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r^ l*. /MMe ftft Jon fU 


- —J- Se^r . /afitu€ff' 


C lermt dc /a. rot^^C 

^rotyfc AB Z'okhota a 

/e terme ^/a rou/^ don% la 
cjueOe a a Toujcuri/wvi la <^tt 
e/^ fe potnl C/oos 

lo htffude. ^ (>y */a ^ fl 
lHde^rt5 afc/tduntendmndg^Tohobk 

<foeflef/ya^d <^s ^,oo.s Cfo, empec^o/en/ /e p/us /ooyenf de h dottier- 
cfUfapres ce/a laUrre fournoif v^n F ou/e ^echarqeoiettf 
hs ri¥ter3 "he Jto/ima e/ /a Lena J^ 

Sketch illustrating Bering's first voyage 
Made by J. N. Delisle and based on his conversation with Bering 

[Delisle Manuscripts, xxv, 6} 















In appreciation of their friendship 

and inspiration I dedicate this 

work to the professors at 

Harvard under whom 

I studied 


Preface ....... 13 

I The Administration of Eastern Siberia in the 

Seventeenth Century . • 17 

II Russia and China on the Amur to 1689 33 

III A Critical Examination of Deshnbf's Voyage 67 

IV Kamchatka AND THE KuRiLS . . '97 

V Terra dbJbso . -117 

VI Bering's first Expedition . . . .133 

VII The Chukchi and the Discovery of America 151 

VIII Bering's Second Expedition . .165 

IX Completion of the Survey of Northeastern Si- 

beria and the Amur Region -251 

Appendix A - MuUer's Account of Deshnef 's Voyage 268 

Appbnmx B- Deshnef 's Report .... 282 

Appendix C - Treaty of Ncitchinsk .... 290 

Appendix D - European Opinion regarding Kozirefski . 294 
Appendix E- Navigation and Discoveries made by the Rus- 
sians in the Eastern Ocean between the two Voyages of Cap- 
tain Beerings during the Years 1731 and 1732 298 
Appendix F- Memoir presented to the Senate with Map 

which Bering used in going to America . 302 
Appendix G-The Inhabitants found on September 20, I74i» 

in a Port near Kamchatka by Captain Alexis Chirikof 314 

Appendix H - Discovery of America by Way of Moscovy 326 
Appendix I -Documents bearing on the Voyage of Captain 
Spanberg from Kamchatka to Japan in June, July, and 

August, 1739 ...... 330 

bibuographical note . -335 

Bibliography ...... 341 


Sketch illustrating Bering's first Voyage . . Frontispiece 

Jakutsk about 1675 41 

Godunof's Map of Eastern Siberia .... 69 

Rbmbzof's Map 79 

Ys Caap in place of the Russian mapmakers Impassa- 
ble Cape 89 

The So-called Shestakof Map iii 

Sketch illustrating Gwosdef's Voyage . 154 

Plan of Okhotsk Ostrog 167 

Skbi^h of the route from the Maja River to 

Okhotsk 175 

Harbor of St. Peter and St. Paul in 1741 . 179 
Facsimile of esctracts from Deshnef's Report (two 

plates) 283 


I became interested in Alaska during a three years' 
residence in that territory in the service of the United 
States government. On my return I began investiga- 
tions with a view of writing the story of Alaska as a 
part of American history and of giving but little time 
to topics connected with the Asiatic side of the North 
Pacific Ocean. But as I proceeded I was compelled to 
modify my plans. I could not make intelligent head- 
way with the Bering voyages without a sound knowl- 
edge of the cartographical and geographical ideas of 
the period in which they were undertaken. This led to 
the study of Terra de Jeso. In my expectation of work- 
ing up the background of Siberian history from sec- 
ondary authorities I was disappointed for they proved 
to be unreliable and I was obliged to go to the sources. 
Gradually it developed that which was planned as the 
background became the principal part of the picture. 
My point of view had in the meantime undergone a 
change : the discovery of Alaska which I had regarded 
as a beginning chapter of American history, I found to 
be the closing chapter of a period of Russian expansion. 
I realized also how closely the history of Alaska is 
bound up with that of Siberia, and that in order to 
know the one it was necessary to understand the other. 
Under the circumstances I concluded to devote this en- 
tire monograph to a careful study of the conditions and 
the history of Russian expansion on the Pacific up to 
1750 and at some future time to follow up this move- 
ment and bring it up to date. This change of plan 


called for investigation of certain topics not originally 
contemplated, such as the relations of Russia and China 
on the Amur, and the administration of Siberia. The 
results of the investigation of the last named topic are 
used here as an introductory chapter, and it is hoped 
that it will clear up a subject much talked about by 
writers but not clearly understood. 

In this work the question as to the comparative 
merits of the officers who took part in the Bering voy- 
ages has not been brought up for discussion, because it 
seemed profitless ; for the same reason speculation as to 
what might have been, if some one had acted differ- 
ently than he did, has not been indulged in. Entirely 
too much emphasis may be laid on the actors in the 
play at the expense of the play itself. The Siberians 
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were part 
of a movement in which they were caught and carried 
along without leaving any impress of their personal- 
ities. They were men of, more or less, average ability, 
yet from the time of Muller to the present it has not 
been possible to speak of them with calmness. As soon 
as the banner, bearing the magic word "promyshlenik," 
is waved we are expected to fall on our knees and bow 
to heroes. As a matter of fact they were, at best, very 
ordinary men and some of them were vicious and de- 
praved. To appreciate them at their full value one 
has but to study their descendants at Unalaska, Kodiak, 
and Sitka. If contemporary documents are to be be- 
lieved, the race of Siberians has not degenerated by 
being transplanted into American soil. In every sea 
port town and in every frontier community one will 
find men who risk their lives and suffer hardships for 
the sake of pleasure and gain just as the Siberians did. 


There is nothing heroic about all this and if we stop to 
think it will be seen that it is very commonplace. 

The materials for this investigation were found at 
Harvard University, the Library of Congress, the Bib- 
liotheque Nationale, and the Archives de la Marine in 
Paris where the Delisle manuscripts are preserved. 
The more important of the last documents have been 
copied and may be found in the Appendix. Several 
years ago the Library of Congress purchased the valu- 
able Yudin collection of books on Siberia, among which 
were the publications of the Archaeographical Society 
containing source material on seventeenth and eight- 
eenth century Siberia. A study of these original docu- 
ments has forced me to reject many of the views that I 
had accepted on the authority of Muller and others 
and to rewrite a number of the chapters. 

In the spelling of the Russian names of places I em- 
ployed the system in use by the United States Bureau 
of Hydrography. The word "Cossack" is not used in 
a technical sense but synonymously with the term "Rus- 
sian." Dates, wherever they apply to Russian events, 
are according to the old style. It may not be out of 
place to mention that in Russia during the seventeenth 
century, September was the first month of the year. If 
one will bear in mind that the nautical day was reck- 
oned from noon and not morning he will be able to ex- 
plain the seeming confusion in the accounts as to the 
day when a certain event occurred. 

I am glad to have this opportunity to express my 
gratitude to Professor Channing for helpful sugges- 
tions during the first stages of this work. Professor 
Coolidge has been ever ready to assist me and I have 
profited by his advice. Mr. L. R. Wells of Cambridge 


has criticised in a helpful manner two of the chapters. 
Professor W. A. Morris of the University of California 
and Professor W. G. Beach of the University of Wash- 
ington read the complete manuscript and it has gained 
much from their criticisms. To all these good friends 
I am very grateful and I trust that they may not feel 
that their efforts have been in vain. F. A. GOLDER. 

Pullman, Washington, February i, 1914. 

Since writing the above I have carefully examined 
the archives at St. Petersburg and have made many val- 
uable and important corrections and additions. 

F. A. G. 
St. Petersburg, Russia, August i, 1914. 



By Eastern Siberia is meant the region bordering on 
the Pacific Ocean, its western boundary being the Lena 
River and the southern the Stanovoi Mountains. Al- 
though this portion of Siberia is dealt with here sep- 
arately, it would be wrong to infer that it had problems 
of administration unknown to other parts ; for the gov- 
ernment of this vast country was quite uniform, except 
where local conditions demanded modifications. Agri- 
culture, mining, and military affairs, which reached a 
certain importance west of Jakutsk, were insignificant 
factors east of this city where all the energy was con- 
centrated on the fur trade.' 

Before taking up the study of a part of Siberia, it 
may be well to give a brief outline of the general scheme 
and development of the administration of Siberia as a 
whole. When Russia secured possession of this country 
in the last part of the sixteenth century, the natives were 
not altogether unprepared for the type of government 
which was oflPered them. Instead of giving their trib- 
ute to the Tartar chief, as the inhabitants had done 

^ The source materials ooosulted in the preparation of this work consist of 
instructions to officers, law suits, petitions^ and complaints of men in the service 
and of the native tribes. 

* The River Lena was discovered in 1630, and the Fort Jakutsk was built 
two years later, but a distinct Jakutsh Province was not created until 1640 or 
i^i, when 8 woewod and other officers were appointed. In 1675 there were 
in Jakutsk Province one hundred six people engaged in agriculture and stock 
raising. See Dopolnema K Aktam Istorickeskim, vol. vi, doc 136, 403. 


formerly, they now presented it to the czar, and when 
it is all sifted down, the problem of administration cen- 
tered around the taking and the giving of tribute. Even 
in the location of the so-called cities, the Russians, 
wherever possible, followed closely in the footsteps of 
the Tartars. Tiumen, founded in 1586, and Tobolsk, 
in 1587, were almost on the sites of former Tartar set- 
tlements. For a few years the conquered territory was 
administered from these two cities through woewods 
[officers] sent from Moscow. As the expansion to the 
eastward continued, Tobolsk gained in importance, so 
that from 1607* ^ 1629 it was the only center of ad- 
ministration, having a seal and other insignia of office, 
which other cities did not secure until 1635.^ In 1629 
Tomsk was selected as an additional seat of govern- 
ment. These two cities had a number of smaller cities 
under them, governed by local woewods subject to the 
orders of their superiors at Tobolsk or Tomsk who, in 
turn, were responsible to the Sibirski Prikaz at Mos- 
cow. This system did not work harmoniously owing to 
the envious feeling existing between the officers of the 
two districts. The boundary lines had not yet been 
sharply defined which led to numerous conflicts of jur- 
isdiction, and it happened not infrequently that parties 
of tribute gatherers representing different districts, on 
meeting in some native village, would have a fight to 
determine who should carry off the tribute. The na- 
tives suffered the most because they were made to pay 
two and three times. 

For this inefficient government the authorities at 
Moscow were in part to blame. The importance of 
this newly acquired region was not fully appreciated 

* Andrieyicfa, V. K. Istoria Sibiri^ vol. i, 1x3. 

* Butsinski, P. Zaselenie Sibiri, 333. 


and no clearly defined plan for its government had been 
formed. Siberia was administered by one of the bureaus 
of foreign affairs [Posolski Prikaz] until 1599,'^ when 
it was transferred to the department which looked after 
the government of Kazan.* In 1637 ^^ finally became 
an independent bureau known as the Sibirski Prikaz 
with a head and staff of its own.^ From this office at 
Moscow all orders were issued and officers appointed 
and to it reports and tribute were sent. It was found 
advisable in 1670 to have but one central office in Si- 
beria, and Tobolsk was once more given the preference. 
Her woewod thus became the leading Siberian officer 
to whom matters of lesser importance were referred by 
the woewods of the various provinces; but more serious 
questions were taken up, as before, with Moscow. This 
system was in force until 1708 when Peter the Great 
reorganized Siberia according to the ideas of western 
The chief officer* of the province was the woewod 

^ Ezhimsyachinia Sochimnia i Isvestia O Uchenich Delach, part i, 523. 

^ — Ibid., 526. 

* In order that one may get an idea of the quality of the administration, 
and before taking up the duties of the Siberian officers in detail, something 
should be said of their character. Were it not for the fact that the evidence 
on this point is unoontradictoiy one could hardly believe ^at these men were 
as low and as depraved as the contemporary literature pictures them. They 
were without the fear of God and without ^e feelings of shame. They traded, 
gambled, mortgaged, and sold their wives and daughters as if ^cy were 
chattel {Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheskim, vol. viii, doc. 44, 158]. The 
traffic in women was carried on publicly IPolnoe Sobranie Zahonof Rossishoi 
Imperii^ vol. iii, doc. 1601] and from the pnxxeds of the sale the government 
received ten per cent as it did from the sale of ordinary merchandise [Butsin- 
ski, P. Zasilinie Sibirif 139]. Other forms of vice were even less concealed. 
Although aware of this demoralizing state of affairs, the government was not 
in 8 position to put an end to it because it could not depend on the soldiers, 
who often mutinied and killed their officers, robbed whom they should protect, 
and then fled across the Chinese border and from there carried on their depre- 
dations [Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc 33, 85 ; also vol. xii, 


who was appointed at first for two years, but after 1695 
Peter extended the term to four, five, six years, and even 
to a longer period.® Early in the seventeenth century 
the woewod had complete control of every department 
of administration, but he so abused his power and 
robbed the treasury to such an extent that it was found 
necessary, in 1623, ^^ appoint a special customs officer, 
golova, to have charge of all the moneys and tribute and 
to act as a check on the woewod/" But neither this nor 
any of the other devices that were tried to keep the 
woewod from stealing were successful.*^^ When 'he 
came into Siberia he was accompanied by his family 
and friends, all of whom were bent on making their 
fortunes. By every legal and illegal means in his power 
he aided them, and they in return were not ungrateful 
for his f avors.^^ 

doc 4f X3]> If caught and brought back two or three were punished by hav- 
ing their noses cut off and the remainder were reinstated in service {Dopolnema 
K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc 33, 8s]. 

^ Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii^ vol. iii, doc 15x1. 

^^ Butsinski, P. Zaselenie Sibiri, 235. 

11 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. iii, doc. 83, xoo. In practice it 
was found that the golova joined with the woewod in robbing the government. 

12 Natives coming to the posts with tribute were met on the way by the 
woewod or those in collusion with him, their best furs were taken from them 
and the poorest left for the payment of tribute {Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof 
Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. iii, doc isxx]« If the native refused to obey he was 
beaten and deprived of his family [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. 
viii, doc 69, 364]. The money and supplies with which to pay the servants 
of the government passed through the hands of the woewod, who often appro- 
priated a portion for himself and forced the men to sign a receipt for the whole 
amount. It was useless to sue him since he was the chief judge of the prov- 
ince, and complaints against him could reach Moscow only through his suc- 
cessor. On leaving his post to return to Russia, the woewod was permitted to 
export five hundred rubles' worth of fur and five hundred rubles in money and 
no more [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc 46, X19]. He got 
around this regulation by shipping his ill-gotten wealth through relatives, 
priests, and merchants [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, 46, xi8], 
or to China for sale there [Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. ii, 
doc X578] ; if he stole so much that the amount of the tribute decreased notice- 
ably h« reported to Moscow that on this particular year fur-bearing animals 


The duties of the woewod were numerous. As soon 
as he reached his post he examined and counted every- 
thing on the premises and gave a receipt for them to 
his predecessor. When these matters had been ar- 
ranged the old woewod departed for Moscow with all 
the furs on hand, leaving the new comer in full charge. 
His next prescribed duty was to assemble successively 
the officers and men of the station, the hunters and 
traders, the Russian settlers of the neighborhood, and 
finally the principal men of the tribute paying natives 
of the province. To each of these in turn he told how 
grieved the czar was that the woewod who had just de- 
parted had robbed and abused them, had not paid them 
their wages, and had not done them justice; that from 
now on there should be no more of such evil doings, for 
the czar had sent them an honest woewod who would 
look after their welfare. After this speech he sent 
them home to work for the czar with the expectation 
of returning two years hence to listen to exactly the 
same speech." 

were hard to catch [Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. ii, doc. 
1578], or he would price the fur so high as to make it seem that although the 
number of skins were less their value was just as great as in previous years 
IPolnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii^ vol. ii, doc. 1522]. The follow- 
ing quotation from a contemporary document shows in what low estimation 
the woewod was held. From Moscow instructions were sent to the golovaa 00 
the frontier of Siberia that before allowing a woewod and his party to enter 
Russia they should surprise him on the way and make a search for smuggled 
furs. They were also told to look "in the wagons, trunks^ baskets, clothes, 
beds, pillows, wine barrels, boxes, in the baked bread ... to search men and 
women without fear of any one . . . examine their persons, their trousers, 
and note especially whether the women have skins sewed in their petti- 
coats . . . look sharp that they do not get away with any furs" - Polnoe 
Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii^ vol. ii, doc 1443. 

^' Before appearing in the presence of the natives, the woewod and his 
ttaflF put on gorgeous uniforms and glittering arms so as to awe and make an 
impression. In addition to the harangue just noted this message was added: 
the czar had heard how they had suffered from ''the woewod, golova, prikas- 
chiks, detiboyarski, atamans, streltsi, Cossacks . . . that their wives and chil- 


With the exception of the handling of the tribute and 
the moneys coming in from various sources, matters 
which fell to the golova, all else connected with the ad- 
ministration was under the direction of the woewod. 
He sent men to gather tribute and to discover new 
lands. It was his duty to maintain peace in the prov- 
ince and to prevent lawlessness, distilling, drunkenness, 
and gambling, which would diminish the revenue and 
unfit the men for service." 

The judicial functions of the woewod throw interest- 
ing light on the conception of justice of the period. 
He had jurisdiction over all civil cases and all criminal 
cases except those of capital punishment, which were 
referred to Moscow. There was a graduated scale of 
fines and fees, the payment of which he was required 
to enforce." The liquor cases were very numerous, for 
in order to avoid paying the excise tax and the high 
price asked for liquor, much distilling and brewing 
was done in secret. If caught the machinery and prod- 
uct were confiscated (but not wasted), in addition other 
punishments might be inflicted which depended upon 
whether or not the offenders had been up on the same 

dren had been taken from ^em and sold . . . that more tribute had been 
collected than the czar demanded, and that the woewod had not protected 
ihem** " Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc 46, xox. 

^^ On special occasions such as marriages, births, etc., and 00 the payment 
of two kopeks per gallon, the woewod was authorized to grant permissi<» to 
make beer and mead [Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheshim^ vol. iii, doc. 83, 


^B In civil suits involving two to five rubles the loser paid a fee of one- 
tenth of the amount in litigation. If a second trial was demanded, the loser 
paid two-tenths and the victor one-fiftieth. In cases the amount of which was 
less than one ruble, the loser paid according to the above scale and the victor 
was excused from any payment Contracts of indenture of less than ten rubles 
required a fee of ten kopeks on the ruble, (^ more than ten rubles twenty-five 
kopeks [Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc. 46, ixi]. In cases 
brought before court but settled outside a payment of ten kopeks 00 the ruble 
was required. 


charge before.^* Prisoners were kept in close confine- 
ment and sometimes tortured. Petty criminals were 
beaten in public with rods and the more serious offend- 
ers with knouts, and if officials they were dismissed 
from the service." Other forms of punishment were 
branding on the cheek, cutting ofif fingers, and slitting 
of nostrils." 

The number of men connected with the service of the 
Jakutsk Province varied from year to year, but at no 
time during this period did it reach a thousand. It was 
difficult to persuade men to come into this region where 
the work was hard and dangerous. The more impor- 
tant officers such as the woewod, dyak or secretary, 
golova or scribe, golova or head customs officer, were 
on a temporary appointment, while those below them 
were on a more permanent tenure." Closely associated 

^* When it was a first offense the maker and seller paid a fine of five rubles 
and the buyer and drinker paid twenty-five kopeks. For the second offense 
the maker and seller paid ten rubles and was whipped with a rod about three 
feet long and the thickness of a finger [Dopolnema K Ahtam Istoricheskim, 
vol. iii, doc. 56, an]. In case of a third offense the maker and seller was 
fined twenty rubles and the buyer and drinker one ruble, and in addition they 
were both whipped with the knout and were liable to be put into a dungeon 
[DQPolnema K Ahtam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc 30, 77]. 

"^f Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheshim, vol. iii, doc. 83, 308; vol. xi, doc. 
IX, 27. 

^* Strange as it may seem, very few criminals suffered capital punishment, 
even when guilty of killing superior officers. As a last resort the prisoner pe- 
titioned that instead of executing him, he should be permitted to go in search 
of new lands and tribute. Such petitions were nearly always granted. It 
was so in the case of Atlasof, Kosirefski, and others. 

^* The following list of those on more permanent tenure is taken from the 
report of the woewod for the year 1^75 [Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheshim, 
vol. vi, doc. 136, 408]. Nine connected with the church, twenty-five deti- 
boyarshif five sotnihs [officers of a hundred], three atamans [their functions 
were like those of the sottuhs"], thirteen in the customs service (they were 
usually taken from the merchant class), sixteen pyatdesyatmhs [officers of 
fifty], forty desyatnihs [officers of ten], five hundred fifty-three Cossacks, one 
blacksmith, two cannoneers^ two mechanics. This makes a total of six hun- 
dred sixty-nine. 


with the woewod were the secretary, who was a kind of 
vice-woewod,*^ and the scribe, and they shared with him 
the fruits of his thefts. How the golova came to exist 
has already been explained, and it is perhaps unneces- 
sary to say that he was not as honest as he might have 
been." Although the woewod could bring charges 
against the golova, he could not remove him from of- 
fice." About once a month the golova was required to 
submit his books and funds to the woewod for exam- 
ination. Of the lower officers and their duties, which 
are quite obvious, one need not dwell." For faithful 
service the men were promoted from one grade to an- 

There was no completely uniform scale of wages." 
Married men usually received more than unmarried, 
and length of service and efficiency were also determin- 
ing factors." The difference between the extremes was 
not very great, and the table offered here, which is made 
up from various sources, is fairly representative and 
accurate. The wages of the woewod and dyak here 
given are not based on as good sources as those of the 
others. What the golova received it is not possible to 
learn. As to the pyatdesyatnik, his wages must have 
been between that of an ataman's and a desyatnik's. 

2° He probably had charge of the silver seal on which were engraved an 
eagle holding a sable and these words: "The seal of his sovereign's new 
Siberian dominions on the River Lena." 

2^ He probably came into Siberia from the coast cities of Russia and was 
selected from the merchant class. On his seal was represented a panther 
catching a sable and around the edge were the words: ''Seal of his sovereign's 
customs service on the Lena." 

22 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. iv, doc. 36, zzo. 

28 A word or two might be said of the deii-boyarski. They were de- 
scendants of the petty nobility of Russia, and in Siberia they ranked just above 
the sofniks, 

24 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. ii, doc. 76, 2x3. 

25 — Ibid., vol. iv, doc. 42, 96. 

^* Butsinski, P. Zaselenie Sibiri, 248. 


Rye 28 Oats 

Salt Wine 



OFncERs Rubles ^t 

chet- chet- 
▼ert vert 

^ ^?Sr^ 





200 (inc. oats) 






150 " " 



Golova (of 



7 (inc. oats) 




10 10 



8 6 




7 4 





S'A 4>4 



5 4 


Over each of the twenty or more stations dependent 
on Jakutsk was a prikaschik, or agent, generally a petty 
ojSicer. In his small circle the agent was as supreme as 
the woewod, having like powers and the same judicial 
functions.^* Each prikaschik had under him a number 
of men, varying with the importance of the station, 
who collected the tribute, tolls, taxes, and carried out 
the numerous other tasks assigned to them. The length 
of service for which the men engaged was one year, but 
for the more distant stations they bound themselves for 
two and even three years. 

At some time in August the prikaschik with his men 
and supplies left Jakutsk, traveling by boats, horses, or 
deer, as the condition of the country and the season per- 

27 One may get an idea of the actual value of the ruble (ooe hundred 
kopeks made a ruble) from the price of commodities at Jakutsk. In 1657 rye 
sold for twenty-five kopeks and salt fifty kopeks the pud [Dopolnenia K Aktam 
Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doa 46, zoo]. All of the grain came from western 
Siberia and it was the aim of the government to have a year's supply always 
on handy but for various reasons this was seldom realized. 

2> A chetvert was a measure, the contents of which when weighed varied 
from four and a half to five puds, or between one hundred sixty-two and one 
hundred eighty pounds [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. viii, doc. 
as, 69]. 

^^ Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. vii, doc. 71, 331. 


mitted. When he arrived at his post he took an inven- 
tory of the goods on hand and gave a receipt for them 
to the agent in charge, who with his men returned to 
Jakutsk, taking the furs and money that had accumu- 
lated during their term of office. This annual shift was 
not, however, always possible on account of the scarcity 
of men and the vast area to be covered.*" 

A station was known either as zimovie, ostrojok, or 
ostrog. A zimovie was a log cabin or underground hut 
for winter use, and was not unlike the present day "bar- 
rabaras" of the natives and white hunters of Alaska. 
Two or more zimovies with some means of defense 
were known as ostrojok. An ostrog was an enlarged 
ostrojok surrounded by a wall." Armed guards were 
on duty night and day to prevent the hostages from 
escaping or committing suicide and to keep a lookout 
for fire" which broke out very frequently. The loca- 
tion of a zimovie was selected usually near the mouth 

*®The lack of a aufficienc number of well trained men brought about loss 
of life which could have been prevented. The natives used to waylay the 
small parties of Russians and kill them. Even in the matter of firearms the 
Russians did not always have the advantage, because the natives had ac- 
quired them by barter and other ways, and had become very proficient in their 
use [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. vii, doc 71, 331]. 

*^Jakutsk had the largest ostrog in the province. The one built in 1684 
was surrounded by four walls measuring four thousand feet, and on them 
were eight large watch towers [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. x, 
doc 75, 317]. Within the enclosures were warehouses for different purposes, 
a powder house, a home for the woewod, quarters for the hostages, a jail for 
raskolniks [heretics], and another jail for criminals. About five hundred feet 
from the ostrog was the gorod, the settlement where the married men and 
traders lived, and about an equal distance still farther east were the diurch 
and religious houses [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. xi, doc 61, 
Z87]. In Remezofs atlas there is a crude drawing of Jakutsk which is here 

*^ In the summer time no fires were permitted inside the buildings except 
for the purpose of baking bread, and then only on a damp day with plenty of 
water near at hand [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. iv, doc 46, 116; 
A kit Istortcheskie, vol. iv, doc 246, 526]. 


of a stream or near a watershed so as to be easily acces- 
sible. Hunters, however, built theirs on high ground 
where the best sables were to be had. 

One of the great problems of the administration was 
how to get a great deal of tribute out of the natives and 
yet keep them in peace and alive. Once or twice a year 
the prikaschik sent out a company of armed men, ac- 
companied by a tselovalnik," to collect tribute from 
those who were willing to pay and to fight those who 
were not.** When in the presence of the natives, the 
officer in command summoned them to submit and pay 
tribute." If they consented they at once delivered hos- 
tages. If they refused war was made upon them, the 
men were killed and the women and children were 
divided up among the Cossacks.** 

On account of this harsh treatment there were many 
uprisings and flights into Chinese territory.*^ Small- 
pox and venereal diseases killed off a great many others, 
leaving a still heavier burden on the survivors who had 
to pay for the living and the dead.** If the native had 

**The taelovalnik susuined the same relation to the prikaschik that the 
golova did to the wocwod. He took his name from the act of kissing the 
Testament on taking office. He was expected to know how to write so as to 
be able to sign receipts. 

*^ Those who took part in these expeditions were not generally allowed to 
trade with die natives on their own account. But if they honestiy acquired 
some peltSy either by barter or by hunting, the government took them off their 
hands and paid them at Jakutsk according to Siberian prices [Dofolnema K 
Aktam Isioricheskim^ vol. iv, doc. 30^ 73]. 

B6 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichisldm^ vol. iii, doc 83, 3x0. 

** "And in this fight we took from the Tungus B. his two daughters A. 
and N. After dividing up, A. went to the trader Shaposhnik and N. to the 
hunter Chiruche. The wife of the Tungus U. was given to the hunter Pilikin, 
the daughter of the Tungus M, to the Pyatdesyatnik Michaelof, K's daughter 
to Matveef, K's wife to Werchote, B's wife to Federof. A Tungus boy about 
seven was handed over to Trishka, another about five went to Missalof," 
etc. . . "Ihid.f vol. viii, doc 44, 175. 

'^ Polnoe Sohranie Zakonaf Rossiskoi Imperii^ vol. iii, doc 1526. 

'^Df^polmnia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. viii, doc 3, 17. Although 


no skins of any kind he was obliged to buy them in the 
open market; if he had neither skins nor money he was 
locked up.'* He was forbidden to sell his furs to others 
than Russians.*" He had the privilege of becoming a 
Christian and entering the service of the czar;*^ and 
the unions of the baptized native women with the Rus- 
sians were blessed with a marriage ceremony." 

In theory each community was required to pay a 
definite amount of tribute, in practice the collectors de- 
manded and obtained more than the legally required 
quantity which they kept for themselves. In addition 
to the tribute, the natives were also asked to offer gifts. 
The list below is taken from the report of the Jakutsk 
woewod for the year 1675.** He says that there were 
at that time twenty- two stations and thirty-five Jakut 
permanent settlements under his jurisdiction. From 
these figures it will be seen that the tribute was not very 
oppressive, considering that there were still a great 
many fur-bearing animals. The hardships came, as 
already noted, from the illegal demands of the col- 

c.*..»^» xi.^.».« No. of c.ui^. Po^cd^oxci looses Serv- Hos-Senranti 

Station Natives ^^^^^^ Sables ^^^ j^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ tigcs Needed 

Olekminsk Jakuts ** 206 377 30 I 1 1 

Charinsk & 
Ustpatansk Tungus 137 356 11 6 

money was not generally received in place of skins, yet one kind of skin might 
be substituted for another, the relative value of the two being determined by 
the tselovalnik. For instance, if a Jakut had no sables but had foxes the 
tselovalnik priced and took enough foxes to make up for the sables. His 
prices were, however, alwa)r9 far below those offered by the trader, but in 
making his reports he valued them almost according to Moscow prices, man- 
aging in this way to keep a number of skins for himself [Dopolnefua K Aktam 
Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc. 46, Z17]. 

^^ Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. viii, doc. 3, 19. 

^^ This regulation was to prevent trade with the Chinese. 

*^ Probably at a lower salary than the Russians. 

42 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoncheskim^ vol. iii, doc. 83, 3x1. 

48 — Ibid,^ vol. vi, doc. 136, 401-408. 

44 Jakuts were not required to give hostages. 




No. of 


Foxes Foxes Foxes Serv- i 
Red Black Cross ants t 

























Jakuts and 










Jakuts and 










Jakuts and 








Jakuts and 

















1 172 








































































Counting the thirty-five Jakut settlements there were 
altogether ten thousand six hundred eighty-six Jakuts, 
Yukagirs, and Tungus, paying eighteen thousand, four 
hundred fifty sables, forty-nine sable backs, eleven 
black foxes, fifty-two cross foxes, six thousand, two hun- 
dred eighty-four red foxes, two brown foxes, one red 
brown fox, and one fox coat 

Traders were allowed to come into Siberia and do 
business there on the payment of a general license fee, 


a certain percentage of all the goods bought or sold, 
and ten per cent import and export duty. In addition 
there were numerous other restrictions in the matter of 
buying and selling. Traders were carefully watched, 
their goods inspected at every post, and fees and fines 
were demanded at every stop. Liquor, tobacco, and 
smuggled Chinese goods they were not allowed to sell 
and certain kinds of furs they were not permitted to buy 
at all, while others they could purchase only after the 
tribute collector had made his rounds and had his 
pick.^^ Notwithstanding these regulations the traders 
found means to get around them, and they always had 
the best skins, many of them coming directly from the 
officers of the government.** The sale of beer, kwas^ 
and such drinks, was let to the highest bidder for a term 
of years.*^ 

Each prikaschik on bringing the annual tribute and 
money from his station to Jakutsk submitted with it a 
detailed list of every article, stating where it came from, 
who collected it, whether it was received as tribute, 
gift, or as tenths from the traders and other Russians.** 
In a similar way the woewod submitted his list to the 

*^ Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskitn^ vol. iv, doc 46, Z09. Occatiooally 
certain regiooa were closed to the trader when it was noticed that the tribute 
fell ti^ [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. viii, doc. 69, 270]. For 
special service rendered or for other reasons the czar gave to certain individ- 
uals the right to trade in Siberia without paying the customary fees and tolls 
[Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. iv, doc 93, 234]. 

^* Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii^ vol. iii, doc. 1443. 
^^ There is reason to believe that the sale of the stronger drinks was in 
the hands of the government which received its supplies from the distilleries 
at Tobolsk [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. vii, doc. 9, 52]. 

4S Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. v, doc. 65, 335. Here is a par- 
tial report of a two years' shipment from the Koluima: 

1765 sables -tribute 
looi sables - tenths 
949 sables -gifts 
2247 rubles, etc 


Sibirski Prikaz at Moscow. To determine the value 
of the furs a mixed tribunal ** composed of traders and 
officers, the former predominating, was appointed. 
This body arranged the pelts into three lots, best, good, 
and poor, and set a price on each according to the mar- 
ket value in Siberia, and their signed statements were 
forwarded with the furs to Moscow. Once a year the 
woewod took in person or sent by one of his men the 
government stores to the Sibirski Prikaz. Not all the 
furs, however, were shipped to Russia, some were kept 
for the Chinese trade. 

<• Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichfskimf vol. iy, doc. 46, zo6. 



It was very soon after the Jakutsk district was or- 
ganized that the hunters, in following up the Lena to 
its source in the mountains, learned of the streams be- 
yond, the Shilka and the Dseya. They were told that 
on the banks of these rivers was to be found much grain, 
and not a little silver. If this news were true it would 
be a great blessing for Jakutsk, which often suffered 
hunger on account of the dilSiculties of bringing grain 
from Western Siberia where it was grown. If food 
supplies could be had on the Dseya the bread problem 
would be solved, for the question of transportation from 
that river down the Lena was a comparatively simple 

One of the first reports, if not the very first one, of 
the Shilka and the Dseya was made by Maxim Pero- 
filyef at Jakutsk in 1641.*^ He gave as his authority a 
conversation he had with a Tungus, who from personal 
observation knew the country, its people, its agricul- 
tural and mineral resources. This clew was followed 
up and twenty men were despatched that same year 
(1641) among the Tungus on the Angara for more 
data. On their return they laid before the woewod 
articles made of silver, and blue paint, both of which 
they had bought from the natives." Other evidences 
came in to confirm the first report: Ivan Moskwitin 

'^^ Chienia V Imperaiorskom Obschestve Istorii I Drevnostei Rossiskicht 
1861, book z. 
" — Ibid, 


and companions testified in 1642 that in going from the 
Ouda to the sea (date of the voyage is not given), in a 
southerly direction, they met with a Tungus who told 
them of the Shilka and its grain fields." Several of the 
Jakut chiefs when questioned replied in a very positive 
manner that grains and metals could be had on the 
other side of the mountains because the Tungus who 
went there often had told them so. Early in 1643 
Enalei Bachteyarof, bookkeeper or scribe at Witmsk, 
brought to Jakutsk a Tungus, Lawagu, who was so cer- 
tain that in the valleys and hills of the Dseya and Shilka 
bread and silver were to be found that he volunteered 
to guide a party thither, either by the way of the Aldan 
or the Olekma." With all this uncontradictory evi- 
dence before him, the woewod ordered Bachteyarof 
and seventy men to proceed at once (1643) to investi- 
gate the truth of these statements." The leader proved 
incompetent and returned shortly without having ac- 
complished the desired result." 

While Bachteyarof was on the way more testimony 
came in from various sources confirming the earlier re- 
ports. The failure of the "thievish" bookkeeper did 
not in the least cool the ardor of the woewod, Peter 
Golowin, who fitted out another expedition even on a 
larger scale. As a leader of the new company he se- 
lected Wasili Poyarkof, of whom very little is known, 
and whose chief qualification seems to have been the 
ability to wield the pen and the dagger. With him 
went along one hundred twelve Cossacks, fifteen hunters, 
two clerks [tselovalniksly two interpreters," a guide, 

** Cktenia V Imperatorskom Obschestve Istorii I Drevnosiei Rossiskich^ 
z86x, book I. 

w — Ibid. 

^^Akti Istoricheskie, vol. iv, doc 31. 

^'^ Cktenia V Imperatorskom Obschestve Istorii I Drevnostei Rossiskich, 
1861, book I. 

^^ Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. iii, doc. 12, 50. 


and a blacksmith. Each man was armed with a gun, 
and in addition a cannon with the necessary ammuni- 
tion. Some provisions were also taken along. Poyar- 
kof was given full instructions how to proceed. From 
Jakutsk he was to go up the Lena, the Aldan and its 
branches, thence across the mountains to the source of 
the Dseya and down that stream to the Shilka. Of the 
natives whom he would find there he should ask tribute, 
but only a small quantity to begin with. In case they 
refused to pay, war should be made on them. Inquiries 
were to be made as to the relation of the natives with 
China, whether officers of that empire came among 
them and for what purpose. 

Poyarkof with his company departed from Jakutsk 
July 15, 1643, following the route mapped out for him. 
He experienced many hardships in going up the Aldan 
and its branches, and in the rapids of one he lost a boat. 
About the first of November, before he had quite 
reached the headwaters, ice had formed in the streams 
blocking further advance by water. Two weeks were 
spent in building a zimovie in which were left the 
heavier supplies in charge of forty-three men. The 
leader himself with the remainder of his command 
started to cross the mountains about the middle of No- 
vember and after two weeks' toil he struck the Brynda, 
a branch of the Dseya. Because this region was unin- 
habited he hurried southward and on December 13 
reached the Umlekan and camped there. On making 
inquiries the Russians learned that barley, oats, millet, 
peas, hemp, and buckwheat grew on the Shilka, but 
silver, copper, lead, and blue paint were not produced 
here but purchased in China.*^^ In his expectation to 
find an abundance of food Poyarkof was disappointed, 

ST Dopolnema K Aktam Istorichiskim, vol. iii, doc. iz, 50. 


and it became necessary to forage for it at once. Hear- 
ing of a Dauri settlement not very far from the camp, 
seventy men were sent to the place, and by trickery they 
got into their power two of the leading men. Notwith- 
standing that they were well treated the Russians in- 
sisted that they should be admitted into the village. 
When this was refused they attempted to force their 
way, but were repulsed, and it was only after much 
difficulty and under cover of night that they got away 
at all. On their return to camp a number of them were 
not admitted, and these lived close by feeding on the 
natives whom they killed from time to time and on 
their fellow Russians who died of starvation or who 
were murdered by Poyarkof who argued "that men 
were cheap, a desyatnik was worth five kopeks and a 
private one kopek." " 

In the spring the party that had been left on the 
north side of the ridge crossed over and joined the main 
body and together they sailed down the Dseya. The 
report of the cruelty and deceit which the Russians had 
practiced on the natives and their inhuman treatment 
of each other preceded them down the river. They 
found the inhabitants on the alert and on the defensive, 
and here and there as they came in sight they were 
greeted with the shout, "Oh, you dirty cannibals I"" 
Poyarkof had to fight his way down the Amur,** or run 

^^ Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. tii, doc 12, 50. In the ooune 
of the winter fifty dead bodies were consumed. Forty of the seventy died of 
starvation and exposure. In the spring when vegetation made iti appearance 
and food was more plentiful, it is charged that Poyarkof ordered his favorites 
to set fire to the grass about the camp of the starving men. On their return to 
Jakutsk, the men accused Poyarkof of the above named crimes. He admitted 
the facts as true but shifted the blame; the testimony of the witnesses, how- 
ever, was against him and he was sent to Moscow for trial. 

»» — /*iVI. 

^ The term ''Amur" was unknown until Poyarkof s return when he made 
use of it in his report. In the instructions drawn by Peter Golowin in 1643 


before the hostile natives, and once a party of twenty- 
seven men who had gone ahead to explore were sur- 
prised and all but two killed. It was only when he had 
reached the mouth of the Amur that he found rest for 
the winter (1644-1645). By capturing three Giliaks 
he was able to compel the others to give him tribute 
and to supply him with food. When the navigation 
season opened he sailed northward and landed at the 
mouth of the Ulja where another winter was spent 
(1645-1646), and in the following spring he went into 
the interior by way of the Maja and the Aldan, arriv- 
ing at Jakutsk June 12, 1646. 

Poyarkof's expedition was a success in so far as it 
separated myth from fact; it determined in a general 
way what the resources of the Amur and its tributaries 
were and what they were not. But the harm he and his 
crew did to the Russian cause was greater than the 
good. Whatever faults the Chinese tribute gatherers 
had they were not guilty of such inhuman acts as the 
Russians committed, and when the inhabitants of the 
Amur were called upon to decide whom they would 
have as master they never hesitated in their decision to 
remain faithful to China. 

Before the return of Poyarkof information about the 
Shikla continued coming in, some of it of importance 
in determining a new way to the Amur. The ascent 
of the Aldan had been attempted and found difficult; 
the route by the way of the Olekma had been suggested 
but not yet tried. In 1647, there came to Jakutsk a 
hunter, whose camp was at the head waters of the Tu- 
gir, a branch of the Olekma, and he gave a description 

that name it not used. Eadi of the peoples through whose territories the river 
flowed gaye the stream a different name and this explains the confusion of 


of the country about him and the way to reach it. The 
new course recommended itself to the officers as prefer- 
able to the one by the Aldan and after a trial it proved 
more satisfactory. After this date all those who went 
from Jakutsk to the Amur followed the Olekma, while 
those coming from Yenisei and other parts of Western 
Siberia went by way of Lake Baikal. 

When Poyarkof reached Jakutsk Peter Golowin was 
out of office, and his successor Pushkin does not seem 
to have been greatly interested in the exploration of the 
Amur. This is not to be wondered at when one con- 
siders that the attempts so far had proved costly and 
the material results were as yet of no importance. The 
few men that the officer had at his disposal could be 
employed to better advantage in Siberia. Only one in- 
significant expedition was sent out and that was a fail- 
ure. It left in March, 1649, and returned that summer, 
having gone as far as the Shilka without meeting more 
than two or three people." 

Yarka Pavlof Khabarof, a man whose deeds have 
been eloquently praised and after whom at least one 
city has been named, made the next expedition to the 
Amur. Very little is known of him before his expedi- 
tion and not much more after it." His plans and the 
energy with which he carried them out show him to 
have been a man above the average of his fellows. He 
realized the ultimate and, particularly, the immediate 
advantages to be derived from the conquest of the 
Amur, and he was ready to invest his time and his 
money in its accomplishment, expecting to repay him- 

•1 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, doc 50. 

*^ In 1658 inttnictioDs were given to a man on his way to the Amur to make 
use of Khabarof as guide, and in case he refused to act 10 that capacity he 
should be put into irons [Dopolnenia K Aktam Isioricheskim, vol. iii, doc. 53, 


self from the plunder. Dimitri Franzbekof, the new 
woewod, gave him his moral and financial support, re- 
garding it no doubt as a good venture/* Pointing out 
the fact that all the previous efforts on the Amur had 
proved fruitless and expensive to the government, Kha- 
barof, on March 6, 1649, petitioned Franzbekof to be 
allowed to raise entirely at his own expense a company 
of one hundred fifty volunteers, or as many as were 
willing to enlist under his banner, for the purpose of 
forcing the inhabitants of the Amur to pay tribute/^ 
This request was, as might have been anticipated, 
granted; it could not have been more than a bit of 
formality, for at the time of petitioning the company 
must have been made up, judging from the fact that 
before the month was over it was already on the way.** 
On the march others, by one means or another, were 
persuaded to unite with the band.** With such an ob- 
ject to draw it, and such a leader to guide it, one had 
a right to expect positive results from this organiza- 

Going by way of the Olekma, Khabarof had no great 
difficulty in reaching and in crossing the mountains. 
Much to his chagrin he found the country deserted, al- 
though but recently populated; everything about him 
indicating that the inhabitants had fled at his approach. 
He passed one settlement and then another and it was 
only when he came to the third that he perceived signs 
of life. Three horsemen were seen approaching, and 
when they were near enough they entered into conver- 
sation with the Russians asking them who they were 
and why they came. Khabarof through his interpreters 

** Akti Isiorickejkie, yol. iy, doc. 31, 76. 
•*^IbU^ 68. 

M Dopolmnia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, doc. 7a. 
w^^Ibid^ Tol. iv, doc 40^ 94. 


replied most meekly that they were traders on a peace- 
ful mission and that they had many presents to dis- 
tribute. But this game was played out. ^^Why are you 
trying to deceive us?" the horsemen replied, "we know 
you Cossacks."" So deeply and so horribly had Poy- 
arkof s deeds impressed themselves on the inhabitants 
of the Amur that the mere mention that "the Cossacks 
are coming" was enough to bring to their minds pic- 
tures of torture, abduction, death, and cannibalism. 
Shortly before the appearance of Khabarof, a Russian 
in company of three Tungus visited the Dauri and told 
them, perhaps out of mere bravado or as a threat, that 
five hundred Cossacks were coming, closely followed 
by many others, and that these would kill, plunder, and 
take their wives and children prisoners.** This ex- 
plains why the country was deserted. Khabarof fol- 
lowed the riders for about three days without being 
able to overtake them, passing en route the fourth de- 
serted village, bringing up finally in a fifth. In one of 
the huts he found in hiding an old woman whom he 
tortured to make her tell what she did not know and 
did not understand, for much that she said about the 
Amur he later discovered to be false.'* Bafiled on 
every turn Khabarof turned back to Jakutsk, arriving 
May 26, 1650, and made his report, which showed that 
he had not lost confidence in the Amur and its possi- 
bilities. He found concealed in pits large stores of 
grain, and he assured the woewod that if the country 
were conquered, for which purpose six thousand men 
would be necessary, Jakutsk could have all the grain it 
needed and which could be transported in two weeks 
from the Dseya.^* 

•T Dopolnenta K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, doc 72, 258. 

**Akti Istoricheskie^ vol. iv, doc 31, 172. 

TO Dopolnenta K Aktam Utoricheskim^ vol. iii, doc 72, 258. 


Jakutsk about 1675 
[From Remezof's Atlas} 


Khabarof s first effort, although fruitless, was not al- 
together in vain. He had seen the country and had 
studied the conditions on the spot and was therefore 
better fitted to carry out his plans than before. He re- 
mained at Jakutsk just long enough to strengthen his 
company and to arrange for its annual reinforcement, 
and to provide himself with cannon. Horses he also 
made use of in the campaign that followed, but whether 
he took them from Siberia or secured them on the 
Amur is not clear. Thus equipped, Khabarof hurried 
back across the mountains that same summer (1650) 
and at Albasin came upon the Dauri, who were prob- 
ably not expecting him, and fought them one day from 
noon until evening. In the end the bows and arrows 
had to give way, as they had done so often in Siberia, 
before the firearms, and the natives fled leaving Al- 
basin to the Russians who occupied it and made it their 
headquarters." Without giving the discouraged na- 
tives time to recover from their shock, Khabarof, on 
that very evening, despatched one hundred thirty-five 
men in hot pursuit. They paddled all night in their 
light boats and early next morning surprised the fugi- 
tives who, at the sight of the Siberians, set fire to their 
dwellings and ran away. Impeded by their families 
and their baggage the Russians had no difficulty in 
catching up with the Dauri and forcing them to fight 
and give up one hundred seventeen head of cattle; and 
with this booty the conquerors returned triumphantly 
to Albasin." 

In knowing how to make use of the opportunities of 
the moment, Khabarof showed himself an able leader. 
He hurriedly fortified Albasin, leaving it in charge of 

^1 Akti Istoricheskie, vol. iv, doc. 31, 74. 
72 _ lii^. 



a small garrison, and with the bulk of his men, draw- 
ing cannon and supplies on sleds, he started, on Novem- 
ber 24, in pursuit of the demoralized natives. On the 
tenth day out he came in touch with a force of Dauri 
horsemen and fought them all day and, as the woewod in 
his report to Moscow puts it, '^against their [Russian] 
fighting and their cannon, they [Dauri] could not 
stand."" These successive defeats broke temporarily 
the resistance and spirit of the native chiefs, nearly all 
of whom offered tribute; and with these sable skins, 
prisoners, and spoils of war the Siberians returned to 
Albasin for the winter. In his report for the year 1650, 
Khabarof is enthusiastic about the resources of the 
country and states that at Albasin alone there was 
enough grain on hand to last five years, and that the na- 
tives of the Amur could be made to supply a quantity 
large enough to feed twenty thousand men or even a 
larger number." 

On June 2, 1651, Khabarof took the field once more, 
having under him at the time over two hundred " well 
armed men, and, at least, three cannon.^* His plan of 
campaign was to move quickly and take the enemy un- 
awares. For this purpose he had built light boats to 
seek, surprise, and engage the foe until the heavier 
boats containing the main force, the cannon, and the 
horses should come up.^' Four days he sailed down the 
river without meeting a human being. As far as he 
could see the settlements had been destroyed and the 
inhabitants had fled, repeating the tactics of 1649. 
From an old woman who had been left behind and 

f* Akti Istoricheskie, vol. iv, doc 31, 75. 

i^ — IbU. 

1^ Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, doc. xoa, 364. 

T« — /3u/., 361. 

" — Ibid^ 359. 


whom he tortured, he obtained a clew which led him 
to several huts ; but at the sight of the Russians the in- 
mates set fire to their homes and ran away. Towards 
sunset of the fourth day, Khabarof surprised Guigudar, 
a settlement sheltering about one thousand human be- 
ings, including women, children, and several Chinese/* 
All during that summer night the cannon of the 
Russians bombarded the walls, tearing large holes in 
them and striking terror into the hearts of the women 
and children who had probably never before seen the 
flash of a gun. Daybreak found the two outer walls in 
ruins and the panic stricken natives huddled together 
behind the third and last one which was being rapidly 
knocked to pieces. When that frail defense was no 
more the natives attempted to escape, but it was too 
late, the enemy was upon them. The shouts of the Cos- 
sacks whose bloodthirsty appetites had been whetted 
by a night of excitement and fighting were drowned by 
the cries of children and women as they were being 
butchered or dragged into the arms of the Cossacks 
whose hands were dripping with the bloods of fathers, 
husbands, and brothers. 

Listen to Khabarof 's song of victory : "With God's 
help ... we burned them, we knocked them on 
the head . . . and counting big and little we killed 
six hundred and sixty one."" Of the Russians only 
four lost their lives and forty-five were temporarily dis- 
abled, a small price to pay for the plunder which in- 
cluded two hundred forty-three women, one hundred 
eighteen children, two hundred thirty-seven horses, and 
one hundred thirteen cattle. 

78 Dopolnenia K AkSam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, 361. These Chinese took no 
active part in the battle, saying they had strict orders not to fight the Russians. 
»• — /*u/., 36a 


Six or seven weeks the victors rested at this place en- 
joying their captives and the good things which they 
had conquered. They were not altogether idle, for 
they sent messengers in different directions calling upon 
the natives to pay tribute or suffer the fate of Guigudar. 
These threats had no effect, there was still another al- 
ternative-flight, and as far as the Dseya the country 
was deserted. Here and there a straggler was caught 
and tortured to reveal where the inhabitants had gone. 
By these tactics Khabarof learned of several inhabited 
villages near the mouth of the Dseya, and with the light 
boats he hurried to the spot and surprised them so com- 
pletely that they could neither fight nor run away. Cap- 
tives there were many : and these pleaded that they had 
just paid tribute to China and had very little left, but 
they would give up that little to regain their liberty. 
Khabarof requested that a council of the leading men 
should be called, and about three hundred appeared, 
representing, they said, one thousand warriors. They 
promised all that was asked, gave hostages, offered 
sixty sables on the spot, and undertook to furnish more 
in the future. The captives were put up for ransom, 
bringing from forty to one hundred rubles a head, and 
this was one of the sources of profit on Khabarof's in- 
vestment. Each side expressed sincerest friendship for 
the other, the Dauri supplied their conquerors with 
food, visited them in their camp and invited them to 
their homes. These acts of kindness misled Khabarof 
and he was taken off his guard. On September 3, 165 1, 
the inhabitants in a body stole out of the village, leav- 
ing behind them two hostages and two old women, who, 
being unable to keep up, were caught and brought back. 
On the unfortunate hostages the disappointed leader 
vented his wrath, torturing and burning them, without 


however succeeding in drawing a complaint or plea for 
mercy from these painwracked beings, who justified 
the escape of their friends and told their torturers that 
they were ready to die.** This flight was a bad blow to 
Khabarof . Here he was at the beginning of winter in 
the midst of a hostile and barren country. To advance 
was his only hope. He went on board his boats on Sep- 
tember 7, to go down the river, passing on the way the 
mouth of the Sungari and out of the country of the 
pastoral Ducheri, killing many of them and taking 
their families and property with him. 

When Khabarof had come among the fish eating 
Achani, he decided to go no farther, and on September 
29, he pitched and fortified a camp probably near the 
site of the present town of Khabarofsk. The Achani 
showed themselves friendly and the Russians thinking 
they had nothing to fear from them, sent one hundred 
of their men on the river to fish for a few days. In 
their absence the Achani and the Ducheri, numbering, 
according to Khabarof, eight hundred to a thousand 
men, attacked the camp on October 8. The cannon 
and guns proved themselves once more superior to the 
bows and arrows, and the natives were driven off. Dur- 
ing the winter parties of Cossacks sought out their en- 
campments and helped themselves to whatever they 

Being well provided with the necessaries of life, the 
Russians believed themselves safe, being quite ignorant 
that a Chinese army was moving against them. Kha- 
barof 's campaigns of 1650 and 1651 had caused so 
much suffering among the Dauri and the Ducheri that 
they, in the early fall or late summer of 165 1, sent their 
leading men to the Chinese officers in charge of the 

*^ Dopolmnia K Aktam Utoricheskim^ vol. iii, doc. 363. 


Amur to lay before them the true state of affairs and to 
petition that China either protect them or allow them 
to come under Russian jurisdiction.*^ Their petition 
was forwarded to Peking and from there orders came 
to send an army to drive out the invaders, and it was 
this army which was now looking for Khabarof. In 
their first fight against the Russians the Chinese blun- 
dered, failing to understand the quality of the antag- 
onist and the meaning of the invasion. At the begin- 
ning of the fight the Chinese had the best of it and for 
a time it looked as if they would carry the ostrog. It 
may have been that the Chinese commander was over 
confident or it may have been in obedience to instruc- 
tions that, just about the time when the Russians were 
most hotly pressed, he ordered his soldiers not to kill 
or injure the Cossacks but to take them alive.*^ This 
was the turning point in the battle. When the Rus- 
sians understood the situation they determined not to 
be taken alive and, calling upon the holy saints, they 
charged the Chinese and gradually drove them back. 
No other result could have been expected under the cir- 
cumstances. An army cannot be shot at and not be 
allowed to return the deadly fire and yet retain the 
field. The Chinese soldiers became demoralized and re- 
treated, leaving behind seventeen muskets, two cannon, 
eight flags, eight hundred thirty horses, and stores of 
provisions. On the Russian side ten men were killed 
and seventy-eight were wounded. On inquiry among 
the natives, an unreliable source, Khabarof was told 
that six hundred seventy-six Chinese lost their lives." 

Bi Dopolnenia K Ahtam Istoricheskim^ vol. iii, doc. loi, 358 ; doc. loa. 

^^'-'Ibid,, doc Id, 367. 

<8 — j^u^ Many who have written on this subject have dwelt on the 
bravery of the Russians in battle and the cowardliness of the Chinese. There 
is DO good evidence for the latter statement It must be remembered that all 


Although the Chinese had been forced to withdraw 
from the field, their fight was not without important 
consequences. It checked the boldness of the Russians 
and filled them with fear. From now on nearly every 
report has a statement to the effect that owing to a rumor 
that the Chinese were in the neighborhood the Cossacks 
did not dare to go here or to go there. This coupled 
with the spirit of resistance which the natives displayed 
once more would lead one to question whether the de- 
feat was so overwhelming as it has been made to appear. 

tesdmooy hearing on thew fights comes fitmi the Cossacks, to whose gloiy it 
would be to rate their own forces small and that of the enemy large. But 
even from their statements some points stand out to the credit of the Chi- 
nese. In every open field engagement between the soldiers of the two empires 
the Chinese were victorious. Out of four places besieged diey took two, and 
the reason they were not more successful was due probably to lack of technical 
knowledge rather than to lack of courage. The Cossacks themselves did not 
underrate the Chinese. It is equally untrue that the Chinese were over- 
whelmingly superior in numbers. The estimates on which these figures are 
founded are not reliable since they are nothing more than vague rumors given 
out by ignorant natives, whose conception of numbers is limited, at the very 
best; to hundreds. On the other hand it should be pointed out that the Rus- 
sians had a great advantage in military equipment, every one of their men 
had a gun, while the rank and file of the enemy was armed with a bow and 
arrow. The Chinese were not always superior in numbers. In one in- 
stance forty of their soldiers fought off three hundred Russians until thirty of 
the Chinese were killed, nine escaped, and one was captured. In this par- 
ticular fight the whole Chinese force, according to the testimony of a captive 
and reported by Khabarof, including natives of the Amur and servants (a 
considerable proportion who did not fight) numbered fifteen hundred (pos- 
sibly two thousand but rather doubtful). As to equipment it had six cannon, 
thirty muskets, eight powder bombs for blowing up the walls. On the side 
of the Russians there were two hundred six experienced fighters armed with 
guns, protected by a strong fortress, and defended by three cannon. The Rus- 
sians had been resting during the winter and they had risen from a night's 
sleep to fight the Chinese who had been three winter months on the march 
and on their feet the whole or a good part of the night preceding the battle. 
When everything is taken into consideration, not omitting the stupidity of their 
conamander, the Chinese have very little to be ashamed of. In nearly every 
case when the Cossacks were defeated they gave as an excuse the lack of am- 
munition. Is it not possible that some similar cause forced the Chinese to 
retreat this time? 


On April 22, Khabarof left his winter camp and 
sailed up the Amur, meeting on the way a company of 
one hundred seventeen Cossacks with cannon, powder, 
lead, and other supplies, that had been sent to him the 
year before from Jakutsk." Khabarof 's victory over 
the Chinese was his last great achievement on the 
Amur. From now on he plays an insignificant role, 
due in part to his loss of control over his men. When 
near the mouth of the Dseya, on August i, one hundred 
thirty-six men mutinied and left him, taking with them 
a considerable part of the plunder and tribute. What 
was back of this trouble is not clear; it may have been 
due to too much prosperity, or perhaps to inability to 
divide the spoil, or some such cause. Khabarof was 
left with two hundred twelve men and, strange as it 
may seem, he made no attempt, except by verbal per- 
suasion, at least so he says, to force the rebels back into 
line. There are now two plundering bands, and what 
ever promise one made to the natives the other by its 
acts gave it the lie. 

Khabarof was undoubtedly the ablest of the Cossacks 
on the Amur. For the period during which he was in 
command he made the power of Russia felt and feared 
along the whole of the great river. He did, however, 
very little more than this. His policy, on the whole, 
did much harm to the cause of his country. It in- 
volved her in undertakings which she could not at that 
time carry out successfully. His lust for wealth led 
him to antagonize all the people with whom he came 

*^ The party numbered originally one hundred forty-four men. On reach- 
ing the Amur and being unable to fixtd Khabarof, twenty-seven of the men 
were sent ahead to look for him, but they were unable to locate him. On ac- 
count of the hostility of the natives they could not turn back and were forced 
to go out to sea, and after a time succeeded in reaching the Lena [Dopolnenia 
K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, doc xoo, 354]. 


in contact and to make friends with none. He de- 
stroyed the source from which the riches were to come, 
for even in his day the Amur region was in great part 
deserted. His weapons were always force and cruelty 
and never diplomacy and kindness. It was during his 
administration, and originating in his own command, 
that lawless bands began terrorizing the Amur and 
plundering not only natives and Chinese but their 
own countrymen as well. 

In the late summer or early in September, 1653, an 
officer from Moscow by the name of Zinovyef came to 
the Amur bringing with him reinforcements in men 
and supplies, also pay for all hands, numbering three 
hundred twenty at that time.*" On his return to the 
capital he took Khabarof with him; and in his place he 
appointed Onuf ria Stepanof, a man in many respects 
inferior to Khabarof. At the time of the transfer of 
command the little army was at the mouth of the Dseya 
where food was scarce, owing to the fact that the Chi* 
nese government had ordered the Dauri to abandon 
their fields and to remove to the valleys of the Sungari. 
The season being already advanced Stepanof with his 
company sailed down the river into the country of the 
Ducheri from whom he obtained grain and within 
whose boundaries he wintered, his camp being not very 
far from the territory of the Giliaks. In the spring of 
1654 he retraced his course and at the mouth of the 
Sungari he was joined by fifty Cossacks, giving him a 
force of three hundred seventy men. Either being ig- 
norant that Chinese soldiers were on the Sungari or 
perhaps feeling himself strong enough to fight them, 
Stepanof entered on a course which Khabarof had in 
mind but did not think it wise to undertake. On May 

SB Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskifn^ vol. iii, doc zaa, 526. 


20, he steered into the Sungari and sailed up that stream 
for three days without making a stop. A Chinese force 
which was at no distant point hurried to meet him, hav- 
ing orders this time to kill. A bitter fight took place 
in which the Cossacks were defeated and forced to re- 
treat, claiming they did so because they had run out of 
ammunition. On his way up the Amur, Stepanof was 
joined by thirty more men from the Baikal. 

The defeat had a bad effect on the undisciplined men. 
They lost confidence in themselves and looked for Chi- 
nese from all directions; and the orders to build sev- 
eral forts on the Dseya were not carried out for fear 
of the enemy. For the present the most important 
thing was to find a safe camp for the winter. A bluff 
on the Khumar River seemed well adapted for that 
purpose, and on this spot Khamarsk was built and dur- 
ing the fall and winter much labor was spent to make 
it impregnable.'* After their victory the Chinese slow- 
ly followed up the Russians with the intention of driv- 
ing them still further up the stream. On March 13, 
1655, they came to the new ostrog and besieged it until 
April 4, without being able to take it and retreated after 
destroying the boats outside the fort'^ 

M Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. tv, doc. 8, 29. 

*' The Runiam had about four hundred men in this fight, but there is no 
reliable data from which the number of Chinese may be estimated. Stepanof 
said [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc 8, 29] there were ten 
thousand of them, but he had no means of knowing. In 1684 the Russians 
boasted [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. x, doc. 67, 244] that at this 
siege there were three hundred Cossacks and fifty thousand Chinese soldiers 
nearly all of whom were killed by Stepanof. Both of these claims merely 
show how little reliance can he placed on them. In none of the other sieges 
had the Chinese as many as three thousand men. After this repulse the 
Chinese attacked Stepanof in 1658 with about fifteen hundred soldiers. One 
would naturally suppose that the force of 1658, following, as it did, a defeat 
would be larger than the one of 1655, which came after the Chinese victory 
on Sungari in 1654. 


Pushed on by hunger and encouraged by his victory 
and by the addition of fifty men,** Stepanof , in the latter 
part of the summer, went down the Amur and up the 
Sungari, where he was successful in the gathering of 
grain enough to last him during the winter which he 
spent among the Giliaks. Having failed to drive out 
the Russians the Chinese resolved to starve them out, 
and therefore commanded the Ducheri living at the 
mouth of the Sungari to burn their homes and to settle 
on the banks of another stream in the interior, out of 
reach of the Cossacks.** This move brought hardships 
on Stepanof, for it was more and more difficult to pro- 
vide for his little army. But bare of food as the Sun- 
gari now became it was still better to remain in this 
neighborhood where fish, if nothing better, could be 
had, than to go up the stream where bands of Siberian 
outlaws, one of which numbered three hundred, were 
in control, plundering on both sides of the mountains 
without distinction as to faith, color, or rank.*^ This 
helps to explain why during the years 1656 and 1657 
Stepanof confined his operations to the lower part of 
the stream. 

China had in the meantime been making prepara- 
tions for another struggle which took place on the 
Amur, below the mouth of the Sungari, on June 30, 
1658. No details of the battle have come down, but 
the results, as a whole, are known. When the fight was 
over Stepanof with two hundred seventy of his men had 
disappeared,*^ two hundred twenty had escaped, and 
out of this number one hundred eighty took to the hills 

•8 Dopolnenia K Aktatn Istoricheskim, vol. tv, doc X2, 35. 
•9 — Ibid., doc 31, 8a 
^ — Ibid,, doc zo, doc 24, doc 33. 

*^ At to the fate of Stepanof and his men, authoritiei differ. The sources 
[^Dopolnenia K Aktam Utoricheskim, vol. iv, doc ixo, 260], written by Pash- 


and became outlaws.*' In this one campaign the whole 
Russian force ^ was wiped out and the Amur was free 
of Cossacks as far as Nertchinsk.*^ 

The Russians did not at once recover from this blow. 
For a time they were compelled to limit their activities 
to the region of Nertchinsk where they had seventy-six 
men in the three ostrogs, Irgen, Telenge, and Nert- 
chinsk." Early in 1664, thirty-six of these deserted and 
the remaining forty were besieged by the Mongols. The 
Tungus, too, profited by this state of affairs to come 
under the walls of the ostrogs to steal the horses of the 

kof, Stepanof 8 succeMor, say that Stepanof was taken alive. In Pallas's Netu 
Norducke Beytrage^ vol ii, doc. ai5, there is a document intimating that these 
men were taken prisoners and led to Peking where they settled down and mar- 
ried with the Chinese. In Parker's Chinoj page lay, it is stated that 'Hhe 
Cossack Stepanof was killed by the Manchu troops in 1658 ; and this event is 
also recorded by the Chinese." A Russian writer claims, without giving hit 
authority, that just before the fight a large part of Stepanof s men deserted 
him ; but he with the remainder of the loyal troops fought until they were all 
killed. This deed the writer compares with that of Leonidas and the Three 
Hundred [Vettmk Imperatortkavo Rustkavo Geografichtskavo Obschettva^ 
1853, part 7]. 

*^ They refused to join the forces of the new woewod and went down to 
the mouth of the Amur. There they fell in with a company of Manchu sol- 
diers and were almost annihilated. A few escaped to Siberia to tell the story 
[Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc. iioi, a6o]. 

^ When the fight started Stepanof had five hundred men. A Cossack who 
survived die battle said that the Chinese force came in forty-seven junks. 
These boats accommodated, whenever figures are given, from twenty to forty 
persons, thirty would probably be a fair average. This would make the num- 
ber of Chinese, including crews and servants, about fourteen hundred. 
There was, however, this di£Ference between the two armies. Every one in 
the Russian camp was a fighter, while a large number of those in the Chinese 
army were noo-oombatants, crews, servants, etc Of the three thousand men 
in the Chinese army that went up to Nertchinsk in 1689 not more than fifteen 
hundred were soldiers [Du Halde, China^ vol. ii, 308]. 

*^This post [Vetinik Imperatorskavo Risskavo Geografickeskavo Oht' 
chestwi^ 1853, part 7] had just been built by Afanase Pashkof, the woewod, 
who was the first to bear that tide on the Amur, and who arrived in 1658, but 
not soon enough for his messengers to reach Stepanof asking him to come up 
the stream. 

9^ Dopolnenia K Aktam Ittorichetldm, vol. iv, doc. zz6, doc. 133. 


Cossacks. During the three or four years immediately 
succeeding the battle of 1658 the Chinese watched the 
lower Amur, and once seven of their junks came as far 
asTougourski Gulf [Okhotsk Sea] to make inquiries as 
to the movements of the Russians, and it was rumored 
that seventy more of their boats were at the mouth of 
the Amur.** Finding the field clear, China must have 
concluded that her troubles from this quarter were at 
an end for she withdrew her troops. This was a sad mis- 
take on her part and indicates that she had not yet got 
the measure of her opponent, who, left undisturbed, 
gradually returned and became stronger than ever be- 

By the end of 1664 there were one hundred twenty- 
four Russians in the neighborhood of Nertchinsk,*^ and 
during each succeeding year their number was greatly 
augmented. A noticeable addition came from an un- 
expected quarter and was the cause of much of the 
trouble that followed. Early in the sixties Nikifor 
Chernigofski and other Cossacks of Ilimsk killed the 
woewod of that place and fled across the mountains and 
settled and fortified Albasin. Other criminals enlisted 
under their banner, bringing up their number to three 
hundred. Without consulting the woewod at Nert- 
chinsk, Nikifor sent his men to extort tribute from the 
Dauri and the Ducheri. They appealed to China for 
help, and she sent officers to the woewod at Nertchinsk, 
asking him to stop this lawlessness.*' The woewod was 
quite helpless in the matter. All he did was to de- 
spatch a mission to Peking in 1670. It returned loaded 
with presents for themselves and the czar and with re- 

** Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichesldm^ vol. iy, doc 123, 278-279. 

w — /W., doc 15,85. 

** Ahti Istoricheskie, vol. iv, doc 21a 


quests that the men of Albasin should not harm the 
natives. But neither the Nertchinsk woewod nor any 
other officer had any influence at Albasin.** 

Another cause leading up to the war was the renewed 
attempt of Russia to expand and to colonize/^ In 1681 
an ostrog was put up on the Arguni, the first one in that 
region.^*^ That same year ostrogs were built on the 
Dseya and its branches, interfering greatly with the 
Chinese hunters and traders.^^' China remonstrated 
but was loath to act.^^* In 1683 ^ party from Albasin 
found on the Bureya River twenty Chinese hunters and 
traders and burned them alive in their huts and carried 
off whatever property they had/** There were other 
matters which irritated China and finally drove her to 
take up arms. The presence of a foreign lawless pop- 
ulation within her borders brought it about that many 
of her own criminals fled to Albasin where they were 
protected.^*' It became also at times difficult to gather 
tribute from certain native tribes who tried to play off 
one government against the other.^** 

^ On hit return from Chiiui in 1677 the Ruatian eoToy, Nikolai Spafaria, 
sent word to the Albaain robben not to go down the Amur, and aikcd them to 
desist from encroaching on the territory of the Dauri, which acts, he said, 
were not authoriccd by the czar [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istaricheskim, vol. vii, 
doc. 67]. They re s pected his message no more than they did that of the 

100 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichetkim^ toI. viii, doc 109. In 1681 seven- 
teen families of criminals were taken to Nertchinsk and put to till the soil. 
This was the first attempt of the Russians to farm on a large scale. These 
colonists claimed they were not successful on account of the climate, insects, 
and the poor tools and animals furnished by the government [Dopolnenia K 
Aktam Istorichetkim, vol. z, doc s?]* Albasin seems to have been better 
adapted for agriculture, but the lawless population of that region stood in the 
way of honest toil [Dopolnenia K Aktam Ittoricheskim, vol. z, doc 67, 231]. 

101 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ voL viii, doc loi, 235. 
^®' — Ibid^ vol. ix, doc 104, 214. 

^<^s Parker. China and Russia, 17. 

104 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. z, doc 67, 227. 

106 Parker. China and Russia, 17. 

iM Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iz, doc 100^ 208. 


Before going to war China tried by peaceful means 
to persuade the Cossacks to give up the Chinese out- 
laws, to be more merciful to the natives,"^ and to go 
back to Russia or to accept asylum in China/** Twice, 
in 168 1 and 1682, China sent messengers to Nertchinsk 
asking for a conference/** At the same time a letter 
was despatched to Albasin,"* complaining of the cruel- 
ty of the inhabitants and asking that they withdraw 
into their own country/" Whenever Russians fell into 
their hands, the Chinese invariably treated them kindly 
and sent them back, sometimes with letters to their own 
people. But neither these acts of goodness, nor the 
entreaties, nor the letters to Moscow"* succeeded in 
bringing satisfactory results. The inhabitants of Al- 
basin not only did not fear the woewod at Nertchinsk 
and the power which he represented, but they openly 
defied and threatened him."* 

Realizing that kind words were to no purpose, China 
began at last to prepare to act"^ About 1682 the Mon- 
gols near Nertchinsk became aggressive and demanded 
that the Russians should give back to them the Bur- 

lOT Dopolnenia K Aktam Isioricheskim, vol. viii, doc 104, 33a 

108 Parker. China and Russia^ 17. 

109 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichiskim, vol. z, doc. 67, 227. 

110 ^Itid. 

^^^ The question of the title to Albasin, which up to this time had not been 
raised, was now brought to the front If the Russians had been willing to 
Kve peaceably it is doubtful whether China would have attempted to drive 
them out of Albasin. 

^^* Parker. China and Russia, 17. 

^^*In 1682 a number of Nertchinsk tribute gatherers on their way home 
from the Dseya were attadced and robbed by the Albasin Cossadcs. Taking 
advantage of the opportunity, they sent a message to the woewod at Nert- 
chinsk that they would kill him if good fortune should send him their way 
[Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. is, doc 104]. 

114 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichisktm, vol. iz, doc zoo^ 208. By 1682 the 
Cossacks of Nertchinsk and Albasin were already discussing the coming war 
and writing to Jakutsk and Moscow for help. 


iats.^^' It was generally understood that there was some 
kind of a secret understanding between the Mongols 
and the Chinese/^* Spies were sent to the Russian 
camp, representing themselves as hunters ^^^ or as de- 
serters. These were pursued to Albasin by Chinese 
army officers who demanded their return and, taking 
advantage of the occasion, examined the fortifications/^' 
Inquiries were also made of the natives as to the strength 
of the Russians. The first authentic news of the Chi- 
nese army came in 1683 when sixty-seven Albasin Cos- 
sacks ran into a Chinese force on the Bureya River."* 
A number of Russians were taken prisoners and kindly 
treated, tempting offers being made to enlist them into 
the Chinese army, where a number of other Russians 
were already serving."® On the Dseya and below it 
forts were erected to prevent the Russians from going 
down the river.*" 

On June 12, 1685, ^^^ Chinese army planted its stand- 
ard before Albasin and surrounded the place.**' Ac- 
cording to Muller one hundred Russians lost their lives 

lis Dopolnenia K Aktam Uiorichiskim^ vol. x, doc. 67, 243. 

!!• — Ibid^ vol. ix, doc. 100, 208. There it some gnnind for this belief. 
About the time that the Chinese besieged Albasin the Mongols threatened 

1^7 Parker. China and Russia, 17. 

lis Dopolnenia K Aktam isiorichtskim^ vol. z, doc 67. 

lis — /^,V. 

130 — Ibii, The Chinese promised immunity to all those who would not 
fight against them. Several of the captives were allowed to escape to spread 
these reports. On another occasion the Chinese officers promised to each Cos- 
sadc who would enter their service two wives and two married Chinamen and 
their wives as servants [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. z, doc. 67, 


i«i — Ibid., vol. X, doc. 67, 239. 

^22 As in other engagements it is rather difficult to ascertain with exactness 
the size of the two opposing forces. In 1683 there were at Nertchinsk and 
neighboring ostrogs (not counting Albasin) two hundred men [Dopolnenia K 
Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. x, doc 67], but their number in 1685 is not known. 
One is equally ignorant as to the population of Albasin at the outbreak of the 


during the first day of the siege/'* and after several 
days more of ineffectual resistance Tolbusin, the officer 
in charge, yielded because, says Muller^*^ the Cossacks 
ran short of ammunition. The cannon and hostages 
were left in the hands of the Chinese, who allowed the 
Russians to retain their side arms and to withdraw to 
Nertchinsk,"^ and supplied horses and provisions, and 
even arms, to those that needed them/'* Instead of 

war. Between 1683 and 1685 itrong efforts were made in Siberia to reinforce 
the potti 00 the Amur in view of hoetilitiei in the near future. From Tobolsk 
five hundred and from Yenisei one hundred thirty men were ordered to the 
front [Dopolnenia K Aktam litoncheskim, toI. z, doc 67, 240-243], and prob- 
ably from other points as well. Muller [Voyagn^ vol. ii, 12] states, without 
giving authority, that at the beginning of the siege there were inside the 
fortress four hundred fifty men. In 1687, just after the capitulation, in cor- 
respondence between the plenipotentiaries of the two empires, the fact was in- 
cidentally brought out by the Chinese that at the time of surrender there were 
at Albasin more than one thousand Russians [Du Halde, China, vol. ii, 286]. 
When one conies to determine the size of the Chinese force there is no end of 
vague rumors, some of which have been used as facts by historians. One said 
that nine thousand soldiers were coming carrying provisions for twenty years 
{Dopoinema K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. x, doc. 67, 244]. Another said that 
fifteen thousand were ordered against Albasin and as many more against 
Nertchinsk. A third claimed that fifteen thousand were advancing on Al- 
basin, twenty-five thousand on Nertchinsk, in addition to ten thousand that 
were coming by water; and these fifty thousand men were bringing with them 
supplies for three years. Still another rumor was to the effect that there were 
fifteen thousand soldiers in all, six thousand intended for Albasin and nine 
thousand for Nertchinsk [Dopolmnia K Aktam Istorichetkim, vol. z, doc. 67, 
252]. What reliance can be placed upon such evidence I There is, however, 
something more tangible to go on. After the fall of Albasin the besieging 
force was taken to Aihun and quartered there and the year following was led 
once more against Albasin. From a Russian and a Chinese who had been 
in the camp of the Chinese army we have testimony (see footnott 134) that 
this army numbered somewhere between two and three thousand men, inclu- 
ding non-combatants. In the matter of equipment the Russians had probably 
fewer cannon, but had a hand gun for each man, while the Chinese, although 
having more cannon, had only bows and arrows. 
^3' Muller, Voyages, vol. ii, 125. 

^^^ Dopolmnia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. z, doc 67, 252. The reason 
Nertchinsk was not taken was because the Chinese Emperor thought it would 
make a good frontier [Parker, China and Russia, 17]. 

3S« Du Halde. China, vol. ii, 286. 


leaving the army here to prevent the Russians from 
reoccupying the place, the Chinese general destroyed 
Albasin and marched his troops to Aihun, committing 
another blunder which brought on another campaign, 
much more difficult than the one just concluded. 

When the news of the fall of Albasin reached Mos- 
cow, instructions were despatched to the woewod at 
Nertchinsk to take under his jurisdiction the men of 
Albasin and the government property, and send Tol- 
busin to Yenisei/*' All this shows that it was the in- 
tention of the government to abandon the post. But 
before these orders arrived the Cossacks had taken mat- 
ters into their own hands. Tolbusin and his men, soon 
after reaching Nertchinsk, July lo, petitioned to be al- 
lowed to go back to gather the harvest of grain. Be- 
fore granting the desired permission the woewod of 
Nertchinsk ordered out his scouts to learn whether the 
field was clear. On their return they reported that 
Albasin was deserted and that the grain fields had not 
been disturbed."' Under the circumstances Tolbusin 
with a large force, including soldiers from Siberia and 
Moscow who had just recently arrived, were instructed 
to go down the river and after they had harvested the 
crop they were to build a fortress below Albasin on 
some point easily defended. They reached their des- 
tination August 27, and set to work taking in the grain. 
By the time this was done it was already too late to look 
for a new site. Tolbusin, therefore, decided to build 
a new Albasin on the ruins of the old one."' During 
the winter all hands were kept busy in erecting fortifica- 
tions, this work being under the supervision of a trained 

12T Dopolmnia K Aktam htorichiskim^ vol. z, doc. 67, 257-258. 
128 — Ibid.^ vol. X, doc. 67, 252-253. 
iM — ibid. 


and experienced German military engineer, Afanase 
Baiton, to whom great credit is due for the able defence 
of the ostrog. Feeling himself strong enough to defy 
the Chinese, Tolbusin, in March, 1686, ordered a com- 
pany of three hundred men to go down the river to 
gather tribute. At the Khumar they came in touch 
with forty Chinese soldiers and in trying to capture 
them seven Russians were killed and thirty-one wound- 
ed ; of the Chinese thirty lost their lives, nine escaped, 
and one was taken. This captive said that he and his 
companions had been sent to ascertain whether it was 
really true that the Russians had reestablished them- 
selves at Albasin. He also reported that China had 
abandoned the small posts on the Dseya and on the 
north bank of the Amur and had concentrated all her 
forces in the new city of Aihun."® 

China had to take notice of this bold, defiant, and 
fearless challenge of the Russians. She ordered her 
army to advance from Aihun, and on July 7, 1686, it 
arrived before Albasin and surrounded the fort from 
all sides, allowing neither entrance nor exit, by land 
or water."^ A Cossack who left Albasin on July 26 
succeeded in getting through the lines, and reported at 
Nertchinsk that at the time of his departure there were 
in the fort eight hundred twenty-six armed men, eight 
brass cannon, four cannon of another kind, one hundred 
thirteen puds (thirty-six pounds each) powder, sixty 
puds lead, one hundred forty hand granades, and other 
war supplies.^'^ There was enough food to last a year, 
and a newly dug well supplied all the fresh water need- 

ISO Dopolnema K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. x, doc. 354. 
Ill — /^|-^., 257. 

^** There were at Nertchinsk about thb time three hundred ninety-four 


The Chinese fighting force numbered at the begin- 
ning of the siege about two thousand men, armed with 
bows and arrows, and it had between thirty and forty 
cannon. How many Russians there were in the fortress 
on July 7, the date of the opening of hostilities, the 
documents consulted do not say, a thousand would be 
a low estimate. The fight was a bitter and fierce one 
and many lives must have been lost by July 26, when 
Tolbusin's messenger left Albasin and reported eight 
hundred twenty-six."* From time to time when Rus- 
sians fell into the hands of the besiegers they sent them 
to Albasin with a message to the garrison that if it would 
abandon the place a safe conduct would be granted. 
Late in September a party of seventy men from Nert- 
chinsk were sent to learn of the situation but they could 

men, wen cannoo, sixty-siz puds powder, seventy-eight puds lead [Dopol" 
nema K Aktam Istorichetkimt vol. x, doc 67, 36z-a63]. 

^**The figures for the Chinese forces are drawn from two sources: a 
Russian soldier who was held as prisoner among the Chinese and who came 
up with them to Albasin, said that the Chinese army was transported in one 
hundred fifty boats, each holding from twenty to forty men, induding the 
crew and servants who were not fighters. They had forty cannon but no 
other firearms. Three thousand horses followed along the bank, the men in 
the boats taking turns in driving them. There were also scythes on board to 
cut the grain outside of Albasin so as not to commit the mistake of the year 
before [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. z, doc 67, 359-260]. These 
figures correspond closely with those of a Chinese soldier captured by the Rus- 
sians. He told the Russian officers that in the spring of 1686 there were at 
Aihun two thousand soldiers, five hundred workmen, and thirty cannon 
[Do^lnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim^ vol. z, doc 67, 355]. There is another 
bit of evidence confirming these estimates: to the peace conference at Nert- 
chinsk in 1689, the governor of Aihun was ordered to come with all his sol- 
diers [Du Halde, China^ vol. ii, 307]. He came with fifteen hundred soldiers 
and it took a crew of fifteen hundred to bring them [Du Halde, China^ vol. ii, 
308]. At this time there about four or five hundred other soldiers watching 
Albasin [Du Halde, Cfnna^ vol. ii, 312]. All this data shows that there were 
about two thousand Chinese soldiers armed with bows and arrows outside the 
walls, and about half as many soldiers armed with guns inside. The Chinese 
had the advantage of numbers and cannon, the Russians in guns, experience, 
and a trained military engineer. 


not approach close enough to accomplish their purpose. 
In November news from Albasin came by three men, 
who had eluded the vigilance of the Chinese, to the 
effect that the besieged were living underground, that 
there was enough food to last until Easter, and that 
water was becoming scarce. The saddest news was the 
death of Tolbusin, whose place was being filled by 
Baiton. Several sorties had been effected in which the 
Russians with their hand granades had killed a number 
of the enemy/*' 

The siege lasted until May 6, when the Chinese were 
withdrawn from the immediate neighborhood of the 
city, and on August 30, they were removed still farther 
from the walls."* This was done at the request of the 
czar, who sent a messenger to Peking asking that the 
siege be raised and announcing the coming of a special 
plenipotentiary to treat about the frontier."^ Upon the 
receipt of this request, the Emperor of China imme- 
diately sent to the front this order : 

We had no intention of organizing a massacre ; our desire was 
to let them o£F easily. Sabsu and his colleagues are hereby or- 
dered to withdraw their troops from before Yaksa. . . He 
can at the same time notify the Locha inside the town that they 
are free to pass in and out, but must not conunit any depreda- 
tions. The rest can stand over until the Russian envoys ar- 

The Chinese general also supplied Baiton with pro- 
visions towards the beginning of the year i688."* On 
November 19, Stephen Korowin was also hurried from 
Moscow to ask the Emperor to name a place where the 

1S5 Dopolnenia K Akiam Istoricheskim, vol. x, doc. 67. 
186 Mailer, Voyages, vol. ii, Z43-Z45. 
^*T Parker, China and Russia, z8. 


ambassadors should meet/^^ This request was granted, 
but for various reasons the time and place of meeting 
was changed so that it was not until August 22, 16891 
that the plenipotentiaries of both powers greeted each 
other near Nertchinsk. The Russians proposed that 
the Amur should be the dividing line of the two em- 
pires; the Chinese, appreciating the importance of Al- 
basin and Nertchinsk, ^'because they were in a way a 
key, through the Amur, Sungari, and Hurka Rivers, to 
Manchuria proper," ^^^ made a counter proposal that 
the Russians should withdraw beyond the Selenga. For 
about two weeks conferences were held, the Jesuits, 
who were with the Chinese, taking a prominent part. 
Several times it seemed as if the negotiations would fall 
through and war would result. The show of force by 
the Chinese helped to bring matters to a point. By the 
treaty which was signed September 7, it was agreed 
that Yaksa, or Albasin, should be entirely demolished, 
that the Russians should withdraw from the Amur, 
and that the ridge of the Stanovoi Mountains should 
in the future form the boundary line of the two em- 

In looking back over the period as a whole, one is 
struck by the fact that the importance of the Amur was 
not fully understood by the statesmen of either empire. 
At Moscow the problem was not fully grasped. The 
conquest and administration of that district was re- 
garded in the same light as that of a province in Si- 
beria-it was left to take care of itself. If Russia had 
had a definite plan of action from the beginning, honest 

i«o Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. z, doc. 67, 274. 

1^^ Parker, China and Russia, 19. 

1*3 The fiill text of the treaty may be found in the ''Appendix." 


and able leaders, and a disciplined and less cruel force 
to carry it out, China could not have driven her from 
the Amur and probably would not have attempted to 
do so. But all these she lacked; at no time was there 
a clear and far reaching policy ; the officers at Moscow 
followed blindly whatever opening her lawless bands 
made instead of directing their actions. Not a single 
one of her leaders on the Amur showed high class 
statesmanship or capacity other than brute force. Not 
one of them could see farther into the future than the 
immediate acquisition of a pack of fur. Force which 
succeeded in Siberia was not in itself sufficient on the 
Amur ; a little diplomacy was also needed and this her 
officers did not possess. These leaders with those un- 
der them ruined the cause of Russia. They were phy- 
sically brave and fearless and had the making of a good 
army if they could have been kept in control, but this 
was never realized. The men on the Amur were dis- 
organized, they had no sense of honor, no feeling of 
shame, no love of country, no respect for treaties or 
promises. Time and again they turned against their 
leaders, their comrades, and their nation. 

China, too, was blind to the possible consequences of 
Russia's getting a foothold on the Amur. Until the 
very last she regarded the troubles on that river in the 
same light as Tartar raids. She acted half-heartedly 
and only when forced to do so, and never did the work 
thoroughly. Had China displayed some of the vigor 
and energy of her antagonists, the Amur question could 
have been settled in 1658, at the time of the Russian 
disaster. A fort at the mouth of the Dseya, one at Al- 
basin, and one or two farther up on the Amur, would 
have kept the Cossacks in their place and would have 


prevented the later troubles. Only once did China show 
that she profited by her mistakes and experience, and 
that was in 1686, when her army brought scythes to 
cut the grain at Albasin. The saddest reflection of all 
is that after these fifty years of conflict with Russia on 
the Amur the lesson was completely lost on China. 


During the years 1630 to 1650 Russia made remark- 
able progress in Siberian expansion. Drawn by the 
profitable fur trade, her hunters and Cossacks pushed 
on eastwardly in search of new rivers and peoples until 
brought to a halt by the Pacific Ocean. The Amur 
was discovered and navigated in the early forties and 
the Anaduir about a decade later. Jakutsk was the 
center from which these adventurers started and to 
which they returned, bringing with them the spoils of 
conquest and accounts of the regions which they had 
traversed. At this fort were also to be found men in- 
terested in the geography of Siberia, and they have left 
us memoirs dealing with various problems connected 
therewith. The study of Siberian geography and car- 
tography was promoted by the czar, who, during the 
second half of the seventeenth century, commissioned 
Siberian oflicers to go through their districts, make 
inquiries and studies, and draw up maps, giving dis- 
tances between places and other necessary details. The 
memoirs and maps of Godunof "* and Remezof "* have 
come down to us and have lately been published, and 
Witsen's excellent maps, based on Siberian source ma- 
terial, have been known since 1687."* From all this 
evidence it is possible to get a clear idea of the Siber- 

^^^Titof. Siberia in the Seventeenth Century (Ymer, 1887). 
^** Remezof. Tschertenhnaja Kmgi Sibir. 

i«8 Map of 1687, ID F. Muller't Remarkable Maps ; alio in WitMo's N9rth 
and East Tartary, 


ians' geographical knowledge of Siberia, particularly 
from about 1650 to near the time of Bering. 

If we compare the Siberian maps of that time with 
those of today, we find that the regions west of the 
Koluima and those of the Amur were well known and 
accurately enough indicated. The description of the 
coast line between these rivers is, however, very defec- 
tive. But even in their errors the Siberians are agreed 
which shows how general were those views. Neither 
the terms ^'Chukotski Peninsula," ^^Chukotski Cape,'' 
nor the bodies of land which they represent were known 
in the seventeenth century. According to the ideas held 
at that time the northern and eastern shores of Siberia 
met at nearly right angles east of Shalagski Cape, the 
eastern shore being quite regular. The Anaduir, where- 
ever mentioned or represented, is made to flow parallel 
to the Koluima discharging its waters either into the 
Amur Sea [the Pacific Ocean], or the Lena Sea [Arctic 
Ocean]. The memoirs and maps note two impassable 
capes -one south of the Amur and the other between 
the Koluima and the Amur. A document of the latter 
half of the seventeenth century says : 

To go from the Amur to China is not possible on account of the 
mountain barrier, nor is it possible to go around it on account 
of the ice. 

A few lines farther on one may read, 

And the river Anaduir rises in the mountains which continue 
into the sea for an unknown distance. It b impossible to go 
around them on account of the ice. But one can walk across 
[these mountains] in one day and from the summit view both 
seas [Lena and Amur]. To this [narrow band of mountains] 
one may sail from the Koluima in a kotsh [boat] in one sum- 
mer; but when the ice blocks the way, it might take two or 
three years and even longer.*** 

^*^ Titof. Siberia in the Seventeenth Century , zio. 


This view, the impossibility of water communication 
between the Koluima and the Anaduir, should be kept 
in mind, for it is held by all who deal with this subject 
during this period. 

About the middle of the eighteenth century the his- 
torian Muller wrote a book, based on original manu- 
scripts which he found in Siberia, making positive as- 
sertions that in 1648 a Cossack by the name of Deshnef 
went from the Koluima to the Anaduir by water."' 
Since that time Deshnef 's name has been written on the 
book of fame alongside that of Captain Cook, Sir John 
Franklin, and men of that class. One no more doubts ^^* 
the exploit of Deshnef than the achievement of Nor- 
denskjold. A deed so bold and unusual deserves a more 
critical study than it has received so far, in order that 
it may be known on what foundation it rests. The doc- 
umentary evidence consists of reports by Deshnef and 
associates, and their interpretation presents peculiar 
difficulties, owing (a) to the ignorance of the writers, 
the indefiniteness of the language and the vagueness of 
the descriptions, (b) the doubtful credibility of the 
witnesses whose lives were made up of fighting, gam- 
bling, robbing, and killing, and (c) the character of the 
evidence which is ex-parte."* 

According to Deshnef's own account, written out in 
1662 at Jakutsk for submission to the czar, whom he 
petitions for pay, we learn that Deshnef was already 
in the government service in 1638. From 1642 to 1646 

^^^ Muller. Sammlung Russuchtr Gischichtty vol. iii, 5-20 (found in the 

^^* Slovtsof in his History of Siberia questioned the veracity of Deshnef 
and refused to accept Muller's account 

^^* A report of a Siberian Cossack reads something like this: I left Jakutsk 
OD such and such a day, I suffered this and that hardship, I fought and killed 
so many natives, was wounded so many times, and secured a great amount of 
tribute; wherefore I pray that your Majesty may take into consideration my 


he was associated with and under ^'^^ Michaelo Stadu- 
chin, with whom at a later time he had misunderstand- 
ings. Staduchin was one of the first white men to reach 
the Koluima, probably in 1644, and remained there 
during the years 1645 and 1646/*^ At this place he 
obtained information about the Chukchi and a river 
Pogicha."* He was told that from the Koluima, go- 
ing eastwardly, he could reach the Pogicha in three 
days and that the banks of that stream were thickly pop- 
ulated and abounded in fur-bearing animals."' With 
this news he went to Jakutsk to ask for permission and 
an outfit to enable him to investigate the truth of the 
story. These being granted, he departed on his mis- 
sion in 1647, making his way by water and land as well 
as he could to the Koluima. In July, 1649"* he left 
this station in two boats and after being out a week one 
of them was wrecked."'* A few Koriaks whom he met 
told him that they had never heard of the river he was 
seeking. In the course of the summer he had a fight 
with the Chukchi."* The reports are not clear as to 
how far he went, but it is known that he returned to the 
Koluima on September 7, 1649."^ 

Others, besides Staduchin, went in quest of the Po- 
gicha. About this time there was on the Koluima, 

sufferings, wounds and loss of blood and pay me my wages for the last three 

^^^ Zhumal Mimsterstva Narodnavo Prosveschenia, 304, contains the ac- 
count (the original is in the Appendix) of Deshnef here given. In these doc- 
uments Deshnef, referring back to the time when he was with Staduchin, 
speaks of himself as slujiloi [servant] and designates Staduchin as slujiloi and 
prikaxnoif a title similar to our factor or agent. 

iBi Dopolnenia K Aktatn Istoricheskim, vol. iii, doc. 98, 350. 

15* — Ibid., vol. iii, doc 99-xoa 


1'* — Ibid,, vol. iv, doc 6, 13. 

*** — Ibid,, vol. iv, doc. 7, ax. 

^** — Ibid,, vol. iv, doc. 4, 8. 

157 — Ibid,, vol. iv, doc, 6, 13. 


Fedot Alexecf, agent for a Moscow merchant. He 
went to look for the stream in six kotshi, containing 
ninety men, one of them being Deshnef, who had been 
allowed to go at the request of Alexeef ."• In due time 
Deshnef reached the Anaduir, but whether he went all 
the way by water or partly by land is the question un- 
der consideration. 

The year (1648) in which Staduchin was trying to 
find the Pogicha, a company of Cossacks, in a fight with 
a village of non-tribute-paying Chodinski, on the upper 
waters of the Aniui, captured and led to the Koluima 
one named Angora, who, when questioned, said. 

That on the other side of the mountains there is a new river 
Anadir and that this river Anadir ^'* comes very near the upper 
waters of the Aniui.**® 

This information led to the organization of another 
company of hunters in 1649 under Motora for the pur- 
pose of conquering the people of the Anaduir district.^** 
This party was encamped on the Koluima in the fall of 
1649 and was found there by Staduchin on his return 
from his fruitless search. According to the testimony 
of a follower of Staduchin, Motora and his men were 
in possession of the quarters and provisions left by Sta- 
duchin.^*^ This was the beginning of the bad feeling 
between the two leaders which followed them to the 
Anaduir. During the winter the two camps broke up 
and began their march to the Anaduir, and after many 
quarrels, threats and some fighting on the way, they 
reached Deshnef's camp on the Anaduir on April 23, 

^^* Zkumai MinisUrstva Narodnavo Prosvechenia, 303. 
^B* During this period the words Anaduir and Koluima were more often 
written "Anadir" and "Kovyma." 

^^^ Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorichfskim, toI. iv, doc 7, 16. 

*•* — Ibid., vol. iv, doc. 4, 8. 


Motora and Deshnef, having a common enemy in 
Staduchin, joined forces. The point at issue was not 
who discovered the Anaduir, but who was the govern- 
ment officer in charge. Staduchin was without doubt 
the highest in rank,^** but since these were independent 
expeditions there was no reason why Motora or Desh- 
nef should allow themselves to be superseded. Each 
man was responsible to Jakutsk and to no one else. 
Staduchin was disappointed and vented on his enemies 
his bitternesSi which occasionally led to bloodshed.^*^ 
Conditions reached such an unbearable state that Desh- 
nef and Motora left the Anaduir that fall to live on the 
Penjinsk River. But not having guides, they wandered 
about for three weeks without finding that stream, and 
were obliged to come back for fear of starving and 
freezing to death. Staduchin for one reason or anoth- 
er, probably tiring of the petty and profitless warfare, 
abandoned the Anaduir and set out, February, 1651, to 
find the Penjinsk.^**^ He was not heard of again until 
1658, when he reported the discovery of a number of 
streams and told about his experiences on the Anaduir, 
but not once did he mention Deshnef .^^ 

Staduchin being out of the way, the other leaders 
were able to do as they pleased. During the summer 
of 1652 they built boats and went down to the mouth 

i^t In addidoQ to the eTidenoe oq this point given in footnote 150^ we know 
that Staduchin held the rank of desyatnik IDopointmia K Aktam Istorichfskim, 
vol. iv., doc. 47]. In 1654, when the Jakutik office sent instructions to the 
Anaduir they were addressed to Staduchin and not to the other leaders. A 
document of the year 1662 [popolnenim K Aktam Istorickeskim, vol. iv, doc 
'3ff >^] refer* to Ataman Michaelo Staduchin. 

^^^ Dopoinenia K Aktam Istoricktskim, vol. iv, doc. 7, 18. 

^^^—'Ibid,f vol. iv, doc 4, 8. 

^** — Ibid,t vol. iv, doc 47. It is strange diat MuUer who has seen this 
document should say: ''Darauf begab sich Staduchin nach dem Penschina, 
und nachher ist nichts, weiter von ihm gehoret y/forden." - Sammlung Rtusi- 
teher Getchichte^ vol. iii, 16. 


of the Anaduir, this being the first time that Deshnef 
or any other Russian had ever been there. They found 
a korga or sand bank on which were many walrus 
tusks/*' In the same year, 1652, Motora was killed in 
a fight against the natives of the country/*' and it ap- 
pears that Semenof succeeded him in command. This 
man and Deshnef say that in the summer of 1653 they 
cut timber for the purpose of building a boat on which 
to go to Jakutsk, but lacking the necessary tools and 
gear, and owing to rough seas, they gave up their plan.*** 
On April 27, 1654,"* Yurya Selivestrof came overland 
from the Koluima to the Anaduir. Selivestrof was a 
friend of Staduchin, having been associated with him 
in the Pogicha expedition of 1649. These facts are in 
themselves sufiicient to explain why Deshnef refused to 
allow him to gather walrus tusks on the Anaduir.*'* 
Each made claims and counter-claims. Deshnef, in his 
reports, states that Selivestrof wrote a letter, in 1654, to 
Jakutsk in which he said that Staduchin and he (Selive- 
strof) discovered the walrus bank in 1649 and not Desh- 
nef, which claim Deshnef denied. 

The year 1655 is an important one because during 
that time the various factions on the Anaduir sent their 
reports to Jakutsk. There are five documents in all. 
Three of them bear on Deshnef 's voyage. One is writ- 
ten by Deshnef, another by Deshnef and Semenof, and 
the third by Vetoshka and companions, friends of Desh- 
nef. So much alike are the three reports that it is 
quite probable that they were written by one and the 

i«7 xhe price of walrus tutks at Jakutak during this period was sixty rubles 
a pud [36 pounds]. Dopolntnia K Aktam Istorichesktm, vol. it, doc. 45, 99. 
!•• — Ibid,t vol. !▼, doc. 7, 19-aa 
iss ^ I bid. 
171 — Ibid.p vol. iv, doc 5, la 


same person. The fourth report was written by Selives- 
trof, and the fifth by two men who had originally come 
to the Anaduir with Staduchin, but since his departure 
had served under Motora, and were at the time of writ- 
ing with Selivestrof."* New material bearing on this 
question has recently come to light. A Russian archiv- 
ist, N. Ogloblin, published in 1890 four documents bear- 
ing the dates 1662, 1664, and two dated 1665, addressed 
to the czar by Deshnef ."• In these petitions the writer 
tells of his long service and hardships and begs that his 
wages be paid to him."* 

From the above documents Muller and his followers 
have drawn a number of arguments to prove that Desh- 
nef came all the way by water from the Koluima to the 

I. Deshnef left the Koluima on June 20, 1648, and 
made a stop at Chukotski Nos [East Cape]. 

II. The Bolshoi Kamennoi Nos of Deshnef is Chu- 
kotski Nos because it lies between north and northeast, 
the direction given by Deshnef. 

III. The islands described by Deshnef opposite his 
cape are the islands in the Bering Strait. 

IV. Since in his report he does not mention ice, it 
proves that the sea was free from ice in 1648. 

V. In 1653 Deshnef talked of building a boat to take 
the tribute to Jakutsk and that indicates that he came 
from the Koluima to the Anaduir by water. 

VI. Rumor that Alexeef was wrecked in Kamchatka 
should be accepted as good evidence for the voyage. 

^7^ It is worthy of note that neither the fourth nor the fifth reports makes 
mention of DeshneFs voyage. 

^"^^ Zhumal Mimsterstva Narodnavo Prosveschenia, December, 1890, 300- 

^^*In the ''Appendix" the reader may find Muller's version, the originals 
and the English translation. 


VI L Deshnef, in 1662, used the words, "and having 
passed the mouth of the Anaduir," therefore it is clear 
that he passed through Bering Strait. 

VIII. The reasons why in the time of Deshnef the 
voyage was unknown are (i) Deshnef disappeared 
after 1655, (2) no one was interested in the matter, and 
(3) the records were hidden away in Jakutsk and had 
it not been for Muller the world would still be ignorant 
of the deed. 

The defenders of Deshnef are almost willing to base 
their whole case on the proposition that the cape men- 
tioned by Deshnef is East Cape."* In his report Desh- 
nef is attempting to explain to the officers at Jakutsk 
just where his cape lies ; and to help them he gives them 
a land-mark, the Koluima. The cape, he says, is not 
the Sviatoi Nos, west of the Koluima, but another cape 
east of that river. Which one? There are many, all 
unknown to them. Under the circumstances one would 
naturally name the one nearest the Koluima, or the most 
northerly or the most dangerous. East Cape comes un- 
der neither of these heads. In describing a new coun- 
try one does not pass by the nearer and the more im- 
portant points to speak of similar places farther re- 
moved and less important. Shalagski Cape is farther 
north, more dangerous, and nearer the Koluima than 
East Cape. 

17^ In Zhumal Ministerstva Narodnavo Prosveschenia, 264, Ogloblin says, 
"If the Bolshoi Kamennoi Nos of Deshnef is Chukotski Nos [Ogloblin has in 
mind the cape at the southern entrance to Bering Strait], then Deshnef passed 
through the whole of the strait. If it means East Cape, Deshnef went only 
as far as the entrance [northern] of the strait If it means Chaun or Shalag- 
ski or the capes lying east of Shalagski, it follows that Deshnef did not reach 
the Anaduir." Ogloblin concludes his learned discussion with the statement 
that Deshnef s cape is no other than Muller's Chukotski. The interesting part 
about this argument is that the Chukotski Cape in the mind of Ogloblin is the 
one at the southern entrance of the strait while Muller's Chukotski Cape is at 
the northern entrance. See Muller's map. 


Bolshoi Kamennoi Nos lies between north and north- 
east and turns toward the Anaduir, therefore, according 
to Muller, it is East Cape. The geographical direc- 
tions that are given by the Siberians of this period are 
imperfect and unreliable. Indeed, it is extremely 
doubtful whether they had a compass or knew its use.^^* 
At the very best the directions indicated are merely 
approximate. But if one should admit that the de- 
scription is accurate, it applies with equal force to 
many of the other capes in northern Siberia as well as 
to East Cape. 

Some of the other statements of Deshnef must be ex- 
amined. In two different pUces he says that the Bol- 
shoi Nos is "far from the mouth of the Anaduir.'' In 
a third place he observes that 

In good weather one can go from the cape to the Anaduir in 
three days and no longer \ and it would take no more time to go 
by land, because the Anaduir faUs into the sea. 

The distance from East Cape to the Anaduir is about 
one thousand forty-five nautical miles ;^^^ across Holy 
Cross Bay it is not less than five hundred miles,^^* a dis- 
tance by far too great for any kotsh to make in ^^three 
days" and "no longer." Were there even a possibility 
of sailing that distance in three days, walking it in that 

^^^ Among the numerous seventeenth century documents examined, the 
writer did not come across the word compass, although sails, anchors^ etc;, are 
often mentioned. In the documents of the early eighteenth century the word 
appears \Ptimyatniki Sibirskoi Istoni, vol. ii, doc. 26, 8a, year 171 5]. 

^^"f Information obtained from the United States Hydrographic Office, Oc- 
tober I, 1909: 

'Heplying to your letter of September aa, 1909, in regard to the distance 
in nautical miles from Koluima River to the Anaduir River following the 
windings of the coast, the following information is furnished : 

"Koluima River to East Cape 1115 miles 

"East Cape to Anaduir River 1045 miles 

"Total ..... ai6o miles" 

17* Letter from United States Hydrographic Office, September 15, 1909. 

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Cape." The Koluima and Anadulr Rivers are parallel 


period is utterly impossible. This ought to be suffi- 
cient to show that Deshnef s cape is not East Cape, not 
even Chukotski Cape of to-day. A cape such as he de- 
scribes does not exist on the eastern shore of Siberia. 
It is fair to ask why it took him ten weeks to walk from 
the spot where he lost his boat since from the cape it is 
only three days to the Anaduir. Ankudinof 's kotsh was 
wrecked on the cape and the survivors were taken on 
board the other boats and the voyage continued, and yet 
the party did not come any nearer to the Anaduir, but 
was wrecked miles and miles from the river. 
Deshnef says, 

In the year 1648, September 20, in going from the Koluima 
River to the sea . . . the Chukchi in a fight wounded the 
trader Alexeef . 

Taken as it stands, and there is no reason why it 
should be read in any other way, the statement means 
that on that late day Deshnef was not very far from the 
Koluima, and therefore by October i, about the time he 
was wrecked, he could not possibly have reached East 
Cape, and, it goes without saying, the Anaduir. 

In the report written by Vetoshkin and other friends 
of Deshnef it is said, though not very clearly, that the 
Bolshoi Nos lies in front of the place from which Sta- 
duchin, in 1649, turned back from his search of the 
Pogicha.^'* Since Staduchin had gone only about sev- 
en days from the Koluima, it follows that the cape in 
front of Staduchin can not be very far from the Kolui- 

Opposite Bolshoi Nos are islands on which live Chuk- 
chi with pieces of bone in their lips. The Diomede 
Islands are not opposite East Cape and are very far 
from it, far enough away, at least, to make it impossible 

179 '(^yperede tova mesta yett Kamennoi Nos Bolthoi.'* 


to observe from the sea just what ornaments the inhabit- 
ants wear. One who assumes that he has landed is 
forced to admit that (i) he used up precious time, and 
(2) that he is not keeping close to the shore where he 
should be in order to find a river. Here again his de- 
scription fits Shalagski Cape.**^ As to the tower of 
whale bone, it is probably similar to the piles of whale 
bone noticed by Wrangell in the neighborhood of Shal- 
agski Cape."* 

In order to make the voyage seem plausible MuUer 
assumes that the Arctic was free from ice in 1648. 
Muller says : *" 

Es wird keiner Hindemissen von Eise Gedacht. Vermuthlich 
waren auch keine. Denn Deschnew erinnert bey einer andem 

iBO Wrangell, in Siberia and Polar Sea, 325, tells of two itlaods opposite 
Shalagiki. See also Wrangell, Siberiaf 276. 

^*^ Wrangell, Siberia, 327 : "We saw several large heaps of white bones, 
but very little driftwood.*' 

So far as known, the Chukchi do not now wear the labret and have not 
worn it in historical times^ If they wore it in Deshnef s day, the description 
applies with equal force to the Chukchi near the Koluima as to those off East 
Cape. On the other hand, if the Chukchi never wore the labret, and the peo- 
ple Deshnef talked about were the Eskimos, this in itself does not prove that he 
was at East Cape. Wrangell and Nordenskjold, from their study of the sub- 
ject OQ the spot, concluded that not very far back the inhabitants of the north- 
em shore of Siberia were not Chukchi, but a people like the Eskimos or Aleuts, 
labret-wearing tribes. There is nothing, however, in the account to make us 
believe that this information was necessarily obtained on this voyage. Desh- 
nefs report was not written till 1655. He had in the interval, opportunities 
for gathering information and for making observations. Perhaps Admiral 
Sarytchefs suggestions about Deshnef may be correct He says, "Great 
doubts, however, are entertained of his veracity and it is strongly suspected 
that Deshnef collected most of his information respecting these shores from 
the Tschukschians and supplied the rest by his own invention." - Sarytchef, 36. 

There is some foundation for this view. In speaking of the labret-wearing 
people, Deshnef sajrs, "they are known as zubaii," By whom are they known 
as such? He does not say "we named them zubatiJ* Again, if Deshnef had 
actually seen the Eskimos, he would not have mistaken them for the Chukchi. 
He had alwa3rs lived among primitive peoples, his eye was well trained, and 
by i^55> ^c time of writing, he had had ntmierous opportunities to observe 
the Chukchi. 

^^2 Muller, Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, vol. iii, 9. 


Gelegenheit, dass die See nicht alle Jahre, so wie dieses Mahl, 
von Eise rein zu seyn pfiege. 

In the original one does not find the words "so wie 
dieses Mahl ;" without them the argument loses much 
of its force. The fact that he does not mention the ice 
would prove, if it proves anything at all, that there was 
ice, that the usual conditions prevailed. One generally 
notes the uncommon and not the common things. In 
another place Deshnef describes the "zubati" Chukchi 
because they are different from the other natives. The 
burden of proof that there was no ice falls on those who 
make the claim. 

Another argument advanced in favor of Deshnef is 
derived from misinterpreting one of his sentences and 
making it read thus : 

Im Jare 1653 liess er Holz fallen, um eine Kotsche zu bauen, 
womit der bis dahin eingenommene Tribut zur See nach Ja- 
kutsk abgesandet werden konnte. Weil es aber an dem iib- 
rigen Zubehore fehlte; so unterblieb die Sache. Man horte 
auch, dass die See um das grosse Tschuktschische Noss nicht 
alle Jahrc vom Eise f rey sey.^** 

The argument loses much of its weight because the 
last sentence in the quotation is not in the original. 
What Deshnef says is this, 

The natives told us that the ice docs not leave the shore every 

Because he intended to build a boat to go to Jakutsk 
it must not be inferred that he came there by water. 
If one assumes this he must also admit that Selivestrof 
came to the Anaduir by way of Bering Strait, for in his 
report he says that he had not decided whether during 
the coming year he would take the tribute to Jakutsk 
by land or sea."* In his case it is positively known that 

^•*MuIler, Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, vol. iii, 16-17. 
^** Dopolnenia K Aktam htoricheskim^ vol. iv, doc. 5, 10. 


he came to the Anaduir by land in 1654. ^^^^ tttese 
statements indicate that their authors were quite un- 
aware of the danger and the distance ; and that they, like 
other Siberians, believed that the Koluima and the Ana- 
duir were close to each other and parallel. The part 
of the statement reading, ^'that the ice does not leave the 
shore every year" refers, not to the Arctic Sea, but to 
the Anaduir, where the natives with whom Deshnef 
talked were living, and the year in question was not 
1648, but 1653. If the words of the natives are to be 
believed, the inference would be that on certain years 
the navigation of the Anaduir Sea was entirely closed. 
Indeed, in one place Deshnef complains that the ice left 
the Anaduir shore very late in the summer.^" 

The argument that Alexeef was wrecked in Kam- 
chatka is unusually weak and almost childish.^** Desh- 
nef in his report states that in 1654 ^^ found a Jakut 
woman (belonging to Alexeef) among the Koriaks, and 
she told him that Alexeef and Gerasim died of scurvy, 
some of their companions were killed, and the other 
men ran away. This is unlike MuUer's mythological 
account.^*^ In the time of Deshnef the Koriaks were 
a warlike people and roamed up and down Siberia 
more than they have done since.^** It is quite possible 
that Alexeef was wrecked somewhere between the Ko- 
luima and the Shalagski Cape and died there of scurvy, 
and that some of his companions were killed. The 

185 Dopolmnia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. 4, doc. 7, ao. 

iM MuIIer, in Sammlung Rustischer Geschichte, vol. iii, 19, says: "Sie 
sollen so angeaehen und g^ehit gewesen 8e3ni, dasa man sie fast vergdttert 
habe. Man hat nicht geglaubt, dasa eine menschliche Hpnd ihnen schaden 
kdnne: nachdem aber die Russen unter sich selbst in Streit gerathen; nachdem 
einer den anderen verwundet, und die Kamtschedalen das Blut von ihnen flie- 
ssen sehen ... so sind alle theils von den Kamtschedalen, theils von den 
Korjaken, erschlagen worden." 

1ST _ itid. 

188 Staduchin, in 1649, met them not far from the Koluima. 


woman, for obvious reasons, was spared and in due time 
found a home among the Koriaks. 

In the report of 1655 Deshnef tells that he was 
wrecked on the ^^forward end" [peredni konets za Ana- 
dir reku] of the Anaduir. Later in 1662, he states that 
^'after having passed the mouth of the Anaduir" his 
boats were lost. Both these descriptions are vague and 
may mean anything, and they show that one must not 
try to prove too much from them. Before proceeding 
farther with this point, the question may be asked for 
what river was Deshnef looking. If he sailed in 1647 
or 1648 he was in search, not of the Anaduir, but of the 
Pogicha."* It was not before the fall of 1649 that any- 
thing at all was known of the Anaduir, and in 1648 
Deshnef knew no more about it than Staduchin who was 
still looking for the Pogicha in 1649. It was only on 
his return in the autumn that Staduchin heard of the 
Anaduir and the way thither. The words of Deshnef 
that he went from the Koluima to find the Anaduir 
have no weight because they were written in 1655. 

From the material that has come down one is in doubt, 
not only whether Deshnef reached the Anaduir, but 
whether he went even farther than Chaun Bay. Look- 
ing, as he did, for the Pogicha he should have stopped at 
any one of the many streams in the Arctic Sea which, 
so far as he knew, might have been the Pogicha. The 
words ^'having passed the mouth of the Anaduir" may 
mean that he passed one of these northern rivers, prob- 
ably in the neighborhood of Chaun Bay, and later con- 
fused it with the Anaduir. After being wrecked he 
wandered about here and there**® for ten weeks and 

^"* There is no evidence for MuIIePt statement, ''Nun wuste man schon, 
Pogitscha sey eben derselbe FIuss, welcher auch Anadir genennet warde"- 
Sammlung Russischer Gachichte, vol. iii, 14. 

^^ Whether he went east, west, north, or south, he does not say. It is, 


accidentally struck the Anaduir without having a very 
clear idea as to his whereabouts. 

Even if he had known the situation of the Anaduir, 
he had no time to reach it. He left his winter quarters, 
the lower Koluima or some place near it, June 20, 
which would bring him to the sea about a month later, 
for the navigation of the river is open much earlier than 
on the sea."^ 

however, fair to assume that he would go in a southerly direction so as to 
have the cold north and northwest winds at his bads. 

^*^ After reading the different accounts of navigation in the Arctic, and 
the fact that all attempts to sail east of the Koluima have failed, one is almost 
forced to believe that the cold is greater east of the river than west of it It 
is, of course, impossible to prove or disprove thb from the insufficient data 
at hand. Wrangell, in Siberia, 46, says: 

"The severity of the climate of this district may be attributed as much, 
or perhaps more, to its unfavorable physical condition, as to its high latitude. 
To the west there is the extensive barren tundra, and to the north a sea cov- 
ered with perpetual ice; so that the cold northwest wind, which blows almost 
without intermission, meets with no impediments [page 49]. . . Though 
from all that has been said, the climate is one of the most severe and un- 

Nordenskjold in Voyage of the Vega, vol. i, 426, says: ''East of the Bear 
Islands heavy sea ice in pretty compact masses had drifted down the coasL" 

In WrangelPs Siberia [pages 163-167] is evidence to show that the naviga- 
tion on the river begins much earlier than on the sea: ''We were not able 
to launch our shallop, which we named the Koluima, until the eleventh of 
June, when the inundation subsides. [They started down the Koluima in 
this boat]. . . The next day (July 3) some men . . . returned with the 
information that Tchukotskaja Bay, and even the mouth of the river itself, 
were still covered with ice. I was therefore obliged most reluctantly, to await 
a change in the wind, which was now blowing freshly from the north and 
northwest, and drove the ice into the river instead of clearing it Day after 
day we examined the state of the ice and still found it impossible for a boat 
to pass." The attempt was finally given up. 

The Vega was held in the ice until July 18 [Voyage of the Vega, vol. ii, 


On July 29, 1740, Laptef sailed from the mouth of the Indigirka and 
reached the mouth of the Koluima, August 4; but during the remainder of 
the summer, on account of the ice, he did not go any farther than Baranof 
Cape. In the following year Laptef left Lower Koluima on June 29 and 
came to the mouth of the river July 8, and from this time until August 4 he 
had advanced only twenty-five miles to the eastward and was forced to 
abandon his plans. 


If Deshnef really did go to the Anaduir by water, 
would it not have been more natural that the officers 
sent to relieve him should have been told to follow his 
course and go by water, which is much easier, than to go 
overland? When this party "^ received its instructions, 
the Jakutsk office had no other guide to the Anaduir 
than Deshnef's reports and the other reports here men- 
tioned, yet these officers do not discuss or even mention 
the water route. 

The defenders of Deshnef deal with this voyage as 
if it differed in no way from Nordenskjold's. Deshnef 
is pictured as starting from the Koluima, passing rivers 
and capes, sailing through Bering Strait, setting his 
course for the mouth of the Anaduir, missing it only on 
account of the weather, and as being wrecked at a place 
ten weeks' walking distance from the river. Why en- 
dow him with such unusual powers and capabilities? 
To give Deshnef credit of having discovered Bering 
Strait on no better evidence than his own words "hav- 
ing passed" is unthinkable. His description of Bolshoi 
Kamennoi Nos has shown how unreliable his words 

If one is going to allow Deshnef the honor of having 
doubled East Cape just because he says "having passed 
the mouth of the Anaduir," why not be consistent and 
give equal praise and accept as true the claim of Seli- 

^*' Here is an example illustrating the danger of attempting to prove an 
important point by the loose language of these hunters. In 1656, Amos Mich- 
aelof was ordered to the Anaduir to take charge of that post He and those 
with him were instructed that "in sailing down the Lena and on the sea to the 
Indigirka, to the Alasea, and to the Koluima and to the Anaduir" they should 
take no one on board with them to the Anaduir. On the face of it this sen- 
tence might mean that the party was to continue the voyage from the Koluima 
to the Anaduir by water. But in another part of this document, ten pages 
farther, these same men are told to go ''from the Alasea to the Anaduir in one 
winter" [Dopolnenia K Aktam htoricheskim^ vol. iv, doc. 30, 70, 80]. 


vestrof that he and Staduchin discovered the walrus 
bank at the mouth of the Anaduir in 1649? How 
could they have discovered it unless they had gone there 
by water? If the letter containing this claim, of which 
Deshnef speaks as having been written in 1654, ^^^ 
been preserved, we might there find as good evidence 
as any presented by Deshnef. Why believe one more 
than another? The object of this investigation is not, 
of course, to urge Selivestrof's claim, but to show rela- 
tively the value of Deshnef 's. 

The fact that Deshnef is totally ignored by his con- 
temporaries is a strong argument that he did not ac- 
complish, or perhaps did not even claim, the feat with 
which Muller credits him. For outside of Deshnef s 
story, given here in full in his own words, there is not 
a hint about his voyage in the documents of his time.^*^ 
The Siberians who discuss the question whether one can 
go from the Koluima to the Anaduir conclude that it 

^^* Muller [Sammlung Russitcher Geschichte^ voL iii, 5] givei the imprei- 
tioD that in the teventeenth century the Runitm were not interested in geo- 
graphical problema. The fact that the czar requested Godunof, Remezof (in the 
life time of Deshnef), and others to draw up maps and give detailed informa- 
tion about Siberia refutes such a view. Remezof says that there were in 
Tobolsk many maps of Siberia drawn in the years 166S, 1669, 16S4, 16S5, i^^t 
16S7, 1689, 1695, 1696, 1697, 169S, 1699, and 1701. There are also additional 
seventeenth century documents displa3ring a keen interest in geographical 
questions.. Here is one dated 1680: "There was a question, does the Arctic 
Sea |oin the Eastern Ocean. . . Is the Arctic Sea separated from the East 
or Chinese Sea by some continent which stretches out from Siberia esatward? 
This question has lately occupied the milita^ oflkials of the Lena and Nert- 
chinsk districts. They gathered some of the natives and examined the shores 
to the ocean, and they say that on the east there is no continent and that the 
seas are not separated, and that Siberia, Dauria, Nikania, and China are 
washed on the east by the same ocean. When asked whether one could go 
in a boat from St Michael-Archangel or from the mouth of the Ob and the city 
of Berezof, and by keeping close to the shores of Siberia, Dauria, and Nikania 
reach China, these officers answered that in the Arctic Sea the ice never melts 
altogether, but all during the summer icebergs float about and crash into 
each other, and therefore it is dangerous for the boats." - Titof, Siberia^ 2x4. 

^AsBTf/Mn /7oa 

Ys Caap in place of the Russian map-makers 

Impassable Cape 

Reproduced through the courtesy of the American Antiquarian 




cannot be done on account of the impassable cape. 
They surely would have mentioned that it had been 
done once by Deshnef, ataman of Jakutsk, one of the 
three men in the province holding such high rank, and 
who, until 1 67 1, lived in Jakutsk, the gathering spot of 
all Siberians and Arctic navigators. Yet notwithstand- 
ing his importance and the rarity of the deed no one 
seems to be aware of it, not even to deny it Deshnef 
went to Moscow, where he related his adventures and 
was rewarded "for his efforts in finding walrus tusks, 
and for his wounds," ^^ but not a word about his navi- 
gation. The Swedish ambassador in Moscow in 1669 
was sufficiently interested in Siberia to copy Godunof's 
map, but he has left us nothing of Deshnef. Witsen, in 
touch with Russia and having access to Siberian docu- 
ments, should have known of the deed, and yet he 
writes and pictures on his map "Ys Caep" where the 
Russian memoirs locate the "impassable cape." 

It is possible to establish a connecting link between 
Deshnef and Peter the Great, who was so deeply inter- 
ested in the question whether Asia and America are 
united. When Deshnef went to Moscow the second 
time in 1671 he had with him the son of Michaelo Sta- 
duchin, his old enemy. The Staduchins were very 

196 «From the mouth of the Koluima around the continent past the mouths 
of the Kovichi, Inabara, Hi, and Duri to the stone barrier one can gov if the 
ice permits, as it sometimes does, in one summer, but when the ice obstructs 
it may take three years. And across the barrier it takes a day; and when one 
is on it he may see two seas, the Lena and the Amur. When the barrier 
is crossed one comes to the Anaduir where walrus bones are hunted." - Titof , 
Siberia, 153, document of 1672. 

''From the Baikal Sea there is a stretch of mountains or rock, and one can- 
not go past it by the Lena and that mountain or rock continues into the ocean 
for about five hundred poprisch and that is why it is impossible to go from the 
Lena to China and there is no passage to the Amur." - Titof , Siberia^ 88, doc- 
ument after 1683. 

!•« Zhumal Ministerstva Narodnavo Prosveschema^ December, 1890, p. 297. 


prominent in Arctic navigation, and we have the re- 
sults of two of these men's efforts to sail west of the 

Vladimir Atlasof, called the discoverer of Kam- 
chatka, lived from boyhood in Jakutsk, the home of 
Deshnef and other Arctic explorers. In 1672 Atlasof 
was in Moscow, where Deshnef was at the time. Either 
directly or indirectly Atlasof must have had numerous 
opportunities to hear from Deshnef or of Deshnef and 
of his deeds. Yet this Atlasof reports in 1701 that. 

Between the Koluima and Anaduir Rivers there is an impass- 
able cape [neobchodimoi nos] which runs out into the sea, and 
on the left side of the cape there is ice in the summer and in the 
winter the sea is frozen solid; and on the other side [rig^t] 
there is ice in the spring but in the summer there is no ice. On 
this impassable cape Vladimir has not been.^*^ 

Atlasof lived until 171 1, way into Peter's reign."* 
In addition to the documentary evidence light may 

^^"^ Pamyatmki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. ii, 493. Depositioo made in 1710: 
"In former years Taras Staduchin told Malgin in the Koluima timovii that 
many years before Taras and ninety others came to the Koluima and from 
there went to sea in kotshi, keeping close to the shore to examine the Impassa- 
ble Nos, and they could not pass it, and therefore turned back and crossed 
over to the shore to examine the Nos, to the other side. There making a 
kotsh, they kept along the shore towards the Penjina Sea," and after going 
some distance in that direction they turned back. 

Deposition made by Vasili Staduchin (Vasili was sent by the government 
to find an island in the Arctic) about 17x2: 

''Opposite the upper mouth of the Koluima we saw a cape extending out 
[into the ocean]. To go around the cape was impossible on account of the 
ice; and that cape connects the land of the Shalangski Chukchi and the Ana- 
duir country on one side and the Koluima land on the other, but it is not an 

1^* Cktetda V Imperatorskom Obschestve Istorii I Drevnosioi Rossis kick 
(Moscow, 1891), book iii, Z2. 

The testimony of Atlasof and the Staduchins, just quoted, indicates that 
even at this date the Siberians still believed that, with the exception of the 
impassable (Shalagski) cape, the northern and eastern shores of Siberia met 
at about right angles, and just on the eastern side of the cape was the Amur 
Sea [Pacific Ocean]. 

^**It may be of interest to know that Remezof used Atlasof s reports of 


be thrown on this voyage from a consideration of such 
questions as boats, food, and weather. 

A '^kotsh/' the kind of boat Deshnef had, was a flat- 
bottomed decked vessel, about twelve fathoms long, put 
together generally without a nail or scrap of iron of 
any kind, and probably kept together by wooden pegs 
and leather straps. Buldakof, one of the Siberians, 
speaks of the ice cutting the twigs of his kotsh. From 
this statement and hints elsewhere, it would seem that 
a kotsh was tied together and probably protected on the 
outside by twigs. A kotsh had a wooden mast and sails 
of deer skin,**^" which are of little use in damp weather. 
The chief motive power, therefore, was the paddle. 
Anchors were made of wood and stone, and cables of 
leather.*^* This description gives one an idea of the fit- 
ness of a kotsh to battle with sea and ice.'^' 

The food problem is always a serious one in Arctic 
navigation. Granted that quality is not an important 
lactor in the Siberian's diet, you must admit that in 
place of it he must have quantity, especially meat. 
There was not much food to be had either at Jakutsk or 

Kamchatka in constnicdng the map of that region. See Oglobin, Isiochniki 
Chertozhnoi Kingi Sibiri (St. Petersburg, 1891). 

^'^ Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istoriif vol. ii, doc 11 8, 505. 

'^ In some quarters, even in naval circles, there seems to prevail an idea 
that in Deshnefs day men performed deeds impossible to-day. This view is 
against common sense and evidence. The history of seventeenth century navi- 
gation in the region of the Koluima is a history of shipwrecks. The Arctic 
Ocean never was a quiet Russian lake, and the laws of nature had to be obeyed 
then as now. Writers have too often confounded an explorer, like Peary, with 
a hunter, like Deshnef. The former has an ideal to draw him on, the latter 
has no such high purpose. Although possessed of an equal amount of endur- 
ance, the hunter has less perseverance, he is easily discouraged. In naviga- 
ting he keeps close to land and at the first sign of danger runs there for pro- 
tection. He is always ready to turn back. Why should he risk his life ? 
Money has far less power over him than is usually supposed. The hunter 
is more like the ambitionless native with whom he associates than the enthu- 
siastic explorer. 


on the Koluima, because both of these localities had 
been but recently occupied, and also because "the 
higher animal world is exceedingly poor" on the Ko- 
luima.*^' In addition to some rye flour there was prob- 
abily little other food. It is hardly conceivable that 
there were enough supplies on board, assuming that 
the party went from the Koluima to the Anaduir by 
water, to support ninety men*®* one hundred days. 

It is quite unnecessary to go into a lengthy discussion 
of the ice and fog which every explorer meets with in 
the Arctic Ocean. Deshnef, sailing in an unfamiliar 
sea without a chart in search of an unknown river, 
would be especially impeded, since he would not navi- 
gate in the fog for fear of passing the mouth of the 
stream he was seeking. Nordenskjold, while in these 
waters, faced both of these obstacles.*®' 

Another reason for doubting the deed credited to 
Deshnef is that all known attempts of that kind, either 
from the east or west, have ended in failure.*®* Not a 

*^ Nordenskjold, Voyage of the Vega^ vol. i, 426. 

*^^No attempt hat as yet been made to explain Alexeefs squaw found 
among the Koriaks by Deshnef. Were there any more like her on board? 
The presence of such persons would not be for the best interests of the ex- 
pedition and would increase the consumption of food. There is another point 
which needs explanation. How did Deshnef and his shipwrecked ''hungry 
and naked crew" succeed in sustaining themselves through the winter? Ac- 
cording to his own words the Anaduir was bare of food and wood, and the 
river was too rocky for fishing. This is probably as cold and as inhospitable 
a place as one could find ; and judging from the accounts of more recent writ- 
ers (George Kennan, Tent Life in Siberia) it has not changed for the better 
since Deshnef s day. 

S06 Nordenskjold, Voyage of the Vega, vol. i, 428, 429 : *The ice was 
heavy and close although at first so distributed that it was navigable. But 
with the north wind which began to blow on the night before the first [of] 
September ... it became impossible to continue the course which we had 
taken. . . A further loss of time was caused by the dense fog which pre- 
vailed by day." 

90S Nordenskjold's achievement, in an especially built steam-schooner, well 
provisioned, supplied with the best charts, compasses, and other scientific aids, 
does not prove anything in this case. 


single Russian hunter or navigator has succeeded in 
doubling Shalagski Cape. Michaelo Staduchin failed 
in 1649, Taras Staduchin in 1700 [?], Vasili Stadu- 
chin in 1 71 2, Dimitri Laptef in 1740- 1742, Shalaurof 
in 1762 and 1764, and Billings in 1787. All these 
men, except perhaps Michaelo Staduchin, were better 
equipped and much more qualified than Deshnef. 


It was half a century after the Russians had gained 
possession of the Anaduir country to the north and the 
Ouda and Okhotsk regions to the south that they made 
an attempt to acquire Kamchatka. It is not true that 
they were ignorant of its existence. As early as 1652 
Michaelo Staduchin had penetrated along the Penjinsk 
and established posts there, and a document of 1672 re- 
fers to the Kamchatka River as a stream already well- 
known."' The reasons for the delay were due chiefly 
to the weakness of the Russian forces and to the bitter 
hostility of the natives between the Anaduir and the 
Kamchatka Rivers. Along the Penjinsk and the west- 
ern coast of the peninsula lived one tribe of fighting 
Koriaks, and on the eastern coast, from the Oliutora 
River southwards, dwelt an even more warlike group 
of the same people. Though at first not openly hostile, 
the natives, as they saw the Russians encroaching upon 
them and taking their deer, became outspoken in their 
enmity to the newcomers and resolved to drive them out 
or die in the attempt. They told the Russians that they 
would not permit them to go to Kamchatka either by 
land or sea,"* and that they would never surrender 
alive."' These were not empty threats, and the Russians 
were actually forced to find another route to Kamchatka 
than the Anaduir one. By plunder and purchase 
the Koriaks had provided themselves with firearms 

»«T Titof, Siberia, 54. 

*^ Pamyatniki Sibirtkoi Istorii, vol. i, doc. 94, 410. 

209 — jifij^^ vol. ii, doc. 117, 485-487. 

2W — /^,V., 498. 



in addition to their own powerful weapons, and, 
being protected by their shields, they were superior to 
the Russians, some of whom could not use a gun and 
ran at the sight of the enemy.*" When no longer able 
to fight, the natives killed their wives and children and 
then committed suicide, or deliberately chose being 
burned alive in their homes by the Russians to surren- 
dering to them.*" The Koriaks knew how to fight, 
how to die, and, what is equally important, they knew 
how to plan a battle. A Russian officer testified that 
from the moment the Cossacks left the Anaduir to go 
to Kamchatka their plans and movements were known 
to the Koriaks.*" This statement is no doubt true, be- 
cause the Russians were surprised nearly always on 
their way to, rather than from, Kamchatka. Unlike the 
Kamchadels and other natives, the Koriaks appreciated 
the strength which comes from union; for not only 
were they united among themselves, but they even at- 
tempted to persuade the Chukchi and Yukagirs to join 
with them against the Russians.*" 

From what has been said one will readily see that 
Vladimir Atlasof is not deserving of the titles "discov- 
erer" and "conqueror" of Kamchatka, for he neither 
discovered nor conquered that country. It would be 
more just to call him the "explorer" of Kamchatka, 
because in that particular field he was superior to any 
Siberian of his time. His description of the peninsula 
and its inhabitants is one of the best*" and shows him 
to have been a man endowed with a clear and observing 

<>^ Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. i, doc. 91, 406; doc 100. 
*i« — Ibid., vol. ii, doc X17, 487. 
*i» — Ibid,, vol. ii, doc 1x7, 477-481. 
^^ — Ibid,, vol. i, doc 29, 93; doc 99, 425. 

2^3 Cktenia V Imperatorskom Obschestvi Istorii I Drevnostei Rossiskich, 


mind.*^* In 1697,"' while stationed on the Anaduir as 
prikaschik, he commissioned Luke Morosko'^* and 
fourteen others to go to Kamchatka and collect tribute 
from its inhabitants. Morosko returned that same year 
with several bundles of furs and three Koriak hos- 
tages,*" all of which indicates that he did not go very 
far down the peninsula. With this news and the Ana- 
duir tribute Atlasof started for Jakutsk during the 
winter of 1696- 1697, arriving there probably early in 
the spring. He was at once asked to turn back and go 
in search of ^^new lands." On coming to the Anaduir 
he gathered a company of sixty Russians, among whom 
was at least one who had been with Morosko,'*^ and an 
equal number of Yukagirs and set out with them that 
same year for Kamchatka. After crossing the moun- 
tains on reindeer he directed his course to the mouth of 
the Penjinsk, meeting with but little unfriendliness 
from the natives.*" He followed the northwest coast 
as far as Kamchatka Nos'** and then passed over the 

^* Atlatof was born in Russia and when a small boy he came with his 
father to Siberia and settled on the Lena IFettmk Imperatortkavo Ruiskavo 
Geograficheskavo Ohschestva, i8s8| i^]* lo 1672 he was already in the 
czar's service, assisting in the taking of the Jakutsk tribute to Moscow. In 
1695 he held the rank of pyatdesyatnik and was sent as prikaschik to the 
Anaduir \Pamyatmki Sibirskai Istorii, vol. i, doc loi, 434], at this time the 
most difficult post to reach and the most dangerous to live in throughout the 
whole of Siberia. 

^^^ Vestnik Imperatorskatfo Russkano Geograficheskavo Obschesiva^ 1858, 

'^< Pamyatniki Sibirskoi IstorU, vol. i, doc loi, 433. 

«• — Ibid. 

220-«/^,V/., 434. 

"^ Chtema V Imperatonkom Obtchestvi Istorii I Drevnostei Rossiskich, 

222 Unless one watches closely, the names of places are liable to confuse 
him. Some of them have entirely disappeared from the map, and others were 
applied to more than one place. During this period Anadirskoi Nos meant 
the cape at the southern entrance to Bering Strait [Pamyatniki Sibirskoi 
Istorii, vol. i, doc 109, 462] ; Kamchatka Nos - cape in northwestern Kamchat- 


mountains to the eastern shore, where the Oliutora 
Koriaks had their homes and where he was also peace- 
fully received. At this point Atlasof divided his com- 
pany in two : one party of sixty men, composed equally 
of Russians and Yukagirs, was ordered to follow the 
eastern shore of the peninsula, and with the other party 
he turned back to the Penjinsk side and proceeded 
along the western coast in a southerly direction. 

In addition to the Koriaks who were now becoming 
hostile, Atlasof s Yukagirs turned on him when near 
the Palane River and killed six of his men and wound- 
ed fifteen others, not, however, without considerable 
loss to themselves. Peace was temporarily made and 
the Yukagirs consented to go on ; but when on the Tigil 
River, Atlasof attempted to chastise them, many escaped 
in the night. Very soon ofter this the division on the 
eastern side of the mountains crossed over and joined 
itself to Atlasof, and the whole company marched over 
the mountains to the upper waters of the Kamchatka 
River. The Kamchadels living at this place were at 
war with those lower down the stream, and, in order to 
gain Atlasof's immediate support, they submitted to 
him. He was called back from the fight against the 
enemies of his allies to give chase to the Koriaks, who 
had in the meantime driven off the deer left higher up 
the river. After a hard pursuit over a trail covered 
with bones of the stolen deer, the Koriaks were brought 

ka, between the mouth of Penjinsk and the Pustaya River IPamyatniki Si' 
birskoi Istorii, vol. ii, doc. iiy, 501]; Kamchatka Nos- present Lopatka Cape 
IPamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. i, doc. 109, 462, 470, doc 112, 488] ; Kam- 
chatka Sea -sea at the mouth of the Kamchatka River IPamyatniki Sibirskoi 
Istoriif vol. i, doc. 105, 444]; Lama Sea -Sea of Okhotsk Pamyatniki Si- 
birskoi Isforiif vol. i, doc. 99, 427; vol. ii, doc. 118, 509]; Oliutora Sea -water 
between Kamchatka and Oliutora Rivers [Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. 
ii, doc 14, 44; vol. i, doc iii, 484, doc. i, 117, 504]; Penjinsk Sea -sea all 
along the western coast of Kamchatka ; Sviatoi Sea - sea near mouth of Yana 
River [Pamyainiki Sibirskoi Istoriiy vol. ii, doc. 231 69]. 


to bay near the Penjinsk Sea and were forced to give up 
what was left of their plunder. 

Following this exploit Atlasof marched down to the 
Itcha River, and there he heard of a stranger held as 
captive, whom the natives called a Russian, but who 
turned out to be a ship-wrecked Japanese."' It is dif- 
ficult to say how far south he actually reached; al- 
though he did not quite come to Lopatka Cape he was 
near enough to it to learn of islands in its neighborhood. 
His men began urging to be led back north because 
their ammunition and supplies were running short. Be- 
fore leaving the peninsula he sent Potap Surukof with 
fourteen Russians and thirteen Yukagirs to build an 
ostrog on the Kamchatka River and to hold it until re- 
lieved."* With the remaining fifteen Russians and 
four Yukagirs, and with a very large number of pelts, 
Atlasof went to the Anaduir where he arrived Febru- 
ary, 1700. By June he was at Jakutsk and from there 
he went to Moscow, and petitions from him to the czar 
are dated in that city early in February, 1701. For his 
services he was made golova and was given fifty rubles 
in cash and fifty rubles' worth of cloth. 

The encouraging report regarding Kamchatka de- 
cided the Sibirski Prikaz to send there another expedi- 
tion under Atlasof. Soon after leaving Tobolsk with 
his chosen band Atlasof entered on a career of plunder, 

'^ Atlasof took this Japanese, whose name was Debne, to the Anaduir. 
When Peter the Great heard of Debne he requested that he should be brought 
before him at the earliest possible moment On January 8, 170a, Debne was 
presented to the czar, and the two had a long conversation about Japan. Peter 
ordered that Debne should be instructed in the Russian language and that he 
should instruct the Russians in Japanese. In 1710 Debne was baptized and 
took the name of Gabriel. This Debne is, so far as known, the first Japanese 
in Russia \Russkaya Starina^ October, and November, 1891]. 

2'^ In 1700 Surukof was killed as he was making his way to the Anaduir 
{Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Isiorii^ vol. i, doc. loa, 434]. 


growing more bold and lawless as he proceeded, re- 
sulting finally in his downfall."* 

The question of finding a safe route to Kamchatka 
was one that gave the officers at Jakutsk a great deal of 
worry throughout this early period. The one usually 
followed was first traced by Kobelef , who was sent to re- 
lieve Surukof in 1700. He went on deer and dog teams 
to the upper waters of the Penjinsk, and on small boats 
down to its mouth and along the sea coast to Pustoi 
Ostrog, on the Pustaya River. At this point he stole 
deer from the Koriaks and crossed to the eastern side of 
the mountains, and from there he went down to the 
Kamchatka River."* By obtaining large leather boats 
from the Koriaks at the mouth of the Penjinsk, several 
of the prikaschiks were enabled to go down as far as the 
Lesnaya River and even farther."^ The return from 
Kamchatka was generally begun in winter when the 
tribute was transported overland from the Lower Kam- 
chatka Ostrog to the Tigil River. From there it was 
taken in summer on boats up the Penjinsk Bay and 
partly up the river, and on deer and dog teams to the 
Anaduir.*" After 1707 it became exceedingly difficult 
and dangerous to enter Kamchatka. The Koriaks were 

>*<^ On August 29, he held up aod robbed three boats loaded with Chinese 
goods valued at sixteen thousand, six hundred and twenty rubles. Three dajrs 
later a report of this deed was sent to the authorities at Jakutsk, Tobolsk, and 
Moscow. When Atlasof reached Jakutsk, May, 1702, the woewod at that 
post had instructions from the Sibirski Prikaz to treat Atlasof like any other 
thief. With several others he was tried, tortured, and committed to prison. 
He was released in 1706 on condition that he return to Kamchatka, where a 
strong hand was needed {Pamyatniki Sibirtkoi Istorii, vol. i, doc iii, 472]. 
But when he arrived there the next year he found his prestige gone, the na- 
tives in insurrection, and the Russians insubordinate. His love of plunder 
was still strong in him, and the complaints of his victims forced his superiors 
to remove him from command. 

**• Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, voL ii, doc. 118, 501-502. 

22s — Ibid., vol. i, doc iix, 474. 


determined to keep out the Russians and the latter had 
to i5ght their way."* This constant fighting was a se- 
vere drain on the Jakutsk office. Between the years 
1707 and 171 1 as many as two hundred eighty-nine 
men "* were sent to Kamchatka, and those who were not 
killed in battle became demoralized more than else- 
where in Siberia. For two years, 171 1 to 1713, Kam- 
chatka was terrorized by bands of assassins and robbers, 
and there were not enough faithful men left in the ser- 
vice to put them down. One of these was led by Danilo 
Anziforof and Ivan Kozirefski. They killed the of- 
ficers in command and plundered the government 
stores, and planned to establish an independent settle- 
ment on one of the Kuril Islands. When they had used 
up their ammunition they dictated terms to the newly 
arrived prikaschik and entered the service once more. 


<>* A detailed account of one or two of these efforts may be helpful. When 
in 1707 Peter Chirikof reached the upper Penjinsk on his way to Kamchatka, 
he found the Koriaks hostile. Peter had to make his own kotshi and in three 
of these he went down the river followed by the natives who had passed word 
along announcing his coming. One of his kotshi was wrecked and lost, but 
with the other two he sailed on and landed on the banks of the river Paren. 
At this point he was attacked and driven back to Aklanska Ostrog, with a loss 
of eight killed and twenty wounded. At Aklanska Ostrog he was besieged 
from September 8 to November a, when he was rescued by a relieving force 
from the Anaduir, and to this post he returned. The next year Peter made 
another attempt, and although he succeeded in shaking o£F the Koriaks on 
the west coast he found on the eastern shore of the peninsula the Oliutora 
Koriaks blocking his passage near the Karaga River. In the fight which 
took place on July 20, 1709, ten Russians lost their lives, also ammunition and 
other stores, including two hundred rubles in coin. (There was a rumor 
at the time that Chirikof pocketed the money and laid the blame on the 
Koriaks). Pour da3rs later the Koriaks came back to the attack, but this 
time the Russians drove them off and captured five leather boats on which 
they made haste to reach Kamchatka. Vasili Sevyastanof, who left the An- 
aduir April xo, 17x1, had to fight four battles before he came to Lower 
Kamchatka on July 29 [Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. ii, doc. 1x7, doc. 
xx8, doc. 1x9, doc X25]. 

*■<* Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. i, doc xxo, 47a 

2*^ This insurrection deserves some attention. On August 22, X7xc^ Osip 


The other lawless company had for its leader Constan- 
tin Kirgizof, an acting-prikaschik. He liberated the 

LipiD came to Kamchatka to relieve Peter Chirikof. When the two had ar- 
ranged aflPairs at Lower Kamchatka they went to Upper Kamchatka to ttgn 
up there. Chirikof returned to Lower Kamchatka, taking with him the tri- 
bute which he planned to transport in the course of the winter to the Tigil 
so as to have it ready for shipment the following summer. The two men 
saw much of each other in the course of the winter; and the Christmas holi- 
days they spent together at the post in Upper Kamchatka. Towards the end 
of January, 171 1, Lipin found it necessary to go to Lower Kamchatka. On 
January 29, he was waylaid and murdered by men in the government service. 
Starting with twenty, this company of insurrectionists soon numbered seventy- 
five men. Danilo Anziforof was chosen leader and Ivan Kozirefski for the 
office next in importance. Countersigns were given out, and an oath binding 
all to a common cause was prescribed. Vladimir Atlasof, against whom the 
conspirators had old scores to settle, was the next victim (February i). On 
March 2a, the conspirators found Chirikof at Upper Kamchatka and they 
proceeded to kick him to death. The property of the dead men was divided 
into seventy-five shares, each consisting of sixty sables, twenty red foxes, two 
sea otter, and a number of miscellaneous articles. They did not forget the 
priest, who was given several articles of clothing and fur, a young woman 
belonging to Atlasof, and two young men, the property of the other two 
prikaschiks. When this was done the men wrote a letter to the czar, explaining 
how the three murdered prikaschiks had been plundering him (the czar) and 
abusing the natives and white men to the detriment of the public treasury, 
and knowing that the czar disapproved of such lawless acts they, the under- 
signed, had put an end to such misgovemment In order to have wherewith 
to buy ammunition with which to fight the natives they were compelled, they 
said, to take the ill-gotten gains of the three men. From Upper Kamchatka 
Danilo led his men across the mountains to Bolshaya River and there estab- 
lished his headquarters. There was much work for them to do, for during 
the years 1707, and 1710, the inhabitants of the Bolshaya River killed many 
of the Russians and destroyed the ostrog. Under Danilo's leadership the 
enemy was subdued, the fort rebuilt, and one of the Kuril Islands discovered, 
which find led them to consider the wisdom of abandoning Kamchatka and 
forming a new colony on the unclaimed island. Before a conclusion was 
reached a summons came from Vasili Sevyastanof, the newly arrived prikas- 
chik, to appear before him and explain their deeds. The whole company 
inarched over to Lower Kamchatka; and when Vasili saw them he did not 
have the courage to come out and face them, but sent one of his men to talk 
to them. The result of the discussion was that the insurrectionists were 
granted their terms -that they be given ammunition and that they be per- 
mitted to make up for their crimes by fighting the hostile peoples^ It was 
while engaged in this work on the Avatcha River, about February, 1712, that 
Danilo with seventeen of his men were killed. Ivan Kozirefski and others 
went to discover the Kuril Islands in 1713. Three of the party, however, had 


I>risoners and enrolled them in his band and with their 
assistance he spread havoc far and wide, forcing the 
natives to abandon their homes and seek shelter in the 

The hostility of the natives and the viciousness of the 
servants threw the whole service into disorder. By 
171 2 there was in Kamchatka five years' tribute, the 
last shipment having been made in 1706. Sevyastanof 
decided to abandon the old Anaduir route and try a new 
one by way of the Oliutora Sea. On June 4, 171 2, he 
embarked with eighty-four men on a number of small 
boats and, after leaving the mouth of the Kamchatka 
River, sailed northwardly. He kept close to the shore 
and met with no difficulties until he reached the Tum- 
latski River on July 21. Here the Oliutora Koriaks 
attacked him, but he managed to drive them off and 
continue his course to the Oliutora River, where he 
landed on August 5.'" A fort was hastily constructed 
as protection against the pursuing enemy, who was al- 
ways near enough to make it unsafe to show one's head 
above the wall. After a long wait, towards the end of 
which the men were starving, the long expected rein- 
forcement from the Anaduir came and transported the 
tribute to the Anaduir. Sevyastanof strongly favored 

two of the fingers of the left hand cut off and were given a public whipping 
in addition. Volume one, of Pamyatniki Sibirtkoi Isiorii has the documents 
on this case. 

'^^ In X712, when Sevyastanof left Kamchatka he put in charge of one of 
the ostrogs Constantin Kirgizof. Kirgizof gathered about him a few choice 
companions and set about getting even with his enemies. The agent and 
priest of Lower Kamchatka were his first victims. From Lower Kamchatka 
he went in other directions killing and burning. When they had tired of this 
they returned and begged the new prikaschik, Kolesof, to be reinstated and in 
return they offered to put down the inhabitants of Karaginski Island. Nearly 
all of the men, after being mutilated, branded, and whipped in public, were 
put back in service, but Constantin and one other were executed. 

^^^ Pamyaimki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. i, doc. 1x7, 504. 


this new route because of the quiet sea, and the numerous 
small streams which offered food and daily landings. 
He also recommended that the fort on the Oliutora 
should be strengthened and a garrison stationed to 
guard the boats to be used in coming and going to Kam- 
chatka. Although all this was done, Kolesof was still 
afraid to risk a shipment in 17 13. Early in the sum- 
mer of 17 14 an active campaign was carried on against 
the Oliutora Koriaks, and before the summer ended 
several fights took place in which the natives were 

Kolesof was not molested on his way north in 17 14, 
and he was able to reach the new fort, Archangelsk (on 
the Oliutora River) , on August 24."* When the men 
and deer for transportation had arrived from the Ana- 
duir, Kolesof, on November 20,"* started north in com- 
pany of an Anaduir prikaschik who had been collect- 
ing tribute in this neighborhood. While crossing the 
ridge of the Talkowa Mountains on December 2, in the 
midst of a blinding snowstorm, the Yukagirs of the 
Anaduir fell on the Russians as they were scattered, and 
murdered a number of them and drove the others to 
Aklanska Ostrog where they hoped to starve them to 
death. To the Yukagirs the Koriaks joined themselves, 
and an invitation was extended to the Chukchi to help 
in this work of extermination.*** Nearly one hundred 
Russians lost their lives in this and subsequent fights 
which took place during the spring and summer.*" 

'*^He had with him two years' tribute, consisting of five thousand, six 
hundred forty-one sables, seven hundred fifty-one red foxes, ten cross foxes, 
one hundred thirty-seven sea otter, and other valuable stores, among which 
was a small quantity of gold found in a wrecked Japanese junk. 

**'^ Pamyatmki Sibirskoi Isterii, vol. ii, doc. 2$, 92. 

SSS «. /^,V/.^ 53. 

"•^ — Ibid^ doc 35, 119. 


When news of this disaster reached Jakutsk steps 
were at once taken to regain the lost ground and to re- 
cover the valuable tribute. Trifonof was ordered to 
the front with as large a force as could be collected and 
spared."* But Trifonof was totally incompetent and 
he wasted his time and forces without accomplishing 
anything of value. He did not appear on the scene of 
the battle until late in 171 6, and after killing a handful 
of Koriaks in the neighborhood of Aklanska Ostrog, he 
led his valiant band to winter quarters on the Ana- 
duir."* By the end of 1716 Russia was on the point of 
losing Kamchatka, partly through her own incompe- 
tency and partly through the valiancy of her foes. Just 
then Fortune smiled on her once more and showed her 
a new way to the peninsula, which came to be known 
later as the ^^Okhotsk- Kamchatka Route." 

The difficulties and dangers of going from the Ana- 
duir to Kamchatka forced the government to make even 
greater exertions, than it had so far done, to find an- 
other way to the peninsula. Since 17 10 there had been 
much talk but little action regarding a passage across 
the Okhotsk Sea and about discovering new lands in the 
Arctic and Pacific Oceans."® Captain Tatarinof was 
sent to the Anaduir chiefly with this end in view, but 
on account of the trouble with the natives he did not 

'**The potts on the Indigirka, Koluima, Yana, and one or two others 
were emptied of men in order to make a large force for Trifonof [Pamyatrnki 
Sibirskoi Ittoriif vol. ii, doc 35, 82-83]. 

*^ While Trifonof was making ready to punish the natives, Alezei Petril- 
ofskoi succeeded in making his way to Kamchatka. In company with one or 
two other frikaschiks he spent the winter of 1714-1715 on the Oliutora River. 
During his stay the Koriaks brought into the post bundles of furs which they 
had taken from the murdered Russians. These packages had the government 
seal on them, and it was well known where they came from, and yet these 
officers bought them on their own account as an investment [Pamyainiki 
Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. ii., doc 36, 121-122; vol. ii, doc 59, 257-258]. 

**® Pamyatrnki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. i, doc 99, 427. 


get an opportunity to enter on his task."^ In 1714 a 
company, unusually well equipped, provided with all 
the necessary tools and materials for ship building, was 
commissioned to go to Okhotsk and there construct 
boats and on these cross over to Kamchatka [Lopatka] 
Cape.*" After the sad events of the year 1714-1715, it 
became more urgent than ever to find a water route. 
Elchin, the woewod of Jakutsk, was called to Moscow 
for a conference, at which it was decided to fit out a 
large expedition for the purpose of discovering new 
lands and putting down the hostile natives in north- 
eastern and eastern Siberia. In 17 16 Elchin, who was 
made commander of this undertaking, received his in- 
struction from the governor of Siberia and left Tobolsk 
accompanied by a competent staff of naval and military 
officers "• and a large number of Cossacks, which was 
to be increased on the way by the addition of two hun- 
dred men. Early in 17 18 the expedition began to de- 
part from Jakutsk, but when the leader himself was 
about to depart more orders came from Tobolsk to re- 
port there at once to answer charges filed against him. 
The command of the already disorganized company 
fell to Captain Abishtof, who died in June, 1719, very 
soon after reaching Okhotsk."* This well planned and 
very costly expedition ended in failure, owing largely, 
as usual, to the inefficiency and jealousy of the officers 
and men. 

^*^ Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, vol. i, doc. ix8, 509. 

242 — Ibid., vol. ii, doc x2, 37. 

2^3 Among them was a Swedish naval lieutenant, Ambiorn Molyk. 

244 Supplies and men were scattered all along the road between Jakutsk and 
Okhotsk and at various points on the coast Some of the materials did not 
find their way to the sea until a year or two after Abishtof died and were 
left on the beach until a flood and a high water carried them off. The ac- 
count here given of Elchin's expedition is based on a paper by A. Sgibnef in 
Morskoi Sbornik, December, x868. 


But of these numerous attempts one was bound by 
the law of chance to succeed. The company mentioned 
above, which was sent out in 171 4, constructed an open 
boat, ^4odka,'^ and on this a sailor [Treske], a Cossack 
[Sokolof], and several others ventured into Lama Sea 
during the summer of 17 16 and found the way to Kam- 
chatka/" Molyk, the Swedish officer, who preceded 
Abishtof and other officers to Okhotsk, arrived there in 
the summer of 171 7, and in the fall of that year he went 
over to Lower Kamchatka.*** Late in the summer of 
the year 171 8 another boat took over to Bolshaya River 
Vasili Kachanof, returning in the fall of the year 171 9 
to Okhotsk loaded with Kamchatka tribute."' Ivan 
Chartinof , a member of Elchin's expedition, took a ship 
from Okhotsk on August 20, 17 19, and, after touching 
on the Itcha River on August 26, dropped anchor in 
Bolshaya River four days later."* Ivan Uwarowski 
took this same ship back to Okhotsk loaded with tribute 
in June, 1720; and from this time on the water passage 
across the Lama Sea became the official route to Kam- 

To the Siberians of the early eighteenth century 
Kamchatka had three distinct peoples on it: on the 
north and west wandered the Koriaks, along the waters 
and tributaries of the Kamchatka River dwelt the Kam- 
chadels, and on the southern part lived the Kurils, and 
that part of the peninsula was spoken of as the Land of 
the Kurils. The term "Kuril" was not applied to the 

^^'^A. Sgibnef in Morskoi Sbormk, April, 1869. Slovtsof [p. 243] states 
that the 1716 boat was sixty feet long and had a twenty-five foot beam. In 
the first attempt she made the Tigil River and from there sailed back to 
Okhotsk. In the same year she made another trial and anchored at Chari- 
yuzovka and from there returned to Okhotsk in July, 171 7. 

<^* A. Sgibnef in Morskoi Sbomik, December, 1868. 

i^r^Itid,, April, 1869. 

^** Pamyatniki Sihirskot Isforiif vol. ii, doc. 65, 272-275. 


islands until nearly the end of the Bering period. Our 
earliest information of these islands has come through 
Atlasof, who heard of them from the natives of Kam- 
chatka."* About the year 1705 Vasili Kolesof, at the 
time prikaschik on the Kamchatka, sent a body of men 
to the southern part of the peninsula to put down the 
warlike inhabitants. In the course of their wander- 
ings they came to Cape Lopatka, whence they had a 
view of the islands, but having no boats they could not 
approach them."® Five years later a Japanese junk 
was wrecked on the shores of Kamchatka, and from 
four of the crew who fell into their hands the Russians 
obtained a clearer idea as to the relation of these islands 
to Kamchatka and Japan.*" At the time of the insur- 
rection two of these Japanese were taken in charge by 
Danilo Anziforof, and this probably helps to explain 
why Danilo and his band went in search of these islands 
in 171 1. From Lopatka these men paddled in small 
boats and baidaras to the first island, and after a fight 
with the inhabitants they succeeded in making a land- 

After the death of Danilo in 17 12, Ivan Kozirefski 
and other conspirators, in order to expiate their crimes, 
offered to go to the Kuril Islands and bring the inhab- 
itants under subjection. This met with the approval of 
the officers, who were anxious to carry out the wishes 
of the czar in the matter of exploration and discovery. 
Kozirefski was given every possible assistance, fifty 
Russians, eleven natives, and one of the wrecked Jap- 
anese to act as pilot and interpreter. Embarking on 

**• Chtenia V Imperatorskom Ohschesive Istorii I Drevnostei Rosiiskick, 

^^^ Pamyatmki Sibirskoi Istorii^ vol. ii, doc ii8, 502-503. 
*•* — Ibid.^ vol. i, doc. iii. 
262 — Ibid,^ vol. i, doc iia, 488. 

tdAmt* Z0mtm M ^li^ f'P'» 





ftcAr^ Tifyt-xty 






/.i#>n M»«~«v t'^r^"^ 




^ ■ y Jj a *«»«««^<»» 

^mlTmy X 

dt Utphon *^*> 


The So-called Shestakof Map 

The "Large Country" is located north of Siberia 

[Delisle Manuscripts, iyy-2-2^ 


their small boats they set sail for the islands early in 
the summer of 1713. On three of them they made land- 
ings and brought off articles made of silk and of grass, 
as well as sabres and other objects made of metal.*" 
These evidences were sent to Jakutsk together with a 
report and chart of the islands. Although only three 
islands were visited, yet from information obtained from 
the islanders and the Japanese, Kozirefski traced the 
whole chain of islands, including Matsmai and the 
northern part of Japan.*" The map which bears 
Shestakof's name follows very closely Kozirefski's re- 
port and is probably a copy of his map.*" 

Six years after Kozirefski's adventures among the 

2°3 Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii^ vol. ii, doc 14, 46. 

^^^Morskoi Sbomik (April, 1869, pp. 84-85) has Kozirefski's origintl re- 
port. In it he stys, "From Lopttkt to the first island, Sumchu, one can row 
in a baidara in two or three hours. On the second island, Punimshir, the 
inhabitants make cloth out of grass. The third island is Onikutan. On the 
western side of these islands are three not very large islands. The fourdi is 
Araumakutan. The fifth is Siyaskutan, the sixth is Shikoku to which the 
Japanese come for metals. The seventh is Motogo, eighth Shashovo^ ninth 
Ushishir, tenth Katui, eleventh Shimushir. The twelfth Iturpu has many 
people and many rivers at the mouths of which good anchorage may be found. 
The thirteenth is Urup, the fourteenth Kunashir, and on the fifteenth Matsmai 
there is a Japanese city. Next to this island is the main island of Japan. In 
addition to these enumerated islands there are other small islands in different 

'^^ Partly on account of his Polish descent, and partly because of his hav- 
ing become a monk, writers have clothed Kozirefski with considerable romance. 
By 1730 a report was current at Moscow that Kozirefski "touchi par lea prieres 
des pauvres de la Colonic, des Invalides, des Viellards, des malades, des 
blesses," etc., he became a monk and built a monastery where these unfor- 
tunates could find a home. There is no truth in all this. In Siberia, where 
he was well known, he was regarded as a thoroughly bad and dangerous 
man. He was one of the ringleaders in the insurrection of 171 1-17x2. After 
his return from the Kurils he brought on his own account several thousand 
rubles' worth of plunder. Another thief, the Prikaschik Petrilofskoi, the same 
who bought the stolen furs on the Oliutora, made him disgorge all of it, and 
in addition forced him to become a monk in 17x6 [Morskoi Sbomik^ April, 
1869]. Ignatius Kozirefski, the monk, was arrested in Kamchatka in 1720 
and sent for trial to Jakutsk on the charge of having made seditious speeches 
in which he declared that it can not be very wrong to kill prikaschiks since 


Kuril Islands, Peter the Great sent two men, Feodor 
Luzhin and Ivan Yevreinof , on a semi-secret expedition 
into these same waters."* It has been suggested that 
they were ordered to investigate whether there were 
precious metals on the Kuril Islands.'" This is quite 
possible, especially in view of Koziref ski's statement 
that on the sixth island the Japanese obtained metals. 
It would also have been easy for the czar to associate 
this island with the Gold and Silver Islands of the 
Spaniards and the Dutch. The instructions of these 
men, other than the secret ones, read in part : 

You are to gp to Kamchatka and farther, as you have been 
ordered, and determine whether Asia and America are united; 
and go not only north and south but east and west, and put on 
a chart all that you see.'^* 

Luzhin and Yevreinof left Russia early in 1719, and 
from Jakutsk they departed for Kamchatka in the early 
summer of 1720. Peter was very solicitous about them 
and tried to keep in touch with their movements. On 
their return to Jakutsk from Kamchatka the local of- 
ficers questioned them, but they refused to give any ac- 
count of their discoveries to others than to the czar."' 
Some years later Muller learned from the navigators 
who piloted these men that from Okhotsk they sailed 
to Kamchatka and from there to the Kuril Islands as 
far as the fifth. They were prevented from going to 

those who kill czan are quite respectable people and even hold office under 
the government. It would seem that the case was not pushed against him at 
Jakutsk. He was asked to build a monastery about eighty versts from the 
city. Even there he got into trouble and ran away, but he was caught and 
brought back. A little later he took part in Shestakofs expedition. After 
failing in that he appeared in Moscow, in 1730, posing as a saint and navi- 
gator IDelisle Afii.]. 

286 Pamyatmki Sihirskoi Isiorii, vol. ii, doc 73, 290-291. 

2B^ Muller, Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, vol. iii, 109-iia 

2^^ Polnoe Sobrame Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. v, doc 3266. 

2»» Pamyatniki Sibinkoi Istorii, vol. iv, doc 73, 290-291. 


the others on account of the loss of their anchors in a 
storm."* In 1722 or 1723 Luzhin and his companion 
reported to Peter, but just what passed between them 
is not known. It was left for a lieutenant of Bering's, 
Spanberg, to sail among these islands and chart the 
whole group. 

'*®Muller. Sammlung Russischer Geschichti^ vol. iii, 109-ixo. 


Perhaps no other part of the globe, leaving the 
Arctic regions out of consideration, remained in such 
cartographical confusion and uncertainty as the North 
Pacific Ocean during the seventeenth century and the 
first half of the eighteenth. It was not altogether from 
lack of effort on the part of the navigators, for between 
1611 and 1643 three important expeditions were sent 
out for the purpose of discovery, but the results of 
these voyages were little understood and they rather be- 
fogged than cleared the geographical atmosphere. One 
might even say that geography had lost ground : Cali- 
fornia and Korea are generally represented as penin- 
sulas in the sixteenth and as islands in the seventeenth 
century. There was a tendency, too, on the part of 
certain scholars, to treat geography as a speculative sci- 
ence. To these men the part of the Pacific not yet 
explored offered a very attractive field of study. 

Generally speaking until fifty or sixty years after the 
discovery of the New World, America was represented 
on many maps as a large outlying island of Asia not 
far from Japan, or as a part of the Asiatic mainland. 
After a time it became evident that the newly found 
land was a continent and was so indicated on Mun- 
ster'smap (1541) and on various earlier ones. America 
occupied a position half way between Europe and Asia 
and was separated from the latter in the north by a sea 
or a wide strait. By 1560 America and Asia were 
drawn closely together in the north, but as yet the strait 


between them had no name. Six years later a name 
was given to it by Zaltieri ; but what his reasons were 
for calling it "Anian""' are not certain. Mercator 
employs the term Anian Strait in his famous map of 
1569. One year later Ortellius did likewise. Other 
map makers of this period adopted a more or less sim- 
ilar view. 

In summing up one may say that until about 1650 the 
cartographers represented Asia as separated from Am- 
erica by a strait of varying width, generally known as 
Anian, without hinting at any intermediate lands, large 
or small."' It is important to bear this in mind in view 
of what other maps delineate; for from about the mid- 
dle of the seventeenth century a new body of land makes 
its appearance, designated as Jeso and by various other 
names,*"* but all referring more or less to the same 
object. Not a geographer questioned its existence, and 
yet no two of them agreed as to its shape and size. 

When the Europeans came in contact with the Jap- 
anese they learned of the existence of a body of land, 
Yeco, north of Nippon. This news was reported to 
Europe by a Jesuit as early as i566.*'* The second an- 
nouncement came through Richard Cocks, the English 
factor in Japan, who, in a letter to the East India Com- 
pany, dated November 30, 1613, tells of "an island 
called Yedzo, which is thought to be rather some part 
of the continent of Tartaria." **' In the same year that 

M^The term "Anian" has been very learnedly discussed by Dr. Sophus 
Ruge, in his pan»phlet 'Tretum Anian." This scholar traces the name back 
to Marco Polo, who speaks of a Chinese province with a name similar to this 

*•* Visscher*s map. 

*«»Jes80, Eso, Jeco, lesso, Yesso, Yeso, Yedso, Yeco, Compagnie Land, 
Gama Land, etc 

^^^Recueii de Voyages au Nord (Amsterdam, 1732), vol. iv, 2a 

2«»Hakluyt Society (London, 1883), vol. ii, 258. Cocks's letter was not 


Cocks sent his letter, Camillo de Constanzo, a Jesuit, 
obtained important data regarding Jeso.*** Two years 
later Jerome de Angelis sent to the vice-provincial of 
Japan an account of this land."' In European print 
the name Yezo appeared for the first time in a book 
published at Munich in i6i9.*'* During the year 1620 
the Jesuit Caravaglio went from Japan into Jeso.'"* 
The year following Father de Angelis crossed over 
there and on his return made a long report."" Al- 
though, he says, he formerly believed Jeso to be a part of 
the mainland, after his last investigation he felt quite 
convinced of its insularity. From this time until their 
expulsion from Japan the Jesuits had little time to give 
to the study of Jeso; but other Europeans took it up 
and carried it on. 

A baseless rumor that there existed gold and silver 
islands east of Japan led, at first, the Spaniards, and 
later the Dutch to undertake voyages of discovery. The 
story goes that in 1582 or thereabouts, a Spanish ship 
in going from Manila ran into a storm which drove her 
helplessly before it. When the storm had ceased the 
ship found herself some three hundred eighty or ninety 
Spanish miles east of Japan and in latitude thirty-seven 
and one-half degrees."^ On looking around the hearts 
of the crew were made glad at the sight of an island ; 
and on landing they were greeted hospitably by the 

published for t long time after it was received and had therefore little influ- 
ence on cartography. 

M*Teleki, Paul Graf. Atlas %ur Geschichie der Kartographie der Jap- 
anischen Inseln^ xo6. 

^^^ Recueil de Voyages au Nord, vol. iv, 20. 

2«s Teleki, Paul Graf. Atlas, op, cit 

*•• Recueil de Voyages au Nord, vol. iv, aa 

271 A good account of Vizcaino's voyage is found in Dr. Oskar Nachod*s 
Ein Unentdecktes Goldland (Tokyo, 29x0). 




people. Ever5rwhere they saw gold and silver, even 
the pots and pans were made of these metals.*" This 
story was believed in Spain and Mexico. 

In i6i I it was determined to send an expedition from 
Mexico to these islands. Sebastian Vizcaino was or- 
dered to proceed to Japan and from there to sail in 
search of the "Rica de Oro" and "Rica de Plata." He 
arrived in Japan in June, 1611. On October 22, he 
sailed north along the Japanese coast as far as the for- 
tieth parallel. He asked many questions of the natives 
of this region, and they gave him information in regard 
to Korea, Tartary, and Yeso "island" and its hairy in- 
habitants. On account of the cold which was more 
severe than that to which his crew was accustomed, 
Vizcaino turned back to Japan, arriving there in the 
last days of December. In the following September 
he set out once more to find the islands, going first east 
and then south to the thirty-fourth parallel. But it 
was all in vain, no gold and silver islands were to be 
seen. He sailed back to Japan; and this was the last 
attempt of the Spaniards to find an El Dorado in this 
part of the world.'" 

Although the real object of Vizcaino's voyage was 
meant to be secret, yet the Dutch in Japan learned of it 
through the sailors. William Verstegen, an employee 
of the Dutch East India Company, in 1635 brought the 
matter to the attention of his superiors at Batavia, who 
referred it to the Board of Directors at Amsterdam. 
They ordered that a search be made for these islands 
east of Japan, and along the coast of northern Japan, 
Tartary, and Korea."* In accordance with these in- 

272 Nachod, Ein Unentdecktes Goldland. 
27* -. Ibid, 

'74 The directors probably received encouragement from the report which 
Caron submitted in 1636 (published in 1648) and a map which accompanied 


structions two of the company's boats in charge of 
Mathijs Quast and Abel Jans Tasman left Batavia on 
June 2, 1639.*" In the course of the summer they 
sailed north as far as the forty-second parallel and east 
of Japan six hundred Dutch miles. They discovered 
the Bonin and other small islands, but failed to locate 
the "goudrycke eylant." In the meantime scurvy had 
broken out among the crew and further search had to 
be given up for the time being. 

This expedition did not discourage the directors, who 
said that the failure was due to the poor health of the 
sailors. They requested that another search should be 
made and in particular along the northern coast of 
Japan, Tartary, and Korea. Early in 1643 Comman- 
deur Maerten Gerritsen Vries, on the flag-ship Castri- 
cum, and Schipper Hendrick Cornelisz Schaep, on the 
Breskens, left Batavia to find these islands. On May 
19, when off the southern islands of Japan, a storm sep- 
arated the two ships."* Vries continued his investiga- 
tion alone, sailing northwardly along the Japanese 
coast, and yet far enough away from it to prevent him 
from determining scientifically whether Nippon and 
Jeso were two distinct bodies of land. On June 9, 
Ainos from Jeso came on board for the first time. Grad- 
ually sailing northward Vries passed Jeso and came to 
the Kuril Islands, but owing to the foggy weather he 
did not know this, and therefore concluded that he was 
continuously in sight of Jeso. 

it, on which Japtn is joined to Tartarit by **T* Vaste Landt van lezzo." A 
copy of this map is doc. 328 of the Kohl Collection. 

'7^ Quast's journal is published in full by Teleki in his atlas. J. £. 
Heeres in his Journal of Tasman has an excellent brief account of this voyage. 

2^* The journal of Vries was published for the first time at Amsterdam in 
1858, entitled, Reime van Maarten Gerritsm Vries in 1643, It was edited by 
P. A. Leupe. Siebold also contributed valuable notes and a map. Teleki 
has a good account of the voyage. 


Between June 15 and 20 two of the Kurils were dis- 
covered. The one nearer Jeso was called State Island 
and the one east of that Company Land, which Vries 
believed to be a part of the American coast."^ From 
now until about the end of July the Castricum followed 
various courses, north, west, south, and northwesterly 
and easterly along the coast of what Vries regarded as 
Jeso. On July 26, the most northerly point was 
reached, the southeastern part of Sakhalin Island, and 
a day of two later Cape Patience was located and 
named. From here the Castricum sailed southerly, 
passing between Company Land and State Island, and 
then southwesterly towards Jeso, where stops were 
made to take on water and wood and to make inquiries 
about precious metals. During the month of Septem- 
ber search was made for the gold and silver islands be- 
tween the thirty-sixth and thirty-ninth parallels. By 
the beginning of October the boat was ^^460 milen buy- 
ten de O. cust van Japan^^ and still no islands. This 
discouraging work determined the officers to give up 
the search and sail south. On November 9, the B res- 
kens hove in sight, and nine days later the two boats 
anchored at Tywan, Formosa. 

When the Breskens became separated from the Cas- 
tricum she sailed a course similar to the flag-ship, dis- 
covering also State Island and Company Land. She 
did not, however, come as far north as the Castricum. 
On account of the thick weather Schaep was equally 
unable to tell where Jeso ended, so that he came back 
thinking that Jeso extended indefinitely. 

It is also claimed that at some time in the first part of 
the seventeenth century a Portuguese sea captain, Juan 
de Gama, in going from China to New Spain, discov- 

^'''f Reize, op. cit^ too. 




ered a body of land in about the same locality where 
Vries saw his new lands. The authority for De Gama's 
voyage and discovery is Joao Texeira, who noted it on 
his map of 1649. 

These three reports -that of the Jesuits, Vries, and 
Texeira- reaching the European public as they did 
about the same time, completely confused the carto- 
graphers and offered them an unlimited field for the 
exercise of their ingenuity. Some made Jeso an is- 
land, others a continent, still others a part of Asia or 

The published maps on which Jeso appears for the 
first time are based chiefly on the Jesuit letters, and per- 
haps to some extent on the charts of the Spanish and 
Portuguese navigators, though this is not so certain. 
After the publication of Jansson's map of Japan, in 
1650, on which the discoveries of Vries are set forth, 
the influence of the Dutch becomes more and more pro- 
nounced and gradually supplants that of the Jesuits. 

According to Robert Dudley's Arcano del Mare 
(1647),*" Yeso is set apart from Tartary by a narrow 
strait, and its most southwesterly point, just north of 
Korea, is Tessoy Cape. Going east from this cape 
twenty-three degrees one comes to the city of Mantzu- 
may, and from there Yeso stretches forty degrees far- 
ther in the same direction to lezo Strait, on the other 
side of which is America. 

Beginning with his map of 1652, Nicholas Sanson 
has left many interesting works in which Jeso is noted. 
In his first attempt he represented it as a large body of 

278 If it is true, ts some hold, that there was an edition of the Arcano del 
Mare published at Florence in 1630, one will have to allow the claim of Kohl 
that the map in his collection is a copy of that edition, and therefore the first 
published map having Jeso is Dudley's of 1630. 


land between Asia and America."* Any one who 
should attempt to walk across Jeso from strait to strait, 
at the rate of eight leagues a day, would have to spend 
one hundred fifty days in the effort."* In some of his 
other maps Sanson shows a great deal of confusion and 
uncertainty as to what to do with Jeso. On one map he 
puts the Insula Atlantis about where Jeso is generally 

Among cartographers who regarded Jeso as a part 
of America was Pierre Duval. In 1661 he represented 
east of Asia a Detroit de Jesso and east of that a body 
of land with the words Amerique Terre de Jesso. 
Three years later the word "Amerique" is left out on 
his map, and in its place one may read, "Terre de Prov- 
ince de Tessoy Jesso." Anian Strait is between Cali- 
fornia Island and Jesso. So far he seems to have been 
influenced by Sanson, but in 1684 he turns for guid- 
ance from his old tutor to the Dutch map makers."' 

Lugtenburg's representation of Terra de Yesso as the 
home of the lost tribes should be noted here. This 
map gives the impression that Japan is joined by a nar- 
row neck of land to Yedso, a part of the Asiatic conti- 
nent. State (?) Island and Vries Strait are east of it, 
and east of this strait is a body of land extending to 
Baffin's Bay. Over this land is written, "Terra de 
Yesso Het Land van de tien Stammen der Kindern 
^ Israels." "• 

Fred DeWitt, an Amsterdam map maker, put on his 
map two Jesos : one. Terra Esonis, as a part of America, 

^''^L'Asie en plusieurs cartes, 

280 Both Dudley and Sanson drew their material from the Jesuit writings. 
Charlevoix, P. Histoire du Japan^ vol. vi, 34. 
^^Asia Vetus, 1667. 
^** Cartes de Geographie (Paris, 1688). 
288 Number 330 in the Kohl Collection. 


and another, Yedso, as a part of Asia. Allard's map 
gives a similar idea; and other maps could be named 
to prove that in the minds of many scholars there exist- 
ed an American and an Asiatic Jeso. 

On another interesting map Nippon Island is united 
on the north by an isthmus to a large body of land 
termed Terra Yedso/" This idea was suggested many 
years before by Sanson in his small atlas of Asia, where 
he said, 

Autres encar disent que ce n'est point un Detroit, mais un 
Isthme, qui attache le Japon avec le Jesso que Tun et Tautre ne 
font q'une isle. 

East of this Nippon- Yedso combination Compagnie 
Land is indicated, and between that and California 
stands Terra Esonis. Vander AA has a map which dif- 
fers but little from this one."' 

P. Coronelli, a scholar greatly honored in France 
and Venice, pictures, on one of the large globes at the 
Bibliotheque Nationale, north of Japan Tartarie de 
Yupi and east of that State Island, followed by "Terra 
de lesso, leco, Yedco, Esso, et Sesso," and on one comer 
of this "Terra dei la Campagnia." All this runs along 
eastwardly until it becomes lost in Nouva Albione. 

Differing from Coronelli were certain cartographers 
who believed that Terre de Jesso and Terre de la Cam- 
pagnie"** were not the same lands. One map has Jesso 
as a part of Asia and Company Land east of it, stretch- 
ing out toward America. Guillaume Delisle brings 
out this point several times. Gerard van Keulen put 
Anian Strait between California and Het Campagnies 

^^Seutter, Matthtus. Atlas Novus. 

*w P. Vander AA, MaPfemonde, 

280a See in the second paragraph above "Compagnie." Here as in many 
other cases more than one spelling of a proper noun has been used, showing 
the confusion in the spelling of such that existed at that time. 


Land, which continues indefinitely westward, but is 
doubtless intended to represent the Spanish discoveries, 
since it has many Spanish*American names. Jesso is 
supposed to be on the Asiatic side. Another map 
bringing out the same conception is a curious mappe* 
monde in marble at the Bibliotheque Nationale. "T. 
D'Yeco" is a peninsular body of land in Asia. East of 
Yeco is an island, probably State, and east of that Terra 
de la Compagnie is joined to America. The peculiar 
thing about his mappemonde is that north of "T. 
D'Yeco" Asia is united with America by an isthmus, 
so that a boat passing De Vries Strait going northward 
would enter into a closed sea. 

Nicholas Witsen, an Amsterdam scholar of great 
merit whose work on Tartary is even now regarded as 
an authority, has Terrc de Jedso (part of Asia) looking 
across Vries Strait to a very large Terra de la Com- 
pagnie which the author says was first seen by Juan de 

A geographer whose opinion carried considerable 
weight in his day was Jean Baptiste Homan of Nurn- 
berg. Oh one of his maps he throws out a hint that 
what Jean De Gama discovered was perhaps the north- 
west coast of America. On the map in question Cali- 
fornia has nearly the same form and position it now 
holds. Northwest of it is Terra Esonis Incognita with 
this legend underneath: Costa Terrae Borealis in- 
cognita detecta a Dom Joanne de Gama Navigante ex 
China Novam Hispaniam. 

Guillaume Delisle changed his views several times 
in regard to Jeso. One of these is especially interest- 
ing. In a memoir which he read before the Paris 
Academy in 1720, he advanced an opinion that Jeso was 
a part of Asia and Japan a peninsula of it [Jeso], and 


that this Japan-Jeso land came within five degrees of 

Such were the confused ideas of the Europeans. 
Those of the Asiatics were somewhat more clear. Mar- 
tini (1614-1661), a Jesuit who had spent many years in 
China, discusses the question of Yeco in his atlas. He 

Many people are in doubt whether Jesso (Chinese call it Yeco) 
is an island. To the Chinese it is a part of Tartary and sep- 
arated by a narrow strait from the island of Japan. Person- 
ally I express no opinion but refer the reader to the cartes of 
Japan in my atlas which cartes I brought from China. 

On one of the maps referred to Yeco is marked as a 
small island, and on another Eso is noted but without 
definite shape and probably intended for the mainland. 

What little evidence we have goes to show that the 
Japanese, at least those in the north, believed Jeso to be 
an island.^"^ Kaempfer tells us that the Japanese re- 
ferred to all the land north of them as Yesso, having in 
mind both islands and mainland. To the island or is- 
lands they applied the term Yesogasima [Yeso-Island], 
and to the continental land north of Yesogasima they 
gave the name Oku-Yeso [Upper- Yeso]. It can not 
be said, however, that the Japanese had any very well 
defined ideas as to Oku-Yeso, notwithstanding that sev- 
eral expeditions had been sent out by the government 
to obtain information. One of these sailed in 1684. 
Another a few years later claimed to have discovered 
a large continent, supposedly America, between the for- 
tieth and fiftieth degrees of latitude. That these and 

^M This idet that Japan was a part of the Asiatic mainland was not or- 
iginal with Delisle. In 1703 a Japanese, who had been wrecked in Kam- 
chatka some years before, was brought to Moscow. He told Peter the Great 
that one could go from Japan to China either by land or by sea ^Riuskaya 
SiarinOy October, 1891]. 

**'' Retze, op cit, 174. 


other Japanese touched somewhere on Kamchatka is 
quite possible.*" As to their having been in America 
the Asiatic junks found on the northwest coast are very 
strong evidence of its likelihood. Kaempfer quotes 
from Japanese maps and books to the effect that 

Oku-Yeso is a large continent which extends out from the 
great Tartary, and extends itself behind the island of Yeso- 
gasima, reaching about fifteen degrees of longitude further east 
than the eastern coast of Japan. A large space is left empty 
between it and the neighboring America.'** 

As soon as the existence and position of Kamchatka 
became known cartographers concluded that the Oku- 
Yeso of Japan was the same as Russian Kamchatka. 
Strahlenberg, a Swedish officer in Siberian exile, writes 
of Kamchatka, "sonsten Terra de Jedso benennt.""'* 

In Kaempf er's works a map is inserted, based on one 
which the author brought from Japan, representing 
Kamchatka and Terra de lesso as the same land. Bel- 
lin draws north of Nippon the island of Matsmay (an 
other name for Jeso Island) and north of that he locates 
Kamchatka, "yu^ les Japonois appellent Terre de Je- 
so^^^^ Other geographers also fell in with this easy 
explanation which seemed to clear up some of the con- 

But a reaction was not long in coming. That Jeso 
is an island all agreed ; but what is Oku-Yeso, or Terre 
de Jeso? Is it Kamchatka? To the thoughtful scholar 
the subject became exceedingly perplexing, and we do 
not wonder that D'Anville complained that Terre de 
Jeco ^^m^avoir mis a une espece de tortured ^^^ Here 

3S8 Both Atlasof and Bering found shipwrecked Japanese in Kamchatka. 

^* Kaempfer (Scheuchzer's original edition), vol. i, 67-68. 

'*® Strahlenberg (Stockholm, 1730), vol. ii. 

'^^ In Charlevoix's Jafan^ edition 1736. 

*»2 Lettre de M. D'Anville au R. P. Castel, 1737, vol. ii. On the map he 


was the trouble: Bering's report of his first voyage 
placed the southern point of Kamchatka ten minutes 
north of the fifty-first parallel ; Vries saw Jeso in lati- 
tude forty-nine when he turned back. If Kamchatka 
is Terra de Jeso and ends where Bering said, what did 
Vries see? Kozirefski, a Russian, sailed among the 
Kuril Islands where Vries said he saw a continuous 
body of land. These questions came up between the 
years 1730 and 1740. Geographers tried hard to bring 
order out of this puzzling situation. A map of the 
Sansons of about this time stretches Kamchatka almost 
to Japan, and on the southern part of the peninsula are 
these words, "/^j Kurihki qu'on croit Colonic du Japan 
sous le nom Terre Jeso.^^ East of this are State Island 
and Company Land. D'Anville, in 1737, decided that 
Kamchatka was not Jeso and frankly acknowledged his 
inability to throw light on the subject."" Bellin, who 
in 1737, strongly defended the stand he took regarding 
the identity of Kamchatka and Terre de Jeso, regretted 
his words a few years later,*" and like D'Anville 
pleaded ignorance. 

Kaempfer settled to the satisfaction of all the insular- 
ity of Jeso, but he brought Oku-Yeso into the discus- 
sion and thus made two problems to solve in place of 
one. The geographers attempted to account for two 
Jesos where the Jesuits and Vries claimed but one, and 
by so doing they became badly confused. 

has a Jeco Island, the southern point of which he calls Matsmay. North of 
Jeco is State Island, Company Land, a vacant space, a few scattered rocks or 
islets south of Kamchatka, on the end of which is the word ''Kurilski." 

2»» Lettre de M. D'Anville au R. P. Castel, 1737, vol. ii. 

^*^On the map which he made to go with Charlevoix's Japan, edition 
1754, he has Matsmay (Jeso) Island and above it a larger island named Terre 
de Jeso, on the western portion of which is written: "TouU cette partU est 
inctmnue" From there on northward one may note State Island, Company 
Land, and other islands, all the way to Kamchatka. 


Guillaume Delisle sums up very excellently the geo- 
graphical situation in the North Pacific in 1720.*** He 
says that nothing was definitely known of the regions 
north of Mendocino Cape or at most Cape Blanco. As 
to the Asiatic side one could not speak with certainty 
of any point north of the southern part of Tartary and 
Nagasaki. Knowledge of northern Asia stopped with 
Nova Zemlya, and it was even a question whether that 
body of land were an island or a part of the mainland. 
If one were then to draw a line from Nova Zemlya to, 
say, Shanghai he would divide known from unknown 
Asia just as Cape Mendocino separates known from un- 
known America. 

All these vexing questions were finally and conclu- 
sively settled, not by the cartographers, but by the navi- 
gators. The two Kamchatka expeditions sent out by 
Russia located scientifically the lands of these regions 

^^ Memoir de f Academie, 172a The three Delitle brothers were quite 
prominent in Russian geographical affairs during the first half of the eight* 
eenth century. In order not to confuse them, as is often done, a brief sketch 
of each follows here. Guillaume (1675-1726), the oldest and best known, was 
regarded as one of the ablest geographers of his day. After 1718 he held in 
France the title of premier geograph du roL Peter had an interview with him 
when that mcmarch visited Paris, and it is supposed that Delisle was in some 
way responsible for the sending out of the Bering expedition. 

Joseph Nicholas Delisle (1688-1768) was a well known astronomer. At 
the invitation of Peter and Catherine he came to St. Petersburg in 1725. He 
remained in Russia busily engaged in astronomical and geographical prob- 
lems until 1747. It was he who drew up the chart for Bering's second voy- 
age. Delisle's memoir of 1750 on the Russian discoveries made him many 
enemies at St. Petersburg. 

Louis Delisle dc la Croyere (half brother to the other two men) became 
the pride of the family only after his death. A part of his life he spent on the 
frontier of Canada, leading an irregular life and writing to his father for 
money with which to pay his debts [Delisle Mss,, no. xvi, 121]. Nicholas 
found Louis a position at the Russian capital, and from there he went with 
the Bering party as one of the scientists. He was on Chirikofs boat on the 
voyage to America and died on his return in 1741. 


and gave them their proper shape and size. Alaska 
takes the place of Terra de Jeso on the maps ; Company 
Land, State Island, and Gama Land are three of the 
Kuril Islands, but on some charts they still retain their 
old names. 


Luzhin and Yevreinof carried out neither the secret 
nor the public instructions of the czar. But the matter 
did not end here; for soon after their return Peter set 
on foot another expedition to determine whether Asia 
and America are united.*^ He himself drew up the 

^**The question has often been raised why did Peter send out this costly 
expedition? who influenced him? was it Guillaume Delisle? was it the French, 
Dutch, or Russian Academy ? There is an eagerness to lay the blame or praise 
on some one individual or organization. Peter was not easily influenced; he 
had ideas of his own but he never turned away good council and if it fitted 
in with his views he put it into action. The best answer to all the above 
queries may be found in Peter's own words as they have been handed down to 
us by Nartof who was almost in constant attendance on the Emperor during his 
last days. Nartof s accounts have been edited by Matkof and published by the 
Academy of Sciences, under the title, Ramskan Nartova O Petre Velikom (St. 
Petersburg, 1891). That which follows is a free but accurate translation of 
Nartof s narrative (page 99) : 

"In the beginning of January 1725, Peter was realizing that he had not 
long to live, yet his unconquerable spirit was busily at work for the good of his 
country. With his own hand he drew up the instructions relative to the 
Kamchatka Expedition which should determine the relations between Asia and 
America. He also selected the officers for this work -Vitus Bering, Martin 
Spangenberg [this was the usual way of writing it at this period] and Alexei 

"I was then almost constantly with the Emperor and saw with my own eyes 
how eager His Majesty was to get the expedition under way, as it were, con- 
scious that his end was near. When all had been arranged he seemed pleased 
and content Calling the general-admiral [Count Apraxin] to him he said, 
'Bad health has obliged me to remain at home. Recently I have beeen think- 
ing over a matter which has been on my mind for many 3rears but other 
affairs have prevented me from carrying it out I have reference to the finding 
a passage to China and India through the Arctic Sea. On the map before me 
there is indicated such a passage bearing the name of Anian. There must 
be some reason for that In my last travels I discussed the subject with learned 
men and they were of the opinion that such a passage could be found. Now 
that the country is in no danger from enemies we should strive to win for her 
glory along the lines of the Arts and Sciences. In seeking such a passage 


instructions, on December 23, 1724, but did not sign 
them until January 26, 1725."' For brevity and com- 
prehensiveness the document may serve as a model : 

I. To build in Kamchatka or in some other place one or tu^o 
decked boats. 

II. To sail on these boats along the shore which runs to the 
north and which (since its limits arc unknown) seems to be a 
part of the American coast. 

III. To determine where it joins with America. To sail to 
some setdement under European jurisdiction, and if a European 
6hip should be met with learn from her the name of the coast 
and take it down in writing, make a landing, obtain detailed in- 
formation, draw a chart and bring it here.'** 

About a month after signing these instructions the 
great czar died ; but his plans were carried on by the 
empress. Before his death he chose Bering"* to carry 
out the projected work. Vitus Bering was born in 
Denmark in 1681. Since 1704 he had been connected 
with the Russian navy, and on various occasions distin- 
guished himself by his bravery and excellent seaman- 
ship. On account of these qualities, also because of his 
experience in the waters of the East and West Indies, 
he was recommended by Vice-admiral Sivers and Con- 
treadmiral Sinyavin.*^ For lieutenants Bering had 
given him Martin Spanberg, a Dane, and Alexei Chir- 

who knows but perhaps we may be more successful than the Dutch and English 
who have made many such attempts along the American coast. I have writ- 
ten out these instructions and on account of my health, I entrust the execution 
of them, point by point, to you, Fedor Matveevich.' " 

2*7 Zapuki Hydro graficheskavo Departameitta, vol. vii, 537. 

*•• Zapiski fToeunO'Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 67-70. 

2^ In the Lettre d'un Officier, etc, 13, it is said that the naval officers were 
notified of the expedition and volunteers were called for. Among those who 
offered themselves was Bering. 

^^^ Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departatnenta^ vol. ix, 642-644. See also 
Dela Chranjas-Chijasa V. Admiralteistvo-Kollegi, 1724^ doc. 39, p. 139-130. 
This document deals with the selection of officers and has comments on it in 
Peter's handwriting. 


ikof, a Russian. A number of minor officers were taken 
from the capital, while many others were selected on 
the way.*^^ 

The vanguard, consisting of twenty-five men, left St. 
Petersburg, January 24, 1725, but Bering, Spanberg, 
and several others did not get away before February 5. 
Nine days later the two divisions united and proceeded 
together as far as Tobolsk where they arrived March 
16.*^* On May 15, they left this place and sailed down 
the Irtysh River. From the confluence of the Irtysh 
and the Ob, they followed the banks of the latter to 
Narim and from there they went up the Ketya to Ma- 
kofska Fort and landed July 19.*^* From this point 
the material was portaged across seventy versts *^* to the 
Yenisei. Boats were in readiness for them and they all 
went on board and moved slowly and with difficulty up 
the Yenisei, Tunguska, and Ilima Rivers. Ilimsk was 
reached September 29, and the boats tied up there for 
the winter. Bering would have liked to advance still 
farther that season, but he could not do so because there 
was no possibility of his reaching Jakutsk before the 
cold set in, neither was there a suitable place along the 
road where comfortable quarters could be obtained.'^* 
On the Uskuyt there were, however, enough accommo- 
dations for a small party, and these were assigned to 

s^i Two pilots, George Morison and Richard Ensel, one midshipman, Peter 
Chaplin, one geodist, Gregory Polutof, one surgeon, William Bustofski, one 
clerk, Peter Turchinof, one quartermaster, Ivan Borisof, one shipmaster, Ivan 
Koelof, thirteen sailors, four carpenters, three mechanics, and three appren- 
tices were taken from St Petersburg. The priest, Ilarion Trusof, the com- 
missary, Ivan Durasof, the geodist, Feodor Luzhin, the navigator, Kondrati 
Moshkof, Ivan Shestakof, twenty-four soldiers, and several mechanics were 
commissioned on the way. 

^^^ Zapiski IVoenno-Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 67-70. 

^^ A verst contains about three thousand, five hundred feet. 
SOB Zapiski fToeuno-Topograficheskavo Depo, part z, 67-70. 

'^ «,,^,* 808 


Spanberg and thirty men.**^ In the course of the win- 
ter they built fourteen lodkas and eighteen good sized 
barges. Bering, during that time learned all he could 
about the country he was to pass through from men who 
had been there. Before the winter was quite over the 
commander led his men to assist Spanberg's on the Us- 
kuyt, and the two gangs joined in the preparations for 
the descent of the Lena. On May 5, they got away and, 
after enduring many hardships, arrived at Jatusk in de- 
tachments between June i and 16. This was an im- 
portant station because it was to supply the greater part 
of the necessary material and the horses for transporta- 
tion to Okhotsk."^^ 

Although the distance between Jakutsk and Okhotsk 
is comparatively short (one thousand versts), it was the 
hardest and most dreaded part of the march. Bering 
found it necessary to divide his force into three parties: 
the leadership of one he gave to Chirikof of the second 
to Spanberg, and the third he took. The division un- 
der him he split into three sections. The one he com- 
manded contained a large number of men and about 
two hundred horses, each loaded with five puds (one 
hundred eighty pounds) of flour, and arrived at Ok- 
hotsk October i, having been forty- five days on the 
way.*^' Not so fortunate were the two other sections, 
and they endured many hardships before they joined 
Bering. About the middle of August (earlier than 
usual) the cold set in, causing a great deal of suffering 
so that many horses perished on the way, and those that 
reached their destination died from starvation, because 
it was too late to provide food for them. At Okhotsk 

^^ Zapiski fVoennO'Tofograficheskiwo Depo, part x, 67-7a 
*®7 Ignatius Kozirefski was here at this time and from him Bering learned 
much about the navigation of the Okhotsk Sea and the waters of Kamchatka. 
•<*• Zapiski fToennO'Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 71-72. 


Bering found a few huts about three miles from the 
mouth of the river. He at once put his men to work 
building warehouses and living quarters for the winter. 
But this was no easy task ; for, the horses being dead, 
the material had to be carried on the backs of the men 
long distances, even ten versts. In addition to this 
work fish had to be caught and salt manufactured for 
preserving the meat from the cattle which came in but 
could not be kept until spring because of lack of food 
for them. This hard work made the men restless and 

The company under Spanberg was the greatest suf- 
ferer. On July 7 it left Jakutsk in thirteen boats (two 
others followed a little later), on which were two hun- 
dred four men and the more important and heavy ma- 
terials and provisions. In sending them by this land 
and water route and not overland, the way he went, 
Bering believed it possible to go down the Lena, up the 
Aldan and Maja to Udoma Cross, and from there over 
to the Urak and down to Okhotsk. If the season had 
not been an unusual one and Spanberg had not been 
late in starting, this plan might have succeeded. But 
when Spanberg came to the mouth of the Gorbea Riv- 
er, about four hundred and fifty versts from his objec- 
tive point, it became so cold that the boats froze fast.*®* 
The leader decided to transport the more needed ma- 
terials overland, and for this purpose he made during 
the first part of November one hundred hand sleds, to 
which he and his men harnessed themselves. Owing 
to the cold and hunger the progress was slow: one party 
drawing forty sleds struggled on to the Povorotnoi Riv- 
er and gave up; another, half as large, plodded on 
through the snow to the Talkova River and stopped; 

*^9 Zapuki fToenno-Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 71-72. 


and the third, led by Spanberg, pushed on and made 
Udoma Cross by the middle of December, and in the 
first days of January, 1727"* reached Okhotsk with the 
assistance of Bering, who sent out his men and natives 
with sleds to help them.'" Spanberg and his men suf- 
fered severely. Everything that came in their way was 
used as food: they chewed leather as long as their boot- 
tops held out, and considered themselves extremely for- 
tunate to find the carcasses of Bering's horses that had 
dropped dead along the trail."* A few of the men 
deserted and went back to Jakutsk. Two of them died 
as a result of their hardships, on February 2 and Luzhin 
on March 11. 

Ship carpenters had preceded Bering to Okhotsk, 
and these men had made such excellent progress in the 
construction of a boat that with the help of Bering it 
was possible to complete her during the winter and 
spring. On June 8, 1727, she was launched and named 
the Fortune. Twenty-two days later Spanberg sailed 
in her to Bolshaya River, Kamchatka, with orders to 
discharge the cargo and to send the ship builders he 
had on board across to Kamchatka River to begin the 

^^^ Zapiski fToenno^Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 71-73. 

"^^ When Bering ordered his men to go to the relief of Spanberg's party 
they refused, at first, saying that they were already overworked, and that 
they had as yet received no pay. Bering replied that the authorities at Jakutsk 
and not he were to blame for their being unpaid. The men had to give in. 
Ninety of them, under the command of Spanberg, left Okhotsk with seventy- 
six dog teams on February 14. They suffered so much on the way that a 
number of them died from the effects of it, others deserted and disappeared, 
and still others went to Jakutsk to bring charges against Bering. The more 
faithful persevered and returned with loads in April, but this was such a 
small part of what was to be brought that it was necessary to send another 
detachment of men that same month. Even then a great part of the stores had 
to be left behind until later, when horses could be procured. Some of the 
material, however, was sent back to Jakutsk because it could not be trans- 
ported to Okhotsk in time to be of service to Bering. 

812 Zapiski fToenno-Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 71-72. 


construction of a new boat."* On July 3 Chirikof came 
in, bringing two thousand, three hundred puds of 
flour "* on pack horses and at least fifty steers.*" 

There was at this time in port the Lodiya, a boat con- 
structed in 1720 for the use of the tribute gatherers.*" 
This vessel was placed at the service of Bering, who 
overhauled, repaired, and launched her on August 4.*" 
Seventeen days later the two ships, the Fortune having 
returned in the meantime, set sail for Kamchatka,*" 
Bering and Spanberg being on board the Fortune and 
Chirikof on the Lodiya. Fair winds followed them 
nearly all the way so that they were able to enter the 
mouth of the Bolshaya River September i.*" 

From the anchorage in Bolshaya River to the bank 
was a stretch of three miles of shallow water, making 
it necessary to discharge the cargo into small boats,*'^ 
a long and tedious task which took up the whole of Sep- 
tember. From here to Lower Kamchatka the distance 
was nearly nine hundred versts by way of the Bistraya 
River to its head, and from there by portage to the 
Kamchatka River and down that stream to the fort. 

'^' Zapiski fToemto-Topogra fichus kavo Depo, part x, 72-73. 

^^^ Delisle Manuscripts, no. xzv, 5. Chirikof wintered at Jakutsk and 
started in the spring. Nothing is said of his march and this leads one to be- 
lieve that he suffered little. 

«!• Ouhestvenniya Zapiski^ vol. Ixxv, 15. 

'^^ While the men were loading her there suddenly appeared large flocks 
of dudes. All hands were sent to hunt and in a few days as many as five 
thousand birds were killed. 

^^^ Zapiski fVoenno-Topografickeskavo Depo, part x, 72-73. 

s^* The question arises why did not Bering go directly to his headquarters 
in eastern Kamchatka instead of anchoring on the western side of the penin- 
sula and transporting his materials overland? Bering justified his action to 
Count Apraxin by saying that he chose the harder course for fear an accident 
might happen if he came all the way by water {Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo 

**® Zapiski fVoenno-Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 72-73. 


Several days after landing Spanberg and a force of men 
in thirty small boats attempted to follow up the course 
just indicated. When they had gone a short distance 
it became evident that they could never transport their 
materials that way, the stream was too swift and too 
dangerous for the boats which were being caught in the 
current and capsized. It was therefore decided to land 
the cargo and transport as much of it as possible to 
Lower Kamchatka on sledges during the winter, and 
to float the remainder down the Kamchatka River in 
the spring."^ 

Those who did not go with Spanberg spent their time 
at Bolsheretzk Ostrog in hunting, fishing, drilling, and 
in making ready for crossing the mountains. On Jan- 
uary 4, 1728, a party with seventy-eight loaded sledges 
left the fort and ten days later Bering followed with 
another party. By slow marches the various sections 
succeeded in straggling into lower Kamchatka between 
March 11 and May 20. 

With the coming of Bering work on the new boat, 
the keel of which was laid April 4*" and measured 
sixty by twenty by seven and a half feet, was pushed 
with vigor. On June 8, she was launched and chris- 
tened St. Gabriel ; but another month passed before she 
was ready for sea.*" 

On July 13, the Gabriel pulled up the anchor and 
headed out of the harbor. She had on board forty- 
four men, including officers and crew;"* and she was 

'^^ In Kamchatka, as in other parts of Siberia, the natives were made to 
do a great deal of the hard work. They were often taken from their occupa- 
tion when they could least afford the time. 

•*^ Zapiski fVoennO'Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 72-73. 

*^ One of the delays was caused by the lack of tar which had to be manu- 
factured on the spot 

»« Captain Bering, Lieutenants Spanberg and Chirikof, one midshipman, 
one surgeon, one quartermaster, one navigator, eight sailors, one desyatnik, 


provisioned for a year with as good food as is carried 
by any modern deep water sailing ship.*" On the first 
day the boat came as far as the mouth of the river, and 
on the second she stood out to sea in a southerly direc- 
tion in order to clear the cape, after which the course 
was changed to northerly. During July 15, the weath- 
er was clear but calm, and by midnight eighteen miles 
had been sailed. A fresh southwest breeze blew on 
the sixteenth, pushing the boat along at the rate of six 
and a half knots an hour. Towards evening it calmed 
down, however. Foggy, drizzly weather generally pre- 
vailed on the seventeenth, now and then clearing and 
allowing a view of the snow-covered mountains in the 
west. It was almost dead calm during the next twen- 
ty-four hours, so that only eight miles were sailed, to 
fifty-seven degrees, thirty-nine minutes. To keep clear 
of Urinski Cape the course was shifted to south-south- 
east and east-southeast. On account of the calm of the 
succeeding day the boat advanced only about twenty 
miles ; but on the twentieth and twenty-first, keeping a 
northeast by north course, one hundred ninety-two miles 
were sailed. One hundred miles more were added on 
the twenty-second, bringing the Gabriel to sixty de- 
grees, sixteen minutes. Fair progress was made on 
the twenty-third. Land was in sight nearly all this 
time, the course being almost parallel to the shore. It 
was warm and pleasant on the twenty-fourth, and the 
ship drifted so near the land that it was necessary to 

one apprentice, one drummer, one sail maker, nine soldiers, one rope maker, 
five carpenters, two Cossacks, two interpreters, and six servants [Zapiski 
fVoennO'Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 74]. 

^'^ Among the articles of food there were salted beef and venison, fish and 
fish oil, liquor distilled from sweet grass. On the way fresh meat was bought 
from the Chukchi. One can judge the quality and quantity of food on board 
by the fact that there is no case of sickness reported ^Zapiski Woenno-Topo- 
grafickeskavo Depo, part x, 74]. 


keep her off. Very little headway is recorded for the 
next two days. Cape St. Thaddeus was sighted on the 
twenty-seventh, and to double it the course was changed 
to southeast by east. Rain and fog enveloped the boat 
nearly the whole of the twenty-eighth, forcing her to 
keep about fifteen miles from shore. On the thirtieth, 
when within a mile or so from shore, Bering ordered 
to let go the anchor and sent Chaplin ashore to find 
fresh water and anchorage. He returned without hav- 
ing found either. An advance of eighty-five miles in 
a northeast direction is recorded for the thirty-first 

August came in with fog, rain, and wind. Under 
these conditions Bering steered for the open sea, but 
when on the following morning he found himself six- 
teen miles from shore he headed back for land, and in 
tacking up and down he sighted a bay which he named 
Holy Cross. Two days were spent in this place look- 
ing in vain for fresh water and good anchorage. Stand- 
ing out to sea on August 4, the Gabriel sailed a course 
parallel to the coast, which runs here in an east-south- 
east direction. The same course was kept on the fifth 
and sixth. At the close of the last mentioned day the 
lookout sighted another bay, which was christened 
Transfiguration. Early the following morning Chap- 
lin went ashore. He returned with twenty-two bar- 
rels of mountain stream water and reported that he had 
come across a hut showing signs of recent habitation 
but no inmates were to be seen. 

When the water had been taken on board the Gabriel 
went out to sea. About seven o'clock in the morning 
of August 8 a small boat holding eight men was seen 
approaching, and when near enough the Koriaks en- 
gaged the newcomers in conversation. They said that 
they were Chukchi, and in turn inquired whence and 


why the white men came. Bering's invitation to come 
on board was debated for a time, finally one man got 
into the water and swam to the boat with the aid of 
inflated bladders. This man told the Koriak inter- 
preters that the Chukchi inhabited the neighboring 
shores, and that they long since heard of the Russians.'^ 
In answer to the question as to the position of the Ana- 
duir he pointed to the west. He said also that 

Their land forms two bays and turns to the mouth of the river 
Koluima, that the sea was all about them and large sand banks, 
and that the sea into which the Koluima falls always has ice in 
it. That they had heard of the Russians through their rela- 
tives, who go sometimes to Koluima on their deer sleds but 
never by water. That there was an island in the sea on which 
live some of our people, but knew of no other islands or lands.**^ 

Bering gave this Chukchi presents and with these he 
floated back to his own boat. From the Gabriel it 
appeared as if he were attempting to persuade his com- 
rades to go on board, but this they would not do. 

Continuing on their northerly course, the explorers 
rounded Chukotski Cape. The observation on the 
ninth indicated sixty-four degrees, ten minutes. Ow- 
ing to light winds little progress was made during the 
two days succeeding. On the afternoon of the eleventh 
as island loomed up, to which Bering gave the name St. 
Lawrence. Chaplin was ordered ashore to see if he 
could find people, but he was unsuccessful, although 
he did see huts. Head winds and drizzly weather pre- 
vented the boat from sailing more than two-thirds of a 
degree during the whole day of the twelfth. The wind 
shifted to fair on the thirteenth, taking the Gabriel 
ninety-four miles north, to about sixty-five degrees, 
thirty minutes. In the course of the afternoon Bering 

*>* Zapuki fVoennO'Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 74. 

^^'' Zapuki Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta^ vol. vii, 549*55a 


summoned his officers to consult as to what should be 
done. He said to them : 

Since we have come to latitude sixty-five degrees, thirty minutes 
north, and, according to my opinion and the statements of the 
Chukchi, we have reached and passed the most easterly point of 
their land, the question is now, shall we go farther north? If 
so, how far? When should we begin to look for harbors? 
Where does it seem best - looking at it from the point of view 
of best serving our country - to go for the winter in order to 
protect men and boat? "• 

The officers were divided in opinion. Spanberg, the 
senior officer, said : 

Having come as far north as we have, and since on the Chukchi 
coast there are no harbors, nor wood ... so that we could 
preserve ourselves in such winter weather as we have in this 
region; and since these natives are not peaceful ... I 
suggest that after we have gone on the course we are on until 
the sixteenth of this month, and if by that time we are not able 
to reach sixty-six degrees, we should then in God's name turn 
about and betimes seek shelter and harbor on the Kamchatka 
River whence we came, in order to save men and boat. 

Chirikof made this argument: 

As we have no positive information as to the degree north lati- 
tude Europeans have ever reached in the Arctic Ocean on the 
Asiatic side we can not know with certainty whether America 
is really separated from Asia unless we touch at the mouth of 
the Koluima, or at least the ice, because it is well known that 
there is always drift ice in the Arctic Ocean. Therefore it 
seems to me that according to your instructions we ought to sail 
without questioning -unless we are hindered by the ice, or the 
coast turns to the west - to the mouth of the Koluima, as your 
instructions demand [a place under European jurisdiction]. 
But should the land continue still farther to the north, it would 
be necessary on the twenty-fifth of this month to look for winter 
quarters in this neighborhood, and above all opposite Chukotski 
Cape, where, according to the accounts of the Chukchi through 

^^Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta, vol. vii, 551-552. 


Peter Tartarinof, there is a forest And if up to that time 
winds are contrary, then look there by all means for a place to 

Chirikof's advice was rejected and Spanberg's ac- 
cepted. Until the sixteenth the same northerly course 
was held. About three o'clock of that afternoon, when 
in latitude sixty-seven, eighteen minutes, longitude one 
hundred ninety-three degrees, seven minutes east from 
Greenwich, the order was given to put about and set 
course for Kamchatka. With the wind at the ship's 
back, good progress was made the rest of that day. On 
the next morning the island of St. Diomede was discov- 
ered and named. A heavy atmosphere hid the Amer- 
ican shore, otherwise the Russians would probably have 
noticed it. With the breeze aft the Gabriel succeeded 
in coming in sight of St. Lawrence Island on the eigh- 
teenth. Chukotski Cape was passed on the nineteenth 
but owing to the thick weather was not seen. From 
about midnight of the twentieth until eight in the morn- 
ing the Gabriel lay to on account of the calm and heavy 
fog. During the twenty-first four native boats with 
about forty Chukchi drew near. They were more cour- 
ageous than their brothers who visited the boat before, 
and came on board and entered into conversation with 
the interpreters, whom they told that they had long 
since heard of the Russians. One of them said that he 
had been at the Anaduir fort. Among other things the 
Chukchi told their questioners that all along the coast 
lived Chukchi, that their friends went to the Koluima 
"on deer and never by sea." Before departing they 
traded off deer meat, fish, fresh water, red and blue fox 
skins, and four walrus tusks for needles and like ob- 

^^^Zapiski Hydro graficheskavo Defarfamenta^ vol. vii, 551-552* 
**^ Zapiski IVoennO'Topografckiskavo Depop part x, 74. 


Transfiguration Bay came in sight on the twenty-first 
and St. Thaddeus Mountain one day later. From this 
day to the twenty-fifth there was a calm, then followed 
a fair breeze which blew to the end of the month. So 
far the voyage had been uneventful, without danger or 
excitement, but on the last day of August the St. Gabriel 
came very near being lost. The boat was close to the 
shore when the sails gave away, probably due to an un- 
expected wind-puff from the mountains. The rigging 
got tangled up, and the vessel became so unmanageable 
that it was necessary to drop the anchor to keep her off 
the rocks. It took nearly a whole day to repair the 
damages. On September i a new start was made, and 
without any more accidents the mouth of the Kamchat- 
ka River was reached the next day; but it was not be- 
fore the seventh that the anchor was dropped higher 
up the stream and all hands went ashore. 

During the long winter Bering talked with the old 
residents of Kamchatka, who told him that they be- 
lieved in the existence of a body of land close to Kam- 
chatka. To prove their statement they said that in 171 5 
there was a man in Kamchatka who claimed that his 
home was east of the peninsula, and that some years 
previous he and some others of his people had been 
taken prisoners on the island of Karaginski where they 
were hunting. He said also that where he came from 
there were forests and rivers that flowed into the Kam- 
chatka Sea; and that they used skin boats similar to 
those in Kamchatka. This, and other evidence col- 
lected there, added to his own observations, which he 
later embodied in a report, determined Bering to in- 
vestigate the matter more fully. 

Early in the spring, 1729, the boats were put in condi- 
tion for the return to Okhotsk and the search for the land 


mentioned above."^ On June 6, the Gabriel got under 
sail and nntoved along steadily with a light breeze on 
this and the next day, reaching north latitude fifty-five 
degrees, thirty-seven minutes and distant from Kam- 
chatka two degrees, twenty-one minutes. The course 
steered, east by south, was the one on which Bering ex- 
pected to find land. A north-northwest wind blew on 
the eighth, driving the boat into latitude fifty-five de- 
grees, thirty- two minutes, and from the port of sailing 
four degrees, seven minutes. There was a heavy breeze 
on the ninth: the first part of the day the boat sailed 
east-southeast, but later in the day Bering giving up 
hope of finding land, put about and went on a south- 
southwest course."* If he had gone a little farther he 
would have come to the island where he later found his 
grave and which now bears his name. 

On account of variable winds the Gabriel did not 
enter Bolshaya River until July 3. Taking on the re- 
mainder of his crew, Bering sailed away for Okhotsk 
July 14, and ten days later reached that port. From 
here he went to St. Petersburg, following the usual 
route, partly by land and partly by water, and after 
some hardships reached that city on March i, 1730.'" 

In the time of Bering and since then the question has 
been whether this expedition accomplished what it set 
out to do ; whether it clearly demonstrated that America 
and Asia were separated by water? Notwithstanding 
Bering's affirmations, many of the leading men at the 
capital said that it did not'^^ and did not hesitate to tell 

**^ Zapiski fVoinno-Topograficheshavo Depo, part x, 75. 

**^ J. N. Delisle in his Memoir of 1750 [p. 5] states that Bering told him 
that he saws signs of land between the parallels of fifty and sixty; and in 
this locality Delisle placed a body of land on his map (1750). 

838 Zapiski fVoenno-Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 75. 

'B^ Gmelin, Voyage en Sibirie: "L'Amiraut6 cnit avoir des raisons im- 
portantes pour regarder la decision conune en quelque facon douteuse.'' 


Bering so in very positive language just before he went 
on his second expedition. That Bering himself was con- 
vinced that he had done his duty and had obeyed his 
orders there is no doubt. In his report to the ennipress 
he says: 

On the fifteenth •■' of August we came to latitude fifty-seven 
degrees, eighteen minutes, and I concluded that according to all 
indications the instruction of the emperor of glorious and im- 
mortal memory had been carried out. I based my conclusion 
on the fact that there was no more land to the north, nor did 
any land join the Chukchi or East Capes, and so I turned back. 
Had I gone farther and met with head winds it would have 
been impossible to return that summer; and to winter in these 
regions was out of the question, because there are no forests, and 
the people are not under Russian jurisdiction but do as they 

Even before going to sea Bering believed that the 
two continents were not united. When at Yeniseisk 
he saw the hardships and expense of transporting all 
his materials across the continent, he proposed to solve 
the problem before him by going to Kamchatka by way 
of the Koluima: 

If it were decided to go from the mouth of the Koluima to 
the Anaduir, where it is quite possible to go, as the new maps 
of Asia indicate and it is said that formerly such has been done, 
then this expedition might be accomplished with less expense.**^ 

Bering did not appreciate sufficiently the fact that his 
was a scientific expedition, and that his arguments need- 
ed scientific demonstration. It was hardly worth while 
to send him to Kamchatka to bring back the opinions of 
the Chukchi and hunters. Since he accepted their 

^^^ According to the log book, which reckoned time from noon, it was 
August z6, but in the ordinary way of computing time it was the afternoon 
of August 15. 

^^Zapiski Woeimo-Topograficheskavo Depo, part x, 74. 

*>7 Zapiski Hydro graficheskavo Departamenta, vol. vii, 548. 


views on one point why did he reject them on another 
and fail to look for land opposite Chukotski Cape? 
Why this great hurry to get away? Navigation in these 
waters was open for at least six weeks more. Captain 
Cook sailed on until he was blocked by ice. Bering 
could have done as much. If he was willing to go 
from the Koluima to the Anaduir, why was he not 
equally willing to go from the Anaduir to the Koluima 
and thus obtain proof which would have settled the 
question of the relation of Asia and America? Though 
it seems unkind to say so, yet it is true that the leader of 
this expedition failed at the critical moment, not from 
lack of courage or fear of hardships, but merely from 
not realizing what his position demanded. Bering be- 
longed to that class of sea captains, found in all ports, 
who, given a ship and a chart, will go anywhere with- 
out flinching, but who, at the same time, is neither by 
nature nor education fitted to head scientific expedi- 
tions, and least of all in the Arctic regions. 

On the other hand it is not altogether just to find 
fault with Bering for not seeing the American coast. 
The whole time that he sailed in the strait the weather 
was thick. Not until Cook's voyage did the world 
learn how near the two continents actually were. A 
map of the St. Petersburg Academy, dated 1773,'" still 
puts twenty degrees as the narrowest place in Bering 
Strait. Nor, as was said before, is it fair to blame him 
for not seeing Bering Island. All criticism would have 
been turned into praise had he remained in these waters 
a little longer time, doing his very best and doing it in a 
scientific manner. 

<38Xhi8 map is in the archives of the Department of Foreign Affairs at 



Of Siberia's many warlike peoples the Chukchi were 
easily the first, and they resisted for a longer time than 
any of the others the attempt of the Russians to subdue 
them. Not only did they drive the Russians from their 
country, but they even followed them to their forts and 
attacked them and their native allies. They probably 
would have been left undisturbed for a longer time than 
they actually were had it not been for an old report, 
revived in the beginning of the eighteenth century, of 
the existence of a large inhabited island east of the 
Lena. No one was quite certain as to the position of 
this new land, for although the Siberian Cossacks of the 
eighteenth century knew well how far it was from the 
head-waters of one river to that of another, they were 
ignorant of the relative distance between the mouths of 
the streams. This is not at all surprising when we con- 
sider that these men were sailors only by force of neces- 
sity, that they had no acquaintance with marine instru- 
ments, and that at the end of the seventeenth century 
navigation was not practiced extensively, even the mak- 
ing of kotshi having been forgotten.'" It is no wonder 
then that whenever a hunter heard of or saw an island, 
be it near the Lena, Kamchatka, Penjinsk, Ouda, or 
wherever it might be, it was at once identified with the 
old rumored inhabited island east of the Lena. 

After 1708 serious efforts were made to determine 

*B* Pamyatmki Sibirskoi Istorii XVII Weka^ vol. i, doc iz8, 505. 


with some certainty the location of the island or islands. 
At the various posts old hunters were questioned, and 
most of their answers show, among other things, the 
confusion in the mind of the average Cossack regarding 
the geography of eastern Siberia. One of the interest- 
ing depositions was made by Peter Popof. He said 
that in January, 171 1, he, with others went to subdue 
the Chukchi living on the Anadirski Nos (a cape at the 
entrance to Bering Strait). While on this expedition 
he received from the Chukchi information regarding 
the lands about them. They told him that opposite 
Anadirski Cape, stretching out both into the Koluima 
and Anaduir Seas, there was an island inhabited by peo- 
ple having pieces of walrus tusks in their cheeks. From 
time immemorial war had existed between the Chukchi 
and these islanders, ten of whom were at this time held 
as prisoners, and these Popof saw. From the cape to 
the island one could go in a boat in the summer, or on 
deer in winter in one day. On the island, which the 
Chukchi call "Large Country,""** there are various 
kinds of animals and trees not found on the cape. The 
islanders have a language different from the Chukchi. 
This and one or two other depositions of a similar 
character show that the Chukchi were aware of the ex- 
istence of Bering Strait, the island or islands in it, and 
the coast which is now known to be America. But this 
must not lead to the conclusion that the Russians knew 
all that. Popof's statements received no more and no 
less credence than some others wholly untrustworthy. 
The Siberians had their minds made up that an island 
existed east of the Lena and north of the mainland, and 
believing that the Chukchi Peninsula was much nar- 
rower than it really it, they interpreted Popof's "op- 

3*0 Pamyatniki Sihirshoi Istorii XVII ffeka, vol. i, doc. io8. 


posite Anadirski Cape'' to mean not east, but north of 
that cape, and the Large Country is so located on Shes- 
takof s map. There is no evidence for the belief or the 
assumption that before Bering's time the Russians in 
Siberia associated these islands with America, or that 
they gave even a thought to that country. It was pure- 
ly an accident that America was discovered by them, 
and they did not know until much later what they had 
really accomplished. 

In another chapter the history of Kamchatka has been 
traced and it was shown how all the energies of the 
Siberian government were for a time brought into play 
in order to retain that country. After the discovery of 
the Okhotsk- Kamchatka water route there followed a 
period of comparative peace and recuperation. Neith- 
er the government nor the restless and adventurous Si- 
berians were quite at ease, however, so long as unsub- 
dued natives were about them. Afanase Shestakof, a 
daring golova of the Cossacks, conceived the idea of 
conquering northeastern Siberia. He laid his plans in 
writing before the Russian Senate ; but not satisfied with 
this he appeared in person before that body, bringing 
with him a map which now bears his name, although 
he probably had little to do in drawing it up, since he 
could neither read nor write. He was, however, a per- 
suasive speaker, and as his projects coincided with the 
wishes of the government his petition was granted. On 
March 23, 1727, a Senate order was issued authorizing 
Shestakof to proceed to Siberia for the purpose of put- 
ting down the hostile natives and looking after the new 
lands.*" For this work fifteen hundred men and the 
necessary war material and other supplies were granted. 
From St. Petersburg were sent along the pilot Hens, 

^^ Polnoe Sohranii Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii^ vol. vii, doc. 5049. 

Sketch illustrating Gwosdef's Voyagb 
[Delisle Manuscripts, xxv, i6, J] 


assistant pilot Fedorof, geodist Gwosdef, a mineralog- 
ist, ten sailors, several mechanics, also four men to make 
fire-works with which to frighten the natives during a 
battle. Shestakof was not to have complete control of 
the company. The governor of Siberia was ordered to 
select some fit man to be associated with him, and this 
honor fell on Dimitri Pavlutski, captain of dragoons. 

Soon after leaving Tobolsk the two leaders began 
quarreling and fighting, the other members of the ex- 
pedition taking part, generally against Shestakof. The 
company became demoralized, and remained for a 
whole month inactive at Ilimsk, and would probably 
have wasted there much more time had not the monk 
Ignatius Kozirefski taken upon himself the role of 
peacemaker and brought the two men to a more agree- 
able frame of mind.*" They continued their march to 
Jakutsk, where Shestakof busied himself for some time 
in all kinds of evil doing. Leaving Pavlutski behind 
him, who was to go to the Anaduir, Shestakof set out 
in the spring of 1729 for Okhotsk. On arriving he took 
over the Gabriel and the Fortune, the two boats left 
by Bering, and went about building two others, the 
larger of which he named the Eastern Gabriel and the 
smaller the Lion. The Gabriel he sent in charge of his 
nephew Ivan Shestakof to explore the coast south of 
Okhotsk to the mouth of the Ouda, in which locality 
search was made for new lands. From there the boat 
was to cruise along the Kuril Islands to Lower Kam- 
chatka and, if time permitted, to go in search of the 
Large Country. The Fortune, in command of his son 

>*^ Kozirefski became a member of the expedition. In August, 1728, he 
was sent down the Lena from Jakutsk to look for lands at the mouth of the 
river. Before reaching the destination of the boat, Evers, was wrecked 00 
the ice, and the party turned back. 


Vasili, was to go to Bolshaya River and chart the Kuril 

Shestakof took upon hinniself the conquest of the 
Koriaks and the Chukchi. He planned to go on board 
the Eastern Gabriel and to sail to the Penjinsk Bay and 
build there a fort, then proceed overland to the Oliu- 
tora River and build another fort, and fronni there 
march to the Anaduir, where arrangements would be 
made for the conquest of the Chukchi. The Lion had 
instructions to follow the Eastern Gabriel so as to ren- 
der help in case of need and to make her winter quar- 
ters on the Tigil River, from which point she was to sail 
in the spring around Kamchatka to the mouth of the 
Anaduir. Early in the fall of 1729 Shestakof with a 
company of ninety-three men set sail for Penjinsk Bay, 
but on account of the head winds he was forced to land 
off the Taui River and send back the boat. On Novem- 
ber 23, having by this time increased his force to a little 
over one hundred men, chiefly natives, he began his 
march along the coast to the home of the Koriaks. Those 
whom he met on the way, being generally few in num- 
ber, he either conquered or killed. When he had 
reached the River Paren (west shore of Penjinsk Bay), 
he learned that the Chukchi were in the neighborhood 
making war on the Koriaks. Shestakof followed them 
and on March 14, 1730, the two camps faced each other 
in the neighborhood of the Egache River (northern 
part of the bay) . At that time Shestakof had with him 
one hundred fifty men, but the number of the enemy is 
not known. The Russian leader lined up his men in a 
military formation. On his right he stationed the Tun- 
gus and the natives of the Taui region, on the left were 
the Koriaks and Taui people, and the center was in the 


hands of the Russians and Jakuts. The battle opened 
by the discharge of firearms by the Russians. It was 
immediately answered by a cloud of arrows from the 
Chukchi. Before the Russians could reload tthe Chuk- 
chi swept down on them in a mass, and after driving off 
the left wing and then crushing the right, concentrated 
their efforts on the center, which gave way. Shestakof 
was in the midst of the fight and was wounded by an 
arrow entering his throat. He tried to save himself by 
escaping on a reindeer sled which stood near by; but 
unfortunately for him the sled belonged to the Chukchi 
and the deer dragged him into the camp of the enemy 
where he was killed. Altogether thirty-one men lost 
their lives on the side of the Russians. After helping 
themselves to the firearms and other stores of the enemy 
the Chukchi withdrew, leaving the dead bodies on the 
field, and Shestakof's later found Christian burial at 
Anaduirsk. When the Russian forces reunited after 
the flight they were disorganized and disobedient to the 
second in command and quite useless for effective ser- 

Elsewhere Shestakof's plans miscarried equally. The 
Lion followed the Eastern Gabriel, but being unable 
to find her at the designated rendezvous, sailed in search 
of her until the cold weather forced the captain to seek 
a haven on the Yana River. In the course of the win- 
ter the Koriaks attacked and killed all but five of the 
crew, and plundered and burned the boat. The Ga- 
briel and the Fortune, although they carried out in great 
part their instructions, added very little to what was 
then already known of the coast. 

Pavlutski, who was left behind at Jakutsk by Shesta- 
kof, started for the Anaduir in August, 1729, and spent 


the winter at the Lower Koluima Ostrog. As early as 
April 25, 1 730/** the news of Shestakof's death reached 
him. He immediately sent a messenger to Jakutsk to 
hurry the men and provisions to the Anaduir. To Hens, 
Fedorof, and Gwosdef, who were at this time at Ok- 
hotsk, he sent word to take charge of the Gabriel and 
bring her around to the Anaduir. After considerable 
difficulty the two Gabriels sailed away for Kamchatka 
in September, 1730. The Eastern was wrecked before 
reaching Bolshaya River, but the Saint arrived at her 
destination and wintered there. During the summer 
following Hens took the boat to Lower Kamchatka, 
where the winter of 173 1 -1732 was spent. At this place 
he received orders from Pavlutski that as soon as navi- 
gation was opened he was to take the Gabriel to the 
mouth of the Anaduir and to the Anadirski Cape and 
from there go in search of the Large Country and take 
tribute from its inhabitants. When it came time for 
starting Hens was too ill to go and was therefore left 
behind. His assistant Fedorof was in such bad health 
that he had to be carried on board. The burden and 
responsibility of the expedition fell on the geodist 
Gwosdef, and to some extent on Moshkof, who had 
formerly served under Bering. 

The boat left Kamchatka July 23, and returned in the 
last days of September, 1732, and immediately the offi- 
cers sent in a report of their voyage. Fedorof died in 
February, 1733, and five months later Gwosdef for- 
warded the log book and a brief account of the sum- 
mer's work to Okhotsk. Strange to say neither Pav- 
lutski nor the officers at Okhotsk notified the Admiralty 
College of what these men had done, and it was not until 
1738 that this body heard of it, and then only indirectly 

"*' Morskoi Sbornik, February, 1869, p. 22. Paper by A. Sgibnef. 


through one of the sailors who had been sent from To- 
bolsk to St. Petersburg on a criminal charge.'** Steps 
were at once taken to secure more definite information, 
but seemingly without immediate results. In 1741 the 
authorities at Okhotsk requested Gwosdef and Skuri- 
chin, another member of the expedition, to draw up 
fuller reports, extracts from which were sent to Irkutsk. 
Those in power realizing the importance of the achieve- 
ment, or perhaps on account of pressure from the cap- 
ital, issued an imperial order in July, 1742, demanding 
a fuller report of the islands and Large Country men- 
tioned in the extracts. It was further requested that in 
case any new information came in it should be forward- 
ed at once to Irkutsk.'** In addition to these orders, 
Spanberg, who had succeeded Bering in command, 
asked Gwosdef to give him a report of the voyage. This 
was done in September, 1743, and a copy was sent to the 
Admiralty College. The account here given is based 
on this document, and other information found in the 
Delisle manuscripts. When one takes into considera- 
tion the fact that Gwosdef wrote his report ten years 
after the event had taken place and from memory, it is 
not all surprising that there is an indefiniteness about 
places, and that the accounts of the different members 
do not always agree. 

Michael Spiridovinich Gwosdef had had extensive 
preparation for his work, having studied at two schools 
from 1 71 6 to 1721. From the latter year until he went 
with Shestakof he was employed at Novogorod. The 
remainder of his life (he died after 1754) he passed in 
various parts of Siberia, particularly on the Okhotsk 
coast. Of the man's personality we know little that is 

*** Delisle Mss, See Appendix. 

*^ Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta, vol. ix, 1851. 


either good or bad. That he and Fedorof disagreed 
does not prove much either way. Fedorof, had he lived, 
would have resented the unfavorable remarks Gwosdef 
made about him and would probably have said some 
unkind words in return. There is no reason, however, 
for believing that Fedorof would have challenged the 
main points of the voyage as told by Gwosdef, and here 
presented in abbreviated form. 

In May, 1732, we received orders from Major Pavlutski, 
who was at the time at the Anaduir fort, to go on board the 
Gabriel with the pilot and underpilot and sail around Kam- 
chatka Cape to the mouth of the Anaduir and opposite Ana- 
dirski Cape to what is known as the Large Country, examine 
and count the islands there, and gather tribute from the inhab- 
itants.*^ On July 23, we left Kamchatka River, and four days 
later Kamchatka Cape was doubled. We came to Anadirski 
Cape August 3, and from there went to the islands to collect 
tribute. Moshkof told us of an island Bering had discovered 
and we sailed about in order to find it. By this manoeuvring 
we reached the southern part of Chukotski Cape, where, on 
August 5, we anchored three versts from shore. It was calm 
and I went on land to examine the coast and fetch drinking 
water. Close to the shore we observed a small fresh stream, 
into which we pulled. Hie country seemed uninhabited; but 
not far from where we stood was a herd of deer, numbering 
about one hundred fifty or more, guarded by two men, who ran 
away on seeing us. I killed two of the deer, filled two barrels 
with water, and went on board. The next day two Chukchi 
came toward the ship in two "baidars" but would not approach 
near enough so that we could enter into conversation with them. 
When they had looked at us for a time they pulled away. On 
the morrow I, with nine men, went to the spot from which I had 
seen the natives issue the day before, but all that we found there 

<^* In the Lettre ^un Oficier de la Marine Russiene (p. 40) the statement 
18 made that Pavlutski ordered Gwosdef to bring the provisions left by Ber- 
ing to the country of the Chukchi, whom Pavlutski was fighting. Gwosdef 
could not find Pavlutski and therefore started back and accidentally ran into 
the American coast 


were two huts made of earth and whalebone. As we started 
back we caught a glimpse of two men who ran away on seeing 
us. We got under sail on the eighth, steering for an island on 
the course suggested by Moshkof . On the following day Fe- 
dorof sent me a note saying that in his opinion we had not yet 
reached the place in question [Large Country] since we were 
still south of Chukotski Cape, and asked for my opinion. On 
the tenth, we sailed back to the spot where we had been a few 
days before and took on fresh water. Two days later we ran 
into a calm and anchored. On going ashore we saw huts and 
people, who, on noticing us, pulled away from the land in three 
"baidars." We managed to get into conversation with them 
and asked them for tribute, which they refused to give. Hav- 
ing a fair wind on the fifteenth we went on our way and on the 
seventeenth sighted an island, but on account of the head wind we 
could not approach it but had to keep close to Chukotski Cape. 
Here we saw many Chukchi with whom we tried to enter into 
conversation but without much success. When the wind shifted 
once more to fair we steered again for the northern end of die 
bland [one of the Diomedes]. Our attempt to land was re- 
sisted by a shower of arrows, to which we replied with muskets. 
After a great deal of difficulty the natives told us that they were 
Chukchi and that some of their people had fought with the 
other Chukchi against Pavlutski. In cruising about the island, 
which is about two and a half versts long and a verst wide, we 
came across other natives but all refused to pay tribute. We 
made a landing and examined their homes, and from the island 
we saw the Large Country. It was near one o'clock of the 
morning of August 20 when we left the first island, and six 
hours later we anchored off the second, which is smaller than the 
first and about a half of a mile distant. A ship's boat and a 
baidara were sent to the shore, but meeting with an unfriendly 
reception they returned. About three o'clock of the afternoon 
of August 21 we sailed for the Large Country and anchored 
about four versts from its shore. It was now Fedorof's watch, 
and he, without consulting any one, gave orders to haul up the 
anchor and approach the southern point of the shore. From 
there we could see huts, but in spite of our best efforts we did 
not come as close to them as we wished on account of the head 


wind and the shallow water. The breeze veering to north- 
northwest, we were obliged to stand out to sea on a southwest 
course and by doing so came to the fourth island on the twenty- 
second. A strong wind was blowing, and when we tried to near 
the shore the sails gave way. Hie sailors then came to me and 
asked that we return to Kamchatka because of the lateness of 
the season and the stormy weather. I referred them to the 
underpilot without whose consent I could not order such a move. 
In the meantime there came to us from the island a Chukchi in 
a leather boat which had room for but one man. He was 
dressed in a shirt of whale intestines which was fastened about 
the opening of the boat in such a manner that no water could 
enter even if a big wave should strike it. He told us that 
Chukchi lived in the Large Country, where there were forests, 
streams, and animals. We had no opportunity of going ashore, 
and from the distance we could not tell whether all that he told 
us of the Large Country was true or not. When he was gone 
the sailors spoke to me again about returning to Kamchatka, 
and I answered them as before. They then held a council and 
drew up a petition addressed to me and the underpilot, enumer- 
ating many reasons why we should go back. Taking these argu- 
ments into consideration we decided to return and entered the 
mouth of the Kamchatka River September 28. Outside of the 
islands enumerated we saw no others, and the reason for not in- 
dicating their exact position is that the log book Fedorof and I 
kept was sent to Okhotsk in 1733. Another reason is that Fe^ 
dorof when on watch often failed to make any observations in 
the journal. On returning to Kamchatka I asked his aid in 
drawing up a map, but he refused to join me, and it was im- 
possible for me to undertake it alone, for the reasons just enu- 

This is all that is known of Gwosdef s discovery, and 
it is quite evident that neither he nor those with him 
were in the least aware that they had seen the Ameri- 
can coast. To them Large Country was, as they ex- 
pected it to be, an island; for according to Gwosdef s 
words after anchoring off the first and second islands 


he sailed for the Large Country [third island] and 
from there to the "fourth island." 

Pavlutski, who had reached the Anaduir fort on 
September 3, 1730, busied himself in strengthening the 
defenses of that ostrog and making ready for his fight 
against the Chukchi, who had become unusually bold 
since their victory over Shestakof. By March 12 all 
was in readiness. Taking with him one hundred sixty 
Koriaks, sixty Yukagirs, and two hundred fifteen Rus- 
sians, he marched northwardly along the White River 
and on to the Arctic Sea, then eastwardly with the in- 
tention of going around the whole Chukchi country. 
At first he met with little resistance, but from about the 
middle of June the enemy appeared before him in large 
numbers. On June 17, he was opposed by seven hun- 
dred warriors, of whom four hundred fifty were killed 
and one hundred fifty were taken prisoners. Near Ber- 
ing Strait, on June 30, one thousand Chukchi faced 
him, and of this number three hundred were killed and 
ten captured. Four thousand deer were also taken. 
Two weeks later another company of five hundred 
blocked his way, and these were also defeated. Pav- 
lutski and those under him returned to the Anaduir on 
October 21, 1731, reporting that they had suffered little 
loss, while hundreds of the enemy were killed."^ 

In the spring of 1732 Pavlutski led his large force 
against the Koriaks who had destroyed the Lion. The 
enemy, being in small numbers and not expecting an 
attack, was easily put down. 

The expedition of Pavlutski against the Chukchi was 
a little better than useless : instead of subduing them it 

847XMking into ooasideration the fighting qualities of the Chukchi and 
their attitude towards the Russian* before and after this campaign, one is in- 
clined to question these comparative figures as given by Pavlutski. 


merely aroused their warring spirit. When he left in 
the fall of 1732 for Jakutsk his force became disorgan- 
ized and lost its effectiveness. This gave the Chukchi 
their opportunity, and they waged bitter war on the 
Russians and their allies. The situation was so des- 
perate that Pavlutski was obliged to come back in 1733, 
and until 1739 he kept the Chukchi in check. In that 
year he was called to Jakutsk to become woewod. As 
soon as he was gone the Chukchi carried everything be- 
fore them. It was necessary to call on Pavlutski, and 
he made his third appearance in 1742. He fought 
three battles against them: in two he was successful, 
but in the third he lost his life (March 21 ) . For many 
years after that the Chukchi kept his head as a trophy. 



Soon after his arrival at the capital Bering submitted 
his report to the empress and the Admiralty College 
(with whom he also left his papers), and then went to 
Moscow to report to the Senate. The account of his 
achievements did not elicit any great amount of praise. 
Many called his mission a failure, saying that at the 
most he merely determined the northern limits of Kam- 
chatka. His superiors, at least a number of them, held 
a similar view. His reward of a thousand rubles, the 
amount usually allowed to those who make distant voy- 
ages, was not voted to him by the Senate before June, 
1732,"* his salary remained unpaid for two years after 
his arrival,'** and his request to be made contre-admiral 
was not acted upon."" On the other hand, he had some 
influential friends who stood by him and were anxious 
to have him lead another expedition. Among these 
were Count Osterman, a member of the Imperial Cab- 
inet, Kirilof, chief secretary of the Senate, and Count 
Golovin of the Admiralty College. In addition to 
these men Bering had the general good will of a num- 
ber of young and enthusiastic scientists who had come 
to Russia at the invitation of Peter the Great and fa- 
vored the idea of discovery and exploration. It is per- 
haps worth considering whether the fault-finding di- 

^*^ Opisanie del Archiva Morshavo Ministerstva, vol. iii, 460. 

^*^ Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta, vol. ix, 1851, 205, 309. 


rected against Bering may not have been due, in part, 
to the reactionary feeling against foreigners and in- 

Bering, after consulting with his friends, laid before 
the empress two sets of propositions. The first dealt 
primarily with the conversion of the Jakuts, the devel- 
opment of iron mines in Siberia, the improvement of 
the militia, the introduction of cattle into Okhotsk and 
Kamchatka, and other good and worthy recommenda- 
tions, which can not, however, be taken up in this work. 

The second set is more important, since it discusses 
the relation between Asia and America and is as fol- 
lows : ■" 

I. According to my observation the waves of eastern Kam- 
chatka are smaller than in other seas, and I found on Karaginski 
Island large fir trees that do not grow on Kamchatka. These 
signs indicate that America, or some land on this side of it, is 
not far from Kamchatka - perhaps from one hundred to two 
hundred fifty miles. This could easily be ascertained by build- 
ing a boat of about forty or fifty tons and sending it to investi- 
gate. If this be so [the existence of such a country], a trade 
might be established between the empire and the inhabitants 
of those regions. 

II. Such a boat should be built in Kamchatka, because the 
necessary timber could be obtained there more easily. The same 
holds true in matters of food -fish and game are especially 
cheap there. Then again more help may be had from the na- 
tives of Kamchatka than those of Okhotsk. One other reason 
should not be overlooked : the mouth of the Kamchatka River is 
deeper and offers a better shelter for boats. 

III. It would not be without advantage to find a sea route 
from Kamchatka or Okhotsk Rivers to the Amur River or 
Japan, since it is known that these regions are inhabited. It 
would be very profitable to open trade relations with these people, 
particularly the Japanese. And as we have no boats there 
[Okhotsk Sea], we might arrange it with the Japanese that they 

*°^ Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo DepartamentOy vol. ix, 1851, 435-436. 

^^^ Zapiski Hydro graficheskavo Departamenta^ vol. ix, 1851, 213-2x4. 
*^ Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. viii, doc 5753, doc. 

•** — Ibid., vol. vii, doc. 60411 doc 6042. 
•** — Ibid., doc. 629 X. 


meet us half way in their boats. For such an expedition a ship 
about the size of the one mentioned above would be needed, or 
one somewhat smaller might serve the same purpose. 

IV. The cost of such an expedition — not including salaries, 
provisions, and materials for both boats, which can not be had 
there and would have to be taken from here and Siberia - would 
be from ten to twelve thousand rubles. 

V. If it should be considered wise to map the northern re- 
gions or the coast of Siberia - from the Ob to the Yenisei and 
from there to the Lena - this could be done by boats or by land, 
since these regions are under Russian jurisdiction. 

These propositions were favorably received and 
adopted after certain changes had been suggested by 1 

Chirikof, such as that the boats should be built at Ok- 
hotsk and not Kamchatka, and regarding the course to 
be sailed after leaving Asia, and the best way of trans- ( 

porting provisions across the continent, et cetera.'" In i 

May, 1 73 1, orders were issued to send colonists and 
artisans to the Pacific to establish a port at Okhotsk, the 
work to be done under the supervision of Pizaref."* 
A year later (May, 1732) propositions II and ill, 
though somewhat changed -on the recommendation of 
Chirikof-were approved, and the machinery for build- 
ing boats, the securing the necessary materials, and the 
engaging of men, was set in motion.'" Bering's weak 
and half-hearted suggestion as to the surveying of 
northern Siberia was greatly enlarged so as to continue 
the work from the Lena to the Anaduir and Kamchatka 
Rivers in order to determine definitely whether Amer- 
ica and Asia were united.*" Instructions were issued 
as to what should be done in case the two continents 



were not separated by water.'** In connection with 
these voyages, admirable scientific researches were 
planned and carried on throughout Siberia by Gmelin, 
Muller, Steller, Krasheninnikof, and others, whose con- 
clusions are accepted even today; but in view of their 
purely scientific character, they cannot be discussed in 
this connection. Taking it all in all, it was one of the 
most elaborate, thorough and expensive expeditions 
ever sent out by any government at any time. 

In December, 1732, the Senate gave its ofiicial ap- 
proval to the work undertaken for the "benefit of her 
Imperial Majesty and to the glory of the Russian Em- 
pire."*" This body also recommended that an astron- 
omer be sent along, and Louis Delisle de la Croyere 
was appointed to the position. His brother, Joseph 
Nicholas Delisle, drew up, at the request of the Senate, 
a map of Kamchatka and the neighboring lands Terra 
de Jeso, Company Land, Gama Land, also the Ameri- 
can coast, pointing out especially routes where new dis- 
coveries could probably be made."' This map was ac- 
companied by a memoir discussing the bodies of land 
indicated and their history.*" The map and memoir 
were given to Bering to aid him in his navigation ; in 
fact, it was chiefly at his request that the Senate asked 
Delisle to draw them up. 

The instructions of December 28, 1732, were slightly 
revised and put in final shape by the Admiralty College 
on February 28, 1733, and confirmed without altera- 
tions by the Senate on March 16, 1733, but with the 

^^^ Polnoe Sobrame Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. viii, doc. 6291. 

>^*This map was based on Guillaume Delisle's map of America of 1722. 
>^®In the Appendix may be found the memoir, both the original and the 


addition of other points.'"* It was ordered that either 
at Kamchatka or Okhotsk, as it should seem best, two 
boats should be built on which Bering and Chirikof 
should sail in whatever direction they and Professor 
Delisle de la Croyere should decide that America 
would be found. According to the Map of Delisle the 
American coast runs along from about the latitude of 
Chukotski Nos to about the forty-fifth parallel, the 
Spanish province of Mexico. When they should have 
reached America they were to be guided by the instruc- 
tions which Czar Peter gave to Bering in 1725. The 
utmost care was to be taken not to fall into the hands of 
unfriendly people, and not to show them the way to the 
Russian possessions, the way to which they had never 
heard. In case Bering, Chirikof, Spanberg, or those 
who were to explore from the Lena eastward should 
meet with foreigners, they were not to show them their 
instructions, which were secret, but the Admiralty Col- 
lege would prepare others, which would state that at the 
request of the St. Petersburg and Paris Academies of 
Science Peter the Great had undertaken "out of curios- 
ity" to determine whether America and Asia were unit- 
ed. As the last expedition had not fully settled that 
question, the present empress had decided to continue 
the investigation until that point was definitely ascer- 

In view of the importance of the work and the severe 
hardships involved, the rank of the officers was raised : 
Bering was made captain-commander, and his two lieu- 
tenants, Spanberg and Chirikof, were each given the 
rank of captain-lieutenant. For the same reason all 
those connected with the expedition were granted double 

8«o Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi Imperii, vol. viii, doc. 6291. 


pay during their services, two years' pay in advance to 
help them get an outfit, and were promised rewards on 
their return."* 

Instruments, and such other objects as could not be 
obtained on the way, were taken from St. Petersburg,'*' 
but provisions and the more common and coarser ma- 
terials were to be gathered on the way. Orders were 
forwarded to Siberian officers to do all in their power 
to speed the work. Not satisfied with this, special of- 
ficers were commissioned to go to Jakutsk 

to assist the officers there in sending out the supplies so that by 
the time the captain-conunander should arrive at Okhotsk all 
would be in readiness.*** 

Special arrangements were also provided for carrying 
letters and packages. 

In February, 1733, one division of the expedition 
left St. Petersburg. Spanberg with a number of me- 
chanics started soon afterwards, aiming to reach Ok- 
hotsk as quickly as possible to work on the boats on 
which he was to go to Japan. Chirikof was assigned 
the care of the baggage train, and he went on the march 
not long after Spanberg. Bering did not leave until 
April. From Tobolsk Chirikof followed the old trail 
by way of the rivers Irtysh, Ob, Keta, Yenisei, Tungus, 
Ilima to Ilimsk, and down the Lena to Jakutsk, arriving 
there about the middle of the summer of 1735. Bering, 
who had a much lighter train, had reached the same 
place in October, 1734. Spanberg came to Okhotsk 

362 polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossis koi Imperii^ vol. viii, 6291. 

863 Delisle de la Croyere took with him one quadrant, two clocks, one 
equinoctial sun clock, one ( ?) telescope, four telescopes of 15, 13, 7, and 5 feet, 
one inclinometer, one declinometer, five astrolabes, four large compasses, 
twenty thermometers, twenty-seven barometers, one copper sphere, one sur- 
veyor's chain, one magnet, and one case of mathematical instruments. In 
addition to these instruments others were sent after him to Tobolsk. 

^^^ Zapitki HydrograficheskavQ Departamenta^ vol. ix, 228-229. 


early in the year 1735, expecting that Pizaref, who had 
been ordered in 173 1 to build a port, would have quar- 
ters ready. In all this he was disappointed, for not 
only had Pizaref done nothing, but when he made his 
appearance, he opposed every effort of the others. Mat- 
ters came to such a point that there were two fortified 
camps keenly eyeing each other and occasionally at- 
tacking. Charges and counter charges were contin- 
ually being sent to the capital, until the officers were 
weary. The worst part of this affair was the demoral- 
izing effect on the men.'" 

With the exception of Spanberg and his small com- 
pany, the greater part of the force was still at Jakutsk 

869 xhis man Pizaref had an interesting history. At one time he had held 
a very prominent position, no less than that of director of the naval academy 
at Moscow and chief-procurator of the Senate. On account of indiscreet 
speeches against Prince Menshikof, Peter II, on May 27, 1727, ordered that 
Pizaref should be whipped and exiled to Jakutsk. In May, 1731, he was com- 
missioned to go to Okhotsk and build up a port and was allowed one hun- 
dred fifty-three men, but Pizaref claimed he never got them. About a year 
later Pizaref sent to Okhotsk twenty-four men, of whom eight died on the 
way, and the remaining sixteen ran away. By February, 1733, Pizaref de- 
cided to start for Okhotsk, but before he could get supplies from the woewod 
he had to put that officer in chains. Nine months later he was back at Jakutsk, 
and when Bering arrived he found him there. The two men clashed at once, 
and the result was that charges and complaints were being forwarded con- 
stantly. Finally in the fall of 1735 Pizaref made his second appearance at 
Okhotsk and found Spanberg, whom he hated even worse than Bering. In 
one of the complaints Pizaref says that Spanberg enticed his workmen, stole 
his supplies, was on friendly terms with the exiled princes Dolgoruki and 
Baratinski, and that one time when some one had killed a bear, Spanberg 
claimed the credit of the deed and had a monument erected on which he in- 
scribed the event Spanberg charged Pizaref with drunkenness, keeping a 
harem, and cruelty to the natives. Pizaref ran away from Okhotsk to Jakutsk 
but returned with Bering. By 1739 he had built two wooden huts and a 
church; before he could do any more he was removed from command, and 
another exile, Anton Devycr, succeeded him. Devyer arrived at Okhotsk 
probably after 1740. About the first thing he did was to sell at auction 
Pizaref s belongings and to use the proceeds in paying the wages of the work- 
men. In December, 1741, the empress pardoned both men, and they returned 
to St. Petersburg, where their former rank of general was once more conferred 
on them. Devyer received other honors as well. 


in 1736, where nearly all of the supplies were gathered. 
How to get them to Okhotsk was a problem even more 
difficult than Bering faced on his first expedition. It 
was finally decided to send the heavier materials, such 
as cannon and anchors, by way of the Rivers Aldan and 
Udoma, then across to the Urak and down to Okhotsk. 
The lighter objects were transported by land over 
mountains, torrents, and swamps. Knowing what dif- 
ficulties were experienced some years before in getting 
the stores across to Okhotsk, it is only necessary to say 
that those of the second attempt were even greater, be- 
cause everything was on a larger scale, without a pro- 
portionate increase in the facilities for transportation. 
In favoring the expedition the authorities at St. Peters- 
burg believed that it could be accomplished in six 
years ; consequently when four years had gone by and 
the leader was no farther than Jakutsk, murmurs of dis- 
satisfaction arose. Gentle hints to Bering to hurry 
were at last followed by threats. The Admiralty Col- 
lege told him that unless more progress was shown, his 
rank would be reduced ; his pay was actually cut in two 
from the beginning of 1738 to July, 1740, "because of 
failure to send necessary information and delay in ac- 
complishing the work assigned." *** Bering defended 
himself by accusing the Siberian authorities of not do- 
ing what they should. They replied by charging him 
with selling liquor, making underhanded bargains, and 
other illegal acts. Spanberg had no love for Chirikof, 
but he united with him in filing complaints against 
their chief ;'*^ and the scientists, Muller, Gmclin, and 
Delisle de la Croyere, had almost at the very beginning 
indicated their desire to be relieved from the authority 

^^^Zapiski Hydro graficheskavo Departamenta, vol. ix, 254. 
MT Opisanie del Archiva Morskavo Minuterstva^ vol. v, 85. 















53 o 
3. ^ 



















Senate demanded an investigation to determine the 
cause of the delay. The Imperial Cabinet, after con- 
sidering the cost of the expedition, which had reached 
at that time (1738) three hundred thousand rubles, and 
in view of the burden it threw on the Siberian people, 
asked the Admiralty College whether it would not be 
wise '^to look into the Kamchatka expedition to see if it 
can be brought to a head, so that from now on the treas- 
ury should not be emptied in vain." "® 

With the coming of Tolbuchin and Larinof affairs 
assumed a more prosperous appearance. More men 
were put on, a larger force of horses were drafted 
into the service, an additional number of boats were 
launched, and roads were repaired, so that by October, 
1740, nearly all the necessary supplies had found their 
way to Okhotsk. Relieved of this responsibility, Ber- 
ing (who had reached Okhotsk in 1737) and his men 
concentrated all their energies on the building of 
boats,'" with the result that by June, 1740, two ships 
were launched. Each measured eighty by twenty by 
nine feet, brig rigged, two masts, and bearing fourteen 
cannon, two and three pounders. On September 4, the 
St. Peter and St. Paul, the new boats, accompanied by 
two others carrying provisions, left Okhotsk.*" Delisle 
de la Croyere and Steller followed four days later in a 
boat which was set aside especially to carry them and 
their baggage and supplies to Kamchatka.'" Bolshaya 
River was reached October 20 and there Bering left his 
freight boats because he did not think they were strong 

*^^ Zapiski Hydngra fitches kavo Departamenta, vol. iz, 255; OpUanie Dei 
Archiva Morskavo Ministerttvay vol. vii, 273. 

'^^ According to the original plan Pizaref was to have had them about 
ready by the time of Bering's arrival. 

>72 Muller, Sammlung Russischer Gejchichte, vol. iii, 187. 

•79^ Ibid, 

Harbor of St. Peter and St, Paul in 1741 
[Journal of the Si. Pftfr] 


enough to round southern Kamchatka, but the St Peter 
and St. Paul went on and dropped anchor in Avatcha 
Bay on the sixth day of October."* The two scientists 
remained in western Kamchatka intending to do some 
research work in the course of the winter. 

Avatcha Bay was one of the new sea-ports on the 
Pacific. Berinp in 1739, sent one of his officers who 
sounded and ch;;. ted the harbor and put up a few build- 
ings. A church was erected and dedicated to St. Peter 
and St. Paul,*" and coupled with the fact that the two 
boats were named in honor of the saints, the village took 
the name of Petropavlovsk. An uneventful winter was 
passed here in making final arrangements for the voy- 
age of the coming summer. In the spring Delisle de 
la Croyere and Steller"* reported to Bering for duty. 
It is to Steller that we are indebted for a full account 
of the voyage, the only one as yet published. 

Taking into consideration the short summer and the 
long distance to go, Bering had originally planned to 
leave Kamchatka early in May and after discovering 
America to spend the winter there and return to Asia 
the following year.'" If this could have been done it 
would have been most fortunate for all concerned as it 
would have saved them from a great deal of suffering. 
His well-laid plans failed, however, and from no fault 
of Bering. At Okhotsk he had prepared the sea-biscuit 
for the voyage which he shipped to Kamchatka in 1740, 

*^^ Muller, Sammlung Russischer Geschichie^ vol. iii, 187. 
8T5 _ /^iV., 191. 

S7e Georg Wilhelro Steller was bom in Francooia in 1709, and had studied 
at different universities both the natural sciences and philosophy. After wan- 
dering from place to place he finally reached St. Petersburg^ and in 1738 was 
sent to Siberia to do scientific work. His original plan was to go with Span* 
berg to Japan, but Bering persuaded him to embark with him. 

ST7 Steller in Pallas's Neue NordUche Beytrage, vol. v, 141. 

1 82 


but these were lost at the mouth of the Okhotsk Rivcr.*^* 
In the second place, his freight boats were unfit to 
carry his supplies all the way to Avatcha and this made 
it necessary to transport the greater part of the cargo 
overland during the winter. The natives, on whom 
the larger part of this work fell, revolted at the very 
beginning and it took much energy and time to put 
them down."* The result of all this was that Bering 
was not only late in starting, but he was also not too well 
prepared for wintering in America had he desired to 
do so. 

Towards the end of May all was in readiness for the 
start, the boats were loaded '*^ and manned, and the only 
thing needed was a fair breeze. On the St. Peter were 
the Captain-commander Bering, Second-in-command 
Waxel, Shipmaster Chytref, Mate Kasselberg, Second 
mate Juschin, Surgeon Steller. In addition there were 

*^" Steller io PalUs's Seue Nordiscke Beytrage, vol. v, 141. 
^^ Cargo of the St. Peter taken from the Journal, 33 

Balait- ships gear, etc. 

Groats (a kinds) 

Beef (in barrels) 

Butter " 




Water (102 barrels of various sizes) 

Wood . 


Powder (in barrels) 

Cannon balls . 


Cannons (3 pounders -9 pieces) 

Cannons (2 pounders -5 pieces) 

Falconets (3 pieces) . 

Iron • . • • 


































a number of officers of lower rank, soldiers, sailors, and 
servants. Chirikof commanded on the St. Paul, being 
assisted by two lieutenants, Chegachef and Plautin, the 
Astronomer Delisle de la Croyere, and several petty 
officers. Including every man on board each ship had 
seventy-six persons."®' 

On May 4 Bering summoned his officers, including 
Delisle de la Croyere, for consultation. He read his 
instructions to them, showed them Delisle's chart and 
asked their advice as to the course that ought to be fol- 
lowed. They were all, including the leader, of the 
opinion that by sailing between east and south to about 
the forty-sixth or forty-fifth parallels the Company 
Land of the Dutch would be met with, and not far from 
there they would come to Gama Land and later to the 
western coast of America. In case the looked for land 
was not found the course should be changed to east by 
north, keeping between the parallels forty-five -the 
most northerly point of known America- and sixty-five, 
where Gwosdef saw land. When America was located, 
the boats were to follow the coast in a northerly direc- 
tion until they were between the parallels sixty-four 
and sixty-six -the situation of the most northeasterly 
point of Asia -and then sail due west and thus deter- 
mine the relation between Asia and America. When 
that was done they should return to Kamchatka. If, 
however, on account of lack of provisions, the weather, 
or some other cause, it was not possible to carry out 
fully all these plans, it might be advisable to take up 
the work the following year and carry it to comple- 
tion.**^ The time for returning was set for Septem- 

880ft Journal of the St. Peter, 33. 

991^ Ibid., 24, 25; Steller in PalUs's Niug Nordijche Beytrage, vol. v, 140. 

888 Since the time of Muller it has been the fashion to ridicule the Delisles 


On May 25, Bering inspected the men on the two 
boats, after that he took up his permanent quarters on 
the St. Peter. Later in the day he gave Chirikof a code 
of signals by means of which they were to communicate 
on the voyage. About nine o'clock in the morning of 
June 4, the much-prayed- for fair wind began to blow, 
taking the boats out of Avatcha and following them for 
several days making it possible to sail on east-southeast 
and southeast by east courses until June 11, when the 
boats found themselves in north latitude forty-six de- 
grees, forty-seven minutes, and one hundred fifty-five 
Dutch miles from Avatcha. On the following day the 
position of the boats was ascertained at forty-six degrees, 
nine minutes ; but still no land was in sight, although, 
judging from the seagrasses and animal life about them, 
some argued that land must be near at hand.'*' The 
officers decided not to waste any more time in looking 
for it in this direction. Aboi)^ four o'clock (ship's 
time) of the afternoon of June 13 it was signalled to 
Chirikof that "according to the opinion of the captain- 
commander and his officers, also Professor de la Croy- 
ere, it was time to change the course to cast by north." 
To this proposal Chirikof assented, and the course de- 
cided on was taken and kept until the fourteenth, when a 
strong wind compelled the boats to tack. The next day 
the breeze shifted to the south, so that a northeast 

and in particular the author of this chart. Bancroft (p. 66) makes light of 
him, and Lauridsen (p. 53) in particular ridicules him. There is really no 
justification for all this raillery. J. N. Delisle drew up this chart at the re- 
quest of Bering [Delisle Manuscripts, no. xxvi, 3, B] and it was based on his 
brother Guillaume's map of 1722. Like all other maps of the period it had 
Jeso, Gama Land, Company Land, etc Neither the Senate nor Delisle urged 
that a search be made for them. There is nothing dogmatic about Delisle. 
When he is ignorant on a certain point he very frankly says sa One has but 
to become acquainted with the cartography of the period and to read the 
Delisle memoir to learn that Delisle was an earnest and capable scholar, 
ws Steller, in Pallas's Neue Nordische Beyfrage, vol. v, 144. 


course could be sailed almost continuously until the 
eighteenth, the vessels being then in latitude forty-nine 
degrees, thirty minutes, and eighteen degrees, thirty 
minutes from Avatcha. At this point the wind fresh- 
ened and shifted once more to the east, forcing a south- 
erly course. On the morning of the twentieth, Chiri- 
kof saw Bering to the north of him, about ten miles 
distant,*" but Bering did not see Chirikof ; and in try- 
ing to come together, the two drifted farther and far- 
ther apart, never again to meet. 

Chirikof remained in this neighborhood (between 
the forty-eighth and forty-ninth parallels where the St. 
Peter was last seen) until the twenty-third; "at the fifth 
hour after midnight," says Chirikof 's Journal^ "we gave 
up looking for the St. Peter and according to the gen- 
eral agreement of the officers, the St. Paul took up her 
course." The wind was, on the whole, fair, but the 
sky was overcast. ])^early the whole time the course 
steered was east-northeast half east. By July 11, signs 
of land appeared in the shape of driftwood, wild ducks, 
and other sea fowl that do not fly far from shore. No 
sails were shortened, but the lead was heaved constantly 
during the night. About two o'clock in the morning 
of the fifteenth, in about latitude fifty-five degrees, 
twenty-one minutes, and sixty-one degrees, fifty-five 
minutes from Avatcha, land was sighted. The next 
day, July 16, in latitude fifty-six degrees, fifteen min- 
utes, longitude sixty degrees, fifty-seven minutes, two 
seconds. Boatswain Mama and eight sailors were or- 
dered ashore to examine a bay, and on their return re- 
ported that it was not sheltered from the north wind. 
During July 17 an observation was made, showing the 

>*4 Zapiski Hydro graficheskavo Departamenta, vol. ix, 379 ; Chirikof s Jour- 
nal, 43-44. 


St. Paul to be in latitude fifty-seven degrees, thirty- 
nine minutes and longitude fifty-eight degrees, fifty- 
four minutes, two seconds. By the middle of the 
afternoon of the same day the boat had advanced to 
fifty-seven degrees, fifty minutes and anchored in front 
of a bay. 

Dementief, the pilot, and a crew of ten men, armed 
with guns and a small cannon, were sent ashore in the 
largest boat. Those on board waited for their return 
until the twenty- third on which day fire and smoke were 
seen on shore, and concluding that some accident must 
have happened to the party, sent the remaining boat in 
charge of Boatswain Sevelyef, accompanied by one car- 
penter, one calker and one sailor. Sevelyef had orders 
that as soon as he landed to give a sign, also to signal by 
making fires the condition of the boat and the men 
ashore. Without losing any time he was to leave the 
ship's carpenter on shore and with Dementief and his 
men return to the St. Paul. At the same time the ship 
went quite close to shore where a strong surf was run- 
ning and the St. Paul herself was in some danger. Al- 
though eagerly watched for no signals were seen or 
heard. So close did the St. Paul approach that those on 
deck could see the surf dash over the rocks on the 
beach. The weather was calm. If a gun had been dis- 
charged, Chirikof says, it could have been heard on the 
boat. Fire was noticed in the bay. Nearly every hour 
during the night cannon were fired. Neither of these 
two boats was ever seen again. On the twenty- 
fourth two canoes, one larger than the other, filled with 
natives came out of the bay and approached the St. 
Paul, but not near enough to make themselves under- 

^^ What became of these men? The impression that seems to prevail 


As there were no other boats it was quite impossible 
to visit the shore for the purpose of getting fresh water 
of which there was need, and therefore the officers de- 
cided to go back to Kamchatka as quickly as possible. 
This conclusion was reached on the twenty-sixth. From 
this day forth the men were put on an allowance of 
water. The wind was constantly shifting and prevent- 
ing much progress. 

About eight o'clock on the morning of September 9, 
the St. Paul anchored in a bay in one of the Aleutian 
Islands, latitude fifty-one degrees, twelve minutes, lon- 
gitude eleven degrees, fifty- four minutes, six seconds, 
near enough to the shore so that the mountains, grass 
and the people were visible. Those on board began call- 
ing to the islanders to come to them. When they had 
shouted to each other for an hour, neither party under- 
standing the other, seven natives were seen coming 
towards the ship. Each man was seated in a boat about 
fifteen feet long, three feet wide, the prow very pointed, 

that they were set upoo by the natives and killed is hardly satisfactory. The 
inhabitants of this region had never before seen a white man, and they would 
be more likely to run away than attack. Then again ten armed men were 
in a position to make some defense. Those on board should have heard the 
discharge of a musket, being, as they were, near the shore. If they were not 
murdered, what did become of them? In 1786, Laperouse, while cruising in 
these waters, noticed in about latitude 58^ an opening indicating an entrance 
to a bay. Approaching nearer, he found the opening narrow and the tide 
running very strong, and it was only with great difficulty that access was 
gained. When about ready to leave, after a two weeks' stay, Laperouse 
ordered three of his small boats to sound and chart the bay, cautioning them 
not to go close to the mouth until the ebb set ia Two of the boats, disobesring 
orders, ventured nearer than they should have done, and were drawn into the 
current and lost 

It is reasonable to suppose that it was in front of this bay that Chirikof 
hove to^ and that it was into this bay that the boats went. That there is a 
slight difference in reckoning may be easily accounted for by the cruder in- 
struments of the Russian. It seems very probable that the Russian sailors lost 
their lives by being caught in the strong current of Latuya Bay (of La- 
perouse's misfortune) either in going in or coming out. Even today Latuya 
Bay may be entered only when the tide is favorable. 


but the stern and deck somewhat rounded, and the whole 
covered with hair seal skins with the exception of a 
hole in the center for the boatman. He was dressed in 
a garment with a hood, the whole being made of the in- 
testines of sea animals. These men made use of a 
double paddle and moved over the water very swiftly 
and fearlessly. When they had come near the boat 
they stopped and began to shout, first on one side and 
then on the other as if imploring the gods to keep them 
from harm. After they had kept this up for seven or 
eight minutes they quieted down and conversed with 
each other in a natural tone of voice. Those on board 
(the greater part of the men were below decks so as not 
to frighten the natives) saluted the islanders in their 
most gracious and kindliest manner, and with gestures, 
Chinese cups, pieces of satin, beads, bells, needles, Chi- 
nese tobacco and pipes invited and tempted them to 
come nearer, but in vain. Knives were the only ob- 
jects that appealed to them and for these they scrambled 
and fought and to obtain them several boatmen went 
ashore to bring fresh water in skin bladders. Chirikof 
describes them as men of large stature and good health, 
in their features resembling the Tartars but somewhat 
paler. In their noses they wore stone or ivory orna- 
ments which caused the blood to flow. Although these 
men would not come on board they gave Chirikof roots, 
which they used for food, arrows, and other objects. 
Late in the afternoon a strong wind began to blow, 
forcing the St. Paul to stand out to sea, but this was ac- 
complished with diflSculty and the loss of an anchor.'** 
There was so little drinking water that an attempt 
was made to obtain it by distilling salt water, but the 
operation was not altogether a success for the distilled 

»«• DelisU Manuscripts, Sec "Appendix." Chirikof s Journal, 53-55- 


water retained a bitterness. To offset this unpleasant 
taste the water was diluted with an equal quantity of the 
remaining fresh water. Arrangements were made at 
the very beginning for catching all the rain possible.'" 
The scarcity of water, lack of properly cooked food, suf- 
ferings from storms and exposures broke the health of 
nearly all the men, and several of them died as a result, 
among them being the two lieutenants."* Chirikof was 
not able to come on deck after the twenty-first and was 
obliged to give his orders from the cabin. Those who 
were able to keep their feet were so weak that they 
could only with difficulty handle the vessel, the sails 
and rigging of which were rotting and giving way. To 
their joy Avatcha was sighted on October 8 ; anchorage, 
however, was not made until the morning of the tenth. 
Five cannon shot brought a few small boats alongside 
and on these the sick were carefully taken ashore. Louis 
Delisle de la Croyere died before he could be landed.""* 
Altogether twenty-one men lost their lives on this voy- 

During the winter Chirikof recovered sufficiently to 
be able to go to sea the following May. He sailed east- 
wardly intending to reach the American coast and if 
possible to find Bering. He passed close by Bering 
Island and came to Attu and Atka, but on account of 
unfavorable weather he had to turn back to Avatcha 
and from there he went to Okhotsk and eventually to 
St. Petersburg where he was promoted, but he lived 
only a short time after that. 

»«7 Chirikof 8 Journal, 5a 

w« — /*iX 57. 

*<** NicoUi, ft SOD of Delisle by a Kamchatka woman, survived him. Cap- 
tain Clerk, Cook's successor, when in Kamchatka, erected a tablet to Delisle. 
Soon after that Clerk himself was buried here; and when Laperouse visited 
Avatcha he put up a monument to the Englishman. 

MO Muller. Samtnlung Riusischer Geschichte^ vol. iii, 240-241. 


Owing to the strong wind the St. Peter kept under 
little sail the day the St. Paul disappeared. When the 
wind died down somewhat, Bering decided to go back 
to the locality where Chirikof was last seen, and in this 
neighborhood he remained until the twenty-second. A 
ship's council then advised the retracing of the course 
from the fiftieth to the forty-sixth parallel, with the 
hope of running across either Chirikof or Company 

On the twenty-fifth, the St. Peter found herself in 
latitude forty-five degrees, sixteen minutes, without 
having found either object of the search. Orders were 
given to put about, and for three days an east by north 
course was kept and then changed to east-northeast, in 
order to sail exactly east by north from the forty-sixth 
and not from the forty-fifth parallel, as previously had 
been done.'** For several days there was fair wind 
and cloud covered skies and fog. From July 7 to 9, an 
east wind blew, and with this the ship sailed due north 
to fifty-one degrees, thirty minutes. The wind veering, 
the course was shifted to northeast by east. Beginning 
with July 12, a lookout was kept for land. At night 
the boat either drifted or moved under little canvas. 
As they continued sailing day after day with no land in 
sight those on board began to blame themselves for sup- 
posing that Asia and America were near each other. 
The disappointment in not finding the object of their 
search showed itself in the restlessness and antagonism 
which developed among the men. At a meeting (July 
14) the ofiicers agreed to keep more to the north by 
steering a north-northeast course until the twentieth, 

**^ Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische Beytrdge, vol. ▼, 14^. Gama Land 
was located on the chart between the forty-fifth and forty-seventh degrees. 
**' Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta^ vol. ix, 381. 


and if by that time no land was sighted the attempt 
should be given up and the return home entered upon 
because drinking water was running very low.'** When 
the St. Peter had crossed the fifty-second parallel there 
appeared many signs of land. Near the ship were 
large quantities of seaweeds and kelps, such as the Quer- 
cus marina, Algam dentatam Raji, Fucos membrana- 
ceous calyciformes, and others, some of which grow 
only on rocks in two or three feet of water, and at least 
one of these (Fucum clavse effigie) is not to be found in 
Kamchatka. In addition to these signs there were 
other indications in the shape of sea birds and marine 
animals, such as the sea otter that can not live in very 
deep water and must therefore keep close to shore. But 
all this evidence was not of sufficient weight with the 
officers to cause them to change their course and sail a 
little more to the north as suggested by Steller."* This 
scientist claims that on Wednesday, July 15, he caught 
a glimpse of land in the direction towards which the 
boat was heading, but as it did not stand out very clearly 
he was not believed. On the following day a chain of 
high, rugged and snow-covered mountains loomed in 
view in latitude fifty-eight degrees, twenty-eight min- 
utes."' Those on board were of the opinion that these 
mountains were higher than any they had seen in Si- 
beria and Kamchatka. The coast seemed to be broken 
up with numerous bays and harbors. 

At the sight of land all became excited: some ad- 
vised looking for a harbor on the mainland at once, 

*^* Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische Beytragtt vol. ▼, 153. In the Journal 
of the St Peter nothing is said about turning back on the twentieth. 

^9^^IbiiL, X4S-X49. 

^^ Muller. Sammlung Russischer Geschichte^ vol. iii, 198. The Journal 
of the St Peter sayt that land was first seen from the boat in a northwestern 
direction at one o'clock in the afternoon of the sixteenth (boat's reckoning the 


others argued against such a step. But it was the wind, 
the tide, and the lay of the land rather than any con- 
certed plan that determined their movements during 
the following days. With the aid of fair wind the 
boat approached quite close to the shore on the seven- 
teenth. Towards the evening of the next day the land 
was so near that those on board were delighted with 
the view of the beautiful forests and of the seemingly 
level and sandy beach.'** From Saturday night, the 
eighteenth, until Monday the twentieth, the St. Peter 
beat up and down in a northwesterly direction, leaving 
the mainland on the right, in order to get under the 
shelter of an island. By doing so she ran into a group 
of islands among which an anchorage was finally 

At the time of the discovery of land Bering was suf- 
fering from scurvy and seemed to have been worn out 
by his fifteen years of hardships and abuse. He had 
no enthusiasm or joy in life, and his depressing spirit 
dampened what little ardor his men possessed. At the 
sight of the new continent the men were full of glad- 
ness and showered on him congratulations, but he re- 
ceived all their felicitations coldly and indifferently 
and with shrugging shoulders. Later, in the cabin, in 
the presence of two of the men, he expressed himself 
somewhat in the, following manner: 

Wc think wc have now discovered everything, but we do not 

»»• Steller in PalUa's Neue Nordische BeytrMge, vol. v, 155. 

^7 Monday, July ao^ wu St. Elias day, and in honor of the saint teveral 
of the officers insisted on naming one of the islands Cape Elias, much to the 
disgust of Steller, who argued with them that an island could not be called 
a cape. What the officers did, and probably all they desired to do, was to name 
the island St. Elias. According to their inaccurate observation the island is 
in latitude fifty-nine degrees, forty minutes and east of Avatcha forty-eight de- 
grees, fifty minutes. [Waxel's report to the Admiralty College. Admiralty 
papers^ doc. 2, 1742, p. 224.] 


stop to think where we are, how far we are still from home, and 
what may yet hi4>pcn. Who knows but perhaps contrary winds 
will come up and prevent us from returning. We do not know 
this country nor have we provisions enough for wintering 

Now that land was discovered, Bering and his of- 
ficers, before deciding what their movements were to 
be in the near future, whether to remain two days or 
two months, whether to explore or not, went about pro- 
viding for the needs of the immediate present, which 
was fresh water. For this purpose the small boat was 
put into commission. The larger one, in charge of 
Chytref, was ordered to make explorations. The dis- 
cord which reigned on board is well illustrated by the 
following incident Steller, who had come in the ca- 
pacity of naturalist, requested permission to accompany 
Chytref, in which petition the latter joined; but for 
some reason or other Bering was deaf to all pleadings. 
After much coaxing Steller was permitted to go on 
shore in the small boat, but without any other assistants 
than the man he had brought along especially for that 
purpose. As the boat pulled away orders were given 
for the trumpets to be blown, a mock salute to Steller.'** 

*** Steller in PalUs's Neue Nordische Beytrage, vol. v, 154. 

*** — Ibid^ 158. Steller seems to have been altogether out of place on the 
St Peter. He was a man of high education and culture, while his companions 
on board were ignorant and coarse. We can easily picture to ourselves the 
pleasure such men would take in humiliating a man of Steller's type and in 
showing him how little good book-knowledge is. Bering himself at certain 
times eyed him with contempt, as if to say, "Why did God make such a 
fool ?" On the other hand, one should not be blind to the fact that Steller was 
not the most agreeable person to have on a boat like the St Peter. He was 
too willing to instruct and give advice in all matters, even navigation, and 
had the faculty of believing himself alwa3rs in the right The result of this 
state of aflPairs was unfortunate for all concerned. It came to the point that 
whatever Steller suggested, even when in his own province, was almost sure 
to be disapproved. In many cases his advice was sound, and had it been 
taken, much suflPering and hardship would have been avoided. 


About half of the crew as well as the officers remained 
on board taking on the casks of water as they were 
brought from shore. 

Aware of the disadvantages under which he was la- 
boring, and of the short time at his command, Steller, 
as soon as he landed, began to look for traces of human 
beings. The amount of work he did on that day, or 
rather part of a day, is indeed remarkable and shows 
him to have been a man of great ability. In one spot 
he found the remains of a fire and scattered bones, 
which gave him the information he desired about the 
animal life of the island, mainland, and surrounding 
waters. A little farther on he came across some small 
shellheaps and dried fish, which left him without much 
doubt as to the habits of the people. At still another 
place he uncovered an habitation wherein were utensils 
of various sorts, smoked salmon, sweet grass, bows and 
arrows, drills for fire, and other objects; and from all 
these he reasoned that America must be much closer to 
Asia than their present position indicated and that the 
inhabitants of those regions were closely related to 
those of Siberia, a conclusion which modern research 
has not changed. He took some of these objects and 
sent them to Bering on board with a request that men 
be given to help him, warning at the same time those 
on shore to be on their guard. While waiting for a 
reply, Steller went on gathering specimens and making 
observations. Noticing from the top of a mountain 
smoke on another part of the island, he hurried to the 
beach to notify Bering of the fact and to request a small 
boat and several men to look for the people. While 
waiting for a reply Steller made a study of the botan- 
ical and zoological specimens he came across. We 
can easily picture the enthusiasm of the man as he rev- 


elled among natural phenomena on which no civilized 
man had ever gazed, the eagerness with which he ex- 
pected help from Bering to enable him to bring back to 
the world information about a people on whom no white 
man had ever looked. This was the great day, the 
great opportunity of his lifel Imagine then his disap- 
pointment, his bitterness, on receiving word from Ber- 
ing that if he did not come on board he would be left 
behind. Becoming convinced that no help would come 
from that quarter he turned back to the interior of the 
island and remained there until sunset gathering data 
on the place. When he returned he was greeted by 
another order from the captain that unless he came on 
board at once, he need not come at all. This led Steller 
to remark sarcastically that this long and expensive ex- 
pedition had been planned in order to fetch American 
water to Asia, and that the ten hours of exploration 
corresponded to the ten years of preparation. Steller 
was somewhat unreasonable and he allowed his enthu- 
siasm to run away with him. In view of the fact that 
Bering had to decide whether to give Steller a boat and 
men or to use it for taking on water his decision, though 
harsh and coarsely worded, was not unjust. The trouble 
was that the whole personnel of the boat had reached 
that stage of irritability where a great deal was made 
out of every little thing. Steller and Bering viewed 
the expedition from two different points : to the former 
its value lay primarily in its contribution to the knowl- 
edge of the natural sciences and therefore he and his 
work should be held in high esteem; to the latter the 
so-called sciences were of very minor importance and 
that it was Steller's business to occupy himself with 
the duties of ship's surgeon and not to meddle with any- 
thing else. When Steller came on board with his col- 


lection no one seemed to care anything about or pay 
any attention to him. Orders were, however, given to 
take an iron kettle, tobacco, a Chinese pipe, and a piece 
of Chinese silk to the place from which the native 
articles had been taken ^ and to bring back nearly 
everything of value that was to be found there.*®^ Chyt- 
ref returned about an hour after Steller and reported 
that he discovered a land-locked harbor in one of the 
islands where the boat might lie in perfect safety. Al- 
though he met with no human beings, he did see a small 
wooden building, the walls of which were so smooth 
as to make it seem as if they had been planed and pre- 
pared with sharp tools. From this building he brought 
several objects; a large wooden box or basket, a stone, 
which may have been used as a whetstone and which 
had marks on it as if made by copper, a ball made of 
clay having in it pebbles and was probably used as a 
rattle for children, a hand-rudder, and the tail of a 
silver-tipped fox.*®* No attempt was made to set foot 
on or to reach the mainland for fear of the natives, and 
neither Bering nor his principal officers, except Chyt- 
ref, touched land the whole time the St Peter was in 
these waters. 

Very early on the morning of the twenty-first, Bering 
came on deck and seeing that the wind was fair for get- 
ting out, ordered that the anchor be weighed. Waxel 

^^Billingi' Voyage, 194. When Billings anchored at Kayak Island an 
old man told Messrs. Saiytchef and Sauer that he "remembered that when he 
was a boy, a ship had been close to the bay 00 the west side of the island and 
had sent a boat ashore ; but on its approaching land the natives all ran away. 
When the ship sailed, they returned to their huts and found in their subter- 
raneous store room some glass beads, leaves [tobacco], an iron kettle, and 
something else." 

«oi Steller, Reisty 165. 

^' — Ibid^ X66-167; Journal of the St. Peter, 6a In the Journal, there is 
a brief description of the island. 


pleaded with him in vain to wait until the twenty 
empty water casks were filled. Bering felt that be- 
cause it was already late, also because so little was 
known of the land, seas, and weather, that all should 
be satisfied with what had already been accomplished 
and the return home be entered upon over the same 
course on which they had come.***' Up to the twenty- 
fifth, the direction steered was south-southwest, when 
it was agreed to sail southwest so long as the drizzly 
weather continued and to change to north by west if it 
cleared up, in order to observe more closely the newly 
discovered land. On account of stormy wet weather 
the southwest course was kept until the thirty- first, 
when it cleared sufficiently to sail northwest with a 
southeasterly wind, and by this manoeuvre the St. Peter 
passed near Ukamak Island. In front of this island 
the boat stood at anchor from early morning until the 
evening of August 2. On the third, in latitude fifty- 
six degrees, the mainland came into view once more in 
the north-northwest half west direction, at a distance 
of fourteen miles. Not being able to go farther to the 
westward the boat sailed with easterly wind on a south- 
erly course, and in so doing she ran into the Kodiak 
group of islands and had some difficulty in finding a 
way out. On the seventh, there began one of those 
storms, at first mild but gradually increasing in force 
and shifting to the northwest, which made the return 
voyage so tragic. All the ship's officers met on August 
10 for deliberation and they agreed that owing to the 
lateness of the season, the fact that twenty-six men were 
down with scurvy, and that about four hundred Ger- 
man miles still separated them from Kamchatka, the 

*<>»SteIler, Reise, 17a. 


idea of exploring the American coast should be given 
up and all haste made to reach Avatcha.*^ 

On the eleventh the wind blew from the southeast 
making it possible to sail westward ; the next day it was 
calm, and this was followed by head winds which blew 
steadily until the eighteenth compelling the boat to beat 
up and down from north to south without, however, 
making much headway. Towards three o'clock of the 
morning of the nineteenth there sprung up an east wind 
with which they sailed westward until about noon when 
it died out, but it was still possible to make some slight 
advance towards the south and farther and farther from 
the mainland, which disappeared from view by the fol- 
lowing day. The winds were contrary nearly the whole 
time from the twentieth to the twenty-fifth when a 
strong storm from the west came up. It died down 
somewhat the next day but in order to make any head- 
way it was still necessary to tack. On the morning of 
the twenty-seventh it was clear and cold with the wind 
still from the west. According to the Journal of the St. 
Peter, the officers held a council that day to decide what 
to do; and this body concluded that because of the 
scarcity of water, there being only twenty-five full 
casks, and also on account of the head winds, the boat 
should sail towards the land for the purpose of taking 
on water. The boat had hardly started on the new 
course when the wind veered again. Taking advan- 
tage of it, the course was set anew, only to be changed 
again to northeast when the wind shifted once more 
and blew from the west. With this breeze the St. 
Peter sailed the remainder of the twenty-seventh and 
the twenty-eighth. Towards evening of the later day 

^* Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta, vol. ix, 389 ; Journal of the 
St. Peter, 72. Waxel's report gives the poiitioa of the boat at the time as 

53* "'. 


land was clearly seen in north by cast. By morn- 
ing of the twenty-ninth five islands stood out with the 
mainland in the distance. It was three o'clock when 
the first island was reached, which stretches from north 
to south. Late in the evening anchor was dropped in 
front of a bare and rocky island, latitude 55** 50' 45", 
about three versts off the first mentioned.**** Bering had 
now reached the Shumagin Islands, having spent nearly 
forty days in going from Kayak to Nagai, which can be 
made in about one-tenth of the time in fair weather. 

Early in the morning of the thirtieth a boat with 
Steller on board was sent ashore for water. He might 
as well have remained aboard for those in charge filled 
the casks with brackish water because it was handy, 
Steller argued with them, pointed out better water and 
warned the officers of the disastrous effects of the salt 
water on the health of the men, but all to no purpose. 
Fifty-two barrels of this water were taken on and this 
may explain in part why so many suffered from scurvy. 
As there was very little in the medicine chest to fight 
this disease Steller gathered many berries and grasses 
which could be made use of for medicinal purposes. 
He requested that several men be detailed for this work 
but this was not allowed. Bering was too ill to leave 
the cabin and Waxel was practically in command, es- 
pecially in matters of detail, and he and Steller were 
not on good terms. The taste of fresh food put Bering 
on his feet temporarily, as soon as that was gone he re- 
lapsed once more into a helpless condition."* A num- 
ber of the sick were taken ashore and one of them, Shu- 
magin, died on the thirtieth as soon as he was landed, 
and was buried the following day.***^ Towards the 

^» Steller in Pallas's Ntug Nordische Beytrage, vol. v, x8x. 

w^ibid^ ,87. 

^^The island on which he was buried was called Shumagin; at the pres- 


evening of the thirty-first there came on a heavy blow 
accompanied by a high surf and it was with great dif- 
ficulty and with boats half full of water that the in- 
valids were taken on board. The St. Peter would have 
gone out to sea then and there, instead of seeking shelter 
behind one of the islands, had it not been for the ab- 
sence of Chytref who started on the thirtieth of August 
for one of the islands on which fire was seen the night 
preceding, and before returning he lost his boat, two 
or three days' time, and nearly his own life and the 
lives of those with him.**' During the night the wind 
veered from cast to northwest from which quarter the 
boat was protected. She could not proceed for the rea- 
sons just given and that was the situation on Septem- 
ber I. By next morning the wind shifted to the south- 
east. The large boat with eight men was sent to bring 
off Chytref, who had been signalling for help by build- 
ing large fires. At the same time the St. Peter moved 
nearer to land. It blew hard and rained all day; to- 
wards evening the southeast wind became so strong that 
three anchors were let go. In the course of the night 
the wind turned to the southwest from which point no 
danger was feared. On the morning of the third, Chy- 
tref and all the other men came on board, and almost 
immediately afterwards the St. Peter got under sail and 
tried to work her way out but succeeded only partially. 
Another attempt was made on the fourth but on ac- 
count of the strong head wind it had to be given up. 
While anchored here some one was heard calling from 
shore; a little later two small boats were seen approach- 
ing. When within a half verst of the ship those in the 

ent time the whole group of islands is so named. According to Steller's de- 
scription [pp. 185-188] of the island it is probably the Nagai of to-day. 
^* Muller, Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, vol. iii, 210-2x3. 


boats began to speak in a loud voice the meaning of 
which no one on the St. Peter understood. Gestures 
expressing friendliness and an invitation to draw nearer 
were made to them from the deck. The islanders 
moved up closer, and by pointing with their hands to 
the shore, their fingers to their mouths, and dipping 
water with their hands, they seemed to invite those on 
ship to land and have something to eat and drink. Be- 
fore turning back to shore they approached so near the 
boat that they could be observed and presents given to 
them.**** When they had gone the large boat contain- 
ing twelve men, including Waxel and Steller, started 
for the spot from which the natives had come. On ac- 
count of the rocky beach, heavy surf, and wind, it was 
not safe to run the boat ashore; the Koriak interpreter 
and two Russians waded through the water to land 
where they were greeted by a large party of men and 
women. One of the natives went out in his skin boat 
to the ship's boat. He was treated with brandy and an 
old pipe full of tobacco, neither of which he appreci- 
ated and he left in disgust. The three men on the 
beach were led by the natives to the spot where they had 
been seated and presented with a piece of whale blub- 
ber, they said many things to them which were not un- 
derstood, and they pointed over the hills as if to say that 
their homes were over there. The rough weather pre- 
vented a longer stay than about fifteen minutes. As the 
three men started to leave the natives tried to detain 
them, especially the Koriak, and it became necessary to 
discharge three muskets over their heads. In their 
fright they fell to the ground and let go of their men 
who escaped to the boat and got away."* There seems 

*o* Steller in Pallas's Neue Nordische Beytrage, vol. v, 191-200. 
410 _ /^/^. 


to have been no harm intended by the natives. With his 
usual accuracy and clearness Steller describes these 
islanders and their customs, who resemble those seen 
by Chirikof, so that it is possible to recognize them at 
once as the inhabitants of the Shumagin Islands/^^ 

The party had barely got on board when a storm 
came up from the south accompanied by heavy rain 
which continued all that night and until noon of Sep- 
tember 5. Because the wind had shifted to the south- 
west leaving them in an exposed position the St. Peter 
left her moorings at two o'clock to look for shelter from 
westerly winds and three hours later such a spot was 
found. Several islanders in their skin boats came near 
the boat giving those on board another opportunity to 
observe them closely and to exchange presents. All 
during the sixth, the weather was unfavorable, but 
towards evening it was possible to take advantage of the 
southwest by west wind and attempt to work out of the 
islands. By noon of the next day the last of the islands 
was about twenty miles in the rear. A little later in the 
day the wind became so strong that sails had to be taken 
in and during the night the mizzen-mast sail only was 
used. More and more of the men were becoming sick, 
and there was some discussion on board as to whether it 
would not be wise to winter either in America or 
Japan.*" The gloomy, uncomfortable weather continued 
on the eighth with the wind shifting from west by north 
to west by south, but it was possible to advance with both 
of these so that by evening the boat was on the fifty-third 
parallel. It calmed down during the night. Toward 
morning a fair easterly wind came up blowing for sev- 
eral hours, pushing the boat on her course until, ac- 

*^^ Steller in Pallas's Neue Nordische BeytrMge, vol. v, i9x-aoa 

412— /^,V., 204. 


cording to the calculations of the officers, three hun- 
dred twelve Dutch miles separated them from Avatcha. 
There was both rain and sunshine on the tenth, the wind 
blowing at first from south-southwest and later south- 
west by south. Towards noon the reckoning showed 
the boat to be two hundred ninety-eight miles from 
Avatcha. Nearly the same wind and weather was ex- 
perienced the next day and twenty more miles were 
sailed. There were many reasons for believing that 
land was not far away. On the twelfth the weather 
changed for the worse, gloomy and calm at first, later 
head winds from the west with rain, so that the boat ad- 
vanced only two miles. Owing to the variable winds 
and calms of the two following days little headway was 
made. By noon of the fourteenth Avatcha was yet two 
hundred fifty-eight miles distant. Although it was 
fair overhead on the fifteenth, the winds were not such 
that much progress could be made. On the next day 
the wind seemed to come from all directions, finally 
settling down for a time to south-southwest, accom- 
panied by rain. Eighteen miles were covered in the 
last two days. Six miles were added the next day with 
the aid of winds, chiefly from northwest by west. By 
noon of the eighteenth Avatcha was two hundred twen- 
ty-nine miles off, wind mainly southwest by west; dur- 
ing the next twenty-four hours three more miles were 
added, the wind being from the northwest by west. 
Similar wind and weather prevailed on the twentieth, 
except that it calmed down during the night. The 
twenty-first was pleasant and sunshiny with a very quiet 
sea; towards evening it blew from the southeast and 
after midnight from northwest by west. This breeze 
continued the next day which was an agreeable one. 
On the twenty- third it stormed the whole day and night. 


the wind from the southwest forced the boat north. 
Towards evening the second man of the party died, the 
Grenadier Trejakof. The observation on the twenty- 
fourth indicated the fifty-first parallel and late in the 
day the Atka group of islands loomed up suddenly 
and many of them were given saintly names. With 
the southwest wind it was not possible to get by them, 
and in order not to run into them it was necessary to 
sail easterly. On the top of these hardships a storm 
came up and blew with all its fury for nearly two 
weeks, forcing the boat more and more to eastward and 
out of her course and causing considerable damage and 
much suffering. 

On the twenty-fifth, owing to the violence of the 
storm, the St. Peter was in danger of being wrecked on 
the islands or losing her masts and gear. Although the 
wind died down somewhat the next day the sea was still 
rough and the ship was again forced to go easterly. 
The twenty-seventh opened with a hard blow from the 
southeast but an hour later it shifted to the west and 
blew with all the violence imaginable. The old sailors 
on board said they had never before experienced any- 
thing like it. The boat was in danger every minute of 
either losing her rigging and masts or being swamped 
by the waves. On the twenty-eighth it was still worse. 
It seemed to quiet down on the twenty-ninth until about 
ten o^clock at night when once more the southeast wind 
sprung up veering gradually to the west and the storm 
was on again. It was worse than anything that had 
come before it. One could neither stand up nor lie 
down, all abandoned their posts and resigned them- 
selves to what seemed inevitable destruction. The boat 
was tossed here and there at the will of the waves, and 
one could see only a few feet ahead. It was impossible 


to cook anything and the only food obtainable was old 
hardtack. Half of the crew was down with scurvy 
and the other half was on its feet because of necessity 
and not because it was physically able. Bering, who 
was becoming weaker from day to day, recommended 
prayer and offerings to the Orthodox and Protestant 
churches. Everyone looked forward to daylight, but 
the first of October dawned without bringing relief, the 
southwest wind blew as hard as before. During the 
day the officers were of the opinion that as soon as the 
storm died down an effort should be made to find some 
place in America for the winter. 

Finally on the second the storm abated somewhat, al- 
though the wind was still blowing from southwest and 
the sea rough. During these trying days the ship had 
drifted three degrees south and about fifty miles cast.*^* 
Twenty-four men were critically ill and two had died. 
Hope soon came back and there was talk of going on to 
Kamchatka. This hopeful situation lasted only a short 
time, for at ten o'clock in the night the southeast blow 
came again raising a storm. On the following day, 
October 3, it cleared and the wind dropped just enough 
to make it possible to advance under one sail. The 
fourth was still quieter, with a few hours of sunshine, 
and another sail was hoisted. Although it was yet 
stormy and the seas heavy, it did not prevent the boat 
continuing her course the next two days. Men were 
dying almost daily. It was cold and clear on the sev- 
enth, the wind was westerly and the seas so rough that 
not much headway was made. The same kind of 
weather was experienced on the eighth until about three 
o'clock, when the southeast wind raised a storm, two 

*^> Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische Beytragft vol. v, 212. 


hours later it began to blow, rain, and hail from the 

The wind increased in velocity the next day, driving 
the boat northeasterly; the same condition existed on 
the tenth. Waxel was still of the opinion that an har- 
bor in America should be sought for the winter, but 
Bering would not agree to that. On the eleventh it was 
clear and sunshiny, the wind from west-northwest dy- 
ing down towards night, but freshening up about mid- 
night from the south. Before this wind the boat ran 
westward at the rate of one and three-fourths miles per 
hour. This wind held on until six o'clock of the after- 
noon of the twelfth when it veered to southwest bringing 
a storm, rain, hail, snow, and later a rainbow. The storm 
blew over by the thirteenth and in place of it came a 
head west wind making it necessary to tack between 
south and northwest. It was quiet on the fourteenth, 
and the fifteenth was full of sunshine and generally 
calm, what winds there were came from the northwest. 
This pleasant weather continued until six o'clock of the 
sixteenth, when a strong fair wind from the south sprung 
up driving the boat on her course at the rate of nearly 
four knots per hour. During the night the wind shifted 
to the east increasing the speed of the boat as high as six 
and a half knots. Towards the break of day the breeze 
shifted to the northeast and blew so strong that the sails 
were shortened. Although it rained on the seven- 
teenth the northeast wind continued to blow driving the 
boat before it. Variable winds and weather prevailed 
on the eighteenth, the boat continued to make from two 
to two and a half knots sailing on a southwest by west 
course with northerly winds. During the next three 
days the situation remained unchanged. On each of 
these days a man died. 


It was clear, sunshiny, and frosty on October 22, the 
wind westerly and the course north by east towards the 
American mainland which Waxel had made up his 
mind to reach because of the health of the men, the con- 
dition of the boat and the scarcity of fresh water, there 
being only fifteen barrels, and three of these were leak- 
ing owing to the fact that the wooden hoops were rot- 
ting away. The following day with the change of wind 
to southeasterly and later easterly, the course was al- 
tered with the view of arriving at Kamchatka or some 
island. According to Waxel's calculations on the 
twenty- fourth, the St. Peter was one hundred thirty- 
four miles from Avatcha, while Juschin insisted that it 
was one hundred twenty-two. It was determined to 
sail on the fifty-second parallel so that in case it blew 
from the south it would be possible to go north to 
Avatcha, if, however, it blew from the north the boat 
could go south between the first and second Kuril 
Islands. The twenty-fifth started out clear and sunny, 
but in the afternoon it hailed. At noon the observation 
indicated fifty-one degrees, thirty-five minutes as the 
position of the boat, and to the north of her an island 
loomed up. From an observation taken at noon on the 
twenty-sixth, the distance from Avatcha was computed 
to be one hundred three miles. The south-southwest 
wind of the twenty-seventh drove the boat northwest- 
erly. At noon the distance from Avatcha was an- 
nounced as ninety miles. Later in the day the velocity 
of the wind increased necessitating the shortening of 
sail. It was heavy weather on the morning of the 
twenty-eighth and when it cleared up somewhat, those 
on deck saw an island right before them not a mile dis- 
tant. Getting away from here the ship continued on 
her course during the twenty-ninth and thirtieth, on the 


morning of which two islands were seen lying near to 
each other close to the fiftieth parallel. A dispute 
came up as to whether these islands were the Kurils, 
the officers held that they were not while several of the 
men who had spent much time in Kamchatka main- 
tained the opposite view. No one could be quite cer- 
tain of the position of the boat because of the impossi- 
bility of making accurate observations and calculations. 
According to the computations of Waxel and Chytref 
they were still sixty miles short of Avatcha, and, there- 
fore, they set a northerly course and sailed on it Octo- 
ber 31, November i, 2, and 3, coming as far as the 
neighborhood of the fifty-sixth parallel. On midnight 
of November 4, the wind being westerly, the course 
was changed to southerly. So certain were those on 
board that Kamchatka was close at hand that on the 
morning of November 5 sails were taken in so as not to 
run into it. When about nine o'clock land showed it- 
self there was great rejoicing, the sick crawled out of 
their berths to have a look. A number of landmarks 
were identified as those of Kamchatka and the boat 
sailed up and down to get a closer view of them and by 
doing so it came into a bay. Fortunately for them the 
sun came out at noon allowing an observation, and to 
their great disappointment their position was found to 
be between the fifty-fifth and fifty-sixth parallels, too 
far north for Avatcha. The next move was to get out 
of the bay and away from land because of the threaten- 
ing storm. 

The condition of the men on the boat was most pitiful. 
There were only ten persons who were able to get about 
at all."* During the last few days many on board died, 

*i* Stellcr 10 Pallas's Neue Norduche Beytrage, vol. v, 219. Waxel in hia 
report [p. 228] gives eight as the Dumber of men able to be on dedL 


the sick were sinking fast, and those who stood their 
watch were so weak that they had to be led to their 
places and taken from them by men who were not in 
much better physical condition themselves.*" The days 
were gloomy and short and the nights long and black, 
with the danger of running into some unknown land at 
any time. So helpless were they that when the storm 
broke on them about midnight there was no one able to 
furl the sails, the result being that they were torn, the 
masts sprung and became in part useless. This was the 
situation on the morning of the sixth. A council of 
the ship's officers was called to decide on the next step. 
After taking into consideration the condition of men 
and boat, time of year, distance from Avatcha, lack of 
water (only six barrels were left on hand), and the bad 
weather, it was concluded to return to the bay from 
which they had just come, land, save the lives of 
those on board and if possible the ship.*" The boat 
was put about and headed for the land. When towards 
sunset they were within two versts of shore they com- 
menced to heave the lead, moving gradually nearer to 
within a verst and dropped anchor in nine fathoms. It 
was already night (five o'clock) but the moon was shin- 
ing. About half an hour after anchoring a heavy surf 
began to run tossing the ship here and there as if it were 
a plaything. A moment later the cable broke and for 

^^* Muller, Sammluug Rutsischer GesMchte, vol. iii, aay. 

*^* Steller, io Pallas's Neue Nordische Beytrage, vol. v, 224. According to 
StcIIer Bering was opposed to this plan. He said that since they had suf- 
fered and endured so long they should be patient awhile longer, and that they 
should make use of the foremast and try to reach Avatcha. Waxel and 
Chjrtref assured him that they were in Kamchatka and persuaded him to 
yield to their wishes. Waxel in his report [p. 229] says that the crew was 
so weak that it was dangerous to go farther. He also states that the sailors 
had a meeting of their own and notified the oflScers that their strength was 
failing them so fast that they could not be depended on to work much longer. 


awhile it seemed as if all were lost. A second anchor 
was thrown in with no better success. Before the third 
could be made ready a heavy sea lifted the boat over the 
reef into the calm water within three hundred fathoms 
of the shore.*" 

Aside from the reaction which followed this almost 
fatal event, a quiet night was spent. The next morn- 
ing being clear and pleasant with the wind from the 
northeast, Steller with a party of invalids made a land- 
ing. Waxel, sick and worn out, came also ashore, in- 
tending as soon as possible to send to Avatcha for horses 
to transport the sick, so certain was he that they were 
in Kamchatka. During the day several ptarmigan, sea 
otters, and seals, none of which showed any fear of man, 
were shot and sent with greens on board. Steller, 
Plenisner and several others remained on land over 
night to watch over the sick over whose heads shelter 
had been constructed out of driftwood and canvas. The 
next day they hunted and explored with the view of 
ascertaining whether they were in Kamchatka. The 
two first mentioned came to the conclusion that they 
were not and, therefore, on November 9, went about se- 
lecting a site for winter quarters and to prepare accom- 
modations for the sick who were being daily landed. 
A number of the invalids died before they touched 
ground and as soon as they came in contact with the 
fresh air. On this account those who had not yet been 
disturbed were carefully wrapped, and in this manner 
Bering was brought ashore on the tenth. He was com- 
posed and clear-headed and made inquiries as to their 
situation. He was placed under the care of Steller, 
the Assistant-surgeon Betge, and Plenisner, who tried 

417 There were two dead bodies on board which were to be buried on shore 
the next day ; but as soon as the superstitious sailors realized that the boat was 
in danger they laid the blame on these corpses and threw them overboard. 


to nurse him back to health. By the twenty-first nearly 
every one was ashore, including Waxel and Chytref, 
both of whom were very ill. It was a most pitiful and 
heart-breaking picture which presented itself on the 
beach. Scattered here and there were the dead, dying, 
and helpless sick, some without shelter or the necessary 
covering. This one complained that he was cold, an- 
other that he was hungry, a third that he was thirsty, 
and many were in such bad condition, their gums being 
so swollen, that they could not partake of food when it 
was handed to them. To add to this already tragic 
scene dozens and dozens of blue foxes infested the camp 
and could not be driven away. They tugged at the 
dead, bit the living, scattered and spoiled the provisions, 
stole the boot of one man, the shirt of another, and the 
hat of a third. Whatever was in sight, even articles 
made of metal, they carried oflf.*" Under these condi- 
tions many perished who, had they reached Kamchatka 
and had the needed attention and necessary nourish- 
ment, might have survived. Bering breathed his last 
on December 8, and was buried near where he died on 
the island which now bears his name."* Thirty men 

^^* Steller, in Pallas's Neue Nordische Beytrdge, vol. v, 232-236. The blue 
foxes were so numerous that the first day when Steller and Plenisner were 
building their hut they killed sixty with their axes and pikes in order to keep 
them off. On the next day they killed so many that they lay there in piles 
and were used that night for stopping up the holes in their dwelling. 

^^'MuIlePs account of the death of Bering has been repeated by some 
writers and exaggerated by others. This is what Muller says: "Man kann 
sagen, dass er noch bey lebendigem Leibe halb begraben worden. Denn wie 
in der Grube, worin er lag, bestandig Sand tod den Seitenwanden Herab- 
rollete, und seine Fusse bedeckte; so erlaubte er zuletzt nicht mehr, dass 
solches dorfte weggeraumet werden. Er empfund davon, seiner Sage nach, 
etwas Warme, die ihm sonst an den ubrigen Theilen seines Leibes abgieng. 
Und so haufte sich der Sand bis an den Unterlieb; daher man, da er mit 
Tode abgeing, ihn erst aus dem Sande hervorscharren muste, um ihn auf 
gehorige Art zur Erden zu bestatten" - Muller, Sammlung Russicher Ge- 
schichtit vol. iii, 238. Muller does not give his authority for his statement, and 


in all lost their lives from the time of leaving Avatcha 
until January 8, when the last of the diseased men 
passed away.*** 

it is probably an exaggerated account which had gathered in the coune of 
time. Steller, who was with Bering to the very last, relates a different story: 
''So aber kam er fast vor Hunger, Durst, Kalte, Ungemavh und Betrubniss 
um, und der odomatose Geschwulst der Fusse, den er schon langst tod einem 
gestropften Tertianiieber hatte, wurde durch die Kalte vermehrt und in den 
Leib und die Brust getrieben, endlich aber seinem Leben, durch den im Unter- 
liebe entstanden Brand, am 8 December zwey Stunden vor Tage, ein Ende 
gemacht So jammervoll sein Tod seinen Freunden scheinen musste, so be- 
wunderswurdig war seine Gelassenheit und erstliche Zubereitung zum Schei- 
den, welches bey volliger Vemunft und sprache erfolgte. Er selbst war 
uberzeugt, dass wir an ein unbekanntes Land verschlagen worden, dennoch 
wollte er durch seine Behauptung die ubrigen nicht gem niedergeschlagen 
machen, sondem ermunterte vielmehr auf alle Weise zur Hofnung und 
Thatigkeit Wir begruben dessen entacclten Leichnam Tages darauf, nach 
Protestantischen Kirchengebrauchen nahe bey unsrer Wohnung, do er zwischen 
seinen Adjutanten, einem Commissario und zwey Grenadieren liegt, und 
setzen bey unsrer Abreise auf die Grabstatte, zum Merkmal ein holzemes 
Kreuz, welches zugleich fur die Besitznehmung des Landes gelten konnte"- 
Steller, Pallas' Neue Nordische Beytrage, vol. vi, 8-9. 

^'^ There is an episode in connection with this voyage which is of some 
interest and which has been the cause of not a little misunderstanding. In 
1750 J. N. Delisle, who had left St Petersburg in 1747, read a paper before 
the Academy at Paris, in which he said that Bering was wrecked on an island 
and had not been in America, and that Chirikof and Delisle de la Croyere 
had touched on the American coast This statement was bitterly attacked and 
its author roughly handled by Muller [?] in a Lettre d'un Oficur de la Ma- 
rine Russienne. The point is this: Did Delisle say what he did to belittle 
Bering and magnify the deeds of Chirikof, and especially of his brother, or 
was he simply ignorant of the true state of affairs? The writer believes that 
the latter explanation is the true one, and for these reasons: (1) When Delisle 
left Russia many of the original journals and charts were in Siberia [Zapiski 
Hydrograficheskavo DepartamentOj vol. i^ 468]; (2) Delisle did not know 
the true facts of Bering's voyage, because in his manuscript, although one 
finds extracts of many of the voyages, there is not a single word about the St 
Peter's; (3) it is doubtful whether the Admiralty College gave out (by 1750) 
accurate details regarding Bering's voyage, because the whole of Europe had 
erroneous ideas on the subject; (4) Delisle got his information for the state* 
ment from the newspapers of the day, as may be seen from the following 
freely translated extracts. 

"Captain Behring, who went to make an attempt to find out whether one 
could go to America by way of the Arctic Sea [Mer du Nord], was wrecked 
on the coast of an island, and the captain with the larger part of the crew 
died there. Steller, the botanist of the Academy, and several sailors were 


In more recent times a monument has been erected 
on that island by the Russian government to him who 
gave the best part of his life to determine whether Asia 
and America are united. With his discoveries the 
czar's dominions reached their farthest extent. What- 
ever faults Bering had, it can not be said of him that 
he shirked a task because it was hard and unpleasant. 
His def amers have belittled themselves by accusing him 
of short comings from which deeper study and fairer 
judgment would have shown him to be free ; his friends 
have not added to their reputation by slandering those 
who fail to see in him a ^^Russian Columbus." The 
mere discovery of land does not make one a Columbus, 
although it may make one famous. A great discoverer 
must possess special qualifications and ability for such 
work, Bering at no time displayed unusual qualities. 
He was, in school language, a ^^plodder;'' he did the 
work before him faithfully and to the best of his abil- 

fortunate enough to resist the disease and from the wreck of the big boat 
built a smaller one, on which they returned to Kamchatka. Steller says that 
he met Captain Tscherikov who told him that he had been on the coast of 
some unknown country whose inhabitants resemble the Americans. But when 
he attempted to land he was repulsed by the Americans, and after losing sev- 
eral soldiers and sailors, he had to give it up." - Gazette de France, Novem- 
ber 16, 1743. (De Petersburg, October 20). 

"Mr. George Guillaume Steller of Windsheim, Franconia, famous bot- 
anist and Professor of the Imperial Academy, died recently between Tobolsk and 
Cathrinesburg. This scholar is generally mourned. He was coming to Kam- 
chatka after having discovered one of the islands of North America and 
proved that it was only a short distance from there to the Russian Empire. 
He undertook this discovery in 1738 by the order of the Court in a vessel 
commanded by Captain Behring. They had the misfortune to get wrecked 
on an island, where the captain and the greater part of the crew died."- 
Bibliotheque Germamque, Tome 3 (published after 1746). 

"News has reached here that Mr. Steller, the famous botanist and member 
of the Imperial Academy, died recently. . . He was returning from Kam- 
chatka after having discovered one of the North American islands and proved 
that it was only a short diitawfr fnni diere to the Russian Empire." -Am- 
sterdam CoMetU, JsHHRy as, I747< 


ity. From this point of view Bering may be called 

It is interesting to note the behavior of those who 
were able to take care of themselves. Steller, Plenis- 
ner, the assistant surgeon, and two or three others joined 
hands to stand by each other. They organized their 
forces, divided their work, and were soon as comfort- 
able as they could be under the circumstances. During 
the life time of Bering he was looked after by this small 
company. A number of the other men followed their 
example and they too banded together. The sick were 
not neglected, but, judging from Steller^s journal, it 
would seem that their wants were not always looked af- 
ter first. During the long sea voyage certain feuds and 
enmities had developed and these were not immediately 
forgotten. The sick, outside of those already mentioned, 
were placed under cover in one place and there they 
lay cursing their evil fortune and their olfficers who led 
them into this undertaking. Chytref when he was tak- 
en ill was brought into this place and had to listen to 
the men calling down God^s anger on him for the things 
he did and did not do. He begged Steller and his party 
to take him out of this common sick room into their 
quarters, but partly because of lack of room but chiefly 
because of the hate which they bore him, they refused 
his request. Waxel received a little better treatment, 
although the Steller crowd would not take him in, they 
did provide separate quarters for him and several other 
sick men. It is not clear whether Chytref was of that 
number or not.*" 

By January i, there were five underground huts to 
shelter the men for the winter: the so-called barracks, 
the lieutenants' quarters, Steller's place, the hut of 

«i Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische Beyirage, vol. vi, 4-5. 


Alexei Iwanof, and the one of Luka Alexeef . In front 
of each building were several large casks used as store 
houses which served to keep the foxes out. As the men 
became stronger and the memories of those frightful 
days were less tense they drew closer to each other and 
worked more in harmony and to a common end. They 
organized themselves into three companies. One was 
to provide the camp with meat which became the main 
article of diet. As there were a great many sea otters, 
seals, sea cows, sea lions, and sea bears, there was no 
lack of food at first. But the men became thoughtless 
and killed a great deal of game for mere sport or for 
the sake of their pelts, this was especially true of the sea 
otter, the animals were driven farther and farther from 
camp. Towards the end of the stay it was necessary to 
go a distance of eighteen to twenty miles to find them. 

Bread and other foods were also given out but not in 
the same abundance. From the middle of November 
to the beginning of May each person was allowed 
monthly thirty pounds of flour and several pounds of 
pearl-barley, the last named article, however, gave out 
after two months. During May and June only twenty 
pounds of flour were allowed to each man, and in July 
and August no flour at all was forthcoming, because 
there were only twenty-five puds (nine hundred 
pounds) left and this was kept to be used on the voyage 
to Kamchatka. No one suffered from this scarcity of 
flour and many did not use up their share partly because 
they had other things to eat and partly because the lack 
of a good bake-oven and the poor quality of the flour 
which had suffered from having stood long in the leath- 
er sacks and from having come in contact with salt 
water and distasteful substances at the time of the wreck. 

^> Steller in Pallas's Neui NorMsche Beytrage, vol. vi, 19 ; Waxel [p. 
232] says even thirty miles. 




The usual way of preparing it for food was to make it 
into cakes and fry it in whale, seal, or sea cow oil. 

The second company had for its task the providing 
of wood for the camp and this was regarded as the hard- 
est work of all. With the exception of some scrub- 
brush there was not a tree on the island. There was 
a considerable amount of driftwood on the place; that 
which was near camp was used up very soon in build- 
ing the huts and for firewood and the remainder was 
covered by several feet of snow. Towards the end of 
March the men had to go as far as fifteen and sixteen 
versts for their wood which they had to carry on their 
backs. In addition to its being hard and trying work 
it was also dangerous.*** After the middle of May when 
the snow disappeared wood was found close by and the 
search for fire-wood lost its terrors. A new source of 
supply came from the breaking up of the boat. 

The third company busied itself with the cooking. 
The question of nationality seems to have been an im- 
portant factor in the division of labor. Whenever pos- 
sible it was arranged that a German and Russian should 
share equally in the work of cooking and hunting.*" 

*^ Od several occasions the men were nearly overcome by the hardships 
and dangers involved in going such long distances. On April i, four hunters 
went out to bring game. Towards evening a blinding snow-storm came up so 
that they could only with great difficulty see a few feet ahead of them and 
they could hardly keep their feet. Under the circumstances the men became 
separated. Three of them spent the night under several feet of snow out of 
which they extricated themselves the following morning with great difficulty. 
When they reached camp they could neither speak nor think and one was 
totally blind. The fourth member of the party after becoming s^arated fell 
into the water and was chilled through and through. When found next morn- 
ing he was wandering up and down the beach, having lost his reason. They 
were given the necessary attention and they all recovered. About the same 
time another small party was caught by the high water and was kept on a 
rock for seven days without food or fire [Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische 
Beytragif vol. vi, 15-17]. 


During the winter months efforts were made to as- 
certain whether the place where the men were en- 
camped was part of Kamchatka or some outlying is- 
land. A few days after landing several men were sent 
to examine the lay of the land to the westward. On 
their return they said that they found no trace of human 
beings or any evidence which would lead them to think 
that they were on Kamchatka.*** Towards the end of 
December another party was sent out eastward and on 
its return on December 26, it gave its opinion that they 
were on an island. They did find rudders, casks, and 
other objects which led them to think that Kamchatka 
was not far off.*** On February 25, four others were 
commissioned to go westward, but they did not go far 
and came back without having accomplished anything 
of value.*" An attempt was made to follow the coast 
in a southerly direction. For this purpose several men 
were sent on March 15, and they, too, were unable to 
report anything more definite than the finding of a part 
of a Kamchatka boat known to the men. A week later 
several members of this company went again in the 
same direction. It was understood that in case they 
discovered that they were on an island they should all 
return at once in order that the construction of a new 
boat might not be delayed; if however, it was found 
that they were on the mainland of Kamchatka half of 
the company should proceed to Avatcha and the other 
half should hasten back to camp. On April 6 they re- 
turned saying that they were certain that they were on 
an island and that they saw to the northeast of them 

*^" Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische Beytrage, vol. vi, 5. 

«• — /AiV., 12-X3. 
427 -. /^,\/. 


high mountains which seemed to them to belong to 
some island off Kamchatka and not America/^^ 

Now that there was no longer any doubt as to their 
being on an island the only way left for reaching Kam- 
chatka was by water. The St. Peter, after the exciting 
events of the night of November 6, lay quietly at an- 
chor until towards the end of that month when she was 
blown farther on the beach.*" On February i, a high 
tide and northwest wind carried her still farther ashore 
and it became very doubtful whether she could be got- 
ten into deep water again even if it were found that her 
bottom was sound.*'^ At a meeting held on April 9, 
it was decided to break up the boat at once and build a 
smaller one, and the men were reorganized with this ob- 
ject in view. Twelve men were selected to occupy 
themselves exclusively with this work, the others, 
Waxel, Chytref, and Steller excepted, were divided in- 
to two gangs to hunt and work about camp by turns.**^ 
Although there was now plenty of wood, the men had 
to go long distances for game, as was already noted, and 
this was now regarded the hardest work. On May 6 
the keel was laid. To celebrate the event Waxel in- 
vited all to his dwelling and treated them to the best he 
had, none of which was intoxicating. Everybody 
worked with a will for they were eager to get away 
from the island, and the long and pleasant days helped 
them very much. Now and then the hunters were for- 
tunate in killing near camp sea cows, or sea bears, or 

*'^ Steller in PalUs's Neue Nordiscke Beytrdge^ vol. vi, 12-14, 17-18. 

«• — Ibid,, 6. 

4ao — lhid,f 12. According to the Journal of the Sl Peter the officers and 
sailors met on January 18 and 29 to discuss the extent of the injuries suffered 
by the St. Peter. Five arguments were advanced to prove that the boat was 
past repair. This report was signed by all the officers and sailors, except 
Ovtzin who submitted a minority report. 

481 — ibid,, x8. 


finding a whale, all of which made it possible to reduce 
the number of men in their party and add them to the 
ship builders,^" or to put them to other work. 

Before launching the boat on August 8 all hands 
gathered for prayer. St. Peter, after whom the new 
boat was named, was prayed to that he might take the 
vessel under his protection and bring her safe to Kam- 
chatka.*" After two days more of hard work, the boat 
was gotten into the water. She had a thirty-six foot 
keel, measured forty-two feet from bow to stern,*" and 
drew five and a half feet of water. On the eleventh 
the mast was put in and the tackle and gear prepared. 
At the same time a small ship's boat was being con- 
structed to be carried on deck. Others were putting 
provisions and other material on board. Among the 
supplies which were taken on were twenty-five puds of 
rye-flour, five barrels of salted sea cow meat, also a con- 
siderable quantity of dried meat of this animal, two 
puds pease, one barrel of salted beef which had been 
saved for this purpose. In addition each man had four 
pounds of butter and most of them had saved up enough 
flour during their stay on the island to provide them- 
selves with bread.*'* 

On August 13 all went on board and trusted their 
lives once more to the waves. That boat was so small 
and the amount of baggage so large that there was not 
room enough for the forty-six men to travel with com- 
fort. It was necessary to throw some of the baggage 
overboard before they could find space for all. After 

*'* Steller in Pallas's Neue Nordische Beytrage^ vol. vi, 20-21. During 
July Chytref and others examined the shore by land and water in order to find 
harbors and to determine on the course to sail after leaving the island. 

*^^ — Ibid, Waxel in his report gives these dimensions: thirty-six feet 

long, twelve feet deep, five and one-fourth feet under water. 

*«* — /AiV. 
4S5 _ 11,14,^ 22. 



prayer on the morning of the 14th the sails were 
hoisted and the voyage begun with a fair wind. The 
pleasant weather and good breeze remained with them 
all during the following day, the course sailed being 
west by south. That night, however, a leak was dis- 
covered and the vessel began to fill and many thought 
that their last moment had come. The sails were reefed 
and a search was made for the leak which was happily 
found and stopped. On the sixteenth a similar course 
to that of the fifteenth was sailed ; on the seventeenth 
Kamchatka came in view. As the boat came under the 
land the wind either died out altogether or was dead 
ahead so that it was not before the evening of the twen- 
ty-seventh that the St. Peter came to anchor in Avatcha 
Bay."* Many of the inhabitants welcomed them glad- 
ly; others were less elated for having given them up as 
lost they had helped themselves to the things which the 
officers and crew had left behind. The day after land- 
ing was set apart as a day of thanksgiving for having 
been spared and brought back in good health. In the 
old church at Petropavlovsk there used to hang two 
icons, representing St. Peter and St. Paul. The frame 
of one was richly decorated with silver donated by those 
who returned; under it was written, 

This holy picture is adorned according to the promise of Di- 
mitri Ovtzin and others on being saved from the desert island 
and on arriving in Kamchatka in 1742. 


The part of Bering's third proposition, which re- 
ferred to the finding of a route between Okhotsk and 
Japan, was entrusted to Spanberg with these instruc- 
tions:*" Captain Spanberg should build, either at Ok- 

^' Steller in Pallas's Neue Nbrdische Beytrage, voL vi, 25. 

**'' Polnoe Sobrame Zaknof, Rossiskoi Imperiiy vol. viii, doc. 6291. 


hotsk or Kamchatka, three boats and on these sail to 
find a way to Japan ; on the way he was to examine the 
islands between Kamchatka Cape and Japan, some of 
these islands being already under Russian jurisdiction 
(if there were any islands under the jurisdiction of the 
Emperor of Japan, he was to take note of those also and 
try to enter into friendly relations with the inhabitants) ; 
to continue from there to Japan and learn about its gov- 
ernment, ports, and the possibilities of entering into 
friendly relations with the people. If there should be 
any shipwrecked Japanese in Kamchatka, they should 
be taken back to their country as a sign of friendliness 
towards their country. On coming to Japan with these 
shipwrecked Japanese, it might be well to give as an 
excuse for coming, the desire to return these men to 
their homes; but in case the Japanese government 
should refuse to receive them, then they were to be put 
ashore somewhere and allowed to find their way home. 
In every possible way friendliness was to be shown and 
an attempt made to overcome their inveterate Asiatic 
unsociableness. While in Japan, care was to be taken 
not to do anything which might offend the Japanese. 
Warning was given not to believe all that was said to 
them, nor to allow themselves to be led into a trap and 
attacked, nor to linger there any longer than was really 
necessary. Bering's suggestion to invite the Japanese 
to meet the Russians half-way in their boats was not to 
be made to them. 

Spanberg, as has already been noted, arrived at Ok- 
hotsk in 1735, and for three years he was busy building 
boats and preparing for his mission. His fleet consist- 
ed of the flag-ship Archangel Michael (sixty by eigh- 
teen by seven and one-half feet), the double sloop 
Nadezhda (seventy by seventeen by five feet), cap- 








tained by Walton, and the old St. Gabriel, in command 
of Shelting. On the flag-ship were sixty-three men, 
but the two other boats had forty-four each. 

The three vessels left Okhotsk June i8, 1738, and on 
meeting with ice, ran into Bolshaya River where they 
remained until July 15, taking on provisions and the 
crew of the wrecked Fortune. After leaving this port 
the boats became separated in the fog; the Gabriel dis- 
appeared from view on the nineteenth, and five days 
later the Nadezhda was equally invisible. The Arch- 
angel cruised among the Kurils, bestowing names on 
about twenty-nine of them, but no landing was made on 
account of the rocky shores. On August 3, Spanberg, 
being near Urup Island [Company Land] forty-five 
and one-half degrees, turned back because of the late 
season, long nights, thick weather, unknown seas, strong 
currents, lack of provisions, fear of the enemy, and oth- 
er such-like reasons. Nothing of special interest hap- 
pened on the return voyage, and on August 17 Spanberg 
anchored once more in Bolshaya River, where he found 
Shelting. A week later Walton came in, saying that 
he had been as far south as forty-three and one-half 

One year of the two allowed for the work was al- 
ready used up without any great results. During the 
winter of 1738- 1739, Spanberg constructed a new boat 
(fifty by eleven by four and one-half feet) and in honor 
of the fort named her Bolsheretzk. She drew but little 
water and was provided with oars to enable her to move 
about more easily among the islands and to make land- 
ings. The old Gabriel, which had been damaged in 
the course of the winter in attempting to go to Okhotsk, 
was repaired and once more made serviceable. 

On May 21, 1739, the four boats sailed away from 


Kamchatka, directing their course for the first Kuril 
island, which was reached on the twenty-fifth. Here 
an interpreter was taken on board. For some unknown 
reason, Spanberg shifted Walton to Shelting's and 
Shelting to Walton's boat. From this place they de- 
parted June I, sailing first southeasterly as far as the 
forty-second parallel without being able to find Gama 
or any other land, and then the course was changed to 
southwest. Muller says"' that on June 14 a storm 
separated Walton from the other navigators, but one is 
more inclined to believe Spanberg, who charges that 
Walton had been trying for some time to get away, and 
that it had been necessary to order the crew of Walton's 
boat not to follow their captain in such an attempt.*" 
Intentionally or otherwise Walton disappeared. 

Spanberg continued on his course. On June 16, in 
latitude thirty-nine degrees, he sighted Nippon and fol- 
lowed its coast for two days more which brought him to 
latitude thirty-eight degrees, forty-one minutes *" where 
he anchored. From deck one could see many villages, 
cultivated fields, forests, and junks. Two of the last 
named came up within thirty or forty fathoms of the 
Archangel Michael but would not approach any nearer 
although Spanberg invited them to do so. On the 
other hand they motioned to him to go ashore. Span- 
berg thought there was some treachery on foot and 
sailed away."^ Following the coast in a southerly di- 
rection the boat came to anchor again on the 22d, in lat- 
itude thirty-seven degrees, thirty minutes.*" The people 

«ss Muller, Sammtung Russischer Geschtchte^ vol. iii, 168, 169. 
^* Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta^ vol. ix. 
«M Muller, op. cit,, vol. Hi, 168, 169. 

441 _ /^,v. 

442 — /^iV. Muller [op, «V., 169] gives the location as thirty-eight de- 
grees, twenty-five minutes. 


from shore looked on the newcomers with suspicion at 
first, but gradually they became more friendly and en- 
tered into trade relations. Two junks came to the ship 
bringing gold coins, rice, tobacco, fresh fish, and other 
articles of trade, taking in return objects offered by the 
Russians/" A day or two later there came on board 
four important Japanese ofi[icers. They made their 
salutations in the most gracious manner and they re- 
mained on their knees so long that Spanberg had to re- 
quest them to rise. They were treated with brandy and 
Russian dishes, both of which they seemed to enjoy. 
Spanberg laid before them a chart of these regions and 
the visitors identified a number of places and referred 
to the island on which they lived as Nippon. All this 
evidence convinced Spanberg that he had accomplished 
the principal part of his mission -to determine the sit- 
uation of Japan- and he was ready to return."* The 
stay on the whole was short, because seeing himself sur- 
rounded by nearly a thousand islanders and fearing a 
misunderstanding might arise, Spanberg did not think 
it wise to remain long. 

From this point the Archangel sailed a northeasterly 
course, discovering, naming, and making landings on a 
number of the Kuril Islands. On one of these islands 
there was a village, eight of the inhabitants of which 
were brought on board. From the description given 
of them there seems to be no doubt that they were the 
hairy Ainos. In these waters Spanberg navigated un- 
til July 25 and then headed the boat for Kamchatka on 
account of illness on board. A short stay was made at 
the first Kuril Island and from there they went on to 
Bolshaya River where they arrived on August 15. Five 

**■ Muller, op. «/., vol. iii, 169-173. 
444 _ /^/^. 


days later the boat sailed away for Okhotsk and an- 
chored there on the twenty-ninth. During the voyage 
thirteen men died. 

Walton, when he found himself alone, sailed away 
on his own responsibility on west and southwest courses. 
He sighted Nippon on June 16, in latitude thirty-seven 
degrees, forty-two minutes;"* and coasted in sight of 
its shore. On the seventeenth he fell in with a Japanese 
ship and by following her he came to a large city situ- 
ated in thirty-four degrees, sixteen minutes.*** The in- 
habitants of this part of Japan had had trade relations 
with Europeans and were therefore more at ease in 
their presence than those farther north whom Spanberg 
had met. At the invitation of the natives Walton sent 
Kasimerof and seven others in the ship's boat to shore 
to fetch fresh water. They were met on the way by a 
great many small boats and a large crowd of people 
welcomed them to shore. The two empty casks were 
taken in charge by the Japanese who filled them with 
water. Kasimerof was invited into one of the houses 
in the city where wine and sweets were placed before 
him. After walking about and examining the city 
awhile longer Kasimerof started back for the ship. He 
was followed by a hundred Japanese boats, in one of 
which was a man of some distinction. He came on 
board and exchanged presents and drinks with Walton. 
Elsewhere on the boat a brisk trade was going on be- 
tween the Japanese and the Russian sailors. The num- 
ber of Japanese about the ship became so large that 

*^^ There is a great confusion in the original charts and journals and it is 
difficult, if not impossible, to determine with accuracy the places in question. 
Muller lop. nV., 175-176] says that Walton came in view of Nippon in lati- 
tude thirty-eight degrees, seventeen minutes, and that he came to anchor be- 
fore a city situated in thirty-three degrees, foiy-eight minutes. 

**• Muller, op» cit,, vol. iii, 169-173. 


Walton, fearing trouble, pulled up the anchor and went 
out to sea as soon as the Japanese officer departed. 
Stops were made for the purpose of taking on fresh 
water and making observations of the country and the 
people, of which interesting descriptions are given. 
When in latitude thirty- three degrees, twenty-eight 
minutes the Gabriel turned back and reached Bolshaya 
River July 23. Three days later the Bolsheretzk ap- 
peared, and, accompanied by the Gabriel, the two boats 
sailed away August 7, making Okhotsk on the twenty- 
second. The Nadezhda experienced many hardships 
after leaving the flag-ship (July 31), especially in try- 
ing to get to Okhotsk. Twice she came in sight of the 
desired haven but was driven back each time by a storm, 
compelling her finally to give up and return to Bol- 
shaya River for the winter. 

Spanberg reported to Bering the results of his voyage 
and said, among other things, that if his boats had kept 
together he would have asked the nearer Kuril Islands 
to come under the jurisdiction of the Russian Empire, 
and that all the islands from the forty-third degree of 
latitude could without much danger be brought under 
subjection. For this purpose he asked to be put in 
charge of another expedition. This Bering would not 
grant, because the time allowed Spanberg for this kind 
of work had expired. After a consultation with the 
officers, it was decided to let Spanberg go to the cap- 
ital, where announcements of his voyage had already 
been sent. Spanberg, taking his papers with him,**' 
set out, and when he had come as far as Jakutsk he 
found instructions from the Admiralty College not to 
come any nearer. In April he received another mes- 

^^"^ Delisle Manuscripts. It is not dear whether the papers were sent 
ahead or were left behind for him to take. 


sage, from the Imperial Cabinet this time, telling him 
to come with all speed. He had gone but a short dis- 
tance when he was stopped by an order of April 15, 
commanding him to go back and do the work over 
Bering was about ready to leave for Kamchatka, with 

^^Zapishi HydrografLcheskavo Dipartamenta, vol. ix, 363-365. Span- 
berg and Walton were on bad terms with each other and with their officers. 
Spanberg complained that Petrof, his pilot, was a drunkard. Petrof said that 
Spanberg made him change the journal and cursed him in German and Rus- 
sian and threatened to hang him. Walton said that Kasimerof, one of his 
officers, was disobedient, would not stand hb watch, nor keep the journal. 
Kasimerof charged that Walton beat him. Walton and the priest accused 
spanberg of mistreating them. The crews swore than Spanberg and Walton 
abused them. Pizaref, who was not friend of Spanberg's, wrote a letter to 
the Senate saying that it was in Korea and not Japan that Spanberg had been, 
because according to a Japanese map found at Okhotsk, Japan is just south of 
Kamchatka and not fifteen degrees removed where Spanberg placed it. Ber- 
ing examined Spanberg's log book, finding there many errors, and Spanberg 
detected in Walton's enough faults to fill a sixteen page note book. Having 
before it all these charges, inaccurate log books, and contradictory evidences, 
the Admiralty College did not know whom to believe, and it, therefore, de- 
cided to have Spanberg do the work over again in a more thorough manner. 

In 1741, the Admiralty College took all the documents relating to Span- 
berg's expedition and placed them in the hands of Professor Shishkof of the 
Naval Academy. He examined and compared them, and came to the con- 
clusion that although according to the map and statements of Pizaref, Span- 
berg could not have been in Japan, yet since KiriloPs and Delisle's maps place 
Japan southwest of Kamchatka, and since Spanberg sailed on that course, it 
is quite probable that he was in Japan. In the meantime more documents 
came in, and to examine these the Admiralty College appointed a commission 
consisting of Captains Laptef and Nagaef and Professors Shishkof and Biltsof, 
to see what it could make out of the material. This body was in session 
until 1746 and made this report: ''Without any doubt it is clear that Captain 
Walton, judging from all circumstances, was really on the eastern coast of 
Japan and not in Korea. . . As to the voyage of Captain Spanberg, judg- 
ing from his journal, it could hardly be believed that he was on the northern 
coast of Japan. . . But since he was with the other boats from May 23, 
when they left Bolsheretzk, up to June 15, and since he noted down in his 
journal the appearance of the Japanese coast and other happenings which he 
observed; therefore it is possible that Spanberg was in Japan and on his re- 
turn among the Japanese islands. . . But to attempt from his journal to 
put his voyage on a chart and to locate correctly the islands he saw on the 
way and some of the Japanese islands is quite impossible, not only for an 
outsider, but for Spanberg himself." 


all the provisions on hand, when Spanberg returned to 
Okhotsk, in the summer of 1740. This made it neces- 
sary for Spanberg to go to Jakutsk for other supplies, 
and it was June, 1741, before he came back with a part 
of them, the remainder arriving in September. A new 
boat, the St. John (seventy by eighteen by six and one- 
fourth feet), was constructed to take the place of the 
St. Gabriel.*** As it was too late to enter on the voyage 
that year, Spanberg went only as far as Bolsheretzk, 
where he wintered. Before leaving Okhotsk he de- 
spatched the Nadezhda in charge of Shelting, assisted 
by Gwosdef, the same who sighted America in 1732, to 
chart the western coast of Okhotsk to the Amur. With 
fair winds the Nadezhda came to the Shantar Islands 
■f . and later to the Ouda River, which Shelting reported 
was unfit for settlement on account of the sterility of 
the soil and the lack of building material. From the 
twenty-second to the twenty-eighth, the boat cruised 
among the Shantar Islands and then, owing to a leak, 
headed for Bolshaya River, anchoring October 9. 

On May 23, 1742, Spanberg took his fleet out to sea. 
The St. John was made the flag-ship with seventy-eight 
persons on board, having, in addition to the regular 
crew, a son of Spanberg, a youth of about twenty, two 
students from the St. Petersburg Academy to act as 
Japanese interpreters,"* a son of Prince Dolgoruki, a 
priest, and a surgeon. The Archangel Michael was 
commanded by Shelting and had forty people on her; 
the Nadezhda, captained by Ptishzef, had thirty-three; 

«M From this time on no more is heard of the St Gabriel. She was prob- 
ably one of the two freight boats Bering took along with him to Kamchatka ; 
but what became of her after that trip is not known. 

^B^They had learned the Japanese language from two Japanese who had 
been shipwrecked in Kamchatka years before and were sent to St. Petersburg. 


and the Bolsheretzk thirteen, including Boatswain Ka- 
sin, who was in charge.*" 

After leaving Kamchatka a stop was made on the 
first Kuril island, where an interpreter was taken on 
board and two natives baptized. From this island the 
boats sailed May 30, heading southwesterly, and run- 
ning into a great deal of fog. The weather cleared up 
on June 4, giving Spanberg an opportunity to deter- 
mine his position, which was latitude forty-seven de- 
grees, and to notice that two of his boats were out of 
sight. Eight days later the Bolsheretzk also disap- 
peared from view. The St. John continued alone un- 
til June 22, being at the time in latitude forty-one de- 
grees, fifteen minutes and near Japan. The weather 
seems to have been fair and the very best time of the 
year for navigating in these waters, and yet for some 
inexplainable reason, Spanberg called a council to de- 
cide whether they should go back. Most of the officers 
were only too glad to return, because, they said, the 
season was already far advanced, that it was not safe 
for one boat to sail alone in these waters, that a number 
of the crew were ill, and that as until now the winds 
had been contrary they were likely to be so on the home- 
ward voyage. There were those on board of the opin- 
ion that they should sail on until July 10, which shows 
that the condition of the boat was not dangerous. It 
was finally compromised to go on until July 6. This 
agreement was never carried out, for on June 30, in lat- 
itude thirty-nine degrees, thirty-five minutes, the St. 
John, which had been rather hastily constructed of un- 
seasoned timber, sprang a leak. Under the circum- 

^^^ Walton did not take part in this voyage. He was promoted to the 
rank of captain and requested to come to the capita], but he died on the way 
in 1742. 


Stances the course was set for the first Kuril island, 
which was reached without much difficulty, and here 
the three other boats were found at anchor. 

Shelting was once more shifted to the Nadezhda and 
with a pilot and geodist was ordered to chart the coast 
from Ouda to the Amur. Sailing away July 24, he 
made on August i the eastern shore of Sakhalin Island, 
in latitude fifty degrees, ten minutes, and coasted along- 
side of it to what is known as Laperouse Strait. Owing 
to the heavy fogs about the island, he was prevented 
from making an observation, and on account of the head 
winds he was unable to proceed. So he concluded to 
go to Okhotsk, which place he reached September 10 
and joined the remainder of Spanberg's squadron, that 
had made this port August 26, after having been at 
Bolshaya River. 

This brought to an end Spanberg's third and last 
voyage to Japan. It seems that even for that period, 
and notwithstanding his handicaps, the task assigned 
him should have been accomplished in one year. The 
blame for the failure others besides Spanberg should 
share. It was difficult to obtain results from a crew 
made up of different nationalities and landsmen who 
knew that their chief did not have the full confidence 
of his superiors. Neither the officers nor the men had 
their souls completely in their work; their main object 
was to go through the performance and hurry home. 
This was especially true of the last voyage. Another 
trouble was that all concerned in the undertaking 
were physically and mentally worn out, easily of- 
fended, and given to quarreling. The third attempt 
of Spanberg's was as useless as it was fruitless ; and for 
this were to blame the officers of the capital, who pre- 


ferred to follow dead maps rather than Spanberg's live 

Looked at from the point of view of geographical 
knowledge acquired, these three voyages were very 
valuable. In spite of the harsh report of the commis- 
sion on Spanberg's voyage, D'Anville, Buache, and 
Bellin constructed their maps out of the charts and 
journals which were so severely condemned. Span- 
berg's voyages pointed out a new way to Japan, they 
gave some idea of the northern part of the Japanese 
possessions, they demonstrated, by crossing several 
times the parallel of Gama Land, that such land did not 
exist, and they proved that State Island and Company 
Land were two of the Kuril Islands, that Jeso is a com- 
paratively small island and not a continent, and that 
Japan is not a peninsula of Tartary, as Guillaume De- 
lisle would have it believed. 


It has already been pointed out that Bering's proposi- 
tion as to the charting of the coast of northern Siberia 
from the Ob to the Lena was accepted but changed so 
as to take in the region from the Lena to the Anaduir, 
in order to prove beyond a doubt that America and Asia 
were or were not united. Owing to the vast territory 
to be covered, it was found advisable to divide the work 
among five sections : (i) Archangel to the Ob; (2) Ob 
to the Yenisei; (3) Yenisei to Cape Taimur; (4) Lena 
westward to Cape Taimur; (5) Lena eastward to the 

Two years' time was allowed to each section in which 

^i^Thia account is based chiefly on the papers found in Zapiski Hydrth' 
graficheskavo Departamenia^ vol. ix, and the Delisle Manuscripts, 


to do its work; if at the end of the stipulated period the 
work was not done, the chief officer of that section was 
to report at St. Petersburg for further orders. From 
the beginning, the section having for its task the ex- 
ploration of the coast from Archangel to the Ob was 
taken care of by the Admiralty College. The other 
four sections were nominally under Bering's supervi- 
sion. But, as he moved gradually eastward, these, too, 
fell into the hands of the Admiralty College. Bering's 
responsibilities, so far as these Arctic voyages are con- 
cerned, were not burdensome, and they had little to do 
in delaying his own voyage. 

I. Archangel to the Ob 

For this work were built two strong, decked boats 
(seventy by twenty-one by eight feet), such as are used 
in these regions and are known as kotshij and they were 
named Expedition and Ob. Lieutenants Muravyof 
and Pavlof were chosen as commanders, assisted by 
pilots, under-pilots, surgeons, priests and mineralogists. 
Without counting guides, interpreters, and others not 
directly connected with navigation, the two boats had a 
combined crew of fifty-one men. A herd of reindeer 
was ordered to be sent to Pustosersk in case the men 
should winter there. 

On July 4, 1734, the two kotshi made a start, passing 
out of the mouth of the Dwina six days later, and drop- 
ping anchor in Yugor Strait on the twenty-fifth. The 
Kara Sea being free of ice it became possible to reach 
a point near the Yamal, or Samoyede Peninsula, by the 
end of the month. After a short stop to take on drift 
wood and fresh water, the boats sailed away on a north- 
erly course, keeping close to the land. From August 
3 to 8, in latitude seventy degrees, the vessels were de- 


tained by headwinds and ice, and other troubles de- 
layed them another week. They finally got clear and 
by August 18 sailed as far as seventy-two degrees, thir- 
ty-five minutes. With the task almost finished, the of- 
ficers decided to turn back because the winds were con- 
trary, the season late, and because they said they "were 
not far from the mouth of the Ob." By September 4, 
the Expedition and the Ob were at the mouth of the 
Petchora, where a little later they were hauled up. 
From here the crews went to Pustorsersk for the winter. 

The next attempt to reach the Ob was begun on June 
29, 1735. On account of the great amount of ice in the 
Kara Sea and also because of the fog which separated 
them, the boats suffered more than the preceding year. 
Muravyof put back when he had come to seventy-three 
degrees, four minutes, and Pavlof turned from seventy- 
three degrees, eleven minutes. Near the entrance to 
the Petchora, the kotshi united and anchored a little 
distance up the stream on September 9. 

As the two years allowed for the work had been used 
up, Muravyof asked for an extension of time, new boats, 
lighthouses, geodists, etc. All these were granted by 
the Admiralty College. Owing, however, to charges 
and counter-charges of Muravyof and Pavlof against 
each other and their subordinates, also on account of 
complaints which the inhabitants of Pustosersk filed 
against the head officers, they were removed from com- 
mand and reduced to the grade of sailors. Lieutenant 
Malgin, who succeeded to the command, took charge of 
the Expedition on May 25, 1736. Before he got clear 
out to sea he was caught in the ice and lost the boat but 
saved the provisions. He repaired the Ob and sailed 
on her June 21 to Dolgoi Island where he was joined 
by the two new boats which had been built for his ser- 


vice. They were named the First and Second, and 
were about the same size as their predecessors, except 
that they drew less water. At Yugor Strait, Malgin 
with a crew of twenty-six went on board the First, and 
on the Second he placed Lieutenant Sukarof with 
twenty-four men. The Ob was sent back. By the end 
of the summer Malgin had come near the seventieth 
degree, and there he hauled up his boat for the winter. 
Several members of the crew went to Obdorsk to remain 
during the cold weather. 

Early in the spring of 1737 the geodist Selifontof 
was sent to chart White [Beloi] Island, and although 
he made satisfactory progress, he was nevertheless un- 
able to complete it for lack of food for his deer. The 
summer of 1737 was exceptionally favorable for Arctic 
exploration, the sea being unusually free from ice, and 
it will be noticed that all the officers who were success- 
ful, achieved their tasks during this summer. Malgin 
stood out to sea with his two boats on July 6, meeting at 
first with ice but after a few days he struck an open 
lead, so that he was able to reach the northern point of 
the peninsula by the twenty-third. Turning from here 
he sailed into the Ob Bay and River and anchored in 
front of Berezof on October 2, and from there went to 
the capital to report his success. The boats were sailed 
back by his officers, who spent two years in the effort. 

2. Ob to Yenisei 

Lieutenant Dimitri Ovtzin with a crew of fifty-six 
men was put on the Tobol (seventy by fifteen by seven 
feet) , which was provided with oars. Ovtzin left To- 
bolsk May 14, 1734, followed by several barges of pro- 
visions. A stop was made at Obdorsk to put up ware- 
houses and prepare for the winter and from there 


Ovtzin sailed north, coming by August 5 to seventy de- 
grees, four minutes, and turned back (for the usual 
reasons) to Obdorsk. During the fall, Cossacks were 
sent to procure information about the coast, and to put 
up lighthouses, and the geodist and pilot were set to 
work charting the channel. In 1735 Ovtzin had even 
less success than in 1734, for he did not go beyond sixty- 
eight degrees, forty minutes, turning back because 
thirty-seven, or about three-fourths of the crew were 
down with scurvy. From Tobolsk he went to St. Pe- 
tersburg, asking for better boats, officers, and surveyors. 
All was granted, even power to exceed the instructions, 
provided the work was done, and it was impressed upon 
him that it must be done. 

Not waiting for the completion of the new boat, 
Ovtzin made one more attempt in 1736 in the old one, 
but when he came only as far as seventy-two degrees, 
forty minutes he was obliged, because of the ice, to re- 
trace his course to Obdorsk. The winter and early 
spring were utilized in putting up lighthouses and 
storehouses along the banks to the mouth of the Yenisei. 
In 1737 Ovtzin took charge of the newly completed 
Ob-Postman (seventy by seventeen by seven and one- 
half feet) , and the command of the Tobol he gave to 
Koshelof, who had thirty-five men under him, the same 
number as his chief. On June 29, the men bade fare- 
well to their Obdorsk friends and started down the 
river, taking on stores as they advanced. Slowly they 
moved along, passing the seventy-fourth parallel by 
August 7. After a few days' detention by head winds, 
the boats got under way, rounding Cape Matte-Sol 
(seventy- three degrees, fifteen minutes), and thence di- 
recting their course up the bay and River Yenisei to 
Turuchansk, where they anchored in October. When 


the river became navigable in the spring, Ovtzin took 
the Tobol to Yeniseisk and from there went to St. Pe- 
tersburg. Because of friendly relations with the exiled 
Prince Dolgorouki, Ovtzin was reduced to the rank of 
sailor and ordered to Okhotsk to join Bering, with 
whom he made the voyage to America.' 


3. Yenisei to Cape Taimur 

The Ob-Postman had assigned as pilot Minim, who 
had instructions to double Taimur Peninsula and to sail 
to Chatanga Bay. With a crew of twenty-seven men the 
pilot sailed away from his winter quarters on June 4, 
1738, and on August 16, in latitude seventy-three de- 
grees, seven minutes, found himself completely sur- 
rounded by ice. Failing to advance he gave it up for 
the present and sailed back to Turuchansk for the win- 
ter. His efforts of 1739, owing to a late start, were 
equally ineffectual. In January, 1740, Under-pilot 
Strelegof, accompanied by dog teams, charted the 
northeast coast of the Yenisei to seventy-five degrees, 
twenty-six minutes, but could go no farther on account 
of his weak eyes. 

Minim entered on his last attempt on July 6, 1740, 
coming to the mouth of the Yenisei on August 3, and, 

^^*It may perhaps be of intcrett, although somewhat foreign to the sub- 
ject, to lead a part of the original instructions given to the officers in whose 
charge Prince Dolgorouki and two others were placed to be taken to Kamchat- 
ka. The prisoners were to be watched with all care "so as to prevent them 
from escaping. No one is to be allowed to approach them; ink and paper 
they are not to have ... no one is to talk to them, not even you officers 
and soldiers of the guard. Not only are you forbidden to talk to them, but 
you are not even to ask their names, mention them to no one, and allow no 
person to approach them for that purpose. . . When you stop overnight, 
have separate quarters for each of the prisoners and allow no communication 
between them. In Kamchatka put them in prison where there are no other 
such prisoners. Let their names not be heard nor be seen on paper," etc - 
Russkaya Starina, 1876, vol. xv, 449~50> 


thanks to an open sea and fair wind, to latitude seventy- 
five degrees on the twentieth. His advance from now 
on was blocked by ice, and, in spite of his exertions, 
he could not go more than one-fourth of a degree be- 
yond his last record (seventy-five degrees). 

During the year 1741 Minim, while waiting for in- 
structions from headquarters, charted the River Yenisei 
to the fort Yeniseisk. His charts and journals he for- 
warded to the Admiralty College with suggestions for 
the better success of the work. That body, however, 
had lost confidence in him, and also because of numer- 
ous charges filed against him by his subordinates and 
others. Minim was, in the year 1749 (for the case had 
dragged on till then), reduced for two years to the 
grade of sailor. The work was not abandoned, but 
placed in the hands of C. Laptef. 

4. Lena Westward to Cape Taimur 

To the Jakutsk (seventy by sixteen by six and one- 
half feet), in charge of Lieutenant Prochinchef and 
fifty men, was assigned the hard task of doubling the 
point of Taimur Peninsula and reaching the Yenisei. 
Leaving Jakutsk June 30, 1735, followed by barges of 
provisions, they made Stolb Island by August 2 and 
turned to Bikovskoi Cape. On the twenty-fifth the 
mouth of the Olenek was sighted and selected for the 
winter quarters in the midst of a small village of about 
twelve Russian families of hunters and traders. After 
September 20 the river was closed to navigation, and 
the sun was not seen between November 3 and January 
22. The Jakutsk was able to get free of the ice and go 
under sail again on August 3, 1736, making satisfactory 
progress for several days and passing Anabara River. 
Picking her way among the icebergs, she came, on Aug- 


ust 13, to the mouth of Chatanga Bay (seventy- four de- 
grees, nine minutes) where she lay to in order to send 
men ashore. They found a hut, food, and a dog, but 
no human beings. From this place the Jakutsk headed 
slowly on her course, steering between icebergs, polar 
bears and walrus. By this careful and strenuous work 
the men had the satisfaction of finding themselves on 
August 19 in latitude seventy-seven degrees, twenty- 
nine minutes, but unfortunately not able to go beyond 
that. Prochinchef, who was very ill, called his of- 
ficers together for consultation, and they decided to go 
to the Olenek, which place they reached, after a great 
many dangers and hardships, on September 2. Pro- 
chinchef died on board August 29 and was buried on 
shore September 6. His wife, who had been with him 
all through this adventure, survived him but a few 
days, and was buried by his side. The command of the 
party fell now to the pilot Cheluskin, and he, not know- 
ing how to proceed because the allotted time had been 
used up, went to Jakutsk to consult with Bering, who, 
unfortunately, had set out for Okhotsk before the pilot's 

These numerous failures, instead of discouraging, 
merely strengthened the Admiralty College in its de- 
termination to succeed. Tempting offers, and prom- 
ises of reward, were held out to get the proper men to 
do the work well. The newly appointed officers were 
instructed that if the work could not be done in one 
year, it was to be taken up the year following, the year 
following that, even the fourth year if necessary. 
Should it seem altogether impossible to accomplish the 
task by water, then an officer was to be detailed to chart 
the coast from the River Chatanga to the Yenisei, along 
the shore of Taimur Peninsula. Chariton Laptef was 


selected as Prochinchef s successor, and whatever Lap- 
tef asked was granted. Salary was paid in advance, all 
the requisitions were supplied, storehouses were erected 
on the Rivers Anabara, Chatange, and Taimur, and 
men were sent thither to catch supplies of fish. The 
boat Jakutsk was brought from her winter quarters to 
Jakutsk and put in proper condition for the voyage. 
In fact everything that could possibly contribute to the 
success of the undertaking was done. 

Laptef, officers, and crew of forty men, departed 
from Jakutsk on June 9, 1739, having in their wake 
boats with provisions to be left in the warehouses at the 
Olenek. The struggle with the ice began July 21 when 
the Jakutsk stood out to sea. Chatanga Bay was reached 
August 6, and there a part of the winter provisions were 
unloaded. Eight days later the boat went on from here 
on her northern course, coming August 21 to Cape St. 
Thaddeus, seventy-six degrees, forty-seven minutes, but 
could go no farther. The party of men which was sent 
ashore, to put up lighthouses and find a suitable place 
to haul up the boat for the winter, returned discour- 
aged, having been unable to find even drift wood. It 
was therefore concluded to go for the winter to Cha- 
tanga, where quarters were waiting for them, at the 
mouth of the River Bludnoi (seventy- two degrees, 
fifty-six minutes), prepared by several Russians and a 
small number of Tungus families. 

As soon as the days began to lengthen, the crew en- 
gaged actively in preparations for the work of the com- 
ing summer. In addition to the work of providing 
food supplies, charting parties, made up of Russians 
and Tungus, were sent out on their dog and reindeer 
sleds in diflferent directions. Finally, on July 12, the 
Jakutsk left her winter home to begin at once the fight 


with the ice, for it took her a whole month to reach the 
sea. During the morning of August 13, in latitude 
seventy-five degrees, thirty minutes, the vessel was 
seized by the ice and carried northward until stopped 
by another ice-floe. A leak was discovered, and the 
boat filled so fast that by next morning she was half full 
of water. When the attempt to lighten failed to pro- 
duce the desired result hopes of saving her were given 
up, especially as the ice with the boat started to drift 
in an east-southeast direction. All hands took to the 
ice where a cold and sad night was spent. In the morn- 
ing the shore was descried about fifteen miles away, 
and towards it the men headed, but it was a long and 
painful march, not coming to an end before the six- 
teenth. Fortunately the ice remained near the shore 
until August 31, giving the crew an opportunity to 
save the greater part of the provisions. Discouraged, 
suffering from cold and dampness, the men sickened, 
lost hope, and almost prayed that death would come. 
Laptef did all he could to put life into the men, and 
succeeded in leading them back to their winter quar- 
ters, where several died soon after their arrival. 

With the loss of the Jakutsk went Laptef s last hope 
to chart the coast by sea. He therefore undertook to do 
it by land. In fact, he had already prepared for such 
an emergency by having storehouses put up the winter 
before. He divided up the work among three parties. 
Cheluskin, the pilot, aided by two soldiers and three 
dog-sledges, left the camp March 17 for the mouth of 
the Pjasina River with the intention of going from 
there to the mouth of the Taimur. The geodist Che- 
kin, accompanied by soldiers, a Jakut and three dog- 
teams, set out April 22 with instructions to round North 
East Cape, and to continue along the west shore to 


Taimur River. Laptef, with one soldier, one Jakut 
and two dog-teams, departed April 24 for the mouth of 
the Taimur, to which place he had sent twelve dog- 
sledges with provisions, three weeks before. To Tai- 
mur Bay seven loads of supplies were transported in 
charge of one of the officers, and the remainder of the 
material and provisions was loaded on reindeer sleds 
and taken to the Yenisei. 

When in latitude seventy-six degrees, thirty-five min- 
utes, Chekin and his party began to suffer from snow- 
blindness and gave up. Cheluskin carried out his in- 
structions, having proceeded along the shore from the 
Pjasina towards the Taimur until he met Laptef in lat- 
itude seventy-five degrees, twenty-one minutes. The 
last mentioned started from the Taimur, marching as 
fast as his sore eyes would permit him, until June 21, 
the day he fell in with his pilot. The two returned to 
Pjasina, whence the whole command went to the Yeni- 
sei and wintered at Turuchansk. 

Owing to the failure of Chekin to carry out his part 
of the plan, North East Cape was still left to chart. 
Cheluskin was asked to do this, and he entered on the 
work in December, 1741. He reached the mouth of 
the Chatanga at the end of February and Cape St. 
Thaddeus May i. At this point he began taking ob- 
servations along the coast to the north ; and on May 7, 
he stood at the extreme point of the cape, which now 
bears his name and the latitude of which he determined 
to be seventy-seven degrees, thirty- four minutes. On 
his return he was met by two soldiers with provisions, 
followed by Laptef himself. The whole party went to 
Turnachansk and Yeniseisk, where Laptef took leave 
of his faithful comrades and hastened away to the cap- 
ital to report. 


5. Lena Eastward to the Anaduir 

When the Jakutsk sailed from Jakutsk, she had as 
companion boat the Irkutsk (sixty by twenty by seven 
and one-half feet) , Lasinius in command and a crew of 
fifty men. Lasinius's orders were to sail as far as he 
could eastward and to the Anaduir if possible."* From 
the Lena Lasinius put out to sea August 7, 1735, on a 
southeasterly course, and four days later he encoun- 
tered so much ice that it was decided to look for winter 
quarters, which were found August 14, on the River 
Chariulach [Borkhaya Bay]. There were at this place 
five Jakut huts, but the men preferred to build their 
own. The new construction measured seventy-seven 
feet in length, twenty-one in width, and six in height. 
It was divided into four compartments, having in all 
three ovens, a kitchen, and a bath. The ovens, not be- 
ing made of clay, gave a great deal of trouble and very 
little heat. On the whole it would seem that the men 
were very comfortable, in fact, too comfortable for 
their own good, and were little inclined to move about. 
As a result of this and on account of other reasons, 
scurvy broke out among them. Lasinius was the first 
victim, on December 19, followed by thirty-five others. 
By spring only nine men were reported alive. The six 
missing were probably at Jakutsk, for in November one 
man was arrested and sent thither under guard. 

When Bering, who was at Jakutsk, heard of the state 
of health in the camp of Lasinius, he immediately de- 
spatched help. In the spring Dimitri Laptef with a 
crew of forty-three men was ordered to take three flat 

^^^ One of the striking things in these Arctic explorations was the bad feel- 
ing which developed among the men in a very short time. When Prochinchef 
and Lasinius left Jakutsk they were the best of friends, but by the time they 
came to the mouth of the Lena they would not speak to each other nor anchor 
their boats alongside. 


boats with provisions and to go where the Irkutsk was 
laid up and take up the work where Lasinius left off. 
The new leader landed a part of his force and his sup- 
plies on Bikovskoi Cape on June 25, 1736. With the 
remaining men, he went to where the Irkutsk was 
hauled up to put her in condition for the sea. He final- 
ly got her under sail, but made very little progress be- 
cause of the shallow water and the ice. On August 13 
the position of Cape Borkhaya was determined as 
seventy-three degrees, sixteen minutes. Unable to ad- 
vance the Irkutsk sailed back to the Lena to look for 
a warm spot during the cold weather, and wintered at 
a place in latitude seventy degrees, forty minutes. 

A delicate question came up for settlement. The time 
limit for the work was two years, but Laptef did not 
know whether the year of Lasinius counted or not. 
Bering himself was in doubt on this point, for Muller 
says that he consulted the scientists on this matter, but 
came to no decision.*" Not knowing what to do, Lap- 
tef went to Jakutsk to see Bering in person, but the lat- 
ter had already gone to Okhotsk without leaving in- 
structions. Laptef therefore concluded to go to St. 
Petersburg, but before reaching there he received word 
from the Admiralty College telling him to go back and 
continue the work. As he was at the time not far from 
the capital, he went on. This was unfortunate. By 
so doing he missed the season of 1737, which w$is, as has 
been pointed out, an unusually favorable one for ex- 

The Admiralty College told Laptef that the task as- 
signed him must be done ; if not in one year, then in two 
or three. Time and monev were not to be considered. 
Should it seem utterly impossible to do the work by 

^^' Muller, Sammlung Russischtr Geschichte, vol. iii, 155. 


water, it should be finished by land up to the River 
Koluima, and Sviatoi Nos was to be charted by all 
means. As Laptef represented that it might not be 
possible to continue the exploration east of the Koluima 
on account of the warlike Chukchi, he was told to pro- 
ceed from the Koluima overland to the Anaduir and 
there await a boat which Bering would send him from 
Kamchatka, and with this boat he was to attempt round- 
ing Chukotski Nos and sail from there to the Koluima. 
In order not to be hindered by too rigid instructions, 
he was allowed to break them whenever the good of the 
cause demanded. Thus encouraged Laptef turned 
back to Jakutsk, taking with him officers and instru- 
ments, and on the way he gathered supplies and money 
for two years. 

Early in the spring of 1739 there were sent from 
Jakutsk the sailor Loshkin and a small party, to chart 
the coast from the River Yana to Sviatoi Nos, and on his 
return from the Yana to the Lena, Kindyakof , the geo- 
dist, was instructed to begin at the head of the River 
Indigirka and survey it to its mouth. Laptef reached 
Jakutsk in May, just as the river opened to navigation, 
and very soon afterwards he sailed down the Lena with 
a large force of men. He made the mouth of the 
stream on July 5, but was detained by the ice a short 
time, so that he did not come to Borkhaya Cape before 
August 4, and during the succeeding week he nearly 
lost his vessel in a successful attempt to reach the mouth 
of the Yana. On August 14 he passed and ascertained 
the position of Sviatoi Nos, seventy-two degrees, fifty 
minutes. For four days the weather was favorable for 
advancing, but on the eighteenth a bitter cold wind be- 
gan to blow, crowding the ice about the ship. When 
in front of the Indigirka on August 22, Laptef sent two 


men in a small boat to examine the shores, and for six 
days he waited in vain for their return and finally was 
obliged to sail away without them. On the twenty- 
eighth the Irkutsk, being in the neighborhood of fresh 
water, two small canvass boats (frames made of barrel 
staves) were ordered ashore. One failed to come back, 
and the other did not succeed in landing. Each day the 
cold became more intense, and the company watched 
with sadness the freezing in of their boat. On Septem- 
ber 5, a fifteen-hour southwest blow set in, taking the 
ship and ice forty versts from shore. It was followed 
by a north wind, which, although it spent itself in a 
short time, made the approach to the shore possible. 
Another ship's boat was despatched to shore to make a 
landing, and on her return brought back the men lost 
a few days before, and the joyful tidings that the mouth 
of the Indigirka was close at hand. The rescued sailors 
said that they had been wrecked on landing, and that 
since then they had suffered the pangs of cold, cramp, 
and hunger, their only food being grass and such foxes 
as came in their way. Happily for them Kindyakof 
had completed his survey of the Indigirka to the mouth 
and found them. The geodist, perceiving at a glance 
the critical position of the Irkutsk and the men, hurried 
away to a settlement to bring help, leaving directions 
for entering the stream should the ship escape the ice. 
The Irkutsk had in the meantime come within ten miles 
of land, and Laptef gave orders that her cargo should 
be unloaded and taken ashore. By the fifteenth the 
severe weather was over, and it became almost pleas- 
ant, so that within a week most of the needed stores had 
been landed. By this time Kindyakof had returned 
from the settlement (about a hundred miles away) and 
took the whole company back with him for the winter. 


Before giving themselves the pleasure of a much 
needed rest, Loshkin examined the coast to the River 
Lazeya, and Cherbiiiin with Kindyakof the eastern 
bank of the mouth of the Indigirka. In the early 
spring Kindyakof surveyed the coast from the Lazeya 
to the Koluima, while Laptef mapped the Khroma. 
During the winter Laptef, after talking the matter over 
with the Siberians among whom he lived, came to the 
conclusion that the plan of the Admiralty College to 
sail from the Anaduir to the Koluima was not feasible 
because (i) the warlike Chukchi would not help, (2) 
the time for navigation was short, and (3) because of 
the uncertainty of securing a boat from Kamchatka, 
since the whereabouts of Bering was unknown. With 
the above noted arguments, Loshkin went to St. Peters- 
burg. Laptef 's answer from the Admiralty College 
was, that although he could not be expected to live up 
strictly to his instructions, it was hoped that Chukotski 
Nos would be circumnavigated; but if this were im- 
possible, the shores should be surveyed by land marches. 

In June, 1740, the regular force, aided by a party of 
eighty-five natives, was put to work freeing the vessel 
from the ice, but she was in such bad shape that she had 
to be taken to pieces and patched. On July 29 Laptef 
made a start and two days later reached the sea. The 
mouth of the Lazeya was passed on the first day of Aug- 
ust. Anthony Island (one of the Bear Islands) was 
charted on the second day, the mouth of the Koluima 
was reached on the fourth day, and a report was sent to 
Lower Koluima. On August 8 the struggle with the 
ice was recommenced, and after six days of fighting, 
Big Baranof Cape was mapped on the fourteenth. Fur- 
ther advance was hindered by the ice, and Laptef 
turned back and wintered at Lower Koluima. 


In the autumn Kindyakof was ordered to explore the 
upper Koluima, and Cherbinin to trace the road from 
the River Angarka to the Anaduir and there prepare 
timber for building a boat to sail down that stream. 
Arrangements were also made to send provisions and 
cannon by the River Aniui, to be transported from 
there on deer sleds to the Anaduir. Laptef spent his 
time in building two lodkas (twenty-five by nine by 
three and one-half feet), intending to double Baranof 
Cape in them. Taking twelve men in each lodka, he 
sailed down the Koluima on June 29. On July 8 he 
came to the mouth of the river; July 25 he was twenty- 
five miles east of the river, and being unable to advance, 
he retraced his course on the twenty-sixth. After mak- 
ing several other fruitless efforts Laptef, by August 4, 
was so discouraged that he came to the conclusion that 
the undertaking was beyond human powers to accom- 
plish, and, therefore, on August 10, 1741, he went into 
winter quarters. 

Taking forty-five dog teams, Laptef set out that same 
fall (1741) on his march to the Anaduir fort, by way 
of the Great Aniui to the Amgorka, and from there on 
deer teams to the Anaduir fort, arriving November 7. 
In the spring he built two large row boats, and in com- 
pany with four other boats found there, he went down 
the Anaduir, taking observations as he went along. The 
reason he made no attempt to go from there to the 
Koluima was because no boat had been sent to him from 
Kamchatka by Bering, whose fate was unknown. Lap- 
tef went back from the Anaduir fort to the Koluima 
and thence to St. Petersburg by the way of Jakutsk. 

Although very little in the line of actual exploration 
and discovery was undertaken after 1742, Bering's sec- 
ond expedition did not come to an end, officially, until 


1749. Beginning with the time when Peter the Great 
signed the instructions for the first expedition, twenty- 
five years had been spent in discovery and exploration 
in the northern regions. Many points, once in doubt, 
were settled by these voyages. They decided that a 
northeast passage was impracticable, that Novaya Zem- 
lya is not a peninsula, that the Asiatic coast extends 
much farther east than was supposed, that Terra de 
Jeso, Company Land, and Gama Land, as pictured by 
the cartographers, did not exist, that Japan is an island, 
and that the American coast runs in a northwesterly 
direction from Cape Blanco. In short, they made clear 
all the points which, Guillaume Delisle claimed, were 
obscure in 1720. Sad to say, the one question, the im- 
portant question, the raison d'etre of these voyages- 
whether America and Asia are united -was not at that 
time answered to the satisfaction of all. It is true that 
it was generally believed that the two were separate 
continents, yet when the doubter demanded scientific 
proof none could be given. How did any one know 
that the two were not united? Had any one ever gone 
from the Koluima to the Anaduir by water? Was it 
not possible that between the Koluima and East Cape 
the Asiatic continent extended northward, joining some- 
where with the American continent? Stories of hunters 
and Chukchi could not be accepted as final. Some of 
these questions were actually raised. Such an authority 
as James Burney, the well known writer and navigator, 
who had been with Cook in the Bering Strait, read a 
paper before a scientific body of London in which he 
insisted that it was not conclusively proved that the Old 
and the New Worlds were two distinct continents.*'^ 

**• Buraey, James. Memoir on the Geography of the North-eastern Part 
of Asia (London, 1818). 


But outside of this, and one minor point,*" nearly every- 
thing else of geographical interest which was under- 
taken was successfully carried out. 

But what a price was paid for this knowledge 1 Only 
a few of those who enlisted survived the years of hard 
labor, privations, cold, and suffering. Even those who 
lived to return to the scenes of their childhood were so 
broken in health that the joy of living was nearly gone. 
The exact spot where the ashes of Bering, the Dane, lie 
is not known; Steller, the German, died a lonely and 
pitiful death in the wilds of Siberia; Walton, the Eng- 
lishman, fell by the wayside unnoticed and forgotten; 
and rain has long since washed away all traces of the 
grave where the Frenchman Delisle de la Croyere was 
laid to rest. Chirikof, the Russian, contracted la dis- 
ease from which he suffered for three years after his re- 
turn home until death came to his relief. There was 
also the great army of minor officers and privates whose 
very names have been forgotten, and who were left 
where they fell. The least we can do in appreciation 
of their efforts is to pass over charitably their faults and 
praise their virtues. Some day a monument may be 
erected to these forgotten pathfinders, before which we 
may outwardly honor their memories and feel inwardly 


^^^ The region about the mouth of the Amur and Sakhalin Island was 
left unexplored. 

*^^ From the records of the Marine Department [Opisanie del Archive 
Morskavo Ministerstva and Obschi Morskoi Spisok] and from reliable sec- 
ondary authorities, it has been possible to follow the career of several of the 
officers to the end. 

When Bering's death became known at Kamchatka his private property 
was sold at auction and the proceeds, about one thousand rubles, were sent 
to his family. Whatever wages were due him at the time of his death were 
also paid over to his wife and children. In addition the Senate voted him a 
reward of five thousand rubles. 

Spanberg left Siberia in 1745 without permission, and for this he was sen- 


Before closing this chapter and period a word should 
be said in praise of the Admiralty College, the life and 
soul of all this work. To all who reported failure this 
body had but one answer, "the work must be done." 
The hardest task of the Admiralty was not to secure 
men to do the work, but to enlist the right kind of men 
and to defend them from the reactionaries at home who 
raised the cry that all these expeditions were profitless 
and a waste of life and money. The men in the field 
displayed physical courage, their superiors at home 
moral courage.*" 

fenced to suffer capital punishment But the Danish govemment and friends 
interceded for him and he was pardoned. Later he was taken back into ser- 
vice. He died in 1761, being at that time captain of the first rank. 

Chirikof contracted consumption in Siberia. In 1746 he was transferred 
to St Petersburg and was presented to the empress. He died in 1748 holding 
the rank of captain-commander. 

"Ober-shter-kriegs-kommisar'* of the Fleet Chariton Laptef died in 1763. 

Dimitri Laptef was retired in 1762 on half pay with the rank of Vice- 

Steller died in Siberia in 1746. He was on his way to Russia when he 
was falsely accused and dragged into prison where he was taken ill and died 
soon after being freed. 

Wazel reached the rank of captain of the first rank. When he died his 
widow was granted a pension of two thousand rubles. 

In Z760 Cheluskin was made captain-lieutenant A little later he was again 

Chytref was made oontre-admiral in 1753. Ovtzin in 1757 was in com- 
mand of the Poltava holding at the time the rank of ober-shter-kriegs kom- 

All others who took part in these expeditions were advanced one grade in 
rank, dating from July 15, 1744, and their wages were paid accordingly. The 
Senate requested the Admiralty College to reward them as it should seem best. 

Shelting was retired from service in 1780 on pensicm, being at the time 

^^^ Zapiski Hydrograficheskavo Departamenta, vol. ix, 221. The names 
that follow are those of the men in the Senate and the Admiralty College who 
signed the instructions of 1733: 

In the Senate -A. Ushakof, Prince I. Trubetskoi, Count M. Golovkin, V. 
Novosiltsof, Obers6cretary I. Kirilof. 

In the Admiralty College - Vice-admirals N. F. Golvin and N. A. Senya- 
vin, Contre-admirals Prince N. M. Golitsin, P. P. Bredal, V. A. Dimitrief- 
Mamonof, Captain-commanders Z. D. Mishukof, T. Tran, Prince V. Urusof, 
A. I. Golovin, Procurator I. Kozlof. 




In the last chapter attention was called to two under- 
takings of the Bering voyages which were left unfin- 
ished. One was whether Asia and America were 
united, and the other was the survey of the coast about 
the Amur River and Sakhalin Island. It took Russia 
another century to bring these two tasks to a satisfac- 
tory end. After 1750 the work of exploration was car- 
ried on in an irregular way and on a small scale, but on 
the other hand it was in charge of trained men who did 
their work thoroughly and scientificially. 

The relation of Asia to America continued to occupy 
people's minds and it was the first of the two questions 
to be worked out by Russia. Shalaurof, a wealthy 
merchant of Siberia, undertook at his own expense to 
solve the problem. In 1761 he sailed from the Jana 
River and came that year as far as the Koluima. On 
July 21, 1762, he put out to sea from the mouth of that 
stream and, notwithstanding his brave efforts, he could 
not reach Shalagski Cape. His last attempt was in 
1764. That summer he went out to sea from the Lena 
River and neither he nor any member of his crew was 
ever seen again."^ In 1778, Cook passed through 
Bering Strait, doubled East Cape, and sailed along the 
northeast coast of Asia to Cape North.*'^ This achieve- 
ment, as well as the voyage of Laperouse, stimulated 

**®Coxe, W. Account of Russian Discoveries (London, 1780), 323-339. 
*«i Cook, J. Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (London, 1784), vol. ii, 466. 


the Russian government to new efforts. In 1785 Bil- 
lings, an English navigator, who had been with Cook, 
was commissioned by the Empress Catherine to chart 
the Arctic shore from the Koluima River to East 
Cape."* He made the attempt during the month of 
July, 1787, but on account of the ice and fog he ad- 
vanced but a short distance from his starting point."' 
Four years later he undertook to chart the coast by land 
marches from the shore. He left his boat in the Bering 
Strait and marched into the interior from Metchigne 
Bay. One of his officers, Gikef, was sent with a party 
of Chukchi to East Cape, and from there he followed 
the shore, partly on foot and partly by boat to within 
about ninety miles of Koliutchin Island."^ Both of 
Billings's undertakings added little to what was already 
known. The question of the relation of Asia to Amer- 
ica was still an open one and would remain so until 
some one succeeded in doubling Shalagski Cape. For 
a time it was doubted whether Shalagski was a cape. 
Burney"*^ advanced the theory that it was an isthmus 
connecting Asia with America. In 1820, the Emperor 
Alexander I became deeply interested in the problem 
and ordered Lieutenant Ferdinand von Wrangell to 
the front to investigate.*** Wrangell, followed by dog 
teams, left the Koluima in February, 1821, and on 
March 5 he stood on the northwest point of Shalagski 
Cape. To make doubly sure that it was a cape, he 
rounded the headland and followed the eastern shore 

^'Billmgs' Expedition (London, z8o2), "Appendix," na v. 
468— /^,V., 78. 

^^Wrangell's Siberia and Polar Sea (London, 1840), cz-cxii. 
4W Burney, J. A. Chronological History of the North-eastern Voyages of 
Discovery and of the Early Navigations of the Russians (London, 1819), chap. 


*•• Wrangell, op. cit,, cxxv. 


for a distance.**' On February 26, 1823, ^^ departed 
once more from the Koluima for Shalagaski Cape which 
he reached March 8. From here he continued his 
march eastward to Koliuchin Island where he arrived 
April i5.*'* His efforts joined to those of Cook and 
Billings proved finally that Asia and America were not 

The survey of the coast of Sakhalin and East Tartary 
was delayed until the middle of the nineteenth century. 
Although Russia deserves the chief credit for carrying 
this work to a successful termination, she is by no means 
entitled to all the credit. China, Japan, France, and 
England also made certain contributions towards its 
accomplishment. The investigation of this topic is, 
therefore, somewhat involved and necessitates a study 
of the navigations and the cartography of this region 
from the time the Europeans first came into these 
waters until the insularity of Sakhalin was definitely 

It is quite evident, judging from the physical sim- 
ilarities of the inhabitants, that there has always been 
communication between the island and the Chinese 
mainland ; there is, strange as it may seem, little to in- 
dicate that Sakhalin was generally known in China. 
The Jesuits, who occupied themselves with the geo- 
graphical questions of that country, did not hear of the 
island before they went on their astronomical expedi- 
tion in the eighteenth century. 


467 Wrangell, op, cit, 109. 

^* — Ibid., 332-370. 

^*^ Sakhalin had various oames. Witsen called it Amoerse, Laperouse 
named it Tchoka, Krusenstern spoke of it as Karafouto, Klaproth claimed 
that Tarakai was its proper name, the Russian Senate referred to it in 1733, 
as Bob hoi [large]. 

*TODu Halde, J. B. Description , , , de L'Empire de la Chine, vol. 

IT. 13. 


From there they went out to sea in a northerly direction 
as far as the Ulja River. At this point they left their 
boats and proceeded overland to Jakutsk, arriving early 
in 1646. In his report Poyarkof makes the statement 
that the Giliaks live "on the islands of the ocean" "*^ 
referring no doubt to Sakhalin. A reliable Russian 
writer says (without giving authority) that Poyarkof 
was wrecked on a large island soon after leaving the 
Amur.*" There is no need, however, of direct evi- 
dence to prove that the Russians were aware of Sak- 
halin, for sailing, as they did, in the Tartary Strait they 
could not help but see it. Although trade relations 
were established with the natives of the upper waters 
of the Amur, the Russians rarely went down to the 
mouth of the river.*" By the treaty of Nertchinsk, in 
1689, the Amur River and Sakhalin were removed 
from Russia's sphere of influence, and the citizens of 
that country were forbidden to go near these places. 

The charts which Poyarkof and some other Siberians 
drew of the regions which they traversed have disap- 
peared. There have, however, come down two maps 
of Siberia, both drawn at the request of the czar, one in 
1667 or 1668 by Peter Godunof, and the other by 
Semen Remezof some years later.*" On these two maps 

the Shtlka to the Amur in six days. . . The Amur falls into the Shun- 

gal . . . and from there the Amur continues to the sea" [Dopolnema K 

I Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, 50-55]. In addition to the term Amur the river 

had other names. According to Muller the Manchoux called it Sachalin Ula, 
the Chinese Helung Kiang, also Chelundsiam, the Tungas Schilkar» Schilk or 
Silkar, and the ancient Mongols Karamuram. Siebold gives the Japanese 
name as Manke. Witsen says that Ngam-Cumkiam is the Chinese name. 

^^^ Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iii, 50-55. 

4^1 Sadovnikof, D., Nashi ZampUprochodUs, 78. 

**^ In addition to Poyarkof s voyage only two or three other Russian parties 
came to the mouth of the river [Dopolnenia K Aktam Istorickeskim, no. zoo, 


^> Godunof s map and memoir accompanying it may be found in Titof, 


the Amur River is represented, but Sakhalin is not, due 
probably to the fact that they were asked to describe 
Siberia ^"^ and not the islands. That it was well known 
in Siberia that there was a large island at the mouth of 
the Amur may be proved from Witsen, who quotes a 
Russian manuscript of 1666 to that effect/" Other 
documents of the latter part of the seventeenth century 
make mention of a large island at the mouth of the 
Amur, and one gives a description of the inhabitants/** 
Godunof 's and Remezof 's maps are valuable because 
they give the Siberian's idea of Siberia, and because 
they fell into the hands of Witsen who used them in 
1687 to construct his great map of northern Asia.*" 
He acknowledges that he used Godunof 's map,*'* and a 
critical comparison of Witsen's and Remezof's maps 
shows that the former owes a great deal to the latter.*" 
On Witsen's map the "Amur" River is traced to its 
mouth, situated between the fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth 

Siberia in the Seventeenth Century, A Swedish ambiMador, C. J. Pnitz, who 
was at Moscow in 1669, made a copy of the map and brought it home with 
him. This copy has been pxesenred and reproduced by Nordenskjold in Ymer 
of 1887. 

Remezofs map and notes have been published in 1882 and is known as 
"Tscerteznaya Kniga Sibir*^ Remezof says that the bases of his map are his 
own explorations and the maps he found in Siberia. Several sheets of his maps 
were completed as early as 1673, and the remaining somewhere between that 
date and 1701. 

"* Titof, A. Sibir V XVU IVeke, 25. 

^'B Witsen, N. Noord en Oost Tartaren^ vol. ii, 825. 

«• Titof, A. Sibir V XVU Weke, 84, iio^ iii. 

^^ Witsen was one of the greatest geographers of his time. He was pains^ 
taking and had the historian's eagerness to get at the sources. His position as 
burgomaster of Amsterdam gave him an opportunity of meeting and becoming 
the teacher and friend of Peter the Great and of securing through him, when 
Witsen visited Russia, very valuable materia] for his literary undertakings. 

^*" Schrenck, L. Reisen und Forschungen in Amur^Lande, vol. iii, 95-98. 

^** Middendorf, A. Th. von. Sibirische Reise, vol. iv, 36-38. 

Remezofs map is marked up with Dutch explanations and translations. 
This in itself does not prove that Witsen used it, but taken together with the 
evidence just mentioned the probabilities of his having done so are very strong. 


parallels. Opposite to it is a large ''Amoerse Eylandt/' 
and a little to the north is another island, ^'Stolpka 
Memcoy,"**^ probably intended for one of the Shan- 
tars/*^ Here then is the earliest published map dis- 
tinctly tracing and naming the Amur River and indi- 
cating the island which bears the name of Sakhalin. 

Witsen's map was copied by other cartographers. 
Edward Wells in 1698 or 1699 and Herman Moll in 
1 701 reproduced the Amur River and the Amoerse 
Eylandt and located them where Witsen did. Guill- 
aume Delisle is indebted to Witsen for the good points 
of his map of Tartary which he published in 1708. 
Delisle, however, makes some changes, the reasons for 
which are not apparent. In his hands Witsen's Fluvius 
Amur becomes Riviere d'Amour, emptying itself into 
the ocean about six degrees farther south. Amoerse 
Eylandt is transformed into the "Isle d'Amour" but 
retains the position given it by Witsen. A small num- 
ber of map makers were temporarily influenced by De- 
lisle, the majority still followed Witsen ; and even De- 
lisle himself, in a later map, located the mouth of the 
river between the fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth parallels.*" 

Until the early thirties of the eighteenth century Wit- 
sen was the generally accepted authority for this part 
of the world. By that time new and scientific data had 
become accessible. Three Jesuits, Regis, Jartoux, and 

*^The word ''Mcmcoy" is meaningless. In two of the seventeenth cen- 
tury Rkanuicripts found in Titofs Siberia [pp. 54, no], reference is made to 
a Siolp Kamennoi [stone column], opposite the mouth of the Kamchatka. Wit- 
sen often made mistakes in translating from the Russian, and he may have 
done so in this case. 

^*^ At Jakutsk the existence of the Shantars was known about 1644, but 
they were not explored until many years later. 

*^^ L'Asig (Amsterdam, after 1721). This time he calls the river Gham- 
mas, a term which he borrowed from Sanson. Delisle's principal contribution 
to the cartography of this part of the world is the word '^Anaour," which cer- 
tain map makers still prefer to "Amur." 


Fidclli went down the Amur in 1709"* and came near 
enough to the mouth of the river to learn from the 
natives that there was a large island close by/"^ About 
ten years later a map of these regions was completed in 
China and a copy sent to France. This copy fell into 
the hands of D'Anville who was constructing a map to 
go with Du Halde's China. On the Jesuit map the 
mouth of the Amur, or Saghalien oula, is situated near 
the fifty-second parallel, and the island facing it is much 
larger than the Amoerse Eylandt of Witsen. On the 
copy which D'Anville possessed no name was given to 
the island, but close by these words were written : Sag- 
halien Anga Hata^ meaning, ''Rocks at the mouth of 
the Black River."*'* In his ignorance of the Chinese 
language, D'Anville translated the words as "Island of 
the Black River." *•* In the course of time the words 
"Anga Hata" were dropped, leaving Saghalien for the 
name of the island."' D'Anville's map, being superior 
to Witsen's, superseded it, and the term Saghalien su- 
perseded Amoerse and all other names given to it 

With the exception of Poyarkof and one other party 
of Russians in the seventeenth century*** and the efforts 
of Bering's lieutenants in the eighteenth century there 

^•s Du Halde, J. B. Description . , . dt VEmpirt de la Chine, vol. i, 

p. XXX. 

^*^ — Ibid,, Tol. iv, 18. "lis nous apprirent les premiers, ce que nous ne 
soivions pas, qu'tl y avoit vit-a-yis I'embouchure du Saghalien oula une 
grande Isle habits par des gens semblables a eux. Dans la suite 4'enipereur y 
a envoy^ des Mantcheoux, qui y oot pass^ sur les Barques de ces Ketcheng- 
tase lesquels demeurent au bord de la Mer, et ont commerce avec les Habitans 
de la partie occidental de I'lsle." 

^^ Klaproth, J. Apercu des Trots Royaumes, 188. 

*•« — Ibid. 

^*^The name is also written: Saghalin, Sagaiien, Sachalien, etc 

**® D' Anvil le's map was published in 1735. 

^»* See footnote 482. 


is no record that other Europeans sailed in Tartary 
Strait until the coming of Laperouse in 1787. This 
famous Frenchman set about clearing up the carto- 
graphical confusion of this region. After touching at 
Jeso Island, he sailed into Tartary Strait until he was 
stopped by the shallow water in the neighborhood of 
the fifty-second parallel. In his report and chart he 
announced that there was no navigable channel.*^^ 

Ten years later Broughton, following the course of 
Laperouse, succeeded in reaching farther north by fif- 
teen miles/^^ but without finding a passage. Krusen- 
stern, in 1805, undertook to solve the problem in an- 
other way. Instead of following the western shore of 
Sakhalin he sailed along the eastern, and in so doing 
determined the northern extent of the island. He 
doubled and named the northern capes and then steered 
a southerly course through Tartary Strait, hoping that 
in this manner he would join his efforts with those of 
Laperouse. But when within two hundred miles of his 
desired goal, and before sighting the Amur River, he 
was brought to a standstill by the sand banks, and turned 
back, believing Sakhalin to be a peninsula.'^' 

It is probably unique in the annals of modern geo- 
graphy that three scientists, among the greatest naviga- 

*^ Laperouse, J. B. Voyage de Laperouse autour du Monde^ vol. iii, 53. 
"Cette stagnation des eaux paraissait etre une preuve qu'il n'y avait point de 

^^Broaghton, W. R. Voyage of Discovery in the North Pacific Ocean^ 
vol. vii, 303. Broughton was ''fully convinced that there was no opening to 
the sea in this direction, the whole being closed by lowland, which we could 
plainly distinguish at intervals." 

^^^ Krustenstem, A. J. de. Voyage Autour du Monde^ vol. ii, 247. "II est 
par consequent demontre que Sakhalin est uni a la Tartarie par une isthme 
tris-bas, et ainsi n'est qu'une presq'ile. Toutefbis il est possible et meme 
tres vraisemblable qO-anciennement, et peut-etre meme a une epoque peu 
eloign^e, Sakhalin etait isole du continent comme les cartes chinotses le repre- 


tors of their day, studying the subject on the spot should 
come to such erroneous conclusions. It is not surpris- 
ing that stay-at-home cartographers adopted their 
views. Some made Sakhalin a peninsula of Tartary, 
connecting it with the mainland just at the spot left 
unexplored by Krusenstern and Broughton.'"' Others, 
although not distinctly uniting the two bodies, yet indi- 
cated that they are joined by sandbanks and called Sak- 
halin a peninsula.'^* There are a few, however, who 
still picture Sakhalin as an island,'^^'' but it is not prob- 
able that they mean that it is circumnavigable.*°* 

The following extract from Findlay's work entitled 
A Directory for the Navigation of the Pacific Ocean ^"^ 
gives the generally accepted English view regarding 
Sakhalin : 

It is not absolutely determined whether Sakhalin be an island 
or peninsula, but as all evidence tends towards the latter opin- 
ion, that appellation has been retained ... it must there- 
fore be considered that Sakhalin is joined to the continent by a 
flat sandy neck of land over which, it is possible, the sea may 
wash when the strong southerly gales which occur here drive 
the waters to a higher level, and that the isthmus may be of 
comparatively recent date, and still on the increase from the 
deposits of the Amour, so that the older Chinese charts may be 

On the map accompanying this work Sakhalin is rep- 
resented as a peninsula.'*** 

*<^* Heinrich Keller, Weimar, 18 14. Probably a copy of the map in Langs- 
dorff't Reise urn die IVelt 

■^'^ Vandermalen, P. H. A tit (Bruxellea, 1827). 

^^^ Malte-Brun, Traite Elemtntaire de Geogrephie: **A peu de distance 
des cotes de la Mantchourie s'etend la longue ile de Saghalien. . . " 

^^Laperouse seems to be the first to have given the name Manche de 
Tartarie to the waters separating the island from the mainland. Broughton 
was the first to apply the term Gulf of Tartary. There are other names such 
as Mamia Rinso Strait, Tartary Strait, etc. 

^^ London, 1851, part i, 618. 

^*For a somewhat similar view see M'Cullouch's Univirsal GoMitteer 
(New York, 1849), vol. ii. 


Krusenstern's view as to the shape of Sakhalin was 
accepted in Russia.*"** There were at this time other 
expeditions to Sakhalin: Davidof and Chwostof in 1806 
and 1 807,*" and Podushkine in 1 809- 1 8 1 1 ; '" but these 
touched merely on the southern point which was al- 
ready known. There is no record of any others between 
that date and 1845.*" Towards the middle of the nine- 
teenth century Russia, for various reasons not necessary 
to enter on here, decided to examine a little more closely 
the regions along the Amur. Not having any govern- 
ment boats in the Okhotsk Sea, it asked the Russian 
American Company to send an expedition. In 1846 
the brig Grand Duke Constantin, in command of Gav- 
rilof, was put in commission. His instructions were 
to pass himself off as a non-Russian "' and in every pos- 
sible way to leave the impression with the natives, par- 
ticularly the Chinese, that the Russian government 
had nothing to do with his movements. Gavrilof en- 
tered on his duties that very same spring and remained 
at work all summer. He died soon after his return, 
and the extent of his efforts are somewhat uncertain"^ 
and of little importance, since it had no influence on the 
events that followed. 

'^* Captain Golownan in his Japan and the Japanese speaks of ''Sagalin 

^^^ Asiatic Society of Japan. Tranjadigns, vol. i. 

811 De Sabir, C. Le Fleuve Amour (Paris, i86i)» p. 47. 

^^' Banukof, I. Count Nikolai N. Mura^^ef^A murski, vol. i, 36S. Among 
the documents there presented is one dating 1850 which has this interesting 
statenxnt: "He [American whaler] sent three boats to the Sakhalin shore and 
had dealings with the Giliaks. Neither our Okhotsk boats nor those of the 
Russian American Company ever allowed themselves this privilege and never 
went near Sakhalin except when specially ordered to do so." 

B^* He was ordered not to take Russian but Virginia tobacco. 

'^^^ Barsukof, I. Count Nikolai N. Muraveef^Amurski, vol. i, 171. Mur- 
avyof says that Gavrilof entered the gulf of die Amur from the north, but did 
not find a passage to the mouth of the river. De Sabir [op. ciu, 52] claims 
that Gabrilof did enter the mouth of the Amur. 


Russia's success on the Amur is due in large part to 
one of her great statesmen, Nicolai Nicolaewitz Mur- 
avyof-Amurski. Appointed governor-general of Si- 
beria in 1847, Muravyof set about extending Russia's 
power on the Pacific. Before leaving St. Petersburg 
he selected Nevelski, a sea captain in the service of the 
Russian American Company, to help him carry out his 
plans. Through his efforts Nevelski was commissioned 
by the Russian Government to undertake a secret ex- 
pedition with the following objects in view: to explore 
the northern part of Sakhalin, the strait between Sak- 
halin and the mainland, and the gulf and mouth of the 
Amur."* Early in the spring of 1849, Nevelski arrived 
in Kamchatka, and, as soon as he discharged his cargo, 
he sailed for Sakhalin. He carefully surveyed and 
charted the northern point of Sakhalin and the Amur 
Gulf. When no longer able to find a channel for his 
ship Baikal he went into a small boat and continued his 
southward course to the mouth of the Amur which he 
entered. Not yet content with his achievement, he 
pushed on still farther south to the most northerly point 
attained by Broughton, thus proving most convincingly 
that Sakhalin is an island and not a peninsula.*^^* 

From 1849 to 1855 Nevelski and other Russian offi- 
cers were exploring and charting the waters and har- 
bors of the Amur and Sakhalin. A channel was found, 
and the Baikal sailed into the Amur from the north in 

^^'^ Banukof, I. Count Nikolai N. Muraveef-Amurski^ vol. ii, 37. 

^^^ — Ibid,^ vol. i, 198, z%Z''Z2^ Muravyof was anxiously waiting for him 
at Ayan [Okhotsk Sea] ; and when on the morning of September 3, 1715, the 
Baikal hove in sight, Muravyof went out in a small boat to meet her. When 
near enough to be heard the governor called for news, and Nevelski shouted 
back: "God helped us ... we have accomplished our important task. . . 
Sakhalin is an island. It is possible to enter the gulf and the river Amur by 
seagoing vessels either from the north or the south." 


1 850/" Three years later "• the gunboat Wostok, com- 
ing from Japan, entered the river from the south. 

These important discoveries were known to very few 
people. The greatest secrecy was maintained for fear 
of exciting China and arousing the hostility of other 
countries, particularly England.'" 

During the Crimean War the question whether Sak- 
halin is an island or a peninsula became something more 
than academic. England's ignorance on this point had 
very practical results, and for a time put her in a humil- 
iating position. In 1855 an English squadron, consist- 
ing of the Sibylle, Hornet, and Bittern, in command of 
Captain C. Elliot, was sent to the North Pacific to at- 
tack a Russian squadron of six ships. Although out- 
numbering the English the Russian squadron was really 
much weaker as a fighting force. Aided by fog and the 
information from an American whaler,"^ the Russians 
escaped from Kamchatka and found shelter in De Cas- 
tries Bay. Here the English found them, and, suppos- 
ing that the Russians were much stronger than they 
really were. Captain Elliot did not think it wise to take 

'^^ Banukof, I. Count Nikolai N, Muraveef-Amurski, vol. i, 274. 

Bi* D« Sabir, C. L/ Fleuve Amour^ 63. 

B^0 Muravyof suspected and dreaded England above all other nations. He 
accused her of desiring to become the leading power in the North Pacific and 
to deprive Russia of all influence and power. He believed that England had 
designs on the Amur and that her ships had been there. In 1853 ^^ predicted 
that the United States would secure Russia's American possessions, and sug- 
gested that an alliance should be formed between the United States and Rus- 
sia against England [Barsukof, I. Count Nikolai N, Muraveef-Amurski, vol. 
i, 3*3 ; vol. ii, 38, 46, 55]. 

^^ The activity and size of the American trading and whaling fleet during 
this period is worth noticing. When the Russian squadron left Kamchatka to 
go to De Castries Bay it hailed an American whaler. In escaping from the 
bay it fell in with another having on board the crew of a wrecked Russian 
gunboat [Barsukof, I. Count Nikolai N, Muraveef-A murski, vol. i, 411, 4x4]. 
The English squadron in search of the Russians ran into and almost wredced 
a whaler [Whittingham, lox]. 


the offensive. He therefore despatched the Bittern to 
Jeso to ask help of the English admiral stationed there. 
The "frigate and corvette," says an officer on board one 
of these boats, "commenced cruising in a narrow part 
of the gulf to prevent escape southwards of the Russian 
squadron."^ The Russians, finding the mouth of De 
Castries Bay clear, took advantage of the fog to slip out 
to go to the Amur River. A day or two after their 
departure the English looked into the bay and found 
it empty; and they did not even know what had become 
of the enemy. The officer just quoted continues his ac- 
count : 

And as I still believed in the correctness of Laperouse and 
Broughton's dicta, that there was no passage for ships into the 
gulf of the Amur, and as, above all, there was no perceptible 
current, a discoloration of the water, which the discharge of the 
Amur by its channel must have caused, I imagined that the 
enemy had passed us in the fog, and that he trusted to an early 
breaking up of the ice in the sea of Okhotsk to allow his ships 
to enter the Amur by the north round Cape Elizabeth.**' 

When too late the English officers learned how the 
Russians had escaped. From this time on it became 
universally known that Sakhalin is an island and that a 
navigable strait separates it from East Tartary. 

By determining the insularity of Sakhalin and by 
charting the East Tartary Coast, Russia completed the 
exploration of the interior and the survey of north and 
northeast Asia and a great part of northwest America. 
When she had finished there were no more geographi- 
cal problems to solve in these regions. More than two 
centuries were spent in these efforts. It took no less 
time to explore and conquer North America although 
many powerful nations were engaged in the effort. His- 

^2^ Whittingham, Notes, 94. 
Ml — Ibid., 98. 


tory must grant to Russia a high place in exploration 
and discovery. 

In the attempt to get a general view of the whole per- 
iody one is struck by the crudeness, by the lack of well 
laid plans at times, and by the tremendous amount of 
misdirected energy on the part of Russia. There is 
much that is admirable in the wonderful vitality of her 
people and deplorable in that it had not been more ad- 
vantageously used. During this period Russia showed 
that she could conquer but she gave little evidence that 
she could civilize ; she subdued the natives but did not 
enlighten them. Russia came into the possession of 
this vast territory because her population was overflow- 
ing with physical energy; she overwhelmed all native 
tribes and overcame all natural obstacles. It is this 
strenuous struggle against savage man and wild nature 
that makes the story of Russian expansion so thrilling 
and so fascinating. 

After 1850 there is a marked change in Russia's at- 
titude in the matter of expansion in the Far East. From 
then on she formed far sighted plans in regard to that 
region and sent there her ablest statesmen. She no 
longer depended on force alone. Her goal was to 
reach out southward rather than eastward. She with- 
drew from America and concentrated her energies on 
acquiring territory south of the Amur and a winter 
port. But these plans, successes, and failures belong 
to another period of Russian expansion. 



Bey der Zuriikkunft dieser Leute reitzte die Nachridit von den 
Wallrosszahnen mehrere Promyschleni an, Jahres darauf eine zweyte 
Reise zu unternehmen. Dazu gesellete sidi Fedot Alexeew, von 
Kolmogori geburtig, eines Moscauischen Kaufmanns von der Gos- 
tinna Sotna, Alexei Ussows, Bedienter, und war gleichsam, als das 
Haupt davon, anzusehen. Er fand aber fur gut, von dem Befehls- 
haber am Flusse Kolyma auch einem in Diensten stehenden Cosacken 
der das Kroninteresse bey der Reise besorgen mochte, sich auszubit- 
ten. Hierzu bot sich einer Simeon, oder Semon, Iwanow Sin Desch- 
new an, und wurd von dem Befehlshaber mit Verhaltungsbefehlen 
versehen. Vier Schifie, die man Kotschen nanntc, giengen alle zugleich 
im Junius 1647 aus dem Flusse Kolyma unter Seegel. Man hatte 
von einem Flusse Anadir, oder nach der damahligen Aussprache 
Anandir, gehoret, der von fremden Volkern stark bewohnt sey. Man 
glaubte, derselbe werde auch in das Eissmeer fallen. Folglich war 
eine mit von den Absichten dieser Reise, desselben Miindung zu ent- 
decken. Allein nicht nur dieses, sondern auch alles ubrige, was man 
zu thun sich vorgenommen hatte, schlug fehl; weil die See selbigen 
Sommer gar zu voU von Eise war, als dass sie eine freye Fahrt er- 
laubet hatte. 

Dem ungeachtet liess man die gefasste Hoffnung nicht fahren. 
Vielmehr vermehrte sich die Anzahl der Liebhaber auf das folgende 
Jahr so wohl an Cosacken, als Promyschleni, dergestallt, dass man 7 
Kotschen ausriistete, die alle einerley Absicht batten. Was vieren 
dieser Fahrzeuge wiederfahren, davon schweigen unsere Nachrichten. 
Auf den drey iibrigen waren Semon Dcschnew und Gcrasim Anku- 
dinow die Hauptcr der Cosacken, und Fedot Alexeew der vor- 
nehmste unter den Promyschleni. Die zwcy crsten geriethcn noch 
vor der Abreise in Strcit, weil Deschnew daruber eifersiichtig wurd, 
dass Ankudinow sowohl an der Ehre der zukunftigen Entdeckung- 

528 Muller's Sammlung Russischer Geschichte^ vol. iii, 7-20. 



The return of these men with accounts of the walrus tusks en- 
couraged many hunters to undertake a second expedition the follow- 
ing year. A company was organized under the leadership of Fedot 
Alexeef, a native of Kolmogori and agent of Alexei Ussof, a Moscow 
merchant of the Gostina Sotna. Alexeef petitioned the officer in 
charge of the Koluima that a Cossack be sent along to look after the 
interest of the government on the voyage. At the request of Simeon, 
or Semon, Iwanof Deshnef he was selected to accompany the party 
and the necessary commission and instructions were issued to him. 
The men set sail from the Koluima in June, 1647, in four boats, 
known as kotshi. There was a report at the time that there existed 
a river, Anaduir, or as it was called at that time Ananduir, the banks 
of which were thickly inhabited by an unknown people. It was be- 
lieved that this river flowed into the Arctic Ocean and one of the 
objects of this voyage was to discover the mouth of this stream. Not 
only this undertaking but all the other plans of the party failed be- 
cause that summer the sea w^as full of ice making nevigation im- 

Notwithstanding this set-back the men had not lost hope. Indeed, 
by next year so many more, both Cossacks and hunters, wished to go 
that it took seven kotshi to accommodate them all. What became of 
four of these boats our documents do not say. On the remaining 
three were Semon Deshnef and Gerasim Ankudinof, the headmen 
of the Cossacks, and Fedot Alexeef, the chief of the hunters. The 
two first mentioned quarreled even before their departure, because 
Deshnef was unwilling to share with Ankudinof the honor of the 


en, als an denen damit verkniipften Vortheilen, Theil nehmen soUte. 
Jedcs Fahrzeug mag etwan 30 Mann stark gewesen scyn. Wenig- 
stens findet man solches von Ankudinow seinem angemerket. Desch- 
new versparach zum voraus, 7 Zimmer Zobeln vom Flusse Anadir an 
Tribute in die Cassa zu liefern. So gross war seine Zuversicht, 
diesen Fluss zu erreichen; welches denn zwar auch endlich geschahe: 
jedoch nicht so bald, und nicht mit so leichter Miihe, als er es sich 
vorgestellet hatte. 

Der 20te Junius 1648 war der Tag, an welchem diese merkwur- 
dige Reise von dem Flusse Kolyma angctreten wurd. Es ist, wegen 
der noch wenigen Kenntniss, die wir von dortigen Gegenden haben, 
gar sehr zu beklagen, dass nicht alle Umstande dieser Fahrt sorgf altig 
aufgezeichnet sind. Deschnew, der in einem Berichte nach Jakutsk 
seine Thaten selbst erzehlet, scheinet von dem, was ihm zur See be- 
gjegnet ist, fast nur zufalliger Weise zu reden. Bis an die grosse 
Tschcktschische Landecke finden wir gar nichts von Begebenbeiten 
erwehnet. Es wird keiner Hindernissen von Eise gedacht. Ver- 
muthlich waren auch keine. Denn Deschnew erinnert bey einer 
andern Gclegenheit, dass die See nicht alle Jahre, so wie dieses mahl, 
vom Eise rein zu seyn pflege. Mit der grossen Landecke fangt 
allererst seine Erzehlung an, welches auch derjenige Umstand ist, der 
die meiste Aufmerksamkeit verdienet "Diese Landecke," sagt er, "sey 
ganz anders beschafien, als diejenigc, welche bey dem Flusse Tschu- 
kotschia (westlich vom Flusse Kolyma) sich befinde. Sie liege 
zwischen Norden und Nordost, und drehe sich in einer Rundung 
gegen den Anadir bin. Auf der Russischen (d. i. westlichen) Seite 
derselben falle zum Wahrzeichen ein Bach in die See, bey welchem 
die Tschuktschi ein Geriiste, wie ein Thurm, von Wallfischknochen 
aufgerichtet batten. Gegen iiber der Landecke (es ist nicht angczei- 
get, auf welcher Seite) seyen zwo Insuln in der See, auf welchen man 
Leute gesehen, von Tschuktschischer Nation, durch deren durch- 
locherte Lefzen Wallrosszahne hervorgeraget batten. Man moge 
von der Landecke bis an den Fluss Anadir mit volkommen gutem 
Winde in drey mahl 24 Stunden seegeln konnen, und zu Lande werde 
es auch nicht weiter seyn, weil der Anadir in einen Meerbusem falle." 
Uebrigens geschahe es noch an dieser Landecke, dass Ankudinows 
Kotsche zerscheiterte, und dass die Leute von derselben auf die 
iibrigen beyden Kotschen geborgen wurden. Nachdem Deschnew und 
Fedot Alexecw den 20. September noch am Lande gewesen, und 


discovery and the profit which would result from the proposed voyage. 
On each of the boats there were about thirty men, at least that was 
the number on Ankudinof's kotsh. Deshnef promised, before going, 
to bring from the Anaduir seven Zimmer of sables [a bundle of forty 
skins was called a Zimmer] as tribute, so confident was he of reaching 
the river. In the end he was successful but it was not done as 
quickly and as easily as he had imagined. 

On the twentieth day of June 1648 this remarkable voyage from 
the mouth of the Koluima was entered upon. It is to be regretted 
that since we know so little of these regions that no fuller details 
of this expedition have come down to us. Deshnef in one of his re- 
ports to Jakutsk, wherein he speaks of his deeds, refers incidentally 
to what happened to him at sea on this voyage. We know nothing 
at all of what occurred from the time he left the Koluima until he 
reached the large Chukchi Cape. There is no mention made of ice 
obstructions probably because there were none. In another connection 
Deshnef says that the sea is not as free from ice every year as it was 
this time. His narrative begins with a description of the large cape 
which is of such importance in this connection that it deserves careful 
consideration. "This cape," says he, ''is quite different from the one 
by the river Tschukotschia (west of the river Koluima). The cape 
is situated between north and northeast, and turns in a circular direc- 
tion towards the Anaduir. On its Russian side (i.e. west side) 
there is a stream flowing into the sea, and near by that the Chukchi 
have erected a pile, like a tower, made of whalebone. Opposite the 
cape (it is not said on which side) are two islands on which were 
seen Chukchi who had holes in their lips in which were pieces of wal- 
rus tusk. With a good wind one can sail from the cape to the 
Anaduir in three times twenty-four hours, and it would not take any 
more time to go by land because the Anaduir empties into a bay." 
On this same cape Ankudinofs kotsh was wrecked, and the crew was 
distributed on the two other boats. On the twentieth of September 
Deshnef and Fedot Alexeef were on shore and had a fight with the 


mit den Tschuktsdii ein Gefechte gphalten» worin der letzte ver- 
wundet worden : so verloren bald darauf die beydm Kotschen einander 
aus dem Gesichtc, und kamen nicht wieder zusammen. Deschnew 
wurd bis in den October von Wind und Wetter in der See herun 
getrieben. Endlich litte er Schifbnich, und zwar, wie es die Urn- 
stande gpben, ziemlich weit in Suden von dem Flusse Anadir, etwa in 
der Gegend des Flusses Olutora. Was mit Fedot Alexeew und seiner 
Schiffgesellschaft geschdien, wird unten gesagt werden. 

Deschnew war 25 Mann stark, mit denen er sich aufmachte, den 
Anadir zu suchen. Er fand ihn aber, wegen Mangels eines Weg- 
weisers, erst nach 10 Wochen, die er zu Fusse gewandert. Die Ge^ 
gend, wo er den Anadir erreichte, war unweit desselben Miindung, 
in einer Gegend, die sowohl von Einwohnern, als von Waldung, 
entblosset war. Dieser Umstand setzte ihn und seine Gcfahrten in 
die grosseste Verkummerniss. Wovon soUten sie sich ernahren? 
Durch die Jagd konnte solches wegen Mangels wilder Thiere, die 
meistens den Waldern folgen, nur sehr sparsam geschehen, und zum 
fischen fehlte es an der nothigen Gerathschaft. In Erwegung dieses 
begaben sich 12 Mann von der Gesellschaft den Anadir aufwerts. 
Diese aber trafen innerhalb 20 Tagen, so sie in der Irre herum 
giengen, eben so wenig Menschen an, so dass sie zuletzt sich gezwun- 
gen sahen, nach Deschnews Standlager zuruck zu kehren, weldies 
jedoch wegen Hungers und Mudigkeit nur die wenigsten erreichten. 

Den folgenden Sommer 1649 fuhr Deschnew mit seinem Volke zu 
Wasser den Anadir aufwerts, und fand Leute, die sich Anauli nann- 
ten, die damahls ihrn ersten Tribut am Flusse Anadir bezahlten. 
Diese, da sie ohnedem nicht zahlreich, und doch dabey widerspenstig 
waren, sind in kurzer Zeit ganz aufgerieben worden. Damahls vmrd 
Anadirskoi Ostrog, als eine Simowie, von Deschnew gegriindet. 
Daselbst nahm er seine Wohnung. Er war besorgt wie er dereinst 
nach dem Flusse Kolyma zuruckkommen, oder, nur Nachricht von 
seinen Begebenheiten dahin uebersenden mochte, als ihm andere dazu 
den Weg zeigten, die den 25. April 1650 uber Land dey ihm anka- 

Man war seit Deschnews Abreise am Flusse Kolyma nicht mussig 
gewesen, neue Abfertigungen, sowohl zu Wasser, als zu Lande, zu 
veranstalten, damit, wenn die Hofnung mit jenen fehl schluge, doch 
die weiter in Osten gelegende Gegenden nicht unerforscht blieben. 
Unter diesen vcrdienet eine zur See nicht sowohl wegen der dabey 


Chukchi, in which Alexeef was wounded. After this the two boats 
became separated and did not again unite. Deshnef was out at sea 
until October, driven here and there by wind and weather. In the 
end he was shipwrecked, and from all indications, at a considerable 
distance south of the River Anaduir, somewhere in the neighborhood 
of the River Oliutora. What became of Fedot Alexeef and his men 
will be explained farther on. 

Deshnef and his companions, numbering twenty-five men, set out 
to find the Anaduir. Not having a guide they wandered on foot for 
ten weeks before they found the stream, at a point not very far from 
its mouth, in a neighborhood where there were to be found neither 
human beings nor timber. This circumstance made their situation 
very critical. How should they support themselves? They could 
not hunt because all the wild game remained in the forests, they could 
not fish because they lacked the necessary fishing gear. Under the 
circumstances twelve men of the party started up the river. They 
wandered about for twenty days without seeing a human being and 
were at last forced to turn back to Deshnef 's camp, but on account of 
hunger and weariness only a very few reached the destination. 

The following summer, 1649, Deshnef and his men went up the 
Anaduir by boat and found the natives of the country who called 
themselves Anauli and who paid their first tribute. These people al- 
though few in number resisted stubbornly and were soon destroyed. 
Deshnef built a zimovie and made this place his headquarters which 
in time became Anaduirskoi Ostrog. He was wondering how he 
might get back to the Koluima or how he might send thither a report 
of his movements, when the way was pointed out to him by others 
who had come overland and had joined him on April 25, 1650. 

Those who remained behind, after Deshnef's departure from the 
Koluima, were busy making preparations to go by land and sea to the 
eastward for the purpose of making discoveries. One of these at- 
tempts at discovery deserves attention, not so much on account of 


gemachten Entdeckungen, als der Gdegenheit wegcn, wodurch sie 
veranlasset worden, angefiihret zu wcrden. 

Michael Staduchin, ein Cosacke von Jakutsk, hatte im Jahre 1644 
mit einigen seiner Gefahrten den untersten Ostrog am Flusse Kolyma 
erbauet. Er war Jahres darauf nach Jakutsk zuruckgid^ommen, mit 
einigen Nachrichten, die zu verdienen schienen dass derselben Gewiss- 
heit untersuchet wurde. Ein Weib von denen am Flusse Kolyma 
wohnhaften Volkern solle ihm gesagt haben, es liege im Eissmeere 
eine grosse Insul, die sich vom Flusse Jana bis gegen uber den Kolyma 
erstreckte, und vom festen Lande konne gesehen werden. Die Tsdiukts- 
chi von dem Flusse Tschukotschia, welcher vom Kolyma in Westen 
in das Eysmeer fallt, pflegten im Winter mit Rennthieren in einem 
Tage nach dieser Insul iiber das Eyss zu gehen, und daselbst Wall- 
rosse zu fallen, von welchen sie die Kopfe sammt den Zahnen mit 
sich zuruck bracfaten, und dieselbe anbeteten. Er habe zwar selber 
dergleichen Zahne bey diesen Leuten nicht gesehen, aber von Promy- 
schleni griioret, dass sich dergleichen bey ihnen befanden, und dass 
gewisse Ringe an ihren Rennthiers-Schlitten von Wallrosszahnen 
gemacht seyen. Die Promyschleni bestarkten auch die Wurklidikeit 
sothaner Insul, und hielten sie fiir eine Fortsetzung des Landes 
Nowaia Semlia, wohin man von Mesen zu fahren pflege. Ueberdem 
habe er von einem grossen Flusse Pogitscha, den andere Kowytscha 
genannt, gehoret, der drey oder mehr Tagereisen zur See mit gutem 
Winde zu fahren, jenseits des Kolyma in das Eissmeer falle. Es 
sey viel Vortheil fiir die Krone in diesen Gegenden zu hoffen, wenn 
man eine grossere Anzahl von Cosacken dahin schicken werde. u. s. w. 

Auf diese Nachrichten und Vorschlage wurd Staduchin den 5. 
Junius 1647 zum zweyten Mahle nach dem Flusse Kolyma abgefer- 
tiget, mit dem Befehle, dass er von dort nach dem Flusse Pogitscha 
gehen, an demselben eine simowie anlegen, die dortigen Volker zins- 
bar machen, und von der vorgebenen Insul im Eissmeere Nachrichten 
einziehen soUte. Er iiberwinterte am Jana, gieng im Nachwinter 
1648 in 7 Wochen mit Narten nach dem Indigirka, bauete daselbst 
eine Kotsche, und fuhr damit nach dem Flusse Kolyma. 

Darauf geschahe im Sommer des Jahres 1649 die Seefahrt um den 
Fluss Pogitscha zu suchen. Staduchin, der noch ein anderes Fahr- 
zeug, das auf dieser Reise zerscheiterte, mit sich hatte, fuhr unter 
einem Seegel 7 mahl 24 Stunden, ohne einen Fluss anzutreffen. Er 
liess anhalten, schickte aus, um Leute aufzusuchen: aber auch diese 


what it really accomplished as because of the circumstances which 
surrounded it. 

Michaelo Staduchin, a Jakutsk Cossack, with a number of his 
assodates built the Lower Koluimsk Ostrog in the year 1644. He 
returned to Jakutsk the year f(dlowing with information which 
seemed to merit fuller investigation. He said that he had met a woman, 
who belonged to one of the native tribes living along the Koluima, 
who told him that there is a large island in the Arctic Ocean, stretch* 
ing out from the Jana to the Koluima, which island may be seen from 
the mainland. The Chukchi of the River Chukotschia, which is 
west of the Koluima and falls into the Arctic Ocean, were accustomed 
to go to that island in winter over the ice on their reindeer in one 
day. There they killed walrus and brought back with them the 
heads with the tusks, and these they worshipped. Staduchin himself 
did not see walrus tusks among these people, but hunters had told him 
that the natives had them and that the runners of their deer-sleds 
were made from these tusks. The hunters also confirmed the ex- 
istence of this island and they were of the opinion that it was a 
continuation of Nowaia Semlia, to which place one used to go from 
Mesen. At the same time he heard of a large river, Pogicha, others 
call it Kowytscha, which with fair wind is three or more days' journey 
by sea, on the other side of the Koluima and falls into the Arctic 
Ocean. It would be to the great advantage of the government to 
send into these regions a large number of Cossacks, etc. . . 

On the strength of this information and recommendation, on June 
5, 1647, Staduchin was sent a second time to the Koluima, with in- 
structions that he should proceed to the river Pogicha and there erect 
a zimovie and make the inhabitants pay tribute, and obtain more 
data regarding the island in the Arctic Ocean. He wintered on the 
Jana, leaving there in the late winter of 1648, and after seven weeks 
travel on sleds reached the Indigirka, where he built a kotsh and 
went to the Koluima. 

This is how it came about that a search by sea for the Pogicha 
was made in 1649. Staduchin, in addition to the boat which he 
already had, took with him another one which was wrecked on the 
voyage, sailed seven times twenty-four hours without finding a river. 
He made a halt and sent his men ashore to find the natives of the 


wusten von keinen Flussen in derselben Gcgend zu sagen. Die Kiiste 
war fekicht, man konnte folglich nicht fischen, audi mangelte es an 
gnugiBamen Vorrathe von Proviante. Deswegen kehrete Staduchin 
nach dem Kolyma zuriick. Von der vorgegebcnen Insul im Eissmeere 
dass sie auf dieser Fahrt ware gesucht, oder gefunden worden, findet 
sich keine Anzeige. Aller Nutzen bestund in einigen mitgebrachten 
Wallrosszahnen, die Staduchin nach Jakutsk schickte, und vorschlug, 
das8 man um mehr zu suchen, ausdrucklich Leute dahin auf den 
Fang schicken soUte. 

Nun wuste man schon, Pogitscha sey eben derselbe FIuss, welcher 
auch Anandir genennet werde. Man g^aubte nicht mehr seine Mun- 
dung in selbiger Gegend sudien zu mussen. Man erfuhr durch die 
heidnische Volker, dass es uber Land dahin naher sey. Dieses gab 
zu der folgenden Abfertigung Gdegenheit. Eigentlich hatte man 
die so nutzlidie Nadiricht, von einem Wcge zu Lande nach dem 
Flusse Anadir, einem Feldzuge zu danken, den die Cbsacken vom 
Kolyma zu Anfange des Jahrs 1650 den FIuss Anui aufwerts thaten. 
Was man vorher wuste, bestund nur in einem ungewissen Geruchte. 
Hier aber bekam man Gefangene von einem Vclke Chodynzi, die 
selbst den Weg anzuzeigen wusten. 

Alsobald that sich eine Gesellschaft freywilliger Leute, theils Co- 
sacken, theils Promyschleni, zusammen, welche bey dem Befehlshaber, 
zu Kolymskoi Ostrog durch eine Bittschrift ansuchten, dass man sie 
nach dem Flusse Anadir moge abgriien lassen, um die dortigen Volker 
auf Tribut zu setzen. Solches geschahe. Semon Motora, so hiess 
der Anfuhrer dieser Leute, bekam den 23 Marz oberhalb am Flusse 
Anui einen angesdienen Mann von den Chodynzi giefangen, und 
nahm ihn mit sich nach dem Anadir. Motora war es, der den 23. 
April, wie oberwehnet, am Anadir ankam, allwo er sich mit Deschnew 
vereinigte. Michaelo Staduchin folgte diesem, und brachte 7 Wochen 
unterwegs zu. Als er am Anadir ankam: so gieng er Deschnews 
Simowie vorbey, that seine Sachen besonders, und lebte mit jenem 
aus Eifersucht in bestandigem Streite. Deschnew und Motora woU- 
ten ihm aus weichen, dadurch, dass sie sich vornahmen, nach dem 
Flusse Penschina zu gehen. Indem es ihnen aber an einem Weg- 
weiser fehlete, so sahen sie sich gezwungen von dem Wege zuriick zu 
kehren. Darauf begab sich Staduchin nach dem Penschina, und 
nachher ist nichts writer von ihm giehoret worden. 

Deschnew und Motora hatten am Anadir Fahrzcuge gabauet, lun 


country, but these knew of no river in that region. The coast was 
rocky so that they could not do much fishing, and also because they 
lacked the needed provisions, Staduchin turned back to the Koluima. 
Of the aforementioned island not a trace was discovered. All that 
he had to show for his troubles were a few walrus tusks which he 
sent to Jakutsk with the proposal that men should be sent to him 
to look for more. 

From all this it will be seen that the Pogicha was the same stream 
which some called Ananduir. It was no longer believed that its 
mouth was to be found where it was once supposed to be. It was 
learned through the heathen natives that the way to the river was 
much nearer by land. This explains the expedition described below. 
This useful information of a land route to the Anaduir, was secured 
by a party of Cossacks in the beginning of the year 1650 while they 
were making war at the headwaters of the Aniui. Ail the informa- 
tion thus far had been of a hearsay character, but on this occasion a 
number of Chodynzi, who knew the way well enough to act as guides, 
were made captive. 

As soon as that was known a company was formed, made up in 
part of Cossacks and in part of hunters. These men petitioned the 
oflScer of Koluimsk Ostrog to be allowed to go to the Anaduir and to 
take tribute of the inhabitants. This petition was granted. Motora, 
the leader of this band, captured on the Aniui River on March 
twenty-third a prominent man of the Chodynzi tribe and took him 
along to the Anaduir. Motora reached the Anaduir April twenty- 
third, as aforementioned, and joined forces with Deshnef. Michaelo 
Staduchin followed closely on the footsteps of Motora, spending 
seven weeks on the way. When he came to the Anaduir he passed 
by Deshnef 's zimovie and lived apart from the others with whom he 
was continually quarreling and fighting. Deshnef and Motora, in 
order to keep out of his way, left their camp and started to find the 
River Penjinsk. But not having a guide they were forced to turn 
back. Soon after this Staduchin went to the Penjinsk and since that 
time nothing has ever been heard of him. 

Deshnef and Motora built boats on the Anaduir intending to go to 


damit zur See zu giehen, und mehrere Flusse zu entdecken, als dcs 
letztern Tod erfolgte; indcm er zu Au8g:angp dcs Jahres 1651 in 
einem Gefechte mit den Anaulen umkam. Indessen dienten die 
Fahrzeuge dazu, dass Deschnew damit im Sommer das 1652 Jahrs 
nach der Mundiing des Flusses Anadir fuhr, allwo cr bemerkte, dass 
auf der nordlichen Seite der Mundung eine Sandbank sidi weit in 
der See erstreckte. Dergleichen Sandbanke werden in Sibirien Korgi 
genannt. Auf der an der Mundung des Flusses Anadir pflegten sich 
Wallrosse haufig einzufinden. Deschnew bekam einige ihrer Zahne, 
und hielt seine Muhe dadurch fiir gnugsam belohnet. 

In Jahre 1653 liess er Holz fallen^ um eine Kotsche zu bauen, 
womit der bis dahin eingenomene Tribut zur See nach Jakutsk ab- 
gesandt werden konnte. Weil es aber an dem ubrigen Zubehore 
fehlte; so unterblieb die Sache. Man horte auch, dass die See um das 
grossc Tschuktschische Noss nicht alle Jahre vom Eise frey sey. 

Eine zweyte Reise nach der Korga, der Wallrosszahne wegen, 
geschahe im Jahre 1654. Dabey befand sich auch Juschko Seliwer- 
stow, ein von Jakutsk neuangekommener Cosacke, welcher den 
Michaelo Staduchin auf seiner Seereise begleitet hatte, und da er von 
diesem mit dem Vorschlage, die Wallrosszahne zum Nutzen fur die 
Krone aufsuchen zu lassen, nach Jakutsk geschicket worden: jetzt 
mit der Verordnung, solches zu thun, versehen war. In seinem Ver- 
haltungsbefehle ist, nebst dem Anadir, auch der Tschendon, ein Fluss, 
der in den Penschinskischen Meerbusem fallt, benennet, an welchen 
beyden er, weil man damahls von Deschnews Thaten zu Jakutsk noch 
nicht unterrichtet war, die Volker auf Tribut setzen soUte. Hieriiber 
entstunden wieder Uneinigkeiten. Seliwerstow wollte sich die Er- 
findung der Korga zuschreiben, als wenn dieses der Ort sey, wohin er 
mit Staduchin im Jahre 1649 zur See gekommen sey. Deschnew aber 
bewies, dass sie nicht einmahl das grosse Tschuktschische Noss, wel- 
ches aus lauter Felsen bestiinde, und ihm da Ankudinows Kotsche daran 
zerscheitert, nur gar zu bekannt sey, erreichct batten. "Dieses, sagte 
er, sey nicht das erste Vorgcburgc, welches unter dem Nahmen von 
Swatoi Noss vorkomme. Die dem Tschuktscfaischen Noss gegenuber 
liegenden Insuln der zahnichten Mcnschcn, deren wir oben gedacht 
haben, seyen das cigcntliche Wahrzeichen desselben. Diese Menschcn 
babe Deschnew, nicht aber Staduchin und Seliwerstow, gesehen : und 
die Korga an der Mundung des Flusses Anadir sey noch sehr weit 
davon entfernet." 


sea for the purpose of discovering new rivers. These plans were not 
carried out on account of the death of Motora who lost his life in a 
fight with the Anauli in 1651. The boats were, however, made use 
of by Deshnef in 1652, when he went to the mouth of the river where 
he noticed on the north side a sandbank which stretched way out to 
sea. Such sandbanks were known in Siberia as korgas. On this 
sandbank walrus gathered in large numbers. Deshnef succeeded in 
finding several tusks and considered himself repaid for his troubles. 

In the year 1653 Deshnef had timber cut intending to build a 
kotsh on which to take his tribute to Jakutsk by sea but not having 
the other necessary materials the plan was not carried out. It was 
also reported that the sea in the neighborhood of Chukotski Nos is 
not every year free from ice. 

A second voyage to the sandbank for the purpose of collecting wal- 
rus tusks took place in the year 1654. Among others there came 
luschko Selivestrof, one of the recently arrived Cossacks from Jak- 
utsk, and who had been with Michaelo Staduchin on his sea-voyage 
and who was sent by him to Jakutsk to ask for authorization to col- 
lect walrus tusks as tribute. In this mission he was successful. In 
the instructions he is ordered to force the payment of tribute from the 
people who live on the Anaduir as well as those who inhabit the 
Tschendon, a stream that flows into the Penjinsk Bay. This was 
probably done because at Jakutsk nothing was known of Deshnef. 
Bad feeling broke out at once. Selivestrof claimed for himself the 
discovery of the sandbank, saying that it was the same place which 
he and Staduchin saw in 1649 on their voyage. Deshnef argued that 
this could not be the case because they had never come as far as 
Chukotski Nos, which is very rocky and on which Ankudinof's kotsh 
was wrecked. "This promontory," says he, "is not the first one 
which presents itself and which it known as Sviatoi Nos. Chukotski 
Nos is identified by the islands opposite to it on which live people with 
pieces of walrus tusks in their lips. These people Deshnef saw but 
Staduchin and Selivestrof did not see. The sandbank at the mouth 
of the Anaduir is a long way from these islands." 



In the year 1648, June 20, I, Semeon, was sent from the Kovima 
River to the new river to the Anaduir to find new, non-tribute paying 
peoples. And in the year 1648, September 20, in going from the 
Kovima River to sea, at a place where we stopped, the Chukchi in a 
fight wounded the trader, Fedot Alexeef, and that Fedot was carried 
out with me to sea, and I do not know where he is, and I was carried 
about here and there helplessly until after October i, and I was 
thrown up on the beach on the forward end [perednei konez] of the 
Anaduir River. We were in all twenty-five on the kotsh, and we all 
took to the hills, not knowing which way to go [or, not knowing the 
way]. We were cold and hungry, naked and barefooted, and I, 
poor Semeon, and my companions went to the Anaduir in exactly ten 
weeks, reaching that stream low down near the sea. We were unable 
to catch fish, there was no wood, and on account of hunger we sep- 
arated. And twelve men went for twenty days up the Anaduir with- 
out seeing human beings and reindeer or native trails, and turned 
back. And when they had come within three days of camp they 
made a halt. [They were never heard of again.] And out of the 
twenty-fjve we were left twelve, and we went up the Anaduir in 
boats and met with the Anauli people. 

To go from the Kovima to the Anaduir by sea there is a cape 
stretching far out into the sea, and not the cape which lies off the 
Chukchi River. To that cape Michaelo Staduchin did not come. 
Opposite that cape are two islands, and on one of these islands live 
Chukchi, who have pieces of walrus tusks in their lips. That cape 
lies between north and northeast [polunoshnik^ ; and on the Russian 
side of the cape there is a small river. The Chukchi have a tower 
of whale bone; and the cape turns around to the Anaduir. In a 
good run one can go from the cape to the Anaduir in three days and 
no longer, and to go by land to the river it is no farther, because the 

624 Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol. iv, doc. 7. 

.,« TOii AHaiUbipil ptKHH40T0a KOpHI, «0 Ull*4.. H «B03«MIU.. rO.Op«T» = Ue DO BC« S 

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Boii, M 6e3X 4o6poro napyca h iiKopa , btth hc 

Facsimile of extracts from Deshnef's Report 

[Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol iv, doc. 7] 

r^M> Hepe3> KaMCHb rocy4apeBbi KasHbi cb ne- 
BejHKHMH .1I04MH «iepe3x Miiotie ueflcaHHbie .110- 

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ua(iy BeAora AjieKcfeeBa , h ra 6ada cKasusaja, 
HTO Jie Be.torb h ciyHCHjoii «iejorfcirb Fepacum 
noMcp.iH ubiHroio , a HHbie TOBapbiuqi no6HTbi, 
If ocTa.iHCb HeBe.iHKie .ii04H h no^ixajR wh 
.lojKaxii cb 04HOIO 4yuioiO, ne SBaio 4e vyja. A 

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c3|epTi>K> nouepiii. HToro BCtxi ifaraOjo 64 neiosiiBB (j. 6). 

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BtcTBO Be cTBio. Aa,xaiou'LTuofi, aa AaaaxupitpiKy aobojobcb acero 
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Facsimile of extracts from Deshnef's Report 
[Dopolnenia K Aktam Istoricheskim, vol, iv, doc. 7 and Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnavo 

Prosveschenia, December, 1890, 303^ 


Anaduir falls into a bay. In the year 1654 i" ^ ^^^ I captured 
from the Koriaks a Jakut woman belonging to Fedot Alexeef, and 
she said that Fedot and Gerasim died of scurvy, some of their com- 
panions were killed, and the few who remained escaped in boats with 
their lives, and she did not know what became of them. 

DESHNEF, 1662 "«» 

And I, your servant, with these hunters and traders went to sea on 
six kotshi, ninety persons; and having passed the mouth of the An- 
aduir, by the will of God all these our kotshi were broken [wrecked] 
at sea ^vse nashi kotshi more razhilo^^ and of all these hunters and 
traders some were drowned in this wreck, others were killed by the 
natives on the tundra, and others died of hunger, altogether sixty- 
four (64) persons lost their lives. 

And I, your servant, was left with twenty-four men [it may also 
mean twenty-four in all] and with these companions I started on 
sleds and snow shoes, suffering cold, hunger, and want of other ne- 
cessities before reaching the Anaduir. On the way twelve men dis- 
appeared without our knowing what became of them. And I reached 
the Anaduir with twelve men, and with these, not wishing to die of 
hunger, went to fight against the Kanauli and Chodinski peoples, 
but not against those who pay tribute. 


Staduchin had never been to the Anaduir River or to the Korga 
which we have discovered. He had not been there because in 1649 
Staduchin went to sea from the Koluima to the Pogicha River and 
returned from sea in September, 1650, and reported from Koluima 
to Jakutsk that he was out at sea seven days and found no river but 
met a few Koriaks and had captured some interpreters, and, upon 
inquiry, they said that they knew of no river, but there were many 
people to the eastward. Staduchin then came back to the Koluima. 
Beyond that place there is a Large Stone Cape [Kamennoi Nos 
Bolshoi] which runs far out to sea, and many people live on it, and 
opposite that cape are islands in the sea with many inhabitants, and 
we your servants, who were with Scmeon Deshnef, know that cape 

^'B Zhumal Ministerstva Narodnavo Prosvischenia, December, 1890, 303. 
SM Dopolnenia K Akiam Isioricheskim, vol. iv, doc 6. 


and islands and saw the people. It is not that cape which is the first 
Sviatoi Nos from the Koluima River, and from the Anaduir River to 
that Large Cape and islands is far. In 1654 ^^ hunter Yurya 
Selivestrof wrote to Jakutsk from the Anaduir to your woewods- 
that it was he and not we who first discovered that place -Yurya 
formerly went to sea with Staduchin, and this Staduchin was a long 
way from the Anaduir. 


In the 3rear 1654 Selivestrof sent secretly a letter to Jakutd: . . . 
saying that he found the Korga, the sea-animak, and the walrus 
tusks, when he was with Michaelo Staduchin, and not we . . . 
Michaelo Staduchin did not come as far as the Bolshoi Kamcnnoi 
Nos, and that nos stretches out a long distance into the sea, and on 
this nos live many Chukchi. On the islands opposite that nos live 
people. They are called Zubati, because they insert in their lips two 
small bones. It is not the cape which is the first Sviatoi Nos from 
the Koluima, but that Bokhoi Nos we, Semeon and companions, know, 
because on that cape was wrecked the boat of Erasim Ankudinof and 
party, and we, Semeon and companions, took these wrecked people 
on our boats, and saw the Zubati people on the island, and from that 
nos to the Anaduir is far. 

In the year 1653 we, Semeon, Mikita, and companions, cut down 
timber and wished to gp with the tribute to Jakutsk by sea. And I, 
Semeon, and companions, seeing that the seas were heavy and rough 
near the shore, and not having the proper ship's tools, good anchors, 
and nails, we did not dare to go. The natives said that it is not 
every year that the shores are free from ice; we could not send the 
tribute across the mountains on account of the hostile natives. 

SS7 Dopolnenia K Aktam Ittoricheshim^ vol. iv, doc 7. 



1. La riviere nominee Kerbetchi, qui est la plus proche de la ri- 
viere Chorna, apellee en Tartare Ourouon, et qui se decharge dans 
le fleuve Saghalien oula, servira de bornes aux deux Empires, et cette 
longue chaine de montagnes, qui est au-dessous de la source de ladite 
riviere de Kerbetchi, et qui s'etend jusqu'a la mer orientale, servira 
aussi de bornes entre les deux Empires : ensorte que toutes les rivieres, 
ruisseaux grands ou petits qui coulent de la partie meridionale de ces 
montagnes, et vont se jeter dans le fleuve de Saghalien oula, et toutes 
les terres et pays qui sont au sud du sommet desdites montagnes, 
apartiendront a T Empire de la Chine, et que toutes les terres, pays, 
rivieres et ruisseaux qui sont de Tautre cote du sommet des autres 
montagues s'etendant vers le nord, demeureront a TEmpire de Mos- 
covie, avec cette clause neanmoins que tout le pays qui est immediate- 
ment entre ladite chaine de montagnes et la riviere nommee Oudi, 
demeurera indecis, jusqu' a ce que les Ambassadeurs des deux partis 
etant retounez dans leur pays, ayent pris les informations et les con- 
noissances necessaires pour traiter de cet article, aprcs quoi on decidera 
I'affaire, ou par les Ambassadeurs, ou par les lettres. 

De plus, la riviere nommee Ergone, qui se decharge aussi dans le 
fleuve Saghalien ou la, servira des bornes entre les deux Empires: 
ensorte que toutes les terres et pays qui sont au sud de ladite riviere 
d'Ergone apartiendront a I'Empereur de la Chine: et tout ce qui est 
au nord demeurera a I'Empire de Moscovie. Toutes les maisons et 
habitations qui sont presentement au sud de ladite riviere d'Ergone 
a Tembouchure de la riviere de Meritken, seront transportees de 
Tautre cote sur le bord septentrional de TErgone. 

2. La fortresse batie par les Moscovites dans le lieu nomme Yacsa, 
sera entierement demolie, et tous les sujets de TEmpire de Moscovie 

ftzspu Halde, J. B. Description . , , de la Chine (A La Haye, 1736), 
tome iv, 242. -ORia 



1. The river named Kerbechi, which is next to the River Shorna, 
called, in Tartarian, Urwon, and falls into the Saghalian, shall serve 
for bounds to both empires : and that long chain of mountains which 
is below the source of the said River Kerbechi, and extends as far as 
the Eastern Sea, shall serve also as bounds to both empires ; insomuch 
that all the rivers and brooks, great or small, which rise on the south- 
ern side of those mountains, and fall into Saghalian, with all the 
lands and countries from the top of the said mountains southward, 
shall belong to the Empire of China; and all the lands, countries, 
rivers and brooks which are on the other side of the other mountains 
extending northward, shall remain to the Empire of Russia; with 
this restriction nevertheless, that all countries lying between the said 
chain of mountains and the River Udi shall continue undecided, till 
the ambassadors of both powers on their return home shall have got- 
ten proper informations and instructions to treat of this article; after 
which the affair shall be decided either by amdassadors or letters. 
Moreover, the River Ergone, which falls also into the Saghalian ula, 
shall serve for bounds to the two empires; so that all the lands and 
countries lying to the south thereof shall appertain to the Emperor 
of China, and whatever lies to the north of it shall remain to the 
Empire of Russia. All the houses and dwellings, which are at pres- 
ent to the south of the said Ergone at the mouth of the River Merit- 
ken, shall be removed to the north side of the Ergpne. 

2. The fortress built by the Russians, in the place called Yaksa, 
shall be entirely demolished, and all the subjects of the Empire of 

^>*Du Halde, J. B. Description of the Empire of China (London, 1741), 
vol. ii, 314-315. 


qui demeurent dans ladite fortresse, seront ramenez avec tous leurs 
effcts sur les terres apartenantcs a la couronne de Moscovie. 

Lcs chasseurs des deux Empires ne pouront, pour quelque cause 
que ce soit, passer au-dela de ces homes ainsi determinecs. 

Que s'il arive qu'une ou deux personnes de petite consequence 
fassent quelques excursions au-deli des limites, soit pour chasser, soit 
pour voler ou piller, on les prendra aussi-tot, et on les menera aux 
Gouverneurs et aux Officiers etahlis sur les frontieres des deux Em- 
pires, et lesdites Gouverneurs informez de la qualite du crime, les 
puniront conune ils le meriteront. 

Que si des gens assemhlez jusqu'au nomhre de six ou de quinze 
vont en armes chasser ou piller sur les terres qui sont au-dda de leurs 
limites, ou s'ils tuent quelques sujets de Tautre couronne, on en in- 
formera les Empereurs des deux Empires, et tous ceux qui seront 
trouvez coupahlcs de ce crime, seront punis de mort, et on ne suscitera 
point de guerre pour quelque exces que ce puisse etre de personnes 
particulieres, heaucoup moins agira-t-on par voye de fait en repandant 
du sang. 

3. Tout ce qui s'est passe jusqu' k present, de quelque nature 
qu'il puisse etre, sera enseveli dans un etemel ouhli. 

4. Depuis le jour que cette paix etemelle entre les deux Empires 
aura ete juree, on ne recevra aucun transfuge ou deserteur de part ni 
d'autre: mais si quelque sujet d'un des deux Empires s'enfuit dans les 
terres de I'autre, il sera aussi-tot pris et renvoye. 

5. Tous les sujets de la couronne de Moscovie, qui sont presente- 
ment dans I'Empire de la Chine, et tous ceux de la couronne de la 
Chine qui sont prcsentement dans TEmpire de Moscovie, demeureront 
dans I'^tat ou ils sont. 

6. Ayant egard au present traite de paix et d'union reciproque 
entre les deux couronnes, toutes sortes de personnes de quelque con- 
dition qu'elles puissent etre, pouront aller et venir reciproquement, 
avec route sorte de liberte, des terres sujettes a Tun des deux Empires 
dans celles de Tautre, pourvu qu'ils ayent des patentes par lesquelles 
il conste qu'ils viennent avec permission: et il leur sera permis de 
vendre et d'acheter tout ce qu'ik jugeront a propos, et de faire un 
commerce reciproque. 


Russia, now dwelling in the said fortress, shall be transported with 
all their e£Fects upon the lands appertaining to the crown of Russia. 
Tlie hunters of the respective empires may not, upon any account 
whatever, pass beyond the bounds settled as above. That in case one 
or two ordinary persons should happen to make excursions beyond 
the limits, either to hunt, steal, or plunder, they shall be immediately 
seized and brought before the governors and officers established on 
the frontiers of both empires; and the said governors after being in- 
formed of the nature of the crime, shall punish them according to 
their deserts. That if people assembled, to the number of ten or fif- 
teen, shall go armed to hunt or pillage on the land beyond their limits, 
or shall kill any subject belonging to either crown, the emperors of 
both empires shall be informed thereof, and those found guilty of the 
crime shall be put to death: but no excess whatever committed by 
private persons shall kindle a war, much less shall blood be shed by 
violent means. 

3. Every thing that has passed hitherto, of what nature soever it 
may be, shall be buried in everlasting oblivion. 

4. From the day that this perpetual peace between both empires 
shall be sworn to, neither side shall receive any fugitive or deserter: 
But if any subject of either empire shall fly into the territories of the 
other, he shall be immediately secured and sent back. 

5. All the subjects of the crown of Russia, who are at present in 
the Empire of China, and all those belonging to the crown of China 
who are in the Empire of Russia, shall remain as they are. 

6. Regard being had to the present Treaty of Peace and Mutual 
Union between die two crowns, all persons, of what condition soever 
they be, may gp and come reciprocally, with full liberty, from the 
territories subject to either empire into those of the other, provided 
they have passports by which it appears that they come with permis- 
sion; and they shall be suffered to buy and sell whatever they think 
fit, and carry on a mutual trade. 



Lcs Nouvellcs de Moscau portent qu'un certain religieux nomme 
Ignace Kosirevsky est arrive de Siberie il s'cst arreste pendant plu- 
sieurs annees a Kamchatka ou il a fait batir le couvent des Hermitcs. 
II a fait aussi plusieurs recherchcs dans le pais et hors du pais, de 
sorte qu*on peut eq>erer de lui plusieurs choscs de ce pais tant par 
rapport a Thistoire qu'a la situation aux habitans et a d'autres par- 
ticularitez. II est d'une famille poUonoise, mais ne et eleve a lakut- 
skoi, ou son grand Pere Fedor Kosirevski fut envoye en esclavage sous 
le czaar Alexe Michalowitz du tems des guerres avec la Polognc. 
Son Pere Pierre Kosirevski et le Religieux Ignace (qui s'appeloit 
avant que d'entre dans Tordre, Iwan Petrovitz Kesirevski) et plu- 
sieurs autres personnes furent envoiees par ordre du Dumnoi Diak 
de la Pricase Siberienne Anorc [?] Wimius, par le Palatin de 
lakutskoi Dorose Traurnicht dans le pais de Kamchatka a Tan 1700 
pour reduire sous la puissance des Russes et rendre tributaires tout 
les habitans du pais de meme que ceux des pais voisins. Apres done 
qu'ils eurent soumis Les Contrees d'Anadirski de Kuracki et d'autres 
nations qui continent ils pallissaderent I'an 1702 dans le Kamchatka 
au dessus du fleuve de ce nom, et Tannee suivante au dessous, deux 
endroits comme ostrogs (fortresses) ou ils mirent en surete les tribus 
qu'ils avoient recus jusques la et mirent en otage des Sudskes [?] 
nations les principaux et ceux du pais de Kamchatka. lis appelerent 
la premiere astrog (Pallisade) Verkhnei Kamchatskoi Ostrog et 
I'autre Nishnei Kamchatskoi Ostrog; mais le pere Pierre Kosirevski 
fut tue, Tan 1708 dans une isle voisine. Apres cela en 1711, 171 2, 
1713 et 1714 Ignace Kosirevski recut ordre de lakutskoi de se bien 
informer des limites de ces pais et sur tout du Kamchatkoi Nos, et 
des isles voisines de s'enquerir sous quelle puissance sont toutes les 
nations qui se trouvent la et d'obliger a payer le tribut tous ceux qui 
n'ont pas proprem't de Souverain et de s'informer autant qu'il est 

*2»* Delisle Mss., na xxv, a, B. 



There is news from Moscow that a monk by the name of Ignatius 
Kosirefski has arrived from Siberia. He has spent many years in 
Kamchatka where he built a convent for monks. He has made re- 
seardies in die country so that one has a right to expect important 
information from him about that region, inhabitants, history and 
other subjects connected therewith. He is of a Polish family but 
was bom and brought up at Jakutsk where his grandfather Fedor 
Kozirefski was sent as a slave by the Czar Alexe Michaelowitz in the 
time of the Polish wars. His father Peter Kozirefski and the monk 
Ignatius (whose name before becoming a monk was I wan Petrowitz 
Kozirefski) and many others were ordered by the Dumnoi Diak of 
the Sibirski Prikaz, Anorei [?] Wimius, through the woewod [?] 
of Jakutsk, Dorosei Traumicht, to Kamchatka about the year 1700 
to reduce to Russian subjection and tributaries all the inhabitants of 
Kamdiadca and of the neighboring countries. After having subdued 
the Koriaks and the other tribes of the Anaduir region they built a 
fort in the year 1702 in Kamchatka on the headM^ers of the river 
of that name. The following year they put up one lower down that 
stream. In these two ostrogs they placed for safe keeping the tribute 
which they had collected up to that time also the principal men of 
the Sudski [Chukchi ( ?) ] and Kamchadels as hostages. They named 
the first fort Upper Kamchatka Ostrog and the second Lower Kam- 
chatka Ostrog. In the year 1708 Peter Kozirefski was killed on 
an island near Kamchatka. During the years 171 1, 1712, 1713, and 
1 7 14 Ignatius Kozirefski had orders from Jakutsk to make investiga- 
tions as to the extent of the country and especially of Kamchatka 
Cape and the near by islands, to inquire to what gpvernment all these 
peoples owe allegiance and to force all those to pay tribute who have 
no sovereign, to inform himself as much as possible regarding Japan, 


possible du pais du Japon de quelle manierre on pourroit y arriver, 
quellcs armes ont Ics habitans et comment ik font la guerre, si on 
peut croire qu'ils entreroient en amitie, et en commerce avec la nation 
Russe, et quellcs marchandises ils auroient bien bcsoin de Syberie. U 
est inf orme exactemcnt de routes ces choses en partie lui meme, pendant 
ks voyages qu'il a fait sur mer et sur terre, en partie par les gens 
qu'il a envoycs dans ce pais; de sorte qu'il peut donner beaucoup de 
nouvelles tres curieuses du cours de la mer vers le Japon et dcs isles 
qu'il faut passer, pareillem't de la ville Matmei ou Matsmei qui est 
situee sur la demiere de ces isles. II a eu aussi plusieurs recontres 
avec les habitans meridionaux du, pais du Kamchatka avant que de 
les pouvoir mettre sous I'obeissance ; mais il les a toujours heureusem't 
vaincu et enfin ayant impose un tribut a ceux qui restoient, et pris 
d'eux des otages; il fit fortifier de nouveau avec des pallisades un 
endroit nomme Bolshoiretskoi Ostrog sur la grande riviere appellee 
Bolchaia Reka qui se jette dans la Mer Pensinskoi ou il a fait batir un 
port de mer pour la navigation. L'an 171 5 il fit batir a ses depens, 
touche par les prieres des pauvres de la Colonic, dcs Invalides, des 
Veillards, des malades, des blesses et d'autres personnes hors de 
service, une maison de prieres et ch2q)elle de I'Ascension de Marie et 
un couvent, sur le fleuve de Kamchatka dans un endroit desert, dans 
lequel, il se fit Tan 17 18 religieux, et changea son nom de Bateme 
Ivan pour prendre celui de Tordre Ignace. Le Tribut qui patent les 
Kamtchadeles aux revenues de t'Empcreur .consiste en peaux de 
Zibelines de Renards, et de Castors. II a aussi apporte des nouvelles 
tres certaines d'une Montagne nomme Sopka (c'est a dire volcan) 
situee pres du fleuve Kamchatka, laquelle jette de feu et d'ou il sort 
de la fumee des charbons ardens et de la cendre, de meme que d'autres 
endroits tres remarquable. 


the ivay thither, what weapons the inhabitants have and how they 
wage war, whether there might be reason to believe that they would 
be willing to enter into friendly and commercial relations with the 
Russians, and the kind of merchandise from Siberia they might be 
willing to buy. He b fully informed on all these points, partly 
through his own efforts by making voyages by land and sea, and 
partly through the efforts of others whom he sent into those regions. 
He is in a position to give some very interesting information on the 
course to be sailed in going to Japan and the islands one would have 
to pass on the way, also regarding the city of Matmei or Matsmei 
which is situated on the last one of these islands. He has had sev- 
eral fights with the inhabitants of southern Kamchatka before he 
could bring them under his control, fortunately he has always been 
successful and he has been able to impose tribute on them and make 
them give hostages. He rebuilt a second time Bolsheretsk Ostrog 
on the River Bolshaja Reka which flows into the Penjinsk Sea. He 
also constructed a port for navigation. Moved by the sufferings and 
prayers of the poor, invalids, aged, sick, wounded, and others unfit for 
labor, he erected at his own expense a church and chapel, dedicated 
to the Ascension of Mary, and a convent. These buildings were lo- 
cated on a deserted spot on the River Kamchatka. In the year 17 18 
he became a monk and changed his baptismal name Iwan for that of 
the order Ignatius. The tribute which the Kamchadels pay to the 
emperor consists of sable, fox, and beaver skins. He has also brought 
very definite information about a volcano situated near the Kamchatka 
River vdiich emits fire, smoke, hot coals and ashes. There are other 
very remarkable places of which he tells. 





VERS LES ANNfiES 1731 ET 173a ••• 




Lc Capitain commandeur Beeringis a son retour de son premier 
vojrage a recontre 10 matelots qui etoient envoiez pour la mer orientale 
lesquels se sont embarquez sur le vaissau qu'a laisse k Okhota le cap- 
itaine Beerings ils ont ete sur ce bateau au Camchot et par la mesme 
route qui le capitaine Beerings avoit suivi et mesme audela et ils ont 
fait la decouvcrte des deux golfes A B, et ensuite tirant & Test ils 
ont trouve Tlsle C et une grande terre D k une demi joumee de 
distance de la terre F. etant aupres de cette grande terre il est venu 
a eux un homme dans un petit batiment semblable a ceux des groen- 
landois et lui aiant demande dans quel pais ils etoient il ne leur a pas 
pu dire si ce n'est que c'etoit un grand pais; ou il y avoit beaucoup de 
fourures. ils ont parcoru la cote D E de ce pais pendant deux jours 
allant au Sud; mais lorsquils tachoient d'y debarquer ils ont ete 
assailis d'une rude tempete qui les a ramene au camchat; ils ont aussi 
parcouru les iles qui sont a la pointe meridional du Camchat et ont 
ete jusqu'a la grande isle qui est vis a vis de Tembouchure de la ri- 
viere d'Amour ils ont debarque dans cette isle et y ont trouve 3 
Russes qui etoient prisonniers par les Tartars habitans de cette isle ; 
ils les ont emmencs avec eux et sont revenus sur les cotes de la mer 
orientale au nord de Tembrouchure de la riviere d'Amour et enfin a 
Okhota. le pilote Russe qui a fait cette navigation pendant 2 etes 
consecutif [ ?] etant mort a etc succede par un Allemand qui a pris 
son journal et est venu a Tobobk avec les matelots; mais ayiant eu 

^^ Delisle Mss., no. xzv, t6. 
wi — /*u/., 16, A. 


1731 AND 1732 



The Captain-commander Beerings on his return from his first 
voyage met ten sailors who were sent to the Eastern Ocean. They 
went on board the boat left by Captain Beerings and, following his 
route, they went to Kamchatka and even beyond that where they 
discovered two gulfs A, B. From there they steered east and found 
the island C and a large body of land D, a half days distance from 
the land F. While they were near this land there came to them a 
man in a small boat similar to those of Greenland. He was asked 
what country that was and whether there were any fur-bearing an- 
imals, but he could not give them any satisfactory information. For 
two days they sailed along the coast D E of this country going in a 
southerly direction. They attempted to make a landing but a storm 
came up forcing them back to Kamchatka. They cruised also among 
the islands at the southern part of Kamchatka and came as far as the 
large island opposite the mouth of the river Amur. They landed 
on the island and found among the Tartars, who inhabit this place, 
three Russian captives. Taking them along they sailed for the Eastern 
Ocean, north of the Amur River, and finally to Okhotsk. The 
Russian pilot, who was engaged in this navigation for two consecu- 
tive summers, died, and he was succeeded by a German who, with 
his journal and sailors, came to Tobolsk. They got into a fight and 


du bruit entre'cux Ton a envoye de Tobolsk a Petersbourg Tun de 
CCS matdots pour etre juge et examine, c'est lui qui aiant ete mis a la 
question a fait le rapport susdit; surquoy le College del'Amiraute 
pour etre mieux informe de toute cette a£Faire a envoie un ordre a 
Tobolsk (depuis peu de jours) pour faire venir a Petersburg Talle- 
mand avec son journal et les autres a I'oocasion du rapport cydessus 
que m'a fait Mr. Soimonof. il m'a dit que Ton n'a pas sceu com- 
prendre ici comment le capitaine Beerings qui dans son premier voy- 
age a parcouru par mer la pointe meridionale du Camchat depuis 
Bolchia-reka jusqu'a Kamchatka Gouba et comment disje il n'a fait 
aucun mention du observation des petites isles qui sont a la pointe 
meridionale du Camchat quisque ces isles se voient mesme des cotes 
du Camchat k ce qu'a rapporte le Capitaine Schpanberg qui a fait la 
mesme route que le Capitaine Beerings et qui a mesme dit que les 
habitans de ces Isles paioient tribut a S. M. I. 


one of the sailors was sent from Tobolsk to St. Petersburg for trial, 
and, when questioned, he gave the information just mentioned. The 
Admiralty College wishing to know more about this discovery sent 
an order to Tobolsk (only a few days ago) that the German with 
his journal and all others connected with this voyage should come to 
the capital. Mr. Soimonof said that it is hard to understand why 
Captain Beerings, who in his first voyage sailed in the waters south 
of Kamchatka -from Bolshaja Reka to Kamchatka Gulf, made no 
mention of these islands south of Kamchatka ; it would seem that, ac- 
cording to the report of Captain Spanberg, who was over the same 
waters as Captain Beerings, that these islands may be seen from 
Kamdhatka and that the inhabitants even pay tribute to His Im- 
perial Majesty. 



Explication de la carte de la mer orientale drcssec pour montrer ie 
plus court chemin de TAsie a TAmerique. Lue a rAcademie Tan 


Cette carte represente la veritable situation et distance des cotes 
orientalcs de TAsie, connues jusqu'a present, avec les terres de 
TAmerique Septentrionale les plus voisincs. Elle a ete dresce pour 
faciliter la decouverte du plus court chemin de TAsie a TAmerique. 

La route la plus ordinaire que Ton a tenue jusqu'ici pour aller de 
TAsie a TAmerique a ete des Philippines au Mexique, entre les 
parallek de 10 et de 35 degres de latitude septentrionale. Cette 
route est particulierment frequentce par les Espagnols k qui appar- 
tiennent les isles Philippines et le Mexique. Elle est d'environ 130 
degres en longitude, ce qui ne fais pas moins de 2500 lieues marines 
de 20 au degre, ou 13,000 wersts. Le Chemin de I'Asie a TAmerique 
devient dautant plus court que Ton s'approche, plus pres du pole 
septentrional, et que Ton part des terres de I'Asie plus orientale pour 
arriver aux plus occidentales de I'Amerique. Telle a ete la route de 
Dom Jean de Gama en allant de la Chine a la nouvelle Espagne, et 
celle d'un vaisseau fran^is nomme le St Antoine lequel est le premier 
qui a fait le retour de la nouvelle E^Mgne a la Chine. Ces deux 
routes sont un peu plus courtes que le route ordinaire des Philippines 
a la nouvelle Espagne: mais si Ton partoit de I'extremite orientale 
des terres soumiscs a S. M. I. le chemin a TAmerique seroit encore 
de beaucoup plus court. 

Depuis le cap de TAsie le plus avance au nord-Est vi&-a-vis lequel 
est parvenu M. le Capitaine Beering^, sous la hauteur de 67 degres 
3^ jusqu'aux terres les plus voisines de I'Amerique qui nous sont 
connues jusqu'a present, il n'y a pas le plus court chemin que 600 
lieues marines, ou un peu plus de 5000 wersts, ce qui n'est pas le 

M2 Dilisli Mss,, no. xxv, 14. 



Explanation of the map of the eastern sea which was prepared for 
the purpose of showing the nearest way from Asia to America. Read 
at the Academy in the year 1732. 

This map represents the true situation and distance of the eastern 
shores of Asia, known up to the present time, with that part of the 
continent of North America which is nearest to it. This map was 
made for die purpose of helping in the discovery the shortest route 
between Asia and America. 

The course which has usually been sailed until now, in going from 
Asia to America, has been from the Philippines to Mexico, between 
the parallels ten and thirty-five degrees north latitude. This route 
has been made use of especially by the Spaniards to whom belong the 
Philippine Islands and Mexico. It is about one hundred thirty de- 
grees in longitude, which would make not less than two thousand 
five hundred marine leagues of twenty to the degree, or thirteen 
thousand wersts. The course between Asia and America becomes 
shorter as one approaches the north pole, and between the most 
easterly part of Asia and the extreme western point of America. 
Such was the course of Dom Jean de Gama in going from China 
to New Spain, and this was also true of a French boat, the St. An- 
toine, which was the first to make the return voyage from New Spain 
to China. These two routes are somewhat shorter than the one 
usually made use of in going from the Philippines to New Spain: 
but if one should sail from the easternmost territories of His Imperial 
Majesty the route to America would be still shorter. 

From the most northeasterly cape of Asia, which Captain Beer- 
ings had reached, in sixty-seven and one-third degrees, to the nearest 
American territory, which is known to us at the present time, the 
shortest way is about six hundred marine leagues, or a little more 
than five thousand [three thousand?] wersts, which is less than one- 


quart de la longueur dcs deux routes marquees ddessus. II est vrai 
que Ton ignore si ce sont des terres ou des mers qui se rencontrent 
dans ce plus court trajet de TAsie a TAmerique, personne n'y aiant 
encore ete, a moins que ceux qui en ont quelque connoissance n'aient 
voulu la tenir secrette pour en profiter seuls k Tcxclusion des autres 

Conune Ton ne connoit point non plus jusqu'ou s'entendent au 
Nord-Ouest les terres de TAmerique Septentrionale il se pourroit 
faire qu'elles s'approcheroient de TAsie, de sorte qu'il n'y auroit entre 
TAsie et rAmerique que de petits trajets de mer qui se pourroient 
peut etre faire aisement avec de mediocres batimens, en prenant les 
terns propres. 

Cette conjecture d'un chemin assez court et peutetre facile entre 
I'Asie et TAmerique n'est pas sans fondement, apres les indices que 
M le Capitaine Beerings a appergus des terres vobines a la cote 
Nord-Est de I'Asie, qu'il a parcouru dans son premier voiage, entre 
les parallels de 50 et de 60 degres Ccs indices sont, i^ de n'avoir 
trouve en s'eloignant de ces cotes que peu de profondeur, et des 
vagues basses, telles que Ton les trouve ordinairement dans des de- 
troits ou bras de mer, bien difierentes des hautes vagues que Ton 
trouve sur les cotes exposees a une mer fort etendue. 

2^ d'avoir trouve des pins et autres arbres deracines amenes par le 
vent d'Est, au lieu qu'il n'en croit point dans le Kamtchatka. 

3^ d'avoir appris des gens du pais que le vent d'Est peut amener 
en 2 ou 3 jours les glaces, au lieu qu'il faut 4 ou 5 jours de vent 
d'Ouest pour emporter les glaces de la cote Nord-Est de TAsie. 

4? Que de certains oiseaux viennent regulierement tous les ans 
dans les memes mois du cote de TEst, et qu'apres avoir passe quelques 
mois sur les cotes de TAsie, ils s'en retournent aussi regulierment dans 
la meme saison. 

A ces indices remarques par M. le Capitaine Beerings, on peut 
a j outer quelques autres preuves de vraisemblance que Tinspection de 
la carte peut fournir. Par exemple ces cotes vues par Dom Jean de 
Gama, que j'ai placees vis-a-vis du Kamtchatka font peutetre partie 
d'un grand continens qui seroit contigu a I'Amerique, et qui irois 
rejoindre au Nord de la Californie la cote Septentrionale de Tentree 
decouverte par Martin d'Aguillar : au moins trouvet'on dans quelques 
anciennes cartes une longue cotemarquee dans tous ce trajet, ce qui 
sans doute n'a pas ete fais sans raisons, quoique nous ne les sachions 


fourth of the length of the two routes mentioned above. Whether 
one would meet with new lands or new seas on diis short route be- 
tween Asia and America it is not easy to say because no one has ever 
been there, or if they have they have kept the matter secret so that 
they only might profit by this information and keep other nations out. 

One is equally in the dark as to how far in a northwesterly direc- 
tion North America extends, it is quite possible that it approaches 
dose to Asia, so that there is only a very short distance between 
the two continents and that it would be easy to gp from one to the 
other in an ordinary boat during fair weather. 

This assumption of a short and possible easy route between Asia 
and America is not without some foundation, if we take into con- 
sideration the signs of land near northeastern Asia which Captain 
Beerings noticed between the parallels fifty and sixty degrees while he 
was on his first voyage. These signs are: 

(i) At some distance from the shore he found the water rather 
shallow and the waves small just as in straits or arm of the sea, quite 
different from the high waves which one meets with along the coast 
that is washed by a large sea. 

(2) He saw uprooted fir and other trees which were brought by 
the east wind, which trees are not seen in Kamchatka. 

(3) From the natives of the country he learned that an eastern 
wind brings ice in two or three days, while it takes a western wind 
four or five days to carry off the ice from northeast Asia. 

(4) That certain birds come regularly every year about the same 
month from the east and after having passed several months on the 
Asiatic shore they return with the same regularity the same season. 

In addition to the evidences brought out by Captain Beerings, 
there are others of equal value which one may gather by looking at 
the map. For example the shores seen by Dom Jean de Gama, which 
I have located opposite Kamchatka, are perhaps a part of a large 
continent contiguous to America, joining it north of California at 
the entrance discovered by Martin d'Aguillar. On the old dharts 
one finds indicated a long shore line on this course. There must 
have been some reason for this, although we do not know what it is 


pas, et que Icb Geographes modemcB ne s'y aoient |>» confonnes: mais 
Tcxperience journaliere nous apprend que I'on est quelquefois oblige 
de revenir a des anciennes opinions que Ton avoit abandonnees. 

De plus, si Ton considere sur la carte tous ces golfes et Bayes» 
comme de Hudson, de Baffins, de Davis, decouvtertes en difierens 
terns par ces courageaux navigateurs qui cherchoient le passage le plus 
court de TEurope a I'Asie par le Nord-Ouest et dans lequel ils n'ont 
pas reussi; en considerant dis je de quelle maniere ce passage est 
femii6 par toutes ces cotes que Ton voit sur nui carte, Ton ne peut que 
s'imaginer que ces cotes sont les homes d'un continent qui peutetre 
s'etend considerablement k TOuest et au Nord, et qui par consequent 
s'approche beaucoup de Textremite de I'Asie qu'a parcourue M. le 
Capitaine Beerings dans son premier voiage. 

Si ce continent suppose s'etendoit assez pour rejoindre vis-a-vis du 
Kamtchatka les cotes vues par Dom Jean de Gama, ce seroit alors 
le long des cotes de I'Asie qu'a parcourues M. le Capitaine Beerings 
qu'il faidroit placer le detroit d'Anian. 

Je ne veus pas soutenir I'existence du detroit d'Anian qui est peut- 
etre imaginaire; mais on ne peut pas douter qu'il n'y ais qudque part 
entre L'Asie et TAmerique un detroit considerable quel qu'il soit. 

Varenius dans sa Geographic generate en donne la preuve suivante: 
Que dans la partie de la mer paciiique qui est entre la Tartaric et les 
cotes occidentalcs de I'Amerique Septentrionale, a 700 milles du 
Japon, on trouve un courant du Nord et du Nord-Ouest, quoique 
dans le meme tems le vent souffle d'un cote oppose; mais que 100 
miles avant que d'etre aux cotes de la nouvelle Espagne, ce courant 
ne se trouve plus. On ajoute i cella que dans les 700 milles, on 
trouve beaucoup de baleincs et de ces poissons que lee Espagnols ap- 
pellent alhacares, honites, etc., et poisson qui se voient d'ordinaire 
auprcs des detroits, de sorte que I'on peut juger qu'ik viennent de ce 
detroit, etc. 

Sur tous les indices que j'ai rapportes cidessus, sans pretendre rien 
prescrire. Ton pourroit proposer diflerents routes pour faire la decou- 
verte de ces terres les plus voisines de I'Asie a son orient. 


and modern geographers do not see fit to accept this view. Experi- 
ence, however, teaches us every day that it is often necessary to go 
back to the opinions of the ancients which had at one time been 

Moreover, on looking at the map one will note all the bays and 
gulfs, such as the Hudson, Baffins, Davis, discovered at various times 
by these brave navigators who were seeking a short passage from 
Europe to Asia through the northwest and in in^ich efforts they 
failed. If you take all these things into consideration and the way 
in which this passage is closed, as may be seen on my map, you will 
be more or less forced to imagine that these shores are the limits of 
some continent which extends perhaps to the west and north, and 
whidi therefore comes very dose to the extreme eastern part of Asia 
where Captain Beerings was on his first voyage. 

If the supposition is correct and there is a continent stretching out 
far enough [to the west and north] to join opposite Kamchatka the 
shores which were seen by Dom Jean de Gama, it follows then that 
the Anian Strait should be located along the coast of Asia where 
Captain Beerings sailed. 

I do not insbt that there is an Anian Strait, which is periiaps 
wholly imaginary, but one can not help feeling that somewhere be- 
tween Asia and America there must be an important strait, whatever 
its character may be. 

Varenius in his general work on geography gives these reasons 
[for believing in the existence of a strait] : in that part of the Pacific 
Ocean which is between Tartarie and the western part of North 
America, about seven hundred miles from Japan, the current sets 
horn the north and from the northwest, although at the same time 
the wind blows from an opposite quarter; but when within one hun- 
dred miles of the shores of New Spain this current is no longer felt. 
An additional proof on this subject is that within these seven hundred 
miles there are to be found whales and fish which the Spaniards call 
albacares, bonites, etc., fish which are ordinarily found in neighbor- 
hood of straits, so that one may reasonably suppose that they come 
from this strait, etc. 

Taking into consideration all the evidence I have given above, one 
could, without any pretensions at finality, suggest several different 
courses to be sailed in order to discover the lands east of and nearest 
to Asia. 


i^ Si I'on s'avancoit jusqu'au tcrme dc TAsie le plus sq>tentrional 
et le plus orientale en mcme tems, jusqu'ou est parvenu M. le Cap- 
itaine Beerings, Ton pourroit ne pas manquer d'arriver a rAmerique 
quelque route que Ton prenne entre le Nord-Est et le Sud-Est, en ne 
f aisant pas 600 lieues, au plus. 

2^ Sans s'avancer si avant, il seroit peutetre plus aise de pardr du 
lieu de la cote orientale du Kamtcfaatka ou M. le Capitaine Beeringi 
a appergu des indices dont j'ai parle cidevant d'une terre voisine a 
son orient, aller reconnoitre cette terre et la suivre, etc 

3^ On pourroit peutetre trouver encore plus promtement et avec 
plus de certitude les terres vues par Dom Jean de Gama, en les 
cherchant au sud du Kamtchatka. Ces terres, comme Ton voit sur 
la carte sont a Torient de la terre de la Compagnie, qui a ete decou- 
verte Tan 1643 par des vaisseaux Hollandois qui en ont pris possession 
au nom des Etats d'HoIlande. Mais je n'ai pas su que Ton ait fais 
descente aux terres vues par Dom Jean de Gama, ni par consequent 
que I'on en ait pris possession. 

Je suis bien facfae de n'avoir pu trouver ici d'autres connoisances 
de ces terres vues par Dom Jean de Gama, que se que j'en ai marque 
dans la carte, d'apres les demiercs cartes de feu mon frere, premier 
Ocographe du Roi tres Chretien; mais comme il en a marque la 
situation a Tegard de la terre de la Compagnie et de la terre d'Ye^, 
et que je suis certain d'ailleurs de la situation de ces deux demieres 
tserres vues par Dom Jean de Gama a Tegard du Kamtchatka, je ne 
doute pas que ces terres vues par Dom Jean de Grama ne doivent 
etre a I'endroit marque sur la carte. 

Sur les deux premieres routes que je vient d'indiquer pour la de- 
couverte des terres inconnues qui sont entre TAsie et TAsnerique, je 
n'ai rien a ajouter a ce que j'ai dit cidevant: mais a I'egard de la 
troisieme, si Ton veut la tenter par la terre d'Yc^ et la terre de la 
Compagnie, en passant entre ces deux terres et I'isle des Etats qui 
est au milieu, je peus fournir pour cette navigation toutes les con- 
noisances dont on peut avoir besoin pour ne pas s'y tromper. II me 
reste a marquer ici sur quek fondemens j'ai place cette terre d'Yeqo 
dans ma carte, de meme que tous les autres pais situes a cette ex- 
tremite orientale de I'Asie. 

Les terres qui sont de cote de I'Asie, colorees de rouge, sont de la 
domination de la Chine, sous laquelle j'ai compris le roiaume de 
Cbrce vassal tributaire de la Chine, et tout ce pais de Tartars Orien- 


( 1 ) If one should start from the most northerly and at the same 
time the most easterly point of Asia, that is about the neighborhood 
reached by Captain Beerings, he could not fail to come to America 
provided he steered a course between northeast and southeast, and 
putting it at the very highest figure the distance would not be more 
than six hundred leagues. 

(2) Without even going so far, it might perhaps be more easy 
to sail from that part of the eastern coast of Kamchatka where Cap- 
tain Beering9 noticed to the east of him those signs of land of which 
I have spoken, and to locate that land, examine it, etc. 

(3) One could perhaps find more quickly and with more certainty 
the lands seen by Dom Jean de Gama by looking for them south of 
Kamchatka. These lands, as may be seen on the map, are east of the 
Company Land, which was discovered in the year 1643, by vessels 
belonging to the Dutch who took possession of them in the name of 
the States of Holland. But I am not aware that any one has ever 
been on the lands seen by Dom Jean de Gama, and, therefore, no 
one has as yet taken possession of them. 

I am very sorry not to have been able to find here any other 
information regarding the lands seen by Dom Jean de Gama than 
which I have marked on the map, based on those of my late brother, 
first geographer of the very Christian king. But since he has lo- 
cated it with regard to Company Lands and Yeco Land and as I 
am certain of the situation of these two bodies of land in relation to 
Kamchatka, I am confident that the lands seen by Dom Jean de Gama 
^ould be where they are located on the map. 

As to the first two routes of which I have just spoken, for the 
discovery of the unknown lands which are between Asia and America, 
I have nothing more to add to what has been said above. But in 
regards to the third, if one should wish to attempt it by way of 
Company Land and Yeco Land, by going between them and State 
Island which is in the middle, I am able to furnish for such a naviga- 
tion all the necessary information so that no mistake might be made. 
I should like to explain here what my authority is for locating Yeco 
Land on my map, as well as all the other countries which are sit- 
uated on this extreme eastern part of Asia. 

The territories on the Asiatic side which are marked in red are 
under the control of China, among which I have included the king- 
dom of Korea, a tributary vassal of China, and all the region of 


taux jusqu'aux limites des terrcs appartenantes i S. M. I. de toute les 
RusBies. Je me suis aervi de la oouleur veite pour marquer sur cette 
cxtremite orientale tout ce qui a etc dccouvert et soumis a la Rustie. 
Je ne me suis attache qu'a en decrire les cotes; mats elks y soot ex- 
actement tiacces. Cdles de la Chine et de pab dependans oat ete 
marquees d'aprcs les cartes de la Chine; et ks cotes des pais soumis 
a la Russie ont ete marquees d'aprcs la carte et les operations de M. 
le Capitaine Beerings dans sa premiere expedition. Les cartes de la 
Chine dont je me suis servi sont rapportees au meridien de Pekin, 
dont la situation k I'egard du meridien de Petersbourg m'est exacte- 
ment connue par plusieurs observations des Satellites de Jupiter faites 
de part et d'autre; et comme Ton sais aussi, part un grand nombre 
d'observations faites a Petersbourg la situation de son meridien a 
regard du premier meridien qui passe par Tisle de fer, j'y ai pu rap- 
porter les cartes de la Chine. 

C'est a ce premier meridien qui passe par Tisle de fer que je me 
suis regie pour marquer toutes les longitudes de ma carte. Pour ce 
qui est de la longitude du Kamtchatka et des cotes voisines j'ai pu 
aussi la rapporter au meridien de Tisle de fer, par Texamen que j'ai 
fait des deux eclipses de Lune observees au Kamtchat par M. le Cap- 
itaine Beeringi et par ses gens dans sa premiere expedition, et que 
j'ai oomparees avec les memes observations faitesen Europe, etc 

Du Cote de TAsie, j'ai peint en jaune les isles qui composent Tem- 
pire du Japon, et en bleu la terre d^Teoo et les autres ides et terres 
voisines decouvertes par les HoUandois, Japonnpis et autres. 

La situation du Japon est assez bien connue par la distance ou Ton 
sait qu'il est de la Coree. L'on est aussi assure de Tentendue et de 
la situation entre elles de toutes les isles qui composent Tempire du 
Japon, et cela par les observations, cartes et memoires des Missionaires 
Jcsuites, du tems qu'ils prechorent TEvangele dans cet empire; et 
depuis qu'ils en ont ete chasses Ton a les Memoires des Hbllandois; 
et en dernier lieu ceux de Kemfer assurent encore la situation geo- 
graphique de cet empire et de ses dependances. Pour ce qui est de 
laterre d'Ye^ ou d'Eso, de I'isle des Etats et de la terre de la Com- 
pagnie que j'ai marquees au nord du Japon, entre cet empire et le 
Kamtchatka j'ai suivi les cartes HoUandoises oil ccs pais sont mar- 
ques d'apres le journal de marine de la navigation qui y a ete faite par 
les Hollandois, I'an 1643. 

Les Hollandois n'ont pas publie le journal meme de cette naviga- 


Eastern Tartary as far as the possessions of His Imperial Majesty 
of all the Russias. The territory in this far east which is marked in 
green has been discovered and conquered by Russia. I have made 
no attempt to do anything more than mark the coast line but thb is 
accurately done. The coasts of China and dependent countries are 
traced after Chinese maps, and those of regions belonging to Russia 
are based on die surveys made by Captain Beerings in his first ex- 
pedition. The Chinese maps which I used follow the meridian of 
Peking, the relation between this meridian and that of St. Peters- 
burg is known to me through several observations of the satellites of 
Jupiter made at different times, and since one knows also, through a 
large number of observations made at St. Petersburg, the situation 
of its meridian in regard to the first meridian which passes through 
the island of Fer, I have been able to work from the Chinese maps. 

In marking all the longitudes on my map I have been guided by 
this first meridian which passes through the isle of Fer. As to the 
longitude of Kamchatka and the neighboring regions I knew them 
also in relation to the meridian of the Isle of Fer. I worked this 
out by examining the two eclipses of the moon which were observed 
at Kamchatka by Captain Beerings and those with him on his first 
expedition, and by comparing them with the same observations made 
in Europe, etc. 

On the Asiatic coast I have painted in yellow the islands which 
make up the empire of Japan, and in blue Yeco Land and all the 
other islands and adjoining territories discovered by the Dutch, Jap- 
anese, and others. 

The position of Japan is sufficiently well known from the dis- 
tance which separates it from Korea. The extent and the distance 
of the different Japanese islands from each other is also well known 
through the observations, maps, and memoirs of the Jesuit mission- 
aries at the time when they preached the Gospel in that empire. 
Since their expulsion we have had the memogrs of the Dutch, and 
more recently those of Kemfer make dear the geographic situation 
of this empire and its dependencies. As to Yeco Land or Eso, State 
Island, and Company Land which I have located north of Japan, 
between that empire and Kamchatka, I have followed the Dutch 
maps on which these places are indicated after the journal of the navi- 
gation made by the Dutch in the year 1643. 

The Dutch have not published the journal of the said navigation ; 


tion : mais comme ik sont parti du cap Nabo ou de Gorce qui est a la 
partie la plus septentrionale du Japon» et qu'ils ont marques sur leurs 
cartes la situation de la terre d'Yego a I'egard de ce cap Nabo, cela 
m'a suffi pour placer exactement cettc terre d'Ye^o, Tisle des Etats, 
et la terre de la Compagnie d'apres les cartes Hollandoises. 

LoL cote de la terre d'Ye^ qui regarde la Tartarie n'est pas ter- 
minee dans les cartes Hollandois mais j'ai trace legerement cette cote 
en faisant de la terre d'Yego une isle, et laissant un canal ou bras de 
mer entre cette cote d'Yeg) et celle de Tartarie. J'ai trouvc un 
indice ou une preuve que cela dcvoit etre ainsi, et cela par une des 
premieres relations que Ton a de la terre d'Ye^, dans laquelle il est 
dit qu'a Toocident de cette terre il ya un detroit que Ton ne peut passer 
k cause de la rapidite du courant, etc 

L'Etendue que j'ai donnee a la terre d'Yego dans ma carte, ne 
contredit pas a la situation d'une grande isle que les cartes Chinoises 
mettent vis a vis de I'embrouchure de la riviere d'Amour. Enfin 
cette meme position d'entendue que j'ai donnee dans ma carte a la 
terre d'Yego n'empeche pas que Ton ne puisse placer les petites isles 
que Ton voit sur ma carte peintes en verd, situces entre la terre 
d'Yeg) et la pointre meridionale du Kamtchatka. II est vrai que dans 
plusieurs cartes manuscrites que Ton a faites dans le pais sur differens 
rapports de gens qui ont ete au Kamtchatka Ton marque a la place 
de ce petit tas daisies une suite d'isles beaucoup plus grandes qui s*en- 
tendent depuis la pointe meridionale du Kamtchatka jusqu'au 
Japon ; mais conune ces cartes ne sont ni orientces ni reglees suivant 
les latitudes, et que d'ailleurs, par les observations et la carte du 
Geodist Evreinow Ton voit que ces isles n'occupent pas plus de deux 
degrcs, c'est ce qui me les a fait placer ainsi dans ma carte, sans que 
leur situation contredisse a cette que j'avois donnee a la terre d'Yego. 

Dans les cartes Hollandoises la terre de la Compagnie n'est pas 
terminee a Torient; apparement parceque les Hollandois n'y ont pas 
ete: mais aiant trouve dans les demieres cartes de feu mon frere la 
terre de la Compagnie terminee a Torient par une cote et par quelques 
isles, j'ai cru devoir le suivre en cela, jugeant bien qu'il ne Taura pas 
fait sans fondement, quoiqu'il n'en paroisse pas fort assure, puis qu'il 
n'a marque cette cote orientale de la terre de la Compagnie et les isles 
adjacentes, que d'un trait leger, qui etoit la maniere dont il avoit 
coutume de se servir pour marquer ce dont il etoit moins assure. 


but as they sailed from Cape Nabo or Goree, which is the most 
nordierly part of Japan, and as they have indicated on their maps the 
situation of Yeco Land in relation to Cape Nabo, I have been able to 
locate exactly this Yeco Land, State Island, and Company Land by 
following the Dutch charts. 

The coast of Yeco Land in its relation to Tartary is not brought 
to an end on the Dutch maps, but I have traced lightly that coast in 
making of the Yeco Land an island, and leaving a channel or an arm 
of the sea between Yeco and Tartary. I have some reason or proof 
for believing that this is the true situation because in one of the ear- 
liest accounts which we have of this Yeco Land, it is said that on the 
west of it there is a strait which one is unable to pass on account of 
the rapidity of the current, etc. 

The extent which I have marked of the Yeco Land in my map 
does not conflict with the position of a large island which the Chi- 
nese maps have opposite the mouth of the river Amur. Neither does 
the situation and extent which I give on my map to Yeco Land make 
it impossible to locate a number of small islands, which I have done, 
between Yeco Land and the southern point of Kamchatka. It is 
true that on many manuscript maps which one has made in the coun- 
try, based on accounts of people who have been in Kamchatka, one 
has located, in place of this small group of islands, a chain of larger 
islands which reach out from the most southern point of Kamchatka 
to Japan. But as these maps are not constructed according to lati- 
tudes, and since, moreover, by the observations and map of the geodist 
Evreinof these islands do not take up more than two degrees, this is 
why I have located them in this manner on my map, their situation 
not necessarily conflicting with that which I have given to Yeco Land. 

On the Dutch maps. Company Land has no limits on the east, 
probably because the Dutch have never been there. I have, how- 
ever, found among the maps of my deceased brother that Company 
Land is limited on the east by a coast line and by several islands and 
in this I have followed him, knowing full well that he must have 
had good reason for his action, although it would seem that he was 
not very sure of his ground because the coast of Company Land and 
the adjacent islands he traced very faintly, which was his usual way 
of indicating that he was not very sure of his position. 








On trouve a la fin le resultat avec la traduction du dernier en- 
droit ou Ton s'etoit avance dans le sus dit voyage. 


Le 9 Septembre (1741 anc style) la Latitude a ete observee de 
51"* 12' et la Longitude 11° 54' 6'' le Rhombe du Vent du Sud-Est 
etoit 77 04, la distance 451 (ou 7^ 31') a 8 heure du matin les 
brouillards etant un peu dissipes nous vimes une cote a la distance de 
200 sagens; qui a des hautes Montagnes et des grandes herbcs la vue 
etoit verte, mais nous ne vimes point de bots. Les endroits de cette 
cote vers la mer sont fort etroits, et il ya une grande quantite de 
pierres sur la cote et sous I'eau. Nous appercumes deux personnes 
qui alloient du nord vers de Midi sur Therbe sous une haute mon- 
tagne aupres d'un ruisseau, et il est vrai-semblable qu'ils nous ont vu, 
puisque ils venoit plus pres pour mieux examiner notre batiment, 
nous leur criames en Langue Russe et Kamtschatka pour venir chez 
nous, et vers le 9 heures nous entendimes une voix des personnes qui 
vennoient de la cote du se [ ?] vers notre Batiment, mais nous vimes 
point du Monde et on ne pouvoit point distinguer leur voix acause 
de la tempete, cependant nous leur criames toujours par une trompete 
et sans trompete en les priant de venir chez nous. 

A 9 heures nous vimes venir vers notre Batiment 7 petits bateaux 
dans chacun de ces Bateaux il n'y avoit qu'une personne, la longueur 
de ces Bateaux etoit environ de 1 5 pieds, et la largeur de 3, le devant 

t Louis Derisle De la Croyere. - Oaia 
5u DelisU Mss.f do. zzv, 2e. 








At the end will be found, in translation, die situation of die place 
reached on the said voyage. 


The ninth of September 1741 [old style], latitude fifty-one de- 
grees, twelve minutes, longitude eleven degrees, fifty-four minutes, 
six seconds, the rhiunb of the wind from the southeast being seventy- 
seven degrees, four minutes, the distance four hundred fifty-one (or 
seven d^rees, thirty-one minutes), eight o'clock in the morning, when 
the fog had lifted somewhat we saw land about two hundred sajen 
from us. We could see mountains and tall green grass but no trees. 
The beach is very irregular and broken up, and there are many 
rocks above and below the water. We noticed two persons at the 
foot of a mountain walking on the grass alongside of a stream and 
advancing from north to south. They apparently observed us be- 
cause they came closer towards us for the purpose of examining our 
boat. We called to them in the Russian and in the Kamchatka 
language to come to us, and towards nine o'clock we heard the voices 
of people who were coming from the shore towards our boat, but we 
could see no one and could not make out their voices on account of 
the storm. We, nevertheless, continued calling to them through a 
tnmipet and without it to come to us. 

About nine o'clock we saw approaching our ship seven small boats 
in each of "which there was one person. The length of each of these 
boats was in the neighborhood of fifteen feet and the width three feet. 

fLouis Del'Isle De la Croyere. - Omg. 


est fort pointu, et la poupe arondie, ils sont partout entoures de pean 
de chien marin ou d'autrcs. le tillac est arrondi, et couvert d'une 
meme pean, a la poupe il ya un trou rond ou rtiomme se met, qui est 
vetu d'une chemise avec un cocluchon faite des boiaux de Balene ou 
d'autres Betes maritimes il y a des cordes de pois qui sont attachees au 
trou, avec lesquelles Thommes se noue, et il y avoit cependant quel- 
ques uns qui n'etoient pas noues, ils avoient aussi autour d'eux des 
picrres dans les Bateaux, leurs rames sont doubles faites du bois de 
boulau bien legerment, avec lesquelles ils rames des deux cote, ils vont 
dans cet bateaux tres hardiment et fort vit sans craindre les vagues 
les plus forts. Etant venu a la distance de 50 sagens de notre Bati- 
ment, ils commcncerent tous a crier et a se tourner des deux cotes 
pas d'une maniere comme s'ils vouloient nous parler, mais comme les 
Jakouts et les Toungousses quand ils veulent sorceler, ce qui nous fit 
connoitre, que les personnes qui etoient venu chez nous faissoient des 
sorcelages suivant leur maniere, ou des prieres, afin que nous ne 
puissions pas leur faire aucun tord, mais on ne peut pas savoir posi- 
tiviment pour quoi ils ont criez si epouvantablement, apres avoir 
cries ainsi pendant une demi quart d'heure, ils commencerent a se 
parler d'une maniere ordinaire, dans ce tems la nous leur faissions 
des mines agreables en leur faissant des reverences et donnant des 
9ignes pour les faire venir pres de notre Batiment, cependant ik 
n'oserent pas venir plus pres, ils faissoient des mouvemens des mains 
conune s'ils preparoient des arcs, ce qui nous fit juger qu'ils craini- 
soint que nous ne fissions du efeux sur eux, ce qui fait que nous leur 
donnames a connoitre autant qu'il etoit possible, que nous leur ferons 
aucun tord, et en mettant nos mains sur la poitrine, nous leur fimes 
connoitre qu'ils seroient regu par nous en ami, en meme tems j'ai 
jette vers eux dans Teau une tasse chinoise en les priant de la recevoir 
pour une marque d'amide pour pouvoir nueux les attirer aupres de 
notre Batiment un parmis ces gens la prit la tasse et en faissant des 
mouvemens des mains, il fit comprendre qu'il n'en avoit pas besoin, 
et vouloit la rejetter sur notre Batiment, alors nous lui fimes des 
reverences en le priant de la garder pour lui, mais il la jetta dans 
I'eau. Apres cela j'ai ordonne de couper deux morceaux de sadn, 
que j'ai jette dans I'eau en les priant de venir pres de notre batiment, 
lis prirent ces morceaux de satin et uprhs les avoir garde un peu de 
tems ils les rejetterent sans prendre rien pour eux. Ensuite j'ordon- 
noit d'apporter quelques Marchandises parmis les presens, savoir des 


The prow is very pointed, the deck and the stem somewhat round 
and the whole covered with the skins of hair seal or some other ani- 
mal except one round hole on deck for the boatman, who is dressed 
in a kind of shirt with hood made of the intestines of whale or other 
sea animals. Around each hole in the boat are leather cords with 
which the men tie themselves to the boats, yet several of the men 
were not tied. They had also near them in their boats rocks, and 
they used the double paddle, lightly made out of wood, paddling first 
on one side and then on the other. They travel very boldly and 
swiftly without being afraid of the biggest waves. When these men 
had come within fifty sajens of our boat they all began to shout and 
to turn first to one side and then to the other, not as if wishing to 
speak to us, but more as the Jakuts and Tungus do when engaged in 
witchcraft, which led us to think that our visitors were engaged, ac- 
cording to their own custom, in some similar occupation, or prasring 
that we might not cause them any harm, but we can not say with 
certainty why they made such a frightful noise. After having shouted 
in this manner for seven or eight minutes they began to talk among 
themselves in an ordinary tone of voice. During this time we 
smiled on them and made them salutations, beckoning them to come 
nearer our ship. This, however, they refused to do, making gestures 
as if they were preparing bows and arrows. These signs led us to 
think that they feared we would fire on them, and we, therefore, as- 
sured them as much as we were able under the circumstances, that 
we would not harm them. By placing our hands on our hearts we 
tried to tell them that they would be received by us as friends. In 
order to draw them near to us I threw towards them a Chinese cup 
asking them to accept it as a sign of friendship. One of their men 
picked up the cup and then made some gestures to signify that he had 
no need of it. He was on the point of throwing it back on board 
when we begged him to keep it but he cast it into the sea. After this 
I ordered that two pieces of satin should be cut which were thrown 
into the water and the men were asked to approach our ship. They 
picked up the satin and after keeping it a short time they put it away 
from them. Finally I had other things brought, such as beads, bells. 


pierres rouges des sonnettes des aiguilles, du tabac de la Chine et dcs 
pipes, et en leurs montrant ces choses je les priois de venir plus pres 
du Batiment je n'avoit pas beaucoup du monde sur le Tillac, parceque 
j'avois ordonne a la plus grande partie de se tenir sous le Tillac sous 
les armes pour notre surete, apres les avoir fait comprendre par toute 
sorte de mines, que s'ils vcnoient pres de notre Batiment ils ne leurs 
sera rien fait du mal, ce qui les a encourage de plus, c'est que nous 
leur montames, que nous n'avions plus d'eau ni de quoi boire, en les 
priant de nous aider la dans, un moment apres un venant fort pres de 
notre Batiment, nous lui donnames du tabac de la Chine avec une 
pipe, qu'il recu et mit aupres de lui sur le Tillac, ce qui fit venir tous 
les autres pres du Batiment, nous leur donnames des sonnettes dcs 
pierres rouges et des aiguilles, ce qu'ils regurcnt sans temoigne beau- 
coup de contentement, aparement ne sachant pas a quoi les employer, 
et nous appercumes qu'ils ne savoient pas que le cuivre et les aiguilles 
s'anfonses dans I'eau, parceque qu'ils ne les sererent [?] pas, car il 
arrivoit que quelqu'une des choses tomboit dans I'eau ils ne les em- 
pechoient point de tomber mais ils gardoient seulement Tendroit ou 
cela etoit tombe. Nous appercumes qu'il y avoit parmis eux quelques 
uns qui avoient porte leurs mains a la bouche et avec I'autre ils 
faissoient comme s'ils coupoient quelque chose et tout d'un coup ils 
auterent leurs mains, ce qui nous fit comprendre, qu'ils nous demander 
des couteaux, parce que les Kamtchadels et les autres nations de ces 
environs ci, coupent les viandes en mangeant au pres de la bouche. 
J'ordonnoit de leurs donner un couteau, qu'ils recurent avec beau- 
coup de joie en I'arrachant de Tun et Tautres, et nous prierent insta- 
ment de leur donner des couteaux ; apres cela nous les prieames quel- 
ques uns de venir sur notre Batiment pour mieux faire voir la bonne 
intention dans laquelle ils etoient d'agir avec nous en ami, esperant 
de pouvoir engager quelques uns pour venir avec nous suivant I'in- 
struction donnee a mons. le Capitaine Commandeur ; nous n'avons non 
seulement pu engage personne avec nous, ne pouvant pas les parler, 
mais pas meme de venir sur notre Batiment, peut etre pouvoient ils 
comprendre se que nous voulions par nos instantes prieres de venir 
sur notre Batiment. Pendant ce terns la nous voulions leur donner 
un petit tonneau pour nous aller de I'eau a terre, mais ne voulerent 
pas recevoir ce tonneau, nous montrant des vessies, dans lesquelles ils 
vouloient nous apporter de I'eau, dabord trois Bateaux partir pour 
aller a terre nous apporter de I'eau, et apres etre revenu aupres du 


needles, Chinese tobacco and pipes, and showing them these objects 
I asked them to come nearer the boat. I had not many people on 
deck at the time, the greater part being below decks under arms in 
case there was need of them. We did all that we could to assure 
them that if they would come near our boat no harm would befall 
them. That which had the greatest influence with them was that 
we showed them that we had no water nor anything else to drink 
and we begged them to help us procure the same. A moment later 
one of the visitors came quite close to our ship. We gave him some 
Chinese tobacco and a pipe which he took and placed on deck of his 
boat. A little later the others also approached and we gave them 
small bells, beads and needles, all of which they received indiffer- 
ently, apparently being ignorant of what use to put them. We 
also observed that they did not know that copper and needles sink, 
because it happened that one of these things fell into the water and 
they made no attempt to stop it but merely watched the spot where 
it disappeared. We noticed that several of them held their hands 
near their mouths and with one of the hands they worked as if they 
were cutting something, and then all of a sudden they took their 
hands away. This made us think that they would like to have 
knives, because the Kamchadels and other nations of that region cut 
the meat near the mouth as they are eating it. I requested that a 
knife should be given to them, which they received with gladness and 
began fighting over it and begged us to give them more knives. 
After this we asked them to come on board and thus show us that 
they are really friendly to us, in this manner we hoped to induce sever- 
al of them to come with us in obedience to the instructions given to the 
captain-commander. But not only did we fail in this but we could 
not even persuade them to come on board; it may perhaps be that 
they suspected our intentions from our too urgent entreaties to them 
to come on deck. During this procedure we handed to them a small 
cask suggesting that they go to the shore and bring us fresh water, 
but they would not take the cask. When we showed them some 
bladders they consented to fetch us water. At first three small boats 
left and when they returned one of them held out a bladder and 


Batiment, ils nous donnercnt une ves^e en demandant pour cela un 
couteau, j'ai ordonne de lui donner un, et apres Tavoir recu il ne 
rendi point Teau mais la donnoit a son camerade en montrant qu'il 
falloit lui aussi donner un couteau pour la meme vessie de I'eau ce 
qui nous fit connoitre y ajoutant d*autres actions semblables que 
s'etoient des gens de mauvaise foix. C'est sont des hommes d'une 
grande stature, leur visage est semblable a celui des Tartars mais 
pales, et ils nous parroissoient qu'ils se portoient bien, ils n'ont presque 
point de barbe peut etre de natur ou qu'ils se les arrachoient, ce que 
nous ne savons pas positiviment, nous n'avons pas remarque que deux 
ou trois avec des petites barbes, ils ont aussi des pierres dans leurs nes, 
qui les font segner du ne, ils mangent des racines, dont ils nous en 
faissoient present en nous priant de les manger, nous avons apporte 
une petite quantite de ces racines pour pouvoir les connoitre, et nous 
leurs donnames en echange des biscuits. Ils nous ont aussi apporte 
quelques mines [?] enveloppees dans des feuilles des plantes mari- 
timcs. II n'y avoit point d'autres choses sur leurs Bateaux si non des 
fleches dont nous avons pu obtenir quatre d'eux. lis avoient sur 
leurs tetes des especes de chapeaux f aits des planches de bouleaux bien 
minces, peintes de difieres couleurs et ces chapeaux etoient ornes de 
plumes, quelques unes parmis eux avoient des statues d'os attaches sur 
leurs chapeaux, nous avons pu obtenir d'eux un pareil chapeau pour 
lequel nous leurs donnames une mechante hache, qu'ik recurent avec 
beaucoup de joie, Nous leur fimes present d'une marmitte de cuivre, 
mais iq>rcs qu'ils I'avoient garde pendant quelque tems, ils nous la 
rendirent, et etant ainsi resti asses long tems aupres de notre Bati- 
ment, ils s'en a aller a terre. L*apres midi ils sont encore venu en 14 
Bateaux de meme une personne dans chacun, parmis lesquelles il y 
avoit quelques uns qui etoient venu le matin, en arrivant aupres du 
Batiment ils faissoient le meme crie que precedement, quoi quils sont 
reste plus de trois ou quatre heures pres du Batiment cependant nous 
n'avons pu engage personne de venir sur le bord, ils parlerent beau- 
coup mais nous pouvions rien comprendre n'aiant point d'intrerprete, 
et je crois qu'ils seroient reste encore plus long tems, si je n'avois pas 
moi meme fais donne de signals pour les f aire retirer, parceque le vent 
commencoit a venir un peu fort, par lequel nous pouvions quoi qu'avec 
de la peine sortir du golfe dans lequel nous etions entre avec beaucoup 
de difficulte. De sorte que nous somes sorti de cet endroit avec I'aide 
de Dieu par le meme vent, apres avoir beaucoup soufFert et apres 
avoir perdu un ancre. 

Le 10 dans celieu, etc: Nous avons reconu cette cote pour la 


asked in return a knife. I ordered that a knife should be given to 
him, when he had it he passed the water over to his companion de- 
siring that a knife should be given to him also for the same bladder 
of water. From this and other similar actions on their part we con- 
cluded that they could not be trusted. They are men of large 
stature, their features resemble those of the Tartars with this differ^ 
ence that they are paler. They seem to be in good health. They 
have almost no beard, perhaps naturally so or it may be that they 
pluck the hair, we can not say which, since we noticed only two or 
three with small beards. They wear also stones in their noses which 
makes the nose bleed. They eat roots, several of which they pre- 
sented us asking that we eat them, a number of which we brought 
back with us so that it might be determined what they are. In ex- 
change for the roots we gave them biscuits. They' brought us also 
several [illegible] wrapped in seaweed. All that they had on 
their boats were arrows of which we secured four. On their heads 
they wear a kind of a hat made of very fine boards painted in various 
colors, trimmed with feathers or with small ivory figures. We were 
able to get one of these hats by giving them in exchange an axe that 
was of little value and which they were very glad to have. We made 
them a present of a copper kettle which, after keeping it for a short 
time, they gave back to us. After remaining a considerable time 
near our ship they returned to shore. In the afternoon they came 
again in fourteen boats, one person to a boat, among whom were sev- 
eral whom we had seen in the morning. On coming near our ship 
they made the same cry as before. Although they remained more 
than three or four hours close to our boat we could not coax them on 
board. They talked a great deal but we could not understand what 
they said because we had no interpreter. I think they would have 
stayed with us longer if I had not signalled for them to leave, be- 
cause a strong wind began to blow with which we were able, al- 
though with difficulty, to depart from the gulf which we entered 
with much trouble. So that we went from this place, with the help 
of God, with the same wind, after having suffered a great deal and 
with the loss of an anchor. 

The tenth in the same : We have identified this coast as America, 


veritable Amerique dont la Latitude est re 55** 36' 3" la longitude 
de 61** 5 1 Me Rhombe du vent de Nord-Est 85° 42' la distance dc 
2178^ a la quelle nous etions arrive le 15 Juillet a heures du matin, 
cette cote etoit du nord au sud a 30'. 






(Suite du 15 Juillet) A la distance de 4 mtn. du bord vis a vis 
cet endroit le bord montagneux ou la profondeur de Teau n'a pas ete 
moindre que 60 sagens, on a vu la terre a 2 h. apres minuit et a 3 
heures on Ta apercu encore mieux, on la prise pour TAmerique lati- 
tude etoit de 55° 21' sept. la long, du port d'Avacha 61** 55'. 

Vers le midi le coin de la terre finnissoit au sud-est 36** 19' a la 
distance de 3(/ la plus proche distance a al terre etoit du nord vers 
Test 72^ 41' (dep 20 triotpria dira) la point nord etoit Nord Est 
19° 41' arrivant par le nord depuis 3 h. 

Apres 5h54 triotpriadira [or diva?] au font meridional 34^ 41', 
auquel terns on a apercu une nouvelle terre plus basse au Nord Est 
39® 22' a 8 hyi du matin vers le nord on ne voioit plus le bord de- 
puis le nord 33® </. 

Le 16. lat 56** 15' Long 60** 57' 2" Rh. Nord Est 84° 48' dis- 
tance 2140 on a envoie le bosman Mama avec 8 hommes qui a dit 
qu'il etoit pas possible de rester dans ce port n'etant pas a couvert du 
vent du nord. 

Le 17 latit 57^ 39' long 58** 54' 2" nord est 82** 43' dist 2059 
a la distance de bord de 3 ou 4 min. 

Le 18 Juillet (1741) le maitre de la flotte nomme Dementiev a 
ete envoie a terre avec 10 personnes a 4h^ apres midi. le golfe dans 
lequel ce maitre a ete envoie est suivant le calcul a la latitude de 57^ 
23' la longitude depuis le port d'Avatcha 59^ 36' la distance 2059 
(miles dont 60 un degre) sous le Rhombe N. E. 82^ 28' mais la 
latitude corigee de ce golfe est 57 ** 50' et la longitude 58® 54'. 

584 DgiisU Mss,, na xzv» 30^ C. 


in latitude fifty-five degrees, thirty-six minutes, three seconds, longi- 
tude sixty-one degrees, fifty-one minutes, rhumb of the wind of 
northeast eighty-five degrees, forty-two minutes, the distance two 
thousand, one hundred seventy-eight minutes. We arrived at this 
spot at two o'clock of the morning of July 15. This coast was from 
north to south at thirty minutes. 



(Continuation from the fifteenth [of] July) At the distance of 
four miles off the shore, opposite this place, the coast being moun- 
tainous, the depth of the water not being less than sixty fathoms, one 
could see land at two o'clock in the morning, and at three o'clock it 
was much more distinct. We took this land for America, north lat- 
itude 55® 21', and longitude from Avacha 61° 55'. 

Towards noon the point of land came to an end at south 36® 19' ; 
east at the distance of 3o\ The nearest land bore north 72^ 41'; 
east (dep. 20 . . . triotpriadira [?]). The northerly point bore 
north 19® 41'; east, ship coming from the north since three o'clock. 

After half past five o'clock triotpriadira [ ?] on the meridian 34® 
41', a new lower land came in view at north 39® 22' east. At half 
after eig^t in the morning the shore disappeared from sight towards 
north 33° </ east 

July 16, latitude 56° 15', longitude 60** 57' 2", course north 
84® 48' east, distance 2,140, the Boatswain Mama with eight men 
was sent ashore. On his return he reported that the port was not 
safe because it was exposed to the north wind. 

July 17, latitude 57® 39', longitude sB** 54' 2", course made 
good, north 82® 43' east, distince 2,059; distance from shore « from 
three to four minutes. 

July 18 (1741) at half after four o'clock in the afternoon the 
officer Dementief was sent ashore. The gulf into which he steered 
was according to observation in latitude 57^ 23', longitude from 
Avacha 59^ 36^ the distance 2,059 (miles, sixty to a degree) on a 
course north 82° 28' east. But the corrected latitude of this gulf is 
57** 50' and the longitude 58** 54'. On the homeward passage the 

B^^The Hydrographic Office of the United States Navy has rendered ai- 
•istance in the translation of these two documents, zxv, 20, C and D. 


Par le retour la difference de longitude a ete trouvee plus grande 
de II** 39' 4". 


(Suivant un premier rapport abrege que Ton m'en a fait) 
Route du Kamtchatka a TAmerique le Capitaine Alexis Tchirikov 
sur le vaissau duquel etoit mon frere est parti le 4 Juin 1741 anc st 
du port de St Pierre et St Paul autrement appelle le port d'Avacha 
situe sur la cote orientale du Kamchatka sous la latitude d'environ 
53^ (il est sur ma carte sous la longitude depuis de 175^ a compter 
du meridien qui passe par Tlsle de fer) la route - Ton peut voir sur 
la carte cyjointe - de ce port jusqu'a Ta vue d'un port de TAmerique 
situe sous la latitude de 57^ 5(/ I'ou on a expedi6 dans ce port le 18 
Juillet 1 741 un maitre de flotte avec dix hommes dans une chaloupe 
mais ils ne sont pas revenus. Par la route calculee ce nouveau port a 
ete trouve [illegible] oriental au port d'Avatcha de 57^ [illegible] (et 
par consequent la longitude absolue de ce nouveau port serait d'environ 
232°) Ton a aussi calcule que le Rhombe en ligne droite entre le 2 
ports susdits dedinoit de 82^ 35' du nord a Test dans la distance de 
2007 miles d'Angleterre (un min d'un grand cerde c'est i dire 33^ 
27' parceque les miles anglois sont supposes de 60 au degre) la de- 
clinaison de Taiguille aimantce a ete trouvee dans ce port de TAmer- 
ique du nord a Test d'un rhombe ^ (19^ 41') • dans le retour Ton 
a fait bien des detours pour rechercher si Ton ne pourroit point revoir 
la chaloupe sus dit mais inutillement; aiant calcule tous oes detours 
pour le retour jusqu'au port d'Avatcha la difference de longitude 
s'est trouvee de 11^ 28' plus grande que pour la premiere route. 

Dans le retour on a decouvert une isle sur la latitude de 51^ 4</ 
distance par le calcul en ligne droite du port d'Avatcha de 429' min 
ou miles anglois (7° 9^) le rombe mene d'Avatch a cettc Isle de- 
clinant du sud a Test de 79^ 39', de declinaison de I'aiguille aimantee 
etoit vers cette isle d'un Rhombe (ii** 15') nord-est. 

dans le retour mon frere est tombe malade le 27 Sept. 1741 et 
est mort le 10 Oct. a 10 h. du matin. 

*"« Delisle Mss,, no, xxv, ao, D. 

accumulated error in longitude was found to be more than 11^ 39' 




(Based on a first brief report which was made for me) 
Route from Kamchatka to America. Captain Alexis Chirikof 
with my brother on board departed June 4, 1741 [old style] from 
the port of St. Paul and St. Peter, also known as the port of Avacha, 
situated on the eastern coast of Kamchatka in latitude about fifty- 
three degrees (on my map the longitude is given at 175^, counting 
from the meridian which passes through the island of Fer. The 
course --this one may follow on the chart here attached - from this 
port to the American port which was observed in latitude 57^ 5(/. 
Into this port were sent on July 18, 1741, an officer with ten men in 
a small boat but they did not come back. According to the calculations 
of the course, the newly found port is east of Avatcha 57 [illegible] 
(and therefore the absolute longitude of this new port would be about 
232°). It has also been worked out that the rhumb in straight line 
between the two ports mentioned above declines from 82^ 35' from 
the north to the east, in the distance of 2007 English miles (one 
minute of a large circle, or 33^ 27', because the English miles are 
sixty to a degree). The declination of the magnetic needle has been 
found in this American port from the north to the east of a rhumb 
^ (19^ 41')- On the return voyage the boat sailed here and there 
in the hopes of finding a trace of the lost small boat just mentioned, 
but all in vain. Taking into calculation all these side voyages until 
Avacha was reached, there was found to be a difference of 11^ 28' 
longitude between the going and coming. 

Returning an island was discovered in lat. 51^ 40'; calculated 
distance from Avacha on a straight line, 429 minutes or English 
miles (7^ 09^* A rhumb line from Avacha to this island runs 
south 73^ 39' East, with the compass needle deflected i point (11° 
15O to eastward. 

On the return voyage my brother fell ill, September 27, 1741, and 
died October 10 at 10 o'clock in the morning. 



Le Capitaine Bchring qui etoit allc pour tacher de decouvrir si 
Ton ne pourroit pas se rendre en Amerique par la mer du Nord, ayant 
echoue contre la cote d'une isle deserte, et son vaisseau s'etant brise, 
ce capitaine est mort dans cette Isle avec la plus part des personnes 
qui avoicnt fait le voyage avec luy. Le Sr. StoUer adjoint Botaniste 
de Tacademie de cette ville, lequel avoit accompagne ce Capitaine, a 
ete assees heureux, ainsi que quelques matelots de Tequipage pour 
resister a la fatigue et a la misere, ayant fait construire par ses com- 
pagnons un nouvcau battment des debris du premier, il est arrive 
avec eux a Kamtchatka, apres avoir essuye un grand nombre de dan- 
gers dans sa route. II a rapporte qu'il avoit recontre le Capitaine 
Tscherikov, lequel assuroit qu'il avoit touche la cote d'un pais in- 
connu dont les habitans resembloient aux sauvages de 1' Amerique. 
Mais quelorsqu'il avoit voulu mettre pied a terre, il avoit ete re- 
pousse par les habitans, et qu'apres avoir perdu plusieurs soldats et 
quelque Matelots, il avoit ete oblige de renoncer a son entreprise. 

Mr George Guillaume Steller de Windsheim en franconie fameux 
Botaniste et Professeur de TAcademie Imperiale est mort depuis peu 
entre Tobolskoi et Cathrinesbourg. Ce savant est Generalement 
Regrette. II revenoit de Kamtschatka apres y avoir Decouvert une 
des Isles de I'Amerique Septentrionale et Demontre qu'on pouvoit y 
aller de Terres de TEmpire de Russie par un petit Trajet. II entre- 
prit cette decouverte en 1738 par ordre de la cour avec un vaisseau 
que commandoit le Capitaine Behring. Ik eurent le malheur 
d'echouer sur une Isle inconnue ou le Plus grand nombre de ses com- 
pagnons de Voiage et meme Le Capitaine Du Vaisseau perirent de 
Misere et de Chagrin. Quant a Mr Stoller il eut Tadresse avec le 

^*^ DelisU Mss., no. zxv, 19, £. 

Gazette de France^ no. 47, 545 [?], du z6 Nov., 1743. De Petenbourg le 20 
Octob., 1743. -Orig. 



Captain Behring who went to discover whether one could go to 
America by way of the North Pacific, wrecked and lost his boat on 
the coast of a desert island on which he and the greater part of his 
crew that accompanied him died. With the captain was Mr. Steller, 
botanist of the Academy of that city, and he as well as a number of 
the sailors, being fortunate enough to survive the hardships and suf- 
ferings, built from the wreck of the first boat a smaller one and on it 
they arrived at Kamchatka, after having experienced many dangers 
on the way. He reports that he met Captain Chirkof who assured 
him that he had been on the coast of some unknown country, the in- 
habitants of which resemble the savages of America. But when he 
attempted to land he was driven back by them, and after losing sev- 
eral soldiers and sailors he was compelled to give up the attempt. 

Mr. George William Steller of Windsheim, Franconia, famous 
botanist and Professor of the Imperial Academy, died recently be- 
tween Tobolsk and Catherinesburg. The loss of this scholar is gen- 
erally regretted. He was on his way from Kamchatka after hav- 
ing discovered one of the islands of North America and proved that 
it was only a short distance thither from the Russian Empire. He 
undertook this voyage of discovery by the order of the court, with 
Captain Behring in conunand of the ship. They had the misfortune 
to be wrecked on an unknown island where the Captain and a large 
number of those who were on board died of misery and grief. Steller, 


sccours de sept personnes qui etoient demeurees en vie de faire une 
Chaloupc des debris du Vaisseau et il revint hereusement a Kamts- 
chatka. Comme il avoit Etudie en Theologie, il fit pendant cette 
course L'office D'Aumonier et son Zele porta a engager Le Synode 
Russien a Etablir pour oes provinces une Mission de Propoganda 
fide. On a trouve parmi ses Papiers Plusieurs Relations tres Inter- 
resantes qui ont ete envoyecs a TAcademie Conformement aux Disposi- 
tions du Defunt et Ton croit qu'elles scront dans peu rendues Pub- 

La Stora Sibirica du celebre Gmclin qui par ordre de Tlm- 
peratrice Anne a parcouru la Siberie, Province si vaste et si peu 
connue» pendant Le cours de sept annees est sous presse. On a lieu 
de se promettre une foule de decouvertes nouvelles, et importantes 
apres les soins Infatigablcs de cet habile Botaniste. 

L'imprimerie De L'academie vient de publier un Atlas de Russie 
qui consiste en dix neuf cartes particulieres de toutes ces provinces de 
ce vaste Empire avec las Pais Limitrophes et une Carte generale ou on 
les trouves rassemblees. Elles ont ete dressees Conformement aux 
Derniers Observations.'"* 

On a recu avis que Mr. StoUer fameux Botaniste et Membre de 
rAcademie des Sciences est mort depuis entre Tobolski et Caterines- 
burg. La perte de ce scavans est generalment regrettee, il revennoit 
de Kamchatka apres y avoir decouver une des Isles derAmerique 
Septentrionale, et demontre qu'on peut y aller des Terres del'Empire 
de Russie par un petit trajet."* 

^*^ Delisle Mss., no. zxv, 19, F. Copie de la nouvelle Bibliotheque Ger- 
mamquff Tome iii, part i, 199. 

^^^ Delisle Mss,, no. xxv, 19, G. Extract de la Gazette d* Amsterdam du 
25 Jan., 1747. 


with the help of seven others who survived, made a small boat from 
the remains of the wreck of the ship and returned to Kamchatka. 
As he was a student of theology he acted as chaplain on the voyage 
and he was instnmiental in persuading the Russian Synod to estab- 
lish for these provinces a mission for the spreading of the faith. 
Among his papers there are a number of very valuable reports which, 
at the request of the deceased, were forwarded to the Academy, and 
there is reason to believe that these documents will soon be made 
public. The Stora Sibirica by the celebrated Gmelin, who at the 
order of the Empress Anne spent seven years in Siberia, a vast and 
unknown country, is now in press. One may hope for a number of 
important discoveries considering the ability and scholarship of this 
botanist. The press of the Academy has just published an atlas of 
Russia which has nineteen special maps of all the provinces of the 
empire and neighboring countries and one general map which in- 
cludes them all. They are based on the latest observations. 

Word has just been received that Mr. Steller, famous botanist 
and member of the Academy of Sciences died recently between 
Tobolsk and Catherinesburg. The loss of this scholar is generally 
regretted. He was coming from Kamchatka after having discovered 
one of the islands of North America and proved that it is only a 
short distance from there to the Russian Empire. 



Decouverte de 34 I^l^^ ^flnj la mer du Nord 


Le bruit court que le Capitaine Spanberg, en navigeant dans la 
Mer du Nord, a decouvert trente quatre isles tant grandcs que petites, 
dont les habitans aussitot qu'ik I'ont appercu, Tont envoye recon- 
noitre par six chaloupes: qu'ayant aborde a une de ces Isles, il est 
descendu a terre sans trouver la moindre opposition, et que les In- 
sulaires, quoyque fort surpris Tont recu avec plusieurs demonstrations 
d'amidc; que ces peuples resemblent fort a ceux du Japon, et qu'ils 
lui ont montre une grande quantite de monnoye d'or et de cuivre. 
On dit que le Capitaine Spanberg a donne avis de sa decouverte a la 
Czarine et yu'il lui a envoye quelques uncs des monnoyes dont ces 
peuples se servent.**** 

A Amsterdam on vend une Nouvelle Mapemonde en deux grandes 
f euilles contenant les poles Artique et Antartique. 

On trouve dans le pole Artique a I'Extremite de la Tartarie le 
pays de Camschatka qui s'etend quarante degrez plus a Torient qu'on 
ne la sou jusqu'icy d'ou le Capitaine Spanberg a fait dans I'Espace de 
seize jours un voyage a de nouvelles Isles, qu'on croit apartenir au 
Japon selon la Relation que Mr. Swartz resident d'HoUande a 
Petersbourg en a envoyees aux Etats Generaux dans ses lettres du 
vingt-quatre Janvier 1740.'** 

Le courier parti d'Yakutsk le 6 Scptembre 1739 a emploie juste- 
ment 4 mois a venir a Petersbourg y etant arrive le 6 Janvier 1740. 

^*^ Detisie Mss,, no. xxv, 18, B. 1740. 

**<>• No. 9. Gazette de France du 27 Feyrier, 1740. Article de St Peters- 
bourg du 16 Janv. de la meme anii^. 
*" DeHsle Mss., no. xxv, 18, C. 174a 



Discovery of thirty-four islands in the North Pacific 


There is a report about that Captain Spanberg while navigating 
in the North Pacific has discovered thirty-four islands, large and 
small, the inhabitants of which as soon as they saw him sent six small 
boats to meet him. Although surprised, the natives received Cap- 
tain Spanberg, when he landed on one of these islands, without op- 
position and with friendship. These islanders resemble the Japanese 
very much. They possess large quantities of gpld and copper money. 
It is said that Captain Spanberg has notified the empress of his dis- 
covery and has sent her several pieces of money used on the island. 

At Amsterdam there is being sold a world map in two sheets con- 
taining the Arctic and Antarctic poles. 

On the Arctic pole one sees on the confines of Tartary the terri- 
tory of Kamchatka which extends forty degrees farther east than it 
was known until now and where Captain Spanberg has made in the 
period of sixteen days a voyage to some new islands which are gen- 
erally believed to belong to Japan. All this information comes 
through Mr. Swartz, a representative of Holland at Petersburg, who 
sent it to the States General in his letters of January 24, 1740. 

The courier who left Jakutsk September 6, 1739, was just four 
months in coming to St. Petersburg, arriving January 6, 1740. He 


II a zppoTti a Tadmiral Golovin une relation en 6 f euilles de I'expedi- 
tion du Capitaine Spanberg, dont j'ay appris les particularites sui- 
vantes, a scavoir que ce capitaine s'est mis en mer au mois de Juin, 
Juillet, et Aoust 1739 pour la recherche de la route du Camchat au 
Japon; qu'il est parti du Camchat sous la latitude de 56 (c'est ap- 
parement Tcmbouchure de Camtchatka que le Capitaine Beerings 
dans son premier voyage mit a 56 3) que de la il est alle vers le Sud 
par un bon vent par lequel il a pu faire en 16 jouis la traversee du 
20 degrez en latitude jusqu'a la latitude 36 environ (Tamlral Golovin 
m'a dit 37) qu'il avoit dans cette tranversee recontre plusieurs isles 
dans quclquesunes desquelles il etoit desccndu etc., qu'il avoit aborde 
aussi au Japon (apparement a la cote orientale) ou il avoit ete bien 
recu et entame [ ?] le commerce, etc. 

Mr. TAmiral Golovin me n'a pas dit positivement la route que 
Mr Spanberg avoit tenu vers Test ou vers Touest; mais il m'a dit 
qu'il avoit bien observe cette route en marquant les latitudes, la dec- 
linaison de I'aiguille aimantee, etc. au rests qu'il devoit bientot venir 
lui mesme apporter une relation plus ample de cette decouverte avec 
la carte de sa route, etc**' 

B«2 Delisie Mss., na xxv, 18, F. 


brought to Admiral Golovin a report in six sheets of the expedition 
of Captain Spanberg of which I have learned the following particu- 
lars. Captain Spanberg was out at sea during June, July, and Aug- 
ust, 1739, trying to find a route from Kamchatka to Japan. He left 
Kamchatka in latitude fifty-six degrees (this is probably the mouth 
of the Kamchatka which Captain Bering on his first voyage charted 
as fifty-six degrees, three minutes) and from there he sailed south 
with a good wind so that in sixteen days he passed over twenty de- 
grees of latitude to about latitude thirty-six degrees (Admiral Golo- 
vin said thirty-seven), and that in the course of his navigation he 
came across many islands on several of which he made a landing, etc., 
and that he made a landing in Japan (probably on the eastern side) 
where he was well received and began commercial relations, etc. 

Admiral Golovin did not tell me positively what course Captain 
Spanberg sailed towards the east or west, but he said that the course 
was carefully charted with the latitudes and declinations of the 
needle, etc. He also said that Captain Spanberg would soon appear 
in person with a full account and chart of his course, etc. 



BiBUOGRAPHiES : Mejow's Bibliographia Sibirica (i 891 -1892) 
is the only satisfactory work covering Siberia, Alaska, and the Amur. 
It is complete, reliable, but not critical. Cordier's Bibliotheca Sinica 
is valuable for Russo-Chinese relations. The general list of books 
given in Bancroft's History of Alaska is confusing, having many 
titles which do not relate to the subject, but scattered among the foot- 
notes are many bibliographical helps. DalFs bibliography is too 
general to be of great service. There are other bibliographies of 
minor importance but these have all been superseded by Mejow's. 

Unpubushed Sources: there is a great deal of unpublished 
source material for this period in the Russian archives. In the 
Archive of the Ministry of the Marine at St. Petersburg there are 
classified under the heading "Captain-commander Bering" one hun- 
dred eleven bundles of documents, some of which contain between 
two and three thousand pages. In addition there are many other 
papers in the archives relating to this subject catalogued under dif- 
ferent heads, such as Admiralty College, Count Apraxin, and under 
various other names. These are by no means all the documents. 
The Hydrographic Department of the Ministry of the Marine, the 
Academy of Sciences, the Archives of the State, the Ministry of War, 
and most of the other archives, both at St. Petersburg and Moscow 
have manuscript material on this field. More recently (1914) a re- 
port based on good authority has reached the Russian capital to the 
effect that at Okhotsk there are still many papers relating to the 
Kamchatka Expeditions. It is difficult to say with any degree of 
certainty as to how much material there really is and where it is 
because no attempt has ever been made to determine these points. 

This vast amount of material is, however, out of proportion to its 
importance. Many of the one hundred eleven bundles associated 
with the name of Bering have nothing whatever to do with him, his 
work, or his period, but deal nearly altogether with purely Siberian 


a£Fairs of a much later time. Of the remaining bundles which do 
concern the Kamchatka Expeditions, much of the material they con- 
tain is worthless because of duplication. Each affair went through 
the hands of several administrative and legislative bodies and bureaus, 
each made copies and comments and by the time that a decision was 
reached the number of papers that had accumulated made one or 
more bundles, the great number of the documents being merely repeti- 
tions of the same subject. To give a concrete illustration : the trouble 
between Spanberg and one of his lieutenants fill many bundles with 
documents, the same charge (a very petty one) being repeated again 
and again. The petition of Bering's family, after his death, that the 
pay due him should be handed over to them makes two or more 
bundles of affidavits, copies of certificates, comments of various bu- 
reaus et cetera. Good and worthless material is all tied together. 

Although so rich in good dociunents the Archives of the Ministry 
of the Marine does not possess the journal of the voyage made by 
Bering to America in 1741. Where that journal is no one knows. 
The same ignorance prevails relative to a number of the earlier maps. 
Some of these and other documents have been missing a long time. 
When the papers of the Second Kamchatka Expedition reached the 
capital they were handed over to the Academy of Sciences where they 
remained from 1750 to 1758. At the end of that time they were 
returned to the Admiralty College. It was noised about at the time 
that a number of the papers had disappeared in the interval. This 
may or may not have been true. Documents have disappeared from 
the archives in other ways. In one well known case (of a much later 
period) the Minister of the Marine was in the habit of taking the more 
important documents home with him ; when he died his heirs sold the 
papers to an antiquarian who sold them back to the same ministry 
from which they had originally come. The Academy of Sciences 
has a copy of the missing Bering journal. This copy was made by 
Chytref , the same man who kept the original on board the St. Peter. 
This document has been made use of by the writer and is here re- 
ferred to as the Journal of the St. Peter. Another copy of diis jour- 
nal by the same man finds a home, together with other valuable papers 
on the Bering Voyage, in the Archives of the State. 

Chirikof's journal and his reports, Waxcl's report, the journals 
and papers of Spanberg, and of the officers who explored in the Arctic 
are all housed in fireproof vaults in the Archives of the Ministry of 


the Marine. The so-called MuUer Portfolio, documents collected in 
Siberia by the scholar whose name it bears, is now in the archives at 

The diiSculty of reading the Russian manuscripts of the eighteenth 
century has been exaggerated. Those who have a reading knowledge 
of modern Russian can with a little practice and perseverance learn 
to read the documents of the time of Peter and Catherine. 

At Paris there is a collection of valuable papers as yet unpublished. 
While studying in that city Professor Gaulois called the writer's at- 
tention to the Delisle manuscripts in the Archives de la Marine. 
These are letters, copies of journals, charts, reports of conversation, 
newspaper clippings and other such material collected by the members 
of the Delisle family -all of which throw interesting side-lights on 
the period and the men. The papers which are of special importance 
for this study are those gathered by Joseph-Nicholas Delisle during 
his twenty-one years' (1726- 1747) residence at the Russian capital as 
an oiScer of the Academy. In the "Appendix" may be found many 
of the documents which relate to the subject treated in this book. 
So far as it is known to the writer these papers have never before 
been used. 

Published sources : many important documents have been brought 
to light in the publications of the Archaeographical Society, especially 
the Miiller Portfolio, in those of the Departments of War, Marine, 
Hydrography, and Justice, in periodicals and books privately printed. 
The Akti Istoricheskiey five volumes, and the Dopolnenis K Aktam 
Isforicheskim, twelve volumes, are the principal sources for the six- 
teenth and seventeenth century Siberia. For the two first decades 
of the eighteenth century the printed material is found chiefly in the 
Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii, two volumes, and in the government 
publications noted above. The Polnoe Sobranie Zakonof Rossiskoi 
Imperii covers the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and contains 
instructions to oiScers in Siberia and treaties with China. The 
Jesuit letters are very helpful. Bering's brief report to the empress 
on his first voyage is printed without comment in Zapiski Woenno- 
Tapograficheskavo Depo (part x). Dall's attempt to translate this 
into English was not successful. Berch in his Pervoe Morskoe 
Puteshestvie Rossiyan prints a log book of the first voyage which was 
kept by Midshipman Peter Chaplin. V. Bachtin in Russkie Tru- 
zheniki Morja printed additional docmnents on this voyage. Gwos- 


def 's report and other material bearing on the discovery of the Amer- 
ican coast in 1732 may be found in the Zapiski Hydrografickeskavo 
Departamenta. Steller's Reise von Kamchatka nach America is the 
only original document of importance dealing with the second sea 
voyage which has up to this time appeared in print. MuUer, Gmelin, 
Krasheninnikof were members of Bering's second expedition, although 
they did not go to sea with him. Their writings may be classed 
partly as original and partly as contemporary documents, depending 
altogether on the topics which they discuss. 

About the middle of the nineteenth century a friendly controversy 
arose between Karl E. von Baer, a German scholar residing at St. 
Petersburg, and Lieutenant Sokolof of the Russian Navy. In 1848 
and 1849 Baer wrote a series of articles on Peter the Great's contri- 
bution to the advancement of geographical knowledge. These papers 
were translated into Russian and published in the Proceedings 
(Zapiski) of the Geographical Society in 1849 and 1850. As soon 
as they appeared Sokolof replied to them, heading his papers, "Bering 
and Chirikof." His contention was that Chirikof did not receive 
all the credit he merited for the part he took in the Bering expedi- 
tions. Baer took notice of the attack and defended his position in die 
St. Petersburger Zeitung (numbers 114, 115, 116). The contro- 
versy had this good in it, that it stimulated a study of the original 
documents, and the results of these researches appeared in the Zapiski 
Hydrografickeskavo Departamenta and they brought out many points 
unknown before. In 1872 Baer, then an old man of eighty years, 
completed his monograph and summarized the points of the contro- 
versy in an admirable way. Towards the end of the nineteenth cen- 
tury Lauridsen, a Dane, took up the cudgels in behalf of Bering, 
without, however, contributing anything of value. 

The documents of the eighteenth century, being numerous and 
varied, check each other to a satisfactory degree. For the seventeenth 
century there is less material and that is chiefly of a one-sided char- 
acter: the case of the Chinese, the native of Siberia, and of the 
Amur is seldom directly presented. Many of the documents are 
complaints and petitions and, as one might suppose, the writers ex- 
aggerated their injuries and their merits. There is another kind of 
a document in the form of orders and reports to and from Moscow 
to the woewods and from these officers to their subordinates. These 
papers give the plans of those in authority, but these plans miscarried 


so often that one must be careful not to accept the will for the deed. 
Being ignorant, superstitious, and at times morbid, the officers made 
much out of every rumor, and they often reported thousands of the 
enemy where there were hundreds. One can, however, by following 
up the instructions, reports, complaints, and lawsuits during a long 
period of time obtain a fairly accurate idea of the true state of afiFairs. 
Secondary materials: This class of literature is not altogether 
satisfactory. It is almost two hundred years since Bering received 
his commission to undertake his first voyage and during that long 
period only six men have been sufficiently interested in the subject 
to give it careful consideration, either in whole or in part. These 
men are Muller, Coxe, Sokolof, Baer, Bancroft, and Lauridsen. 
One of these is a Russian and the two Germans were in the service 
of Russia at the time of their writing. The best book on the early 
Russo-Chinese relations was written by an Englishman - Ravenstein. 
Russian scholars have not done all that the world has a right to 
expect from them. The most important book on this field is, after 
all, volume three of Muller's Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, pub- 
lished in 1758. Soon after its appearance this work was translated 
into Russian, English, and French. Although since that time much 
paper and ink have been used up in telling this story, yet very little 
that is new has been added to our knowledge of the subject. Both 
Russian and non-Russian scholars have preferred to follow Muller's 
version than to consult the originals. Muller's work, although very 
valuable, should not be used as a source but along with the sources. 
Muller was constantly on the lookout for the picturesque and heroic 
and, by a skillful use of his material, succeeded in producing a very 
readable story but in giving a rather erroneous point of view. Wheth- 
er from conviction, temperament, or because it was good policy for a 
German to pursue in the Russian capital, Muller exerted all his 
energy, lavished all his talent in clothing the Cossack of the seven- 
teenth century Siberia in heroic garments. This is especially true 
when the Russian is contrasted with his enemy: whatever the former 
does is brave and patriotic while the deeds of the latter are cowardly 
and treasonable. The part of his book dealing with the Bering 
voyages has defects of another sort. Muller was too much a part 
of the period to see it in its true proportions. His judgment of the 
men of his time is not critical, their deeds he usually values higher 
than they are worth. His lenient attitude may be partly explained 
by the fact that many of die men of whom he was writing, or their 


friends, \irere yet alive, and it was wise not to say anything which 
might ofiend. 

Coxe's An Account of the Russian Discoveries is an important 
book. The author hVed in Russia during the second half of the 
eighteenth century, the time when Europe was greatly interested in 
voyages of discovery. Coxe follows MuUer very closely in his ac- 
count of the Russian voyages up to and including the Bering period. 
That part of his work which deals with the Russian activities after 
Bering's time is much better, since the writer makes use of the docu- 
ments and of information obtained at first hand. 

Peters des Grossen Verdienste um die Erweiterung der Geogra- 
phischen Kenntnisse by Karl E. von Baer, gives an excellent summary 
of the Bering voyages. It is scholarly, readable and fair in its judg- 
ments. Lauridsen's Vitus Bering is based almost entirely on Baer's 
work and therein lies its chief merit. There is not enough evidence 
to prove that Lauridsen has done much original investigation. Ban- 
croft's Alaska is of much value and may be used with profit in con- 
nection with the sources. Dall's Critical Review of Bering's First 
Expedition contains a learned discussion of the nautical and astro- 
nomical instruments of the early eighteenth century. A very scholarly 
monograph which just touches the edges of this field is Butsinski's 
Zaselenie Sibiri, There are many helpful papers in the Morskoi 
Sbomik. The Library of Congress has an incomplete set of this 
publication and the United States Navy Department has a number 
of odd volumes which it keeps in its dusty garret where they are 
deteriorating. If the two collections were combined it would be 
possible to have one complete set. Fischer's Sibirische Geschichte, 
Slovtsof's Istoricheskie Obozrenie Sibiri, and Pallas' Neue Nordische 
Beytrage have much important material. The journals of Cook, 
Laperouse, Kruzenstern, and other navigators in the North Pacific 
Ocean help in understanding the difficulties and problems which con- 
fronted the Russian sailors of the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 

In conclusion it should be said that so far as printed material on 
this field is concerned the Library of Congress with its recently ac- 
quired Yudin Collection is probably better equipped for the study of 
this subject than any other library. Certain Russian scholars do not 
even except the Imperial Public Library at St. Petersburg. Harvard 
and Yale also have good working libraries. 


Akti Istoricheskie [Historical Documents], (St. Petersburg, 1841, 
1842), 5 vok. 

Andrievich, V. K. Istoria Sibiri [History of Siberia], (St. Peters- 
burg, 1882). 

Bachtin, V. Russkie Tnizheniki Morja. Pervaja Morskaja Eks- 
peditzija Beringa, etc. [Russian Navigators: Bering's First Ex- 
pedition, etc.], (St. Petersburg, 1890). 

Baer, K. E. von. Peter's Des Grossen Verdienste um Die Er- 
weiterung der Geographischen Kenntnisse (St. Petersburg, 1872). 

Bancroft, H. H. History of Alaska (San Francisco, 1886). 

Barsukof, I. Count Nikolai N. Muraveef-Amurski (Moscow, 

Berch, V. Pervoe Morskoe Puteshestvie Rossiyana [First Russian 

Sea Voyages], (St. Petersburg, 1821). 
BiBUOGRAPH, 1 89 1, Doc. 3-4, 6062 (St. Petersburg, 1892). 
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Abishtof, — : leader of expedition, 

Achani (native tribe) : Khabarof de- 
cides to winter among, 47 

Aihun (Siberia) : Chinese army quar- 
tered at, 59, footnote^ 60; Chinese 
concentrate iii| 61 

Ainos (natives of Jeso) : 12 z, 224 

Aklanska Ostrog: 103, footnote^ zo6, 

Akti Istoricheskie : cited, 336, 340^ 

also in footnotes, 26, 34, 39, 44, 55 

Alasea River: 87 

Alaska: 26, 131; author's interest in, 
13; place in history, 13; only satis- 
factory work covering, 334; see 
also Jeso, Cities - Kodiak, 14; Sit- 
ka, 14; Unalaska, 14 

Albasin (Siberia): 57, footnote; Kha- 
barof meets Dauri, 43; Russians 
take, 43; importance, 64; outlaws 
settled in, 55; inhabitants requested 
not to harm natives, 56; China re- 
quests inhabitants to withdraw, 57; 
Russian force in, 59, footnote, 61, 
62; attacked by Chinese, 58-59, 6z- 
6^; destroyed, 60; to be destroyed, 
64 ; fort needed, 65 

Aldan River: 34, 38, 137, 174; ex- 
ploration, 35; navigation difficult, 

Aleutian Islands: 187 

Aleuts: 82, footnote 

Alexeef, Fedot: 94, footnote, 271; on 
Koluima, 72-73; accompanies ex- 
pedition, 269; leader on explora- 
tions, 269; fate, 76, 81, 84, 281, 287 

Alexeef, Luka: 215 

Allard, — : map, 125 

America: 125, 126, 130, 144, 183, 2x3, 
231; early representation on maps, 
117-118; shown as continent, 117; 
Delisle charts coast, 170; believed 
to be far from Asia, 190; Bering's 
voyage to, 165-220^ 303-3x3; shore 
hidden, 145 ; coast identified as, 32X, 
323; failure of plans for reaching, 
X82; route from Kamchatka to, 
325; discovery, X5X-X64, 192, 327- 
329; question of separation from 
Asia, XX4, X47-X49, x66-x69, X7X, 
248, 25X, 252, 307; proved separate, 
253; explorers desire to winter in, 
202, 205, 206, 207; Chukchi famil- 
iar with, X52; Gwosdef ignorant of 
seeing, 162; Delisle claims Bering 
did not reach, 2x2, footnote; Stel- 
ler's deductions concerning, X94; 
Japanese explorations to, X28 

Amsterdam Gazette: quoted, 2x3, 

Amur River: X4, 37, 38, 48, 50, 53, 
54, footnote, 6x, 65, 67, 9X, footnote, 
228, 230, 249, footnote, 255; ex- 
ploration, 38; first map showing, 
257-258; origin of name, 255-256, 
footnote; first use of name, 36-37, 
footnote; completion of survey of, 
region, 25X-266; suggested as 
boundary, 64; false reports concern- 
ing, 40; Russians forced to fight 
way down, 36-37; region deserted, 
5x; freed of Russians, 54; attempts 
to reinforce posts, 59, footnote; im- 
portance not realized, 64 

Amur Sea: see Pacific Ocean 


Anabara River: 237, 239 

Anadinki [Anadinkoi] Cape [Not]: 

99i iS^f i5«» xto 
Anaduir [Ananduir] River: 77, 83, 

loa, 103, footnoUf 107, 155, 158, 
163, 169, 231. a44» a47» ^48, 269, 
282; uokaown, 85; erroDeous ideas 
ooocemiog, 68, 84; diacoveiy, 67, 
74; Laptef explores, 247; Selives- 
trof reaches, 75; claims for and 
against Deshnefs exploration of, 
76-95; distance from East Cape, 
78 and footnoU; impossibility of 
water communication with Koluima 
River, 71; see also Pogicha River, 

Anaduir Sea: ice interferes with nav- 
igation, 84 

Anaduirsk (station): 157; tribute de- 
manded, 29 

Anaduirskoi Ostrog: 273 

Andrievich, V. K: works cited, 18, 
footnote^ 19, footnote^ 341 

Angara [Angarka] River: 33, 247 

Angora (Chodinski) : 73 

Anian Strait: 125, 133, footnote, 307; 
named, xi8; see also Bering Strait 

Aniui River: 73, 247, 277 

Ankudinof, Gerasim [Erasim]: ac- 
companies expedition, 269; kotsh 
wrecked, 8x, 271; fate, 281, 287, 

Anthony Island: 246 

Anziforof, Danilo: leader of band of 
outlaws, X03, X04, footnote; reason 
for seeking Kuril Islands, xxo 

Apraxin, Count: 133, footnote, 139, 

Araumakutan Island (Kuril group) : 
1x3, footnote 

Arcano del Mare: cited, 123 

Archangel Michael (boat) : 221, 222 ; 
under command of Shelting, 228 

Arctic Ocean: 68, 84, 133, footnote, 
144, 163, 269, 275; free from ice, 

Arguni River: 56 

Asia: 124, 125, x8x, 2x3, 231; qoesdoo 
of separation from America, x66- 
X69, X7X, 248, 251, 252, 307; proved 
separate, 253; expedition to deter- 
mine whether separate, 1x4; routes 
to, 303-3x3 ; believed to be far from 
America, X90; proximity to Amer- 
ica, 194 

Ataman (oflBcer): 21, footnote, 24; 
salaiy, 25 

Atka Island: 204 

Atlasof (Vladimir) : 23, footnote, 128, 
footnote, 281; brief account, 99, 
footnote; explorations to Kamchat- 
ka, 98-xox ; report concerning Kuril 
Islands, 1x0; ignorant of DeshnePs 
explorations, 92 ; made golova, xox ; 
lawlessness, xo2, footnote; down- 
fall, XOX-X02; murdered, xa4, foot- 

Avatdia: 2x0; Bering desires to 
reach, 198, 209, footnote; distance 
of Bering from, 203, 207 

Avatcha Bay: x8x, 184, 185, 220 

Avatcha River: X04, footnote 

Bachteyarof, Enalei (scribe): 34 
Bachtin, V: 337; work cited, 34X 
Baer, K. £. von : 338, 339 ; work cited, 

341; work discussed, 340 
Baffins Bay: 124, 307 
Baiton, Afanase (German militaiy 

engineer) : supervises erection of 

fortifications, 6o-6x; successor to 

Tolbusin, 63 
Bancroft, Hubert H: X84, footnote, 

339; work cited, 341 
Baranof Cape: 86, footnote, 247 
Baratinski, Prince: 173, footnote 
Barsukof, I : work cited, 262, footnote, 

263, 264, footnote, 34X 
Beach, W. G: thanked, x6 
Bear Islands: 246 
Bellin, — : 23 x; views regarding 

Jeso, 129 
Beloi Island: 234 
Berch, V : work cited, 341 



Berezof (Siberia) : 234 

Bering [Beering, Behring], Vitus: 68, 
1 15, 128, footnote^ 129, 160, 227, 
236, 238, 247, 259, footnote, 299, 
327* 333 1 raised in rank, 171 ; com- 
plaints against, 174-177; little re- 
sponwbility over Arctic voyages, 
232; fails to leave instructions, 
243; whereabouts unknown, 246; 
sends aid to Lasinius, 242-243; 
trouble with Pizaref, 173, footnote \ 
refuses to allow Steller to join 
Chytref, 193; refuses to allow 
Spanberg to make second expedi- 
tion, 226; proposition laid before 
empress, 166-169; voyages men- 
tioned, 14; original plans, 181; 
cause of failure, 181-182; calls con- 
sultation, 183; explorations, 303- 
313; first expedition, 133-149; con- 
sidered failure, 165; second ex- 
pedition, 165-220; obstacles re- 
maining after discoveiy of Amer- 
ica, 192-193; Delisle's report of ex- 
plorations, 2X2, footnote, 303-3x3; 
question whether he proved his 
point, X47-X48; report to empress, 
X48-X49; journal of voyage to 
America missing, 336; taken ashore, 
2x0; death, 2xx and footnote, 2x2, 
footnote; burial place unknown, 
249; monument erected to, 2x3; 
claim to greatness, 213-2x4; family 
rewarded, 249, footnote 

Bering Island: X49, X89 

Bering Sea: 83 

Bering Strait: 76, 77, footnote, 87, 99, 
footnote, X52, X63, 25X, 252; known 
as Anian, xx8 

Betge, — : 2x0 

Bibliotheque Germamque : quoted, 
2x3, footnote 

Big Baranof Cape: 246 

Bikovskoi Cape: 237, 243 

Billings, Joseph (explorer) : 253 ; 
commissioned to chart Arctic coast, 
252; failure to double cape, 95; 

work cited, X96, footnote, 252, foot- 
note, 34X 

Biltsof, — : 227, footnote 

Bistraya River: X39 

Bludnoi River: 239 

Bolshaya River: X04, footnote, X09, 
X47, 156, X58, X78, 222, 224, 226, 
228; Bering enters, X39 

Bolsheretsk Ostrog: 140, 297 

Bolsheretzk (boat) : 222, 226, 228 ; 
Spanberg loses sight of, 229; num- 
ber on board, 229 

Bolshoi Kamennoi Nos: 77, footnote, 
87; claimed to be East Cape, 78 

Bolshoi Nos: location, 8x 

Borisof, Ivan: 13 5, footnote 

Borkhaya Bay: 242 

Botany: seaweeds found, X9X 

Boundaries: stated, 29X; Amur River 
suggested as, 64; Lena River, X7 

Bredal, P. P: 250^ footnote 

Broughton, W. R: 263, 26$; explora- 
tions, 260, 26 x; work cited, 260, 
footnote, 34X 

Brynda River: exploring party reach, 

Buache, P: 23 x; work cited, 34X 
Buldakof, — : 93 
Bureya River: 56, 58 
Buriats: Mongols demand, 57-58 
Burney, J. A: 248, 252; work cited, 

248, footnote, 252, footnote, 34X 
Bustofski: X35, footnote 
Butlask (station) : tribute demanded, 

Butsinski, P: work cited, 341, and in 

footnotes, x8, 20, 24 

Calendar: general remarks, X5 
California: X25, 305; as shown in 

early maps, XX7, 125, X26, 127 
Canada: X30, footnote 
Cape Aniwa: 254 
Cape Baranof: see Baranof Cape 
Cape Blanco: X30, 248 
Cape Borkhaya: 243, 244 
Cape Elias: named, X92 


Cape Elizabeth: 265 

Cape Lopatka: aee Lopatka Cape 

Cape Matte-Sol: 235 

Cape MendociDo: 130 

Cape North: 251 

Cape Patience: 122, 254 

Cape St. Thaddeus: 142, 239, 241 

Cape Taimur: 231 

Caravaglio (Jesuit) : goes to Jeao, 119 

Caroo, — : 120, footnote 

Castel, R. P: 128, footnote 

Catherine (Empress of Russia) : or- 
ders survey, 252 

Cathrinesburg (Siberia) : 213, foot- 
note, 327 

Channing, Prof. Edward: thanked, 15 

Chaplin, Peter: 135, footnote, 337; 
seeks fresh water, 142 

Charinsk (station) : tribute demand- 
ed, 28 

Chariulach River: 242 

Charijruzovka: 109, footnote 

Charlevoix, P: work cited, 124, foot- 
note, 128, footnote, Z29, footnote, 

Chartinof, Ivan: 109 

Chatanga Bay: 236, 238, 239 

Chatanga River: 238, 241 

Chaun: 77, footnote 

Chaun Bay: 85 

Chegachef, — : 183 

Chekin, — : instructed to round North 
East Cape, 240; gives up, 241 

Cheluskin, — (pilot): 238; instruc- 
tions for exploring, 240; carries 
out instructions, 241; promoted, 
250, footnote 

Cherbinin, — : instructions for ex- 
ploring, 247; explores river, 246 

Chemigofski, Nikifor: kills woewod, 


China: 14, 56, footnote, 88, footnote, 

91, footnote, 118, Z22, 127 and foot- 
note, 259, 264, 303, 309; passage to, 
^8, 133, footnote; goods shipped to, 
20, footnote; on the Amur, 33-66; 
fails to realize importance of 

Amur, 65 ; aids in surveys and ex- 
plorations, 253; knows little 000- 
oeming Sakhalin, 253; natives of 
Siberia flee to Chinese territory, 27 ; 
natives prefer, to Russia, 37; reU- 
tioD of natives with, 35; natives 
pay tribute to, 48; Dauri and 
Ducheri ask aid from, 47-48; gov- 
ernment orders natives to vacate 
lands, 51; objects to Russian ex- 
pansion, 56; withdraws troops, 55; 
attempt to evade war, 57; prepares 
to fight, 57-58 ; fails to learn lesson, 
65-66; treaty of Nertchinsk, 291- 
293. CfftVi - Peking, 48, 54, foot- 
note, 55, 63, 311; Shanghai, 130. 
See also Trade: Chinese 
Chinese: 255; trade with, 28, foot- 
note; tribute gatherers, 37; in na- 
tive settlement, 45; plundered, 51; 
Russians interfere with hunters, 56; 
hunters killed, 56; intermariy with 
Russians, 54, footnote; criminals 
flee to Albasin, 56; cowardice re- 
futed, 48-49, footnote; number in 
Nertchinsk, 54, footnote; Russians 
fear, 49; order Ducheri to vacate 
lands, 53; army advances, 47, 58; 
encounter with Russians, 52-54, 61; 
fighting force, 54, footnote, 59, 
footnote, 62; take no part in battle, 
45, footnote; spies, 58; attack 
Khabarofs men, 48; victory, 52; 
defeat, 52; prepare for new siege, 
53; result, 53-54; victors, 54; 
promises to Russians who join 
army, 58, footnote; treatment of 
prisoners, 57; quartered at Aihun, 
59, footnote; Tolbusin defies, 6z; 
withdraw, 63; secret understanding 
with Mongols, 58; Jesuits in sym- 
pathy with, 64; watch Amur, 55; 
confer with Russians, 63; ideas re- 
garding lands of Pacific, 127; to 
be kept ignorant of expedition, 262 ; 
name for Amur, 256, footnote; 
maps mentioned, 311 



Chineie Sea: 88, footnote 

Chirikof [Chirkof], Alexei: X3O) 
footnote^ 190, 203, 2X2, footnote, 327, 
336; selected as leader of expedi- 
tion, 133, footnote, 134, 136; sug- 
gests changes in Bering's proposi- 
tion, 169; advice regarding ex- 
plorations, 144-145; not to show 
instructions, 171; raised in rank, 
171 ; believed to have suffered little 
on march, 139, footnote \ complaints 
against Bering, 174; care of bag- 
gage train, 172; in command of 
St. Paul, 183 ; gives code of signals, 
184; voyage, 184-189, ziS'l^S\ re- 
turn to St. Petersburg, 189; sick- 
ness and death, 189, 249; does not 
receive sufficient credit, 338; Jour- 
naif cited, 185, footnote, x88, foot- 
note, 189, footnote, 34X 

Chirikof, Peter: finds Koriaks hos- 
tile, X03, footnote; Lipin relieves, 
X04, footnote; murdered, X04, foot- 

Chiruche (trader) : mentioned, 27, 

Chodinski (native tribe) : 73 

Chodonsk (station) : tribute demand- 
ed, 29 

Choris, L: 340 

Chtenia V Imperatoniom Istorti I 
Drevnostei Rossiskich: cited, 34X, 
also in footnotes, 33, 34, 92, 98, 99, 
ixo, 255 

Chukchi (native tribe) : 72, 8 x, X41, 
footnote, X44, X45, 27X; use of lab- 
ret, 82 and footnote; Koriaks wish, 
to unite against Russians, 98, xo6; 
visit Russian boats, X45 ; most war- 
like of native tribes, 151 ; Shesta- 
kof plans conquest of, 156; explor- 
ers encounter, x6o-x6x; Pavlutski 
attacks, X63; roused by attack, 163- 
164; keep Pavlutski's head as tro- 
phy, 164; reports not accepted, 
248; accompany Gikef, 252; 

trouble with, 282; Kozirefski sub- 
dues, 295 

Chukotski Cape: X43, x6i; unknown 
in X7th century, 68 

Chukotski Nos: 77, footnote, X7X, 279; 
Deshnef stops at, 76 ; Laptef to cir- 
cumnavigate, 246 

Chukotski Peninsula : unknown in X7th 
century, 68 

Chwostof, — : expedition to Sakha- 
lin, 262 

Chytref, S: x82, 208, 209, footnote, 
218, 335; ordered to make explora- 
tions, X93; explorations, X96, 200; 
examines shore, 2x9, footnote; pro- 
moted, 250, footnote; sick, 2x1; in 
common quarters, 214; Journal, 
cited, 342 

Clerk, Captain — : 189, footnote 

Cocks, Richard: reports new land, xx8 
and footnote 

Company Land: X89, 190, 231, 309; 
Delisle draws map of, X70; non- 
existence proved, 248 

Compass: ignorance of, 78 and foot- 

Cook, James (explorer) : 7X, 149, 
X89, footnote, 248, 253; voyage, 
251; work cited, 25X, footnote, 342 

Coolidge, Prof. A. C: thanked, X5 

Coronelli, P: map, 125 

Cossacks: see Russians 

Coxe, W: 338, work cited, 251, foot- 
note, 34x; work discussed, 340 

Crimean War: 264 

Crimes and Punishments: explora- 
tions to expiate crimes, xio; Chi- 
nese criminals flee to Albasin, 56; 
outlaws in Kamchatka, X03 ; of At- 
lasof, X02, footnote ; of Pizaref, X73, 
foptnote; distilling, 22-23, 23, foot- 
note; murder, X04, footnote; murder 
of woewod, 55; stealing, xx3, foot- 
note; white slave trade, 19; various 
punishments, 23, X04-X05, footnote; 
of soldiers, X9-20, footnote; jails, 26, 


footnote; capital punishment, aa, 
105, 249-350, footnote; Steller ioo- 
priioned, 250^ footnote; criminals 
sent to Nertchinsk, 56, footnote 
Currency: kopek, 25, footnote; ruble- 
value, 25; footnote 

D'Aguillar, Martin: 305 

Dall, W. H: work cited, 342 

D'Anville, M: 12S, footnote, 231, 259, 
footnote; opinion regarding Jeso, 

Dauri (native tribe): 56, footnote; 
settlement, 36; visited, 40; Khab- 
arof meets, 43; Siberians encount- 
er, 43-44; deceive Russians, 46; 
ask aid from China, 47-48; Chi- 
nese order to change location, 51; 
tribute demanded, 55 

Dauria: 88, footnote 

Davidof, — : expedition to Sakhalin, 

Davidson, G: work cited, 342 

De Angelis (Father) : 1x9 

De Angelis, Jerome: reports new 
land, ZX9 

Debne: Japanese captive, xox and 

De Castries Bay: 264 and footnote, 

De Constanzo, Camillo (Jesuit) : data 
concerning Jeso, 1x9 

De Gama, Juan [Jean]: 303, 30$, 
307> 309; discovers new lands, X22- 
X23; first to see Jeso, 126 

Deia Chranjas^Chifosa V, Admiral- 
teistvo-Koliegi: cited, X34, footnote 

Delisle, Guillaume: X25, X33, foot- 
note, 23 X, 248; brief sketch, X30, 
footnote; idea of Japan, 126, 127, 
footnote; various ideas regarding 
Jeso^ 126-X27; sums up geograph- 
ical situation, 130; debt to Witsen, 
258 ; brother bases map on map of, 
X70, footnote 

Delisle, Joseph N: brief sketch, 130, 

footnote; draws up map, 170; w 
port of Bering's explorations, 2x2, 
footnote; map and report present- 
ed to Senate, 303-3x3; misjudge 
X83-X84, footnote; work cited, 342 

Delisle [Del 'Isle] de la Croyere, 
Louis: X83, X84, 2x2, footnote, 3x5; 
brief sketch, X30, footnote; to ac- 
company Bering, X70; instruments 
taken, X72, footnote; complaints 
against Bering, X74-X77; leaves 
Okhotsk, 178; death, X89, 249, 325 

Delisle de la Croyere, Nicolai: X89, 

Delisle Manuscripts: xx4, footnote, 
X39, footnote, X59, X84, footnote, 
x88, footnote, 226, footnote, 231, 
298, footnote, 322, 324, 328, foot- 
note, $$0, footnote, 332, footnote, 
342; discussed, 337 

Dementief, — (pilot) : sent ashore, 
x86; fate, X86-X87, footnote 

Denmark: X34 

De Sabir, — : work cited, 262, foot- 
note, 264, footnote 

Deshnef, Semon Iwanof : chosen lead- 
er of expedition, 269; account of 
service, 71-72 ; discovers water pas- 
sage between Koluima and Ana- 
duir, 7x; accompanies Alexeef, 73; 
explorations, 74-75, 268-28 x, 282- 
288; reports to Jakutsk, 75; crit- 
ical examination of voyage, 67-95; 
proof of passage from Koluima to 
Anaduir by water, 76-77; refuta- 
tion of proof, 77-95; obstacles fac- 
ed, 94; report vague, 85; reports 
recently published, 76 

Desyatnik (officer) : 23, footnote, 24, 

Detiboyarski (officer): 2x, footnote, 

23, footnote, 24; salary, 25 
Devyer, Anton: successor to Pizaref, 

X73, footnote 
DeWitt, Fred: map maker, X24 
Diomede Islands: 8x 



Diseaies and Remedtci: ill health 
caused by exposure, 249; sickness 
on shipboard, 189; quarters for 
and care of sick, 2x4; sufferings of 
the sick, 2x1; scurvy, Z2x, 192, 197, 
199, 242; Chirikof contracts con- 
sumption, 250, footnote; herbs for 
medicinal purposes, 199; many 
deaths, 27, 208, 210 

Distilleries: mentioned, 30, footnote 

Distilling: secretly, 22, 23, footnote 

Dixon, George: work cited, 342 

Dolgoi Island: 233 

Dolgoruki, Prince: 173, footnote, 228, 
235; instructions regarding, 236, 

Dopolnema K, Aktam Istorickeskim: 
cited, 337, 342, also in footnotes, 
17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 
28, 30^ 34» 35> 3<> 3S) 39> 44* 47* 

4«, 50^ 51, 5a» 53. 54» 55. 56, 57. 
58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 72, 73, 

74. 75. «3, 87, 256, 282, 287, 288 

Dseya River: 36, 40, 50, 51, 57, foot- 
note, 61; first knowledge by Rus- 
noo^ 33; grain reported abund- 
ant on banks, 33; exploration, 35; 
country deserted, 46; forts on, 52; 
ostrogs built on, 56; forts erected, 
58; fort needed at mouth, 65 

Ducheri (native tribe) : 47 ; asks aid 
from China, 47-48; tribute de- 
manded from, 55; ordered to va- 
cate lands, 53 

Dudley, Robert: work cited, 123 and 

Du Halde, J. B: work cited, 54, foot- 
if^te, 59, footnote, 62, 253, footnote, 
259 and footnote, 291, 342 

Dutch: Z34, footnote, 183, 255, 309, 
311; explorations, 1x9, x2o-x2x, 123, 

Dutch East India Company: x2o; 
sends out exploring party, 255 

Duval, Pierre: regards Jeso as part 
of America, 124; maps, X24 

Dwina River: 232 
Dyak (secretary): 23, 24; authority, 
24, footnote; salary, 25 

East Cape: 76, 77, footnote, 87, 248, 
2$x, 252; reached by Deshnef, 76; 
proof of Deshnef's voyage depend- 
ant on, 77; distance from Anaduir 
River, 78 and footnote; see also 
Chukotski Nos 

East India Company: zx8 

Economic Conditions: in general — 
fires, 26, footnote; industries of Si- 
beria, X7 and footnote; quarters for 
winter, 2x4-2x5. Cost — of expe- 
dition, X69; food, 25, footnote; 
walrus tusks, 75, footnote. Food — 
reported on banks of rivers, 33, 34; 
Chirikof brings, 139; difficulty of 
obtaining, X37; problem in arctic 
expedition, 93-94; supplied for 
year, X4X and footnote; on ship- 
board, 2x9; supplied to conquer- 
ors, 46; Chinese supply, 63; lost, 
x8x-x82; as part of salaiy, 25; 
force supply, 37; cheap in Kam- 
chatka, 166; of natives, 32X; 
abundant, 33, 35, 6x; false report 
of abundance, 35-36; scarce, 5X, 
53. 138, «75; bread, 2x5; deer, 
x6o; ducks, X39, footnote; fish, 53; 
grain, 40, 44, 53, 62, footnote; har- 
vest, 60; human flesh, 36 and foot- 
note; meat, 2x0, 2x5, 2x8-2x9; in 
trade, X45. Population — native, 
29; Russians in Siberia, 23 and 
footnote, 58-59, footnote. Supplies 
— sent to Okhotsk, X78; difficulty 
of transferring from Jakutsk to Ok- 
hotsk, X73-X74; Spanberg forced to 
go to Jakutsk for, 228 ; on St. Peter, 
listed, x82, footnote; provided, 
239; sent to Taimur Bay, 24X. 
Water — scarcity, X87, X98, 207, 
209, 3x9; fresh secured, X93; in 
exchange for knives, x88; Kasi- 


merof sent for, 225; diitilling salt, 
X88-189; brackish, 199 

Egachc River: 156 

Elchin, — (woewod) : 108 

Elliot, C: sent against Russians, 264- 

EnscI, Richard: 135, footnoti 

Eskimo: 82, footnoU 

Europe: X17 

Europeans: 127; infonnation from 
Japanese, 1x8; little benefit from 
Japanese explorations, 255 

Expedition (boat) : 232 

Expeditions: see Explorations 

Explorations: in general — for water 
passage to Kamchatka, X07-X08; 
land discovered, X92; in Siberia, 
34-37; results, 37-38; in North 
Pacific Ocean, xxy; report by 
Gwosdef, X60-X62; of shipwrecked 
crew, 2x7-218. Arctic — 250-266; 
divided into five sections, 231-232; 
Archangel to Ob, 232-234; Ob to 
Yenisei, 234-236; Yenisei to Cape 
Taimur, 236-237; Lena to Cape 
Taimur, 237-24X ; Lena to the Ana- 
duir, 242-25a Sent out by various 
countries — ^Dutch, X2X-122; Japan, 
X27-X28, 22X-23X; Spain, X2o; Rus- 
sia, see under names of individ- 
uals. Under command of various 
individuals - Atlasof, 98-xox; Ber- 
ing, 303-313; firat, X33-149; «ec- 
ond, 165-250; Chirikof, 3x5-325; 
Deshnef, 74-95, 268-28X; Khabar- 
ofs first, 38-40; result, 43; sec- 
ond, 43-44; third, 44-51; Kobelef, 
102-X03; Pavlutski, X57-X58; Shes- 
takof, X53-X57; Spanberg, 331-333; 
Staduchin, 72-73; Steller, 327-329; 
sent out by Peter the Great, X14 

Enhenesyachinia Sochinenia i Isves- 
tia O Uchenick Delachi cited, X9 

Fedorof, — : X55, 158; Gwosdef at- 
tacks, x6o 
Fido-tada (shogun) : 254 

Fisher, J. E : work cited, 342 

Fletcher, F: work cited, 342 

Formosa: X22 

Forster, J. R: work cited, 342 

Fort Archangelsk: 106 

Fort Jakutik: when built, X7, foot- 

Fort Makofska: X35 

Fort Yeniseisk: 237 

Forts: needed, 65; recommended, xo6 

Foxes: infest camp, axx and footnote 

France: X25, 259; aids in survey and 
explorations, 253; Paris, 15, 337 

Franklin, Sir John: 7X 

Fransbekof, Dimitri (woewod): en- 
courages explorations, 39 

Gama Land: X83, X90; Delisle draws 
map of, 170; proved not to exist, 

Gavrilof, — : expedition to Sakhalin, 

Gazette d* Amsterdam', quoted, 328 

Gazette de France; quoted, 2x3, foot- 
note, 326, footnote, 330 

Geography: of Siberia in x 7th cen- 
tury, 67-7X; early interest in, 88, 
footnote \ lack of increased know- 
ledge, XX7; gains from explora- 
tions, 248-249; value of Spanberg's 
expedition, 231 

Gerasim, — : death, 84 

Gikef, — : sent to East Cape, 252 

Giliaks (natives): 5X, 262, footnote; 
captured, 37 

Gmelin, J. G: 337; scientific re- 
searches, X70; complaints against 
Bering, X74-177; work cited, X47, 
footnote^ 342 

Godunof, Peter: 256, footnote \ or- 
dered to draw up maps, 88, foot- 
note \ map copied, 9x; maps, 67, 
256-257 and footnote 

Golitsin, N. M: 250, footnote 

Golova (officer): 23, 27, footnote; 
duties, 20, 22; salary, 25; woe- 
wod's authority over, 24; instruc- 



tioDt regarding departing woe- 
wods, 21, footnote 

Golovin, A. I. (member of Admiralty 
College): 250, footnote, 331, 333; 
desires Bering to attempt second 
expedition, 165 

Golovkin, M: 250, footnote 

Golowin, Peter (woewod) : orders ex- 
ploration, 34; does not use name 
Amur, 36-37, footnote; out of of- 
fice, 38 

Golownin, — : 262, footnote 

Golyin, N. F: 250, footnote 

Gorbea River: 137 

Gorod: described, 26, footnote 

Great Britain: aids in aurvey^ and 
explorations, 253; ignorance re- 
garding Sakhalin, 264; feared, 
264, footnote 

Guigudar (native settlement) : 45, 46 

Gutzlaff, C. A: work cited, 342 

Gwosdef, Michael S: 155, 228; brief* 
•ketch, 159-160; burden of expedi- 
tion falls on, 158; reports of expe- 
dition, 159, z 60- 1 62 

Hakluyt Soamr: xx8, footnote 
Harris, J: work cited, 342 
Heeres, J. £: work cited, Z2i, 342 
Henning, G: work cited, 342 
Hens, — : 153, 158 
Hertslet, G. E. P: work cited, 342 
Holland: 309, 331; Amsterdam, 120 
Holy Cross Bay: 78, 142 
Homan, Jean Baptiste: maps, 126 
Hostages: 26, footnote, 295; prevent- 
ed from escaping, 26; sent as se- 
curity for tribute, 27; demanded, 
28-29; Jakuts not required to give, 
28, footnote; natives give, 46; tor- 
tured, 46-47; retained by Chinese, 
59; Koriak, 99 
Hudson Bay: 307 
Hurka River: 64 

Ilima River: 135, 172 

Ilimsk (Siberia): 55, 155, 172; ex- 
pedition winters in, 135 

India: passage to, 133, footnote 

Indigirka River: 87, 107, footnote, 
244, 246 

Indigirsk (station) : tribute demand- 
ed, 29 

Insula Atlantis: 124 

Insurrection: X03-105, footnote 

Irgen (ostrog in Siberia) : 54 

Irkutsk: reports sent to, 159 and foot' 

Irkutsk (boat) : 242, 245 

Irtysh River: 135, 172 

Italy: Florence, 123, Venice, 125 

Itcha River: xox, Z09 

Iturpu Island (Kuril group) : XZ3, 

Iwanof, Alexei: 2x5 

Jakuts (native tribe): 3x7; tribute 
demanded, 28; not required to 
give, 28, footnote; report death of 
Alexeef and Gerasim, 84; aid She»- 
takof, X57; plans for conversion of, 

Jakutsk (Siberia) : 17, 25, 27, foot- 
note, 30, 33, 34, 71, footnote, 72, 83, 
99, X08 113, X14, footnote, 155, X72, 
X73, footnote, 226, 228, 238, 239, 
242, footnote, 243, 244, 247, 255, 258, 
footnote, 271, 279, 33x; described, 
26; prikaschik leaves, 25; returns, 
26; report of woewod, 28; food 
scarce, 33, 93; expedition starts 
from, 35; exploring party returns, 
37; hunter visits with information, 
37-38; Khabarof returns to, 40; re- 
inforcements sent from, 50; appeal 
for help, 57, footnote; center for ex- 
ploring parties, 67, 91 ; reports sent 
tOf 75i 77i io2> footnote; records in, 
77 ; home of Atlasof, 92 ; Atlasof re- 
turns to, loi; officers desire same 
route to Kamchatka, 102; drained 
by troubles in Kamchatka, Z03 ; steps 


taken to regain land and tribute, 
107; expedition leaves, 114; expedi- 
tion unable to reach, 135 ; Bering ex- 
pedition reaches, 136; supplies re- 
turned to, 138, footnote; Pavlutski 
called to, 164; special officers or- 
dered to, to aid expedition, 172; 
Pizaref goes to, 173, footnote 

Jakutsk (boat): 237; springs leak, 

Jakutsk Province: 17, footnote 

Jana River: 251 

Jansk (station) : tribute demanded, 

Jansson, — : 123 

Japan: lox, footnote, zxo, X13, xx8, 
127, footnote, X72, z8z, footnote, 
227, footnote, 248, 264, 307; aids in 
surveys and explorations, 253; pays 
little attention to geography, 254, 
footnote; Kozirefski ordered to in- 
vestigate, 295-296; Spanberg's voy- 
age to^ 220-231; documents bear- 
ing on Spanberg's voyage, 331- 
333; America represented near, 
1x7; question of Bering's party 
wintering in, 202; news of Jeso, 
zx8, 1x9; map of, 123; shown on 
map, 31 x; city on Matsmai Island, 
XZ3, footnote; Nippon, xi8, 223, 
224v 225, 254; Nagasaki, X30; see 
also Jeso 

Japanese: 255; held as captive, xoz; 
acts as guide, izo; sends out ex- 
ploring parties, 254; shipwrecked 
to be taken back to Japan, 221; 
care taken not to offend, 221 ; ship- 
wrecked in Kamchatka, 228; trade 
desirable, z66; Watson encounters, 
225; land indicated as Jeso, 127; 
slight knowledge concerning Sak- 
halin, 254; give information to 
Europeans, iz8; give information 
regarding Japan, X27, footnote; 
give information of Kuril Islands, 
zxo, X13 

Java: Batavia, X20, Z2t; Texeira, 123 

Jeso [Compagnie Land, Eso^ Gama 
Land, lesso^ Jeoo^ Jcsso, Yeoo^ Yed- 
so, Yeso, Yesso]: 309; reports con- 
cerning, explorations, and ooofusioo 
regarding, X19-X3X; Delisle draws 
map of, 170 

Jesuits: 123, X29, 255; side with 
Chinese, 64; little time for explor- 
ations, XX9; discoveries less than 
Dutch, X23; explorations, 259; re- 
port new lands, xx8, XX9; know- 
ledge of Japan through, 31 x; ig- 
norant of Sakhalin, 253; letters 
helpful, 336 

Juschin, — : 182, 207 

Kachanof, Vasiu: 109 

Kaempfer, E: Japan's idea of Jeso^ 
X27; quotes from Japanese, 128; 
proves insularity of Japan, 129; 
work cited, 342 

Kamchadels (native tribe): 98, 3x9; 
location, Z09; reports concerning 
Russians, 281; submit to Atlasof, 
xoo; Kozirefski subdues, 295 

Kamchatka: 93, footnote, no, z66, 
X69, X7X, X9X, 197, 205, 207, 208, 
2x3, footnote, 2x5, 2x7, 220^ 228, 
footnote, 229, 244, 258, footnote, 
263, 307, 3x1; same as Japanese 
Oku- Yeso, X28 ; Russian explorations 
in, 97-XX5; route to, xoa, X05-X06, 
X07; route to America from, 325; 
Japanese touch, X28; Atlasof al- 
lowed to return to, xo2, footnote; 
Alexeef wrecked in, 76, 84; ex- 
plorers leave for, X78, 227; boats 
to be built, x66 ; expedition to start 
from, X34; reaches, 1x4 and foot- 
note; sailors desire to return to^ 
X62; report of the natives, 146; in- 
surrection of Russians, X03-X05 ; De- 
lisle draws map of, X70; Russians 
attempt to attain, 97; Petropav- 
lovsk, 220; city founded, x8x 

Kamchatka Cape: x6o^ 295; cape 
known as Kamchatka Nos, 99-xoo, 



footnote; known at Lopatka Cape, 
loo, footnote 
Kamchatka River: 97, xoo^ Z02, 109, 

X38, 139, X44. X51, 160, i6z, 169, 
281, 297; reached, 146; good har- 
bor, 166 

Kamchatka Sea: water known ai, zoov 

Kara Sea: 232, 233 

Karaga River: 103, footnote 

Karaginski Island: 10$, footnote, 146, 

Katimerof, — : 227, footnote; aent for 
water, 225 

Kasin, — : 229 

Kasselberg, — : z82 

Katui Island (Kuril group) : 1x3, 

Kayak Island: 196, footnote 

Keller, Heinrich: 261, footnote 

Kennan, George: 95, footnote 

Khabarof, Yarka Pavlof: expeditions 
to Amur River, 38-40^ 43-44i 44~ 
51; results of expeditions, 40^ 50- 
51; receives reinforcements, 50; 
taken to capital, $x ; song of vic- 
tory, 45 

Khabarof sk (Siberia) : mentioned, 47 

Khamarsk (Siberia) : 52 

Khumar River: 52, 6x 

Kindyakof, — : instructions, 247; to 
survey river, 244, 245; explores 
river and coast, 246 

Kin-firo: 254 

Kirgizof, Constantin: insurrection, 
105, footnote 

Kirilof, I: 227, footnote, 250, foot- 
note; desires Bering to attempt 
second expedition, 165 

Klaproth, J: 253, footnote; work cit- 
ed, 254, footnote, 259, footnote; 


Kobelef, — : traces route to Kamchat- 
ka, 102 

Kodiak Islands: 197 

Kolesof, Vasili (prikaschik) : punish- 
es outlaws, Z05, footnote; starts 

with tribute, xo6; sends out expe- 
dition, no 

Koliutchin [Koliuchin] Island: 252, 

Koluima [Kovima] River: 68, 75, 77, 
8z, 84, footnote, 86, 87, 92 and 
footnote, X07, footnote, 143, 144, 
244, 246, 247, 248, 251, 252, 271, 
282; officers report, 30, footnote; 
regions west well known, 68; little 
food near, 94; impossibility of water 
communication with Anaduir, 71; 
erroneous belief of Siberians re- 
garding, 84 

Koluimsk (station) : tribute demand- 
ed, 29 

Koluimsk Ostrog: 277 

Kopek: see Currency 

Korea: X2i, X23, 227, footnote, 309; 
early representation on maps, 1x7; 
Japanese give information, 120 

Koriaks (native tribe) : 84, 94, foot' 
note, 28 z; location, 97, 109; char- 
acteristics, 84; preparations for 
war, 97-98 ; cause trouble, xoo-zoz ; 
campaign against, xo6; determined 
to keep Russians out, X02-103, 103, 
footnote; prevent Russians from us- 
ing Anaduir route, 97; express ig- 
norance of river, 72; join Yukagirs, 
X06 ; aid Pavlutski against Chukchi, 
163; Shestakof plans conquest of, 
156; Kozirefski sent to subdue, 295; 
thefts from, 102; boats obtained 
from, X02; Bering's party encoun- 
ters, Z42-X43 

Korowin (Stephen) : sent as messen- 
ger, 63 

Koshelof, — : placed in command of 
Tobol, 235 

Koslof, Ivan: 135, footnote, 250, 

Kotsh: see Transportation: kotsh 

Kotzebue, Otto von: work cited, 343 

Kozirefski, Fedor: 295 

Kozirefski, Ignatius [I wan Petro- 
witz]: 23, footnote, X36, footnote; 


character, 113-114, footnote; false 
reports regarding, 113, footnotg; 
leader of band of outlaws, 103, 
104, footnote; expedition, 110-1x3; 
traces chain of islands, 1x3; orig- 
inal report, 1x3, footnote; explora- 
tions, X29; beoomes member of ex- 
pedition, x$5, footnote; brings 
peace between leaders, 155; order- 
ed to subdue natives, 295; investi- 
gations regarding Japan, 295-296; 
result of labors, 297 

Kozirefski, Peter: 295 

Krasheninnikof, S. P: 337; scientific 
researches, 170; work cited, 343 

Krusenstem, A. J: 253, footnote; ex- 
plorations, 260, 261; opinion re- 
garding Sakhalin accepted, 262; 
work cited, 260, footnote, 343 

Kunashir Island (Kuril group) : 1x3, 

Kuril Islands: X29, X55, X56, 207, 
208, 22 r» 226, 231; discovered, X04, 
footnote, X22; name first applied, 
X09-XX0; many of, named, 222; lo- 
cated, X09; enumerated, X13, foot' 
note; information and explorations, 
X09-XX5; settlement planned, X03; 
information from Japan, ixo; 
Dutch reach, i2x 

Kuznetsof, E. V: work cited, 343 

Laborde, J. B: work cited, 343 

Lake Baikal: mentioned, 38, 9X, foot- 

Lama Sea: X09; Sea of Okhotsk 
known as, xoo^ footnote; official 
route to Kamchatka, X09 

Laperouse [La P^rouse], J. B: X87, 
footnote, X89, footnote, z6t, foot- 
note, 253, footnote, 265; voyage, 
25 x; explorations, 260; work cited, 
260, footnote, 343 

Laperouse Strait: 230 

Laptef, Chariton: 237; leads expedi- 
tion, 238; explorations, 238-247 

Laptef, Dimitri: 227, footnote; sent 

to continue work of Lasinius, 242- 
243; instructions for explorations, 
244; undecided regarding instruc- 
tions, 243; decides plans not feas- 
ible, 246; explorations, 86, footnote, 
243-247 ; failure to double cape, 95 ; 
charts Khroma River, 246; loses 
hope of charting land by sea, 240; 
plans for charting by land, 240 

Larinof, — : sent to aid expedition, 
X77, X78 

Lasinius, — : leads expedition, 242; 
trouble with Prochinchef, 242, foot- 

Latuya Bay: 187, footnote 

Lauridson, P: X84, footnote, 338, 339; 
work cited, 343; work discussed, 

Lawagu (Tungus) : reports supplies, 

Lazesk (station) : tribute demanded, 


Lazeya River: 246 

Lena River: 24, footnote, 50, foot- 
note, 87, 9X, footnote, 99, footnote, 
ts6, X37, 15X, X69, i7i» «72, a3x, 
242, footnote, 243, 244, 25 x; boun- 
dary, X7; date of discovery, X7, 
footnote; source, 33; exploration, 

Lena Sea: see Arctic Ocean 

Leonidas: 54, footnote 

Lesnaya River: X02 

Leupe, P. A: work cited, X2X, foot- 
note, 342 

Lipin, Osip: relieves Peter Chirikof, 
X03-XG4, footnote; murdered, X04, 

Liquor (intoxicating) : permission to 
distill, 22, footnote; traders for- 
bidden to sell, 30; sale permitted, 
30; as part of salary, 25 

Lopatka Cape: xox, xxo, xx3, foot- 
note; orders to cross to, xo8; for- 
merly called Kamchatka Cape, xoo^ 

Loshkin, — : to diart coast, 244; ex- 



plores riven, Z46; sent to St Pet- 
ersburg, 246 
LuzhiDi Fcodor: explorations, 114; 
failure of expedition, 133; dies 
from hardships, 138 

Maikof, L. N: work cited, 133, foot- 
note, 343 
Maiskoi (station) : tribute demanded, 

Maja River: 37, 137 
Malgin, — : 92, footnote, 233 
Malte-Bnin, — : work cited, 261 
Mama, — (boatswain): 185, 323 
Manchuria: 64 
Mantzumay (city) : 123 
Maps: suggestions for making, 169; 
order to make charts, 114; early, 
117-118; missing, 335; Gwosdefs 
reasons for not making, 162 ; show- 
ing Jeso, 123, 125-Z29; of Allard, 
123 ; of Duval, 124 ; of Delisle, 171 : 
Bering consults Delisle's, 183; no 
cause to ridicule Delisle's, 183-184, 
footnote; of Remezof, 67, 88, 92- 
93, footnote, 256-257; of Godunof 
and Remezof, 256-257; of Lugten- 
burg, Z24; Kerilofs cited, 227, foot- 
note; of Mercator, xz8; of San- 
son, Z23, Z29; Shestakof, 153; Wit- 
sen, 67, Z26, 257-258; and also un- 
der names of individuals cited 
above; and "List of Illustrations" 
Martini (Jesuit) : knowledge of 

Jeso, Z27 
Matsmai Island (Kuril group) : IZ3 

and footnote 
Matveef: mentioned, 27, footnote 
Mejow, V. I: work cited, 343 
Menshikof, Prince: Z73, footnote 
Mercator, — : famous map, zz8 
Metals: from Kuril Islands, 1Z3 and 

footnote, Z14 
Metchigne Bay: 252 
Mexico, Z7Z, 303; believes fabulous 
tale of wealth, ZZ9-Z20; expedition 
sent from, z2o 

Michaelof, Amos: 27, footnote; in- 
structions to, 87 

Michaelowitz, Alexe: 295 

Middendorf, A. Th. von: work cited, 
257, footnote, 343 

Mines: iron, 166 

Minim, — (pilot): 236; explorations, 
236-237; reduced in rank, 237 

Mishukof, Z. D: 250^ footnote 

Missalof: mentioned, 27, footnote 

Mogami Tokunai: 254 

Moll, Herman: 258 

Mol3rk, Ambiom: Swedish naval 
lieutenant, 108 ; goes to Kamchatka, 

Mongols: aggressive, 57-58; secret 
understanding with Chinese, 58; 
name for Amur, 256, footnote; be- 
siege Russians, 54 

Morison, George: Z35, footnote 

Morosko, Luke: commissioned to col- 
lect tribute, 99 

Morris, W. A: thanked, U- 

Morskoi Sbomik: cited, 108, footnote, 
Z09, footnote, 158, footnote; quoted, 
Z13, footnote 

Moshkof, — : Z58, 160 

Moskwitin, Ivan: early knowledge of 
river, 33-34 

Motogo Island (Kuril group) : IZ3, 

Motora, — : 76, 277; leads company 
to conquer natives, 73; cause of 
trouble with Staduchin, 73; joins 
forces with Deshnef, 74; death, 75, 

Muller, F: Remarkable Maps, cited, 
67, footnote 

Muller, G. F: Z83, 223, 225, footnote, 
337; rejected as authority, 15; be- 
lieves little early interest in geog- 
raphy, 88, footnote; scientific re- 
searches, Z70; receives information 
regarding expedition, IZ4-ZZ5; re- 
counts Russian-Chinese trouble, 58- 
59; gives credit to Deshnef, 71, 76- 
77; arguments refuted, 78-95; ac- 


oooot of Dethnef 8 voyage, a68- 
281; oomplaintt agaimt Bering, 
174-177; account of Bering*! death, 
an; works cited, 88, 243, 343, alto 
in footmoUs, 59, 63, 71, 74, 8a, 84, 
114, 11$, 178, X79, x8i, X89, i9«. 
aoo^ ao9, an, aa3, aa4, aa5; worlci 
diicuased, 339; quoted, 8a-83, 84, 
footn^Uy 85, footnote 

Muntter, — . shows America as con- 
tinent, Z17 

Muravsrof-Amurski, Nicolai Nioolae- 
witz: a3a, a33; tuooess on Amur 
due to^ a63 

Nachod, Oskae: work cited, 1x9, 
footnoUf lao^ footn^Uf 343 

Nadeshda (boat): aai, aaa; number 
on board, 2a8 

Nagaef, — : 227, footnoU 

Nagai Island: aoo^ footwoU 

Nartof, — : reports of Peter the 
Great, 133, footnote 

Navigation: boats prepared, 136, aax- 
aaa, 233, a47; sailboats, X34; junks 
found on coast of America, ia8; 
Bering learns much from Koairef- 
ski, X36, footnoU; details of Chiri- 
kofs voyage, 323; Bering's first 
voyage, 141-147; ShestakoFs ex- 
pedition, 155-Z56; difficulties, 88, 
footn9tef 91, footnote f 94, footnote^ 
139-140^ X98, aoo^ ao3-ao6, 309, 
244-345, a69; in Arctic, 86, foot- 
note; on river, 86, footnote; dis- 
tance travelled, 184- x 86, 190; see 
also Expiorattoni; St. Paul; St 
Peter; Tramportation: boats 

Nertchinsk (Siberia) : importance, 64; 
Russians in vicinity, 54 ; Chinese in, 
54, footnote; China sends messen- 
gers to, 57; inhabitants of Albasin 
withdraw to, 59; Chinese do not 
take, S9> footnote; attempt to learn 
fate of Albasin, 6a 

Nevelski, — : sent on expedition, 363 

Nikania: 88, footnote 

Nordenskjold, Nils Addf Erik: 71, 
2$7> footnote; belief regarding na- 
tives, 8a, footnote; voyage, 87; ob- 
stacles, faced, 94; works cited, 86, 
footnote, 94, footnote, 343; quoted, 
94, footnoU 

North East Cape: 340, 241 

Novaya Zemlya: 348 

Novogorod (Russia) : 159 

Novosiltsof, V: 250^ footnote 

Ob (boat): 333 

Ob Bay: 334 

Ob River: 88, footnote, 135, 169, 173, 

Obdorsk: 334; Ovtxin prepares to 
winter at, 334 

Ob-Postman (boat) : 335, 336 

Obtchi Morskoi Spisok: cited, 249, 

Officers (Russian): see Ataman; 
Dyak; Desyatmk; Golova; Prika- 
tchik; Pfotdetfatmk; Tselowdmk; 
fFoevfods; Siberia: oficers 

Ogloblin, N. (Russian archivist): 
publishes documents, 76; works cit- 
^> 93> footnote; quoted, 77, foot- 

Okhotsk (Siberia) : X09, footnote, 1x4, 
136, 138. footnote, X55, 158, X59, 
x63, x66, 171, 173, footnote, 230, 
333, 335, 336, 327, footnote, 228, 
230^ 238, 243; tribute demanded, 
29; Bering winters in, 137; boats 
prepare for return to, X45; boats to 
be built, X69; expedition reaches, 
X72-X73; Pizaref leaves, X73, foot- 
note; Spanberg expects quarters 
ready, X73 ; boats built at, X78 

Okhotsk River: 182 

Okhotsk Sea [Sea of Okhotsk]: 55, 
X07, X09, 262, 263, footnote, 265; 
Lama Sea early name for, 100^ 
footnote; see also Lama Sea 

Okhotsk-Kamchatka Route: X07, X53 



Olekma River: 34, 37; best coune to 
Amur, 38; explorations by way of, 

Olekminsk (station) : tribute demand- 
ed, 38 
Olenek River: 237, 339 
Olensk (station) : tribute demanded, 

Oliutora River: 97, zoo, footnote, 

107, footnote, 113, footnote, 156, 

273; forts on, 106 
Onikutun Island (Kuril group) : Z13, 

Opisanie del Archiva hiorshavo D#- 

partamenta: 165, footnote, 249, 

Opisanie del Archiva Morshavo MtU' 

isterstva: 174, footnote 
Ortellius, — : 118 

Osterman, -— : friend of Bering, 165 
Ostrog: described, 26; to be built, 

loi; Kozirefski builds, 295; see 

also under individual names 
Ostrojok: described, 26 
Otche s t ve nniya Zapiski: 139, footnote 
Ouda River: 34, 151, 155, 228 
Ovtzin, Dimitri: 218, footnote, 220; 

reduced in rank, 236; in charge of 

expedition, 234; promoted, 250, 


Pacific Ocean: 17, 67, 68, 92, foot- 
note, 107 

Palane River: 100 

Pallas, P. S: work cited, 54, 343, and 
in footnotes, 177, 181, 182, 183, 184, 
190, 19X, 192, X99, 201, 202, 205, 
208, 209, 211, 2x2, 2x4, 2XS, 2x6, 
2x7, 2x8, 2x9, 220 

Pamyatniki Sibirskoi Istorii: cited, 
337i 343. also «n footnotes, 78, 92, 
93. 97. 98, 99, loc^ 102, X03, X05, 
X06, X07, X08, X09, xxo^ XX 3, XX4, 
X5X, X52 

Paren River: X03, footnote, x$6 

Parker, E. H: work cited, 343, and in 
footnotes, 54, 56, 57, 58, 63, 64 

Pashkof (Afanase) : 54; founds Nert- 
chinsk, 54, footnote 

Pavlof, — : 232, 233 

Pavlutski, Dimitri: chosen to aid 
Shestakof, X55; expedition, X58- 
X59; orders from, x6o and foot- 
note; prepares for fight against 
Chukchi, X63; doubt concerning 
victory, X63, footnote; becomes 
woewod, X64; killed, X64 

Peary, Robert £: 93, footnote 

Penjinsk Bay: xo2, x$6 

Penjinsk River: 74, 97, 99, xoo, foot- 
note, I si; search for, 277 

Penjinsk Sea: xox, X02, 297; water 
known as, xoo^ footnote 

Perofilyef, Maxim: early report of 
rivers, 33 ; reports new river, 255 

Petchora River: 233 

Peter the Great: X9, 20, 9X, 92, X27, 
footnote, 248, 257, footnote, 338; 
orders Japanese captive presented, 
xox, footnote; sends expedition, 
XX4; reasons for sendinfp expedi- 
tions, X33-X34, footnote; instruc- 
tions, X34; interviews Delisle, X30; 
instructions to Bering, X7x; assem- 
bles scientists around him, X65 

Peter II: orders punishment, X73, 

Petrilofskoi, Alexei (prikaschik) : 
X07, footnote; takes plunder, xx3, 

Petrof, — : pilot, 227, footnote 

Philippine Islands: 303; Manila, xx9 

Pilikin (trader) : mentioned, 27, 

Pizaref, — : X77; brief account, X73, 
footnote; to supervise boat build- 
ing, X69; hindrance to expedition, 
X73; reasons for believing Span- 
berg not in Japan, 227, footnote; 
accusations against Spanberg, 227, 

Pjasina River: 240, 24X 

Plautin, — : X83 

Plenisner, — : 2x0^ 2xx, footnote; 2x4 



Poduthkine, — : ezpcditioo to Sak- 
halin, 26a 

Pogicha River: 8$, 27s ; Mine as Ana- 
duir, 277; reports of, 72; Koriakt 
ignorant, 72; Alexeef seeks, 73; 
explorations for, 275-277 

Polo^ Marco: zi8 

Polutof, Gregory: 135, footnote 

Popof, M: work cited, 344 

Popof, Peter: report regarding east- 
em Siberia, 152 

Poiu0e Sobrami Zakonof RossUkoi 
Imperii: cited, 337, 344, also in 
footnotes, 19, 20, 21, 27, 30, 114, 

«53. 1^9, 170, i7«, 17a. aw> 

PoYorotnoi River: 137 

Poyarkof, Wasili: 38; leader of ex- 
pedition, 34; instructions, 35; ex- 
pedition, 255-257; result of expedi- 
tion, 37; cruelty, 36 and fwtnoU; 
disregard of human life, 36; hatred 
of natives toward, 40 

Prikaschik (Russian officer): 21, 
footnote, 99, footnote; duties, 25- 
26; collects tribute, 27; gives de- 
tailed list with tribute collected, 30 

Prochinchef, — : trouble with Lasini- 
us, 242, footnote; in charge of ex- 
pedition, 237; death, 238 

Ptishzef, — : 228 

Purumshir Island (Kuril group) : 
IZ3, footnote 

Pushkin, — (woewod) : successor to 
Golowin, 38 

Pustaya River: 100, footnote, zo2 

Pustoi Ostrog: 102 

Pustosersk: 232; winter in, 233 

Pyatdesyatnik (Russian officer) : 23, 
footnote, 99, footnote; salary, 24, 25 

QUAST, Mathijs: in charge of ex- 
pedition, Z2Z 

RAVEHaTEXN, E. G: work cited, 339, 

Recueil de Voyages au Nord: cited, 

iz8, footnote, Z19, footnote 

Remezof, Semen: ordered to draw up 
maps, 88, footnote; uses Atlasofs 
reports in constructing map, 92-93, 
footnote; maps, 67, 256-257, 257, 
footnote; atlas, 26, footnote; work 
cited, 67, footnote, 344 

Rinso, Mamia: 254 

Routes: discussed, 303; prevent Rus- 
sians from using Anaduir, 97; of- 
ficers desire safe, to Kamchatka, 
Z02; to Kamchatka, 105-106, 107; 
official route to Kamchatka, 109; 
from Asia to America, 303-313; 
from Kamchatka to America, 325 

Ruble: see Currency 

Ruge, S: work cited, 343 

Russia: 14, 24, footnote, 31, 212, foot- 
note; early calendar, 15; on the 
Amur, 33-66; success on Amur, 
263 ; cause of failure to hold Amur, 
64-65; progress in Siberian expan- 
sion, 67; secures possession of Si- 
beria, 17; characteristics of Siberi- 
an leaders, 65; result of attempts 
to colonize, 56; desire to know 
whether Asia and America are 
united, 251; completion of sur- 
veys, 265; credit due, 265-266; 
treaty of Nertchinsk, 291-293; dif- 
ficulty of reading early Mss. exag- 
gerated, 336. CmsS" Moscow, 19, 
»x, 5^ 57. 64, 92, 108, 173, foot- 
note, 257, footnote, 337; officers 
sent from, 18 ; false reports sent to, 
20, footnote; prices, 28, footnote; 
furs sent to, 31; Poyarkof sent to^ 
36, footnote; appeal for help, 57, 
footnote; instructions from, 60; 
messengers sent from, 63; Deshnef 
returns to» 91 ; Atlasof goes to, zoi ; 
Atlasof reported, 102, footnote; re- 
port in, IZ3, footnote; Bering goes 
to, to report, 165. St, Petersburg, 
lyo, footnote, 135, footnote, Z74, 189, 
212, footnote, 228, footnote, 231, 
235, 246, 247, a63, 299» 3". 3S«. 
338; expedition leaves, Z35; Bering 



returns to, 147 ; men and^ supplies 
sent for expedition, z 53-1 55; not 
notified of expedition, 159; expedi- 
tion leaves, 172. See also Explora- 
tions; Kamchatka; Siberia; and 
names of individuals 

Russians: ai, footnote, a8 and fooh 
note, 30; cruelty, 45; population in 
Siberia, 23, footnote; opinion of 
natives regarding, 36; killed by 
natives, a6; prisoners, 58; take na- 
tive women and children, 27 and 
footnote; regarded as divine, 281; 
chief credit for surveys and explor- 
ations, 253; early known in Kam- 
chatka, 281; confer with Chinese, 
63; exploring expedition, 34; to 
withdraw from Amur, 64; hunters 
bring knowledge of Sakhalin, 25$; 
return to Nertchinsk, $5; see also 
names of individuals 

Russhaya Starina: cited, zoz, footnote, 
Z27, footnote, 344; quoted, 236, 

Sabsu (Chinese commander) : 63 

Sadovnikof, D: work cited, 256, foot- 
note, 343 

St Diomede (island) : discovered and 
named, 145 

St. Gabriel (boat) : 221, 222, 228 ; 
fate unknown, 228, footnote 

St John (boat) : to take place of St 
Gabriel, 228; springs leak, 229 

St Lawrence (island) : 143, 145 

St Paul (boat built by Bering at Ok- 
hotsk): 178; reach Avatcha Bay, 
181; under command of Chirikof, 
183; course of, 185-189 

St Peter (boat built by Bering at 
Okhotsk): 178; reaches Avatcha 
Bay, 181; list of those on board, 
182-183; course, 190-210; to be 
broken up, 218; Journal cited, 196, 
footnote, 197, footnote, 198 and 

St Peter (small boat made from 
larger of that name): 2x8; course, 
St Thaddeus Mountain: 146 
Sakhalin Island: 122, 230^ 249, foot- 
note; various names for, 253, foot- 
note; various spellings, 259, foot- 
note; Russian hunters explore, 255; 
survey not completed, 251, 253; in- 
vestigations OHKeming, 253-259 ; 
errors of cartographers, 260-261; 
insularity proved, 263, footnote, 

Salary: see Wages 
Samoyede Peninsula: 232 
Sanson, Nicholas: maps, 123-124, 129 
Saiytchef, G: 196, footnote; work 

cited, 343; quoted, 82» footnote 
Sauer, — : 196, footnote 
Schaep, Hendrick Comelisz: in 

charge of expedition, Z2i 
Schrenck, L: work cited, 344 
Selenga River: 64 
Selifontof, — : to chart Beloi Islands, 

Selivestrof, Yurya [luschko]: 83, 87- 
88; reaches Anaduir, 75; reports 
to Jakutak, 76; claims, 88, 279; 
claims disputed, 288 

Semenof, — : successor to Motora 

Senyavin, N. A: 250, footnote 

Sevelyef, — (boatswain) : sent to 
search for exploring party, z86; 
fate, 186-Z87, footnote 

Sevyastanof, Vasili: Z03, footnote; 
makes terms with outlaws, 104-105, 

Sgibnef, A: zo8, footnote, 109, foot- 
note, 158, footnote 

Shalagski Cape: 68, 77, footnote, 84, 
95, 251; described, 77; description 
fits, 82 

Shalaurof, — (merchant): failure to 
double cape, 95; takes out expedi- 
tion, 25 z 

Shantar Islands: 228 


Shapothnik (trader): mentiooed, 27, 

Shashovo Island (Kuril group) : 113, 

Shelting, — : 223, 223; in charge of 
Nadezhda, 228; ordered to chart 
coait, 230; retired, 250^ footnote 

Shestakof, Afanate (golova): 163; 
desires to conquer northern Siberia, 
Z53; expedition, Z14, footnote^ 153- 
i$6; attempts conquest of Chukchi, 
156-157; follows Kozirefski's map, 
1x3; map, 153; killed, 157 

Shestakof, Ivan: placed in charge of 
boat, 155 

Shikoku Island (Kuril group) : 1x3, 

Shilka River: 34, 38; discovered, 255; 
information regarding, 37; ezplora- 
^on, 35; first knowledge by Rus- 
sians, 33 

Shimushir Island (Kuril group) : 113, 

Shishkof, — : 227, footnote 

Shrenck, L: work cited, 257, footnote 

Shumagin, — : death, 199 

Shumagin Islands: 199, named, X99, 
footnote; natives of, 200-202 

Siberia: X3, 20^ 43, 159, 19X, 212, foot- 
note, 249, 255 ; character of oflicers, 
19, footnote; government under 
Russia in 17th century, 17-31; ge- 
ography, 67; mistaken ideas re- 
garding geography, 68; confusion 
among geographers regarding east- 
em, 152-153; charting of coast, 
>3>> general characteristics of 
early explorers, X4; eastern desig- 
nated, X7; northern to be surveyed, 
169; northeastern survey completed, 
251-266; tradere allowed to enter, 
29> 30* footnote; value of furs in, 
3x; iron mines to be developed, 
166; source material on, 15; only 
satisfactory work covering, 334; 
see also under names of capes, 

cities, forts, oetrogs, rivers^ under 
names of individuals, etc 

Sibirski Prikaz (bureau at Moscow 
controiing Siberian afPairs): 18, 
31, 295; established, 19; plans sec- 
ond expedition to Kamchadca, lox ; 
instructions regarding Atlasof, 102, 

Siebold, Ph. Fr. von: X2i, footnote, 
254; work cited, 254, footnote, 255, 
footnote, 344 

Sinyavin, -— : recommends Bering, 

Si vers, — : recommends Bering, 134 
Siyaskutan Island (Kuril group) : 

1x3, footnote 
Skurichen, — : reports expedition, 159 
Slovtsof, P. A: 109, footnote; work 

cited, 71, 344 
Slunin, N. V: work cited, 344 
Sokolf, — : X09. 338, 339 
Sotnik: 23, footnote; salary, 25 
Spafaria, Nikolai (envoy to China) : 

56, footnote 
Spain: believes fabulous tale of 
wealth, X19-120; sends out expedi- 
tion, 120 
Spanberg [Spangenberg], Martin: 
30X, 336; selected as lieutenant for 
expedition, 133, footnote, 134; leads 
one division, X36; winters on ves- 
sel, 135-136; division under him 
suffers, X37-138; advice regarding 
explorations, 144; requests report 
of expedition, 159; not to show in- 
structions, 171; raised in rank, 171 ; 
instructions, 221; preparations for 
voyage, 221; forced to go to Ja- 
kutsk for supplies, 228; ordered to 
repeat explorations, 226-227, 227, 
footnote; voyage to Japan, 220- 
231, 33X-333; not thought to have 
reached Japan, 227, footnote; last 
expedition, 228-23 x ; causes for fail- 
ure, 230; first to chart Kuril group, 
1x5; trouble with Pizaref, X73, 



feotnote; complaints against Ber- 
u)S» 174! o>^ ^^^ terms with Wal- 
ton, 227, footnote 

Spaniards: explorations for gold and 
silver, 119 

Staduchin, Michaelo: 8x, 282; quar- 
relsome, 277; position, 74, footnote; 
Deshnef serves under, 72; among 
first white men to reach Koluima 
River, 72 ; sent on exploration, 27s- 
277; explorations, 72-73; reports 
new lands and waters, 273; claims 
disputed, 287, 288; failure to 
double cape, 95; disappointment, 
74; cause of trouble with Motora, 

Staduchin, Taras: exploration, 92, 

footnote; failure to double cape, 95 

Staduchin, Vasili: deposition, $2, foot- 
note; failure to double cape, 95 

Staduchin River: 88 

Stanovoi Mountains: 17; to form 
boundary, 64 

State Island: 124, 129, footnote, 231 

Steller, Georg Wilhelm [George 
William]: 182, 192, footnote, 210^ 
2ZI, footnote, 2x2, footnote, 2x8; 
brief account, z8i, footnote; char- 
acteristics, 193, footnote; scientific 
researches, 170; leaves Okhotsk, 
178; advises sailing to north, X9x; 
explorations, 193, X94-196, 327- 
329; sent ashore for water, X99; 
follows natives, 2ox; describes na- 
tives, 202; gives account of Ber- 
ing's death, 2x2, footnote; death, 
213, footnote, 249, 329; work cited, 
196, footnote, 344 

Stepanof, Onufria (successor to Kha- 
barof ) : $1; in charge of expedi- 
tion, SZ-S4; force, 54, footnote; 
driven out by Chinese, 53 ; fate un- 
known, 53-54, footnote 

Stolb Island: 237 

Strahlenberg, P. J: 128; work cited, 

Strelegof, — : charts coast, 236 

Streltsi: mentioned, 2z, footnote 

Sukarof, — : 234 

Sumchu Island (Kuril group): 1x3, 

Sungari River: 47, 5X, 53, 64 
Surukof Potap: 102; ordered to build 

ostrog, xoi; killed, loi, footnote 
Surveys: see Explorations 
Sviatoi Nos: 77, 244 
Sviatoi Sea: water known as, 100, 


Taimur Peninsula: 236, 237, 238 

Taimur River: 239, 240, 241 

Talkowa Mountains: 106 

Talkova River: 137 

Tartarinof, Peter: 107, 145 

Tartars: 17, 299; Russians follow, 
18; raids mentioned, 65; natives 
resemble, x88, 3x9 

Tartary: X2X, 123, 231; Japanese give 
information, 120 

Tartaiy Strait: 254, 256, 260 

Tasman, Abel Jans: in charge of ex- 
pedition, X2I 

Taui River: X56 

Tchukotskaja Bay: 86, footnote 

Teleki, Paul Graf: work cited, 119, 
footnote, Z2X, 343 

Telenge (ostrog in Siberia) : 54 

Terra de Jeso: mentioned, 13 

Tessoy Cape: 123 

Tigil River: 100^ xo2, X04, footnote, 
X09, footnote, 156 

Titof, A: 67, footnote, 68, footnote, 
97. a57. footnote, 258, footnote, 343 ; 
quoted, 88, footnote, $1, footnote 

Tiumen (Siberia) : x8 

Tobacco: traders forbidden to sell, 30 

Tobol (boat) : 235 

Tobolsk (Siberia) : x8, xoz, xo8, 155, 
159, 172 and footnote, 2x3, foot- 
note, 234, 299, 30X, 327 ; importance, 
x8; distilleries, 30, footnote; ex- 
pedition reaches, X35; Atlasof re- 
ported, X02, footnote; force ordered 
to front, 59, footnote; Siberian of- 


fice located here, 19; maps, 88, 

Tolbuchin, — : tent to aid expedition, 
X77, 178 

Tolbustn, — : surreoden, 59; to be 
lent to Yenisei, 60; requetts to re* 
turn for harvest, 60; ordered to 
build fortress, 60; builds new Al- 
basin, 60; orders tribute gathered, 
6x; death, 63 

Tomsk (Siberia): seat of govern- 
ment, x8 

Torture: of old woman, 40^ 44-45; <>f 
individuals, 46; of hostages, 46-47 

Tougourski Gulf: see Okhotsk Sea 

Toutorsk (station) : tribute demand- 
ed, 29 

Trade: American, 264, footnote; 
Chinese, jz, 35; Japanese, z66, 224, 
225; suggested, 166; food for 
trinkets, 145; with natives, 256; 
explorers claim to be traders, 4a 
Fur - demanded as tribute, 28-29; 
certain regions closed to trader, 30^ 
footnote; natives forced to sell to 
Russians, 28; induces Russian ex- 
pansion, 67; Russia's sole desire 
for Amur, 65; private, forbidden, 
27, footnote; sables, 28, footnote; 
fbxes^ 28, footnote; traders exempt- 
ed from fee, 30, footnote; cost to 
traders, 29-30; price paid, 27, foot- 
note; value, 31 

Tran, T: 250^ footnote 

Transfiguration Bay: 146 

Transportation: means, 25; difficul- 
ties, 173-174; by land, 182; horses, 
Z36; reindeer, 232; hand sleds, 
Z37; sledges, Z40; deer sleds, Z43; 
deer teams, 247. . Boats - 109, foot- 
note, Z38; to be built, z66, Z7Z, Z78; 
from Koriaks, Z02; native, 187-188, 
3Z5-3Z7; junks, 54, footnote, zo6, 

. footnote, izo; kotsh, 73, 78, 8z, 93, 
Z03, footnote; lodka, 109. See also 

Treaty: of Nertchinsk, 64, 256, 29Z- 

Trejakof, — : death, 204 
Treske, — : sailor, 109 
Trials: fines, 22 and footnote 
Tribute: 76, 83, 109, 279, 287, 288, 
295; demanded, 27, 28-29, SSi 55; 
refused, 161; natives forced to pay 
several times, 18; inhabitants of 
Amur to be forced to pay, 39; na- 
tives to pay, 275, 277; Tolbusin 
orders gathered, 6z ; promised, 27Z ; 
Dauri pay, 44; from Kamchadels, 
297; collected from Kamchatka, 99, 
102; difficulty in collecting, 56; 
Poyarkof forces, 37; collect, 160; 
collectors robbed, 57, footnote; na- 
tives robbed, 20, footnote; mu- 
tineers take, 50; sables given, 46; 
to Chinese, 37; whole problem of 
administration, z8; five years' in 
Kamchadca, Z05; plans for ship- 
ping, 104, footnote; enumerated, 
106, footnote 
Trifooof, — : sent against natives, 

Trishka: mentioned, 27, footnote 
Trubetskoi, Prince I: 250, footnote 
Tscherikov, — : 213, footnote 
Tschukotschia River: 27Z 
Tselovalnik: duties, 27 and footnote; 
places valuation, 28, footnote; ac- 
companies expedition, 34 
Tungus (native tribe): 317; tribute 
demanded, 28-29; l^^^c knowledge 
of rivers, 33; accompany Russians, 
40; steal horses, 54; aid Shestakof, 
Tungus River: Z72 
Tunguska River: Z35 
Turchinof, Peter: 135, footnote 
Turuchansk [Turnachansk], (Si- 
beria) : 235, 236, 24Z ; exploring 
party winters at, 24Z 

Udoma River: Z74 



Ukanuk Island: 196 

Ulja River: 256; explored, 37 

Umlekan River: exploring party 
reach, 35 

Urak River: 174 

Urinski Cape: 141 

Urup Island (Kuril group) : 113, 
footnote, aaa 

Unisof, V: 250^ footnote 

Ushakof, A: 250, footnote 

Ushishir Island (Kuril group) : Z13, 

Ussof, Alexei: 269 

Ustpatanik (station): tribute de- 
manded, 28 

Uwarowski, Ivan: 109 

Vancouver, G. A: work cited, 344 

Vander A A: map, 125 

Vandermalen, P. H: work cited, 261 

Van Keulen, Gerard: 125 

Vaugondy, R: work cited, 344 

Vega (boat): 86, footnote 

Verstegen, William: reports Spanish 
expedition, 120 

Festnik Jmperatorskavo Russkavo 
Geograficheskavo Obschestvai cit- 
ed, 54, footnote, 99, footnote 

Vetoshka, — : 75 

Vetoshkin, — : report, 8z 

Visscher, — : zz8, footnote 

Vizcaino, Sebastian: in charge of ex- 
pedition, z2o; voyage mentioned, 
IZ9, footnote 

Von Siebold, P. F: work cited, 343 

Vries, Maerten Gerritsen: in charge 
of expedition, 12 z; journal pub- 
lished, Z2Z, footnote \ discoveries, 
123; explorations, Z29, 25 s 

Vries [De Vries] Strait: Z24, Z26 

Wages: scale, 24; tabulated, 25; for 
natives, 28, footnote; paid to work- 
men, Z73, footnote; Bering's salary 
cut, Z73, footnote; salaiy in ad- 
vance, 239 

Walrus: bank, 75, 88; tusks, 9Z, 269 

Walton, — : 222, 223; independent 
explorations, 225; thought to have 
reached Japan, 227, footnote; on 
bad terms with Spanberg, 227, 
footnote; does not accompany 
Spanberg on last expedition, 229; 
death, 249 

War: upon natives, 27; between 
Chinese and Russians, 48-49 and 

Waxel, Sven: z82, Z98, footnote, 208, 
21S, 335; wishes water casks filled, 
Z96-Z97; in command of St Peter, 
Z99; follows natives, 2oz; favors 
wintering in America, ao6; believes 
ship to have reached Kamchatka, 
209, footnote, 2zo; sick, azz; pro- 
vided with separate quarters, 2Z4; 
reports size of new boat, 2Z9, foot- 
note; rewarded, 250, footnote; re- 
port cited, 345 

Wells, Edward: 258 

Wells, L. R: thanked, zs 

Werchote: mentioned, 27, footnote 

White River: Z63 

Whittingham, — : 265, footnote 

Williams, F. Wells: work cited, 345 

Wiluisk (station) : tribute demanded, 

Wimsk: mentioned, 34 

Witsen, Nicholas: 253, footnote, 256, 
footnote; takes no notice of Desh- 
nefs explorations, 9z; maps, 67, 
Z26, 257, 258; work cited, 67, 257, 
footnote, 345; value of woik, 257, 

Woewod (officer) : Z7, footnote, 23, 
26, footnote, 27, footnote, 338; 
duties, Z9-20, 2Z, 22; judicial func- 
tions, 22 and footnote; abuse of 
power, 20; salary, 25; conduct, 2z- 
22, footnote; importance of To- 
bolsk, Z9; instructions to, 60; or- 
dered to aid expedition, Z77; orders 
exploration, 34; sends out exploring 
party, 255; governs conquered ter- 
ritory, z8; hands over government 



•tora, 31; report, a8, 30-31; re- 
fuiea fuppliet, 173, footnote; out- 
laws do not fear, 57 ; thefti of fura^ 
tribute, etc, ao-ai, footnote 
Wraogell, Ferdinaiifd: 82, 345; belief 
regarding natives, 8a, footnote; or- 
dered to make exploration, 252; de- 
cides to winter in America, 207; 
work cited, 82, 252, footnote, 253, 
footnote, 34$; quoted, 86, footnote 

Yaksa: see Alhasin 

Yamal Peninsula: 232 

Yana River: 100^ footnote, toy, foot-- 

note, i$7, 244 
Yeco: see Jeso 
Yenisei River: 38, 135, 169, 172, 231, 

23$> ^3^9 241; force ordered from, 

59, footnote; charted, 237 
Yeniseisk (Siberia) : 148, 235, 241 ; 

see also Fort Yeniseisk 
Yevreinof, Ivan: explorations, 114; 

failure, 133 
Yudin Collection: 15 
Yugor Strait: 232, 234 
Yukagirs (native tribe) : tribute de- 

manded, 29; Koriaks wish, to join, 
98; accompany Atlasof, 99; turn 
hostile, 100; surprise Russians, 
106 ; aid Pavlutski against Chukchi, 

Zaltibu, — : names strait, 118 
Zapiiki Hydrograficheskavo De^mia- 
mente: cited, 337, 344, also in foot* 
notes, 134, X39, 143, 148, 159, 165, 

166, 169, I7ai «74t X77» X7». x^S. 
190, X98, 212, 223, 227, a3X, 250 
Zapiiki fToennO'Topografichetkavo 
Depo: cited, 336, 344, also in foot" 
notes, 135, 136, 137, 138, i39» W^ 

14X, 143, «45. 147. »4« 

Zhumal Mimsterstva Narodnavo 
Prosvescheniai cited, 72, footnote, 
73, footnote, 76, footnote, 77, foot- 
note, 91, footnote, 287, footnote 

Zigansk (station) : tribute demanded, 

Zimovie: described, 26; location, 26- 
27; built by exploring party, 35 

Zinovyef (officer from Moscow) : 
mentioned, 51 


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