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Title: Account of the Russian Discoveries between Asia and America - To which are added, the conquest of Siberia, and the history - of the transactions and commerce between Russia and China
Author: Coxe, William
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Account of the Russian Discoveries between Asia and America - To which are added, the conquest of Siberia, and the history - of the transactions and commerce between Russia and China" ***

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[Illustration: _GENERAL MAP_ of the RUSSIAN EMPIRE.]











  Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and
  Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of MARLBOROUGH.




  March 27, 1780.


The late Russian Discoveries between Asia and America have, for some
time, engaged the attention of the curious; more especially since Dr.
Robertson's admirable History of America has been in the hands of the
public. In that valuable performance the elegant and ingenious author
has communicated to the world, with an accuracy and judgement which so
eminently distinguish all his writings, the most exact information at
that time to be obtained, concerning those important discoveries. During
my stay at Petersburg, my inquiries were particularly directed to this
interesting subject, in order to learn if any new light had been thrown
on an article of knowledge of such consequence to the history of
mankind. For this purpose I endeavoured to collect the respective
journals of the several voyages subsequent to the expedition of Beering
and Tschirikoff in 1741, with which the celebrated Muller concludes his
account of the first Russian navigations.

During the course of my researches I was informed, that a treatise in
the German language, published at Hamburg and Leipsic in 1776, contained
a full and exact narrative of the Russian voyages, from 1745 to 1770[1].

    [Footnote 1: The title of the book is, Neue Nachrichten von
    denen Neuendeckten Insuln in der See zwischen Asia und
    Amerika aus mitgetheilten Urkunden und Auszuegen versasset
    von J. L. S.]

As the author has not prefixed his name, I should have paid little
attention to an anonymous publication, if I had not been assured, from
very good authority, that the work in question was compiled from the
original journals. Not resting however upon this intelligence, I took
the liberty of applying to Mr. Muller himself, who, by order of the
Empress, had arranged the same journals, from which the anonymous author
is said to have drawn his materials. Previous to my application, Mr.
Muller had compared the treatise with the original papers; and he
favoured me with the following strong testimony to its exactness and
authenticity: "Vous ferès bien de traduire pour l'usage de vos
compatriotes le petit livre sur les isles situées entre le Kamtchatka et
l'Amerique. II n'y a point de doute, que l'auteur n'ait eté pourvu de
bons memoires, et qu'il ne s'en foit fervi fidelement. J'ai confronté le
livre avec les originaux." Supported therefore by this very respectable
authority, I considered this treatise as a performance of the highest
credit, and well worthy of being more generally known and perused. I
have accordingly, in the first part of the present publication,
submitted a translation of it to the reader's candour; and added
occasional notes to such passages as seemed to require an explanation.
The original is divided into sections without any references. But as it
seemed to be more convenient to divide it into chapters; and to
accompany each chapter with a summary of the contents, and marginal
references; I have moulded it into that form, without making however any
alteration in the order of the journals.

The additional intelligence which I procured at Petersburg, is thrown
into an appendix: It consists of some new information, and of three
journals[2], never before given to the public. Amongst these I must
particularly mention that of Krenitzin and Levasheff, together with the
chart of their voyage, which was communicated to Dr. Robertson, by order
of the Empress of Russia; and which that justly admired historian has,
in the politest and most obliging manner, permitted me to make use of
in this collection. This voyage, which redounds greatly to the honour of
the sovereign who planned it, confirms in general the authenticity of
the treatise above-mentioned; and ascertains the reality of the
discoveries made by the private merchants.

    [Footnote 2: The journals of Krenitzin and Levasheff, the
    short account of Synd's voyage, and the narrative of
    Shalauroff's expedition, N^o I. IX. XI.]

As a farther illustration of this subject, I collected the best charts
which could be procured at Petersburg, and of which a list will be given
in the following advertisement. From all these circumstances, I may
venture, perhaps, to hope that the curious and inquisitive reader will
not only find in the following pages the most authentic and
circumstantial account of the progress and extent of the Russian
discoveries, which has hitherto appeared in any language; but be enabled
hereafter to compare them with those more lately made by that great and
much to be regretted navigator, Captain Cooke, when his journal shall be
communicated to the public.

As all the furs which are brought from the New Discovered Islands are
sold to the Chinese, I was naturally led to make enquiries concerning
the commerce between Russia and China; and finding this branch of
traffic much more important than is commonly imagined, I thought that a
general sketch of its present state, together with a succinct view of
the transactions between the two nations, would not be unacceptable.

The conquest of Siberia, as it first opened a communication with China,
and paved the way to all the interesting discoveries related in the
present attempt, will not appear unconnected, I trust, with its
principal design.

The materials of this second part, as also of the preliminary
observations concerning Kamtchatka, and the commerce to the
new-discovered islands, are drawn from books of established and
undoubted reputation. Mr. Muller and Mr. Pallas, from whose interesting
works these historical and commercial subjects are chiefly compiled, are
too well known in the literary world to require any other vouchers for
their judgement, exactness, and fidelity, than the bare mentioning of
their names. I have only farther to apprize the reader, that, besides
the intelligence extracted from these publications, he will find some
additional circumstances relative to the Russian commerce with China,
which I collected during my continuance in Russia.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot close this address to the reader without embracing with
peculiar satisfaction the just occasion, which the ensuing treatises
upon the Russian discoveries and commerce afford me, of joining with
every friend of science in the warmest admiration of that enlarged and
liberal spirit, which so strikingly marks the character of the present
Empress of Russia. Since her accession to the throne, the investigation
and discovery of useful knowledge has been the constant object of her
generous encouragement. The authentic records of the Russian History
have, by her express orders, been properly arranged; and permission is
readily granted of inspecting them. The most distant parts of her vast
dominions have, at her expence, been explored and described by persons
of great abilities and extensive learning; by which means new and
important lights have been thrown upon the geography and natural history
of those remote regions. In a word, this truly great princess has
contributed more, in the compass of only a few years, towards civilizing
and informing the minds of her subjects, than had been effected by all
the sovereigns her predecessors since the glorious æra of Peter the


In order to prevent the frequent mention of the full title of the books
referred to in the course of this performance, the following catalogue
is subjoined, with the abbreviations.

     Müller's Samlung Russischer Geschichte, IX volumes, 8vo.
     printed at St. Petersburg in 1732, and the following years;
     it is referred to in the following manner: S. R. G. with the
     volume and page annexed.

     From this excellent collection I have made use of the
     following treatises:

     vol. II. p. 293, &c. Geschichte der Gegenden an dem Flusse

     There is a French translation of this treatise, called
     Histoire du Fleuve Amur, 12mo, Amsterdam, 1766.

           vol. III. p. 1, &c. Nachrichten von See Reisen, &c.

     There is an English and a French translation of this work;
     the former is called "Voyages from Asia to America for
     completing the Discoveries of the North West Coast of
     America," &c. 4to, London, 1764. The title of the latter is
     Voyages et Decouvertes faites par les Russes, &c. 12mo,
     Amsterdam, 1766. p. 413. Nachrichten Von der Hanlung in

     Vol. VI. p. 109, Sibirische Geshichte.

     Vol. VIII. p. 504, Nachricht Von der Russischen Handlung
     nach China.

     Pallas Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen
     Reichs, in Three Parts, 4to, St. Petersburg, 1771, 1773, and
     1776, thus cited, Pallas Reise.

     Georgi Bemerkungen einer Reise im Russischen Reich in Jahre,
     1772, III volumes, 4to, St. Petersburg, 1775, cited Georgi

     Fischer Sibirische Geschichte, 2 volumes, 8vo, St.
     Petersburg, cited Fis. Sib. Ges.

     Gmelin Reise durch Sibirien, Tome IV. 8vo. Gottingen, 1752,
     cited Gmelin Reise.

     There is a French translation of this work, called Voyage en
     Siberie, &c. par M. Gmelin. Paris, 1767.

     Neueste Nachrichten von Kamtchatka aufgesetst im Junius des
     1773^{ten} Yahren von dem dasigen Befehls-haber Herrn
     Kapitain Smalew.

     Aus dem abhandlungen der freyen Russischen Gesellschaft

     In the journal of St. Petersburg, April, 1776.--cited
     Journal of St. Pet.

Explanation of some Russian words made use of in the following work.

  _Baidar_, a small boat.
  _Guba_, a bay.
  _Kamen_, a rock.
  _Kotche_, a vessel.
  _Krepost_, a regular fortress.
  _Noss_, a cape.
  _Ostrog_, a fortress surrounded with palisadoes.
  _Ostroff_, an island.
  _Ostrova_, islands.
  _Quass_, a sort of fermented liquor.
  _Reka_, a river.

The Russians, in their proper names of persons, make use of patronymics;
these patronymics are formed in some cases by adding _Vitch_ to the
christian name of the father; in others _Off_ or _Eff_: the former
termination is applied only to persons of condition; the latter to those
of an inferior rank. As, for instance,

  Among persons of condition      _Ivan Ivanovitch_, }Ivan the son
                of inferior rank, _Ivan Ivanoff_     } of Ivan.
                                  _Michael Alexievitch_, } Michael the
                                  _Michael Alexeeff_,    }son of Alexèy.
  Sometimes a surname is added,   _Ivan Ivanovitch Romanoff_.

Table of Russian Weights, Measures of Length, and Value of Money.


A pood weighs 40 Russian pounds = 36 English.


16 vershocks = an arsheen.

An arsheen = 28 inches.

Three arsheens, or seven feet = a fathom[3], or sazshen.

    [Footnote 3: The fathom for measuring the depth of water is
    the same as the English fathom = 6 feet.]

500 sazshens = a verst.

A degree of longitude comprises 104-1/2 versts = 69-1/2 English miles. A
mile is therefore 1,515 parts of a verst; two miles may then be
estimated equal to three versts, omitting a small fraction.


A rouble = 100 copecs.

Its value varies according to the exchange from 3s. 8d. to 4s. 2d. Upon
an average, however, the value of a rouble is reckoned at four


  P.  23, _Reference_, _for_ Appendix I. N^o I. _read_ N^o II.
      24,              _for_ Appendix I. N^o II. _read_ N^o III.
      30, _for_ Rogii _read_ Kogii.
      46, _for_ Riksa _read_ Kiska.
      96, _for_ Korovin _read_ Korelin.
     186, Note--_for_ Tobob _read_ Tobol.
     154, Note--Line 2, _after_ handpauken _omitted_ von verschiedenen
     119, _for_ Saktunk _read_ Saktunak.
     134, Line 6, _for_ were _read_ was.
     188, l. 16. _for_ pretection _read_ protection.
     190, l. 5. _for_ nor _read_ not.
     195, _for_ Sungur _read_ Sirgut.
     225, l. 13. _read_ other has an.
     226, _for_ harlbadeers _read_ halberdiers.
     234, Note--line 3, _dele_ See hereafter, p. 242.
     246, _for_ Marym _read_ Narym.
     256, Note--_for_ called by Linnæus Lutra Marina _read_ Lutra
          Marina, called by Linnæus Mustela Lutris, &c.
     257, Line 5, _for_ made of the bone, &c. _read_ made of bone, or
          the stalk, &c.
     278, Note 2--line 2, _for_ Corbus _read_ Corvus.
     324, Note--line 4, _dele_ was.
     313, Note--line 3, _dele_ that.
     Ibid. Note--line 10, "I should not" &c. _is a separate note, and
           relates to the extract in the text beginning_ "In 1648," &c.

Omitted in the ERRATA.

  P. 242. l. 9. _r._ 18, 215.
          l. 11. _r._ 1, 383, 621. 35.


As no astronomical observations have been taken in the voyages related
in this collection, the longitude and latitude ascribed to the
new-discovered islands in the journals and upon the charts cannot be
absolutely depended upon. Indeed the reader will perceive, that the
position[4] of the Fox Islands upon the general map of Russia is
materially different from that assigned to them upon the chart of
Krenitzin and Levasheff. Without endeavouring to clear up any
difficulties which may arise from this uncertainty, I thought it would
be most satisfactory to have the best charts engraved: the reader will
then be able to compare them with each other, and with the several
journals. Which representation of the new-discovered islands deserves
the preferance, will probably be ascertained upon the return of captain
Clerke from his present expedition.

    [Footnote 4: See p. 286.]

List of the CHARTS, and Directions for placing them.

  CHART I. A reduced copy of the general map of Russia,
  published by the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg,
  1776.                                          to face the title-page.

  II. Chart of the voyage made by Krenitzin and Levasheff
  to the Fox Islands, communicated by Dr. Robertson,     to face p. 251.

  III. Chart of Synd's Voyage towards Tschukotskoi-Noss,         p. 300.

  IV. Chart of Shalauroff's Voyage to Shelatskoi-Noss,
  with a small chart of the Bear-Islands,                        p. 323.

  View of Maimatschin,                                           p. 211.
  Communicated by a gentleman who has been upon the spot.


  Dedication,                                                    p. iii.

  Preface,                                                         p. v.

  Catalogue of books quoted in this work,                         p. xi.

  Explanation of some Russian words made use of,                p. xiii.

  Table of Russian Weights, Measures of Length, and Value
  of Money,                                                      p. xiv.

  Advertisement,                                                  p. xv.

  List of Charts, and Directions for placing them,               p. xvi.


  Containing Preliminary Observations concerning KAMTCHATKA,
  and Account of the NEW DISCOVERIES made by the _Russians_,   p. 3--16.

  Chap. I. Discovery and Conquest of _Kamtchatka_--Present
  state of that Peninsula--Population--Tribute--Productions,
  &c.                                                              p. 3.

  Chap. II. General idea of the commerce carried on to the
  New Discovered Islands--Equipment of the vessels--Risks of
  the trade, profits, &c.                                         p. 8.

  Chap. III. Furs and skins procured from _Kamtchatka_ and
  the New Discovered Islands,                                     p. 12.

  Account of the RUSSIAN DISCOVERIES,                             p. 19.

  Chap. I. Commencement and progress of the _Russian_
  Discoveries in the sea of _Kamtchatka_--General division of
  the New Discovered Islands,                                      ibid.

  Chap. II. Voyages in 1745--First discovery of the _Aleütian
  Isles_, by _Michael Nevodsikoff_,                               p. 29.

  Chap. III. Successive voyages, from 1747 to 1753, to
  _Beering's_ and _Copper Island_, and to the _Aleütian
  Isles_--Some account of the inhabitants,                        p. 37.

  Chap. IV. Voyages from 1753 to 1756. Some of the further
  _Aleütian_ or _Fox Islands_ touched at by _Serebranikoff's_
  vessel--Some account of the natives,                            p. 48.

  Chap. V. Voyages from 1756 to 1758,                             p. 54.

  Chap. VI. Voyages in 1758, 1759, and 1760, to the _Fox
  Islands_, in the _St. Vladimir_, fitted out by
  _Trapesnikoff_--and in the _Gabriel_, by _Bethshevin_--The
  latter, under the command of _Pushkareff_, sails to _Alaksu_,
  or _Alachshak_, one of the remotest Eastern Islands
  hitherto visited--Some account of its inhabitants, and
  productions, which latter are different from those of the
  more Western islands,                                           p. 61.

  Chap. VII. Voyage of _Andrean Tolstyk_, in the _St. Andrean_
  and _Natalia_--Discovery of some New Islands, called
  _Andreanoffsky Ostrova_--Description of six of those islands,   p. 71.

  Chap. VIII. Voyage of the _Zacharias_ and _Elizabeth_,
  fitted out by _Kulkoff_, and commanded by _Dausinin_--They
  sail to _Umnak_ and _Unalashka_, and winter upon the latter
  island--The vessel destroyed, and all the crew, except four,
  murdered by the islanders--The adventures of those four
  _Russians_, and their wonderful escape,                         p. 80.

  Chap. IX. Voyage of the vessel called the _Trinity_, under
  the command of _Korovin_--Sails to the _Fox Islands_--Winters
  at _Unalashka_--Puts to sea the spring following--The vessel
  is stranded in a bay of the island _Umnak_, and the crew
  attacked by the natives--Many of them killed--others carried
  off by sickness---They are reduced to great streights--Relieved
  by _Glottoff_, twelve of the whole company only
  remaining--Description of _Umnak_ and _Unalashka_,              p. 89.

  Chap. X. Voyage of _Stephen Glottoff_--He reaches the _Fox
  Islands_--Sails beyond _Unalashika_ to _Kadyak_--Winters
  upon that island--Repeated attempts of the natives to destroy
  the crew--They are repulsed, reconciled, and prevailed upon
  to trade with the _Russians_--Account of _Kadyak_--Its
  inhabitants, animals, productions--_Glottoff_ sails back to
  _Umnak_--winters there--returns to _Kamtchatka_--Journal of
  his voyage,                                                    p. 106.

  Chap. XI. _Solovioff's_ voyage--He reaches _Unalashka_, and
  passes two winters upon that island--Relation of what passed
  there--fruitless attempts of the natives to destroy the
  crew--Return of _Solovioff_ to _Kamtchatka_--Journal of his
  voyage in returning--Description of the islands of _Umnak_
  and _Unalashka_, productions, inhabitants, their manners,
  customs, &c. &c.                                               p. 131.

  Chap. XII. Voyage of _Otcheredin_--He winters upon
  _Umnak_--Arrival of _Levasheff_ upon _Unalashka_--Return of
  _Otcheredin_ to _Ochotsk_,                                     p. 156.

  Chap. XIII. _Conclusion_--General position and situation of
  the _Aleütian_ and _Fox Islands_--their distance from each
  other--Further description of the dress, manners, and custom
  of the inhabitants--their feasts and ceremonies, &c.           p. 164.


  Containing the Conquest of SIBERIA, and the History of the
  Transactions and Commerce between RUSSIA and CHINA,            p. 175.

  Chap. I. First irruption of the _Russians_ into
  _Siberia_--second inroad--_Yermac_ driven by the Tzar of
  _Muscovy_ from the _Volga_, retires to _Orel_, a _Russian_
  settlement--Enters _Siberia_, with an army of _Cossacs_--his
  progress and exploits--Defeats _Kutchum Chan_--conquers his
  dominions--cedes them to the Tzar--receives a reinforcement
  of _Russian_ troops--is surprized by _Kutchum Chan_--his
  defeat and death--veneration paid to his memory--_Russian_
  troops evacuate _Siberia_--re-enter and conquer the whole
  country--their progress stopped by the _Chinese_,              p. 177.

  Chap. II. Commencement of hostilities between the _Russians_
  and _Chinese_--disputes concerning the limits of the two
  empires--treaty of _Nershinsk_--embassies from the court of
  _Russia_ to _Pekin_--treaty of _Kiachta_--establishment of
  the commerce between the two nations.                          p. 197.

  Chap. III. Account of the _Russian_ and _Chinese_
  settlements upon the confines of _Siberia_--description of
  the _Russian_ frontier town _Kiachta_--of the _Chinese_
  frontier town _Maitmatschin_--its buildings, pagodas, &c.      p. 211.

  Chap. IV. Commerce between the _Chinese_ and _Russians_--list
  of the principal exports and imports--duties--average amount
  of the _Russian_ trade.                                        p. 231.

  Chap. V. Description of _Zuruchaitu_--and its
  trade--transport of the merchandize through _Siberia_.         p. 244.



  Appendix I. Extract from the journal of a voyage made by
  _Captain Krenitzin_ and _Lieutenant Levasheff_ to the _Fox
  Islands_, in 1768, 1769, by order of the _Empress of
  Russia_--they sail from _Kamtchatka_--arrive at _Beering's_
  and _Copper Islands_--reach the _Fox Islands_--_Krenitzin_
  winters at _Alaxa_--_Levasheff_ upon _Unalashka_--productions
  of _Unalashka_--description of the inhabitants of the
  _Fox Islands_--their manners and customs, &c.                  p. 251.

  N^o II. Concerning the longitude of _Kamtchatka_, and of the
  Eastern extremity of _Asia_, as laid down by the _Russian_
  geographers.                                                   p. 267.

  N^o III. Summary of the proofs tending to shew, that
  _Beering_ and _Tschirikoff_ either reached _America_ in 1741,
  or came very near it.                                          p. 277.

  N^o IV. List of the principal charts representing the
  _Russian_Discoveries.                                          p. 281.

  N^o V. Position of the _Andreanoffsky Isles_
  ascertained--number of the _Aleutian Isles_.                   p. 288.

  N^o VI. Conjectures concerning the proximity of the _Fox
  Islands_ to the continent of _America_.                        p. 291.

  N^o VII. Of the _Tschutski_--reports of the vicinity of
  _America_ to their coast, first propagated by them, seem to
  be confirmed by late accounts from those parts.                p. 293.

  N^o VIII. List of the New Discovered Islands, procured from
  an _Aleütian_ chief--catalogue of islands called by different
  names in the account of the _Russian_ discoveries.             p. 297.

  N^o IX. Voyage of _Lieutenant Synd_ to the North East of
  _Siberia_--he discovers a cluster of islands, and a
  promontory, which he supposes to belong to the continent of
  _America_, lying near the coast of the _Tschutski_.            p. 300.

  N^o X. Specimen of the _Aleütian_ language.                    p. 303.

  N^o XI. Attempts of the _Russians_ to discover a North East
  passage--voyages from _Archangel_ towards the _Lena_--from
  the _Lena_ towards _Kamtchatka_--extract from _Muller's_
  account of _Deshneff's_ voyage round _Tschukotskoi
  Noss_--narrative of a voyage made by _Shalauroff_ from the
  _Lena_ to _Shelatskoi Noss_.                                   p. 304.

  Appendix II. _Tartarian_ rhubarb brought to _Kiachta_ by the
  _Bucharian_ merchants--method of examining and purchasing
  the roots--different species of rheum which yield the finest
  rhubarb--price of rhubarb in _Russia_--exportation--superiority
  of the _Tartarian_ over the _Indian_ rhubarb.                  p. 332.

  Table of the longitude and latitude of the principal places
  mentioned in this work.                                        p. 344.






Discovery and Conquest of _Kamtchatka_--Present state of that
Peninsula--Population--Tribute--Productions, &c.

[Sidenote: First Discovery of Kamtchatka.] The Peninsula of Kamtchatka
was not discovered by the Russians before the latter end of the last
century. The first expedition towards those parts was made in 1696, by
sixteen Cossacs, under the command of Lucas Semænoff Morosko, who was
sent against the Koriacks of the river Opooka by Volodimir Atlafsoff
commander of Anadirsk. Morosko continued his march until he came within
four days journey of the river Kamtchatka, and having rendered a
Kamtchadal village tributary, he returned to Anadirsk[5].

    [Footnote 5: S. R. G. V. III. p. 72.]

The following year Atlafsoff himself at the head of a larger body of
troops penetrated into the Peninsula, took possession of the river
Kamtchatka by erecting a cross upon its banks; and built some huts upon
the spot, where Upper Kamtchatkoi Ostrog now stands.

[Sidenote: That Peninsula conquered and colonised by the Russians.]
These expeditions were continued during the following years: Upper and
Lower Kamtchatkoi Ostrogs and Bolcheretsk were built; the Southern
district conquered and colonised; and in 1711 the whole Peninsula was
finally reduced under the dominion of the Russians.

During some years the possession of Kamtchatka brought very little
advantage to the crown, excepting the small tribute of furs exacted from
the inhabitants. The Russians indeed occasionally hunted in that
Peninsula foxes, wolves, ermines, sables, and other animals, whose
valuable skins form an extensive article of commerce among the Eastern
nations. But the fur trade carried on from thence was inconsiderable;
until the Russians discovered the islands situated between Asia and
America, in a series of voyages, the journals of which will be exhibited
in the subsequent translation. Since these discoveries, the variety of
rich furs, which are procured from those Islands, has greatly encreased
the trade of Kamtchatka, and rendered it a very important branch of the
Russian commerce.

The Peninsula of Kamtchatka lies between 51 and 62 degrees of North
latitude, and 173 and 182 of longitude from the Isle of Fero. It is
bounded on the East and South by the Sea of Kamtchatka, on the West by
the Seas of Ochotsk and Penshinsk, and on the North by the country of
the Koriacs.

[Sidenote: Present State of Kamtchatka.] It is divided into four
districts, Bolcheresk, Tigilskaia Krepost, Verchnei or Upper Kamtchatkoi
Ostrog, and Nishnei or Lower Kamtchatkoi Ostrog. [Sidenote: Government]
The government is vested in the chancery of Bolcheresk, which depends
upon and is subject to the inspection of the chancery of Ochotsk. The
whole Russian force stationed in the Peninsula consists of no more than
three hundred men[6].

    [Footnote 6: Journal of St. Petersburg for April 1777.]

[Sidenote: Population.] The present population of Kamtchatka is very
small, amounting to scarce four thousand souls. Formerly the inhabitants
were more numerous, but in 1768, that country was greatly depopulated by
the ravages of the small-pox, by which disorder five thousand three
hundred and sixty-eight persons were carried off. There are now only
seven hundred and six males in the whole Peninsula who are tributary,
and an hundred and fourteen in the Kuril Isles, which are subject to

[Sidenote: Tribute.] The fixed annual tribute consists in 279 sables,
464 red foxes, 50 sea-otters with a dam, and 38 cub sea-otters. All furs
exported from Kamtchatka pay a duty of 10 per cent. to the crown; the
tenth of the cargoes brought from the new discovered islands is also
delivered into the customs.

[Sidenote: Volcanos.] Many traces of Volcanos have been observed in this
Peninsula; and there are some mountains, which are at present in a
burning state. The most considerable of these Volcanos is situated near
the Lower Ostrog. In 1762 a great noise was heard issuing from the
inside of that mountain, and flames of fire were seen to burst from
different parts. These flames were immediately succeeded by a large
stream of melted snow water, which flowed into the neighbouring valley,
and drowned two Kamtchadals, who were at that time upon an hunting
party. The ashes, and other combustible matter, thrown from the
mountain, spread to the circumference of three hundred versts. In 1767
there was another discharge, but less considerable. Every night flames
of fire were observed streaming from the mountain; and the eruption
which attended them, did no small damage to the inhabitants of the Lower
Ostrog. Since that year no flames have been seen; but the mountain emits
a constant smoke. The same phænomenon is also observed upon another
mountain, called Tabaetshinskian.

[Sidenote: Productions.] The face of the country throughout the
Peninsula is chiefly mountainous. It produces in some parts birch,
poplars, alders, willows, underwood, and berries of different sorts.
Greens and other vegetables are raised with great facility; such as
white cabbage, turneps, radishes, beetroot, carrots, and some cucumbers.
Agriculture is in a very low state, which is chiefly owing to the nature
of the soil and the severe hoar frosts; for though some trials have been
made with respect to the cultivation of corn, and oats, barley and rye
have been sown; yet no crop has ever been procured sufficient in quality
or quality to answer the pains and expence of raising it. Hemp however
has of late years been cultivated with great success[7].

    [Footnote 7: Journal of St. Petersburg.]

Every year a vessel, belonging to the crown, sails from Ochotsk to
Kamtchatka laden with salt, provisions, corn, and Russian manufactures;
and returns in June or July of the following year with skins and furs.


General idea of the commerce carried on to the New Discovered
Islands.--Equipment of the vessels.--Risks of the trade, profits, &c.

Since the conclusion of Beering's voyage, which was made at the expence
of the crown, the prosecution of the New Discoveries began by him has
been almost entirely carried on by individuals. These persons were
principally merchants of Irkutsk, Yakutsk, and other natives of Siberia,
who formed themselves into small trading companies, and fitted out
vessels at their joint expence.

[Sidenote: Equipment of the vessels.] Most of the vessels which are
equipped for these expeditions are two masted: they are commonly built
without iron, and in general so badly constructed, that it is wonderful
how they can weather so stormy a sea. They are called in Russian Skitiki
or sewed vessels, because the planks are sewed together with thongs of
leather. Some few are built in the river of Kamtchatka; but they are for
the most part constructed at the haven of Ochotsk. The largest of these
vessels are manned with seventy men, and the smallest with forty. The
crew generally consists of an equal number of Russians and Kamtchadals.
The latter occasion a considerable saving, as their pay is small; they
also resist, more easily than the former, the attacks of the scurvy. But
Russian mariners are more enterprising and more to be depended upon in
time of danger than the others; some therefore are unavoidably

[Sidenote: Expences attending this trade.] The expences of building and
fitting out the vessels are very considerable: for there is nothing at
Ochotsk but timber for their construction. Accordingly cordage, sails,
and some provisions, must be brought from Yakutsk upon horses. The
dearness of corn and flour, which must be transported from the districts
lying about the river Lena, renders it impossible to lay-in any large
quantity for the subsistence of the crew during a voyage, which commonly
lasts three or four years. For this reason no more is provided, than is
necessary to supply the Russian mariners with quass and other fermented

From the excessive scarcity of cattle both at Ochotsk and [8]Kamtchatka
very little provision is laid in at either of those places: but the crew
provide themselves with a large store of the flesh of sea animals,
which are caught and cured upon Beering's Island, where the vessels for
the most part winter.

    [Footnote 8: In 1772 there were only 570 head of cattle upon
    the whole Peninsula. A cow sold from 50 to 60 Roubles, an ox
    from 60 to 100. A pound of fresh beef sold upon an average
    for 12-1/2 copecs. The excessive dearness of this price will
    be easily conceived, when it is known, that at Moscow a pound
    of beef sells for about three copecs. Journ. St. Petersb.]

After all expences are paid, the equipment of each vessel ordinarily
costs from 15,000 to 20,000 Roubles. And sometimes the expences amount
to 30,000. Every vessel is divided into a certain number of shares,
generally from thirty to fifty; and each share is worth from 300 to 500

The risk of the trade is very great, as shipwrecks are common in the sea
of Kamtchatka, which is full of rocks and very tempestuous. Besides, the
crews are frequently surprised and killed by the islanders, and the
vessels destroyed. [Sidenote: Profits.] In return the profits arising
from these voyages are very considerable, and compensate the
inconveniencies and dangers attending them. For if a ship comes back
after having made a profitable voyage, the gain at the most moderate
computation amounts to cent. per cent. and frequently to as much more.
Should the vessel be capable of performing a second expedition, the
expences are of course considerably lessened, and the shares are at a
lower price.

Some notion of the general profits arising from this trade (when the
voyage is successful), may be deduced from the sale of a rich cargo of
furs, brought to Kamtchatka, on the 2d of June, 1772, from the
new-discovered islands, in a vessel belonging to Ivan Popoff.

The tenth part of the skins being delivered to the customs, the
remainder was distributed in fifty-five shares. Each share consisted of
twenty sea-otters, sixteen black and brown foxes, ten red foxes, three
sea-otter tails; and such a portion was sold upon the spot from 800 to
1000 Roubles: so that according to this price the whole lading was worth
about 50,000 Roubles[9].

    [Footnote 9: Georgi Reise Tom. I. p. 23, & seq. Journal of
    St. Petersburg.]


Furs and skins procured from _Kamtchatka_ and the New Discovered

[Sidenote: Furs and Skins brought from Kamtchatka and the New Discovered
Islands.] The principal furs and skins procured from the Peninsula of
Kamtchatka and the New Discovered Islands are sea-otters, foxes, sables,
ermines, wolves, bears, &c.--These furs are transported to Ochotsk by
sea, and from thence carried to [10]Kiachta upon the frontiers of
Siberia; where the greatest part of them are sold to the Chinese at a
very considerable profit.

    [Footnote 10: See Part II. Chap. III.]

[Sidenote: Sea-Otters.] Of all these furs the skins of the sea-otters
are the richest and most valuable. Those animals resort in great numbers
to the Aleutian and Fox Islands: they are called by the Russians Bobry
Morski or sea-beavers, and sometimes Kamtchadal beavers, on account of
the resemblance of their fur to that of the common beaver. From these
circumstances several authors have been led into a mistake, and have
supposed that this animal is of the beaver species; whereas it is the
true sea-otter[11].

    [Footnote 11: S.R.G. III. p. 530.]

The female are called Matka or dams; and the cubs till five months old
Medviedki or little bears, because their coat resembles that of a bear;
they lose that coat after five months, and then are called Koschloki.

The fur of the finest sort is thick and long, of a dark colour, and a
fine glossy hue. They are taken four ways; struck with darts as they are
sleeping upon their backs in the sea, followed in boats and hunted down
till they are tired, surprised in caverns, and taken in nets.

Their skins fetch different prices according to their quality.

  At Kamtchatka[12] the best sell for per
      skin from                         30 to 40 Roubles.
                       Middle sort      20 to 30
                       Worst sort       15 to 25

  At Kiachta[13] the old and middle-aged
      sea-otter skins are sold to the
      Chinese per skin from             80 to 100
                       The worst sort   30 to 40.

    [Footnote 12: Journal St. Petersburg.]

    [Footnote 13: Pallas Reise. Part III. p. 137.]

As these furs fetch so great a price to the Chinese, they are seldom
brought into Russia for sale: and several, which have been carried to
Moscow as a tribute, were purchased for 30 Roubles per skin; and sent
from thence to the Chinese frontiers, where they were disposed of at a
very high interest.

[Sidenote: Different species of Foxes.] There are several species of
Foxes, whose skins are sent from Kamtchatka into Siberia and Russia. Of
these the principal are the black foxes, the Petsi or Arctic foxes, the
red and stone foxes.

The finest black foxes are caught in different parts of Siberia, and
more commonly in the Northern regions between the Rivers Lena,
Indigirka, and Kovyma: the black foxes found upon the remotest Eastern
islands discovered by the Russians, or the Lyssie Ostrova, are not so
valuable. They are very black and large; but the coat for the most part
is as coarse as that of a wolf. The great difference in the fineness of
the fur, between these foxes and those of Siberia, arises probably from
the following circumstances. In those islands the cold is not so severe
as in Siberia; and as there is no wood, the foxes live in holes and
caverns of the rocks; whereas in the abovementioned parts of Siberia,
there are large tracts of forests in which they find shelter. Some black
foxes however are occasionally caught in the remotest Eastern Islands,
not wholly destitute of wood, and these are of great value. In general
the Chinese, who pay the dearest for black furs, do not give more for
the black foxes of the new-discovered islands than from 20 to 30 Roubles
per skin.

The arctic or ice foxes are very common upon some of the New-Discovered
Islands. They are called Petsi by the Russians, and by the Germans blue
foxes. [Sidenote: Pennant's Synopsis.] Their natural colour is of a
bluish grey or ash colour; but they change their coat at different ages,
and in differerent seasons of the year. In general they are born brown,
are white in winter, and brown in summer; and in spring and autumn, as
the hair gradually falls off, the coat is marked with different specks
and crosses.

  At Kiachta[14] all the several varieties sell upon an average to the
  Chinese per skin from 50 copecs to                 2-2/3 Roubles.
  Stone Foxes at Kamtchatka per skin from            1 to 2-1/2
  Red Foxes from 80 copecs to                        1      80 copecs.
  At Kiachta from 80 copecs to                       9
  Common wolves skins at per skin                    2
  Best sort per skin from                            8 to 16
  Sables per ditto                                   2-1/2 to 10

    [Footnote 14: Pallas Reise.]

A pood of the best sea-horse teeth[15] sells

  At Yakutsk for                                     10 Roubles.
  Of the middling                                     8
  Inferior ditto                                 from 5 to 7.

    [Footnote 15: S. R. G. V. III.]

Four, five, or six teeth generally weigh a pood, and sometimes, but very
rarely, three. They are sold to the Chinese, Monguls, and Calmucs.







Commencement and progress of the _Russian_ Discoveries in the sea of
_Kamtchatka_--General division of the New Discovered Islands.

A Thirst after riches was the chief motive which excited the Spaniards
to the discovery of America; and which turned the attention of other
maritime nations to that quarter. The same passion for riches
occasioned, about the middle of the sixteenth century, the discovery and
conquest of Northern Asia, a country, before that time, as unknown to
the Europeans, as Thule to the ancients. [Sidenote: Conquest of
Siberia.] The first foundation of this conquest was laid by the
celebrated Yermac[16], at the head of a band of adventurers, less
civilized, but at the same time, not so inhuman as the conquerors of
America. By the accession of this vast territory, now known by the name
of Siberia, the Russians have acquired an extent of empire never before
attained by any other nation.

    [Footnote 16: The reader will find an account of this
    conquest by Yermac in Part II. Chap. I.]

[Sidenote: Commencement of the New Discoveries.] The first project[17]
for making discoveries in that tempestuous sea, which lies between
Kamtchatka and America, was conceived and planned by Peter I. the
greatest sovereign who ever sat upon the Russian throne, until it was
adorned by the present empress. The nature and completion of this
project under his immediate successors are well known to the public from
the relation of the celebrated Muller. [Sidenote: Their progress.] No
sooner had [18]Beering and Tschirikoff, in the prosecution of this
plan, opened their way to islands abounding in valuable furs, than
private merchants immediately engaged with ardour in similar
expeditions; and, within a period of ten years, more important
discoveries were made by these individuals, at their own private cost,
than had been hitherto effected by all the expensive efforts of the

    [Footnote 17: There seems a want of connection in this place,
    which will be cleared up by considering, that, by the
    conquest of Siberia, the Russians advanced to the shores of
    the Eastern Ocean, the scene of the discoveries here alluded

    [Footnote 18: Beering had already made several expeditions in
    the sea of Kamtchatka, by orders of the crown, before he
    undertook the voyage mentioned in the text.

    In 1728, he departed from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river,
    in company with Tschirikoff. The purport of this voyage was
    to ascertain, whether the two Continents of Asia and America
    were separated; and Peter I. a short time before his death,
    had drawn up instructions with his own hand for that purpose.
    Beering coasted the Eastern shore of Siberia as high as
    latitude 67° 18´; but made no discovery of the opposite

    In 1729, he set sail again for the prosecution of the same
    design; but this second attempt equally failed of success.

    In 1741, Beering and Tschirikoff went out upon the celebrated
    expedition (alluded to in the text, and which is so often
    mentioned in the course of this work) towards the coasts of
    America. This expedition led the way to all the important
    discoveries since made by the Russians.

    Beering's vessel was wrecked in December of the same year;
    and Tschirikoff landed at Kamtchatka on the 9th of October,

    S. R. G. III. Nachrichten von See Reisen, &c. and Robertson's
    History of America, Vol. I. p. 273, & seq.]

Soon after the return of Beering's crew from the island where he was
ship-wrecked and died, and which is called after his name, the
inhabitants of Kamtchatka ventured over to that island, to which the
sea-otters and other sea-animals were accustomed to resort in great
numbers. Mednoi Ostroff, or Copper Island, which takes that appellation
from large masses of native copper found upon the beach, and which lies
full in sight of Beering's Isle, was an easy and speedy discovery.

These two small uninhabited spots were for some time the only islands
that were known; until a scarcity of land and sea-animals, whose numbers
were greatly diminished by the Russian hunters, occasioned other
expeditions. Several of the vessels which were sent out upon these
voyages were driven by stormy weather to the South-east; and discovered
by that means the Aleütian Isles, situated about the 195th[19] degree of
longitude, and but moderately peopled.

    [Footnote 19: The author reckons, throughout this treatise,
    the longitude from the first meridian of the isle of Fero.
    The longitude and latitude, which he gives to the Fox
    Islands, corresponds exactly with those in which they are
    laid down upon the General Map of Russia. The longitude of
    Beering's, Copper Island, and of the Aleütian Isles, are
    somewhat different. See Advertisement relating to the Charts,
    and also Appendix I. N^o IV.]

From the year 1745, when it seems these islands were first visited,
until 1750, when the first tribute of furs was brought from thence to
Ochotsk, the government appears not to have been fully informed of their
discovery. In the last mentioned year, one Lebedeff was commander of
Kamtchatka. From 1755 to 1760, Captain Tsheredoff and Lieutenant
Kashkareff were his successors. In 1760, Feodor Ivanovitch Soimonoff,
governor of Tobolsk, turned his attention to the abovementioned islands;
and, the same year, Captain Rtistsheff, at Ochotsk, instructed
Lieutenant Shmaleff, the same who was afterwards commander in
Kamtchatka, to promote and favour all expeditions in those seas. Until
this time, all the discoveries subsequent to Beering's voyage were made,
without the interposition of the court, by private merchants in small
vessels fitted out at their own expence.

[Sidenote: The Empress promotes all attempts towards New Discoveries.]
The present Empress (to whom every circumstance which contributes to
aggrandize the Russian empire is an object of attention) has given new
life to these discoveries. The merchants engaged in them have been
animated by recompences. The importance and true position of the
Russian islands have been ascertained by an expensive voyage[20], made
by order of the crown; and much additional information will be derived
from the journals and charts of the officers employed in that
expedition, whenever they shall be published.

    [Footnote 20: The author here alludes to the secret
    expedition of Captain Krenitzin and Levaheff, whose journal
    and chart were sent, by order of the Empress of Russia, to
    Dr. Robertson. See Robertson's History of America, Vol. I. p.
    276 and 460. See Appendix I. N^o I.]

Meanwhile, we may rest assured, that several modern geographers have
erred in advancing America too much to the West, and in questioning the
extent of Siberia Eastwards, as laid down by the Russians. It appears,
indeed, evident, that the accounts and even conjectures of the
celebrated Muller, concerning the position of those distant regions, are
more and more confirmed by facts; in the same manner as the justness of
his supposition concerning the form of the coast of the sea of
Ochotsk[21] has been lately established. With respect to the extent of
Siberia, it appears almost beyond a doubt from the most recent
observations, that its Eastern extremity is situated beyond[22] 200
degrees of longitude. In regard to the Western coasts of America, all
the navigations to the New Discovered Islands evidently shew, that,
between 50 and 60 degrees of latitude, that Continent advances no where
nearer to Asia than the [23]coasts touched at by Beering and
Tschirikoff, or about 236 degrees of longitude.

    [Footnote 21: Mr. Muller formerly conjectured, that the coast
    of the sea of Ochotsk stretched South-west towards the river
    Ud; and from thence to the mouth of the Amoor South-east: and
    the truth of this conjecture had been since confirmed by a
    coasting voyage made by Captain Synd.]

    [Footnote 22: Appendix I. N^o I.]

    [Footnote 23: Appendix I. N^o II.]

As to the New Discovered Islands, no credit must be given to a chart
published in the Geographical Calendar of St. Petersburg for 1774; in
which they are inaccurately laid down. Nor is the antient chart of the
New Discoveries, published by the Imperial Academy, and which seems to
have been drawn up from mere reports, more deserving of attention[24].

    [Footnote 24: Appendix I. N^o IV.]

[Sidenote: Position of the New Discovered Islands.] The late navigators
give a far different description of the Northern Archipelago. From their
accounts we learn, that Beering's Island is situated due East from
Kamtchatkoi Noss, in the 185th degree of longitude. Near it is Copper
Island; and, at some distance from them, East-south-east, there are
three small islands, named by their inhabitants, Attak, Semitshi, and
Shemiya: these are properly the Aleütian Isles; they stretch from
West-north-west towards East-south-east, in the same direction as
Beering's and Copper Islands, in the longitude of 195, and latitude 54.

To the North-east of these, at the distance of 600 or 800 versts, lies
another group of six or more islands, known by the name of the
Andreanoffskie Ostrova.

South-east, or East-south, of these, at the distance of about 15
degrees, and North by East of the Aleütian, begins the chain of Lyssie
Ostrova, or Fox Islands: this chain of rocks and isles stretches
East-north-east between 56 and 61 degrees of North latitude, from 211
degrees of longitude most probably to the Continent of America; and in a
line of direction, which crosses with that in which the Aleütian isles
lie. The largest and most remarkable of these islands are Umnak,
Aghunalashka, or, as it is commonly shortened, Unalashka, Kadyak, and

Of these and the Aleütian Isles, the distance and position are tolerably
well ascertained by ships reckonings, and latitudes taken by pilots. But
the situation of the Andreanoffsky Isles[25] is still somewhat doubtful,
though probably their direction is East and West; and some of them may
unite with that part of the Fox Islands which are most contiguous to the
opposite Continent.

    [Footnote 25: These are the same islands which are called, by
    Mr. Stæhlin, Anadirsky Islands, from their supposed vicinity
    to the river Anadyr. See Appendix I. N^o V.]

The main land of America has not been touched at by any of the vessels
in the late expeditions; though possibly the time is not far distant
when some of the Russian adventurers will fall in with that coast[26].
More to the North perhaps, at least as high as 70 degrees latitude, the
Continent of America may stretch out nearer to the coast of the
Tschutski; and form a large promontory, accompanied with islands, which
have no connection with any of the preceding ones. That such a
promontory really exists, and advances to within a very small distance
from Tschukotskoi Noss, can hardly be doubted; at least it seems to be
confirmed by all the latest accounts which have been procured from those
parts[27]. That prolongation, therefore, of America, which by Delisle is
made to extend Westward, and is laid down just opposite to Kamtchatka,
between 50 and 60 degrees latitude, must be entirely removed; for many
of the voyages related in this collection lay through that part of the
ocean, where this imaginary Continent was marked down.

    [Footnote 26: Appendix I. N^o VI.]

    [Footnote 27: Appendix I. N^o VII.]

It is even more than probable, that the Aleütian, and some of the Fox
Islands, now well known, are the very same which Beering fell-in with
upon his return; though, from the unsteadiness of his course, their true
position could not be exactly laid down in the chart of that

    [Footnote 28: This error is however so small, and
    particularly with respect to the more Eastern coasts and
    islands, as laid down in Beering's chart, such as Cape
    Hermogenes, Toomanoi, Shumaghin's Island, and mountain of St.
    Dolmar, that if they were to be placed upon the general map
    of Russia, which is prefixed to this work, they would
    coincide with the very chain of the Fox Islands.]

As the sea of Kamtchatka is now so much frequented, these conjectures
cannot remain long undecided; and it is only to be wished, that some
expeditions were to be made North-east, in order to discover the nearest
coasts of America. For there is no reason to expect a successful voyage
by taking any other direction; as all the vessels, which have steered a
more southerly course, have sailed through an open sea, without meeting
with any signs of land.

A very full and judicious account of all the discoveries hitherto made
in the Eastern ocean may be expected from the celebrated Mr. Muller[29].
Meanwhile, I hope the following account, extracted from the original
papers, and procured from the best intelligence, will be the more
acceptable to the public; as it may prove an inducement to the Russians
to publish fuller and more circumstantial relations. Besides, the reader
will find here a narrative more authentic and accurate, than what has
been published in the abovementioned calendar[30]; and several mistakes
in that memoir are here corrected.

    [Footnote 29: Mr. Muller has already arranged and put in
    order several of the journals, and sent them to the board of
    admiralty at St. Petersburg, where they are at present kept,
    together with the charts of the respective voyages.]

    [Footnote 30: A German copy of the treatise alluded to in the
    text, was sent, by its author, Mr. Stæhlin Counsellor of
    State to the Empress of Russia, to the late Dr. Maty; and it
    is mentioned, in the Philosophical Transactions for 1774,
    under the following title: "A New Map and Preliminary
    Description of the New Archipelago in the North, discovered a
    few Years ago by the Russians in the N. E. beyond
    Kamtchatka." A translation of this treatise was published the
    same year by Heydinger.]


Voyages in 1745.--First discovery of the _Aleütian Isles_ by _Michael

A voyage made in the year 1745 by Emilian Bassoff is scarce worth
mentioning; as he only reached Beering's Island, and two smaller ones,
which lie South of the former, and returned on the 31st of July, 1746.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Nevodtsikoff in 1745.] The first voyage which is in
any wise remarkable, was undertaken in the year 1745. The vessel was a
Shitik named Eudokia, fitted out at the expence of Aphanassei
Tsebaefskoi, Jacob Tsiuproff and others; she sailed from the Kamtchatka
river Sept. 19, under the command of Michael Nevodtsikoff a native of
Tobolsk. [Sidenote: Discovers the Aleütian Islands.] Having discovered
three unknown islands, they wintered upon one of them, in order to kill
sea-otters, of which there was a large quantity. These islands were
undoubtedly the nearest[31] Aleütian Islands: the language of the
inhabitants was not understood by an interpreter, whom they had brought
with them from Kamtchatka. For the purpose therefore of learning this
language, they carried back with them one of the Islanders; and
presented him to the chancery of Bolcheretsk, with a false account of
their proceedings. This islander was examined as soon as he had acquired
a slight knowledge of the Russian language; and as it is said, gave the
following report. He was called Temnac, and Att was the name of the
island of which he was a native. At some distance from thence lies a
great island called Sabya, of which the inhabitants are denominated
Rogii: these inhabitants, as the Russians understood or thought they
understood him, made crosses, had books and fire-arms, and navigated in
baidars or leathern canoes. At no great distance from the island where
they wintered, there were two well-inhabited islands: the first lying E.
S. E. and S. E. by South, the second East and East by South. The
above-mentioned Islander was baptised under the name of Paul, and sent
to Ochotsk.

    [Footnote 31: The small group of islands lying S. E. of
    Beering's Island, are the real Aleütian isles: they are
    sometimes called the Nearest Aleütian Islands; and the Fox
    Islands the Furthest Aleütian Isles.]

As the misconduct of the ship's crew towards the natives was suspected,
partly from the loss of several men, and partly from the report of those
Russians, who were not concerned in the disorderly conduct of their
companions, a strict examination took place; by which the following
circumstances relating to the voyage were brought to light.

[Sidenote: Narrative of the Voyage.] According to the account of some of
the crew, and particularly of the commander, after six days sailing they
came in sight of the first island on the 24th of September, at mid-day.
They sailed by, and towards evening they discovered the second island;
where they lay at anchor until the next morning.

The 25th several inhabitants appeared on the coast, and the pilot was
making towards shore in the small boat, with an intention of landing;
but observing their numbers increase to about an hundred, he was afraid
of venturing among them, although they beckoned to him. He contented
himself therefore with flinging some needles amongst them: the islanders
in return threw into the boat some sea-fowl of the cormorant kind. He
endeavoured to hold a conversation with them by means of the
interpreters, but no one could understand their language. And now the
crew endeavoured to row the vessel out to sea; but the wind being
contrary, they were driven to the other side of the same island, where
they cast anchor.

The 26th, Tsiuproff having landed with some of the crew in order to look
for water, met several inhabitants: he gave them some tobacco and small
Chinese pipes; and received in return a present of a stick, upon which
the head of a seal was carved. They endeavoured to wrest his hunting
gun from him; but upon his refusing to part with it and retiring to the
small boat, the islanders ran after him; and seized the rope by which
the boat was made fast to shore. This violent attack obliged Tsiuproff
to fire; and having wounded one person in the hand, they all let go
their hold; and he rowed off to the ship. The Savages no sooner saw that
their companion was hurt, than they threw off their cloaths, carried the
wounded person naked into the sea, and washed him. In consequence of
this encounter the ship's crew would not venture to winter at this
place, but rowed back again to the other island, where they came to an

The next morning Tsiuproff, and a certain Shaffyrin landed with a more
considerable party: they observed several traces of inhabitants; but
meeting no one they returned to the ship, and coasted along the island.
The following day the Cossac Shekurdin went on shore, accompanied by
five sailors: two of whom he sent back with a supply of water; and
remained himself with the others in order to hunt sea-otters. At night
they came to some dwellings inhabited by five families: upon their
approach the natives abandoned their huts with precipitation, and hid
themselves among the rocks. Shekurdin no sooner returned to the ship,
than he was again sent on shore with a larger company, in order to look
out for a proper place to lay up the vessel during winter: In their way
they observed fifteen islanders upon an height; and threw them some
fragments of dried fish in order to entice them to approach nearer. But
as this overture did not succeed, Tsiuproff, who was one of the party,
ordered some of the crew to mount the height, and to seize one of the
inhabitants, for the purpose of learning their language: this order was
accordingly executed, notwithstanding the resistance which the islanders
made with their bone spears; the Russians immediately returned with
their prisoner to the ship. They were soon afterwards driven to sea by a
violent storm, and beat about from the 2d to the 9th of October, during
which time they lost their anchor and boat; at length they came back to
the same island, where they passed the winter.

Soon after their landing they found in an adjacent hut the dead bodies
of two of the inhabitants, who had probably been killed in the last
encounter. In their way the Russians were met by an old woman, who had
been taken prisoner, and set at liberty. She was accompanied with
thirty-four islanders of both sexes, who all came dancing to the sound
of a drum; and brought with them a present of coloured earth. Pieces of
cloth, thimbles, and needles, were distributed among them in return; and
they parted amicably. Before the end of October, the same persons,
together with the old woman and several children, returned dancing as
before, and brought birds, fish, and other provision. Having passed the
night with the Russians, they took their leave. Soon after their
departure, Tsiuproff, Shaffyrin, and Nevodsikoff, accompanied with seven
of the crew, went after them, and found them among the rocks. In this
interview the natives behaved in the most friendly manner, and exchanged
a baidar and some skins for two shirts. They were observed to have
hatchets of sharpened stone, and needles made of bone: they lived upon
the flesh of sea-otters, seals, and sea-lions, which they killed with
clubs and bone lances.

So early as the 24th of October, Tsiuproff had sent ten persons, under
the command of Larion Belayeff, upon a reconnoitring party. The latter
treated the inhabitants in an hostile manner; upon which they defended
themselves as well as they could with their bone lances. This resistance
gave him a pretext for firing; and accordingly he shot the whole number,
amounting to fifteen men, in order to get at their wives.

Shekurdin, shocked at these cruel proceedings, retired unperceived to
the ship, and brought an account of all that had passed. Tsiuproff,
instead of punishing these cruelties as they deserved, was secretly
pleased with them; for he himself was affronted at the islanders for
having refused to give him an iron bolt, which he saw in their
possession. He had, in consequence of their refusal, committed several
acts of hostilities against them; and had even formed the horrid design
of poisoning them with a mixture of corrosive sublimate. In order
however to preserve appearances, he dispatched Shekurdin and Nevodsikoff
to reproach Belayeff for his disorderly conduct; but sent him at the
same time, by the above-mentioned persons, more powder and ball.

The Russians continued upon this island, where they caught a large
quantity of sea otters, until the 14th of September, 1746; when, no
longer thinking themselves secure, they put to sea with an intention of
looking out for some uninhabited islands. Being however overtaken by a
violent storm, they were driven about until the 30th of October, when
their vessel struck upon a rocky shore, and was shipwrecked, with the
loss of almost all the tackle, and the greatest part of the furs. Worn
out at length with cold and fatigue, they ventured, the first of
November, to penetrate into the interior part of the country, which they
found rocky and uneven. Upon their coming to some huts, they were
informed, that they were cast away upon the island of Karaga, the
inhabitants of which were tributary to Russia, and of the Koraki tribe.
The islanders behaved to them with great kindness, until Belayeff had
the imprudence to make proposals to the wife of the chief. The woman
gave immediate intelligence to her husband; and the natives were
incensed to such a degree, that they threatened the whole crew with
immediate death: but means were found to pacify them, and they continued
to live with the Russians upon the same good terms as before.

The 30th of May, 1747, a party of Olotorians made a descent upon the
island in three baidars, and attacked the natives; but, after some loss
on both sides, they went away. They returned soon after with a larger
force, and were again forced to retire. But as they threatened to come
again in a short time, and to destroy all the inhabitants who paid
tribute, the latter advised the Russians to retire from the island, and
assisted them in building two baidars. With these they put to sea the
27th of June, and landed the 21st of July at Kamtchatka, with the rest
of their cargo, consisting of 320 sea-otters, of which, they paid the
tenth into the customs. During this expedition twelve men were lost.


Successive voyages, from_ 1747 to 1753, to _Beering's_ and _Copper
Island,_ and to the _Aleütian Isles_.--Some account of the inhabitants.

In the year 1747[32] two vessels sailed from the Kamtchatka river,
according to a permission granted by the chancery of Bolckeretsk for
hunting sea-otters. One was fitted out by Andrew Wsevidoff, and carried
forty-six men, besides eight Cossacs: the other belonged to Feodor
Cholodiloff, Andrew Tolstyk, and company; and had on board a crew,
consisting of forty-one Russians and Kamtchadals, with six Cossacs.

    [Footnote 32: It may be necessary to inform the reader, that,
    in this and the two following chapters, some circumstances
    are occasionally omitted, which are to be found in the
    original. These omissions relate chiefly to the names of some
    of the partners engaged in the equipments, and to a detail of
    immaterial occurrences prior to the actual departure of the

The latter vessel sailed the 20th of October, and was forced, by stress
of weather and other accidents, to winter at Beering's Island. From
thence they departed May the 31st, 1748, and touched at another small
island, in order to provide themselves with water and other necessaries.
They then steered S. E. for a considerable way without discovering any
new islands; and, being in great want of provisions, returned into
Kamtchatka River, August 14, with a cargo of 250 old sea-otter-skins,
above 100 young ones, 148 petsi or arctic fox-skins, which were all
slain upon Beering's Island.

We have no sufficient account of Wsevidoff's voyage. All that is known
amounts only to this, that he returned the 25th of July, 1749, after
having probably touched upon one of the nearest Aleütian Isles which was
uninhabited: his cargo consisted of the skins of 1040 sea-otters, and
2000 arctic foxes.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Emilian Yugoff.] Emilian Yugoff, a merchant of
Yakutsk, obtained from the senate of St. Petersburg the permission of
fitting out four vessels for himself and his associates. He procured, at
the same time, the exclusive privilege of hunting sea-otters upon
Beering's and Copper Island during these expeditions; and for this
monopoly he agreed to deliver to the customs the tenth of the furs.

October 6, 1750, he put to sea from Bolcheresk, in the sloop John,
manned with twenty-five Russians and Kamtchadals, and two Cossacs: he
was soon overtaken by a storm, and the vessel driven on shore between
the mouths of the rivers Kronotsk and Tschasminsk.

October 1751, he again set sail. He had been commanded to take on board
some officers of the Russian navy; and, as he disobeyed this
injunction, the chancery of Irkutsk issued an order to confiscate his
ship and cargo upon his return. The ship returned on the 22d of July,
1754, to New Kamtchatkoi Ostrog, laden with the skins of 755 old
sea-otters, of 35 cub sea-otters, of 447 cubs of sea-bears, and of 7044
arctic fox-skins: of the latter 2000 were white, and 1765 black. These
furs were procured upon Beering's and Copper Island. Yugoff himself died
upon the last-mentioned island. The cargo of the ship was, according to
the above-mentioned order, sealed and properly secured. But as it
appeared that certain persons had deposited money in Yugoff's hand, for
the purpose of equipping a second vessel, the crown delivered up the
confiscated cargo, after reserving the third part according to the
original stipulation.

This kind of charter-company, if it may be so called, being soon
dissolved for misconduct and want of sufficient stock, other merchants
were allowed the privilege of fitting out vessels, even before the
return of Yugoff's ship; and these persons were more fortunate in making
new discoveries than the above-mentioned monopolist.

[Sidenote: Voyage of the Boris and Glebb.] Nikiphor Trapesnikoff, a
merchant of Irkutsk, obtained the permission of sending out a ship,
called the Boris and Glebb, upon the condition of paying, besides the
tribute which might be exacted, the tenth of all the furs. The Cossac
Sila Sheffyrin went on board this vessel for the purpose of collecting
the tribute. They sailed in August, 1749, from the Kamtchatka river; and
re-entered it the 16th of the same month, 1753, with a large cargo of
furs. In the spring of the same year, they had touched upon an unknown
island, probably one of the Aleütians, where several of the inhabitants
were prevailed upon to pay a tribute of sea-otter skins. The names of
the islanders who had been made tributary, were Igya, Oeknu,
Ogogoektack, Shabukiauck, Alak, Tutun, Ononushan, Rotogèi, Tschinitu,
Vatsch, Ashagat, Avyjanishaga, Unashayupu, Lak, Yanshugalik, Umgalikan,
Shati, Kyipago, and Oloshkot[33]; another Aleütian had contributed three
sea-otters. They brought with them 320 best sea-otter skins, 480 of the
second, and 400 of the third sort, 500 female and middle aged, and 220
medwedki or young ones.

    [Footnote 33: The author here remarks in a note, that the
    proper names of the islanders mentioned in this place, and in
    other parts, bear a surprising resemblance, both in their
    sound and termination, to those of the Greenlanders.]

[Sidenote: Voyage of Andrew Tolstyk to the Aleütian Isles, 1749.] Andrew
Tolstyk, a merchant of Selenginsk, having obtained permission from the
chancery of Bolsheretsk, refitted the same ship which had made a former
voyage; he sailed from Kamtchatka August the 19th, 1749, and returned
July the 3d, 1752.

According to the commander's account, the ship lay at anchor from the
6th of September, 1749, to the 20th of May, 1750, before Beering's
Island, where they caught only 47 sea-otters. From thence they made to
those Aleütian Islands, which were[34] first discovered by Nevodsikoff,
and slew there 1662 old and middle-aged sea-otters, and 119 cubs;
besides which, their cargo consisted of the skins of 720 blue foxes, and
of 840 young sea-bears.

    [Footnote 34: See Chap. II.]

The inhabitants of these islands appeared to have never before paid
tribute; and seemed to be a-kin to the Tschuktski tribe, their women
being ornamented with different figures sewed into the skin in the
manner of that people, and of the Tungusians of Siberia. They differed
however from them, by having two small holes cut through the bottom of
their under-lips, through each of which they pass a bit of the sea-horse
tush, worked into the form of a tooth, with a small button at one end to
keep it within the mouth when it is placed in the hole. They had killed,
without being provoked, two of the Kamtchadals who belonged to the ship.
Upon the third Island some inhabitants had payed tribute; their names
were reported to be Anitin, Altakukor, and Aleshkut, with his son
Atschelap. The weapons of the whole island consisted of no more than
twelve spears pointed with flint, and one dart of bone pointed with the
same; and the Russians observed in the possession of the natives two
figures, carved out of wood, resembling sea-lions.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Vorobieff, 1750.] August 3, 1750, the vessel Simeon
and John, fitted out by the above-mentioned Wsevidoff, agent for the
Russian merchant A. Rybenskoi, and manned with fourteen Russians (who
were partly merchants and partly hunters) and thirty Kamtchadals, sailed
out for the discovery of new islands, under the command of the Cossac
Vorobieff. They were driven by a violent current and tempestuous weather
to a small desert island, whose position is not determined; but which
was probably one of those that lie near Beering's Island. The ship being
so shattered by the storm, that it was no longer in a condition to keep
the sea, Vorobieff built another small vessel with drift-wood, which he
called Jeremiah; in which he arrived at Kamtchatka in Autumn, 1752.

Upon the above-mentioned island were caught 700 old and 120 cub
sea-otters, 1900 blue foxes, 5700 black sea-bears, and 1310 Kotiki, or
cub sea-bears.

A voyage made about this time from Anadyrsk deserves to be mentioned.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Novikoff and Bacchoff from Anadyrsk.] August 24,
1749, Simeon Novikoff of Yakutsk, and Ivan Bacchoff of Ustyug, agents
for Ivan Shilkin, sailed from Anadyrsk into the mouth of the Kamtchatka
river. They assigned the insecurity of the roads as their reason for
coming from Anadyrsk to Kamtchatka by sea; on this account, having
determined to risk all the dangers of a sea voyage, they built a vessel
one hundred and thirty versts above Anadyr, after having employed two
years and five months in its construction.

[Sidenote: Narrative of te Voyage.] The narrative of their expedition is
as follows. In 1748, they sailed down the river Anadyr, and through two
bays, called Kopeikina and Onemenskaya, where they found many sand
banks, but passed round them without difficulty. From thence they
steered into the exterior gulph, and waited for a favourable wind. Here
they saw several Tschutski, who appeared upon the heights singly and not
in bodies, as if to reconnoitre; which made them cautious. They had
descended the river and its bays in nine days. In passing the large
opening of the exterior bay, they steered between the beach, that lies
to the left, and a rock near it; where, at about an hundred and twenty
yards from the rock, the depth of water is from three to four fathoms.
From the opening they steered E. S. E. about fifty versts, in about four
fathom water; then doubled a sandy point, which runs out directly
against the Tshuktshi coast, and thus reached the open sea.

From the 10th of July to the 30th, they were driven about by tempestuous
winds, at no great distance from the mouth of the Anadyr; and ran up the
small river Katirka, upon whose banks dwell the Koriacs, a people
tributary to Russia. The mouth of the river is from sixty to eighty
yards broad, from three to four fathoms deep, and abounds in fish. From
thence they put again to sea, and after having beat about for some time,
they at length reached Beering's Island. [Sidenote: Shipwreck upon
Beering's Island.] Here they lay at anchor from the 15th of September to
the 30th of October, when a violent storm blowing right from the sea,
drove the vessel upon the rocks, and dashed her to pieces. The crew
however were saved: and now they looked out for the remains of Beering's
wreck, in order to employ the materials for the constructing of a boat.
They found indeed some remaining materials, but almost entirely rotten,
and the iron-work corroded with rust. Having selected however the best
cables, and what iron-work was immediately necessary, and collected
drift-wood during the winter, they built with great difficulty a small
boat, whose keel was only seventeen Russian ells and an half long, and
which they named Capiton. In this they put to sea, and sailed in search
of an unknown island, which they thought they saw lying North-east; but
finding themselves mistaken, they tacked about, and stood far Copper
Island: from thence they sailed to Kamtchatka, where they arrived at the
time above-mentioned.

The new constructed vessel was granted in property to Ivan Shilkin as
some compensation for his losses, and with the privilege of employing it
in a future expedition to the New Discovered Islands. Accordingly he
sailed therein on the 7th of October, 1757, with a crew of twenty
Russians, and the same number of Kamtchadals: he was accompanied by
Studentzoff a Cossac, who was sent to collect the tribute for the crown.
An account of this expedition will be given hereafter[35].

    [Footnote 35: See Chap. V.]

[Sidenote: Voyage of Durneff, in the St. Nicholas, 1754.] August, 1754,
Nikiphor Trapesnikoff fitted out the Shitik St. Nicholas, which sailed
from Kamtchatka under the command of the Cossac Kodion Durneff. He first
touched at two of the Aleütian Isles, and afterwards upon a third, which
had not been yet discovered. He returned to Kamtchatka in 1747. His
cargo consisted of the skins of 1220 sea-otters, of 410 female, and 665
cubs; besides which, the crew had obtained in barter from the islanders
the skins of 652 sea-otters, of 30 female ditto, and 50 cubs.

[Sidenote: Narrative of the Voyage.] From an account delivered in the 3d
of May, 1758, by Durneff and Sheffyrin, who was sent as collector of the
tributes, it appears that they sailed in ten days as far as Ataku, one
of the Aleütian Islands; that they remained there until the year 1757,
and lived upon amicable terms with the natives.

[Sidenote: Description of the Aleütian Isles.] The second island, which
is nearest to Ataku, and which contains the greatest number of
inhabitants, is called Agataku; and the third Shemya: they lie from
forty to fifty versts asunder. [Sidenote: Account of inhabitants.] Upon
all the three islands there are (exclusive of children) but sixty males,
whom they made tributary. The inhabitants live upon roots which grow
wild, and sea animals: they do not employ themselves in catching fish,
although the rivers abound with all kinds of salmon, and the sea with
turbot. Their cloaths are made of the skins of birds and of sea-otters.
The Toigon or chief of the first island informed them by means of a boy,
who understood the Russian language, that Eastward there are three large
and well peopled islands, Ibiya, Ricksa, and Olas, whose inhabitants
speak a different language. Sheffyrin and Durneff found upon the island
three round copper plates, with some letters engraved upon them, and
ornamented with foliage, which the waves had cast upon the shore: they
brought them, together with other trifling curiosities, which they had
procured from the natives, to New Kamtchatkoi Ostrog.

Another ship built of larchwood by the same Trapesnikoff, which sailed
in 1752 under the conduct of Alexei Drusinin a merchant of Kursk, had
been wrecked at Beering's Island, where the crew constructed another
vessel out of the wreck, which they named Abraham. In this vessel they
bore away for the more distant islands; but being forced back by
contrary winds to the same island, and meeting with the St. Nicholas
upon the point of sailing for the Aleütian Isles, they embarked on that
ship, after having left the new constructed vessel under the care of
four of their own sailors. The crew had slain upon Beering's Island five
sea-otters, 1222 arctic foxes, and 2500 sea-bears: their share of the
furs, during their expedition in the St. Nicholas, amounted to the skins
of 500 sea-otters, and of 300 cubs, exclusive of 200 sea-otter-skins,
which they procured by barter.


Voyages from 1753 to 1756.

Some of the further _Aleütian_ or _Fox Islands_ touched at by
_Serebranikoff's_ vessel.--Some account of the Natives.

Three vessels were fitted out for the islands in 1753, one by
Cholodiloff, a second by Serebranikoff agent for the merchant Rybenskoy,
and the third by Ivan Krassilnikoff a merchant of Kamtchatka.

[Sidenote: Cholodiloff's Ship sails from Kamchatka 1753.] Cholodiloff's
ship sailed from Kamtchatka, the 19th of August, manned with thirty-four
men; and anchored the 28th before Beering's Island, where they proposed
to winter, in order to lay-in a flock of provisions: as they were
attempting to land, the boat overset, and nine of the crew were drowned.

June 30, 1754, they stood out to sea in quest of new discoveries: the
weather however proving stormy and foggy, and the ship springing a leak,
they were all in danger of perishing: in this situation they
unexpectedly reached one of the Aleütian islands, were they lay from the
15th of September until the 9th of July, 1755. In the autumn of 1754
they were joined by a Kamtchadal, and a Koriac: these persons, together
with four others, had deserted from Trapesnikoff's crew; and had
remained upon the island in order to catch sea-otters for their own
profit. Four of these deserters were killed by the islanders for having
debauched their wives: but as the two persons above-mentioned were not
guilty of the same disorderly conduct, the inhabitants supplied them
with women, and lived with them upon the best terms. The crew slew upon
this island above 1600 sea-otters, and came back safe to Kamtchatka in
autumn 1755.

[Sidenote: Departure of Serebranikoff's Vessel.] Serebranikoff's vessel
sailed in July 1753, manned also with thirty-four Russians and
Kamtchadals: they discovered several new islands, which were probably
some of the more distant ones; but were not so fortunate in hunting
sea-otters as Cholodiloff's crew. They steered S. E. and on the 17th of
August anchored under an unknown island; whose inhabitants spoke a
language they did not understand. Here they proposed looking out for a
safe harbour; but were prevented by the coming on of a sudden storm,
which carried away their anchor. The ship being tost about for several
days towards the East, they discovered not far from the first island
four others: still more to the East three other islands appeared in
sight; but on neither of these were they able to land. [Sidenote:
Shipwrecked upon one of the more distant Islands.] The vessel continued
driving until the 2d of September, and was considerably shattered, when
they fortunately came near an island and cast anchor before it; they
were however again forced from this station, the vessel wrecked upon the
coast, and the crew with difficulty reached the shore.

This island seemed to be right opposite to Katyrskoi Noss in the
peninsula of Kamtchatka, and near it they saw three others. Towards the
end of September Demitri Trophin, accompanied with nine men, went out in
the boat upon an hunting and reconnoitring party: they were attacked by
a large body of inhabitants, who hurled darts from a small wooden
engine, and wounded one of the company. The first fire however drove
them back; and although they returned several times to the attack in
numerous bodies, yet they were always repulsed without difficulty.

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants.] These savages mark and colour
their faces like the Islanders above-mentioned; and also thrust pieces
of bone through holes made in their under-lips.

Soon afterwards the Russians were joined in a friendly manner by ten
islanders, who brought the flesh of sea-animals and of sea-otters; this
present was the more welcome, as they had lived for some time upon
nothing but small shell-fish and roots; and had suffered greatly from
hunger. Several toys were in return distributed among the savages.
[Sidenote: The Crew construct another Vessel, and return to Kamtchatka.]
The Russians remained until June, 1754, upon this island: at that time
they departed in a small vessel, constructed from the remains of the
wreck, and called the St. Peter and Paul: in this they landed at
Katyrskoi Noss; where having collected 140 sea-horse teeth, they got
safe to the mouth of the Kamtchatka river.

During this voyage twelve Kamtchadals deserted; of whom six were slain,
together with a female inhabitant, upon one of the most distant islands.
The remainder, upon their return to Kamtchatka, were examined; and from
them the following circumstances came to light. The island, where the
ship was wrecked, is about 70 versts long, and 20 broad. Around it lie
twelve other islands of different sizes, from five to ten versts distant
from each other. Eight of them appear to be no more than five versts
long. All these islands contain about a thousand souls. The dwellings of
the inhabitants are provided with no other furniture than benches, and
mats of platted grass[36]. Their dress consists of a kind of shirt made
of bird-skins, and of an upper garment of intestines stitched together;
they wear wooden caps, ornamented with a small piece of board projecting
forwards, as it seemed, for a defence against the arrows. They are all
provided with stone knives, and a few of them possess iron ones: their
only weapons are arrows with points of bone or flint, which they shoot
from a wooden instrument. There are no trees upon the island: it
produces however the cow-parsnip[37], which grows at Kamtchatka. The
climate is by no means severe, for the snow does not lie upon the ground
above a month in the year.

    [Footnote 36: Matten aus einem gevissen Krautgeflochten.]

    [Footnote 37: Heracleum.]

[Sidenote: Departure of Krassilnikoff's Vessel.] Krassilnikoff's vessel
sailed in 1754, and anchored on the 18th of October before Beering's
Island; where all the ships which make to the New Discovered Islands are
accustomed to winter, in order to procure a stock of salted provisions
from the sea-cows and other amphibious animals, that are found in great
abundance. Here they refitted the vessel, which had been damaged by
driving upon her anchor; and having laid in a sufficient store of all
necessaries, weighed the 1st of August, 1754. The 10th they were in
sight of an island, whose coast was lined with such a number of
inhabitants, that they durst not venture ashore. Accordingly they stood
out to sea, and being overtaken by a storm, they were reduced to great
distress for want of water; at length they were driven upon Copper
Island, where they landed; and having taken in wood and water, they
again set sail. [Sidenote: Shipwrecked upon Copper Island.] They were
beat back however by contrary winds, and dropped both their anchors near
the shore; but the storm increasing at night, both the cables were
broken, and the ship dashed to pieces upon the coast. All the crew were
fortunately saved; and means were found to get ashore the ship's tackle,
ammunition, guns, and the remains of the wreck; the provisions, however,
were mostly spoiled. Here they were exposed to a variety of misfortunes;
three of them were drowned on the 15th of October, as they were going to
hunt; others almost perished with hunger, having no nourishment but
small shell-fish and roots. On the 29th of December great part of the
ship's tackle, and all the wood, which they had collected from the
wreck, was washed away during an high sea. Notwithstanding their
distresses, they continued their hunting parties, and caught 103
sea-otters, together with 1390 blue foxes.

[Sidenote: The Crew reach Beering's Island in two Baidars.] In spring
they put to sea for Beering's Island in two baidars, carrying with them
all the ammunition, fire-arms, and remaining tackle. Having reached that
island, they found the small vessel Abraham, under the care of the four
sailors who had been left ashore by the crew of Trapesnikoff's ship: but
as that vessel was not large enough to contain the whole number,
together with their cargo of furs, they staid until Serebranikoff's and
Tolstyk's vessels arrived. These took in eleven of the crew, with their
part of the furs. Twelve remained at Beering's Island, where they killed
great numbers of arctic foxes, and returned to Kamtchatka in the
Abraham, excepting two, who joined Shilkin's crew.


Voyages from 1756 to 1758.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Andrean Tolstyk in 1756 to the Aleütian Isles.]
September 17, 1756, the vessel Andrean and Natalia, fitted out by
Andrean Tolstyk, merchant of Selenginsk, and manned with thirty-eight
Russians and Kamtchadals, sailed from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river.
The autumnal storms coming on, and a scarcity of provisions ensuing,
they made to Beering's Island, where they continued until the 14th of
June 1757. As no sea-otters came on shore that winter, they killed
nothing but seals, sea-lions, and sea-cows; whose flesh served them for
provision, and their skins for the coverings of baidars.

June 13, 1757, they weighed anchor, and after eleven days sailing came
to Ataku, one of the Aleütian isles discovered by Nevodsikoff. Here they
found the inhabitants, as well of that, as of the other two islands,
assembled; these islanders had just taken leave of the crew of
Trapesnikoff's vessel, which had sailed for Kamtchatka. The Russians
seized this opportunity of persuading them to pay tribute; with this
view they beckoned the Toigon, whose name was Tunulgasen: the latter
recollected one of the crew, a Koriac, who had formerly been left upon
these islands, and who knew something of their language. A copper
kettle, a fur and cloth coat, a pair of breeches, stockings and boots,
were bestowed upon this chief, who was prevailed upon by these presents
to pay tribute. Upon his departure for his own island, he left behind
him three women and a boy, in order to be taught the Russian language,
which the latter very soon learned.

The Russians wintered upon this island, and divided themselves, as
usual, into different hunting parties: they were compelled, by stormy
weather, to remain there until the 17th of June, 1758: before they went
away, the above-mentioned chief returned with his family, and paid a
year's tribute.

This vessel brought to Kamtchatka the most circumstantial account of the
Aleütian isles which had been yet received.

[Sidenote: Account of those Islands.] The two largest contained at that
time about fifty males, with whom the Russians had lived in great
harmony. They heard of a fourth island, lying at some distance from the
third, called by the natives Iviya, but which they did not reach on
account of the tempestuous weather.

The first island is about an hundred versts long and from five to twenty
broad. They esteemed the distance from the first to the second, which
lies East by South, to be about thirty versts, and about forty from the
latter to the third, which stands South East. The original dress of the
islanders was made of the skins of birds, sea-otters and seals, which
were tanned; but the greatest part had procured from the Russians
dog-skin coats, and under-garments of sheep-skin, which they were very
fond of. They are represented as naturally talkative, quick of
apprehension, and much attached to the Russians. Their dwellings are
hollowed in the ground, and covered with wooden roofs resembling the
huts in the peninsula of Kamtchatka. Their principal food is the flesh
of sea animals, which they harpoon with their bone lances; they
also feed upon several species of roots and berries: namely
[38]cloud-berries, crake-berries, bilberries, and services. The rivulets
abound with salmon, and other fish of the trout kind similar to those of
Kamtchatka; and the sea with turbot, which are caught with bone hooks.

    [Footnote 38: Rubus Chamæmorus--Empetrum--Myrtillus--Sorbus.]

These islands produce quantities of small osiers and underwood, but no
large trees: the sea however drives ashore fir and larch, sufficient for
the construction of their huts. There are a great number of arctic
foxes upon the first island, as well as sea-otters; and the shores,
during stormy weather, are covered with wild geese and ducks.

The Russians, according to the order of the chancery of Bolcheretsk,
endeavoured to persuade the Toigon of these islands to accompany them to
Kamtchatka, but without success: upon their departure they distributed
among the islanders some linen, and thirteen nets for the purpose of
catching sea-otters, which were very thankfully received. This vessel
brought to Kamtchatka the skins of 5030 old and young sea-otters, of
1040 old and young arctic foxes, and of 330 Medwedki or cubs of

In the year 1757, Ivan Nikiphoroff, a merchant of Moscow, sent out a
vessel: but we have no further account of this voyage, than that she
sailed to the Fox Islands, at least as far as Umnak.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Ivan Shilkin in the Capiton 1757.] The small vessel
Capiton, the same that was built upon Beering's Island, and which was
given to the merchant [39]Ivan Shilkin, put to sea September 26, 1757,
carrying on board the Cossac Ignatius Studentsoff, who has given an
account of the voyage.

    [Footnote 39: See chap. III.]

They had not long sailed, before they were driven back to the shore of
Kamtchatka by stress of weather, and the vessel stranded; by which
accident they lost the rudder and one of the crew. This misfortune
prevented them from putting to sea again until the following year, with
thirty-nine of the original crew, several persons being left behind on
account of sickness. They made directly to Beering's Island, where they
took up two of Krasilnikoff's crew[40], who had been shipwrecked. They
again set sail in August of the same year, and touched at the nearest
Aleütian Isles, after suffering greatly from storms. They then continued
their course to the remoter islands lying between East and South East;
and having passed by the first, they anchored before the second. A boat
being immediately sent out towards the shore, the crew was attacked by a
numerous body of islanders in so sudden a manner, that they had scarcely
time to secure themselves by returning to the vessel. They had no sooner
got aboard, than a violent gale of wind blowing from the shore broke the
cable, and drove them out to sea. [Sidenote: Shipwrecked upon one of the
Fox Islands.] The weather became suddenly thick and foggy; and under
these circumstances the vessel was forced upon a small island at no
great distance from the other, and shipwrecked. The crew got to shore
with difficulty, and were able to save nothing but the fire-arms and

    [Footnote 40: See chap. IV.]

They had scarcely got to land, before they were beset by a number of
savages, rowing in baidars from the Western point of the island. This
attack was the more to be dreaded, because several of the Russians were
disabled by cold and wet; and there remained only fifteen capable of
defending themselves. They advanced however without hesitation to the
islanders; and one Nicholas Tsiuproff (who had a slight knowledge of
their language) accosted and endeavoured to sooth them, but without
success. For upon their approach the savages gave a sudden shout, and
saluting them at the same time with a volley of darts, wounded one
person in the hand. Upon this the Russians fired, killed two of the
assailants, and forced the remainder to retire: and although a fresh
body appeared in sight, as if they were coming to the assistance of
their companions, yet no new attack was made. Soon afterwards the
savages left the island, and rowed across the strait.

From the 6th of September to the 23d of April, they underwent all the
extremities of famine: during that period their best fare was shell-fish
and roots; and they were even at times reduced to still the cravings of
their appetite with the leather, which the waves washed ashore from the
wreck. Seventeen died of hunger, and the rest would soon have followed
their companions, if they had not fortunately discovered a dead whale,
which the sea had cast ashore. [Sidenote: The Crew construct a small
Vessel, and are again shipwrecked.] They remained upon this island
another winter, where they slew 230 sea-otters: and having built a
small vessel out of the remains of the wreck, they put to sea in the
beginning of summer 1760. They had scarcely reached one of the Aleütian
islands, where Serebranikoff's vessel lay at anchor, when they were
again shipwrecked, and lost all the remaining tackle and furs. Only
thirteen of the crew now remained, who returned on board the
above-mentioned vessel to Kamtchatka July 1751.


Voyages in 1758, 1759, and 1760--to the _Fox Islands_--in the _St.
Vladimir_, fitted out by _Trapesnikoff_--and in the _Gabriel_, by
_Betshevin_--The latter under the command of _Pushkareff_ sails to
_Alaksu_ or _Alachskak_, one of the remotest Eastern Islands hitherto
visited--Some account of its inhabitants, and productions, which latter
are different from those of the more Western Islands.

[Sidenote: Voyage of the St. Vladimir, commanded by Paikoff, 1758.]
September 1758, the merchant Simeon Krasilnikoff and Nikiphor
Trapesnikoff fitted out two vessels for the purpose of catching
sea-otters. One of these vessels, called the St. Vladimir, sailed the
28th under the command of Demetri Paikoff, carrying on board the Cossac
Sila Shaffyrin as collector of the tribute, and a crew of forty-five
men. In twenty-four hours they reached Beering's Island, where they
wintered. July 16, 1759, they steered towards the South in order to
discover land, but being disappointed, they bore away to the North for
the Aleütian isles: being prevented however by contrary winds from
reaching them, they sailed streight towards the distant islands, which
are known at present under the name of Lyssie Ostrova or the Fox
Islands. [Sidenote: Arrival at the Fox Island.] September 1, they
reached the first of these, called by the natives Atchu, and by the
Russians Goreloi or the Burnt Island: but as the coasts were very steep
and craggy, they made to Amlach, lying at a small distance, where they
determined to pass the winter. They divided themselves accordingly into
three parties; the first, at the head of which was Alexèy Drusinin, went
over to a small island called in the journal Sitkin; the Cossac
Shaffyrin led the second, consisting of ten persons, to the island
Atach; and Simeon Polevoi remained aboard with the rest of the crew. All
these islands were well peopled; the men had bones thrust through their
ears, under lips, and gristle of their noses; and the faces of the women
were marked with blackish streaks made with a needle and thread in the
skin, in the same manner as a Cossac one of the crew had observed before
upon some of the Tschutski. The inhabitants had no iron; the points of
their darts and lances were tipped with bone and flint.

They at first imagined, that Amlach was uninhabited; but in one of their
hunting parties they found a boy of eight years old, whom they brought
with them: they gave him the name of Hermolai, and taught him the
Russian language, that he might serve as an interpreter. After
penetrating further they discovered an hut, wherein were two women, four
men, and as many boys, whom they treated kindly, and employed in
hunting, fishing, and in digging of roots. This kind behaviour
encouraged others to pay frequent visits, and to exchange fish and flesh
for goat's hair, horses manes, and glass beads. They procured also four
other islanders with their wives, who dug roots for them: and thus the
winter passed away without any disturbance.

In the spring the hunting parties returned; during these excursions one
man alone was killed upon the island Atach, and his fire-arms taken away
by the natives. June 1760, the same parties were sent again to the same
islands. Shaffyrin, who headed one of the parties, was soon afterwards
killed, with eleven men, by the inhabitants of Atach, but for what
reason is not known.--Drusinin received the first information of this
massacre from some inhabitants of Sitkin, where he then was; and
immediately set out with the remaining hunters to join their companions,
who were left on board. Although he succeeded in regaining the vessel,
their number was by this time so considerably reduced that their
situation appeared very dangerous: he was soon however relieved from his
apprehensions by the arrival of the merchant Betshevin's vessel at the
island of Atchu[41]. The two crews entered into partnership: the St.
Vladimir received twenty-two men, and transferred eleven of her own to
the other vessel. The former wintered at Amlach, and the latter
continued at anchor before Atchu.

    [Footnote 41: Atach and Atchu are two names for the same
    island, called also by the Russians Goreloi or Burnt Island.]

[Sidenote: Voyage of Pushkareff, 1760.] This vessel, fitted out at the
expence of Betshevin, a merchant of Irkutsk, was called Gabriel; and put
to sea from the mouth of the Bolshaia Reka July 31st, 1760. She was
manned with forty Russians and twenty Kamtchadals, and carried on board
Gabriel Pushkareff, of the garrison of Ochotsk, Andrew Shdanoff, Jacob
Sharypoff, Prokopèi Lobashkoff, together with Nikiphor Golodoff, and
Aphanassei Oskoloff, Betshevin's agents.

Having sailed through the second strait of the Kuril Isles, they reached
the Aleütian Isles on the 24th of August. They stood out from thence in
order to make new discoveries among those more remote islands, which lie
in one continued chain to the extent of 15 degrees of longitude.

[Sidenote: Reaches Atchu, one of the Fox Islands.] September 25 they
reached Atchu, or Burnt Island, and found the above-mentioned ship the
St. Vladimir, lying twenty versts from that island, before Amlach, in
danger of being attacked by the islanders. They immediately joined crews
in order to enable the enfeebled company of the St. Vladimir to continue
hunting; and as it is usual in such cases, entered into a contract for
the division of the profit. During that winter the two crews killed
partly upon Siguyam, about 800 sea otters of different sizes, about 100
medwedki or cubs, some river otters, above 400 red, greyish, and black
foxes, and collected twelve pood of sea-horse teeth.

[Sidenote: Departs from thence.] In June, of the following year, the two
crews were distributed equally on board the two vessels: Krassilnikoff's
remained at Amlach, with an intention of returning to Kamtchatka, and
Belshevin's put to sea from Atchu in quest of other islands. They
touched first at Umnak where they met Nikiphoroff's vessel. Here they
took in wood and water, and repaired their sails: they then sailed to
the most remote island Alaksu[42], or Alachshak, where, having laid up
the ship in a bay, they built huts, and made preparations for wintering.
[Sidenote: Winters upon Alaksu.] This island was very well inhabited,
and the natives behaved at first in a very friendly manner, for they
trafficked with the Russians, and even delivered up nine of their
children as hostages; but such was the lawless and irregular behaviour
of the crew, that the islanders were soon irritated and provoked to

    [Footnote 42: This is probably the same island which is laid
    down in Krenitzin's chart under the name of Alaxa.]

In January 1762, Golodoff and Pushkareff went with a party of twenty men
along the shore; and, as they were attempting to violate some girls upon
the island Unyumga, were surprised by a numerous body of the natives:
Golodoff and another Russian were killed, and three were wounded. Not
long afterwards the watch of the crew was suddenly attacked by the
islanders; four men were slain upon the spot, as many wounded, and the
huts reduced to ashes.

May 3, Lobaschkoff and another Russian were killed, as they were going
to bathe in the warm springs, which lie about five versts from the
haven: upon which seven of the hostages were put to death. The same
month the natives attempted to surprise the Russians in their huts; but
being fortunately discovered in time were repulsed by means of the fire
arms. At length the Russians, finding themselves in continual danger
from these attempts, weighed anchor, and sailed for Umnak, where they
took up two inhabitants with their wives and children, in order to shew
them other islands. They were prevented however by tempestuous weather
from reaching them; and were driven out to sea Westward with such
violence, that all their sails were carried away: at length on the 23d
of September they struck against land, which they took for the peninsula
of Kamtchatka; and they found it to be the district of Stobolikoi
Ostrog. Six men were immediately dispatched in the small boat and two
baidars to land: they carried with them several girls (who had been
brought from the new discovered islands) in order to gather berries.
Mean while the crew endeavoured to ply the ship to the windward. When
the boat returned, those on board were scarcely able, on account of the
storm, to row to the ship, and to catch hold of a rope, which was flung
out to them. Two men remained with the baidars, and were afterwards
carried by some Kamtchadals to New Kamtchatkoi Ostrog. The ship without
one sail remaining was driven along the coast of Kamtchatka towards
Avatcha, and about seventy versts from that harbour ran into the bay of
Kalatzoff on the 25th of September. Their cargo consisted of the skins
of 900 old and young sea-otters, and of 350 foxes.

Pushkareff and his crew had during this voyage behaved with such
inhumanity towards the islanders, that they were brought to trial in the
year 1764; and the above-mentioned account is taken from the concurring
evidence of several witnesses. It appears also, that they brought away
from Atchu and Amleg two Aleütian men and three boys, Ivan an Aleütian
interpreter, and above twenty women and girls whom they debauched. Ivan,
and one of the boys whom they called Moses, were the only persons who
arrived at Kamtchatka. Upon their first approach to that coast, fourteen
women were sent ashore to dig roots and to gather berries. Of these, two
ran away, and a third was killed, as they were returning to the ship by
one Gorelin: upon this the others in a fit of despair leaped into the
sea and were drowned. All the remaing Aleütians, excepting the two
persons above-mentioned, were immediately thrown overboard by
Pushkareff's order. The account which follows, although it is found in
the depositions, deserves not to be entirely credited in all

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants of Alacksu.] The natives of the
above-mentioned islands are very tall and strongly made. They make their
cloaths of the skins of birds; and thrust bones through their under-lips
by way of ornament. They were said to strike their noses until they
bled, in order to suck the blood; but we are informed from subsequent
accounts, that the blood thus drawn from themselves was intended for
other purposes[43]. They were accused even of murdering their own
children in order to drink their blood; but this is undoubtedly an
invention of the criminals, who represented the islanders in the most
hideous colours, in order to excuse their own cruelties. Their dwellings
under-ground are similar to those of the Kamtchadals; and have several
openings on the sides, through which they make their escape when the
principal entrance is beset by an enemy. Their weapons consist of arrows
and lances pointed with bone, which they dart at a considerable

    [Footnote 43: It appears in the last chapter of this
    translation, that the islanders are accustomed to glue on the
    point of their darts with blood; and that this was the real
    motive to the practice mentioned in the text.]

[Sidenote: Animals.] The island Alaksu is said to contain rein-deer,
bears, wild boars, wolves, otters, and a species of dogs with long ears,
which are very fierce and wild. And as the greatest part of these
animals are not found upon those Fox Islands which lie nearer to the
west, this circumstance seems to prove that Alaksu is situated at no
great distance from the Continent of America. As to red, black, and grey
foxes, there is so large a quantity, that they are seen in herds of ten
or twenty at a time. Wood is driven upon the coast in great abundance.
The island produces no large trees, having only some underwood, and a
great variety of bulbs, roots, and berries. The coasts are frequented by
large flocks of sea-birds, the same which are observed upon the shore of
the sea of Penshinsk.

[Sidenote: Voyage of the Peter and Paul to the Aleütian Islands, 1759.]
August 4, 1759, the Peter and Paul, fitted out at the expence of the
merchant Rybenskoi by his agent Andrew Serebranikoff, and manned with
thirty-three persons, set sail from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river.
They steered southwards until the 20th of September without seeing any
land, when they stood for the Aleütian Isles, one of which they reached
the 27th of September. They remained there until the 24th of June, 1761;
during which time they killed upon this and the two other islands 1900
old and young sea-otters, and obtained 450 more by bartering with the
islanders. The Cossac Minyachin, who was on board as collector of the
tribute, calls in his account the first island by the Russian name of
Krugloi, or Round Island, which he supposes to be about sixty versts in
circumference: the largest island lies thirty versts from thence, and is
about an hundred and fifty round: the smallest is about thirty versts
from the latter, and is forty in circumference. These three islands
contain several high rocky mountains. The number of inhabitants were
computed to be about forty-two men, without reckoning women and


Voyage of _Andrean Tolstyk_ in the _St. Andrean_ and
_Natalia_--Discovery of some New Islands called _Andreanoffskye
Ostrova_--Description of six of those Islands.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Andrean Tolstyk in the St. Andrean and Natalia,
1760.] The most remarkable voyage hitherto made is that of the St.
Andrean and Natalia, of which the following extract is drawn from the
Journals of the two Cossacs, Peter Wasyutinskoi and Maxim Lasaroff. This
vessel, fitted out by the above-mentioned merchant Andrean Tolstyk,
weighed from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river September 27, 1760; she
stood out to sea right Eastwards, and on the 29th reached Beering's
Island. There she lay at anchor in a bay, from whence the crew brought
all the tackle and lading ashore. Soon afterwards they were driven upon
the shore by a violent autumnal storm, without any other damage than the
loss of an anchor. Here they passed the winter; and having refitted
their vessel, put to sea June 24, 1761: they passed by Copper Island,
which lies about an hundred and fifty versts from the former, and
steered S. E. towards the Aleütian Isles, which they did not reach
before the 6th of August. [Sidenote: Reaches Ayagh, one of the
Andreanoffikye Islands.] They cast anchor in an open bay near Attak, in
order to procure an interpreter from the Toigon Tunulgasen; but the
latter being dead, they sent presents to the Toigon Bakutun. As there
were already three ships lying at anchor before this Island, on the 19th
they again stood out to sea in quest of the more distant islands, for
the purpose of exacting a tribute. They carried on board a relation of
the Toigon Bakutun, who had a slight knowledge of the Russian language.
They steered N. E. and N. E. by E. and were driven, on the 28th, by a
high gale of wind towards an island, before which they immediately cast
anchor. The following morning the two Cossacs with a party of eight
persons went ashore to reconnoitre the island; they saw no inhabitants.
August 30, the vessel was brought into a safe bay. The next day some of
the crew were sent ashore to procure wood, that the ship might be
refitted; but there were no large trees to be met with upon the whole
island. Lasaroff, who was one of the party, had been there before in
Serebranikoff's vessel: he called the island Ayagh or Kayachu; and
another, which lay about the distance of twenty versts, Kanaga. As they
were returning to the ship, they saw two islanders rowing in small
canoes towards Kanaga, one of whom had served as an interpreter, and was
known to Lasaroff. The latter accordingly made them a present of some
fresh provision, which the others gratefully accepted, and then
continued their course across the strait to Kanaga. Soon afterwards
Lasaroff and eight men rowed over to that island, and having invited the
Toigon, who was a relation of the above-mentioned interpreter, to pay
them a visit at Kayachu, they immediately returned to the ship.

Near the place where they lay at anchor, a rivulet falls into the bay;
it flows from a lake that is about two or three versts in circumference,
and which is formed from a number of small springs. Its course is about
eight versts long; and in summer several species of salmon and other
fish, similar to those which are found at Kamtchatka, ascend the stream
as far as the lake.

Lasaroff was employed in fishing in this rivulet, when the Toigon of
Kanaga, accompanied with a considerable number of the natives in fifteen
baidars, arrived at the ship: he was hospitably entertained, and
received several presents. The Russians seized this opportunity of
persuading the islanders to acknowledge themselves subject to the
Empress, and to pay a regular tribute; to which they made no great
objection. By means of the interpreter, the following information was
obtained from the Toigon. The natives chiefly subsist upon dried fish
and other sea animals. They catch [44]turbot of a very large size, and
take seals by means of harpoons, to which they fasten bladders. They
fish for cod with bone hooks, and lines made of a long and tough species
of sea-weed, which they dip in fresh water and draw out to the size of
a fine packthread.

    [Footnote 44: The author adds, that these turbot [paltus]
    weigh occasionally seven or eight pood.]

As soon as the vessel was laid up in a secure place, Tolstyk, Vassyutin
and Lasaroff, with several others, went in four baidars to Kanaga. The
first remained upon that island, but the two others rowed in two baidars
to Tsetchina, which is separated from Kanaga by a strait about seven
versts in breadth: the islanders received them amicably, and promised to
pay tribute. The several parties returned all safe to Kayachu, without
having procured any furs. Soon afterwards Tolstyk dispatched some
hunters in four baidars to Tagalak, Atchu, and Amlach, which lay to the
East of Kayachu: none of these party met with any opposition from the
natives: they accordingly remained with great tranquillity upon these
several islands until the year 1764. Their success in hunting was not
however very great; for they caught no more than 1880 full grown
sea-otters, 778 middle-aged, and 372 cubs.

[Sidenote: Description of the Andreanoffskye Islands.] The following is
Lasaroff's description of the above-mentioned six islands[45] which lie
in a chain somewhat to the North West of the Fox Islands, and must not
be blended with them. The first certain account was brought by this
vessel, the St. Andrean and Natalia, from whence they are called the
Andreanoffskie Ostrova or the Islands of St. Andrean.

    [Footnote 45: These are the six Islands described by Mr.
    Stæhlin in his description of the New Archipelago. See
    Appendix I. N^o. V.]

[Sidenote: Ayagh.] Ayagh is about an hundred and fifty versts in
circumference: it contains several high and rocky mountains, the
intervals of which are bare heath and moor ground: not one forest tree
is to be found upon the whole island. The vegetables seem for the most
part like those which grow in Kamtchatka. Of berries there are found
[46]crow or crake-berries and the larger sort of bilberries, but in
small quantities. Of the roots of burnet and all kinds of snake weed,
there is such abundance as to afford, in case of necessity, a plentiful
provision for the inhabitants. The above-mentioned rivulet is the only
one upon the island. The number of inhabitants cannot sufficiently be
ascertained, because the natives pass continually from island to island
in their baidars.

    [Footnote 46: Empetrum, Vaccin. Uliginosum, Sanguisorba, &

[Sidenote: Kanaga.] Kanaga stands West from Ayagh, and is two hundred
versts in circumference. It contains an high volcano where the natives
find sulphur in summer. At the foot of this mountain are hot springs,
wherein they occasionally boil their provision. There is no rivulet upon
this island; and the low grounds are similar to those of Ayagh. The
inhabitants are reckoned about two hundred souls.

[Sidenote: Tsetchina.] Tsetchina lies Eastward about forty versts from
Kanaga, and is about eighty in circumference. It is full of rocky
mountains, of which the Bielaia Sopka, or the White Peak, is the
highest. In the valley there are also some warm springs, but no rivulet
abounding in fish: the island contains only four families.

[Sidenote: Tagalak.] Tagalak is forty versts in circumference, ten East
from Tsetchina: it contains a few rocks, but neither rivulets with fish,
nor any vegetable production fit for nourishment. The coasts are rocky,
and dangerous to approach in baidars. This island is also inhabited by
no more than four families.

[Sidenote: Atchu.] Atchu lies in the same position forty versts distant
from Tagalak, and is about three hundred in circumference: near it is an
harbour, where ships may ride securely at anchor. It contains many rocky
mountains; and several small rivulets that fall into the sea, and of
which one running Eastwards abounds in fish. The roots which have just
before been mentioned, and bulbs of white lilies, are found there in
plenty. Its inhabitants amount to about sixty souls.

[Sidenote: Amlach.] Amlach is a mountainous island standing to the East
more than seven versts from Atchu, and is also three hundred in
circumference. It contains the same number of inhabitants as Atchu, has
a commodious haven, and produces roots in abundance. Of several small
rivulets there is one only which flows towards the North, that contains
any fish. Besides these a cluster of other islands were observed
stretching farther to the East, which were not touched upon.

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants.] The inhabitants of these six
islands are tributary to Russia. They live in holes dug in the earth, in
which they make no fires even in winter. Their clothes are made like
shirts, of the skins of the [47]guillinot and puffin, which they catch
with springes. Over these in rainy weather they wear an upper garment,
made of the bladders and other dried intestines of seals and sea-lions
oiled and stitched together. They catch cod and turbot with bone hooks,
and eat them raw. As they never lay in a store of provision, they suffer
greatly from hunger in stormy weather, when they cannot go out to fish;
at which time they are reduced to live upon small shell-fish and
sea-wrack, which they pick up upon the beach and eat raw. In May and
June they kill sea-otters in the following manner: When the weather is
calm, they row out to sea in several baidars: having found the animal,
they strike him with harpoons, and follow him so closely, that he cannot
easily escape. They take sea dogs in the same manner. In the severest
weather they make no addition to their usual cloathing. In order to
warm themselves in winter, whenever it freezes very hard, they burn a
heap of dry grass, over which they stand and catch the heat under their
clothes. The clothes of the women and children are made of sea-otter
skins, in the same form as those belonging to the men. Whenever they
pass the night at a distance from home, they dig a hole in the earth,
and lay themselves down in it, covered only with their clothes and mats
of platted grass. Regardless of every thing but the present moment,
destitute of religion, and without the least appearance of decency, they
seem but few degrees removed from brutes.

    [Footnote 47: Colymbus Troile, Alca Arctica.]

As soon as the several baidars sent out upon hunting parties were
returned, and the vessel got ready for their departure, the Toigons of
these islands (excepting Kanaga) came in baidars to Tolstyk, accompanied
with a considerable number of the natives; their names were Tsarkulini,
Tshunila, Kayugotsk and Mayatok. They brought with them a voluntary
tribute, making presents of pieces of dried salmon, and unanimously
expressing their satisfaction upon the good conduct of the Russians.
Tolstyk gave them in return some toys and other trifles, and desired
them to recommend to the inhabitants of the other islands the like
friendly behaviour towards the Russian merchants who should come amongst
them, if they had a mind to be treated in the same manner.

June 14, 1764, they sailed for Kamtchatka, and anchored on the 19th
before Shemiya, one of the Aleütian Islands. The 21st they were forced
from their anchor by tempestuous winds, and driven upon a rocky shore.
This accident obliged them to send the lading ashore, and to draw the
ship upon land in order to repair the damage, which was done not without
great difficulty. On the 18th of August they stood out to sea and made
towards Atchu, which they reached on the 20th. Having sprung a leak they
again refitted the vessel; and, after taking on board the crew of a ship
which had been lately cast away, they sailed for Kamtchatka. [Sidenote:
The Vessel wrecked upon the Coast of Kamtchatka.] On the 4th of
September they came in sight of that peninsula near Tzaschminskoi
Ostrog; and on the 18th, as they were endeavouring to run into the mouth
of the Kamtchatka river, they were forced by a storm upon the coast. The
vessel was destroyed, and the greatest part of the cargo lost.


Voyage of the _Zacharias_ and _Elizabeth_, fitted out by _Kulkoff_, and
commanded by _Drusinin_--They sail to _Umnak_ and _Unalashka_, and
winter upon the latter island--The vessel destroyed, and all the crew,
except four, murdered by the islanders--The adventures of these four
_Russians_, and their wonderful escape.

I Shall here barely mention that a vessel was fitted out in August,
1760, at the expence of Terrenti Tsebaëfskoi: but I shall have occasion
to be very circumstantial in my accounts concerning several others,
which sailed during the following years: more copious information
concerning the Fox Islands having been procured from these voyages,
although for the most part unfortunate, than from all the preceding

In 1762 four vessels sailed for the Fox Islands: of these only one
returned safe to Kamtchatka.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Drusinin in the Zacharias and Elizabeth, 1762.] The
first was the Zacharias and Elizabeth, fitted out by Kulkoff, a merchant
of Vologda and Company, under the command of Drusinin, and manned by
thirty-four Russians, and three Kamtchadals.

September the 6th, they weighed anchor from Ochotsk, and arrived October
the 11th in the haven of St. Peter and Paul, where they wintered. June
the 24th, 1763, they again put to sea, and having reached, after eleven
days sailing, the nearest Aleütian Islands, they anchored before Atach.
They staid here about fourteen days, and took up seven Russians who had
been shipwrecked on this coast. Among these was Korelin, who returned to
Kamtchatka, and brought back the following account of the voyage.

July the 17th, they sailed from Atach towards the more distant islands.
In the same month they landed upon an island, where the crew of the
Andrean and Natalia was engaged in hunting; and, having laid in a
provision of water, continued their voyage.

[Sidenote: Arrival at Umnak.] In the beginning of September they arrived
at Umnak, one of the Fox Islands, and cast anchor about a verst from the
shore. They found there Glottoff's vessel, whose voyage will be
mentioned in a succeeding chapter[48]. Drusinin immediately dispatched
his first mate Maesnisk and Korelin, with thirty-four of the crew, to
land. They passed over to the Eastern extremity of the island, which was
distant about seventy versts from the vessel; and returned safe on the
12th of September. During this expedition, they saw several remains of
fox-traps which had been set by the Russians; and met with several
natives who shewed some tribute-quittances. The same day letters were
brought by the islanders from Medvedeff and Korovin[49], who were just
arrived at Umnak and Unalashka in two vessels fitted out by the
merchants Protassoff and Trapesnikoff. Answers were returned by the same

    [Footnote 48: Chap. X.]

    [Footnote 49: See the following Chapter.]

[Sidenote: Winters at Unalashka.] On the 22d, Drusinin sailed to the
Northern point of Unalashka, which lies about fifteen versts from Umnak:
the crew, having laid up the vessel in a safe harbour, and brought the
lading ashore, made preparation to construct an hut. Soon after their
arrival, two Toigons of the nearest village brought hostages of their
own accord; their example was immediately followed by several of the
more distant villages. Here they received information of an hunting
party sent from Trapesnikoff's ship. Upon which Maesnyk also dispatched
three companies upon the same errand, one consisting of eleven men,
among whom was Korelin, under the command of Peter Tsekaleff; a second
of the same number, under Michael Kudyakoff; and a third of nine men,
under Yephim Kaskitsyn. Of these three parties, Tsekaleff's was the only
one of which we have received any circumstantial account: for not a
single person of the other two parties, or of the crew remaining on
board, ever returned to Kamtchatka.

Kaskitsyn remained near the haven, and the two other companies were
dispatched to the Northern point of the island. Kudyakoff stopped at a
place called Kalaktak, which contained about forty inhabitants;
Tsekaleff went on to Inalok, which lies about thirty versts from
Kalaktak. He found there a dwelling with about seventy inhabitants, whom
he behaved to with kindness: he built an hut for himself and his
companions, and kept a constant watch.

[Sidenote: All the Crew, except four Russians, destroyed by the
Natives.] December the 4th, six of the party being dispatched to look
after the pit-falls, there remained only five Russians: namely, Peter
Tsekaleff, Stephen Korelin, Dmitri Bragin, Gregory Shaffyrin, and Ivan
Kokovin: the islanders took this opportunity of giving the first proofs
of their hostile intentions, which they had hitherto concealed. As
Tsekaleff and Shaffyrin were upon a visit to the islanders, the latter
suddenly, and without any provocation, struck Tsekaleff upon the head
with a club, and afterwards stabbed him with knives. They next fell upon
Shaffyrin, who defended himself with an hatchet, and, though desperately
wounded, forced his way back to his companions. Bragin and Korelin, who
remained in the hut, had immediate recourse to their fire-arms; but
Kokovin, who was at a small distance, was surrounded by the savages, and
thrown down. They continued stabbing him with knives and darts, until
Korelin came to his assistance; the latter having wounded two
islanders, and driven away the others, brought Kokovin half-dead to the

[Sidenote: The Adventures of the four Russians upon Unalaskka.] Soon
afterwards the natives surrounded the hut, which the Russians had taken
the precaution to provide with shooting-holes. The siege lasted four
days without intermission. The islanders were prevented indeed by the
fire-arms from storming the hut; but whenever the Russians made their
appearance, darts were immediately shot at them from all sides; so that
they could not venture to go out for water. At length when Shaffyrin and
Kokovin were a little recovered, they all sallied out upon the islanders
with their guns and lances; three persons were killed upon the spot, and
several wounded; upon which the others fled away and dispersed. During
the siege the savages were seen at a little distance bearing some arms
and caps, and holding them up in triumph: these things belonged to the
six Russians, who had been sent to the pit-falls, and had fallen a
sacrifice to the resentment of the natives.

The latter no sooner disappeared, than the Russians dragged the baidar
into the sea, and rowed without molestation out of the bay, which is
about ten versts broad. They next landed near a small habitation:
finding it empty they drew the baidar ashore, and went with their
fire-arms and lances across the mountains towards Kalaktak, where they
had left Kudyakoff's party. As they approached that place towards
evening, they fired from the heights; but no signal being returned, they
concluded, as was really the case, that this company had likewise been
massacred by the inhabitants. They themselves narrowly escaped the same
fate; for, immediately upon the report of the fire-arms, numerous bodies
of the islanders made their appearance, and closely pursued the
Russians: darkness however coming on, the latter found means to escape
over the sandy shore of a bay to a rock, where they were sheltered, and
could defend themselves. They here made so good a use of their arms,
that the islanders thought proper to retire: the fugitives, as soon as
their pursuers were withdrawn, seized the opportunity of proceeding
towards the haven, where their vessel lay at anchor: they ran without
interruption during the whole night, and at break of day, when they were
about three versts from the haven, they espied a locker of the vessel
lying on the shore. Struck with astonishment at this alarming discovery,
they retreated with precipitation to the mountains, from whence they
descried several islanders rowing in canoes, but no appearance of their
own vessel. During that day they kept themselves closely concealed, and
durst not venture again towards the haven before the evening. Upon their
arrival they found the vessel broken to pieces, and the dead bodies of
their companions lying mangled along the beach. Having collected all the
provision which had been untouched by the savages, they returned to the

The following day they scooped out a cavity at the foot of a mountain
situated about three versts from the haven, and covered it with a piece
of a sail. In the evening they returned to the haven, and found there an
image of a saint and a prayer book; all the tackle and lading were taken
away, excepting the sacks for provision.

These sacks were made of leather: the natives had ript them up probably
to see if they contained any iron, and had left them, together with the
provision, behind as useless. The Russians collected all that remained,
and dragged as much as they were able to carry into the mountains to
their retreat, where they lived in a very wretched state from the 9th of
December to the 2d of February, 1764.

Mean while they employed themselves in making a little baidar, which
they covered with the leather of the sacks. Having drawn it at night
from the mountains to the sea, they rowed without waiting for break of
day along the Northern coast of Unalaschka, in order to reach
Trapesnikoff's vessel, which, as they had reason to think, lay at anchor
somewhere upon the coast. They rowed at some distance from the shore,
and by that means passed three habitations unperceived. The following
day they observed at some distance five islanders in a baidar, who upon
seeing them made to Makushinsk, before which place the fugitives were
obliged to pass. Darkness coming on, the Russians landed on a rock, and
passed the night ashore. Early in the morning they discovered the
islanders advancing towards them from the bay of Makushinsk. Upon this
they placed themselves in an advantageous post, and prepared for

The savages rowed close to the beach: part landing, and part remaining
in their baidars, they commenced the assault by a volley of darts; and
notwithstanding the Russians did great execution with their fire arms,
the skirmish continued the whole day. Towards evening the enemy retired,
and the fugitives betook themselves with their canoe to an adjoining
cavern. The attack was again renewed during the night; but the Russians
were so advantageously posted, that they repulsed the assailants without
much difficulty. In this encounter Bragen was slightly wounded. They
remained in this place three days; but the sea rising at a spring-tide
into the rock, forced them to sally out towards a neighbouring cavern,
which they reached without loss, notwithstanding the opposition of the

They were imprisoned in this cave five weeks, and kept watch by turns.
During that time they seldom ventured twenty yards from the entrance;
and were obliged to quench their thirst with snow-water, and with the
moisture dripping from the rock. They suffered also greatly from
hunger, having no sustenance but small shell-fish, which they
occasionally found means to collect, upon the beach. Compelled at length
by extreme want, they one night ventured to draw their baidar into the
sea, and were fortunate enough to get off unperceived.

[Sidenote: Their Escape from Unalaschka to Trapesnikoff's vessel.] They
continued rowing at night, but in the day they hid themselves on the
shore; by this means they escaped unobserved from the bay of Makushinsk,
and reached Trapesnikoff's vessel the 30th of March, 1764. What happened
to them afterwards in company with the crew of this vessel will be
mentioned in the succeeding chapter, Shaffyrin alone of all the four
died of sickness during the voyage; but Korelin, Kohovin, and Bragin[50]
returned safe to Kamtchatka. The names of these brave men deserve our
admiration, for the courage and perseverance with which they supported
and overcame such imminent dangers.

    [Footnote 50: These Russians were well known to several
    persons of credit, who have confirmed the authenticity of
    this relation. Among the rest the celebrated naturalist Mr.
    Pallas, whose name is well known in the literary world, saw
    Bragin at Irkutsk: from him he had a narrative of their
    adventures and escape; which, as he assured me, perfectly
    tallied with the above account, which is drawn from the
    journal of Korelin.]


Voyage of the vessel called the _Trinity_, under the command of
_Korovin_--Sails to the _Fox Islands_--Winters at _Unalashka_--Puts to
sea the spring following--The vessel is stranded in a bay of the island
_Umnak_, and the crew attacked by the natives--Many of them
killed--Others carried off by sickness--They are reduced to great
streights--Relieved by _Glottoff_, twelve of the whole company only
remaining--Description of _Umnak_ and _Unalashka_.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Korovin, 1762.] The second vessel which sailed from
Kamtchatka in the year 1762, was the Trinity, fitted out by the trading
company of Nikiphor Trapesnikoff, merchant of Irkutsk, under the command
of Ivan Korovin, and manned with thirty-eight Russians and six

[Sidenote: Departs from Kamtchatka.] September 15, they sailed down the
Kamtchatka river, and stood out to sea the 29th, when they were driven
at large for ten days by contrary winds. At last upon the 8th of October
they came in sight of Beering's and Copper Island, where they cast
anchor before the South side of the former. Here they were resolved to
winter on account of the late season of the year. Accordingly they laid
up the vessel in a secure harbour, and brought all the lading ashore.
[Sidenote: Winters upon Beering's Island.] They staid here until the
first of August, 1763: during that time they kilted about 500 arctic
foxes and 20 sea-otters; the latter animals resorted less frequently to
this island, in consequence of the disturbance given them by the Russian

Korovin, having collected a sufficient store of provision, several skins
of sea-cows for the coverings of baidars, and some iron which remained
from the wreck of Beering's ship, prepared for his departure. Upon his
arrival at Beering's Island the preceding autumn, he found there a
vessel fitted out by Jacob Protassoff, merchant of Tiumen, under the
command of Dennis Medvedeff[51]. Korovin had entered into a formal
contract with Medvedeff for the division of the furs. Here he took on
board ten of Medvedeff's crew, and gave him seven in return.

August 1, Korovin put to sea from Beering's Island with thirty-seven
men, and Medvedeff with forty-nine. [Sidenote: Reaches Unalashka.] They
sailed without coming in sight of the Aleütian Isles: on the 15th,
Korovin made Unalashka, where Glottoff lay at anchor, and Medvedeff
reached Umnak. Korovin received the news of the latter's safe arrival,
first by some islanders, and afterwards by letters; both vessels lay at
no greater distance from each other than about an hundred and fifty
versts, taking a streight line from point to point across the firth.

    [Footnote 51: This is the fourth vessel which sailed in 1762.
    As the whole crew was massacred by the savages, we have no
    account of the voyage. Short mention of this massacre is
    occasionally made in this and the following chapters.]

Korovin cast anchor in a convenient bay at the distance of sixty yards
from the shore. On the 16th he landed with fourteen men, and having
found nothing but an empty shed, he returned to the vessel. After having
taken a reinforcement, he again went ashore in order to look for some
inhabitants. About seven versts from the haven, he came to two
habitations, and saw three hundred persons assembled together. Among
them were three Toigons, who recollected and accosted in a friendly
manner one Barnasheff, a native of Tobolsk, who had been there before
with Glottoff; they shewed some tribute-quittances, which they had
lately received from the Cossac Sabin Ponomareff. Two of these Toigons
gave each a boy of twelve years of age as an hostage, whom they passed
for their children; and the third delivered his son of about fifteen
years of age, the same who had been Glottoff's hostage, and whom Korovin
called Alexèy. [Sidenote: Lays up the Ship.] With these hostages he
returned to the ship, which he laid up in the mouth of a river, after
having brought all the provision and lading ashore. Soon afterwards the
three Toigons came to see the hostages; and informed Korovin, that
Medvedeff's vessel rode securely at anchor before Umnak.

September 15, when every thing was prepared for wintering, Korovin and
Barnasheff set out in two baidars, each with nine men and one of the
hostages, who had a slight knowledge of the Russian language. They went
along the Northern coast of the island, towards its Western extremity,
in order to hunt, and to enquire after a certain interpreter called
Kashmak, who had been employed by Glottoff on a former occasion. Having
rowed about twenty versts, they passed by a village, and landed at
another which lay about five versts further. But as the number of
inhabitants seemed to amount to two hundred, they durst not venture
to the dwellings, but stayed by the baidar. Upon this the Toigon
of the place came to them, with his wife and son: he shewed a
tribute-quittance, and delivered his son, a boy of thirteen years of age
and whom Korovin called Stepanka, as an hostage, for which he received a
present of corals.

They rowed now further to a third village, about fifteen versts from the
former, where they found the interpreter Kashmak; the latter accompanied
them to the two Toigons, who gave them a friendly reception, and shewed
their tribute-quittances. A few natives only made their appearance; the
others, as the Toigons pretended, were gone out to fish. The next
morning each Toigon gave a boy as an hostage; one of the boys Korovin
called Gregory, and the other Alexèy. The Russians were detained there
two days by a violent storm; during which time a letter from Medvedeff
was brought by an Aleütian, and an answer was returned by the same
person. The storm at length somewhat abating, they rowed back to the
next village, where they continued two nights without any apprehensions
from the savages. At length Korovin returned in safety with the hostages
to the crew.

[Sidenote: Builds an Hut, and makes Preparations for Wintering.] In the
beginning of October they built a winter-hut, partly of wood and partly
of seal-skins, and made all the necessary preparations for hunting. On
the 14th, two companies, each consisting of eleven men, were sent out
upon an hunting party to the Eastern point of the island; they returned
in four days with hostages. About sixty versts from the haven, they had
met a party of twenty-five Russians, commanded by Drusinin. About the
same time some Toigons brought a present of sturgeon and whale's
blubber, and received in return some beads and provision.

Korovin and his company now thought themselves secure; for which reason
twenty-three men, under the command of the above-mentioned Barnasheff,
were dispatched in two baidars upon an hunting party towards the Western
point of the island. Eight muskets were distributed to each boat, a
pistol and a lance to each man, and also a sufficient store of
ammunition and provision. The following day two accounts were sent from
Barnasheff; and letters were also received from the crew of Protassoff's
vessel. From the 2d of November to the 8th of December, the Russians,
who remained with Korovin, killed forty-eight dark-coloured foxes,
together with an hundred and seventeen of the common sort: during this
expedition one man was lost. Some of the natives came occasionally in
baidars, and exchanged sea-otters and fox skins for corals. On the 8th
of December letters were again brought from Barnasheff and also from the
crew of Protassoff's ship. Answers were returned by the same messengers.

After the departure of these messengers, the mother of Alexèy came with
a message from the Toigon her husband importing, that a large number of
islanders were making towards the ship. Upon this Korovin ordered the
men to arms, and soon after seventy natives approached and held up some
sea-otter skins. The Russians cried out that no more than ten at a time
should come over the brook towards their hut: upon which the islanders
left their skins with Korovin, and returned without attempting any
hostilities. Their apprehensions were now somewhat quieted, but they
were again raised by the arrival of three Kamtchadals belonging to
Kulkoff's ship, who flew for protection to Korovin: they brought the
account that the crew had been killed by the savages, and the vessel
destroyed. It was now certain that the seventy islanders above-mentioned
had come with hostile intentions. This information spread such a sudden
panic among the Russians, that it was even proposed to burn the vessel,
and to endeavour to find their companions, who were gone upon hunting

[Sidenote: The Russians attacked by the Natives.] That day however
passed without any attack: but towards the evening of the 10th of
December, the savages assembled in large bodies, and invested the hut on
all sides. Four days and nights they never ceased annoying the Russians
with their darts; two of the latter were killed, and the survivors were
nearly exhausted by continual fatigue. Upon the fifth day the islanders
took post in a neighbouring cavern, where they continued watching the
Russians so closely during a whole month, that none of the latter durst
venture fifty paces from their dwelling. Korovin, finding himself thus
annoyed by the natives, ordered the hut to be destroyed: he then retired
to his vessel, which was brought for greater security out of the mouth
of the rivulet to the distance of an hundred yards from the beach. There
they lay at anchor from the 5th of March to the 26th of April, during
which time they suffered greatly from want of provision, and still more
from the scurvy.

During this period they were attacked by a large body of the natives,
who advanced in forty baidars with the hopes of surprising the vessel.
Korovin had been warned of their approach by two of the inhabitants, one
of whom was a relation of the interpreter Kashmak: accordingly he was
prepared for their reception. As soon as the savages came near the
vessel, they brandished their darts and got ready for the attack.
Korovin however had no sooner fired and killed one person, than they
were struck with a panic and rowed away. They were so incensed at this
failure of success, that they immediately put to death the two
good-natured natives, who had betrayed their design to the Russians.
Soon afterwards the father of Alexèy came and demanded his son, who was
restored to him: and on the 30th of March Korovin and his three
companions arrived as it is mentioned in the preceding chapter. By this
reinforcement the number of the crew amounted to eighteen persons.

[Sidenote: Korovin puts to Sea. The Vessel stranded upon Umnak.] April
26 Korovin put to sea from Unalashka with the crew and eleven hostages.
The vessel was driven until the 28th by contrary winds, and then
stranded in a bay of the island Umnak. The ammunition and sails,
together with the skins for the construction of baidars, were brought
ashore with great difficulty. During the disembarkation one sick man was
drowned, another died as soon as he came to land, and eight hostages ran
away amidst the general confusion. There still remained the faithful
interpreter Kashmak and three hostages. The whole number of the Russians
amounted to only sixteen persons; and of these three were sick of the
scurvy. Under these circumstances they secured themselves between their
baidar and some empty barrels, which they covered with seal-skins, while
the sails were spread over them in form of a tent. Two Russians kept
watch; and there being no appearance of any islanders, the others
retired to sleep.

[Sidenote: The Russians in Danger of being destroyed by the Natives.]
Before break of day, about an hundred savages advancing secretly from
the sea-side, threw their darts at the distance of twenty yards with
such force, that many of them pierced through the baidar and the skins;
others fell from above through the sails. By this discharge, the two
persons who kept watch, together with the three hostages, were killed
upon the spot; and all the Russians were wounded. The latter indeed were
so effectually surprised, as to be prevented from having recourse to
their fire-arms. In this distress Korovin sallied out, in company with
four Russians, and attacked the enemy with lances: two of the savages
were killed, and the others driven to flight. [Sidenote: The latter
repulsed.] Korovin and his party were so severely wounded, that they had
scarcely strength sufficient to return to their tent.

During the night the storm increased to such a degree, that the vessel
was entirely dashed to pieces. The greatest part of the wreck, which was
cast on shore by the sea, was carried away by the islanders. They also
broke to pieces the barrels of fat, emptied the sacks of provision, and
destroyed most of the furs: having thus satisfied their resentment, they
went away; and did not again make their appearance until the 30th of
April. Upon their retiring, the Russians collected the wretched remains
which had been left untouched by the savages, or which the waves had
cast on shore since their departure.

April 30, a body of an hundred and fifty natives advanced from the
Eastern point of the island towards the tent; and, at the distance of an
hundred yards, shot at the Russians with fire arms, but luckily without
execution. They also set on fire the high grass, and the wind blew the
flames towards the tent; but the Russians firing forced the enemy to
flight, and gained time to extinguish the flames.

This was the last attack which was made upon Korovin; although sickness
and misery detained him and his companions upon this spot until the 21st
of July. They then put to sea in a baidar eight yards long, which they
had constructed in order to make to Protassoff's vessel, with whose
fate they were as yet unacquainted. Their number was now reduced to
twelve persons, among whom were six Kamtchadals.

[Sidenote: The Russians discover the dead Bodies of their Countrymen who
had been murdered by the Natives.] After having rowed ten days they
landed upon the beach of the same island Umnak; there they observed the
remains of a vessel which had been burnt, and saw some clothes, sails,
and ropes, torn to pieces. At a small distance was an empty Russian
dwelling, and near it a bath-room, in which they found, to their
inexpressible terror, twenty dead bodies in their clothes. Each of them
had a thong of leather, or his own girdle, fastened about the neck, with
which he had been dragged along. Korovin and his companions recollected
them to have been some of those who had sailed in Protassoff's vessel;
and could distinguish among the rest the commander Medvedeff. They
discovered no further traces of the remaining crew; and as none ever
appeared, we have no account of the circumstances with which this
catastrophe was attended.

[Sidenote: Relieved from their Distresses by the Arrival of Glottoff.]
After having buried his dead countrymen, Korovin and his companions
began to build an hut: they were prevented however from finishing it, by
the unexpected arrival of Stephen Glottoff[52], who came to them with a
small party by land. Korovin and his companions accordingly joined
Glottoff, and rowed the next day to his vessel.

    [Footnote 52: See the following Chapter.]

Soon afterwards Korovin was sent with a party of twenty men to coast the
island of Umnak, in order to discover if any part of Medvedeff's crew
had made their escape from the general massacre: but his enquiries were
without success. In the course of this expedition, as he lay at anchor,
in September, before a small island situated between Umnak and
Unalashka, some savages rowed towards the Russians in two large baidars;
and having shot at them with fire-arms, though without effect, instantly
retired. The same evening Korovin entered a bay of the island Umnak,
with an intention of passing the night on shore: but as he came near the
coast, a large number of savages in an hundred baidars surrounded and
saluted him with a volley of darts. Korovin fired and soon dispersed
them; and immediately made to a large baidar, which he saw at some
distance, in hopes of finding some Russians. He was however mistaken;
the islanders who were aboard landed at his approach, and, after
shooting at him from their fire-arms, retired to the mountains.

Korovin found there an empty baidar, which he knew to be the same in
which Barnasheff had sailed, when he was sent upon an hunting party.
Within were nothing but two hatchets and some iron points for darts.
Three women were seized at the same time; and two natives, who refused
to surrender themselves, were put to death. They then made to the
dwelling, from which all the inhabitants had run away, and found therein
pieces of Russian leather, blades of small knives, shirts, and other
things, which had belonged to the Russians. All the information which
they could procure from the women whom they had taken prisoners, was,
that the crew had been killed, and this booty taken away by the
inhabitants, who had retired to the island Unalashka. Korovin gave these
women their liberty, and, being apprehensive of fresh attacks, returned
to the haven.

Towards winter Korovin, with a party of twenty-two men, was sent upon an
hunting expedition to the Western point of Unalashka: he was accompanied
by an Aleütian interpreter, called Ivan Glottoff. Being informed by some
islanders, that a Russian ship, under the command of Ivan Solovioff[53],
was then lying before Unalashka, he immediately rowed towards the haven
where she was at anchor. On the way he had a sharp encounter with the
natives, who endeavoured to prevent him from landing: of these, ten were
killed upon the spot; and the remainder fled away, leaving behind them
some women and children.

    [Footnote 53: Chap. XI.]

Korovin staid three days aboard Solovioff's vessel, and then returned to
the place where he had been so lately attacked. The inhabitants however,
for this time, made no opposition to his landing; on the contrary, they
received him with kindness, and permitted him to hunt: they even
delivered hostages; and entered into a friendly traffic, exchanging furs
for beads. They were also prevailed upon to restore several muskets and
other things, taken from the Russians who had been massacred.

A short time before his departure, the inhabitants again shewed their
hostile intentions; for three of them came up to the Russian centinel,
and suddenly fell upon him with their knives. The centinel however
disengaging himself, and retreating into the hut, they ran away. The
Toigons of the village protested ignorance of this treachery; and the
offenders were soon afterwards discovered and punished. Korovin, as he
was returning to Glottoff, was forced to engage with the islanders upon
Unalashka, and also upon Umnak, where they endeavoured to prevent him
from landing. Before the end of the year a storm drove the baidar upon
the beach of the latter island; and the tempestuous weather setting in,
they were detained there until the 6th of April, 1765. During this time
they were reduced, from a scarcity of provision, to live chiefly upon
sea-wrack and small shell fish. On the 22d they returned to Glottoff;
and as they had been unsuccessful in hunting, their cargo of furs was
very inconsiderable. Three days after his arrival, Korovin quitted
Glottoff, and went over with five other Russians to Solovieff, with
whom he returned the following year to Kamtchatka. The six Kamtchadals
of Korovin's party joined Glottoff.

[Sidenote: Korovin's Description of Umnak and Unalashka.] According to
Korovin's account, the islands Umnak and Unalashka are situated not much
more Northwards than the mouth of the Kamtchatka river; and, according
to the ship's reckoning, about the distance of 1700 versts Eastwards
from the same place. The circumference of Umnak is about two hundred and
fifty versts; Unalashka is much larger. Both these islands are wholly
destitute of trees; drift-wood is brought ashore in large quantities.
There were five lakes upon the Northern coast of Unalashka, and but one
upon Umnak, of which none were more than ten versts in circumference.
These lakes give rise to several small rivulets, which flow only a few
versts before they empty themselves into the sea: the fish enter the
rivulets in the middle of April, they ascend the lakes in July, and
continue there until August. Sea-otters and other sea-animals resort but
seldom to these islands; but there is great abundance of red and black
foxes. North Eastwards from Unalashka two islands appeared in sight, at
the distance of five or ten versts; but Korovin did not touch at them.

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants.] The inhabitants of these islands
row in their small baidars from one island to the other. They are so
numerous, and their manner of life so unsettled, that their number
cannot exactly be determined. Their dwelling caves are made in the
following manner. They first dig an hole in the earth proportioned to
the size of their intended habitation, of twenty, thirty, or forty yards
in length, and from six to ten broad. They then set up poles of larch,
firs, and ash driven on the coast by the sea. Across the top of these
poles they lay planks, which they cover with grass and earth. They enter
through holes in the top by means of ladders. Fifty, an hundred, and
even an hundred and fifty persons dwell together in such a cave. They
light little or no fires within, for which reason these dwellings are
much cleaner than those of the Kamtchadals. When they want to warm
themselves in the winter, they make a fire of dry herbs, of which they
have collected a large store in summer, and stand over it until they are
sufficiently warmed. A few of these islanders wear fur-stockings in
winter; but the greatest part go bare-footed, and all are without
breeches. The skins of cormorants, puffins, and sea-divers, serve for
the mens clothing; and the women wear the skins of sea-bears, seals, and
sea-otters. They sleep upon thick mats, which they twist out of a soft
kind of grass that grows upon the shore, and have no other covering but
their usual clothes. Many of the men have five or six wives; and he that
is the best hunter or fisher has the greatest number. The women make
their needles of the bones of birds wings, and use sinews for thread.

Their weapons are bows and arrows, lances and darts, which they throw
like the Greenlanders to the distance of sixty yards by means of a
little hand-board. Both the darts and arrows are feathered: the former
are about an ell and an half long; the shaft, which is well made
considering their want of instruments, is often composed of two pieces
that join into each other: the point is of flint, sharpened by beating
it between two stones. These darts as well as the lances were formerly
tipped with bone, but at present the points are commonly made of the
iron which they procure from the Russians, and out of which they
ingeniously form little hatchets and two-edged knives. They shape the
iron by rubbing it between two stones, and whetting it frequently with
sea-water. With these instruments and stone hatchets they build their
baidars. They have a strange custom of cutting holes in the under-lip
and through the gristle of the nose. They place in the former two little
bones, wrought in the form of teeth, which project some inches from the
face. In the nose a piece of bone is placed crossways. The deceased are
buried with their boat, weapons, and clothes[54].

    [Footnote 54: The author repeats here several circumstances
    which have been mentioned before, and many of them will occur
    again: but my office as a translator would not suffer me to
    omit them.]


Voyage of _Stephen Glottoff_--He reaches the _Fox Islands_--Sails
beyond _Unalashka_ to _Kadyak_--Winters upon that Island--Repeated
attempts of the Natives to destroy the Crew--They are repulsed,
reconciled, and prevailed upon to trade with the _Russians_--Account of
_Kadyak_--Its inhabitants--animals--productions--_Glottoff_ sails back
to _Umnak_--Winters there--Returns to _Kamtchatka_--Journal of his

Here follows one of the most memorable voyages yet made, which extended
farther, and terminated more fortunately, than the last mentioned

[Sidenote: Voyage of Glottoff in the Andrean and Natalia, 1762.] Terenty
Tsebaeffskoi and company, merchants of Lalsk, fitted out the Andrean and
Natalia under the command of Stephen Glottoff, an experienced and
skilful seaman of Yarensk. This vessel sailed from the bay of the river
Kamtchatka the 1st of October, 1762, manned with thirty-eight Russians
and eight Kamtchadals. In eight days they reached Mednoi Ostroff, or
Copper Island, where having sought out a convenient harbour, they
unloaded and laid up the vessel for the winter. [Sidenote: Winters upon
Copper Island.] Their first care was to supply themselves with
provisions; and they killed afterwards a quantity of ice-foxes, and a
considerable number of sea-otters.

For the benefit of the crown and their own use in case of need, they
resolved to take on board all the remaining tackle and iron work of
Beering's ship, which had been left behind on Commander's Island, and
was buried in the beach. For this purpose they dispatched, on the 27th
of May, Jacob Malevinskoy (who died soon after) with thirteen men in a
baidar to that island, which was seventy versts distant. They brought
back with them twenty-two pood of iron, ten of old cordage fit for
caulker's use, some lead and copper, and several thousand beads.

Copper Island has its name from the native copper found on the coast,
particularly at the Western point on its South side. Of this native
copper Malevinskoy brought with him two large pieces weighing together
twelve pounds, which were picked up between a rock and the sea on a
strand of about twelve yards in breadth. Amongst other floating bodies
which the sea drives upon the shores of this Island, the true right
camphor wood, and another sort of wood very white, soft, and
sweet-scented, are occasionally found.

[Sidenote: Sails to the Fox Islands.] Every preparation for continuing
the voyage being made, they sailed from Copper Island the 26th of July,
1763, and steered for the Islands Umnak and Agunalashka, where Glottoff
had formerly observed great numbers of black foxes. On account of storms
and contrary winds, they were thirty days before they fetched Umnak.
[Sidenote: Arrive at Kadyak.] Here they arrived the 24th of August, and
without dropping anchor or losing any time, they resolved to sail
further for the discovery of new islands: they passed eight contiguous
to each other and separated by straits, which were to the best of their
estimation from twenty to an hundred versts broad. Glottoff however did
not land till he reached the last and most Eastward of these islands,
called by the inhabitants Kadyak, from which the natives said it was not
far to the coast of a wide extended woody continent. No land however was
to be seen from a little island called by the natives Aktunak, which is
situated about thirty versts more to the East than Kadyak.

September 8th, the vessel ran up a creek, lying South East of Aktunak,
through which a rivulet empties itself into the sea; this rivulet comes
from a lake six versts long, one broad, and about fifty fathoms deep.
During the ebb of the tide the vessel was left aground; but the return
of the water set her again afloat. Near the shore were four large huts,
so crouded with people, that their number could scarcely be counted:
however, soon after Glottoff's arrival, all these inhabitants quitted
their dwellings, and retired with precipitation. The next day some
islanders in baidars approached the vessel, and accosted the people on
board: and as Ivan Glottoff, the Aleütian interpreter, did not well
understand the language of these islanders, they soon afterwards
returned with a boy whom they had formerly taken prisoner from Isanak,
one of the islands which lie to the West of Kadyak. Him the Aleütian
interpreter perfectly understood: and by his means every necessary
explanation could be obtained from the islanders.

In this manner they conversed with the savages, and endeavoured to
persuade them to become tributary; they used also every argument in
their power to prevail upon them to give up the boy for an interpreter;
but all their entreaties were for the present without effect. The
savages rowed back to the cliff called Aktalin, which lies about three
versts to the South of Kadyak, where they seemed to have habitations.

On the 6th of September Kaplin was sent with thirteen men to the cliff,
to treat peaceably with the islanders. He found there ten huts, from
which about an hundred of the natives came out. They behaved seemingly
in a friendly manner, and answered the interpreter by the boy, that they
had nobody proper for an hostage; but that they would deliver up the boy
to the Russians agreeable to their desire. Kaplin received him very
thankfully, and brought him on board, where he was properly taken care
of: he afterwards accompanied Glottoff to Kamtchatka, and was baptized
by the name of Alexander Popoff, being then about thirteen years of age.
For some days after this conference the islanders came off in companies
of five, ten, twenty, and thirty: they were admitted on board in small
numbers, and kindly received, but with a proper degree of

On the 8th of September the vessel was brought further up the creek
without unloading her cargo: and on the 9th Glottoff with ten men
proceeded to a village on the shore about two hundred yards from the
vessel, where the natives had begun to reside: it consisted of three
summer-huts covered only with long grass: they were from eight to ten
yards broad, twelve long, and about four high: they saw there about an
hundred men, but neither women nor children.

Finding it impossible to persuade the savages to give hostages, Glottoff
resolved to let his people remain together, and to keep a strong guard.

[Sidenote: The Natives attack the Russians, but are defeated.] The
islanders visited them still in small bodies; it was however more and
more visible that their intentions were bad. At last on the 1st of
October, by day break, a great number having assembled together in the
remote parts of the island, came unexpectedly across the country. They
approached very near without being discovered by the watch, and seeing
nobody on deck but those on duty, shot suddenly into the vessel with
arrows. The watch found refuge behind the quarter boards, and gave the
alarm without firing. Glottoff immediately ordered a volley to be fired
over their heads with small arms; upon which they immediately returned
with great expedition. As soon as it was day there was no enemy to be
seen: but they discovered a number of ladders, several bundles of hay in
which the savages had put sulphur, likewise a quantity of birch-tree
bark, which had been left behind in their precipitate flight.

They now found it very necessary to be on their guard against the
attempts of these perfidious incendiaries. Their suspicions were still
further increased by the subsequent conduct of the natives: for though
the latter came to the vessel in small bodies, yet it was observed that
they examined every thing, and more particularly the watch, with the
strictest attention; and they always returned without paying any regard
to the friendly propositions of the Russians.

On the 4th of October about two hundred islanders made their appearance,
carrying wooden shields before them, and preparing with bows and arrows
for an attack. Glottoff endeavoured at first by persuasion to prevail
upen them to desist; but observing that they still continued advancing,
he resolved to venture a sally. This intrepidity disconcerted the
islanders, and they immediately retreated without making the least

The 26th of October they ventured a third attack, and advanced towards
the vessel for this purpose by day-break: the watch however gave the
alarm in due time, and the whole crew were immediately under arms. The
approach of day-light discovered to their view different parties of the
enemy advancing under the protection of wooden screens. Of these moving
breast-works they counted seven; and behind each from thirty to forty
men armed with bone lances. Besides these a croud of armed men advanced
separately to the attack, some of them bearing whale jaw-bones, and
others wooden shields. Dissuasion proving ineffectual, and the arrows
beginning to fall even aboard the ship, Glottoff gave orders to fire.
[Sidenote: The Natives are finally repulsed by the Russians.] The shot
from the small arms however not being of force enough to pierce the
screens, the islanders advanced under their protection with steadiness
and intrepidity. Glottoff nevertheless determined to risk a sally of his
whole crew armed with muskets and lances. The islanders instantly threw
down their screens, and fled with precipitation until they gained their
boats, into which they threw themselves and rowed off. They had about
seventeen large baidars and a number of small canoes. The screens which
they left behind were made of three rows of stakes placed
perpendicularly, and bound together with sea-weed and osiers; they were
twelve feet broad, and above half a yard thick.

[Sidenote: The Russians winter at Kadyak.] The islanders now appearing
to be sufficiently intimidated, the Russians began to build a winter hut
of floated wood, and waited in a body the appearance of spring without
further annoyance. Although they saw nobody before the 25th of December,
yet Glottoff kept his people together; sending out occasionally small
hunting and fishing parties to the lake, which lay about five versts
from the creek. During the whole winter they caught in the lake several
different species of trout and salmon, soles, and herrings of a span and
a half long, and even turbot and cod-fish, which came up with the flood
into the lake.

At last, on the 25th of December, two islanders came to the ship, and
conversed at a distance by means of interpreters. Although proposals of
peace, and trade were held out to them in the most friendly manner, yet
they went off without seeming to put much confidence in these offers:
nor did any of them appear again before the 4th of April, 1764. Want of
sufficient exercise in the mean time brought on a violent scurvy among
the crew, by which disorder nine persons were carried off.

On the 4th of April four islanders made their appearance, and seemed to
pay more attention to the proposals: one of them at last advanced, and
offered to barter two fox-skins for beads. They did not set the least
value upon other goods of various kinds, such as shirts, linen, and
nankeen, but demanded glass beads of different colours, for which they
exchanged their skins with pleasure. [Sidenote: The Natives are
reconciled to the Russians.] This friendly traffic, together with
Glottoff's entreaties, operated so powerfully, that, after holding a
consultation with their countrymen, they returned with a solemn
declaration, that their brethren would in future commit no hostilities
against the Russians. From that time until their departure a daily
intercourse was carried on with the islanders, who brought all sorts of
fox and sea-otter skins, and received in exchange a stipulated number of
beads. Some of them were even persuaded to pay a tribute of skins, for
which receipts were given.

Amongst other wares the Russians procured two small carpets, worked or
platted in a curious manner, and on one side set close with beaver-wool
like velvet: they could not however learn whether these carpets were
wrought by the islanders. The latter brought also for sale well-dressed
sea-otter skins, the hair of which was shorn quite short with sharp
stones, in such a manner, that the remainder, which was of a yellowish
brown colour, glistened and appeared like velvet. Their caps had
surprising and sometimes very ornamental decorations: some of them had
on the forepart combs adorned with manes like an helmet; others,
seemingly peculiar to the females, were made of intestines stitched
together with rein-deer hair and sinews in a most elegant taste, and
ornamented on the crown with long streamers of hair died of a beautiful
red. Of all these curiosities Glottoff carried samples to

    [Footnote 55: These and several other ornaments of a similar
    kind are preserved in the cabinet of curiosities at the
    Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg: a cabinet which well
    merits the attention of the curious traveller; for it
    contains a large collection of the dresses of the Eastern
    nations. Amongst the rest one compartment is entirely filled
    with the dresses, arms, and implements, brought from the new
    discovered islands.]

[Sidenote: Animals of Kadyak.] The natives differ considerably in dress
and language from the inhabitants of the other Fox Islands: and several
species of animals were observed upon Kadyak, which are not to be found
upon the other islands, viz. ermines, martens, beavers, river otters,
wolves, wild boars, and bears: the last-mentioned animal was not indeed
actually seen by the Russians, but the prints of its feet were traced.
Some of the inhabitants had clothes made of the skins of rein-deer and
jevras; the latter of which is a sort of small marmoset. Both these
skins were probably procured from the continent of America[56]. Black,
brown, and red foxes were seen in great numbers; and the coast abounds
with sea-dogs, sea-bears, sea-lions, and sea-otters. The birds are
cranes, geese, ducks, gulls, ptarmigans, crows, and magpies; but no
uncommon species was any where discovered. [Sidenote: Productions.] The
vegetable productions are bilberries, cranberries, wortleberries, and
wild lily-roots. Kadyak likewise yields willows and alders, which
circumstance affords the strongest proof that it lies at no great
distance from the continent of America. The extent of Kadyak cannot be
exactly ascertained, as the Russians, through apprehension of the
natives, did not venture to explore the country.

    [Footnote 56: Although this conjecture is probable, yet, when
    the reader recollects that the island Alaksu is said to
    contain rein-deer, he will perceive that the inhabitants of
    Kadyak might have been supplied with the skins of that animal
    from thence. See p. 68.]

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants.] The inhabitants, like those of
the Aleütian and nearer islands, make holes in the under-lips and
through the gristle of the nose, in which they insert the bones of birds
and animals worked into the form of teeth. Their clothes are made of the
skins of birds, foxes, sea-otters, young rein-deer, and marmosets; they
sew them together with sinews. They wear also fur-stockings of rein-deer
skins, but no breeches. Their arms are bows, arrows, and lances, whose
points, as well as their small hatchets, are of sharp flint: some few
make knives and lance points of rein-deer bones. Their wooden shields
are called kuyaky, which amongst the Greenlanders signifies a small
canoe. Their manners are altogether rude. They have not the least
disposition to give a courteous reception to strangers: nor does there
appear amongst themselves any kind of deference or submission from one
to another.

Their canoes are some of them so small as to contain only one or two
persons; others are large baidars similar to the women's boats of the
Greenlanders. Their food consists chiefly of raw and dried fish, partly
caught at sea with bone hooks, and partly in rivulets, in bagnets made
of sinews platted together. They call themselves Kanagist, a name that
has no small resemblance to Karalit; by which appellation, the
Greenlanders and Esquimaux on the coast of Labradore distinguish
themselves: the difference between these two denominations is occasioned
perhaps by a change of pronunciation, or by a mistake of the Russian
sailors, who may have given it this variation. Their numbers seem very
considerable on that part of the island, where they had their fixed

The island Kadyak[57] makes, with Aghunalashka, Umnak, and the small
islands lying between them, a continued Archipelago, extending N. E. and
E. N. E. towards America: it lies by the ship's reckoning in 230 degrees
of longitude; so that it cannot be far distant from that part of the
American coast which Beering formerly touched at.

    [Footnote 57: Kadyak is not laid down upon any chart of the
    new discovered islands: for we have no chart of Glottoff's
    voyage; and no other Russian navigator touched at that

The large island Alaksu, lying Northward from Kadyak where Pushkaref[58]
wintered, must be still nearer the continent: and the account
propagated by its inhabitants of a great promontory, called Atachtak,
stretching from the continent N. E. of Alaksu, is not at all improbable.

    [Footnote 58: See Chap. VI.]

Although the conduct of the islanders appeared more friendly, yet on
account of their numbers Glottoff resolved not to pass another winter
upon Kadyak, and accordingly prepared for his departure. He wanted hoops
for repairing his water-casks; and being told by the natives that there
were trees on the island at no great distance from the bay, he
dispatched on the 25th of April Lukas Ftoruskin with eleven men for the
purpose of felling wood. Ftoruskin returned the same day with the
following intelligence: that after rowing along the South coast of the
island forty or fifty versts from the haven, he observed, about half a
verst from the shore, a considerable number of alders, similar to those
found in Kamtchatka, growing in vallies between the rocks. The largest
trunks were from two to four vershocks in diameter. Of this wood he
felled as much as he had occasion for; and returned without having met
with either islander or habitation.

[Sidenote: Departure from Kadyak, May, 1764.] They brought the vessel
down the creek in May; and, after taking in all the peltry and stores,
left Kadyak on the 24th. Contrary winds retarded their voyage, and drove
them near the island Alaksu, which they passed; their water being nearly
exhausted, they afterwards landed upon another island, called Saktunk,
in order to procure a fresh stock. [Sidenote: Arrival at Umnak.] At last
on the 3d of July, they arrived again at Umnak, and anchored in a bay
which Glottoff had formerly visited. He immediately went ashore in a
baidar, and soon found out his former hut, which was in ruins: near it
he observed another Russian dwelling, that had been built in his
absence, in which lay a murdered Russian, but whose face none of them
knew. Glottoff, resolving to procure further information, went across
the island the 5th of July, accompanied by sixteen of his crew. He
discovered the remains of a burnt vessel, some prayer books, images,
&c.; all the iron work and cordage were carried off. Near the spot he
found likewise a bathing room filled with murdered Russians in their
clothes. From some marks, he concluded that this was the vessel fitted
out by Protassoff; nor was he mistaken in his conjectures.

Alarmed at the fate of his countrymen, Glottoff returned to the ship,
and held a consultation upon the measures necessary to be taken; and it
was unanimously resolved that they should endeavour to procure more
intelligence concerning the vessel. In the mean time seven islanders
came rowing off in baidars, and pretended that they wanted to trade.
They shewed sea-otter skins at a distance, but would not venture on
board; and desired by the interpreter Glottoff and two of his people to
come on shore and barter. Glottoff however, having sufficient cause to
distrust the savages, refused to comply with their demands: upon this
they immediately landed, and shot from the shore with fire-arms, but
without doing any execution. They were even bold enough to get into
their canoes a second time, and to row near the vessel. In order if
possible to procure intelligence from them, every method of persuading
them to peace was tried by means of the interpreters; and at last one of
them approached the ship and demanded victuals, which being thrown to
him, he came on board. He then related the fate of the above-mentioned
vessel, of which the islanders had made themselves masters; and gave
likewise some intelligence concerning the remaining small body of
fugitives under the command of Korovin. He also confessed, that their
design was to entice Glottoff on shore, and then to kill him; for which
purpose more than thirty islanders were posted in ambush behind the
nearest rocks. After cutting off the leader, they imagined it would be
an easy matter to seize upon the ship. Upon this information Glottoff
detained the islander on board, and landing with a strong party attacked
the savages; the latter shot with arrows, as well as from the muskets
which they had seized, but without effect, and were soon forced to
retire to their canoes.

July the 14th a violent storm arose, in which Glottoff's vessel parted
her cable, and was forced on shore without any other loss than that of
an anchor. The crew likewise, through want of fresh provisions, began to
grow so sickly, that they were almost in a defenceless state. Glottoff
however, with ten men, set out the 28th of July for that part of the
island, where according to information they expected to find Korovin.
They discovered only parts of the wreck, but none of the crew, so that
they now gave them up for lost. But on the 2d of August, as Glottoff was
on his way back, five islanders approached him in canoes, and asked why
the baidar had been out; to which a false answer being given, they told
him, that on the other side of the island he would find Korovin with his
people, who were building an hut on the side of the rivulet. Upon
receiving this intelligence, Glottoff and his companions went over land
to the place pointed out by the islanders, and found every thing
agreeable to their information: in this Korovin had not the least share,
not having been made privy to the transaction. The circumstances of his
joining, and afterwards separating from Glottoff, have already been

    [Footnote 59: See the preceding Chapter.]

[Sidenote: Glottoff winters upon Umnak.] Glottoff now resolved to winter
upon Umnak, and accordingly laid up his vessel for that purpose. On the
2d of September Korovin, as is before related, was at his own desire
sent out with a hunting party in two baidars. On his return, in May
1765, they had the first intelligence of the arrival of Solovioff's
vessel, which lay before Unalashka, and of which an account shall be
given[60]. None of the islanders appeared near the harbour during the
winter, and there were none probably at that time upon Umnak; for
Glottoff made excursions on all sides, and went once round the island.
He likewise looked into the habitations of the islanders, and found them
empty: he examined the country and caused a strict search to be made
after the remains of the plundered vessel.

    [Footnote 60: Chap. XI.]

According to his account Umnak is about 300 versts in circumference. It
contains several small rivulets, which take their rise from lakes, and
fall into the sea after a very short course. No trees were observed upon
the island, and the vegetables were the same as those of Kamtchatka.

The following summer small parties of the inhabitants were seen; but
they immediately fled upon the approach of the Russians. Some of them
however were at last persuaded to a friendly intercourse and to pay a
tribute: by these means they got back part of the arms, anchors, and
iron work, of the plundered vessel. They continued to barter with the
natives during the summer of 1765, exchanging beads for the skins of
foxes and sea-otters.

[Sidenote: Departure from Umnak.] The following winter hunting parties
were sent out in Umnak as well as to Unalashka; and in July 1766
Glottoff, without meeting with any more difficulties began his voyage
homewards. We shall here conclude with giving a copy of the journal kept
on board Glottoff's vessel, the Andrean and Natalia; from which
inferences with regard to the situation of the islands may be drawn.

[Sidenote: Journal of the Voyage.] Journal of Glottoff, on board the
Andrean and Natalia.

  Oct. 1. Sailed from Kamtchatka Bay.
       2. Wind Southerly, steered between E. and S. E. three hours.
       3. Wind S. E. worked at N. E. course, 16 hours.
       4. From midnight sailed East with a fair wind, 18 hours.
       5. At Six o'clock A. M. discovered Beering's Island distant about
          18 versts.
       6. At 1 o'clock came to anchor on the South East point of Copper
       7. At 8 A. M. sailed to the South side of the Island, anchored
          there at 10 o'clock.

  July 26. Sailed from Copper Island at 5 P. M.
       27. Sailed with a fair S. S. W. wind, 17 hours.
       28. Made little way.
       29. Drove--wind E. N. E.
       30. Ditto.
       31. Ditto.
  Aug.  1. Ditto.
        2. At 11 A. M. wind N. E. steered E.
        3. Wind W. S. W. sailed 8 knots an hour, 250 versts.
        4. Wind South--sailed 150 versts.
        5. Wind ditto--sailed 126 versts.
        6. Wind ditto, 3 knots, 45 versts.
        7. Calm.
        8. During the night gentle S. E. wind steered, N. E. at 2-1/2
        9. Forenoon calm. At 2 o'clock P. M. gentle N. E. wind, steered
           between E. N. E. and S. E. at the rate of three knots.
       10. Morning, wind E. N. E. afterwards S. S. W. with which steered
           N. E.
       11. At 5 o'clock the wind S. S. E. steered E. N. E. at the rate
           of three knots.
       12. Wind S. steered E. at 2-1/2 knots, sailed 50 versts.
       13. Wind S. S. E. steered E. at 4-1/2 knots, sailed 90 versts.
       14. Wind W. N. W. at 2 knots, sailed 30 versts.
       15. The wind freshened, at 4 knots, sailed 60 versts.
       16. Wind N. N. E. steered E. S. E. at 3 knots, sailed 30 versts.
       17. Wind E. S. E. and S. E. light breezes and changeable.
       18. Wind S. E. steered N. E. at 3-1/2 knots, sailed in 12 hours
           22 versts.
       19. Wind S. and light breezes, steered E. at 3 knots, sailed in
           8 hours 11 versts.
       20. Before day-break calm; three hours after sun-rise a breeze
           sprung up at S. E. steered E. N. E. at 3 knots, and sailed
           20 versts.
       22. Calm.
       23. Wind S. S. E. during the night, the ship sailed at the rate
           of 2 knots; the wind afterwards came round to the S. S. W.
           and the ship sailed at 5 to 6 knots these 24 hours 150 versts.
       24. Saw land at day-break, at 3 knots sailed 45 versts.
       25. Wind W. S. W. sailed along the coast these 24 hours 50 versts.
       26. Wind N. W. steered N. E. at 5-1/2 knots, 100 versts.
       27. Wind E. N. E. the ship drove towards land, on which
           discovered a high mountain.
       28. Wind N. E. and stormy, the ship drove.
       29. Wind N. W. steered E. N. E. at the rate of 3 knots.
       30. Wind S. S. E. at 6 knots, steering again towards land.
       31. A violent storm, Wind west.

  Sept. 1. Wind West, steered N. E. at the rate of 3 knots towards land.
        2. Wind S. W. steered N. E. towards land at 5 knots.
        3. Wind S. W. drove N. N. E. along the coast.
        4. Wind W. N. W. steered N. E. at 4 knots, sailed 100 versts.
        5. Wind N. W. steered E. N. E. at 3 knots, and towards evening
           came to anchor off the Island Kadyak.

  May 24. Sailed from Kadyak.
      25. Wind N. W. and made but little way W. S. W.
      26. Wind W. ship drove towards S. E.
      27. Wind W. S. W. ship drove E. S. E. The same day the wind came
          round to the S. when steered again towards Kadyak.
      28. Wind E. S. E. fell in with the island Alaska or Alaksu.
      29. Wind S. W. steered N. W.
      30. Wind W. N. W. the ship drove under the foresail.
      31. Wind W. drove to the Southward.

  June 1. Wind W. S. W. landed on the Island Saktunak, for a supply of
       2. Wind S. E. steered S. W. along the island at 3 knots.
       3. Wind N. E. steered W. S. W. at the rate of 3 to 4 knots,
          sailing in these 24 hours 100 versts.
       4. Calm.
       5. At 8 o'clock A. M. a small breeze S. E.
       6. Wind E. afterwards calm. Towards evening the wind S.E. steered
          S. W. at 3 knots, and unexpectedly discovered land ahead,
          which kept clear of with difficulty.
       From the 7th to the 10th at anchor off a small cliff.
      10. A hard gale at S. the ship drove foul of the anchor, stood out
          to sea steering E.
      11. Anchored again at a small distance from land.
      13. Wind S. S. W. stood out to sea and steered E. S. E.
      14. Wind W. S. W. steered S. S. E. at the rate of 1 knot.
      15. Calm.
      16. Wind S. steered W. at 1 knot, the ship drove a little to the
      17. Wind S. S. E. steered W. S. W. at 3 knots.
      18. Calm.
      19. Ditto.
      20. Wind N. E. steered S. W. and sailed this day about 87 versts.
      21. The Wind blowing right ahead, came to anchor off an unknown
          island, where continued till the
      25. When stood out to sea early in the morning.
      26. Wind W. N. W. afterwards W. steered S. E.
      27. Calm, in the night a small but favourable breeze.
      28. Wind N. W. continued the course, at the rate of
          2 to 3 knots[61].
      29. Wind N. E. steered W. at 3 to 4 knots, and saw land.
      30. Wind N. E. steered S. W. at the rate of 7 knots.

  July 1. With the same wind and course, at the rate of 5 knots, sailed
          200 versts.
       2. Fell in with the island Umnak, and came to an anchor under
          a small island until next day; when brought the ship into the
          harbour, and laid her up.

  June 13. Brought the ship into the harbour, and continued at anchor
           there until the 3d of July.
  July  3. Got under way.
        4. Wind E.
        5. A South West wind drove the ship about 50 versts N. E.
        6. Wind S. sailed about 60 versts W.
        7. Wind W. S. W. the ship drove to the Northward.
        8. Wind N. W. steered S. at the rate of one knot.
        9. Wind N. W. steered the whole day W. S. W.
       10. Wind S. S. W. sailed about 40 versts W. N. W.
       11. Wind S. W. continued the same course, sailing only 5 versts.
       12. Continued the same course, and sailed 55 versts.
       13. For the most part calm.
       14. Wind W. N. W. and stormy, the ship drove under the foresail.
       15. Wind S. sailed on the proper course 100 versts.
       16. Wind E. S. E. sailed W. S. W. at the rate of 6 knots,
           100 versts.
       17. Wind N. N. W. sailed S. W. at the rate of 2 knots, 30 versts.
       18. Wind S. steered W. at the rate of 5 knots, and sailed
           130 versts.
       19. Wind S. W. the ship drove under the foresail.
       20. Wind E. N. E. steered W. N. W. at the rate of 3 knots.
       21. Wind E. N. E. at the rate of 4 to 5 knots, sailed 200 versts.
       22. Wind N. E. at 4-1/2 knots, 150 versts.
       23. Wind E. N. E. steered W. at 3 knots, 100 versts.
       24. Wind E. steered W. at the rate of 3 knots, 50 versts.
       25. Wind N. E. steered W. at 5 knots 100 versts.
       26. The wind continued N. E. and freshened, steered W.
           at the rate of 7 knots, 200 versts.
       27. A small breeze N. N. W. with which however sailed 150 versts.
       28. Wind being W. S. W. drove 24 hours under bare-poles.
       29. Wind South, steered W. at the rate of 2 knots,
           48 versts--this day saw land.
       30. Wind S. S. E. sailed, at the rate of 4 knots, 96 versts,
           and approached the land, which found to be the island
           Karaga--From the 1st to the 13th of August, continued
           our voyage towards the mouth of Kamtchatka river, sometimes
           plying to windward, sometimes driving, and at last arrived
           happily with a rich cargo.

    [Footnote 61: Lief man bey nordwest wind auf den curs zu 2
    bis 3 knoten.]


_Solovioff's_ voyage--he reaches _Unalashka_, and passes two winters
upon that island--relation of what passed there--fruitless attempts
of the natives to destroy the crew--Return of _Solovioff_ to
_Kamtchatka_--journal of his voyage in returning--description of the
islands _Umnak_ and _Unalashka_--productions--inhabitants--their
manners--customs, &c. &c.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Solovioff in the St. Peter and Paul, 1764.] In the
year 1764, Jacob Ulednikoff, merchant of Irkutsk and company, fitted out
a ship called the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, under the command of
Ivan Solovioff: she sailed from the mouth of Kamtchatka river the 25th
of August. The crew consisted of fifty-five men, amongst whom were some
of the owners, and thirteen Kamtchadals.

They steered at first S. E. with the wind at N. W. but on its coming
southerly they afterwards shaped their course E. N. E. The 27th one of
the Russian sailors died off Kamtchatka point; the 31st they made
Beering's Island, which they passed leaving it on their left. The 1st
and 2nd of September they were becalmed, and afterwards the wind
springing up at W. S. W. they continued their former course; until the
5th they sailed on with the wind at south; but on the 5th and 6th, from
changeable breezes and dead calms, made no progress; from the 7th to the
13th, they sailed E. S. E. with Southerly and Westerly winds; and from
that time to the fifteenth East, with the wind at West.

September 16, they made the island Umnak, where Solovioff had formerly
been in Nikiphoroff's vessel. As they sailed along the Northern coast,
three islanders came to them in baidars; but, the crew having no
interpreter, they would not come on board. As they found no good bay on
that shore, they proceeded through a strait of about a verst broad,
which separates Umnak from Unalashka. [Sidenote: Arrival at Unalashka.]
They lay-to during the night; and early on the 17th dropped anchor at
the distance of about two hundred yards from the shore, in a bay on the
North side of the last mentioned island.

From thence the captain dispatched Gregory Korenoff at the head of
twenty men in a baidar, with orders to land, reconnoitre the country,
find out the nearest habitations, and report the disposition of the
people. Korenoff returned the same day, with an account that he had
discovered one of the dwelling-caves of the savages, but abandoned and
demolished, in which he had found traces of Russians, viz. a written
legend, and a broken musket-stock. In consequence of this intelligence,
they brought the ship near the coast, and endeavoured to get into the
mouth of a river called by the natives Tsikanok, and by the Russians
Osernia, but were prevented by shallow water. They landed however their
tackle and lading. No natives made their appearance until the 22d, when
two of them came of their own accord, and welcomed the Russians on their
arrival. They told their names, and were recognized by Solovioff; he had
known them on a former expedition, when Agiak, one of the two, had
served as an interpreter; the other, whose name was Kashmak, had
voluntarily continued some time with the crew on the same occasion.

These two persons recounted the particular circumstances which attended
the loss of Kulkoff's, Protassoff's, and Trapesnikoff's vessels; from
the last of which Kashmak had, with great hazard of his life, escaped by
flight. Agiak had served as interpreter to Protassoff's company, and
related that the islanders, after murdering the hunting detachments of
the Russians, came to the harbour, and entered the ship under the most
friendly appearances. Finding the crew in perfect security, they
suddenly attacked and slew them, together with their commander. He
added, that he had hid himself under a bench until the murderers were
gone: that since that time, he, as well as Kashmak, had lived as
fugitives; and in the course of their wanderings had learned the
following intelligence from the girls who were gathering berries in the
fields. The Toigons of Umnak, Akutan, and Toshko, with their relations
of Unalashka, had formed a confederacy. They agreed not to disturb any
Russians on their first landing, but to let them go out on different
hunting excursions; being thus separated and weakened, the intention of
the Toigons were to attack and cut them off at the same time, so that no
one party should have assistance from any of the others. They acquainted
him also with Glottoff's arrival at Umnak.

These unfavourable reports filled Solovioff with anxiety; he accordingly
doubled his watch, and used every precaution in his power against
attacks from the savages. But wanting wood to repair his vessel, and
wishing for more particular information concerning the situation of the
island, he dispatched the 29th a party of thirty men, with the
above-mentioned interpreter, to its western extremity. In three or four
hours they rowed to Ankonom, a point of land, where they saw a village,
consisting of two large caves, and over against it a little island at no
great distance. The moment the inhabitants saw them approaching, they
got into their baidars, and put out to sea, leaving their dwellings
empty. The Russians found therein several skeletons, which, in the
interpreter's opinion, were the remains of ten murdered sailors of
Trapesnikoff's company. With much persuasion the interpreter prevailed
on the islanders to return to the place which they had just quitted:
they kept however at a wary distance, and were armed for whatever might

[Sidenote: Hostilities between Solovioff and the Natives.] Solovioff
attempting to cut off their retreat, in order to secure if possible some
hostages, they took the alarm, and began themselves the attack. Upon
this the Russians fired upon and pursued them; four were killed, and
seven taken prisoners, among whom was the Toigon of the little island
Sedak. These prisoners, being bound and examined, confessed that a
number of Korovin's crew had been murdered in this place; and the Toigon
sent people to bring in a number of muskets, some kettles and tackle,
which the natives had taken upon that occasion. They also brought
intelligence that Korovin, with a party in two baidars, had taken
shelter at a place called Inalga. Upon this information, letters were
immediately sent to Korovin; upon the receipt of which he joined them
the 2d of October.

At the time of Korovin's arrival, the savages made another attack on
Solovioff's watch with knives; which obliged the latter to fire, and six
of the assailants were left dead on the spot. The captive Toigon excused
this attempt of his people by ascribing it to their fears, lest Korovin
out of revenge should put all the prisoners to death; on which account
this effort was made to rescue them. Solovioff, for the greater
security, sent the prisoners by land to the haven, while Korovin and
his party went to the same place by sea. The Toigon however was treated
kindly, and even permitted to return home on condition of leaving his
son as an hostage. In consequence of this kind behaviour the inhabitants
of three other villages, Agulak, Kutchlok, and Makuski presented
hostages of their own accord.

[Sidenote: Solovioff lays up the Vessel, and winters upon Unalashka.]
From the remaining timber of the old dwelling the Russians built a new
hut; and on the fourteenth they laid up the vessel. Koronoff was then
sent upon a reconnoitring party to the Southern side of the island,
which in that part was not more than five or six versts broad: he
proceeded on with his companions, sometimes rowing in canoes, sometimes
travelling by land and dragging them after. He returned the twentieth,
and reported that he had found upon the coast on the further side of the
island an empty habitation. That he rowed from thence Eastward along the
shore, and behind the first point of land came to an island in the next
bay; there he found about forty islanders of both sexes lodged under
their baidars, who by his friendly behaviour had been induced to give
him three hostages. These people afterwards settled in the
above-mentioned empty hut, and came frequently to the harbour.

On the 28th of October, Solovioff himself went also upon a reconnoitring
party along the North coast, towards the North-East end of the island.
He rowed from the first promontory across a bay; and found on the
opposite point of land a dwelling place called Agulok, which lies about
four hours row from the harbour. He found there thirteen men and about
forty women and children, who delivered up several gun-barrels and
ship-stores, and likewise informed him of two of Korovin's crew who had
been murdered.

November 5, they proceeded farther; and after five or six hours rowing,
they saw on a point of land another dwelling called Ikutchlok, beyond
which the interpreter shewed them the haven, where Korovin's ship had
been at anchor. This was called Makushinshy Bay; and on an island within
it they found two Toigons, called Itchadak and Kagumaga, with about an
hundred and eighty people of both sexes employed in hunting sea-bears.
These natives were not in the least hostile, and Solovioff endeavoured
to establish and confirm a friendly intercourse between them and his
people. He remained with them until the 10th, when the Toigons invited
him to their winter quarters, which lay about five hours sail farther
East: there he found two dwelling caves, each of forty yards square,
near a rivulet abounding with fish which fell from a lake into a little
bay. In the neighbourhood of this village is a hot spring below the sea
mark, which is only to be seen at ebb tide. From hence he departed the
25th, but was forced back by storms, and detained there until the 6th of

Kagumaga then accompanied him to another village called Totchikala; both
the Toigon and the interpreter advised him to be on his guard against
the natives, whom they represented as very savage, sworn enemies to the
Russians, and the murderers of nine of Kulkoff's crew. Solovioff for
these reasons passed the night on the open coast, and next morning sent
the Toigon before to inspire the natives with more friendly sentiments.
Some of them listened to his representations; but the greatest part fled
upon Solovioff's approach, so that he found the place consisting of four
large dwelling caves almost empty, in which he secured himself with
suitable precaution. Here he found three hundred darts and ten bows with
arrows, all which he destroyed, only reserving one bow and seventeen
arrows as specimens of their arms. By the most friendly arguments he
urged the few natives who remained to lay aside their enmity, and to
persuade their leaders and relations to return to their habitations and
live on terms of amity and friendship.

On the 10th about an hundred men and a still greater number of women
returned. [Sidenote: Renewal of Hostilities.] But the fairest speeches
had no effect on these savages, who kept aloof and prepared for
hostilities, which they began on the 17th by an open attack. Nineteen of
them were killed, amongst whom was Inlogusak one of their leaders, and
the most inveterate fomenter of hostilities against the Russians. The
other leader Aguladock being alive confessed, that on receiving the
first news of Solovioff's arrival they had resolved to attack the crew
and burn the ship. Notwithstanding this confession, no injury was
offered to him: in consequence of this kind usage he was prevailed upon
to deliver up his son as an hostage, and to order his people to live on
friendly terms with the Russians. During the month of January the
natives delivered in three anchors, and a quantity of tackle which had
been saved from a vessel formerly wrecked on that coast; and at the same
time they brought three boys and two young girls as hostages and pledges
of their future fidelity.

January 25, Solovioff set out for the haven where his ship lay: before
his departure the Toigons of Makushinsk paid of their own accord a
double tribute.

February 1, Kagumaga of Makushink, Agidalok of Totzikala, and Imaginak
of Ugamitzi, Toigons of Unalashka, with a great number of their
relations, came to Solovioff; they acquainted him with the arrival of a
Russian ship at Unimak, the sixth island to the East of Agunalashka,
adding that they knew none of the crew excepting a Kamtchadal named
Kirilko, who had been there on a former occasion. They likewise informed
him that the natives, after having cut off part of the crew who had
been sent out in two baidars, had found means to overpower the remainder
and to destroy the vessel. From the name of the Kamtchadal they
concluded that this must have been another vessel fitted out by Nikiphor
Trapesnikoff and company, of which no farther intelligence was ever
received. Willing to procure farther intelligence, they endeavoured to
persuade the Toigons to send a party of their people to the
above-mentioned island; but the latter excused themselves, on account of
the great distance and their dread of the islanders.

February 16, Solovioff set out a second time for the West end of the
island, where they had formerly taken prisoner, and afterwards set at
liberty, the Toigon of Sedak. From thence he proceeded to Ikolga, which
lies on the bay, and consists of only one hut. On the 26th he came to
Takamitka, where there is likewise only one hut on a point of land by
the side of a rivulet, which falls from the mountains into the sea. Here
he met with Korovin, in whose company he cut the blubber of a whale,
which the waves had cast on shore; after this Korovin went across the
gulph to Umnak, and he proceeded to Ikaltshinsk, where on the 9th one of
his party was carried off by sickness.

March 15 he returned to the haven, having met with no opposition from
the islanders during this excursion. On his return he found one of the
crew dead, and a dreadful scurvy raging amongst the rest; of that
distemper five Russians died in March, eight and a Kamtchadal in April,
and six more in May. About this time the islanders were observed to pay
frequent visits to the hostages; and upon enquiring privately into the
reason, some of the latter discovered, that the inhabitants of
Makushinsk had formed the design of cutting off the crew, and of making
themselves masters of the vessel. Solovioff had now great reasons to be
apprehensive, for the crew were afflicted with the scurvy to such a
violent degree, that out of the whole number only twelve persons were
capable of defending themselves. These circumstances did not escape the
observation of the natives; and they were accordingly inspired with
fresh courage to renew their hostilities.

On the 27th of May the Russians perceived the Toigon of Itchadak, who
had formerly paid a voluntary tribute, near the shore: he was
accompanied by several islanders in three baidars. Solovioff calling to
him by the interpreter he came on shore, but kept at a distance desiring
a conference with some of his relations. Solovioff gave orders to seize
him; and they were lucky enough to take him prisoner, together with two
of his companions. He immediately confessed, that he had come with a
view of enquiring of the hostages how many Russians were still
remaining: having procured the necessary intelligence, his intention
was to surprise the watch at a convenient season, and afterwards to set
fire to the ship. As they saw several islanders row past the harbour at
the same time, and the Toigon likewise informed them, that they were
assembling to execute the abovementioned design; Solovioff resolved to
be much upon his guard. They separated, however, without attempting any

June 5, Glottoff arrived at the harbour on a visit, and returned on the
8th to his ship. The captive Toigon was now set at liberty, after being
seriously exhorted to desist from hostilities. In the course of this
month two more of the crew died; so that the arrival of Korovin, who
joined them about this time, with two of his own and two of Kulkoff's
crew, was of course a very agreeable circumstance. The sick likewise
began to recover by degrees.

July 22, Solovioff, with a party of his people, in two baidars, made
another excursion Northwards; he passed by the places formerly mentioned
as far as Igonok, which lies ten versts beyond Totzikala. Igonok
consists of one dwelling cave on the side of a rivulet, which falls from
the mountains, and empties itself into the sea. The inhabitants amounted
to about thirty men, who dwelt there with their wives and children. From
thence Solovioff proceeded along the shore into a bay; five versts
further he found another rivulet, which has its source among the hills
and flows through a plain.

Upon the shore of the same bay, opposite to the mouth of this rivulet,
lay two villages, one of which only was inhabited; it was called
Ukunadok, and consisted of six dwelling caves. About thirty-five of the
inhabitants were at that time employed in catching salmon in the
rivulet. Kulkoff's ship had lain at anchor about two miles from thence;
but there were no remains of her to be found. After coming out of the
bay he went forwards to the summer village Umgaina distant about seven
or eight leagues, and situated on the side of a rivulet, which takes its
rise in a lake abounding with salmon. Here he found the Toigon Amaganak,
with about ten of the natives, employed in fishing. Fifteen versts
farther along the shore they found another summer village called
Kalaktak, where there was likewise another rivulet, which came from the
hills. The inhabitants were sixty men and an hundred and seventy women
and children: they gave Solovioff a very friendly reception; and
delivered up two hostages, who were brought from the neighbouring island
Akutan; with these he set out on his return, and on the 6th of August
joined his crew.

On the 11th he went over to the island Umnak, accompanied by Korovin, to
bring off some ships stores left there by the latter; and returned to
the haven on the 27th. On the 31st Shaffyrin died, the same person whose
adventures have been already related.

Sept. 19. Korenoff was sent northwards upon an hunting party; he
returned the 30th of January, 1766. Although the Russians who remained
at the haven met with no molestation from the natives during his
absence; yet he and his companions were repeatedly attacked. Having
distributed to the inhabitants of the several villages through which he
passed nets for the purpose of catching sea-otters, he went to the East
part of the island as far as Kalaktak, with an intention of hunting.
Upon his arrival at that place, on the 31st of October, the inhabitants
fled with precipitation; and as all his efforts to conciliate their
affections were ineffectual, he found it requisite to be upon his guard.
Nor was this precaution unnecessary; for on the following day they
returned in a considerable body, armed with lances, made with the iron
of the plundered vessels. Korenoff, however, and his companions, who
were prepared to receive them, killed twenty-six, and took several
prisoners; upon which the others became more tractable.

Nov. 19. Korenoff, upon his return to the haven, came to Makushinsk,
where he was kindly received by a Toigon named Kulumaga; but with regard
to Itchadak, it was plain that his designs were still hostile. Instead
of giving an account of the nets which had been left with him, he
withdrew privately: and on the 19th of January, accompanied by a
numerous body of islanders, made an attempt to surprise the Russians.
Victory, however, again declared for Korenoff; and fifteen of the
assailants, amongst whom was Itchadak himself, remained dead upon the
spot. Kulumaga assured them, in the strongest manner, that the design
had been carried on without his knowledge; and protested, that he had
often prevented his friend from committing hostilities against the

Korenoff returned to the haven on the 30th of January; and on the 4th of
February he went upon another hunting expedition toward the Western
point of the island. During this excursion he met with a party sent out
by Glottoff, at a place called Takamitka; he then rowed over to Umnak,
where he collected a small tribute, and returned on the 3d of March.
During his absence Kyginik, Kulumaga's son, paid a visit to the
Russians, and requested that he might be baptized, and be permitted to
go aboard the vessel; his demand was immediately complied with.

May 13th. Korovin went, with fourteen men, to Umnak, to bring off an
anchor, which was buried in the sand. On his return preparations were
made for their departure. Before the arrival of Korovin the hunters had
killed 150 black and brown foxes; and the same number of old and young
sea-otters; since his arrival they had caught 350 black foxes, the same
number of common foxes, and 150 sea-otters of different sizes.

This cargo being put on board, the interpreter Kashmak set at liberty,
with a certificate of, and presents for his fidelity, and the hostages
delivered up to the Toigons and their relations, who had assembled at
the haven, Solovioff put to sea on the 1st of June, with an Easterly
wind. Before his departure he received a letter from Glottoff, informing
him that he was likewise preparing for his return.

[Sidenote: Journal of the Voyage homewards.]

  June 2.   The wind being contrary, they got but a small way from land.
       5.   Steered again towards the shore, came to an anchor, and
            sent a boat for a supply of water, which returned without
            having seen any body.
       6.   Weighed and steered W. with a S. E. wind.
       7.   Favourable wind at N. E. and in the afternoon at N.
       8.   Wind at N. W. and stormy, the ship drove under the
    9 & 10. Sailed Northwards, with a Westerly wind.
      11.   Calm till noon; afterwards breeze sprung up at S. with
            which they steered W. till next day at noon; when the wind
            coming round to the West, they changed their course, and
            steered N. W.
      12.   Calm during the night.
      13.   A small breeze of Northerly wind, with which they steered
            W. in the afternoon it fell calm, and continued so till the
      16.   at noon, when a breeze springing up at East, they steered
            W. on which course they continued during the
      18.   with a S. S. E. wind.
    From the 19 to the 22. The wind was changeable from the S. W. to
            N. W. with which they still made a shift to get to the
      23.   The wind E. they steered betwixt N. & W. which course they
            continued the
      24th, 25th, 26th, with a Northerly wind.
      27.   A. M. the wind changed to S. W.
      28, 29, 30. Wind at West.

  July 1.   The wind changed to E. with which they steered between W.
            and S. W. with little variations, till the 3d.
       4.   They reached Kamtchatkoi Noss, and on the
       5th. Brought the ship, in good condition, into Kamtchatka river.

[Sidenote: Solovioff's Description of the Fox Islands.] Solovioff's
description of these islands and the inhabitants being more
circumstantial, than the accounts given by former navigators, deserves
to be inserted at full length. According to his estimation, the island
Unalashka lies between 1500 and 2000 versts due East from the mouth of
the Kamtchatka river: the other islands to the Eastward stretch towards
N. E. He reckons the length of Akutan at eighty versts; Umnak at an
hundred and fifty, and Unalashka at two hundred. No large trees were
seen upon any of the islands which he touched at. They produce
underwood, small shrubs, and plants, for the most part similar to the
common species found in Kamtchatka. The winter is much milder than in
the Eastern parts of Siberia, and continues only from November to the
end of March. The snow seldom lies upon the ground for any time.

Rein-deer, bears, wolves, ice-foxes, are not to be found on these
islands; but they abound in black, grey, brown, and red foxes; for which
reason they have got the name of Lyffie Ostrova, or Fox Islands. These
foxes are stronger than those of Yakutsk, and their hair is much
coarser. During the day they lie in caves and clifts of rocks; towards
evening they come to the shore in search of food; they have long ago
extirpated the brood of mice, and other small animals. They are not in
the smallest degree afraid of the inhabitants, but distinguish the
Russians by the scent; having experienced the effects of their
fire-arms. The number of sea-animals, such as sea-lions, sea-bears, and
sea-otters, which resort to these shores, are very considerable. Upon
some of the islands warm springs and native sulphur are to be found.

[Sidenote: Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants.] The Fox-islands are
in general very populous; Unalashka, which is the largest island, is
supposed to contain several thousand inhabitants. These savages live
together in separate communities, composed of fifty, and sometimes of
two or even three hundred persons; they dwell in large caves from forty
to eighty yards long, from six to eight broad, and from four to five
high. The roof of these caves is a kind of wooden grate, which is first
spread over with a layer of grass, and then covered with earth. Several
openings are made in the iop, through which the inhabitants go up and
down by ladders: the smallest dwellings have two or three entrances of
this sort, and the largest five or six. Each cave is divided into a
certain number of partitions, which are appropriated to the several
families; and these partitions are marked by means of stakes driven into
the earth. The men and women sit on the ground; and the children lie
down, having their legs bound together under them, in order to make them
learn to sit upon their hams.

Although no fire is ever made in these caves, they are generally so
warm, that both sexes sit naked. These people obey the calls of nature
openly, and without esteeming it indecent. They wash themselves first
with their own urine, and afterwards with water. In winter they go
always bare-footed; and when they want to warm themselves, especially
before they go to sleep, they set fire to dry grass and walk over it.
Their habitations being almost dark, they use particularly in winter a
sort of large lamps, made by hollowing out a stone, into which they put
a rush-wick and burn train oil. A stone so hollowed is called Tsaaduck.
The natives[62] are whites with black hair; they have flat faces, and
are of a good stature. The men shave with a sharp stone or knife, the
circumference and top of the head, and let the hair which remains hang
from the crown[63]. The women cut their hair in a streight line over the
forehead; behind they let it grow to a considerable length, and tie it
in a bunch. Some of the men wear their beards; others shave or pull them
out by the roots.

    [Footnote 62: Von gesicht sind sie platt undweiss
    durchgaengig mit schwarzen haaren.]

    [Footnote 63: The original in this passage is somewhat
    obscure. Die maenner scheeren mit einem Scharfen Stein oder
    messer den Umkreiss des haarkopfs und die platte, und lassen
    die haare um die krone des kopfs rundum ueberhangen.]

They mark various figures on their faces, the backs of their hands, and
lower parts of their arms, by pricking them first with a needle, and
then rubbing the parts with a sort of black clay. They make three
incisions in the under-lip; they place in the middle one a flat bone, or
a small coloured stone; and in each of the side-ones they fix a long
pointed piece of bone, which bends and reaches almost to the ears. They
likewise make a hole through the gristle of the nose, into which they
put a small piece of bone in such a manner as to keep the nostrils
extended. They also pierce holes in their ears, and wear in them what
little ornaments they can procure.

Their dress consists of a cap and a fur-coat, which reaches down to the
knee. Some of them wear common caps of a party coloured bird-skin, upon
which they leave part of the wings and tail. On the fore-part of their
hunting and fishing caps they place a small board like a screen, adorned
with the jaw-bones of sea-bears, and ornamented with glass beads, which
they receive in barter from the Russians. At their festivals and dancing
parties they use a much more showy sort of caps. Their fur-coats are
made like shirts, being close behind and before, and are put on over the
head. The mens dress is made of birds skins, but the womens of
sea-otters and sea-bears. These skins are died with a sort of red earth,
and neatly sewed with sinews, and ornamented with various stripes of
sea-otter skins and leathern fringes. They have also upper garments made
of the intestines of the largest sea-calves and sea-lions.

Their vessels consist of two sorts: the larger are leathern boats or
baidars, which have oars on both sides, and are capable of holding
thirty or forty people. The smaller vessels are rowed with a double
paddle, and resemble the canoes of the Greenlanders, containing only one
or two persons: they never weigh above thirty pounds, being nothing but
a thin skeleton of a boat covered with leather. In these however they
pass from one island to another, and even venture out to sea to a
considerable distance. In calm weather they go out in them to catch
turbot and cod with bone-hooks and lines made of sinews or sea-weed.
They strike fish in the rivulets with darts. Whales and other
sea-animals thrown ashore by the waves are carefully looked after, and
no part of them is lost. The quantity of provisions which they procure
by hunting and fishing being far too small for their wants, the greatest
part of their food consists of sea-wrack and shell-fish, which they find
on the shore.

No stranger is allowed to hunt or fish near a village, or to carry off
any thing fit for food. When they are on a journey, and their provisions
are exhausted, they beg from village to village, or call upon their
friends and relations for assistance.

They feed upon the flesh of all sorts of sea-animals, and generally eat
it raw. But if at any time they choose to dress their victuals, they
make use of an hollow stone; having placed the fish or flesh therein,
they cover it with another, and close the interstices with lime or clay.
They then lay it horizontally upon two stones, and light a fire under
it. The provision which is intended for keeping is dried without salt in
the open air. They gather berries of various sorts, and lily roots of
the same species with those which grow wild at Kamtchatka. They are
unacquainted with the manner of dressing the cow-parsnip, as practised
in that Peninsula; and do not understand the art of distilling brandy or
any other strong liquor from it. They are at present very fond of snuff,
which the Russians have introduced among them.

No traces were found of any worship, neither did they seem to have any
sorcerers[64] among them. If a whale happens to be cast on shore, the
inhabitants assemble with great marks of joy, and perform a number of
extraordinary ceremonies. They dance and beat drums[65] of different
sizes: they then cut up the fish, of which the greatest and best part is
consumed on the spot. On such occasions they wear showy caps; and some
of them dance naked in wooden masks, which reach down to their
shoulders, and represent various sorts of sea-animals. Their dances
consist of short steps forwards, accompanied with many strange gestures.

    [Footnote 64: In the last chapter it is said that there are
    sorcerers among them.]

    [Footnote 65: The expression in the original is "Schlagen auf
    grossen platten handpauken," which, being literally
    translated, signifies "They beat upon large flat hand-kettle
    drums of different sounds."

    By the accounts which I procured at Petersburg, concerning
    the form of these drums, they seem to resemble in shape those
    made use of by the sorcerers of Kamtchatka, and are of
    different sizes. I had an opportunity of seeing one of the
    latter at the Cabinet of Curiosities. It is of an oval form,
    about two feet long and one broad: it is covered only at one
    end like the tambour de basque, and is worn upon the arm like
    a shield.]

Marriage ceremonies are unknown among them, and each man takes as many
wives as he can maintain; but the number seldom exceeds four. These
women are occasionally allowed to cohabit with other men; they and their
children are also not unfrequently bartered in exchange for commodities.
When an islander dies, the body is bound with thongs, and afterwards
exposed to the air in a sort of wooden cradle hung upon a cross-bar,
supported by forks. Upon these occasions they cry and make bitter

Their Toigons or Princes are those who have numerous families, and are
skilful and successful in hunting and fishing.

Their weapons consist of bows, arrows, and darts: they throw the latter
very dexterously, and to a great distance from a hand-board. For defence
they use wooden shields, called kuyakin. These islanders are,
notwithstanding their savageness, very docile; and the boys, whom the
Russians keep as hostages, soon acquire a knowledge of their language.


Voyage of _Otcheredin_--He winters upon _Umnak_--Arrival of _Levasheff_
upon _Unalashka_--Return of _Otcheredin_ to _Ochotsk_.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Otcheredin in the St. Paul, 1765.] In the year 1765
three merchants, namely, Orechoff of Yula, Lapin of Solikamsk, and
Shiloff of Ustyug, fitted out a new vessel called the St. Paul, under
the command of Aphanassei Otcheredin. She was built in the harbour of
Ochotsk: his crew consisted of sixty-two Russians and Kamtchadals, and
she carried on board two inhabitants of the Fox Islands named John and
Timothy Surgeff, who had been brought to Kamtchatka and baptised.

September 10, they sailed from Ochotsk, and arrived the 22d in the bay
of Bolcheresk where they wintered. August 1, 1776, they continued their
voyage, and having passed the second of the Kuril Isles, steered on the
6th into the open sea; on the 24th they reached the nearest of the Fox
Islands, which the interpreters called [66]Atchak. A storm arising they
cast anchor in a bay, but saw no inhabitants upon the shore. [Sidenote:
Arrival at Umnak.] On the 26th they sailed again, discovered on the
27th Sagaugamak, along which they steered North East, and on the 31st
came within seven miles of the island Umnak; where, on account of the
lateness of the season and the want of provision and water, they
determined to winter. Accordingly on the 1st of September, by the advice
of the interpreters, they brought the vessel into a convenient bay near
a point of land lying N. W. where they fastened it to the shore with

    [Footnote 66: Called in a former journal Atchu, p. 63.]

Upon their landing they discovered several pieces of a wreck; and two
islanders, who dwelled on the banks of a rivulet which empties itself
into the bay, informed them, that these were the remains of a Russian
vessel, whose commander's name was Denys. From this intelligence they
concluded that this was Protassoff's vessel, fitted out at Ochotsk. The
inhabitants of Umnak, Unalashka, and of the Five Mountains, had
assembled and murdered the crew, when separated into different hunting
parties. The same islanders also mentioned the fate of Kulkoff's and
Trapesnikoff's ships upon the island Unalashka. Although this
information occasioned general apprehensions, yet they had no other
resource than to draw the vessel ashore, and to take every possible
precaution against a surprize. Accordingly they kept a constant watch,
made presents to the Toigons and the principal inhabitants, and demanded
some children as hostages. For some time the islanders behaved very
peaceably, until the Russians endeavoured to persuade them to become
tributary: upon which they gave such repeated signs of their hostile
intentions, that the crew lived under continual alarms. In the beginning
of September information was brought them of the arrival of a vessel,
fitted out by Ivan Popoff merchant of Lalsk, at Unalashka.

About the end of the said month the Toigon of the Five Mountains came to
Otcheredin, and was so well satisfied with his reception, that he
brought hostages, and not only assured them of his own friendship, but
promised to use his influence with the other Toigons, and to persuade
them to the same peaceable behaviour. But the other Toigons not only
paid no regard to his persuasions, but even barbarously killed one of
his children. From these and other circumstances the crew passed the
winter under continual apprehensions, and durst not venture far from the
harbour upon hunting parties. Hence ensued a scarcity of provisions; and
hunger, joined to the violent attacks of the scurvy, made great havock
amongst them, insomuch that six of them died, and several of the
survivors were reduced to so weak a condition, that they were scarce
able to move.

The health of the crew being re-established in the spring, twenty-three
men were sent on the 25th of June in two boats to the Five Mountains, in
order to persuade the inhabitants to pay tribute. On the 26th they
landed on the island Ulaga, where they were attacked with great spirit
by a large body of the inhabitants; and though three of the Russians
were wounded, yet the savages were repulsed with considerable loss: they
were so terrified by their defeat, that they fled before the Russians
during their continuance on that island. The latter were detained there
by tempestuous weather until the 9th of July; during which time they
found two rusty firelocks belonging to Protassoff's crew. On the 10th
they returned to the harbour; and it was immediately resolved to
dispatch some companies upon hunting expeditions.

Accordingly on the 1st of August Matthew Poloskoff, a native of Ilinsk,
was sent with twenty-eight men in two boats to Unalashka with the
following orders; that if the weather and other circumstances were
favourable, they were to make to Akutan and Akun, the two nearest
islands to the East, but to proceed no further. In consequence of this,
Poloskoff reached Akutan about the end of the month; and being kindly
received by the inhabitants, he left six of his party to hunt; with the
remainder he went to Akun, which lies about two versts from Akutan. From
thence he dispatched five men to the neighbouring islands, where he was
informed by the interpreters there were great quantities of foxes.

Poloskoff and his companions continued the whole autumn upon Akun
without being annoyed; but on the 12th of December the inhabitants of
the different islands assembled in great numbers, and attacked them by
land and sea. They informed Poloskoff, by means of the interpreters,
that the Russians whom he had sent to the neighbouring islands were
killed; that the two vessels at Umnak and Unalashka were plundered, and
the crew put to death; and that they were now come to make him and his
party share the same fate. The Russian fire-arms however kept them in
due respect; and towards evening they dispersed. The same night the
interpreter deserted, probably at the instigation of his countrymen, who
nevertheless killed him, as it was said, that winter.

January 16, the savages ventured to make a second attack. Having
surprised the guard by night, they tore off the roof of the Russian
dwelling, and shot down into the hut, making at the same time great
outcries: by this unexpected assault four Russians were killed, and
three wounded; but the survivors no sooner had recourse to their
fire-arms, than the enemy was driven to flight. Meanwhile another body
of the natives attempted to seize the two vessels, but without success;
they however cut off the party of six men left by Poloskoff at Akutan,
together with the five hunters dispatched to the contiguous islands, and
two of Popoff's crew who were at the Westermost part of Unalashka.

Poloskoff continued upon Akun in great danger until the 20th of
February; when, the wounded being recovered, he sailed over with a fair
wind to Popoff's vessel at Unalashka; and on the 10th of May returned to

In April Popoff's vessel being got ready for the voyage, all the
hostages, whose number amounted to forty, were delivered to Otcheredin.
July the 30th a vessel belonging to the same Popoff arrived from
Beering's Island, and cast anchor in the same bay where Otcheredin's
lay; and both crews entered into an agreement to share in common the
profits of hunting. Strengthened by this alliance, Otcheredin prevailed
upon a number of the inhabitants to pay tribute. August the 22d
Otcheredin's mate was sent with six boats and fifty-eight men to hunt
upon Unalashka and Akutan; and there remained thirty men with the
vessels in the harbour, who kept constant watch.

[Sidenote: Otcheredin receives an Account of Levasheff's Arrival at
Unalashka.] Soon afterwards Otcheredin and the other commander received
a letter from Levasheff Captain Lieutenant of the Imperial fleet, who
accompanied Captain Krenitzin in the secret expedition to those islands.
The letter was dated September 11, 1768: it informed them he was arrived
at Unalashka in the St. Paul, and lay at anchor in the same bay in which
Kulkoff's vessel had been lost. He likewise required a circumstantial
account of their voyages. By another order of the 24th he sent for four
of the principal hostages, and demanded the tribute of skins which had
been exacted from the islanders. But as the weather was generally
tempestuous at this season of the year, they deferred sending them till
the spring. May the 31st Levasheff set sail for Kamtchatka; and in 1771
returned safely from his expedition at St. Petersburg.

The two vessels remained at Umnak until the year 1770, during which time
the crews met with no opposition from the islanders. They continued
their hunting parties, in which they had such good fortune, that the
share of Otcheredin's vessel (whose voyage is here chiefly related)
consisted in 530 large sea-otter skins, 40 young ones and 30 cubs, the
skins of 656 fine black foxes, 100 of an inferior sort, and about 1250
red fox skins.

With this large cargo of furs Otcheredin set sail on the 22d of May,
1770, from Umnak, leaving Popoff's crew behind. A short time before
their departure, the other interpreter Ivan Surgeff, at the instigation
of his relations, deserted.

[Sidenote: Return of Otcheredin to Ochotsk.] After having touched at the
nearest of the Aleütian Islands, Otcheredin and his crew arrived on the
24th of July at Ochotsk. They brought two islanders with them, whom
they baptized. The one was named Alexèy Solovieff; the other Boris
Otcheredin. These islanders unfortunately died on their way to
Petersburg; the first between Yakutsk and Irkutsk; and the latter at
Irkutsk, where he arrived on the 1st of February, 1771.


Conclusion--General position and situation of the _Aleütian_ and _Fox
Islands_--their distance from each other--Further description of the
dress, manners, and customs of the inhabitants--their feasts and
ceremonies, &c.

[Sidenote: Position of Beering's and Copper Islands.] According to the
latest informations brought by Otcheredin's and Popoff's vessels, the
North West point of Commandorskoi Ostroff, or Beering's Island, lies due
East from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river, at the distance of 250
versts. It is from 70 to 80 versts long, and stretches from North West
to South East, in the same direction as Copper Island. The latter is
situated about 60 or 70 versts from the South East point of Beering's
Island, and is about 50 versts in length.

[Sidenote: Of the Aleütian Isles.] About 300 versts East by South of
Copper Island lie the Aleütian Isles, of which Attak is the nearest: it
is rather larger than Beering's Island, of the same shape, and stretches
from West to South East. From thence about 20 versts Eastwards is
situated Semitshi, extending from West to East, and near its Eastern
point another small island. To the South of the strait, which separates
the two latter islands, and at the distance of 40 versts from both of
them, lies Shemiya in a similar position, and not above 25 versts in
length. All these islands stretch between 54 and 55 degrees of North

[Sidenote: Of the Fox Islands.] The Fox Islands are situated E. N. E.
from the Aleütians: the nearest of these, Atchak, is about 800 versts
distant; it lies in about 56 degrees North latitude, and extends from W.
S. W. towards E. N. E. It greatly resembles Copper Island, and is
provided with a commodious harbour on the Notrh. From thence all the
other islands of this chain stretch in a direction towards N. E. by

The next to Atchak is Amlak, about 15 versts distant; it is nearly of
the same size; and has an harbour on its South side. Next follows
Sagaugamak, at about the same distance, but somewhat smaller; from that
it is 50 versts to Amuchta, a small rocky island; and the same distance
from the latter to Yunaksan, another small island. About 20 versts from
Yunaksan there is a cluster of five small islands, or rather mountains,
Kigalgist, Kagamila, Tsigulak, Ulaga, and Tana-Unok, and which are
therefore called by the Russians Pät Sopki, or the Five Mountains. Of
these Tana-Unok lies most to the N. E. towards which the Western point
of Umnak advances within the distance of 20 versts.

Umnak stretches from S. W. to N. E.; it is 150 versts in length, and has
a very considerable bay on the West end of the Northern coast, in which
there is a small island or rock, called Adugak; and on the South side is
Shemalga, another rock. The Western point of Aghunalashka, or Unalashka,
is separated from the East end of Umnak by a strait near 20 versts in
breadth. The position of these two islands is similar; but Aghunalashka
is much the largest, and is above 200 versts long. It is divided towards
the N. E. into three promontories, one of which runs out in a Westerly
direction, forming one side of a large bay on the North coast of the
island: the second stretches out N. E. ends in three points, and is
connected with the island by a small neck of land. The third or most
Southerly one is separated from the last mentioned promontory by a deep
bay. Near Unalashka towards the East lies another small island called

About 20 versts from the North East promontory of Aghunalashka lie four
islands: the first, Akutan, is about half as big as Umnak; a verst
further is the small island Akun; a little beyond is Akunok; and lastly
Kigalga, which is the smallest of these four, and stretches with Akun
and Akunok almost from N. to S. Kigalga is situated about the 61st
degree of latitude. About 100 versts from thence lies an island called
Unimak[67], upon which Captain Krenitzin wintered; and beyond it the
inhabitants said there was a large tract of country called Alashka, of
which they did not know the boundaries.

    [Footnote 67: Krenitzin wintered at Alaxa, and not at Unimak.
    See Appendix I. N^o I.]

The Fox Islands are in general very rocky, without containing any
remarkable high mountains: they are destitute of wood, but abound in
rivulets and lakes, which are mostly without fish. The winter is much
milder than in Siberia; the snow seldom falls before the beginning of
January, and continues on the ground till the end of March.

There is a volcano in Amuchta; in Kagamila sulphur flows from a
mountain; in Taga-Unok there are warm springs hot enough to boil
provisions; and flames of sulphur are occasionally seen at night upon
the mountains of Unalashka and Akutan.

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants of the Fox Islands.] The Fox
Islands are tolerably populous in proportion to their size. The
inhabitants are entirely free, and pay tribute to no one: they are of a
middle stature; and live, both in summer and winter, in holes dug in the
earth. No signs of religion were found amongst them. Several persons
indeed pass for sorcerers, pretending to know things past and to come,
and are accordingly held in high esteem, but without receiving any
emolument. Filial duty and respect towards the aged are not held in
estimation by these islanders. They are not however deficient in
fidelity to each other; they are of lively and chearful tempers, though
rather impetuous, and naturally prone to anger. In general they do not
observe any rules of decency, but follow all the calls of nature
publicly, and without the least reserve. They wash themselves with their
own urine.

[Sidenote: Their Food.] Their principal food consists in fish and other
sea-animals, small shell-fish and sea-plants: their greatest delicacies
are wild lilies and other roots, together with different kinds of
berries. When they have laid in a store of provisions, they eat at any
time of the day without distinction; but in case of necessity they are
capable of fasting several days together. They seldom heat their
dwellings; but when they are desirous of warming themselves, they light
a bundle of hay, and stand over it; or else they set fire to train oil,
which they pour into a hollow stone.

They feed their children when very young with the coarsest flesh, and
for the most part raw. If an infant cries, the mother immediately
carries it to the sea-side, and be it summer or winter holds it naked in
the water until it is quiet. This custom is so far from doing the
children any harm, that it hardens them against the cold; and they
accordingly go bare-footed through the winter without the least
inconvenience. They are also trained to bathe frequently in the sea; and
it is an opinion generallly received among the islanders, that by that
means they are rendered bold, and become fortunate in fishing.

[Sidenote: Dress.] The men wear shirts made of the skins of cormorants,
sea-divers, and gulls; and, in order to keep out the rain, they have
upper garments of the bladders and other intestines of sea-lions,
sea-calves, and whales, blown up and dried. They cut their hair in a
circular form close to their ears; and shave also a round place upon the
top. The women, on the contrary, let the hair descend over the forehead
as low as the eye-brows, and tie the remaining part in a knot upon the
top of the head. They pierce the ears, and hang therein bits of coral
which they get from the Russians. Both sexes make holes in the gristle
of the nose, and in the under-lips, in which they thrust pieces of bone,
and are very fond of such kind of ornaments. They mark also and colour
their faces with different figures. They barter among one another
sea-otters, sea-bears, clothes made of bird-skins and of dried
intestines, skins of sea-lions and sea-calves for the coverings of
baidars, wooden masks, darts, thread made of sinews and reindeer hair,
which they get from the country of Alaska.

Their houshold utensils are square pitchers and large troughs, which
they make out of the wood driven ashore by the sea. [Sidenote: Arms.]
Their weapons are bows and arrows pointed with flints, and javelins of
two yards in length, which they throw from a small board. Instead of
hatchets they use crooked knives of flint or bone. Some iron knives,
hatchets, and lances, were observed amongst them, which they had
probably got by plundering the Russians.

According to the reports of the oldest inhabitants of Umnak and
Unalashka, they have never been engaged in any war either amongst
themselves or with their neighbours, except once with the people of
Alashka, the occasion of which was as follows: The Toigon of Umnak's son
had a maimed hand; and some inhabitants of Alashka, who came upon a
visit to that island, fastened to his arm a drum, out of mockery, and
invited him to dance. The parents and relations of the boy were offended
at this insult: hence a quarrel ensued; and from that time the two
people have lived in continual enmity, attacking and plundering each
other by turns. According to the reports of the islanders, there are
mountains upon Alashka, and woods of great extent at some distance from
the coast. The natives wear clothes made of the skins of reindeer,
wolves, and foxes, and are not tributary to any of their neighbours. The
inhabitants of the Fox-islands seem to have no knowledge of any country
beyond Alashka.

[Sidenote: Feasts.] Feasts are very common among these islanders; and
more particularly when the inhabitants of one island are visited by
those of the others. The men of the village meet their guests beating
drums, and preceded by the women, who sing and dance. At the conclusion
of the dance the hosts invite them to partake of the feasts; after which
ceremony the former return first to their dwellings, place mats in
order, and serve up their best provision. The guests next enter, take
their places, and after they are satisfied the diversions begin.

First, the children dance and caper, at the same time making a noise
with their small drums, while the owners of the hut of both sexes sing.
Next, the men dance almost naked, tripping after one another, and
beating drums of a larger size: when these are weary, they are relieved
by the women, who dance in their clothes, the men continuing in the mean
time to sing and beat their drums. At last the fire is put out, which
had been kindled for the ceremony. The manner of obtaining fire is by
rubbing two pieces of dry wood, or most commonly by striking two flints
together, and letting the sparks fall upon some sea-otter's hair mixed
with sulphur. If any sorcerer is present, it is then his turn to play
his tricks in the dark; if not, the guests immediately retire to their
huts, which are made on that occasion of their canoes and mats. The
natives, who have several wives, do not withhold them from their guests;
but where the owner of the hut has himself but one wife, he then makes
the offer of a female servant.

Their hunting season is principally from the end of October to the
beginning of December, during which time they kill large quantities of
young sea-bears for their clothing. They pass all December in feastings
and diversions similar to that above mentioned: with this difference,
however, that the men dance in wooden masks, representing various
sea-animals, and painted red, green, or black, with coarse coloured
earths found upon these islands.

During these festivals they visit each other from village to village,
and from island to island. The feasts concluded, masks and drums are
broken to pieces, or deposited in caverns among the rocks, and never
afterwards made use of. In spring they go out to kill old sea-bears,
sea-lions, and whales. During summer, and even in winter when it is
calm, they row out to sea, and catch cod and other fish. Their hooks are
of bone; and for lines they make use of a string made of a long
tenacious sea-weed, which is sometimes found in those seas near one
hundred and sixty yards in length.

Whenever they are wounded in any encounter, or bruised by any accident,
they apply a sort of yellow root to the wound, and fast for some time.
When their head achs, they open a vein in that part with a stone lancet.
When they want to glue the points of their arrows to the shaft, they
strike their nose till it bleeds, and use the blood as glue.

Murder is not punished amongst them, for they have no judge. With
respect to their ceremonies of burying the dead, they are as follow: The
bodies of poor people are wrapped up in their own clothes, or in mats;
then laid in a grave, and covered over with earth. The bodies of the
rich are put, together with their clothes and arms, in a small boat made
of the wood driven ashore by the sea: this boat is hung upon poles
placed cross-ways; and the body is thus left to rot in the open air.

The customs and manners of the inhabitants of the Aleütian Isles are
nearly similar to those of the inhabitants of the Fox Islands. The
former indeed are rendered tributary, and entirely subject to Russia;
and most of them have a slight acquaintance with the Russian language,
which they have learned from the crews of the different vessels who have
landed there.





First irruption of the _Russians_ into _Siberia_--Second
inroad--_Yermac_ driven by the Tzar of _Muscovy_ from the Volga, retires
to _Orel_ a _Russian_ Settlement--Enters _Siberia_ with an army of
_Cossacks_--His progress and exploits--Defeats _Kutchum Chan_--conquers
his dominions--cedes them to the Tzar--receives a reinforcement of
_Russian_ troops--is surprized by _Kutchum Chan_--his defeat and
death--Veneration paid to his memory--_Russian_ troops evacuate
_Siberia_--re-enter and conquer the whole country--their progress
stopped by the _Chinese_.

[Sidenote: First Irruption of the Russians into Siberia under the Reign
of Ivan Vassilievitch I.] Siberia was scarcely known to the Russians
before the middle of the sixteenth century[68]. For although an
expedition was made, under the reign of Ivan Vassilievitch I. into the
North Western Parts of that country, as far as the river Oby, by which
several Tartar tribes were rendered tributary, and some of their chiefs
brought prisoners to Moscow; yet this incursion bore a greater
resemblance to the desultory inroads of barbarians, than to any
permanent establishment of empire by a civilized nation. Indeed the
effects of that expedition soon vanished; nor does any trace of the
least communication with Siberia again appear in the Russian history
before the reign of Ivan Vassilievitch II. At that period Siberia again
became an object of attention, by means of one Anika Strogonoff, a
Russian merchant, who had established some salt-works at
Solvytshegodskaia, a town in the government of Archangel.

    [Footnote 68: S. R. G. VI. p. 199-211. Fis. Sib. Ges. Tom.

[Sidenote: Anika Strogonoff trades with the People of Siberia.] This
person carried on a trade of barter with the inhabitants of the
North-Western parts of Siberia, who brought every year to the
abovementioned town large quantities of the choicest furs. Upon their
return to their country Strogonoff was accustomed to send with them some
Russian merchants, who crossed the mountains, and traded with the
natives. By these means a considerable number of very valuable furs were
procured at an easy rate, in exchange for toys and other commodities of
trifling value.

This traffic was continued for several years, without any interruption;
during which Strogonoff rapidly amassed a very considerable fortune[69].
At length the Tzar Ivan Vassilievitch II. foreseeing the advantages
which would accrue to his subjects, from establishing a more general and
regular commerce with these people, determined to enlarge the
communication already opened with Siberia. [Sidenote: Second Irruption
of the Russians into Siberia in the Reign of Ivan Vassilievitch II.]
Accordingly he sent a corps of troops into that country. They followed
the same route which had been discovered by the Russians in the former
expedition, and which was lately frequented by the merchants of
Solvytshegodskaia. It lay along the banks of the Petschora, and from
thence crossed the Yugorian mountains, which form the North Eastern
boundary of Europe. These troops, however, do not seem to have passed
the Irtish, or to have penetrated further than the Western branch of the
river Oby. Some Tartar tribes were indeed laid under contribution; and a
chief, whose name was Yediger, consented to pay an annual tribute of a
thousand sables. But this expedition was not productive of any lasting
effects; for soon afterwards Yediger was defeated, and taken prisoner by
Kutchum Chan; the latter was a lineal descendant of the celebrated
Zinghis Chan; and had newly established his empire in those parts.

    [Footnote 69: S. R. G. VI. p. 220-223. Fis. Sib. Ges. p.

This second inroad was probably made about the middle of the sixteenth
century; for the Tzar Ivan Vassilievitch assumed the title of Lord of
all the Siberian lands so early as 1558, before the conquests made by
Yermac in that kingdom[70]. But probably the name of Siberia was at that
time only confined to the district then rendered tributary; and as the
Russians extended their conquests, this appellation was afterwards
applied to the whole tract of country which now bears that name.

    [Footnote 70: S. R. G. VI. p. 217.]

For some time after the above-mentioned expedition, the Tzar does not
appear to have made any attempts towards recovering his lost authority
in those distant regions. But his attention was again turned to that
quarter by a concurrence of incidents; which, though begun without his
immediate interposition, terminated in a vast accession of territory.

[Sidenote: Strogonoff forms Settlements upon the Kama and Tchussovaia.]
Strogonoff, in recompence for having first opened a trade with the
inhabitants of Siberia, obtained from the Tzar large grants of land;
accordingly he founded colonies upon the banks of the rivers Kama and
Tchussovaia; and these settlements gave rise to the entire subjection of
Siberia by the refuge which they not long afterwards afforded to Yermac

This person was nothing more than a fugitive Cossac of the Don, and
chief of a troop of banditti who infested the shores of the Caspian sea.
But as he was the instrument by which such a vast extent of dominion was
added to the Russian Empire, it will not be uninteresting to develop the
principal circumstances, which brought this Cossac from the shores of
the Caspian to the banks of the Kama; and to trace the progress which he
afterwards made in the distant regions of Siberia.

By the victories which the Tzar Ivan Vassilievitch had gained over the
Tatars of Casan and Astracan, that monarch extended his dominions as far
as the Caspian Sea; and thereby established a commerce with the Persians
and Bucharians. [Sidenote: Yermac is driven from the Shores of the
Caspian Sea. A. D. 1577.] But as the merchants who traded to those parts
were continually pillaged by the Cossacs of the Don; and as the roads
which lay by the side of that river, and of the Volga, were infested
with those banditti; the Tzar sent a considerable force against them.
Accordingly, they were attacked and routed; part were slain, part made
prisoners, and the rest escaped by flight. Among the latter was a corps
of six thousand Cossacs, under the command of the above-mentioned Yermac

    [Footnote 71: S. R. G. VI. p. 232. Fis. Sib. Ges. I. p. 185.]

[Sidenote: He retires to Orel, one of the Russian Settlements.] That
celebrated adventurer, being driven from his usual haunts, retired, with
his followers, into the interior part of the province of Casan. From
thence he directed his course along the banks of the Kama, until he came
to Orel[72]. That place was one of the Russian settlements recently
planted, and was governed by Maxim grandson of Anika Strogonoff.
Yermac, instead of storming the place, and pillaging the inhabitants,
acted with a degree of moderation unusual in a chief of banditti. Being
hospitably received by Strogonoff, and supplied with every thing that
was necessary for the subsistence of his troops, he fixed his winter
quarters at that settlement. [Sidenote: Determines to invade Siberia.]
His restless genius however did not suffer him to continue for any
length of time in a state of inactivity; and from the intelligence he
procured concerning the situation of the neighbouring Tartars of
Siberia, he turned his arms toward that quarter.

    [Footnote 72: S. R. G. VI. p. 233.]

[Sidenote: State of Siberia.] Siberia was at that time partly divided
among a number of separate princes; and partly inhabited by the various
tribes of independent Tartars. Of the former Kutchum Chan was the most
powerful Sovereign. His dominions consisted of that tract of country
which now forms the South Western part of the province of Tobolsk; and
stretched from the banks of the Irtish and Oby to those of the Tobol and
Tura. His principal residence was at Sibir[73], a small fortress upon
the river Irish, not far from the present town of Tobolsk; and of which
some ruins are still to be seen. Although his power was very
considerable, yet there were some circumstances which seemed to ensure
success to an enterprizing invader. He had newly acquired a large part
of his territories by conquest; and had, in a great measure, alienated
the affections of his idolatrous subjects by the intolerant zeal, with
which he introduced and disseminated the Mahometan religion[74].

    [Footnote 73: Several authors have supposed the name of
    Siberia to derive its origin from this fortress, soon after
    it was first taken by the Russians under Yermac. But this
    opinion is advanced without sufficient foundation; for the
    name of Sibir was unknown to the Tartars, that fort being by
    them called Isker. Besides, the Southern part of the province
    of Tobolsk, to which the name of Siberia was originally
    applied, was thus denominated by the Russians before the
    invasion of Yermac. This denomination probably first came
    from the Permians and Sirjanians, who brought the first
    accounts of Siberia to the Russians.
                                             S. R. G. VI. p. 180.]

    [Footnote 74: S. R. G. VI. p. 180.]

Strogonoff did not fail of displaying to Yermac this inviting posture of
affairs, as well with a view of removing him from his present station,
as because he himself was personally exasperated against Kutchum Chan:
for the latter had secretly instigated a large body of Tartars to invade
the Russian settlements upon the river Tchussovaia; and had afterwards
commenced open hostilities against them with a body of forces under the
command of his cousin Mehemet Kul. And although both these attempts had
failed of success, yet the troops engaged in them had left behind traces
of havock and devastation too lasting to be easily effaced[75].

    [Footnote 75: Fis. Sib. Ges. I. p. 187.]

[Sidenote: Marches towards Siberia.] All these various considerations
were not lost upon Yermac: having therefore employed the winter in
preparations for his intended expedition, he began his march in the
summer of the following year, 1578, along the banks of the Tchussovaia.
The want of proper guides, and a neglect of other necessary precautions,
greatly retarded his march, and he was overtaken by the winter before he
had made any considerable progress. [Sidenote: Returns to Orel.] And at
the appearance of spring he found his stock of provisions so nearly
exhausted, that he was reduced to the necessity of returning to Orel.

But this failure of success by no means extinguished his ardour for the
prosecution of the enterprize; it only served to make him still more
solicitous in guarding against the possibility of a future miscarriage.
By threats he extorted from Strogonoff every assistance which the nature
of the expedition seemed to require. Besides a sufficient quantity of
provisions, all his followers, who were before unprovided with
fire-arms, were supplied with muskets and ammunition; and, in order to
give the appearance of a regular army to his troops, colours were
distributed to each company, which were ornamented with the images of
saints, after the manner of the Russians.

Having thus made all previous arrangements, he thought himself in a
condition to force his way into Siberia. [Sidenote: His second
Expedition.] Accordingly, in the month of June, 1579, he set out upon
this second expedition. His followers amounted to five thousand men;
adventurers inured to hardships, and regardless of danger: they placed
implicit confidence in their leader, and seemed to be all animated with
one and the same spirit. [Sidenote: Arrives upon the Banks of the Tura.]
He continued his route partly by land, and partly by water: the
navigation however of the rivers was so tedious, and the roads so rugged
and difficult, that eighteen months elapsed before he reached Tchingi, a
small town upon the banks of the Tura[76].

    [Footnote 76: S.R.G. VI. p. 243-248-262.]

Here he mustered his troops, and found his army considerably reduced:
part had been exhausted by fatigue, part carried off by sickness, and
part cut off in skirmishes with the Tartars. The whole remaining number
amounted to about fifteen hundred effective men; and yet with this
handful of troops Yermac did not hesitate a moment in advancing against
Kutchum Chan. That prince was already in a posture of defence; and
resolved to guard his crown to the last extremity. Having collected his
forces, he dispatched several flying parties against Yermac, himself
remaining behind with the slower of his troops: but all these
detachments were driven back with considerable loss; and worried in many
successive skirmishes. Yermac continued his march without intermission,
bearing down all resistance until he reached the center of his
adversary's dominions.

These successes however were dearly bought; for his army was now reduced
to five hundred men. Kutchum Chan was encamped[77] at no great distance
upon the banks of the Irtish, with a very superior force, and determined
to give him battle. Yermac, who was not to be daunted by the inequality
of numbers, prepared for the engagement with a confidence which never
forsook him; his troops were equally impatient for action, and knew no
medium between conquest and death. The event of the combat corresponded
with this magnanimity. [Sidenote: Defeats Ketchum Chan. 1581.] After an
obstinate and well fought battle, victory declared in favour of Yermac:
the Tartars were entirely routed, and the carnage was so general, that
Kutchum Chan himself escaped with difficulty.

    [Footnote 77: The place where the Tartar army lay encamped
    was called Tschuvatch: it is a neck of land washed by the
    Irtish, near the spot where the Tobob falls into that river.
    Fis. Sib. Ges. I. p. 203.]

This defeat proved decisive: Kutchum Chan was deserted by his subjects;
and Yermac, who knew how to improve as well as gain a victory, marched
without delay to Sibir, the residence of the Tartar princes. He was
well aware, that the only method to secure his conquest was to get
possession of that important fortress. He expected therefore to have
found in that place a considerable garrison, determined to sacrifice
their lives in its defence. But the news of the late defeat had diffused
universal consternation, and Sibir was entirely deserted. [Sidenote:
Seats himself upon the Throne.] A body of troops whom he sent before
him, to reduce the fortress, found it quite deserted: he himself soon
after made his triumphant entry, and seated himself upon the throne
without the least opposition. Here he fixed his residence, and received
the allegiance of the neighbouring people, who poured in from all
quarters upon the news of this unexpected revolution. The Tartars were
so struck with his gallant intrepidity and brilliant exploits, that they
submitted to his authority without hesitation, and acquiesced in the
payment of the usual tribute.

Thus this enterprising Cossac was suddenly exalted from the station of a
chief of banditti to the rank of a sovereign prince. It does not appear
from history whether it were at first his design to conquer Siberia, or
solely to amass a considerable booty. The latter indeed seems the more
probable conjecture. The rapid tide of success with which he was carried
on, and the entire defeat of Kutchum Chan, afterwards expanded his
views, and opened a larger scene to his ambition. But whatever were his
original projects, he seems worthy, so far as intrepidity and prudence
form a basis of merit, of the final success which flowed in upon him.
For he was neither elated with unexpected prosperity, nor dazzled with
the sudden glare of royalty: on the contrary, the dignity of his
deportment was as consistent and unaffected, as if he had been born a

And now Yermac and his followers seemed to enjoy those rewards which
they had dearly purchased by a course of unremitted fatigue, and by
victories which almost exceeded belief. Not only the tribes in the
neigbourhood of Sibir wore the appearance of the most unreserved
submission; but even princes continued flocking in from distant parts,
to acknowledge themselves tributary, and to claim his protection.
[Sidenote: Precarious Situation of Yermac.] However, this calm was of
short duration. Insurrections were concerted by Kutchum Chan; who,
though driven from his dominions, yet still retained no small degree of
influence over his former subjects.

Yermac saw and felt the precariousness of his present grandeur; the
inconsiderable number of his followers who had survived the conquest of
Sibir, had been still further diminished by an ambuscade of the enemy;
and as he could not depend on the affection of his new subjects, he
found himself under the necessity either of calling in foreign
assistance, or of relinquishing his dominion. Under these circumstances
he had recourse to the Tzar of Muscovy; and made a tender of his new
acquisitions to that monarch, upon condition of receiving immediate and
effectual support. The judicious manner in which he conducted this
measure, shews him no less able in the arts of negotiation than of war.

One of his most confidential followers was dispatched to Moscow at the
head of fifty Cossacs. [Sidenote: Cedes his Conquests to the Tzar of
Muscovy.] He had orders to represent to the court the progress which the
Russian troops, under the command of Yermac, had made in Siberia: he was
artfully to add, that an extensive empire was conquered in the name of
the Tzar; that the natives were reduced to swear allegiance to that
monarch, and consented to pay an annual tribute. This representation was
accompanied with a present of the choicest and most valuable furs[78].
[Sidenote: 1582.] The embassador was received at Moscow with the
strongest marks of satisfaction: a public thanksgiving was celebrated in
the cathedral; the Tzar acknowledged and extolled the good services of
Yermac; he granted him a pardon for all former offences; and, as a
testimony of his favour, distributed presents for him and his followers.
Amongst those which were sent to Yermac was a fur robe, which the Tzar
himself had worn, and which was the greatest mark of distinction that
could be conferred upon a subject. To these was added a sum of money,
and a promise of speedy and effectual assistance.

    [Footnote 78: S.R.G. VI. p. 304.]

Meanwhile Yermac, notwithstanding the inferior number of his troops, did
not remain inactive within the fortress of Sibir. He defeated all
attempts of Kutchum Chan to recover his crown; and took his principal
general prisoner. He made occasional inroads into the adjacent
provinces, and extended his conquests up to the source of the river
Taffda on one side, and on the other as far as the district which lies
upon the river Oby above its junction with the Irtish.

[Sidenote: Receives a Reinforcement of Russian troops.] At length the
promised succours arrived at Sibir. They consisted of five hundred
Russians, under the command of prince Bolkosky, who was appointed
wayvode or governor of Siberia. Strengthened by this reinforcement,
Yermac continued his excursions on all sides with his usual activity;
and gained several bloody victories over different princes, who were
imprudent enough to assert their independence.

In one of these expeditions he laid siege to Kullara, a small fortress
upon the banks of the Irtish, which still belonged to Kutchum Chan: but
he found it so bravely defended by that monarch, that all his efforts to
carry it by storm proved ineffectual. Upon his return to Sibir he was
followed at some distance by that prince, who hung unperceived upon his
rear; and was prepared to seize any fortunate moment of attack which
might occur; nor was it long before a favourable opportunity presented
itself. The Russians to the number of about three hundred lay
negligently posted in a small island, formed by two branches of the
Irtish. The night was obscure and rainy; and the troops, who were
fatigued with a long march, reposed themselves without suspicion of
danger. [Sidenote: Surprised by Kutchum Chan.] Kutchum Chan, apprised of
their situation, silently advanced at midnight with a select body of
troops; and having forded the river, came with such rapidity upon the
Russians, as to preclude the use of their arms. In the darkness and
confusion of the night, the latter were cut to pieces almost without
opposition; and fell a resistless prey to those adversaries, whom they
had been accustomed to conquer and despise. The massacre was so
universal, that only one man is recorded to have escaped, and to have
brought the news of this catastrophe to his countrymen at Sibir.

[Sidenote: Death of Yermac.] Yermac himself perished in the rout, though
he did not fall by the sword of the enemy. In all the hurry of surprise,
he was not so much infected with the general panic, as to forget his
usual intrepidity, which seemed to be encreased rather than abated by
the danger of his present situation. After many desperate acts of
heroism, he cut his way through the troops who surrounded him, and made
to the banks of the Irtish[79]. Being closely pursued by a detachment of
the enemy, he endeavoured to throw himself into a boat which lay near
the shore; but stepping short, he fell into the water, and being
incumbered with the weight of his armour, sunk instantly to the

    [Footnote 79: Many difficulties have arisen concerning the
    branch of the Irtish in which Yermac was drowned; but it is
    now sufficiently ascertained that it was a canal, which some
    time before this catastrophe had been cut by order of that
    Cossac: Not far from the spot, where the Vagai falls into the
    Irtish, the latter river forms a bend of six versts; by
    cutting a canal in a streight line from the two extreme
    points of this sweep, he shortened the length of the
    navigation. S. R. G. p. 365-366.]

    [Footnote 80: Cyprian was appointed the first archbishop of
    Siberia, in 1621. Upon his arrival at Tobolsk, he enquired
    for several of the antient followers of Yermac who were still
    alive; and from them he made himself acquainted with the
    principal circumstances attending the expedition of that
    Cossac, and the conquest of Siberia. Those circumstances he
    transmitted to writing; and these papers are the archives of
    the Siberian history; from which the several historians of
    that country have drawn their relations. Sava Yefimoff, who
    was himself one of Yermac's followers, is one of the most
    accurate historians of those times. He carries down his
    history to the year 1636. Fis. Sib. Ges. I. p. 430.]

His body was not long afterwards taken out of the Irtish, and exposed,
by order of Kutchum Chan, to all the insults which revenge ever
suggested to barbarians in the frenzy of success. But these first
transports of resentment had no sooner subsided, than the Tartars
testified the most pointed indignation at the ungenerous ferocity of
their leader. The prowess of Yermac, his consummate valour and
magnanimity, virtues which barbarians know how to prize, rose upon their
recollection. They made a sudden transition from one extreme to the
other: they reproached their leader for ordering, themselves for being
the instruments of indignity to such venerable remains. At length their
heated imaginations proceeded even to consecrate his memory: they
interred his body with all the rites of Pagan superstition; and offered
up sacrifices to his manes.

[Sidenote: Veneration paid to his Memory.] Many miraculous stories were
soon spread abroad, and met with implicit belief. The touch of his body
was supposed to have been an instantaneous cure for all disorders; and
even his clothes and arms were said to be endowed with the same
efficacy. A flame of fire was represented as sometimes hovering about
his tomb, and sometimes as stretching in one luminous body from the same
spot towards the heavens. A presiding influence over the affairs of the
chace and of war was attributed to his departed spirit; and numbers
resorted to his tomb to invoke his tutelary aid in concerns so
interesting to uncivilised nations. These idle fables, though they
evince the superstitious credulity of the Tartars, convey at the same
time the strongest testimony of their veneration for the memory of
Yermac; and this veneration greatly contributed to the subsequent
progress of the Russians in those regions[81].

    [Footnote 81: Even so late as the middle of the next century,
    this veneration for the memory of Yermac had not subsided.
    Allai, a powerful prince of the Calmucs, is said to have been
    cured of a dangerous disorder, by mixing some earth taken
    from Yermac's tomb in water, and drinking the infusion. That
    prince is also reported to have carried with him a small
    portion of the same earth, whenever he engaged in any
    important enterprize. This earth he superstitiously
    considered as a kind of charm; and was persuaded that he
    always secured a prosperous issue to his affairs by this
    precaution. S.R.G. V. VI. p. 391.]

With Yermac expired for a time the Russian empire in Siberia. [Sidenote:
The Russians quit Siberia.] The news of his defeat and death no sooner
reached the garrison of Sibir, than an hundred and fifty troops, the sad
remains of that formidable army which had gained such a series of almost
incredible victories, retired from the fortress, and evacuated Siberia.
Notwithstanding this disaster, the court of Moscow did not abandon its
design upon that country; which a variety of favourable circumstances
still concurred to render a flattering object of Russian ambition.
Yermac's sagacity had discovered new and commodious routes for the march
of troops across those inhospitable regions. The rapidity with which he
had overrun the territories of Kutchum Chan, taught the Russians to
consider the Tartars as an easy prey. Many of the tribes who had been
rendered tributary by Yermac, had testified a cheerful acquiescence
under the sovereignty of the Tzar; and were inclined to renew their
allegiance upon the first opportunity. Others looked upon all resistance
as unavailing, and had learned, from dear-bought experience, to tremble
at the very name of a Russian. The natural strength of the country,
proved not to be irresistible when united, was considerably weakened by
its intestine commotions. Upon the retreat of the garrison of Sibir,
that fortress, together with the adjacent district, was seized by
Seyidyak, son of the former sovereign, whom Kutchum Chan had dethroned
and put to death. Other princes availed themselves of the general
confusion to assert independency; and Kutchum Chan was able to regain
only a small portion of those dominions, of which he had been stripped
by Yermac.

[Sidenote: The Russians re-enter Siberia.] Influenced by these motives,
the court of Moscow sent a body of three hundred troops into Siberia,
who penetrated to the banks of the Tura as far as Tschingi almost
without opposition. There they built the fort of Tumen, and
re-established their authority over the neighbouring district. Being
soon afterwards reinforced by an additional number of troops, they were
enabled to extend their operations, and to erect the fortresses of
Tobolsk, Sungur, and Tara. [Sidenote: Re-conquer their antient
Territories.] The erection of these and other fortresses was soon
attended with a speedy recovery of the whole territory, which Yermac
had reduced under the Russian yoke.

This success was only the fore-runner of still greater acquisitions.
[Sidenote: All Siberia conquered and colonized.] The Russians pushed
their conquest far and wide: wherever they appeared, the Tartars were
either reduced or exterminated. New towns were built and colonies were
planted on all sides. Before a century had well elapsed, all that vast
tract of country now called Siberia, which stretches from the confines
of Europe to the Eastern Ocean, and from the Frozen Sea to the present
frontiers of China, was annexed to the Russian dominions.

[Sidenote: Progress of the Russians checked by the Chinese.] A still
larger extent of territory had probably been won; and all the various
tribes of independent Tartary which lie between the South-Eastern
extremity of the Russian empire, and the Chinese Wall, would have
followed the fate of the Siberian hordes, if the power of China had not
suddenly interposed.


Commencement of hostilities between the _Russians_ and
_Chinese_--Disputes concerning the limits of the two empires--Treaty of
Nershinsk--Embassies from the court of _Russia_ to _Pekin_--Treaty of
_Kiachta_--Establishment of the commerce between the two nations.

Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, the Russians were rapidly
extending themselves Eastward through that important territory, which
lies, on each side of the river[82] Amoor. They soon reduced several
independent Tungusian hordes; and built a chain of small fortresses
along the banks of the above-mentioned river, of which the principal
were Albasin, and Kamarskoi Ostrog. Not long afterwards, the Chinese
under[83] Camhi conceived a similar design of subduing the same hordes.
[Sidenote: Rise of animosities between the Russians and Chinese.]
Accordingly the two great powers of Russia and China, thus pointing
their views to the same object, unavoidably clashed; and, after several
jealousies and intrigues, broke out into open hostilities about the year
1680. The Chinese laid siege to Kamarskoi Ostrog, and though repulsed in
this attempt, found means to cut off several straggling parties of
Russians. These animosities induced the Tzar Alexèy Michaelovitch to
send an embassy to Pekin; but this measure did not produce the desired
effect. [Sidenote: Albasin destroyed by the Chinese.] The Chinese
attacked Albasin with a considerable force: having compelled the Russian
garrison to capitulate, they demolished that and all the Russian forts
upon the Amoor; and returned, with a large number of prisoners, to their
own country.

    [Footnote 82: Amoor is the name given by the Russians to this
    river; it is called Sakalin-Ula by the Manshurs, and was
    formerly denominated Karamuran, or the Black River, by the
    Mongols. S.R.G. II. p. 293.]

    [Footnote 83: Camhi was the second emperor of the Manshur
    race, who made themselves masters of China in 1624.

    The Manshurs were originally an obscure tribe of the
    Tungusian Tartars, whose territories lay South of the Amoor,
    and bordered upon the kingdom of Corea, and the province of
    Leaotong. They began to emerge from obscurity at the
    beginning of the seventeenth century. About that time their
    chief Aischin-Giord reduced several neighbouring hordes; and,
    having incorporated them with his own tribe, under the
    general name of Manshur, he became formidable even to the
    Chinese. Shuntschi, grandson of this chief, by an
    extraordinary concurrence of circumstances, was raised while
    an infant to the throne of China, of which his successors
    still continue in possession. Shuntschi died in 1662, and was
    succeeded by Camhi, who is well known from the accounts of
    the jesuit missionaries.

    For an account of the revolution of China, see Duhalde,
    Descr. de la Chine, Bell's Journey to Pekin, and Fis. Sic.
    Ges. tom. I. p. 463.]

[Sidenote: Albasin rebuilt by the Russians, is besieged by the Chinese.]
Not long after their departure, a body of sixteen hundred Russians
advanced along the Amoor; and constructed a new fort, under the old name
of Albasin. The Chinese were no sooner apprised of their return, than
they marched instantly towards that river, and sat down before Albasin
with an army of seven thousand men, and a large train of artillery. They
battered the new fortress for several weeks, without being able to make
a breach, and without attempting to take it by storm. The besieged,
though not much annoyed by the unskilful operations of the enemy, were
exhausted with the complicated miseries of sickness and famine; and
notwithstanding they continued to make a gallant resistance, they must
soon have sunk under their distresses, if the Chinese had not
voluntarily retired, in consequence of a treaty being set afoot between
the two courts of Moscow and Pekin. For this purpose the Russian
embassador Golowin had left Moscow so early as the year 1685,
accompanied by a large body of troops, in order to secure his person,
and enforce respect to his embassy. The difficulty of procuring
subsistence for any considerable number of men in those desolate
regions, joined to the ruggedness of the roads, and the length of the
march, prevented his arrival at Selengisk until the year 1687. From
thence messengers were immediately dispatched with overtures of peace to
the Chinese government at Pekin.

After several delays, occasioned partly by policy, and partly by the
posture of affairs in the Tartar country through which the Chinese were
to pass, embassadors left Pekin in the beginning of June 1689. Golovin
had proposed receiving them at Albasin; but while he was proceeding to
that fortress, the Chinese embassadors presented themselves at the gates
of Nershinsk, escorted by such a numerous army, and such a formidable
train of artillery, that Golovin was constrained, from motives of fear,
to conclude the negotiation almost upon their own terms.

The conferences were held under tents, in an open plain, near the town
of Nershinsk; where the treaty was signed and sealed by the
plenipotentaries of the two courts. When it was proposed to ratify it by
oath, the Chinese embassadors offered to swear upon a crucifix; but
Golovin preferred their taking an oath in the name of their own gods.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Nershinsk.] This treaty first checked the progress
of the Russian arms in those parts; and laid the foundations of an
important and regular commerce between the two nations.

By the first and second articles, the South-Eastern boundaries of the
Russian empire were formed by a ridge of mountains, stretching North of
the Amoor from the sea of Ochotsk to the source of the small river
Gorbitza[84], then by that river to its influx into the Amoor, and
lastly by the Argoon, from its junction with the Shilka up to its

    [Footnote 84: There are two Gorbitzas; the first falls into
    the Amoor, near the conflux of the Argoon and Shilka; the
    second falls into the Shilka. The former was meant by the
    Russians; but the Chinese fixed upon the latter for the
    boundary, and have carried their point. Accordingly the
    present limits are somewhat different from those mentioned in
    the text. They are carried from the point, where the Shilka
    and Argoon unite to form the Amoor, Westward along the
    Shilka, until they reach the mouth of tha Western Gorbitza;
    from thence they are continued to the source of the
    last-mentioned river, and along the chain of mountains as
    before. By this alteration the Russian limits are somewhat

By the fifth article reciprocal liberty of trade was granted to all the
subjects of the two empires, who were provided with pass-ports from
their respective courts[85].

    [Footnote 85: S.R.G. II. p. 435.]

This treaty was signed on the 27th of August, in the year 1689, under
the reign of Ivan and Peter Alexiewitch, by which the Russians lost,
exclusively of a large territory, the navigation of the river Amoor. The
importance of this loss was not at that time understood; and has only
been felt since the discovery of Kamtchatka, and of the islands between
Asia and America. The products of these new-discovered countries might,
by means of the Amoor, have been conveyed by water into the district of
Nershinsk, from whence there is an easy transport by land to Kiachta:
whereas the same merchandise, after being landed at Ochotsk, is now
carried over a large tract of country, partly upon rivers of difficult
navigation, and partly along rugged and almost impassable roads.

[Sidenote: Rise of the Commerce with China.] In return, the Russians
obtained what they long and repeatedly aimed at, a regular and permanent
trade with the Chinese. The first intercourse between Russia and China
commenced in the beginning of the seventeenth century[86]. At that
period a small quantity of Chinese merchandise was procured, by the
merchants of Tomsk and other adjacent towns, from the Calmucs. The rapid
and profitable sale of these commodities encouraged certain Wayvodes of
Siberia to attempt a direct and open communication with China. For this
purpose several deputations were sent at different times to Pekin from
Tobolsk, Tomsk, and other Russian settlements: these deputations,
although they failed of obtaining the grant of a regular commerce, were
nevertheless attended with some important consequences. The general good
reception, which the agents met with, tempted the Russian merchants to
send occasional traders to Pekin. By these means a faint connection with
that metropolis was kept alive: the Chinese learned the advantages of
the Russian trade, and were gradually prepared for its subsequent
establishment. This commerce, carried on by intervals, was entirely
suspended by the hostilities upon the river Amoor. But no sooner was the
treaty of Nershinsk signed, than the Russians engaged with extraordinary
alacrity in this favourite branch of traffic. The advantages of this
trade were soon found to be so considerable, that Peter I. conceived an
idea of still farther enlarging it. [Sidenote: Caravans allowed to trade
to Pekin.] Accordingly, in 1692, he sent Isbrand Ives, a Dutchman in his
service, to Pekin, who requested and obtained, that the liberty of
trading to China, which by the late treaty was granted to individuals,
should be extended to caravans.

    [Footnote 86: S.R.G. VIII. p. 504, & seq.]

In consequence of this arrangement, successive caravans went from Russia
to Pekin, where a caravansary was allotted for their reception; and all
their expences during their continuance in that metropolis defrayed by
the Emperor of China. The right of sending these caravans, and the
profits resulting from them, belonged to the crown of Russia. In the
mean time, private merchants continued as before to carry on a separate
trade with the Chinese, not only at Pekin, but also at the head quarters
of the Mongols. The camp of these roving Tartars was generally to be
found near the conflux of the Orchon and Tola, between the Southern
frontiers of Siberia and the Mongol desert. A kind of annual fair was
held at this spot by the Russian and Chinese merchants; where they
brought their respective goods for sale; and continued until they were
disposed of. This rendezvous soon became a scene of riot and confusion;
and repeated complaints were transmitted to the Chinese Emperor of the
drunkenness and misconduct of the Russians. These complaints made a
still greater impression from a coincidence of similar excesses, for
which the Russians at Pekin had become notorious.

Exasperated by the frequent representations of his subjects, Camhi
threatened to expell the Russians from his dominions, and to prohibit
them from carrying on any commerce, as well in China as in the country
of the Mongols.

[Sidenote: Embassy of Ismailoff to Pekin.] These untoward circumstances
occasioned another embassy to Pekin, in the year 1719. Leff
Vassilievitch Ismailoff, a captain of the Russian guards, who was sent
embassador upon this occasion, succeeded in the negotiation, and
adjusted every difficulty to the satisfaction of both parties. At his
departure he was permitted to leave behind Laurence Lange, who had
accompanied him to Pekin, in the character of agent for the caravans;
for the purpose of superintending the conduct of the Russians.
[Sidenote: Russians expelled from Pekin.] His residence however in that
metropolis was but short; for he was soon afterwards compelled, by the
Chinese, to return. His dismission was owing, partly, to a sudden
caprice of that suspicious people, and partly to a misunderstanding,
which had recently broke out between the two courts, in relation to some
Mongol tribes who bordered upon Siberia. A small number of these Mongols
had put themselves under the protection of Russia, and were immediately
demanded by the Chinese; but the Russians refused compliance, under
pretence that no article in the treaty of Nershinsk could, with any
appearance of probability, be construed as extending to the Mongols. The
Chinese were incensed at this refusal; and their resentment was still
further inflamed by the disorderly conduct of the Russian traders, who,
freed from all controul by the departure of their agent, had indulged,
without restraint, their usual propensity to excess. This concurrence of
unlucky incidents extorted, in 1722, an order from Camhi for the total
expulsion of the Russians from the Chinese and Mongol territories. These
orders were regorously executed; and all intercourse between the two
nations immediately ceased.

[Sidenote: Embassy of Ragusinski.] Affairs continued in this state until
the year 1727, when the count Sava Vladislavitch Ragusinski, a Dalmatian
in the service of Russia, was dispatched to Pekin. His orders were at
all events to compose the differences between the two courts relating to
the Mongol tribes; to settle the Southern frontiers of the Russian
empire in that quarter; and to obtain the permission of renewing the
trade with China. Accordingly that embassador presented a new plan for a
treaty of limits and commerce to Yundschin, son and successor of Camhi;
by which the frontiers of the two empires were finally traced as they
exist at present, and the commerce established upon a permanent basis,
calculated to prevent as far as possible all future sources of
misunderstanding. This plan being approved by the emperor, Chinese
commissioners were immediately appointed to negotiate with the Russian
embassador upon the banks of the Bura, a small river which flows, South
of the confines of Siberia, into the Orchon near its junction with the

[Sidenote: Treaty of Kiatchta.] At this conference, the old limits,
which are mentioned in the treaty of Nershinsk, were continued from the
source of the Argoon Westwards as far as the mountain Sabyntaban, which
is situated at a small distance from the spot where the conflux of the
two rivers Uleken and Kemtzak form the Yenisèi: this boundary separates
the Russian dominions from the territory of the Mongols, who are under
the protection of China.

It was likewise stipulated, that for the future all negotiations should
be transacted between the tribunal of foreign affairs at Pekin, and the
board of foreign affairs at St. Petersburg; or in matters of inferior
moment between the commanders of the frontiers[87].

    [Footnote 87: This article was inserted, because the Chinese
    emperor, from a ridiculous idea of superiority, had
    contemptuously refused to hold any correspondence with the
    court of Russia.]

The most important articles relating to commerce, were as follow:

[Sidenote: Account of the Treaty relative to Commerce.] A caravan was
allowed to go to Pekin every three years, on condition of its not
consisting of more than two hundred persons; during their residence in
that metropolis, their expences were no longer to be defrayed by the
emperor of China. Notice was to be sent to the Chinese court immediately
upon their arrival at the frontiers; where an officer was to meet and
accompany them to Pekin.

The privilege before enjoyed by individuals of carrying on a promiscuous
traffic in the Chinese and Mongol territories was taken away, and no
merchandize belonging to private persons was permitted to be brought for
sale beyond the frontiers. For the purpose of preserving, consistently
with this regulation, the privilege of commerce to individuals, two
places of resort were appointed on the confines of Siberia: one called
Kiatchta, from a rivulet of that name near which it stands; and the
other Zuruchaitu: at these places a free trade was reciprocally indulged
to the subjects of the two nations.

A permission was at the same time obtained for building a Russian church
within the precincts of their caravansary; and for the celebration of
divine service, four priests were allowed to reside at Pekin[88]. The
same favour was also extended to some Russian Scholars[89], for the
purpose of learning the Chinese tongue; in order to qualify themselves
for interpreters between the two nations.

    [Footnote 88: The first Russian church at Pekin was built for
    the accommodation of the Russians taken prisoners at Albasin.
    These persons were carried to Pekin, and the place appointed
    for their habitation in that city was called the Russian
    Street, a name it still retains. They were so well received
    by the Chinese, that, upon the conclusion of the treaty of
    Nershinsk, they refused to return to their native country.
    And as they intermarried with the Chinese women, their
    descendants are quite naturalized; and have for the most part
    adopted not only the language, but even the religion of the
    Chinese. Hence, the above-mentioned church, though it still
    exists, is no longer applied to the purpose of divine
    worship: its priest was transferred to the church, which was
    built within the walls of the caravansary.]

    [Footnote 89: The good effects of this institution have
    already been perceived. A Russian, whose name is Leontieff,
    after having resided ten years at Pekin, is returned to
    Petersburg. He has given several translations and extracts of
    some interesting Chinese publications, viz. Part of the
    History of China; the Code of the Chinese Laws; Account of
    the Towns and Revenues, &c. of the Chinese Empire, extracted
    from a Treatise of Geography, lately printed at Pekin. A
    short account of this Extract is given in the Journal of St.
    Petersburg for April, 1779.]

This treaty, called the treaty of Kiachta, was, on the fourteenth of
June, 1728, concluded and ratified by the count Ragusinski and three
Chinese plenipotentaries upon the spot, where Kiachta was afterwards
built: it is the basis of all transactions since carried on between
Russia and China[90].

    [Footnote 90: S.R.G. VIII. p. 513.]

One innovation in the mode of carrying on the trade to China, which has
been introduced since the accession of the present empress Catherine II.
deserves to be mentioned in this place. [Sidenote: Caravans
discontinued.] Since the year 1755 no caravans have been sent to Pekin.
Their first discontinuance was owing to a misunderstanding between the
two courts of Petersburg and Pekin in 1759. Their disuse after the
reconciliation had taken place, arose from the following circumstances.
The exportation and importation of many principal commodities,
particularly the most valuable furs, were formerly prohibited to
individuals, and solely appropriated to caravans belonging to the crown.
By these restrictions the Russian trade to China was greatly shackled
and circumscribed. [Sidenote: Monopoly of the Fur Trade abolished.] The
present empress (who, amidst many excellent regulations which
characterise her reign, has shewn herself invariably attentive to the
improvement of the Russian commerce) abolished, in 1762, the monopoly of
the fur trade, and renounced in favour of her subjects the exclusive
privilege which the crown enjoyed of sending caravans to Pekin[91]. By
these concessions the profits of the trade have been considerably
encreased: the great expence, hazard, and delay, of transporting the
merchandise occasionally from the frontiers of Siberia to Pekin, has
been retrenched; and Kiachta is now rendered the center of the Russian
and Chinese commerce.

    [Footnote 91: S.R.G. VIII. p. 520.]

[Illustration: _VIEW of the Chinese Frontier Town_ MAIMATSCHIN _with
the_ BROOK KIACHTA, _taken from the West_.]


Account of the _Russian_ and _Chinese_ settlements upon the confines
of _Siberia_--description of the _Russian_ frontier town _Kiachta_--of
the _Chinese_ frontier town _Maimatschin_--its buildings, pagodas, &c.

By the last mentioned treaty it was stipulated, that the commerce
between Russia and China should be transacted at the frontiers.
[Sidenote: Russian and Chinese Settlement upon the Brook Kiachta.]
Accordingly two spots were marked out for that purpose upon the confines
of Siberia, where they border upon the Mongol desert; one near the brook
Kiachta, and the other at Zuruchaitu. The description of the former of
these places forms the subject of this chapter.

This settlement consists of a Russian and Chinese town, both situated in
a romantic valley, surrounded by high, rocky, and for the most part
well-wooded, mountains. This valley is intersected by the brook Kiachta,
which rises in Siberia, and, after washing both the Russian and Chinese
town, falls into the Bura, at a small distance from the frontiers.

[Sidenote: Situation of the Russian Frontier Town Kiachta.] The Russian
settlement is called Kiachta from the abovementioned brook: it lies in
124 degrees 18 minutes longitude from the isle of Fero, and 35 degrees
N. latitude, at the distance of 5514 versts from Moscow, and 1532 from

[Sidenote: The Fortress.] It consists of a fortress and a small suburb.
The fortress, which is built upon a gentle rise, is a square enclosed
with palisadoes, and strengthened with wooden bastions at the several
angles. There are three gates, at which guards are constantly stationed:
one of the gates faces the North, a second the South towards the Chinese
frontiers, and a third the East close to the brook Kiachta. The
principal public buildings in the fortress are a wooden church, the
governor's house, the custom house, the magazine for provisions, and the
guard-house. It contains also a range of shops and warehouses, barracks
for the garrison, and several houses belonging to the crown; the latter
are generally inhabited by the principal merchants. These buildings are
mostly of wood.

[Sidenote: Suburb.] The suburb, which is surrounded with a wooden wall
covered at the top with chevaux de frize, contains no more than an
hundred and twenty houses very irregularly built; it has the same number
of gates as the fortress, which are also guarded. Without this suburb,
upon the high road leading to Selenginsk, stand a few houses, and the
magazine for rhubarb.

This settlement is but indifferently provided with water both in quality
and quantity; for although the brook Kiachta is dammed up as it flows by
the fortress, yet it is so shallow in summer, that, unless after heavy
rains, it is scarcely sufficient to supply the inhabitants. Its stream
is troubled and unwholesome, and the springs which rise in the
neighbourhood are either foul or brackish: from these circumstances, the
principal inhabitants are obliged to send for water from a spring in the
Chinese district. The soil of the adjacent country is mostly sand or
rock, and extremely barren. If the frontiers of Russia were extended
about nine versts more South to the rivulet of Bura; the inhabitants of
Kiachta would then enjoy good water, a fruitful soil, and plenty of
fish, all which advantages are at present confined to the Chinese.

The garrison of Kiachta consists of a company of regular soldiers, and a
certain number of Cossacs; the former are occasionally changed, but the
latter are fixed inhabitants of the place. It is the province of the
commander to inspect the frontiers, and, in conjunction with the
president of the Chinese merchants, to settle all affairs of an inferior
nature; but in matters of importance recourse must be had to the
chancery of Selenginsk, and to the governor of Irkutsk. The Russian
merchants, and the agents of the Russian trading company, are the
principal inhabitants of Kiachta.

The limits Westwards from this settlement to the river Selenga, and
Eastwards as far as Tchikoi, are bounded with chevaux de frize, placed
there to prevent a contraband trade in cattle, for the exportation of
which a considerable duty is paid to the crown. All the outposts along
the frontiers Westwards as far as the government of Tobolsk, and
Eastwards to the mountains of snow, are under the command of the
governor of Kiachta.

The most elevated of the mountains that surround the valley of Kiachta,
and which is called by the Mongols Burgultei, commands the Russian as
well as the Chinese town; for this reason, the Chinese, at the
conclusion of the last frontier treaty, demanded the cession of this
mountain under the pretext, that some of their deified ancestors were
buried upon its summit. The Russians gave way to their request, and
suffered the boundary to be brought back to the North side of the

[Sidenote: Maimatschin, the Chinese Frontier-Town.] The Chinese town is
called, by the Chinese and Mongols, Maimatschin, which signifies
fortress of commerce. The Russians term it the Chinese Village
(Kitaiskaia Sloboda) and also Naimatschin, which is a corruption of
Maimatschin. It is situated about an hundred and forty yards South of
the fortress of Kiachta, and nearly parallel to it. Midway between this
place and the Russian fortress, two posts about ten feet high are
planted in order to mark the frontiers of the two empires: one is
inscribed with Russian, the other with Manshur characters[92].

    [Footnote 92: Upon the mountain to the West of Kiachta, the
    limit is again marked, on the Russian side by an heap of
    stones and earth, ornamented on the top with a cross; and on
    the Chinese by a pile of stones in the shape of a pyramid.
    Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 110.]

Mainatschin has no other fortification than a wooden wall, and a small
ditch of about three feet broad; the latter was dug in the year 1756,
during the war between the Chinese and the Calmucs. The town is of an
oblong form: its length is seven hundred yards, and its breadth four
hundred. On each of the four sides a large gate faces the principal
streets; over each of these gates there is a wooden guard-house for the
Chinese garrison, which consists of Mongols in tattered clothes, and
armed with clubs. Without the gate, which looks to the Russian
frontiers, and about the distance of eight yards from the entrance, the
Chinese have raised a wooden screen, so constructed as to intercept all
view of the streets from without.

This town contains two hundred houses and about twelve hundred
inhabitants. It has two principal streets of about eight yards broad,
crossing each other in the middle at right angles, with two by-streets
running from North to South. They are not paved, but are laid with
gravel, and kept remarkably clean.

[Sidenote: Houses.] The houses are spacious, uniformly built of wood, of
only one story, not more than fourteen feet high, plaistered and
white-washed; they are constructed round a court yard of about seventy
feet square, which is strewed with gravel, and has an appearance of
neatness. Each house consists of a sitting room, some warehouses and a
kitchen. In the houses of the wealthier sort the roof is made of plank;
but in meaner habitations of lath covered over with turf. Towards the
streets most of the houses have arcades of wood projecting forwards from
the roof like a penthouse, and supported by strong pillars. The windows
are large after the European manner, but on account of the dearness of
glass and Russian talk are generally of paper, excepting a few panes of
glass in the sitting room.

The sitting room looks seldom towards the streets: it is a kind of shop,
where the several patterns of merchandize are placed in recesses, fitted
up with shelves, and secured with paper doors for the purpose of
keeping out the dust. The windows are generally ornamented with little
paintings, and the walls are hung with Chinese paper. Half the floor is
of hard beaten clay; the other half is covered with boards, and rises
about two feet in height. Here the family sit in the day-time and sleep
at night. By the side of this raised part, and nearly upon the same
level, there is a square brick stove, with a streight perpendicular
cylindrical excavation, which is heated with small pieces of wood. From
the bottom of this stove a tube descends, and is carried zigzag under
the boarded floor above-mentioned, and from thence to a chimney which
opens into the street. By this contrivance, although the stove is always
open and the flame visible, yet the room is never troubled in the least
degree with smoke. There is scarcely any furniture in the room,
excepting one large dining table in the lower part, and two small
lackered ones upon the raised floor: one of these tables is always
provided with a chaffing dish, which serves to light their pipes when
the stove is not heated.

In this room there are several small niches covered with silken
curtains, before which are placed lamps that are lighted upon festivals;
these niches contain painted paper idols, a stone or metal vessel,
wherein the ashes of incense are collected, several small ornaments and
artificial flowers: the Chinese readily allow strangers to draw aside
the curtains, and look at the idols.

The Bucharian[93] merchants inhabit the South West quarter of
Maimatschin. Their houses are not so large nor commodious as those of
the Chinese, although the greatest part of them carry on a very
considerable commerce.

    [Footnote 93: "The chief merchandizes which the Bucharians
    bring to Russia, are cotton, stuffs, and half-silks, spun and
    raw cotton, lamb-skins, precious stones, gold-dust,
    unprepared nitre, sal-ammoniac, &c." See Russia, or a
    complete Historical Account of all the nations that compose
    that empire. V. II. p. 141, a very curious and interesting
    work lately published.]

[Sidenote: The Governor of Maimatschin.] The Surgutschèi, or governor of
Maimatschin, has the care of the police, as well as the direction of all
affairs relating to commerce: he is generally a person of rank,
oftentimes a Mandarin, who has misbehaved himself in another station,
and is sent here as a kind of punishment. He is distinguished from the
rest by the crystal button of his cap, and by a peacock's[94] feather
hanging behind. The Chinese give him the title of Amban, which signifies
commander in chief; and no one appears before him without bending the
knee, in which posture the person who brings a petition must remain
until he receives the governor's answer. His salary is not large; but
the presents which he receives from the merchants amount annually to a
considerable sum.

    [Footnote 94: In China the princes of the blood wear three
    peacock's feathers, nobles of the highest distinction two,
    and the lower class of the nobility one. It is also a mark of
    high rank to drive a carriage with four wheels. The governor
    of Maimatschin rode in one with only two wheels. All the
    Chinese wear buttons of different colours in their caps,
    which also denote the rank. Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 126.]

The most remarkable public buildings in Maimatschin, are the governor's
house, the theatre, and two pagodas.

[Sidenote: House of the Governor.] The governor's house is larger than
the others, and better furnished; it is distinguished by a chamber where
the court of justice is held, and by two high poles before the entrance
ornamented with flags.

[Sidenote: Theatre.] The theatre is situated close to the wall of the
town near the great pagoda: it is a kind of small shed, neatly painted,
open in front, and merely spacious enough to contain the stage; the
audience stand in the street. Near it are two high poles, upon which
large flags with Chinese inscriptions are hoisted on festivals. On such
occasions the servants belonging to the merchants play short burlesque
farces in honour of their idols.

[Sidenote: The small Pagoda.] The smallest of the two Pagodas is a
wooden building, standing upon pillars, in the centre of the town at the
place where the two principal streets cross. It is a Chinese tower of
two stories, adorned on the outside with small columns, paintings, and
little iron bells, &c. The first story is square, the second octangular.
[Sidenote: The Idol Tien.] In the lower story is a picture representing
the God Tien, which signifies, according to the explanation of the most
intelligent Chinese, the most high God, who rules over the thirty-two
heavens. The Manshurs, it is said, call this idol Abcho; and the
Mongols, Tingheru heaven, or the God of heaven. He is represented
sitting with his head uncovered, and encircled with a ray[95] of glory
similar to that which surrounds the head of our Saviour in the Roman
catholic paintings; his hair is long and flowing; he holds in his right
hand a drawn sword, and his left is extended as in the act of giving a
benediction. On one side of this figure two youths, on the other a
maiden and a grey-headed old man, are delineated.

    [Footnote 95: When Mr. Pallas obtained permission of the
    governor to see this temple, the latter assured him that the
    Jesuits of Pekin and their converts adored this idol. From
    whence he ingeniously conjectures, either that the
    resemblance between this idol, and the representations of our
    Saviour by the Roman Catholicks, was the occasion of this
    assertion; or that the Jesuits, in order to excite the
    devotion of the converts, have, out of policy, given to the
    picture of our Saviour a resemblance to the Tien of the
    Chinese. Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 119.]

The upper story contains the picture of another idol in a black and
white checquered cap, with the same figures of three young persons and a
little old man. There are no altars in this temple, and no other
ornaments excepting these pictures and their frames. It is opened only
on festivals, and strangers cannot see it without permission.

[Sidenote: The great Pagoda and its Idols.] The great Pagoda[96],
situated before the governor's house, and near the principal gate
looking to the south, is larger and more magnificent than the former.
Strangers are allowed to see it at all times, without the least
difficulty, provided they are accompanied by one of the priests, who are
always to be found in the area of the temple. This area is surrounded
with chevaux de frize: the entrance is from the south through two gates
with a small building between them. In the inside of this building are
two recesses with rails before them, behind which the images of two
horses as big as life are coarsly moulded out of clay; they are saddled
and bridled, and attended by two human figures dressed like grooms: the
horse to the right is of a chesnut colour, the other is dun with a black
mane and tail, the former is in the attitude of springing, the latter
of walking. Near each horse a banner of yellow silk, painted with silver
dragons, is displayed.

    [Footnote 96: The great Pagoda is omitted in the engraving of
    Maimatschin prefixed to this chapter; this omission was owing
    to the artist's being obliged to leave Kiachta before he had
    time to finish the drawing. In every other respect, the view,
    as I was informed by a gentleman who has been on the spot, is
    complete, and represented with the greatest exactness.]

In the middle of this area are two wooden turrets surrounded with
galleries; a large bell of cart iron which is struck occasionally with a
large wooden mallet, hangs in the Eastern turret; the other contains two
kettle drums of an enormous size, similar to those made use of in the
religious ceremonies of the Calmucs. On each side of this area are
ranges of buildings inhabited by the priest of the temple.

This area communicates by means of an handsome gateway with the inner
court, which is bordered on each side by small compartments open in
front, with rails before them; in the inside of these compartments the
legendary stories of the idols are exhibited in a series of historical
paintings. At the farther extremity of this court stands a large
building, constructed in the same style of architecture as the temple.
The inside is sixty feet long and thirty broad: it is stored with
antient weapons, and instruments of war of a prodigious size; such as
spears, scythes, and long pikes, with broad blades, shields, coats of
arms, and military ensigns representing hands[97], dragons heads, and
other carved figures. All these warlike instruments are richly gilded,
and ranged in order upon scaffolds along the wall. Opposite the entrance
a large yellow standard, embroidered with foliage and silver dragons, is
erected; under it, upon a kind of altar, there is a series of little
oblong tables, bearing Chinese inscriptions.

    [Footnote 97: These hands resemble the manipulary standards
    of the Romans.]

An open gallery, adorned on both sides with flower-pots, leads from the
back door of the armoury to the colonade of the temple. In this colonade
two slate tablets are placed, in wooden frames, about six feet high and
two broad, with long inscriptions relating to the building of the
temple. Before one of these plates a small idol of an hideous form
stands upon the ground, enclosed in a wooden case.

The temple itself is an elegant Chinese building, richly decorated on
the outside with columns lackered, and gilded carved-work, small bells,
and other ornaments peculiar to the Chinese architecture. Within there
is a rich profusion of gilding, which corresponds with the gaudiness of
the exterior. The walls are covered thick with paintings, exhibiting the
most celebrated exploits of the principal idol.

This temple contains five idols of a colossal stature, sitting
cross-legged upon pedestals in three recesses, which fill the whole
Northern side.

[Sidenote: Ghessur Chan, the principal idol.] The principal idol is
seated alone, in the middle recess, between two columns, entwined with
gilded dragons. Large streamers of silk, hanging from the roof of the
temple, veil in some measure the upper part of the image. His name is
Ghedsur, or Ghessur Chan[98]; the Chinese call him Loo-ye, or the first
and most antient; and the Manshurs, Guanlöe, or the superior god. He is
of a gigantic size, surpassing more than fourfold the human stature,
with a face glistening like burnished gold, black hair and beard. He
wears a crown upon his head, and is richly dressed in the Chinese
fashion: his garments are not moulded out of clay, as those of the other
idols; but are made of the finest silk. He holds in his hands a kind of
tablet, which he seems to read with deep attention. Two small female
figures, resembling girls of about fourteen years of age, stand on each
side of the idol, upon the same pedestal; one of which grasps a roll of
paper. At the right-hand of the idol lie seven golden arrows, and at his
left a bow.

    [Footnote 98: The Mongols and Calmucs call him by this name
    of Ghessur Chan; and although they do not reckon him among
    their divinities; yet they consider him as a great hero, the
    Bacchus and Hercules of Eastern Tartary, who was born at the
    source of the Choango, and who vanquished many monsters. They
    have in their language a very long history of his heroical
    deeds. His title, in the Mongol tongue, is as follows: Arban
    Zeeghi Essin Ghessur Bogdo Chan: the king of the ten points
    of the compass, or the monarch Ghessur Chan.

    I possess a copy of this manuscript, containing the History
    of Ghessur Chan; it is in the original Mongol language, and
    was a present from Mr. Pallas: I should be very happy to
    communicate it to any person versed in the Eastern

Before the idol is a spacious enclosure, surrounded with rails, within
which stands an altar with four colossal figures, intended probably to
represent the principal mandarins of the deified Ghessur. Two of these
figures are dressed like judges, and hold before them small tablets,
similar to that in the hands of the principal idol. The two other
figures are accoutred in complete armour: one wears a turban; and
carries, upon the left shoulder, a large sword sheathed, with the hilt
upwards. The other has an hideous copper-coloured face, a large belly,
and grasps in his right hand a lance with a broad blade.

Although all the remaining idols in the temple are of an enormous size,
yet they are greatly surpassed in magnitude by Ghessur Chan.

[Sidenote: Maooang.] The first idol in the recess to the right is called
Maooang, or the Otschibanni of the Mongols. He has three ghastly
copper-coloured faces, and six arms; two of his arms brandish two sabres
cross ways over the head; a third bears a looking glass, and a fourth a
kind of square, which resembles a piece of ivory. The two remaining
arms are employed in drawing a bow, with an arrow laid upon it, ready to
be discharged. This idol has a mirror upon his breast, and an eye in his
navel: near it are placed two small figures; one holds an arrow, and the
other a little animal.

[Sidenote: Tsaudsing.] The next idol in the same recess is called by the
Chinese Tsaudsing, or the gold and silver god; and by the Mongols
Tsagan-Dsambala. He wears a black cap, and is dressed, after the Chinese
fashion, in sumptuous robes of state; he bears in his hand a small jewel
casket. Near him also stand two little figures, one of which holds a
truncated branch.

[Sidenote: Chusho.] In the recess to the left is the god Chusho, called
by the Manshurs Chua-schan, and by the Mongols Galdi, or the Fire God.
He is represented with a frightful fiery reddish face; clad in complete
armour he wields a sword half drawn out of the scabbard, and seems on
the point of starting up from his seat. He is attended by two little
harlbadeers, one of whom is crying; and the other bears a fowl upon his
hand, which resembles a sea-pheasant.

[Sidenote: Niu-o.] The other idol in the same recess is the god of oxen,
Niu-o. He appears to be sitting in a composed posture; he is habited
like a Mandarin, and is distinguished by a crown upon his head. He has,
in common with the other idols, a mirror upon his breast. The Chinese
imagine him to be the same with the Yamandaga of the Mongols; and it is
said his Manshurish name is Chain Killova; his Mongol name, which
relates to the history of Ghessur, is Bars-Batir, the Hero of Tygers.

Before these several idols there are tables, or altars, on which cakes,
pastry, dried fruit, and flesh, are placed, on festivals and prayer
days: on particular occasions even whole carcases of sheep are offered
up. Tapers and lamps are kept burning day and night before the idols.
Among the utensils of the temple, the most remarkable is a vessel shaped
like a quiver, and filled with flat pieces of cleft reed, on which short
Chinese devices are inscribed. These devices are taken out by the
Chinese on new-years day, and are considered as oracles, which foretel
the good or ill luck of the person, by whom they are drawn, during the
following year. There lies also upon a table an hollow wooden black
lackered helmet, which all persons of devotion strike with a wooden
hammer, whenever they enter the temple. This helmet is regarded with
such peculiar awe, that no strangers are permitted to handle it,
although they are allowed to touch even the idols themselves.

The first day of the new and full moon is appointed for the celebration
of worship. Upon each of those days no Chinese ever fails to make his
appearance once in the temple; he enters without taking off his cap[99],
joins his hands before his face, bows five times to each idol, touches
with his forehead the pedestal on which the idol sits, and then retires.
Their principal festivals are held in the first month of their year,
which answers to February. It is called by them, as well as by the
Mongols, the white month; and is considered as a lucky time for the
transaction of business; at that time they hoist flags before the
temples; and place meat upon the tables of the idols, which the priests
take away in the evening, and eat in the small apartments of the
interior court. On these solemnities plays are performed in the theatre,
in honour of the idols: the pieces are generally satyrical, and mostly
written against unjust magistrates and judges.

    [Footnote 99: They do not take off their caps out of respect;
    for among the Chinese, as well as other Eastern nations, it
    is reckoned a mark of disrespect to uncover the head before a

[Sidenote: Superstion of the Chinese.] But although the Chinese have
such few ceremonies in their system of religious worship, yet they are
remarkably infected with superstition. Mr. Pallas gives the following
description of their behaviour at Maimatschin during an eclipse of the
moon. At the close of the evening in which the eclipse appeared, all the
inhabitants were indefatigable in raising an incessant uproar, some by
hideous shrieks, others by knocking wood, and beating cauldrons; the din
was heightened by striking the bell and beating the kettle drums of the
great Pagoda. The Chinese suppose, that during an eclipse the wicked
spirit of the air, called by the Mongols Arachulla, is attacking the
moon; and that he is frightened away by these hideous shrieks and
noises. Another instance of superstition fell under the observation, of
Mr. Pallas, while he was at Maimatschin. A fire broke out in that town
with such violence that several houses were in flames. None of the
inhabitants, however, attempted to extinguish it; they stood indeed in
idle consternation round the fire; and some of them sprinkled
occasionally water among the flames, in order to sooth the fire god,
who, as they imagined, had chosen their houses for a sacrifice. Indeed
if the Russians had not exerted themselves in quenching the fire, the
whole place would probably have been reduced to ashes[100].

    [Footnote 100: This account of Kiachta and Maimatschin is
    taken from Mr. Pallas's description of Kiachta, in the
    journal of his travels through Siberia, p. iii. p. 109-126.
    Every circumstance relating to the religious worship of the
    Eastern nations is, in itself so interesting that I thought
    it would not be unacceptable to my readers to give a
    translation of the above passages respecting the Chinese
    Pagodas and Idols: although in a work treating of the new
    discoveries, and the commerce which is connected with them.
    In the abovementioned journal the ingenious author continues
    to describe from his own observations the manners, customs,
    dress, diet, and several other particulars relative to the
    Chinese; which, although exceedingly curious and interesting,
    are foreign to my present purpose, and would have been
    incompatible with the size of the present work. No writer
    has placed the religion and history of the Tartar-nations in
    a more explicit point of view than Mr. Pallas; every page in
    his interesting journal affords striking proofs of this
    assertion. He has lately thrown new lights upon this obscure
    subject, in a recent publication concerning the Tartars, who
    inhabit parts of Siberia, and the territory which lies
    between that country and the Chinese-wall. Of this excellent
    work the first volume appeared in 1776, and contains the
    genealogy, history, laws, manners, and customs, of this
    extraordinary people, as they are divided into Calmucs,
    Mongols, and Burats. The second volume is expected with
    impatience, and will ascertain, with minuteness and accuracy,
    the tenets and religious ceremonies which distinguish the
    votaries of Shamanism from the followers of Dalai-Lama, the
    two great sects into which these tribes are distinguished.
    Pallas Samlung historischer Nachrichten ueber die
    Mongolischen Volkerschafter.]


Commerce between the _Chinese_ and _Russians_--list of the principal
exports and imports--duties--average amount of the _Russian_ trade.

[Sidenote: Merchants of Maimatschin.] The merchants of Maimatschin come
from the Northern provinces of China, chiefly from Pekin, Nankin,
Sandchue, and other principal towns. They are not settled at this place
with their wives and families: for it is a remarkable circumstance, that
there is not one woman in Maimatschin. This restriction arises from the
policy of the Chinese government, which, totally prohibits the women
from having the slightest intercourse with foreigners. No Chinese
merchant engages in the trade to Siberia who has not a partner. These
persons mutually relieve each other. One remains for a stated time,
usually a year, at Kiachta; and when, his partner arrives with a fresh
cargo of Chinese merchandize, he then returns home with the Russian

    [Footnote 101: Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 125.]

Most of the Chinese merchants understand the Mongol tongue, in which
language commercial affairs are generally transacted. Some few indeed
speak broken Russian, but their pronunciation is so soft and delicate,
that it is difficult to comprehend them. They are not able to pronounce
the R, but instead of it make use of an L; and when two consonants come
together, which frequently occurs in the Russian tongue, they divide
them by the interposition of a vowel[102]. This failure in articulating
the Russian language seems peculiar to the Chinese, and is not
observable in the Calmucs, Mongols, and other neighbouring nations[103].

    [Footnote 102: Bayer, in his Museum Sinicum, gives several
    curious instances of the Chinese mode of articulating those
    sounds, which they have not in their own language. For
    instance they change B D R X Z into P T L S S.

    Thus for Maria they say Ma-li-ya;
         for crux,          cu-lu-su;
         for baptizo,       pa-pe-ti-so;
         for cardinalis,    kia-ul-fi-na-li-su;
         for spiritus,      su-pi-li-tu-su;
         for Adam,          va-tam;
         for Eva,           nge-va;
         for Christus,      ki-li-su-tu-su;
    Hoc, est, corpus, meum--ho-ke, nge-su-tu, co-ul-pu-su, me-vum.
                                  Bayer, Mus. Sin. Tom. I. p. 15.]

    [Footnote 103: Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 134.]

The commerce between the Russians and Chinese is entirely a trade of
barter, that is, an exchange of one merchandize for another. The
Russians are prohibited to export their own coin, nor indeed could the
Chinese receive it, even should that prohibition be taken off; for no
specie is current amongst them except bullion[104]. And the Russians
find it more advantageous to take merchandize in exchange, than to
receive bullion at the Chinese standard. The common method of
transacting business is as follows. The Chinese merchant comes first to
Kiachta, and examines the merchandize he has occasion for in the
warehouse of the Russian trader; he then goes to the house of the
latter, and adjusts the price over a dish of tea. Both parties next
return to the magazine, and the goods in question are there carefully
sealed in the presence of the Chinese merchant. When this ceremony is
over, they both repair to Maimatschin; the Russian chooses the
commodities he wants, not forgetting to guard against fraud by a strict
inspection. He then takes the precaution to leave behind a person of
confidence, who remains in the warehouse until the Russian goods are
delivered, when he returns to Kiachta with the Chinese merchandize[105].

    [Footnote 104: The Chinese have no gold or silver coin. These
    metals are always paid in bullion; and for the purpose of
    ascertaining the weight, every Chinese merchant is constantly
    provided with a pair of scales. As gold is very scarce in
    China, silver is the great vehicle of commerce. When several
    authors affirm that the Russians draw large quantities of
    silver from China, they mistake an accidental occurrence for
    a general and standing fact. During the war between the
    Chinese and Calmucs, the former had occasion to purchase at
    Kiachta provision, horses, and camels, for which they paid
    silver. This traffic brought such a profusion of that metal
    into Siberia, that its price was greatly reduced below its
    real value. A pound of silver was at that period occasionally
    sold at the frontiers for 8 or 9 roubles, which at present
    fetches 15 or 16. But since the conclusion of these wars by
    the total reduction of the Calmucs under the Chinese yoke,
    Russia receives a very small quantity of silver from the
    Chinese. S.R.G. III. p. 593 & seq.

    The silver imported to Kiachta is chiefly brought by the
    Bucharian merchants, who sell cattle to the Chinese in
    exchange for that metal, which they afterwards dispose of to
    the Russians for European manufactures. Gold-dust is also
    occasionally obtained from the same merchants; the quantity
    however of those metals procured at Kiachta is so
    inconsiderable, as scarcely to deserve mention. The whole sum
    imported to Kiachta, in 1777, amounted to only 18,215

    [Footnote 105: Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 135.]

[Sidenote: Russian Exports.] The principal commodities which Russia
exports to China are as follow:


It would be uninteresting to enumerate all the furs and skins[106]
brought for sale to Kiachta, which form the most important article of
exportation on the side of the Russians. The most valuable of these furs
are the skins of sea-otters, beavers, foxes, wolves, bears, Bucharian
lambs, Astracan sheep, martens, sables, ermines, grey-squirrels.

    [Footnote 106: The list of all the furs and skins brought to
    Kiachta, with their several prices, is to be found in Pallas
    Reise, Part III. p. 136 to p. 142. See hereafter, p. 242.]

The greatest part of these furs and skins are drawn from Siberia and the
New Discovered Islands: this supply however is not alone fully adequate
to the demand of the market at Kiachta. Foreign furs are therefore
imported to St. Petersburg, and from thence sent to the frontiers.
England alone furnishes a large quantity of beaver and other skins,
which she draws from Hudson's Bay and Canada.[107]

    [Footnote 107: List of furs sent from England to Petersburg
    in the following years:

            Beaver-skins.   Otter-skins.
    1775, |    46460      |    7143
    1776, |    27700      |   12086
    1777, |    27316      |   10703

    The finest Hudson's beavers have been sold
      upon an average at Petersburg from        70 to 90 roubles per
                                                         10 skins.
    Inferior ditto and best Canada beavers from 50 -- 75
    Young or cub-beavers from                   20 -- 35
    Best otter-skins from                       90 -- 100
    Inferior ones from                          60 -- 80

    The qualities of these skins being very different occasion
    great variations in the prices.

    At Kiachta, the best Hudson's Bay beaver
      fetches from                               7 to 20 roubles per skin.
    Otters' ditto                                6 -- 35

    Black foxes skins from Canada are also sometimes sent from
    England to Petersburg.

    At Kiachta they fetch from 1 to 100 roubles per skin.]


Cloth forms the second article of exportation which Russia exports to

The coarse sort is manufactured in Russia; the finer sort is foreign,
chiefly English, Prussian, and French.

  An arshire of foreign cloth fetches, according to its
    fineness, from                                       2 to 4 roubles.
  White flannels, both Russian and foreign.

The remaining articles are,

  Rich stuffs.
  Coarse linen, chiefly manufactured in Russia.
  Russia leather.
  Tanned hides.
  Glass ware and looking glasses.
  Hardware, namely, knives, scissars, locks, &c.
  Russian talk.
  Cattle, chiefly camels, horses, and horned cattle.

The Chinese also pay very dear for hounds, greyhounds, barbets, and dogs
for hunting wild boars.


    [Footnote 108: In the year 1772, the Chinese purchased meat
    at Kiachta, at the following prices:

    A pound of beef           3-2/3 copecs.
               lamb           2-1/2
    Horse flesh for the Tartars 1/2.
                                        Pallas Reise, P. III. p.]

Meal.--The Chinese no longer import such large quantities of meal as
formerly, since they have employed the Mongols to cultivate the lands
lying near the river Orchon[109], &c. &c.

    [Footnote 109: S. R. G. III. p. 495-571. Pallas Reise, P.
    III. p. 136-144.]

[Sidenote: Imports.] List of the most valuable commodities procured from


The exportation of raw silk is prohibited in China under pain of death:
large quantities however are smuggled every year into Kiachta, but not
sufficient to answer the demands of the Russian merchants.

  A pood of the best sort is estimated at 150 roubles;
         of the worst sort at              75

The manufactured silks are of various sorts, fashions, and prices, viz.
sattins, taffaties, damasks, and gauzes, scanes of silk died of all
colours, ribbands, &c. &c.


Raw cotton is imported in very large quantities; a great part of this
commodity is employed in packing up the china ware, and by these means
is conveyed into the inland part of Russia without any additional
expence of carriage.

A pood sells for--from 4 roubles, 80 cop. to 12.

Of the manufactured cotton, that which the Russians call Kitaika, and
the English Nankeen, has the most rapid sale. It is the most durable,
and, in proportion to its goodness, the cheapest of all the Chinese
stuffs; it is stained red, brown, green, and black.


The teas which are brought into Russia are much superior in flavour and
quality to those which are sent to Europe from Canton. The original
goodness of the teas is probably the same in both cases; but it is
conjectured, that the transport by sea considerably impairs the aromatic
flavour of the plant. This commodity, now become so favourite an object
of European luxury, is esteemed by the Russian merchants the most
profitable article of importation.

  At Kiachta a pound of the best tea[110] is estimated at   2 roubles.
  Common ditto at                                           1
  Inferior at                                                 40 copecs.

    [Footnote 110: At Petersburg a pound of the best green tea
    fetches 3 roubles.]


For some years past the Chinese have brought to Kiachta parcels of
porcelain, painted with European figures, with copies of several
favourite prints and images of the Grecian and Roman deities.

Furniture, particularly Japan cabinets and cases, lackered and varnished
tables and chairs, boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl, &c. &c.

  Fans, toys, and other small wares.
  Artificial flowers.
  Tiger and Panther skins.
  Rubies[111], but neither in large quantities nor of great value.
  White lead, vermilion, and other colours.
  Sugar Candy.
  Preserved ginger, and other sweetmeats.

    [Footnote 111: Rubies are generally procured by smuggling;
    and by the same means pearls are occasionally disposed of to
    the Chinese, at a very dear rate. Pearls are much sought for
    by the Chinese; and might be made a very profitable article.]

    [Footnote 112: See Appendix II.]

It is very difficult to procure the genuine Thibet musk, because the
Chinese purchase a bad sort, which comes from Siberia, with which they
adulterate that which is brought from Thibet[113].

    [Footnote 113: S. R. G. III. p. 572-592. Pallas Reise, p.
    III. p. 144-153.]

[Sidenote: Advantages of this Trade to Russia.] Russia draws great
advantages from the Chinese trade. By this traffic, its natural
productions, and particularly its furs and skins, are disposed of in a
very profitable manner. Many of these furs procured from the most
Easterly parts of Siberia, are of such little value that they would not
answer the expence of carriage into Russia; while the richer furs, which
are sold to the Chinese at a very high price, would, on account of their
dearness, seldom meet with purchasers in the Russian dominions. In
exchange for these commodities the Russians receive from China several
valuable articles of commerce, which they would otherwise be obliged to
buy at a much dearer rate from the European powers, to the great
disadvantage of the balance of their trade.

I have before observed, that formerly the exportation and importation of
the most valuable goods were prohibited to individuals; at present only
the following articles are prohibited. Among the exports, fire-arms and
artillery; gunpowder and ball; gold and silver, coined and uncoined,
stallions and mares; skins of deer, reindeer, elks, and horses; beaver's
hair, potash, rosin, thread, and [114]tinsel-lace: among the imports,
salt, brandy, poisons, copper-money, and rhubarb.

    [Footnote 114: Tinsel lace is smuggled to the Chinese, with
    considerable profit; for they pay nearly as much for it as if
    it was solid silver.
                                            S. R. G. III. p. 588.]

  The duties paid by the Russian-merchants are very
  considerable; great part of the merchandise is taxed at 25 per cent.
  Furs, cattle, and provisions, pay a duty of             23.
  Russian manufactures                                    18.

One per cent. is also deducted from the price of all goods for the
expence of deepening the river Selenga; and 7 per cent for the support
of the custom-house.

Some articles, both of export and import, pay no duty. The exported are,
writing, royal, and post paper, Russia cloth of all sorts and colours,
excepting peasants cloth. The imported are, satins, raw and stained
cottons, porcelain, earthen-ware, glass corals, beads, fans, all musical
instruments, furniture, lackered and enamelled ornaments, needles,
white-lead, rice, preserved ginger, and other sweet-meats[115].

    [Footnote 115: Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 154.]

The importance of this trade will appear from the following table.

[Sidenote: Table of exportation and importation.] Table of exportation
and importation at Kiachta, in the year 1777.

                                                      Rbles.       Cop.
  Custom-house duties,                              481,460.    59-1/2.
  Importation of Chinese goods, to the value of   1,466,497.     3-3/4.
  Of gold and silver                                 11,215.
  Total of Importation                            1,484,712.     3-3/4.
  Exportation of Russian commodities              1,313,621.    35.

  From this table it appears, that the total
  sum of export and import amounts to             2,868,333.

In this calculation however the contraband trade is not included, which
is very large; and as the year 1777 was not so favourable to this
traffic as the preceding ones[116], we may venture to estimate the
gross amount of the average trade to China at near 4,000,000 Roubles.

    [Footnote 116: In the year 1770, 1771, 1772, the custom-house
    duties at Kiachta (according to Mr. Pallas, P. III. p. 154.)
    produced 550,000 roubles. By taking therefore the medium
    between that sum and 481,460, the amount of the duties in
    1777, the average sum of the duties will be 515,730; and, as
    the duties in 1777 make nearly a sixth of the whole sum of
    exportation and importation, by multiplying 515,730 by 6, we
    have the gross amount of the average exports and imports at
    3,094,380. But as several goods pay no duty, and as the
    contraband trade according to the lowest valuation is
    estimated at the fifth part of the exports and imports; the
    gross amount of the average trade to China may be fairly
    computed at near 4,000,000, the sum stated above.]


Description of Zuruchaitu--and its trade--Transport of the merchandise
through Siberia.

The general account of the Russian commerce to China has been given in
the preceding chapter, because almost the whole traffic is confined to
Kiachta. The description of Zuruchaitu, which was also fixed by the
treaty of Kiachta for the purpose of carrying on the same trade, will be
comprised of course in a narrow compass.

[Sidenote: Description of Zuruchaitu.] Zuruchaitu is situated in 137°
longitude, and 49°. 20´ N. latitude, upon the Western branch of the
river Argoon, at a small distance from its source. It is provided with a
small garrison, and a few wretched barracks surrounded with chevaux de
frise. No merchants are settled at this place; they come every summer
from Nershinsk, and other Russian towns in order to meet two parties of
Mongol troops: these troops are sent from the Chinese towns Naun and
Merghen, and arrive at the frontiers about July. They encamp near
Zuruchaitu upon the other side of the river Argoon, and barter with the
Siberian merchants a few Chinese commodities, which they bring with

[Sidenote: Commerce.] Formerly the commerce carried on at Zuruchaitu was
more considerable; but at present it is so trifling, that it hardly
deserves to be mentioned. These Mongols furnish the district of
Nershinsk with bad tea and tobacco, bad silks, and some tolerable
cottons. They receive in return ordinary furs, cloth, cattle, and
Russian leather. This trade lasts about a month or six weeks, and the
annual duties of the customs amount upon an average to no more than 500
roubles. About the middle of August the Mongols retire; part proceed
immediately to China, and the others descend the stream of the Amoor as
far as its mouth, in order to observe if there has been no usurpation
upon the limits. At the same time the Russian merchants return to
Nershinsk, and, were it not for the small garrison, Zuruchaitu would
remain uninhabited[117].

    [Footnote 117: S. R. G. III. p. 465. Pallas Reise, P. III. p.

[Sidenote: Transport of the Russian and Chinese Commodities through
Siberia.] The Russian commodities are transported by land from
Petersburg and Moscow to Tobolsk. From thence the merchants may embark
upon the Irtish down to its junction with the Oby; then they either tow
up their boats, or sail up the last mentioned river as far as Marym,
where they enter the Ket, which they ascend to Makoffskoi Ostrog. At
that place the merchandize is carried about ninety versts by land to the
Yenisei. The merchants then ascend that river, the Tunguska, and Angara,
to Irkutsk, cross the lake Baikal, and go up the river Selenga almost to

It is a work of such difficulty to ascend the streams of so many rapid
rivers, that this navigation Eastwards can hardly be finished in one
summer[118]; for which reason the merchants commonly prefer the way by
land. Their general rendezvous is the fair of Irbit near Tobolsk; from
thence they go in sledges during winter to Kiachta where they arrive
about February, the season in which the chief commerce is carried on
with the Chinese. They buy in their route all the furs they find in the
small towns, where they are brought from the adjacent countries. When
the merchants return in spring with the Chinese goods, which are of
greater bulk and weight than the Russian commodities, they proceed by
water; they then descend the streams of most of the rivers, namely, the
Selenga, Angara, Tunguska, Ket, and Oby to its junction with the Irtish;
they ascend that river to Tobolsk, and continue by land to Moscow and

    [Footnote 118: Some of these rivers are only navigable in
    spring when the snow water is melting; in winter the rivers
    are in general frozen.]

[Sidenote: Transport of the Furs from Kamtchatka to Kiachta.] Before the
passage from Ochotsk to Bolcheresk was discovered in 1716, the only
communication between Kamtchatka and Siberia was by land; the road lay
by Anadirsk to Yakutsk. The furs[119] of Kamtchatka and of the Eastern
isles are now conveyed from that peninsula by water to Ochotsk; from
thence to Yakutsk by land on horse-back, or by rein-deer: the roads are
so very bad, lying either through a rugged mountainous country, or
through marshy forests, that the journey lasts at least six weeks.
Yakutsk is situated upon the Lena, and is the principal town, where the
choicest furs are brought in their way to Kiachta, as well from
Kamtchatka as from the Northern parts of Siberia, which lay upon the
rivers Lena, Yana, and Endigirka. At Yakutsk the goods are embarked upon
the Lena, towed up the stream of that river as far as Vercholensk, or
still farther to Katsheg; from thence they are transported over a short
tract of land to the rivulet Buguldeika, down that stream to the lake
Baikal, across that lake to the mouth of the Selenga, and up that river
to the neighbourhood of Kiachta.

    [Footnote 119: The furs, which are generally landed upon the
    Eastern coast of Kamtchatka, are either sent by sea to
    Bolchoresk, or are transported across the Peninsula in
    sledges drawn by dogs. The latter conveyance is only used in
    winter: it is the usual mode of travelling in that country.
    In summer there is no conveyance, as the Peninsula contains
    neither oxen, horses, or rein-deer. S. R. G. III. p. 478.]

In order to give the reader some notion of that vast tract of country,
over which the merchandize is frequently transported by land carriage, a
list of the distances is here subjoined.

  From Petersburg to Moscow       734 versts.
       Moscow to Tobolsk         2385
       Tobolsk to Irkutsk        2918
       Irkutsk to Kiachta         471

  From Irbit to Tobolsk           420

  From Irkutsk to Nershinsk      1129
       Nershinsk to Zuruchaitu    370

  From Ochotsk to Yakutsk         927
       Yakutsk to Irkutsk        2433

  From Selenginsk to Zuruchaitu   850
       Zuruchaitu to Pekin       1588
       Kiachta to Pekin          1532

The Chinese transport their goods to Kiachta chiefly upon camels. It is
four or five days journey from Pekin to the wall of China, and forty-six
from thence across the Mongol desert to Kiachta[120].

    [Footnote 120: Pallas Reise, P. III. p. 134.]




_in 1768 and 1769_.]


Extract from the journal of a voyage made by Captain _Krenitzin_ and
Lieutenant _Levasheff_ to the _Fox Islands_, in 1768, 1769, by order of
the Empress of _Russia_--they sail from _Kamtchatka_--arrive at
_Beering's_ and _Copper Islands_--reach the _Fox Islands_--_Krenitzin_
winters at _Alaxa_--_Levasheff_ upon _Unalashka_--productions of
_Unalashka_--description of the inhabitants of the _Fox Islands_--their
manners and customs, &c.

[Sidenote: Krenitzin and Levasheff sail from the Mouth of the Kamtchatka
River, 1768.] On the 23d of July Captain Krenitzin sailed in the Galliot
St. Catherine from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river towards America: he
was accompanied by Lieutenant Levasheff, in the Hooker St. Paul. Their
instructions were regulated by information derived from Beering's
expedition in 1741. Shaping their course accordingly, they found
themselves more to the North than they expected; and were told by the
Russian traders and hunters, that a similar[121] mistake was committed
in the chart of that expedition. These traders, who for some years past
were accustomed to ramble to the distant islands in quest of furs, said
that they were situated much more to the South, and farther East than
was imagined. [Sidenote: They reach Beering's Island.] On the 27th they
saw Commodore's or Beering's Island, which is low and rocky, especially
to the S. W. On this side they observed a small harbour, distinguished
by two hillocks like boats, and not far from it they found a fresh water

    [Footnote 121: This passage is obscurely expressed. Its
    meaning may be ascertaining by comparing Krenitzin's chart
    with that of Beering's voyage prefixed to Muller's account of
    the Russian Discoveries. The route of Krenitzin's vessel was
    confidently to the North of the course held by Beering and
    Tschirikoff, and consequently he sailed through the middle of
    what they had supposed to be a continent, and which he found
    to be an open sea. See Robertson's History of America, p.
    461, and p. 26, of this work.

[Sidenote: and Copper Island.] To the S. E. lies another island, called
by the Russians Mednoi Ostroff, or Copper Island, from a great quantity
of copper found upon its N. E. coast, the only side which is known to
the Russians. It is washed up by the sea, and covers the shore in such
abundance, that many ships may load with it. Perhaps an India trader
might make a profitable voyage from thence to China, where this metal is
in high demand. This copper is mostly in a metallic or malleable state,
and many pieces seem as if they had formerly been in fusion. The island
is not high, but has many hillocks, each of which has the appearance of
having formerly been the funnel of a volcano. We may here, once for all,
observe, that all the islands represented in this chart[122] abound with
such funnels, called in Russian Sopka, in so much that no island,
however small, was found without one; and many of them consisted of
nothing else. In short, the chain of islands here laid down may, without
any violent stretch of imagination, be considered as thrown up by some
late volcanos. The apparent novelty of every thing seems to justify this
conjecture: nor can any objection be derived from the vegetable
productions with which these islands abound; for the summer after the
lower district of Zutphen in Holland was gained from the sea, it was
covered over with wild mustard. All these lands are subject to violent
and frequent earth-quakes, and abound in sulphur. The writer of the
journal was not able to inform us whether any lava was found upon them;
but he speaks of a party-coloured stone as heavy as iron. From this
account it is by no means improbable, that the copper abovementioned has
been melted in some eruption.

    [Footnote 122: Namely, the chart which is prefixed to this

[Sidenote: Arrive at the Fox Islands.] After leaving Copper Island, no
land was seen from either of the ships (which had parted company in a
fog) till on the S. E. quarter of their tract, was discovered the chain
of islands or head-lands laid down in the chart. These in general
appeared low, the shore bad, without creeks, and the water between them
very shallow. During their course outwards, as well as during their
return, they had frequent fogs. It appears from the journal, as well as
from the relation of the hunters, that it is very uncommon to have
clear weather for five days together, even during summer.

[Sidenote: Krenitzin winters at Alaxa.] The St. Catherine wintered in
the straits of Alaxa, where they hauled her into shoal water. The
instructions given to the captain set forth, that a private ship had in
1762 found there a commodious haven; but he looked for it in vain. The
entrance of this strait from the N. E. was extremely difficult on
account of flats, and strong currents both flood and ebb: the entrance
however from the S. E. was afterwards found to be much easier with not
less than 5-1/2 fathoms water. Upon surveying this strait, and the coast
of Alaxa, many funnels were observed in the low grounds close to the
shore, and the soil produced few plants. May not this allow one to
suppose that the coast had suffered considerable changes since the year
1762? Few of the islands produce wood, and that only in the vallies by
the rivulets. Unalga and Alaxa contain the most; they abound with fresh
water streams, and even rivers; from which we may infer that they are
extensive. The soil is in general boggy, and covered with moss; but
Alaxa has more soil and produces much grass.

[Sidenote: Levasheff winters upon Unalashka.] The St. Paul wintered in
Unalashka. This wintering place was observed to lie in 53° 29´ North
latitude, and its longitude from the mouth of Kamtchatka river,
computed by the ship's journal, was 27° 05´ East[123]. Unalashka is
about fifty miles long from N. E. to S. W. and has on the N. E. side
three bays. One of them called Udagha stretches thirty miles E. N. E.
and W. S. W. nearly through the middle of the island. Another called
Igunck, lying N. N. E. and S. S. W. is a pretty good harbour, with three
and a half fathom water at high tide, and sandy ground. It is well
sheltered from the North swell at its entrance by rocks, some of which
are under water. The tide flows here five feet at full and change, and
the shore is in general bold and rocky, except in the bay, at the mouth
of a small river. There are two burning mountains on this island, one
called Ayaghish, and the other (by the Russians) the Roaring Mountain.
Near the former is a very copious hot spring. The land is in general
rocky, with loamy and clayey grounds; but the grass is extremely coarse,
and unfit for pasture. Hardly any wood is to be found on it. [Sidenote:
Productions of Unalashka.] Its plants are dwarf cherry ([124]Xylosteum
of Tournefort), wortle berry, (Vaccinium Uliginosum of Linnæus),
rasberry, farana and shikshu of Kamtchatka and kutage, larch, white
poplar, pine and birch[125]. The land animals are foxes of different
colours, mice, and weasels; there are also beavers[126], sea cats, and
sea lions as at Kamtchatka. Among their fish we may reckon cod, perch,
pilchards, smelts, roach, needle fish, terpugh, and tchavitcha. The
birds are eagles, partridges, ducks, teals, urili, ari, and gadi. The
animals for whose Russian names I can find no translations, are
(excepting the Ari) described in Krashininikoff's History of Kamtchatka,
or in Steller's relation contained in the second volume of the Memoirs
of the Academy of Petersburgh.

    [Footnote 123: According to the general map of Russia, the
    mouth of the Kamtchatka river is in 178° 25´ from Fero.
    Unalashka therefore, according to this estimation, is 205°
    30´ from Fero, or 187° 55´ 15´´ from Greenwich.]

    [Footnote 124: The Lonicera Pyrenaica of Linnæus. It is not a
    dwarf cherry, but a species of honeysuckle.]

    [Footnote 125: All the other journalists uniformly describe
    Unalashka as containing nothing but underwood; we must
    therefore suppose that the trees here mentioned were very low
    and small, and this agrees with what goes before, "hardly any
    wood is to be found on it."]

    [Footnote 126: By beavers the journalists certainly mean
    sea-otters, called by the Russians sea-beavers. See p. 12.
    For a description of the sea-otter, called by Linnæus Lutra
    Marina, see Nov. Com. Petr. vol. II. p. 367, et seq.]

[Sidenote: Account of the Inhabitants of the Fox Islands.] The
inhabitants of Alaxa, Umnak, Unalaksha, and the neighbouring islands,
are of a middle stature, tawny brown colour, and black hair. In summer
they wear coats (parki[127]) made of bird skins, over which, in bad
weather, and in their boats, they throw cloaks, called kamli, made of
thin whale guts. On their heads they wear wooden caps, ornamented with
duck's feathers, and the ears of the sea-animal, called Scivutcha or
sea-lion; they also adorn these caps with beads of different colours,
and with little figures of bone or stone. In the partition of the
nostrils they place a pin, about four inches long, made of the bone, or
of the stalk of a certain black plant; from the ends of this pin or
bodkin they hang, in fine weather and on festivals, rows of beads, one
below the other. They thrust beads, and bits of pebble cut like teeth,
into holes made in the under-lips. They also wear strings of beads in
their ears, with bits of amber, which the inhabitants of the other
islands procure from Alaxa, in exchange for arrows and kamli.

    [Footnote 127: Parki in Russian signifies a shirt, the coats
    of these islanders being made like shirts.]

They cut their hair before just above the eyes, and some shave the top
of their heads like monks. Behind the hair is loose. The dress of the
women hardly differs from that of the men, excepting that it is made of
fish-skins. They sew with bone needles, and thread made of fish guts,
fastening their work to the ground before them with bodkins. They go
with the head uncovered, and the hair cut like that of the men before,
but tied up behind in a high knot. They paint their cheeks with strokes
of blue and red, and wear nose-pins, beads, and ear-rings like the men;
they hang beads round their neck, and checkered strings round their arms
and legs.

[Sidenote: Manners and Customs.] In their persons we should reckon them
extremely nasty. They eat the vermin with which their bodies are
covered, and swallow the mucus from the nose. Having washed themselves,
according to custom, first with urine, and then with water, they suck
their hands dry. When they are sick, they lie three or four days without
food; and if bleeding is necessary, they open a vein with lancets made
of flint, and suck the blood.

Their principal nourishment is fish and whale fat, which they commonly
eat raw. They also feed upon sea-wrack and roots, particularly the
saran, a species of lily; they eat a herb, called kutage, on account of
its bitterness, only with fish or fat. They sometimes kindle fire by
catching a spark among dry leaves and powder of sulphur: but the most
common method is by rubbing two pieces of wood together, in the manner
practised at Kamtchatka[128], and which Vaksel, Beering's lieutenant,
found to be in use in that part of North America which he saw in 1741.
They are very fond of Russian oil and butter, but not of bread. They
could not be prevailed upon to taste any sugar until the commander
shewed the example; finding it sweet, they put it up to carry it home to
their wives.

    [Footnote 128: The instrument made use of by the Kamtchadals,
    to procure fire, is a board with several holes in it, and a
    stick; the latter is put into the holes, and turned about
    swiftly, until the wood within the holes begins to burn,
    where there is tinder ready to catch the sparks.
                                            S. R. G. III. p. 205.]

The houses of these islanders are huts built precisely in the manner of
those in Kamtchatka, with the entry through a hole in the middle of the
roof. In one of these huts live several families, to the amount of
thirty or forty persons. They keep themselves warm by means of whale fat
burnt in shells, which they place between their legs. The women set
apart from the men.

Six or seven of these huts or yourts make a village, of which there are
sixteen in Unalashka. The islands seem in general to be well inhabited,
as may be conjectured from the great number of boats which are seen
continually plying along the shore. There are upwards of a thousand
inhabitants on Unalashka, and they say that it was formerly much more
populous. They have suffered greatly by their disputes with the
Russians, and by a famine in the year 1762; but most of all from a
change in their way of life. No longer contented with their original
simplicity, they long for Russian luxuries: in order therefore to obtain
a few delicacies, which are presently consumed, they dedicate the
greatest part of their time to hunting, for the purpose of procuring
furs for the Russians: by these means, they neglect to lay up a
provision of fish and roots; and suffer their children frequently to die
of hunger.

Their principal food is fish, which they catch with bone hooks. Their
boats, in which they row to a great distance from land, are made, like
those of the Innuet or Esquimaux, of thin slips of wood and skins: these
skins cover the top as well as the sides of the boat, and are drawn
tight round the waist of the rower. The oar is a paddle, broad at both
ends. Some of their boats hold two persons; one of whom rows, and the
other fishes: but these kind of boats seem appropriated to their chiefs.
They have also large boats capable of holding forty men. They kill birds
and beasts with darts made of bone, or of wood tipped with sharpened
stone: they use these kind of darts in war, which break with the blow
given by them, and leave the point in the wound.

The manners and character of these people are what we should expect from
their necessitous situation, extremely rude and savage. The inhabitants
however of Unalashka are somewhat less barbarous in their manners and
behaviour to each other, and also more civil to strangers than the
natives of the other islands; but even they are engaged in frequent and
bloody quarrels, and commit murder without the least compunction. Their
disposition engages them in continual wars, in which they always
endeavour to gain their point by stratagem. The inhabitants of Unimak
are formidable to all the rest; they frequently invade the other
islands, and carry off women, the chief object of their wars. Alaxa is
most subject to these incursions, probably because it is more populous
and extensive. They all join in hating the Russians, whom they consider
as general invaders, and therefore kill them wherever they can. The
people of Unalashka however are more friendly; for Lieutenant Levasheff,
being informed that there was a Russian vessel in the straits of Alaxa,
prevailed on some Unalashkans to carry a letter, which they undertook,
notwithstanding the danger they were exposed to from the inhabitants of
the intervening islands.

The journalist says, that these people have no kind of religion, nor any
notion of a God. We observe however among them sufficient marks of such
a religion as might be expected from people in their situation. For the
journalist informs us, that they have fortune-tellers employed by them
at their festivals. These persons pretend to foretel events by the
information of the Kugans or Dæmons. In their divinations they put on
wooden masks, made in the form in which they say the Kugan appeared to
them; they then dance with violent motions, beating at the same time
drums covered with fish skins. The inhabitants also wear little figures
on their caps, and place others round their huts, to keep off the
devils. These are sufficient marks of a savage religion.

It is common for them to have two, three, or four wives, and some have
also an object of unnatural affection, who is dressed like the women.
The wives do not all live together, but, like the Kamtchadals, in
different yourts. It is not unusual for the men to exchange their wives,
and even sell them, in time of dearth, for a bladder of fat; the husband
afterwards endeavours to get back his wife, if she is a favourite, and
if unsuccessful he sometimes kills himself. When strangers arrive at a
village, it is always customary for the women to go out to meet them,
while the men remain at home: this is considered as a pledge of
friendship and security. When a man dies in the hut belonging to his
wife, she retires into a dark hole, where she remains forty days. The
husband pays the same compliment to his favourite wife upon her death.
When both parents die, the children are left to shift for themselves.
The Russians found many in this situation, and some were brought for

In each village there is a sort of chief, called Tookoo, who is not
distinguished by any particular rank or authority. He decides
differences by arbitration, and the neighbours enforce the sentence.
When he goes out to sea he is exempted from working, and has a servant,
called Kalè, for the purpose of rowing the canoe; this is the only mark
of his dignity: at all other times he labours like the rest. The office
is not hereditary; but is generally conferred on him who is most
remarkable for his personal qualities; or who possesses a great
influence by the number of his friends. Hence it frequently happens,
that the person who has the largest family is chosen.

During their festivals, which are held after the fishing season ends in
April, the men and women sing songs; the women dance, sometimes singly,
and sometimes in pairs, waving in their hands blown bladders; they begin
with gentle movements, which become at last extremely violent.

The inhabitants of Unalashka are called Kogholaghi. Those of Akutan, and
farther East to Unimak, are called Kighigusi; and those of Unimak and
Alaxa are called Kataghayekiki. They cannot tell whence they have these
names, and now begin to call themselves by the general name of Aleyut,
given them by the Russians, and borrowed from some of the [129]Kuril
islands. Upon being asked concerning their origin, they said that they
had always inhabited these islands, and knew nothing of any other
country beyond them. All that could be gathered from them was, that the
greatest numbers came from Alaxa, and that they did not know whether
that land had any bounds. The Russians surveyed this island very far to
the N. E. in boats, being out about a fortnight, and set up a cross at
the end of their survey. The boats of the islanders are like those of
the Americans. It appears however from their customs and way of life, so
far as these are not necessarily prescribed to them by their situation,
that they are of Kamtchatdal original. Their huts, their manner of
kindling fire, and their objects of unnatural affections, lead to this
conjecture. Add to this, the almost continual Westerly winds, which must
render the passage Westward extremely difficult. Beering and Tchirikoff
could never obtain Easterly winds but by going to the Southward.

    [Footnote 129: I cannot find, that any of the Kuril Isles are
    called Aleyut in the catalogue of those islands given by Mr.
    Muller, S. R. G. III. p, 86-92. Neither are any of them laid
    down under that name in the Russian charts.]

The Russians have for some years past been accustomed to go to these
islands in quest of furs, of which they have imposed a tax on the
inhabitants. The manner of carrying on this trade is as follows. The
Russian traders go in Autumn to Beering's and Copper island, and there
winter: they then employ themselves in catching the sea-cat, and
afterwards the Scivutcha, or sea-lion. The flesh of the latter is
prepared for food, and it is very delicate. They carry the skins of
these sea-animals to the Eastern islands. Next summer they go Eastward,
to the Fox-islands; and again lay their ships up for the winter. They
then endeavour to procure, either by persuasion or force, the children
of the inhabitants, particularly of the Tookoos, as hostages. This being
accomplished, they deliver to the inhabitants fox-traps, and also skins
for their boats, for which they oblige them to bring furs and provisions
during the winter. After obtaining from them a certain quantity of furs,
by way of tax, for which they give them quittances; the Russians pay for
the rest in beads, false pearls, goat's wool, copper kettles, hatchets,
&c. In the spring they get back their traps, and deliver up their
hostages. They dare not hunt alone, nor in small numbers, on account of
the hatred of the natives. These people could not, for some time,
comprehend for what purpose the Russians imposed a tribute of skins,
which were not to be their own property, but belonged to an absent
person; for their Tookoos have no revenue. Nor could they be made to
believe, that there were any more Russians than those who came among
them; for in their own country all the men of an island go out together.
At present they comprehend something of Kamtchatka, by means of the
Kamtchadals and Koriacs who come along with the Russians; and on their
arrival love to associate with people whose manner of life resembles
their own.

Krenitzin and Levasheff returned from this expedition into the mouth of
the Kamtchatka river in autumn 1769.

The chart which accompanies this journal was composed by the pilot Jacob
Yakoff, under the inspection of the commanders[130] Krenitzin and
Levasheff. The track of the St. Paul is marked both in going out and
returning. The harbour of the St. Paul in the island Unalashka, and the
straits of Alaxa, are laid down from observations made during the winter
1768; and the islands connected by bearings and distances taken during a
cruise of the St. Paul twice repeated.

    [Footnote 130: Krenitzin was drowned soon after his return to
    Kamtchatka in a canoe belonging to the natives.]

In this chart the variation is said to be

  In Lat.       Long.        Points

     54° 40´.   204.        2 East.
     52  20     201         1-1/2
     52  50     198         1-1/2
     53  20     192 30      1
     53  40     188         1
     54  50     182 30      0-3/4
     55  00     180 30      0-3/4

N^o II.

Concerning the longitude of _Kamtchatka_, and of the Eastern extremity
of _Asia_, as laid down by the _Russian_ Geographers.

[Sidenote: Longitude of the extreme Parts of Asia.] The important
question concerning the longitude of the extreme parts of Asia has been
so differently stated by the most celebrated geographers, that it may
not be amiss to refer the curious reader to the principal treatises upon
that subject. [Sidenote: by Mr. Muller and the Russian Geographers.] The
proofs by which Mr. Muller and the Russian geographers place the
longitude of the Eastern extremity of Asia beyond 200 degrees from the
first meridian of Fero, or 180° 6´ 15´´ from Paris, are drawn from the
observations of the satellites of Jupiter, made by Krassilnikoff at
Kamtchatka, and in different parts of Siberia, and from the expeditions
of the Russians by land and sea towards Tschukotskoi Noss.

[Sidenote: by Mr. Engel.] Mr. Engel calls in question the exactness of
these observations, and takes off twenty-nine degrees from the
longitude of Kamtchatka, as laid down by the Russians. To this purpose
he has given to the public,

     1. Memoires et observations geographiques et critiques sur
        la situation des Pays Septentrionaux de l'Asie et de
        l'Amerique. A Lausanne, 1765.

     2. Geographische und Critische Nachricht ueber die Lage der
        noerdlichen Gegenden von Asien und America. Mittau, 1772.

[Sidenote: by Mr. Vaugondy.] It appears to Monsieur de Vaugondy, that
there are not sufficient grounds for so extraordinary a diminution:
accordingly he shortens the continent of Asia only eleven degrees of
longitude; and upon this subject he has given the two following

     1. Lettre au sujet d'une carte systematique des Pays
        Septentrionaux de l'Asie et de l'Amerique. Paris, 1768.

     2. Nouveau systeme geographique, par lequel on concilie les
        anciennes connoissances sur les Pays au Nord Ouest de
        l'Amerique. Paris, 1774.

[Sidenote: Mons. Buache supports the System of the Russians against
Engel and Vaugondy.] In opposition to these authors, Monsieur Buache has
published an excellent treatise, entitled Memoires sur les Pays de
l'Asie et de l'Amerique. Paris, 1775.

In this memoir he dissents from the opinions of Messrs Engel and
Vaugondy; and defends the system of the Russian geographers in the
following manner. Monsieur Maraldi, after comparing the observations of
the satellites of Jupiter, taken at Kamtchatka by Krassilnikoff, with
the tables, has determined the longitude of Ochotsk, Bolcheresk, and the
port of St. Peter and Paul from the first meridian of Paris as follows:

                               h  ´  ´´
  [131]Longitude of Ochotsk      9  23 30
               of Bolcheresk  10  17 17
               of the Port    10  25  5

Latitude of Ochotsk 59° 22´, of Bolcheresk 52° 55´, of the Port 53° 1´.

    [Footnote 131: Krassilnikoff compared his observations with
    corresponding ones taken at Petersburg, which gave results as

    From comparing an observation of an eclipse of the first
    satellite, taken at Ochotsk the 17th of January, 1743, with
    an observation of an eclipse of the same satellite taken at
    Petersburg on the 15th of January in the same year, the
    difference of longitude between Petersburg and Ochotsk
    appeared to be 7^h. 31´ 29´´; from a comparison of two other
    similar observations the difference of longitude was 7^h. 31´
    3´´, a mean of which is 7^h. 31´ 34´´, being the true
    difference between the meridians of Petersburg and Ochotsk
    according to these observations. By adding the difference of
    the longitude between Petersburg and Paris, which is 1^h. 52´
    25´´, we have the longitude of Ochotsk from Paris 9^h. 23´
    59´´, which differs 29´´ only from the result of Mons.
    Maraldi. Nov. Comm. Pet. III. p. 470. In the same manner the
    longitude of Bolcheresk appears from the corresponding
    observations taken at that place and at Petersburg to be 10h.
    20´ 22´´ differing from Mr. Maraldi about 2´ 5´´. Nov. Com.
    p. 469.

    But the longitude of the port of St. Peter and Paul,
    estimated in the same manner from corresponding observations,
    differs from the longitude as computed by Mons. Maraldi no
    more than 20 seconds, p. 469.]

The comparison of the following results, deduced from corresponding
observations[132] of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites taken at
Bolcheresk at the port of Peter and Paul by Krassilnikoff, and at Pekin
by the Jesuit missionaries, will shew from their near agreement the care
and attention which must have been given to the observations; and from
hence there is reason to suppose, that the suspicions of inaccuracy
imputed to Krassilnikoff are ill founded.

    [Footnote 132: Obs. Ast. Ecc. Sat. Jovis, &c. Nov. Com. Petr.
    vol. III. p. 452, &c. Obs. Ast. Pekini factæ. Ant.
    Hallerstein--Curante Max. Hell. Vindibonæ, 1768.]

  1741, Old Stile.
                                      h   ´  ´´
  Jan. 27, Em. I Sat.                12   9  25 at the port of St.
                                                Peter and Paul.
                                      9  20  35 at Pekin.
  Difference of the meridian
  at Pekin and the Port               2  48  50

                                      h   ´  ´´
  Jan. 30, Imm. III Sat.             12   5  30 at the Port.
                                      9  16  30 at Pekin.
                                      2  49   0

                                      h   ´  ´´
  Feb. 5, I Sat.                      8  33  26 at the Port.
                                      5  43  45 at Pekin.
                                      2  49  41

                                      h   ´   ´´
  Feb. 12, Em. I Sat.                10  28  49
                                      7  39  29
                                      2  49  20
  And the longitude from Paris
  to Pekin being                      7  36  23

  The difference of the meridians
  of Paris and the Port will be      10  25  36

  Which differs only 31 seconds from the determination of Mr. Maraldi.

  1741. Old Style.
                                      h   ´   ´´
  March 23, Em. II Sat.              10   55   2 at Bolcheresk.
                                      8   14   0 at Pekin.
                                      2   41   2

                                      h   ´   ´´
  Dec. 31, Im. I Sat.                10   51  58 at Bolcheresk.
                                      8    9  45 at Pekin.
  Difference of the meridians         2   42  13
  of Pekin and Bolcheresk            -----------

                                      h   ´   ´´
  By taking the medium the difference
  of the longitude between Bolcheresk
  and Pekin will be found to be       2   41  37

  Between Bolcheresk and Paris       10   18   0

  Which differs only one minute and one second from the determination of
  Mr. Maraldi.

In order to call in question the conclusions drawn from the observations
of Krassilnikoff, Monsieur de Vaugondy pretends that the instruments and
pendulums, which he made use of at Kamtchatka, were much damaged by the
length of the journey; and that the person who was sent to repair them
was an unskilful workman. But this opinion seems to have been advanced
without sufficient foundation. Indeed Krassilnikoff[133] himself allows
that his pendulum occasionally stopt, even when necessary to ascertain
the true time of the observation. He admits therefore that the
observations which he took under these disadvantages (when he could not
correct them by preceding or subsequent observations of the sun or
stars) are not to be depended upon, and has accordingly distinguished
them by an asterisk; there are however a number of others, which were
not liable to any exception of this kind; and the observations already
mentioned in this number are comprised under this class.

    [Footnote 133: Nov. Com. Pet. III. p. 444.]

       *       *       *       *       *

If the arguments which have been already produced should not appear
sufficiently satisfactory, we have the further testimony of Mr. Muller,
who was in those parts at the same time with Krassilnikoff, and who is
the only competent judge of this matter now alive. For that respectable
author has given me the most positive assurances, that the instruments
were not damaged in such a manner as to effect the accuracy of the
observations when in the hands of a skilful observer.

[Sidenote: Accuracy of the Russian Geographers.] That the longitude of
Kamtchatka is laid down with sufficient accuracy by the Russian
geographers, will appear by comparing it with the longitude of Yakutsk;
for as the latter has been clearly established by a variety of
observations, taken at different times and by different persons, if
there is any error in placing Kamtchatka so far to the East, it will be
found in the longitude between Yakutsk and Bolcheresk. A short
comparison therefore of some of the different observations made at
Yakutsk will help to settle the longitude of Kamtchatka, and will still
farther confirm the character of a skilful observer, which has been
given to Krassilnikoff.

Krassilnikoff in returning from Kamtchatka observed at Yakutsk several
eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter, of which the following are
mentioned by him as the most exact.

  1744, Old Style.
                             h   ´  ´´
  [134]Feb. 7. Imm.  I. Sat.  11  18  35  somewhat doubtful.
         22. Imm. II. Sat.  10  31  11}
         29. Imm. II. Sat.  13   6  54}
  Mar.    1. Imm.  I. Sat.  11  23   0} all exact.
  Apr.    9. Em.   I. Sat.  12  23  50}

    [Footnote 134: Nov. Comm. Petr. T. III. p. 460.]

The same eclipses, as calculated by the tables of Mr. Wargentin, for the
meridian of Paris, are as follow:

                        h   ´  ´´                        h   ´  ´´
  Feb.  7. Imm.  I.     2  49   0      Difference of     8  29  35
       27. Imm.  I.    12   3  10      the meridians     8  21   1
       29. Imm. II.     4  38  17      of Paris--        8  28  37
  Mar.  1. Imm.  I.     3   3  37      and Yakutsk       8  29  23
  Apr.  9. Em.   I.     3  54  12                        8  29  46
                 The mean of which is                    8  29   5

The observations of Mr. Islenieff[135], made at Yakutsk in the year
1769, to which place he was sent to observe the transit of Venus, have
received the sanction of the Imperial Academy. The longitude which he
fixes for Yakutsk is 8^h 29´ 34´´. this corresponds, to a sufficient
degree of exactness, with the longitude inferred from, the observations
of Krassilnikoff.

    [Footnote 135: For Islenieff's observations at Yakutsk, see
    Nov. Com. Tom. XIV. Part III. p. 268 to 321.]

Thus the longitude of Yakutsk from Paris being 8^h 29° 4´´. or in
degrees 127 16 0. and of Bolcheresk 10 17 17, or in degrees 150° 19´ 15.
the difference of the longitude of these two places, from astronomical
observations, amounts to 1 48 8. or in degrees 27° 3´ 0. The latitude of
Bolcheresk is 52° 55´ 0´´. and that of Yakutsk 62° 1´ 50´´. and the
difference of their longitudes being from the preceding determination
27 3 0. the direct distance between the places measured on a great
circle of the earth will appear by trigonometry to be 16° 57´. or about
1773 versts reckoning 104-1/2 versts to a degree. This distance consists
partly of sea, and partly of land; and a constant intercourse is kept up
between the two places, by means of Ochotsk, which lies between them.
The distance by sea from Bolcheresk to Ochotsk is estimated by ships
reckonings to be 1254 versts, and the distance by land from Ochotsk to
Yakutsk is 927 versts, making altogether 2181. The direct distance
deduced by trigonometry, (on a supposition that the difference of
longitude between Bolcheresk and Yakutsk is 27° 3´.) is 1773, falling
short of 2181 by 408. a difference naturally to be expected from
considering, that neither roads by land, or the course of ships at sea,
are ever performed precisely on a great circle of the earth, which is
the shortest line that can be drawn on the earth's surface between two

By this agreement between the distance thus estimated, and that deduced
by computation, on supposing the difference of longitude between Yakutsk
and Bolcheresk to be 27° 3´. it seems very improbable, that there should
be an error of many degrees in the astronomical determination.

Since then the longitude between Fero and Petersburgh is acknowledged to
be 48°--that between Petersburgh and Yakutsk 99° 21´--and as the
distance in longitude between Yakutsk and Bolcheresk cannot be
materially less than 27° 3´. it follows that the longitude of Bolcheresk
from Fero cannot be much less than 174° 24´. Where then shall we find
place for so great an error as 27 degrees, which, according to Mr.
Engel, or even of 11°. which, according to Mons. Vaugondy, is imputed to
the Russian geographers, in fixing the longitude of Kamtchatka?

                                   From the isle of Fero

  Longitude of Yakutsk                        147   0  0
            of Ochotsk                        160   7  0
            of Bolcheresk                     174  13  0
            of the Port of St. Peter and Paul 176  10  0

[Sidenote: Longitude of the extreme parts of Asia determined by the
Russians.] As no astronomical observations have been made further to the
East than the Port of St. Peter and Paul, it is impossible to fix, with
any degree of certainty, the longitude of the North-Eastern promontory
of Asia. It appears however from Beering's and Synd's coasting voyages
towards Tschukotskoi Noss, and from other expeditions to the parts by
land and sea, that the coast of Asia in lat. 64. stretches at least 23°
2 30. from the Port, or to about 200° longitude from the Isle of Fero.

N^o III.

Summary of the proofs tending to shew, that _Beering_ and _Tschirikoff_
either reached _America_ in 1741, or came very near it.

The coast which Beering reached, and called Cape St. Elias, lay,
according to his estimation, in 58°. 28´. N. latitude, and in longitude
236°. from Fero: the coast touched at by Tschirikoff was situated in
lat. 56°. long. 241°[136].

    [Footnote 136: The reader will find the narrative of this
    voyage made by Beering and Tschirikoff in Muller's account of
    the Russian Discoveries, S. R. G. III. 193, &c.]

[Sidenote: Arguments advanced by Steller to prove that Beering and
Tschirikoff discovered America.] Steller, who accompanied Beering in his
expedition towards America, endeavours to prove, that they discovered
that continent by the following arguments[137]: The coasts were bold,
presenting continued chains of high mountains, some of which were so
elevated, that their tops were covered with snow, their sides were
cloathed from the bottom to the top with large tracts of thick and fine

    [Footnote 137: See Krashininikoff's account of Kamtchatka,
    Chap. X. French Translation; Chap. IV. English translation.]

    [Footnote 138: The recent navigations in those seas strongly
    confirm this argument. For in general all the new discovered
    islands are quite destitute of trees; even the largest
    produce nothing but underwood, one of the most Easterly
    Kadyak alone excepted, upon which small willows and alders
    were observed growing in vallies at some distance from the
    coast. See p. 118.]

Steller went ashore, where he remained only a few hours; during which
time he observed several species of birds which are not known in
Siberia: amongst these was the bird described by [139]Catesby, under the
name of Blue Jay; and which has never yet been found in any country but
North America. The soil was very different from that of the neighbouring
islands, and at Kamtchatka: and he collected several plants, which are
deemed by botanists peculiar to America.

    [Footnote 139: See Catesby's Natural History of Florida,
    Carolina, &c. This bird is called by Linnæus Corbus
    Cristatus. I have seen, in Mr. Pennant's MS account of the
    history of the animals, birds, &c. of N. America, and the
    Northern hemisphere, as high as lat. 60, an exact description
    of this bird. Whenever that ingenious author, to whom we are
    indebted for many elegant and interesting publications, gives
    this part of his labours to the world, the zoology of these
    countries will be fully and accurately considered.]

The following list of these plants was communicated to me by Mr. Pallas:
I insert them however without presuming to decide, whether they are the
exclusive growth of North America: the determination of this point is
the province of botany.

  Trillium Erectum.
  Fumaria Cucullaria.
  A species of Dracontium, with leaves like the Canna Indica.
  Uvularia Perfoliata.
  Heuchera Americana.
  Mimulus Luteus, a Peruvian plant.
  A species of Rubus, probably a variety of the Rubus Idæus, but with
    larger berries, and a large laciniated red calyx.

None of these plants are found in Kamtchatka, or in any of the
neighbouring islands[140].

    [Footnote 140: According to Mr. Pallas, the plants of the
    new-discovered islands are mostly alpine, like those of
    Siberia; this he attributes to the shortness and coldness of
    the summer, occasioned by the frequency of the North winds.
    His words are: "Quoique les hivres de ces isles soient assez
    temperés par l'air de la mer, de façon que les neiges ne
    couvrent jamais la terre que par intervalles, la plupart des
    plantes y sont alpines, comme en Siberie, par la raison que
    l'eté y est tout aussi courte et froide, a cause des vents de
    nord qui y regnent." This passage is taken from a MS treatise
    in the French language, relative to the new-discovered
    islands communicated to me by my very learned and ingenious
    friend Mr. Pallas, professor of natural history at St.
    Petersburg; from which I have been enabled to collect a
    considerable degree of information. This treatise was sent to
    Mons. Buffon; and that celebrated naturalist has made great
    use of it in the fifth volume of his Supplement à l'Histoire

Though these circumstances should not be considered as affording
decisive proofs, that Beering reached America; yet they will surely be
admitted as strong presumptions, that he very nearly approached that

    [Footnote 141: The reader will recollect in this place, that
    the natives of the contiguous islands touched at by Beering
    and Tschirikoff "presented to the Russians the calumet, or
    pipe of peace, which is a symbol of friendship universal
    among the people of North America, and an usage of arbitrary
    institution peculiar to them." See Robertson's Hist. Am. vol.
    I. p. 276. S. R. G. III. p. 214.]

N^o IV.

List of the principal charts representing the Russian discoveries.

The following is an authentic list of the principal charts of the
Russian discoveries hitherto published. It is accompanied with a few
explanatory remarks.

[Sidenote: List of the Charts of the Russian Discoveries]. 1. Carte des
nouvelles dècouvertes au nord de la mer du sud, tant à l'Est de la
Siberie et du Kamtchatka, qu'à l'Ouest de la Nouvelle France dressé sur
les memoires de Mr. de l'Isle, par Philippe Buache, 1750. A memoir
relative to this chart was soon afterwards published, with the following
title, Explication de la carte des nouvelles dècouvertes au Nord de la
mer du sud par Mr. de l'Isle Paris, 1752, 4to.

This map is alluded to, p. 26 of this work.

2. Carte des nouvelles dècouvertes entre la partie orientale de l'Asie
et l'Occidentale de l'Amerique, avec des vues sur la grande terre
réconnue, par les Russes, en 1741, par Phil. Buache, 1752.

3. Nouvelle carte des dècouvertes faites par des vaisseaux Russiens aux
cotés inconnus de l'Amerique septentrionale avec les pais adjacens,
dressés sur les memoires authentiques de ceux qui ont assisté à ces
dècouvertes, et sur d'autres connoissances; dont on rend raison dans un
memoire separé: à St. Petersburg, à l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences,
1754. 1758.

This map was published under the inspection of Mr. Muller, and is still
prefixed to his account of the Russian discoveries[142]. The part which
exhibits the new discovered isles and the coast of America, was chiefly
taken from the chart of Beering's expedition. Accordingly that continent
is represented as advancing, between 50 and 60 degrees of latitude, to
within a small distance of Kamtchatka. Nor could there be any reason to
suspect, that such experienced sailors as Beering and Tschirikoff had
mistaken a chain of islands for promontories belonging to America, until
subsequent navigators had actually sailed through that very part, which
was supposed to be a continent.

    [Footnote 142: This map was published by Jefferys under the
    following title: "A Map of the Discoveries made by the
    Russians on the North West coast of America, published by the
    Royal Academy of Sciences at Petersburg. Republished by
    Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to his Majesty, 1761."]

4. A second chart published by the Academy, but not under the inspection
of Mr. Muller, bears the same title as the former.

Nouvelle carte des dècouvertes faites par des vaisseaux Russiens aut
côtés inconnus de l'Amerique, &c. 1773.

It is for the most part a copy of a manuscript chart known in Russia by
the name of the chart of the Promyshlenics, or merchant adventurers, and
which was sketched from the mere reports of persons who had sailed to
the New Discovered Islands. As to the size and position of the New
Discovered Islands, this chart of the Academy is extremely erroneous: it
is however free from the above-mentioned mistake, which runs through all
the former charts, namely, the representing of the coast of America,
between 50 and 60 degrees of latitude, as contiguous to Kamtchatka. It
likewise removes that part of the same continent lying in latitude 66,
from 210° longitude to 224°, and in its stead lays down a large island,
which stretches between latitude 64° and 71° 30´, from 207° longitude to
218°, to within a small distance of both continents. But whether this
latter alteration be equally justifiable or not, is a question, the
decision of which must be left to future navigators[143].

    [Footnote 143: Mr. Muller has long ago acknowledged, in the
    most candid and public manner, the incorrectness of the
    former chart, as far as it relates to the part which
    represents America, as contiguous to Kamtchatka: but he still
    maintains his opinion concerning the actual vicinity of the
    two continents in an higher latitude. The following quotation
    is taken from a letter written by Mr. Muller, in 1774, of
    which I have a copy in my possession. "Posterity must judge
    if the new chart of the Academy is to be preferred to the
    former one for removing the continent of America (which is
    represented as lying near the coast of Tschutski) to a
    greater distance. Synd, who is more to be trusted than the
    Promyschlenics, persists in the old system. He places America
    as near as before to Tschukotskoi Noss, but knows nothing of
    a large island called Alashka, which takes up the place of
    the continent, and which ought to be laid down much more to
    the South or South East."]

5. Carte du nouvel Archipel du Nord decouvert parles Russes dans la mer
de Kamtchatka et d'Anadir.

This chart is prefixed to Mr. Stæhlin's account of the New Northern
Archipelago. In the English translation it is called, A Map of the New
Northern Archipelago, discovered by the Russians in the seas of
Kamtchatka and Anadyr. It differs from the last mentioned chart only in
the size and position of a few of the islands, and in the addition of
five or six new ones, and is equally incorrect. The New Discovered
Islands are classed in this chart into three groups, which are called
the Isles of Anadyr[144], the Olutorian[145] Isles, and the Aleütian
Isles. The two last mentioned charts are alluded to, p. 26 of this work.

    [Footnote 144: Monsieur Buffon has adopted the apellation and
    erroneous representation of the isles of Anadyr, in his Carte
    de deux regions Polaires, lately published. See Supplement à
    l'Hist. Nat. vol. V. p. 615.]

    [Footnote 145: The Olotorian Isles are so named from the
    small river of Olotora, which flows into the sea at
    Kamtchatka, about latitude 61°. The following remarks upon
    this group of islands are taken from a letter of Mr. Muller
    mentioned in the last note. "This appellation of Olutorian
    Isles is not in use at Kamtchatka. These islands, called upon
    this chart Olutorians, lie according to the chart of the
    Promyschlenics, and the chart of the Academy, very remote
    from the river Olutora: and it seems as if they were advanced
    upon this chart nearer to Kamtchatka only in favour of the
    name. They cannot be situated so near that coast, because
    they were neither seen by Beering in 1728, nor by the
    Promyschlenics, Novikoff and Bacchoff, when they sailed in
    1748 from the Anadyr to Beering's Island." See p. 42.]

6. An excellent map of the Empire of Russia, published by the
geographical department of the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg in
1776, comprehends the greatest part of the New Discovered Islands. A
reduced copy of this chart being prefixed to this work, I shall only
mention the authorities from whence the compilers have laid down the New
Discovered Islands. The Aleütian Isles are partly taken from Beering's
chart, partly from [146]Otcheredin's, whose voyage is related in the
eleventh chapter, and partly from other MS. charts of different
navigators. The islands near the coast of the Tschutski are copied from
Synd's chart. The Fox Islands are laid down from the chart of
Otcheredin. The reader will perceive, that the position of the Fox
Islands, upon this general map of Russia, is materially different from
that assigned to them in the chart of Krenitzin's and Levasheff's
voyage. In the former they are represented as stretching between 56° 61´
North latitude, and 210° and 230° longitude from the isle of Fero: in
the latter they are situated between 51° 40´ and 55° 20´ latitude, and
199° 30´ and 207° 30´ longitude. According to the most recent accounts
received from Petersburg, the position given to them upon this general
map is considerably too much to the North and East; consequently that
assigned to them upon Krenitzin's chart is probably the most to be
depended upon.

    [Footnote 146: I have a MS. copy of Otcheredin's chart in my
    possession; but as the Fox Islands, in the general Map of
    Russia, are copied from thence, the reader will find them
    laid down upon the reduced map prefixed to this work. The
    anonymous author of the account of the Russian Discoveries,
    of whose work I have given a translation in Part I. seems to
    have followed, in most particulars, Otcheredin's chart and
    journal for the longitude, latitude, size, and position of
    the New Discovered Islands. For this reason, I should have
    had his chart engraved if the Fox Islands upon the general
    map had not been taken from thence: there seemed no occasion
    therefore for increasing the expence of this work, already
    too great from the number of charts, by the addition of
    another not absolutely necessary.]

7. Carte des dècouvertes Russes dans la mer orientale et en Amerique,
pour servir à l'Essai[147] sur le commerce de Russie, 1778, Amsterdam.
It is natural to expect, that a chart so recently published should be
superior to all the preceding ones; whereas, on the contrary, it is by
far the most incorrect representation of the New Discovered Islands
which has yet appeared.

    [Footnote 147: The twelfth chapter of this Essay relates to
    the discoveries and commerce of the Russians in the Eastern
    Ocean. The account of the Russian discoveries is a
    translation of Mr. Stæhlin's Description of the New Northern
    Archipelago. In addition, he has subjoined an account of
    Kamtchatka, and a short sketch of the Russian commerce to the
    New Discovered Islands, and to America. If we may believe the
    author of this Essay, the Russians have not only discovered
    America, but they also every year form occasional settlements
    upon that continent, similar to those of the Europeans in
    Newfoundland. His words are: "Il est donc certain, que les
    Russes ont dècouvert le continent de l'Amérique; mais on peut
    assurer qu'ils n'y ont encore aucun port, aucun comptoir. Il
    en est des établissements de cette nation dans la grande
    terre, comme de ceux des nations Européennes dans l'isle de
    Terre Neve. Ses vaisseaux ou frégates arrivent en Amèrique;
    leurs equipages et les Cosaques chasseurs s'etablissent sur
    la côte; les uns se retranchent, et les autres y font la
    chasse et la pêche du chien marin et du narval. Ils
    reviennent ensuite au Kamtchatka, après avoir été relevès par
    d'autres frégates sur les mêmes parages, ou à des distances
    plus ou moins eloignés, &c. &c." See Essai sur le commerce de
    la Russie, p. 292-293. Thus the publick is imposed upon by
    fictitious and exaggerated accounts.]

N^o V.

Position of the _Andreanoffsky Isles_ ascertained--Number of the
_Aleütian Isles_.

[Sidenote: Position of the Andreanoffsky Isles.] When the anonymous
author published his account of the Russian Discoveries in 1766, the
position of the Andreanoffsky Isles was not ascertained. It was
generally supposed, that they formed part of that cluster of islands,
which Synd[148] fell in with in his voyage towards Tschukotskoi Noss;
and Buffon[149] represents them to be the same with those laid down in
Stæhlin's chart, under the name of Anadirsky Isles. The anonymous author
in the passage here referred to, supposes them to be N. E. of the
Aleütian Isles; "at the distance of 600 or 800 versts; that their
direction is probably East and West, and that some of them may unite
with that part of the Fox Islands which are most contiguous to the
opposite continent." This conjecture was advanced upon a supposition
that the Andreanoffsky Isles lay near the coast of the Tschutski; and
that some of the Fox Islands were situated in latitude 61, as they are
laid down upon the general map of Russia. But according to subsequent
information, the Andreanoffsky Isles lie between the Aleütian and the
Fox Islands, and complete the connection between Kamtchatka and
America[150]. Their chain is supposed to begin in about latitude 53,
near the most Easterly of the Aleütian Isles, and to extend in a
scattered series towards the Fox Islands. The most North Easterly of
these islands are said to be so near the most Southerly of the Fox
Islands, that they seem occasionally to have been taken for them. An
instance of this occurs in p. 61 and 62 of this work; where Atchu and
Amlach are reckoned among the Fox Islands. It is however more probable,
that they are part of the group called by the Aleütian chief Negho[151],
and known to the Russians under the name of Andreanoffsky Islands,
because they were supposed to have been first discovered by Andrean
Tolstyk, whose voyage is related in the seventh chapter of the First

    [Footnote 148: See N^o IX. of this Appendix.]

    [Footnote 149: Isles Anadyr ou Andrien. Supp. vol. V. p.

    [Footnote 150: P. 58. Some of the remoter islands are said to
    be E. S. E. of the Aleütian Isles; these must be either part
    of the Andreanoffsky Isles, or the most Southerly of the Fox

    [Footnote 151: See N^o VIII. of this Appendix.]

[Sidenote: Number of the Aleütian Isles.] I take this opportunity of
adding, that the anonymous author, in describing the Aleütian Isles,
both in the first and last chapter of the account of the Russian
discoveries, mentions only three; namely, Attak, Semitshi, Shemiya. But
the Aleütian Isles consist of a much larger number; and their chain
includes all the islands comprehended by the islander in the two groups
of Khao and Sasignan[152]. Many of them are laid down upon the general
map of Russia; and some of them are occasionally alluded to in the
journals of the Russian voyages[153].

    [Footnote 152: See N^o VIII.]

    [Footnote 153: See p. 30, and particularly p. 46, where some
    of these islands are mentioned under the names of Ibiya,
    Kiska, and Olas.]

N^o VI.

Conjectures concerning the proximity of the _Fox Islands_ to the
continent of _America_.

The anonymous author, in the course of his account of the Russian
discoveries, has advanced many proofs drawn from natural history, from
which he supposes the Fox Islands to be at a small distance from the
continent of America: hence he grounds his conjecture, that "the time is
not far distant when some of the Russian navigators will fall in with
that coast."

[Sidenote: Proofs of the Vicinity of the Fox Islands to America.] The
small willows and alders which, according to Glottoff, were found
growing upon Kadyak, do not appear to have been sufficient either in
size or quantity to ascertain, with any degree of certainty, the close
vicinity of that island to America. River-otters, wolves, bears, and
wild boars, which were observed upon the same island, will perhaps be
thought to afford a stronger presumption in favour of a neighbouring
continent; martens were also caught there, an animal which is not known
in the Eastern ports of Siberia, nor found upon any of the other
islands. All the above mentioned animals, martens alone excepted, were
seen upon Alaksu, which is situated more to the North East than Kadyak,
and also rein-deers and wild dogs. To these proofs drawn from natural
history, we must add the reports of a mountainous country covered with
forests, and of a great promontory called Atachtak, lying still more to
the N. E. which were prevalent among the inhabitants of Alaksu and

Although these circumstances have been already mentioned[154], yet I
have thought proper to recapitulate them here, in order to lay before
the reader in one point of view the several proofs advanced by the
anonymous author, which seem to shew, that the Fox Islands are situated
near America. Many of them afford, beyond a doubt, evident signs of a
less open sea; and give certain marks of a nearer approach towards the
opposite continent. But how far that distance may be supposed, must be
left to the judgment of the reader; and remains to be ascertained by
subsequent navigators. All that we know for certain, is, that as far as
any Russian vessels have hitherto sailed, a chain of islands has been
discovered lying E. or N. E. by E. from Kamtchatka, and stretching
towards America. Part of this chain has only been touched at; the rest
is unknown; and all beyond is uncertainty and conjecture.

    [Footnote 154: See p. 68 and 69-116-118-170.]


_Of the Tschutski--Reports of the vicinity of_ America _to their coast,
first propagated by them, seem to be confirmed by late accounts from
those parts._

[Sidenote: The Tschutski.] The Tschutski, it is well known, inhabit the
North Eastern part of Siberia; their country is a small tract of land,
bounded on the North by the Frozen Sea, on the East by the Eastern
Ocean; on the South it borders upon river Anadyr, and on that of Kovyma
to the West. The N. E. cape of this country is called Tschukotskoi-Noss,
or the promontory of the Tschutski. Its inhabitants are the only people
of Siberia who have not yet been subdued by the Russians.

The anonymous author agrees with Mr. Muller in supposing, that America
advances to within a small distance of the coast of the Tschutski; which
he says "is confirmed by the latest accounts procured from these parts."

The first intelligence concerning the supposed vicinity between Asia and
America was derived from the reports of the Tschutski in their
intercourse with the Russians. Vague and uncertain accounts, drawn from
a barbarous people, cannot deserve implicit credit; but as they have
been uniformly and invariably propagated by the inhabitants of those
regions from the middle of the last century to the present time, they
must merit at least the attention of every curious enquirer.

[Sidenote: The Reports concerning the Proximity of America to their
Coast.] These reports were first related in Muller's account of the
Russian discoveries, and have been lately thought worthy of notice by
Dr. Robertson[155], in his history of America. Their probability seems
still further increased by the following circumstances. One Plenisner, a
native of Courland, was appointed commander of Ochotsk, in the year
1760, with an express order from the court to proceed as far as [156]
Anadirsk, and to procure all possible intelligence concerning the North
Eastern part of Siberia, and the opposite continent. In consequence of
this order Plenisner repaired to Anadirsk, and proceeded likewise to
Kovimskoi Ostrog: the former of these Russian settlements is situated
near the Southern; the latter near the Western limits of the Tschutski.
Not content however with collecting all the information in his power
from the neighbouring Koriacs, who have frequent intercourse with the
Tschutski; he also sent one Daurkin into their country. This person was
a native Tschutski, who had been taken prisoner, and bred up by the
Russians: he continued two years with his countrymen, and made several
expeditions with them to the neighbouring islands, which lie off the
Eastern coast of Siberia.

    [Footnote 155: Hist. of America, vol. I. p. 274-277.]

    [Footnote 156: Anadirsk has been lately destroyed by the
    Russians themselves.]

The sum of the intelligence brought back by this Daurkin was as follows:
that Tschukotskoi-Noss is a very narrow peninsula; that the Tschutski
carry on a trade of barter with the inhabitants of America; that they
employ six days in passing the strait which separates the two
continents: they direct their course from island to island, and the
distance from the one to the other is so small, that they are able to
pass every night ashore. More to the North he describes the two
continents as approaching still nearer to each other, with only two
islands lying between them.

This intelligence remarkably coincided with the accounts collected by
Plenisner himself among the Koriacs. Plenisner returned to Petersburg in
1776, and brought with him several [157]maps and charts of the North
Eastern parts of Siberia, which were afterwards made use of in the
compilation of the general map of Russia, published by the academy in
1776[158]. By these means the country of the Tschutski has been laid
down with a greater degree of accuracy than heretofore. These are
probably the late accounts from those parts which the anonymous author
alludes to.

    [Footnote 157: The most important of these maps comprehends
    the country of the Tschutski, together with the nations which
    border immediately upon them. This map was chiefly taken
    during a second expedition made by major Pauloffsky against
    the Tschutski; and his march into that country is traced upon
    it. The first expedition of that Russian officer, in which he
    penetrated as far as Tschukotskoi-Noss, is related by Mr.
    Muller, S. R. G. III. p. 134--138. We have no account of this
    second expedition, during which he had several skirmishes
    with the Tschutski, and came off victorious; but upon his
    return was surprised and killed by them. This expedition was
    made about the year 1750.]

    [Footnote 158: This detail I procured during my continuance
    at Petersburg from several persons of credit, who had
    frequently conversed with Plenisner since his return to the
    capital, where he died in the latter end of the year 1778.]


List of the new-discovered Islands, procured from an _Aleütian_
chief--Catalogue of islands called by different names in the Account of
the _Russian_ Discoveries.

[Sidenote: Mr. Muller divides the new-discovered Islands into four
Groups.] The subsequent list of the new-discovered islands was procured
from an Aleütian chief brought to Petersburg in 1771, and examined at
the desire of the Empress by Mr. Muller, who divides them into four
principal groups. He regulates this division partly by a similarity of
the language spoken by the inhabitants, and partly by vicinity of

[Sidenote: First Group, called Sasignan.] The first group[159], called
by the islander Sasignan, comprehends, 1. Beering's Island. 2. Copper
Island. 3. Otma. 4. Samya, or Shemiya. 5. Anakta.

    [Footnote 159: These two first groups probably belong to the
    Aleütian Isles.]

[Sidenote: Khao, the second Group.] The second group is called Khao, and
comprises eight islands: 1. Immak. 2. Kiska. 3. Tchetchina. 4. Ava. 5.
Kavia. 6. Tschagulak. 7. Ulagama. 8. Amtschidga.

[Sidenote: Negho, the third Group.] The third general name is Negho, and
comprehends the islands known by the Russians under the name of
Andreanoffskye Ostrova: Sixteen were mentioned by the islander, under
the following names:

1. Amatkinak. 2. Ulak. 3. Unalga. 4. Navotsha. 5. Uliga. 6. Anagin. 7.
Kagulak. 8. Illask, or Illak. 9. Takavanga, upon which is a volcano. 10.
Kanaga, which has also a volcano. 11. Leg. 12. Shetshuna. 13. Tagaloon:
near the coasts of the three last mentioned islands several small rocky
isles are situated. 14. An island without a name, called by the Russians
Goreloi[160]. 15. Atchu. 16. Amla.

    [Footnote 160: Goreloi is supposed by the Russian navigators
    to be the same island as Atchu, and is reckoned by them among
    the Fox Islands. See part I. p. 61. and N^o V. of this

[Sidenote: Kavalang, the fourth Group.] The fourth group is denominated
Kavalang; and comprehends sixteen islands: these are called by the
Russians Lyssie Ostrova, or the Fox Islands.

1. Amuchta. 2. Tschigama. 3. Tschegula. 4. Unistra. 5. Ulaga. 6.
Tana-gulana. 7. Kagamin. 8. Kigalga. 9. Schelmaga. 10. Umnak. 11.
Aghun-Alashka. 12. Unimga. At a small distance from Unimga, towards the
North, stretches a promontory called by the islanders the Land of Black
Foxes, with a small river called Alashka, which empties itself opposite
to the last-mentioned island into a gulf proper for a haven. The extent
of this land is not known. To the South East of this promontory lie four
little islands. 13. Uligan. 14. Antun-dussume. 15. Semidit. 16. Senagak.

[Sidenote: Islands called by different Names in the Russian Journals.]
Many of these names are neither found in the journals or charts; while
others are wanting in this list which are mentioned in both journals and
charts. Nor is this to be wondered at; for the names of the islands have
been certainly altered and corrupted by the Russian navigators.
Sometimes the same name has been applied to different islands by the
different journalists; at other times the same island has been called by
different names. Several instances of these changes seem to occur in the
account of the Russian discoveries: namely,

  Att, Attak, and Ataku.
  Shemiya and Sabiya.
  Atchu, Atchak, Atach, Goreloi or Burned Island.
  Amlach, Amlak, Amleg.
  Ayagh, Kayachu.
  Alaksu, Alagshak, Alachshak.
  Aghunalashka, Unalashka.

N^o IX.

Voyage of Lieutenant  _Synd_ to the North East of _Siberia_--He
discovers a cluster of islands, and a promontory, which he supposes to
belong to the continent of _America_, lying near the coast of the

In 1764 lieutenant Synd sailed from Ochotsk, upon a voyage of discovery
towards the continent of America. He was ordered to take a different
course from that held by the late Russian vessels, which lay due East
from the coast of Kamtchatka. As he steered therefore his course more to
the North East than any of the preceding navigators, and as it appears
from all the voyages related in the first part of this work[161], that
the vicinity of America is to be sought for in that quarter alone, any
accurate account of this expedition would not fail of being highly
interesting. It is therefore a great mortification to me, that, while I
raise the reader's curiosity, I am not able fully to satisfy it. The
following intelligence concerning this voyage is all which I was able to
procure. It is accompanied with an authentic chart.

    [Footnote 161: See p. 27.]

[Illustration: CHART of SYND's _VOYAGE toward Tschukotskoi Noss_.]

In 1764 Synd put to sea from the port of Ochotsk, but did not pass (we
know not by what accident) the southern Cape of Kamtchatka and Shushu,
the first Kuril Isle, before 1766. He then steered his course North at
no great distance from the coast of the Peninsula, but made very little
progress that year, for he wintered South of the river Uka.

The following year he sailed from Ukinski Point due East and North East,
until he fell in with a cluster of islands[162] stretching between 61
and 62 degrees of latitude, and 195° and 202° longitude. These islands
lie South East and East of the coast of the Tschutski; and several of
them are situated very near the shore. Besides these small islands, he
discovered also a mountainous coast lying within one degree of the coast
of the Tschutski, between 64 and 66 North latitude; its most Western
extremity was situated in longitude 38° 15´ from Ochotsk, or 199° 1´
from Fero. This island is laid down in his chart as part of the
continent of America; but we cannot determine upon what proofs he
grounds this representation, until a more circumstantial account of his
voyage is communicated to the public. Synd seems to have made but a
short stay ashore. Instead of endeavouring to survey its coasts, or of
steering more to the East, he almost instantly shaped his course due
West towards the course of the Tschutski, then turned directly South and
South West, until he came opposite to Chatyrskoi Noss. From that point
he continued to coast the peninsula of Kamtchatka, doubled the cape, and
reached Ochotsk in 1768.

    [Footnote 162: These are certainly some of the islands which
    the Tschutski resort to in their way to what they call the
    continent of America.]

N^o X.

Specimen of the Aleütian language.

  Sun                    Agaiya
  Moon                   Tughilag
  Wind                   Katshik
  Water                  Tana
  Fire                   Kighenag
  Earth hut              Oollae
  Chief                  Toigon
  Man                    Taiyaga
  Wood                   Yaga
  Shield                 Kuyak
  Sea otter              Tscholota
  Name of the nation.    Kanagist.
  One                    Tagatak
  Two                    Alag
  Three                  Kankoos
  Four                   Setschi
  Five                   Tshaw
  Six                    Atoo
  Seven                  Ooloo
  Eight                  Kapoé
  Nine                   Shiset
  Ten.                   Asok.

It is very remarkable, that none of these words bear the least
resemblance to those of the same signification, which are found in the
different dialects spoken by the Koriaks, Kamtchadals, and the
inhabitants of the Kuril Isles.

N^o XI.

Attempts of the _Russians_ to discover a North East passage--Voyages
from _Archangel_ towards the _Lena_--From the _Lena_ towards
_Kamtchatka_--Extract from _Muller's_ account of _Deschneff's_ voyage
round _Tschukotskoi Noss_--Narrative of a voyage made by _Shalauroff_
from the _Lena_ to _Shelatskoi Noss_.

The only communication hitherto known between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans, or between Europe and the East Indies, is made either by sailing
round the Cape of Good Hope, or by doubling Cape Horn. But as both these
navigations are very long and dangerous, the great object of several
late European voyages has been turned towards the discovery of a North
East or a North West passage. As this work is entirely confined to the
Russian navigations, any disquisition concerning the North West passage
is totally foreign to the purpose; and for the same reason in what
relates to the North East, these researches extend only to the attempts
of the Russians for the discovery of that passage.

The advocates for the North East passage have divided that navigation
into three principal parts; and by endeavouring to shew that these three
parts have been passed at different times, they conclude from thence,
that the whole when taken collectively is practicable.

These three parts are, 1. from Archangel to the Lena; 2. from the Lena
to Kamtchatka; 3. from Kamtchatka to Japan. With respect to the latter,
the connection between the seas of Kamtchatka and Japan first appeared
from some Japanese vessels, which were wrecked upon the coast of
Kamtchatka in the beginning of this century; and this communication has
been unquestionably proved from several voyages made by the Russians
from Kamtchatka to Japan[163].

    [Footnote 163: S. R. G. III. p. 78, and p. 166, &c.]

No one ever asserted that the first part from Archangel to the Lena was
ever performed in one voyage; but several persons having advanced that
this navigation has been made by the Russians at different times, it
becomes necessary to examine the accounts of the Russian voyages in
those seas.

[Sidenote: Voyages from Archangel to the Yenisèi.] In 1734 lieutenant
Morovieff sailed from Archangel toward the river Oby; and got no farther
the first year than the mouth of the Petchora. The next summer he passed
through the straits ef Weygatz into the sea of Kara; and coasted along
the Eastern side of that sea, as high as latitude 72° 30´, but did not
double the promontory which separates the sea of Kara from the Bay of
Oby. In 1738, the lieutenants Malgyin and Skurakoff doubled that
promontory with great difficulty, and entered the bay of Oby. During
these expeditions the navigators met with great dangers and impediments
from the ice. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to pass from the
bay of Oby to the Yenisèi, which was at last effected, in 1738, by two
vessels commanded by lieutenants Offzin and Koskeleff. [Sidenote:
Unsuccessful Attempt to pass from the Yenisèi to the Lena.] The same
year the pilot Feodor Menin sailed from the Yenisèi rowards the Lena: he
steered North as high as lat. 73°. 15´. and when he came to the mouth of
the Piasida he was stopped by the ice; and finding it impossible to
force a passage, he returned to the Yenisèi[164].

    [Footnote 164: P. 145 to 149.]

[Sidenote: Voyage of Prontshistsheff from the Lena towards the Yenisèi.]
July, 1735, lieutenant Prontshistsheff sailed from Yakutsk up the Lena
to its mouth, in order to pass from thence by sea to the Yenisèi. The
Western mouths of the Lena were so choaked up with ice, that he was
obliged to pass through the most Easterly one; and was prevented by
contrary winds from getting out until the 13th of August. Having steered
North West along the islands which lie scattered before the mouths of
the Lena, he found himself in lat. 70° 4´. He saw much ice to the North
and North East; and observed ice-mountains from twenty-four to sixty
feet in height. He steered betwixt the ice, which in no place left a
free channel of greater breadth than an hundred or two hundred yards.
The vessel being much damaged, on the 1st of September he ran up the
mouth of the Olenek, which, according to his estimation, lies in 72°
30´, near which place he passed the winter[165].

    [Footnote 165: Gmelin Reise, II. 425 to 427.]

He got out of the Olenek the beginning of August in the following year;
and arrived on the third at the mouth of the Anabara, which he found to
lie in lat. 73° 1´. There he continued until the 10th, while some of the
crew went up the country in search of some mines. On the 10th he
proceeded on his voyage: before he reached the mouth of the Chatanga he
was so entirely surrounded and hemmed in with ice, that it was not
without great difficulty and danger he was able to get loose. He then
observed a large field of ice stretching into the sea, on which account
he was obliged to continue near the shore, and to run up the Chatanga.
The mouth of this river was in lat 74° 9´. From thence he bent his
course mostly Northward along the shore, until he reached the mouth of
the Taimura on the 18th. He then proceeded further, and followed the
coast towards the Piasida. Near the shore were several small islands,
between which and the land the ice was immovably fixed. He then directed
his course toward the sea, in order to pass round the chain of islands.
At first he found the sea more free to the North of the islands, while
he observed much ice lying between them. He came at length to the last
island, situated in lat. 77° 25´. Between this island and the shore, as
well as on the other side of the island which lay most to the North, the
ice was firm and immovable. [Sidenote: Prevented by a Chain of Islands
and the Ice from getting to the Yenisèi] He attempted however to steer
still more to the North; and having advanced about six miles, he was
prevented by a thick fog from proceeding: this fog being dispersed, he
saw on each side, and before him, nothing but ice; that towards the sea
was not fixed; but the accumulated masses were all so close, that the
smallest vessel could not have worked its way through. Still attempting
however to pass to the North; he was forced by the ice N. E.
Apprehensive of being hemmed in, he returned to the Taimura; and from
thence got, with much difficulty and danger, to the Olenek, on the 29th
of August.

This narrative of Prontshistsheff's expedition is extracted from the
account of professor[166] Gmelin: according to Mr. Muller[167], who has
given a cursory relation of the same voyage, Prontshistsheff did not
quite reach the mouth of the Taimura; for he there found the chain of
islands stretching from the continent far into the sea. The channels
between the islands were so choaked up with ice, that it was impossible
to force a passage: after steering as high as lat. 77° 25´, he found
such a plain of fixed ice before him, that he had no prospect of getting
any farther. Accordingly he returned to the Olenek.

    [Footnote 166: Gmelin Reise, vol. II. p. 427 to p. 434.]

    [Footnote 167: S. R. G. III. p. 149, 150.]

Another attempt was made to pass from the Lena to the Yenisèi in 1739,
by Chariton Laptieff, with equal bad success; and he relates, that
between the rivers Piasida and Taimura, a promontory stretches into the
sea which he could not double, the sea being entirely frozen up before
he could pass round[168].

    [Footnote 168: Gmelin Reise, p. 440. Mr. Muller says only,
    that Laptieff met with the same obstacles which forced
    Prontshistsheff to return. S. R. G. III. p. 150.]

[Sidenote: Cape between the Rivers Chatanga and Piasida never yet
doubled.] From all these circumstances we must collect, that the whole
space between Archangel and the Lena has never yet been navigated; for
in going East from the Yenisèi the Russians could get no farther than
the mouth of the Piasida; and, in coming West from the Lena, they were
stopped, according to Gmelin, North of the Piasida; and, according to
Muller, East of the Taimura.

The Russians, who sail almost annually from Archangel, and other towns,
to Nova Zemla, for the purpose of catching sea-horses, seals, and white
bears, make to the Western Coast; and no Russian vessel has ever passed
round its North Eastern extremity[169].

    [Footnote 169: Although this work is confined to the Russian
    Discoveries, yet as the N. E. passage is a subject of such
    interesting curiosity, it might seem an omission in not
    mentioning, that several English and Dutch vessels have
    passed through the Straits of Weygatz into the sea of Kara;
    they all met with great obstructions from the ice, and had
    much difficulty in getting through. See Histoire Gen. Des
    Voyages, tome XV. passim.

    In 1696 Heemskirk and Barentz, after having sailed along the
    Western coast of Nova Zemla, doubled the North Eastern cape
    lying in latitude 77° 20, and got no lower along the Eastern
    coast than 76°, where they wintered.

    See an account of this remarkable voyage in Girard Le Ver's
    Vraye Description De Trois Voyages De Mer, p. 13 to 45; and
    Hist. Gen. des Voy. tom. XV. p. 111 to 139.

    No vessel of any nation has ever passed round that Cape,
    which extends to the North of the Piasida, and is laid down
    in the Russian charts in about 78° latitude. We have already
    seen that no Russian vessel has ever got from the Piasida to
    the Chatanga, or from the Chatanga to the Piasida; and yet
    some authors have positively asserted, that this promontory
    has been sailed round. In order therefore to elude the
    Russian accounts, which clearly assert the contrary, it is
    pretended, that Gmelin and Muller have purposely concealed
    some parts of the Russian journals, and have imposed upon the
    world by a misrepresentation of facts. But without entering
    into any dispute on this head, I can venture to affirm, that
    no sufficient proof has been as yet advanced in support of
    this assertion; and therefore until some positive information
    shall be produced, we cannot deny plain facts, or give the
    preference to hearsay evidence over circumstantial and well
    attested accounts.

    Mr. Engel has a remarkable passage in his Essai sur une route
    par la Nord Est, which it may be proper to consider in this
    place, because he asserts in the most positive manner, that
    two Dutch vessels formerly passed three hundred leagues to
    the North East of Nova Zemla; from thence he infers that they
    must have doubled the above-mentioned Cape, which extends to
    the North of the Piasida, and have got at least as far East
    as the mouth of the Olenek. His words are L'Illustre Societé
    Royale, sous l'an 1675, rapporte ce voyage et dit, que peu
    d'années auparavant une Societé de merchands d'Amsterdam
    avoit fait une tentative pour chercher le passage du Nord
    Est, et équippa deux vaisseaux les quels etant passé au
    septante neuf ou huitantieme degrè de latitude, avoient
    poussè selon Wood, jusqu' à trois cent lieues à l'Est de la
    Nouvelle Zemble, &c. &c. Upon this fact he founds his proof
    that the navigation from Archangel to the Lena has been
    performed. Par consequent cette partie de la route a èté
    faite. He rests the truth of this account on the authority of
    the Philosophical Transactions, and of Captain Wood, who
    sailed upon a voyage for the discovery of the North East
    passage in 1676. The latter, in the relation of his voyage,
    enumerates several arguments which induced him to believe the
    practicability of the North East passage.--"The seventh
    argument," he says, "was another narration, printed in the
    Transactions, of two ships of late that had attempted the
    passage, sailed 300 leagues to the Eastward of Nova Zemla,
    and had after prosecuted the voyage, had there not a
    difference arose betwixt the undertakers and the East-India
    company." We here find that Captain Wood refers to the
    Philosophical Transactions for his authority. The narration
    printed in the Transactions, and which is alluded to by both
    Captain Wood and Mr. Engel, is to be found in Vol. IX. of the
    Philosophical Transactions, p. 209, for December, 1674. It
    consists of a very curious "Narrative of some observations
    made upon several voyages, undertaken to find a way for
    sailing about the North to the East-Indies; together with
    instructions given by the Dutch East-India Company for the
    discovery of the famous land of Jesso near Japan." These
    instructions were, in 1643, given to Martin Geritses Vries,
    captain of the ship Castricum, "who set out to discover the
    unknown Eastern coast of Tartary, the kingdom of Catay, and
    the West coast of America, together with the isles situate to
    the East of Japan, cried up for their riches of gold and
    silver." These instructions contain no relation of two Dutch
    vessels, who passed 300 leagues East of Nova Zemla. Mention
    is made of two Dutch vessels, "who were sent out in the year
    1639, under the command of Captain Kwast, to discover the
    East coast of the Great Tartary, especially the famous gold
    and silver islands; though, by reason of several unfortunate
    accidents, they both returned re infectà." Short mention is
    afterwards made of Captain Kwast's journal, together with the
    writings of the merchants who were with him, as fallows:
    "That in the South Sea, at the 37-1/2 degrees Northern
    latitude, and about 400 Spanish, or 343 Dutch miles, that is,
    28 degrees longitude East of Japan, there lay a very great
    and high island, inhabited by a white, handsome, kind and
    civilized people, exceedingly opulent in gold and silver, &c.

    From these extracts it appears, that, in the short account of
    the journals of the two Dutch vessels, no longitude is
    mentioned to the East of Nova Zemla; but the discoveries of
    Kwast were made in the South sea, to which place he, as well
    as Captain Vries afterwards, must have sailed round the Cape
    of Good Hope. The author of the narrative concludes, indeed,
    that the N. E. passage is practicable, in the following
    words: "to promote this passage out of the East-Indies to the
    North into Europe, it were necessary to sail from the
    East-Indies to the Westward of Japan, all along Corea, to see
    how the sea-coasts trend to the North of the said Corea, and
    with what conveniency ships might sail as far as Nova Zemla,
    and to the North of the same. Where our author saith, that
    undoubtedly it would be found, that having passed the North
    corner of Nova Zemla, or, through Weygatz, the North end of
    Yelmer land, one might go on South-Eastward, and make a
    successful voyage." But mere conjectures cannot be admitted
    as evidence. As we can find no other information relative to
    the fact mentioned by Captain Wood and Mr. Engel, (namely,
    that two Dutch vessels have passed 300 leagues to the East of
    Nova Zemla) that we have no reason to credit mere assertions
    without proof: we may therefore advance as a fact, that
    hitherto we have no authentic account, that any vessel has
    ever passed the cape to the East of Nova Zemla, which lies
    North of the river Piasida. See Relation of Wood's Voyage,
    &c. in the Account of several late Voyages and Discoveries to
    the South and North, &c. London, 1694, p. 148. See also
    Engel, Mem. et Obs. Geog. p. 231 to 234.

    I should not have swelled my book with this extract, if the
    English translation of Mr. Muller's work was not extremely
    erroneous in some material passages. S. R. G. III. p. 8-20.]

[Sidenote: Attempts of the Russians to pass from the Lena to
Kamtchatka.] The navigation from the Lena to Kamtchatka now remains to
be considered. If we may believe some authors, this navigation has been
open for above a century and an half; and several vessels have at
different times passed round the North Eastern extremity of Asia. But
if we consult the Russian accounts, we shall find, that frequent
expeditions have been unquestionably made from the Lena to the Kovyma;
but that the voyage from the Kovyma round Tschukotskoi Noss, into the
Eastern ocean, has been performed but once. According to Mr. Muller,
this formidable cape was doubled in the year 1648. The material
incidents of this remarkable voyage are as follow.

[Sidenote: Narrative of Deshneff's voyage round Tschukotskoi-Noss.] "In
1648 seven kotches or vessels sailed from the mouth or the river
Kovyma[170], in order to penetrate into the Eastern Ocean. Of these,
four were never more heard of: the remaining three were commanded by
Simon Deshneff, Gerasim Ankudinoff, two chiefs of the Cossacs, and Fedot
Alexeeff, the head of the Promyshlenics. Deshneff and Ankudinoff
quarrelled before their departure: this dispute was owing to the
jealousy of Deshneff, who was unwilling that Ankudinoff should share
with him the honour, as well as the profits, which might result from the
expected discoveries. Each vessel was probably manned with about thirty
persons; Ankudinoff's, we certainly know, carried that number. Deshneff
promised before-hand a tribute of seven fables, to be exacted from the
inhabitants on the banks of Anadyr; so sanguine were his hopes of
reaching that river. This indeed he finally effected; but not so soon,
nor with so little difficulty, as he had presumed.

    [Footnote 170: Mr. Muller calls it Kolyma.]

On the 20th of June, 1648, the three vessels sailed upon this remarkable
expedition from the river Kovyma. Considering the little knowledge we
have of the extreme regions of Asia, it is much to be regretted, that
all the incidents of this voyage are not circumstantially related.
Deshneff[171], in an account of his expedition sent to Yakutsk, seems
only as it were accidentally to mention his adventures by sea: he takes
no notice of any occurrence until he reached the great promontory of
the Tschutski; no obstructions from the ice are mentioned, and probably
there were none; for he observes upon another occasion, that the sea is
not every year so free from ice as it was at this time. He commences
his narrative with a description of the great promontory: "It is," says
he, "very different from that which is situated West of the Kovyma, near
the river Tschukotskia. It lies between North and North East, and bends,
in a circular direction, towards the Anadyr. It is distinguished on the
Russian (namely, the Western) side, by a rivulet which falls into the
sea, close to which the Tschutski have raised a pile, like a tower, with
the bones of whales. Opposite the promontory, (it is not said on which
side), are two islands, on which he observed people of the nation of the
Tschutski, who had pieces of the sea-horse tooth thrust into holes made
in their lips. With a good wind it is possible to sail from this
promontory to the Anadyr in three days; and the journey by land may be
performed in the same space of time, because the Anadyr falls into a
bay." Ankudinoff's kotche was wrecked on this promontory, and the crew
was distributed on board the two remaining vessels. On the 20th of
September Deshneff and Fedot Alexeef went on shore, and had a skirmish
with the Tschutski, in which Alexeef was wounded. The two vessels soon
afterwards lost sight of each other, and never again rejoined. Deshneff
was driven about by tempestuous winds until October, when he was
shipwrecked (as it appears from circumstances), considerably to the
South of the Anadyr, not far from the river Olutora. What became of
Fedot Alexeff and his crew will be mentioned hereafter. Deshneff and his
companions, who amounted to twenty-five persons, now sought for the
Anadyr; but being entirely unacquainted with the country, ten weeks
elapsed before they reached its banks at a small distance from its
mouth: here he found neither wood nor inhabitants, &c.

    [Footnote 171: In order thoroughly to understand this
    narrative, it is necessary to inform the reader, that the
    voyage made by Deshneff was entirely forgotten, until the
    year 1736, when Mr. Muller found, in the archives of Yakutsk,
    the original accounts of the Russian navigations in the
    Frozen Ocean.

    These papers were extracted, under his inspection, at
    Yakutsk, and sent to Petersburg; where they are now preserved
    in the library belonging to the Imperial Academy of Sciences:
    they consist of several folio volumes. The circumstances
    relating to Deshneff are contained in the second volume.
    Soliverstoff and Stadukin, having laid claim to the discovery
    of the country on the mouth of the Anadyr, had asserted, in
    consequence of this claim, that they had arrived there by
    sea, after having doubled Tschukotskoi Noss. Deshneff, in
    answer, sent several memorials, petitions, and complaints,
    against Stadukin and Soliverstoff, to the commander of
    Yakutsk, in which he sets forth, that he had the sole right
    to that discovery, and refutes the arguments advanced by the
    others. From these memorials Mr. Muller has extracted his
    account of Deshneff's voyage. When I was at Petersburg I had
    an opportunity of seeing these papers: and as they are
    written in the Russian language, I prevailed upon my
    ingenious friend Mr. Pallas to inspect the part which relates
    to Deshneff. Accordingly Mr. Pallas, with his usual readiness
    to oblige, not only compared the memorials with Mr. Muller's
    account, but even took the trouble to make some extracts in
    the most material passages: these extracts are here
    subjoined; because they will not only serve to confirm the
    exactness of Mr. Muller; but also because they tend to throw
    some light on several obscure passages. In one of Deshneff's
    memorials he says, "To go from the river Kovyma to the
    Anadyr, a great promontory must be doubled, which stretches
    very far into the sea: it is not that promontory which lies
    next to the river Tschukotskia. Stadukin never arrived at
    this great promontory: near it are two islands, whose
    inhabitants make holes in their under-lips, and insert
    therein pieces of the sea-horse tush, worked into the form of
    teeth. This promontory stretches between North and North
    East: It is known on the Russian side by the little river
    Stanovie, which flows into the sea, near the spot where the
    Tschutski have erected a heap of whale-bones like a tower.
    The coast from the promontory turns round towards the Anadyr,
    and it is possible to sail with a good wind from the point to
    that river in three days and nights, and no more: and it will
    take up no more time to go by land to the same river, because
    it discharges itself into a bay." In another memorial
    Deshneff says, "that he was ordered to go by sea from the
    Indigirka to the Kovyma; and from thence with his crew to the
    Anadyr, which was then newly discovered. That the first time
    he sailed from the Kovyma, he was forced by the ice to return
    to that river; but that next year he again sailed from thence
    by sea, and after great danger, misfortunes, and with the
    loss of part of his shipping, arrived at last at the mouth of
    the Anadyr. Stadukin having in vain attempted to go by sea,
    afterwards ventured to pass over the chain of mountains then
    unknown; and reached by that means the Anadyr. Soliverstoff
    and his party, who quarrelled with Deshneff, went to the same
    place from the Kovyma by land; and the tribute was afterwards
    sent to the last mentioned river across the mountains, which
    were very dangerous to pass amidst the tribes of Koriacs and
    Yukagirs, who had been lately reduced by the Russians."

    In another memorial Deshneff complains bitterly of
    Soliverstoff; and asserts, "that one Severka Martemyanoff,
    who had been gained over by Soliverstoff, was sent to
    Yakutsk, with an account that he (Soliverstoff) had
    discovered the coasts to the North of the Anadyr, where large
    numbers of sea-horses are found." Deshneff hereupon says,
    that Soliverstoff and Stadukin never reached the rocky
    promontory, which is inhabited by numerous bodies of the
    Tichutski; over against which are islands whose inhabitants
    wear artificial teeth thrust through their under lips. This
    is not the first promontory from the river Kovyma, called
    Svatoi Noss; but another far more considerable, and very-well
    known to him (Deshneff), because the vessel of Ankunidoff was
    wrecked there; and because he had there taken prisoners some
    of the people, who were rowing in their boats; and seen the
    islanders with teeth in their lips. He also well knew, that
    it was still far from that promontory to the river Anadyr.]

The following year he went further up the river, and built Anadirskoi
Ostrog: here he was joined by some Russians on the 25th of April, 1650,
who came by land from the river Kovyma. In 1652, Deshneff having
constructed a vessel, sailed down the Anadyr as far as its mouth, and
observed on the North side a sand bank, which stretched a considerable
way into the sea. A sand bank of this kind is called, in Siberia, Korga.
Great numbers of sea-horses were found to resort to the mouth of the
Anadyr. Deshneff collected several of their teeth, and thought himself
amply compensated by this acquisition for the trouble of his expedition.
In the following year, Deshneff ordered wood to be felled for the
purpose of constructing a vessel, in which he proposed sending the
tribute which he had collected by sea to Yakutsk[172]. But this design
was laid aside from the want of other materials. It was also reported,
that the sea about Tschukotskoi Noss was not every year free from ice.

    [Footnote 172: That is, by sea, from the mouth of the Anadyr,
    round Tschukotskoi Noss to the river Lena, and then up that
    river to Yakutsk.]

Another expedition was made in 1654 to the Korga, for the purpose of
collecting sea-horse teeth. A Cossac, named Yusko Soliverstoff, was one
of the party, the same who had not long before accompanied the Cossac
Michael Stadukin, upon a voyage of discovery in the Frozen Sea. This
person was sent from Yakutsk to collect sea-horse teeth, for the benefit
of the crown. In his instructions mention is made of the river
Yentshendon, which falls into the bay of Penshinsk, and of the Anadyr;
and he was ordered to exact a tribute from the inhabitants dwelling near
these rivers; for the adventures of Deshneff were not as yet known at
Yakutsk. This was the occasion of new discontents. Soliverstoff claimed
to himself the discovery of the Korga, as if he had sailed to that place
in his voyage with Stadukin in 1649. Deshneff, however, proved that
Soliverstoff had not even reached Tschukotskoi Noss, which he describes
as nothing but bare rock, and it was but too well known to him, because
the vessel of Ankudinoff was ship-wrecked there. "Tschukotskoi Noss,"
adds Deshneff, "is not the first promontory which presents itself under
the name of Svatoi Noss[173]. It is known by the two islands situated
opposite to it, whose inhabitants (as is before-mentioned) place pieces
of the sea-horse tush into holes made in their lips. Deshneff alone had
seen these people, which neither Stadukin nor Soliverstoff had pretended
to have done: and the Korga, or sand-bank, at the mouth of the river
Anadyr, was at some distance from these islands."

    [Footnote 173: We may collect from Deshneff's reasoning, that
    Soliverstoff, in endeavouring to prove that he had sailed
    round the Eastern extremity of Asia, had mistaken a
    promontory called Svatoi Noss for Tschukotskoi Noss: for
    otherwise, why should Deshneff, in his refutation of
    Soliverstoff, begin by asserting, that Svatoi Noss was not
    Tschukotskoi Noss? The only cape laid down in the Russian
    maps, under the name of Svatoi Noss, is situated 25 degrees
    to the West of the Kovyma: but we cannot possibly suppose
    this to be the promontory here alluded to; because, in
    sailing from the Kovyma towards the Anadyr, "the first
    promontory which presents itself" must necessarily be East of
    the Kovyma. Svatoi Noss, in the Russian language, signifies
    Sacred Promontory; and the Russians occasionally apply it to
    any cape which it is difficult to double. It therefore most
    probably here relates to the first cape, which Soliverstoff
    reached after he had sailed from Kovyma.]

While Deschneff was surveying the sea-coast, he saw in an habitation
belonging to some Koriacs a woman of Yakutsk, who, as he recollected,
belonged to Fedot Alexieff. Upon his enquiry concerning the fate of her
master, she replied, "that Fedot and Gerasim (Ankudinoff) had died of
the scurvy; that part of the crew had been slain; that a few had escaped
in small vessels, and have never since been heard off." Traces of the
latter were afterwards found in the peninsula of Kamtchatka; to which
place they probably arrived with a favourite wind, by following the
coast, and running up the Kamtchatka river.

When Volodimir Atlassoff, in 1697, first entered upon the reduction of
Kamtchatka, he found that the inhabitants had already some knowledge of
the Russians. A common tradition still prevails amongst them, that long
before the expedition of Atlassoff, one[174] Fedotoff (who was probably
the son of Fedot Alexeeff) and his companions had resided amongst them,
and had intermarried with the natives. They still shew the spot where
the Russian habitations stood; namely, at the mouth of the small river
Nikul which falls into the Kamtchatka river, and is called by the
Russians Fedotika. Upon Atlassoff's arrival none of the first Russians
remained. They are said to have been held in great veneration, and
almost deified by the inhabitants, who at first imagined that no human
power could hurt them, until they quarrelled amongst themselves, and the
blood was seen to flow from the wounds which they gave each other: and
upon a separation taking place between the Russians, part of them had
been killed by the Koriacs, as they were going to the sea of Penshinsk,
and the remainder by the Kamtchadals. The river Fedotika falls into the
Southern side of the Kamtchatka river about an hundred and eighty
versts below Upper Kamtchatkoi Ostrog. At the time of the first
expedition to Kamtchatka, in 1697, the remains of two villages still
subsisted, which had probably been inhabited by Fedotoff and his
companions: and no one knew which way they came into the peninsula,
until it was discovered from the archives of Yakutsk in 1636.

    [Footnote 174: Fedotoff, in the Russian language, signifies
    the son of Fedot.]

[175]No other navigator, subsequent to Deshneff, has ever pretended to
have passed the North Eastern extremity of Asia, notwithstanding all
the attempts which have been made to accomplish this passage, as well
from[176] Kamtchatka as from the Frozen Ocean.

    [Footnote 175: Mr. Engel indeed pretends that lieutenant
    Laptieff, in 1739, doubled Tschukotskoi-Noss, because Gmelin
    says, that "he passed from the Kovyma to Anadirsk partly by
    water and partly by land." For Mr. Engel asserts the
    impossibility of getting from the Kovyma to Anadirsk, partly
    by land and partly by water, without going from the Kovyma to
    the mouth of the Anadyr by sea; and from thence to Anadirsk
    by land. But Mr. Muller (who has given a more particular
    account of the conclusion of this expedition) informs us,
    that Laptieff and his crew, after having wintered near the
    Indigirka, passed from its mouth in small boats to the
    Kovyma; and as it was dangerous, on account of the Tschutski,
    to follow the coast any farther, either by land or water, he
    went through the interior part of the country to Anadirsk,
    and from thence to the mouth of the Anadyr. Gmelin Reise,
    vol. II. p. 440. S. R. G. III. p. 157.

    Mention is also made by Gmelin of a man who passed in a small
    boat from the Kovyma round Tschukotskoi-Noss into the sea of
    Kamtchatka: and Mr. Engel has not omitted to bring this
    passage in support of his system, with this difference, that
    he refers to the authority of Muller, instead of Gmelin, for
    the truth of the fact. But as we have no account of this
    expedition, and as the manner in which it is mentioned by
    Gmelin implies that he had it merely from tradition, we
    cannot lay any stress upon such vague and uncertain reports.
    The passage is as follows: "Es find so gar Spuren vorhanden,
    dass ein Kerl mit einem Schifflein, das nicht viel
    groesser als ein Schifferkahn gevesen, von Kolyma bis
    Tschukotskoi-Noss vorbey, und bis nach Kamtschatka gekommen
    sey." Gmelin Reise, II. p. 437. Mem. et Obs. Geog. &c. p.

    [Footnote 176: Beering, in his voyage from Kamtchatka, in
    1628, towards Tschukotskoi-Noss, sailed along the coast of
    the Tschutski as high as lat. 67° 18´. and observing the
    coast take a Westerly direction, he too hastily concluded,
    that he had passed the North Eastern extremity. Apprehensive,
    if he had attempted to proceed, of being locked in by the
    ice, he returned to Kamtchatka. If he had followed the shore,
    he would have found, that what he took for the Northern ocean
    was nothing more than a deep bay: and that the coast of the
    Tschutski, which he considered as turning uniformly to the
    West, took again a Northerly direction. S.R.G. III. p. 117.]

[Illustration: _CHART of_ SHALAUROF's _Voyage_.]

The following narrative of a late voyage performed by one Shalauroff,
from the Lena towards Tschukotskoi-Noss, will shew the great impediments
which obstruct a coasting navigation in the Frozen Sea, even at the most
favourable season of the year.

[Sidenote: Voyage of Shalauroff.] Shalauroff, having constructed a
shitik at his own expence, went down the Lena in 1761. He was
accompanied by an exiled midshipman, whom he had found at Yakutsk, and
to whom we are indebted for the chart of this expedition. Shalauroff
got out of the Southern mouth of the Lena in July, but was so much
embarrassed by the ice, that he ran the vessel into the mouth of the
Yana, where he was detained by the ice until the 29th of August, when he
again set sail. Being prevented by the ice from keeping the open sea, he
coasted the shore; and, having doubled Svatoi-Noss on the 6th of
September, discovered at a small distance, out at sea, to the North, a
mountainous land, which is probably some unknown island in the Frozen
Sea. He was employed from the 7th to the 15th in getting through the
strait between Diomed's island and the coast of Siberia; which he
effected, not without great difficulty. From the 16th he had a free sea
and a fair S. W. wind, which carried them in 24 hours beyond the mouth
of the Indigirka. The favourable breeze continuing, he passed on the
18th the Alasca. Soon afterwards, the vessel approaching too near the
shore was entangled amongst vast floating masses of ice, between some
islands[177] and the main land. [Sidenote: Winters at the Mouth of the
Kovyma.] And now the late season of the year obliged Shalauroff to look
out for a wintering place; he accordingly ran the vessel into one of the
mouths of the river Kovyma, where she was laid up. The crew immediately
constructed an hut, which they secured with a rampart of frozen snow,
and a battery of the small guns. The wild rein-deers resorted to this
place in large herds, and were shot in great plenty from the enclosure.
Before the setting in of winter, various species of salmon and trout
came up the river in shoals: these fish afforded the crew a plentiful
subsistence, and preserved them from the scurvy[178].

    [Footnote 177: These islands are Medviedkie Ostrova, or the
    Bear Islands; they are also called Kreffstoffskie Ostrova,
    because they lie opposite the mouth of the small river
    Krestova. For a long time vague reports were propagated that
    the continent of America was stretched along the Frozen
    Ocean, very near the coasts of Siberia; and some persons
    pretended to have discovered its shore not far from the
    rivers Kovyma and Krestova. But the falsity of these reports
    was proved by an expedition made in 1764, by some Russian
    officers sent by Denys Ivanovitch Tschitcherin, governor of
    Tobolsk. These officers went in winter, when the sea was
    frozen, in sledges drawn by dogs, from the mouth of the
    Krestova. They found nothing but five small rocky islands,
    since called the Bear Islands, which were quite uninhabited;
    but some traces were found of former inhabitants, namely, the
    ruins of huts. They observed also on one of the islands a
    kind of wooden stage built of drift-wood, which seemed as if
    it had been intended for defence. As far as they durst
    venture out over the Frozen Sea, no land could be seen, but
    high mountains of ice obstructed their passage, and forced
    them to return. See the map of this expedition upon the chart
    of Shalauroff's voyage prefixed to this number.]

    [Footnote 178: Raw-fish are considered in those Northern
    countries as a preservative against the scurvy.]

[Sidenote: Departure from thence in July.] The mouth of the Kovyma was
not freed from ice before the 21st of July, 1762, when Shalauroff again
put to sea, and steered until the 28th N. E. by N. E. 1/4 E. Here he
observed the variation of the compass ashore, and found it to be 11°
15´´ East. The 28th a contrary wind, which was followed by a calm,
obliged him to come to an anchor, and kept him stationary until the 10th
of August, when a favourable breeze springing up he set sail; he then
endeavoured to steer at some distance from shore, holding a more
Easterly course, and N. E. by E. But the vessel was impeded by large
bodies of floating ice, and a strong current, which seemed to bear
Westward at the rate of a verst an hour. These circumstances very much
retarded his course. On the 18th, the weather being thick and foggy, he
found himself unexpectedly near the coast with a number of ice islands
before him, which on the 19th entirely surrounded and hemmed in the
vessel. He continued in that situation, and in a continual fog, until
the 23d, when he got clear, and endeavoured by steering N. E. to regain
the open sea, which was much less clogged with ice than near the shore.
He was forced however, by contrary winds, S. E. and E. among large
masses of floating ice. This drift of ice being passed, he again stood
to the N. E. in order to double Shelatskoi Noss[179]; but before he
could reach the islands lying near it, he was so retarded by contrary
winds, that he was obliged, on account of the advanced season, to search
for a wintering place. [Sidenote: Not being able to double Shelatskoi
Noss returns towards the Kovyma.] He accordingly sailed South towards an
open bay, which lies on the West side of Shelatskoi Noss, and which no
navigator had explored before him. He steered into it on the 25th, and
got upon a shoal between a small island, and a point of land which juts
from the Eastern coast of this bay. Having got clear with much
difficulty, he continued for a short time a S. E. course, then turned S.
W. He then landed in order to discover a spot proper for their winter
residence; and found two small rivulets, but neither trees nor drift
wood. The vessel was towed along the Southerly side of the bay as far as
the island Sabadèi. On the 5th of September, he saw some huts of the
Tschutski close to the narrow channel between Sabadèi and the main land;
but the inhabitants fled on his approach.

    [Footnote 179: He does not seem to have been deterred from
    proceeding by any supposed difficulty in passing Shelatskoi
    Noss, but to have veered about merely on account of the late
    season of the year. Shelatskoi Noss is so called from the
    Sshelagen, a tribe of the Tschutski, and has been supposed to
    be the same as Tschukotskoi Noss. S. R. G. III. p. 52.]

Not having met with a proper situation, he stood out to sea, and got
round the island Sabadèi on the 8th, when he fastened the vessel to a
large body of ice, and was carried along by a current towards W. S. W.
at the rate of five versts an hour. On the 10th, he saw far to the N. E.
by N. a mountain, and steered the 11th and 12th towards his former
wintering place in the river Kovyma. [Sidenote: Winters a second Time at
the Kovyma, and returns to the Lena.] Shalauroff proposed to have made
the following year another attempt to double Shelatskoi Noss; but want
of provision, and the mutiny of the crew, forced him to return to the
Lena in 1763. It is worth remarking, that during his whole voyage he
found the currents setting in almost uniformly from the East. Two
remarkable rocks were observed by Shalauroff near the point where the
coast turns to the N. E. towards the channel which separates the island
Sabadèi from the continent; these rocks may serve to direct future
navigators: one is called Saetshie Kamen, or Hare's Rock, and rises like
a crooked horn; the other Baranèi Kamen, or Sheep's Rock; it is in the
shape of a pear, narrower at the bottom than at top, and rises
twenty-nine yards above high-water mark.

[Sidenote: Second Expedition of Shalauroff.] Shalauroff, who concluded
from his own experience, that the attempt to double Tschukotskoi Noss,
though difficult, was by no means impracticable, was not discouraged by
his former want of success from engaging a second time in the same
enterprize: he accordingly fitted out the same shitik, and in 1764
departed as before from the river Lena. We have no positive accounts of
this second voyage; for neither Shalauroff or any of his crew have ever
returned. The following circumstances lead us to conclude, that both he
and his crew were killed near the Anadyr by the Tschutski, about the
third year after their departure from the Lena. About that time the
Koriacs of the Anadyr refused to take from the Russians the provision of
flour, which they are accustomed to purchase every year. Enquiry being
made by the governor of Anadirsk, he found that they had been amply
supplied with that commodity by the Tschutski. The latter had procured
it from the plunder of Shalauroff's vessel, the crew of which appeared
to have perished near the Anadyr. [Sidenote: No Account of this
Expedition, he and his Crew being killed by the Tschutski.] From these
facts, which have been since confirmed by repeated intelligence from the
Koriacs and Tschutski, it has been asserted, that Shalauroff had doubled
the N. E. cape of Asia. But this assertion amounts only to conjecture;
for the arrival of the crew at the mouth of the Anadyr affords no
decisive proof that they had passed round the Eastern extremity of Asia;
for they might have penetrated to that river by land, from the Western
side of Tschukotskoi-Noss.

In reviewing these several accounts of the Russian voyages in the Frozen
Sea, as far as they relate to a North East passage, we may observe, that
the cape which stretches to the North of the Piasida has never been
doubled; and that the existence of a passage round Tschukotskoi Noss
rests upon the single authority of Deshneff. Admitting however a
practicable navigation round these two promontories, yet when we
consider the difficulties and dangers which the Russians encountered in
those parts of the Frozen Sea which they have unquestionably sailed
through; how much time they employed in making an inconsiderable
progress, and how often their attempts were unsuccessful: when we
reflect at the same time, that these voyages can only be performed in
the midst of a short summer, and even then only when particular winds
drive the ice into the sea, and leave the shores less obstructed; we
shall reasonably conclude, that a navigation, pursued along the coasts
in the Frozen Ocean, would probably be useless for commercial purposes.

A navigation therefore in the Frozen Ocean, calculated to answer any end
of general utility, must (if possible) be made in an higher latitude, at
some distance from the shores of Nova Zemla and Siberia. And should we
even grant the possibility of sailing N. E. and East of Nova Zemla,
without meeting with any insurmountable obstacles from land or ice; yet
the final completion of a N. E. voyage must depend upon the existence of
a free passage[180] between the coast of the Tschutski and the continent
of America. But such disquisitions as these do not fall under the
intention of this work, which is meant to state and examine facts, not
to lay down an hypothesis, or to make theoretical enquiries[181].

    [Footnote 180: I have said a _free passage_, because if we
    conclude from the narrative of Deshneff's voyage, that there
    really does exist such a passage; yet if that passage is only
    occasionally navigable (and the Russians do not pretend to
    have passed it more than once) it can never be of any general
    and commercial utility.]

    [Footnote 181: I beg leave to assure the reader, that
    throughout this whole work I have entirely confined myself to
    the Russian accounts; and have carefully avoided making use
    of any vague reports concerning the discoveries lately made
    by captains Cooke and Clerke in the same seas. Many of the
    geographical questions which have been occasionally treated
    in the course of this performance, will probably be cleared
    up, and the true position of the Western coasts of America
    ascertained, from the journals of those experienced


_Tartarian_ rhubarb brought to _Kiachta_ by the _Bucharian_
Merchants--Method of examining and purchasing the roots--Different
species of rheum which yield the finest rhubarb--Price of rhubarb in
_Russia_--Exportation--Superiority of the _Tartarian_ over the
_Indian_ rhubarb.

[Sidenote: Tartarian, or Turkey, Rhubarb.] Europe is supplied with
rhubarb from Russia and the East Indies. The former is generally known
by the name of Turkey rhubarb, because we used to import it from the
Levant in our commerce with the Turks, who procured it through Persia
from the Bucharians. And it still retains its original name, although
instead of being carried, as before, to Constantinople, it is now
brought to Kiachta by the Bucharian merchants, and there disposed of to
the Russians. This appellation is indeed the most general; but it is
mentioned occasionally by several authors, under the different
denominations of Russian, Tartarian, Bucharian, and Thibet, Rhubarb.
This sort is exported from Russia in large roundish pieces, freed from
the bark, with an hole through the middle: they are externally of a
yellow colour, and when cut appear variagated with lively reddish

[Sidenote: Indian Rhubarb.] The other sort is called by the Druggists
Indian Rhubarb; and is procured from Canton in longer, harder, heavier,
more compact pieces, than the former; it is more astringent, and has
somewhat less of an aromatic flavour; but, on account of its cheapness,
is more generally used than the Tartarian or Turkey Rhubarb.

[Sidenote: Tartarian Rhubarb procured at Kiachta.] The government of
Russia has reserved to itself the exclusive privilege of purchasing
rhubarb; it is brought to Kiachta by some Bucharian merchants, who have
entered into a contract to supply the crown with that drug in exchange
for furs. These merchants come from the town of Selin, which lies South
Westward of the Koko-Nor, or Blue Lake toward Thibet. Selin, and all the
towns of Little Bucharia; viz. Kashkar, Yerken, Atrar, &c. are subject
to China.

[Sidenote: The Rhubarb Plant grows upon the Mountains of Little
Bucharia.] The best rhubarb purchased at Kiachta is produced upon a
chain of rocks, which are very high, and for the most part destitute of
wood: they lie North of Selin, and stretch as far as the Koko-Nor. The
good roots are distinguished by large and thick stems. The Tanguts, who
are employed in digging up the roots, enter upon that business in April
or May. As fast as they take them out of the earth, they cleanse them
from the soil, and hang them upon the neighbouring trees to dry, where
they remain until a sufficient quantity is procured: after which they
are delivered to the Bucharian merchants. The roots are wrapped up in
woollen sacks, carefully preserved from the least humidity; and are in
this manner transported to Kiachta upon camels.

The exportation of the best rhubarb is prohibited by the Chinese, under
the severest penalties. It is procured however in sufficient quantities,
sometimes by clandestinely mixing it with inferior roots, and sometimes
by means of a contraband trade. The College of Commerce at Petersburg is
solely empowered to receive this drug, and appoints agents at Kiachta
for that purpose. Much care is taken in the choice; for it is examined,
in the presence of the Bucharian merchants, by an apothecary
commissioned by government, and resident at Kiachta. [Sidenote: Care
taken in examining the roots at Kiachta.] All the worm-eaten roots are
rejected; the remainder are bored through, in order to ascertain their
soundness; and all the parts which appear in the least damaged or
decayed are cut away. By these means even the best roots are diminished
a sixth part; and the refuse is burnt, in order to prevent its being
brought another year[182].

    [Footnote 182: Pallas Reise, part III. p. 155-157. When Mr.
    Pallas was at Kiachta, the Bucharian merchant, who supplies
    the crown with rhubarb, brought some pieces of white rhubarb
    (von milchveissen rhabarber) which had a sweet taste, and was
    equal in its effects to the best sort.]

[Sidenote: Different Species of Rhubarb.] Linnæus has distinguished the
different species of rhubarb by the names Rheum Palmatum, R.
Rhaphonticum, [183]R. Rhabarbarum, R. Compactum, and R. Ribes.

    [Footnote 183: See Murray's edition of Linnæus Systema
    Vegetab. Gott. 1774. In the former editions of Linnæus Rheum
    Rhabarbarum is called R. Undulatum.]

Botanists have long differed in their opinions, which of these several
species is the true rhubarb; and that question does not appear to be as
yet satisfactorily cleared up. [Sidenote: Rheum Palmatum.] However,
according to the notion which is most generally received, it is supposed
to be the Rheum[184] Palmatum; the seeds of which were originally
procured from a Bucharian merchant, and distributed to the principal
botanists of Europe. Hence this plant has been cultivated with great
success; and is now very common in all our botanical gardens. The
learned doctor [185]Hope, professor of medicine and botany in the
university of Edinburgh, having made trials of the powder of this root,
in the same doses in which the foreign rhubarb is given, found no
difference in its effects; and from thence conclusions have been drawn
with great appearance of probability, that this is the plant which
produces the true rhubarb. But this inference does not appear to be
absolutely conclusive; for the same trials have been repeated, and with
similar success, upon the roots of the R. Rhaponticum and R.

    [Footnote 184: Mr. Pallas (to whom I am chiefly indebted for
    this account of the Tartarian and Siberian Rhubarb) assured
    me, that he never found the R. Palmatum in any part of

    [Footnote 185: Phil. Trans. for 1765, p. 290.]

[Sidenote: R. Rhaponticum.] The leaves of the R. Rhaponticum are round,
and sometimes broader than they are long. This species is found
abundantly in the loamy and dry deserts between the Volga and the
Yaik[186], towards the Caspian Sea. It was probably from this sort that
the name Rha, which is the Tartarian appellation of the river Volga, was
first applied by the Arabian physicians to the several species of rheum.
The roots however which grow in these warm plains are rather too
astringent; and therefore ought not to be used in cases where opening
medicines are required. The Calmucs call it Badshona, or a stomachic.
The young shoots of this plant, which appear in March or April, are
deemed a good antiscorbutic; and are used as such by the Russians. The
R. Rhaponticum is not to be found to the West of the Volga. The seeds of
this species produced at Petersburg plants of a much greater size than
the wild ones: the leaves were large, and of a roundish cordated figure.

    [Footnote 186: The Yaik falls into the Caspian Sea, about
    four degrees to the East of the Volga.]

[Sidenote: R. Rhabarbarum.] The R. Rhabarbarum grows in the crevices of
bare rocky mountains, and also upon gravelly soils: it is more
particularly found in the high vallies of the romantic country situated
beyond Lake Baikal. Its buds do not shoot before the end of April; and
it continues in flower during the whole month of May. The stalks of the
leaves are eaten raw by the Tartars: they produce upon most persons, who
are unaccustomed to them, a kind of sphasmodic contraction of the
throat, which goes off in a few hours; it returns however at every meal,
until they become habituated to this kind of diet. The Russians make use
of the leaves in their hodge-podge: accordingly, soups of this sort
affect strangers in the manner above mentioned. In Siberia the stalk is
sometimes preserved as a sweet-meat; and a custom prevails among the
Germans of introducing at their tables the buds of this plant, as well
as of the Rheum Palmatum, instead of cauli-flower.

[Sidenote: R. Rhaponticum.] The R. Rhaponticum which commonly grows near
the torrents has, as well as the R. Rhabarbarum of Siberia, the upper
part of its roots commonly rotten, from too much moisture: accordingly,
a very small portion of the lower extremity is fit for use. The Russian
College of Physicians order, for the use of their military hospitals,
large quantities of these roots to be dug up in Siberia, which are
prescribed under the name of rhapontic. But the persons employed in
digging and preparing it are so ill instructed for that purpose, that
its best juices are frequently lost. These roots ought to be drawn up
in spring, soon after the melting of the snows, when the plant retains
all its sap and strength; whereas they are not taken out of the ground
before August, when they are wasted by the increase of the stem, and the
expansion of the leaves. Add to this, that the roots are no sooner taken
up, than they are immediately sliced in small pieces, and thus dried: by
which means the medicinal qualities are sensibly impaired.

[Sidenote: Method of drying the Roots of the R. Rhaponticum.] For the
same roots, which in this instance were of such little efficacy, when
dried with proper precaution, have been found to yield a very excellent
rhubarb. The process observed for this purpose, by the ingenious Mr.
Pallas, was as follows: The roots, immediately after being drawn out,
were suspended over a stove, where being gradually dried, they were
cleansed from the earth: by these means, although they were actually
taken up in autumn, they so nearly resembled the best Tartarian rhubarb
in colour, texture, and purgative qualities, that they answered, in
every respect, the same medicinal purposes.

A German apothecary, named Zuchert, made similar trials with the same
success, both on the Rheum Rhabarbarum and R. Rhaponticum, which grow in
great perfection on the mountains in the neighbourhood of Nershinsk.
[Sidenote: Plantation of Rhubarb in Siberia.] He formed plantations of
these herbs on the declivity of a rock[187], covered with one foot of
good mould, mixed with an equal quantity of sand and gravel. If the
summer proved dry, the plants were left in the ground; but if the season
was rainy, after drawing out the roots he left them for some days in the
shade to dry, and then replanted them. By this method of cultivation he
produced in seven or eight years very large and sound roots, which the
rock had prevented from penetrating too deep; and when they were
properly dried, one scruple was as efficacious as half a drachm of
Tartarian rhubarb.

    [Footnote 187: In order to succeed fully in the plantation of
    rhubarb, and to procure sound and dry roots, a dry, light
    soil with a rocky foundation, where the moisture easily
    filters off, is essentially necessary.]

[Sidenote: The Roots of the R. Rhaponticum and R. Rhubarbarum, equal in
their Effects to the Tartarian Rhubarb.] From the foregoing observations
it follows, that there are other plants, besides the Rheum Palmatum, the
roots whereof have been found to be similar both in their appearance and
effects, to what is called the best rhubarb. And indeed, upon enquiries
made at Kiachta concerning the form and leaves of the plant which
produces that drug, it seems not to be the R. Palmatum, but a species
with roundish scolloped leaves, and most probably the R. Rhaponticum:
for Mr. Pallas, when he was at Kiachta, applied for information to a
Bucharian merchant of Selin-Chotton, who now supplies the crown with
rhubarb; and his description of that plant answered to the figure of
the Rheum Rhaponticum. The truth of this description was still further
confirmed by some Mongol travellers who had been in the neighbourhood of
the Koko-Nor and Thibet; and had observed the rhubarb growing wild upon
those mountains.

[Sidenote: The true Rhubarb probably procured from different Species of
Rheum.] The experiments also made by Zuchert and others, upon the roots
of the R. Rhabarbarum and R. Rhaponticum, sufficiently prove, that this
valuable drug was procured from those roots in great perfection. But as
the seeds of the Rheum Palmatum were received from the father of the
above-mentioned Bucharian merchant as taken from the plant which
furnishes the true rhubarb, we have reason to conjecture, that these
three species, viz. R. Palmatum, R. Rhaponticum, and R. Rhabarbarum,
when found in a dryer and milder alpine climate, and in proper
situations, are indiscriminately drawn up; whenever the size of the
plant seems to promise a fine root. And perhaps the remarkable
difference of the rhubarb, imported to Kiachta, is occasioned by this
indiscriminate method of collecting them. Most certain it is, that these
plants grow wild upon the mountains, without the least cultivation; and
those are esteemed the best which are found near the Koko-Nor, and about
the sources of the river Koango.

Formerly the exportation of rhubarb was confined to the crown of Russia;
and no persons but those employed by government were allowed the
permission of sending it to foreign countries; this monopoly however has
been taken off by the present empress, and the free exportation of it
from St. Petersburg granted to all persons upon paying the duty. It is
sold in the first instance by the College of Commerce for the profit of
the Sovereign; and is preserved in their magazines at St. Petersburg.
The current price is settled every year by the College of Commerce.

[Sidenote: Price of Rhubarb in Russia.] It is received from the
Bucharian merchants at Kiachta in exchange for furs; and the prime cost
is rated at 16 roubles per pood. By adding the pay of the commissioners
who purchase it, and of the apothecary who examines it, and allowing for
other necessary expences, the value of a pood at Kiachta amounts to 25
roubles; add to this the carriage from the frontiers to St. Petersburg,
and it is calculated that the price of a pood stands the crown at 30
roubles. The largest exportation of rhubarb ever known from Russia, was
made in the year 1765, when 1350 pood were exported, at 65 roubles per

[Sidenote: Exportation of Rhubarb from St. Petersburg.] EXPORTATION of

                              { at 76-1/4 Dutch[188] dollars,
  In 1777, 29 poods 13 pounds { or 91 roubles, 30 copecs
                              { per pood.

  In 1778, 23 poods 7 pounds, at 80 ditto, or 96 roubles.

    [Footnote 188: If we reckon a Dutch dollar, upon an average,
    to be worth 1 rouble 20 copecs.]

In 1778, 1055 poods were brought by the Bucharian merchants to Kiachta;
of which 680 poods 19 pounds were selected. The interior consumption of
the whole empire of Russia for 1777 amounted to only 6 poods 5

    [Footnote 189: This calculation comprehends only the rhubarb
    purchased at the different magazines belonging to the College
    of Commerce; for what was procured by contraband is of course
    not included.]

[Sidenote: Superiority of the Tartarian over the Indian Rhubarb.] The
superiority of this Tartarian Rhubarb, over that procured from Canton,
arises probably from the following circumstances.

1. The Southern parts of China are not so proper for the growth of this
plant, as the mountains of Little Bucharia.

2. There is not so exact an examination made in receiving it from the
Chinese at Canton, as from the Bucharians at Kiachta. For the
merchants, who purchase this drug at Canton, are obliged to accept it in
the gross, without separating the bad roots, and cutting away the
decayed parts, as is done at Kiachta.

3. It is also probable, that the long transport of this drug by sea is
detrimental to it, from the humidity which it must necessarily contract
during so long a voyage.


[Sidenote: Table of Longitude and Latitude.] For the convenience of the
Reader, the following Table exhibits in one point of view the longitude
and latitude of the principal places mentioned in this performance.
Their longitudes are estimated from the first meridian of the Isle of
Fero, and from that of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The longitude
of Greenwich from Fero is computed at 17° 34´ 45´´. The longitude of the
places marked * has been taken from astronomical observations.

                                 Latitude.         Longitude.
                               |          |   Fero.   | Greenwich.
                               | D. M. S. |  D. M. S. |  D. M.
  * Petersburg                 | 59 56 23 |  48  0  0 |  30 25[190]
  * Moscow                     | 55 45 45 |  55  6 30 |  37 31
  * Archangel                  | 64 33 24 |  56 15  0 |  38 40
  * Tobolsk                    | 58 12 22 |  85 40  0 |  68 26
  * Tomsk                      | 56 30  0 | 102 50  0 |  85 15
  * Irkutsk                    | 52 18 15 | 122 13  0 | 104 38
  * Selenginsk                 | 51  6  0 | 124 18 30 | 106 44
  Kiachta                      | 35  0  0 | 124 18  0 | 106 43
  * Yakutsk                    | 62  1 50 | 147  0  0 | 129 25
  * Ochotsk                    | 59 22  0 | 160  7  0 | 142 32
  * Bolcheresk                 | 52 55  0 | 174 13  0 | 156 38
  * Port of St. Peter and Paul | 53  1  0 | 176 10  0 | 158 36
  Eastern Extremity of Siberia | 66  0  0 | 200  0  0 | 182 25
  Unalashka (A)                | 58  0  0 | 223  0  0 | 205 25
  Unalashka (B)                | 53 30  0 | 205 30  0 | 187 55

  Key: (A) According to the general map of Russia
       (B) According to the chart of Krenitzin & Levasheff

    [Footnote 190: I have omitted the seconds in the longitude
    from Greenwich.]



  _Agiak_, an interpreter, p. 133.

  _Aguladock_, a leader of the Unalashkans, taken prisoner by
      Solovioff, 139.

  _Agulok_, a dwelling-place on Unalashka, 137.

  _Aischin-Giord_, chief of the Manshurs at the beginning of the 17th
      century, 198.

  _Aktunak_, an island to the East of Kadyak, 108.

  _Akun_ (one of the Fox Islands), 159.

  _Akutan_ (one of the Fox Islands), 159.

  _Alaksu_, or _Alachshak_, one of the most remote Eastern islands, 65.
    Customs of the inhabitants, 68.
    Animals found on that island, _ib._
    Conjectured to be not far from the continent of America, 69.

  _Alaxa_, one of the Fox Islands, 254.

  _Albasin_, and the other Russian forts on the Amoor, destroyed by the
      Chinese, 198.
    The Russians taken there refuse to return from Pekin, 208.

  _Aleütian Isles_ discovered, 21. 29.
    their situation and names, 24.
    Names of persons there, bear a surprising resemblance to those of
      the Greenlanders, 40.
    Inhabitants described, 41. 46.
    Account of those islands, 45. 55.
    The manners and customs of the inhabitants resemble those of the
      Fox Islands, 173.
    Are entirely subject to Russia, 174.
    Their number, 289.
    Specimen of the Aleütian language, 303.
    See _Fox Islands, Ibiya, Novodtsikoff, Tsiuproff_.

  _Alexeeff (Feodot)._ See _Deshneff_.

  _Aleyut._ See _Fox Islands_.

  _Allai_ (a prince of the Calmucs), his superstitious regard for the
      memory of Yermac, 194.

  _Amaganak_, a toigon of Unalashka, 143.

  _America_, most probable course for discovering the nearest coast of
      that continent, pointed out, 27.
    See _Islands, Delisle, Alaksu, Kadyak, Fox Islands, Steller_.

  _Amlach_, one of the Andreanoffskye Islands, 76.

  _Anadirsky Isles_, or _Isles of Anadyr_, so called by Mr. Stæhlin,
      and after him by Buffon, p. 25. 284-288.

  _Amoor_ river, called by the Manshurs Sakalin-Ula; and by the Mongols,
      Karamuran, or the Black River.

  _Andrianoffskie Islands_, their situation doubtful, 25.
    Description of, 74, 75.
    Must not be blended with the Fox Islands, 74.
    Account of the inhabitants, 77.
    Other islands beyond them to the East, _ibid._
    Position of the Andreanoffskie-Islands, 289.

  _Arachulla_, supposed by the Chinese a wicked spirit of the air, 229.

  _Archangel_, voyages from thence to the Yenisèi, 305.

  _Artic_, or _Ice Foxes_, description of, 15.

  _Asia_, the first report of its vicinity to America, learned from
      the Tschutski, 293.

  _Atachtak_, a great promontory N. E. of Alaksu, 118.

  _Ataku_, one of the Aleütian Islands, 45.

  _Atchu_, one of the Andreanoffsky Islands, description of, 76.

  _Atchu, Atchak, Atach, Goreloi_, or _Burnt Island_, one of the Fox
      Islands, 61.

  _Atlassoff (Volodimir)_, takes possession of the river Kamtchatka, 4.

  _Atrar_, a town of Little Bucharia, 333.

  _Att_, one of the Aleütian Isles, 30.

  _Ayagh_, or _Kayachu_, one of the Andreanoffsky Islands, 72.
    Description of, 75.


  _Bacchoff._ See _Novikoff_.

  _Baranèi Kamen_, or _Sheep's Rock_, description of, 328.

  _Bear Islands._ See _Medvioedkie Ostrova_.

  _Beering_, his voyage made at the expence of the crown, 8.
    His voyage (with Tschirikoff) in search of a junction between Asia
      and America, in 1728 and 1729, unsuccessful, 20.
    Shipwrecked, _ibid._ and death on an island called after his
      name, 21.
    See _Discoveries, Steller_;
      see also p. 323.

  _Beering's Island_, the winter-station of all the ships sailing for
      the new-discovered islands, 52.

  _Belayeff (Larion)_, treats the inhabitants of the Aleütian Islands
      in an hostile manner; in which he is under-hand abetted by
      Tsiuproff, 34.

  _Bolcheretsk_, a district of Kamtchatka, 5.
    See _Kamtchatkoi Ostrogs_.

  _Bolkosky_ (prince), appointed waywode of Siberia, 190.
    See _Yermac_.

  _Boris and Glebb._ See _Trapesnikoff_.

  _Bucharia (Little)_, all subject to China, 333.

  _Buache_ (Mr.). See _Longitude_.

  _Burgoltei_, a mountain in the valley of Kiachta, 214.

  _Burnt Island._ See _Atchu_.

  _Buttons_ (of different colours), used as marks of distinction among
      the Chinese, 218.


  _Calumet of peace_, a symbol of friendship peculiar to America, 280.

  _Camhi_, the second Chinese emperor of the Manshur race, 197.
    Expels the Russians from his dominions, for their riots and
      drunkenness, 205.

  _Camphor wood_ (the true), drove by the sea on Copper Island, 107.

  _Caravans_ (Russian), allowed to trade to Pekin, 203.
    Discontinued, and why, 209.
    See _Russia_.

  _Chatanga_, the cape between that river and the Piasida never yet
      doubled, 309-313.

  _Chinese_, origin of the disputes between them and the Russians, 197.
    Hostilities commenced between them, 198.
    Treaty of Nershinsk concluded, 200.
    Beginning of the commerce between the two nations, 202.
    Their trade with the Russians, 208, &c.
    Reckon it a mark of disrepect to uncover the head to a superior, 228.
    Their superstition in regard to fires, 229.
    Manner of their pronouncing foreign expressions, 232.
    No specie but bullion current among them, 233.
    Advantage of the Chinese trade to Russia, 240.

  _Cholodiloff._ Voyage of a vessel fitted out by him, 48.

  _Chusho_, (or the Fire-god), a Chinese idol, 226.
    See _Chinese_.

  _Copper Island_, why so called, 21. 107. 252.
    Probable that all the hillocks in that country have formerly been
      vulcanoes, _ibid._
    Subject to frequent earth-quakes, and abound in sulphur, 253.

  _Cyprian_ (first archbishop of Siberia), collects the archives of
      the Siberian history, 192.


  _Daurkin_ (a native Tschutski), employed by Plenisner to examine the
      islands to the East of Siberia, 295.
    The intelligence he brought back, _ibid._

  _Delisle_, mistaken concerning the Western coast of America, 26.

  _Deshneff_, his voyage, 313.
    Extracts from his papers, 315, 316.
    His description of the great promontory of the Tschutski, 317.
    Ankudinoff's vessel wrecked on that promontory, _ibid._
    Deshneff builds Anadirskoi-Ostrog on the river Anadyr, 318.
    Dispute between him and Soliverstoff, concerning the discovery of
      the Korga, 319, 320.
    No navigator since Deshneff pretends to have passed round the N. E.
      extremity of Asia, 322.

  _Discoveries._ The prosecution of those begun by Beering mostly
      carried on by individuals, 8.
    The vessels equipped for those discoveries described, _ibid._
    Expences attending them, 9.
    Profits of the trade to the new discovered islands very
      considerable, 10.
    List of the principal charts of the Russian discoveries hitherto
      published, 281.

  _Dogs_, used for drawing carriages, 247.

  _Drusinin (Alexei)_, wrecked at Beering's Island, 46.
    His voyage to the Fox Islands, 80-88.
    Winters at Unalashka, 82.
    All the crew, except four Russians, viz. Stephen Korelin, Dmitri
      Bragin, Gregory Shaffyrin, and Ivan Kokovin, destroyed by the
      natives, 83.
    See _Unalashka_.

  _Durneff (Kodion)._ His voyage, 45.


  _Eclipse_, behaviour of the Chinese at one, 228.

  _Empress of Russia._ See _Russia_.

  _Engel_ (Mr.) Disputes the exactness of the longitudes laid down by
      Muller and the Russian geographers, 267.

  _Esquimaux Indians_, similarity between their boats and those of the
      Fox Islands, 260. 264.


  _Feathers_ (peacock's), used for a distinction of rank by the
      Chinese, 218.

  _Fedotika._ See _Nikul_.

  _Foxes_, different species of, described, 14.
    Value of their skins, 15.

  _Fox Islands_, sometimes called the farthest Aleütian Isles, 29.
    Their land and sea-animals, 148.
    Manners and customs of the inhabitants, 149.
    Warm springs and native sulphur to be found in some of them, 149.
    Their dress, 151. 169.
    Their vessels described, 152.
    Are very fond of snuff, 153.
    Their drums described, 154.
    Their weapons, 155. 170.
    Food of the inhabitants, 168.
    Their feasts, 171.
    Their funeral ceremonies, 173.
    Account of the inhabitants, 256-261.
    Their extreme nastiness, 258.
    Their boats made like those of the Esquimaux Indians in North
      America, 260. 264.
    Are said to have no notion of a God, 261;
    yet have fortune-tellers, who pretend to divination, by the
      information of spirits, _ibid._
    The inhabitants called by the Russians by the general name of
      Aleyut, 263.
    Proofs of the vicinity of those islands to America, 291.


  _Geographers (Russian)_, their accuracy, 273.

  _Ghessur-Chan_, the principal idol at Maimatschin, 224.

  _Glotoff (Stephen)_, his voyage, 106-123.
    Winters upon Copper Island, 106.
    Arrives at Kadyak, the most Eastward of the Fox Islands, 108.
    Is attacked by the natives, whom he defeats, 110,
    and finally repulses, 112.
    Winters at Kadyak, 113.
    Is reconciled to the natives, 114.
    Curiosities procured by him at that island, _ibid._
    No chart of his voyage, 117.
    Departs from Kadyak, and arrives at Umnak, 118. 119.
    Defeats a design formed against him by the natives, 120.
    Meets with Korovin, 121.
    Winters on Umnak, 122.
    Journal of his voyage, 124-130.
    See _Solovioff, Korovin_.

  ---- (_Ivan_), an Aleütian interpreter, 101.

  _Golodoff_, killed at Unyumga, 65.

  _Goreloi._ See _Atchu_.

  _Greenlanders_, their proper names nearly similar to those used in
      the Aleütian Isles, 40.


  _Hare's Rock._ See _Saetshie Kammen_.

  _Hot Springs_, found in Kanaga, 75.
    in Tsetchina, 76.


  _Ibiya, Ricksa_, and _Olas_, Three large populous islands to the East
      of the Aleütian Islands, 46.

  _Jesuits_, their compliance with the Chinese superstition, 220.

  _Igonok_, a village of Unalashka, 142.

  _Igunok_, a bay N. E. of Unalashka, 255.

  _Ikutchlok_, a dwelling place at Unalashka, 137.

  _Imperial Academy_, their chart of the New Discovered Islands, not to
      be depended on, 24. 27.

  _Indigirka_, a river of Siberia, 14.

  _Inlogusak_, a leader of the Unalashkans, killed, 139.

  _Isanak_, one of the islands to the West of Kadyak, 109.

  _Islands (New Discovered)_, first tribute brought from thence to
      Ochotsk, 22.
    List of those islands, according to Mr. Muller, 297.
    Their names altered and corrupted by the Russian navigators, 299.
    See _Aleütian Isles_ and _Fox Islands_.

  _Islenieff_ (Mr.), sent to Yakutsk to observe the transit of
      Venus, 274.

  _Itchadek_ and _Kagumaga_, two friendly Toigons, 137.

  _Ivan Shilkin_, his voyage, 57. 60.
    Shipwrecked on one of the Fox Islands, 58.
    Great distresses of his crew on that island, 59.
    Shipwrecked a second time, 60.

  _Ivan Vassilievitch_ I. makes the first irruption into Siberia, 177.

  _Ivan Vassilievitch_ II. took the title of _Lord of all the Siberian
      lands_ before the conquests of Yermac, 179.
    See _Russia_.

  _Ives (Isbrand)_, a Dutchman. Embassador from Peter I. to Pekin, 203.

  _Iviya_, one of the Aleütian Islands, 55.


  _Kadyak_, one of the Fox Islands, 35.
    The fondness of the natives for beads, 114.
    Animals and vegetables found there, 115. 116.
    Great reason to think it is at no great distance from the continent
      of America, 117.
    Account of the inhabitants, 118.
    See _Glottoff_.

  _Kagumaga._ See _Itchadek_.

  _Kalaktak_, a village of Unalashka, 143.

  _Kama_, a river, 180.

  _Kamtchatka_, discovered by the Russians, 3.
    The whole peninsula reduced by the Russians, 4.
    Of little advantage to the crown at first, but since the discovery
      of the islands between Asia and America its fur-trade is become
      a considerable branch of the Russian commerce, _ibid._
    Its situation and boundaries, 5.
    Its districts, government, and population, _ibid_.
    Fixed and other tributes to the crown, 6.
    Its soil and climate not favourable to the culture of corn; but hemp
      has of late years been cultivated there with great success, 7.
    Supplied yearly with salt, provisions, corn, and manufactures, from
      Ochotsk, _ibid._
    Rout for transporting furs from thence to Kiachta, 247.
    Manner of procuring fire there, and which Vaksel, Beering's
      lieutenant, found practised in that part of North America which
      he saw in 1741, 158.
    See _Morosko, Atlassoff, Koriacs, Ochotsk_ and _Penshinsk,
      Bolcheresk, Tigilskaia, Krepost, Verchnei, Nishnei, Kamtchatka
      Ostrogs, Volcanos, Furs and Skins_.

  _Kamtchatkoi Ostrogs_ (Upper and Lower) and Bolcheretsk built, 4.

  _Kanaga_, one of the Andreanoffsky Islands, 72.
    Description of, 75.

  _Karaga Island_, tributary to Russia, 35.
    See _Olotorians_.

  _Kashkar_, A town of Little Bucharia, 333.

  _Kashmak_, an interpreter employed by the Russians, 92.

  _Kataghayekiki_, name of the inhabitants of Unimak and Alaxa, 263.

  _Kayachu._ See _Ayagh_.

  _Kiachta_, a frontier town of Siberia, 12.
    Treaty concluded there between the Russians and Chinese, 206. 209.
    Is at present the centre of the Russian and Chinese commerce, 210.
    That place and Zuruchaitu agreed on for transacting the commerce
      between Russia and China, 211.
    Description of Kiachta, _ibid._

  _Kighigusi_, inhabitants of Akutan so called, 263.

  _Kitaika_, a Chinese stuff, 238.

  _Kogholaghi_, inhabitants of Unalashka so called, 263.

  _Kopeikina_, a bay of the river Anadyr, 43.

  _Korenoff._ See _Solovioff_.

  _Korga_, A sand-bank at the mouth of the river Anadyr, 318.
    See _Soliverstoff_.

  _Koriacs_, their country the Northern boundary of Kamtchatka, 5.
    Tributary to Russia, 43.

  _Korovin (Ivan)_, his voyage 89-105.
    Arrives at Unalashka, his transactions there, 90-96.
    Builds an hut, and prepares for wintering, 93.
    Being attacked by the savages, destroys his hut, and retires to his
      vessel, 95.
    Attacked again, repulses the savages, and is stranded on the island
      of Umnak, 96.
    After different skirmishes with the natives, is relieved by
      Glottoff, 99.
    His description of Umnak and Unalashka, with their inhabitants, 103.
    See _Solovioff_.

  _Kovyma_, a river of Siberia, 14.

  _Krenitzin_ (Captain), commands a secret expedition, 23.

  _Krenitzin and Levasheff_, their journal and chart sent, by order of
      the Empress of Russia, to Dr. Robertson, 23.
    Extract from their journal, 251-255.
    They arrive at the Fox Islands, 253.
    Krenitzin winters at Alaxa, and Levasheff at Unalashka, 254.
    They return to the river of Kamtchatka, 266.
    Krenitzin drowned, _ibid._
    See _Yakoff_.

  _Krassilnikoff_, Voyage of a vessel fitted out by him, 52.
    Shipwrecked on Copper Island, _ibid._
    The crew return to Beering's Island, 53.

  _Krassilikoff_ (a Russian astronomer), his accuracy in taking the
      longitude of Kamtchatka, 273.

  _Krashininikoff_, his history of Kamtchatka, 256.

  _Krestova_, a river of Siberia, 324.

  _Krugloi_, or _Round Island_, one of the Aleütian Islands, 69.

  _Kulkoff_, his vessel destroyed, and his crew killed by the
      savages, 94. 157.

  _Kullara_, a fortress belonging to Kutchum Chan, 190.

  _Kuril Isles_, subject to Russia, 5.

  _Kutchum Chan_ (a descendant of Zinghis Chan), defeats Yediger,
      and takes him prisoner, 179.
    The most powerful sovereign in Siberia, 182.
    See _Yermac, Sibir_.


  _Laptieff (Chariton)_, his unsuccessful attempt to pass from the Lena
      to the Yenisèi, 309.
    See p. 322.

  _Latitude of Bolcheresk_, Appendix I. N^o II.
    See _Longitude_.

  _Lena_, a river of Siberia, 14.
    Attempts of the Russians to pass from thence to Kamtchatka, 311.
    See _Menin_.

  _Leontieff_ (a _Russian_), has translated several interesting Chinese
      publications, 208.

  _Levasheff._ See _Krenitzin_ and _Levasheff_.

  _Lobaschkoff (Prokopèi)_, killed at Alaksu, 66.

  _Longitude_, of the extreme parts of Asia, by Mr. Muller and the
      Russian geographers, 267.
    By Mr. Engel, _ibid._
    By Mr. Vaugondy, 268.
    The Russian system supported by Mons. Buache, against Engel and
      Vaugondy, _ibid._
    See _Krassilnikoff_.

  _Longitude of Ochotsk, Bolcheresk_, and _St. Peter_ and _St.
      Paul_, 269.

  _Longitude_ and _Latitude_ of the principal places mentioned in this
      work, 344.

  _Lyssie Ostrova_, or _Fox Islands_, 14.
    Their situation and names, 25.
    Description of the inhabitants, 62.


  _Maimatschin_ (the Chinese frontier town), described, 214.
    Houses there described, 216.
    An account of the governor, 218.
    Theatre described, 219.
    The small pagoda, 220.
    The great pagoda, 221.
    Idols worshiped, _ibid._-227.
    See _Sitting-Rooms_.

  _Manshurs_, their origin, 197.

  _Maooang_, a Chinese idol, 225.

  _Mednoi Ostroff_, or _Copper Island_, Discovered, 21.
    See _Copper Island_.

  _Medvedeff (Dennis)_, his crew massacred by the savages, 90.
    He and part of Protassoff's crew found murdered on the island of
      Umnak, 99.

  _Menin (Feodor)_, his unsuccessful attempt to pass from the Yenisèi to
      the Lena, 306.

  _Merghen_, a Chinese town, 244.

  _Medviodkie Ostrova, Kreffstoffskie Ostrova_, or _Bear Islands_,
      Discovery of, 324.

  _Minyachin_ (a Cossac), a collector of the tribute, 69.

  _Mongol_, the commerce between the Russians and Chinese, mostly
      carried on in that tongue, 231.

  _Morosko (Lucas Semænoff)_, commanded the first expedition towards
      Kamtchatka, 3.

  _Muller_, (Mr.) His conjecture relating to the coast of the sea of
      Ochotsk, confirmed by Captain Synd, 23.
    Part of a letter written by him in 1774, concerning the vicinity of
      Kamtchatka and America, 283.
    His list of the New Discovered Islands, 297.


  _Nankin_, 231.

  _Naun_, a Chinese town, 244.

  _Nershinsk._ See _Chinese_.

  _Nevodtsikoff (Michael)_, sails from Kamtchatka river, 29.
    Discovers the Aleutian Islands, _ibid._
    Narrative of his voyage, 31-36.

  _New Moon_, ceremonies observed at, by the Chinese, 228.

  _Nikul_, or _Fedotika_, a river which falls into that of
      Kamtchatka, 321.

  _Nishnei_, or _Lower Kamtchatkoi Ostrog_, a district of Kamtchatka, 5.

  _Niu-o_, Chinese idol, 226.

  _North East Passage_, Russians attempt to discover, 304-331.

  _Novikoff_ and _Bacchoff_, their voyage from Anadyrsk, 42. 44.
    Are shipwrecked on Beering's Island, where they build a small boat,
      and return to Kamtchatka, 44.


  _Oby_ (bay of), 306.

  _Ochotsk_ and _Penshinsk_, Western boundaries of Kamtchatka, 5.
    See _Kamtchatka, Muller_.

  _Offzin_ and _Koskeleff_ (Lieutenants), first effected the passage
      from the bay of Oby to the Yenisèi, 306.

  _Olas._ See _Ibiya_.

  _Olotorian Isles_, whence so called, 284.

  _Olotorians_, invade the island of Karaga, and threaten to destroy all
      the inhabitants who pay tribute to Russia, 36.

  _Onemenskaya_, a bay in the river Anadyr, 43.

  _Oracles (Chinese)_, 227.

  _Orel_, a Russian settlement, 181.

  _Otcheredin, (Aphanassei)_, his voyage to the Fox Islands, 156-163.
    Winters at Umnak, 157.
    The toigon of the Five Mountains gives him hostages, for which the
      other toigons kill one of his children, 158.
    A party sent by him to Ulaga repulsed the inhabitants, who had
      attacked them, 159.
    Is joined by Popoff from Beering's Island, and prevails on the
      inhabitants to pay tribute, 161.
    Receives an account of Levasheff's arrival at Unalashka, _ibid._
    Returns to Ochotsk, with a large cargo, leaving Popoff at
      Umnak, 162.
    Brings home two islanders, who were baptized by the names of Alexey
      Solovieff and Boris Otcheredin, 163.
    See _Poloskoff_.


  _Pagoda._ See _Maimatschin_.

  _Paikoff (Demetri)_, his voyage, 61-63.

  _Pallas_, receives from Bragin a narrative of his adventures and
      escape, p. 88.
    Account of Kiachta and Maimatschin, extracted from his
      journal, p. 229.
    His publication concerning the Mongol tribes, 230.
    List of plants found by Steller upon the coast discovered by Beering
      in 1741, communicated by Mr. Pallas--quotation from a treatise of
      his, relative to the plants of the new-discovered islands, 279.
    Extracts made by him relative to Deshneff's voyage, p. 314-316.

  _Pauloffsky_, his expedition, in which, after several successful
      skirmishes with the Tschutski, he is surprised and killed by
      them, 296.

  _Peacock._ See _Feathers_.

  _Pekin._ Russian scholars allowed to settle there, to learn the
      Chinese tongue, 209.
    See _Caravans_.

  _Penshinsk_, 5.

  _Peter_ I. first projected making discoveries in the seas between
      Kamtchatka and America, 20.

  _Petersburg_, length of the different routs between that city and
      Pekin, 248.

  _Piasida_, a river of Siberia, 309.

  _Plenisner_ (a Courlander), sent on discoveries to the N. E. of
      Siberia, 294.
    See _Daurkin_.

  _Poloskoff, (Matthew)_, Sent by Otcheredin to Unalashka, 159.
    Spends the autumn at Akun, and after twice repulsing the savages,
      returns to Otcheredin, 159-161.

  _Popoff (Ivan)_, a vessel fitted out by him arrives at Unalashka, 158.
    See _Otcheredin_.

  _Prontshistsheff_ (Lieutenant), his unsuccessful attempt to pass from
      the Lena towards the Yenisèi, 306-309.

  _Protassoff_, he and his crew destroyed by the savages, 133. 157.
    See _Medvedeff_.

  _Pushkareff (Gabriel)_, his voyage, 64-69.
    Winters upon Alaksu, 65.
    He, with Golodoff and twenty others, attempting to violate some
      girls, on the island Unyumga, are set upon by the natives, and at
      last obliged to retreat, 65. 66.
    He and his crew tried for their inhuman behaviour to the islanders
      during their voyage, 67.


  _Rheum._ See _Rhubarb_.

  _Rhubarb_, that from Russia generally called Turkey Rhubarb, and
      why, 332.
    Description of, _ibid._
    Indian rhubarb inferior to the Tartarian or Turkey, 333.
    A milk-white sort described, 334.
    Different species, 335-341.
    Planted in Siberia by M. Zuchert, a German apothecary, 338.
    Exportation of, 342.
    Superiority of the Tartarian over the Indian Rhubarb, accounted
      for, 342.

  _Ricksa._ See _Ibiya_.

  _Roaring Mountain._ See _Unalashka_.

  _Robertson_ (Dr.) See _Krenitzin and Levasheff_.

  _Round Island._ See _Krugloi_.

  _Russia_ (present Empress of), a great promoter of new
      discoveries, 22.
    No communication between that country and Siberia till the reign of
      Ivan Vassilievitch II. 178.
    The empress abolishes the monopoly of the fur-trade, and
      relinquishes the exclusive privilege of sending caravans to
      Pekin, 210.

  _Russia_, a curious and interesting "Historical Account of the nations
      which compose that Empire" lately published, 218.

  _Russians_, quit Siberia after the death of Yermac, 194.
    Recover their antient territories in that country, 195.
    Their progress checked by the Chinese, 196.
    Are expelled from the Chinese dominions, 205.
    Are allowed to build a church (and to have four priests to officiate
      in it) within their caravansary at Pekin, 208.
    Commerce between them and the Chinese carried on only by
      barter, 232.
    Method of transacting business between them, 233.
    Russian exports, 234-237.
    Imports, 237-239.
    Articles of trade prohibited to individuals, 240.
    Duties paid by the Russian merchants, 241.
    The Russians' manner of trading to the Fox Islands, 264.
    Their attempts to discover a North East passage, 304-331.
    Held in great veneration by the Kamtchadals, till they quarrelled
      among themselves, 321.
    See _Siberia, Chinese, Albasin, Lena_.


  _Sabya_, an island at a distance from Att, 30.
    See _Att_.

  _Sacred Helmet_, at Maimatschin, 227.

  _Saetshie Kamen_, or _Hare's Rock_, Description of, 328.

  _Sagaugamak_, one of the Fox Islands, 157.

  _St. Petersburg_, the geographical calendar of not to be depended
      on, 24.

  _Saktunak_, an island near Alaksu, 119.

  _Sandchue_, a northern province of China, 231.

  _Sea-horse teeth_, their value, 16.

  _Sea-lion_, or _Scivutcha_, its flesh delicate food, 265.

  _Sea-otters_, Many writers mistaken concerning them, 12.
    Description of, _ibid._
    Value of their skins, 13.

  _Selin_, a town of Little Bucharia, 333.

  _Serebranikoff_, voyage of a vessel fitted out by him, 49-52.
    Shipwrecked on an island opposite Katyrskoi Noss, in the peninsula
      of Kamtchatka, 50.
    Description of the island, 51.

  _Shaffyrin (Sila)_, a Cossac, collector of the tribute, 40. 45. 61.
    killed, 63.

  _Shalauroff_, his first voyage from the Lena, 323-328.
    Winters at a mouth of the Kovyma, 325.
    Not being able to double Sheletskoi Noss, returns to the Kovyma,
      winters there a second time, and returns to the Lena, 327.
    No account of his second expedition, he and his crew being killed
      by the Tschutski, 328.

  _Sheep's Rock._ See _Baranèi Kamen_.

  _Shelatskoi Noss_, whence that name is derived, 326.

  _Shemiya_, one of the Aleütian Islands, 78.

  _Shilkin (Ivan)_, his voyage, 45.
    Wrecked on one of the Fox Islands, 58.
    where the Russians are attacked by the savages, whom they
      repulse, 59.
    After suffering the greatest distress, they build a small vessel,
      in which they are a second time wrecked, and return at last in
      Serebranikoff's vessel to Kamtchatka, 59. 60.

  _Shuntschi_, The first Chinese emperor of the Manshur race, 198.

  _Shushu_, the first of the Kuril Isles, 301.

  _Sibir_, the principal residence of Kutchum Chan, 182.

  _Siberia_, conquest of by Yermac, 19.
    Second irruption of the Russians into that country, 179.
    State of at the time of Yermac's invasion, 182.
    Conjecture concerning the derivation of that name, _ibid._
    Totally reduced by the Russians, 196.
    Transport of the Russian and Chinese commodities through that
      country, 245.
    See _Ivan Vassilievitch I. Russia. Kutchum Chan._

  _Sitkin_, one of the Fox Islands, 62.

  _Sitting-rooms, (Chinese)_, described, 216.

  _Soliverstoff (Yusko)_, his expedition to the Korga, to collect
      sea-horses teeth, 319.

  _Solovioff (Ivan)_, his voyage, 131-155.
    Arrives at Unalashka, 132.
    Learns the particulars of a confederacy formed by the Toigons of
      Unalashka, Umnak, Akutan, and Toshko, against the Russians, 134.
    Is joined by Korovin, 135.
    Hostilities between him and the natives, _ibid._
    Winters at Unalashka, with other transactions at that island, 136.
    Makes peace with the natives, and receives hostages, 139.
    Meets with Korovin, 140.
    His crew being greatly afflicted with the scurvy, the inhabitants
      of Makushinsk conspire to seize his vessel, 141.
    But are happily prevented, 142.
    Is visited by Glottoff, _ibid._
    Receives hostages from the inhabitants of Kalaktak, 143.
    Sends Korenoff in different hunting parties, 144.
    Journal of his voyage homewards, 144.
    His description of the Fox Islands, 148.

  _Solvytshegodskaia._ See _Strogonoff_.

  _Steller_, His arguments to prove that Beering and Tschirikiff
      discovered America, 277.

  _Strogonoff (Anika)_, a Russian merchant, establishes a trade with
      Solvytshegodskaia in Siberia, 178.
    Makes settlements upon the Kama and Tschussovaia, 183.
    See _Yermac_.

  _Studentzoff_, a Cossac, collector of the tribute, 45. 57.

  _Svatoi Noss_, that name explained, 320.

  _Sulphur_ found on the island of Kanaga, 75.
    See _Copper Islands_.

  _Synd_ (capt.) his voyage to the N. E. of Siberia, 300.
    Discovers a cluster of islands, and a promontory, which he supposes
      to belong to America, 301.


  _Tabaetshinskian_, a mountain of Kamtchatka, emitting a constant
      smoke, 6.

  _Tagalak_, one of the Andreanoffskye Islands, description of, 76.

  _Tartarian Rhubarb._ See _Rhubarb_.

  _Tchingi_, a town on the banks of the Tura, 185.
    See _Yermac_.

  _Tea_, finer in Russia than in Europe, and why, 238.

  _Temnac_, an Aleutian interpreter, 30.

  _Tien_, an idol worshiped in the small pagoda at Maimatschin, 220.

  _Tigilskaia Krepost_, a district of Kamtchatka, 5.

  _Tolstyk, (Andrean)_, his voyage to the Aleutian Isles, in 1748, 30.
    Ditto, in 1756, 54.
    Ditto in 1760, 71-79.
    Discovers the Andreanoskie Islands, 72.
    Shipwrecked near the mouth of the Kamtchatka river, 79.

  _Toshko._ See _Solovioff_.

  _Totchikala_, a village of Unalashka, 138.

  _Trapesnikoff (Nikiphor)_, Boris and Glebb, a vessel fitted out by
      him, her voyage and return, 39. 40. &c.
    Another vessel fitted out by him destroyed, and the crew cut off,
      by the natives of Unimak, 140.

  _Tsaaduck_, a kind of lamp, 150.

  _Tsaudsing_, a Chinese idol, 226.

  _Tschirikoff._ See _Beering_.

  _Tschussovaia_ (a river). See _Strogonoff_.

  _Tschutski_, a people on the river Anadyr, 43.
    Boundaries of their country, 293.
    See _Asia_.

  _Tschukotskoi Noss_, the N. E. cape of the country of the
      Tschutski, 293.
    Stadukin and Soliverstoff claim the discovery of the passage round
      that promontory, 314.
    See _Deshneff, Svatoi Noss, Shelatskoi Noss_; see also p. 322.

  _Tschuvatch._ See _Yermac_.

  _Tsetchina_, one of the Andreanoffsky Islands, description of, 76.

  _Tsikanok_, or _Osernia_, a river of Unalashka, 133.

  _Tsiuproff_, his adventures at the Aleutian Islands, 32.
    See _Belayeff_.

  _Turkey Rhubarb._ See _Rhubarb_.


  _Vaksel._ See _Kamtchatka_.

  _Vassilievitch._ See _Ivan Vassilievitch_.

  _Vaugondy._ See _Longitude_.

  _Udagha_, a bay on the N. E. of Unalashka, 255.

  _Verchnei_, or _Upper Kamtchatkoi Ostrog_, a district of
      Kamtchatka, 5.

  _Ukunadok_, a village of Unalashka, 143.

  _Ulaga_, one of the Fox Islands. See _Otcheredin_.

  _Umgaina_, a village of Unalashka, 143.

  _Umnak_, one of the Fox Islands, 81.
    See _Korovin, Solovioff_.

  _Unalashka_, or _Agunalashka_, one of the Fox Islands, 82.
    Adventures of four Russians belonging to Drusinin's crew
      there, 84-88.
    Description of, 254.
    Ayaghish and the Roaring Mountain, two volcanos, on that
      island, 255.
    Productions, _ibid._
    The inhabitants less barbarous than those of the other Fox
      Islands, 260.

  _Unimak_, an island to the East of Agunalashka, 139.
    See _Trapesnikoff_.

  _Unyumga._ See _Pushkareff, Golodoff_.

  _Volcanos_, some burning ones in Kamtchatka, and traces of many former
      ones to be observed there, 6.
    One eruption near Lower Ostrog in 1762, and another in 1767, _ibid._
    An high volcano on the island of Kanaga, 75.
    See _Copper Island, Unalashka_.

  _Vorobieff_, his voyage, 42.


  _Wheels_, a carriage with four wheels a mark, of high distinction
      among the Chinese, 218.

  _White month_, explained, 228.

  _Women_, none allowed to live at Maimatschin, and why, 231.

  _Wsevidoff (Andrew)_, his voyage to the new-discovered Islands, 38.


  _Yakoff (Jacob)_, composed the chart of Krenitzin and Levasheff's
      voyage, 266.

  _Yediger_ (a Tartar chief), pays tribute to the Russians, 179.
    See _Kutchum Chan_.

  _Yenisèi_, a river of Siberia, 305, & seq.

  _Yerken_, a town of Little Bucharia, 333.

  _Yermac_, being driven from the Caspian Sea, retires to Orel, 181,
    where he winters, and determines to invade Siberia, 182.
    To which he is instigated by Strogonoff, 183.
    Marches towards Siberia, and returns to Orel, 184.
    Sets out on a second expedition, and arrives at Tchingi, 185.
    Defeats Kutchum Chan at Tschuvatch, 186.
    Marches to Sibir, and seats himself on the throne, 187.
    Cedes his conquest to the Tzar of Muscovy, 189.
    Who sends him a reinforcement, under the command of prince
      Bolkosky, 190.
    Is surprised by Kutchum Chan, 191.
    And drowned, 192.
    Veneration paid to his memory, 193.
    See _Allai, Russians, Siberia, Ivan Vassielivitch_ II.

  _Yefimoff (Sava)_, one of Yermac's followers, an accurate historian
      of those times, 192.

  _Yugoff (Emilian)_, his voyage, 38.
    Dies on Copper Island, 39.


  _Zuchert._ See _Rhubarb_.

  _Zuruchaitu._ Description of, 244.
    Its trade very inconsiderable, 245.
    See _Kiachta_.


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Transcriber's Notes:

Words surrounded by _ are italicized.

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- Page 14: S. R. G. V. III. Pallas Reise.

- Page 53: See the preceding chapter.

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