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A comparative view of the Russian discoveries with those made by Captains Cook and Clerke; and a sketch… Coxe, William, 1747-1828 1787

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TO    THE 
OF     THE 
Captains   COOK   and    CLERKE; 
AND    A    SKETCH    OF 
BY   WILLIAM   C O X E,   A. M.   F. R. S. 
One of the Senior Fellows of King's College, Cambridge; Member of 
the Imperial OEconomical Society at St. Peterfburgh, of the Royal 
 Academy of Sciences at Copenhagen; and Chaplain to his Grace the 
Duke of Marlborough. 
T   O
April 25, 1787.
'^^mammKiwm AK3me*t^m&x*miBa   ' W in I'l  i 1 3
THE author would have arranged, at a more early period,
the following Comparative View, which feems neceffarily
connected with his former publication on the Ruffian Difcoveries ;^
if he had.not been abfent from England when Cook's Voyage
flrft made its appearance;   and if continued travels  and avo->
cations had not prevented him  from   confulting thofe books,
charts, and manufcripts, which the examination of lb intricate a I
fubject required. nfSjjgt^''
Mr. Pallas has lately favoured the public, in his Neue Nor-*
difche Beytraege, with feveral curious particulars concerning the
Tchutfki, the two iflands lying between Eaft Cape and Cape
Prince of Wales, and relative to the New-difcovered iflands. An
extract of fome of thefe particulars is given by-,Mr. Pentiant'in
hiss Introduction to the Arctic Zoology, and more amply in his '
Supplement to that interefting work, in W:hf§h the reader will ■
find an excellent map of thofe parts, wJ||$JOare mentioned in
this Comparative View.
rjmmmxmsgmi *«^M^^ N
yu/i publljhed,
Elegantly  printed in Four Volumes Octavo,   illuftrated witffc
Maps, Plans* and other Plates, Price il. 10s. boamd,
The Third; Edition of
TRAVELS into Poland,   Ruffia,   Sweden,  and DenmadEi
Interfperfed with Historical Bektioiak and Political 1m*
% WILLIAM   COXE,    A;M.F.R.8,?
One of the Senior Fellows of KkigV College Cambridge, Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Member o£ the-
Imperial OeGOR©m<ipal Society of St* Peteribui'gh, an?dl of the
Royal Academy of Sciences at Copenhagen-
Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand..
im 'whom ivMfpeediiy be published,
An- Octavo Edition o%M*>Coxe.*s Account of the Ruffian
Difcoverie.s betwe&S Alia and America ;  in which will' be added'a
Comparative View of the Ruffian Difebfer®&Jwi$h-tfofefe made by
Captains Cook aB&Glferke, &c. &ct>
nagnwww jiiwv^tjjja &eaRE»&&mmim9imv*aaMrj&
[  9  ]
CHAP      I.
A comparative View of the Ruffian Difcoveries, with thofe made by
Cook and Cierke. i. On the Coqfl of Afia. 2. On that of America.  3. With refpeel to the New-difcovered Iflands.
S my account of the Ruffian Discoveries, printed in 1780,
contained the principal intelligence at that time known ;
and as, fince its publication, a new light has been thrown upon
that important fubject by Cook and Cierke, I mall, in this chapter, compare-the difebyeries of the Ruffians^ith the fubfequent
obfervations of the Englifh navigators. 1. On the coaft of Afia,
2. on that of America; and 3* with refpect to the New-difcovered Iflands*
The accuracy of Krafilnikof 's obfervations, at the Port of St.
Peter and St. Paul, has been confirmed by Captain-. Cook. The
latter places that harbour inf^at. 53' 1", long. 158A36" eaft * -
the former in lat. 53' o" 38", long. 176' 10" from Fero, or
158' %$" from Greenwich. JFhe difference is only 22 feconds in
the latitude, and 7 minutes in the longitude. Hence the.
aflertion of Vaugondy, that the Ruffians had advanced the
peninfula of Kamtchatka eleven degrees too much to the
eaft, and of Engel,. who fuppofed that error to be na lefs
than 29 degrees, is evidently confuted; and the juftnefs of
the aftronomical observations, made by the Ruffian geographers,
* It is neceffary to apprife the reader, that, in this Supplement, whenever the
longitude given by Cook is mentioned, it is taJfc&i from the -meridian of Greenwich.
The reader is alfo defired to confuU the maps^and charts which accompany Cook's.
Yoyage to the Pacific Ocean.
B which,
it I
which I attempted to prove in the fecond number of the Appendix to the Ruffian Difcoveries, is now incontrovertibly afcertained.
Though we cannot expect nearly the fame accuracy in the longitude of thofe places, which have not been* laid down by aftro-
nomical obfervations; yet we fhall find, perhaps, that the errors of the Ruffians, even under fuch difadvantages, have not
always been fo great, as might reafonably be fuppofed. Thus
while the latitude of Kamtchatka Nofs, and of Kronotikoi Nofs
the moft north-eafterly point in the peninfula of Kamtchatka,
agrees withtthe latitude of thofe places, given by Ca^tyin Cook,
their longitude is laid down i' 46" too mu<phj<to the \Msft ; and
the fame error feems to prevail in the bearings of the Kamtchatka
Coaft, as traced on the Ruffian, chariso^
Towards the north, the deficiencyJsB.ithe loaaigitude isfg^ more
considerable.    The promontory of St. Thaddaaus, the moft no$fek
eafterly point in the country, of the Kariacs, li«& accordlngotQs
Cook, in lat. 62' 50", long. 180'; and is fituated, on. this? general,
map of Ruifia, h% lat. 63,   long. 190, from Fero, or 17.2' 25"
from Greenwictfc; which gisres.. a difference, of only 50' in the
latitude, but of y/ 2,%" in the l^RgatrideJ
The next point of land «$b<feiived by the Engjjlfljnnavigators,
was that promontory called by Bearing Tchukofcfkoi Nofs, a name
adopted by Captain Cook, but which is denominated by moft of
the Ruffian geographers Anadbfkoi Nofs, from its position on
the.Bay of the Aoadye.- The applicatio^iodbtiresiferm Tchukot-
fkoi Nofs to fhfe promontory, may, parhaps,c occa'fion.fonie;cqrik:
fufion to future navigators and geographer's, as, that appellation,
has been ufually given, and ought therefore to be appropriated to
the eaftern extremity of Afia, the Eaft Cape of Cook.
From Anadirfkoi Nofs, placed by the Eiigliftiin lat. 64/ J 3",
under the name of Tchukotikoi Nofs, to Cape Serdze Kamen, in
iWgi^WK ^m^MVMn^iUfaiijm^ 1
1 HOiwwgrwwy. -.yjrm n
lat. 67. the utmoft extent of Beering's navigation to the north,
Captain Cook, with great candour, does juftice to the memory
of Beering,   by obferving,   that   " he has  here delineated the
coaft very well, and fixed the latitude and longitude of the
plades better than could ,be expected from the methods he
" had to go by *."
Within this fpace our great navigator has corrected the er-
.rors of the Ruffian charts, and afcertained the pofition of the
real Tchukotikoi Nofs, which Muller bad erroneoufly conjectured to lie above the 70th degree* of latitude. He calls this
.great promontory of the Tchutfki Eaft Cape, proves .it to be
the moft eaftern extremity of Afia, and fixes its latitude in 66' 6",
.and long. i9o/ 22". Thus he has unqueffionahly (hewn, that
.the Ruffians did not err io-^fferting, that the north eaftern extremity of Afia ftretched beyond the 200th degree of longitude
from the Ifte of Fero, or 182' from Greenwich.
The earlieft and (moft important of the Ruffian voyages in
thefe parts, as it firft afcertained 4'he feparation of the two con-r
tinents, is that remarkable-expedition of Defhnef, in which, according to Muller, he failed from the mouth of the Kovyma,
doubled Tchukotikoi Nofs, or the Eaft Cape of Cook, and was-
* Cook's Voyage,, vol. II. p. 474.    The reader is defired to correift a paf&ge in
the note, p. 323, of my Rufl^an Difcoveries ;  in which I afferted, npon the authority
of  Muller, that Beering, in his expedition  to the  northern coafts of Aiia,   did' not
'abiible the north  earaffh prom&itory  of  th§>t   continent,   properly   called   Tctra-
-feotskoi  Nofs.    Whereas  it, appears,   from   a  comparative view  of Beering's   and
Cook's   difcoveries,   that   the   former   a&ually  pafled that celebrated  point ;   'and,.
that Cape &eFd^?<Kamen,  the utmoft extent of his vayaige,.  is fituated to the north'
and  not,  according to Muller, to the fouth of the faid promontory.    Captain Cook,
•who alone could afcertain thefe points, and vvhofe judgment mnft be. confidered as de-
cifive, informs us, that Mailer's accofiht of'Befecfiaig's exjie^ia^n^ja^d  that ipart of
the chart- prefixed to his Ruffian Difcoveries, whjch •re^fs;(s>|i/that1e^peiditioni^re lefs
accurate than the relatkxfo:of the fame voyage, and  the a«ne&ed>map publi^ied by
T^Ji'Campbfill.-ttishe fectmdqediticwi of Harris's Qolfe^an of Voyages. **!#'
B 2..
;ii% Mi
'fhipwrecked in the Sea of Kamtchatka. An account of this expedition is given in my Ruffian Difcoveries *. But-*as, from
want of circumftantial evidence, many perfons 'ftill doubt, whether Deihnef failed round this celebrated promontory ; it ihfy
not, perhaps, be uninterefting to ftate a few particulars in
Cook's narrative, which may feem to corroborate the authenticity of Deflmef's voyage.
DeftmePs defcription of the North Eaftern Cape correfponds
in feveral material circumftances with that of the fame promontory given by Cook. According to Demnef it " confifs almoji
«' entirely of rocks f." Cook fays, that " it (hews a fteep rocky
" clitTnext the fea; and at the very point are fotne rocks likefpires.
" The land about mis promontory is compofed of hills and valliesG:
" the former terminate at the fea in feep rochj^oints, and the lar-
" ter in low (hores.    The hills feemed to be naked rocks pP
Defhnef adds, that, on the coaft near the promofrtory,^the
natives had reared a pile like a tower, with the bones of whales.
Cook likewife noticed thefe piles as very common on the coaft
of the Tfchutlki. ™ Over the dwelling (rands a kind of fentry
box, compofed of the large bones of large ff ;" and agam^ " near
the dwellings were -erected ftages of bones, fuch as before de-
fcribed,§." Cook alfo agrees with Deftmef in placing two fmall
iflands directly qppofite to the promontory ; and Captain King ||
confirms another affertion of the Ruffian navigator, that the
palTagefrom the fame promontory to the mouth of the Anadyr
;may, with a fair wind, vbe performed in feventy-two hours**.
* See p. 314.
f W   Aus lauter Felfen beftunde."   S. R. G. III. p. 17. jpff'
J Cook's Voyage,  Vol. II. p. 472.
§ Vol.11, p. 451, 472. (|  Vol. III. p. 264.
** The reader will find thefe two laft-mentioned points more fully difcvnTed by
Captain King,  Vol. III. p. 264.
gnr^r^ f^y^ir
l<«ssamrurffur 1 1111 rm* r ra ESSSSfe,
To thofe perfons who object to Deflmef's narrative, becaufc
Cook and Cierke were, in two fucceffive years, prevented by the
ice from penetrating into the frozen ocean ; it may be replied,
that Delhnef palTed in a fmall velTel, which might more eafily
be worked through than the Englilh (hips; and that the year, in
which Defhnef failed round, is reprefented as more free from
ice than ufual. The (eafon alfo, in which Deihnef probably
doubled the great Siberian promontory, was more favourable to
navigation in the Frozen Sea, than the times of the year employed by the En glim. For although he failed on the firft of
July *, yet he does not appear to have arrived in the Eaftern
Ocean until the latter end of September. Soon after Ankunidof's
veflel was (hipwrecked on Tchukotikoi Nofs, Deflhnef mentions,
that he landed _on the firft of October -f-, and (kirmiuSed with the
Tchutflri. It follows therefore, from the length of the interval
between the day of his departure from the mouth of the Kovyma
to his arrival in the Eaftern Ocean, that he probably waited for
an opportunity of getting through the ice, which he at length
effected. Whereas Cook quitted that dreary region on the 29th
of Auguft ; and Cierke, fo early as the month of July. The
middle and the latter end of September are generally efteemed the
moft proper periods for navigating the Frozen Ocean.
The fole aim of De(hnef being to fail from the Kovyma to the
Anadyr, it was not incompatible with his plan to continue on the
coaft, and to perfevere in expecting a favourable occafion for
executing his purpofe, without expofing himfelf to thofe difficulties and dangers, which feamen from more diftant quarters
muft neceflarily experience. On the contrary, the grand delign
of the Englilh navigators being to afcertain the practicability of a
North Eaftern paflage,  and having incontrovertibly determined
* June 20, O. S.
f Sept. 20, O. S.
"iiiti 1A1 -t^ara^-. Mk
that important queftion in the negative, they accomplished the
primary object of their expedition. They could not therefore,
confidently with their views and inftructions, by delaying their
departure'from thofe frozen regions',, hazard the danger of be-rftj*
hemmed in by the ice, in order merely to (how the poffibility
of getting round to the Kovyma.
Should all thefe circumftances be confidered as proofs, that
Deihnef performed this mnch-difputed voyage; yet, as he neither mafle any aftronomical obfervations, nor traced a chart of
the coaft, his expedition, though it decided the long-agitatefi
€i$pute concerning the feparation of the two continents, 'Sill
not, however,., contribute to an accurate knowledge of tire north-
eaftern extremity of Afia, for which we are indebted, to Ctitik alone*
2. The crrrcoveries of the Ruffians on the Continent of Amenta: come next under confederation.. Several of *thofe coafts^
vifited by the Ruffians, which they fuppofed, though dvi'very
uncertain grounds, to be parts of America, and wrffeh they '-bfoH
imperfectly defcribed, have been afcertained by Cook^fe belong;
to that Continent.
Thus  Cook * difcovered  a  great  mountain   on   the  Coaft
t>f America,   in latitude  c8'
longitude  2.20/ jpfjfj  which
he allows to be the fame as Beering's Mount St. Elias, lying,
according to his eftimation, in latitude 58' 28", longitude'V^',.
from Fero, or 2i8/ 25" from.Greenwich. The difference in,
latittfae is merely 28 feconds, and of longitude only if zf;
and the defci'iptions of it, given by Cook aSti Beering, exactly
Cookf likfewife explored the/feme Continent, fituated in*Hiti~
tude 54/ 43" and 55' 20", in longitude 224'' 44'°', which makes
it probable, that the land vifitWd by Tchirikof, and placed by
* Vol. II. p. 346. f lb.: p. 343.
^i&ftG*''' THE   RUSSIAN   D\I S C O V Ei|;lE S, &c.
him in latitude  5.6', longitude 241' from- B^aro,   or 223' 25
from Greenwich, was really a part of America.,
Alaxa, called fometimes Alaxjfta, Alachftiajk- and Alafhka,
reached by many Ruffians-.*,, particularly by Kreuitzin and Le-
vatchef, and fuppofed to be a great illand in, the vicinity of
America, was found by Cook, to-be a promontory of that Continent. Its? Couth-weftern point, rqgrs&nted on KrenitzinVchart,.
in latitude 54/ 42", longitude 206' 50//, from Fero, or 189' if
from Grjegnwich, is laid down by Cook in latitude 54' io'',
longitude 195', whi&Jt gives only a difference of 32 minutes in
latitude, and,5' 45// in longitude.
That promontory lying oppofite to the country of the
Tchutfki, which, according to Muller f, was firft feen by
Gvofdef in 1730, and the moft weftern point of which is repre*
fented on the chart that accomp&njps his Ruffian Difcoveries,
as lying in the 66th degree oj6 latitude, and in the 211th of longitude from the I§e of FejTOj or 193'' 25'' from. Greenwich,
This point of land ia».probabl$*ithe fame as that touched at by
Synd, and placed by him in la&tude 64/ 40", and longitude 38'
15" from Okotflc; or 1810 25' from Greenwich.
This promontory, named Cape Prince of Wales, Cook found
to be the moft; weftern point of America hitherto explored,
lying in latitude 6$' 46', in longitude 191' 45", which gives a
difference of latitude from Muller of only 14 minutes, from
Synd of i/ io" ; and of longitude from Muller of only 1/ 40",
but from Synd of 10 degrees. It is diftant from the eaftern cape
of Siberia only thirteen leagues. Thus Cook has the glory of
ascertaining the vicinity of the two continents,  which had only
* See Ruf. Dif. p. 65. 68, 69. 254.
f S. R. G. III. p. 131
gmjM&L mSmMi Ml
been conjectured from the reports of the Tchutfki,  and from
the imperfect obfervations of the Ruffian navigators.
It reflects the higheft honour even on the Britiffi name, that
our great navigator extended his difcoveries much further in
one expedition, and at fo great a diftance from the point of his
departure, than the Ruffians accomplished in a long feries of
years, and in parts belonging or contiguous to their own empire.
But although we afcribe this tribute of applauffe to the man
whofe claim is indifputably founded ; yet we ought not to withhold that portion of praife due to the Ruffians, for having (kit
navigated thofe feas, and made thole difcoveries which the
Englilh have confirmed and greatly1 exceeded.
It muft indeed be confeffed, that Cook cenfures with juftioe
Staehlin's chart of the New Archipelago*; and ftrongly condemns it as an impofition on the public; fuch fidfcions in a work
fo refpectably vouched, as the moft accurate reprefentation of
the New-difcovered IfTarids, being calculated only to -miflead
future navigators. In fact, Muller alfo, and-the befkinformed
Ruffians, had previously pronounced Mr. Staehling's account, and>
the annexed map, to be extremely erroneous-}-.
But our great navigator feems to have been too rigid in
cenfuring Muller for placing Tchukotikoi Nofs in too high a
latitude; and- for *< his very imperfect knowledge of the geo-
*' graphy of thefe parts J." He did not fufficiently appreciate the merits of an author, who,, though he unavoidably erred in fome particulars, yet delerves great approbation for his fagacity in uniformly fupporting the exiftencer
* Vol. II. p. 475. 486. 506. particularly.
t Ruf. Dif. p. 28. 283, 284.
% Vol., II, 470, 47-1.    See alfo p.. 503
ws»—" -^agfyasg^S^jEi^ggJgggaz'i***>,^a'o»l'««F?r^w*.
of Beering's Straits, and the vicinity of the two continents';
when thofe opinions had been treated as chimerical. If
dook had been able to read Mullens account of the Ruffian Difcoveries in the original German, and not in inaccurate translations* ; if he had fairly weighed the extreme difficulty of drawing intelligence from imperfect journals of ignorant adventurers,
from vague accounts, or uncertain tradition; if ;he had diftin-
guimed what Muller advances as conjectural t, from what he
lays down as fact 4 if he had known that Muller had candidly
acknowledged and rectified feveral ^oaiftakes; if he had compared his trifling fources of information with his own pofitive
proofs; he would not have been offended by thofe inaccuracies,
which mud necefiarily arife from fuch complicated and multifarious queftious: he would-probaWy have been lefs fevere ia
his judgement of a writer, who'firft excited the cutiofity of the
public towards thofe discoveries, which occafioned his^own glorious expedition, under the auipices of the fovereign iwho now
fits upon the Britifli throne.
3   . The  new-difcovered iflands between Afia aad America
form the third part of the prefent inquiry.
As my former account of the Ruffian Difcoveries renders it
unnecelTary to particularize all the iflands vifited by the Ruffians,
-and laid down in their charts, I (hall only felect the principal
iflands which were either afcertained, or appear to have been
-obferved by the Englifli navigators.
Kadyak, one of the moft diftant iflands reached by the Ruf-
'* The Englilh tranflation of that work is the molt inaccurate.
■f Mr. Midler's map of the north eaftern coaft o\f Siberia 4s allowed, by Captaift
•HCing, " t© bear a confiderable refemblance to the furvey of the Englilh navigator^,
M as far as the latter extended J ;"   and it is to be obferved, that the great promontory, which Muller lays down in latitude 75. as Tchukotikoi Nofs, is represented in
his map as very uncertain ;   and as a country,   the extent of which is wholly unknown.     Pays des Tfchvtjki dont on ne connoitpas Vetendtte.
% Vol. III. p. 263.
C fiaiis>
f. ■
r«*iK5as**a*!iffi^fm 3i^^s^^mmummMLMg>m^w^^^^^^^^m^'
fians, is fully defcribed from Glottof's journal in the tenth
chapter of my Ruffian Difcoveries. It is placed by Glottof in the
230th degree of longitude from Fero, or 212/ 25" from Greenwich ; and is fuppofed to be not far diftant from the coaft of a
wide extended woody continent, or from that part of America
which Beering formerly touched at. This conjecture is confirmed by Cook, who mentions it as contiguous to America,,
and forming one of an extenfive group, which he imagines to
comprife thofe called by Beering Shumagin's Iflands §. Its true,
pofition is determined by Cook to be in latitude 55' 18", and
longitude 109. The difference of longitude will not appear fo,
remarkably erroneous, when it is confidered that Glottof's account was computed merely from (hips reckonings, and. that of
Cook is founded on aftronomical obfervations.
This group is part of that chain, called the Fox Iflands; the
longitude of which is very erroneoufly given upon all the Ruffian,
maps, and the latitude faithfully reprefented only on Krenitzin's
chart; as will be more fully (hewn in the comparative account
of Unalafkav
The next ifland which Cook accurately defcribes is that
named Halibut, probably the fame as the ifland called Sannaga
by Soloviof, in his journal, a manuicript extract of which I have.
in my poffeffion.. This ifland, termed Senagak by the Aleutian
chief -j-, is (lightly mentioned in my account of the Ruffian Difcoveries £, but is not laid down in any of their charts under that,
name; it will probably appear to be Halibut's Ifland, by a comparative examination of the two defcriptions given by Cook and
- I  Vol. II. p. 413. f Ruff. Dif. p. 296.
■ t It is not improbable, that this, ifland is the fame as Kita Managan, which is-
reprefented on Krenitzin's chart, as lying near to Alaxa, arid which has nearly the
fame pofition as Halibut's Ifland in. Cook's chart,
Wto Halibut's
rs**^ a*iam*sr
'■t*X*3ii~ _==-=■-
feSsi^^PP^gie^^-j^^^E^^^^Plg«BEg»m3£saKsw<*r\mtKfv ro*?sw ^''j*&E£BB^mi&B8imima
" Halibut's Ifland lies near to the promontory of Ala(ka,
H is feven or eight leagues in circuit, and, except the head, which
lt is a round hill, the land of it is very low and barren. There are
" feveral fmall iflands near it of a fimilar appearance; but there
" feemed to be a paflage between them and the main, two or
'* three leagues broad *."
Soloviof f, who anchored in a bay of Sannaga, Auguft 10,
1771, thus defcribes it:
" Sannaga is (ituated not far from Unimak and Alaxa, and is
" feparated from the latter by a channel of about twenty leagues.
61 It appeared to be about eight leagues in length, and about a
" league and three quarters in breadth. On the northern fide of
*j the weftern point is a fmall peak, joined to alow ridge of hills
" extending to the eaft and weft, about a verft, or three quarters
" of a mile. Except this rifing ground, the whole if and is low and
" marjhy. It is watered by many fprings and lakes, containing
" fifh fimilar to thofe of Okotfk. The if and produces neither
% trees nor berries. It is furrounded by many fmall iflands. It
" is feparated from a little ifland fituated near its (buthern point
" by a ftrait, about a league broad, which is fometimes dry. In
" reconnoitring this ifland, Solovief obferved feveral deferted
" huts, but met with no inhabitants."
Unalafka or Oonalalka, the largeft ifland, next to Umnak, in
the whole chain of the Fox Iflands, and which has been frequently vifited and defcribed by the Ruffians, was alfo particularly obferved by Cook, who anchored in a fine bay on the
north fide, called by the natives Sanganovodha, and of which he
' * Vol. II. p. 416.
f I have only printed a fmall part of his journal, as it contains no material in.
formation, in additional to thofe journals already publifhed in my Account of the
.Ruffian Difcoveries, Soloviof failed from Okotlk on this expedition to the Fox
Iflands on the 6th of September, 1770 ; and returned on the 16th of Jnly, 1775.
C 2 has
MRBSffl ai
has given a chart. Unalafka is placed by Cook in latitude 53'
§f, longitude 193' 30" ; by Krenitzin in latitude 53'30", longitude 205'' 3o// from Fero j or 187' $5" from Greenwich ; on
the general map of Ruffia in latitude 58'', longitude 225' from
Fero; or 205' 25" from Greenwich, Thus it appears, that in
latitude Krenitzin only differs from Cook 25 minutes; and in
longitude 5' 35"; whereas the general map of Ruffia varies 4/ 5"
even in latitude, and in longitude n' $$". The fame error alfo prevails in the pofition of Unimak, Umnak,
Amughta, and theother ifles adjacent to Unalafka, the fituations
of which are corrected and determined by Cook *. Here it may
be remarked, that the relative pofition of that part of the Fox
Iflands, which ftretches fouth-eaft from the head-land Alaxa, is
well laid down in Krenitzin's chart; and that in all refpedts it
deferves the preference over the reprefentation of thofe iflands
on the general Map of Ruffia.
The defcription of Unalafka and of the contiguous iflands,
their extent, productions, and the manners of the natives, as-
given by Cook, correfponds entirely with the account of the
fame iflands in the Ruffian Difcoveries; and ferves to prove,
that the journals, from which my account was drawn, are in
thefe refpedts faithful and accurate. No iflands in the chain
of the Fox Iflands were obferved by Cook to the weft of
Amughta: a few fcattered Iflands are indeed reprefented on
the chart which accompanies his journal* not from his own
obfervation, but from a map communicated by a Ruffian,,
named Ifmailof, which I (hall hereafter confider-f-.
Whether the ifland,    called by Cook  Gore's Ifland,   lying
in  latitude 60'  10",   in longitude 187'',   may  be confidered
* See Cook's Voyage, Vol. II.
■f Vol. II. p. 497, &c.    See alfo Vol. III. p. 193, 194,
SBJ»«WUIB!! iW9tm*ssMBH?j<4
as the ifland of St. Matthew, placed on Synd's chart in latitude 59/ 30", longitude 34/ 10" from Okotlk;.; or 176' 42""
ftorn Greenwich ; is a conjecture which may deferve inquiry,,.
The difference of latitude is only 40 minutes; and the deficiency in the longitude of ro/ t8// nearly coincides with Synd's
error of longitude obfervable in other inftances, while the general outline of its coaft, its relative fize and bearings to the
head-lands, of the two continents, fufEcient% agree in the two*
The exiftence of the ifland St. Laurence,, obferved'by Beering*
near the Coaft of Siberia, was alfo confirmed by Cook ;, and it is-
not without probability, that thofe called Clerke's, Anderfon's,
and King's Iflands, may perhaps form part of that group obferved by Sy«d, and reprefented, on his chart, as lying near the
head-lands of the Tchutfki.
The moft: eaftern part of Copper Ifland is laid down,in the*;
Ruffian charts, in latitude 55'', longitude 184.' from Fero;. or
166' 25" from Greenwich ;  and, after the obfervations of the
Englifh, is determined to lie in latitude 54/ 28", longitude i6y/
52",, which gives a difference of but 32' in the latitude*, and of-
only 1! 2*]" in the longitude,.
.5  %
5*»l /iSiiaiw***!
C H A P.   II.
Skttch of what remains to be afcertained.—i. On the coa/l of Afia.
—2. On that of America.—3. And in relation to the New-dif
covered If ands.—Expedition of Captain Billings.
HAVING now reviewed and compared the Ruffian Difcoveries with thofe made by Cook and Cierke, it is the
defign of this fecond chapter to lay before the reader what remains to be afcertained in thofe remote quarters of the globe.
In treating this fubject, I (hall follow the fame order which I
adopted in the firft; and endeavour to explain the defderata
towards completing the geography, 1. of the Afiatic coaft ; 2. of
the American Continent j 3. of the New-difcovered Iflands.
1. What principally remains to be examined on the Afiatic
coaft, is that region of Siberia ftretching from Cape North
in latitude 68/ 56", longitude 180'51", the utmoft extent of
Cook's difcoveries, to the mouth of the Kovyma in the Frozen
Cook conjectures, and the conjectures of fo great a man de-
ferve to be weighed with the utmoft attention, that the
northern coaft of Afia, from ihe Indigirka eaftwards, has been laid
down by the Ruffian geographers more than two degrees too much
to the northward : and Captain King no lefs ingenioufly conceives,
that nearly the fame error of longitude prevails in the bearings
of the Ascitic coaft in the Frozen Ocean, which is proved to
3 exift
*&m^'*&wimiEs&&#*rzwM&jm.'+ sss mm THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES,   &c   23
exift in the eaftern coaft of Siberia *. If therefore it fhould.
be deemed probable, that the Kovyma is reprefented too much
to the north and weft, the diftance between the mouth of that
river and Cape North muft be confiderably lefs than is ufually
imagined f.
It now remains to determine the unknown coaft between
Cape North and Shelatfkoi Nofs, the moft eaftern point traced
by the Ruffians in the Frozen Ocean, to take a more accurate
delineation of the (hore between Shelatfkoi Nofs and the Kovyma than has been effected by Shahurof J, and to fix,, by aftro-
nomical obfervations, the longitude and latitude of the mouth of
the Kovyma-
2- The principal objects of examination on the American?
coaft are the following parts of that continent, which Cook was
prevented from exploring.. That fpace reaching from Woody
Point in latitude 50'' l", and longitude 229/ 26% to latitude
53' 22//, longitude 2.25' 14", comprizes M 22'" of latitude, and
4' 12" of longitude; and is the more remarkable, as it contains:
the place where geographers have afcribed the (trait of AdmiraL
de Fonte.. " And although there is little rea'fon to give credit,"'
as Cook exprefles hknfelf, " to fuch vague and improbable
" (lories, as carry their own confutation §;" yet it is to be
regretted, that he was prevented from entirely difproving thofe
pretended difcoveries which fome perfons ftill confider as authentic.
. The (hore between Shoal-Nefs, in latitude 6o', longitude 198'
lo//,. and Point Shallow Water, in latitude 63', longitude 198'*.
is alfo entirely undefcribed ; and what renders this coaft an in-
* See thefe queftions fully and ably difcufled by Captain King, V ol. III.
f Cook's Voyage, Vol, EL p. 263—270.
J See ShalatiroPs Voyage and Chart in my Ruffian Difcoveries.
§ Vol..II. p. 343.
*mi&3i ^r«»aisjfc
»'! 24
-te reding fubjedt of inquiry, is the inference of Captain Cook,
that here runs a confiderable river from the continent into the
Perhaps it would well deferve the attention of fome future
^navigator, to explore Cook's river ftill further than the
Englifh navigator was able to penetrate : he traced it as high
-as latitude 6i' 30", longitude 2io/, feventy leagues , or
more from its mouth, without feeing the leaft appearance of its
-fource. Perhaps this great river, which, to ufe Cook's expref-
iion -j-, "^romifes to vie with the moft confiderable ones already
** known to be capable of extenfive inland navigation," may
nearly join thofe waters and lakes which Hearne difcovered in
his curious expedition from Hudfon's Bay to the Arapathefcow
Indians, recorded in Dr.-"Douglas's learned Introduction to Cook's
Voyage % ; and may thus help to eftablifh an inland communication between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
To the north vof Beering's Straits, the land of America from
^Point § Mu(grave In latitude 67'45", longitude 194'' 51", to Icy
XUape, in latitude 70' 29", longitude 198' 20", where Cook
was totally flopped by the ice, was not, excepting a fmall portion
near Cape Lifburne, and another to-the fouth of that promontory,
■obferved either byCoOkorClerke; and -its ^true bearings muft be
afcertained by future navigators.
But the'moft important point of further inquiry is to trace
'the direction of the American continent from Icy Cape, whether
it again ^trends to the north weft, and, according to the reports
of the Tchutfki, approaches the coafts of Northern Siberia, or
verges directly to the eaft towards Baffin's Bay.
* Vol. II. p. 49a.
4 lb. p. 396.
§ Vol. II. p. 454. 461.
r ^g£^^a^^S^K53£B!5 »»* SSSS
am* THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES, &c.     *$
The execution of fuch an undertaking, in fuch diftant regions, and in ib high a latitude, muit neceflarily be attended
with extreme difficulty and hazard. For the points of diftance
between Icy Cape and the north weftern extremity of BufEn's
Bay, include a (pace of no lefs than feventy-one degrees longitude : of which nearly the central point has been explored bj
Hearne alone *.
It muft be neverthelefs admitted, that fuch inquiries, however
interefting to increafe our knowledge of the globe, do not tend to
throw any new light on the practicability of a north-eaft paflage ;
whic-h has been difproved by the obftacles and difficulties encountered by the Ruffians in navigating the Frozen Ocean f, and
more particularly by the undoubted teftimony of Cook himfelf.
3. The new-dif^overed ifhrncis remain to be confidered.
We have already remarked, that, as Cook obferved only a few of
thofe numerous iflands which lie fcattered in the Eaftern Ocean
between Afia and America, the pofition and defcription of the
remainder are to be drawn from the Ruffian accounts. It cannot
be denied that the Ruffians have frequently corrupted their names,
increafed their number, and miftaken their fituation. It is probable,
indeed, that Synd may have augmented the number of iflands
which lie near the coafts of the Tchutfki; that St. Theodore, Imyak,
and Tzetchina, which are laid down among the Aleutian Ifles in
the general map of Ruffia, do not exiiftc; and that the Andreanofiki
Ifles, which are confidered as a feparate group, form the moft
wefterly part of that extenfive chain termed the Fox Iflands, of
which Unalafhka,. fo amply described by Cook and the Ruffians,
is nearly the center.
bit may be urged, however, that, if the inaccuracy of the Ruffian
charts, in general,   be admitted, and their accounts are juftly
* See Introduction to Cook's Voyage.
■f See Ruffian Difcoveries, p. 330.
"*B*W^»W™^W *W3WBMBWP«y f 26
deemed imperfect, what advantages can be derived from their
publication ? | "^
To this it maybe replied, that confiderable information may be
obtainedi-even from imperfect accounts, and.that many points hay©*'
in effect, been afcertained, as the reader has already perceived in
this Comparative View. We flad even Cook himj^lf anxious to
procure intelligence from a Ruffian named Ifmailof, from whom
he received a chart of the Ruffian Difcovefa$s, This chart, however, was not founded on the obferKitions of a (ingle navigator, bujt feems to have been a compilation from d»$prent chatty
and journals, and, confequently, extremely erroneous.
Nor does it appear that Ifmailof either poflefTed, or had feen,.
Krenitzin's   chart   of   the Fox  Iflands,   which,   according to
the obfervations of the  Englifh,   is   proved to  be the  moft acetate reprefentation of the Fox JjQ&iads  given by the Ruffrags^
The   correction  of   this erroneous   cJaart (torn Ifm^lof's  own
experience,    and  additional   remarks,    muft   have   been   (till
dewbtful.    For, as Captain Cook could not fpeak the RufHan^
lad$g.uage, and as he had no Ruffian interpreter on board, the
imperfect knowledge of  this illiterate man  was renefored (&££,
more imperfect by the only mode of communication they .Could
.ad^pt, that of converging by figns.
And yet, under all thefe difadvaMages, CeiiKk gained5 dSyaoe inr-
formation relators to the pofition and nraimher of the *fon^&
which he had nfet explored ; an infoEmatkm Munich he has thought
Worthy to be laid befdtentthe puMic.
He particularly informs us, that f* a pafiTage was marked in
| Ifmailof s   chart,   communicating  with  ErHtol  Bay,    whisht
«< covers about fiffeen ^leagues on the coaft, that I had fuppofed
" to belong to the>oontiaent, intrLan,, ifland Jdiflmgnifiied by the
" name of Oonemak.    This paffage might eafily efcape us,  as
Hgga?<S^"=iB-<fgg8Sg^^j>i<rT-y «B£J»m 3 immms^mmasisssi.
tl we were informed that it is very narrow, (hallow, and only to
*' be navigated through with boats, or very fmall veflels *."
The exiftence of this (trait, which Cook has adopted in his
chart, from Ifmailof's obfervations, might likewife have been
collected from Krenitzin's chart, and the feveral journals in my
Account of the RufiJan Difcoveries, wherein Unimak or Oone-
mak is (hewn to be an ifland feparated from Alaxa, fince proved
to be the continent of America,  by a narrow ftrait.
It muft not be thought furprifing, ,that a 6olie&ion of
voyages, ..performed by ignorant traders merely for the fake of
obtaining furs, and not With a view of di&overy, fhbuld be defective in determining the pofftion and number of 4a'fh.iiif iflands.
We ought rather to wbhder that the defcriptions, in general, are
tolerably accurate, and an%rd that degree of information" whicfi
they are found to contain. Nor mnft it be forgotten that Be8riftg's
and Krenitzin's expedition, which alone were undertaken by Imperial authority, reflect confideraele honour on the Ruffian
name, i
The particulars, which remain to be afcertained with refpect to
the new-difcovered iflands, are, to remove the uncertainty gfifing
from the confufion of names, to determine the true number,
and to fix the longitude and latitude. And when it is confidered
that the fea, unexplored by Cook, irieludes a fpa<& of at leaft
ten degrees of latitude, and twenty of longitude, much, in
this inftance, remains to be effected by the labours of future adventurers.
Thefe are the principal objects of examination on the coafts of
Afia and America, and in rerpect to the new-difcovered if&iMls.
In order to forward thefe great ends, the Emprefs of RufSjI,
* Vol. II.  p. 505.
D 2
f TOflTW ^HSWP»B»rei|!y /83C3gft5psg5£^^ mjmmm
with that boundlefs liberality and enlightened fpirit which
characterifes her actions, has planned and commanded a voyage
of difcovery. The care of this expedition, which was agitated
and determined during my fecond vifit to Peterfburgh in 1785,
is committed to Captain Billings, an Englifh naval officer in the
Ruffian fervice, who is well qualified to conduct fuch an undertaking, as he accompanied Captain Cook in his laft celebrated
voyage to the Pacific Ocean. I (hall briefly ftate the plan and
purport of this expedition..
According to its firft object, Captain Billings is to proceed hy
Irkutlk, Yakutfk, and Okotfk to Kovimfkoi Qftrog: having
traced the courfe of the Kovyma, and fettled by aftronomical
obfervations the exact pofition of its mouth, he will endeavour
to delineate the eOafts extending from that point to Cape North,
the utmoft period of Cook's navigation on the north eaftern
fhores of Siberia. For this purpofe he will embark in fuch ve£-,
(els as are ufually employed for coafting voyages in the Frozen
Ocean; fix the longitude and latitude of the principal parts by
aftronomical obfervations;; form exact charts of the bays and inlets which he may have occafion to explore -, and caufe views
to be taken of the bearings,, head-lands, and remarkable objects on the" coaft. If he fhould be prevented by the ice, or
any other obfiacie, from getting round by fea to Tchukotlkoi-
,Nofs, he muft difembark., and endeavour to proceed by land or
over the ice, furveying the coaft and diftrict of the Tchutfki
and obtaining an accurate knowledge of their manners, population, and country. In both cafes, and in all inftances, he is
enjoined to abftain from the leaft degree of violence ; is directed
to. ufe every effort towards conciliatingthe affectionof the natives,;
to obtain information and affiftance by the gentleft treatment, and.
a proper diftribution of prefents; and to confirm them in theic
-r 1   '
'.i*aaAs~   ^=-"
r«    ""— ^%6*iB>0%|-
* ^a» estt/*&>w*c j-*w»* ±*m THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES,   &c.     29
dependence and favourable opinion of the Ruffian government,
to which they have recently fubmitted.
While he continues in thefe parts, he will not neglect an
opportunity of exploring the iflands and coafts of America, that
may be fituated in the Frozen Ocean, or to the north of Beering's (traits.
Having attempted to execute thefe defigns, he is to return to
Okotfk, where two (hips of a proper burden for a voyage of
difcovery, will be prepared for his further embarkation.
He is then to fail and follow the numerous chain of iflands
which extend to the continent of America ; determining their
refpective longitudes and latitudes by a feries of aftronomical
obfervations j taking an exact chart of their pofitions, and particularly noticing thofe roads and harbours which appear to be
moft fecure. He is alfo to extend his refearches towards fuch.
.parts of the American coaft, which bad weather and other impediments prevented preceding navigators from furveying. Aud
in cafe his former attempts to determine the coaft of the
Tchutfki from the mouth of the Kovyma to Cape North, and
to gain an-accurate information of the country, (hould be ineffectual ; he is again ordered to fail towards Tchukotfkoi-Nofs,
and endeavour to penetrate by fea from Beering's Straits to the
mouth of the Kovyma, and to make thofe obfervations, and
obtain that intelligence of thofe regions, which lie could not
procure on the former occafion.
Six years will be requifite for the aceomplifhment of thefe
various purpofes.    In order to  enfure  its fuccefs,    every pof-
fible  encouragement,   in regard to promotion and rank,  as the
refpective objects  are  fulfilled,    is  given   to   the   commander"
and his followers.    No expence has been (pared towards pro-
curing &ch an apparatus and iriftruments as are neeeffary for
this expedition.
For the purpofe alfo of elrxpiditing the natural hiftdry of thofe
«hftant regidhs, aE§refei£>6!fb imperfe<Myfknownj the commander
i§ accompanied by Monfieur Patrin, an erhinerit French natu-
ralift, lome time refident at Irkutfk, who is furnifhed with fiich
•excellent i&(kb€tionTs as ifce kftoft cfelculatdd to forward thd object of .4Ms mjfflon.
Capt&ifi llnliiSg^^^tJtHrfrflhi "St. Peterlburgh on this expedition in the latter end of 1785. He arrived at Irkutfk in Match,
1786; and at Okotfk iftjuly of the fame fyexr± ffcom wtjence
fee propofed itntfintly to take $m departure for the Kovyma. It
as not indeed improbable, thJct, before the prefeht- period;, he may
have afcert£irted the longitude and latitade of the mouth of the
Kovyma; Hid thus have determfned oneimpariint. fact, relative
to the precife diftance between the Kovyma and Cape North,
The length of time requifite for the conveying, of intelligence
fiorn thofe dift&nt region&bo St. Peterfburgh, and the difficulty
of obtaining certain information from that capital^ renders it
ImpoffiHle to gratlff^he farther curiofity of the reader.
**»??«*•• a*g
MES sel^eMl"» ^    ~t^zgs^^i*Basam&8ff*zmW£jmk%^aa§ awm^m-rv Bmwvm* -.^tm THE RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES,
&c.   32:
THE reader is requefted to correct the longitude of Kamtchatka, mentioned p. 5 of my Ruffian Difcoveries, as lying between 173 and 182 degrees from the ifie of Fero; or 155: and*
165 from Greenwich. Whereas, by the obfervations of the
Englifh, it is fituated between 155 and 169 from Greenwich;
or 172 and 186 from Fero j the Ruffian geographers having
laid down the north-eaftern part o£ the peninfula near three
degrees too much to the weft.
P. 242. 1-. 11. for-1.313.621, &c. read 1.383.621.
E. 344, latitude of Eort of St. Peter and Paul, for 35, read 53.


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