tabular and, 
as it were, rubbed; a coarsely grained gold of high purity is found along the rivers Ogne 
and Enashimo. 

In the northern system the thickness of the gold bnaring deposits varies from two to 
eight feet, although there aie some which are as much as 15, 20 and even 35 feet thick. 
In the southern system the thickness of the deposits generally varies between two and twelve 
feet. The superficial covering of peat is in both cases between 5 and 30 feet. The average 
richness of the gold bearing sand in the northern system is about 31 dolias of gold per 
hundred pouds, but in the southern system it is somewhat less. However, in both system- 
there arc workings in which the quantity of gold reaches one zolotnik per poud. 

In the Y^eniscisk region the first deposits were discovered in the present southern sys- 
tem, along the rivers Ouderei and Mamona, in the year 1838. At that time the workings 
of the Birusinsk system, in the Xizhneoudinsk region of the government of Irkutsk were of 
great importance, owing to the abundance of gold they yeilded. As however the newly discovereil 
deposits in the Y^eniseisk region were found to excel those of the Berusinsk system in 
richness, numerous prospecting expeditions were dispatched to this region, and in 1839 the 
deposits of the northern system were discovered in the valleys of the rivers Aktolik and Van- 
gash, while in the beginning of the forties all the present gold districts were covered with 
claims, although their exploration is being carried on to the present day. In the Yeniseisk re- 
gion, as everywhere, the richest deposits were discovered first, and therefore the yield of 
gold from this region attained its maximum soon after its discovery, and then began to grad- 
ually decline. By the amount of gold produced, the Y^eniseisk deposits stand among the richest 
in Russia. In the first year after the gold washing was begun, and when only one mine 
was under exploitation, with 190 miners, the yield exceeded TV-i pouds of gold. Subse- 
quently the number of mines, and the yield of gold increased year by year; the maximum 
yield coincides with the year 1847 when 1,212 pounds 12V2 pounds of gold were produced by 
12,100 miners. This amount formed about 65 per cent of the production in Russia during 
that year. After 1847 the amount of gold extracted began to lessen, notwithstanding the increased 
number of miners, which in 1854 amounted to 20,567, and also the increased number of 
mines and the quantity of sand washed therein. The exploitation of the gold no longer formed 
an attraction for large companies and gradually began to fallinto the hands of small enterprises. 



In 1882 the exploitation of veinous gold was started in the Yeniseisk region, but it 
developes very slowly, and as yet the production has never exceeded eight pouds, and in recent 
years has even been under one and one-half pouds. 

The gold workings of the Nizhneoudinsk region of the government of Irkutsk and of 
the Kansk region of the government of Yeniseisk, are situated along the system of the river 
Birusa. Only the upper courses of this river pass through the Nizhneoudinsk region, after 
which it flows through the Kansk region of the government of Yeniseisk. At the present 
time these region occupy almost the last place among the Siberian gold producing 
regions, although formerly the Berusinsk system was among the richest in Eastern Siberia. 

The first discovery of gold in the Birusinsk system was made in 1836. The richness 
of the deposits of this system attracted numerous prospecting parties, and already in 1839 
the Kansk and Nizhneoudinsk regions yielded about 41V-' pouds of gold, out of a total of 
48V3 pouds extracted in Eastern Siberia. The maximum yield of gold from these regions 
was in 1842 when it equaled 204 pouds 6 pounds, or about 20 per cent of the total production 
in Ptussia. Since then the production of gold in these regions has gradually decreased, 
and in some years has even fallen below 15 pouds. However this decrease should not be 
ascribed to the exhaustion of the mines but chiefly to the discoveries of gold in other 
systems, and there is reason for thinking that if more detailed explorations were made, ami 
the exploitation of the deposits more scientifically carried out, then the Berusinsk system 
would once more stand to the fore. 

The following table gives the production of the gold-bearing regions of the Yeniseisk 
system during the period 1882 to 1891. 






Yeniseisk region. 

Kansk and 
insk regions. 1 







cc 1 






•S i 


3 • -- 1 







^ 1 


2 ; _; 










C£ "3 
— . it 


O =4-( 

u-i I 




"o 't:; 


c ■_ 


C :— 1 


t-i o 



"-" — C 


S-t 3 













rO . ,A 

rQ ' 

7 [^ 










3 CO i 
1 = ' 






^ - 




PL, 1 CI. 




P-( ^ 











134 : 115 



17 317* 











135 125 















130 j 126 



29 9^/4 i 

j 1885 






11 7* 










j 1886 










151 ; 115 















153 1 125 



21 '27-^4' 

j 1888 










145 123 



23 j22V-i; 

i 1889 














28 7V* 

24 |33V-.> 















, 1891 

















Tlio iiiiiiiliLT (d iiH'ii I'tnployi'd in tin- ^idd iiiiin.'S of tin- same reylori> is sliowii in the 
helow table. 





1 ^ 

1 '1 


II -Si 

■ ^ 

§ 2 




\,r,- i.-"."7 

• it)-^ 




1,117 l,(ils 





l,(i9s 3,(i2G 





4,5;;;; 1,9-^9 





;;;,8<)7 1 5,177 



1 ,;J i:-) 


;i,G24 4,751 1 

.") i:; 




;j,732 1 4,4;JG 











4,18;3 4,47(i 

1 ,» )7(; 







Tlio Yerklineoudiiisk region of tlie Trausbaikal province is situated along the rivers tlouiug 
into Lake P>aikal, and from it through tlie Angara into the Yenisei. The gold deposits of 
this region are situated in its south-eastern portion, near the Chinese frontier, along the 
tributaries of the river Chika, which falls into the river Selenga. These deposits lie in narrow 
valleys, surrounded by high mountains covered vvitb forests. Although the number of deposits 
under exploitation is gradually increasing, still the yield of gold remains very limited. 

The following data refer to the Yerkhneoudinsk region. 




of gold. 






of gold. 













14'/ 2 












The gold workings belonging to the system of the rive)- Lena are situated in the regions 
of Yerkholensk and Ivirensk in the government of Irkutsk, in the region of Bargouzinsk in 
the Transbaikal province and in the region of Olekminsk in the province of Y^akutsk. Although 
the upper courses of the Lena abound in gold deposits, they are generally poor, 
and therefore the number of deposits under exploitation and the amount of gold produced in the 
Yerkholensk and Kirensk regions is inconsiderable. The gold workings of the Bargouzinsk 
region are situated to the east of Lake Baikal along the upper courses of the river ^'itima 

GOLD. 155 

which flows into Lena from the right side. Although during tlie last ten years the number 
of deposits under exploitation has more than doubled, yet the number of men employed has 
scarcely varied, and the amount of gold produced has, if anything, decreased. 

Of all the above cited regions appertaining to the system of the Lena, the most 
important in respect to the yield of gold and number of men employed, is the Olekminsk 
region, situated in the south-western portion of the Yakutsk province. All the gold deposits 
of this region are included between 53 and 60" north latitude and between l30 and 138° east 
longitute from Paris, and are bounded: to east by the river Olekma, to the north and north- 
west by the river Lena, to the west and south-west by the river Vitima, and finally to the 
south by the Yablonovoy mountain chain, which is here the watershed of the tributaries of the 
Lena and Amour. This region is intersected in all directions by the spurs of the Mouisk and 
Yablonovoy mountains, and has quite an Alpine character. One of the chief spurs of the Mouisk 
mountains extends parallel to the river Vitima and this divides the Olekminsk region into 
two systems, the Yitimsk and the Olekminsk. The Yitimsk system lies to the north-east of 
L'kutsk at a distance of 1,700 versts from it. The Olekminsk s^'stem extends in the same 
direction still further across the watershed of the Lena and Yitima, so that in reality this 
watershed forms the true boundary between the two systems. Both systems are at an equal 
altitude above the level of the sea, nor is there any geological difference between them, as 
the same rocks predominate in both. The gold deposits, known up to the present time, almost 
blend into one another and the distance across the intermediate mountain chain does not 
exceed fifteen versts. 

Among the rivers along which the gold deposits of the Yitimsk system are situated, 
the river Bodaibo deserves particular attention, as all its system is exceedingly rich in gold, 
and the richest deposits are situated over a comparatively small area In this system. There 
are also rich deposits near the upper courses of the gold bearing tributaries of the Yitima, 
beyond the watershed along the tributaries of the rivers flowing into the Lena. Among the 
tributaries of the Lena which water the Olekminsk system, the most noteworthy are the 
systems of the Great and Little Patomo: and of the tributaries of the Olekma, the most 
notable are the rivulets of Zhuya. Bogolonak, Khomolkho and Yacha. 

The gold obtained from the Olekminsk- Yitimsk deposits is distinguished for the size 
of its grains, so that nuggets of \/i pound and more in weight are frequently found. Besides 
this, the gold from these deposits is distinguished for its regular crystalline form. 
With respect to the mode of occurrence of the gold bearing strata, it should be mentioned 
that the gold of the Olekminsk-Yitimsk deposits has the peculiarity of being distributed in 
alluvial deposits in two, and not unfrequently even in three layers. The average ricliness of 
the gold bearing sands during recent years has been: in the Olekminsk system from l"i to 
VI i zolotniks, and in the Yitimsk system from 3 to 4^//. zolotniks per 100 pouds of sand. 
However, in some workings the amount of gold is as much as b'l-2 zolotniks and more per 
100 pouds of sand. The thickness of the gold veins is from 2 to 15 feet and the thicks 
iiess of the superincumbent dirt or peat varies between half a sagene to 20 sagenes. 
The largest workings are chiefly concentrated in the deposits situated at a greater depth 
below the surface; as in the Olekminsk and ^"itinlsk systems these deposits are the richest. 

15 (i 


The greater jiari of iln- peal and g(jld bearing sand is in a jujipetualiy frozen stale, 
but soinetinios the gold bearing rock siulf is unfrozen, and lastly a combination of the one 
and the other is sonielinies met with, but this phenomena has not been sufncieutly investi- 
gated for it to serve as a guide in the exploitation of the ileposits in which it occurs. There 
are frequent instances where the frozen state of the soil is taken advantage of for sinking shafts 
In those deposits which lie at some depth and which are exploited by underground workings. 

The gold workings of the Vitimsk and Olekminsk systems have their stations or 
chid depots on the banks of the Lena near the moullis uf the river Vitima. The workings 
of tilt! Olekminsk system are situated at a distance uf about 350 versts from the dejiMis, 
and vehicular communication can only be carried on in the winter over the ice; and in 
summer the goods have to be transported on the backs of camels. For working, the 
Yitimsk system is much more advantageously situated, as in summer there is a steamer 
communication from the mouth of the Vitima to a distance of .300 versts up the river 
I'.odaibo, where the gold workings of this system begin; moreover the mines are con- 
nected by a carriage road. The miners of the Olekminsk diggings are chiefly hired from Irkutsk, 
whence also all the provisions and articles necessary for the workings and miners are bought. 

Xotwithstaniling the comparative infancy of the gold industry in those regions, and 
the diliiciilties which are encountered in the severity of the climate, dearness of labour 
and liie distance from any inhabited place, still the production of gold has developed rapidly, 
and in the Olekminsk region, reached a maximum of 939 pouds in 1880; indeed since 1868 
this region has stood first among all the gold regions of Siberia in respect to its yield of 
precious metal. 

The following table gives the production of the gold regions belonging to the Lena 
system, during the last ten years. 


Verkholensk and 
Kirensk regions. 

Bargouzinsk regions. 

Olekminsk region. 

Number of 

Production of 

:5 i 

Production of 

Ponds. , 1 

Number of 

Production of 


Pouds. = 








34 l';-^ 


759 1',;. 





29 18^'4 


686 5V'2 






24 38^4 


704 13 i 

• 1885 




24 15^4 


538 39 






25 10 


466 32''/4 




22 V2 


34 llV'c 


451 i 7^2 



; 3 



25 9^'4 


464 3r4 : 






34 ! 26'/4 

1 1 

495 29' /t ! 






3] ' 8^'4 


575 ! 33'/j 






27 35 


545 27V 2 ' 



The following table gives the mniiber of miners employed in these regions during tlio 
same period. 

-li -li 


■^ -1^: 


_ . „„ 


X x 




'/^ v: 



c3 S 



_3 I! 




-^ i- 







_s •> — 


'5 — ■ 


— 5 = 


'5 — ■ 

-r^ """ 2 

!5D O 



-^ c 

5d c 

'^ — ' 

^ "^ '5p 

53 '5b 

_r: ic 


c; "S '5: 

^' '5f- 

1 ^ 

i> S ;:; 

=q 2 

C C 


^i* = i 

— - 

o C 









! 1883 
































In 1889 the workings of both systems of the Olekminsk region employed 2,340 horses 
and 2,100 reindeer. The native Tungiiz and Yakuts transport the building timber and pit 
props reguired at the mines, by reindeer. Passing now to a review of the gold deposits in the 
vast river province of the Amour, it should be mentioned that the Nerchinsk mining region 
is in the uppermost courses of this system, along the tributaries of the Shilka and Argouna. 
The gold deposits of the Nerchinsk region are subdivided into four administrative regions: the 
Chitinsk, Akshinsk, Nerchinsk and the Nerchinsk metallurgical regions, situated between 128 
and 137" east longitude and 49 and 53° north latitude. Yeinons gold was discovered in the 
Nerchinsk region so far back as 1777, but owing to the poorness of the ore it was not worked. 
In 1838 promising alluvial deposits were discovered in the valley of the river Kara, the 
left hand tributary of the Shilka. These workings which are exploited to the present tlay, 
long remained the only ones of any consideration in the district. In 1853 the Shakhtalinsk 
deposit was opened out, and in 1865 the deposits along the rivulet Chernaya Ougruma were 
discovered; the latter remain the richest to the present time. Since 1865 when the Nerchinsk 
region was opened to private enterprise, the production of gold has grudually increased. At 
present, gold is extracted in the eastern portion of the Transbaikal province, in the 
Akshinsk region along the systems of the rivers Onon, Ingoda and Nercha, and in the Ner- 
chinsk region along the systems of the rivers Ougruma, Gazimoura, Ounda, Nercha and Shilka. 
Yeinons gold is also worked in the Chitinsk and Akshinsk regions. The alluvial deposits of 
the Amour and Littoral provinces are situated in the basins of the left tributaries 
of the Amour, within an area lying approximately between 52 and 56° north latitude and 
120 to 138" east longitude from Paris. 

From their geographical position the gold deposits of the Amour may be divided into 
several groups, lying in the following order from west to east. The gold bearing district 
of the first group is situated on the watershed between the Amour and Zea, in the 
neighbourhood of Albazine at a distance of 100 versts from the Amour. The deposits of this 
group were the first discovered in the Amour province, in 1866, by the well known raining 
engineer Annsov, who during 12 years endured every privation in an untiring exploration 


ol the iniiioiul wcalili ol in. i.pi.iu .,, ,i,. Aiiunir. At tliai lime this region was entirely 
uriknovvii to iniliistry, ami was at a tjisiaiice (»(' 500 versts lioin the inhabitnl localities of the 
TiHiisbaikal proviiiee. Diiiiii^.^ iIh' liist y<'ai-, 1^0^, rollowiii^/ ilic institiilion (if inM wuikinfrs in 
this ilistrict, 50 pinids nf ;/u|(| were exiraeteil ami the avcraj^i- riehnoss of the ileposiis was 
found to he over tiiroe zolulniks per hundred ponds of sand. The second ^rroiip of deposits in 
tlic ijiM hearing region, is comprised hy Iho tributaries id' tin.' rivers Giliii and Rrianta which 
lull int(j tli(! river Zea from the light side. This group comprises some of the richest 
ili-posits now known, and was also discovered by Anosov. The exploitation of the gold depos- 
its in this district, where over the whole area between the rivers Giliii and Brianta there is 
no stream which is not in somi; degree gold i)caring, was bi-giin in JhTi;. and in IBi^S a vein 
dejtosit was also discovered. 

The third group of deposits is siluati'd along the system of the river Selendzha, the 
left tiibiiiiiiy ol' tlii^ liver Zea. In 1874 a whole series of deposits was discovered here after 
the indication of Anosov. The fourth group, comprising the system of the upper courses of 
tlie river Niinan, the right tributary of the river Bouroya, was also discovered after 
the indication of Anosov, in 1875. A scries of deposits was disclosed here at a distance of 
six hundred versts from the junction of the Boureya and Amour. These deposits proved to 
be exceedingly ricli in gold, and the fame of their discovery soon penetrated into industrial 
spheres and attracted numerous prospecting parties to this perfectly desert region. The same 
niduiitain cliaiii that gives rise to the Selendzha and Nimaii, also forms the source, only on its 
eastern siilo in the Littoral province, of the river Amgoun which falls into the Amour 
from the left at about 90 versts distance from its mouth. In 1868, the fifth and most 
eastern group of the deposits of the Amour gold bearing region, was discovered in the 
system of the river Amgoun. The gold bearing beds in the Amour deposits are under very 
favourable conditions for exploitation. They lie at an inconsiderable depth; the average thick 
ness (d' the peat is about one sagene and the thickness of the gold bearing bed, half a 
sageiio. Hence all the deposits are exploited by open workings, and only in certain of those 
along the river Nimau, where the thickness of the peat exceed 20 feet and of the gold bearing 
bed 9 feet, are underground minings carried on. Besides the actual localities belonging to 
the system of the Amour within the borders of the Littoral province in its southern portion, 
numeinus gold deposits have been found in many parts of the continent and also on the island 
oi Ask(jlda, near Vladivostok, where the goM bearing seam forms the bottom nf the S(>a ami 
whenc(! a gold bearing sand is extracted. 

The gold workings of all the above cited groups of the Amour system, have their 
depot stations on the Amour, Zea, Boureya and Amgoun. There is a steamboat communi- 
cation on the three last named rivers, for a distance up to 400 versts from their mouths. 
The remaining distance of 200 to 400 versts Is partly traversed in boats and partly on horse- 
back along paths leadiiii,^ through the midst of the taiga to the gold workings. In winter 
only is there the possibility of a more convenient communication between the mines and 
ihoir depot stations, whence they obtain all their provisions in the winter. Owing to 
this circumstance the cost of labour along the system of the Zea amounts from 1,000 to 
1,200 roubles per head, and on the Niman it even comes to l.oQC) and 1.900 roubles. Xotwith- 



standing these very disaOvautageous economic conditions the gold workings of the Amour 
province ai-e gradually enlarging their production, and moreover the number of deposits under 
exploitation is constantly increasing. The following table gives the production and number of 
workings in the Amour river system; all the workings in the Trausbaikal province belonging 
to this system, being grouped under tlie general designation of the deposits of the Nerchinsk 

Nerchinsk region. 

Amour province. 

Littoral province. 

Nuiulier of 

of gold. 

Number of 

of gold. 

Number of 

Production j 
of gold. i 



—3 T3 































































































I ;., 







During the same period the following number of men were employed at tlie working. 
uf these several localities. 






i.illoral 1 
















203 i 








175 1 

















The method of exploitation and in general the technical side of the gold industry de- 
penils upon whether the gold is extracted from alluvial or veinous deposits. In the alluvial 


il'pu.sits till' Mi|)i'ilici;il lay'-r cuiimnIS nl an alliiMiiiii kiiuwii as piiat. Tti',' llii<kii''» nt thu- 
])• ill, varius considf^iiihly ami lip; idatioii brtw*'<^ii the thickness of llie p<jat ainl lliat I'l 
iIk' aiiiirfniii> alliiviiiMi (liiiTiiiiiii's tin; .systnii (if wurkiiif,' I'ollowfid tor i- x tract in j.' tlif goM. 
Uddrc entering upon tin- actnal i-xploitatiuii of tlic auriferous bods, cxploiatoiy workings ai'' 
Conducted for dclerniining tiic tliicknoss of lluist; boils ami tlioir liclau'Ss in gold. In tlios'- 
parts of Siberia where tin- soil is unfrozfjti, the exploration of tlif deposit is generally mad'- 
in tli(! wintri' by means «{' pits sunk into tlif linzi'n ground. 'J'li<' nirthod adopted is as follows: 
in antninn I lie pits arc laid out ami sunk to the water level, when the work is stopped 
and the pits left ojxmi for a certain number of days depending upon the degree of coM, iIm- 
depth ui the pit ami tlie kind (d' soil. The pits are carefully protected from snow. "Wli-'ii tli'' 
pit has sulliciently frozen through, a wood fire is lighted at the bottom and when the bottom of 
the pit has thawed to a depth of about one foot, the thawed layer is easily removed with 
a pick and shovel. Notwithstanding the severe frosts, the freezing of the pits can only be carried 
on to a depth of four sagenes. In those localities where the soil is frozen the exploratory 
pits do not present such difficulties, as they arc made in hard ground and without the inflow 
of water. The specimens of the gi'ound taken for assay from the bottom of the pit are washeil 
in buddies in warm winter quarters erected upon the workings. The assays are taken at about 
each half foot through the thickness of the deposit. 

In the Yeniseisk region the winter exploring parties consist of fivemeu with one overseer,and 
cost about three thousand roubles. Such a party is able to sink about 150 pits three sagenes deep. 
The removal of the peat is carried on during the autumn or winter, or else simultaneously with 
the extraction of the sand, or else slightly in advance of it. If the peat be removed in the 
autumn or winter a thin layer is left over the gold bearing alluvium to protect it against 
the influence of the severe frosts, and then this layer is removed in the spring. Sometimes 
advantage is taken of the spring floods, to wash away a portion of the peal. Only in a few, 
rare instances is the peat, containing a very small amount of gold, washed throughout its whole 
extent; as a rule it is carried away and thrown aside. The extraction of the auriferous sand 
is conducted in the simplest manner possible by means of picks crowbars and shovels. How- 
over, in the Olekminsk legion the use of explosives in the mining works is yearly increasing, 
and the annual consumption of dynamite at the gold workings of this region amounts to 
about a thousand pouds. The auriferous sand is transported to the washing machines in two- 
wheeled carts drawn by horses, along a natural road or along a road made of logs. In some 
of the gold regions the transport at certain workings is done in trucks along a tram line. 
The rare application of mechanical motors and appliances is frequently made a subject of 
reproach to the Siberian gold workers, but it is necessary to remember not only the situation 
of the workings in the most remote localities, void of any road capable of transporting heavy 
w^eights, but also the entire absence of any mechanical machine or other industrial works in 
Siberia which could furmsh the gold workings with the requisite tools, mechanism, machines 
or appliances. The carriage of such articles from the Urals is exceedingly expensive and some- 
times doubles and triples their cost. Nevertheless, at some of the workings in the Olekminsk 
region and Amour province, there is a comparatively large application of mechanical ap- 
pliances in the place of hand labour. This is particularly observable in the workings of 

GOLD. 161 

(he Amour system, where there are hirge gold mining companies with sufficient capital at 
th(!ir disposal. Moreover, al many of the workings in the Olekminsk region the sand, gravel 
and peat is raised and transported by means of chain gear along a Iram line. But it should 
he observed that if tram lines, transport by endless steel ropes, and even Lartig roads are 
met with in these regions, it is chiefly owing to the extreme dearness of horses and 
their feed. 

The extraction of the auriferous sand is carried on simultaneously Avith the w^ashlng; but 
in underground mines the sand is prepared for washing in the winter. Experiments made 
on the application of the hydraulic method of exploitation have not been successful, and 
there is not much chance of this method being ultimately adopted in the Siberian gold work- 
ings, owing to the irregularity of the distribution of the gold bearing properties, which ren- 
ders it impossible to erect large water reservoirs and hence of having a sufficient pressure of 
water, AAlthout w'hich the hydraulic process is impracticable. The motive power required for 
the machines used in the extraction of the gold is generally furnished by overshot water 
wheels. The water is led to the washing machines either by canals or wooden conduit? called 
s p 1 1 k a. The water supply is generally very well constructed and the timber which sup- 
ports the conduits, in places attains 40 and 50 feet and is constructed with especial lightness 
and strength. The supply of water to the canals and conduits is generally done by partially 
damming the streams, and there is no need of accumulating the water in reservoir ponds, as 
there is an abundance of running water almost everywhere. Portable engines are frequently 
used at the gold mines of the Olekminsk region and of the system of the Amour. These 
engines are used when there is not sufficient w^ater for the hydraulic motors. 

At the present time in Siberia, the washing of the auriferous sand on a large scale is 
chiefly done in barrels, and only very clayey sand is treated in pans. In rare instances un<ier 
particularly favourable conditions, when the profile of the soil is sufficiently inclined and the 
sand easily washed, it is excavated by hand and cast into a trough in which it is washed. 
This method, known as tlie Pakoulevsk process, is a modification of the American sluice 
process. Mr K. Koulibin, mining engineer, has recently introduced the sluice method of 
washing in the Urals, and he has modified Wooldear's system to suit the local conditions of 
Siberia, a system originally projected for the hydraulic process. This class of washing appliances 
are coming into use in Siberia wliere they are known as koulibinki. 

The first machines used in Siberia for washing the auiiforous sands, consisted of pans 
and wooden barrels with iron fixings inside. The first pans and barrels washed from 3,000 to 
5,000 pouds of sand per day; but when the gold industry developed they proved insufficient and 
therefore their dimensions were enlarged and their construction perfected. All tlu^ barrels now 
used in Siberia belong to one type and only differ in their dimensions. Each barrel consists of a 
conical seive with one-half inch meshes. These orifices are of e(}ual size down the whole length 
of the barrel and are distributed in a chess board fashion. Th<> barrel is made of boiler plate 
iron about one-fourth inch thick. The inside fitting of the barrels generally consists of iron bands 
placed edgewise. The barrels are revolved, by a special gear put into motion by hydraulic 
motors or portable engines. The dimensions of the barrels vary from 10 to 17 feet in Ii>ngth. 
The smaller diameters vary from ii^a to 4\'2 feet and the larger, from 4 U> 7 l'ei>t. Below the barrels 


1(52 SIBEKIA. 

tlicio is iiii iiK-liiH-fl pl;iiic. wlidsc iippi'i- portion is ijiviiicil by lont/iliitiiiial \)<-,un- into scvithI 
parts on wliidi llidi' aiv transversal rilllcs lor rctaininK the pil<l. 

IJcsidi's lliis, iitliiT aiiaii^'i'inrnts siicli as biusliwood or cloth aro platT'tl upon tli<' in^'lincd 
plane, ior retaining,' llii' liner parlicles ol pild. The lenf.Mh ol this inelined plane rji- sluice is 
I'roni yo to 40 lee 1 ami it is ^/eneially made with a rather steep incline, 'i'lie watci lor washing 
the sand is intKMlnrnl jnin tiic barivl by means of several hoses, sometimes lonrteen in number, 
which diicH'l the watvr into various parts ol' the baiiel. Tlie water and inside lilting' ol the 
biirnd Kiiml the sand tof^'elhef in the bairej. the graved!S (»nfy through the wide end. and 
the slime, through tin' orilires nl the barrel into the sliii(;e. 

'J'lie waslieil sand and giavel, the so-called tailings Tail tlirongli special trapdoors into 
carls or trncks and are iliimpe(l on llic ua^le molinds. The bairel machines ar<,' made 
single or double. At the present time, (jne luiirel i aii ua^li Irnin lorty to lil'ty thousand 
{)ouds (d' light sand or twenty-live id thirty llmusaiMl jKiiids ol' pasty, clayey .sand per 
day. The gold is collected from the sluices twice a day, and either umlergoes a pndiminary 
concentration on so-called <.Arneiicans^> or else goes straight to the buddies where it is 
washed tree IVom all foreign matter. The more pasty sands cannot be satisfactorily washed 
in liarivis, and thineloro other ai langements are employed in their treatment, the most common 
being a pan IVoni 8'/^ 1o 16 feel in diameter having an edge one foot high and covered with a 
sieve with holes from V'a to V' ii't'li in diameter. The sand tlir(jwn on the sieve is rubbed by smeral 
rcivolving rows of iron shoes, and washed with water. I'nder the coniliiiied action (d' the >lioes ami 
streamof water, the sand is rubbed together and the finer particles pass through the .seive and fall 
upon a sluice in the same manner as with the barrels. The gravel left upon the seive is let 
through a special orifice from lime to time. About lilteeii to twenty thousand pouds of sand 
can be washed on ilies(> pans per day. In liotli the barrel and pan machines a small quantity 
of mercury is always supplieil near the head nf the sluice in order to collect the small 
particles of gtdd. 

The koulit)inka consists of a system of two parallel sluices, on which th(,' sand is 
washed by its motion in a current of watei; The sand and waters enter the chief sluice 
together. The width ol this sluice vaiies from 2 to 3 feet, according to the amount of water 
and the extent of the washing; it has an inclination of 5 to 7 inches per sagene. The 
bittldin ol the sluici^ is entirely covered with an inm grating, which assists the washing of 
the sand and arrests the gold, anialgani and schlich. Transversal cuts five inches wide and 
covered with an iron sieve with interstices of one inch between the bars, are made along the 
length of the sluice at distances of 12 to 14 feet. The line gravel and water fall througli 
these sieves and pass along a small inclined conduit into the seeuiid sluice, which is parallel 
to the first but at a. lower level. This sluice is covered with a wooden grating for retaining 
the gold and amalgam. At its head, this sluice is from Vli to 2 feet wide, and it has a uni- 
form incliinilion cd' o'/j inches per sagene. This second sluice widens out somewhat towards the 
bottom, as tlH> amount of sand falling through the cross cuts in the first sluice increases. The 
first sluice on the contrary is made wider towards the head. In both sluices, a fresh supply of 
water can be added it re((uired according to the statt> of the division of the sand. The first 
sluice terminates in a sieve inclined at 45 dt\grees over which the coarse gravel ndls into a 

GOLD. 1 63 

liiipper, whence it is cast into trucks or carts and carried to the dump. The smaller particles 
lull tlirough this sieve on the second slui(;e which here tends underneath the first sluice. 
Tlie second sluice terminates in a kind u{ rake arrangement for collecting the fine-washed 
gravel. The chief condition retiuiri'd in this mod(! of washing is a sufficient supply of 

With respect to veinous or quartz gold in Siberia, it is oidy extracted in the Yeni- 
seisk region, in very small quantities; in the Altai in the exploitation of the silver ores from 
the Zyrianovsk and Riddersk mines, and in the Transhaikal province, where three deposits are 
iiow' worked, giving a yearly yield of 12 to 17 pouds per year. The gold ores extracted 
from these deposits are crushed in stamps and washed in sluices covered with amalgamated 
copper sheets; the extraction of the gold is extremely imperfect and a large amount is lost. 
As a portion of the gold is in a state of chemical combination, some experiments were made 
in 1885 to apply Mounktells process for the treatment of the gold ores at one of the deposits 
in the Transhaikal province; but they were not successful. 

In general, one of the chief hinderances to the development of the exploitation of vein- 
ous gold ores in Siberia, is the absence of mechanical works where the necessary machines 
could be constructed and repaired, as at present such machines have to be brought from the 
Urals at a great cost. An extended application of the wet chlorine methods of treatment in 
Siberia, is hindered by the cost of the materials requsite for the production of chlorine from 
bleaching powder. Apparently the extraction of gold by means of electrolysis would be more 
profitable in Siberia, as the use of turbines which is already beginning at the gold mines 
would give the possibility of having a mechanical motor during the whole year and of thus 
treating a sufficient amount of ore to bring in a profit. 

The exploitation of gold over the whole of Russia is carried on upon the basis of the 
statute of the private gold industry, published in 1870. According to this statute, the gold 
miners working upon proprietary lands pay a tax upon the yield of gold to the Government, 
while those working upon State lands or lands belonging to His Majesty's Cabinet, pay an 
extra royalty to the Government or the Cabinet for the land covered by their workings. The tax 
ujion the yield of gold is levied on the amount of pure gold and silver separately present 
in the unrefined metal. The gold miners in the Olekminsk region, as the richest, pay a 10 
per cent tax and 10 roubles royalty per dessiatine of government huul ocrupioil by the wor- 
kings; in the province of the Amour there is a 5 per cent tax ami 5 roubles per dessiatine; 
in all the remaining parts of Siberia and in European Russia, there is a 3 per cent tax and 
a rental of 1 rouble per dessiatine per year. 

Tlie gold workings on the lands belonging to His JMajesty's Cabinet are divided 
into three classes according to their yield, and they pay a royalty from 5 to 15 per cent to 
the Cabinet and a rental of 15 kopecks per sagene length of the workings. 

All the sclilich g(dd itbtaincil by private individuals in Siberia has to be sent by them 
to the Government smelting luiuses, oi which there are two, one for "Western Siberia at Tomsk, 
an<i one for Eastern Siberia at Irkutsk. Besiiles this, His Majesty's Cabinet, under whose 
jurisdiction are the Altai and X(>rcliinsk works, lias its own laboratory for the treatment of 
precious nuMals. The gold is siueltfd at the smelting Imiisi^ and its degree uf pmity determined 



by assay. Tin- iiutal i> loiwanl'-il to lli'! St. I't'l'iobuig Mint, and \h<: unld m.-irhaiits ai' 
given bills by wbiili tlM-y (jbtaiii .yoliJ oj silvm c<)iti or gold ingots. 

Silver, lead and copper. 

Sibi'iia was on«;i; iiiliabited by a piioplo, who according lu tli'^ Ilussian legends, were t-alled 
C h II il (woiidt'f men). It is iiol known wlien this people livi'd, but the chief monuments of their 
fniMicr oxistcncc are ancient mines, chieliy wiiii uprn diggings, only in rare instances, iindi-i- 
gioiind workings. The antiquity of these works is seen from the fact that all the instrnnifiii^ 
which have bei-n found in them are made either of copper or hard stone, which leads to tlf 
supposition that this people was entiiviy iiinUMjiiiiinti'il with lion. The Cluid niiiu's, as these 
ancient workings are called, guided the Ilussian jjioneers in their search lor metallifi-rous 
deposits, and at first, all the workings were begun in those localities where the Chnd had 
formerly extracted their silver, lead or copper. 

In "Western Siberia the numerous remains id' Clmd iiiiiies luiind on the Altai and it> 
very name of caltai* which means the <>gold mountaiiis> inilicate their richness in met- 
als. The first efforts made by the Russians to exploit these riches belong to the close of the 
XYIII centuiy but, strictly speaking, the mining industry of the Altai was placed upon a firm 
footing at the beginning of the XVIII century by Akinfia Demidov the son of the Tula 
blacksmith Nikita Demidov (Antoufiev). In 1723 some Russian hunters found the remains of 
ancient scoria in the old waste heaps of Chud workings, near lake Kolyvan in the Biisk 
region, and mentioned this fact tit Demidov. The ore deposits discovered in this locality 
proved to be particularly rich in copper and hence Demidov founded the first cojiper 
smelting works in the Altai, as early as 1726. He called these works the Kolyvano A'oskre- 
sensk works. In 1739 he erected the Barnaoulsk works, which subsequently, in 1771, 
became the town of Barnaoul and became the administrative centre of all the works of the 
Altai region. In 1744 Demidov erected a third work in the present Semipalatinsk province 
on the borders of the Altai region. 

In 1735 Demidov discovered the Zmeinogorodsk mine, but it was left unnoticed as the 
amount of copper in it proved inconsiderable. Soon afterwards however, namely in 1742, 
rich argentiferous lead ores were found in the Zmein mountains, from wluch Demidov in 
1744 and 1745 obtained 2 pouds 25\'4 pounds of silver. Subsequently, by an Imperial ukaz of 
the 15th May, 1747, all the mines and works of the Altai passed into the hands of His 
Majesty's Cabinet. 

From that time the mining industry of the Altai made rapid progress. The discovery 
and laying out of new mines continued to the close of the XYIII century. The following 
were the chief of these Diines: the Cherepanovsk in 1781, the Salairsk in 1781, the Riddersk 
in 1784, and the extremely rich Zyiianovsk mine in 1791. The following works were 
erected by the Cabinet : the Pavlovsk in 1763, the Souzounsk in 1764, the Tomsk in 1770, 
the Loktevsk in 1771, the Aleisk in 1774, and the Ekateriuinsk, afterwards called the Gav- 
rilovsk, in 1793. Two more works were erected in the present century, the Zmeevsk in 13<>4, 


aud the Gourevsk in 1816. Nearly all the works in the Altai are silver smelting works, the 
only exceptions being the Tomsk and Gourevsk iron works and the Souzounsk works which 
smelt copper as well as silver. According to their geographical position all the ore deposits 
of the Altai mining region may be divided into two independent groups. The first of these 
groups, the so-called. Zmeinogorsk region, lies in the southern portion of the Altai region, 
in the systems of the rivers Obi and Irtysh; and the second or Salairsk region lies at the 
north-eastern extremity of the Altai region in the system of the river Toma. The most im- 
portant difference in the conditions of these two groups is that the works of Zmeinogoi'sk 
region exclusively employ charcoal fuel, while those of the Salairsk region being in the 
near neighbourhood of the Kouznetsk coal basin, work with mineral fuel. 

The mountains which contain the ore deposits in the Zmeinogorsk region belong to the 
branches of the Sayansk mountains; while those in the Salairsk region belong to the branches 
of the Altai mountains. They generally have the appearance of rounded volcanoes, without 
any rocky peaks. As a rule the height of these mountains does not exceed 4,000 to 4,500 feet. 
The predominating rock in these mountains is clay slate, aud are more rarely crystaline schists, 
upheaved by porphyries, which most likely played an important part in the formation of the 
ore deposits. At the foot of the ore bearing mountains there are strata of sedimentary for- 
mations of different periods consisting of slates, limestones and sandstones. The ore deposits 
belong to two classes, veins and stock works. All the vein deposits bear the general charac- 
ter of steeply inclined, short and thick veins. They generally occur on the borders of the 
junction of the clay slates with felsite porphyries. The vein deposits of the Salairsk mountains 
are accompanied by veins of quartose felspar porphyries which in their zone rise to the for- 
mation of ore bearing cavities. As a rule, stock works are rare in the Altai, and are only 
known for the copper deposits and then they are not of great extent. 

As many as eight hundred deposits of metallic ores are known in the Altai mining 
region. Altogether however only about five hundred mines have been exploited, out of which 
only eight silver and two copper mines are now worked. The silver ores contain a smaller or 
larger amount of various compounds, of copper, lead, zinc and iron, which modify the external 
appearance, properties and richness of the ores; thus as a rule, those ores which are rich in 
lead or copper ai'e poor in silver. The copper ores have the most uniform composition. Gold 
is found in only two of the silver mines, the Zyrianovsk and the Ridersk, and is distributed 
in a very variable extent throughout the deposit. Generally it appears in dependence upon a 
decrease in the amount of silver and other metals and occurs sparingly in ore bearing quartz 
in poor ferruginous silver ores. The metalliferous ores are either ochre or pyritic ores. The 
ochre ores occur in the upper level of the deposits aud were formerly the chief objects of 
exploitation. As they descend to a greater depth, the ochre ores gradually change into pyritic 
ores. All the Altai mines, at their greatest depth of 70 to 100 sagenes, pass into a zone 
of transition of the ochre into pyritic ores, and lioice the ore is exceedingly variable in 
its composition and richness in metal. The ochre ores are generally richer than ihe pyritic 
and this distinction is most evident in the case of silver ores; the transition of the ochre 
into pyiitic ores generally has an extremely unfavourable effect upon the richness of tlie ore 
in silver ami lead: besides which ihc sineliing of the ores becomes much more difficult, l-'or 


this reason llio cxisljn-,' miiios arc not in a position to yifld llic ^ann; amount of nifMai a- 

'I'll!' iiiiiuimi i)|' .silver and lead in lli<' ori-s is siihjcci id lm'^i tlii.-iuatiun-. In Ih In • 

ores till' amount i.l silver varies JVoni •/» ><' 10 zoloiniks pe, pi.ud ul ore, and the amount ol 
lead IVom (; to JL' poinids per pond of oie, or 15 to 30 per >-<'\i\. 'J'jn- pyritie oies aii; very 
murli pduici. 'I'lie ann.unl n| cupper ill tlie ores, sineltnl at the Soiizounsk works, is I'rom 
5 to 10 |ier eeiii. Vei V many id the silver mines are aeeDimicd (|uiti' exhausted and tlii'i'- 
I'ore their exploitation lias heen entirely slopped. Anions these it is impossible to avoid 
mcntioniiif/ the Zineino^'oisk mine, whiiji for a period of some seventy years yielded over 
50,000 |iuiiils nl' silver. Oiher mines were worked Im a mnrh sIkhIimI pi-rind and alter L'iviiiL; 
several thousand ponds of silver were round to he exhausted. 

At till' present time the most prudnetive mines are the Zyiianovsk in the Znieinoguisk 
re/^iion anil the Salaii'sk mines in another poiliun id' the Altai leirion. The lii^i named now 
yields alioui :)00.(X:0 ponds of ore, and the jattei which, during' the (■if,'hties, yielded from 7W,000 
to one million ponds of ore, in 1S91 ija\e uniy 395,400 pouds. The Zyrianovsk deposit is now 
coiisicU'red the most productive id all the deposits of the Altai. It lies in the south-eastern 
peitiiin id' the rei^iiiii on tin; river Maslianka, 12 versts distant riuni llie leCi hank nf lie 
river Boukhtarma and 70 versts from the river Irtysli. The Zyrianovsk deposit is about 3-l''J 
versts from the nearest silver smeltinu' works, the Zmeievsk w'orks. The Zyrianovsk deposit 
has yielded mure than 4;") million ponds of assorted ore containinii over 45,000 pouds of silver 
and over 2,500,000 pouds of lead. 

The Salairsk deposits, which are now exploited by two mines, the Salairsk 1st and 
Salairsk 2nd, are very thick and extensive and f^uarantee a supply of ore for smeltinu for 
a very louii tinH\ but the ores of these deposits are poor in silver. Only two eopper mine- 
are now in work, the Souiiatovsk and the Chudak. These mines are situated in the southern 
portion of the region, not far from the Irtysh; but at a distance of 400 versts from the Soii- 
zounsk copper smelting v^'orks. At the Sougatovsk mine, besides ore, a cement copper is obtained 
from the mine waters. The ores of the Zmeinogorsk region were smelted at four works, 
the Barnaoiilsk, the Pavlovsk, the Loktevsk and the Zmeievsk, but the first three of these 
are now closed. The Salairsk region contains the Gavrilovsk silver smelting works. 

The statistics respecting the amoiuit of silver smelted at the Altai works, show that at the 
beginning of the present century over a thousand pouds of this metal were annually smelted 
during a period of many years. Such was the position of the works at the time of the liberation of 
the serfs, an event which in 1862 produced a complete revolution in the economic order of 
the country, and changed the conditions of the mining industry in this poorly populated region. 
During the first years following the liberation of the serfs, the production of the Altai works 
remained almost as bi^fore, thanks to the energetic production of rich ores from previously 
prepared workings in the Zyrianovsk and Talovsk deposits. The increased price of labour led 
to a considerable reduction in the amount of preparatory and exploratory diggings, whii'h 
had the necessary censequeuce oi gradually decreasing the stores of ore and of subsecpiently 
reducing its actual production. The abolition of obligatory labour not only raised the wages 
at the mines, but also considerably increased the cost of transporting the ore, and this 



clearly proved the disadvantages of the great distances between the mines and the works. More- 
over, the rise in the price of fuel, owing to the exhaustion of the forests in the neighbourhood 
of the mines and the feeble development of the mechanical parts of the works, also influenced 
the position of the metallurgical and mining industries of the Altai. And yet at the end of 
the last and beginning of the present C(Mitury, the mechanical portion of the Altai works was 
placed upon another footing. It is worthy of remark that su early as 1766 a mining engineer 
Polzounov, erected the first steam acting blowing engine for blast furnaces at the Barnaoul 
works. Polzounov may justly be called the forerunner of Watt. In the Altai also the first 
experiment of laying down a tram line was made in 1817, for transporting the ore from the 
Zmeinogorsk mine and the Zmeevsk works, along a distance of 2'/2 versts. 

Owing to the above mentioned causes, the production of silver at the Altai began to 
decrease considerably, especially since 1868; so also the amount of copper smelted, whicii in 
1872 amounted to nearly 40,0( ponds, subsequently gradually fell. The following table 
gives the production of the Altai mining region durinif the last ten years. 


r d 

u c t i 


S i 1 

V e r. 

L e a d. ' 

C p p e r. 

Pouds. ' 

Piuinds. 1 




















23'/ 2 






















21,073 i 











In reducing tlicir .sinelling of silver and lead, the Altai woiks aie adn]>liiiL; a wet 
process for the extractimi of silver from the ores after a nietliod iiivenled tiy a Hungarian 
engineei' Bittzansky fur treating the ores from the Zyrianovsk mine. 

In Eastern Siberia old workings of galena in crystalline limestone have been discovered 
in the govei'nment of Yeniseisk in the Minousinsk district at the Irbinsk estate. A large 
numl)ei- of Chad mines have been rouml dii llic eastern declivity of the Alatau inoinitains 
and beyond in the valley of the Yenisei. These workings were lenewed in the middle tif the 
seventeenth century and the Lougazhsk copper sundting wiuks wimc erected here at a distance 
of 9 versts IVoni the Yenisei and 25 versts I'min the town of Minousinsk. These works not 
only smelted ores linni the suniMiiidiiig mines, Imt also iVoui uioie distant localities; from 

]68 >lBKIiIA. 

ihe upper courses cil the liveis lalliii;,' into tlir- liver Aljacan, hikI liujii iIk- Maiii.">k uiine on 
the Yenisei at the villa^'e nl t)/iiaclieiuiyi. In 1^71 liie Spassli copjier snieltiiif^ woiks were 
eieclfMJ (III iIk; liver I'cfiiits. 'J'lieso woiks sineltctl die liui/i the Maiiisk ami several other 
mines. Tliey as lar as is kiKtwii, only wmked between JW79 and 18H1 and alt^l^'etller smelted 
about l,2r)0 ponds (d' copper. 

Deposits fd' argentii(!roiis f:5alena are kiniuii in tii<! ^/uvcihiih'IiI <>[ Yakutsk at several 
points alon;,' llie Viiiiu and (Indyliahi. iln- iiitmlary (d tlie river Yaiia. In j^50 the latter de- 
posit was exploreil, lint it, was Idiiiid iniMiilaljle loi exphdtalion owing to its di.stance from 
populated localities and to ilie scaicily (d lorests. In all probaTiility this was also the reason why 
the exploitatiiiii nl' the IJndybalsk mine, which was carried on liuni ITO.'j to 1775, was after- 
wards stopped. Tiiere is another deposit in the Yakutsk province, on tin; river Batoma. a right 
ribulary id the Lena, wlujre it is said the native Y'akiils smelt lead ami silver. 

Humours of the occurrence of silver ores in the present Amour Govenfii-Cjeneralship, 
at Daouria on the banks of the Shilku and Argouna, reached Moscow during the reign of 
Peter the Groat, and induced this monarch to dispatch a party of Greek miners to Siberia 
under the direction id one Levandian, who in 1698, guided by the discovery of remains of 
Chud workings on the Koultouchnaya mountain 16 versts distance from Argouna, dis- 
covered a deposit of argentiferous lead ore in this locality and began to exploit it. in 1704 
silver smelting works, called the Nerchinsk, was erecteil by order of Peter I. At that 
time the whole id' this portion of the Transbaikalia, which subsequently comprised the Nerchinsk 
mining region, was a perfectly wild country only inhabited by nomad natives. To introduce a 
regular mining Industry into this region, it was necessary to take measures for the emigration 
of Russian settlers and to overcome immense difficulties. This explains why at first the min- 
ing industry in the Nerchinsk region developed very slowly. But the production of silver 
began to increase considerably with the opening out of new mines ami with the growth of the 
population in the region. 

The introduction of smelting by private Siberians also had a beneficial effect. The 
maximum i)roducUoii of silver was, during the period 1763 to 1786, when it attained 629'/2 
pouds. In 179U the yield of silver fell to 219 pouds, it subsequently periodically fluctuated, 
and in 1847 it even fell below 200 pouds. From that time the production of silver in the 
Nerchinsk region declined completely, and from 6472 pouds smelted in 1850 it fell to 7V2 pouds 
in 1863, and then it temporarily ceased altogether. The reasons of this fall in the silver pro- 
duction of the Nerchinsk region were the flooding of the mines, the economic revolution pro- 
duced by the abolition of the serfs and of the obligatory labour at the works, and chiefly the 
revolution which took place in the management of the Nerchinsk works, with the opening of 
new and richer gold workings, when all the force and means of the region were directed to 
the extraction of gold, which became the chief object of production instead of silver and 
lead. Thus there is no fofindation for speaking of the exhaustion of the deposits of silver ore 
in the Nerchinsk region, and there is reason for supposing that the production of silver might 
revive with fresh energy, if the economic conditions of the region were improved. As regards 
the deposits of silver ores, it can only be said that as many as 90 different mines have been 
opened out in the Nerchinsk region, that vein deposits predominate in the south-western. 


and pocket deposits in the north-eastern portion. Besides silver and lead, deposits of copper 
ores are also known, but although trials were made to exploit and smelt them, the re- 
sults were not favourable. At the present time altogether 10 mines are worked and their 
annual yield amounts to 100,00r) pouds. The only existing silver smelting works in the Ner- 
chinsk mining region, the Kroutomarsk works, smelt about 50 pouds of silver a year. 

A deposit of argentiferous lead ores has been discovered in the far eastern extremity 
of Siberia, in the valley of the river Vantsin at about 120 versts distance from the gulf of 
St. Olga, and 37 versts from the gulf of Preobrazhensk. Explorations of this deposit, made in 
1872, showed the presence of rather vast, ancient workings, and in recent times the exploitation 
of the ores was carried on by the Chinese. 

Traces of Chud mines are found scattered about various parts of the region 
of the Kirghiz steppes, and in 1815 and 1820, these workings were the means of the discov- 
ery of rich deposits of argentiferous lead ores. A raining proprietor, jMr. Popov, guided by 
the indications of the natives, made the first claim for deposits of argentiferous lead and 
copper ores in the Kirghiz steppes and obtained a concession for the acquirement of what lands 
and forests he might need for the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the region and 
for the erection of metallurgical works. Already in 1857, 106 copper workings and 44 argen- 
tiferous lead and copper ore mines were declared; and at the close of 1888, the Karkaralinsk 
district of the Semipalatinsk province, comprised 121 claims of ore deposits, both copper and 
argentiferous lead; while in the whole of the Kirghiz steppes up to 4rX) ore bearing deposits 
are known. The following are the most important. The richest argentiferous lead ore deposits 
are situated in the southern portion of the Karkaralinsk district between the town of Kar- 
karalinsk and lake Balkhash, at a distance of 200 to 250 versts from the above named town. 
This locality is desert and void of forest and at a great distance from the river Irtysh which 
is the only convenient means of communication in this region. 

There is another tract of argentiferous lead and partly argentiferous lead and copper 
ore deposits, to the north of the above region at a distance of 75 to 100 versts from the 
town of Karkaralinsk to the south and south-west of this town. Among the many vein de- 
posits of this district which have been opened out, the vast deposit of Ber-Kara is particu- 
larly distinguished. The Bogoslovsk mine w^as laid out on this deposit by Popov and worked 
to a depth of 18 sagenes. This mine yielded both argentiferous lead and copper ores, which 
were smelted at two works erected by Popov, and also at the Altai works to which they 
were temporarily transported. Deposits of copper ores are particularly abundant on the borders 
of the Karkaralinsk and Pavlodarsk districts. Many of these deposits occur in the form of 
veins of greater or less thickness, and in some instances- somewhat considerable masses of 
native copper have been found. The copper ores extracted from this region were smelted at 
copper smelting works erected in the neighiwurhood. Oxidized copper ores are found in the 
sandstone strata, occurring to the south of the town of Semipalatinsk in the basin of the river 
Aschi-Sou, and in the noith-western corner of the Karkaralinsk district, near the borders of 
the Akmolinsk province in the lower courses of the river Chiderta. 

Copper smelting was first started in the Kirghiz steppes, at liie Blagodato-Stefauovsk 
works, erected by Popov at about 80 versts disianeo to tlio ntirth-oast of ilii> town of Karka- 



laliiisk. TIk'n*' works njiiiiuuoil in ariiun iiiiiil i^Ol^ wlit-n llicy wcio riiuilly rlu>«:'il lui want 
III liiil. l'o|ii)v ('i(H'lt'{l tlir Inlldwiiit,' iiielalliirnical works: lln- Alexamlrovsk wliii-li 
r\r|ii,si\(.|y siiH'lli'il al^'t'iiUlcidiis lead ores, arnl Wde .siliiali-il at a di^laiice of 35 vcisls to 
tin- iioitli o| tlic Hayaii-Aoiilsk station: lln' Ho^oslovsk works, in tin- ceiitro of the rifliest 
ilcposits ()[ arfj;(Mitircioiis lead and cuppiT on-s, on luonni Ucikaia at 80 vcrsls distancf; to tlic sontli 
ol Karkaralinsk : and ilii' In.uinn-i'icdic.liciisk works near thi- Kyzillavsk roal niinc^. All tli---'' 
works, as well a« tlioso ereiitcd hy Mr. Konznctsov inNir tin; (jraidifvsk station, on tlii- I'dl 
hank id llic Irtysli, liad no f^naranti'i- lor tlndr snpply id' fn<d, and oidy wttiked inti-rniitt.'ntlv. 
and llii'ir animal yiidd id coppn did not rxcecd H,(X)0 ponds. 

The Spassk copper smrltintr wurks wm- crfrtrd tiy the hi-irs ol' .Mi-. llyazanov in iIp 
bcpiimiiifi' of tiic sixtii's, in Ilir distrirt id .Xkniuliiisk ni-ar the hordojs oi the Karkaralin^k 
district, and from thai lime the cdppe.i pruduelinii id tin- Kirj:hiz steppes coiisiderahly iiicreasti'l. 
and in ls7() rearlied its liiiiliest iioiinal id' 3s,Mf)(» |i(iiiiN. [(nrini: llie entire peiiud id th ■ 
existence of the Spassk works, whieli weic riosed in J885, the jirodnetion of copper, at tin; 
Kirghiz mines varied hetwcen 1^^,500 and 34,000 ponds per year. After the tdosini.' of the 
Spassk works Imwever, the Kiriiliiz stc|)pes lost every imporlanee ainony the e()|)per prodm-- 
inf? ivfiioiis of Russia. 

The production of silver and lead at the Kirtihiz woiks was carried on very irregularly, 
and ill veiy limited i|iiaiitiiies iiiiiil 1883. In 1882 a rich and alr<'ady known deposit of 
galena and oxidi/cd lead and cojiper oies was explored at Kyzyl-Espe, situated iu the Ak- 
chetavsk district, at a distance of about 80 versts to the ! of lake Balkhash. An 
expeiimental smelting of these ores was hegiin in ]883, at the works erected at the mine, 
and also at the Kozmo-Demyanovsk works situated at 18 versts to the south-east of the 
town of Karkaralinsk, and 280 versts from the mine. The galena and lead ores extracted 
from the Kyzyl-Espe mine proved exceedingly rich, with ahoiii 12 zolotniks of silver per 
poud of ore and about 50 to 70 per cent of lead. 

In recent years the production of silver and lead has not only increased at the works 
erected by Popov, but experimental smeltlngs have been carried on at several other mines 
belonging to other persons. 

The following table shows the position of the silver and lead production in the Kirghiz 
steppes since 1883. 
















Pouds. ! Pounds. 

• i 

























28' A 












16 'A 


IRON. 171 


At the present time there are only four iron works in tlie whole of Siberia. It is 
true that, thanks to the vast river system offered by the Toura, Tobol, Irtysh, Obi and Tomi, 
up to the town of Tomsk nearly the whole of Western Siberia is in direct water communication 
Avith the very foot of the Urals, and can conveniently supply itself with metals from this 
centre of the Russian mining and metallurgical industries where there are most vast and 
rich deposits of iron ore, and numerous iron works. On the other hand, the system of 
the Amour enables goods transported by sea from Nikolaevsk to penetrate over 3,000 versts 
into the interior of Siberia. It is certain however that notwithstanding the cheapness of 
transport by water, the vast distances traversed must greatly increase the price of goods 
carried in this manner. At the same time the population of Siberia are in need of pig- 
iron and iron as well as of articles made of these metals, not only for domestic and agri- 
cultural purposes but also for the vast gold industry which offers a more and more urgent 
demand for metals and metallic goods. If up to the present time the iron industry is still 
very feebly developed in Siberia, it is not for want of ore deposits but for purely economic 
and commercial reasons. It should be mentioned however that the deposits of iron ores near 
the town of Yeniseisk were worked by the native Ostiaks and Toungouze previous to the 
Russian dominion of Siberia, and afterwards by the neighbouring peasants. The manufacture 
of iron direct from the ore, which was carried on here from ancient times, flourished to 
such an extent that at the beginning of the present century there were as many as forty 
smithies which yearly produced about 30,000 pouds of iron. The development of the gold 
industry however absorbed all the local labour and put an end to this branch of industry. 

The erection of iron woiks within the Altai mining region was called forth by tlie 
requirements of the local mining and metallurgical industries. The first iron w'orks, the 
Tomsk, were erected in the Altai in 1771, to replace the Irbinsk works, which were fur a 
certain period under the jurisdiction of the Altai mining management but situated ;it a ••diisiil- 
erable distance in the government of Yeniseisk. After the erection of the Gouiievsk works in 
the Kouznetsk region of the government oC Tomsk on the river Bachata, for smelling the 
silver ores of the Salairsk mines, some deposits of iron ores were discovered in the near 
neighbourhood of the works, and a small blast fuinace was erected for smelting the ute. In 
1846 this furnace was replaced by one of greater dimensions and in 1747 the (ioiuievsk 
iron works were erectcnl on this spot. The Tomsk woiks were closed in 1864 and the manu- 
facture of iron was then concentrated at the Gourievsk works. The increased cost of char- 
coal fuel, owing to the exhaustion of the neighbouring forests, induced the works, in 
1873, to introduce coal and to replace the bloomery process for puildling. At the same time 
the increasing demand in the region for machines and steam engines led to the erection of 
special machine works, adjoining the (iourievsk works, and the production of this de- 
partment is increasing every year. The ore smelted at the Gourievsk works is a luowii hem- 



ante, c.vtract(!<l liorn the deposits, lying near tlie villages of Salair.>k Kumlnik and Ari- 
pichevo; both iheso (loposit.s are considiMeil very rich. The ores contain from 38.5 to 44.3 
per (.fill of inm. Tlic mnl coiisiiiiieil at the (joiirievsk works is from ililTerent pits situated 
Hi H small (listanre from the woiks. Coke is made from coal from the Hachatsk deposit. Lime- 
slone flux, fire clay, building stone and other indispensible materials for carrying on 
works, are exploited in the near neighbonrlidoij. Nearly all ili<- wdrkmr-ii employed at the 
works are local iidiabitants. The lollowing table gives tin; production of tin- works during the 
last six yr'ius in imml-. 


.M a II 

u 1 <i i; 1 u 


-Z o 



1 1886 





' 1887 





1 1888 














9,3<> • 





10,831 • 

The excellent quality of the iron ores discovered in the Minousinsk region of the gov- 
ernment of Yeniseisk, led to the construction of two iron works in this district. The Irbinsk 
iron works were erected by the Government as early as 1740, on the right bank of the Yen- 
isei at a distance of about 100 versts to the north-east of the town of Minousinsk. In 1774 
the Irbinsk works were given over to a private individual and after passing from one hand 
to another, they became quite disorganized and were ultimately closed. A rich deposit of 
magnetic iron ore is known within the limits of the 125,000 dessiatines of forest belonging to 
these works. Another locality, rich in iron ore, occurs in the south-western corner of the gov- 
ernment of Yeniseisk, where the spurs of the Altai and Sayansk mountains hinder the rapid 
course of the river Abakana, which falls into the Y''enisei, at several versts from the 
borders of the government of Tomsk, and 80 versts from the northern frontier of China. 

A Moscow merchant Mr. Kolchougin was the first to penetrate into this district, in 1865, 
and having discovered a rich deposit of iron ore on the left bank of the river Abakana, at about 
2CXI versts distance from its junction with the Yenisei, he erected the Abakansk iron works 
on the spot. The explorations made here showed the presence of thick deposits of magnetic, 
and spathic iron ore and of brown hematite. The vast thickness of this deposit and the huge 
store of ore it contains can be seen from the fact that it extends for a distance of about a 
verst and intersects an entire mountain about 60 sageues high from foot to summit These 
ores contain from 61 to 65 per cent of metallic iron, and give on smelting from 50 to 60 
per cent of pig iron; moreover they are very easily smelted. 



Tlie Abakansk works smelt with charcoal fuel, which it procures from the 117,000 
dessiatines of forest attached. The erector of these works founded a village in their 
neighbourhood, which he populated with workmen from the various Ural works. Besides 
the people regularly employed there the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages and 
natives are attracted by the auxiliary and other labour, offered by the works. Owing to the 
bankruptcy of the proprietor these works are now exploited by an artel or company of local 
workmen, who not having sufficient capital or labour for carrying on the business in a proper 
manner, only keep it going in a very snjall way. And yet the technical conditions offered by 
the rich stores of excellent ore, the possibility of applying water power, the good quality of 
the articles turned out, which in no way cede to those of the Ural works, and also the 
profitable economic conditions presented by a contingent of experienced workmen and a vast 
region for sale opened to the works by means of water communication, all this proves the 
possibility of reviving the activity of the Abakansk works on a perfectly new footing. 

The following table gives the production of these works in pouds, during the last 6 years. 

Yea r. 

Pig iron 

M a n u fact u r e d. 

1 , 


= 1 i 

2 1 ! 

! 1889 




5,900 1 

The Nlkolaevsk iron works are situated in the government of Irkutsk on a tributary 
of the river Oka, which falls into Angara, and at a distance of 600 versts from Irkutsk, and 
180 versts by road from the town of Nizhneoudinsk. These works were erected by the Govern- 
ment in 1845, and in 1864 passed entirely into the hand of Mr. Trapeznikov, a merchant. The 
new proprietor devoted about a milliun roubles to this affair, and raised the yield of the 
works; but being occupied in other niiilters he was obliged to sell tlieia iu 1870 to Mr. Lavren- 
tiev, also a merchant, who in his turn after two years, sold the works, mines and plant to the 
brothers Boutin, merchants of Nerchinsk. The works own several iron mines situated at 
distances of 4 to 90 versts. The ore, a magnetic iron ore, gives from 4.0 to 55 per cent of 
pig iron. 

The works have 48,840 dessiatines of forest attached to them. The motive power is 
partly hydraulic and partly steam. The population of the works now numbers 3,500, including 
700 to 800 workmen. The production is ini'onsiderable and does not even suffice for the near 
neighbourino' deniaud. 



Tlicir yii'lil iluriii^' ilic last six yoars was as I'ollows, in pouds. In aililition lo lliis ihe 
Mkdhu'vsk woiks niaiiulactnn' stcfl, only in very limitoil rpiantitics. 

A! ,1 I 

1 U 1 ,1 • '11 

I •■ ■!. 



■u 1 












29,050 1 





















Tlir priKivsk wniks, boloiiging t(i His MajfSty's Cabiiiol an- sitiiati.'il in tlic Tiaiisljaikar 
lndviiKi' ill I III' \i'ikliiii'ou(linsk ro^'ion along the river Baliaga, a tributary of tin; Khilok, 
wiiicli falls iiiiii the Si'Icnga, ami al a ilistanc<» of 450 versts from tlio pinvincial town of Cliita. 
The Pririivsk works were foiimlrd in 1789 for supplying pig iron ami manufacturod iron to 
llio Xcicliinsk works and lor satisfying the demand (»f ilii' Slate and private' individuals in 
Eastern Siberia. The ore is extracted IVum the I'.alyagiiisk mini', mi the upper courses of the 
river Balyaga. It is a magnetic iron ore and is very plentiful. The pig iron is smelted with 
the aid of charcoal fuel, furnished from 80,000 dessiatines of forest attached to the mines. 
The works employ about 300 men. TIk; motiv<> power is mainly hydraulic. The production 
of these works is exceedingly limited and their produce can only satisfy the local ri'i|uiivments 
of the region. 

The fiilliiwiiig table gives the piodiictiiin of the Nerehinsk works during the last six 
years, in ponds. 

~L ^ 

M a n u f a c t u 

r e d. 

I 1 II 11. 















j 1888 

'. 31.920 




1 1889 




2,330 ^ 

1 1890 





i 1891 








Lastly it shouW be niontioned that iron ore deposits are kuowii in many parts ol' the 
Yakutsk province, and that the Tanginsk iron works were erected at 30 versts distance from 
the town of Yakutsk as early as the XYII century, and continued in work until the end of 
the XVIII century. Besides, the preparation of iron direct from the ore was carried ou 
at other places, and there was also an iron works near lake Baikal on the river Anga. At 
the present day the exploitation of the ore and its conversion into iron is only carried on by 
the Yakuts as a village industry. The inost important deposits occur on the river Batoma, 
wliicli falls from the right side, into the Lena. The ore, a brown hematite, here lies in 
a bed up to three feet thick and has been under exploitation since 1750. Other deposits of 
iron ore, including red and brow)i hematite and spathic iron ore, are also worked by the 
Yakuts in this province but have not been subject to any detailed exploration. The spathic 
iron ore deposits occur on the river Vilua. 

Apparently a rather rich deposit of iron ores occurs in the southern portion of the 
Littoral province at 20 versts distance from the gulf of St. Oiga along the system of the 
river Avvakoumovka which falls into this gulf. 

Tin, Mercury and Sulphur. 

The presence of tin ores was discovered in the Transbaikal province along the river 
Onona in the year 1811. These ores had long been exploited and smelted by the native Bou- 
liata. These first discoveries gave rise to a search for tin ores in other localities along a 
distance of 100 versts, along both banks of the Onona. A mine was started, the tin ore 
was exploited from time to time and the ore smelted on a small scale during a period of 
about thirty years. In 1843 this mine was ultimately closed, but this does not argue that 
the deposit is unfit for working, and there is reason for thinking that if it were more thoroughly 
explored it would be possible to reestablish the exploitation of the ore. 

The Ildikansk or cinnabar deposits in the Nerchinsk region lie in the mountains on 
the right side of the river Sernyi Ildekan. The cinnabar occurs in a vein passing 
through limestone, but its thickness rarely exceeds two inches. The exploitation of this 
vein was started in 1759 and was subsequently renewed several times, but without success. 
It may also be mentioned that the Yakuts living along the upper courses of the river Amga 
which falls into the river Aldan, a right tributary of the Lena, employ cinnabar found 
by them in the system of this river, as a medicine. 

A deposit of native sulphur occurs in a limestone mountain at a distance of l'/^ versts 
from the above mentioned Ildikansk mercury deposit. Between 1789 and 1797, 425 pouds of 
sulphur were extracted from this deposit. Sulphur in the form of sulphur pyrites is extremely 
common in the metamorphic schists, covering vast areas in Eastern Siberia. The pyrites 
are disseminated in the schists, or occur in (juartz veins intersecting the schists, or also form 
cross veins. Besides this, spheroidal concretions of sulphur pyrites are frequently found in the 
brown coal deposits along the river Kempendzyai, a right tributary of the Viluya. The 
exploitation of pyrites has not yet been carried on in any part of Eastern Siberia. In "Western 


Siberia horn 150,0/J to 2rX),<//J pouii.^ ol pyiilL'S are amuially i-^ti>"l in-n il" ^i.ipj i.tov-k 
mine in the Altai mining region. 


Deposit:? of coal aiv known liironglioul tliij whole extent of Siberia, from the boniers 
of the government of Orenburg to tlie mouths of the Lena, Kamchatka, island of Saklialiu 
and the frontier of Corea. At tin; pn^sent time coal is only worked in Konznetsk basin, ou 
the island of Sakhalin and on the Khirgiz steppes. It is also proposed to exploit the recently 
discovered and explored deposits of coal in the southern portion of the Littoral province. 
In the mean time the varied application of mineral fuel obliges one to think that the Sibe- 
rian Railway will give rise to the exploitation of coal in various parts of Siberia, before it 
iiiaii'rially ellects other branches of mining industry; and tlir laihvay itself will be in need 
of mineral fuel, especially in those localities where it passes through forestless steppe regions. 
The following data treat upon the coal deposits in different partsof Siberia. In Western 
Sibeiia there are rich coal seams in the eastern portion of the Altai mining region 
in the Salairsk and Alatau mountains. This is the so-called Kouznetsk coal basin. The 
southern limit of this basin lies at about 60 versts distance to the south of the town 
of Kouznetsk; its eastern boundary extends along the western declivity of the Alatau 
m(»iintains; its western boundary stretches along the eastern foot of the Salairsk mountains, 
but in places recedes from it and approaches the river Ina which falls into the Obi. The 
river Toma divides the basin along its length into two parts, and as strata, similar to those 
in which the coal seams lie in the neighbourhood of Kouznetsk, are also found along the 
banks of the river Toma up to the very town of Tomsk, it may in all likelihood be supposed 
that the coal basin extends to this town. Hence the entire basin should be 400 versts long and 
100 versts wide, which equals an area of 40,0iX) square versts. In many parts of this basin, 
thick seams of coal of excellent quality are found. The coal formations belong to the Jurassic 

The Telbessk iron mine is situated on the south-eastern border of the Kouznetsk basin, 
on the river Telbes which falls into the Kandoma. This mine is, estimated to contain a store 
of 75 million pouds of magnetic iron ore; and close to it there is another iron mine, the 
Soukharinsk. Such an abundance of iron ore, capable of guaranteeing a supply to 
a large iron works for a long period, induced the local mining management to make a careful 
survey of this south-eastern corner of the Kouznetsk basin, with a view to the discovery of 
coal veins in the neighbourhood of these iron mines. These surveys were crowned with per- 
fect success and gave the following results. A seam of coal one sagene thick was found on the 
left bank of the Kandoma at a distance of 5 versts from the village of Kaltansk. This 
seam was followed along its strike for 380 sagenes, and it was estimated to contain 8,300,' KjO pouds 
of coal. The first Kinerkinsk seam is situated on the left side of the river Kinerka which 
falls into the Kandoma, above the village of Kaltansk. It has been followed for a distance 
of 163 sagenes, is 4 sagenes thick and dips at an angle of 22". The store of coal has 
teen estimated at 16,400,000 pouds. The second seam is ou the hanging wall of the fii-st at 

COAL. 177 

35 sagenes distance from it. It is one sagene thick and has been followed for a distance of 
75 sagenes. It is estimated to contain 2,250,000 pouds of coal. The third seam, 9 feet thick, 
is 50 sagenes from the hanging wall of the second. 

The first Varlamovsk seam is situated on the southern declivity of thelvirchiaksk mountains, 
lying on the left bank of the Kandoma, near the village of Kirchiaksk. The thickness of the seam 
is one sagene, and it dips at an angle of 18''. The seam has been followed for a distance of 210 
sagenes; and is estimated to contain 5,515,000 pouds of coal. The second seam .lies on the hanging 
wall of the first. Its thickness is 4^'i feet, and it has been followed for a distance of 100 
sagenes; it is estimated to contain 2,115,000 pouds. The Kirchiaksk seam lies on the northern 
side of the western end of the Kirchiaksk mountain. It is up to 7 sagenes thick and has a dip 
of 29°. On the northern declivity of the same mountain there are seven seams of coal, known 
by the name of the «Ozernyi» or lake seams, owing to their situation on lake Kirchiak. All 
these seams form one series, lying in a schistose clay. They include one seam 4\ 2 feet thick; 
two, one sagene thick; and three, 2 sagenes thick. They have not been followed up for more 
than 100 sagenes, and have been estimated to contain over 12"2 million pouds of coal. The 
Araldinsk seam outcrops at the bank of the river Aralda, which falls into the Kandoma on 
the right, opposite the village of Kirchiaksk. This seam is over 6 sagenes thick and has a dip 
of 18°. It has been explored for 120 sagenes along the strike, and it is estimated to contain 
18 million pouds of coal. It is calculated that all the seams situated in the neighbourhood 
of the village of Kaltansk contain a store of over 65 million pouds of coal. 

Further in the eastern portion of the basin, coal seams have been discovered in the 
neighbourhood of the town of Kouznetsk, on the banks of the river Toma, near the village 
of Artamonov above the town, and below the villages of Ilinsk and Shorokhova. 

Exploratory workings have been carried on in the south-western extremity of the 
basin near the villages of Berezova and Kostenkova. The workings made near the village 
of Berezova showed that there the coal seams appear in the form of four separate series, at 
short distances from one another. The first series consists of four seams, from 2V''2 to 11 ','2 
feet thick. The second is composed of two seams SV's and 7 feet thick. The third series 
includes eight seams from 2^J2 to 8'/2 feet thick, and lastly the fourth series consists of four 
seams from 2'/2 to 5 sagenes thick. In exploring these seams four of the thickest beds were 
followed up for a distance of 70 to 2,(XiO sagenes along the strike, and along the dip 
to the level of the river Berezovka only, and over 210 million pouds of coal were determined. 
Three seams of coal, one of which is 2'/2 sagenes thick, have been discovered to the 
east of the village of Berezova, on the banks of the river Kandalena. A whole series of 
seams closely resembling the four series of the Berezovsk veins, has been found at two 
versts distance to the north of the village of Kostenkova on the river Kozlovka. This 
series consists of nine seams from 3 feet to 4V2 sagenes thicks. Four seams have been 
explored for a distance of about 400 sagens and are estimated to contain a store of 40' /a 
million pouds of coal. In general the coal fields of the south-western extremity of the basin, 
near the villages of Berezovka and Kostenkova, contain a store of over 250 million pouds of 
coal. The Magansk coal field has been found at five versts distance to the east of the 
village of Prokopievsk, to the north of Berezova, on the left side of the river ]\Iaganak 




This deposit consists of ono vnin tliroo sagcnos thick. Tho coal from this seam gives a good 
coke, which has been siiccossfully used in motalinrgical operations. 

A.S thi; abmt! estimate of tho stores of coal contained in tlni diflereut seams only 
refers to the outerop of th(jse lyint,' above the level of the river, and the lower levels 
of those viiins wero not includiid in tin; calculation, and as moii;over. In the majority of 
cases, the strike of the seams was mily fojiuwed up for an inconsiderable distance, .so there 
can be no doubt that the actual stores of coal in this southern poitimi of the basin must 
be many times ^Meati-r than the above cited figures, and this portion of the basin with its 
inexhaustibli! stores of fuel lying in close proximity with the richest deposits of magnetic 
iron ori', may suicly have a great industrial future. 

'Jlio Afoninsk coal field lies near the village of Afonin and at a distance of 6u versts 
i'loui tlie Tomsk works, on the one haml, and from the (jourievsk and Gavrilovsk on the other. 
Three coal seams have been found, one of which has been destroyed by an underground fire, 
and all tli;it p'luains is a bed of ash l'/» sagene thick. The second seam, situated on the 
hanging wall of the first, is about IV-'j sagenes thick, consists of a bitumenous coal of 
good quality and was explored to a small depth in 1851. The third seam is thin and has not 
therefore been explored. 

The Bachatsk coal field is situated to the north-east of the village of Bachaisk at 
27 versts distance from tho Gourievsk works. This seam is not of uniform thickness through- 
out, but narrows in some parts and widens in others, and in some places is as much as 
25 sagenes thick. In some places it is intersected by bands of schistose clay, which divide 
it into several separate seams. It has a dip of 65° to 75" and is sometimes almost 
vertical. The coal varies greatly in quality in different portions of the seam; in the centre 
It is a dry, non-caking, dense, dull coal, which burns almost without any flame; while towards 
the roof and floor it is a semi-bitumenous, friable, bright, caking coal, burning with a flame. 
Five coal seams have been discovered to the north of the Bachatsk coal mine, on the river 
Cherta. These seam vary from ','2 to 1 sagene in thickness and have been explored by work- 
ings for three versts distance. The same seams which appear in such abundance in the 
southern portion of the basin, outcrop in the north along the Great and Little Bachat rivers. 
Deposits of coal were discovered along the river Ina as early as 1796. The first of these 
deposits was found to contain two beds ^2 and 1 sagene thick, and the second deposit to 
consist of one seam 1 sagene thick. In the latter, the surrounding sandstone rock contains 
portions of trees, and even entire fossil trees, 1 to 2 feet in diameter. The Bachatsk and 
Kalcliouginsk deposits are the only ones which are now under exploitation. The coal is couveited 
into coke and consumed at the Salairsk works. 

The following table gives the yield of these mines during the last five years. 


The Bachatsk 

The Colchou- 
glnsk mine. 

j 1891 





During the last three years the following amounts of coke were produced. 


At the 



At the 





' 1891 


71,750 1 



In Eastern Siberia, coal fields occur in the government of Yeniseisk, between Krasno- 
yarsk and Achinsk, on the one hand; and from Krasnoyarsk, through Kansk to the borders 
of the government of Irkutsk on the other hand, and lastly, to the south-west and south of 
Krasnoyarsk along the foot of the Alatau and uplands of the Sayansk mountains. The 
vast areas comprised by these deposits belong to fresh water formations of the Jurassic 
system. The vast tracts of these deposits have only been more or less explored along the Siberian 
postal route and along certain rivers, but even these explorations have already shown the presence 
of a rather considerable number of spots with outcrops of brown coal. A seam of coal about 
five feet thick has been found near the village of Koubekova at about 20 versts distance from the 
town of Krasnoyarsk along the river Yenisei. Two coal fields have been recently explored 
on the middle and lower courses of the river Choulym. In the first of these, the seams of 
brown coal and combustible schist crop out at the surface in several localities along the 
river Choulym, and were discovered at 20 versts distance from the village of Kourbatovsk. 

In the second, the coal veins crop out directly on the banks of the rivers Serega and 
Ourup, and of several springs near the village of Antropova. A seam of brown coal 2 sagenes 
thick has been discovered at the village of Xazarovsk on the river Adadyma, and a seam 
5 feet thick near the village of Kadat. The formations of this basin have been recognized 
as belonging to the tertiary system and the coal in them is distingiushed from that of the 
Jurassic system, by its greater density. This tertiary coal basin deserves the greatest atten- 
tion of all the coal fields of the government of Yenisei, both from the quality of its coal 
the character of its seams, and by its distribution on the navigable portion of the river Choulym. 
Mount Izykh rises in the Minousinsk region on the right bank of the river Abakan at about 55 versts 
distance from its junction with the Yenesei and the thick beds of sandstone forming this mountain 
contain seams of coal half a sagene thick and more. Another locality in the Yeniseisk government, 
which is known to contain beds of coal, lies much farther north, namely on the banks of the 
Nizhnaya Toungouzka. The presence of coal here was known in the last century. At the begin- 
ning of the sixties of the present century, Sidorov during his expedition for making a detailed 
exploration of the deposits of graphite previously discovered by him in this locality, also 
visited the Nizhnaya Toungouzka, where he succeeded in discovering vast beds of coal in 
several localities, at a distance of 240 to 400 versts about the mouth of this river. The 
first of these beds was discovered opposite the mouth of the Malaya Scherbachikha other- 
wise known as the Abramova Scherbachikha, which falls into the Nizhnaya Toungouzhka 


from the right side al about 210 vorsts from its moiitli. Tiic ihickri'-^^ "f '!■" ''tal seam 
is 3 feet and it is of good quality. 

The second deposit was discovered opposite the mouth of the river Troubkina which 
falls into the Nizhnaya Toungouzka from the right side at a distance of about 400 versts 
from its mouth, 'i'he coal scam is S'/i feet thick and extends for a distance of one verst; 
the coal is of good ()iiality. Tin' third deposit of coal was found at a distance of 40 versts 
from the mouth of the river Taimour. which falls into the Xizhnaya Toungouzka. This deposit 
consists of two seams, tlie lower of which is one sagene thick. A fourth deposit of coal 
was fouml on the right bank of the Nizhnaya Toungouzka at 185 versts from its mouth and 
about 5 versts above the moiitli of the river Koupalnaya. The coal of these seams frequently 
approaches anthracite in its quality, and in many places the stratification is greatly distorted 
by trap rocks and the coal transformed into graphite. 

In the government of Irkutsk, coal which is for the greater part brown coal, is known 
in many places in the southern portion of the government, where fresh water formations of 
the Jurassic system occur. The coal seams which are two feet and more thick at the outcrop, 
lie among strata of schistose clay and yellow calcareous sandstone. At the present time up 
to 75 outcrops of coal are known in the soulheni half of the government of Irkutsk. ^laiiy 
of these seams deserve attention, either for their thickness or for the quality of their coal. 
I'rospectings for coal have frequently been carried on in the neighbourhood of the village of 
Ousolie, with a view to furnishing the Irkutsk salt works with fuel. In these explorations 
coal seams up to 3'/^ feet thick were, amongst others, discovered. But in all probability the 
greatest importance will be ascribed to the deposits of coal along the river Oka; above the 
village of Ziminsk where a whole series of coal seams from 1 foot to 1 sagene thick out- 
crop on the high right bank of the river. Small exploratory works showed the presence 
of a store of 200 million pouds of coal in two places. It is a brown coal, with a large 
percentage of volatile matter, and it gives a powdery coke. After exposure to the atmosphere 
it, for the greater part, disintegrates into small peices, and resembles the coal of the 
Moscow basin in its qualities. 

In the Yakutsk region, coal-bearing deposits occur along the whole middle course of 
the Lena and its tributaries and beyond, up to the lowlands of the Lena. Various modifica- 
tions of this formation stretch out fiom the river Bolshaya Botama to the village of Bou- 
loun, which is at a distance of about 100 versts from the mouth of the Lena ; or for a 
distance of 1,800 versts down that river. These formations are also observable on the one side 
of the Lena, on the banks of the river Viluya, beyond the mouth of the Markha which falls 
into it, for a distance of 600 versts; and on the other side of the Lena, on the banks of 
the river Aldan, beyond the mouth of the Maya, for a distance of 400 versts, and from the 
town of Yakutsk to the north-east within 100 versts of the Verkhoyansk mountain chain, 
which also forms over 400 versts. AVith respect to the geological period of these deposits, 
they, like those of the government of Irkutsk, are considered as belonging to the Jurassic 
system. Coal has been found in the far eastern extremity of Siberia, on the shores of the 
Gizhiginsk and Penzhinsk bays, and in several localities on the western shore of the penin- 
sula of Kamchatka. 

COAL. 181 

In the Amour Littoral region, coal deposits occur l)eyond the Baikal, . directly on 
the south-eastern shore of this vast reservoir. Here at eight versts distance from the Posolsk 
monastery there are two coal seams, between the rivers Kourkoushevka and Pereemua. The 
upper seam, which is IV2 sagenes thick, is broken up into thin seams and contains 
the stems and roots of fossil trees. The lower coal seam, which lies two sagenes below the 
upper, on a level with the water, consists of a denser coal. The coal of this deposit is 
worked for supplying the Baikal steamboats with fuel, but the production is very limited. 
Besides this deposit, coal has been discovered near the Baikal, at the mouth of the river 
Mourin. The presence of coal seams is also known between Yerkhneoudinsk and Selen- 
ginsk on the banks of lake Gousinyi; and the traces of their having been burnt are 
still in the superincumbent strata of sandstone and schistose clay. The occurence of coal 
was discovered in 1858, on the river Ourya, which falls into the Aksha, a tributary of the 
Onon. This is a lignite coal, which in some places still exhibits a tree structure. The 
Douroisk and Chalbouchinsk deposits on the river Argouna are situated at a distance of 
160 versts from one another. The Chalbouchinsk deposit was discovered in 1742. Both 
of these deposits have been frequently explored, but the extent of neither has been 
accurately determined. The Douroisk deposit is situated on the bank of the Argouna, 15 
versts below the Koulassatouev frontier station. A seam of good quality coal 3^2 feet 
thick is known here. Should subsequent explorings show that this coal seam has a con- 
siderable extension, then it might acquire a great importance, as it is situated on the 
very bank of the river Argouna, along which the coal could easily be transported to the 

Numerous exploratory workings, carried on since the middle of the last century, have shown 
the presence of several coal seams in the Chalbouchinsk deposit; but the small thickness 
of these seams and large amount of ash and sulphur pyrites in the coal, deprive it of any 
great importance. 

Besides these deposits, seams of brown coal of recent formation occur in the Transbaikal 
on the upper courses of the river Onon, and also on the Shilka below the Shilkin works. 
The occurrence of coal is known on the river Zea on the parallels of Albazina and on the 
Belyi hills opposite the mouth of the Silindzha. From three to four coal seams crop out on 
the river Boureya. These seams are vertical owing to the extreme distortion of the entire 
stratification. Each of these seams is from one to two feet thick, and the coal is of good 
quality. The coal is interstratified with sandstone and clay slate, the latter of which bears 
distinct prints of conifer vegetation, showing that the formation belongs to the Jurassic 
system. The same strata of sandstone and clay slate with interlayers of coal up to 1 foot 
thick, are found at a distance of 150 versts from the above mentioned outcrops, in several 
localities up to the mouth of the Xuman. 

Among the very many coal deposits on the middle courses of the Amour, the most 
remarkable is that discovered at a distance of 9 versts above the station of Innokentievsk, 
where two seams of brown coal can be followed up for a distance of two versts. These 
seams lie between beds of sandstone and hard, yellowish gray clay. The coal seams are from 
3 to 5 feet thick. This coal consists of the remains of conifer trees, and the superincum- 


bent clay contains numerous remains of leaves, rrmi- .lu.i uiljer portions of plants, which 
often are very like the now existing plants; from which it may be concluded that it is of 
very recent formation and bci<jngs to the tertiary system. Seams of brown coal also occur 
at several points along the lower course of the Amour at a short distance from its mouth. 
These seams occur in strata of sandstone and clay slate, exactly similar to those in the 
upper course of the Amour. A dc[)osit of brown c(jiil has been disc<jvered at a distance of 
IGO versts from the town of Nikolacvsk, near the village of Novo-Mikhailovsk, up the 
Amour. The thickest of the seams in this deposit is 5' /a feet. Seams of brown coal, u[t 
to 1 foot thick, also occur at several points along the lower course of the Amour. The 
South-Oussouryisk region also contains beds of coal in many places. The first discovery of 
coal in this region was made at the time of its occupation by the Russians, at the Possietsk's 
gulf, where there are three seams of coal, the thickest of which is 4 feet. Coal was extracted 
from these deposits in the sixties to supply the Siberian flotilla. The following coal beds 
occur to the east of Possietsk's gulf. 

Beds of coal have been discovered in the basin of the Amour along the rivers Sedima, 
Mangougai and Ambabira and at the mouth of the river Souifouna. Moreover coal seams 
are also known up the river Souifouna, on its right tributary, the Chingoouza, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the village of Xikolsk and in the upper courses of the river near the stations 
of Konstantinovsk and Fadeevsk. The exploitation of the coal in various localities on the 
mouth, Souifouna, was begun in the sixties and is being continued to the present day. In 
the Oussouryisk gulf, coal beds have been discovered on the river Tsimou-khe, at the mouth 
of the river Kangoouza and on the river Shite-khe. Coal is also known to occur on the 
island of Poutiatin and on the north-eastern shore of Strelok bay. Vast deposits of coal have 
been discovered 40 versts up the river Souchan, which falls into the gulf of America. In 
1886 a special mining expedition was sent there and the exploratory workings conducted by 
it showed the presence of three coal seams from V''2 to 1 sagene thick and having a consi- 
derable extension. From trials made by the fleet it was foun<l that this coal is a semi- 
antliracitc resembling Cardiff coal in its properties. A mine was laid out there by the 
expedition, and it is proposed to offer the exploitation of this mine to private enterprise. 
Lastly a deposit of coal has been found in the gulf of St. Olga on cape Xizmen. 

There are rich coal fields on the island of Saghalin. The coal became known to the 
Russian sailors in 1859, when they began working it in the bay between cape Zhonkier 
(Doue) and cape Khoindzhe. From that time the coal beds in the neighbourhood of the station 
of Doue have been worked uninterruptedly. Since 1875 these mines have been in the hands 
of a private company, who has now increased their output to a million pouds. The coal lies 
in a whole series of beds from two to live feet thick; it is of excellent quality and quite 
equals the best sorts of Welsh coal. It contains from 74 to 84 per cent of carbon, a very 
small amount of ash and it gives up to 60 per cent of coke. The coal is chiefly consumed 
by the Russian vessels navigating the shores of Siberia, but it is also used by foreign 
vessels coming to the Russian ports of the Pacific. A number of coal beds have been discov- 
ered to the north and south of the Done station, but only one of these, situated between 
the mouths of the rivers Sertounai and Xayassi, has been worked. The quality of this coal 

COAL. 183 

and its mode of occurrence are exactly similar to those of the Doue coal. Several coal depos- 
its are also known in the interior of the island. 

In the region of the Kirghiz steppes, the search for coal formed the special care of 
the Government for a very long time. The prospectings were carried on in the Orenburg re- 
gion, adjacent to the Kirghiz steppes; and the chief inducement for this search was the entire 
impoverishment of the forests in this region, necessitating the abandonment of all its mineral 
wealth for want of fuel. The vast area of the Obschyi Syrt, which 80 or 100 years ago was 
covered with forest, is now transformed into a bare steppe without a single twig, and where 
the only fuel is dried dung. The vast Bashkir forests, which according to the general survey, com- 
prised four million dessiatines, have been more than half felled. The search for coal in different 
parts of the Orenburg steppes was not however crowned with success. Prospectings conducted 
in the Obschyi Syrt only showed the presence of combustible schist of medium quality, be- 
longing to the Jurassic system. The deposits of brown coal discovered in the Troitsk and 
Cheliabinsk districts have up to now been considered unworthy of attention, but appar- 
ently other deposits have recently been discovered which might receive a practical 

Two vast coal fields have been discovered further in the Kirghiz steppes, in its western 
portion in the Tourgai province. The first of these is situated at a 170 versts distance to 
the south-east of the town of Tourgai, formerly an Orenburg fortress, on the upper courses 
of the river Dzhilanchik, near Maidam Tal. Two horizontal seams of brown coal are known 
there. The thickness of the upper seam is from one to S'/sfeet, and the lower seam is about 
1 foot thick; they are separated by seam of soft, blue clay 1 foot thick. The coal of these 
seams is of two kinds, one a dense bitumenous coal with a bright couchoidal fracture and 
the other a slate coal. This deposit has been followed up by exploratory workings for a dis- 
tance of five versts in length up the river Dzhilanchik and for a width of 100 to 2C0 
sagenes. Taking the mean thickness of the upper seam only as 2 feet and the weight of a 
cubic sageue of the coal as 3-40 pouds the explored portion of the upper seam would con- 
tain about 40 million pouds. 

The second deposit of brown coal is situated at 100 versts to the east-north-east of 
the town of Tourgai, at the Yar-Koue wells, on the declivity of a height which forms, as 
it were, the mountain shore of the valley of the river Tourgai. Some ancient wells were found 
on the declivity of this height at 5 versts distance from the above mentioned wells, and in 
clearing them out, traces of coal were found in them. They were then deepened and a seam 
of coal about one sagene thick was encountered. This discovery was followed up by extensive 
exploratory workings, which embraced an area of SV-* square versts of coal field. As the 
average thickness of the coal seam is one sagene, and a cubic sagene of coal was found by 
experiment to weigh nearly 340 pouds, the area explored contains over 275 million pouds of 
coal. The coal of this deposit is dark brown, has a laminar structure and a conchoidal 
fracture. It burns with a bright flame and gives from 4 to 7 per cent of ash; some portions 
contain sulphur pyrites. It has been proved by experiment that this coal is quite suitable 
both for ordinary heating and for steam purposes, as on the steamers of the Syr-Daria. and also 
for treating metals in reverberatory furnaces. 

1S4 SIIiKlilA. 

Strveral coal .si.'aiu.'s an; known in ihi- Akniolinsk provin<.''i on Ih'; U|)pi;r courses of tho 
livers Ishim, Sokour ami otliors, which fall into iln; Xoura. The Karaj^andinsk pit, belonging 
to Messrs. Riazanov, is situated at 2'/) versts to the north-west of Karkaralinsk near the 
borders of the Akniolinsk and Semipalatinsk provinces. Two coal seams are know, 1 and 2*/i 
sagenes thick. Both are worked, and have been shown by oxph^ratory workings to extend on 
both ,siiii;s to the cast and west lor a distance of ]1 and U viMsts. Thus tins deposit is very 
vast, Tlie coal is a true coal with 8 to 12 per cent of ash and semi-caking coke. In former 
times the Spassk works, situated at 30 versts distance to the south of tlie pits, smelted their 
copper to till' aMioiiMt (if 3i),0i;o pouds annually, with this coal. The yield of the Karagandinsk 
mine has been somewhat considerable during the last 15 years, and in 1^84 it exceeded 
1,50<),000 i)Ouds of coal. Many coal scams are known in the Pavlodarsk, Karkaralinsk and 
Semipalatinsk districts, and also in the neighbourhood of the town of Sergiopole. 

In the Pavlodar and Karkaralinsk districts, the Taldykoulsk mine is on the first coal 
bod discovered in the Kirghiz steppes, in 1838. It is situated at 25 versts to the north-east 
of the Alexandrovsk works and at about 200 versts from Pavlodar. Exploratory workings were 
carried out at the beginning of the forties which showed that the deposit extended for a length 
of one verst and for a width of half a verst. As many as eight coal seams were discovered 
from 1 to 3'ji feet thick. This coal was used in the smithies and partly in smelting the lead 
oi-es at the Alexandrovsk works. Altogether 337,000 pouds of coal were extracted from this 
deposit between 1838 and 1860. The Sarykoulsk coal deposit is sitilated at 12 versts distance 
to the south-west of the Taldykoulsk pits and 50 versts to the north of Bayan-Aoula. The 
coal here occurs in a bed 4 feet thick at a depth of 16 feet under the surface. The Maouko- 
beusk coal mine is situated at a distance of 5 versts from the Sarykoulsk deposit and at 
20 versts to the north-west of the Alexandrovsk works. The total thickness of the three work- 
table coal seams is 5 feet. The coal seams have been determined over an area of six square 
versts. The coal was found by chemical analyses to contain 50.5 per cent of carbon, 42.10 per 
cent of volatile matter and 1.4 per cent of ash. The coal is black, bitumenous, burns with 
a long flame but does not coke. It was used for copper smelting. This mine was worked 
during 1869 and 1870. 

The Xikolsk mine is situated at a distance of 90 to a 100 versts to the north- 
west of the Alexandrovsk works, near lake Alka-Sor. There are two seams of anthracite 
2.25 and 6 sagenes thick. They lie between clay slates and limestone. This anthracite was 
found by analyses to contain 74 per cent of carbon, 14 per cent of volatile matter and 12 
per cent of ash. It was found by trials made at the copper smelting works, that this coal 
gives a very powerful heat. The Kysyltavsk mine is situated at a distance of about 70 versts 
from the Alexandrovsk works and 90 versts from the Bogoslovsk copper and lead smelting 
works. This is one of the best coal fields known. It includes five seams from 2 to 4 feet 
thick. The loanna-PredtecIiensk copper smelting works are erected immediately over the mine. 
The Kysyltavsk coal gives a fairly good coke. In 1873 this mine yielded altogether 2^/2 mil- 
lion pouds of coal. The Dzhemantouzsk mine is also upon one of the thickest and best coal 
beds yst found in the Kirghiz steppes. It was discovered in 1864, at 90 versts to the 
south of the Alexandrovsk works. This mine comprises five coal seams from ''2 to 3 feet 

COAL. 1S5 

thick, which unite at a depth of 13 sagenes into one ted which dips at an angle of 
32° to 42". The Dzhemantouzsk coal is an anthracite of a gray colour. It is dense and bright 
with a roughly conchoidal fracture and gives a great heat, hut no coke. It contains a very 
small amount of sulphur, pyrites and gypsum. This deposit is situated at 60 versts distance 
from the river Irtysh. In the Semipalatinsk district coal was first discovered in 1869, by 
Mr. Permikin a gold mine owner, at 7 versts distance from the Grachevsk station and 120 
versts from the town of Semipalatinsk. 

A whole group of coal fields occurs in the north-eastern portion of the Kirghiz steppes 
at 18 to 20 versts distance from the left bank of the river Irtish and about 120 versts to 
the west of the town of Semipalatinsk. The presence of coal in the neighbourhood of the 
Irtysh was known at au earlier period, as in the sixties a gold mine owner, Mr. Kouznetsov, 
erected a copper smelting works on the left bank of the Irtish, which consumed coal from a 
mine situated near lake Dongoulek-Sor. This deposit contains two seams of coal, whose total 
thickness is about one sagene. They are separated by a layer or clay slate two feet thick. 
The coal from this mine is black and very bright, rather dense and gives a coke of good 
quality. This coal must be regarded as the best in the Kirghiz steppes. The Ouzouu-Sor 
deposit is situated 8 versts to the south of the above mine, and the Oinak-Sor at 6 versts 
distance to the south-east of the latter. The Oinak-Sor deposit includes several coal seams, 
from two to fifteen feet thick, but the seams are very distorted. The coal of these three 
and other adjacent out-cropping seams, can not only furnish the inhabitants of the steppes 
with fuel, but could also have an important significance for the steam navigation of the Irtish 
and for the Siberian Railway, as well as for the metallurgical works of the Altai and Kirghiz 

Deposits of coal have been found in several places in the neighbourhood of Sergiopol 
over a distance of 20 versts along the river Ayagouz and its tributaries. The following four 
are among these deposits: 1. The Spassk mine on the left bank of the Ayagouz, above the 
river Baiboulak. Several thin seams of coal from IV2 to 3 feet thick were discovered here, 
the thickest of them being over 4 feet. This coal is not of particularly good quality; 
it is black, finely laminar, disintegrates in the air into a fine powder. It is only used as 
smithy coal. 2. The Krestovsk mine, on the right bank of the river Ayagouz, in the upper 
sources of the Kyzyl-Chilik, is at two versts distance from the Spassk mine. The seam of 
coal, which was found at an inconsiderable depth, proved exceedingly thin and the coal was 
found to contain a large amount of ash. 3. The Troitsk or Chekartinsk mine lies at eight 
versts distance from the Spassk mine, near the river Chekarta. The coal seams are here con- 
siderably thicker than in the Spassk pit and are as much as 1 sagene thick in some places; 
it is of good quality and is used in smithies and for house heating. 4. The Yoskresensk de- 
posit is situated at 10 versts from the Spassk pit, on the left side of the river Ayagouz, 
above the river Chekarta. The inconsiderable exploratory workings made in this deposit do 
not give any idea of its extent or quality. 

The above concise enumeration of the coal deposits of the Kirghiz steppes, show that 
this region, which is so in want of fuel for the exploitation of its mineral wealth in silver, 
lead, and copper ores, may apparently be considered as fully guaranteed in this respect. But 


ill Ihc present tirno tho production of coal has not oiil\ jimm. in |iiM|/ress but Las even fall- 
en. Although the production from ]i<^0 to 1^85 equalled from one million to 1. 035.000 pouds 
a year, it has considerably fallen in recent years, and in lb91 was only BG-i^OO pouds. 


Deposits of graphite are known in Siberia in the Kirghiz steppes, and in the govern- 
laciits of Yeniseisk and Irkutsk. In the Kirghiz steppes several deposits have been 
discovered, three of which, situated in the Kokpektinsk and Sergiopolsk districts, have 
been exploited and the graphite sent fiom there to tho Perm steel and gun works. In the 
government of Yeniseisk deposits of graphite were discovered in 1859 and 1803, by a Mr. 
Sidorov, in the Tourankhansk legion along the rivers Nizhnaya Toungouzka, Bakhla and 
Koupeika, the right tributaries of the Yenisei. At a distance of 200 to 500 versts up 
the Nizhnaya Toungouzka there are four localities where graphite is found. This graphite 
is sometimes laminar and sometimes columnar, and occurs in beds from one to two sagenes 
thick, between layers of clay slate which have been metamorphosed by the action of eruptive 
rocks; so that it may be supposed that this graphite has proceeded from the beds of Jurassic 
coal which abound in this locality. The graphite contains from 4 to per cent of clay. It is 
estimated that this deposit contains a store of 10 million pouds of graphite. The excellent 
quality of this mineral has been recognized at both Russian and foreign exhibitions. The 
Touroukhansk mineral has met with particular praise from various scientific and practical 
men; several foreign authorities have likened it to Cumberland graphite, and in America a 
series of comparative experiments proved that it excels the Ceylon graphite In purity. 
In 1877 an other deposit of graphite was discovered by Sidorov on the Nizhnaya 
Toungouzka, and 2,000 pouds of picked graphite were extracted and sent abroad. Seventy 
thousand pouds of graphite have been extracted from the deposits discovered by Sidorov 
in 18G1, along the river Koureika, which falls into the Yenisei at a 100 versts from the 
town of Touroukhansk. Out of this amount the following parcels were dispatched during the 
winter 18G3 to 1804: 1. five hundred pouds direct along the river Pechora, over the northern 
marshes by reindeer and thence by sea to London; 2. five thousand pouds also by the northern 
route to the river Taz by reindeer and thence by the Taz and Obi Bay to Obdorsk, and 
then by the Pechora; 3. seven thousand pouds by Yeniseisk, Tomsk and Tumen to Perm, 
and one; thousand pouds by the same route to St. Petersburg; 4. two hundred pouds from St. 
Petersburg to Hamburg and Wurzburg. In 1891, ten thousand pouds of graphite were extracted 
from the deposit on the river Nizhnaya Toungouzka for the recently formed Siberian 
Graphite Company. 

In the government of Irkutsk a deposit of graphite was discovered in 1842 by Mr. 
Aliber in Boutogolsk Golts in the Tounkinsk mountains on the spot where the rivers 
Irkout, Kitoi, Belaya and Oka take their source. Here the graphite apparently occurs in 
reniform masses, in druses and in veins in alternate beds of crystalline limestone and 
laminar granite with quartz veins. In 1850 Aliber laid out the Mariinsk graphite mine on 


this spot and obtained a graphite of excellent quality, and samples exhibited at the London 
Exhibition of 1862 proved it to be in many respects better than the English. Aliber 
entered into relations with the well known pencil maker Faber and began to supply him 
with considerable amounts of graphite. At the present day however this mine is only worked 
to supply graphite for making crucibles at the Irkutsk gold melting house. 


The occurrence of naphtha has long been known on the northern extremity of the island 
of Saghalin, and it has now also been found near the gulf of Xabilsk, which is accessible 
to the largest ocean vessels. According to the researches of Mr. A. Batsevich, mining engi- 
neer, the naphtha deposits of this island extend in a meridional direction, towards the Sea of 
Okhotsk, where they occur at a distance of 5 to 25 versts from the shore. The specific 
gravity of the naphtha extracted from wells up to 3 sagenes deep over various areas, varies 
from 0.890 to 0.895, and the daily yield is several ponds. Judging from the specific gravity 
and the results obtained by distillation, the Saghalin naphtha resembles the Caucasian. 
The occurrence of naphtha springs over a considerable area, and their abundance, com- 
bined with the thickness of the superficial and subterranean deposits of bitumen (asphalt 
of recent formation) and the daily flow of naphtha in the wells, made Batsevich conclude 
that there must be more or less considerable stores of naphtha at a certain depth below the 


In Western Siberia salt is exclusively extracted from the self-depositing lakes, which 
occur in considerable numbers in the southern portion of the region, namely in the 
southern regions of the government of Tobolsk, in the south-western portion of the govern- 
ment of Tomsk, and in the Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk provinces. This area, which is in- 
cluded between 47'' and 55" north latitude and 63" and 73° eastern longitude (from Paris) is 
a low lying plane, which was once the bottom of a sea basin. In the northern portion of this 
salt basin, which embraces the Barabinsk and Kouloundinsk steppes, the salt lakes always 
contain a more or less considerable amount of other salts than common salt, the chief 
being sulphate of sodium. There is no lake in the region of these steppes, which gives pure 
chloride of sodium, and on the contrary, there are many which contain rich layers of glauber 
salt only. But in the southern and south-western portion of this salt basin which embraces 
the arid steppes of the Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk provinces the deposited salt is in the 
majority of cases distinguished for purity of its chloride of sodium, and these lakes are the 
chief sources of its production. 

The salt lakes of Western Siberia may be divided into four groups according to their 
characteristics: 1. The lakes which contain more or less considerable beds of chloride of 


sodium coveroii with a brino which deposits fresh i;iyfi^ ol >,iii (.-vi-iy year. Compared with 
tlie others these jjikes are the richest and are the most important by reason of the vast 
stores of salt liiey contiiin. Amonj,' tin- niiuiy lakes of this category belonging to the State 
the chief is the Karyakovsk lake in the province of Sumipalalinsk at 20 versts from the 
town of I'avlodar and 28 versis from the Cliernoyarsk lamliiig stage on the river Irtysh. In 
this lake, which covurs an an-a of about 20 sijuare versts, the surface Is covered by layers 
of salt I'ur a space of about 'J S([uare versts, and the thicknes.s of these deposits reaches to 
as Miuf'li as half a sagene. The annual yield of salt from this lake amounts to one million 
piHiils. The salt from the Koryakovsk lake is distinguished for its high quality and is consi- 
dcivij the hfst iu Siberia. 2. The second category iucludes those lakes which contain coaside- 
rabli! amounts of strong brine, which annually deposit a layer of pure chloride of sodium, 
varying from 1 to 4 inches in thickness. Although these lakes, corapareil with the preceding, 
have only a secondary imiiortance, nevertheless they are capable of yielding immense quanti- 
ties of salt. To this category belong the lakes exploited in the government of Tomsk, the most im- 
portant of which are the Borovya and Bourlinsk lakes. 

The Borovya lakes include four lakes: J. the Pechatochuoe or Maloe Lomovoe; 2. the Koch- 
kovatoe; 3. the Bolshoe Lomovoe; 4. the Malinovoe lakes. They are situated on what is called the 
Salt steppes. In recent years these lakes have yielded up to 600,000 pouds of salt. The Bourlinsk 
lake is one of most important sources of salt in Western Siberia. It resembles the Borovya lakes in 
the mode of occurrence of its salt and is only distinguished for its size, it being over 30 versts in 
circumferance. The Bourlinsk lake belongs to the number of those which dry up periodically. 
There are many such lakes iu Siberia. It has a great industrial importance, owing to its situation in 
proximity with the chief trading routes of the steppes, by which the peasants of the gi-ain bearing 
regions of the government of Tomsk carry their grain to Pavlodar for sale to the Kirghiz. The salt 
from the Bourlinsk lake forms a return freight for these peasants who transport it to a 
further distance. Besides which, this salt is transported aloug the river Obi to Tomsk and 
further to Achinsk and to Eastern Siberia. The annual yield of the Bourlinsk lake is about 
Vji million pouds. 3. The lakes of the third group are full of brine containing a greater or 
less amount of other salts, than chloride of sodium. They form a link towards bitter salt 
lakes. Owing to the comparatively little strength of the brine, the lakes of this category do 
not as a rule give a deposit every year but only under suitable atmospheric conditions, and 
the salt then obtained is naturally of a poor quality. These lakes, which are numerous and 
of large dimensions, now scarcely have any importance as a source of national provision. They 
could only give a pure salt, tit for consumption, if they were exploited by the artificial basin 
system, which owing to the number of excellent self-depositing lakes cannot as yet thrive in 
Siberia. To this category belong many lakes in the government of Tomsk, and all those situa- 
ted iu the Barabiusk steppe besides a considerable number of the Kirghiz lakes. 4, Lastly 
the fourth group comprises the bitter salt lakes, containing considerable layers of glauber 
salt which are constantly increasing in thickness owing to the annual deposition of fresh 
layers from the brine. The Bolshoe Marmyshansk lake is a representative of this category^ 
and is the only one of this class now under exploitation. It yields about 100,000 pouds of 
salt a year. The Bolshoe and Maloe Marmyshansk lakes are situated in the Kouloundinsk 

SALT. 189 

steppe at 200 versts distance to the south-west of Barnaoul, along the road to the Borovya 
lakes, and present immense deposits of glauher salt, whose thickness at a distance of 60 to 
100 sagenes from the shore is already two feet. Taking into account that the surface of the 
Bolshoe Marmyshansk lake is over 4 and of the Maloe over 2 square versts, the most moder- 
ate estimate gives a supply of not less than 50 million pouds in the former and 25 million 
pouds in the latter lake. The Marmyshansk salt is partly consumed at the soda works at 
Barnaoul, partly at the Altai works, which use it as a flux in smelting the argentiferous lead 
ores, and partly at the glass works. 

Eastern Siberia abounds in salt, but the richest deposits of rock salt and the best 
salt springs, are situated in poorly inhabited localities, so that its transport to the markets 
owing to the want of proper means of communication is hampered by great difficulties which 
render it very expensive. Therefore many of the sources are not exploited and await 
the time when the economical conditions of the region will give the possibility of 
working them. 

In the Yeniseisk and Irkutsk governments, salt is extracted from saline springs. In the 
government of Yeniseisk, at the Toumanshetsk works in the Kansk district and in the system 
of the river Birusa, the depth of the well is 2'/2 sagenes, the strength of the brine 4'/2° 
Baume, and in 1891, 17,500 pouds of salt were produced; at the Troitsk works in the same 
district, on the river Ousolka, a left tributary of the river Taseev, the production of 
salt in 1891 amounted to 514,000 pouds. Both deposits belong to the Devonian system and the 
brine flows from red salt-bearing marls and slags. In former days when the amount of salt 
mines and works in the Yeniseisk and Minousinsk regions was very limited, the Troitsk works 
played an important part in supplying the local inhabitants with salt. 

In the government of Irkutsk there is an abundance of salt springs in the valley of 
the river Lena, between the stations of Kachougsk and Vitimsk; and also in the valley of the 
river Nepa, a left hand tributary of the Nizhnaya Toungouzka, where brine springs from red- 
dish coloured sandstone, marl and clay formations, apparently of the Lower Devonian system. 
The exploitation of the salt is earned on at the Oust-Koutsk salt works, on the river Kouta 
at 4 versts distance from the Lena. The depth of the well is 3 sagenes and the strength of 
the brine 14—15° Lamb; in 1691, 30,100 pouds of salt were produced. The Oustkoutsk works 
might considerably increase their yield but the market is very small, being limited to the 
sparsely populated localities of the Yakutsk province and to the Olekminsk gold workings. 
Apparently the same Devonian formations supply the brine which feeds the Irkutsk works in 
the village of Ousola at 70 versts distance from Irkutsk, down the Angara. The depth of the 
wells are 2—5 sagenes; and of the borings, 89 sagenes. The strength of the brine is 
6—7° Baume, and in the wells it is 7^2— 9^^ Lamb. In 1891 the production of salt 
was 265,500 pouds. The salt produced at the Irkutsk works is sold at the Irkutsk govern- 
ment and Transbaikal territory, where it is in demand for salting the local fish o m u 1 
with which the rivers falling into Baikal abound. At the Ilimsk works, near the settlement 
of Shestakovsk on the river Ilim, the right tributary of the Angara, the depth of the shafts 
is one to one and a half sagenes, the strength of the brine 8.73° Lamb. In 1891, 85,100 
pouds of salt were evaporated. 

1 90 SIJll.KIA 

Tlie bull ilijposits, P''nting the transili(jii lu liKnMinK' ut-jiosit, where the brine is 
extracted from excavations or \v<;ll.s diij,' in the bottom of salt lakes, occur in the* Yeniseisk 
f^fQveniriK'iii, at the following works: 1. Abakansk in the Minousiusk district, 25 versts from 
iIk! Biilzlia iiliis, the depth of the wells upon the bottom of the lake is 9 feet, the strL'ngth 
of the brine 9 — 13" IJonie; 2. Altaisk, on the left bank of the Yenisei bt.-tween the rivers 
]']rba and while Ins, now abandoned, tin; lake having concentrated too much bitter salts; 
3. j\Ianzinsk, depth of wells 12 f'-et, strength of brine f;" ]>onie. The total production of these 
mini's in 1891 did not exceed 93,800 ponds. 

Besides the lakes mentioned, in which the cooperation of common salt is now estab- 
lislied, the Yeniseisk governnient also contains a nuniber of lakes with bitter salts, among 
wliieh that of j\Iinnsinsk from its extent, 2V'4 s<[uare veists, and the quantity of salt containe-ii 
in it belongs to tli(! most considerable bitter lakes of Eastern Siberia. Formerly, up to 1877, 
salt was deposited by natural (,'vaiioration in tie' Minousin.-k lake, allhoiiLdi with a certain 
intermission, and with it ahnnst the whole ivjjioii of that name was supplied, there being then 
no salt works. 

In llic Yakutsk borderland, rock salt oeciiis in three spots of the Yiluisk district of the 
Yakutsk territory, along Ihc light tiibiitaries of the river Yilui. On the right bank of the 
river Kempendzai the deposit of rock salt forms a bed about 150 sagencs in length and 50 
in Ihiekiioss. The salt is contained in icd clay and is everywhere accompanied by plaster of 
Paris partly in crystals, partly in plates of white or greenish hue. In some places the projecting 
rocks of salt attain a height of 25 sagenes; it is ordinarily white, although pieces of a rose 
colour occur. On the right bank of the river Kiundai not far from the lake Sikai-Sian, rock 
salt forms two masses in a mountain also consisting of red clay and gjTJSum. Finally, upon 
the right bank of the small stream Tabasyngda, a tributary of the river Tongo, also in red 
clay, at a depth of SV^ feet, lies rock salt of a dirty colour. During the spring inundations 
this salt is washed out of the banks in such quantities that the water in the stream acquires 
a brackish taste, as in the river Kempendzai. All three deposits apparently belong to the tertiary 
system. In the Yiluisk district of the Yakutsk territory, salt is obtained in \\1nter by freezing 
the brine got from the salt springs of Baginsk on the river Pusty Iri, a left tributary of the 
Kempendzai, and Kempendzaisk on the river of that name a right tributary of the river Yilui. 
The strength of the brine reaches 20 to 25 per cent. The springs flow from a mountain 
probably containing beds of rock salt of tertiary age, judging from the propinquity of the 
above described deposits of the mineral. In 1891, 2,800 ponds of salt were won from the Ba- 
ginsk spring and 16,000 from the Kempendzaisk. 

In the Amour Governor-Generalship, salt is evaporated in the Transbaikal territory at 
the works of Selenginsk in the district of that name, and Kiransk in the Troitskosavsk district 
on the frontier of Mongolia. There the brine is derived from shafts, 2 to 3 sagenes deep, dug 
in the bottom of salt lakes. The strength of the brine is 11 to 12° Borne. In 1891, 4,100 pouds 
of salt were got at the Selenginsk works and 23,300 pouds at those of Kiransk. In the 
Transbaikal territory occurs also lake Borzinsk where natural deposits of salt take place 
although not every year; in 1891, 19,800 pouds were extracted. Here must also be mentioned 
the Doroninsk lakes of the Bargouzinsk district of the Transbaikal territory, in which Glaubers 



salt is obtained for the glass works. In 1891, 20,0iX) pomls of it were obtained. Formerly, 
glauber's salt was also extracted from the Torzhiransk lake in the Baikal mountains, near the 
Olkhonsk steppe d u m a, or seat of the local Tunguz administration. 

The total yield of salt in Siberia both by natural evaporation and from salt works 
does not exceed, even under the best circumstances, two to three million ponds per annum, a 
quantity which it is obvious cannot meet the wants of the whole population of Siberia pos- 
sessing as it does a considerable quantity of cattle. 

The production of salt for the last ten years from the different governments was as follows. 









' 1881 








• 1882 
































1 1886 















































1,753,087 1 


From the enumeration of the territories in which salt is obtained, it is evident that 
immense areas of Siberia are almost destitute of their own salt and consequently must be 
satisfied with the imported article. Such for example are Semirechensk, Akmolinsk, the 
Littoral, Amour and other territories. Some of these regions possessing more or less conven- 
ient communications easily get over this difficulty, but others are frequently placed in 
an extremely embarrassing situation. For the avoidance of such a state of things the Govern- 
ment "has long since recognized the necessity of taking upon itself the care of furnishing the 
population with salt, mainly that of Eastern Siberia and Amouria, as least favourably situated 
in reference to the supply of the mineral. With this view the Government has, in various 
places of the territory mentioned, depots of salt and stores in which the necessary supplies 
are always ready and given out at a very moderate price. Supplies collected by the Govern- 
ment authorities are then distributed in different directions as required. Independently of 
this and with the same view of better providing the people with salt, the Government rec- 
ognized the possibility of allowing the Kirghiz of the Ural, Turgai, Akmolinsk and Seniipa- 
latinsk territories the free use of salt from the Crown lakes of the Kirghiz steppe. Moreover to 
the Siberian Cossack levies are issued 5,<X)0 ponds of salt per annum from the Crown, free 
from any payment. This is taken straight from the Borovy lakes, the cost of carriage of 
the salt from these lakes to Semipalatinsk and Ust-Kamenogorsk being covered by a grant 


f'inin the Crown of l/XM"! roubles per annura. Foreign sail i> iinjtorted duty free into the 
Siberian ports of the Eastern Ocean. The total expenditure of the Crown upon this operation 

ariKiiirils unniially U> about ](y»,0(y» njubles. 

Precious minerals and building materials. 

The best known place in all Siberia where precious minerals are found is the Truns- 
baikal temtory. Hero between the rivers Onon an^l Onon-lJorza rises the f.Tanitic moun- 
tain Adun-Chilon, celebrated for the frequent discovery there of precious coloured stones, 
such as topaz, beryl, aquamarine, Siberian topaz and others. On the Onon, eighty-five versts 
from Nerchinsk are found garnets in small crystals. 

Lapis lazuli occurs in the Baikal mountains along the rivers Talaya and Sliu- 
dianka, flowing into Baikal, and along the stream Malaya Bystraya, a tributary, of the 
Irkut. In the last locality lapis lazuli of good quality forms pockets in the large crystalled 
dolomitic limestone, near its junction with the syenitic granite. In the sixties pieces of la- 
pis were worked here three pouds in weight. From these deposits was obtained the lapis 
lazuli which served for the veneering of the columns in the St. Isaac Cathedral in St.-Pe- 
tersburg. and lor the execution of a mass of artistic productions placed in the Imperial pa- 
laces. In the same locality where occur the deposits of lapis lazuli, dark red garnets 
are met with in crystals attaining two inches in diameter, along the Bolshaya Bystraya 
amazon stone, sphene and feldspar of a crimson colour are found; along the 
Talaya, mica, serpentine, talc and other minerals; along the Sliudianka, blue calca- 
reous spar, white marble, rose coloured quartz, garnet, asphanite and 
others; in the valley of the Uluntui, black mica in plates two feet in diameter. This kind 
of mica was formerly worked here. 

Pebbles of nephrite are found along the river Bielaya falling into the Angara 
fifty versts below Irkutsk, and along the Iret and Onon, tributaries of the Bielaya. Here 
pebbles of this mineral used to be found weighing as much as 30 pouds. 

The Altai mountains on the other hand, have become celebrated for their porphyry 
and j a s p e r of various colours, forwarded from the Korgon ridge, from the banks of the 
Charysh and Alei and from the vicinity of the Ridder mine to the Kolyvan polishing works, 
whence manufactured articles are despatched over four thousand versts to the Imperial 
Court at St, Petersburg. At these works a mass of remarkable works of art have been 
turned out, which now embellish many of the Imperial palaces. Among them is the jasper 
vase placed in the Imperial Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the oval cup of which has a long 
diameter of twenty feet. 'At the present time not less than eight quarries are being worked 
in the Altai, producing porphyi'y, blue and green jasper, granite, white and coloured marbles 
breccia, smoky topaz, red, rose-coloured and blue quartz, agate and chalcedony. 

Besides lime, building stone of various kinds, mill stones and common clays, got in many 
parts of Siberia, it should be mentioned that in the neighbourhood of the Nicholas cast-iron 



works in the Irkutsk government, and also for the needs of several works in the Kirghiz steppes, 
iire-clay and fire-resisting sandstone are worked. The former is also obtained in the Yeniseisk go- 
vernment near the village of Kantat in the Krasnoyarsk district, near the village of 
Parilovaya in the Achinsk district, as also in the Irkutsk government along the river Bielaya. 
Kaolin and white clay for the porcelain works are worked in the Irkutsk government in se- 
veral places. Feldspar and quartz for glass factories are obtained from several deposits in the 
Baikal mountains of the Irkutsk government. 

— ^<^ — 



Manufacturing industry and the home trade. 

Rxcisiihle iiidusliies, spirit, vodka, Leer and nn^ad; beet sugar, tobaccu and match'js: 

non-excisable productions; distribution of trade dues and statement of the tuniover and 

profits of commercial and industrial undertakings; the exchange of wares between European 

Russia and Siberia; trade in the towns; fairs and their importance to Siberia. 

NOTWITHSTANDING the wealth of Sibeiia in the productions of the three natural king- 
doms, manufacturing industry has not been able here to develop itself to a coiTesponding 
extent on the one hand, in consequence of the scanty population of this vast territory, and 
on the other, on account of the lack of convenient and cheap communications. In view of 
this, in spite of the repeated attempts of the Government and of pri^'ate persons to establish 
industry on a large scale in Siberia, manufactories and works have been started there only 
with great difficulty, and only those of them have had success which served to satisfy the 
local wants of a small population, or produced an article of such value that it might bear 
the cost of carriage to a great distance with profit. 

The state of spirit distilling in Siberia appears from the following table. 

Amount distilled from: 

Absolute alcohol, degrees \ 
in vedros. 

Grain. ; Potatoes. 

P u d s. 

1891. 1892. 

Eastern Siberia 





52,729,200 \ 

Western » 






Littoral and Amour territory 






Spirit in Eastern Siberia is mainly distilled from rye and wheat flour, a poud of the 
dry material yielding on an average 41 • 12 degrees of spirit. This industry is concentrated 
for the most part in the Irkutsk government, where in 1891, 20,800,000 degrees were produced, 
next in the Yeniseisk with 15,300,000 degrees, and in Transbaikalia, 14,200,000 degrees. In 
the Yakutsk territory distilling is entirely absent. 


Of 21 distilleries in Western Siberia 9 are in the Tobolsk government, 11. in that of 
Tomsk and 1 in the territory of Semipalatinsk. Here as in Eastern Siberia the material 
used for distilling are rye and wheat flour as well as potatoes whose introduction has 
led to excellent results. On the whole a poud of raw material yields 41 • 44 degi-ees of 
spirit. Assuming the population of Western Siberia and the Kirghiz steppes in accordance 
with the above quoted data at approximately four and a half million souls, it results that the 
consumption of spirit per head in this part of Siberia does not exceed 13 degrees per annum or 
one-third vedro of vodka, 40° proof. It is evident that the population of Siberia cannot be 
satisfied with such an insignificant quantity of spirit, and accordingly this defect is made good 
by the importation of spirit from the eastern governments of European Russia. In Eastern Siberia 
the consumption per head of spirit is approximately the same as in Western Siberia the deficiency 
being here supplied by importation from Odessa by sea. Yet if due account be taken o 
the isolation of many points of the Yakutsk and Littoral territories whither spirit penetrates 
only in rare cases, it is impossible not to allow that the consumption of spirit here per head 
must be distributed extremely unevenly, the greater part of the vodka being consumed by 
the town population. 

The vodka industry in Siberia is very feebly developed and is almost confined to the 
production of refined spirit, the manufacture of various vodkas or liquors occupying a second- 
ary place. In the 22 vodka distilleries in 1891 for the whole of Siberia only 41,370 vedros 
of various liquors were made. 

Beer and mead brewing are also but feebly developed in Siberia. In 189], 
51 breweries in all were going, among which 19 also produced mead. These breweries were 
distributed as follows: in Eastern Siberia, 13; in Western Siberia, 24; and in the Littoral 
and Amour territories, 14. Tbe total brew in them was as follows: 

Irkutsk ..... 3 breweries 

Yeniseisk 6 » 

Transbaikal . • . 4 » 

Tobolsk 5 » 1 

Tomsk 12 » 

Semipalatinsk . . 2 » 

Akmolinsk . . . . G » ) 

26,600 vedros beer; 1040, mead. 
27,000 » » 

8,500 » » 

] 200,000 vedros beer; 41,100, mead. 

Thus, the local production of drinks subject to excise cannot satisfy the existing de- 
mand for them, and accordingly they, like spirit and vodkas, are imported from various parts 
of the Empire by land or by way of Odessa and Vladivostock. 

The excise from various liquors amounted in 1891 to 10,841,960 roubles, of which 
Eastern Siberia produced 4,654,206 roubles worth, and Western Siberia 4,302,668 roubles, 
the Littoral and Amour territories 680,090 roubles, and the territories of Akmolinsk, Semi- 
palatinsk, and Semirechensk, 1,204,996 roubles worth. 

Tobacco culture, although universally introduced wherever climatic conditions 
permit, possesses no commercial importance, serving only for the satisfaction of the unexacting 


106 S)I)ERIA. 

lasto of local consiiiners. Only ilio inlcrior soils of tobacco are grown in kitchen garil'-ns 
together with vegetables. During ilic htst few years the crop of makhorka, bakun and 
similar qualities was as follows: 

J 880 1^87 1888 188!) 18[K) 1891 

Eastern Siberia . 2G,3()8 ;51,5IO 28,730 20,713 28,410 32,758 pouds. 

Western Siberia . 3;5,%7 3:5,895 33,121 ;{7,902 ;!5,498 40,872 > 

Total . . 00,275 05,105 01,857 04,015 (V.',,\)nk 7;;,0;;<) pouds. 

Ill all Siberia there is but one tobacco niaiiufactory with a section lor makhorka, in 
wliicli, in ]891,3,4(X) pouds of tobacco were manufactured and banderoles issued to the amount 
of 44,592 roubles. The considerable demand for tobacco goods is supplied by the import of 
tlie latter from other parts of the Empire. 

The sugar industry is a perfectly new enterprise in Siberia. It could never arise 
here independently, and accordingly the Government recognized the utility of olfering the 
pioneers in this industry in Siberia certain privileges, as was also done in Turkestan and 
the Caucasus. AVith this object the following order was promulgated on the first of 
May, 1884. 1. Of the beet-sugar bakeries which shall be founded in Turkestan, in Siberia, or in 
Transcaucasus and shall begin operations before the 1st August, 1889, the first three such in 
each region enjoy in the course of nine consecutive sugar-baking seasons, privileges in the 
payment of excise. These privileges are offered to each of the said bakeries from the date of 
its opening upon the following bases; a. during the first four seasons the sugar bakery is freed 
altogether from the payment of excise on the whole of the sugar made in it; b. during the 
three following periods the existing excise is exacted to the extent of one-fifth; c. in 
the course of the two last privileged periods the excise is collected in the proportion of 
one-half. 2. In the course of the seasons of sugar baking, 1884 to 1885 and 1^80 to 1887, author- 
ization is given to extract sugar, syrup and molasses from sorghum and other sacchariferous 
plants besides, but without the payment of excise and license dues. The said manufacture 
may be conducted both in private sugar bakeries specially arranged for the purpose and in 
beet-sugar manufactories observing the rules established by the INIinistry of Finance. 

Thanks to this measure in 1890 the first beetsugar bakery was opened in the Minou- 
sinsk district of the Yeniseisk government. In 1890 only 8,450 pouds of beet were treated, 
but in 1891, 92,(XX) pouds from which 5,850 pouds of white sugar were obtained. The expe- 
rience of two years completely convinced the initiators that the conditions of soil and climate 
of the Minousinsk district were perfectly adapted to the cultivation of the sugar beet, and 
accordingly the extension of the undertaking appears to be extremely advantageous. 

Match manufacture is little developed in Siberia. There are here but 8 manufacto- 
ries, 2 in Eastern Siberia and 6 in Western. The output in 1891 was: 

Eastern Siberia, with phosphorus: 230,287,500 matches; without phosphorus 82,336,500 matches. 
Western Siberia » i> 3,614,159,250 » » ;> 37,383,750 » 

Of the 6 manufactories of Western Siberia 2 are in Tobolsk, 3 in Tomsk and 1 in 
the Bisk district, and of the 2 manufactories in Eastern Siberia, one is in Irkutsk and the 



other in the village of Ousolie. The first prepares exclusively Swedish matches, the second 
only simple lucifers. All the Siberian match manufactories get their phosphorus from Tou- 
pitsyn's works in Perm, the other raw materials being of local origin. 

In all the industries named, about 3,000 workmen are employed annually, namely, in 
distilleries, 1,936; yeast manufactories, 14; vodka distilleries, 120; beer and mead breweries 
254; the sugar bakery, 78; the tobacco manufactory, 78, and match nmnufactories, 3.30. 

The total receipts of the treasury from all taxes on excisable industries, including 
therein excise, licenses and fines reaches 11,177,423 roubles, distributed according to different 
localities and manufactures In the following manner. 

Eastern Siberia .... 

' Western » . . . , 

Littoral and Amouria . . 

Akmolinsk, Semiretchensk, 
Semipalatinsk .... 


Sugar. Tobacco. f^!^^^'\ Matches. 


















Total. . . 








It is evident that this sum is loo small for such an immense territory as Siberia, and 
there can be no doubt but that as a consequence of the considerable improvements in the 
communications, latterly, either carried out or projected, the manufactures above named, as 
ministering to the daily needs of the population, must assume more extensive dimensions. 

The following are the industries not subject to the payment of excise, the returns 
being those for 1890: 


Hides, sheepskins, 
and leather goods 

Metals . . . . 

Milling . . . . 

Tallow and soap 
boiling. . . . 

Timber sawing. . 

Western orig- 
inal Siberia. 

A-^ 5 


Eastern orig- 
inal Siberia. 

g g 

I ==f5 3 

5-^ OT 


Amour- Litto- 
ral border- 

a a 

o ^ 

s .'^ o 
25 3 ^ 

i, 3 _a3 


steppe border 


3 ^ 

3 O^ 

,^ :i s I 3 j5 o 

>■= 5|;^; 3 s: 

o ivT.'"' 
2 §"S 


3 j5 o 
2; 3 s 

O CO "• 

'2 i's 


















































Western orig- 
inal Siberia. 

Eastern orig- 
inal Siberia. 

Amour -Litto- 
ral border- 


steppe border 



t a 1. 

pro- 1 


a == 

ubles. 1 


=5 es 



i i ■/■ 

O Vj 

I*- — o 

O '^' 

u_— Oc?' U-— -o 

o '■'■•' 

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o ^' 

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Caiidl('s(ialli)W and 






3 1 2h 




i iO 

Brick and liiiu' 

burning . . . 











Porcelain, faience 


and glass. . 











Cloth, wool washing 

and fell . . . 











Saltworks and salt 

, 1 

grinding . . , 











Confectionery, mo- 

lasses and pre- 

serves .... 











Chemical, vinegar 











Ropevvalks . . . 








Writing paper. . 






— - 




Oil mills and cheese 

making . . . 











Total. . 











Small works, not 

Included in above. 

With production 

less than 1,000 

roubles. . . , 






From this table it appears that the total production of the Siberian manufactories and 
works does not reach 9,500,000 roubles, and that the first place among the manufacturing 
industries belongs to milling, 45 per cent ; the second, to the leather and sheepskin trade, afte 
which follow tallow and soap boiling, metals, et cetera. These industries are very unevenly distrib- 
uted over the different regions. Western Siberia is alone distinguished by a great variety of 
productions, whose output amounts to 4,600,000 roubles. The opposite position is occupied by 
the Amour-Littoral borderland, whose production is about one million roubles. On the whole 
the manufacturing industry of Siberia is at present in an embryonic condition. Different 
industries arise and develop merely for the satisfaction of local requirements, in consequence 
of which the business of industrial and commercial undertakings of Siberia are extremely 



All the trade dues of Siberia scarcely amount to one million roubles, which includes 
the receipts on first and second guild certificates, retail trade and other licenses, market 
carrier dues, additional taxes to the services connected with lodgings, and the supplementary 
dues, three per cent on share undertakings and assessed tax on guild and non-guild concerns. 

The incidence of these taxes according to different articles and governments in 1889 is 
shown in the following table. 

T a X e s: 

First guild . . . 
Second » ... 
Retail trade . . . 
! Trade certificates 
Clerk » 

Carrier » 
Peddlar » 
Fair dues .... 


Special taxes . . 

Supplementary dues: 
Three per cent 
Assessed taxes 


'S f^ 










cS-^ H 





H S 

1— 1 


8,445! 6,435 
9,479 20,631 























































































44,772; 119,675, 125,6981 156,927 

198,688 222,327 



As the assessed tax is only imposed in the four most important governments of Si- 
beria, data on business done and profits received are only to be had for these governments, 
and, even so, only in respect to guild, industrial and commercial undertakings. 

In the two following tables is set forth the distribution of guild undertakings according 
to the nature of the industry or trade in the said four governments of Siberia, with a 
statement of the turnover, profit and average lucrativenoss for each separately for 1889 

* Not collected. 




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Tilt' abovo table shows at a glance; what goods form the subject of home trade, lu the 
forefront appear woollen and cotton goods swallowing up 3G per cent of the annual turnover; 
n(!xt follow groceries ]5 per cent, liquors 11 per cent, and others. Thus the chief strength of 
Siberian trade is concentrated in i)rovisions, clothing and shoes. Part of these goods is prepared 
on the spot, but a considerable proportion is imported ready made from European Russia. 

To elucidate tin; character of the exchange between Siberia and Kuropean Russia, it 
is necessary to turn to the returns of the Ural Railway, or rather to those of two of its 
stations. Tinmen and Tura, which no freight escapes in whichever direction it is going. On 
examining the goods traffic over the said line, it is not dill'icult to sec that the principal mass, 
going in the direction of the basin of the Volga, is composed of raw materials and half 
manufactured productions of agriculture and cattle rearing, while in the opposite direction 
to the basin of the Obi go principally the productions of manufacturing industry. In the first 
case the chief articles are grain, Hour, flax and linseed, tow, nuts, tallow, butter, hair, 
wool, hides, skins, furs; in the second, cloth, haberdashery, groceries, dry goods, metals, por- 
celain, glass, spirit, sugar, tobacco, mineral oils. The goods of the latter kind forwarded to 
Siberia tmugh Tiumen and Tura amounted in 1888 to 2,209,000 pouds, in 1889 to 2,299,000 
pouds, in ls90 to 2,587 ,<XJO pouds. In the contrary direction, that is, towards European Russia, 
these stations forwarded in 1888, 4,799,000 pouds, in 1889, 3,676,000 pouds, and in ls90, 
4,787,000 pouds. The returns lor 1891 as well as certain details on the goods traffic are 
given further on under the description of the water ways, as up to the present time this 
system of conveyance is almost the sole existing. 

Passing to a review of the most important trade centres, it must be observed that 
the scanty population scattered over the boundless expanse of this country by virtue of 
historical and still more geographical conditions could not be concentrated in large centres 
and therefore in Siberia to the present day there are hut 28 towns counting more than 
5,000 inhabitants. Of these the most largely populated are Irkutsk 44,000, Tomsk 40,000, 
Omsk 34,000, Vierny 25,000, Tobolsk 20,rKX), and Semipalatinsk 18,000. 

The home trade is mainly concentrated in the towns named and consists partly 
in the barter of the raw materials produced by the natives, partly in the sale for cash. It is 
everywhere in the hands of a few persons, who availing themselves of the difficulty of com- 
munications and the absence of competition in consequence of this, not seldom raise the 
prices exorbitantly upon all goods, especially woollens and cottons. Some years ago a comer 
was arranged among several liquor merchants, and the prices of alcohol rose so high, that 
the Government thought good to despatch a considerable party of spirit from Odessa to 
Vladivostok, for sale there in the Government warehouses at a fixed price and thus compel 
the ring to return to the normal course of business, a result which ensued iu the shortest 
possible time. What kind of goods are for sale appears from the trade returns quoted above. 
It must be observed that trade has not always a constant character but often becomes more 
lively at certain times and places during fairs. 

Fairs in Siberia possess a great importance and they are there very numerous, hut 
their business is not great. The existence of these institutions is dependent upon the inade- 
quacy of communications, the difficulty of transport, the inconveniences of frequent travelling 


aud Other such circumstances which compel the traders to assemble at a determined time 
and place, whither merchants come together from every part with their goods. 

The most ancient and important Siberian fair is that of Irbit, founded in 1643, admin- 
istratively forming part of the government of Perm, that is, of European Russia, but geog- 
raphically an integral part of Siberian territory. Situated at the confluence of the Irbit and 
the Nitsa, tributaries of the Tura, Irbit forms the half-way house for a number of routes. 
The fair there is open from the 1st of February to the 1st of March, and for this month the 
little town wakes up and welcomes 12,000 to 15,000 strangers, doing a business of 40,000,000 to 
50,000,000 roubles each time. In 1868 various goods were brought to this town to the 
amount of 37,311,000 roubles, of which 34,359,000 roubles worth were sold; in 1876, the fig- 
ures were 49,029,000 and 45,987,000 roubles respectively; in 1891, 45,896,200 and 39,302,700 
roubles. The decline in the turnover of the Irbit fair here perceptible is in direct depend- 
ence upon the completion of the Ural and Samara-Zlatoust railways. The opening of the 
Great Siberian Railway will undoubtedly still further diminish the importance of this fair. 
The chief articles of trade there, after tea, are peltry, honey, wax, nuts, hardware and 
cutlery, woollens and cottons. The wares for sale here are mostly of Russian origin, 
although foreign productions from both Europe and Asia are not unknown. In 1891 
Russian goods were imported to the amount of 39,274,000 roubles, including in this sum 
6,062,000 roubles of Asiatic wares, of which 34,058,000 roubles worth were sold. The 
corresponding figures for foreign productions were 6,622,000 roubles and 5,245,000 roubles 

The chief article of commerce in the Irbit fair, tea, will be discussed further on. As 
far as regards fur goods, it may be observed that already now with the approach of the 
general railway system to the water systems of Siberia the most valuable goods of this kind 
are forwarded direct to Moscow, without passing through Irbit. Thus, in January of the 
current year, 1893, a party of sable of 1,700 skins was forwarded to Moscow and sold there 
for 100,000 roubles. Judging by the course taken by fur goods for some years past, it may 
be confidently expected that with the building of the western section of the Great Sibe- 
rian Railway the whole of the fur goods from the basin of the Obi will be forwarded 
direct to Moscow. In the current year there were 5,450,000 squirrel skins brought to the 
fair, and 1,500,000 hare skins. The sale of sable was 3,600 skins at 60 to 75 roubles apiece. 
Light sable was offered to the number of 30,000 skins. There was further a large show of 
arctic fox, 25,000 skins, krestovatik, nekliui, and other furs. A considerable portion 
of the furs at the Irbit fair is acquired for foreign export, namely, all the ermine, k o 1 o n o k s, 
krestovatiks, bears, marmot, hares, squirrel tails, black and striped cat for Leipzig, sable for 
Leipzig, Paris and London, squiiTel, wolf and fox, for Leipzig. 

Combining the above data with the returns on the seal trade, it may be seen that 
the trade in Russian furs, and particularly in the more valuable kinds, is principally concen- 
trated in London and Leipzig. Both these markets receive from Russia the goods in the raw state 
and often return them finished, although they most frequently are disposed of in other countries. 

Another fair in the same government of Perm, but on Siberian territory, is Krestovsko 
Ivanovskaya. By the business done there it occupies the next place to that of Irbit. It opens 


on tlio2()Uio(Auyu.>it and (•unlinucii 15 days, that i.s to the Otli of Soplember. In 1^68 goods to 
iIk! value of 4,:-i97,0CXJ roubles were brouglit to this fair, of which 3,794,000 roubles worth 
were sold; in J 870 the business doubled, the figures being respectively 8,050,000 aud 
0,552,00<') ronbh^s; in 18'JJ, the business again declined, the g(jods brought amounting to 
5,750,000 roubles; in 1892, there was a further fall, to 4,942,a>J, of which only 3,7'^:5,000 
1011 bios worth wore sold. 

The third considerable Siberian fair, llie Xikolsk, takes place in Ishiiu in I)ecember, 
Irmii ilio 1st to the 25lli, and has a special object. Hero is carried on the trade in tln' 
produce of slock breeding, mainly tallow, butter ami liides. The total business of the fair 
aiiioiiiits from four to live million roubles per annum. The Xikolsk fair determines the prices 
for tallow and the character of the trade in this article, although the latter is for sale in 
many other fairs. The total offer in the winter is as much as one million pouds of tallow, 
the greater part of which is forwarded to the port of St. I'etersburg for export, chiefly 
to England. During recent years, however, in conso(|uence of the enlivcnment of man- 
ul'actures based upon tallow within the Empire, the destination of this article has somewhat 
altered. Tallow is not only nbtainod from the local cattle, but most of all Irom cattle driven 
from the Kirghiz steppes to the fair near lake Toinchi-Kul in the territory of Akniolinsk. At 
this fair about half a million head of small cattle and about lOO.OT'O head of large 
cattle arc sold. 

Fully half a million roubles worth of butter is brought to the Ishim fair, where it is 
bought up principally for Moscow, St. I*cteisburgh and Rostov-on-Don. The butter is taken from 
the fair to Ekaterinburg, the centre of this trade. Here it is melted, clarified and forwarded 
in tli(> Slimmer per raft by the Ivama to St. Potersburgh and Rostov, aud in winter it goes 
to Moscow ill the form of kolobovoe. Besides the three fairs considered, possessing im- 
portance exclusively for Siberia, several others may be pointed out, in Perm and in the 
neighbouring government of Orenburg, in the district of Cheliabin=k. At these fairs the chief 
trade is in Siberian produce and goods destined for Siberia. Independently of this in Siberia 
itself there are reckoned more than iOO fairs, of which in the government of Tobolsk 95, in the 
territory of Akniolinsk 30, in the government of Tomsk 19, in the territory of Semipala- 
tinsk 13. ill that of Traiisbaikal 11, in the goveriiiiient of Yeniseisk 8, in that of Irkutsk 
9, et cetera. They last not less than three days. 

In the small Aniuisk fort in the Kolymsk district of the Yakutsk territory there an- 
nually assembles the so-called Chukche Fair which brings together for the purposes of trade 
and the payment of y a s a k, or the tax in furs, natives belonging to the most various 
tribes. Among them are the three divisions of the Cliukches, Olenny, Xosovy aud Anadyr, 
and represetantives of the Toungouz, Lasliuts, Yakutsk, and Chuvaus. The Chukche Fair however 
has latterly been less frequented, the inhabitants of the Coast finding it possible to exchan^re 
their productions for American goods brought them in the shape of contraband in the 
whalers. This illicit trade is accompanied by frightful exploitation of the native population 
and their depravemeut by drink. Various measures have been taken by the local government 
authorities to combat this evil. 

In the territory of Semipalatinsk the trade is mainly carried on between the Cossacks 


and peasants on the one hand, and the Kirghiz on the other. In the first case it .is on a cash 
basis, in the second on that of barter. 

In the Akmolinsk territory the chief subject of trade is cattle and their produce. In 
30 local fairs in 1889 business was done in these articles to an amount of 8,000,000 roubles. 

Trade with the natives in the Littoral territory is somewhat peculiarly situated. 
Almost all the natives are here in dependence on traders of different nationalities. Golds 
and Oroches have fallen under the influence of the Chinese. The latter supply them goods 
on credit, but secure themselves the whole of the native's future take of furs, getting the 
same for a trifle. The Tunguses are in the same dependence on the Yakut traders. As regards 
the shore tract and Kamchatka, here it is the Russian element that predominates. 

In the territory of the Amour, chiefly at the confluence of the large tributaries Zeya 
and Bureya with the Amour, native fairs with barter take place. The best known on account 
of the extent of its commercial transactions is the Kiman native gathering on the Bureya. 
Here 3,000 sables are sold annually fetching 60,000 roubles, and other furs to the amount of 
10,000 roubles. In the total for 1889 the imports into the Amour teiTitory of Russian goods 
amounted to 2,500,000 roubles; and foreign, 1,000,000 roubles, or in all, 3,500,000 roubles. 

— ^<S-— 


The Foreign trade of Siberia. 

The Far East in reference to customs; the import and export of Russian ami foreign goods; 

Vladivostock and Nikolaevsk; trade with China across the land frontier; ports of the Arctic 

Ocean; the Commandtn- Islands; tea trade over the European and Asiatic frontiers; Bohea 

and brick teas; freights; tea traffic by rail; western China and Turkestan. 

THE vast territory of Siberia is washed on the north along an immense extent by the 
Arctic Ocean, and therefore on this side during the greater part of the year it is closed 
for navigation, and even during the season of navigation nature in the polar zone offers so 
many inconveniences to the establishment of regular navigation that up to the present time 
the appearance of steamers on the northern coast of Siberia is more or less accidental, not 
yet possessing any industrial importance. 

The eastern zone, bathed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean and possessing for the greater 
part a more moderate climate, has many advantages over the northern. Here indeed, during 
the brief period since the establishment of the Russian dominion, an increased movement in 
the shipping has been observed, accompanied by a more lively traile. On the south, Siberia is 
conterminous with Manchuria, Mongolia and China. Here there are several laud routes, by 
which the exchange of goods takes place between Russia and the countries named. The de- 
velopment of trade relations with the Chinese Empire always formed the subject of special 
anxiety to the Russian Government, striving to negotiate various privileges for this trade and 
to open to it new markets within the limits of the Chinese dominions. In the middle of the 
present century, besides the commercial relations taking place on the basis of the Treaty of 
Kiakhta (1727) through Kiakhta and Urga, trade was opened by the Kuldzha Convention 
(1851) on the side of Ilya aud Tarbagatai. Subsequently the Aikhun Treaty (1858) authorized 
mutual trade to the subjects of both countries, living along the rivers Amour, Ussuri, and 
Sunguri, while that of Thian-Tzin (1858) granted Russia the right to carry on trade not only 
by land but also by sea in the ports opened to foreigners. Finally by the treaty of St. Petersburg 
(1881) the districts lying on both slopes of the Thian-Shan, as well as Su-Chow, were opened 
to Russia. Both in these districts and in Mongolia, Russian subjects may trade duty free. 
Upon goods forwarded to the provinces of the interior and exported therefrom, the Chinese 
authorities impose import and export customs dues. 


In consequence of the sparse population of Eastern Siberia and tlie inadequacy of its 
communications, on the one hand, and witli the object, on the other, of affording new settlers 
certain privileges for getting necessary provisions and implements of labour, it was thought 
best from the very beginning of the annexation of the Amour territory to authorize free for- 
eign trade in the Kamchatka region (1855), and in the ports of the Amour region and the 
Island of Saghalin (1857). It was at the same time declared that foreign goods might enter 
free of duty in Russian vessels, and ascend the Amour without any restriction. Foreign 
vessels on the other hand were not permitted to navigate the Amour higher than the Mariinsk 
Post, even under the Russian flag. It was soon thought advisable to extend the right to free 
trade in foreign goods granted to the Amour region to all the ports of the Littoral territory 
of Eastern Siberia, which was done in 1860. 

On the review in 1862 of the statute on the organization of the customs office in 
Eastern Siberia it was defined that European and Colonial goods forwarded through the ports 
of the Littoral and Amour territories on arriving at the Irkutsk customshouse are subject to 
the payment of customs duties on the basis of the general customs tarilf on European trade. 
From goods however despatched by the route mentioned, and intended for consumption within 
the limits of the said territories, customs duties as before were not exacted. Subsequently 
certain exceptions were admitted in this respect, and from 1867 the import of intoxicants was 
made dutiable, and from 1887 tobacco goods were also brought under this exception. Next, 
on nearer acquaintance with the position of the home trade of Eastern Siberia and in the 
interests of the normal development of the national industry, it was found necessary to impose 
customs duties upon all imported foreign goods which are subject to excise within the country. 
This measure was called into existence among other things by the abnormal direction taken 
by our export trade. Goods subject to excise and destined for export from European Russia 
into Eastern Siberia were declared as exported abroad, the exporter receiving in the shape of 
drawback the whole of the excise paid by him and in some cases a premium on the export. 
These goods were then imported as foreign into the ports of the Littoral. Thus in order to 
obtain the premium on sugar it was necessary to forward it first to some foreign point, for 
example Port Said, and then import it as foreign into Vladivostok. Something of the same 
kind took place in the tobacco trade. Hamburg traders taking advantage of the circumstance 
that Russian tobacco goods on shipment abroad do not bear any internal excise began to order 
them in St. Petersburg and despatch them to Vladivostok as German productions. If these goods 
were forwarded direct from the interior governments of the Empire to Vladivostok without 
banderole they had to pay export in that port. Approximately the same thing took place in 
reference to other goods, such as petroleum illuminants, matches, et cetera. Thus Russian pro- 
ductions in the Russian ports of the Pacific Ocean were in a depressed state, which of course 
could not be regarded as normal or desirable. To regulate the trade, and at the same time 
preserve to Eastern Siberia its privileged position, as regards the duty free enjoyment of for- 
eign productions, from 1888 the ports of the Eastern strip of Siberia were opened for 
the duty free importation of all goods with the exception of the following: sugar, molasses, 
confectionery, jam, fruit in syrup, in liqueurs et cetera, arrack, rum, French brandy, spirituous 
liquors imported in bottles, gin, whiskey, wines made from grapes, mead, porter, mineral 


illuiijiiiadn;,' oils, paralliri liibricaliiig oil, sjdril and oil jiolislies and mutcli. -. iw .i.e articles 
named, wiien impoiied into the ports of the Littoral territory, tlie actual customs tariff on 
tlie European Irontier is extended. Tobacco goods of foreign origin imported by sea into 
Vladivostok and Nikolaevsk, as well as Russian, not bearing the legal banderoles, are made 
to pay duty on the basis of tin; general tarill at the Jiuropean frontier. 'Ihe collection of the 
duties upon goods inii)f)rted iiiio the ports of th^; I-ittoral territory, on account of the absence 
there of customs institutions, is imposed upon the ollicials of the local excise control. On the 
jiuhlicatioH (d' the law (pioted, imposing import duties on certain goods, the question arose as 
to whether duties sh<mld he taken from the foreign goods enumerated above when imported 
into the Commander Islands, and into Petropavlovsk, and other northern ports of the Littoral 
territory, for which no special exceptions arc established. Taking into consideration the pov- 
erty of the population of the northeni zone of the said territory and of the islands of the 
Pacific Ocean and also the total absence there of excise officials, it was thought advisable in 
1^89 to limit the exaction of customs duties from certain foreign goods imported into the 
ports of the territory of the Littoral to the ports of Vladivostok and Nikolaevsk, with the- 
condition that the exaction of such duties should be effected on the same general basis from 
the goods also that may be imported into the said ports from other ports of the Littoral 

Thus up to the present time the immense territory of Eastern Siberia continues ta 
remain in tlie position of a free port for the mass of foreign goods, which however does not 
offer any danger for the importation of duty free merchandise through Eastern into Western 
Siberia and further into the interior of the Empire. 

Notwithstanding the natural wealth of Siberia and the favourable climatic conditions- 
existing in many localities, its productivity in consequence of its scant population and absence- 
of communications is extremely insignificant, and it is in need of the importation from without 
of many such essential articles, as under other circumstances might be successfully produced 
upon the spot. Siberia is mainly furnished with the necessary productions by importation 
from the following countries. 

From European Russia it receives cheap cottons and woollens, tobacco, spirit, sugaiv 
illuminants, articles of leather and iron, writing paper and a small quantity of haberdashery 
and articles of fashion. From Great Britain, Siberia receives chiefly cotton and woollen yam 
and fabrics, iron, tin-plate et cetera. From Belgium, glass and yarn, are imported: from 
France, articles of fashion, preserves, wine et cetera. 

The United States of America carry on a pretty brisk trade with Siberia through. 
San Francisco, furnishing that country with flour and other articles of food, machinery and 
agricultural implements, leather goods and guns. 

Germany, thanks to the activity of many German lirms in Nikolaevsk and Vladivostok,, 
has a predominating influence in the import trade of Siberia. It furnishes the most various 
goods, although of a very inferior quality, such as furniture, sugar, wine, kitchen utensils,, 
cottons and woollens. 

Korea sends to Siberia the produce of its agriculture and cattle rearing, grain, 
vegetables and cattle. Japan imports mainly wheat, rice, salt, fruits, and to a very limited 



extent, articles of luxury. China canles on a large trade with Siberia in tea;, the import- 
ation of other goods takes place on a small scale bearing a more or less casual character. 

The chief articles of Siberian export through the Pacific ports are the produce of the 
whale and morse industries, furs, sea cabbage and fish. The remaining articles, namely timber, coal 
from Saghalin, trepang or sea slugs and ginseng, have as yet hardly any industrial importance. 

Foreign goods enter Eastern Siberia mainly through Vladivostok, Nikolaevsk on the 
Amour, Blagoveschensk and Ayan in the Yakutsk territory. By not one of these four routes 
can duty free goods penetrate into Western Siberia while avoiding the Irkutsk Customs- 
house. Merchandise from Nikolaevsk proceeds to Sretensk almost 3,000 versts by the Amour 
only from May to September; in winter about four months this route is still by the Amour 
over ice, while in the remaining spring and autumn seasons of the year Nikolaevsk is quite 
cut off from the country, with which accordingly all relations for the time cease. Other route 
than the Amour there is none. Goods from Sretensk inevitably take the direction of the 
Lake Baikal where are situated customshouse posts. From Vladivostok goods go by sea and 
land. In the first case, they are forwarded to the ports of the Sea of Okhotsk, to Kamchatka, 
the Island of Saghalin, the harbours of Possiet and St. Olga, De Castri bay and others. In the 
second, the goods go to China, Korea, Khabarovka and various settlements along the Ussuri and 
again fall into the basin of the Amour. As for the route through Ayan, on account of the 
entire absence of population in this locality, the importation of foreign goods through the territory 
of Yakutsk for a long time to come will be unable to assume any appreciable dimensions. 

The subjection of articles paying excise to a customs tariff has not so much a fiscal 
character as the object of regulating the relations of importation of foreign and home productions. 

The imports of foreign goods paying duty into the Littoral territory in 1891 were 
expressed by the figures, 8,000 pouds, valued at J 17,689 roubles, the articles being as in the 
following table. 

Groods imported: 



Tobacco in the form of cigars and cigarettes . . 
Raw and refined sugar 






15 pouds 

6 J :> 

20 » 
69 » 
2,529 bottles. 
1,522 pouds. 
2,298 bottles. 
5,049 » 

979 pouds. 
24,296 bottles 
104 pouds 
5 :> 
2,370 » 

Confectionery, jams, syrups 

Arrack, rum, grain spirit 

Arrack, rum, French brandy 

Wines made from grapes and berries 

» ;> ;> ;> "■> .-> Still 

» » » :> » » effervescing . 
Mead, porter, beer, cider 

;> ;> ;> > 

Liquid products of the (listillatioii of naphtha . 

Spirit, turjieuline and oil polishes 




Only tilt; gouiia naniotl i»iiyiiig iluly are capable of a ujom.' or luss acr-urale eslimaliou. 
As for oilier goods, they are accounteil for only in Vladivostok and; in tUe oHkt 
jtorts of the Littoral they cscap",' notice, so thai liie iuijxjrt n-'tuins into this territory are 
iijstricted to dutiable goods. 

(jf the iiKMchiindisf,' imported Id \ hull vostok, about 25 pi;r cent are cottons and woollens; 
15 piT criit. t^iiiiii .iiid flour, and Kj pri cent, other provisions. Xe.vt in order follow, articles 
juade of juelal, sugar, spirit, metals, el cetera. In the supply of these goods, Germany j)lays the 
first part, jiroviiliug ab(jut 30 per cent of the whoh; imports. From European Russia come 
25 per ci.Mit; lioiii England, 13 per ce'iit: iVoui China 12, Japan 13, America 5 per cr-nt, and 
so on. After the imposition of duty upon certain foreign goods, Russian productions began 
to be imjiort'-'d in greater (juantilies, although foreign production still preilominate, as appears 
from the trade returns of Vladivostok for the three years given below. 


Goods imported, in roubles. 


1 1 

IJu-Mall. Fnr."-iL:ll. 



i 1889 




2,016,227 ' 3,725,240 
2,120,987 3,763.521 
2.-384,722 ' 3,324,822 

The distribution of the imported goods among the traders according to their nationality 
takes the followiuij form. 



Foreign sub- 1 

'1^^- J^P--- Chinese. 

Coreans. i 

Russiau good,-> .... 

1.2^4,3% 1,083,61(1 4,995 .-,731 — 
231,765 t 1,660,196 ' 182,997 1,24^.997 ' 1,310 ' 

1 • Tutal . . 


2,743,806 1 187,992 , 1,257,728 


. 1,310 1 

The above table shows that the trade in Vladivostok is mainly concentrated in the 
hands of foreigners, namely 73 per cent: the Japanese and Chinese trade chiefly in the pro- 
ductions of their respective countries. 

The export from Vladivostok is on the whole small, the principal articles being the 
products of the whale and morse Industries, to the amount of one and a half million roubles, 
and various furs valiwd at one million roubles. Xext follows sea cabbage, of which 250,000 
roubles worth is forwarded to various destinations every year; p ant a, 35,000 roubles; timber, 
30,000 roubles; trepang, 15,000 roubles; and other goods to the value of 250,000 roubles. 
Thus the total e.xport of Vladivostok may be estimated at three million rouble.?. Vladivostok, 
forming the terminus of the Siberian Railway, with the lat1er"s completion, will undoubtedly 



occupy an extremely important position in a commercial sense. Already during the last decade 
a considerable increase has been observed in the annual arrivals of shipping, while the 
({uantity of freights has grown by 200 per cent. Simultaneously with the construction of the 
line a commercial port will be built there, with whose completion there will be a brisker 
movement in the shipping. 

The trade of Xikolaevsk bears a somewhat different character: from this point for 
fully 3,000 versts there is a magnificent water way into the interior of the country, thanks 
to which Xikolaevsk has greater reason to be considered a point of transit than Vladivostok. 
Of the total imports of Xikolaevsk 35 per cent consist of tea, 11 per cent sugar, 10^ 2 per 
cent various machinery and locomotives, 9 per cent manufactured goods and 8 groceries. 
The population of Xikolaevsk being inconsiderable, the whole mass of goods is not consumed 
on the spot but forwarded thence up the Amour. 

In supplement to the data on the importation of goods into Xikolaevsk and Vladivos- 
tok, may be quoted further the returns on the number of ships that visited these two ports 
of the Eastern Ocean. 

V 1 a d i V s t k. 

Steam. Sailin.u: Total. 

Steam. Sailiui 



1873 : 

PiUssian . 
Foreign . 






/ Russian . 
t. r oreign . 





1677 ' 

Russian . 

Foreign . 




1880 ! ^''''"^ ■ 
' I: oreign . 




1880 : 

Russian . 
Foreign . 





^ . f Russian . 
Ib84 ■; 

<. Foreign . 






1884 : 

Russian . 





The data on the arrival and departure of vessels in the said ports in 1891 appear in 
the foUowin.ff table. 

Vladivostok . . . 
Xikolaevsk .... 

A r r i v a 1 s. 

D e i> a r t u r e s. || 


Sailing. Steam. 





Ton- -3 lon- 

v. 1 (Z) 

,- nage. ^a; 1 nage. 

-^ \ *^ \ ' 

-Z Ton- 
'^ nage. ' 

■3 Ton- 


.0 nage. 


111' 48,560 
33 9,347 


658 102 

541 27 


33 9.347 

7 555, 101 
6l 541 i 27 









141' 56,959 

13 1,096 




Thus, from the data quoted it appears that the number of ships arriving at the two 
chief ports of the Siberian shore of the Eastern Ocean is increasing every year, and there 
can be no doubt but that with the improvement of the navigation on the Amour and the 
opening of the Ussuri branch of the Great Siberian Line this growth will go still fastei'. 



Passing to the rf'Vif:w of tlie Ibroign trado of Siberia across the land frontier wiih 
China, Mongolia and Mantchuria, it must be observed that the trade in this direction, although 
it has boon carried on from the earliest times but in consequence of the absence of roads alike 
within the limits of Siberia and in the conterminous states, has for a long time kept within 
the same boumls, and with the increase of trade in the navigations of the Amour basin 
and in the (ireat Ocean the land trade is aj»parently iliniinisliint.'. The most important route 
in this direction is the natural road connecting the industrial centres of the Celestial Empire 
through LTrga and Maimachin with Kiakhta and Irkutsk, and consetjuently with the great 
Siberian tract. Other less important roads, two in number, connect Western China with the 
territory of Semipalatinsk. Along these principal ways the export of goods from Siberia 
does not exceed two to three million roubles a year. The import, on the other hand, reaches 
fourteen to fifteen millions. But if from the latter figure be excluded the value of the tea 
imported through Kiakhta into European Kussia, as this article to a considerable extent is 
merely in transit as far as Siberia is concerned, the total value of the imported goods will 
be found to correspond to that of the exports. The chief subject of export is the produce of 
cattle rearing, and that of import, is tea. 

The table below' gives the total values of imports and exports, while it must be borne 
in mind that the Semipalatinsk Customs district does not exactly con'espond with the 
boundaries of the territory of the same name, including as it does part of the Turkestan 
country. In conse(|uence of this the corresponding figures will diUer somewhat from the faci. 


('ustoms di- 
strict (with 

Trade with 

Irkutsk Cus- 
through Ki-i 
akhta (with 

teiiitory ^ 

Total. ' 


Raw and half-manufactured 
materials . . • . . . . 













907,003 1 
2,028,416 • 

Manufactured goods .... 

Total . . 

Imported (examined). 
Provisions '• 

Raw and half-manufactured 


2,168,963 1 














3,815,611 ! 

11,948,519 ' 

558,523 ' 
239,758 i 

Manufactured goods 

Total . . 

762,446 ' 






1. Including 676,421 roubles worth of goods, not accounted for in detail. 2. Including 
64,123 roubles worth of goods not accounted for in detail. 3. Per Vladivostok and Xikolaevsk, 
in the import only dutiable goods being shown. 4. Included tea. 



Almost all this baiter trade takes place between Siberia aud China, while in respect 
to export the first place is occupied by Semipalatinsk through which about 60 per cent of 
all the goods exported pass. The imports on the other hand took place mainly through Irkutsk 
and Kiakhta. The export of Russian goods through Kiakhta during the last six years appears 
from the following table: 

Goods exported. 








3 U 

b 1 

e s. 

; Provisions 







Raw and half-manufactu- 

red materials 






682,473 [ 







6,926 i 

Manufactnred goods . . . 







Total. . . 







The value of the exports under the first article, foodstuffs, is extremely small, and is 
composed mainly of that of grain whose export is subject to great fluctuation. 

The second article, more important, is almost entirely formed of the value of various 
skins and hides, as appears from the data given below for the same years. 

1886. 1887. 1888. 1889. 1890. 1891. 

33,183 7,21)0 _ — _ 

245,032 300,961 264,012 141,234 112,058 

— 19,319 40,900 22,536 22,590 

Skins, sheep and goats .... 65,959 

» wolves, foxes and lynx . 205,671 

» otters, beaver, and bear . 8,603 

» various 177,205 

Russia leather .... .... 199,921 

Tanned hides, except Russia lea- 
ther . . • 51,954 

Horns and hoofs 51,407 



75,159 64,965 130,774 
165,290 194,397 261,275 

18,305 26,170 13,020 
102,852 138,370 139,978 

65,346 56,173 
150,089 126,382 

As for the export of manufactured goods, this article is almost entirely confined to the 
export of cloth, linen and cotton fabrics, exported during the period under conside- 
ration as follows. 

Goods exported. 








Linen and hemp goods 
Cotton goods 








85,674 118,587 158,289 

— 31,679 ' 16,384 

512,643 540,197 j 897,951 



The imports to Rus-mh lioiu ( inini liuongh ilie Irkutsk Custombouso, corresponding to 
Kiakhta, consist to tlie extent almost of 9m per cent of tea. The following gives a general 
vi('\v (tf the iiiipoits across this I'lontii'r for the same years. 

I III |) <i Its: 

I'lOVisjdli- . . 
Raw and liall'-iiiaiui- 
factuied materials 
Manulactured L'-onds 

L'!i,948,230 30,034,486 , 17,761,209 i 16,693,746 14,213,274 


18,838 ! 46,646 



f)S^.176 52.816 93.757 1 ] 13.20'; 2r,n.;;2: 





30,053,347 , .lO.lOG.llO 17,901,612 16,-61,37^ 14,520,93(U2,.5>i2,335 

On examining the totals of this table for the last six years, a diminution of the imports 
from thirty millions to twelve million roubles will be noticed, which is caused not only by the 
diversion of lea cargoes to the sea route, as will be explained later in detail, but mainly by 
a change in the system of valuation of tea adopted recently, namely instead of the value of 
tea in retail trade, 60 roubles a poud, the price of tea at the frontier is taken before the 
payment of duty, about 20 roubles per poud. In fact this diminution is still more considerable 
as the sum shown includes goods not only received by land through Maimachin-Kiakhta but also 
by the Amour. It is true that by the latter route comparatively little Is received, but in the 
gross these imports prove to be an appreciable quantity. Thus for example, the value of 
foodstuffs passing through the Irkutsk Customs in 1891 is composed as follows. 

T e a s. 

Bonds. i Roubles. 

Bohea Tea .... 
Brick •> (kirpich) 
Cake s> (plitka) . 







Total . . . 


11.788,485 i 


Of the quantity of tea shown, there were brought by the Amour 234 pouds of Bohea 
tea or less than ^'lo per cent; 21,516 pouds of brick tea, or about 4 per cent. Thus through 
Irkutsk besides tea there passes about one million roubles worth of other foodstuffs. 

Speaking of the foreign trade of Siberia it is impossible not to refer to one more 
article, namely timber, which in the near future must become an important item of Russian 
export. As a matter of fact, with the vastness of the forest plantations of the Far East, and the 
absence of any attempt at using Ihem for industrial purposes, these resources till now are 
lost, bringing the country no advantage. And yet the immense country at the very doors 

* or which to the value of 5,553 roubles were received by post. 


with its four hundred million population suffers from a deficiency of timber, which it might 
obtain with the greatest advantage for itself from Siberia; 

In the interior provinces of China, almost entirely bereft of forest vegetation, timber 
is sold by weight and extremely dear, seeing that it has to be supplied from very remote 
places, not seldom a thousand versts away, on the backs of camels. It is true that timber 
might be furnished to China from Mantchuria, the northern portion of which is yet covered 
with virgin forest, but it has been preserved there in such an inacessible situation, that the 
export and carriage to the chief markets of consumption will be very expensive. On some of 
the Japanese islands there is also still forest, but in Japan itself there always exists an 
unfailing demand for that article. Under such circumstances advantage should be taken of 
the forest wealth of the Amour and Littoral territories, and yet, although since 1863 there 
have been not a few attempts of the kind, the enterprise has not been attended with success. 
The timber was exported in the green state, simply hew7i w'ithout any shaping, in consequence 
of W'hich its transport came very expensive. On the other hand the same article was received 
by China from California in a perfectly dry and seasoned condition, sawn and cut up for 
various purposes. Thanks to such foresight on the part of the American traders, they have 
a predominating influence in the whole timber trade of China. 

In 1863 the first attempt was made to facilitate and regulate the export of timber 
from the Littoral territory, but it ended in failure. In consequence of the placing of a duty 
upon the goods destined for export the trade was unable to take root. 

Passing to the review- of the participation of the separate territories of Siberia in the 
foreign trade, it may be noted that the most important part in this respect, as far as imports 
are concerned, falls to the Transbaikal territory, thanks to its direct relations with China via 
Irkutsk and Kiakhta. Besides the last point the foreign trade of the Transbaikal territory is 
carried on further via the following centres: Tsurukhaitui, Abagoitui, Tsagan-Olui, and the 
station of Verkhneulkhunsk, through which in 1889 there were exported into Mongolia ani- 
mals, animal produce, manufactured goods et cetera, to the amount of 112,849 roubles, while 
In 1890 the export fell to 69,851 roubles. Through the same centres there were imported 
from Mongolia various animal produce, animals and tea, in 1889 to the amount of 93,403 
roubles, and in 1890 to that of 90,112 roubles. 

The Siberian ports of the Arctic Ocean in reference to the importation of foreign goods 
are on the whole brought under the Customs tariff for the European frontier. But in view of 
the special peculiar local circumstances not unfrequently duty free importation of foreign 
goods is authorized by a special Imperial order. And yet the northern shores of Siberia are 
rarely visited by foreigners. The most important place of importation is the mouth of 
the Yenisei, whither in 1890 came the steamers of the Anglo-Siberian Company. These steam- 
ers were loaded with 24,108 roubles worth of provisions, 130,076 roubles worth of raw and 
half-manufactured materials, and 214,000 roubles worth of manufactured goods. The flotilla 
ascended the Yenisei, and their freights reached the towns of Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Tomsk. 
Although these goods were freed from Customs duties, and the same privilege was even extended 
to the navigation season of 1894 inclusive, neither in 1891 nor in 1892 was there any impor- 
tation by this route. The English steamers on their return cruise took on board grain and meat. 



Tlie Commainlor Islamic lunuiii^ pait u\' Siboria fiuin an a'imiai.slrative point of view 
do not present great commercial interest. Tlie exports thence are confined to skins, of which, 
in 1891, 319,CKJ0 rouble-s worth were despatched, in 1892, 3G5,</J<J ronbles wortli in gold, Th<i 
imports on tlie other liaiid do not exceed 50,000 roubles wortli, more than half of the goods 
coming Imm Ameiica. 'Jhe figures given here for the value of the skins are calculated only 
on tlir Ciowii i;ix accruing liom tiii-m. 

The tea trade: From the sketch just presented of the foreign trade of Siberia, it 
appears that of all the foreign goods imported by land into Siberia or passing through in 
truMsii, tea deserves the greatest altt-ntion, forming as it does by its value fully 98 per 
cent of all the imports. And although, as will appear further on, the importation of tea into 
the Empire via Siberia is declining with every year, yet by its value this article continues 
even now to occupy the first place in consequence of which it is not out of place to examine 
somewhat more in detail the routes by which tea travels from China through Siberia, and to 
elucidate the causes of the decline in its transport through Siberia. 

The tea trade with China has existed in Russia fully two centuries. In 1802 only 
45,000 ponds were imported of Bohea and brick tea. In 1S20 the amount was about 10<),000 
pouds. In the middle of the present century this figure was trebled, and from the end of 
the seventies the trade grew particularly fast, thanks to the direct communication estab- 
ished by the Volunteer Fleet between Odessa and the Siberian ports of the Pacific Ocean. 

In the last decade however a certain steadiness has been observable, the figure of 
the imports has fluctuated about two million pouds a year, the direction of importation only 
changing, that is, overland or by sea. 


Total, ponds. 











1,210,769 1 

















As tea in some cases is imported free of duty it follows that the consumption is 
somewhat greater than above stated. The data on the importation from 1377 to 1891 inclu- 
sive show that the imports across the European frontier are increasing, although unevenly. 
In the quinquennial period 1877 to- 1381, 748,500 pouds were imported; in 1882 to 1886, 
885,600 pouds, and in 1887" to 1891, 782,900 pouds. Brick tea was imported in the first five 
years to the extent of 843,800 pouds, in the second five years to that of 972,100 pouds, and 
in the third, to that of 1,171,200 pouds. .The total quantity of imports changed in the follow- 
ing manner: in the first period, 1,593,00<3 poud, in the second, 1,890,(X)0 pouds, and in the 
third, 1,982,000 pouds. 

forp:ign trade. 


In cxplauation of the considerable importation noticeable via the Irkutsk Custom- 
house in 18S7, it may be observed that this year was exceptional, a certain firm beginning 
to operate unsuccessfully with brick tea. It imported an enormous quantity of this article, 
which naturally did not at once find a buyer and which for three years produced a pressure 
upon the normal trade in brick tea. A more just idea of the course of the tea trade through 
the Irkutsk Customhouse may be formed by the comparison of the following figures upon 
this question. They show the quantities of tea cleared by the Irkutsk Customhouse during 
the period under consideration. 







Thousand p o u d s . \\ 










Thus the large transport of brick tea in 1887 produced a depression until 1890, from 
which time the trade in brick tea assumes a more normal character, and the importation of 
this article steadily increases. 

From the figures quoted it is clear that tea is imported into Russia mainly, to the 
extent of one-half of the total quantity, overland, or through Siberia and the Russian 
Central Asiatic possessions. The cause of such preference of the land route, although compa 
ratively more expensive than the sea route, will be explained further on. 

The main mass of tea is the Bohea which is brought to every part of the Empire and 
is the more valuable article. Brick tea is consumed only by the Siberian, Kirghiz and Cal- 
.muck natives of Eastern Russia, in consequence of which this sort of tea is brought into 
Russia exclusively across the Asiatic frontiers and knows not the sea route. During the last 
six years there was imported into Russia and cleared through the Customs brick tea to the 
following amounts. 


768,415 pouds. 


762,807 pouds 


957,542 » 


668,659 » 


737,834 » 


777,427 » 

Brick tea is imported almost exclusively via Kiakhta and the Irkutsk Customhouse, 
very little being transported through the Russian Central-Asiatic possessions, in some yeans 
the quantity scarcely reaching 1,000 pouds. 

However not the distribution alone of the consumers of brick tea influences the direction 
taken by its transport; the latter is the result in a much greater degree of the tariff estab- 



lished for lliis soil "i i.-.i m llie difTorent customhouses. According to the cusioiij- uu. - 
now in operation, the duty on bri<k tea is levied at the European frontier at the rate of 21 
roubles gold per pomi, that is, at the same rate as from Bohea, while the same tea passing 
through the Irkutsk Customhouse pays only 2. 50 roublfS. Thus it is evident that to 
import it into Odessa and tlienco forward it lo Eastern Russia does not present any ad- 

lirick tea, to lesurae, is imported annually to the amount of about 750,('0'» pouds. 
l"]xclniliiig this ([uantity from the total importation, it will appear that the most expensive 
or Uohea tea is despatched principally by sea, there being a strong tendency to conveyance 
l»y sea, evident at a glance from the following comparison as regards the importation of Bohea 
tea, paying duty. 




\i;i Iiknt^k. 

of importation 

\ia Iikntsk. 


J ,005.334 








40.5 j 















28.8 i 







The quantity of Bohea tea imported has remained during the last live years almost 
without change, the transport in the beginning of the period being divided almost equally 
between the sea and overland carriage, while in the subsequent years the traffic across the 
Asiatic frontiers declines, in 1891 only 29 per cent passing in this direction. Judging from 
this, it might be thought that the sea carriage is so much cheaper than that l»y overland that 
the privileged tariff now existing in respect to the importation of Bohea tea through the Irkutsk 
Customhouse, namely 13 roubles gold per pood Instead of 21 by the European Customs, is 
insufficient. But as a matter of fact this is caused by the steadiness of the freights by the 
sea carriage, while the cost of the overland carriage is sul)ject to considei'able fluctuations 
and depends on many circumstances. To clear up this side of the question and ascertain 
the significance of tea freights for the future Siberian Railway, it is necessary to indicate 
of what elements is composed the cost of carriage of tea overland and by sea. 

Bohea tea is imported into Russia mainly from Han-Kow, whence it is despatched hy 
sea through Thian-Tsin to Pekin, and thence to Kalgan, Urga and Kiakhta to Irkutsk. 
Besides this, a small pgrtion of tea Is forwarded to the Irkutsk Customhouse by another 
route, namely by water. 'This route is from Ilan-Kow by sea to Xikolaevsk, then by the Amour 
to Sretensk, and thence overland. By this last route the carriage to Irkutsk costs two roubles 
cheaper than through Kiakhta. But the following circumstances are in the way of the suc- 
cessful development of the traffic in this direction. Nikolaevsk is accessible to steamers only 
during four to five months of the year, from June to October, and even so only for light 


draught vessels drawing less than fourteen feet of water. Next come the inconreniences of 
the navigation in the stormy Tartar straits and in the mouth of the firth of the Amour. 
Finally there is the roadlessness of Transhaikalia. 

The carriage per pond of tea from Ilan-Kow through Irkutsk to Xizhni-Xovgorod. the 
chief centre of the trade in the tea imported by this route, costs about IS to 20 rouhles. 

Carriage from Ilan-Kow via Thian-Tsin, Pekin and Urga to Kiaklita 7. 2S rouhles 

Expenditure at Kiakhta and carriage to Irkutsk 3. 00 ;> 

From Irkutsk to Xizhni G. <i0 » 

Insurance from Thian-Tsin to Xizhni (2' '4 per cent) 0. 90 > 

Percentage on capital invested i. 43 ;> 

Total. 18. Gl roubles 

The goods sometimes are a year on the road; they require extremely careful packing, 
the sewing of the tea boxes into leather cases, and watchful supervision in transit; all these 
circumstances make the tea traders prefer the sea route, even although the freight should 
somewhat exceed the difference in the duties. 

The cost of the conveyance of tea via Nikolaevsk, Sretensk, Irkutsk and Xizhni, is 
composed of the following elements: from Han-Kow to Nikolaevsk with packing, insurance, 
commissions and other expenses, 2.65 roubles; from Xikolaevsk to Sretensk, including tranship- 
ment and various general expenses, 2.3() roubles; from Sretensk by road to Irkutsk, 5.55 
roubles, thence to Nizhni 6 roubles; the total, 1G.50 roubles. 

The sea route is considerably cheaper, from Han-Kow to Odessa, including packing, 
insurance, freight, commissions, customs duties in Odessa, insurance and carriage further 
by rail to Xizhni, amounts in all to about 6 roubles. Accordingly, a poud of tea in Xizhni 
brought thither from Han-Kow via Odessa costs 12.60 roubles cheaper than that imported 
via Kiakhta, and this difference as a matter of fact almost corresponds to the customs 
difference of 8 roubles gold. 

The customary route, along which from old times tea has passed in transit through 
Siberia into European Russia, begins at Kiakhta or more exactly at Irkutsk and coincides 
with the great Siberian tract, which runs from Irkutsk through Tomsk to Tinmen. However 
the comparative dearness of this route not seldom made the tea tradeis forward their 
precious freight by more dangerous roads in the hope of a small reduction in the cost of 
carriage. P'requently the tea caravans were arrested en route in consequence of the early 
freezing of the Ket, or Chulym or were damaged on the Angara and Yenisei. But notwith- 
standing all this they even not seldom avoid the great Siberian tract, passing through 
Bisk by the Chuisk road or from Kalgan to Uliasutai to the upper waters of the Yenisei 
and thence are floated d(jwn on rafts to Minousinsk. Even when following the great Siberian 
tract the conveyance of tea with the same view to economy has somewhat changed its 
character. Formerly tea took this route entirely overland, but now a portion of it from 
Irkutsk is conveyed by water on the Angara to Yeniseisk, is thence carried in carts to 
Makovsk on the river Ket, IMeletsk or Berlluz on the Chulym, and then by water to Tinmen. 


Ilonco, Ml iiion; olU'ii from the luimiiiu.s ol ih-; Liai Railway, Tura, the toa is Uiaiuly 
traasmitod to Poim. In ls!)l iho station Tura dospatciieiJ 492,261 ponds of tea; arnoni,' whicL, 
440,91! to roijii, 7,5;j2 t(; I''lxaii;rinhiiij,', et crti-ia. 'J'lio station of Tiumi-n transmited a total of 
J(J5.926 ponds, including ]J7,42.{ to Poini, 42,027 to Elcatorintjuif,', et cot<ira. Nizlini Tagil iu 
tiio sarno yoar despatcliod 4(3,798 ponds, of wliicli 4(»,273 wcro to Perm. Tlie forwaidiuf,' just 
mentioni.Ml id' a considoiMblo (|uanlity of toa to Ekalerinbiirf,' may bo explained, of <;oursii, 
not by local consumption but by the fact that part of tlio toa from Ekaterinburg' is also 
transmitted to Perm, namely 0,9G7 jtouds, while part is distributed amontj llie other .stations 
of the Ural Railway, 0,598 pouds, and a still larger quantity is forwarded to Moscow by th'i 
Samara Zlatuonst railway, 19,709 pouds. Eroni Perm tlio tea is sent by the Kama, and thon 
by the Volga, in the jiiain to Nizhni, which in 1891 despatched 1;j;j,(j32 pouds of this 
merchandise by rail, the greater part of which was naturally sent to Moscow. 

Moscow is the most important centre of the "Russian tea-trade, the tea being brought 
there and then distributed thence throughout the Russian Empire. The tea which passes 
through Siberia and the Russian dominions in Central Asia is conveyed to Moscow by four 
routes; the first two have already been mentioned, namely, the Uralsk and Samaro-Zlato- 
oust railways, and also by the Orenburg and Transcaucasian railways. The tea which 
comes by sea over the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans reaches Moscow principally through 
Odessa and Graevo, the transit from London through Konigsberg, ami partly through the Baltic 
ports. The total amount conveyed to Moscow in 1890 by all these routes was 1,109,700 pouds 
or 54 per cent of the whole impoil. Out of this (jiuantity 969,662 pouds were despatched thence 
by rail during the same year and the rest was used for local consumption or distributed by 
carts in the immediate neighbourhood. 

When the Siberian Railway is laid the overland transport will naturally be very much 
cheaper. It will then also be possible, and indeed when even the Eastern portion of the line 
is completed, to place Eastern Siberia under the same conditious as the Empire as regards 
customhouse duties, and to stop the free import of tea and put an end to those misunder- 
standings which arise from the absence of customhouses within the borders of Eastern 
Siberia. Until 1888 some parts of Western Siberia and Turkestan were also in this privileged 
position, partly from political and partly from commercial reasons. 

Between 1860 and 1870 during the Dungan insurrection which sprang up in western 
China, gradually spread and finally completely cut off the Chinese tea plantations from 
the markets of Central Asia, the Russians conceived the idea of profiting by this circumstance 
in order to take possession of these markets and thrust out the foreign tea dealers from them, 
as the importation of Chinese tea into Central Asia by the former route through Kashgar 
had at that time become impossible and the only available one was through Siberia, from 
Kiakhta to Irkutsk. Under these conditions the Russian tea trade in Central Asia had only 
to compete with Indian tea, imported from India through Afganistan. For this reason the 
customhouse cordon which stretched from the Caspian Sea from south to north along the 
Urals and the eastern frontier of the government of Orenburg to the barrier of Zverinogo- 
lovsk, from which point it turned directly to the east and passed along the former southern 
frontier of Western Siberia as far as Semipalalinsk and the post of Boukhtarminsk, was 


abolished in 1868; and besides this, a free import of Kiakhta teas iDto the government of 
Turkestan was granted with the unconditional prohibition against the import of any kind 
of tea thence into the Russian Empire, a duty being also levied upon any tea imported 
into Turkestan from any of the neighbouring Khanates. On the same grounds, and also in 
consequence of the impossibility of European merchandise penetrating into Russia by this 
route and in order to facilitate commercial intercourse with the Khanates of Central 
Asia, the importation of all kinds of goods from there was allowed free of duty. Experience 
however, soon proved that the free import of Kiakhta teas into the region of Turkestan did 
not justify the hopes which had been originally entertained as the inhabitants of Central Asia 
acquired the habit of using Indian teas and cheap and harmless native substitutes which 
found a ready sale among the inexacting consumers. The teas of Kiakhta, on account of there 
comparatively high price were beyond the reach of inhabitants, the majority of which were 
extremely poor. At the same time it was discovered that a large amount of Kiakhta tea 
imported duty free into Turkestan, was not consumed in that country but secretly conveyed 
from there into Russia, thus occasioning considerable loss to the fair-trade. Apart from 
this, in course of time, the region to which the free import of tea had been granted became 
changed; it had originally consisted of the provinces of Syr-Darya and Semirechinsk to which 
the province of Ferghana, the Zaravshansk district and the department of the Amou-Darya 
were subsequently annexed, and the province of Semirechinsk was incorporated into the 
domains of the new Governor-General of the steppes. 

The economic and political aspects of this border land of Russia also underwent 
certain essential alterations; Kuldzha which was occupied by the Russian forces in order 
to terminate the revolt of the Dungans and Taranchlns was receded to China and the 
treaty of St. Petersburg in 1881 accurately determined the frontier between Russia 
and western China, and also the points for the admission of goods and regulated the 
interchange of merchandise. The Insurrection in western China little by little subsided; 
the traces of it are beginning to disappear and a regular and busy trade has estab- 
lished Itself between Russia and China. Russian manufactured goods have not only pen- 
etrated into Kashgar, but have even supplanted the English wares, and Russia has in 
this way obtained a fairly lucrative distant market. In Kuldzha, in the district of Tarbaga- 
taisk and in western Mongolia Russian goods have competed with equal success against those 
of England. On account of the considerations already mentioned, and also in consequence of 
the Impossibility of establishing a customhouse cordon between Turkestan and the Russian 
Empire, and also in order to put an end to the abuses in the free tea trade, it was found 
expedient to cancel the above mentioned privelege in 1888. In order to attain the object in 
view a customhouse Inspection was simultaneously instituted on the frontier betw^n Semi- 
rechinsk and China, as China teas might otherwise be Imported from Kuldzha into that prov- 
ince free of duty or hindrance. 

The high duty on tea renders it profitable to convey it from very distant 
places so that tea upon which no duty had been levied could easily make its way into 
the provinces of Semirechinsk and Semipalatinsk, and thence to Tomsk and even pe- 
netrate into the interior of I^uropean Russia and thus cover a very extensive region. 

222 .SIUKUIA. 

I'or Uiis ruasoii in 1890 a inspeciion was establislied on the Inuitier bet- 
WL'on Russia and westoni Cliinu williiii tin; liniiis of Ihe f,'ovi,'rnrnenl of Toiiisk and the 
provinces of Soniirechinsk and SiMnipalalinsk. This extension of the cusloinhousc line was 
duo to the desire of preventing Hie diversion of tea Heights from tlie luakhta route to a 
direction less subjected to cuslonilmuse supervision. It was also discovered that the most 
advantageous loule lor transporting l<.'a was not tiirough Urga and Kiakhta but through Ulia«!sutai 
and Kobdo. 'Jliis rmiti' is nnicli sluirti-r tlian that of Kiakhta and at one end of it the goods 
are delivered at Seini])aluliiisk and at the other at Biisk, from both of which towns there is 
regular sleanicr service to Tiinicii, tin; freight by steamer or barge to Tiimen being about 
2') kopecks. Finally, transiiorting tea by this route obviates the necessity of the expensive 
l)rocess of sewing up the tea in skins, as the Chinese carry the packets in horsecloths or 
in blankets, which they take back aftorw^ards, and on the steamers or barges it is not neces- 
sary to take i)recautionaiy measures for preserving the tea. 

This is a brief account of the i)art played by Siberia in the Russian tea trade; it is 
a very important, and when the Groat Railway Line is opened even as far as Irkutsk, 
it will assume far greater proportions. 




Water and overland communication. 

The Irausport of goods between Europoau Ilu.s.sia and Siberia by the Volga and Obi; the 
Obi- Yenisei canal; navigation in Western Siberia; navigation on the Yenisei ami Angara; 
steam navigation on the Baikal: navigation on the Lena and the Amour basin: steamer 
communication with the Siberian ports of the Northern and Eastern oceans; the Volunteer 
Fleet; a cursory view of the overland communications. 

THE wide expanse and sparse po])ulation of Siberia combined with thai historical destiny 
which has been described in the commencement of the present work, have prevented 
its being enriched with regular overland means of communication which could have been 
accomplished at the expense of a vast amount of labour and capital. Xature has, on the 
other hand, richly endowed this country with water communication; washed on the north and 
east by the waters of the Arctic and Pacific oceans, it is at the same time intersected for 
thousands of versts by large rivers connecting these oceans with western China, and in general 
with Central Asia. Thanks to these rivers, whose basins cover several million square versts, 
in summer time it is i)ossible to communicate with far distant regions. This was the route 
taken by the conquerors of Siberia and the settlers who followed them. The Volga, Jvaraa 
Chusovaya, Serebrianka, Tagil, Tura, Tobol, Irtish, Obi, and other rivers and comparatively 
short forest tracts this is the route followed by Ermak and by the traveller of the present day. 
This is however from the west, but of late years communication has been kept up with Si- 
beria by sea from the north and from the east. 

The hydrographic sketch of Siberia already given has shown how abundantly the 
country is sujiplied with water, but unfurtunately the insufTiciency of the coast development 
on the one hand, and the severe climate of the arctic zone on the other hand, prevent the 
sea navigation fiom reaching that degree of development which would be possible under more 
favourable conditions. This sann' severity of climate and the prolonged period during which 
the rivers are in consequence frozen over, considerably hinders navigation on the principal 
Siberian rivers which fall into the Arctic Ocean. Other circumstances, which will be men- 
tionel hereafter also interfere with the progress of navigation on those rivers which flow into 
the Tacific. 


The most important rivers of Siberia, the Obi, Yenisei and Lena, flow from south to 
north, and aio for tlie greater jiart of iheir course navigable; only one river, the Amour, 
Hows to the east, ami, at the junction with the Sungara, turns northwards and falls into 
the Parilic Oe(;aii. 

The gifat Siberian rivi-r, ihe Obi, rises in Mongolia, carries vast masses of water into 
the Arctic Ocean and gathers along its extensive course a multitudi- of large and small 
rivers which lertilizi" and animate an expanse of more than 3".' million square versts. 
With a total length of 5,300 versts it has a most extensive basin on which regular navi- 
gation is kept up ovci- an extent of 15,000 versts. There is always a lively transport trade on 
the Obi system and the rivers composing it have a transit character, as there is but little 
local exchange of merchandise, all freights being transported from far distant regions. Being 
almost on the borders of Europe and Asia, the Obi and its tributaries form the cheapest 
means of communication between two vast continents of the world. Asia only supplies 
Europe with the raw products of the soil, the animal kingdom, the produce of the fishing 
and hunting trades which Europe then returns to her in a finished state. Before the opening 
of the Ural Railway these goods were conveyed in summer principally along the Kama and 
its tributaries, then carried by road across the Ural chain and then again by water on the 
rivers of the Obi system. The road is now replaced by the Ural and Samaro-ZIatooust 
railways, which deliver European goods to the Obi system through the Tura, Mias and other 
rivers; but the most important route before the opening of the Cheliabinsk section was the 
Ural line which delivers goods partly at Irbit and partly at Tumen. These goods, both from 
Irbit and Tumen are conveyed further into Siberia on the rivers Tura and Tobol up to the 
point where this latter falls into the Irtish. A considerable quantity of goods from the 
Krestovsky fair follow the route. Before reaching the mouth of the Tobol, part of the freight 
separates and goes down the Tavda and southern Sosva to supply the wants of the popula- 
tion of the settlements along these rivers as well as the Sosvinsk works and those of the 
Bogos'lovsk mining district. 

From the mouth of the Tobol the European freights are distributed in two direc- 
tions: about 25 per cent goes towards the source of the Irtish and 75 per cent towards 
that of the Obi. The goods are conveyed along the Irtish principally to the following popu- 
lated points: the towns of Tura, Omsk, Pavlodar and Semipalatinsk; those conveyed along 
the Obi are in a small part destined for the consumption of the strangers and fishmongers 
on the lower parts of that river, and the sparse population of the towns of Berezov and 
Obdorsk, whilst by far the greater part is sent up the Obi to supply the government of 
Tomsk and the whole of Eastern Siberia. The principal points of destination are Surgut, 
Narym, Barnaoul and Biisk, but the most important is Tomsk. Some of the goods are also 
shipped up the Chulim as far as the settlement of Berluze and the town of Achinsk. 

The Siberian good's pass over the same route but in the contrary direction and here 
the lower parts of the Tura and Tobol form a most important part of the waterways of 
Siberia joining all the streams which convey Siberian merchandise to Russia in Eu- 
rope. In the same way the Irtish and its tributaries are the most important part 
of the Obi 1 asin and ihen the middlle course of the Obi itself but not that portion of 



it which is so abounding in water. The statistics of the quantity and character of the goods 
conveyed by the Ural Railway may therefore be taken to discribe the goods traffic on the 
Tura and Tobol; Tura, the terminus of the Ural line, situated on the river bearing that name, 
receives all the European goods sent to Siberia by water and also despatches freight by rail 
from Siberia to European Russia. The following table gives these statistics from the opening 
of the Ural Railway: 




European goods 
received at Tura 
station, in pouds. 


Siberian goods, des- 
patched from Tura 
station, in pouds. 












4,234,000 ; 












4,855,000 1 

These figures show that the goods traffic from Siberia to European Russia is rapidly 
developing whilst that from European Russia to Siberia makes but very slow progress. This 
proves that Siberia is capable of producing far more that she requires, and that the opening of the 
Ural Railway was sufficient to draw goods from far distant places in the province of Semi- 
palatinsk to European Russia. The principal freight which Tura receives by water and for- 
wards by rail is grain; in 1891 the total amount of grain of various denominations transported was 
3,930,805 pouds, or 80 per cent of the whole transport; this included 2,195,019 pouds of wheat, 
571,778 pouds of rye, 345,555 pouds of oats, 48,365 of barley, 574,980 of rye flour, 
145,835 pouds of wheat flour, et cetera; there were 1,151,913 pouds of this dehvered at Ostrovs- 
kaya station and 1,081,995 at Ekaterinburg. Besides grain, 492,261 pouds of tea were despatched 
from the same station, of which 480,941 pouds were directed to Perm to be sent further on. 
Grain and tea therefore amount to more than 90 per cent of the Siberian goods. Siberia prin- 
cipally receives 364,000 pouds of sugar, 340,000 pouds of various naphtha products, 270,000 
pouds of manufactured goods, aliout 100,000 pouds of iron and iron wares, 140,000, of tobacco, 
36,000 pouds of candles, or about 63 per cent of the whole amount received. 

The goods traffic along this main water way of the Tura and Tobol rivers has only ot 
late years begun to assume a lively aspect. Before the opening of the Ural Railway the yearly 
transport did not exceed 2-5 million pouds, and it has now risen to 16 million pouds ; in 1886 
it amounted to 3 millions; in 1888, to 7 million, and in 1890, to 8 million pouds. This quantity 
of 16 millidu pouds forms 75 per cent of the whole goods traffic on all the watei-s of Western 
Siberia, as the total amount does not exceed 20 million ponds. The river Tura is the most 
important means of communication between Siberia and European Russia. It becomes navi- 
gable from Turinsk, bul the briskest traffic is from Tinmen to the mouth of the river, a 
distance of 169 versts. The Tobol is iuivigal)h_' for about 600 versts, but the only part of it 



wliicli is ol riiiifli iififKirlanof is Ir'uii itic inontli ot rue J iiiit io tlio jiiiifiion «[ tlic- Triliol 
with the Irtish. 'Jin- Irtish itself is iiavigjihle I'rom its inoulh to Semipalaiiiisk, a length nl 
2,620 versts; in its long fonrse it intersects the feriili- jprovinee of Semipalatinsk, llie Kirghiz, 
Ishirnsk and Barahinsk steppes, and ffirtilizes an enormous territory. This river conveys grain 
freights, salt, cattle and animal products to Toholsk and Tinmen from even the far distant parts 
of the province of Semireehinsk. Steam navigation was started here in 1862. 

Although the Dili is a very full stream from Samarov it flows through an almost 
uninlialiited region, so that there is no regular service of steamers flown its c<jurse. There is 
liowever a hrisk traffic on the upper part of it as far as Barnaoul, a distance of about 2,rX)0 
versts. and sometimes as far as Uiisk. The Ohi is formeil liy the junclion of the Bey and the 
Katuiia, and its principal tributaries are on the riglit. The most important of tliese are the 
Tom which waters the rich district of Kuznetsk and the Chulym which is navigable although with 
difficulty as far as Achinsk, a distance of 1,000 versts. The river Kct has also a considerable 
commercial impoitance as a connecting link between the basins of the Obi and Yenisei, 
through the Obi-Yenisei canal, now in course of construction. Steamers can go up the Ket as 
far a'^ the settlement of ]\Iakovsk. 

' The above mentioned Obi-Yenisei canal is to connect the Ket, a tributary of the Obi, 
with the Kass, a tributary of the Yenisei. The idea of connecting the basins of the Obi and 
Yenisei originated a hundred years ago when a scheme was presented to the Emperor Paul for 
joining these system by the Tyrn, a tributary of the Obi, and the Sym, a tributary of the 
Yenisei. Schemes were next proposed for joining the Ket with the Kem, a tributary of the 
Yenisei and the Vakh, a tributary of the Obi, with the Elagona, a tributary of the Yenisei, 
but none of these projects were realized. Considerably later, in 1875, the new idea of joining 
the Ket with the Great Kass sprang up. A Siberian merchant, Funtusov, at his own initiative 
and expense investigated the ground between these two rivers, and finding that the scheme 
was feasible, drew the attention of tlie Government to this subject. The engineers who were 
sent over to study the question found that it was quite possible to carry out the work and 
it was therefore resolved to commence the undertaking. The river Ozernaya falls into the 
Ket at a distance of 550 versts from its mouth. The river Lomovataya flows into the Ozer- 
naya and is connected with the river Yazevaya w^hich flows out of the lake Bolshoi. The 
little Kass rises in the vicinity of this lake and falls into the big Kass which forms part of 
the Yenisei system. The river Ozernaya forms part of the canal M'/a versts from its month. 
The canal then follows the Lomovataya for 47V2 versts and the Yazevaya for 31''/^ versts up 
to lake Bolshoi. From this point a canal has been excavated TV* versts long and 6 fathoms 
wide at the bottom, which enters the little Kass and follows it for a distance of 89 versts to 
the point where the big Kass commences at a distance of 192 versts from the Yenisei. The 
navigable Angara joins the Yenisei near the mouth of the big Kass and flows from lake 
Baikal on the shore of which Irkutsk is situated. The Obi- Yenisei canal will therefore open 
up an enormous water way of 5,000 versts, connecting Tiumen with Irkutsk and intersecting 
the whole of Western Siberia. This work was commenced at the expense of the Government in 
1882 and is being earned on very energetically; a great deal has been done, and there is 
every hope that the undertaking will shortly be brought to a successful termination. In 


Connection with this, much dredging has been done in order to deepen and clear the connecting 
streams, so that the result will most likely be eminently satisfactory. 

Thanks to the abundance of water in the rivers of the Obi system, there is a large 
number of steamers plying on them, belonging to private owners and companies, and in 
ome places, even a regular service is kept up. The success and progress of the Obi steam 
savigation is due to the Government, which always gi'anted assistance to private initiative 
whenever it was in the interests of the public. 

The first steamer in Western Siberia belonged to Poklevski and made its appearance 
on the Obi in 1843; in 1854 there were 3; in 1860, 10; in 1870, 20; in 1875, 32: in 
1880, 37; in 1885, 57; in ]887, 60; in 1889, 64; in 1890, 65; in 1891, 69; in 1892, 90: 
and in the present year there are 102 steamers and 200 barges. Most of the steamers do not 
exceed 100 nominal horse power and at present the fleet of Western Siberia consists of the 
following boats: 

1 steamer of 250 nominal horse power. 



:> 180 



■> 150 



:> 120 



:> 100 



>> 80 



» 60 



:> 40 

21 small steamers. 

The principal traffic, as already stated, is between the sources of the Eey and the 
Katuna on the one hand, and that of the Irtish on the other hand, as far as the mouths of 
the Tura and Tobol, the freights being conveyed the enormous distances of 2 to 3 thousand 
versts. The question of rates for such long journeys is of great interest. Notwithstanding the 
gxeat progress made in steam navigation and the competition between shipowners, freights 
on the Obi basin are very high; for 3,000 versts the charge is 25 kopecks per poud, that 
is Vi2o kopeck per poud-verst, whilst on the Volga for lo]?g distances the boats eagerly take V^oo 
kopeck and even ^/too kopeck per poud-verst. This is due to the insecurity of the naviga- 
tion in consequence of the great risks in running the steamers without the requisite auxiliary 
measures. Scanty and incomplete information concerning the opening and freezing of the 
rivers, insufficient telegraphic communication to give warning of an unexpected ice blockade, 
the small number of inhabited points along the principal rivers, and other circumstances, are 
the means of causing frequent disasters. 

The measures lately taken by the Government for improving the water system of Western 
Siberia, which serves as a feeding branch ibr the Great Siberian Railway, will doubtless 
have the effect of lowering the rates; and the surplus grain, accumulated in the Tomsk, 
Semipalatinsk and Semirechinsk [districts, will not only find an advantageous outlet in the 
distant parts of Siberia, but will approach St. Petersburg by water and eventually find its 
way abroad. 


228 SIBEltlA. 

Sonio of tlio most iiiiporlaiil ol these inea.sur<;.s are: that dredging will be carried on 
along tlio Ijottoni of the river Tura l)f!t\vei'n its mouth ami Tiuraen, along the Tobol from 
till! iiioutli^ of tin; Tura till it lulls into III*- Irtish, along the river Tom Ironi Kuznetsk to 
ils mouth and aloni,' the river Chulym liom Achinsk to its month. On a <;on>id(,Mal)le portion 
ol the ()l)i sy.stttm dilficult places lor navigation will he marked and observations of the 
watri- lr\(! will lj.' taken wliidi will be lidrgraplitMl to tlif i»la<-es where the vessels usually 
resort. A tclegiaph wiic will Iim laid from Tobolsk to Samarov and from Samarov to 
Krivoschekov, a distance of 2,245 versts. In order to cany on these operations tlu' necessary 
dredging and earth roinoving machinery, 5 steamers and 3 steam long-boats will be amongst 
other things pioviili'il by the Government. 

Till' river Yenisei, which rises in Mongolia, is navigable alino>i Irom the Irontier to 
ils mouth. For a long lime however the rapids interfered with the progress of navigation, 
but il has lately been round possible to go lound them. Steam navigation on the Yenisei 
really began in 1863 when traffic was opened between its mouth and Y'eniseisk. Five years 
later a Dutch company ollereil to establish a regular steamboat service on the Angara to 
IJaikal and to clear away the rapids, but the offer was not accepted. In 1888 the number 
of steamers rose to 4 and tlie total amount of freight conveyed was 129,000 ponds. In 1890 
there were 6 steamers, 30 barges and about 20 large boats plying between Y'eniseisk and 
Karaoul transporting 2GO,000 pouds of merchandise. Regular steamboat service on the Y''enisei 
is kept up, on the one side, between Y'eniseisk and Krasnoyarsk, ami on the other, between 
Krasnoyarsk and Minusinsk. A similar service between Yeniseisk and the mouth of the river 
could not be established, partly on account of insufficiency of freights, and partly on account 
of the rapids. 

At present, in order to convey building materials for the Great Siberian Railway by sea 
through the mouth of the Yenisei, the Government has found it expedient to investigate this 
route, the gulf of Y'enisei and the river itself. For this purpose two steamers have been 
ordered, specially designed for cruising on the Yenisei, ami in 1893 an expedition will be 
fitted out and despati;hed to the estuary of the river. Both of these steamers were ordered in 
England at Dunibarlon and were to be ready July 1st, this year. One of them has a twin 
screw, is of 5(X) horse i)ower and draws 8 feet of water; it is destined for service between 
the mouths of the Yenisei and the town of Y^'euiseisk and calculated to carry 93,000 pouds ' 
the other is a paddle steamer with a draught of B'h feet; it is intended to tow barges up to 
60,000 pouds weight between Y^'eniseisk and Krasnoyarsk. In this way the whole journey from 
the niontlis of the Y'enisei to Krasnoyarsk can be effected without unloading, by simply changing 
the barges in tow from one steamer to the other. 

From Y'eniseisk the navigation takes another direction, along the river Angara which 
is a tributary of the Yenisei. It flows from lake Baikal through a distance of 1,705 versts 
and joins the Yenisei at Yeniseisk. For a distance of 600 versts from Irkutsk to the prison 
of Bratsk, the Angara is quite navigable but the remainder of its course of more than a thous- 
aoid versts is full of rapids and interferes with regular navigation. However, Sibiryakov thought 
it worth his wiiilr; in 1885 to solicit a five-years license from the Government for running 
steamers on this part of the rivei', binding himself within the space of two yeai's to organize 


a service of tug and cable boats for carrying goods, passengers and mails .by at least 
two steamers. Sibiryakov's endeavours to institute cable steamers on the Angara may be 
called unsuccessful; in the middle of 1888 he started a caravan of two steamers and 3 barges 
with a load of 30,000 pouds of grain up the Angara, By August 15th the caravan had only 
travelled 400 versts and on account of the shallow water had to stop at 500 versts from its 
destination, the mouth of the Ilim, and turn back after having sustained considerable damage. 
Regular steamboat service on the Angara between Irkutsk and Yeniseisk is therefore a thing 
of the future, but as the Great Siberian Railway will intersect both the Yenisei and the Angara, 
these two rivers will serve to feed it and deliver goods both from above and below. Funher 
on, at Verkhneoudinsk, the line will intersect the large river Selenga which rises in China 
and is within a distance of 1,000 versts from the Chinese Yellow river. Here steamers are 
plying and the railway can not only be supplied with freights coming from lake Baikal by 
water, but even with goods from the borders of China. 

The third large Siberian river, the Lena, occupies a more independent position and 
is neither connected with the Amour basin, nor with that of the Yenisei. The basin of the 
Lena does not directly come in contact with the Great Siberian Railway but will in all pro- 
bability have a considerable influence indirectly in delivering goods from the Yakutsk region. 
There is at present steam navigation on the Lena, but it is more or less of a casual nature- 
Vessels from Europe have repeatedly visited the estuary of this river but the trade was of 
less importance than that done at the mouth of the Yenisei. The Government, being anxious 
to encourage intercourse between Europe and the Siberian shores of the Arctic Ocean, has 
several times granted by an Imperial decree a free import of goods through the mouths 
of the Obi, Yenisei and Lena to various individuals, including foreigners. The final term of 
this privilegs expires next year, in 1894. 

The Kiakhta Steamboat Company, founded in 1881 by the local merchants, keeps a 
regular steamboat service on lake Baikal in accordance with the Government regulations of 
May 1, 1890, referring to mail-passenger and steam tug service on lake Baikal. These regula- 
tions require that the company should employ the two steamboats it possesses for the following 
work: 1. three journeys a week from the Listvenich settlement to Mysovsk pier, a distance 
of 80 versts across the lake from west to east and back; 2. five journeys to and fro 
per season from the Listvenich settlement to the Tourkinsk mineral water springs, the mouth 
of the Bargouzin, Krougoulin, Sosnovka and the mouth of the Upper Angara, a distance of 
700 versts. These latter journeys were fixed in accordance with the local requirements and 
subject to the approval of the Governor-General of Irkutsk; the service is in general carried 
on according to a time-table edited by the company, upon agreement with the local authori- 
ties, and confirmed by the chief of the district. For keeping up the above mentioned service 
the company receives the following Government subsidies: 1. for the journeys between List- 
venich and Mysovsk, 296 roubles for every double journey there and back; 2. for every cruise 
from Listvenich to the mouth of the Upper Angara, 2,170 roubles; counting 78 of the 
first and 5 of the second journeys per season, the total subsidy amounts to 33,938 roubles, 
and should not exceed this sum. The concession has been granted to the company for a term 
of 12 years commencing from 1890. 


This coucliiilfj.s Uio ili.scription of the navigairw. mIi ilie Siberiaa waters feeding the 
Arctic Ocean, as the hasin of the fourtli Siberian river, the Amour, ami the lake Khank 
which is in connection with it, appertains entinjly to the Eastern Ocean. 

Navigation ou the Amour basin. 

The navjgaiinn on \\v) Aiiioiir tia>iii i> a iiiaiit-r ol <;oiii|iaraiively recent (iat*;; 
as lalijly as ]8lO it was imi known whcllier the rivers of this basin were navigable, 
and very liilh; was known ol tin; Aiiioiir ii^'ll ami its estuary. In 1844 loi- the first 
time an Imperial edict was issued, emi)owering the Russian-American Cora))any in fit 
out a vessel at the expense of the Government lor exploring the estuary of tlie Amour. 
On May 5, 1846, the ship «Constantiue», under the command of Gavrilov, entered the Amour 
and this was the first vessel that had ever made its appearance on th<! waters of that river- 
From that time the exploration of the country went with more rapid strides, ami later, thanks 
to the military expedition of Count Mouraviev, who in 1854 descended the Amour with the 
Government steamer «Argun», built at the Shilkinsk works, Ilussian rule in the Amour region 
obtained a firm foothold. The formal annexation of the extensive basin of the Amour to the 
Russian dominions later on may be regarded as the commencement of the civil developement 
of that region. In 1855 Yice-Admiral Poutiatiu went up the Amour in the steamer cNadezhda> 
and in the following year another steamer, the &Shilka» made its appearance. At the end 
of 1856 an Imperial edict was issued concerning the organization of the Amour province 
which includt'd Kamchatka, the whole of the shore of the Okhotsk Sea with the region of 
Udsk and the places occupied by Russia in the low country of the Amour and the Straits 
of Tartary. In order to keep up regular intercourse between the different points of the new 
territory the Government acquired two more steamers, the «Amour3> and «Lena». Thus in 
1857 there were 5 Government steamers plying on the Amour; in 1860 the number was in- 
creased to 8, and in 1870 it rose to 12. At the same time i)rivate individuals and separate 
Government institutions also began to provide themselves with steamers; the first private 
steamboat ou the Amour made its appearance in 1859; the telegraph department in 1863 
possessed 5 steamers and the Engineering Department 3, so that in 1870 there were altogether 
25 steamboats on the Amour. 

About this time the idea originated of instituting a regular steamboat time service on 
the Amour in order to satisfy the increasing w^ants of trade and in case of necessity for 
moving troops and carrying Government stores and forage. For this purpose, at the end of the 
year 1871, a 20- years concession was granted to Benardaki and Co. for keeping up a regular 
steamboat communication on the rivers of the Amour basin. ;Benardaki then formed the 
company for organizing regular steamboat'traffic ou these rivers. The company took upon itself 
the obligation of maintaining from 1872 regular mail and passenger traffic on the Amour bet- 
ween Nikolaevsk and Sretensk, a distance of 2,956 versts, also a mail steam tug service from 
Khabarovka to post X° 4 near lake Khanka, a distance of 630 versts, on lake Khauka as 
far as the post of Kameu-Rybolov, 135 versts, and an occasional steam tug service from 
Sretensk to Xicolaevsk. 


The number of steamers was not to be less than 12, and when tlie company was 
started the Government made over to it 9 steamers which belonged to the Naval Depart- 
ment. The passenger and goods freights were fixed by a special tariff and the Government 
besides guaranteeing a fixed amount of Government freights also agreed to pay a subsidy 
during the whole stipulated period of 20 years in the shape of a payment of 2 roubles 
15 kopecks for every verst of each voyage on the rivers Shilka^ Amour, Ussuri and lake Khanka 
during the first 10 years with a reduction of 5 per cent per annum during the next 10 years. 
The highest limit of this scale was fixed at 245,000 roubles a year. Without dwelling upon 
the other details of the agreement between the Government and the Amour Steamboat Comp- 
any, it may be mentioned that the latter pledged itself to erect engineering workshops at 
Khabarovka for repairing the Government steamers, and to provide its own boats with the 
necessary means for executing small repairs. 

Thanks to the institution of regular steam navigation on the Amour basin, the inter- 
course between the various points of Eastern Siberia became so animated that private individ- 
uals were able to start their own steamers and barges without Government assistance. Fifteen 
years after the formation of the Amour Steamship Company, iji 1885, there were 4-4 steamers 
owned by various imlividuals and companies cruising on the waters of the Amour basin as 
seen below: 

1. The Amour Steamship Company possessed 17 steamers of 1,107 aggregate horse power, 
and also 18 iron and 8 wooden barges, carrying altogether 161,000 pouds. 

2. The merchant Pakholkov possessed 2 steamers of 120 horse power and 2 barges. 

3. The Hamburg merchant Dickman owned 5 steamers of 265 total horse power and 
4 barges. 

4. The Kiakhla Company owned 2 steamers of 180 total horse power and 3 barges. 

5. The mercant Loukine was running 3 steamers of 190 total horse power. 

6. The merchant Boutine owned 5 steamers of 205 total horse power and 6 barges 
carrying altogether 57,000 pouds. 

7. The Upper Amour Gold-digging Company had 2 steamers of 160 total horse power. 

8. The Telegraph Department was running one steamer of 15 horse power. 

9. The Engineering Department owned one steamer of 40 horse power. 

10. The Zeisk Company o\vned 3 steamers with an aggregate of 267 horse power. 

11. The Nieman Company owned one steamboat of 12 horse power. 

12. The merchant Etkine was running 2 steamers of 80 total horse power. 

Of all the above mentioned shipowners only the Amour Steamship Company and the 
Kiakhta Steamboat Company received assistance from the Government; the former during the 
20 years of the original concession received 245,000 roubles mileage and 75,000 roubles guar- 
antee for can-ying Government freights, altogether 258,750 roubles; and after the expiration 
of this concession, in 1891. a temporary agreement was made with the company insuring it a 
yearly Government subsidy of 183,000 roubles until the present year 1893. The latter company 
receives a mileage in the same proportion, amounting to 33,938 roubles per annum, for roguhir 
steam service on lake Baikal and the passenger and goods freights have been fixed at a rathm- 
high tariff. For instance, the charge for conveying tea, furs and manufactured goods between 


tlic sottlemcnt of Lislvonich .ind tli«.' iJoyaisk \>\rr, a distance of 10 versts, is V' kopeck per 
poud-veist; and imni Listvcnicli t» tlir- ukmiiIi of An^'ara, a distance of 700 versts, there is a 
reduction (tf 40 pci' cent frrim lliis poud-verst chargi-. 

"When first started, the Amour Steamboat Company was hardly piepared to execute 
the obligations it liail taken upon itself; not possessing capital, it was obliged to have 
recourse to foreign loans, and tlie percentages on the sinkintr luml of the debt swallowed u|» 
a considerable jtortion oi the revenue, so that, notwithstandiuf/ repeated assistance from the 
(loverninent in the shape of loans, the company was unable to keep its steamers in proper 
repair. In (Muisequence al' this, when the contract expired in JB92 there was a question of 
entrusting the steam service on the Amour basin to other parties. An offer was made by 
Messrs. Sibiriakov and Shevelev who were willing to umlertake the business on more ad- 
vantageous terms than the Amour Steamboat Company. In making a new contract it was 
expedient to stipulate that the old steamers should be replaced by new ones. In consequence 
however of the delay in concluding the contract, the new promoters were unable to change 
the old steamers at once and tliercfore the Government allowed the business to remain two 
years longer in the liands <<i' the Amour Company, especially as they agreed to the same 
terms as the new contractors. The principal conditions were as follows: the contractors 
undertake to keep up a regular steam service on the Amour, Ussuri, Shilka river and lake 
Khanka for the space of 15 years with a Government subsidy in the form of a payment of 
1 rouble 50 kopecks per verst for every verst actually made on these waters during the 
firsts 10 years, with a reduction of 5 per cent per annum for the succeeding 5 years, this 
mileage not to exceed 183,532 roubles per annum during the first 10 years. Besides this the 
Government does not hind itself to provide cargoes or to make extra payments for them. 

Next year, therefore in 1894, the new steamers of Sibiriakov and Shevelev will make 
their appearance on the waters of the Amour basin; their contract expires in 1908. At present 
the Government is examining the request of these contractors to turn the Amour Steamboat 
enterprise into a joint-stock company with a capital of one million roubles. 

The organization of regular and constant steam service between the coast stations of 
the far distant Russian domains on the shores of the Pacific has always engi'ossed the atten- 
tion of the Government as it would provide a convenient and cheap sea route for the local 
population. In the complete absence of roads in that region, steamboat communication 
acquires particular importance as being the only means of intercourse between the above 
mentioned points. The efforts made in this direction would also excercise a beneficial result 
upon Russian commercial intercourse with Corea, Japan and China and benefit the econom- 
ical position of the country. Whilst up to 1880 the existing means of transport were not 
only insufficient to secure regular communication for the inhabitants but did not even suffice 
for the wants of the administrative establishments for the transport of Government stores and 
passengers. For these reasons the Government has repeatedly taken measures for facilitating 
sea communication between the Pacific ports of Siberia on the one hand, and between these 
ports and the principal ports of Japan and China on the other, but regular communication 
has been effected only since 1881, when the matter was undertaken by Mr. Shevelev. This 
gentleman bound himself to keep up a time service between Vladivostok and Xicolaevsk and 


between Vladivostok and Han-Kow, touching at Shankhai, Nagasaki, the gulf of St. Olga, 
the Korsakovsk post, the Imperial harbour, post Done and the gulf of De Castri ; besides 
freights according to a fixed tariff, the contractor receives from the Government a mileage 
of 3 roubles during the first 10 years, with 10 per cent reduction per annum, for the 
next 5 years. 

The voyages abroad were instituted in the Interests of commerce to maintain inter- 
course Avith the countries lying to the south of the Russian dominions. Iq consequence how- 
ever of the evident urgent necessity of increasing the communication between the Russian 
ports, Mr. Shevelev's steamer <'Baikal;> was in 188G exclusively employed in cruising about 
the gulf of Tartary, accomplishing six journeys to Nicolaevsk to the detriment of the foreign 
trade. Besides this steamer, two other vessels of the Siberian flotilla and one steamer 
belonging to the Naval Department were employed in carrying goods and passengers through 
the Straits of Tartary. Some of the above mentioned Pacific ports, such as Doue, the 
Korsakovsk post, and others, are also visited by the vessels of the Volunteer Fleet; nevertheless 
the means of transport available, about 1885, did not suffice for the increasing wants of the 
Siberian Pacific region and it was necessary to have recourse to the foreign vessels which 
brought goods from Western Europe and the United States to the Siberian ports. 

It was naturally undesirable that foreign vessels should take part in the coasting trade 
in Russian waters along the shores of Eastern Siberia, and therefore the question arose of 
increasing the steamboat service in the Far East. Upon due consideration it was deemed most 
advisable to allow Mr. Shevelev to institute some supplementary communication between the 
ports of the Pacific, and a contract was concluded with him for 15 years from September 
17, 1888. Mr. Shevelev bound himself to keep up three lines of regular steamers: 1. through 
the Straits of Tartary between Vladivostok and Nicolaevsk; 2. between Vladivostok and 
Shankhai; 3. in the gulf of Peter the Great, touching at certain points along the line. The 
passenger and goods freights were charged in accordance with a fixed tariff, and besides this, 
in order to encourage the enterprise, the contractor receives from the Government a mileage 
at the rate of three roubles paper for every mile during the first 10 years with a gradual 
yearly reduction of 10 per cent per annum for the remaining 5 years. This mileage during 
the first two years was not to exceed the sum due for a distance of 37,000 mile;, and for 
50,000 miles for the following years. According to the terms of this contract Shevelev is at 
present running steamers between the above mentioned port* of the maritime district and also 
to Han-Kow, Nagasaki and Shankhai. 

There is no regular service of steamers to the other ports of the Arctic and Pacilic. 
But even the establishment of a casual steam service between the European ports and the 
ports of Siberia on the Northern and Ea^^tern Oceans has a most important influence upon the 
industrial development of the country. 

The determination of a northern rout(> from Europe through the AVliite Sea and the 
Kara Straits with the mouths of the Obi, Yenisei and Lena has been briefly described at the 
commencement of this article and it now only remains to add some supplementary information 
on this subject. Thanks to the autority of Count Litke, the academecian Bere and other 
northern explorers, who did not admit of tlic^ possiliility of penetrating from Europe into Asia 

234 sinRRFA. 

tliiY)ijf,4i tilt; Aiciio i>oi;aii, the iiorili>-iii ,-'-.i moi--. in .-^iLeria was regardeil as aa uuutiaiuaMij 
vision, and M. K. Sidorov did {^real !-orvico when, in 1853, he was the fii-st to prove the 
erroneousness of tin: opinions of Connt Litku and Mr. Vynr, unfortunately however he did not 
succeed in awak^'ninj,' tin; synipafhy of any of the scientilic societies. lie hased his arf^'uni'-'iits 
upon the constant intercourse l)elween the inhabitants of the coast from the mouths of the 
Pechora ami Olii, Imt nt;verthele<s, such a strong conviction prevailed that it was impossihie 
to reach the Kara Sea, that the promise made hy Sidorov of a largo reward to tho first 
vessel which would enter the Yenisei and bring back a cargo of graphite, was not sufficient 
to tempt anybody. In 1862 he succeeded in persuading Kruzenstern to undertake an expedition 
to the east, and although it did not terminate successfully, still it convinced those who took 
part in it that the Kara Sea was almost free of ice. However no more advonturt'S were found 
after Kruzenstern, >o Sidorov was obliged himself to take the initiative and determined to fit 
out a polar expedition at his own expense, but not lindiiiii any of his own countrymen de-irous 
of joining him, he went to Sweden where he made the acquaintance of Baron Nordenskjold. 
Next a lively correspondence was entered into between them, Nordenskjold becoming ever more 
and more interested in Sidorov's ideas about a sea route to Siberia. 

In 1869 Sidorov saileil on the steamer «Georgi» from Cronstadt, but near the mouths of 
the Pechora let slip the favourable lime while saving the English steamer «NorfoIk». Resoluttdy 
propagating his idea, Sidorov applied to the well known geographer Petermann to print in his 
celebrated Mittheilungen an appeal to those desirous of accepting his ofier, namely a reward of 
2,000 pounds sterling to him who should first make the sea passage from Europe to the estuary 
of the Yenisei. Thanks to the wide circulation of Petermann's magazine, Sidorov's appeal attrac- 
ted the attention of the Englishman Wiggins who loaded the steamer «Diana» for this expe- 
dition. In 1874, he successfully passed through the Kara Sea and entered the mouths of the 
Obi and Yenisei, after which he returned to England having practically demonstrated the 
possibility of a north sea passage to Siberia. In 1875 the Swedish merchant Dickson fitted 
out the yacht <;Experiment» under the command of Baron Nordenskjold, which also success- 
fully reached the estuary of the Yenisei. The vessel made the return passage, while the Cap 
tain, ascending the Yenisei in a boat to Yeniseisk, went back by land. In the following year 
Baron Nordenskjold on the steamer «Himer», and Wiggins on the steamer «Famela» once more 
safely sailed through into the estuary of the Yenisei. 

The late Sidorov having thus obtained the confirmation of the justice of his idea did not 
himself however for a long time have the chance of making the passage. Only in 1376 did 
he succeed in fitting out the vessel ^Northern Light» under the command of Schwanenberg, 
which unfortunately suffered shipwreck among the Little Bregovsk Islands. In 1877 another 
vessel belonging to Sidorov, built in Yeniseisk, the «Dawn» under the command of the same 
Schw^anenberg, sailed from the estuary of the Yenisei and safely arrived in St. Petersburgh. 
In the same year Trapeznikov's steamer the cLouisa» sailing from Hull, on the 18th of July 
passed through the Kara Straits without mishap, and having entered the mouth of the Obi pene- 
trated by the Irtysh to Tobolsk, with a cargo of iron and olive oil. At the same time Sibi- 
riakov chartered the steamer cFrazer» in Bremen, which lauded safely on the 21st of August at 
the mouth of the Yenisei a cargo of tobacco, sugar, machinery, et cetera. In 1878 the <.Fra- 


zer» repeated her voyage with the same success. At the same time Baron Nordenskjold's se- 
cond expedition took place. This navigator in the steamer «Yegav> made the voyage from 
Transen through the whole Arctic Ocean and returned to Europe after circumnavigating the 
continent of Europe-Asia. 

Sabsequeutly there were not a few other successful expeditions of this kind. lu the 
same year, 1878, two large European steamers entered the mouth of the Obi with colonial 
wares and iron goods, in exchange for which they took cargoes of wheat and hemp. Knop's 
steamers the <?Tsaritsa» and the «Moscow;^ entered the mouth of the Yenisei, the latter reach- 
ing Yeniseisk. Nordenskjold's steamer the «:Lena» entered the mouth of the river of the 
same name and ascended as far as Yakutsk having thus sailed 2,700 versts from the mouth. 

In consequence of such results, sea communication between Europe and Siberia by the Arctic 
Ocean appeared to be completely established, although there were still not a few accidents to 
ships attempting to make their way to Siberia by this new route. In 1887 in Newcastle a 
company was formed for establishing commercial relations with Siberia, and with this object 
it equipped the steamer «Phoeuix» which successfully reached Yeniseisk. This first expedition, 
in consequence of the unfortunate choice of goods, was in a commercial sense a failure lor 
the company, but nevertheless the latter having become more nearly acquainted through its 
agents with the needs of Siberia and its productions, fitted out in the following year the 
steamer «Labrador», which was to carry its cargo to the mouth of the Yenisei and there re- 
ceive Siberian goods from the «Phoenix». But neither of these steamers attained its object 
and the company incurred considerable losses and soon wound up its affairs. The ill success of 
this company did not however quell the desire of the enterprising Englishmen to again 
try their luck, and with this object once more an Anglo-Siberian Company was formed, 
which despatched a steamer to the mouth of the Yenisei with a cargo of assorted goods. lu 
consequence of an accidental concurrence of various unfortunate circumstances, notwithstanding 
even the gi-anting of the right of duty-free importation of goods into the northern ports ot 
Siberia during five years, the new company also had no success in a commercial sense and 
was obliged to wind up its affairs. 

Thus, the result of these attempts was the positive establishment of the fact of the 
possibility without extraordinary difficulty of sea communication between Europe and Asia 
via the Arctic Ocean. But the commercial advantage of the employment of this route remains 
so far a thing of the future. In conclusion it is not out of place to remark in connexion with 
the north sea passage to Siberia, that Sidorov first pointed out the importance of stoking 
steamers for polar expeditions with pertroleum and in 1872 inaugurated this system in Archangel, 
intending to employ the liquid fuel of local origin, but the expedition then planned by him, as 
was mentioned, did not take place. 

The Pacific coast of Siberia did not present any difficulties in the way of regular sea 
communication, but here this undertaking could not be developed in consequence of quite dif- 
ferent causes. Till the end of the seventies the communication between European Russia and 
Siberia through the Pacific Ocean had a more or less accidental character. The establishment 
of steam communication with the Far East, undertaken in 1870 by the Russian Steam Naviga- 
tion and Trade Company, did not possess any serious commercial importance. This undertaking 


also assumed laig<! tiirnonsions only from Iho momcni wlnu ih<' Volunteer Fleet estab- 
lished regular commiinieutiori beiwet-n Odessa and Vladivostok, calling at several Chinese 
polls oil the way. This iii^tiiiitioii, called into existence in JB78 during the last Eastern war 
with the object ol' perlormJng Hk- duty (d cruisers in war lime and having commercial ohjects 
in lime of peace, cerlainly gave a gi'cat impulse to the coniiecling of Euntpean Russia with 
the Far East, and strengthened the influence of Russia in the waters of ihe Pacific Ocean. 

The Volunteer Fleet, whose ships are completely adapted to long ocean voyages, is 
oveiy year increasing its activity in the conveyance of passengers and goods from the ports 
of the Black Sea to Vladivostok and Nikolaevsk. The number of persons carried hardly reach- 
ing 1,300 in 1882, in 1892 rose to 7,000, while tlie (niaiitiiy of cargo lor the same period 
rose from 4,800 to 780,000 pouds. This is, in no small degree, due to the comparatively low 
IVeights for a distance of over 10,000 English miles, a voyage taking about 40 days. The 
cabin passenger pays 5CKJ roubles, includiug food for the voyage from Odessa to Vladivostok; 
the deck passenger, 100 roubles for the same distance, also with food. Cargo is charged 30 
to 40 kopecks a pond. 

Now the Volunteer Fleet disposes of nine steamers, with a total tonnage of 30,000 tons, 
and nevertheless it barely satisfies the demands maile upon it. Thanks to its activity. Eastern 
Siberia now receives a mass of necessary articles from European Russia and not from abroad, 
and European Russia gets Chinese tea much cheaper than by land. 

The survey of the land communications must necessarily be short. In virtue of historic- 
ally constituted circumstances but one road passes through Siberia, at all deserving attention, 
this being the so-called Great Siberian Tract, joining Moscow with Irkutsk, or more exactly 
with Kiakhta, as over it more than anything else are transported the teas going from China 
through Kiakhta. Within the actual limits of Siberia it commences at Tinmen and passes 
through Yalutorovsk, Ishim, Tiukalinsk, Kainsk, Kolyvan, Tomsk, Mariinsk, Achinsk, Krasno- 
yarsk, Nizhiicoudinsk. In this direction also took place the principal- colonization of Siberia. Hence 
one road goes to Kiakhta and contiinies further into the Celestial Empire, while another goes 
to Baikal, upon which in summer there is steam communication, and in winter by sledge, 
there is also a road round Baikal passing through an extremely irregular country. Further 
on, the post road from Verkneoudinsk to Sretensk traverses very difficult places, where some- 
times no snow whatever falls, in consequence of which in winter the driver is not seldom obliged 
here to carry his sledge on a cart, or on the other hand to put the cart on runners. The 
thinness of the population in the country along this road, inhabited mainly by vagrants, makes 
the conveyance of freights extremely difficult and expensive. From this point to Khabarovka 
the road follows the Amour, but few make any use of it. In summer, people prefer to take 
advantage of the water communication, in winter they travel in sledges over the ice, and 
only the break-up of the ice or some other hard necessity, forces them to turn to the nat- 
ural earth road. The further communication with the terminal points of Siberia. Nikolaevsk 
and Vladivostok, is carried on in summer by water and in winter on the ice. In autumn 
and spring almost all communication is stopped here. 

From the route just mentioned, especially from the Great Siberian Tract, at various 
points branch lesser tracts serving as feeders, but not one of them is distinguished by the 



necessary good orgauization, nor possesses any great commercial importance. In the latter re- 
spect, a certain interest is presented by two routes leading from Western Siberia through the 
Altai into Mongolia. Of these the Chuisk tract, serving as the chief artery for the commer- 
cial traffic between Western Siberia and Mongolia, proceeds from Biisk by the valley of the 
river Chuya near the Imperial frontier to Kobdo and Ulyasutai, and for a distance of 240 versts, 
from Biisk to Angoudai, offers a pretty fair carriage read, while beyond this point to Kosh- 
Agach, 220 versts, it is only available for the passage of beasts of burden. The second or 
Bukhtarminsk tract, also terminating at Kobdo, leads from the territory of Semipalatinsk 
through the Bukhtarminsk camp, the Ulan-Daba pass and Khongo. This road from Ust-Kamen- 
nogorsk to the settlement of Urylsk, a distance of 382 versls, is available for wheeled traffic, 
its continuation beiug a mere track for pack-animals. 




The Great Siberian Railway. 

Historical review ol' Ibe question of a Siberian railway; first proposals in reference to 

the construction of the road; the northern, middle and southern directions; the proposals of the 

engineers Ostrovsky and Sidensner; position of the question in 1890; commencement of 

the line at Vladivostok; position of the railway works on the 10th of March, 1893. 

AFTER the annexation of the extensive Amour and Littoral territories and of the Ussuri 
region, the want was felt of good \vays of communication, on the one hand in 
order to keep possession of them, and on the other, in order to attract settlers and form 
new centres of population. In consequence of this a series of schemes appeared for the con- 
struction of new roads in Siherla, and Count Mouraviev-AmourSki himself was almost the first 
who conceived the idea of a railway in this country. Upon the occupation of the mouths of 
the Amour in 1850, and especially after the successful expeditions of Count Mouraviev himself 
down that river, the inconveniences of the estuary for the entry into the river began to be- 
come evident, and accordingly there arose the idea of making use of the splendid bay 
of De Castri in the Tartar Straits and of uniting it with Sofiisk on the Amour by a carriage 
road with the intention of subsequently converting It into a railway. The surveys in this 
locality and the scheme for such a road were carried out in 1857 by Colonel Romanov, but 
the road Itself was not destined to be realized for want of means. Simultaneously with this 
appeared the proposal of the English engineer Dull. He conceived the idea of cariTing a 
horse tramway from Nizhni-Xovgorod through Kazan and Perm to one of the Siberian ports 
of the Pacific Ocean, but this scheme, unsupported by any estimates, was obviously of too 
unsubstantial a character, and the Government accordingly passed it over in silence. 

In the same year another foreigner, the American citizen Collins, petitioned the Gov- 
ernment to authorize him to found a stock-company, to be styled the Amour Railway Com- 
pany, to unite Irkutsk and' Chita. For the realization of this enterprise Collins wished to 
issue shares of 100 roubles calculating upon getting all the necessary capital subscribed in 
Siberia itself. This scheme, although likewise destitute of any solid foundation, thanks to the 
sympathetic attitude of the then Governor-General Count Mouraviev, was examined on the very 
shortest notice both in the Ministry of Ways of Communication and in the Siberian Com- 


mittee, but in both institutions, albeit on different grounds, il was found to be inopportune and 
was rejected. 

The third proposal following close upon the second in 1658 aimed at uniting by rail 
Moscow and the Tartar Straits on the Pacific shore of Siberia. The authors of this scheme 
were the Englishmen, MoiTison, Horn and Sleigh, who \vithout demanding any guarantee of 
Income from the Government yet petitioned for such considerable privileges, that their grant- 
ing would have lead to the concentration of the whole Siberian trade and industry in the 
hands of foreigners for a very long period. At the same time they gave the Government no 
guarantee for the timely and successful accomplishment of the work contemplated. On more 
intimate acquaintance with the said proposal it appeared that it was founded upon no pre- 
liminary surveys. On this ground the Government did not find it deserving of attention and 
informed the proposers of the scheme that the construction of a railway from Kizhni-Novgorod 
to the Tartar Bay did not enter Into the plans of the Government and therefore could not 
be accepted. 

The question of the Siberian railway aroused a lively interest in official and private 
circles, and therefore there was no lack of new, more or less imposing propositions. In the 
same year, 1858, appeared Sofronov's scheme, to carry a railway from Saratov through the 
Kirghiz steppes to Semipalatinsk, Minusinsk, Selenginsk, the Amour and Pekin. Against it 
there then appeared in print many objections in which was pointed out among other things 
the necessity of taking the line along the Great Siberian Tract, which had existed from time 
immemorial, crossing the Ural and connecting Nizhni-Novgorod with Kiakhta. Sofronov's 
scheme, like all the preceding ones, was a paper scheme and not the result of actual investigation 
of the trading and industrial needs of the localities, through which this mighty route was to 
pass. Submitted to Count Mouraviev-Amoursky's consideration, it called forth several corrections 
and additions, but had no practical consequences. 

Of a much more practical character was the undertaking proposed by Kokorev and 
Co., who in 1862, having formed the idea of uniting the basins of the Volga and the Obi. 
these two giant streams of European Russia and Siberia, availed themselves of the scheme 
of the mining engineer Rashet, for a long time head of the Government and private mining 
works in the Ural, and perfectly acquainted with that district. The surveys carried out with 
reference to this scheme pointed to the following line, from Perm via the Nizhni-Tagil works 
to Tinmen, 678 versts with a branch to Irbit, 13 versts. This scheme, completely satisfying 
the demands of the through route, appeared to be the most desirable for the whole Ural 
mining industry, whose representatives received it very favourably. However, soon afterwards the 
same men abandoned the direction indicated by Rashet's schemes and adopted another pro- 
posed by Colonel Bogdanovich. 

The latter's plan was one of the results of his despatch in 1866 to the government 
of Vlatka to take measures against the injurious consequences of the crop failure which 
befell that country in 1864 After only two months from his departure from St. Petersburg, 
Bogdanovich reported by telegraph to the Minister of the Interior on the 23rd of March, 1866, 
as follows: « After removing all difficulties in the provisioning of the governments of Perm and 
Viatka and investigating the local conditions, I am of opinion that the only sure means of 


preventing famine in the (Jral country in the I'nluie is the buililing of a railway from the 
governments of the interior to Ki<aterinburg and thence to Tinmen. Such a line, being sub- 
sequently continni'il through Siberia to the Chinese frontier would acquire a gieat importance 
both strategical and for international trade*. Afterwards, on the recfipt from Bogdanovich of 
a nioro detaili-d ivpmt on the subject, it was in April, ISB*^, thought good to authoriZ'; the 
s;ii(l piMson to carry out detailed surveys and lorni a scheme for a railway Irom thi- village 
of Yershov through Ekaterinbuig to Tinmen. Tim original project was somewhat ha.stily 
draugliti'd and therofore the author subsequently had to make '^"V*t;iI corrections and ad- 
ditions in 11. 

The two schemes referred to, powerfully affecting the interests of different parts of 
Siberia, called into existence a third in 1869, that of the trader liiubimov. The latter carried 
out surveys from Perm through the towns of Kungur, Ekaterinburg and Shadrinsk to the 
hamlet of Bieloozersk, situated 49 versts to the north of Kurgan on the river Tobol, a distance 
of 711 versts. There was at the same time in view to carry from the main line a side 
mining branch in a northern direction from Ekaterinburg through the Nizhni-Tagil works 
to the Kushvinsk Government works, over a length of 131 versts. 

The then Governor-General of Western Siberia, Adjutant General Khruschov also 
directed attention to the carrying out of these surveys closely affecting the country 
entrusted to his care, and having become acquainted on the spot with the direction of trade 
and its needs, presented at the end of 1869 a memorial addressed to the Emperor upon the 
necessity of the rapid solution of the question of the building of the Siberian railway? 
pointing out at the same time the nearest route for it through Nizhni-Xovgorod to 
Kazan and Tiunien. 

Thus at the end of the sixties, upon the question of the construction of a Siberian 
railway there were sharply defined the three above mentioned routes according to the schemes 
respectively of Rashet, Liubimov and Bogdanovich. All three begin at Perm, and they end, 
the first and third, in the town of Tinmen, and the second at Bieloozersk on the river Tobol, 
which it was proposed to make navigable. In the numerous discussions of these schmes in 
scientific societies and in literature, the first route was named the Northern, the se- 
cond the Middle, and the third the Southern. Although no small number of prelim- 
inary surveys were made in all these directions, yet when in connection with the above 
mentioned report of Adjutant General Khruschov, this question began to be discussed in the 
higher Government spheres it was found possible in the first place to build only a part of 
the line projected, 7C)0 versts in length, in order to join the Kama with the Tobol. 

In order to form an opinion from the mass of not fully elaborated and not always 
exact data collected during the carrying out of private surveys, as well as to determine the 
most advantageous route for this line, a special commission was fitted out to the T7ra!, for 
whom the satisfaction of 'the needs of the Ural mining industry was to have the greatest 
weight, W'hile at the same time it was pointed out to them that the road must, although to 
a slight extent, only answer to the requirements of the Siberian transit trade. However on 
a closer acquaintance with the matter it appeared that these objects are incompatible and 
therefore the preference .was given to the Ural railway, the question of the Siberian road 


remaining open for some time. The surveys afterwards carried out in 1872—1874 ty the 
(iovcrnment established three principal routes: 1. Kineshma, Viatka, Perm, Ekaterinburg, 
933 versts; 2. Xizhni, Kazan, Krasnoufimsk, Ekaterinburg, 1,172 versts; 3. Alatyr, Ufa, 
Cheliabinsk, 1,173 versts. Thus, the first route proves to be a development of Mr. Rashefs 
scheme, that is, of the northern; the second, the altered scheme of Mr. Bogdanovich, or the 
southern; and finally the third, a compromise for the simultaneous satisfaction of the re- 
quirements of the Siberian and Central Asiatic transit traffic. The Committee of Ministers on 
examining these routes had its attention an'ested mainly by the first two, and in 1875 it was 
decided to carry the Siberian railway by the route from Nizhni-Xovgorod along the hilly 
bank of the Volga to Kazan, Ekaterinburg and Tinmen. 

It will be appropriate to observe here that the choice of the direction for the Siberian 
railway between north and south everywhere called forth very lively discussions. Various 
pamphlets appeared arguing for and against the said routes, the constant subject of dispute 
being not the direction of the railway in the Siberian territory, but its direction within the 
limits of European Russia. From the above quoted enumeration of the routes it is clear that 
all the proposals agreed in this, that whencesoever the line of railway begin, it must 
necessarily pass through Tiumen. Further than this point few went, and few interested them 
selves whether the line led through the southern steppes and traversed cultivated centres 
or extended through the thickets of the north, while only passing through the most im- 
portant places. 

In consequence of such being the situation of a matter so deeply interesting to 
Siberia, the higher administrative authorities of the country more than once raised the 
question of the immediate laying down of railway communication between different very 
important points of the country. Thus already in 1875, a petition was started to build 
a railway from Vladivostok to lake Khanko. which was followed by a lively correspondence 
in higher Government spheres upon the construction of railways by preference in Eastern 
Siberia within the territory of the Littoral and the Ussuri region, especially in view of the 
development in all directions of China and Japan. However the then difficult position of the 
Imperial finances did not permit of immediately proceeding to the realization of such 
desirable propositions. 

Continuing to discuss the most advantageous route for the Siberian line, the Government 
at the same time did not cease to occupy itself with the enlargement of the general system 
of railways, which in 1877 already reached Orenburg. In the following year, 1878, the Ural 
railway was opened, and in 1880 was completed the imposing structure of the Emperor 
Alexander II bridge across the Volga, while finally in the same year, ensued an Imperial 
command for the immediate building of the section of railway between Ekaterinburg and 
Tiumen. The accomplishment of the above named constructions in connexion with the results 
of new surveys showed that the southern route for the Siberian railway, sanctioned in 1875, 
on account of altered circumstances, could no longer answer to its destination. Accordingly 
in 1882 the discussion of the Siberian main line was begun afresh, which demanded the 
carrying out of supplementary surveys in several new directions, so that in 1884 the possibility 
appeared of presenting the three following routes instead of the southern. Of these, the first 


242 .SIHEKIA. 

was from Xizhni-Nuv^'oroi] tliroiigli Kazan, the Xikolobt;n;zuvhk wliuil and Lkat'.-nnliuig lu 
Tiiimon, ihi' socorid, froiu Samara via fjfa, Krasiimifimsk ami Ekat'-rinburg to Tiumi'ii, ami 
I III' lliinl, riom Samara tliroiii,'li Ufa, Zlatoust, to (^hellahiiisk. The rho'ioi of oin' of these 
three flirecti(jiiN would i)iedi'ti'rmiiie to a certain extent that of the main Silterian line itself, 
ami at the saim; lime to drcidi- this question finally, without having sulficient data on tbe 
route which Siberian fn-igbts would taki- on the completion of tbe Ekaterinburg-Tiumen 
line ilien under construction, joining the basins of Ihe Volga and the Obi, and also in consequenc'' 
(d' the imminent completion of tbe Obi-Yonisci canal for Ihe uniting of the basins of tb'' Obi 
and Yenisei, did not seem i)0ssible. Really the realization of tliese two works was openini.' 
over a vast cxti'iit a water route coiniei'ting the basin of tiii- A'olga with lake Baikal, and 
consequently must have a serious influence upon the direction te be taken by tbe railway 
line right through Siberia. On the other hand arose the question, was there any necessity, 
with the existence of excellent water communication, for the immediate construction of an 
unbroken line of railway through the whole of Siberia, and was it not better to be content 
in the first instance with the building of isolated sections possessing some political strateg- 
ical or industrial importance. 

In this last respect the schemes put forth by the engineers Ostrovsky and Sidensnet 
deserve particular attention. The former presented his proposal in the beginning of 1880: 
he maintaineil the idea that at that time, for the consolidation and economical develop- 
ment of Siberia and its relations with Russia, it was necessary above all things to improve 
and facilitate the internal communications of Siberia and only then complete the routes of 
transit then in existence upon this side of the Ural. Under the existing circumstances he saw 
no need for an unbroken line of railway right through Siberia. The author saw the solution 
of these problems merely in tbe quickest possible construction of the following three roads: 
Perm-Tobolsk, to unite the two large rivers Kama and Irtysh: Tomsk-Krasnoyarsk, to unite 
the Obi and the Yenisei, and finally the third, Omsk-Barnaoul, to unite the Irtysh at Omsk 
with the Obi at Barnaoul, with its continuation to Biisk, and further to the frontiei'S of China. 
On the creation of the two first lines, for an extent of 800 and 560 versts respectively, exten- 
sive communication is opened between the basin of the Volga and that of lake Baikal, this 
union being effected not with the aid of shallow and not always navigable rivers, but through 
the Kama ami thi' Irtysh which never lack water. 

The engineer Ostrovsky ascribed special importance to the Omsk-Barnaoul line. This 
line would shorten the great water road from the immensely rich mining district of Altai to 
Tobolsk and would strengthen the trade with China through Biisk, Kobdo and Ulyasutai. Only 
by taking advantage to th.e largest extent of the water ways of Siberia would be realized a 
cheap and convenieut communication between the centre of Siberia, Irkutsk and the centre 
of European Russia, Moscow. The direct union by an unbroken line of railway of the two 
centres referred to will become urgent and realizable only in the more or less distant futui-e. 
and beyond controversy only on Siberia attaining a higher degree of civilization than at 
present. Having examined the conditions which this imposing construction must satisfy, the 
engineer Ostrovsky indicates in general terms its direction from Moscow to Irkutsk as follows: 
< The road should pass through Riazan, Spassk, Ufa and thence through Zlatoust, Cheliaba, Petro- 


pavlovsk, Omsk, Kaiiisk, Tomsk, Mariiusk, Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kausk, Udiusk and Bala- 
gansk to Irkutsk. It will thus, throughout its whole extent, meet all the chief administrative 
and trading centres of Siberia, will nowhere quit the zone of densest population and will 
traverse almost exclusively the fertile chernoziom tract, from the Volga to the Yenisei. The 
constuction of the southern line might he accomplished in separate sections, each of which 
might he completed independently of the rest, preserving its own proper Importance ». 

The route quoted of the Siberian railway indicated by the engineer Ostrovsky deserves 
attention in this respect that it almost exactly coincides with that which is now finally 
adopted for the Great Siberian Railway. 

The engineer Sidensner, who took part in the expedition for carrying out the surveys 
in connection with the construction of the Obi-Yenisei canal, expressed the opinion that with 
the realization of this work and the removal of the rapids in the lower part of the Angara 
a vast water way would be opened of 5,000 versts extent, from Tinmen to Baikal. Next from 
Baikal begins the coast road to Sretensk of 950 versts; and there again, a new water way 
by the Amour for 3,000 versts. Discussing in detail the cart road, Sidensner draws the con- 
clusion that as a matter of fact it may be considerably shortened, as the first 150 versts 
pass by the shore of Baikal and the valley of the navigable river Serenga, and the last 350 
versts along the shore of the raftable river Ingoda and in part of the Shilka. Thus, the road 
is reiluced to 450 versts, and even here, from the happy direction of many shallow rivers 
which can easily be made navigable, there only remains the pass across the Yablonovoi range 
from the Areisk Lake to the settlement of Tangiusk, a distance of 18 versts; and only over 
this small section will it l)e necessary to build a railway to unite by a water route the 
basin of the Volga with the Pacific shore of Siberia. The proposition to carry out surveys in this 
direction, although met with favour, in consequence of the want of means could not be accepted. 

Yet many more schemes were presented, which were discussed both in Government 
spheres and in scientific societies, but the majority of them suffered from a lack of actual 
foundation. Special commissions were organized in the Imperial Russian Technical Society 
and in the Society for Promoting Russian Trade and Industry, which laboured very long upon 
the consideration of the questions of the route and cost of the Siberian Railway, but to write 
about all the schemes placed before these meetings, would take up very much time; they 
fill books. The principal directions are marked upon the map appended to this work, omitting 
the variations whose name is legion. 

Independently of the schemes proposed by private persons, several Governors-General 
of Siberia began vehemently to urge the necessity of building different sections of the line. 
Among these petitions, particularly noteworthy are the schemes for sections of the way from 
Tomsk to Irkutsk and from liaikal to Sretensk put forth by Baruu Korf and Count Ignatiev, 
intended to unite the Western Siberian navigation with that of Eastern Siberia on the Amour. 
To these two sections a third was soon added, from Vladivostok through Razdolnoe, Ni- 
kolskoe, and Anuchino to the Busse Post. The surveys carried out in these directions only 
touched the technical side of the matter, leaving the economical entirely aside; in consequence 
of which in 1887 it was not considered possible to proceed to the preparatory works for the 
carrying out of the schemes referred to. An exception was made only in reference to the 



Ussuri line, the constiuclion of wLicIi was put in tiiu lirst rank. This question was in 1^90 
placed for consideration before a Special Commission, which was also charged with elucidat- 
ing in what order the different sections should be built, in order as far as possible to lighten 
the sacrifices of the treasury and draw the greatest advantages from the working of those 
sections which shouhl be constructed first. In the Special Commission at the end of 1890, when 
the system of Russian railways projected eastwards in throe lines whose extreme points were 
Tiiuiioii on tlic L'ral line, Miass on tliut (if Zlatoust-Miass, and Orenburg on the Orenburg 
line, on the discussion (d' the (juestion of the conditions of the construction of the Great Sibe- 
rian Railway new circumstances cropped up which somewhat altered the former view of the 
matter. Strategical views partly gave way before considerations of an economical and com- 
mercial character, it being at the same time declared that the aim of the creation of the Si- 
berian railway should consist not so much in the opening in Siberia of new markets for the 
sale of the productions of European Russia, as in affording Siberia itself the possibility of 
marching along the roail of normal economical development and placing that vast country, so 
richly endowed by nature but bereft of convenient ways of communication, as far as possible 
in the same conditions as those which European Russia at present enjoys. Only in close eco- 
nomic communion with European Russia could Siberia grow and develop. On the other hand, 
European Russia in economical relation with Siberia would draw upon new sources for its 
development and enrichment. 

The commencement of the Siberian railway from the east, that is. from the Ussuri 
section would not completely answer to the objects laid down, and it was therefore recognized 
as more expedient to begin this great work simultaneously from the opposite ends in the east 
and west. The terminus of the line at its eastern end was one starting point, namely Vladivos- 
tok, and about this there were no differences of opinion and no disputes. Other point, to the 
slightest extent suitable for the purpose, there is none upon the Pacific shore of Siberia. 

The choice, on the other hand, of the western terminus offered a more difficult problem_ 
which however at last was reduced to the selection of one of the three above mentioned points 
with which the railway system of European Russia terminated towards the east. From what- 
ever point the Siberian railway was begun, on continuing it into the depth of the country, 
all three variants must necessarily join approximately at a point near Xizhneudinsk, as is 
shown upon the annexed map. • 

Choosing Tiumen as the point of departure the line must be earned to Yalutorovsk 
and Kainsk, leaving Tomsk by the way, as the taking of it in a more northerly direction, to 
Tomsk, is excessively difficult in consequence of a desert region covered with forests and 
swamps. Further on, the line must go to Mariinsk, Krasnoyarsk and Nizhneoudinsk. The distance 
from Tiunien to the last point is 3,474 versts. If the starting point chosen be the station of 
]\Iiass, the road will pass through Kurgan, Kainsk, Kolyvan, Mariinsk, Krasnoyarsk and Nizhneou- 
dinsk. The total distance is in this case 2,683 versts. Finally, selecting Orenburg, the line 
must be taken to Orsk, Atbassar, Akmolinsk, Pavlodar, Biisk, Minousinsk and Xizhneoudinsk. 
The total extent of the road by this route is 3,400 versts. 

Comparing ;the advantages and excellences of laying down the line in these three 
directions, the following is the result. Uniting the Siberian road wiih Tiumen without 


connecting it with the general system deprives it of the importance of a line of transit. But 
if the Ural line be produced from Perm to Xizhni, then in the first place, this distance of 
1,000 versts will cost about 71,000,000 roubles, and in the second, the said line from its 
technical conditions will present many difficulties in the way of profitable through goods traffic. 
The second route is 791 versts shorter than the preceding, and besides this, embraces the most 
populous parts of Western Siberia with a chernoziom and exceedingly fertile zone producing 
much more grain than is required on the spot. The third route traversing several large admin- 
istrative and industrial centres at the same time passes through a very unsuitable region in 
its western half. For about 1,500 versts the line goes through waterless, thinly populated 
steppes little adapted to civilized life, where in winter rage the fiercest winds, in consequence 
of which there are frequent snow drifts. In its eastern half this route intersects au extensive 
mountainous district and the carrying through it of a railway will require a crowd of technical 
complications and an increase in the cost of construction connected therewith. With all this 
the route in question is 717 versts longer than the preceding. Thus all the advantages proved 
to be in favour of prolonging the Samara-Zlatoust-Miass railway through Cheliabinsk, Kurgan 
and so on. 

In consequence of all the above, the question of the construction of the Great Siberian 
Railway was resolved on the 21st of February, 1891, in the sense of proceeding in the same year 
to the building, by direct order of the Treasury, of the railway from the station of Miass to 
the completion of the Zlatoust-Miass line in construction to Cheliabinsk, and to the carrying 
out of surveys from Cheliabinsk to Tomsk or some other point of the middle Siberian section. 
Finally, by an Imperial rescript given the 17th of March, 1891, in the name of his Imperial 
Highness the Tsarevich, the question of the construction of the Great Siberian Railway was 
finally and irrevocably decided in the affirmative. 

The Gracious Will of His Majesty the Emperor, clearly expressed in this rescript, put 
an end to many years of hesitation and doubt as to the accomplishment of the said great 
undertaking, and now the Government has taken all the necessary measures for the most 
successful realization possiide of this good conception, which has a perfect right to take one 
of the first places among the most extensive and important enterprises of the expiring century, 
not only in this country but in the whole world. 

The above quoted Imperial rescript was promulgated l)y the Grand Duke the Tsarevich 
on the 12th of May, 1891, in Vladivostok, and then His Imperial Highness laid the first stone 
of this mighty work. In the same year extensive surveys were commenced from the west and 
the east, and the possibility soon appeared of establishing the following order for the 
construction of the Great Siberian Railway. The realization of the enterprise was divided in- 
to three shifts. To the first was referred the construction of the Western Sil^erian section 
from Cheliabinsk to the river Obi, an extent of 1,328 versts, and of the middle Siberian section 
from the river Obi to the town of Irkutsk, a distance of 1,754 versts, as well as the completion 
of the section Vladivostok-Grafskaya, in course of construction, and the building of the connecting 
line between the Ural Mines line and the Siberian railway. To the second shift was counted 
the construction of the sections from Grafskaya to Khabarovka, 3-47 versts long, and from 
the station of Mysovskaya, tlie point of departure of the line on the other side of Raikal, to 


Sretcrisk, ii (listaiirT- of ]/tfO vorsts. To ilif iliinl shift Itdougs the building of the Circum- 
baikal lino, 202 versts in length, atnl from Sn-terisk to Khabarovka, about 2,fX/J versts. The 
works of the first shift aio to be roniplotod not later than the year 1900, 

The order of ronstrnction received the Imperial sanction on the 1 0th of December, 1892, 
and on the lOth of March of the present year, 1893, the construction of the Great Siberian 
Hallway was in the lulluwing state. 

1. T h f first s (' (• t i o ii o f I li c W e s t e r n S i li e r i a n Railway from the to w n 
o I' C 111' I i a li i II s k to the town of Urnsk, distance 747 versts. 

a. The p('rs(jnal s;aff (d" engineers completely organized and already on the spot; b. The 
alienation of land begun, and signed declarations obtained from the ouTiers as to the com- 
pensation required ])y them; c. The work in connection with the removal of earth given to 
contractors; navvies hired for the whole extent of the section, and excavators delivered on 
tire spot; earth removeil to the extent of 218,000 cubic sagenes or about 20. per cent of the 
whole quantity; d. Timber cut for the wooden bridges, and cast-iron pipes and iron ordered 
for the bridges across the rivers Tobol and Ishim; a considerable part of the wooden bridges 
built for a distance of 240 versts between Cheliabinsk and Kurgan; e. Four liundred thousand 
sleepers made and 50 per cent of this quantity delivered on the line; f. The laying of the 
telegraph begun, ami already opened for use from Cheliabinsk to Kurgan for a length of 
240 versts; g. Material in course of preparation for the buildings on the line and at the 
stations; h. Twenty thousand casks of cement obtained, and bolts ordered for the whole section. 

2. T li s c n d section of the Western S i b e r i a n K a i 1 w a y from the 
town of Omsk to the river b i, a d i s t a n c e of 579 versts. 

a. Personal staff of engineers organized: b. Earth-works contracted for the first 100 
versts from the town of Omsk; b. Negotiations being carried on with the works for the supply 
of cement and iron for the bridges and with o\^'ners of steamers for the carriage of railway 
requisites by the Obi water system from Tinmen to Omsk on the river Irtysh and to Kri- 
voshchekovo on the Obi. 

3. F i r s t section of t h e ]\I i d d 1 e S i b e r i a n K a i I w a y f r o m t h e river Obi 
to the town of iv r a s n o y a r s k, a distance of 724 versts. 

a. Parties of engineers organized and despatched to the scene of the works for car- 
rying out final surveys and works; b. Earth-works contracted for a distance of 65 versts, the 
amount of 270,0(t0 cubic sagenes, and navvies hired for carrying out the work with the means 
at hand: c. Twenty-four thousand casks of cement obtained; d. Negotiations concluded with 
owners of steamers of the Obi system for the delivery at tie village of Krivoshchekovo on 
the Obi of the cement alreadv obtained and of the iron materials from the Ural and other 


works; e. To ensure the works being duly supplied with timher an order issued to. proceed to 
the felling of avenues in the forests and negotiations in course with timber merchants in 
reference to the building on one of the raftable rivers of a saw mill and the rafting from the 
head waters of the rivers Obi and Tom of the timber prepared partly by the means at hand, 
and partly by contract. 

4. U s s u r i line, a d i s t a n ce o f 382 v e r s t s. 

a. Earth-works carried out to the extent of 380,000 cubic sagenes, or 52 per cent of 
the total quantity, and laying of pipes and bridges 4,260 cubic sagenes or 65 per cent; b. Sleep- 
ers and rails with bolts ordered to the full amount and 20 versts of railway from Vladi- 
vostok laid down; c. All the civil buildings in course of construction; d. Rolling stock ordered 
to the full amount and partly delivered at the scene of operations. 

5. Transbaikal Railway, a distance of 1,(»09 versts. 

Parties of engineers organized and despatched to the scene of the works to carry out 
the final surveys. : 

6. Siberian Railway from C h e 1 i a b i n s k to Irkutsk. 

a. Ordered 7,400,000 pouds of rails from Ural and European Russian Works, of which 
186,000 pouds are received at the works; negotiations in course for the order of the remaining 
400,000 ponds rec^uired; b. Ordered of various works 148 eight- wheeled engines and 2,300 
covered freight cars, and negotiations in course for delivery of the remaining 1,811 cars ami 
platform trucks. 

As for, finally, the (|uestion of the building of the connecting branch between the Si- 
berian and Ural railways, for its elucidation and for the determining the initial and terminal 
points of the said line a careful survey will be made on the spot in the course of the present 
year. It may be further added that there exist three variants of the connecting link, which 
are shown on the map, namely Ekaterinburg-Miass, Ekaterinbnrg-Cheliabinsk and Ostrovskaya- 
Cheliabinsk. The exact cost of this work of course cannot be defined until the final designa- 
tion of the initial and terminal points of the route is adopted, but it is approximately assumed 
at 7,000.000 to 8,000,000 roubles, with the condition of the completion of the whole con- 
struction in 1894. 

-— $><3> 

248 .SIBERIA. 


Topographical and teclinical features of the Great Siberian 


The Cheliabinsk-Obi: Obi-Irkutsk: Irkutsk-Mysuvsk; Mysovsk-Srotensk; Sretensk-Kliabarovka; 
Khabarovka-Grafsk; Giaisk- Vladivostok; the general cost of the seven Cheliabiusk-Vladi- 

vostok sections. 

FROM Cheliabinsk the line leads to the town of Kurgan in the government of Tobolsk, 
only diverting from the straight line in order to avoid deep valleys, lakes, marshes and 
bogs. Further on, the railway is projected to pass through the town of Petropavlovsk to Omsk 
with the same indispensable departures from the straight line, and at a distance of 5 versts 
from Omsk it crosses the Irtysh on a bridge 300 sagenes long. After crossing the Irtysh the 
line enters the Barabinsk steppe, passing through the governments of Tobolsk and Tomsk, 
through the town of Kainsk, up to the village of Krivoschekov close to which it crosses 
the Obi on a bridge of 400 sagenes long, at verst 1325. 

The section of the Siberian railway from the town of Cheliabinsk to the Obi, with 
some few exceptions, runs through a fertile zone of chernoziom where climatic conditions are 
favourable to the cultivation of cereals, especially within the borders of the Ishimsk and Bar- 
abinsk steppes, where during the whole length of the line as far as the Obi, a distance of J, 325 
versts, there are hardly any obstacles to interfere with the laying dov^^l of the line; and only 
the spanning of four large rivers, the Tobol, Ishim, Irtysh and Obi, necessitates some large 
earth works and expensive bridges. On account of the level character of the gi-ound through 
which the line runs, the limiting gradients do not exceed 0.0074 and the radii of the curves, 
250 sagenes on this part of the line. After crossing the Obi, the line as far as the town of 
Achinsk, a distance of 551 versts, wends its way through a hilly country and has to cross five 
considerable rivers, the Obi, Tom, Yaya, Kiya and Chulym; it was nevertheless found possible 
here to limit the gradients to 0.008 and the radii of the curves to 250 sagenes, without greatly 
increasing the amount of earth work, further on, from Achinsk to the town of Irkutsk, a 
distance of 1,191 versts, the character of the country completely changes and assumes a 
mountainous aspect. The line is obliged to cross two large rivers, the Chulym and Yenisei, 
and also numerous tributaries of these rivers. Most of the Siberian streams in this part of 


the country nm from south to north, whilst the general direction of the railway is from 
west to east, and therefore the line must intersect the whole of the spot summit levels of 
these rivers, only excepting the valleys of some small streams which flow to the east or 
west. These spot summit levels, composed of the branches of the Altai, Gremiachevsk, Yen- 
iseisk and Sayansk chains, are very high and sometimes so naiTOw that there is no possibil- 
ity of diminishing the steepness of the incline. It was therefore found necessary in the sec- 
tions of the line from Achinsk to Nizhneoudinsk, a distance of 710 versts, and from the 
station of Uktouisk situated at verst 2,822 to the station of Polovina, at verst 2,968, a distance 
of 146 versts, or 856 versts altogether, to plan the line with gradients of 0.015, and curves 
of 150 sageues radius, and to allow curves of 130 sagenes radius in some places on the ascent 
from the Great Kemchug river from verst 1,948 to verst 1,954; and on the descent from the 
spot summit level to the Little Ibriul and Little Kemchug rivers, from verst 1,967 to verst 
1,982, the radius of curvature was decreased to 120 sagenes. At verst 2,100 it was again 
increased to 130 sagenes and on the rest of the line from Xizhneoudinsk to the Uktouisk 
station and from Polovina station to the town of Irkutsk, altogether a distance of 335 versts 
the limiting gi'adients do not exceed 0.009 and the extreme radii of curvature 250 sagenes. A 
country of this nature entails very considerable earth works; the height of the embank- 
ments reaches 9 sagenes. and the numerous ravines and streams necessitate a large amount 
of constructive works. 

The line crosses the Yenisei at verst 2,049 at a spot where the banks are steep and 
suitable for a bridge, which will be 450 sagenes long. The station of Krasnoyarsk, close to 
the town of that name, is situated at verst 2,047, before coming to the river. The highest 
point of the earth works, marked 201.5 sagenes, is situated at verst 1,976. between the Little 
Ibruil and Little Kemchug rivers, and is 112 sagenes above the level of the river Chulym 
and 137 sagenes above the Yenisei. 

After crossing the Yenisei the line circuits the heights near the town of Krasnoyarsk 
and begins to ascend to the spot summit level, first along the valley of the Berezovka river, 
which falls into the Sitik, and thence along the valley of this latter stream, attaining the 
highest point at verst 2,116. The valleys of the Berezovka and Sitik are enclosed on both 
sides by high, steep and mostly rocky banks, and the bed of the streams is very winding and 
in many places changes from one bank to the other, so that the line must either follow the 
channels of the rivers, or else cross them several times; in such places it is necessary either to 
strengthen the slopes of the road with stone or to lead off the river; besides this the ravines 
and the streams falling into the Berezovka and Sitik necessitate numerous bridges and pipes; 
the length of this ascent is 67 versts, and 82 bridges and pipes will be required. The ascent 
along the valleys of these rivers is in continuous gradients seperated by horizontal spaces and 
rises 126 sagenes above the level of the railway bridge across the Yenisei. At verst 2,266 
the line reaches the town of Kansku, near which there is a station, and then crosses the 
river Kan on a bridge 200 sagenes long, which is to be built on caisson foundations. The 
highest point of the spot summit level between the Yenisei and the Kan is marked 200 sa- 
genes, and is 127 sagenes above the level of the Yenisei bridge and 103 sagenes above the 
level of the bridge over the Kan. 


The lemaiuing ilistaricf:" lo Nizhnoouilinsk, whicli i.s at versts 2,584, gives a consider- 
able aradiint ol' Wdik in suriio places; lor instaiici', at versts 2,460 and 2,462 the em bankaients 
are 10 sagenes liigli, and nn the ascent along the valley of the river Toporka it was found 
necessary lo cross two dcej) ravines over which wooden viaducts are designed with an open- 
ing of 115 and 125 sagenes, and a height of 20 sagene?. 

Frtirn Xizhneoudinsk to Ukloiiisk station the line passes over a more level country and 
conserjuently the limiting gradients are fixed at 0.fXJ9 ami the radii of the curves at 250 sa- 
genes. Along this distance the line has to cross three large rivers, the L'da, on a bridge 
150 sagenes long at verst 2,5>r8, the lya, on a biidge 100 sagenes long at verst 2,7W, and 
the Oka on a bridge 125 sagenes long at verst 2,830, and intersects two large spot summit 
levels between the above mentioned rivers, and several small ones besides. On account of the 
more even character of the country it is not anticipated that there will be any considerable 
earth works in this section of the line. 

From the river Oka the country is again intersected until the station of Polovina 
is reached, situated at verst 2,9G8, and here therefore the technical conditions are those ap- 
plicable to a mountainous section. From Polovina station to Irkutsk, except for the passages 
across the valleys of the rivers Helaya and Maltinka, the ground is more level, and therefore 
the line is laid out according to the conditions of a level section. Descending into the valley 
of the Belaya for a distance of 10 versts down a continuous incline of 0.009, only broken 
by tme level stretch of 200 sagenes, the lino crosses this river on a bridge 125 sagenes long. 
The Irkutsk station is planned at verst 3,065 at a distance of 4 versts from the ferry across 
the Angara, on the post high road from Moscow to Irkutsk, opposite the town of Irkutsk, 
situated on the right bank of the Angara where the river Irkut falls into it. 

The foregoing short description of the route of the Siberian railway section from the 
Obi to Irkutsk shows that, starting from that river near 55° north latitude, the line fol- 
lows a north-easterly direction to the town of Mariinsk, and keeping to the 57th parallel reaches 
the town of Kansk; at this point the line turns abruptly to the south-oast and follows this 
direction to Irkutsk, situated on the 53th parallel. The line passes through the districts of 
Tomsk and ]\Iariinsk in the government of Tomsk, the Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk and Kansk dis- 
tricts in the government of Yeniseisk and the Xizhneoudinsk and Irkutsk distiicts in the 
government of Irkutsk, and takes in the towns of Mariinsk, Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kansk, 
Xizhneoudinsk and Irkutsk. Starting from Mariinsk the line passes close to the Great Srbe- 
rian postal highway, along which the communication is kept up between Siberia and European 
Ilussia: the railway in some places crosses it and in others diverges a short distance 
from it, except in the Krasnoyarsk-Kansk section where, on account of the difficult nature 
of the country, it was in some places necessary to plan the line at a distance of 30 versts 
lro]u the higli road in order to reduce the amount of work re({uired to lay it. 

From Irkutsk the line leads to lake Baikal and follows the shore for a distance of 162 
versts as far as Mysovsk station. Th6 laying of this section of the line presents considerable 
difficulties. From verst 3,088 to verst 3,108, before crossing the river Irkut, the line passes 
along the valley which is flooded by the high waters of this stream. Further on, at verst 
3,112, the valley of the Irkut becomes narrow and takes the appearance of a mountain pass 


bounded by steep rocky slopes which in some places give way to over-hanging granite crags, 
in the cuttings of which the line will have to be laid, supported for considerable distances by 
retaining walls; in many places the slope of the line will fall into the Irkut, which, like all 
mountain rivers, has a very strong current; here stone dikes will have to be built and the 
foot of the slope strengthened with retaining walls laid in cement. Further up the river 
the steepness of the windings of the Irkut increases, so that at verst 3.146 it was necessary 
to make the line pass through a tunnel 32 sagenes long. From verst 3,163 to verst 3,166 the 
line crosses the Zyrkyzunsk chain where it diverts the course of the river Irkut far 
to the west and forces it to make a loop for a distance of about 30 versts; in order to 
shorten the line by this distance of 30 versts it is proposed to build a tunnel 1,790 
sagenes long. 

The work of boring the tunnel will take a long time as it is designed with one continuous 
incline, so that it cannot be bored from both ends. A no less obstacle will be experienced in 
the construction of the line further on; great difficulty is occasioned by the gorge where the 
river Ilcha falls into the Kultushnaya, as the curves at the foot of the almost vertical rocks 
50 sagenes high are so sharp that it is impossible to bring the line round them even with 
curves o'f 120 sagenes radius, so that it will be necessary to lay the line along part of the 
channel of the rapid mountain stream of the Ilcha which even forms a waterfall at this point; 
in addition to this, springs flow out of the rocks and these will have to be led under the 
line. Here the height of the embankment reaches 16.8 sagenes, and the height of the retain- 
ing wall 17 sagenes, which on account of the nature of the locality must be laid in cement. 
This mountainous character of the ground continues from where the river Kultushnaya 
falls into lake Baikal to the Bystraya station, 3,212 versts from the town of Cheliabiusk. 
Along the whole of the mountainous section all the cuttings will have to be made in hard 
rocky ground, such as granite, gneiss, sandstone, and the like, and in some places the embank- 
ments will have to be made of stone, as there is no soft soil at hand. The greatest depth 
of the excavations in this section is 11 sagenes, and 15 sagenes at the entrance of the tunnel, 
and the largest embankments have a height of 16 . 8 sagenes. 

From verst 3,212 the line follows the shore of lake Baikal, and although it loses its 
mountainous character, it crosses in many places the branches of the mountain chains leading 
to lake Baikal. In some places the track is close to the shore and in others at a little distance 
from it; sometimes it is necessary to lay the line close to the edge of the water, partly 
taking advantage of the rocky shoals and partly holding on to the rocks; in those places 
where the shoals at the foot of the rocks completely cease, the batter of the road bed 
slopes directly into the water, and in such cases requires strengthening from the destructive 
action of the waves by means of blocks of rock or cribwork filled with stone. Finally 
there are places along the shore of lake Baikal through which the line passes that are of a 
marshy character, overgrown with wood. All along the shore of the lake the line will have 
to cross numerous streams with rapid currents forming small torrents in places where stones, 
brought down by tha current, have accumulated: all this will entail a large amount of 
constructive work and the innumerable spring which gush out of the rocks surrounding the 
lake will require a vast expenditure of labour to lead the water off from the road bed. 

252 siiiKKi.v. 

Ill coiisefiuenco of tlie&e dillioult topographical features of the country, the Irkutsk- 
Mysovsk section requires l,rXiO,C0O cubic sagenes of earth work, or almost 3,G90 cubic 
sagenes per verst, costing 4,772,000 roubles; in addition to this, 235,000 cubic sagenes, or 
about 800 cubic sagenes per veist, of cuttings in stony ground have to be done; also 24,800 
cubic sagenes of masonry have to be laiil in the retaining walls, and 4,9:jO cubic sagenes of 
this must be built with liydraulic coni(;iit, and the i'<unaiiidi;r, dry. The country through which 
this section of the lino passes is completely desert, excepting the town of Irkutsk and some 
small settlements on the shores of lake Baikal. Although the climate is severe, the 
proximity of such an enormous quantity of water causes a great deal of moisture to be deposited, 
so that the ground is covered with a thick and early layer of snow in consequence of which 
that eternally frozen subsoil, which is found further along the Siberian railway, is not 
met with here. 

I'rom Mysovsk harbour on the southern shore of Lake Baikal the line runs along the 
shore of the lake and then follows the valley of the river Selenga; at a distance of 157 
versts it crosses this river on a bridge 455 sagenes long and enters the valley of the river 
LMa. The town of Vorkhiieoudinsk is situated near the junction of the Uda and Selenga. 
The further progress of the line is determined by the choice of the most advantageous spot 
to cross the Yablonovoi chain, and after much reconnoitering, it was found that the best route 
was first along the valley of the river Uda and then along the river Pogromnaya which 
falls into the Uda, where the line eiiteis a plain covered with lakes, called the Vitimsk 
p lateau, and then along the river Domna, one of the tributaries of the system of the river 
Lena. Passing the spot summit level between the two above mentioned rivers, the line 
continues ascending the eastern slope of one of the branches of the Yablonovoi chain, and at 
versl 3,838 attains its highest point 529 sagenes above the level of the sea. The Yablonovoi 
chain serves as the spot summit level of the basins of the Lena and Amour, that is, of the 
Northern and Pacific oceans. The pass across this chain at the highest point, at verst 3,943, 
is 490 sagenes above the level of the sea, and consequently lower than the pass across one 
of the branches of the chain. From this spot summit level the line gradually descends and 
sweeping round the hilly side of the district town of Chita by the bank of the river Shilka, 
it reaches the vilhige of Matakan, situated opposite the town of Sretensk, which stands on 
the right bank of the above mentioned river. 

The most difficult part of the line as regards earth and constructive works is the 
section from the town of Chita to the town of Sretensk along the valleys of the Ingoda 
and Shilka rivers. The valley of the former is narrow and winding, the mountains surround- 
ing it are quite close to the river, forming steep slopes or projecting headlands, and in most 
places there is only a narrow space between the mountain and the river, which is almost 
always inundated when the level of the water rises. In a few places the valley of the river 
is sufficiently wide to admit of the possibility of conveniently drying the track. In this 
region the line either hugs the declivities or passes through submerged meadows but always 
keeps to the left bank of the Ingoda river. The upper part of the valley of the Shilka re- 
sembles the valley of the Ingoda, and its character only somewhat changes after verst 4,24S: 
the direction of the river does not wind so often, the curves have a more open outline and 


instead of separate headlands, high rocky slopes, some 10 versts long, descend into the river 
these slopes are to he used for carrying the railroad track. 

On account of the local features which have been described there is a verv consider- 
able amount of earth work to be done in the Mysovsk-Sretensk section. The total quantity 
amounts to 2,032,000 cubic sagenes, or 2,014 per verst, and the cost of it is estimated at 
8,859,000 roubles. The deepest excavagations are 16.62 sagenes, and the highest embankments 
10 . 87 sagenes. Almost all the cuts in the valleys of the Ingoda and Shilka rivers, and 
many of those on the remaining portion of the line, will have to be hewn out of hard, rocky 
formations, so that out of 500,000 cubic sagenes excavations, 300,000 hav^ to be cut out of 
rocky gi'ound. Furthermore, the cuttings in the Yablonovoi chain are saturated with water, 
which can only be drawn off with great difficulty, the soil is also in many places perpetually 
frozen and the excavations in such ground are 3 . 64 sagenes deep, and therefore, the only 
conclusion to be arrived at is that the earth work in this section will be of an exception- 
ally difficult character. Besides this, in consequence of the steepness of the slopes of 
the banks of the Ingoda and Shilka rivers, all the embankments along them will have 
to be supported by retaining walls to the amount of 56,000 cubic sagenes along a distance of 
300 versts. 

The difficulty of laying this section is further increased by the exceptional climatic 
conditions of the locality through which the line passes. The climate of the region beyond 
lake Baikal is quite continental; on account of its severity the changes of temperature are 
extreme; thus, on the Yablonovoi chain in June and July the day temperature rises to 25° 
Celsius and during the night falls to — 5*^. The air is characterized by its extreme dryness 
and the amount of moisture which falls during the year is inconsiderable. There is such a 
small quantity of snow that along the whole of the line to the lower part of the river Se- 
lenga the ground is hardly covered with it. Only there and along the shore of lake Baikal 
does the sledge road last any considerable length of time; along the rest of the distance from 
Verkhneoudinsk to the east, sledge roads are very rare and sledges are only driven along 
the ice on the rivers. 

From meteorological observations recorded, it was shown that at Verkhneoudinsk in 1886 
the temperature was only above freezing point for the three summer months; in 1887 during one 
summer month it was above zero, and at almost zero during two months; in 1888 it was 
above zero for two months, and during the three years period from 1886 to 1888 the highest 
temperature was in July, -f 37° Celsius, and the lowest in January, — 47° Celsius, whilst on 
the Yitimsk plateau and the Yablonovoi chain even in summer a temperature of — 5" Celsius 
was recorded. Furthermore in the upper part of the river Uda, on the Yitimsk plateau, in 
the Yablonovoi chain, and in the valleys of the Konda and Chita rivers, there is a perpetually 
frozen subsoil. The depth to which the soil is frozen, according to investigations made in 
the valley of the Chita river at a height of 340 sagenes above the level of the sea, was on 
the average 372 sagenes, and in summer the ground thaws to a depth of 1 . 83 sagenes, so 
that the remaining stratum, 1 . 67 sagenes thick, is eternally frozen. On the Yitimsk plateau 
and the Yablonovoi chain the ground in summer thaws only to the depth of three-tenths of 
a sagene. and in the valley of the Kondyu river, to a depth of six-tenths of a sagone. 

254 siijKuiA. 

Tlio continuation of tlio Sibf;ricin railway from Sretcnsk situatod on the Sliilka, a trib- 
utary of tlie Amoni-, up to tin; town of Khabarovka standing on the right bank of this latter 
liver, a total distani;i' of 2,000 versts, has not beon thoroughly investigated in detail, and 
only some slight roconnoitcring has been done, which shows that from verst 4,'dbO to verst 4,000 
the line will have to be laid along the valleys of tho Shilka and Amour. Further on, the line 
may be shortened by diverting it from the Amour and crossing it at verst G,350 on a bridge, 
1,200 sagcnes long. The construction of the line will be subject to the same topographical 
conditions as the line of Mysovsk-Srctensk, besides which the construction of the line of 
Sretensk-Kliabarovka will be rendered more difficult by the completely desert nature of the 
country covered with dense virgin forests, the silence of which has never been broken by the 
voice of man, especially in those places where the line diverges from the Amour where 
there is a total absence of any habitation or means of communication, and likewise in con- 
sequence of the necessity of conveying workmen and all ready-made railway appliances from 
European Russia by a circular route across the Pacific Ocean. 

After crossing the Amour the line for a distance of 400 versts follows the valley of 
the river Ussuri which falls into the Amour and makes the boundary between the Russian 
and {'liiiiese cnipire.s. The valley of this river is by no means wide and the numerous streams 
falling into the Ussuri separated by high spot summit levels, formed by the branches of the 
Sikhotce-Alin chain, entail a large amount of constructive works. The largest bridges are 
planned at versts 6,445, C,585 and G,697 across the Khor, Bikiu and Imau rivers; they will 
be each 120 sagenes long. In some places the track approaches the edge of the Ussuri and 
it will be necessary to support the slope of the earth work. At verst 6,755 the line crosses 
the Ussuri river on a bridge 120 sagenes long. Further on, the line follows the foreland of 
lake Khaiika and the valley of the Lefu river which falls into this lake before reaching the 
Xikolsk station at verst 6,982. Starting from this station the line runs along the valley of 
the Suyfun river, sometimes traversing places submerged by the waters of that river, and 
sometimes crossing the branches of the mountain chains approaching it: in these cases it is 
necessary to lay the track with an incline of 0.015, whilst the gradients on the whole of the 
other part of the line from Khabarovka to Vladivostok do not exceed 0.008. The line issues 
from the valley of the Suyfun river and passes on to the shore of the Ouglov aud Amour 
gulfs, terminating at the town of Vladivostok, the station being situated on the shore of 
the bay of the Golden Horn. The total length of the Siberian railway from Cheliabinsk to 
Vladivostok along the main line is 7,083 versts, and 7,112 versts including branch lines to 
the principal rivers intersecting the main road. 

For superintending the work of laying down the railway aud in accordance with the 
gradations to be observed in its construction, the line is to be divided into seven sections: 
the Western Siberian from > Cheliabinsk to the river Obi, including branch lines 1,328 versts; 
the Central Siberian from tlie Obi to Irkutsk, 1,754 veists; the Baikal circuit from Irkutsk 
to the pier of Mysovsk on lake Baikal, 292 versts; the Transbaikal from Mysovsk pier to 
the town of Sretensk on the Shilka river, 1,009 versts; the Amour section from Sretensk to 
Khabarovka on the Amour, 2,000 versts; the Xorth-Ussurisk from Khabarovka to the vil- 
lage of Grafsk, 347 versts; and the South Ussurisk from Grafsk to Vladivostok, 382 versts, 
or 7,112 versts in all. 


In 1891 aud 1892. as has already been mentioned, the work of laying the two extreme 
sections, the West Siberian and the South Ussurisk, was commenced; and in 1893 work was 
begun on the Central Siberian section from the Obi to Krasnoyarsk. The South Ussurisk sec- 
tion will most probably be terminated in 1894, and the other two in 1891 In 1895 the 
Xorlh Ussurisk section will be commenced and in 1896 the rest of the Central Siberian railroad 
from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk will be begun, the first section of which will he finished in 1898; 
and the second, in 1900. In 1899 work will be commenced on the Transbaikal aud Amour 
sections, aud in 1900 the Baikal circuit will be begun: these will probably be finished In 1904. 
The whole line across Siberia, 7,112 versts long, will tlierefore be terminated in 12 years, 
counting from 1893. 

Considering the sparseness of the population of the country through which the Baikal 
circuit, Transbaikal, Amour and Khabarovka sections pass, in consequence of which it will he 
necessary to send workmen mostly fi'om European Russia, and also on account of the terms 
allowed for laying the Khabarovka, Transhaikal and Amour sections, when planning out the 
Siberian railway it was decided that navvies, masons and other special workmen, and also 
rails, fastenings and roUiug stock, iron parts of bridges et cetera, would be sent a^ follows: for the 
Khabarovka section by sea to \^ladivostok, and then further on by the Ussuri railway; for the Trans- 
baikal section, also partly by sea to Vladivostok, then by rail to Khabarovka and then by the 
Amour aud Shilka rivers as far as Sreteusk,and partly by rail to Irkutsk and then by the Angara 
river and lake Baikal to Mysovsk pier; for the Baikal circuit section, by rail to Irkutsk: and for 
the Amour section, partly from the east by the same route as that used for the Transbaikal 
section, and partly from the west, by rail to Irkutsk, by water from Irkutsk to Mysovsk and 
then by the Transbaikal line to Sretensk. In general the object in view was to establish as 
quick as possible an uninterrupted steam communication between European Russia and 
Vladivostok through the whole of Siberia and to take temporary advantage of the water 
roads. These circumstances determined the system of gradation to be observed in laying the 
track in its separate sections. Thus the first stage of the work consists in laying the line to 
Irkutsk and finishing that already begun from Vladivostok to Grafsk; the second stage 
consists of the sections between the rivers necessary for the establishment of steam commu- 
nication through the whole of Siberia, partly by railroad and partly by water; finally, the 
remaining sections which join up the works of the first and second stages into one continuous 
railroad arc relegated to the third stage. As regards however the carrying out of the details 
of the plan of building the Siberian railway from Cheliabinsk to Vladivostok, it must be 
observed tliat the order of building the Western and Central Siberian sections from Cheliabinsk 
to Irkutsk can be fixed upon with the greatest certainty as they have been subject to more 
detailed investigation, this part of Siberia being nearer and more accessible from European 
Russia, more densely populated and its climatic and topographical conditions more favourable^ 
The plan of carrying out the Grafsk-Khabarovka section may also be regarded as quite 
clear, as it closely resembles the Ussurisk line. 

With reference to the Baikal-Circuit, Transbaikal and Amour sections, it is neces- 
sary to mention that the proposed dates of the termination of these lines may be liable to 
change on account of the totally different conditions under which they must be built, compared 


with the Cbeliabinsk-Irkutsk line. The Irkutsk-Khabarovka line has been bin little invisti- 
gated; it is far removeil from European Russia, and passes through a ilesolale country with 
exceptional climatic and topographical conditions. The plan of building these three sec- 
tions can tlierefore only be regarded as appioximately correct, and in all probability the 
experience gained in laying the western portion of the Great Siberian line will determine 
the order and method to be undertaken in laying the eastern portion. In any case it will be 
necessary to make a second, final set of investigations from Irkutsk to Sretensk, and more 
detailed observations of the Amour section. 

The Siberian railway, passing through an enormous expanse of country under the most 
widely differing topographical conditions could not be all iiichnled in one general technical 
type; and in order to diminish the cost of construction it was necessary to make some 
modifications in the technical conditions in general, and for the mountainous sections in 
particular; the basis of these modifications and simplifications has however been taken as a 
good and reliable construction, capable of being afterwards, in case of necessity, complexed 
and enlarged, but not in any case requiring the reconstruction of the line. 

The limiting gradients on the level country sections have been fixed at 0.006 to 
0.008 and the radii of the curves at 250 sagenes; in the mountainous sections the gradients 
have been taken from 0.015 to 0.0174 and the radii at 120 sagenes. 

It is proposed to make the earth w^ork for a single track of the ordinary width, 2.35 
sagenes wide on the embankments, and 2.20 sagenes wide in the cuts. The normal 
batter of the embankments and cuts, as high as they go, will be I'/i for ordinary 
kinds of soil. 

l"or the passage of water under the line and for crossing rivers, cast iron and stone 
pipes and wooden bridges will be laid, where the force of the moving ice or the character of 
the soil do not present any obstacles: over the large rivers permanent iron bridges with 
stone piers will be built. Rails of 18 pounds weight per foot run will be used along the 
line on a layer of ballast, (U25 of a sagene thick, under the bottom of the rail. The dwelling 
houses for the overseers of the line, plate layers and watchmen will be built of all kinds of 
wood and of the simplest construction, adhering as much as possible to the local styles of 
building; the wooden buildings will be without foundations, on wooden or stone columns. All 
crossings in general will be left unguarded except those in towns or thickly populated points. 

The greatest distance allowed between the stations is 50 versts, which corresponds to 
a running capacity of 3 sets of trains; in order to increase this capacity to 7 sets of 
trains per 24 hours on the main line horizontal spaces have been planned to admit of 
intermediate stations and sidetracks being made in case of necessity. 

Separate passengers buildings, built of brick or w^ood and as small as possible, will 
be erected only at those stations w'here a large number of passengers may be expected, or 
where it will be necessary to provide refreshment rooms; at all other points some accommo- 
dation will be set apart in dwelling houses for the requirements of the station service or the 
convenience of casual passengers. 

It is proposed to acquire sufficient rolling stock for the Siberian railway to be able 
to form 3 sets of army trains per 24 hours, composed of 60 axles, one set of trains being 


composite consisting of passenger and freight cars; the engines are to be eight-wheeled: the 
passenger cars, partly eight-wheeled and partly six-wheeled, and the freight cars, four 

On account of the importance of the water supply to the traffic of the line and the 
difficulty of increasing it ultimately, it has been decided to arrange it only at the stations, 
that is, at distances of 59 vcrsts, but to provide sufficient water for the passage of 7 sets 
of trains. In order to increase the water supply when required a supplementary apparatus of 
the simplest type may be provided at points between the stations. 

Based upon these technical conditions, a preliminary estimate of the cost of building 
the Great Siberian Railway has been calculated, including rails, fastenings, rolling stock and 
permanent bridges across the large rivers. The distribution of the expenses according to the 
class of work is shown in the table on the following pages. 

The estimate of the cost of constructing the Great Siberian Railway, as shown by the 
following table, does not however include all the expenses which this entcu-prise entails. In 
order that this undertaking might with greater ease fulfill the numerous obligations which 
devolve upon it, it has been deemed advisable to assist in the accomplishment of a number 
of auxiliary measures in conjunction with it, with the object on the one hand, of facilitating 
and diminishing the cost of the line itself, and on the other hand of increasing .the economic 
and progressive influence which it will excercise on the prosperity of Siberia. The 
first of these auxiliary works is the construction of a branch line between the Siberian and 
I'ral railways, in order to make use of the products of the Ural metallurgical works, 
as much as possible, for building the main line. Furthermore it has been decided to build 
some river wharves and lay branch lines to them; to improve the Siberian rivers in order to 
facilitate the transport of building materials; to assist the development of river steam navi- 
gation upon those river systems which adjoin the Siberian railway, and which are capable of being 
closely connected with it; to establish a route through the Northern Ocean to the mouths of 
the Obi and Yenisei; to assist colonization on the Siberian land in the region near the line: 
to encourage the iron woiks which may be established in Siberia near the railway; to form 
geological expeditions for continuing the geological investigation of the country which has 
already been commenced; to make an exhaustive description of the Amour district, et cetera. 

To carry out these auxiliary enterprises during the time appointed for completing 
the sections of the first stage a sum of 14 million roubles has been put aside out of the 
Siberian railway building fund. When the work of the second and third stages is commenced, 
in all probability special sums will be in like manner appointed for carrying out the aux- 
iliary enterprises, exclusive of the estimate of the cost of building the Great Siberian 



Sim: i; I A. 

CLASS V W i) 11 \\. 


1,32b vi' 


1,754 vci.sts. 

202 versl.s. 

•- :^ 

— ■/ 




— '{■ 



J'lxpi'oprialidii iif laml .... 
MakiiiLi llic Intel 

{,.'(lll^l^lH■li(lll Wtll'k.'^ 

Layiiii! Ilu' liiu' 

Ap|>lllliMiaiiri'S III' the lilii' . . . 


liiiiJiliiiLis aldiiii: llic liin' .... 

Slaliiiii liiiiMiiiL's 

VValiT Mipply 

Slatidii appuili'iiaiiccs 

riciirial, atliiiiiiisjralivi' ami uii- 

tnlNiM'il f\prii.S(;s 

















1 2,909,873 

































24,37 1 
2,5 1 1 


07 1 
1 ,901] 


1 .. 1 a 1 . . . 


Ruil.s and I'a.sloiiiiigs 

i Riilliiig stuck and Wdrknicii inckidi'd 

! Cairitige oi' rails, l'aslfiiiiit;.s and 
rulling slock 

2S, 132,223 
















01,1 r. 



T M 1 a 1 . . . 

19.229,250 1 14,480 





Grand total . . 









Total rosi of the 





Grafsk- VTat 


7 sections, 7,112 

1,009 versts. 

2,000 v(!rsts. 

347 versts. 

382 versts. 








;— , 







= / ' '^ 1 

— aj 

•1—' ,-y, 

"-^ i/j 

•^- y: 




_2 *J 


C3 ^ 

— "z- 

3 5 , "= ?^ 

H E ' ^t 



















75,486,828^ 10,614 









78,441,921 11,030 










20,395,675; 2,896 









2,108,031 156 









1,740,880 245 












J ,867,450 





























' 4,385,865 


I 5,410,000 



















33,524 1 




















5,703 1 









25,32 1.0(i:> 




33,555,835 16,778 









1 ] 7,555.S35 




17,6(; 1.051 





The importance of the Great Siberian Railway. 

Tlie iinportiuice of llie (inial Sjboiiaii Uailway lo |iruf,'r(; its bcuiiiig upon rural economy, 
colonization, motaliurgical industry; gold mining, internal and foreign trade. 

TIIK I'normoii.s expenditure of 35<i million roubles entailed by the construction of the Sibe- 
rian railroad, which probably lor a long time will not prove remunerative in the 
strict sense of the word, is explained by those numerous advantages not subject to arithmet- 
ical computation which may be attained by the Government with the realization of this grand 
enterprise. The previous historical-statistical article has demonstrated that the principal bar- 
rier to the development of culture in Siberia is the al)sence of regular communication, on the 
one hand between the most Important administrative and industrial centres of Siberia, and 
on the other hand between Siberia and European Russia. Consequently when this principal 
obstacle is removed the causes will disappear which have for such a long time retarded the 
regular peopling of this extensive and richly endowed region and the rise in the culture of the 
aborigenes and settlers. In reality the Great Siberian Railway, intersecting the whole of Siberia 
for ii distance of 7,112 versts, embraces a very wide zone, which cannot be taken at less than 
100 versts on either side of the line, or about one million and a half square versts. This 
enormous area, which exceeds the whole extent of central Europe, Germany, Austro-Hungary, 
Holland, Belgium and Denmark, lies in the mean geographical latitudes, and as regards cli- 
mate and soil possesses all the qualities favourable to the development of agriculture, rural 
economy and the industries connected with them. It is worthy of attention also, that accor- 
ding to the propitious choice of the direction of the Great Siberian Railroad which connects the 
fertile lands of Western Siberia and the distant region of Ussuri, also embraces the richest 
deposits of the noble metals, as will be seen by the accompanying map of the Russian Em- 
pire. If it be also remembered that the chosen route connects the extensive basins of such 
large rivers as the Obi, Yenisei and Amour and part of the Lena, it cannot be disputed 
that the line when once laid will give a powerful impetus to the whole economical develop- 
ment of the country, and will call into existence many new branches of industrial activity. 
Turning to the more intimate influence of the Great Railroad upon the various features 
of industrial and economic life in Siberia, it is necessary to pause over the follovring. It 
is first of all evident that the chosen route traverses the lich Ishimsk, Barabinsk and Kulun- 


dinsk steppes which have always been reuowjicd lor their fertility, aud serve as a granary 
tor Siberia. Figures have been already quoted showing that even the opening of the Ural 
Hue would be sufficieut to cause an increased activity in these steppes and to forward con- 
siderable ([Uantities of grain to the west, partly to the Baltic seaports. If . the influem^e of 
the Ural line was so great, connected with these lauds only by water cominunicatiou, then 
an uninterrupted Hue of rails connecting them with the general network of lines in the Russian 
Empire ought to elicit a far greater increase of agricultural development. Under favourable 
conditions of soil and climate the productive power of the earth will draw an increase of 
population and have an indirect influence upon the regular colonization of the country. 

Of late years in many parts of European Russia the increase of population from nat- 
ural causes has brought about an excess of the labouring contingent, and the systematic 
increase of the number of peasants insufficiently provided with land, due to this fact, has 
already for some time past attracted the attention of the Government. Being desirous as far 
as possible to regulate the distribution of farms among the peasants and to provide the suf- 
ferers with the requisite amount of land, the Government has found it advisable to adopt 
certain measures tending on the one hand, to people the unpopulated fertile districts, and on 
the other hand, to give a regular outlet to the energies of the peasants insufficiently proviiied 
with land who are at present a burden on the State, and demand increased solicitude. 

For these reasons free Government lands in the above mentioned localities are granted 
to settlers, and for their benefit a cheap rate has been fixed for conveying them by rail; 
in some cases they receive loans of money from the Government and certain other privileges 
are granted to ihem in order to assist them in the difficulty of emigrating, and of acquiring new 
household goods. Thanks to the immediate connection by rail between the «Granary of Si- 
beria» and those governments of the Russian Empire where a lack of land is apparent, the 
enterprise about to be realized should become an excellent emigration regulator in the 
interests of the State in general. Taking into consideration the extent already given of suit- 
able colonizing land in Siberia, it may be expected that in spite of the tendency of late 
years for emigration to Siberia, this country will for a long time be able to receive freely 
those who are desirous of availing themselves of its productive power, so great is its size 
and so vast the amount of suitable land for agricultural purposes. 

When once the newly populated regions show signs of activity, the force of intellect 
will gravitate thither from European Russia and capital will find more advantageous use in 
the wider enterprises of industry. This might be encouraged by granting certain privileges 
in acquiring Crown lands to Russian nobles and other individuals in the Government service, 
who, as a more educated and cultured element, would be able to bring a civilizing influence 
with them. Thus the Great Siberian Railway, animating the uninhabited fertile lands ruled 
by the Governor-General of the steppes and opening up an extensive market for the sale of 
all products of the earth, would at the same time assist the successful solution of one of the 
most difficult problems of the State, namely, the definite organization of the economical con- 
dition of the peasants badly provided with land in the internal governments of European Russia_ 

The review of the mineral wealth and mining industry of Siberia has shown how 
enormous are the riches in the bowels of the country, and what little use has been 


mad'! Ill' lliuiii lip to llie prc^eiil liiin'. Iidii aiiil dial, lln- Iwo f^riuit laclors uf irifliistrial de- 
v<'lopnicnl, ail! loiiiiil nearly over all Sihrria and in vi-iy rirh veins. Tlic prijpr'r wnikiii;,' ol' 
lli<!S<! liclios will ^'ivc a poworriil advanroinont lo tin; dcvolopnninl ul' progress in Siberia 
TIk! conlif^iiily of veins ul' f:oal and iron ore in some places lias li-d to the establisliinenl of 
a: lew iidn woiks, wliieli liavi; liinvever not been in a very iloll^i.^llin^' comlition on acconni ol 
the small demand and their great distance lidm iIh; markets. These obstacles will disappear 
when tlu! Siberian railway is constructed, as tin; railway itsell' will refiuire such an onornions 
iinanlity of iron ami iidii goods that it can easily rurnisli enough work for several large iron 
works besides inrreasing tlie output of these woiks by bringing theii' goods wiiliin the iva<di 
of more distant markets. In sj)ite of the enormous prodiietion of the Ural iron works, they 
will b<' unable to supply all the rc'iuircments of the Siberian line for iron goods; being compara- 
tively cheap, thoy caniKjt be coiiV((yed very long distances by rail. The appearance of iron works 
in Siberia, and more especially in the centre or the east, may be regarded therefore as a 
very natural conclusion; and If in addition to this it be mentioned that in order to enliven 
the native industry, the Government intends to render some assistance to private individuals 
in erecting such works, the riitiue of the iron trade in Siberia may be considered quite assured. 
As regards mineral fuel, which is of such great impoitancc in working a railway line, such 
quantities of it have been discovered in the formations that have been investigated, that 
the mad will he well supplied for very many years to come. Althongh coal is found scattered 
along almost the whole line, wood is in many places so cheap that it can successfully 
compete with it, especially in those parts of the route which are intersected by navigable 
rivers, along which the wood may be floated from distant and wild places where vegetation 
is so I'apidly ivnewed, and where there is no demand for it. 

The Great Siberian liailway will also have a great influence upon gold mining. Placed in 
very diHicult economic circumstances, this industry has only prospered in those places where 
very auriferous formations arc worked; many of them are now neglected only because the 
present price of labour and machinery and the difficulty of obtaining credit upon easy terms do 
not admit of their being worked with sufi'icient profit. In America and in other countries, where 
gold mining is carried on, much poorer beds are worked, and therefore the output is larger 
than in Siberia. The Siberian lailway should strive as far as possible to facilitate and 
cheapen the carriage of stores and implements to the gold inines, and also increase the supply 
of labour as many of the mines are suffering from an insuH'iciency of it. Under new condi- 
tions the cost of gold mining would inevitably decrease and this would enable poorer deposits 
to be worked. The output of gold would also considerably be increased and the industry 
would acquire a firmer foothold. 

Turning to the question of the influence of the railway upon the extension of local 
trade, it is beyond a doubt that this influence will be most considerable ; many articles or raw 
materials, for which there is 'at present no local demand, will find a ready sale at more 
distant markets; the rapid fluctuations in the prices of necessaries and the exceedingly high 
prices current at present will no longer exist, thanks to the rapid transport of goods. 

All the above mentioned advantages which trade will derive from the Siberian railway 
are only the most intimate changes which will result fiom the opening of "the line and the 


new position of coramercial intercourse between European Russia and Siberia on the one 

hand, and within the l)orders of Siberia on the other hand. In order, however, to grasp the 

whole extent of the actual importance of the Great Siberian Railway for Russian trade, the 
scope of vision must be enlarg((d and the probable consequcncos of this enterprise musf be 
examined in coimection with the fact that uninterrupted railroad communication will be 
establislK^d between Europe and the Pacific and the Far East. Thus the Siberian railway opens 
a new route, and new horizons for universal, as well as for Russian trade. This was clearly 
understood by the Russian merchants, whose representatives at the fair of Nizhni-Xovgorod 
in 1889 expressed Iheir hopes connecting the Russian merchant class with the realization of 
this enterprise in an address on the Siberian railway in the following terms: <:This railroad 
will be of immense economic importance to Russia, and will give a great impulse to Russian 
industry; it will connect 400 million Chinese and 35 million Japanese with Europe tlirough 
Russia. The strenuous endeavours made by Germany to gain possession of the markets of the 
Pacific, and llie ett'orts which have been made to complete the Panama Canal visibly sh<iw that 
the economic struggle already commenced will end on the Pacific Oc<.'an. The Canadian rail- 
road has now appropriated part of the freights of silk, tea and furs which previously reached 
Europe through the Suez. Tiidoubtedly part of these goods will pass tlirough Russia as the 
joui-iiry from Europe through Vladivostok to Shanghai will be made in 18 or 20 days, 
instead of 45 through Suez or 35 days at present by the Canadian railway». 

It is particularly important for Russia that this change in the direction of the trattic 
between Europe and the east of Asia should be to its advantage, and taking part in this 
communication with a contiimous railroad more than 10 thousand versts long it can reap 
all the advantages not only in the conveyance of goods from the east of Asia and west of 
Europe, but also those of a large producer and consumer more closely coiniecied than all 
others with the people of the east of Asia. The Siberian line will therefore not only have 
the ett'ect of increasing the importance of Russia in the universal markets but new sources 
of national wealth will abundantly open around her. 

It may be added that China, Japan and Corea, whose uuitcij populations anioiuit tn uvei' 
4G0 millions and whose international trade turnover exceeds 500 million roubles in gold, have 
not reached by far the limit of development of their commercial intercourse with Europe, 
but are rather undergoing the elementary stage of it. The internal provinces of China, being 
further removed from the shore ai'e but little accessible to Europeans: but when once China has 
opened its ports to international trade, the provinces which have as yet l)een but little fre- 
({uentod by Europeans, will in the natural course of events sooner or later enter the inter- 
national markets and carry on intermitional commerce. In any case the commercial intercourse 
between Europe and China has every reascni to extend, and it is therefore not sui'pising that 
the nations of Europe are making strenuous endeavours to gain possession of the eastein 
nuirkets of Asia and do not hesitate before any expenditure likely to lead to this object. But 
in this respect, owing to its contiguity to these above lucMlioned rich countries, Russia 
possesses important advantages over all tbe other nations of I'liirope. Thus, at a distance of 
(udy 1 to 4'/i thousand versts from the Volga, the Siberian I'ailway approaches so near to 
the Chinese fronliei', llial it would he ([iiile possihle. iiy iueau> ol a lirancli liue running into 

264 SlllKItlA. 

Uio borders of (Jliiiiu, tu slait, (liiccl roiiiiin ici;il inleicliaiige willi tin- lliickly pupulatud 
internal pruviiicos ol (Jhiiiii; in tliat, <ase iIh- Uiissian trade with China wouhl extend very 
rapiiily ami tlic icvcnnc id' tlic main linr of the Siberian railway wouhl jiiaterially increase 
as well as the importance (d Russia in the int(;rnalional trade with Cliina. Takinf: also into 
consi(h,'ration the prcdominaling chiss of floods in the intfjrnational tnule of China, it is 
evidrni lh;il Ihf lallhT imirt! expensive railway fri'if.^hts CDmpan'il with those hy sea, to sonn* 
extent (Miualiz(;d hy the smaller insurance chaige-s, would not Ix- an obstacle, hindering t!ie 
transfer oi Chinese goods from the s(!a route to the overland: and 58 pi-r cent of the Chinese 
export trade is composed of two liii-'hly expensive article-^, namidy tea and silk. Besides 
i|uickhiss of liansport and other conveinences, assuring the preference to railway transportation, 
theie are yet particular circumslancos, wliich in the mutual interests ol' China and Russia, 
will conduce to the transfer ol the transport of lea to the railway route. In the present 
export trade of China, Mutihiml plays the most iuiportant pait, IhiI at the ^aine time she is 
striving to compete with China in the production of tea and iia^ met with some success as 
the tea plantations in the Asiatic colonies of l-jigland, in India and Cisylon, supply the 
greatest amount nf tea to tlii^ whole of (ireat IJritain. There are many favourable conditions 
in the English colijuii^s which contribute to the success of tliis competition: ain(jng others the 
network of railways in India is of great advantage in conveying the tea to the ports which 
are twice as near to Eui'ope as the Chinese ports. On account of tlie above mentioned 
circumstances the export of Chinese teas to London and to otliei' countries is rapiilly declining, 
and this is not only a great loss to a large part of the population of China, but for the 
Chinese treasury also, as tea is subjected to a high export duty in China. In all probability 
the continued decline of the tea trade will be a very serious question lor China, and in this 
respect the Siberian railway may serve as a gi'eat support to the Chinese tea trade, by 
delivering Chinese teas much quicker in Europe, not only compared with the sea voycige from 
Cliina through London, but much quicker than the transport of Indian teas. Therefore not 
only Russia, hut China also, is most anxious that Russia should tak(i an active part in the 
carriage and sale of tea in Europe, as Russia is cue of the largest and continually increas- 
ing markets for the consumption of tea. 

This tangible analogy of the interests of the two countries in the export of tea can 
but conduce to the gravitation of other Chinese exports towards the new route to Europe, 
especially as the other principal article of the Chinese export trade, silk, will not only be 
capable of bearing the expense of a long railway journey, but can also be woven in Russia. 

Russia on the other hand, through the agency of the Siberian railway, will be able 
to take a much more active part in supplying China with those goods which are now imported 
thither from other countries, and in this respect Russia may meet with particular success in 
exporting cotton and woollen goods, and even metals, which together compose about one-half 
of the whole Chinese import The former on account of their high value compared with their 
weight, may be conveyed from Moscow^, or even from bi^yond Moscow by rail, and the metals 
may be brought to China from the Ural, or better still from the nearer mining distiicts of 
the Tomsk and Yeidseisk governments, the region of Transbaikal and part of the govern- 
ment of Irkutsk, where the mineral wealth is but little inferioi' to that of the Urals and pos- 


sesses all favourable (|iialifications for the extensive development of the mining industry. 
China will be a very near and valuable market for these districts as well as for other Siberian 
wares such as leather goods, furs et cetera. The opening of the Siberian railway will therefore 
enable Russia to profit by the proximity of China for the sale of its produce. 

There is no occasion to dwell upon the political importance of the Great Siberian 
Railway. Its significance is clear from the fact that when the line is completed Russia will 
not only nominally but actually occupy that position in the east of Asia which it holds 
among its friends and enemies in Europe. As the line shortens the distance from European 
Russia to the east of Asia, in a like measure will the power of Russia increase in the 
East. In addition to this undisputed position, it may be mentioned that the favourable con- 
ditions already mentioned occurring from the opening of the line and extending commercial 
intercourse between Russia and the nations of the East, will undoubtedly conduce to strengthen 
friendly political relations with those countries. These friendly relations will be cemented by 
the mutual interests in the field of universal economic activity. Finally the opening of a 
railway line to the Pacific Ocean will enable Russia to carry on more direct intercourse 
with the United States of America, which in spite of being the great competitor of 
Russia in the grain trade of Europe, in consequence of the solidarity of its political and 
other interests, cherishes sincere sympathy for Russia, 

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