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Account of the Russian discoveries between Asia and America : to which are added the conquest of Siberia… Coxe, William, 1747-1828 1804

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H.  R.  MacMillan    '■ ACCOUNT
To which are added,
*" | IJtHEf6rft edition of this work gave to the public the earlieâ account of
the Ruffian Difcoveries between Afia and America, which were fo little
known even to the Ruffians themfelves, that a translation was printed at St.
Eeterfburgh. It commenced with the voyages made by merchants fubfequent
to Beering's expedition in 1740, and terminated with that of Krenitzin and
Levafhef in 1769-
The work being long out of print, the -author was repeatedly urged to give
a new edition, and to add thofe accounts which would render this feiies of
voyages complete, from the earlieft attempts of Beering to the prefent time.
The reader will therefore find in this edition, a complete feries of voyages from
1711 to 1792, comprifing all that is known on the fubject. Among thefe additions are Steller's interefting Narrative of Beering's fatal Expedition from
Kamtchatka to the Coaft of America ; the Account of Shelekof's Voyage and
Settlement in Kadiak, and the Voyages of lfmaelof and Betfharof from
Kadiak to the Coaft of America. Thefe narratives, publiflied in the Neiie
Nordifche Beytraege by Pallas, in the German tongue, have never before \
been fubmitted to the Englifh reader.
The The author has alfo given ahftraQs of Billing's two voyages, from Mr. Sauer's
narrative of the expedition ; and among the Supplementary Accounts of the
Ruffian Difcoveries is inferted an abltraÊt of Tfchitfchagof's Voyage towards
the North Pole, which is contained in the Nordifche Beytraege, and for the
firft time given in an Englifh drefs. This voyage is the more curious as it
was performed before the expedition of Captain Phipps, and fully afcertains-
the impracticability of penetrating into the high northern latitudes.
By a careful examination the author has been able to identify many of the
difcoveries of the Ruffians with thofe of our navigators, and to clear up much
of the obfcurity which has hitherto enveloped this fubject. To-give place to
thefe additions he has excluded feveral conjectural chapters' relative to the
vicinity of Afia and America, and refpe&ing the longitude and latitude of the
different places which Xubfequent di fen v. ries have rendered unnec. fiary.
To elucidate the whole, has given, with the affi. ance of Mr. Arrowfirtitb a
new chart of the Ruffian and EngUlh difcoveries in the North Pacific
'T^HE late Ruffian Difcoveries between Afia and America have, for
time, engaged the attention of the curious ; more efpecially fince Dr.
Robertfon's admirable Hiftory 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 judgment which fo eminently diflinguifh all his writings, the moll exact information at that time to be
obtained, concerning thofe important difcoveries. During my ftay at Peterf-
burgh, my inquiries were particularly direcled to this interefting fubjec., in order to learn if any new light had been thrown on an article of knowledge of
fuch confequence to the hiftory of mankind. For this purpofe I endeavoured
to collect the refpective journals of the feveral voyages uibfequent to the
expedition of Bearing and Tfchirikof in 1741, with which the celebrated
Muller concludes his account of the firfl Ruffian navigations.
During my refearches I was informed that a treatife in the German language,
publifhedat Hamburg and Leipfic in 1776, contained a full and exact narrative
of the Ruffian voyages, from 1745 to 1770 *.
1    * The title of the book is
re Nach
ichten von de
_] deck ten Insu
In it: der See
zwischen Asia und Amerika a
n Urkunden un
d A.usz.u
gen verfasset \
on J.L. S, r
But I fhouldhâve «aid little attention to the anonymous pttblréatiot-» feat
Ï not been affured, from very good authority, that it was compiled from original journals. Not refting, however, upon this intelligence, I to k the
liberty of applying to Mr. Muller himfelf, who, by order of the Emprefs, had
arranged the fame journals, from which the anonymous author is faid to
have drawn his materials. Previous to my application, Mr. Muller had compared the treatife with the original papers ; and he favoured me with the following ftrong teftimony to its exactnefs and authenticity : " Vous ferès bien
" de traduire pour l'ufage de vos compatriotes le petit livre fur les ifles fitués
** entre le Kamtchatka et l'Amérique. Il n'y a point de doute, que l'auteur
" n'ait été pourvu de bons memoirs, et qu'il ne s'en foit fervi fidèlement.
| J'ai confronté le livre avec les originaux." Supported by this very refpect-
able anthority, I confidered this treatife as a performance of the higheft credit,
and well worthy of being more generally known and perufed, and I have
therefore in the firft part of the prefent publication, fubmitted a tranflation of
it to the reader's candour ; adding occafional notes to thofe paffages which
feemed to require explanation. The original is divided into fections without
any references ; but as it feemed more convenient to divide it into chapters ■
and to accompany each chapter with a fummary 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 Peterfburgh is thrown into
I Second Part : it confifts of fome new information, and of three journals *,
* The journal o'f Krenitzin and Levashef, the short accoi
t>f Shalaurof's expedition, Part II. Chapters I. VII. VIII.
voyage, and the narrative never before given to the public. Amongft thefe I mod particularly mention
that of Krenitzin and Levafhef, which, together with the chart of their voyàeëj
was communicated to Dr. Robertfon, by order of the Emprefs of Ruffia ; and
which that juftly admired hiftorian has, in the politeft and moft obliging manner, permitted me to make ufe of in this collection. This voyage, which
redounds greatly to the honour of the fovereign who planned it, confirms in
general the authenticity of the work which I have tranflated, and afcertains
the difcoveries made by the private merchants.
As a further illuftration of this fubject, I collected the beft charts which
could be procured at Peterfburgh, of which a lift will be given in the following
advertifement. From all thefe circumftances, I may venture, perhaps, to
hope that the curious and inquifitive reader Will not only find in the following
pages the moft authentic account of the progrefs and extent of the Ruffian
difcoveries, which has hitherto appeared in any language ; but be enabled
hereafter to compare them with thofe more lately made by that great and much
to be regretted navigator, Captain Cooke, when his journal fhall be communicated to the public.
As all the furs which are brought from the new-difcovered ifiands are
fold to the Chinefe, I was naturally led to make enquiries concerning the
commerce between Ruffia and China ; and finding this branch of traffic much
more important than is commonly imagined, I thought that a general fketch
of its prefent ftate, together with a fuccinct view of the traniaêtions between;
the two. nations, would not be unacceptable*. x W?*—-
The conqueft of Siberia, as it firft opened a communication with China,
and led to all the fubfequent difcoveries defcribed in this volume, will not
appear unconneaed, I truft, with its principal defign.
The materials of this fécond part, as alfo of the preliminary obfcrvations
concerning Kamtchatka, and the commerce to the New-difcovered Ifiands, are
drawn from books of eftablifhed and undoubted reputation. Mr. Muller and
Mr. Pallas, from whofe interefting works thefe hiftorical and commercial fub-
jects are chiefly compiled, are too well known in the literary world to require
any other vouchers for their judgment, exactnefs, and fidelity, than the bare
mention of their names. I have only further to apprize the reader, that,
befides the intelligence extracted from thefe publications, he will find fome
additional circumftances relative to the Ruffian commerce with China, which
I collefled during my continuance in Ruffia.
I cannot clofe this addrefs to the reader without embracing with peculiar
fatisfaftion the juft occafion, which the enfuing treatifes upon the Ruffian
difcoveries and commerce afford me, of joining with every friend of fcience in
the warmeft admiration of that enlarged and liberal fpirit, which fo firikinely
marks the character of the prefent Emprefs of Ruffia. Since her acceffion
to the throne, the invefligation of ufeful knowledge has been the'confiant
obje£t of her generous encouragement. The authentic records of the Ruffian
hiftory, have, by her exprefs orders, been properly arranged,- and penniffion
to infpect them is readily granted. The moft difbant part- of her vaft dom'
nions have, at her expence, been explored and defcribed by perfons of great
abilities and extenfive learning j by which means new and important liehts PREFACE.
have been thrown upon the geography and natural hiftory of thofe remote
regions. In a word, this truly great princefs has contributed more, in the
compafs of only a few years, towards civilizing and informing the minds of her
fubjects, than had been effected by all the fovereigns her predeceflbrs fince the
glorious sra of Peter the Great.
March 27,178
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 ox 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 Ivi
Of inferior rank, Ivan Ivanoff,
Michael Alexievitch, J
Michael Alexeeff,
Sometimes a surname is added, Ivan Ivanovitch Romanoff. .
(Michael the son of Alexèy. TABLE
Of Russian Weights, Measures of Length, and Value of Money.
A pood weighs 40 Russian poods—36 English.
Sixteen vershocks—an arsheen.
An arsheen—28 inches.
Three arsheens, or seven feet,—a fathom*, or sazshen.
Five hundred sazshens—a verst.
A degree of longitude comprises 104f'versts—60. English
fore 1,515 parts of a verst; two miles may then be
A rouble—100 copecs ; its value varies according to the exchange fro
4s. 2d. Upon an average, however, the value of a rouble is throughou
reckoned at four shillings f.
• The fathom-for measuring the depth of water
T The value of a rouble (1803) is only 2s. 6_.
e English fathom,—6 f, CONTENTS.
Preliminary Observations concerning Kamtchatka.
1. Discovery and Conquest of Kamtchatka—Present State—Government—Popu
lation—Tribute—Volcanoes ______
2. General Idea of the Commerce carried on to the New-discovered Islands—Equipment
' of the Vessels—Risks of the Trade, Profits, &c. -
mtchatka and the-New-discovered Islands—Sea-
3. Furs and Skins procured fn
Otters—Different Species
—»--®»l -__.!«>*«-•-—
Account of the Russian Discoveries.
Period i—1711 to 1741.
n the Conquest of Kamtchatka to the Conch
Tchirikofs Expeditions.
of Beering's and
if Beering  towards  the   Northern
I Origin of the Russian I
2. Steller's Journal of Beering's Voyage of Discovery from Kamtchatka to the Coast of
Sect. 1. Departure from Kamtchatka—Discovery of America'—Description  of the
Coast Account of an Island on which Steller landed—Animal, vegetable, and
marine Productions—Indisposition of Beering, and Insubordination of the Crew
 Return towards Kamtchatka—Incidents of the Voyage—Distresses of the Crew
Sect. 2. Remarks on Steller's Narrative, and Conjectures relative to the Parts of
America touched at by Beering and Tchelekof    - - - - -    : Account of the Russian Discoveries.
From 1741 to 1778.
i. Conquest of Siberia— Commenci
couraged by the Empress-Position of the N
2. Voyages in 1743—First Discovery of the Aleuti.
3. Successive Voyages from 1/47 to 1753, to B.
Aleutian Isles-Voyage of Emilian Yugof-
Tolstyk to the Aleutian Isles, 1749—Voyagi
Baccof front Anadycsk—Shipwreck upon Be
the St. Nicholas, 1754—Narrative of the
Isles—Some Account of the Inhabitants
the New Discoveries—Their Pro
Voyages from 1753 to 1756.
. Kolodilof- Ship sails ft
Shipwrecked upon 01
Vessel—Shipwrecked upoi
7. Voyage of
. Voyage of
$. Voyage of the Vessel called the Trinity, under the Command of Korovin, 1762—Winters at Unalashka—Puts to Sea in the Spring—Stranded in a Bay of the Island Umnak, and the Crew attacked by the Natives»_-Many of them killed-Others
carried off by Sick_ess--.Are reduced to great Streights—Relieved by Glottof, twelve
of the whole Company only remaining— Description of Umnak and Unalashka—and
Account of the Inhabitants - - - _ -, - . 1
J.O. Voyage of Stephen Glottof in the. Andrean and Natalia, 1762—He reaches the Fox
Islands —Sails beyond Unalashka to Kadyak—Winters  on that Island—Repeated
Attempts of the Natives to- destroy the Crew—They are repulsed, reconciled, and
•   prevailed on to trade with the Russians—Account of Kadyak-Its Inhabitants-
Animals—Productions—Glottof sails back to Umnak—Winters there—Returns to
Kamtchatka—Journal of his Voyage 1
XI. Voyage of Soloviof in the St. Peter and Paul, 1764—He passes two Winters upon
Unalashka—Attempts of the Natives to destroy the Crew—Return of Soloviof to
Kamtchatka;—Journal of bos Voyage—Description of the Islands Umnak and Unalashka—Productions—Inhabitants—Their Manners-Customs, &c. &c.   - - 1
12. Voyage of Otcheredin   in the St. Paul, 1765—He winters «a Umnak—Arrival of
Levashef? upon Unalashka—Return of Otcheredin to Ochotsk      - - - 1
13. Conclusion—General Position and Situation of the Aleutian and Fox Islands—Further
Description of the Dress, Manners, and Customs of the Inhabitants—Their Feasts
and Ceremonies 1
14. Voyage of Captain Krenitzin and Lieutenant Levashef, to the Fox Islands in 1768
and 1769—Krei___n winters at Alashka, Levashef upon Unalashka—Productions of
15. Voyage of Lieutenant Synd, to the North-East of Siberia—He discovers a Cluster of
America, lying near the Coast of the Tchutski    - - - - - 2
Account of the Russian Discoveries.
From 1778 to the Termination of the Voyage of Billinj
free of Saekkof's Voyage to Kadiak, from
ked b
to Kadiak—.
their Affectic
Islands, and the Coas
1783 to 1787. Sails from Okotsk
ids in terrifying them by the Effects of
'he Party afflicted by the Scurvy—Expeditions to the neighbouring
-Description of the Climate—Returns—Destina- _sM
tion of the two Vessels during his Absence—Reaches Bolchcrretsk—Arrival of ai
English Ship in the Port of St. Peter and St. Paul—Proceeds to Irkutsk—General
Account of the Inhabitants and Productions of the Islands, and of the American
Coasts 205,207
2. Voyage of Ismaelof and Betsharoff— Touch at Kadiak—See Suklia or Montague Island    .
—Enter Prince William's Sound—Anchor in Nutcheck Bay or Port Etchess—
Transaction—Visited by Nekshulk Atascha, a native Chief—Description of the
Animals and Productions of the Bay of Tchugatsk, or Prince William's Sound       - 232
3. Quit Prince William's Sound—Steer to the Island Atchaka, or Vancouver's Middle-
ton's Island—Kill a Chief who attempted to assassinate one of the Russians—Sail
to Koiac or Kaye's Island-Description—Proceed along the American Coast-
Visited by the Natives—Anchor in the Bay of Yakutat, or Port Mulgrave—
Description of the Dwellings, Manners, &c. of the Inhabitants—Visited by the
Chief Ilchack - - - - - - - - 240
4. Quit the Bay of Yakutat—Sail along the Coast—Explore the River Ralco—Enter
the Bay of Ltoua, probably Portlock's Harbour—Visited by a native Chief—
Discover an Anchor which had been lost by an European Ship—Description of the
Bay of Ltoua—Lose an Anchor—Quit the Bay—Reach Kadiak - - 255
5. Additional Remarks on the Russian Settlement in Kadiak, from Vancouver       - - 26*
6. Voyage of Discovery made by Captain Billings, from 1785 to 1794-Departure from
e Wil
Islands to Un;
the Tchutski-
Supplementary Account of the Russian Discc
1. Attempts of the
Account of Des
made by Shalaui
2. Expedition of Cap 3. Attempt of Tchitschagof to discover a North-East Passage—Stopped by the Ice—Win-
tors in Bell Sound—Endeavours to force a Passage round Spitzbergen—Returns	
His Remarks on this Navigation—Second Voyage - - - . s
4. Concluding Remarks c
Geography of these ]
, and the Desiderata
Conquest of Siberia.
1. Irruptions of the Russians tnto Siberia—Exploits and Progress ofYermac—Defeat»
Kutchum Chan—Conquers his Dominions—Receives a Reinforcement of Russian
Troops—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 - « - - - - -318
Transactions between Russia and China.
2. 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 Kiakta—Establishment of the commercial Intercourse
between the two Nations - - - - - - - 330
3. Account of the Russian and Chinese Settlements on the Confines of Siberia—Descrip
tion of the Russian frontier Town Kiakta—of the Chinese frontier Town Mai-
matschin—its Buildings, Pagodas, __c. 340
4. Commerce between the Chinese and  Russians—List of the principal Exports and
Imports—Duties—Average Amount of the Russian Trade - 354
5. Description of Zurukaitu—and  its Trade—Transport of the Merchandise through
Siberia 364
6. Tartarian Rhubarb  brought to Kiakta 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 - 3^s
Ï. Reduced Copy of the Map of Siberia, published by the Academy of Sciencei
at St. Petersburgh, in 1777       - -   -   to face the title page.
'_. Chart of the Russian and English Discoveries in the North Pacific Ocean   -   -
to face page 17.
3. Chart of the Voyage made by JKxenitzin .and Levashef to the Fox Islands -
to face p. 191.
4. Chart of Synd's Voyage   ---------------   p. 20S.
5. Chart of Shalaurof's Voyage   --_---_______   p. 282.
6. View of Maimatschin     _---------_____   p, 343,
Difcovery and Conquejl of Kamtchatka—Prefent State—'Government-
X HE Peninfula of Kamtchatka was difcovered by the Ruffians the latter end
of the feventeenth century. The firft expedition was made in thefe latitudes in
1696, by fixteen Coffacs, under the command of Lucas Semâmof Morofko, who
was fent againft the Koriacs of the river Opooka by Vlodimir Atlafibf commander of Anadirfk. Morofko penetrated within four days journey of the
river Kamtchatka, and returned to Anadirfk*, after exacting tribute from a
fingle village.
In the following year AtlafTof, at the head of a larger body, penetrated into
the Peninfula, took pofleffion of the river Kamtchatka by erecting a crofs upon
its banks, and built fome huts upon the fpot, where the Upper Oftrog now
* S. P.. G. V. 3. p. 72.
Thefe expeditions were continued during feveral years-: Upper and Lower
Kamtchatkoi Oftrogs and Bolcheretfk were built, the Southern diftria conquered and colonifed, and in 1711 the whole Peninfula was reduced under the
Ruffian dominion.
During fome years thepoffeffion of Kamtchatka brought little advantage to
the crown, except a fmall tribute of furs exaâed from the inhabitants. The
Ruffians indeed occafionally hunted, foxes, wolves, ermines, fables, and other
animals, whofe valuable fkins form an important article of commerce among.
the Eaftern nations. But the fur trade was inconfiderable, until the Ruffian*
difcovered the ifiands between AGa and America. Since thefe difcoveries, the
variety of rich furs, procured from thofe ifiands, has greatly increafed the trade
of Kamtchatka, and rendered it an important branch of Ruffian commerce.
The Peninfula of Kamtchatka lies between 51 and 62 degrees of North
latitude, and 1720 and 1860 of longitude from the ifle of Fero; or Weft from
Greenwich. It is bounded on the Eaft and South by the fea of Kamtchatka.
on the Weft by the feas of Okotfk and Penfliinfk,. and on. the North by the
country of the, Koriacs,
It is divided into four diftrias, Bolcheretfl., Tigilfkaia Krepoft, Terchnei
or Upper Kamtchatkoi Oft-rog, and Nifhnei or Lower Kamtchatkoi Oftrog.
The government is veiled in the chancery of Bolcheretfk, which depends upon,
the chancery of Ochotfk. The whole Ruffian force, ftationed in the Peninfula,
confifted in 1777, of no more than three hundred men*.
The prefent population of Kamtchatka amounts to fcarce four thoufand
fouls. Formerly the inhabitants were more numerous ; but in 1768, the fmall-
pbx, carried off five thoufand three hundred and fixty-eight perfons. In 1776
there were only feven hundred and fix males in the whole Peninfula who were
tributary, and an hundred and fourteen in the Kuril Ifles, which are fubjeft to
The fixed annual tribute confided of 279 fables, 464 red foxes, 50 fea-
otters, with a dam, and 38 cub fea-otters. All fursexported from Kamtchatka
pay a duty of 10 per cent, to the crown ; the tenth of the cargoes brought from
the new-difcovered ifiands is alfo delivered into the cuftoms.
Many traces of volcanoes have been obferved in this Peninfula ; and fome
mountains are ftill in a burning ftate. The moft confiderable of thefe volcanoes
is fituated near the Lower Oftrog. In 1762 a great noife was heard within the
mountain, and flames of fire burft from different parts. Thefe flames were
immediately fucceeded by a large ftream of melted fnow-water, which flowed
into the neighbouring valley, and drowned two Kamtchadals, who were upon a
hunting party. The afhes, and other combuftible matter, thrown from the
mountain, fpread to the circumference of two hundred miles. In 1767 there
was another difcharge, but lefs confiderable. Every night flames were obferved
iffuing from the mountain, and the eruption, which attended them, did no fmall
damage to the inhabitants of the Lower Oftrog. Since that year no flames have
been feen ; but the mountain emits a confiant fmoke. The fame phenomenon
was obferved upon another mountain, called Tabaetfhinlki.
The face of the country is chiefly mountainous.    It produces in fome parts
birch, poplars, alders, willows,  underwood, and berries,  of different forts.
B 2 Many
Many vegetables are railed with great facility; fuch as white cabbage, turnips,
radifhes, beet-root, carrots, and cucumbers. Agriculture is in a low ftatt?,
'which is chiefly owing to the nature of the foil and the fevere hoar frofts; for
notwithftanding various attempts to cultivate oats, barley, and rye, no crop has
ever been fufficiently produaive to anfwer the labour and expence. Hemp
however has been recently cultivated with great fuccefs*.
Every year a veflel, belonging to the crown, fails from Okotfk to Kamtchatka, laden with fait, provifions, corn, and Ruffian manufaâures ; and returns
in June or July the following year with (kins and furs.
Additions to the Ace
' of Kamtchatka.
The three divifions of Tygil, Nifhni, and Virchin, were each commanded
by a ferjeant, and Bolcheretsk was the refidence of the commander in chief and
his affiliant, who were dependant on the chancery of Ochotfk. In 1783, the
Emprefs removed the feat of government, from Bolcheretfk to Nifhni Kamtchatka, under the name of a city, eftablifhing a military commandant of the
rank of lieutenant colonel, and a court of juftice for civil and criminal caufes,
(called Bemfkoi Sud) the prefidcnt of which mu ft go once a year, round the
peninfula, to keep order and decide trivial difputes, alio to recover tribute.
He was alfo the Capitan Ifpravnick, amagiftracy of which all the members were
merchants, and prefided over commerce and trade.
In 1787, KozlofF Ugrinin, commandant of Okotfk, vifited Kamtchatka, and
divided it into two diftrias, Nilhni and Petropaolof fki, the former compre- CERNING   KAMTCHA
hending Virlhni and Tygil, the latter the harbour and Bolcheretfk. The whole
force confifted in 1793, in only about 300 Coffacs. An application was made
for as many more, which was probably granted.
The rivers are the Kamtchatka, the greateft, and in faa the only one that
deferves the name, winding in a fouthern direaion to Nifhni, where it turns
eaftward, and falls into the fea of Kamtchatka, in the latitude 560. Its courfe
is about 800 verfts, 500 of which it is navigable in fmall veflels. The seftuary
is full of fhifting banks, and very fhallow ; the water is clear, and the river
abounds with the fineft fifh : falmon of different forts, falmon trout, and trout,
and immenfe fhoals of herrings afcend to Nifhni in May and Oaober. The
fécond river is Byftria, which rifes clofe to the fource of the Kamtchatka, and
flows to the fouth. It is only navigable in fmall boats 30 verfts upwards from
Bolcheretfk : here it is joined with the Natfkike, and bears the name of the
Bolfhoi Reka. It falls into the bay of Whekafka, in the fea of Ochotfk. The
Natfkike flows 110 verfts in a direaion nearly weft. In the fame mountain
rifes the Avatfha, which, after a courfe of 70 verfts, enters the bay of Avatfha,
12 verfts weft of Petropauloffky. The Paratounka takes a circuitous courfe
of about 70 verfts from the vicinity of the Villuitfh, and flows into the N.W.
extremity of the bay of Avatfha, only 5 miles from its fource. It is navigable
at high-water for fmall boats to the village of Paratounka, only 6 verfts from
its mouth. Numberlefs rivulets flow into the fea of Ochotfk, but except the
Bolfhoi Reka, the Tygil and Itlha are the moft confiderable, and their fources
are only 40 verfts from the fea.
The volcanoes are, Klutfhieffky, 80 verfts from Nifhni, up the river Kamtchatka. On the 20th of November, 1789, a great rumbling noife, with a fmart
fhock of an earthquake, preceded a violent eruption of fmall ftones, afhes, and
flames, which continued, with daily fhocks, until the 21ft of February, 1790.
From the information of Captain Billings, the city was illuminated by the flame.
The allies were fcattered 800 verfts from the mountain, and at half that diftance
fo thickly as to prevent travelling in fledges. Auguft 21ft, 1792, about five
in the morning, a hidden explofion of large ftones and afhes was immediately
followed by a dreadful earthquake, continuing with aftonifhing violence three-
quarters of an hour. It was felt through the whole peninfula, even to Bolcheretfk, where its duration was only a few féconds. All the brick ovens and
chimnies were thrown down at Nifhni, and the people in confternation crawled
over the bed of the river Raduga, which was dry for half an hour, to the
•Shaevelutfh, a volcano, eighty verfts north of Kluuhevflty, from which
fmoke fometimes iflues. Tolbatfh, or Tolbatfhuifk, 200 verfts fouth of Klut-
fheffkoi, conftantly emits fmoke on the north fide near the fummit, and along
a ridge which feems to unite it to the northern chain. Avatfha, or Avatfhinfk,
40 verfts to the north-eaftward of the harbour of St. Peter and Paul, or Petro-
pauloffki. In 1785 was a violent eruption, and a confiderable part of the
fummit fell in; and in 1799, another covered the neighbourhood for many mile»
with afhes and pumice-ftone. Confiant fmoke iffues from the fummit, particularly in wet weather. Ozernoi Sopka (Yavina, by the Kamtcbadals) on
the Lopatka, about 60 verfts from the fouth point of the peninfula, began
burning in 1792. The neighbouring vallies abound in hot fprings. Villutfli,
called by Cook Paratounka Sopka, is an extingiiifhed volcano. Alaid, a lofty
mountain, of fugar-loaf form, riling out of the fea, twelve miles weft of the
fouth point of Kamtchatka, burnt violently in 1792.
iHpt Jprings are found all over the peninfula, CONCERNING KAMTCHATKA. y
Two villages on the river Kamtchatka, are inhabited by a fmall colony of
Ruffian peafagts; the one is 15 verfts below Virfhni, the other at the fort of
Klutfheffky mountain.
Rye is here cultivated; but the ground would probably produce wheat.
The farmers are very few in number, fubjea to heavy taxes, feverely treated
by people in office, and find a greater profit in felling liquors to the hunting
Kamtchadals, than they would obtain from agriculture ; they grow juft fufficient
for their own provifion, and are employed as pedlars and hawkers by the
merchants refiding at Ochotfk; moft of them are (Meftfhanins) privileged
traders, for which they pay a ftipulated fum to the magiftracy.
All garden vegetables are raifed with great facility ; potatoes, cabbages,
turnips, radifhes,beet-root, carrots, &c. ; falads of all kinds; the foil is very
Two tranfport veffels belonging to the crown, fail from Ochotfk every year r
one to Tygil, the other to Nifhni Kamtchatka ; the latter generally calls at
Petropaoloffkoi, as does the former fometimes at Bolcheretfk,- they carry fait,
provifions, flour, and manufaaures ; and return if fuccefsful, the fame year1
with tribute, a few furs, and falted falmon, particularly the fpecies called'
General idea of the commerce carried on to the New-difcovered IJlards—
Equipment of the vefels—Rifks of the trade, profits, tf c.
ÇINCE the conclufion of Beering's voyage, which was made at the expence
of the crown, the profecution of the New Difcoveries begun by him has
beenalmoft entirely carried on by individuals. Thefe perfona were principally
merchants of Irkutfk, Yaktufk, and other natives of Siberia, who formed them-
felves into fmall trading companies, and fitted out veffe-S at their joint expence.
Moft of the veffels equipped for thefe expeditions are two-mafted, commonly built without iron, and in general fo badly conftruaed, that they appear
ill calculated to weather fo ftormy a fea. They are called in Ruffian Shitiki,
or fewed veffels, becaufe the planks are fewed together with thongs of leather.
Some few are built in the river of Kamtchatka ; but they are for the moft part
conftruaed at the haven of Okotfk. The largeft are manned with feventy
men, and the fmalleft with forty. The crew generally confifts of an equal
number of Ruffians and Kamtchadals. The Kamtchadals occafion a confiderable laving, as their pay is fmall; they arc alio lefs fubjea to the fcurvy. But
as Ruffian mariners are more enterprifing, and more to be depended upon in
time of danger, a proportion of them is unavoidably neceffary.
The expences of building and fitting out the veffels are confiderable : for
there is nothing at Okotfk but timber for their conftruclion. Cordage, fails
and fome provifions, muft be brought from Yakutfk upon horfes. The
dearnefs of corn and flour, which muft be tranfported from the diftrieis lying
about the river Lena, renders it difficult to lay-ift^y large quantity for the
fubfiftence of the crew daring a voyage, which commonly lafts three or four
years. For this reafon no more is provided than is neceffary to fupply the
Ruffian mariners with quafs and other fermented liquors.
From the -great fcarcity of cattle both at Okotfk and * Kamtchatka little
fjrovrfion is laid in at either of thofe places : but the crew provide themfelves
with the flefh of fea animals, which arccaught and cured upon Beering's Man d,
where the veffels for the moft part winter. The eq_%n^nt,(<3_i; esteh veffel
^ordinarily cofts from 15,000 to 20,000 roubles; and fometimes the expences
-amount to 30,000. Every veffel is divided into a certain number of fhares,
generally from thirty to <fifty; and each ffiare is worth from 300 to 500
The rifk of the trade is great,*» fhipwpec1_« are common in the rocky and
tempeftuous fea ef Kamtchatka : the crews are alfo frequently furprifed and
killed by the iflanders, and the veffels deftroyed. In return, the profit_™Ir7_
confiderable, and -compenfate the H__onve»iencies and dangers. On an advantageous voyage, the gain at the moft moderate computation amounts to
cent, per cent, and frequently to as much __or*U!Cw|et-ld the veffel be capable
of performing a fécond expedition» the expences are confidetebl^.^ifcM^
and the profits df cowfe increafed.
rf-cattle«pè_ftH6 wïtoï. P__i___a.    A cow sold from 50 r
Some notion of the general profits arifing from tr__' may be deduced
from the fale of a rich cargo of furs, brought to Kamtchatka, on the 2d of June,
1772, from the New-difcovered ifiands, in a veffel belonging to Ivan Popof. '
The tenth part of the fkins being delivered to the cuftoms, the remainder
was divided in fift^-five -fiiares. Each fhare etonfifted of twenty fea-otters,
fixteen black and brown foxfe-j Jférf red foxes/ .hrfee fet-btter tails, and produced
from 800 to 1000 roubles; fo that according to thisr price the whole lading
was worth about 50,000 roubles*. ••'"
Furs and Ski7is procured from KamlCi
^HEprrdeipalf\_rs'a_d_.in_ procured from the Peninfula of Kamtchatka
"*■ and'the-New-difcovered.ifiands are fea-otters, foxes, fables, ermines,
wolves, bears, &c—Thefe furs are tranfported to Okotfk by fea, and from
thence carried to t Kiaaa upon the frontiers of Siberia; where the greater part
is fold to the Chinefe at a confiderable profit.
The fkins of the fea-otters are the richeft and moft valuable. Thofe animals
refort in great numbers to the Aleutian and Fox Ifiands : they are called by
the Ruffians Bobri Morfki, or fea-beavers, and fometimes Kamtchadal beavers
on account of the refemblance of their fur to that of the common beaver
+ See the account of Kiacta CONCERNING KAMTCHATKA. it
From thefe ekcfumftances feveral authors have fuppofed this animal to be of the
beaver fpecies ; whereas it is the true fea-otter *. The females are called
Matka, or dams; and the cubs, till five-months old, Medviedki, or little bears,
becaufe their coat refembles that of a bear ; they lofe that coat after five
months, and then are called KofchMi.
The fineft fort of fur is thick and long, of a dark colour, and a fine gloffy
hue. Thefe fea-otters are taken by ftriking them with harpoons as they fieep
on their backs in the fea, hunting them down in boats, furprifing them in
, or taking them in nets.
' The^r fkins bear different prices, according to their quality.
At Kamtchatka t the best fell
-per fkin from    -    -    -    _    go to 40 roubles.
Middle fort
Worft fort
- 20 to 30
- 15 to 25.
* S. R. G. 3. p. 530.    For a description of the sea||fe, Lutra Marina, called by Linn .us
Mustek Lutris, see Nov. Coram. Pet. V. 2. p. 367, Ic.
t Journ. St. Petersburg.—Prices of furs at Kamtchatka, in 1793.
-Sables, 2| to 10, 15 and 20 roubles each. Hare skins, 10 to 15 roubles.
Fox skins, fire red (Ognefka) 15 roubles. Ermin,  10 to 15 roubles.
Common red, 3 to 5 roubles. Stone fox, Pestsi, 30 copecs to 1 rouble.
Slack continental, 50 to 80 roubles. Sea-otter skins from the Kuril Islands, 300 to
From the islands,  10 to 15. 400 roubles.
Wolf, 8 to 16 roubles. From America, l'OO to 250 roubles.
always brought to Kazan .and Moscow, and sold to the Armenians j2 PRELIMINARY   OBSERVATIONS.
At Kiacta* the old and middle-aged fea-otter fkins «refold to the.Chkfi-e
Per fkin from    -   -    -   -   80 to 140
The worft fort   -   -   -   -   30 to   40.
As thefe furs bear fo great a price among the Chinefe, t_ey axe&Wom
brought into Ruffia for fale ; and feveral, which have been carried to Mofcow
as a tribute, were purchafed for 30roubles per fkin ; and fen* frch»; thence1 to
the Chinefe frontiers, where they were difpofed of at a great prflfi£Ff»iT
Several fpeeies of fox fkins are fent from Kamtchatka into Siberia-and Ruffia. Of thefe the principal are the black foxes, the Peflfi or Araic foxes, the
red and ftone foxes.—The fineft black foxes are caugh'fiiln •/different #9-W of
Siberia, and more commonly in the Northern regions between, the Rivers-Lena,.
Indigirka, and Kovyma: the black foxes found upon the renioteft Eafter»
ifiands difcovered by the Ruffian, or the Lyffie Oftrova, ajenot fo valuable.
They are very black and large; and the coatiiMtfually as coarfe as that of a»
wolf. The great diffeteBée^-J- thefinenefeof 'the f&r, between thefe foxes and
thofe of Siberia, arifes probably from the following ekcumftances. In the
ifiands the cold is not fo fevere as in Siberia; and, as there is no wood, the
foxes live in holes and caverns of the rocks ^ whereas in Siberia there are large
traas of forefts in which they find fhelter. Some bkx.\ faxg^, however, which
are occafionally caught in the diftant ifkftd., not wholly deftitute of wood, are
of great value." In general the Chinefe, who pay the moft for black furs, do.
not give more for the Waek foxes of the New-dUbovesed iflaftds than from 20
to 30 roubles per fkin.
* Pallas lteisey^artSvpC 137-•■■-..
t S. H H V. 3, Pallas Reise. CONCERNING   KAMTCHATKA. _*
The Arâic or ice foxes are very common upon fome of the New-difcovered
Iftands. They are called Peflfi by the Ruffians, and by the Germans, blue
foxes *. Their natural colour is an afh or bluifh-grey ; but they change their
coat at different ages, and in different feafons. In general they are horn
brown, become white in winter, and brown again in fkmrner ; in fpring and
autumn, as the hair gradually falls off, the coat is marked with different fpecks
and croffes.
At Kiaaat the lèverai varieties fell upon an average  to the   Chinefe,
per fkin, from 50 copecs to ----------    2- roubles.
Stone foxes at Kamtchatka,,per fkin, from     -   -   -    -    ito2§
Red foxes,, from 80 eopees to--------    1 rouble.
80 copecs.
At Kiaaa, from 80 copecs to -----__-g roubles.
Common wolves' fkins at, per fkin      _-____.    _
Beft fort, per fkin, from      --__-____    8 to 16*
Sables, per ditto ------------    2-| to 10.
A pood of the beft fea-horfe teeth + fells at Yakutfk for - to roubles..
Of the middling   ----------8
Inferior ditto-, from   ---------5.-07.
Four, five, or fix teeth generally weigh a pood, and fometimes, but very
rarely, three.    They are fold to the Chinefe,. Monguls, and CalmuGs.
f Pallas Reisc   The lat
t Kamtchatka, per skin
; S.R.G.V. 3-
roubles.  PART THE  FIRST.
^ÉË_a_& in   PART I.
Period 1—1711 to 1741.
From the Conquest of Kamtchatka to the Conclusion of Beering's and
.Tchirikof's Expeditions.
Origin of the Ruffian Difcoveries—Voyage of Beering towards the
Northern Ocean.
HT* HE poffeffion of Kamtchatka was foon followed by voyages of difcovery
to the North Pacific Ocean.    The vague accounts colleaed from the
Kamtchadals concerning the vicinity of America to their coafts were tranf-
mitted to Peterfburg, and inflamed the zeal of Peter the Great.
That monarch accordingly formed the plan of a voyage of difcovery to
afcertain the feparation, contiguity, or conneaion of Afia and America, and
wrote inftruaions with his own hand. His death did not prevent the execution of the projeft, for the Emprefs Catharine commenced her reign with
ordering an immediate expedition under the command of Vitus Beering; in
conformity to the following inftruaions of her deceafed hufband :
D 17-8- 1
« 1. You fhall caufe one or two convenient veffels to be built at Kamtchatka, or elfewhere.—2. You fhall endeavour to difcover, by coafting with
thefe veffels, whether the country towards the north, of which at prefent we
have no diftina knowledge, is a part of America or not.—3. If it joins the
continent of America, you fhall endeavour, if poffible, to reach fome colony
belonging to fome European power; or in cafe you meet with any European
fhip, you fhall diligently enquire the name of the coafts, and fuch other cir-
writing, fo that we may have fome c
1 by which a chart may be
On the 14th of July, having recommended bimfelf to the proteaion of the
Almighty, Beering quitted-the river of Kamtchatka, in a veffel called the Fortune, having on board Spanberg and Tfchirikofas his two lieutenants, and a
crew of forty men. He failed north-eaft within fight of land, in order to
delineate the coaft of Kamtchatka. On the 8th of Auguft, in latitude 64°. 30.
he was vifited by eight natives, in a baidar, who acquainted him by means of
a Koriak interpreter, that they were Tfchutfki; that the coaft for a confiderable
extent was inhabited by their nation, and that the land trended towards the weft.
They likewife informed him of an ifland fituated not far diftant, which he discovered on the 10th, and called-the ifland of St. Laurence. An officer who
was twice difpatched to examine it, obferved feveral houfes, but no inhabitants
who, probably from fear, or fome other motive, concealed themfelves.
Beering continued his courfe till the 15th of the fame month, when he found
himfelf in the latitude of 6f. 18'. and conceiving that he had now fully
executed his orders, as he faw no land either to the north or eaft, he refolved FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. ]g
to return, deeming it ufelefs to continue his voyage towards the weft, or to run
the hazard of being prevented by contrary winds from gaining Kamtchatka
during the fummer, and obliged to winter in a country where he was fure of
meeting with little or no wood, and which might be inhabited by fome nation
enemies to the Ruffians.
From the mouth of the river Kamtchatka, to the utmoft point of their
voyage, they faw nothing upon the coaft but great ridges of rocks, the tops of
which were covered with fnow, though it was fummer. They traverfed,
according to their reckoning, about ten leagues of latitude, and thirty of
longitude; their departure eaftward was 372 Gefman leagues. On the 20th,
of Auguft, in their return, they were vifited by forty perfons in four fmall
boats, who, from their appearance feemed to be Tchutfki. They brought
dried flefli, fifli, and water contained in whales bladders ; fifteen fox ikins, and
four narval's teeth, which they exchanged for pins and needles. They faid
their nation travelled with rein deer as far as the river Kovyma, which runs
into the Northern Ocean, but had never attempted any paffage by fea; they
inhabited a long traa of country upon the coaft, and had poffeffed it many
years; one of them particularly added, that he had vifited the fortrefs of
Anadirfk, where they had traded with, and been well treated by the Ruffians.
On the 29th of Auguft a violent ftorm, attended with a thick fog, drove the
veffel upon the coaft of fome country eaft of Kamtchatka, where they were
obliged to come to anchor. On the 2d of September they arrived fafely in
the mouth of the river Kamtchatka, and, having fecured their veffel in a creek,,
went to the lower fortrefs,. and paffed the winter*.
's Comple
ion of Voyages and Trav.
vol. 2. p. 1020, 1021. ,.-______-
This is the only accurate account ever given to the public of this interefting
expedition, which afcertained the feparation of the two continents, at leaft as
high as latitude 67°. the moft northern point of Beering's voyage. Muller, in
his Account of the Ruffian Difcoveries, has given a fhort abftraa of this
voyage, and has added fome conjeaures which only embarrafs the narrative,
and render it more difficult to be underflood. He was at that time bewildered
with the vague accounts of the Ruffians and Coffacs, who had vifited the
land of the Tchutfki,and with the uncertain reports of the Tchutfki themfelves
concerning the form and fituation of Tchukotfkoi Nofs, which he placed in
latitude 70°; miftakes which he afterwards .candidly acknowledged and
In 1720 Beering made another attempt to difcover the continent of America, which the natives of Kamtchatka defcribed as lying not far diftant to the
eaffi of their peninfula. He failed on the 5 th of June, but was prevented by
adverfe winds from proceeding more than two hundred verfts; .and meeting
with no land, fleered round the fouthern promontory of Kamtchatka entered
the river Bolfchaia, and arrived at Okotfk on the 23d of July.
From this period no attempt was made to difcover the American continent
until 1741, when Beering and Tfchirikof failed upon their ever memorable
expedition. The whole account which Muller has given of this voyage is
extremely fcanty and confufed, and the narrative of the tranfaaions relating to
their difcoveries on the coaft of America is eomprifed in a few lines •
" Nothing particular happened till the i8fh of July, when Captain 1
After giving orders for fleering more and more northerly, came in fiel
«continent of America in 58 . 2.'. north latitude, and believed, accor FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. 21
his journal that he had failed 50e. eaft long, from Avatcha. Tchirikof reached
the fame coaft three days before, viz. on the 15th of July in 560. north lat.
and according to computation, 6o°. longitude from Avatcha.
" The coaft made by Tchirikof being fteep and rocky, and without ifiands,
he anchored at fome diftance. Ten men being fent in the long-boat on fhore,
to provide water and reconnoitre the country, were to -land, and make the
appointed fignals, but never returning, were fuppofed to be maffacred by the
inhabitants. Six, difpatched in another boat to their affiftance, probably
fhared the fame fate, as they never returned. After cruifing feveral days,
and receiving no tidings of their unfortunate comrades, Tchirikof could not
venture to continue any longer on the coaft, but on the 27th of July took his
departure for Kamtchatka. Being impeded by contrary winds and ftormy
weather, he did not enter the bay of Avatcha before the 9th of October, after
lofing twenty-one men by .the fcurvy, and want of frefh water, out of feventy,
of which the crew confided; among thefe was the celebrated de l'Ifle delà
'' -Croyere, who fell down on the deck, and died at the very moment he was
going to difembark.
■ At the fame time Beering attempted to explore the coaft which he had
difcovered, and to provide himfelf with frefh water. The country confifted'
of- flupendous mountains covered with fnow. He failed towards it, but
variable breezes blowing, he could not reach it fooner than the 20th of July,
when, under a- tolerably large ifland, not far from the continent, he anchored
an twenty-two fathoms water, and a foft clayey bottom. A point of land,
which here projeas into the feà, was called the Cape of St. Elias, becaufe it
was obferved on the day of St. Elias.    Another head-land, that afterwards
'•mm*^ appeared oppofite the firft, towards the weft, received its name from St.
Hermogenes. Between thefe points there was a bay which was deemed
" For the purpofe of reconnoitring this bay, Beering fent the matter,
Kytrof, with fome armed men ; another boat, in which was S teller, was
difpatched at the fame time for water. Kytrof found between fome ifiands a
convenient anchoring-place, fecure from all winds. Landing on an ifland, he
obferved fome empty huts, but faw no inhabitants, who were fuppofed to come
from the continent for the purpofe of fifhing."
Muller then gives a brief account of Steller's obfervâti
mit, becaufe they are more circumftantially related in his
I fhall
" On the 21 ft of July they again put to fea ; and attempted to trace the
coaft as far as 65°. N. latitude, but they could proceed no farther to the
north, and were even obliged to fail continually to the fouth, becaufe the
fhores trended fouth-weft. At the fame time they were impeded by numerous
ifiands, in parts contiguous to the continent. When they hoped to fail in
fecurity, land was difcovered a-head, and on both fides, wherefore they were
obliged feveral times to turn and feek a free paffage. It occafionally happened at night, that with the fame wind and weather, they at one time failed
in calm water, and at another in a boifterous fea, where they could hardly
govern the fhip. What elfe could this indicate, than that in the calm they
had failed in fheltered water, between ifiands which the darknefs of the night
did not permit them to difcover*.
* Muller, S. R. G. V. 3. FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. 23
" Some days paffed without feeing land, when, on the 27th of July, about
midnight, they came into twenty fathoms water. They could not difcover
whether it was a fand bank, or whether the continent or an ifland, on account
oi~ the darknefs. They fleered fometimes on one fide and fometimes on the
other; every where they found lefs water; they durft not venture to anchor,
for the wind was ftrong, and the waves high. Moreover it was to be feared
they might be too far from the continent, or too near. At laft it was
concluded to hazard failing to the fouth, in which they fucceeded, and after
fleering fome hours longer in twenty fathoms water, they regained an open
" An ifland, difcpvered on the 30th of July, i» foggy weather, was called
Tumanooi Oftrof, that is, The Foggy Ifland. They approached it till they
had only feven or eight fathoms water, and anchored : but when the weather
began to clear up, found themfelves more than a verft from the ifland. The
whole month of Auguft elapfed with fimilar occurrences; when the Chip's
crew began to be much affliaed with the fcurvy, and particularly the
From this fcanty and uncertain account, much doubt was entertained,
^whether Beering and Tchirikof ever reached America ; and fince later difcoveries have removed'that doubt, fubfequent navigators have differed about
the precife parts explored by Beering and Tchirikof. Cook places Beering's
Bay in one place; Vancouver in another; and the Ruffians in Prince
William's Sound.
—"    -^=	 INTRODUCTION.
Steller's Journal of Beering's Voyage of Difcovery from Kamtchatka to the
Coaft of America, in 1741.
T) ALLAS has given to the public* the Journal of Steller, who accompanied
Beering in this memorable expedition. As it contains the only circiim-
ftantial relation of that expedition, reaifies feveral errors in Muller's account,
and as it has never made its appearance in Englifh, I deemed it neceffary,
for the complete elucidation of the Ruffian Difcoveries, to fubmit to the
public a tranflation of thofe parts which detail the principal events of the
voyage ; but have omited feveral prolix accounts of his difputes with the
officers, and fome of his frequent digreffions concerning the fuppofed fituation
of America.
The narrative is preceded by an Int
the preparations and condua of the ex
thefis of the relative fituations of Afia anc
this point is no longer doubtful, it is need!
therefore only that part of the IntroducVi
his engagement in the expedition is fubjoir
_ich Steller cenfun
ion; and
If, and to
' In the 5
.NotdischeBcytraege. .ROM    i7ll    TO   1741. -5
" I fhall omit," be fays," any account, as well of the ten years' preparations
as of Spanberg's voyage to Japan, and confine myself to the narrative of
Beering's and Tchirikof's voyage, as long as the two veffels continued
together, and from their feparation to the particulars of Beering's voyage, and
the fate of the crew, until their return to Kamtchatka on the 26th of Auguft,
1742. But as it is* well known that I was fent in 1738 from St. Peterfburg to
Kamtchatka, folely for the purpofe of examining the natural hiftory of thofe
regions, and had not the finalleft fhare in the preparations, it is incumbent on
me to relate the manner in which I engaged in the expedition.
tc In 1740 I fent a petition from Kamtchatka to the fenate» requefting
permiffion to accompany Captain Spanberg in another voyage to Japan, to
obtain authentic inforrnatiort concerning the intermediate ifiands, as well as
Japan itfelf. Meanwhile, Captain Beering being informed of my infatiable
defire to explore new regions, invited me to Avatcha, and perfuaded me to
accompany him to America, under the promife of juftifying my condua to
the fenate, and of fupplying me with every means in his power to forward
my refearches. He alfo fent me a minute of a general confultation with his
officers, wherein I was charged with the examination of the minerals. I therefore undertook this office from difinterefted motives, which» I truft will plead
my excufe for quitting Kamtchatka without orders. And I dare anticipate my
pardon, although I have made fo few difcoveries. The fcantinefs of my information was chiefly occafioned by the failure of the Captain's promifes, who
only fhewed me the continent of America at a diftance, and with great difficulty
confented to fet me afhore on three ifiands, without affiftance, like a criminal,
and difcouraged my zeal with the moft peevifh expreffions. My advice was
alfo contemptuoufly rejeaed by the officers, who,-difgufted with their long
E rcfidence RUSSIAN   DIS(
refidence in Siberia, were eager to return, and endeavoured to complete in
one fummer what could not be accomplifhed in lefs than two."
Departure from Kamtchatka—Difcovery of America—Defcription of the Coaft
—Account of an Ifland on which Steller landed—Animal, vegetable, and
marine Productions—Indifpofition of Beering, and Infubordination of the
Crew—Return towards Kamtchatka—Incidents of the Voyage—Diftreffes of
the Crew.
The expedition confifted of two packet-boats, the St. Peter, commanded by
Beering, and the St. Paul by Tchirikof. The St. Peter, in which fhip I
failed, carried, befides the captain, Waxel the chief lieutenant, Kytrof the
matter, and other officers, feventy-fix men.
June 4, we took our departure from Avatcha, and failing with fouth, weft
and fouth-weft winds, E. S. E. and S. E. by E. were on the nth 135 dutch
miles from Avatcha, and in latitude 46°. 47'. On the 12th we firft perceived
tokens which indicated the vicinity of land, fuch as marine plants, and flocks
of ducks and fea-gulls. In latitude 510. we were feparated from the St. Paul
during a thick fog, and never again came in fight of her, though we failed to
the 460. of latitude, in hopes of rejoining her. On the 18th we altered our
courfe, and fleered north-eaftward, making two degrees of longitude to one
degree of latitude. On reaching 520. latitude, we again perceived many tokens
of land, to the north, but did not difcover it till the 18th of July in ;
1 59-
fom fome
nues of lat
o 1741.
ude eaft from Avatcha
iles.    I truft I may be juftified for thus briefly relating the events
th's. voyage, as we had favourable wind and weather; faw nothing but
fky and water, and heard from the officers'only expreffions of aftonifhment,
- at the grofs mi(lake of fuppofing that Kamtchatka was only feparated from
America by a narrow channel. During this period the Captain being confined
by confiant indifpofition to his cabin, was deceived by the reports of the
officers, and, his opinion fbr fleering towards the north conftantly overruled.
After detailing at fome length, his altercations with the officers, for not
crediting his affertions that they were not far from land, and for not fleering
towards the north, Steller continues his journal.
Though land was difcovered on the 15th of July, yet as it was not fuf-
ficiently vifible to be delineated, it was according to cuftom called my fancy,
although the next day it was more clearly difcerned in the fame place. It was
very elevated, and we obferved a mountain ftretching inland, whofe height
was fo great as to be vifible at fea at the diftance of fixteen dutch miles. I do
not recollea to have noticed a higher mountain either in Siberia or Kamtchatka. The coaft of the confinent was much broken, and indented with many
bays and harbours.
It is eafy to conceive the general joy which the fight of land occafioned,
and all congratulated the captain on this important difcovery, which would
redound fo much to his honour : but he coldly received their congratulations,
and even fhrugged up his fhoulders on the occafion.    He alfo faid afterwards k
to me and Plenisner in the cabin, " We think we have, completed our difcoveries, and many entertain great expeaations, but we do not confider our
diftance from home, and what accidents may yet happen. We are unacquainted
with the country, we are unprovided with provifions, and perhaps contrary
winds may impede our return»' As we approached land, it was ridiculous to
hear the difcordant exclamations of the crew, priding themfelves on the importance of the difcovery, anticipating great rewards, or pathetically bewailing
their fituation. Some propofed to feek a convenient harbour, others repre-
fented the danger of drawing near to the land. All clamoroufly urged their
refpeaive opinions, but no one made any reprefentation to the captain.
General confultations, though formerly held upon every trifle, were omitted
in this important bufinefs, the chief objea of this expenfive expedition, which
had already employed ten years in preparation; and the only union which
appeared among us was that of being confined in the fame veffel.
On the 17th we flowly approached the land with a gentle breeze, and on
Saturday the 18th came fo near that we difcovered, with great fatisfaaion,
large tracts of foreft and extenfive plains ftretching at the feet of the mountains. The fhore was flat, level,, and apparently fandy. We now left the
continent on our right, and failed to the north-weft under a lofty ifland, con-
fifting of a fingle mountain cloathed with firs ; and, on account of contrary
winds, paffed the night in repeated tacks.
Sunday the 19th in the morning, being two miles from the northern
extremity of the ifland, a trifling conteft arofe. On the preceding day we
faw the. ferait between the continent and the ifland, into which a confiderable
river feemed to flow, as I conjeaured from the current vifible two miles from
fhorc, 1
*R0M   1711   TO    I741. 2g
f_ore,-tbe colour and frefhnefs of the water, and the various drifted fubftances.
I therefore propofed to enter this ftrait, and anchor in the mouth of the
river where we fhould probably find fufficient water for our veffel which drew
only nine feet, and it would have been a more commodious fituation than
under the ifland where we anchored on the 20th : but my propofal was
We paffed the remainder of the day in tacking to approach the ifland, to
enter the great bay which we faw at fome diftance, and at the fame time get
under die land, which we effeaed on the 20th, though not without confiderable
terror on account of the numerous ifiands between which we anchored. The
outcrmoft of thefe was called Cape St. Elias, becaufe we paffed it on St. Elias's
day, and it was a lingular circuniftancc that the officers perfifted in calling
that ifland a cape, although a cape is a promontory of the continent.
In this ft ate of affairs, in ft cad of amicably agitating the queftion concerning their future proceedings, whether they fhould explore the coaft, or
pafs the winter in thefe parts, or return without delay to Kamtchatka ; no
regular confultation was held, but every one was filent and.a&ed as he pleafed.
It was however unanimoufly agreed that a boat fhould be fent for water, and
I could not avoid obferving that we were only come to convey American
water to Afia. It was fetded that the fmall boat fhould be feritfpi the purpofe
of procuring water, and the matter Kytrof fhould be difpatched in the large
boat with a fufficient number of men and fire arms to explore the land. In
vain I requefted to accompany Kytrof, who was willing to receive me; my
requeft was rejeaed, and it was not without difficulty that I was permitted to
bo on fhore with the watering party with my fervant, Thomas Lepekin, a
Coffac. u
Coffac. They endeavoured to alarm me with terrible accounts of the ferocity
of the natives ; but I was not to be deterred, and I landed with the watering
I had no fooner landed than I went towards the continent in company with
my Coffac, and within a verft found marks of inhabitants. I obferved a
trunk of a tree hollowed like a trough, in which the natives, according to the
cuflom in Kamtchatka, had recently boiled meat by means of hot ftones :
feveral large bones were fcattered about, which appeared to have been roafted ;
they feemed to be the hones of a land animal, and probably of a rein-deer,
which' may have been brought from the continent. I likewife noticed remains
of Yukola, or dried fifh, which the Kamtchadals ufe inftead of bread; alfo
fhells of large mufcles, fome of which were eight inches in diameter, and fweet
grafs * prepared in the Kamtchadal manner. Near the fame place were the
embers, which were ftill glowing, and a wooden tinder-box, fimilar to thofe
ufed in Kamtchatka; but the tinder was different, being formed of white mofs,
bleached by the fun t. From thefe circumftances we may conclude that the
natives were of the fame origin as the Kamtchadals ; but we muft fuppofe that
the continent of America trends farther to the weft, and is much nearer to
Kamtchatka to the north; for it is not credible that the Kamtchadals fhould be
• able with their crazy veffels to perform a voyage of near five hundred
* The Sphondilium foliolis pinnatifidis of Linn_ us.
am informed by Mr. Sawer, that this tinder, which Steller mistook for whiti
ised of the leaves of wormwood mixed with ashes, and rubbed between the hands.
Having FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. g_
Having fatisfied my curiofity, I continued my progrefs, and at the didance
of three verfts found a way leading through a thick foreft, near the fhore.
Many of the trees were ftripped of their bark, which I prefume was ufed to
cover the habitations. On the fkirt of the foreft I found frefh grafs, ftrewed
on the ground, and on removing it obferved a layer of flones, under which
was a bark covering fupported by poles, which concealed a cellar (or cabin)
containing feveral houfehold utenfils, particularly veffels made of bark; alfo
falmon, and fweet herb, from which brandy is diftilled at Kamtchatka, and
which was prepared with more cleanlinefs, and better tafted than I had before
feen. I likewife obferved a fpecies of hemp, which I thought was prepared
from nettles, and was probably ufed for making fifhing nets as in Kamtchatka:
alfo rolls of the inner bark of larch or pine, dried, which in cafe of neceffity is
ufed as food in many parts of the Ruffian empire : great quantities of thongs
made of fea-weed, which were of extraordinary ftrength. I found arrows
much larger than thofe ufed by the Kamtchadals, and fimilar to thofe of the
Tungufes and Tartars, well polifhed and ftreaked, indicating that they were
fafhioned with iron tools.
I fent my Coffac with two bundles of dried fifh, fome arrows, a wooden
tinder-box, fome thongs made of bark, and feveral kinds of grafs, to the
watering party, with orders to deliver them to the captain, and to requeft two
or three men to affift me in exploring the country. I then covered the
cabin again, proceeded alone, and having continued fix verfts, came to a
fteep rock, extending into the fea, which I climbed with much difficulty ;
but perceiving that the eaftern fide was perpendicular, I turned towards the.
fouth, hoping to reach the other fide of the ifland, proceed along the ftrait,
and explore the river and harbour.    On defcending the mountain, which was
! 82
overfpread with forefts, without any traces of a road, finding it impaffible,
Lreafcended, looked mournfully at the limits of my progrefs, turned my eyfisi
towards the continent, which it was not in my -power to explore, and obferved,;
at the diftance of a few verfts, fome fmoke aJcending from a wooded eminence»
which gave me hopes that I fhould meet with fome of the natives.
I haftened back to the place where I had landed, and fent an account to the
captain, requefting the fmall boat with fome men for a few hours, and in the
mean time employed myfelf in defcribing the fcarceft plants which I had dtf-
covered ; but to my inexpreffible concern, I received a meffage to return
inftantly on board, or I fhould be left behind. I ftill however continued on
fhore, fent my Coffac to fhoot fome rare birds, which I difcovered at a little
diftance, and again proceeded towards the weft, reconnoitring the country,
and did not return till fun-fet, laden with plants and other curiofities. Having
again received a pofitive order to repair on board, I reached" the veffel tritb
roy cotleaiorv.
Soon after my return I advifed the officers to fend fome prefents to the fub-
terraneous dwelling, and particularly fpecified knives and hatchets : but ob-
jefting to thefe inftruments, which might be confidered as fymbols of hoftility ■
they left an iron kettle, a pound of tobacco, a Chinefe pipe, and a piece of
filk*. FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. g*
An hour after my arrival Kytrof returned in the great boat ; he had found
a harbour between fome ifiands, clofe to the continent, where we could remain
in fecurity. He faw no inhabitants, but found a wooden dwelling, from which
he brought feveral utenfils, particularly a hollow globe of hard burnt clay
inclofing a little clapper-ftone, which appeared to be a child's toy, and a whet-
ftone whereon copper inftrurhents had been fharpened.
Thefe were all our tranfaaions and obfervations, not on the continent on
which no one landed, but on a fmall ifland which feemed about three miles *
long, and half a mile broad ; near the continent, (which here formed a great
bay, covered with many ifiands) and only feparated from it by a ftrait lefs than
half a mile in breadth. The only reafons why no landing was attempted on
the continent, were indolence, obftinacy, an untimely fear of a few unarmed
and terrified favages, and a daftardly impatience to return home; fo that the
time beftowed on making obfervations had a geometrical proportion to the
preparations ; ten years being employed in the preparations, and ten hours in
making obfervations. We have indeed a fketch of the continent on paper,
but a very imperfea idea of the country itfelf, founded on a few difcoveries,
him how long it was since the first ships made their appearance among them; and whether he'
remembered any boats having been lost ? He answered, that several boats had been lost, which by
his account we thought to be Spaniards. He said that they frequented (on'the chace in summer)
an island, which he described so particularly as convinced us beyond a doubt, that it was the
Kay's Island of Captain Cook. He remembered, that when he was' a boy, a ship had been close
into the bay, on the west Side of the island, and had sent a boat onshore; but on its approaching
land the natives all ran away. When the ship $$pd*,$0y returned to their huts, and'found'in''
their subterraneous store-room, some glass beads, leaf tobacco, an iron kettle, and something else.
This perfectly answers to Steller's account of the Cape St. Elias of Beering, and is undoubtedly the ■
very spot where Steller landed, and where the things above-mentioned were left in the cellar."
P. 193.
* Dutch or German miles.
F upon
upon a fingle ifland, and grounded on mere fuppofition.    The following is
drawn from a curfory view of the American continent.
This part of America is fuperior in climate to the north-eaftern coaft of
Afia ; for though the country, as well near the coaft as at fome diftance inland,
abounds with very high mountains, moft of whofe fummits were covered with
•perpetual fnow; yet thefe mountains are much more fertile than thofe of Afia,
which produce fmall quantities of ftunted trees, fcanty herbage, and are principally bare rock, or covered with mofs and aqueous plants ; whereas the
mountains of America are thickly overfpread to a confiderable height with the
fineft trees, and clothed with rich herbage. The fprings, of which, we noticed
a large number, rife in the vales, or at the foot of the mountains, and do not
hurft from the fides, and even near the fummits of the rocks, as in Siberia.
The produaions in the vegetable kingdom are earlier, more abundant, 'and
more regular in their growth than thofe of Siberia, and rich forefts overfpread
the coafts even as high as 6o°. latitude. I am therefore of opinion that the
continent of America extends from Cape Elias to beyond 700. of latitude,
and proteas this part of the coaft from the north winds, while towards the eaft
it is covered by a high range of mountains.
I found all the common berries in great abundance, and alfo a new kind of
rafpberry, which though not quite ripe, from its fize and excellent tafte, de-
ferved to be tranfplanted to St. Peterfburgh.
The land animals that fell under my obfervation, befides the rein deer,
which from the fcattered bones I judged to be natives of the continent, were
black ÏKOM   I7II   TO   174t. JJ
black and red foxes, not wild; Of common birds I perceived only the raven
and magpie, but above ten foreign and unknown fpedes, which from the briL
liancy of their plumage were eafily diftinguifhed from the feathered tribes of
Siberia; one in particular of lively colours, of which I rccollci ted to have feen
a figure in a recent account of Carolina». The appearance of this bird convinced me that we were on the coaft of America.
The mildnefs of the climate brings the fhoals of fi fh fooner near the fhore
than at Kamtchatka. Befides whales and dog-fifh, fea-otters frequent the fhore
in prodigious numbers; a proof that they are probably little difturbed by the
natives, otherwife they would be as fcarce as on the coaft of Kamtchatka. In
regard to minerals, the fcanty information which I am able to give cannot be
attributed to my negligence, when it is confidered how litde a fingle man can
perform in ten hours, in a fmall ifland, and without affiftance ; and I will freely
own that I obferved nothing but fand and grey rock.
On the 21ft of July, impreffed with an anxious defire to return, Beering
appeared on deck; contrary to his ufual cuftom, and without confnlting any of
the officers, ordered the anchor to be weighed, notwithftanding the remon-
ftrances of Lieutenant Waxel to remain on the coaft till all the veffels were
filled with water. A few days afterwards the captain propofed to the officers,
though without a regular confultation, that as winter was approaching, and they
were unaquainted with the country, fea, and winds, they fhould be contented
with their  difcoveries;  and return immediately homewards ;  adding, that
J «g rVssian di.coveîues.
though the land probably extended towards the weft, yet it might alfo trend
to the fouth. He expreffed his apprehenfion left the veffel might be ftrande^
in the night or in foggy weather, or in cafe of autumnal ftorms be wrecked
upon fome unknown ifland in an unknown fea.
This propofal, continues Steller, being thwarted by Lieutenants Wafcël and
Kytrof, we failed along the coaft, until the 26th .of July, for it was thought
proper to follow the coàft, though it would have been fufficient ___» ïàiïïng
oneftundred verft_ to have fleered one or two degrees to the north.
On the 27_hj at night, a gale drove us towards a bank, ftrctching into the
fea, on which we found fixty * fathoms water; but the land could not be
ffifcerned t.
July 28 and 29, ftormy and rainy weather, we perceived many figns of a
contiguous land, from various drifted fubftances.
July 30, X 3-» In dear weather and a calm fea, we purfued our courfe,
with a favourable fbuth-eafterly wind.
* According to Muller, they came into twenty fathoms water.   " They could not know " he
id, for i
they might be either too far from the shore, or too near it. At last i t u
sailing to the south, in which they succeeded so well, that after steering
iwenty fathoms water, they regained a secure sea."   S. A. G. p. 1.
t Muller says it was quite dark.
X According to Muller, on the 30th of July, they discovered an isl:
Toomanoi OslroÇ or Foggy Island, near which they anchored in seven 6 from 1711 to 1741. g-
Auguft 1. At one o'clôcliîn _&_-___r__hg we found ourfelves by foundings
in no more than four fathoms water] whfcb was Otbefwife reported to the
captain ; but the weather being calm wè got fo far from land, that we anchored
in eighteen or twèfoty fathoms till .k_y-ftr_akl.
Auguft 2. We found ourfelves in the morning about three verfts from an
ifland *, which was tolerably large, and cloathed with forefts. The weather
was warm and agreeable, the fun fhone brightly, and the wind was ftill. In
vain I defired permiffion to land only for two hours ; my requeft was rejeaed.
Towards the evening we hove anchor, and fleering weftefly, paffèd the ifland
into the open fea.
Auguft 3. We came in fight of the continent in latitude 56°. at the diftance
of about fourteen miles N. N. W. § W. and had a diftina view of high mountains covered with fnowt. With an eafterly wind we failed to the fouth,
becaufe the continent ftretched to the weft, and found ourfelves in a kind of
bay; the continent to the W. and N. and the ifland to the E. before which we
anchored on the 2d+.
Auguft 4 to g.    Steering S. we faw feveral high, large, and woody ifiands,
and it is laid down under that name in Muller's chart of Beering's expeditio
thinks it there misplaced, and gives the name to another island not far distar
407, 410.
* Probably one of the islands in the vicinity of Kodiak.
f This is plainly that country which the Russians call Alashka.
I The following part, from the 2d to the 11th, is taken from a Russian translati
journal, a leaf of the original being defective.—Pallas.
But Cook
Vol. 2. p.
n of Steller's
lying mmfmmt
lying S. and W. about the diftance of two or three miles, infomuch that
we feemed inclofed on all fides with land. This group of ifiands fo mum
impeded our progrefs, that although the wind was E. and S.E. and would have
carried us feveral hundred miles in our courfe toward Kamtchatka, yet we
loft the whole time in making repeated tacks. In thefe parts we perceived
numerous herds of fea-dogs, fea-bears, fea-lions (Foca refina et Leonina),
fea-otters and porpoifes, which were the harbingers of a violent ftorm.
Auguft 11.    We proceeded
locked bay due Weft.
rith a gentle S. E. wind out of this land-
Augufl 12. The wind falling calm, it was unanimoufly determined, on
account of the late feafon, and other circumftances, not to explore the continent farther, but to return to Kamtchatka. This deter
figned by all the officers, from the captain to the boatfw
myfelf, furprifed me exceedingly. We did not, however,
courfe to Avatcha, but ran under the land, which was
had followed the American coaft. Between the 13th ai
being weftward, we continued.tacking north and fouth
the latitude of 530 but made little way.
nation, although
i's mate, except
if we
follow the r
On the 18th, at four in the morning, furprifed with hearing the people
on deck talking of land, I went up' and found that they had refolved not to
mention this difcovery, becaufe it appeared in the fouth. This land, though
vifible before fun-rife, was afterwards covered by a fog; yet its vicinity was
evident from the quantity of drifted fea-weeds, and the hidden ceffation of the
weft wind proved that we were between the continent and an ifland.
mÊÊm The officers feemed averfe to maki
unpardonable not to explore it, and i
any fa.
it was aftonifhing that they did not attribute the continual weft wii
the vicinity of land, and endeavour to run fouthward till they came op
the open channel, where they might have expeaed a north or nort
wind, which from the experience of Beering himfelf was known to p
in the autumn.
The 19th, at three in the morning, with an eaft wind we ran due weft.
Towards noon the wind fubfiding, and the horizon clearing up, the continent
was perceived to the north, but notwithftanding the quantity of drifted fub-
ftances, and the appearance of numerous animals and birds, none believed it
except myfelf and a few more. Steering foutherly, on the 20th neither the
land nor any figns of it were vifible.
From the 20th to the 23d we plied under the parallel of 530., and obferved
numerous whales, no longer fingle, but in couples. On the 25th we experienced a violent florm from the weft, which compelled us to drive ; the 26th
we paffed in tacking, and on the 27th the horizon was clear, the air cold, and
the wind continued wefterly.
On this day it was determined on account of contrary winds, and the fcarcity
of water, to take a north-eafterly courfe and return to the land. On the
28th we faw feveral fea-lions, a kind of haddock which is feldom found in
more than ninety fathoms water, and a black fea-gull ; foon afterwards we
imagined we faw land N. by E., and on the morning of the 29th we difcovered
five ifiands, behind which the continent appeared at the diftance of eleven or a0 Russian Discovaaiis
twelve miles. The weather was clear and pleafant, and at three O-bCbck
in. the afternoon we reached,the foremoft of thefe ifiands, lying north ia»d
fputh, and late in the evening anchored near a fmall rooky iflet, about three
verfts from it, to the eaft*. At the largeft of thefe iftands-thêy took in water,
and Steller Umded for a few hours, and found feveral excellent fpringS^bkh
he,, in, Yaypr rf^gnap&endçd, for the calks were filled from brackifh water, to
which he attributes the fcurvy and other diforders afterwards prevalent among
the crew.
After detailing his numerous fquabbles with the officers, Steller thus dc-
fcribesthe ifland and its productions. It appeared to be the largeft of eight
contiguous . ifl^nds, lying within ;t he compafs of fix german miles ; it was
between three and four german miles long, and three or lour verfts in breadth ;
though as we could not fee the extremity, it is doubtful whether this land
did not form part of the continent, which appeared north and weft at the
diftance of ten. miles. This ifland, like the others, conflits of high rocks
ov-ftrfg.4*-. « Uh herbage : the rock is pmnçipaiBy of a yellowHk'-'grey hue, and
in fome places I obferved land ftone and black date. The ec_tft » _ocky
and abound^ with fprings.
The firft animal I obferved was a black fox, which I mi {took for a dog, as
he barked and was not timid. We alfo faw red foxes in differed'places, and
Marmots in great numbers; I perceived the track of an unknown animal
which refembled that of a wolf, though it was much larger.    The feà birds
Is TROM   I7II   TO   I741. 41
were two fpecies of fwans, pelicans (pelicani), razor-bills (toria), ducks,
fnipes, fand-pipers, many forts of gulls, puffins (alca arctica), Greenland
pigeons, divers, and tufted auks (alca cirrhata), among which there is an
unknown fpecies. But of land birds I only perceived ravens, fly-catchers
(grifola), fnow birds (emberiz'a navalis), and moor-hens. "The fifh were,
malma, a fpecies of falmon (tetrœ làgopus), and father-lafhers (cottusfcor-
No trees were difcerned either on this or any of the contiguous ifiands,
nor on one which we difcovered on the 14th, under the fame latitude, and
which could not be above forty miles diftant. All the ifiands, likewife,
which we afterwards obferved in our voyage towards Kamtchatka, were
deftitute of wood ; a circumftance probably a'rifing from their pofition and
narrownefs, for from this point to the coaft of America they lie in the direaion of north-eaft and fouth-weft ; and thofe ftretching towards Kamtchatka north-weft and fouth-eaft. Being long therefore, and narrow in proportion to their length, they experience the moft hidden tranfitions from heat
to cold, and are expofed to the violent ftorms from the north and fouth to
which thefe regions are peculiarly fubjea. Even the loweft fhrubs are fo
crooked, that not one ftraight flick two ells long can be found in a whole
diftria. '   I
All the fhrubs growing in thefe ifles, except the dwarf willow, which does
not rife more than two ells high, have been defcribed in another place. In
general I fhall only add that the moft rare American produaions, growing on
rocks are found here as well as at Cape St. Elias, and Were afterwards obferved in Beering's Ifland, and during the autumn in Kamtchatka. The
G plants 4*
plants growing in vallics and înoift places are the fame as thofe which are
natives of Europe, Afia, and America, under the fame latitude. The vegetable:
produ-tions, which we found of the greateft ufe, were, befides the red bilberries and wbortie berries, the excellent antifeorbutic herbs, cochlearia,
lapathum folio cubitali (heidel beren), or rafpberry, empetrum or fchikfcba,
gentian, and a fpecies of creffes which I colfecled for the captain and myfelf.
In vain I reprefented, that the medicine cheft contained no remedies for the
fcurvy and afthma, the moft common difeafes in fea voyages, and requefted
fome men to gather antifeorbutic herbs for the ufe of the crew : my propofal
was contemptuoufly reje6_ed, even after the captain had recovered the ufe
of his limbs by means of fcurvy-grafs, and the lapathum folio cubitali, which
I prefcribed, in three days, bad-again  fattened the teeth of feveral of the
As it rained in the evening, I built a flicd for the purpofe of paffing the
night on fhore ; but returned to the veffel and reprefented the badnefs of
the water, and urged the neceffity of gathering, herbs. My remonftrances
had no effe&: and I was ordered to gather the herbs myfelf, as if I had been a
furgeon's apprentice.
i haftily
On the 31ft of Auguft I again went on fhore, continuing my t
and exploring the country ; but towards evening I was fummone
the veffel, on account of a rifing ftorm, of which not the leaft fign appeared on
fhore, as the whole crew were to be colleâed on board, that we might be
ready to put to fea, fhould the ftorm drive the veffel. from her anchorage,
although the place was before faid to be proteaed on all fides. FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. ak
We all haftened to the eaftern fhore of the ifland, and-found every tiling
in great confufion; the fick, who were landed the day before, camlet hardly be
conveyed to the boat, the furf running fis» high- that we" were obliged to wade
through the water up to the middle. This day we interred the firft off our
crew who died, of the name of Schumagin, and called the ifland after: him,
Schumagin's Ifland.
On reaching the veffel we had the difappoiritment to find that Kytrof and
his party, who had been fent on fhore, were not returned, and _ viotea. fe__
blowing from the north-eaft wejwere apprehenfive left we fhould be obliged
to leave them on fhore. Fortunately however, the captain, during the firft
ftorm at midnight, did not permit the cable to be cut, but threw out another
anchor, which faved us from being wrecked in the darknefs of the night, and
in the confufion which reigned among the crew ; and the wind at length
fhifted to the weft, on which quarter we were covered by the land.
September 1. The wind being, ftill high, with continual rain, we paffed the
day wdthiconfiderable anxietyi -tecaufe Kytrofihadnot yet arrived. If we had
not been detained by his abfdnce we might» hatve availed ourfelves of the
favourable gale which continued five daysy and'nïade more than one hundred
miles in our courfe*. On the 3d, Kytrof and his party being: rBturnedj Wë
weighed anchor, and with a fouth-weft wind, paffed round the rocky iflet,
as we could not ftand out to fea till we had cleared theoutermoft ifland to the
fouth-eaft. At two in the afternoon we reached the back part of the ifland,
and came-to anchor two verfts from land.
* Notwithstanding the frivolous complaints of Steller, his own account clearly justifies the
■conduct of Beering. 44
On the 4th we made an attempt to purfue our voyage by paffing round the
■weft fide of the ifland ; but being prevented by a contrary wind, we returned
to our former anchorage. Here we unexpeaedly faw fome Americans :
we heard a loud cry near a rock to the fouth, which we miftook for the
.roaring of a fea-lion, as we did not expea to find inhabitants in a defolate
ifland, at the diftance of twenty miles from the continent. Soon after two
fmall baidars, each containing one man, were obferved approaching our veffel.
At the diflance of half a verft they commenced a long and uninterrupted
oration, which none of our interpreters underftood, and which we fuppofed
to be a prayer, conjuration, or a compliment to welcome us as ftrangersj
fimilar to the ceremonies ufed in Kamtchatka and the Kuril Ifiands. As they
drew near we beckoned them to approach us without fear. But as they by
figns invited us to land, and feemed to offer us wood and water, we again
, Nitifch
which a ceo
beckoned them, and pronounced the wo:
Lahontan in  his defcription of North Amerii
they repeated feveral times, and again pointed t
as he came near, took out from his bofom  :
micaceous earth, and drew marks with it acrofs 1
pears, fluffed his nofirils with grafs, and-thruft thin pieces of bone through the
cartilige of his nofe.    He then took up a rod three ells in length, coloured
red, refemblinga billiard flick*, fattened two hawk's wings to it by means
of whalebone, difplayed it to us, and threw it laughing towards our veffel into
the water.    We in return tied two Chinefe tobacco-pipes and fome glafs beads
land. One however,
iron or lead-coloured
eks in the fhape of two
—— FROM- I7II   TO   I74I. 45
to a little board, and threw it towards him : he took it up, examined it, and
gave it to his companion, who laid it upon his baidar. Becoming bolder, he
approached nearer, but with great caution, tied the body of a hawk em-
bowelled to another flick, 'and held it out to our Koriac interpreter, to
receive from us a piece of Chinefe filk and a looking-glafs. But the interpreter pulling' the flick towards him, inftead of fattening the filk to it, the
American alarmed, let it go, and paddled to a little diftance. We then threw
him the filk and looking-glafs, and they both rowed to land, beckoning us to
follow them. During this interview fome natives on the fhore continued
fhouting, and calling to their companions.
After a fhort converfation the boat was hoifted out, in which I refolved to
go on fhore with Lieutenant Waxel, the Koriac interpreter, and nine of the
crew. We were provided with lances, hangers, and guns, which we concealed
under a fail-cloth to caufe no fufpicion; we alfo took bifcuit, brandy, and other
trifles as prefents. Unfortunately we could not land, the coaft being rockv,
and the furf fo violent that the boat with great difficulty was prevented from
being dafhed to pieces. On our approach, both men and women flocked
towards the fhore, appearing full of admiration, and inviting us in the moft
friendly manner to land. The drefs of both fexes was fo much alike, as to be
fcarcely diftinguifhed from each other.
We accordingly ordered our interpreters to ftrip, and wade through the
water. The iflanders received them in a friendly manner, and holding them
under the arms, which among them is a great mark of refpea, led them to
the place where they had been fitting. They then prefented them with a piece
of whale blubber, talked inceffantly, and pointed towards the other fide of the
hills, as if to. notify the plage of fcheir dwelling, as we afterwards fuppofed from
ob ft_Atifcg fome huts in that direaion, when we coafted the ifland eaftward. '.'
■ S^eyer^Qf thftilia-Mleiis remained gazing at us, and repeatedly invited us to
fhore,- and when we made figns that it was impoffible to venture near the
fhore, one of them- lifted his baidar into the water, and rowed towards us.
JJoflW-tbft. nding my remonftrances he was welcomed with a cup of brandy,
which he, imitating us, emptied quickly, but as quickly fpit up again, appearing indignant at this fuppofed deception. Our men however, thought
the Americans had failors' ftomachs, and endeavoured to remove his difguft
by prefenting him with a lighted pipe of tobacco, which he accepted : but
being equally difgufled. with his attempt to fmoke, rowed away with great
marks of difpleafure. The moft civilized European would be affèaed in
the- fame manner if pre fen ted with, toad-ftool, or rotten fifll and willow bark,
which are delicacies with the Kamtchadals.
The w,ind increafing, we called back the interpreters ; but"the iflanders, who
appeared- defirou. of their company, would not permit them to rcturn. They
teftified a particular partiality to our Koriac, who refembled them in countenance and pronunciation. They firft endeavoured to detain them-by offering
whale blubber and paint; but finding gifts ineffeâual they held them by the
arms, others waded through the water, feized a rope which was fattened to our
boat, and not perhaps aware of our danger, endeavoured to draw it a-fhore.
The iflanders not,being, diffuaded by our figns, we difcharged three mufkets
over their heads, which fo terrified, them that they fell as if thunderftuek.
Our interpreters, availing themfelves of this, opportunity, rufhed into the water,
and waded to theboat.
d£^£jZjg^ FROM   I7II   TO   I74I. A»
On recovering from their alarm the natives made figns for us to depart and
fome even took up flones. We inftantly returned to our veffel, much difiatis-
fied with our adventure ; but we had reafon to congratulate ourfelves on our
fafe arrival, for a brifk fouth wind arofe immediately, and it foon afterwards
began to rain, which continued the whole night.
I fhall here mention a few circumftances which.attraaed my attention
during the fhort time of our continuance on the fhore. The baidars of the
Americans are about twelve feet long, two high, and two broad on the deck,
pointed before, flat and fquare at the Item. The frame appears to be of ribs
joined at each extremity, and extended within by crofs bars. They are
covered with fkins, probably of feals, and flained brown or black.
The iflanders, whom I obferved, were moftly young or middle aged ; they
are of moderate ftature, but tolerably well proportioned; their arms and legs
very flefhy. Their hair is ftraight and of a gloffy blacknefs ; their face brown
and flat, the nofe is likewife flat, but not broad or large, the eyes black, thé
lips thick and turned upwards. Their necks are fhort, fhoulders broad,
bodies thick, but not corpulent, - They wore fhirts made with the inteftines
of whales, either tied round the waift with a thong, or hanging loofe. They
had boots and breeches like thofe of the Kamtchadals, made of feal fkin,
ftained of a brownifh red with alder bark, and at the girdle a long iron knife
hanging in a fheath of very bad workmanfliip, like the Ruffian peafants, which
appeared to be of their own manufaaure.
While one of the natives was cutting a bladder with a knife, we examined
it as accurately as the diftance would permit, and could perceive, that it was 48 RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES
not like European workmanfhip. It may therefore be conjeaured, that they
do not poffefs iron ore, of .which hitherto few or no traces have been difcovered
at Kamtchatka, and are alfo not acquainted with the method of fmelting it.
The neatnefs cf the arrows found in the hut near Cape St. Elias, proves
doubtlefs, that the favages muft have iron or copper knives. On the contrary I know from certain information, that the Tchutfki traded from one of
the neighbouring ifiands to America ; and though this intercourfe, from fome
difagreement has been interrupted, it has been carried on through the inhabitants of the ifles. The chief articles of this traffic are knives, hatchets,
lances, and iron arrow heads, which the Tchutfki purchafe at a very high price
from Anadyrfk, and barter for a much higher with the Americans for the fkins
of fea-otters, foxes, and martens. Now, if the Americans themfelves could
fmelt iron, and fabricate thefe goods, why fhould they buy them at a dear rate
from others ?
September 8, it rained much in the forenoon, but g
noon. The wind being fouth-eaft, we were afraid o
and weighed anchor. At the fame time we obferved i
the fhore. We fought for an anchorage, where we m
the weft, and found one at five o'clock. About
Americans came in their baidars drawn up in a line,
ceremonies which I have already mentioned. Th
coloured green and red, open at top and fhaped
parently for protecting the eyes againft the rays of
fcreens were ornamented with hawks' feathers and g
as the natives of Brazil adorn themfelves with tufts
might lead us to fuppofe, that the natives of this part <
.H be
like can
the fun.
rafs, in t
ire de!
■■■■  ■ K ROM   I7H   TO   I74I. jq
from Afia; for the Kamtchadals and Koriacs wear the like, of which feveral
fpecimens may be feen in the mufeum of St. Peterfburg.
In exchange for a rufty keffîè, five needles, and fome thread, we procured
two of thefe hats ; on one of which was a little image or idol in a fitting
pbfturé, with a feather behind, probably to reprefent the tail. Having exchanged thefe articles they paddled to fhore without any further ceremony,
made a great fire, and fhrieked for a confiderable time : foon after it became
dark, and we did not fee them again.
On this occafion I again obferved, that thefe people deem it a particular
ornament to bore holes in various parts of thé face, as we do in the ears, and to
infert ftones and bones. One of them had put a kind of flate pencil, above two
inches long, through the cartilege of the nofe ; a fécond ftuck a bone, three
inches long, between the chin and under-lip, and a third in both noftrils.
Finally, I obferved that the greater part of thefe Americans have little or no
beard, in whicb. they agree with the inhabitants of Kamtchatka and other
Siberian nations. It is however ftill to be decided, whether thefe people inhabit the continent or the ifiands. According to my opinion they vifit the
ifiands during the fummer, for the fake of birds and their eggs ; others for
hunting whales and feals, and are probably compelled to return to the continent
in winter for want of fuel.
From the beginning of September, when they feem to have fallen in with the
chain of the Fox Ifiands in latitude 50. to the middle of Oaober, the weather
was extremely variable : they experienced a fériés of ftorms, fuch as appalled
the moft courageous fpirit, and induced the pilot, Haffelberg, to declare, that
during the experience of fifty years, he had never witneffed fuch vie. ent tem-
pefts. During this dangerous navigation, in which they were repeatedly entangled with ifiands, and narrowly efcaped fhipwreck, the mifery and defpon-
dency of the crew were inexpreffible ; and their condition was rendered ftill
more deplorable, by difcontent and infubordination, and by the helplefs ftate
of Beering. At one period only ten perfons were capable of duty, and they
were too weak to furl the fails, fo that the fhip was left to the mercy of
the elements.
Steller draws a linking piaure of their extreme mifery :«—*' The general
diftrefs and mortality," he fays, " increafed fo fall, that not only the fick died,
but thofe who pretended to be healthy, when relieved from their potts
fainted, and fell down dead, of which the fcantinefs of water, the want of
bifcuits and brandy, cold, wet, naked nefs, vermin, fear, and terror were not the
leaft caufes." In this condition they paffed two months, the fport of winds
and waves, uncertain where they were, and what courfe to pur lue ; at one
time attempting to return to the coaft of America, and at another fleering
towards Kamtchatka.
At length, on the 5th of November, when their water was nearly exbaufted,
they were gratified with the fight of land, which was fuppofed to be Avatcha,
though by their reckoning they were between 55°. and 560. latitude, or about
20. to the north of that place. But finding from obfervation that their reckoning was nearly correa, they perceived their miftake, and endeavoured to return
to an ifland which they had paffed, and fuppofed to be Ifopa, which lies near
the peninfula of Kamtchatka, to the north of Avatcha. Towards evening
they flood off the land, to avojid falling in with it in the night, which threatened.
I FROM   I7U   TO   I74I. gt
to be ftormy. It afterwards blew hard, and as they were incapable of furling
the fails, the fhrouds of the main-matt were broken.
. November 6. Lieutenant Waxel, and the mate, Kytrof, over-ruled Beering's opinion to direa their courfe to Avatcha, and perfuaded the crew to
fteer towards the bay laft feen, by affuring them that it was Kamtchatka,
although neither its pofition or appearance refembled any part of that coaft,
and it afterwards proved to be Beering's Ifland. Thefe officers juftified this
meafure from the fcantinefs of water, of which only fix barrels remained _
and by obtaining a certificate from Steller of the fickly flate of the
They accordingly flood towards the land, without taking fufficient precautions ; for the officers were fo negligent, that none of them made their appearance on deck for three hours. And though in confequence of Steller's repre-
fentation, Beering ordered the lieutenant and mate to their duty, they merely
direaed the fleerfman to approach the land. " Soon after fun-fet, we,"
fays Steller, S anchored about a verft from the fhore, in nine fathoms water,
and within half-an-hour, though the night was fine, and the moon ffione extremely bright, a dreadful fwell arofe, which beat the fhip about like a ball,
broke one of the cables, and we expeaed every moment to be driven on fhore
and dafhed to pieces. Diforder and difmay inftantly fpread through the
whole crew, and the officers for a while were incapable of determining what
meafures to purfue. At length, by the advice of Lieutenant Offzin and the
boatfwain, they fuffered the veffel to drive, and after lofing their fécond
anchor, fortunately came into ftill-water, where they call anchor.
H 2 November g£ RUSSIAN   DISC0VE_jIÇ8.
^oxamber7. StelJ^r- was employed in packing, up his baggage, as he forefaw:-
that the veffel would be driven on fhore or dafhed to pieces by the firft ftorm. t
He then landed with Plenifner, his Coffac, and fome of the fickj they, fhot
feveral moor-hens, fea-otters, and fea-hounds which they dreffed, and fent to
the commander and their companions, on board. The othec officers, par-
ticularly Lieutenant Waxel, ftill flattered themfelves that the fhore on which
they were driven, was part of Kamtchatka.; they were however, not acquainted
with the animal called the lea-otter, which at firft was mi flake n for a bear, and
afterwards for an hysena. Towards evening the party- on fhore formed a hut
of drift-woôd, and covered it with an old fail, in which, they paffed the night.
From this place I fhall continue the tranflation of Steller's Journal.
November 8. The weather was ftill agreeable. Mb Plcnifner agreed with
me this morning, that he would fhoot birds, and I fhould. feck other pro-
vi fions ; and at noon we were to meet at this- place. L went a c co r d i n gl y w i t h
my Coffac, eaftward along the fhore, collected feveral natural curiofities, and
hupted fea-otters ; but my Coffac (hot eight flone-foxes, the] tamenefs and
fatnefs of which aftonifhed me much. Towards.noon I returned to our hut,
and after dinner went with Mi Plenifner and our Coffac along the fhore,
weftward, to look for wood or poles, but found nothing. We faw fome fea-.'
otters, and killed feveral ftone-foxes and moor-hens. In returning, we fat
down at a little rivulet, refrefhed ourfelves- witb tea, and thanked God heartily
that we had good water, and flood again on firm land.
This day the fhip was fecured as much as poffible, by cafting all the anchors,
fo the boat did-not come a. fhore.   After fupper, as we were fitting by afire,
a ftone- . ro-m: *7_us to 1741. g*
a,ftone-£bx took away two moo_-.hensan our prefence; which was the firfl
inftance of thofe artful tricks and thefts committed by thofe animals.
I .^encouraged my fi&k[<£ofli_c,, who confidered me as the caufe of his mif-
fortune, and reproached me for my curiDf-tyf'wljich had brought W___ir_J9--thi_'»
trouble, and made the beginning/ ofr' the enfuing fellowship.—<c Be of good
cheer," I faid. " God will help: us : if this is not our country, yet- we have;
hopes to reach it. You fhall not flarve ; if youi cannot work and wait on me,
I will affift andferve you. I know your» integrity and fidelity^, all I have is
yours, afk me only, and I will divide everyr thing wfiih you." He replied,
" I am willing to ferve her majefty, but you brought me: intoi tMs'trnfery :
who forced you to go with thefe people ? could you not have enjoyed the
good living at the Bolchaia Reka?" His fincerity made me laugh heartily,
faying, " thank God we are both alive: as I brought you into thismjferyj-'
you will, if God helps us, have in me a confiant friend and benefaQor. My
intentions were good, Thomas! let yours be the fame; you know not what
might have befallen you at home."
Meanwhile I entered into an engagement with M. Plenifner to build a hut
for our winter refidence, and to afford each other mutual affiftance in cafe we
had landed upon an ifland.
November g. The weather being fine, we made an excurfion to colfea wood,
and fixed on the fpot where we, with the reft of the crew, afterwards built
our huts : we alfo employed ourfelves in hunting foxes, of which we killed
no lefs than fixty, with our hatchets and daggers. Towards evening we returned to our old hut, where feveral fick had been landed from the fhip.
November 10. The wind was eafterly, the weather clear in the forenoon,
and cloudy in the afternoon, but the night was fnowy and windy. We tranf^
ported all our baggage to the place chofen the day before for building a hut,
which was at the diftance of a verft. In the mean time more fick were
brought on fhore, and among thefe the commander, who paffed the night
under a tent, and furprifed us by his patience and refignation. He afked
my opinion of the country : I replied, ,cIt cannot be Kamtchatka, as the great
number and tamenefs of the animals plainly demonftrate that it is either very
thinly or not inhabited. It cannot however, be far diftant, becaufe the vegetable produaions are fimilar to thofe of that peninfula, and none of the
American plants are found here. Moreover, I difcovered the cafement of a
window of Ruffian workmanfhip, probably drifted from the Kamtchatka river.
Should it, however, be any part of the peninfula, it muft be Kronozki Nos,
which I think doubtful from the following circumftances : a part of a fox-trap,
which I difcovered on the fhore, was not formed with iron teeth as in Kamtchatka, and I therefore infer that it was brought from the coaft of America.
I likewife obferved a fpecies of fea animals (manati) not known in the
peninfula, and the fogs which rife to the fouth feem to prove, that there is no
neighbouring land in that direaion." On thefe obfervations the commander
only exclaimed; " Our veffel cannot be favedj God preferve our longboat!"
After fupping with the commander, on the moor-hens fhot by Plenifner,.
I told the furgeon's-mate, Betge, that if he pleafed he might join with us, for
which he thanked me, and we were now four in company. We went to
our new abode, fat by the fire, and fettled our plan over a difh of tea.
I then
mm PROM   I7H   TO   1741. gg
I then raifed a fmall hut, which I covered with my two great coats and an
old blanket. The air-holes on the fides were clofed with foxes which we
had killed this day in great abundance. So we went to reft, and M. Betge
returned to the commander. Near midnight, a violent wind, accompanied
with much fnow, tore off our covering, and we ran towards the fhore to
collea wood, and brought it to a pit hollowed like a grave, capable of containing not more than two perfons. Having laid fome flicks acrofs and
covered it with our clothes, we made a fire, warmed ourfelves, and paffed
the night in the pit, God be thanked, tolerably well.
November 11. I went to the fhore and caught a fea-dog, boiled its lard
with peafe, and fhared it with my three companions, who in the mean time
had made two fhovels, and began to widen our pit. In the afternoon the
Captain Commander was brought on poles, and lodged in a tent formed with
a fail, at the place we had firft chofen for our habitation. We treated him
and two other officers who came to our pit with tea. The officers returned
to thefhip, and M. Kytrof propofed to Lieutenant Waxel to pafs the winter
on board, as being more warm and comfortable than living in a tent on fhore
with a fcarcity of fuel : he came a-fhore however the third day, and could
not be prevailed on to return to the fhip. We now enlarged the pit which
formed our dwelling, colleaed wood for a roof, and for boarding it within.
In the evening we made a flight roof, and received into our dwelling
Rofeling, gunner's-mate. At the fame time fome of the crew who were
capable of working, dug a fquare pit and covered it with double fails, for the
ufe of the fick.
November 12. We worked very hard to complete our dwelling, and
others following our example made the third abode in the famemanfflïrV
.which was named after its beginner (the boatfwain) Alexei Iwanof. To-day
many fick were brought from the veffel, fome of whom died as foon as they
came Into the air, others during the paffage in the boat, and fome on reaching
the fhore. We faw the moft difmal and terrifying obje&s; the foxes mangled
the dead before they could be buried, and were even not afraid to approach the
Jiving and helplefs, who lay fcattered here and there, and finell to them like
dogs. One exclaimed, that he was perifhing with cold ; another complained
of hunger and thirft, as their mouths were fo much affeaed by the fcurvy, that
their gums grew over their teeth like a fpunge. The ftone-foxes, which
fwarmed around our dwellings, became fo bold and mifchievous as to carry
away and deftroy different articles of provifion and cloathing. One took a
fhoe, another a boot, a third a glove, and a fourth a coat ; they even flole the
iron implements. All our attempts to drive them away were ineffectual,
and all ttje puniChments we infliaed on them ferved only to increafe their
audacity : they forced themfelves into our dwellings, and carried away
whatever they could find ; but their artful and comical tricks diverted us in
fpke of our mifery.
November 14.. I went in the afternoon with Plenifner and Betge on a
hunting party : we killed four fea-otters, of which we threw the offal into
a brook; the flefh, the fkins, and entrails we brought home, which we did not
reach till night. We made palatable food of the livers, kidneys, hearts, and
flefh ; but we put no value on the coftiy fkins, and as we had no leifure to dry
and prepare them, they were thrown afide until they were damaged and
gnawed by the foxes.  We now began to prize thofe articles which we ba<$ not
____-*_. FROM   *7t*   TO   1741. 57
cfteemed befi?.e» as hatç^etîji^aigefc- puiïehes, nèadlas, thread; tîwïne, fhocs
fhirts, ftockings, poles, cords, &c. : we were fenfihle"that rank or teàrnii»
would give us here no preference, nor contribute to our maintenance, and
therefore refolved to work without compulfion. To-day I offered the -em-
mander a young fea-otter, seaemmending him to have it dreffed in different
ways, as afubflitute for other frefh meat. But he expreffed a great, antipathy
to this kind of food, and preferred moor-hens, of which we fe_t''h_m more than
he could confume.
! '/_. this period we were employed in conftruaing our huts, and divided
ourfelves into-tl-MC parties ; the firft went to the veffel to land the fick and
provifions ; the fécond drew large pieces of timber the diftance of four verfts ;
but I and a fick gunner remained at home. Befides performing the office
of cook, I vifited the captain, whofe two fervants could render him but little
affiftance, and attended the fick, fupplying them with warm foup, and other
comforts. This day the dwellings being finifhed, we conveyed thither many
fick in the afternoon, who for want of room lay promifcuoufly on the ground
with no other covering but their clothes. They were unable to affift each
other; and npthing was heard but cries and groans, acço_ipi3_. _d with imprecations on the authors of their mifery.'.
November 15. All the remaining patients were landed. One of them
called Boris Saend we took into our abode, and he recovered in three
months. M. Kytrof alfo earneftly befought us to admit him into our fociety,
as he was afraid to remain among the failors, who continually reproached and
threatened him ; but as our dwelling was full, and he was confidered as the
author of our misfortune, his requeft was not complied with. In the enfuing
days our labour and wants increafed. Lieutenant Waxel was alfo landed, fo
much affliaed with the fcurvy, that we relinquifhed all hopes of his recovery:
he received from us all the affiftance in our power, and we anticipated his lofs
as an incalculable misfortune, becaufe Kytrof, the next in command, was fo
detefled by all, that confufion and infubordination would have enfued. We
built a feparate hut for him and fome other patients, and lodged him in the
barrack till it was finifhed. At this' time, the party difpatched to examine the
country returned, with the unpleafing intelligence that it was not connected
with Kamtchatka to the weft ward, and that there were no traces of inhabitants.
We were alfo in continual apprehenfion left the inceffant ftorms fhould drive
our veffel to fea, and with it all our provifions : for, on account of the high
fea, we were unable for feveral days to reach the fhip, and in addition to our
misfortunes, ten or twelve of the crew fell fick in confequence of their repeated exertions to remove the provifions and flores; on the whole, want,
nakednefs, cold, ficknefs, impatience, and defpair were our daily guefts.
At length, towards the end of November, a ftorm fortunately ftranded die
veffel, better than perhaps human fkill could have effeaed, and revived our
hopes of preferving the provifions and materials, as we were no longer compelled to wade through the fea ; and we now repofed ourfelves a few days
to recover our ftrength, abftaining from all work except domeftic occupations.
During this temporary refpite, three perfons were again difpatched to
explore the country towards the eaft ; for all hopes were not yet relinquifhed':
that we were on fome part of Kamtchatka.
^^_J9B-Mtf-J*g-r- FROM   I7II   TO   174t. gg
In the midft of thefe flattering expeaations, feveral perfons expired on
fhore ; among them we greatly regretted the experienced pilot, Andrew
Haffelberg, who had ferved at fea more than fifty years, and continued till
the age of feventy in an unremitting difcharge of his duty. Befides him died
two grenadiers, a gunner, the mailer's fervant, and a mariner.
On the 8th of December Captain Beering died, two days after we loft the
mate, Chitaingof, and on the 8th of January Enfign Lagunof, who was the
thirtieth and laftof our company that died on the ifland.
As the lamentable end of the commander made different impreffions on
different people, I- cannot omit a few particulars relative to his charaaer
and life.
Vitus Beering was a native of Denmark; he was an upright and pious
Chriftian, a friendly quiet man, and univerfally beloved. After two voyages
to the Indies, he entered in 1704 into the Ruffian fervice as lieutenant, and
in 1741 was for his merit advanced to the rank of captain commander. He
was employed in feveral expeditions, particularly the two voyages from
Kamtchatka. Impartial perfons muft allow, that in this fatal voyage he ufed
his utmoft endeavours to perform his duty; he often complained that his
ftrength was no longer adequate to fuch arduous and diftant expeditions, and
frequently lamented that a younger and more aaive perfon had not been
appointed to the command. He was more diftinguifhed for prudence and
circumfpeaion than for promptnefs of refolution, or aaivity of enterprife.
His.principal defea was extreme mildnefs, and too great facility in adopting
the opinions of others, which occafioned thjf ;irifubordination and want of
difcipline fo fatal to the expedhioti. As he frequently «rpreflWi his gratHude
to the Almighty for his 'former fuccefs and recent happinefs, his death was
more lamentable, particularly when it is confidered, that he might have fur-
vived had he reached Kamtchatka, and enjoyed the comforts of a warm dwelling and frefh provifitms1; Whereas hunger,:thirft, cold, fatigi_e, and detfp^frtdency
brought him to the grave. He had been long affliaed with a tertian ague, and
a fwelling in his feet, which being driven by cold to his vital parts, terminated
in a gangrene. He difplayed the moft. affefttng refignation to the wifl of the
Supreme Being, îmdenjoyeôthis'Underftanding and fpefcéhto the lad moment.
He was convinced that we were driven on an unknown land, yet would not
«terrify others by declaring his opinion, but cherifhed their hopes, and encouraged their exertions. He died on the 8th of December, and was buried
the en filing day, according to the proteftant ritual. His body was placed between his adjutant, a commiffary,.and two grenadiers, and we erected a crofs
over the grave to indicate the place of intcrment, and ferve as a mark (hat
we had taken poffeffion of the country.
Soon after the death of our commander, the whole crew were flicltered
from the feverity of the winter in fubterraneous dwellings, contiguous to each
other, which were called the barrack, the hut of thé lieu tenant, mine, Alexei
Iwanof's, and Luka Alcxccf's.
On Chriftmas day inôft of the crew were recovered by the excellent water
and the flefh of fea animals, and turned their principal attention to the means
neceffery for their deliverance. One of their chiefl employments was to hunt
fea animals for the purpofe of procuring food, and of faving their meal ;
which was diftributedwith the ftriEteft ceeoHdroy. From the middle of November FROM I7II  TO  1741. Çt
vember to the beginning of May, the monthly allowance for «tth peribn was
thirty pcmnds, and for the firft two months feveral pounds of barley. 1-,
May and June it was reduced to twenty pounds, and totally withheld durint.
July and Auguft, as twenty-five pood were referred for the voyage to Kamtchatka, of which twenty remained on our arrival at Avatcha. As the meal,
however, had been kept for three years in leather bags, and had been drenched
.rttfrthefaft water, 'iff .thi-h the gunpowder and other articles were diflblved,"
the tafle was extremely naufeous ; and Ufttil we were habituated to the Ufe of
it, produced difkgreeable effeas.
For fome time we prepared the meal by making fmaîi cafeês, âûd frying
them with train oil, or the fat of the fea Cow1; but having ëreSedtWO Ovetn.
before our departure, we once more enjoyed the lux-ury of eating bread.
We had no difficulty in procuring food from thé fea animals, which abounded
in this part of the ifland, until the crew imprudently drove them from the
neighbourhood, by wantonly and unneceffarily annoying them; hence 'ouï'
labour was confiderably increafed, and we were compelled to hunt at a great
diftance from our habitations.
To fupply ourfelves with fuel, was likéwife a confiderable labour, as the
ifland produced nothing but willow buflies, and the drift-wood was often
deeply buried in the fnow. Till the end of March we were compelled to
bring it from, the diftance of even fifteen or fixteen verfts. Our load on
thefe expeditions amounted from fixty to eighty pounds, befides our hatchets.
and kettles, and the neceffary implements for mending our fliOes and clothes.
In April, however, we were relieved from this labour by the thaw, and
breaking up of the veffel.
A regular diftribution of our labour was alfoeflablifhed by our party, and
afterwards adopted by all; a German and a Ruffian daily hunted, others
were employed in fetching wood, and a German and Ruffian ftaid at home
to cook for their companions.
On the 26th of December the fécond party fent on difcovery returned
with the report that we were upon an ifland, the coaft of which they had
traced weft ward ; but from the oars, parts of fifh barrels, and other articles
drifted on the ft rand, they inferred that Kamtchatka was at no great diftance* |]
January 29. Our company killed the firft fea-lion, the flefh of which
was delicious, refembling veal, and the fat was like the marrow of an ox.
On the ill of February, a violent north-weft wind and high tide drove our
veffel into fuch a fituation that we flattered ourfelves we fhould float it at high
water, could we recover our anchors ; but on examination we found it filled
with fand. We were however confoled for this difappointment, as it
diminifhed the labour of breaking up the veffel.
In fpring, the fnow being melted, we could proceed over land to the fouth,
where the otters and fea-dogs had not yet been frightened, and were found
in great numbers; We often vifited thefe parts, notwithftanding the diftance,
and fteepnefs of the mountains. During one of thefe expeditions we nearly
loft a third of our party. The 1 ft of April, the gunner Rofdig, the furgeon's
mate Betge, the midfhipman Sind, and a Coffac went on a hunting excurfion,
and were overtaken towards the evening with fuch a violent hurricane that no
one could Hand upon his legs, nor fee a ftep before him, which was followed
at night by a fall of fnow not lefs than fix feet in depth.    After lying the
whole PROM   I7H   TO   I74I. Cj
whole night under the fnow, they had the greateft difficulty in working their
way through it, to reach the fhore; but the midfhipman had left them, and
feemed to be loft. During this time we were under the greateft alarm left
our companions had periMhed, but fortunately we had fcarcely opened a
paffage to our hut, when three of the people arrived benumbed and fpeechlefs,
and the furgeon's-mate was quite blind. We inftantly undreffed them, covered
them with feather beds, and recovered them with tea. About an hour afterwards three of our men brought back the midfhipman whom they difcovered wandering near the fhore. Having fallen during the night into a
brook, his cloaths and his limbs were frozen, and we were apprehenfive left
his hands and feet would mortify; but he gradually recovered, from the
ftrength of his conftitution, and the furgeon's-mate regained his fight in a
On the 25th of February the mildnefs of the feafon induced us to difpatch
the mate Yufchin, with four men to explore the country weftward ; but in fix
days they only reached the northern point of land fixty verfts from our
abode, and after amufing themfelves with hunting beavers, they returned on
the 8th of March, with a falfe account that the fteep rocks extending into the
fea had prevented them from proceeding.
On the 10th of March it was refolved to fend a party with Alexei
Iwanof, one of the failors, by Lefnaya Retfchka over the land to the fouth,
and then along the fhore till he fhould reach the end of the ifland or the
continent, as we then .thought we were ftranded on Kronozki Nofs. Thefe
fcouts began their journey the 15th of March, but returned unexpeaedly
the 19th, alfo with the report that they could not proceed farther fouthwardon
account of the precipitous rocks. During this expedition they difcovered
fome of the pieces of the floop which was built the laft winter at Avatcha,
which, the carpenter Akâlof, recoUe&ed; they alfo faw an animal which from
their defcription appeared to be a fea-bear.
On the 22d of March, the fame party were ordered to proceed to the
northernmoft point, and from thence fouthward, unlets they fhould meet with
infurmountable obftacles : in that cafe they were to return to the north, or by
crofting the mountain, continue till they reached the continent or difcovered
the termination of the ifland. In the latter cafe they fhould inftantly return
and profecute the building of the veffel ; but fhould they reach the confinent
or Kamtchatka, half of the party were to proceed to Avatcha, and the
remainder bring the information to our abode.
I, together with three of my companions, went with this party, and crofted
the country for the firft time near Lefnaya Retschka. There we killed
feveral fea-otters, which were fo numerous that we might have flauglucrcd
a hundred, had we not been more defirous of their flefh than of their coflly
On the 5th of April, during a gleam of favourable weather, Plenifner,
and myfelf, with my Coffac, and a fervant of Beering, went on a hunting
expedition. Having killed as many fea-otters as we were able to carry,
we made a fire in a cliff, where we propofed to pafs the night. At midnight
a violent hurricane arofe, and the fnow fell in fuch quantities that we fhould
have been buried had we not run continually backwards and forwards. In
the morning, after a long and fruitlefs fearçh for fhelter, we refigned ourfelves FROM    I7II    TO    1741. g5
.elves to our fate ; but the Coffac fortunately difcovered a large cavern,
which feemed to have been formed by an earthquake. Here we entered
with our provifion and wood. This cave afforded a fecure retreat from the
weather, contained a cavity in which we could hide our provifions from the
depredations of the ftone-foxes, and was provided with an aperture which
ferved the purpofe of a chimney. This cave and the bay were named in
compliment to me. The cavern was inhabited by numerous foxes, which
retired on our approach through the chimney ; but the fmoke from our fire
caufed fuch fneezing and fpitting amongft them, as gave rife to no fmall
diverfion; but at night'they occafionally returned into the cave, andamufed
themfelves with taking our caps and other fimilar gambols. On the 4th we
returned to our abode with a rich booty, and were received with great
delight by our companions, who. thought us loft.
Some days before, a hunting party was undertaken by the.mate Yufchin,
three men, and the fhip carpenter (who had engaged to build a new veffel
from the wreck), and upon whom therefore all our hopes of deliverance
depended. Having fought a retreat from the violence of the ftorm in a cave
near the fhore, the high water confined them feven days without nourifhment
and fuel, and they did not return till the ninth day, when we thought them
either drowned or buried in the fnow, which fell from the mountains.
On coming home the 8th of April, we heard the agreeable- news, that this
ufeful perfon was returned : the mariner and his party had alfo arrived on the
6th of April, with the information that we were really upon an  ifland,  and
that they defcried high mountains to the north-eaft.   According to the latitude
I think this high land could not be confidered as part of America, but as
another ifland unknown at Kamtchatka *.
As we had no other chance of reaching Kamtchatka than by building a fmall
veffel, we fubfcribed on the 9th of April the following refolutions : 1. The
twelve men who could work with the hatchet fhould'affift the carpenter.
2. The others (except the two officers and myfelf) fhould alternately hunt
and work. 3. The provifions 'fhould be depofited in one place, and every
jnorning a non-commiffioned officer fhould give the toook of each party
his fhare, that the carpenter, might fuffer no want." On the following day
the firft preparations were made ; the vcflel was cleared, and the materials
put on fhore. Whet-ftones were cut and put into troughs, the inftruments
ground, the forge conftruaed, iron claws, wedges, and hammers forged,
wood collected and charcoal made, which laft occafioned the greateft delay.
As the diftance of the place where we hunted was eighteen or twenty verfts,
we were greatly relieved by catching two fea-bears, weighing twenty pood
each, two or three of which were fufficient for a week's provifion. We were
ftill more benefited by a frefh whale thrown up five verfts weftward from our
dwelling on the 20th of April ; it was fifteen fathoms long, and produced fo
much oil and lard that fome barrels of it remained at our departure. The
flefh of the young fea-bears and of female bears maintained us during May
and part of June.
* -SMler was in the right; for this high land seen to the N. E. was Copper Island.—Pallas. f&m 1711 to 1741. 67
The 5th of May the beginning of our véffel, and future ô_.lVêfàri_ë'w__P
made, by laying the flern and fore-pofts of the kéeT,;w_kfii'WaS^é__3'r_||§a'
at the invita... h of Lieutenant Waxel, for want of other liquor, with Mongolian
Saturn, or tea-foup, prepared'.. ilh flour and butter.
The mild weather in the fpring having diffolved the fnow, rn'ti-bh* drift"
wood was found on fhore, which furnifhed charcoal fufficient for the forge ;
we alfo procured many hérb.'-âfftd roots, which afforded us an agreeable and
wholefome change of diet. On the 1 tth of May and following days, it not
only thawed, but the continuer faifr^ith fouth-eaft winds caufed fuch an
inundation that the rivulets overflowed our fubterraneous dwellings to the
depth of two feet ; we therefore built fummer huts above ground. The
ooh-Brtiaion of our veffel was delayed on this account, for a few days, but
was again refumed and our ardour increafed, as we hoped to fail for Kamtchatka in Attguft. The mâiMfnânce of the people being facilitated by the
flefh of fea-cows, which we caught in great abundance, we were no longer
under the neceffity of hunting, and the men were thus relieved from undertaking troublefome journies over the mountains, without fhoes or clothes.
By the confiant exertions, and encouragement of Lieutenant Waxel, the
veffel, which was thirty-fix feet long in the keel, and forty-two over the flern *,
was ready to be launched in July.
From that time to the 13th of Auguft we were employed in preparing
the tackling, and building the frame for launching the veffel, which was a
s So in the original, but probably a
difficult undertaking, as we were ill provided with materials, particularly
wood, which was conveyed from the moft diftant parts of the fhore. Mean- '
while fome raifed a flore-houfe to preferve the remainder of the materials;
fome built an oven, and baked bifcuits for the voyage; others prepared
barrels ; fome took foundings, and not a fingleperfon was idle in promoting
our deliverance from this defert ifle.
Ill        1
On the 8th of Auguft, every thing was in order and ready for the voyage.
After offering up public prayers for fuccefs in our enterprife, we gave the
veffel the name of St. Peter, and all affifted in launching it. But to our_great
confirmation the veffel hung on the flocks, and it was not without difficulty
that we floated it the following day. We continued our exertions night and
day; on the nth the veffel was matted and rigged; then the water and provifions were put on board, and finally the remains of the baggage. Meanwhile a fmall boat was conftruaed by the carpenter. Our provifion confuted of four pounds of butter for each man, twenty-five pood of rye-meal,
five barrels of pickled fea-cow or manati flefh, two pood of peafe, and a
barrel of pickled beef, which notwithftanding our neccifitics had been faved
for our return.
Auguft 13, we -quitted our dwelling
fear, and repaired to the veffel, which wa
exiftence. The veffel was fo fmall that t
each other as they lay down in their refp
nth mixed fenfations of hope and
0 carry us home, or terminate our
crew were obliged to creep over
ive places; Lieutenant Waxel, M.
Kytrof, I, and the fon of the lieutenant, had the beft birth in the cabin ; the
other forty-two men occupied the hold, which was fo full of water barrels,
provifions and baggage, that there was fcarcely room to lie down.    The crew
being *ROM   I7II   TO   I741; €9
being divided into three watches, two places were affigned to three men ;
but as the veffel was ftill too fmall we threw beds and clothes into the fea.
We had fcarcely reached the veffel before we obferved the flone foxes bufy in
examining our dwellings, and dividing the remains of the provifions which
we left behind.
Auguft 14. Having addreffed a fervent prayer for the affiftance of the
Almighty, we weighed anchor, and as the weft wind was favourable to pafs
the eaft point of the ifland, we chofe the direa courfe to Avatcha, though
the mouth of the Kamtchatka river was twice as near, and our veffel ill calculated to fuftain an autumnal ftorm. We advanced fo far with a moderate
wind, that in the evening we reached the fouth-eaft part of our ifland. The
weather being pleafant, we paffed the day in coafling the ifle, and recolleaing
the names we had given to each vale and mountain, which we had fo often, and
with fo much difficulty traverfed, in fearch of provifions.
we were a-breaft of the fartheft point of land, and on
nd being moderate in the forenoon, we ftill defcried
land, which, as the wind increafed, we loft fight of
ontinued now fleering between weft  and fouth to
Late in the even
Sunday the 15th, the
the fouth part of the
towards night. W<
Avatcha, with favourable wind and weather. But at midnight we were much
terrified, as we perceived water in the veffel, which being crowded, it was
difficult to find the leak. Having omitted to place kettles under the pumps,
they were foon choaked by the chips in the hold, and the danger increafed
every moment, the wind being high and the veffel weakly built. In this
alarming fituation the fails were furled, and the,,place cleared ; fome bailed fflT
out the water, and others threw the balls and cartridges overboard. Fortunately the carpenter fucceeded in difcovering and flopping the leak, and
we were providentially faved.
Auguft 16. We purfued our courfe, and early on Tuefî&y the 17th
faw the confinent of Kamtchatka. We made the land near Cape Kronozkoi,
but the weather being foggy we did not fee it till we were within a mile of the
fhore. It was notwithftanding, refolved to fleer for- the harbour from which
we were not lefs than thirty miles. On account-of contrary winds and calms
nine days were fpent in tacking, and it was not till the night of the 26th
of Auguft, after continually rowing for twenty-four hours; that we came into
the bay at- night, and entered on the 21ft in the evening the long wifhed for
'al, the accounts received
Notwithftanding our deliverance' and happy ;
from a Kamtchadal at the entrance gave us great affliftion. Being fuppofed
either dead or fliipwrecked, the greater part of our property had fallen into
the hands of ftrangers. Mean-while we were fo accuftomed to mifery, that
inftead of new projeas we only thought of continuing our ufual manner of
living, and confidered our prefent fituation as a dream. After offering up on
the following day hearty thanks to Heaven, in a common prayer, for our
miraculous prefervation and happy return, the fea-officers refolved to proceed immediately to Okotfk. But I took my leave of them, and walked
thirty miles to Bolcheretfkoi Oftrog, where I fafely arrived in the bofom of
my family the 5th  of September, and celebrated the birth day of our moft
Hi   1
m \-
! FROM   I7H   TO   I741. y-
veffel appointed for Okotfk was driven back into the harbour : but as the
commander negleaed to fend the account of our return by the galliot which
failed after to Okotfk, eight months elapfed before it was known at Peterfburg
that we were not dead. RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
Remarks on Steller's Narrative, and Conjectures relative to the Parts of
America touched at by Beering and Tchelekof.
According to Steller's narrative, Beering firft difcovered the continent
of America in latitude 590. and fome minutes, and longitude 490. or five
hundred dutch miles, from Avatcha, or 2160. from Ferro.
Should this computation be deemed accurate, it would carry them no farther
than that part of the American continent which lies near Shoal Nefs, con-
fiderably to the weft of Cook's River. There was probably little deficiency in
the latitude, but from the authority of Steller himfelf we may infer that the longitude was extremely erroneous ; for be obferves that many errors concerning
the diftance of the two continents muft have occurred, as no notice was taken
of the impediments arifing from currents); it likewife appears, that no aftrono-
mical obfervations were made ; but the longitude computed from the fhip's
reckoning. Hence Muller fays, Beering difcovered the continent of America
in 580. 28'. latitude, and 50°. eaft longitude from Avatcha according to computation, and Tfchirikoff in 560. latitude, and 6o°. longitude; but he fuppofes
that both may have been miftaken, for if we compare their voyage thither,
with their return, it feems that Captain Beering was on the coaft of America,
in longitude 6o°. from Avatcha, or 2360. from Fero, and Tfchirikof in 65°.
from Avatcha, or 241 °. from Fero.
-■-ri FROM   1711    TO    1741. 73
Confidering thefe uncertain data, and the fcanty information contained in
Muller's Account, it is no wonder that doubts fhould be entertained, whether
Beering and Tfchirikof reached America; and that fince later difcoveries
have removed thofe doubts, fubfequent navigators have not afcertained the
. precife parts which they reached. For fome of the late Ruffian navigators lay
down the utmofl limits of Beering's Voyage, too near the weftern fhore
of Montague ifland, at the entrance of Prince William's Sound, place Mount
St. Elias upon that ifland, and fuppofe the part of the continent firft difcovered
by Beering, to be that land which lies between Prince William's Sound, and
Cook's Inlet; but this fuppofition is wholly incompatible with both Muller's
and Steller's Narrative.
Captain Cook, after candidly allowing the difficulty of afcertaining the
difcoveries of the Ruffians from a confufed and uncertain narrative, conjectures that Beering reached the continent a little to the northward of Cape
Fairweather, where he perceived an appearance of a bay and an ifland off the
fouth point of it, that was covered with wood. He confiders this bay as
fituated in latitude 590. 18'. and longitude 2210. eaft from Greenwich, and it by the name of Beering's bay : the high mountain which he
faw in 580. 53'. at forty leagues diftance, he calls Beering's Mount St.
"Vancouver however afferts that no fuch bay or ifland exifts in that latitude,
and that Cook was led into the miflake by the great diftance at which he faw
the coaft. He therefore places Beering's Bay a little farther to the north-
weft, at Dixon's Admiralty Bay*, in latitude 590. 33'. and longitude 2200. 30'.
* Called by Pérouse, Baie de Monti.   Tome 2, p. 160,4to. edition. n
weft from Greenwich. He cenfures Portlock and Dixon for laying down
Beering's and Admiralty Bays as two bays, declares th_t die minute examirt*.
tion with which he furveyed the coaft, enabled him to affert, that betweeb
Capes Suckling and Fairweather, Admiralty Bay is the only bay, which
according to Kytrofs defcription, " affords between ifiands a convtment
nnchoring place, fecure from all winds ;" that its latitude accords nearly with
that affigned by the Ruffians to Beering's difcovery ; hence he fuppofes
it to be the fame as that defcribed by Cook, calls it Beering's Bay, and
confiders a cove denominated by Dixon, Port Mulgrave, as the anchoring
place explored by Kytrof. But notwithftanding the minutcncnefs of Vancouver's examination, Cook is juftified in placing a bay which he calls Beering's !Bay, between Admiralty Bay and Cape Fairweather; for exaaiy in
the latitude and longitude mentioned by Cook, La Péroufe difcovered a
bay with one or two ifiands off its fouth point, into which a river empties
itfelf, called by him Beering's River.*
But it fufficiently appears from Steller's Narrative, that neither of thefe
bays could be that difcovered by Beering and explored by Kytrof; for
neither of them is diftinguifliéd by that long, narrow, and mountainous ifland
lying off the continent, which was examined by Steller, and is too remarkable
to be overlooked.
In faa, the only bay hitherto difcovered between Prince Wilîiàm*s Sound
and Cape Fairweather, whicb' ànfwers Steller's defcription, and by its pofition
fuits the courfe of the voyage, is Cook's Comptroller's Bay, fituated near the 1
FROM    1711    TO    I74I. ^
latitude of 608. and longitude 216°. 20'. eaft from Greenwich, or 234°. from
Fero. At the mouth of this bay is a long narrow and mcmnta_Hous ifland,
called by Cook, Kaye's Ifland, which is feparated from the eaftern extremity
of Cape Suckling» by a lirait about a mile and a half broad, with a fmaller
ifland towards the weft, denominated by Vancouver Wingham's Ifland, and
between which there is good anchorage. Towards the entrance of the bay are
feveral rocky iflets; within are many fmall ifiands, and a large river empties
itfelf towards the north-weftern extremity. Vancouver afferts, that Comptroller's Bay, and Kaye's Ifland, could not be the places firft difcovered by
Beering, becaufe " that bay is rendered inaeceffible by fhoals, and incapable
affording any fhelter to Slipping." But he makes this affertion without
fufficient evidence, and the furvey of thofe parts taken by Mr. Puget, under
his orders, proves that there was a good paffage between Wingham's and
Kaye's Ifland, and the continent, and good anchorage in the vicinity of both
thefe ifiands 5 there is no reafon therefore to fuppofe that Beering's veffel,
which only drew nine feet water, could not have paffed the fhoal into the bay,
for Mr. le Mefurier, who founded the paffage, found at leaft 25 fathoms of
water at the edge of the fhoal. The affertion that it is incapable of affording
fhelter to Gripping can only be proved from experience, and Cook defcribes
it as covered from almofk all winds. Mr. Puget found excellent anchorage
on the eaft fide of Wingham's Ifland, and the place where the Chatham
anchored off Kaye's Ifland, was well protected from the moft prevailing winds.
It is not probable, therefore, when we confider the form of the bay, and the
proteaion afforded by Kaye's and Wingham's Ifiands, and a fpit of land
extending from Cape Suckling to the north-weft, that it fhould not afford
proteaion to a fmall veffel like Beering's, between the ifiands, which, according to Cook, it contains. The afpea of the country, partly low and and
fandy, pardy elevated traas of thick foreft, and rifing into mountains covered
with fnow, anfwers to the defcription of Steller, and the flupendous fumn_ît*i
of Mount St. Elias, refembles the mountain noticed by Steller, as the
highefl he had ever feen, and which he difcerned at the diftance of fixteen
dutch miles from land. Cook obferved Mount St. Elias at the diftance
of forty leagues, and Vancouver fays, " till eleven at night Mount St. Elias
was yet within our vifible horizon, appearing like a lofty mountain, although
the diftance of one hundred and fifty geographical miles*."
After endeavouring to reconcile the accounts of Muller and Steller, and
comparing their narratives with Cook's and Vancouver's journals, I am
induced to conjeaure, that Beering firft difcovered the continent of America
in the neighbourhood of Kaye's Ifland, and after much oppofition from
contrary winds, anchored either between Wingham's and Kaye's Ifland, or
between Kaye's Ifland and Cape Suckling. They remained only one day on
this fpot, during which Steller explored Kaye's Ifland, and Kytrof difcovered
the anchorage in the bay. Kaye's Ifland was probably the Cape St. Elias.
Sailing from Kaye's Ifland, they continued along the coaft until they fell
in with the fand-bank, which, according to Vancouver, ftretcbes from the
* Vol. 3, p. 210.
q informed by Mr. Men
who ac<
1,980, or 11,880 French feet.—Voyage de la Permise, toi.
observations, it exceeds the height of Mont Blanc by 2,4(
by 4,872 French feet.—(See Travels in Switzerland, Lt
stupendous mountain, which seems wholly covered with s
vol. 3, p. 204. ÏR0M   I7II   TO   1741.' 7»
north-eaftern point of Hinchinbrook Ifland to Cape Suckling. Steering
inftantly fouth to avoid this fhoal, they miffed the entrance of Prince
William's Sound, and failing through the open fea for feveral days, anchored
under a woody ifland, tolerably large, which Beering called Toomanoi Oftrof
or Foggy Ifland, and which was probably that lying in latitude 56*. 10'. and
longitude 2020. 45'. eaft from Greenwich. Direaing their courfe due weft,
they difcovered that land in 560. latitude which is now called Alafka. Being
prevented from running either north or weft by the prolongation of the
continent, they failed fouth and fouth-weft, and became entangled among the
Schumagin Ifiands, which are fituated in latitude 550. 25'. When they had
cleared thefe ifiands, which employed them feveral days, they feem to have
paffed fouth of the Aleutian and Fox Ifiands, occafionally difcovering land,
which they confidered as the continent, and after being driven about by violent
ftorms, miftook their courfe, and were fhipwrecked on Beering's Ifland,  -"ROM   I7II   TO   1741i
From 1741 to 1778.
Conqueft of Siberia—Commencement of the New Difcoveries—Their Progrefs
—Encouraged by the Emprefs—Pofttion of the New-difcovered I/lands.
A THIRST after riches incited the Spaniards to the difcovery of America,
and turned the attention of other maritime nations to that quarter; and
the fame paffion occafioned, about the middle of the fixteenth century, the
difcovery and conqueft of Northern Afia, a country before unknown to
Europeans. The foundation of this conqueft was laid by the celebrated
Yermac*, at the head of a band of adventurers, lefs  civilized, but lefs
» The reader will find an account of t
;t of this work,
>nquest of Siberia, related in the subsequent
inhuman mmmmmm
inhuman than the conquerors of America. By the acceffion of this vaft
territory, now known by the name of Siberia, the Ruffians acquired an extent
of empire never before attained by any nation.
The firft projea for making difcoveries in that tempeftuous fea, which
lies between Kamtchatka and America, was conceived and planned by
Peter I. the greateft fovereign who ever fat upon the Ruffian throne, until it
was adorned by Catherine the fécond. The nature and completion of this
projea under his immediate fucceffors, are well known to the public from the
relation of the celebrated Muller. No fooner had Beering and Tchirikof
opened their way to ifiands abounding in valuable furs, than private merchants
engaged with ardor in fimilar expeditions ; and, within a period of ten years,
more important difcoveries were made by individuals, at their own private
coft, than had been hitherto effeaed by all the expenfive efforts of the
Soon after the return of Beering's crew, the inhabitants of Kamtchatka
ventured over to the ifland, on which Beering was fhipwrecked and died,
where fea-otters and other fea-animals reforted in great numbers. Mednoi
Oflrof, or Copper Ifland, which takes that appellation from large maffes of
native copper found upon the beach, and which is feen from Beering's Ifle,
was an eafy and fpeedy difcovery.
Thefe two fmall uninhabited fpots were for fome time the only ifiands
known, until a fcarcity of land and fea-animals occafioned other expeditions.
Several of the veffels fent out upon thefe voyages were driven by ftormy
weather to the fouth-eaft ; by which means the Aleutian Ifles, fituated abouj:
the PROM   1741   TO   1778. 8l
the 195th * degree 0/ longitude, and but moderately peopled, were firft
From I745, when thefe ifiands were firft vifited, until 1750, when the
firft tribute of furs was brought to Okotfk, the government was not fully
informed of their difcovery. In that year, Lebedef was commander of
Kamtchatka. From 1755 to 1760, Captain Theredof and Lieutenant
Kafhkaref were his fucceffors. In 1760, Feodor Ivanovitch Soimonof,
governor of Tobolfk, turned his attention to thofe ifiands, and, the fame year,
Captain Rtiftfhef, at Okotfk, inftruaed Lieutenant Shmaleff, the fame officer
who was afterwards commander in Kamtchatka, to promote expeditions in
thofe feas.
The prefent Emprefs (to whom every circumftance which contributes to
aggrandize the Ruffian empire is an objea of attention) has given new life
to thefe difcoveries. The merchants who engaged in them have been animated by rewards, and the importance and true pofition of the Ruffian ifiands
have been afcertained by an expenfive  voyage t made by order  of the
Meanwhile, we may reft affured, that feveral modern geographers have
* The author reckons, throughout this t
of Fero. The longitude and latitude, whicl
those in the general map of Russia. The
the Aleutian Isles, are somewhat different.
t The author here alludes to the sec
eatise, the longitude from the first meridian of the isle
hé gives to the Fox Islands, correspond exactly with
longitude of Beering's Island, Copper Island, and of
See advertisement relating to the Charts.     .
ret expedition of Captain Krenitzin and Levashef,'
■der of the Empress of Russia, to Dr. Robertson, and ^m^sm
g_ «t-ftASf  Ôl-dOVERIES
ërred hSf a^ncing America too much to the weft, and in queflionmg the
extent of Siberia eaftwards, as laid down by the Ruffians. It appears, indeed^
evident, that the accounts and even conjeaures of Muller, concerning the .
pofition of thofe diftant regions, are more and more confirmed by faftsf; in
the fame manner as the juftnefs of his- ftfppofition' Concerning the coaft of thé
fea of Okotfk * has been lately eftablifhed. With refpea to the extent of
Siberia, it appears almoft beyond a doubt, f_o_b the moft recent obfervations, that its eafretti extremity i_. fitti-ted beyond 2000. of longitude. In
regard to the weftern coaft of America, all the navigations to the ncw-dif-
covered ifiands evidently fhew, that between 50 and 6o°. of latitude, that
tebntiHént advances no where nearer to Afia than the coafts touched at by
Beering and Tchirikof, or about 2360. of longitude.
As to the new-difcovered ifiands, no credit muft be given to a chart
publifhed in the Geographical Calender of St. Peterfburg for 1774; nor is
the antient chart of _h'e difcoveries, publifhed by the Imperial Academy,
which feems to have been drawn up from mere reports, more deferving of
The late navigators give a far different defcription of the northern
Archipelago. From their accounts we learn, that Beering's Ifland is fituated
due eaft from Kamtchatkoi Nofs, in the 185th degree of longitude.    Near
' the sea of Okotsk s
voyage made by Capta FROM   1741   TO   1778. 83
it is Copper Ifland ; and, at fome diftance from them, ea_>-fontb-e-.fL are
three fmall ifiands, named by the inhabitants, Attak, Semitfhi, and Shemiya.
thefe are properly the Aleutian ifles ; they ftretch from weft-north-weft
towards eaft-fouth-eaft, in the fame direaion as Beering's and Copper
Ifiands, in the longitude of 1950. and latitude 540.
To the north-eaft, at the diftance of fix or eight hundred verfts, lies
another group of fix or more ifiands, known by the name of the Andreanofffkie
South-eaft, or eaft-by-fouth of thefe, at the diftance of about fifteen
degrees, and north by eaft of the Aleutian, begins the chain of Lyffie Oftrova,
or Fox Ifiands : this chain of rocks and ifles ftretches eaft-north-eaft between
56 and 61°. of north latitude, from 211°. of longitude moft probably to the
continent of America; and in a line of direaion, which croffes with that in
which the Aleutian ifles lie. The largeft and moft remarkable of thefe ifiands
are Umnak, Aghunalafhka, or, as it is commonly fhortened, Unalafhka,
Kadyak, and Alagfhak.
Of thefe and the Aleutian Ifles, the diftance and pofition are tolerably
well afcertained by fhips reckonings, and latitudes taken by pilots. But the
fituation of the Andreanofffky Ifles * is ftill doubtful, though probably their
direaion is eaft and weft ; and fome of them may unite with that part of the
Fox Ifiands which is moft contiguous to the oppofite continent.
* These are the same islands which are called, by Mr. Straehlin, Anadirsky Islands, from
their supposed vicinity to the river Anadyr, and are probably part of the Fox Islands. 84 RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
No veffels have yet reached the main land of America, though poffibly the
time is not far diftant when fome of the Ruffian adventurers will fall in
with that coaft. More to the north perhaps, at leaft as high as 700. latitude,
the continent of America may approach the coaft of the Tfchutfki, and form
a large promontory, accompanied with ifiands, which have no conneaion
with any of the preceding ones. That fuch a promontory really exifts, and
advances near to Tfchukotfkoi Nofs, can hardly be doubted ; at leaft it feems
to be confirmed by all the lateft accounts which have been procured from
thofe parts. That prolongation, therefore, of America, which by DeHfle
is made to extend weftward, and is laid down oppofite to Kamtchatka
between 50 and 6o°. latitude, muft be entirely removed ; for many of the
fhips whofe voyages are related in this colleaion, paffed through that part
of the ocean where this imaginary continent was placed.
It is even more than probable, that the Aleutian, and fome of the Fox
Ifiands, are the fame which Beering fell in with upon his return ; though,
from the unfteadinefs of his courfe, their true pofition could not be exaaiy laid
down in the chart of that expedition*.
As the fea of Kamtchatka is now fo much frequented, thefe conjeaures
cannot remain long undecided ; and it is only to be wifhed, that fome expeditions were made north-eaft, to difcover the neareft coafts of Arnerica.
For there is no reafon to expea fuccefs by taking any other direaion ; as
that their situation corresponds with that of the Fox Islands in the general map of Russia,
prefixed to this work. ÏROM   I74I   TO   I778. 85
all the veffels, which have fleered a more foutherly courfe, have failed through
an open fea, without perceiving figns of land.
A full and judicious account of all the difcoveries hitherto made in the
Eaftern ocean may be expeaed from Muller*. Meanwhile, the following
narrative, extraaed from original papers, and procured from the beft intelligence, may be acceptable to the public; and induce the Ruffians to publifh
more circumftantial relations. Befides, the reader will here find a more
authentic and accurate account than has been publifhed in the calendar of
St. Peterfburgt; and feveral miftakes in that memoir are correaed.
* Muller has already arranged 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.
f A German copy of the treatise alluded to in the text, was sent, by its author, Mr. Staehlin,
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 M
RUS-JS-K ï>__0J>V_'R-«--
Voyages in 1745—Firft difcovery of the Aleutian Ifles by Michael
VOYAGE made in the year 1745 by Emilian Baffof fcarcely deferves
' notice, as he only reached Beering's Ifland, and two fmailer ones to
the foutb, and returned on the 31ft of July, 1746.
The firft remarkable voyage was undertaken in the year 1745. The
veffel was a Shitik named Eudokia, fitted out at the expence of Aphanaffei
Tfebaeflkoi, Jacob Tfiuprof, and others; fhe failed from the Kamtchatka
river September 19, under the command of Michael Nevodtfikof, a native of
Tobolfk. Having difcovered three unknown ifiands, they wintered upon
one of them, in order to kill fea-otters, which were numerous. Thefe
were undoubtedly the neareft* Aleutian ifiands: the language of the inhabitants was not underftood by a Kamtchatkan interpreter. For the purpofe
therefore of learning this language, they carried back with them one of the
iflanders, and prefented him to the chancery of Bolcheretfk, with a falfe
account of their proceedings. This if lander was examined as foon as he
had acquired a flight knowledge of the Ruffian language, and, as it is faid,
gave the  following report.    He was called Temnac, and the name of the FROM   1741   TO   I778. 87
ifland of which he was a native, was Att. At fome diftance from thence is a
great ifland called Sabaya, of which the inhabitants are denominated Kogii,
who, as the Ruffians underftood or thought they underftood him, made
croffes, had books and fire arms, and navigated in baidars or leathern canoes.
At no great diftance from the ifland where the Ruffians wintered, were two
well inhabited ifiands : the firft lying E. S. E. and S. E. by S., the fécond
E. and E. by S. Temnac was baptised under the name of Paul, and fent to
As the mifbehaviour of the fhip's crew towards the natives was fufpeaed,
partly from the lofs of feveral men, and partly from the report of thofe
Ruffians, who were not concerned in the diforderly behaviour of their companions, a flria enquiry was inftituted; and the following circumftances
tranfpired from the relations of the commander and fome of the crew.
After fix days failing, they came in fight of the firft ifland on the 24th of
September, at mid-day, paffed it, and towards evening difcovered the fécond
ifland ; where they lay at anchor until morning.
On the 25th feveral" inhabitants appearing on the coaft, the pilot rowed
towards fhore in the fmall boat, with an intention to land; but, obferving
their numbers increafe to about an hundred, he was afraid of venturing,
although they beckoned to him. He contented himfelf, therefore, with flinging fome needles amongft them, and the iflanders, in return threw into the
boat fome fea-fowl of the cormorant kind. The captain endeavoured to
hold a converfation with them by means of the interpreters, but no one
underftood their language.    The crew now attempted to row the veffel out 88 RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
to fea; but the wind being contrary, they were driven to the other fide of
the ifland, where they eaft anchor.
. The next day Tfiuprof, having landed with fome of the crew to look for
water, met feveral inhabitants : he gave them fome tobacco and fmall Chinefe
pipes, and received in return a prefent of a flick, upon which the head of a
feal was carved. They endeavoured to wreft his mufket from him, but
without effea; and as he was retiring towards the boat, they feized the rope
which fattened it to the fhore. This attack compelled Tfiuprof to fire, and
having wounded one perfon in the hand, they quitted their hold, and he
rowed back to the fhip. The favages inftantly threw off their clothes, carried
the wounded perfon into the fea, and wafhed him. In confequence of this
encounter, the fhip's crew would not venture to winter at this place ; but
rowed back to the other ifland, where they came to anchor.
fit "t
The next morning Tfiuprof and Shaffyrin landing with a larger party,
obferved traces of inhabitants ; but meeting none, returned to the fhip, and
coafted the ifland. The following day the Coffac Shekurdin went on fhore,
accompanied by five failors, two of whom he fent back with a fupply of water,
and remained with the others to hunt fea-otters. At night the party came
to fome dwellings inhabited by five families ; but, upon their approach the
natives abandoned their huts, and hid" themfelves among the rocks. Shekurkin
having, returned to the fhip, was again fent on fhore with a larger company,
to difcover a proper place for laying up the veffelduring winter. In their
way they obferved fifteen iflanders upon a height, and threw them fome
fragments of dried fifh, in order to induce them to approach nearer; but as
this overture did not fucceed, Tfiuprof ordered fome of the crew to  feize FROM   I74I   TO   1778. 89
one of them for the purpofe of learning their language. This order was
executed, notwithftanding the refiftance of the iflanders with their bone-
fpears ; and the Ruffians immediately returned with their prifoner to the fhip..
They were foon afterwards driven to fea by a violent ftorm, and beat
about from the 2d to the gth of Oaober, during which time they loft their
anchor and boat ; at length they came back to the fame ifland, where they
paffed the winter.
Soon after landing, they found in an adjacent hut the bodies of two
inhabitants, who were probably killed in the laft encounter. In their way
the Ruffians were met by an old woman who had been taken prifoner, and fet at
liberty. She was accompanied with thirty-four iflanders of both fexes, dancing
to the found of a drum, and brought a prefent of coloured earth. Pieces of
cloth, thimbles, and needles, were diftributed among them in return, and
they parted amicably. Before the end of Oaober, the fame perfons, together
with the old woman and feveral children, returned dancing as before ; brought
birds, fifh, and other provifion, and paffed the night with the Ruffians.
Soon after their departure, Tfiuprof, Shaffyrin, • and Nevodtfikof, accompanied with feven of the crew, followed them, and found them among the
rocks. In this interview the natives behaved in the moft friendly manner ;
and exchanged a baidar and fome fkins for two fhirts. They were obferved
to have hatchets of fharpened ftone, and needles of bone; they lived upon
the flefh of fea-otters, feals, and fea-lions, which they killed with clubs and
On the 24th of Oaober, a party of ten perfons, fent by Tfiuprof under
the command of Larion Belayef, treating the inhabitants in a hoftile man-
N ner,. ner, they defended themfelves with their bone-lances. This refiftance gave
the Ruffians a pretext for firing» and they killed fifteen men, in order to feize
their women.
Shocked at thefe barbarous proceedings, Shekurdin retired privately to the
fhip and made a report to Tfiuprof, who countenanced inftead of punifhi ng
thefe cruelties, as he was incenfed againft the iflanders for refilling to give
him an iron bolt, which he faw in their poffeffion. He had even committed feveral a6ls of hoftility againft them, and had formed the horrid deffgn
of poifoning them with a mixture of corrofive 1 ublimate. To preferve appearances however, he difpatchcd Shekurdin and Nevodtfikof to reproach
Belayef for his difordcrly conduâ ; but fent him at the fame time a fupply
of ammunition.
The Ruffians continued upon this ifland, where they caught many fea-
otters, until the 14th of September, 1746; but dreading the refentment of
the natives, they put to fea with an intention of licking for fome uninhabited
ifiands. They were however overtaken by a violent ftorm, and Were driven
about until the 30th of Oaober, when their veffel f I rue k upon a rocky fhore,
and was wrecked, with the lofs of almoft all the tackle, and the greater part
of the furs. Worn out with cold and fatigue, they ventured, the lft of
November, to penetrate into the interior of the country, which they found
rocky and uneven, and were informed by fome of the natives that the
ifland was called Karaga, and that the inhabitants were tributary to Ruffia,
and of the Koriac tribe. The iflanders behaved to them with great kindnefs
until Belayef attempted to feduce the wife of the chief.   The woman gave
intel- ==—
FROM   I74I   TO   I778. gi
intelligence to her hufband, and the natives threatened the whole crew with
immediate death; but means were found to pacify them.
The 30th of May, 1747, a party of Olotorians made a defcent upon
the ifland in three baidars, and attacked the natives ; but, after fome lofs
on both fides, they went away. They foon after re-appeared with a larger
force, and were again compelled to retire ; but as they threatened to return
in a fhort time, and deftroy all the inhabitants who paid tribute, the iflanders
âdvifed the Ruffians to depart, and affifted them in building two baidars.
They put to fea the 27th of June, and landed on the 21ft of July at Kamtchatka, with the remainder of their cargo, confifting of three hundred and
twenty fea-otters, of which they paid the tenth into the cuftoms. Twelve
men were loft during this expedition. RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES
CHAP. 3.
SucceJJive Voyages, from 1747 to 1753, to Beering's and Copper Ifland, and to
the Aleutian Ifles—Voyage of Emilian Yugof—Of the Boris and Glebe—Of
Andrew Tolftyk to the Aleutian Ifles, 1749—Voyage of Vorobief, ijgo—Of
Novikof and Baccof from ' Anadyrfk—Shipwreck upon Betting's Ifland—
Voyage of Dur nef, in the St. Nicholas, 1754—Narrative of the Voyage—
Defcription of the Aleutian Ifles—Some Account of the Inhabitants. ■
TN 1747 * two veffels failed from the Kamtchatka river, according to a
permiffion granted by the chancery of Bolcheretfk for hunting fea-otters.-'
One was fitted out by Andrew Wfevidof, and carried forty-fix men, befides
eight Coffacs : the other belonged to Feodor Kolodilof, Andrew Tolftyk,
and company; her crew, confifted of forty-one Ruffians and Kamtchadals,
with fix Coffacs.
The latter veffel failed the 20th of Oaober, and was forced by ftrefs of
weather and other accidents, to winter at Beering's Ifland. From thence
they departed May the 31ft, 1748, and touched at another fmall ifland to take
in water and other neceffaries. They then fleered S. E. for a confiderable
way without difcovering any new ifiands ; and, being in great wantofpro-
• It may be necessai
relate chiefly to the na
to the departure of the v
vifions, FROM   1741   TO   I778.
vifions, returned to the Kamtchatka river, Auguft 14, with a cargo of two
hundred and fifty old fea-otter fkins, about one hundred young ones, and one
hundred and forty-eight petfi or araic fox fkins, which were all killed on
Beering's Ifland.
We have no account of Wfevidof's voyage, except that he reached an
uninhabited ifland, probably one of the neareft Aleutian Ifles, and returned
the 25th of July, 1749, with the fkins of one thoufand and forty fea-otters,
' and two thoufand araic foxes.
Emilian Yugof, merchant of Yakutfk, obtained from the fenate of St.
Peterfburg permiffion to fit out four veffels for himfelf and his affociates,
and procured the exclufive privilege of hunting fea-otters upon Beering's and
Copper Hands during thefe expeditions, for which monopoly he agreed to
deliver to the cuftoms the third part of the furs.
Oaober 6, 1750, he put to fea from Bolcherefk, in the floop John, manned
with twenty-five Ruffians and Kamtchadals,.and two Coffacs; he was foon.
overtaken by a ftorm, and the veffel driven on fhore between the mouths of
the rivers Kronotfk and Tfehafminfk.
Oaober, 1751, he again failed, and returned on the 22d of July, 1754, to
New Kamtchatkoi Oftrog, with the fkins of feven hundred and fifty-five old
fea-otters, thirty-five cub fea-otters, four hundred and feventeen cubs of
fea-bears, and feven thoufand and forty-four araic fox fkins ; of the latter,
two thoufand were white, and one thoufand feven hundred and fixty-five
black,    Thefe furs were procured upon Beering's Ifland and Copper Ifland,
1 il
where Yugof died. Having difobeyed an injunaion to take on board fome
officers of the Ruffian navy, to accompany him in the expedition, the fhip and
cargo were feized by order of the chancery of Irkutfk, but as it appeared
that certain perfons had depofited money in Yugof's hand, for equipping a
fécond veffel, the crown delivered up the cargo, after referving the third part,
according to the original ftipulation. This kind of charter-company being
foon diffolved through mifcondua and want of capital, other merchants were
allowed the privilege of fitting out veffels, even before the return of Yugof's
fhip, and were more fortunate in making difcoveries.
Nikiphor Trapefnikof, a merchant of Irkutfk, fent out a fhip, called the
Boris and Glebb, upon condition of payign, befide the ufual tribute, the tenth
of all the furs ; the Coffac Sila Sheffyrin went on board for the purpofe of
colleaing it. They failed in Auguft, 1749, from the Kamtchatka river ; and
returned the 16th of Auguft, 1753, with a large cargo of furs. They vifited
an unknown ifland, probably one of the Aleutians, where feveral of the inhabitants were perfuaded to pay a tribute of fea-otter fkins ; the names of thefe
iflanders, were Igya, Oeknu, Ogogoektack, Shabukiauck, Alak, Tutun,
Ononufhan, Rotogei, Tfchinitu, Vatfch, Afhagat, Avyjanifhaga, Unafhayupu,
Lak, Yanfhugalik, Umgalikan, Shati, Kyipago, and Olofhkot * ; another
Aleutian contributed three fea-otters. The cargo c'onfifled of three hundred
and twenty prime fea-otter fkins, four hundred and eighty of the fécond, and
four hundred of the third fort, five hundred female and middle aged, and two
hundred and twenty medwedki or young ones.
The author here remarks ir
this place, and other parts, bear i
to those of the Greenlanders.
:, that the proper names of the
sing resemblance, both in their FROM   I74I   TO   I778. gj
Andrew Tolftyk, a merchant of Selenginfk, having obtained permiffion
from the chancery of Bolcheretfk, refitted a fhip which had made a former
voyage; he failed from Kamtchatka Auguft the 19th, 1749, and returned
July the 3d, 1752.
According to the commander's account, they lay at anchor from the 6th of
September, 1749, to the 20th of May, 1750, off Beering's Ifland, where they
caught only forty-feven fea-otters ; proceeded from thence to the Aleutian
Ifiands*, firft difcovered by Nevodtfikof, and killed one thoufand fix hundred
and fixty-two old and middle-aged fea-otters, and one hundred and nineteen
cubs; their cargo confifted befides of the fkins of feven hundred and twenty
blue foxes, and of eight hundred and forty young fea-bears.
The inhabitants of thefe ifiands did not appear to have ever before paid
tribute ; and feemed to be a-kin to the Tfchutfki tribe, their women being
ornamented with different figures traced in the fkin by means of needles, in
the manner of that people, and of the Tungufians of Siberia. They differed
however from them, by having two fmall holes cut through the bottom of
the under-lip, through each of which they pafs a bit of the fea-horfe tufh,
worked into the form of a tooth, with a fmall button at one end, to keep it
within the mouth. Thefe people killed, without provocation, two Kamtchadals
belonging to the fhip. Upon the third ifland fome inhabitants had paid
tribute : their names were reported to be Anitin, Altakukor, and Alefhkut,
with his fon Atfchelap. The weapons of the whole ifland confifted of only
twelve fpears and one dart of bone, all pointed with flint, and the Ruffians
obferved two figures carved in wood, refembling fea-lions.
* See chap'. 2.
■ Auguft 3, 1750, the veffel Simeon and John, fitted out by Wfevidof, agent
for the Ruffian merchant R. Rybenfkoi, and manned with fourteen Ruffians
(partly merchants, and partly hunters), and thirty Kamtchadals, failed under
the command of the Coffac Vorobief. They were driven by a violent
current and tempeftuous weather to a fmall defert ifland, the pofition of which
is not determined, but it was probably one of thofe near Beering's Ifland.
The fhip being fo fhattered by the ftorm- that it was no longer in a condition
to keep the fea, Vorobief built a fmall veffel with drift-wood which he called
Jeremiah, and arrived at Kamtchatka in autumn, 1752.
Upon the fmall ifland were caught feven hundred old and one hundred and
twenty cub fea-otters, one thoufand nine hundred blue foxes, five thoufand
feven hundred black fea-bears, and one thoufand three hundred and ten Kotiki,,
or cub fea-bears.
A voyage made about this time from Anadyrfk deferves particular
Aug. 24, 1749, Simeon Novikof of Yakutfk and Ivan Baccof of Uftvug,
agents for Ivan Shilkin, having determined to proceed from Anadyrfk to
Kamtchatka by fea, built a veffel one hundred verfts above Anadyrfk, which
employed two years in conftruaing.
In 1748, they failed down the river Anadyr, and through the bays of
Kopeikina and Onemenfkaya, where they paffed many fand-banks, entered the
exterior gulph, which they reached in nine days, and waited for a favourable
wind.    Here they faw feveral Tfchutfki, who appeared upon the heights fingly
and FROM   174t   TO   I778. 07
and not in bodies, as if to reconnoitre, which made them cautious. In paffing
the large opening of the exterior bay they fleered between the beach, on the
left, and a contiguous rock ; where, at the diftance of a hundred and twenty
yards the depth of water is from three to four fathoms ; failed E. S. E.
about fifty verfts, in four fathoms water; doubled a fandy point, which
ftretches towards the Tfchutfki coaft, and reached the open fea.
From the 10th of July to the 30th, they were driven by tempeftuous winds,
not far from the mouth of the Anadyr, and ran up the fmall river Katirka,
upon whofe banks dwell the Koriacs, a people tributary to Ruffia. The
mouth of the Katirka is from fixty to eighty yards broad, from three to four
fathoms deep, and abounds in fifh- They again put to fea ; and at length
reached Beering's Ifland, where they lay at anchor from the 15th of September
to the 30th of Oaober, when a violent ftorm dafhed the veffel to pieces upon
the rocks. The crew efcaping, fearched for the remains of Beering's wreck,
to employ the materials in conftruaing a boat, but found nothing but rotten
planks, a few cables, and iron-work corroded with ruft. Having feleaed the
beft cables, and what iron-work was immediately neceffary, and gathered driftwood during the winter, they built a fmall boat, whofe keel was only feventeen
Ruffian ells and an half long, and named it Capiton. In this they put to fea,
and failed in fearch of an unknown ifland, which they thought they faw lying
North-eaft : but being miftaken, tacked, and flood for Copper Ifland, from
whence they failed to Kamtchatka.
The veffel being granted in property to Ivan Shilkin, as fome compenfation
for his loffes, with the privilege of employing it in a future expedition to
the new-difcovered ifiands, he failed the 7th of Oaober, 1757, with a crew of
twenty Ruffians, and the fame number of Kamtchadals; accompanied by
Studentzof, a Coffac, who was fent to colfea the tribute for the crown.
An account of this expedition will be given hereafter*.
Auguft, 1754, Nikiphor Trapefnikof fitted out the St. Nicholas, and failed
from Kamtchatka under the command of the Caffac Kodion Durnef. After
touching at two of the Aleutian Ifles and vifiting a third, which had not before
been difcovered, he returned to Kamtchatka in 1757. His cargo confifted of
the fkins of one thoufand two hundred and twenty fea-otters, of four hundred
and ten female,, and fix hundred and fixty-five cubs ; befide which, the crew
had obtained in barter from the iflanders the fkins of fix hundred and fifty-two
fea-otters, of thirty female, and fifty cubs.
According to an account delivered in the third of May, 1758, by Durnef
and Sheffyrin, who was fent as eolleaor of the tribute, they reached in ten days
Ataku, one of the Aleutian Ifiands, where they remained until 1757, and
lived upon amicable terms with the natives.
The fécond ifland, which is nearefl to Ataku, and which contains the greateffi
number of inhabitants,-is called Agataku; and the third Shemya; they lie from
forty to fifty verfts afunder. Upon all the three ifiands there are (exclufive
of children) but fixty males, whom they rendered tributary. The inhabitants
live on wild roots and fea-animals ; but do not employ themfelves in catching
fifh, although the rivers abound with all kinds of falmon, and the fea with
turbot ; their clothes are made of the fkins of birds and of fea-otters. The
Toigtm, or chief, of the firft ifland informed them, by means of a boy who
* See chap. I
under- FROM   1741   TO   I778. 9<J
underftood the Ruffian tongue, of three large and well-peopled ifiands, lying
eaftward, Ibiya, Kickfa, and Olas, whofe inhabitants fpeak a different language.
Sheffyrin and Durnef found upon th/s ifland three round copper-plates, containing an infeription, and ornamented with foliage, which the waves had eaft
upon the fhore; and brought them, together with other trifling curiofities,
procured from the natives, to New Kamtchatkoi Oftrog.
Another fhip built with larch wood by Trapefnikof, which failed in 1753
under the condua of Alexei Drufinin, a merchant of Kurfk, was eaft away at
Beering's Ifland. The crew having conftruaed a veffel out of the wreck,
which they named Abraham, bore away for the more diflant ifiands ; but being
forced by contrary winds, and meeting with the St. Nicholas upon the point of
failing for the Aleutian Ifles, embarked on board that fhip, after leaving the
new-conftruaed veffel under the care of four failors. The crew took upon
Beering's Ifland five fea-otters, one thoufand two hundred and twenty-two
araic foxes, and two thoufand five hundred fea-bears ; their fhare of the furs,
during the expedition in the St. Nicholas, amounted to five hundred fea-otter
fkins, procured by barter. RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES
CHAP. 4.
Voyages from 1753 to 1756.
Kohdilof's Ship fails from Kamtchatka, 175 3—Departure of Serebranikojf's
Veffel—Shipwrecked upon one of the diftant Ifiands—Account of the inhabitants—The crew conftruU another Veffel and return to Kamtchatka—Departure of Krafjîlnikoff's Veffel—Shipwrecked upon Copper Ifland—The
Crew reach Beering's Ifland in two baidars.
'TT'HREE veffels  were fitted out in 1753 : one by Kolodilof, a fécond by
Serebranikof, agent for the merchant Rybenfkoy, and a third by Ivan
Kraffilnikof, a merchant of Kamtchatka.
Kolodilofs fhip failed from Kamtchatka the 19th of Auguft, with a crew
of thirty-four perfons, and anchored the 28th off Beering's Ifland, where they
propofed to winter, in order to lay in a flock of provifions ; but in attempting
to land, the boat overfet, and nine of the crew were drowned.
June 30, 1754, they flood out to fea: the weather however proving
ftormy and foggy, and the fhip fpringing a-leak, they were in danger of
perifhing; but unexpeaedly reached one of the Aleutian Ifiands, where they
lay from the 15th of September until the 9th of July, 1755. In the autumn
of 1754 they were joined by à Kamtchadal, and a Koriac, who, with four
others, had deferted from Trapefnikof's crew ; and remained upon the ifland .
FROM   1741   TO   1778. ,0t
in order to catch fea-otters for their own advantage. Four of thefe deferters
were killed by the iflanders for feducing their wives ; but thefe two not being
guilty of the fame diforderly condua, the inhabitants lived with them upon
the beft terms. The crew killed upon this ifland above one thoufand fix
hundred fea-otters, and returned to Kamtchatka in autumn 1755.
Serebranikof's veffel failed in July 1753, manned alfo with thirty-four
Ruffians and Kamtchadals : they difcovered feveral new iflands, which were
probably fome of the more diftant ones ; but were lefs fortunate in hunting
fea-otters than Kolodilof's crew. They fleered S. E. and on the 17th of
Auguft anchored under an unknown ifland, whofe inhabitants fpoke a language
they did not underftand. Here they propofed looking out for a fafe harbour ;
but were prevented by a hidden ftorm, which drove them from their anchor.
The fhip being toft about for feveral days towards the eaft, they difcovered
not far from the firft ifland, four others; ftill more to the eaft three other
iflands appeared in fight ; but they were unable to land. The veffel continued
driving until the 2d of September, and was confiderably fhattered, when
they fortunately came near an ifland and eaft anchor ; they were however
forced from this ftation, the veffel wrecked upon the coaft, and the crew with
difficulty reached the fhore.
This ifland feemed to be oppofite to Katyrfkoi Nofs in the peninfula of
Kamtchatka, and near it they faw three others. Towards the end of September, Dmitri Trophin, accompanied with nine men, went in the boat on
an hunting and reconnoitring party ; they were attacked by a large body of
inhabitants, who threw darts from a fmall wooden engine, and wounded one
of the company.    The firft fire however drove them back ; and although they
returned Jl'i
returned fevecal tiroes to the attack in numerous bodies, yet they were eailyi
: Thefe lavages mark and colour their faces like the other iflanders, and alfo
thruft pieces of bone through holes in their under-lips.
Soon afterwards the Ruffians were joined in a friendly manner by ten
iflanders, who brought the flefh of fea-animals and fea-otters ; a prefect aie
more welcome, as they had lived for fome time upon fmall fhell-fifh and roots,
and had fuffered greatly from hunger. Several toys were diftributed î»
return. The Ruffians remained until June, 1754, upon this ifland; when
they departed in a fmall veffel, conftruaed with the remains of the wreck,
and called the St. Peter and Paul, in which they landed at Katyrfkoi Nofs,
where having colleâed one hundred and forty fea-horfe teeth, they reached
the mouth of the Kamtchatka river.
During this voyage twelve Kamtchadals deferted; of whom fix were flain,
together with a female inhabitant, upon one of the moft diliant iflands. The
remainder, upon their return to Kamtchatka, were examined ; and gave the
following account. The ifland, where the fhip was wrecked, is about feventy
verfts long, and twenty broad ; around it lie twelve otner iflands of different
fizes, from five to ten verfts diftant from each other, and eight of them
appear to be no more than five verfts long : all thefe iflands contain about
one thoufand fouls. The dwellings of the inhabitants are provided with
no other furniture than benches, and mats of platted grafs. Their drefs
confifts of a fhirt of bird-fkins, and an upper garment made of inteftines
Hitched together j they wear wooden caps, ornamented with a fmall piece
of FROM   1741   TO   I778, 10J
of board projeeting forwards, app_re-rt_y, as it feemed, for a defence againft
arrows. They are all provided whh ftone-knives, and a few of them poffefs
iron ones : their only weapons are arrows* with- poinds of bone or flint,
which they fhoot from a wooden inflîruraent. There are no trees upon
the ifland : it produces however thecow-parfiaip*, which grows at Kamtchatka,
The climate is by no means fevere, for the fnow does not lie upon the
ground above a»month in the year.
K*affilnikof's veffel failed in 1754, and anchored on the 18th of Oaober
off Beering's Ifland ; where all the fhips which make to he new-difcovered
iflands are accuftomed to winter, in order to procure [a flock of provifions
from the fea-cows and other amphibious animals. Here they refitted the
veffel which had been damaged by driving upon her anchor* j and having laid
in a fufficient flore of all neceffaries, weighed the ift of Auguft, 1754. The
10th they were in fight of an ifland, but the coaft was lined with fo many inhabitants, that they durft not venture a-fhore, and flood out to fea. Being
overtaken by a ftorm, they were reduced to great diftrefs for want of water ;
at length they were driven upon Copper Ifland, where they landed; and,
having taken in wood and water, they again fet fail. They were beat back
however by contrary winds, and dropped both their anchors near the fhore;
but the ftorm increafing at night, both cables were broken, and the fhip dafhed
to pieces. All the crew were fortunately faved; and means were found to get
a-fhore the fhip's tackle, ammunition, guns, and the remains of the wreck ;
but the provifions were moftly fpoiled. Here they were expofed to a variety
of misfortunes; three were drowned on the 15th of Oaober, as they were
going to hunt, and the others almoft perifhed with hunger, having no nourifh- 104 RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
ment but fmall fhell-fifh and roots. On'the 29th of December great part of
the fhip's tackle, and all the wood colleaed from the wreck, was wafhed away
during an high fea. Notwithftanding their diftreffes, they continued their
hunting parties, and caught one hundred and three fea-otters, together with
one thoufand three hundred and ninety blue foxes.
In fpring they put to fea in two baidars, carrying with them all the ammunition, fire-arms, and remaining tackle, and reached Beering's Ifland, where
they found the fmall veffel Abraham, with the four tailors left a-fhore by the
crew of TrapefnikoFs fhip *. But as that veffel was not large enough to
contain the whole number, together with their cargo of furs, they ftaid until
Serebranikof's and Tolflyk's veffels arrived, which took in eleven of the
crew, with their part of the furs. Twelve remained at Beering's Ifland,
where they killed great numbers of araic foxes, and all returned to Kamtchatka in the Abraham, excepting two, who joined Shilkin's crew.
? See the preceding chapter.
1— FROM   I74I   TO   1778.
CHAP. 5.
Voyages from 1756 to 1758—Voyage of Andrean Tolftyk in 1756 to the Aleutian
Ifles—Voyage of Ivan Shilkin in the Capiton, 1757—Shipwrecked upon one
of the Fox Iflands—The Crew conftruU a fmall Veffel, and are again fhip-.
O EPTEMBER 17, 1756, the veffel Andrean and Natalia, fitted out by
Andrean Tolftyk, merchant of Selenginfk, and manned with thirty-eight
Ruffians and Kamtchadals, failed from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river to
Beering's Ifland, where they continued until the 14th of June. As no fea-
otters came on fhore that winter, they killed nothing but feals, fea-Iions-
andfea-cows, whofe flefh ferved them for provifion, and their fkins for covering,
June 13, 1757, they weighed anchor, and in eleven days reached Ataku-
oneofthe Aleutian ifles difcovered by Nevodtfikof. Here they found the
inhabitants, as well of that as of the other two iflands affembled, having juft
taken leave of TrapefnikoPs crew, who had failed for Kamtchatka. The
Ruffians feized this opportunity of perfuading them to pay tribute, which»
they effeaed by means of the Toigon, whofe name was Tunulgafen. He
recolfeaed one of the crew, a Koriac, who was formerly left upon thefe
iflands, and acquainted with the language. A copper kettle, a fur and clotb
coat a pair of breeches, ftockings, and boots, were bellowed upon this chief,
are foi
left thr
women and a boy,.to>
The if_=
The Ruffians wintered upon this ifland, and divided themfelves, as ufual,
into different hunting parties : they were compelled by ftormy weather to
remain there until the 17th of June, 1758, and before their departure,
Tunulgafen returned with his family, and paid a year's tribute.
This veffel brought to Kamtchatka the moft circumflantial account of the
Aleutian ifles yet received.
The two largeft contained at that time about fifty males, with whom the
Ruffians lived in great harmony. They heard of a fourth ifland at fome
diftance, called by the natives Iviya, which they did not vifit on account of
tempeftuous weather.
The firft ifland is about one hundred verfts long, and from five to twenty
broad. They eftimated the diftance from the firft to the fécond, which lies
Eafl-by-South, to be about thirty verfts, and about forty from the fécond
to the third, which Hands South-Eaft. The original drefs of the iflanders
was made with the fkins of birds, fea-otters, and feals, which were tanned ;
but the greater part had procured from the Ruffians dog-fkin coats, and under
garments of fheep-fkin, of which they were very fond. They are reprefented
as naturally talkative, quick of apprehenfion, and much attached to the Ruffians. Their dwellings are hollowed in the ground, and covered with
wooden roofs refembling the huts of Kamtchatka. Their principal food is
the flefh of fea-animals, which they harpoon with bone lances ; they alfo feed
upon feveral fpecies of roots and berriesj namely *, cloud-berries,  crake-
* Rubus Chamaemorus—Empetrum—Myrtillus—Sorbus.
berries, FROM   1741   TO   1778. 107
berries, bilberries, and fervices. The rivulets abound with felmohy and
other fifh of the trout kind, fimilar to thofe of Kamtchatka, and the fea with
turbot, which are caught with bone hooks.
Thefe iflands produce fmall ofiers and underwood, but no large trees ;
the fea however drives afhore fir and larch, fufficient for the conftruaion of
the huts. Araic foxes and fea-otters frequent the firft ifland in great
numbers; and the fhores, during ftormy weather, are covered with wild
geefe and ducks.
The Ruffian's, according to the order of the chancery of Bolcheretfk,
endeavoured to perfuade the Toigon of thefe iflands to accompany them to
Kamtchatka, but without fuccefs. Upon their departure they diftributed
among the iflanders fome linen, and thirteen nets for the purpofe of catching
fea-otters, which were thankfully received. This veffel brought to Kamtchatka the fkins of five thoufand and thirty old and young fea-otters, of a
thoufand and forty old and young araic foxes, and of three hundred and
thirty Medwedki or cubs of fea-ottem
The fmall veffel Capiton, which was built upon Beering's Ifland, and
which was given to the merchant * Ivan Shilkin, as fome compenfation for
his loffes, put to fea September 26, 1757, carrying on board the Coffac
Ignatius Studentfof, who has given an account of the voyage.
Soon after their departure they were driven back to the fhore of Kamtchatka by ftrefs of weather, and the veffel ftranded, by which accident they _o8 RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
loft the rudder and one of the crew. This misfortune prevented them from
putting to fea again until the following year, when they failed with thirty-
nine of the original crew, feveral being left behind on account of ficknefs.
At Beering's Ifland they took up two of Krafilnikof s crew *, who had been
fhipwrecked. They again fet fail in Auguft, and touched at the neareft
Aleutian Ifles, after fuffering greatly from ftorms ; they continued their courfe
to the remoter iflands lying between Eaft and South-Eaft, and having paffed
by the firft, anchored off the fécond. A boat being fent towards the fhorei.
the crew were fuddenly attacked by a numerous body of iflanders, and had
fcarcely time to fave themfelves by returning to the veffel. They had no
fooner got aboard, than a violent gale of wind broke the cable, drove them
to fea, and wrecked the veffel upon a fmall ifland at no great diftance.'
The crew reached the fhore with difficulty, and faved nothing but the fire-arms
and ammunition.
They had fcarcely landed before they were befet by a number of favages,
rowing in baidars from the weftern point of the ifland. Though feveral of
the Ruffians were difabled by cold and wet, and only fifteen remained capable
of defending themfelves, they advanced without hefitation to the iflanders ;
and Nicholas Tfiuprof, who had a flight knowledge of their language, in vain
endeavoured to footh them ; but the favages gave a hidden fhout, and faluted
them with a volley of darts. The Ruffians then fired, killed two of the
affailants, and forced the remainder to retire ; and although a frefh body appeared in fight, no new attack was made. The favages foon afterwards left
the ifland, and rowed acrofs the lirait. FROM   1741   TO   I778: jog
From" the 6th "of September to the 23d of April, the crew underwent all
the extremities of famine ; their beft fare was fhell-fifh and roots, and they
were even at times reduced to ftill the cravings of appetite with the leather
which the waves wafhed from the wreck. Seventeen died of hunger ; and the
reft would foon have fhared the fate of their companions, had they not fortunately difcovered a dead whale, which the fea had call a-fhore. They
remained upon this ifland another winter, where they killed two hundred
and thirty fea-otters ; and, having built a fmall veffel out of the remains of
the wreck, put to fea in the beginning of fummer 176*0. Having reached one
of the Aleutian iflands, where Serebranikof's veffel lay at anchor, they were
again fhipwrecked, and loft all the. remaining tackle and furs. Only thirteen
of the crew now remained, who returned on board the abovementioned veffel
to Kamtchatka, July 1761.
J ^Egggae-fe"
Voyages in 1758, 1759, and 1760—to the Fox Iflands—in the St. Vladimirt
fitted out by Trapefnikof, and commanded by Paikof, 1758—and in the
Gabriel, by Betftievin—Account of the inhabHanls of Alakfk or Alachfkak—
Voyage of the Peter and Paul to the Aleutian Iflands, 1759.
QEPTEMBER 1758, the merchant Simeon Krafilnikof and Nikiphor
Trapefnikof fitted out two veffels for the purpofe of catching fea otters.
One of thefe, called the St. VIodimir, failed the 28th under the command of
Dmetri Paikof, carrying the Coffac Sila Shaffyrin as colleaor of the tribute,
and a crew of forty-five men. In twenty-four hours they reached Beering's
Ifland, where they wintered.
July 16, 1759, they fleered South in fearch of land ; but, being difappointed,
bore away to the North for the Aleutian Ifles; and baffled by contrary
winds, failed towards the diftant iflands, known at prefent under the name of
Lyffie Oftrova, or the Fox Iflands. September 1, they reached the firft, called
by the natives Atchu, and by the Ruffians Goreloi, or the Burnt Ifland ; but,
as the coaft was fleep and craggy, they made to Amlak, lying at a fmall
diftance, where they determined to pafs the winter. They divided themfelves
into three parties : the firft, at the head of which was Alexey Drufinin, went
to a fmall ifland called in the journal Sitkin ; the Coffac Shaffyrin led the
fécond, confifting of ten perfons,  to Atak ; and Simeon Polevoi remained
aboard FROM   1741   TO   I778. Ht
aboard with the reft of the crew. All thefe iflands were well peopled; the
men wore bones thruft through their ears, under the lips, and the sniftle
of the nofe ; and the faces of the women were marked with blackifh ftreaki
made with a needle and thread in the fkin, in the fame manner as a Coffac
one of the crew, had obferved before upon fome of the Tfchutfki. The
inhabitants had no iron ; the points of their darts and lances were tippedwith
bone and flinti
The Ruffians firft imagined that Amlak 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 Ruffian
language, that he might ferve as an interpreter. After penetrating further,
they difcovered a hut, wherein were two women, four men, and as many
boys, whom they treated kindly, and employed in hunting, fifhing, and
digging roots. This kind behaviour encouraged others to pay frequent vifits,
and exchange fifh and flefh for goats hair, horfes' manes, and glafs beads.
They procured alfo four other iflanders with their wives, who dug roots
for them ; and thus the winter paffed without any difturbance.
In fpring the hunting parties returned; during thefe excurfions only one
man was killed upon the ifland Atak, and his fire-arms taken away by the
natives. June 1760, the fame parties were fent to the fame iflands. Shaffyrin,
who headed one of the parties, was foon afterwards killed, together with eleven
men, by the inhabitants of Atak, but for what reafon is not known. Drufinin
received the firft information of this maffacre from fome inhabitants of Sitkin,
where he then was, and immediately fet out with the remaining hunters to
join their companions on board.    Although he fucceeded in regaining the
veffel, their number was fo considerably reduced that their fituation appeared very dangerous : he was foon however relieved from his apprehenfions
by the arrival of the merchant Betfhevin's veffel at the ifland of Atchu*.
The two crews entered into partnerfhip : the St. Vlodimir received twenty-
two men, and transferred eleven to the other veffel ; the former wintered
at Amlak, and the latter continued at anchor before Atchu.
This veffel, fitted out at the expence of Betfhevin, a merchant of Irkutfk,
was called Gabriel, and put to fea from the mouth of the Bolfhaia Reka, July
31, 1760. She was manned with forty Ruffians and twenty Kamtchadals,
and had on board Gabriel Pufhkaref of the garrifon of Ochotfk, Andrew
Shdanof, Jacob Sharypof, Prokopei Lobafhkof, with Nikiphors Golodof, and
Aphanaffei Ofkolof, Betfhevin's agents.
Having paffed the fécond tirait of the Kuril Ifles, they reached the Aleutian
Ifles on the 24th of Auguft, and failed among thofe more remote iflands
which lie in one continued chain to the extent of 15 degrees of longitude.
September 25, they reached Atchu, or Burnt Ifland, and found the St.
Vlodimir lying twenty verfts from that ifland, before Amlak, in danger of being
attacked by the iflanders. They immediately joined crews, in order to enable
the enfeebled company of the St. Vlodimir to continue hunting; and, as it is
ufual in fuch cafes, entered into a contraa for the divifion of the profit.
During the winter the two crews killed, partly upon Siguyam, about eight
Atak and Atchu
-ur-nt Island-
called also By the Rus FROM    1741    TO    1778. ng
hundred fea-otters of different fizes, about one hundred medwedki or cubs
fome river otters, above four hundred red, greyifh, and black foxes and
colleaed twelve pood of fea-horfe teeth.
In June 1761, the crews were diftributed equally on board the two veffels :
Kraffilnikof's remained at Amak, with an intention of returning to Kamtchatka,
and Betfhevin's put to fea from Atchu, in queft of other iflands. They
touched firft at Umnak, where they met Nikiphorof's veffel, took in wood
and water, and repaired their fails ; they fleered for the moft remote ifland,
Alakfu, or Alakfhak, where, having laid up the fhip in a bay, they built huts,
and made preparations for wintering. This ifland was well inhabited, and
the natives behaved at firft in a very friendly manner, for they trafficked with
the Ruffians, and even delivered nine of their children as hoftages; but the
lawlefs and irregular behaviour of the crew foon irritated and provoked the
iflanders to hoftilities.
In January 1762, Golodof and Pufhkaref went with a party of twenty
men along the fhore ; and, in attempting to violate fome girls on the ifland
Unyumga, were furprifed by a numerous body of natives : Golodof and
another Ruffian were killed and three wounded. Not long afterwards, the
watch of the crew was fuddenly attacked by the iflanders ; four were flain, as
many wounded, and the huts reduced to afhes.
May 3, Lobafchkof and another Ruffian were killed, as they were going to
bathe in the warm fprings, which lie about five verfts from the haven; on
which feven of the hoftages were put to death.    The fame month the natives
attempted to furprife the Ruffians, but being difcovered, were repulfed by
O means ti£ RUSSIAN   DISCOVER!!*
means of the fire-arms. At length the Ruffians, finding themfelves in1
continual danger, weighed anchor, and failed for Umnak, where they took on
board two inhabitants with their wives and children in order to fhew them
other iflands ; but were prevented by tempeftuous weather from reaching them,
and were driven weftward, with fuch violence, that all their fails were carried
away. At length, on the 23d of September, they ran a-ground-in the diftriâ;
of Stobolfkoi Oftrog. Six men we
and two baidars to land, and were a<
brought from the new-difcovered if
while the crew endeavoured to ply t
fcarcely able, on account of a ftorm,
which was flung out to them. .
were, afterwards carried by fome Kamtchadals to New Kamtchatkoi Oftrog.
The fhip, without one fail remaining was driven along the coaft of Kamtchatka towards Avatcha, and about feventy verfts from that harbour ran into
the bay of Kalatzoff on the 25th of September. The cargo confifted of the
fkins of nine hundred old and young fea-otters, and of three hundred and fifty
mmediàtely difpatched in the fmall boat
ipanied with feveral girls who bad been
Is in order to gather berries. Mean-
indwar'd, and the party in the boat were
each the fhip, and catch hold of a rope,
men remained with the baidars ; and
Pufhkaref and his crew during this voyage treated the iflanders with great
inhumanity ; they were brought to trial in 1764 ; and the preceding account is
drawn from the concurring evidence of feveral witneffes. It appears alfo, that
they brought away from Atchu and Amleg two Aleutian men and three boys,
Ivan an Aleutian interpreter, and about twenty women and girls whom they
feduced. Ivan, and one of the boys whom they called Mofes, were the only
perfons who arrived at Kamtchatka. On "their firft approach to that coaft,
fourteen women were fent a-fhore to dig roots and gather berries j of thefe two FROM   1741   TO   1778. 115
ran away, and a third being killed, as they were returning to the fhip, by
Gorelin, the reft in a fit of defpair leaped into the fea and were drowned.
All the remaining Aleutians, excepting Ivan and Mofes, were immediately
thrown overboard by PufhkarePs order. The account which follows, although
it is found in the depofitiôns, does not deferve to be entirely credited.
The natives are very tall and ftrong. They make their clothes of the
fkins of birds; and wear bones in their under lips by way of ornament.
They were faid to ftrike their nofes until they bled, in order to fuck the blood ;
but we are informed from fubfequent accounts, that the blood was intended
for other purpofes*. They were accufed even of murdering their own
children, in order to drink their blood ; but this is undoubtedly an invention
bf the criminals, who reprefented the iflanders in the mo_fcp|ious colours,
as an excufe for their own cruelties. Their fubterraheous dwellings are
fimilar to thofe of the Kamtchadals; .and have feveral openings on the fides,
through which they make their efcape when the principal entrance is befet by
an enemy. Their weapons confift of arrows and lances pointed with bones
' which they dart to a confiderable diftance.
The ifland Alakfu is faid to contah
otters, and a fpecies of dogs with long
The greater part of thefe animals not fc.
which lie   nearer   to  the   weft,   this
in-deer, bears, wild boars, wolves,
_V.lAicb are very fierce and wild.
; found upon thofe Fox Ifltnds
:umftance   feems   to   prove  that
Qa M! fi
Alakfu * is fituated at no great diftance from the continent of America. Red
and black foxes are fo numerous that they are feen in herds of ten or twenty.
Wood is driven upon the coaft in great abundance. The ifland produces no
large trees, but under-wood, and a great variety of bulbs, roots, and berries.
The coafts are frequented by large flocks of fea-birds, the fame which are
obferved upon the fhore of the fea of Penfhinfk.
Auguft 4, 1759, the Peter and Paul, fitted out at the expence of the merchant
Rybenfkoi, by his agent Andrew Serebranikof, and manned with thirty-three
perfons, fet fail from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river. They fleered
fouth wards until the 20th of September, without feeing land, when they flood
for the Aleutian Ifles, one of which the;
there until the 24th of June, 1761 ; duri
iched c
the 27»
ig which time they killed one thoufand
nine hundred fea-otters, and obtained four hundred and fifty by barter with
the iflanders. The Coffac Minyachin, who was on board as colfeaor of the
tribute, in his account calls the firft ifland by the Ruffian name of Krugloi,
or Round Ifland, which he fuppofesto be about fixty verfts in circumference :
the largeft ifland lies thirty verfts from thence, and is about an hundred
and fifty round ; the fmalleft is about thirty verfts from the latter, and is
forty in circumference. Thefe three iflands contain - feveral high rocky
mountains. The number of inhabitants was computed to be about forty-
twc^men, betides women and children.
bean island.- FROM   1741   TO   I778.
CHAP. 7.
Voyage of Andrean Tolftyk in the St. Andrean and Natalia, 1760—Difcovery
of fome new Iflands called Andreanoffkie Oftrova—Defcription of fix of
thofe Iflands—Account of the Inhabitants—The Veffel wrecked upon the
Coaft of Kamtchatka.
r I iHE moft remarkable voyage hitherto made is that of the St. Andrean
and Natalia, of which a narrative is extraaed from the journals of the
two Coffacs, Peter Wafyutinfkoi and Maxim Lafarof. This veffel, fitted
out by Andrean Tolftyk, left the mouth of the Kamtchatka river September
27, 1760, flood out to feaeaftward, and on the 29th reached Beering's Ifland.
There fhe lay at anchor in a bay, from whence the crew landed all the tackle
and lading. Soon afterwards they were driven a-fhore by a violent autumnal
ftorm, without any other damage than the lofs of an anchor. Here they
paffed the winter; and after refitting, put to fea June 24, 1761; paffed
Copper Ifland, and fleered S. E. towards the Aleutian ifles, which they did
not reach till the 6th of Auguft. They eaft anchor in an open bay near
Attak, in order to procure an interpreter from the Toigon Tunulgafen;
but he being dead, they fent prefents to the Toigon Bakutun. As three
fhips were already lying at anchor before this ifland, on the 19th they again
flood out to fea in queft of the more diflant iflands, for the purpofe of
exa_ling a tribute, carrying on board a relation of the Toigon Bakutun, who
had a flight knowledge of the Ruffian language.    They fleered N. E. and
N. E. by E. and were driven, on the 28th, by a gale of wind towards an ifland,
where they immediately call anchor. The following morning the two Coffacs,
with a party of eight perfons, Went a-fhore, but faw'no inhabitants. Auguft
30, the veffel was brought into a fafe bay, and the next day fome of the
crew were fent a-fhore to procure wood for refitting, but no large trees
were found upon the whole ifland. Lafarof, ©ne of the party, who had
been there before in Serebranik_>f's veffel, called the ifland Ayagh or Kayaku
and another, which lay about the diftance of twenty verfts, Kanaga. In
returning to the fhip, they faw two iflanders rowing in baidars towards
Kanaga, one of whom had ferved as an interpreter, and was known to
Lafarof ; he prefented them with fome frefh provifion, which they gratefully
accepted, and continued their courfe acrofs die ft rait to Kanaga. Soon
afterwards Lafarof and eight men rowed over to that ifland, and invited .
the Toigon, who was a relation of the interpreter, to pay them a .ifit at
Near the place where tbe veffel lay at anchor, a rivulet falls into the bay ;
it flows from a lake two or three verfts in circumference, and formed
from a number of fmall fprings. The courfe of the rivulet is eight verfts,
and in fummer feveral fpecies of falmon and other fifli, fimilar to thofe
found at Kamtchatka, àfeend the ft ream as far as the lake.
Lafarof was employed in fifiling in this rivulet, when the Toigon of
Kanaga, accompanied with a confiderable number of the natives in fifteen
baidars, arrived at the fhip : they were hofpitably entertained, and received
feveral prefents. The Ruffians embraced this opportunity of perfuading the
iflanders to acknowledge theEffelves fabjea to the Emprefs, and to pay a
regular tribute.
As FROM   1741   TO   I778. U0
As foon as the veffel was laid ap in a fecure place, Tolftyk. Vafiyutin and
Lafarof, with feveral «hers, went in four baidars to Kanaga. Tolftyk remained
upon that ifland ; but Vaffyutin and Lafarof rowed in two baidars ta
T-etchina, which is feparated from Kanaga by a ftrak about feven verfts
in breadth ; the iflanders received them amicably, and promifed to pay tribute.
The feveral parties returned all fafe to Kayaku, but without having procured any furs. Soon afterwards Tolftyk difpatched fome hunters in four
baidars to Tagalak, Atchu, and Amlak, which lny to jfie eaft of Kayaku j
as none of thefe parries met with any oppofition from the natives, they
remained in great tranquillity upon thefe feveral iflands until 1764. Their
fiiccefs in hunting was not great, for they caught no more .than one
thoufand eight hundred and eighty full grown feari-fters, feven hundred
and   feventy-eight middle-aged, and three hundred and feventy two cubs.
Lafarof thus defcribes the fix iflands*, which He in a chain fomewhat to
the north-weft of the Fox Iflands, and muft not be confounded with them.
The firft certain account was brought by this veffel, the St. Andrean and
Natalia, from whence they are called the Andreanoffkie Oftrova, or the
Iflands of St. Andrean.
Ayagh is a hundred and fifty verfts in circumference, contains feveral
high and rocky mountains, the intervals of which are bare heath and moor
ground. Not one foreft tree is to be found upon the whole ifland. The
vegetables feefti for the moft part like thofe of Kamtchatka, alfo crowt or
* These are the six islands described by Mr. Stehlin in his description of the New
+ Empetrum, Vaccin. Uliginosum, Sanguisorba, & Bistorta. crakeberries and the larger fort of bilberries, but in fmall quantities, and a
abundance of the roots of burnet and all kinds of fnake weed, fufficient
in cafe of neceffity, to furnifh a plentiful provifion for the inhabitants. The
rivulet already defcribed is the only one in the ifland. The number of inhabitants cannot be afcertained, becaufe the natives pafs continually from ifland
to ifland in their baidars.
Kanaga lies weft from Ayagh, is two hundred verfts in circumference, and
contains a high volcano, where the natives find fulphur in fummer; at the
foot of this mountain are hot fprings, in which they occafionally boil their
provifion. On this ifland there is no rivulet, and the low grounds are fimilar
to thofe of Ayagh.    The inhabitants amount to two hundred.
Tfetchina lies eaftward forty verfts from Kanaga, and is eighty in circumference. It is full of rocky mountains, of which the moft lofty is the Bielaia
Sopka or White Peak. In the valley there are alfo fome warm fprings,
but no rivulet abounding in fifh; the ifland contains only four families.
Tagalak is forty verfts in circumference, ten eaft from Tfetchina; it
contains a few rocks, but neither rivulets with fifh, nor any vegetable pro-
duaion fit for fuftenance. The coafts are rocky and dangerous ; this ifland
is alfo inhabited by no more than four families.
Atchu lies in the fame pofition forty verfts diftant from Tagalak, is three
hundred in circumference, and provided with a harbour, where fhips may
ride fecurely at anchor. It contains many rocky mountains, and feveral fmall
rivulets that fall into the fea, one of which running eaftwards abounds in fifh.
The FROM   1741   TO   I778. m
The roots juft mentioned, and bulbs of white lilies are found in plenty.   The
inhabitants amount to about fixty.
Amlak is a mountainous ifland more than feven verfts eaftward from
Atchu, and is alfo three hundred in circumference. It contains the fame
number of inhabitants as Atchu, has a commodious haven, and produces roots
in abundance. Of feveral fmall rivulets, one only, which flows towards
the north, contains any fifh. Befides thefe, a clutter of other iflands was
obferved ftretching farther to the eaft.
The inhabitants of thefe fix iflands are tributary to Ruffia; they dwell
in fubterraneous cabins, in which they make no fires but in winter ; when the
weather is cold, they burn a heap of dry grafs, over which they Hand and
catch the heat. Their clothes are made like fhirts, of the fkins of the
*guillimot and puffin, which they catch with fpringes. Over thefe in rainy
weather they wear an upper garment, made of the bladders and other dried
inteftines of feals and fea-lions oiled and ftitched together. The clothes of the
women and children are made of fea-otter fkins in the fame form as thofe
of the men. They catch cod and turbot with bone-hooks, and eat them
raw. As they never collea a flore of provifion, they fuffer greatly from
hunger in ftormy weather, when they cannot venture out to fifh, at which
time they are reduced to live upon fmall fhell-fifh and fea-wrack, which
they father upon the beach. In May and June when the weather is calm
they row out in their baidars, and harpoon fea-otters and fea-dogs.
Whenever they pafs the night at a diftance from home, they dig a hole in
the earth, and lay themfelves down, covered only with their clothes and mats
* Colymbus Troile, Alca Arctica. RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
of platted grafs. Regardlefs of every thing but the prefent moment, deftitute
of religion, and without the leaft appearance of decency, they feem but few
degrees removed from brutes.
As foon as the hunting parties were returned, and the veffel prepared for
departure, the Toigons of thefe iflands (excepting Kanaga) came in baidars
to Tolftyk, accompanied with a confiderable number of natives ; their names
were Tfarkulini, Tfhunila, Kayugotfk and Mayatok. They brought a voluntary tribute, with prefents of dried falmon, and unanimoufly expreffed fatis-
faaion at the good condua of the Ruffians. Tolftyk gave them in return
toys and other trifles, and defired them to recommend to the inhabitants of
the other iflands the like friendly behaviour towards the Ruffian merchants
who fhould vifit them.
June 14, 1764, they failed for Kamtchatka, and anchored on the 19th
before Shemiya, one of the Aleutian Iflands. The 21ft they were forced
from their anchor by tempeftuous winds, and driven upon a rocky coaft.
This accident obliged them to fend their lading a-fhore, and to draw the fhip on
land in order to repair the damage, which was effeSed with much difficuky,
On the 18th of Auguft they flood out to fea, and reached Afecfou, on the
20th. Having fprung a leak, they again refitted the veffel; and, after
taking on board the crew of a fhip lately call away, failed for Kamtchatka.
On the 4th of September they came in fight of that peninfula near Tzafch-
minfkoi Oftrog, and on the 18th, as they endeavoured to enter the mouth of
the Kamtchatka river, were forced by a ftorm upon the fhore j the veffel was
deftroyed, and great part of the cargo loft. FROM   1741    TO   I778.
CHAP. 8.
Voyage of the Zacharias and Elizabeth, fitted out by Kulkoff, and commanded
iy Pntftnin), 1,762—They fail p Umnak and to Unalafhka, -where they winter
~-Vef[el deflroyed; and all the Crew murdered by the Iflanders, except
four—Their Adventures and wonderful Efcape.
T SHALL here barely mention that a veffel was fitted out in Auguft, 1760,
at the expence" of Terrenti Tfebacffkoi ; but I fhall have occafion to be
very circumftantial in my accounts concerning feveral others, which failed
during the following years, as more copious information concerning the Fox
Iflands was procured from thefe voyages, although for the moft part unfortunate, than from all the preceding ones.
In 1762 four veffels failed for the Fox Iflands ; of which only one returned
to Kamtchatka.
The firft was the Zacharias and Elizabeth, fitted out by Kulkof, a merchant
of Vologda, and Company, under the command of Drufinin, and manned
with thirty-four Ruffians, and three Kamtchadals.
September 6, they departed from Okotfk, and arrived Oaober the 11th in
the haven of St. Peter and Paul, where they wintered.    June 24, 1763,
they again put to fea, and having reached, in eleven days, the neareft Aleutian
R 2 Iflands, Iflands, anchored before Attak. They remained here about fourteen days,
and took on board feven Ruffians who had been fhipwrecked on this coaft.
Among thefe was Korelin, who returned to Kamtchatka, and gave this account.
of the voyage.
July the 17th, they failed from Attak towards the more diftant ifles,
landed upon an ifland, where the crew of the Andrian and Natalia was
engaged in hunting, and, having laid in a fupply of water, continued their
In the beginning of September they arrived at Umnak, one of the Fox
Iflands; call anchor about a verft from the fhore, and found Glottof's veffel,
whofe voyage will be mentioned in a fucceeding chapter*. Drufinin immediately difpatched his firft mate Maefnifk, and Korelin, with thirty-four of
the crew on fhore. They paffed over to the eaftern extremity of the ifland,
which was diftant about feventy verfts from the veffel, and returned on the
12th of September. During this expedition, they faw feveral remains of fox-
traps fet by the Ruffians, and met with fome natives who fhewed tribute-
quittances. The fame day letters were brought by the iflanders from
Medvedef and Korovin t, who were juft arrived at Umnak and Unalafhfka
in two veffels fitted out by the merchants Protaflbf and Trapefnikof, and
anfwers were returned by the fame meffengers.
On the 22d, Drufinin failed to the northern point of Unalafhka, which
lies about fifteen verfts from Umnak ; the crew having laid up the veffel
* Chap, 10;
t See the following chapter. FROM   1741   TO   I778. l2e-
iii a fafe harbour, and brought the lading a-fhore, made preparation to con-
flrua a hut. Soon after their arrival, two Toigons of the neareft village
voluntarily brought hoftages, and their example was immediately followed by
feveral of the more diftant villages. Having received information of an hunting party fent from Trapefnikof's fhip, Maefnifk difpatched three companies
on the fame errand, one confifting of eleven men, among whom was Korelin,
under the command of Peter Tfekalef; a fécond of the fame number, under
Michael Kudyakof; and a third of nine men, under Yephim Kafkitfyn,
Tfekalef's was the only one of which we have received any circumftantial
account ; for not a fingle perfon of the other two, or of the crew remaining
on board, ever returned to Kamtchatka.
Kafkitfyn remained near the haven, and two other companies weredifpatehed
to the northern point of the ifland. Kudyakof flopped at a place called
Kalaktak, which contained about forty inhabitants. Tfekalef went to Inalok,
which lies about thirty verfts from Kalaktak. Having found a dwelling
with about feventy inhabitants, to whom he behaved with kindnefs, he built
a hut, and kept a confiant watch.
December 4, fix of the party being difpatched to look after the pit-falls,
there remained only five Ruffians, Peter Tfekalef, Stephen Korelin, Dmitri
Bragin, Gregory Shaffyrin, and Ivan Kokovin, the iflanders therefore feized
this opportunity of giving the firft proof of their hoftile intentions. As Tfekalef
and Shaffyrin were upon a vifit to the iflanders, they fuddenly, and without
any provocation, ftruck Tfekalef upon the head with a club, and flabbed
him with knives. They next fell upon Shaffyrin, who defended himfelf with
a hatchet; and though defperately wounded, forced his way back to his companions. 126
panions. Bragin and Korelin, who remained i» tne hut, had immediate
recourfe to their fire-arms ; but Kokovin, who was at a fmall diftance,
was furrounded by the favages, thrown down, and flab bed with knives
and darts, until Korelin came to his affiftiance ; who having wounded two, and
driven away the others, brought his companion half-dead to the hut.
Soon afterwards the natives furrounded the hut, which the Ruffians had
taken the precaution to provide with loop. holes. The fiege la fled four
days without intermiffion. The iflanders were prevented indeed by the
fire-arms from ftorming the hut ; but whenever the Ruffians made their appearance, darts were immediately fhot at them from all fides ; fo that they
could not venture out for water. At length, when Shaffyrin and Kokovin
were a little recovered, they all .allied out upon the iflanders with their
guns and lances; killed three, wounded feveral, and difperfed the reft.
During the fiege the favages were obferved at a little diftance holding up
in triumph fome arms and.caps, which belonged to the fix Ruffians who
were fent to the pit-falls, and had been maffac red by the natives.
The natives at length difappearing, the Ruffians dragged the baidar into
the fea, rowed without moleftation out of the bay, which is about ten verfts
broad, landed near a fmall habitation, and finding it empty, drew the baidar
a-fhore, and travcrfed, with their fire-arms and lances, the mountains towards
Kalaktak, where they had left Kudyakof's party. As they approached that
placé towards evening,, they fired front the heights, but no fignal being
returned, they concluded as was really t_te cafe, that this company had alfo
been maffacred by the inhabitants. They themfelves narrowly efcaped the
fame fate; for, on the report of the fire-arms, numerous bodies of the
iflanders FROM   I74I   TO   1778. 12j
iflanders made their appearance, and clofely purfued them ; the night however
favoured their efcape over the fandy fhore of a bay to a rock, where they
were fheltered, and with their fire-arms, obliged the iflanders to retire. As
foon as their affailants were withdrawn, the Ruffians proceeded towards the
haven, where they had left their veffel at anchor. They ran without interruption during the whole night ; and at break of day, when they were about
three verfts from the haven, efpied a locker of the veffel lying on the fhore.
Struck with this alarming difcovery, they precipitately retreated to the
mountains ; from whence they defcried feveral iflanders rowing in baidars,
but faw no appearance of their own veffel. During that day they concealed
themfelves and did not venture again towards the haven till the evening.
Upon their arrival they found the veffel broken to pieces, and the mangled
bodies of their companions fcattered on the beach. Having colleaed all the
provifion which had been untouched by the favages, they returned to the
The following day they fcooped out a cavity at the foot of a mountain
about three verfts from the haven, and covered it with a piece of a fail. In
the evening they again repaired to the haven, where they found an image of a
faint and a prayer-book; but all the tackle and lading were taken away,
excepting the leather facks for provifion, which the natives had ripped up,
and left as ufelefs. The Ruffians colleaed all that remained; and dragged
as much as they were able to their retreat io the mountains, where they
lived in a very wretched ftate from the 9th of December to the ad of
February, 1764.
Meanwhile they employed themfelves in making a little baidar, which
they covered with the leather of the facks. At night they drew it from the
mountains to the fea, and rowed along the northern fhore of Unalafhka, in -
hopes of reaching Trapefnikof's veffel, which they fuppofed lay at anchor
upon the coaft. They kept at fome diftance from the fhore, and by that
paffed three habitations unperceived. The following day they obferved
five iflanders in a baidar, who feeing them, retired to Makufhinfk, before
which place they were obliged to pafs. Darknefs coming on, the Ruffians
landed on a rock, and paffed the night a-fhore. Early in the morning, dif-
covering the iflanders advancing towards them from the bay of Makufhinfk,
they placed themfelves in an advantageous poft and prepared for defence.
The favages rowed clofe to the beach ; part landing, and part remaining
in their baidars, they commenced the affault by a volley of darts, and notwithftanding the Ruffians did great execution with their fire-arms, the
fkirmifh continued the whole day. Towards evening the enemy retired,
and the fugitives betook themfelves with their baidar to an adjoining cavern.
The attack was again renewed during the night; but the Ruffians repulfed the
affailants without much difficulty. In this encounter Bragin was flightly
wounded. They remained in this place three days; but the rife of the
fpring-tide forced them to fally out towards a neighbouring cavern, which
they reached without lofs, notwithftanding the oppofition of the iflanders.
They were confined in this cave five weeks, and kept watch by turns.
During that time they feldom ventured twenty yards from the entrance;
and were obliged to quench their thirft with fnow-water, and with the
moifture dripping from the rock. They alfo fuffered greatly from hunger,
having no fuftenance but fmall fhell-fifh, which they occafionally colleaed FROM   1741    TO   I778. t2g
on the beach. Compelled at length by extreme want, they one night
ventured to draw their baidar into the fea, and fortunately efcaped without
being perceived.
They continued their progrefs at night, but in the day, hid themfelves
on the fhore, by which means they reached Trapefnikof's veffel the 30th
of March, 1764. What happened to them afterwards in company with the
crew of this veffel will be mentioned in the fucceeding chapter. Shaffyrin
died during the voyage; but Korelin, Kokovin, and Bragin*, returned
fafe to Kamtchatka. The names of thefe brave men deferve to be recorded
for the courage and pe.rfeverance with which they fupported and overcame '
fuch imminent dangers.
* These Russians were welî known to several' persons of credit, who have confirmed the
:henticity of this relation. Among the rest, the celebrated naturalist Pallas saw Bragin at
utsk : from him he had a narrative of their adventures and escape ; which, as he assured
, perfectly tallied with the above account, drawn from the journal of Korelin. u
CHAP. g.
Voyage of the Veffel called the Trinity, under the command of Korovin, 1762—
Winters at Unalqfhka—Puts to Sea in the Spring—Stranded in a Bay of the ■
Ifland Umnack, and the Crem attacked by the Natives'—Many of them killed
—Others carried off by Sicknefs—Are reduced to great Sir eights—Relieved
by Glottof twelve of the whole .Company only remaining—'Defcription of
Umnack and Unalqfhka—and Account of, the Inhabitants.
npHE fécond veffel which failed from Kamtchatka in the year 1762, was
the Tri ni ty, fitted out by the trading company of Nikiphor Trapefnikof,
merchant of Irkutfk, under the command of Ivan Korovin, and manned with
thirty-eight Ruffians and fix Kamtchadals.
September 15, they failed down the Kamtchatka river, flood out to fea
the 29th, were driven at large for ten days by contrary winds, on the 8th of
Oaober eaft anchor on the fouth fide of Beering's Ifland, laid up the veffel
in a fecure harbour, and brought the lading afliorc. They ftaid here until the"
firft of Auguft, 1763, and killed about five hundred araic foxes, and only
twenty fea-otters, which reforted lefs frequently to this ifland, in confequence
of being difturbed by the Ruffian hunters.
111 '
Korovin, having colleaed a fufficient ftore of provifions, feveral fkins of
fea-cows for the coverings of baidars, and fome iron which remained from
__*___. FROM   1741   TO   1778. jgt,
the wreck of Beering's fhip, prepared to depart. Upon his arrival at Beering's
Ifland the preceding autumn, he found there a veffel fitted out by Jacob
Protaflbf, merchant of Tiuraén, under the command of Dennis Medvedef*,
with whom Korovin entered into a formal contraa for the divifion of the furs.
He took onboard ten of Medvedef's crew, and gave him feven in return.
Auguft 1, Korovin put to fea from Beering's Ifland with thirty-feven men,
and Medvedef with forty-nine. They failed without coming in fight of
the Aleutian Ifles ; and on the 15th, KoVovin made Unalafhka, where Glottof
lay at anchor, and Medvedef reached Umnak. Korovin received the news
of his fafe arrival by fome iflanders, and afterwards by letters, as both veffels
lay at no greater diftance from each other than a hundred and fifty verfts.
Korovin anchored in a convenient bay at the diftance of fixty yards from
the fhore. On the 16th he landed with fourteen men ; but finding only an
empty fhed, returned to the veffel. After having taken a reinforcement,
he again went a-fhore in fearch of inhabitants. About feven verfts from
the haven, he came to two habitations, and faw three hundred perfons ;
among them three Toigons, recolleaed and accofted in a friendly manner
Barnafhef, a native of Tobolfk, who had been there before with Glottof.
They fhewed fome tribute-quittances, which they had lately received from
the Coffac Sabin Ponomaref. Two of thefe Toigons gave each a boy of
twelve years of age as an hoftage, whom they paffed for their children ; and
* This is the fou
this and the follov
sçl which sailed) ir
As the
on of th
«hole <
.ssacredby the
inaljy made in ' jg2 RUSSIAN   DISC0VER1E-
the third delivered his fon of about fifteen years of age, the fame who had
been GlottoPs hoftage, and whom Korovin called Alexèy. With thefe
hoftages he returned to the fhip, which he laid up in the mouth of a river,
and brought all the provifion and lading a-fhore. Soon afterwards the three
Toigons came to fee the hoftages, and informed Korovin, that Medvedef's
veffel  rode fecurely at anchor off Umnak.
September 15, every thing being prepared for wintering, Korovin and
Barnafhef fet out in two baidars, each with nine men and one of the
hoftages, who had a flight knowledge of the Ruffian language. They went
along the northern coaft of the ifland, towards its weftern extremity, in order to
hunt, and to enquire after an interpreter called Kafhmak, who had been
formerly employed by Glottof. Having rowed about twenty verfts, they
paffed a village, and five verfts beyond, landed at another; but as the number
of inhabitants amounted to two hundred, they durft not venture to the dwellings.
Upon this the Toigon of the place came to them with his wife and fon ; he
fhewed a tribute-quittance, and delivered his fon, a boy of thirteen years of
age, whom Korovin called Stepanka, as a hoftage, for which he received a
prefent of corals.
They now rowed to a third village,five verfts from the former, where they
found the interpreter Kafhmak: he accompanied them to the two Toigons,
who gave them a friendly reception, and fhewed tribute-quittances. A few
natives only made their appearance ; the reft, as the Toigons pretended, were
gone out to fifh. The next morning each Toigon gave a boy as a hoftage ;
one of the boys Korovin called Gregory, and the other Alexèy. The.
Ruffians were detained two days by a violent ftorm ; during which time a
letter FROM   1741   TO   I778. _gg
letter from Medvedef was brought by an Aleutian, and an anfwer returned
by the fame perfon. The ftorm at length abating, they rowed back to
the next village; where they continued two nights without any apprehenfions
from the favages, and Korovin returned in fafety with the hoftages.
In the beginning of Oaober they built a hut, partly of wood, and partly of
feal-fkins, and made preparations for hunting. On the 14th, two companies,
each confifting of eleven men, were fent on a hunting party to the eaftern
point of the ifland, and returned in four days with hoftages. About fixty
verfts from the haven, they met a party of twenty-five Ruffians, commanded
by Drufinin; at the fame time fome Toigons brought a prefent of flurgeon
and whales' blubber, and received in return beads and provifion.
Korovin and his company now thought themfelves fecure, and twenty-three
men, under the command of Barnafhef, were difpatched in two baidars on a
hunting party towards the weftern point of the ifland. Eight mufkets were
diftributed to each boat, a piftol and a lance to each man, and a fufficient flore
of ammunition and provifion. The following day two accounts were fent
from Barnafhef, and letters were alfo received from the crew of Protaffof's
veffel. From the 2d of November to the 8th of December, the Ruffians who
remained with Korovin, killed forty-eight dark-coloured foxes, together with
a hundred and feventeen of the common fort ; during this expedition one
man was lost. Some of the natives came occafionally in baidars, and exchanged fea-otter and fox fkins for corals. On the 8th of December letters
were again brought from Barnafhef, alfo from the crew of Protaffof's fhip, and
aDfwers were returned by the fame meffengers.
After their departure the mother of Alexèy came with a meffage from
the Toigon her hufband, importing that a number of iflanders were advancing
towards the fhip. Korovin accordingly ordered the men to arm, and foon
after feventy natives approached, and held up fome fea-otter fkins. The '
Ruffians cried out that no more than ten at a time fhould come over the
brook towards their hut ; upon which the iflanders left their fkins with
Korovin, and returned without hoflilitics. Their apprehenfions were now
fomewhat quieted, but again excited by the arrival of three Kamtchadals
belonging to KulkoPs Slip, who flew for protec-ion to Korovin; they brought
an account that the crew had been killed by the favages, and the veffel
deftroyed. It was now certain that the feventy iflanders had come with hoftile
intentions. This information fpread fo fudden a panic among the Ruffians, '
that it was even propofed to burn the veffel, and endeavour to find their
companions, who were difperfed on hunting parties.
The day however paffed without any attack, but
10th of December, the favages affembled in large bi
on all fides, and for four days and nights inceffan
with their darts ; two of them were killed, and the
by continual fatigue. On the fifth day the iflanders
ing cavern, where they continued watching the P
a whole month, that none of them dur ft ventur
dwelling. Korovin, finding himfelf thus harraffe<
deftroyed, and then retired to his veffel, which
fecurity out of the mouth of the rivulet to the di
from the beach : there they lay at anchor from the
g of the
red the hut t
d  be
ought for gr
_f a hundred |
March to the
of FROM   I74I   TO   I778. 135
of April, fuffering greatly from want of provifion, and ftill more from the
During this period they were attacked by a large body of the natives, who
advanced with forty baidars, in hopes of furprifing the veffel. Korovin was
warned of their approach by two of the inhabitants, one of whom was a
relation of the interpreter Kafhmak, and prepared for their reception. On
their approach Korovin fired and killed one perfon, when they were flruck
with a panic and rowed away. Incenfed at this failure they immediately put
to death the two natives, who had betrayed their defign to the Ruffians.
Soon after the father of Alexèy came and demanded his fon, who was reftored
to him, and on the 30th of March Korelin and his three brave companions
arrived as is mentioned in the preceding chapter ; by which reinforcement
the number of the crew amounted to eighteen perfons.
April 26, Korovin put to fea from Unalafhka with eleven hoftages. The
veffel was driven until the 28th by contrary winds, and then ftranded in a
bay of the ifland Umnak. The ammunition and fails, together with the
fkins for the conflruaion of baidars, were brought a-fhore with great difficulty.
During the difembarkation one fick man was drowned ; another died as foon
as he reached the land, and eight hoftages ran away amidft the general confufion. The faithful interpreter Kafhmak and three hoftages however remained. The whole number of the Ruffians amounted only to fixteen^ and
of thefe three were affliaed with the fcurvy. Under thefe circumftances
they fecured themfelves between their baidar and fome empty barrels, which
they covered with feal fkins, while the fails were fpread over them in form
of a tent.   Two Ruffians kept watch ; and there being no appearance of
iflanders, the others retired to fleep.
Before break of day, about an hundred favages advancing fecretly from
the fhore threw their darts at the diftance of twenty yards with fuch force,
that many pierced the baidar and fkins ; others paffed through the fails.
By this difcharge, the two perfons who kept watch, together with the three
hoftages, were killed on the fpot, and all the Ruffians wounded. They were
indeed fo effeaually furprifed, as to be prevented from having recourfe to
their fire-arms. In this diftrefs Korovin fallied forth with four Ruffians
and attacked the enemy with lances ; two of the favages were killed, and the
others driven to flight; but Korovin and his parly were fo feverely wounded,
that they had fcarcely ftrength fufficient to return to their tenu
During the night the ftorm increafed and dafhed the veffel to pieces, and
the greater part of the wreck which was eaft on fhore, was carried away by the
iflanders. After breaking the barrels of fat, emptying the facks of provifion',
and deftroying moft of the furs, they went away, and did not again make their
appearance until the 30th of April. When they retired, the Ruffians colleaed
the wretched remains which had been left untouched by the favages, or
which the waves had eaft a-fhore fince their departure.
April 30, a body of one hundred and fifty natives advanced from, the
eaftern part of the ifland towards the tent ; and at the diftance of a hundred
yards, fhot at the Ruffians with fire-arms, but luckily without effea. They
alfo fet on fire the high grafs, and the wind blew the flames towards the tent ;
but FROM   I74I   TO   I778. I37
but the Ruffians having forced the enemy to retreat, gained time to extinguifh.
the flames.
This was the laft attack, although ficknefs and mifery detained Korovin and
his companions on this fpot until the 21ft of July. They then put to fea in
a baidar eight yards long, which they had conftruaed in order to make to
Protaffof's veffel, with whofe fate they were as yet unacquainted. Their
number was now reduced to twelve, among whom were fix Kamtchadals.
After rowing ten days, they landed on the beach of the fame ifland Umnak ;
and there obferved the burnt remains of a veffel, and fragments of clothes,
fails, and ropes. At a fmall diftance was an empty Ruffian dwelling, and
near it a bath-room, in which they found, to their inexpreffible terror, twenty
dead bodies in their clothes. Each of them had a thong of leather, or his
own girdle fattened about his neck, with which he had been ftrangled.
Korovin and his companions recognifed them as part of Protaffof's crew;
and diftinguifhed among the reft the commander Medvedef. They difcovered
no traces of the remainder ; and, as none ever appeared, we have no account
of the circumftances attending this cataftrophe.
Having buried their countrymen, Korovin and his companions began to
build a hut ; hut were prevented from finifhing it, by the unexpeaed arrival
of Stephen Glottof*, who came to them with a fmall party by land. Korovin
and his companions joined Glottof, and rowed the next day to his veffel.
Soon afterwards Korovin was fent with a party of twenty to coaft the
* See the following chapter.
ifland of Umnak, in order to difcover if any part of Medvedef *s crew had
made their efcape; but his enquiries were without fuccefs. In the courfe of
this expedition, as he lay at anchor, in September, before a fmall ifland
fituated between Umnak and Unalafhka, fome favages rowed towards the
Ruffians in two large baidars; and fhot at them with fire-arms, though without
effea. The fame evening Korovin entered a bay with an intention of paffing.
the night on fhore ; but, as he approached the coaft, a number of favages
in a hundred baidars furrounded and faluted him with a volley of darts.
Korovin fired, and having difperfed them, made to a large baidar, which he
faw at fome diftance, in hopes of finding Ruffians. He was however
miftaken ; the iflanders who were aboard landed at his approach ; and, after
fhooting at him with fire-arms, retired to the mountains.
Korovin there found the fame baidar in which Barnafhef had failed, on à
hunting party; within were only two hatchets and fotoe iron points for
darts. Three women were feized at the fame time; and two natives, who
refufed to furrender themfelves, were put to death. They then went to the
dwelling from which all the inhabitants had fled, and Found therein pieces of
leather, blades of fmall knives, fhirts, and Other things, which had belonged to
the Ruffians. All the information which they could procure from the women
was, that the crew had been killed, and this booty taken away by the inhabitants, who had retired to Unalafhka. Korovin gave thefe women their
liberty; and, being apprehensive of frefh attacks, returned to the haven.
Towards winter Korovin, with a party of twenty-two men, and Ivan
Glottof an Aleutian interpreter, was fent on a hunting expedition to the
weftern point of Unalafhka.   Being informed by fome iflanders, that a
Ruffian FROM   I74I   TO   1778. J39
Ruffian fhip, under the command of Ivan Soloviof *, was then lying before
Unalafhka, he rowed towards the haven where fhe was at anchor. On the
way he had a fharp encounter with the natives, who endeavoured to prevent his landing : of thefe, ten were killed ; and the reft fled, leaving behind
fome women and children. Korovin ftaid three days aboard Soloviof's
veffel, and then returned to the place where he had been attacked. The
inhabitants however, made no oppofition to his landing ; but on the contrary,
received him with kindnefs, and permitted him to hunt; they delivered
hoftages, entered into a friendly traffic, exchanging furs for beads, and even
reftored feveral mufkets and other things, taken from the Ruffians who had
been maffacred.
A fhort time before his departure, the inhabitants again fhewed hoftile
intentions ; for three of them fuddenly attacked the Ruffian centinel, with
knives, but the centinel difengaging himfelf, and retreating into the hut, they
ran away. The Toigons of the village affeaed ignorance of this treachery;
and the offenders were foon afterwards difcovered and punifhed. Korovin,
as he was returning to Glottof, was forced to engage with the iflanders on
Unalafhka, and alfo on Umnak, where they endeavoured to prevent him
from landing. Before the end of the year a ftorm drove the baidar on the
beach of Umnak, and the tempeftuous weather fetting in, they were detained
until the 6th of April, 1765, and were reduced to live chiefly upon fea-wrack,
and fmall fhell-fifh. On the 22d they returned to Glottof, with an incon-
fiderable cargo of furs. Three days after his arrival, Korovin quitted
Glottof, and went with five other Ruffians to Soloviof, with whom he returned
* Chapter 11. the following year to Kamtchatka,
joined Glottof.
he fix Kamtchadals of Korovin's party
According to Korovin's account, the iflands Umnak and Unalafhka are
fituated not much more north than the mouth of the Kamtchatka river ; and,
according to the fhip's reckoning, about the diftance of one thoufand feven
hundred verfts eaftwards from the fame place. The circumference of Umnak
is about two hundred and fifty verfts ; Unalafhka is much larger. Both
iflands are wholly deftitute of trees ; but drift-wood is brought a-fhore in
large quantities. There are five lakes on the northern coaft of Unalafhka,
and one only upon Umnak, of which none exceeded ten
ference. From thefe lakes iffue feveral fmall rivulet!
few verfts before they fall into the fea.    The fifh enter
the rivulets in the
middle of April; afcend the lakes in July, and continue there ti
Sea-otters and  other fea-animals refort  but  feldoi
to thefe iflands; but
there are abundance of red and black foxes. North-eaftward from Unalafhka
two iflands appeared in fight, at the diftance of five or ten verfts; but
Korovin did not touch at them.
The inhabitants row in fmall baidars from one ifland to the other, and from
this unfettled manner of life their numbers cannot be ascertained. Their
dwellings are made in the following manner : having dug a bole in the earth
proportioned to the fize of their intended habitation, of twenty, thirty, or forty
yards in length, and from fix to ten broad, they fet up poles of larch, firs,
and afh, and lay planks acrofs, which they cover with grafs and earth.
They enter through
ipertures in the top by means of ladders.    Fifty,
hundred, and even a hundred and fifty perfons dwell
.ether in a cave.   As
they FROM   I74I   TO   1778. 14.
they feldom make fires within, thefe dwellings are much cleaner than thofe
of the Kamtchadals; but in winter they warm themfelves by kindling dry
herbs. Several of thefe iflanders wear fur-ftockings in winter; but the
greater part go bàre-footed, and all without breeches. The fkins of cormorants, puffins, and fea-divers, ferve for the mens' cloathing; and the
women wear the fkins of fea-bears, feals, and fea-otters. They fleep on
thick mats, which they twift of a foft kind of grafs growing on the fhore
and have no other covering than their ufual clothes. Many of the men
have five or fix wives ; and the beft hunter or fifher has the greateft
number. The women make their needles of the bones of birds' wings, and
ufe finews for thread. Their weapons are bows and arrows, lances, and
darts, which, like the Greenlanders, they throw to the diftance of fixty
yards by means of a little hand board. Both darts and arrows are feathered ;
the arrows are an ell and a half long ; the fhaft, which is well made con-
fidering the want of inftruments, is often compofed of two pieces joined
together, and the point is formed of flint, fharpened by beating it between
two {tones. The darts as well as the lances were formerly tipped with bone •
but the points are now commonly made of iron procured from the Ruffians,
and from which they ingenioufly form little hatchets and two-edged knives.
They fhape the iron by rubbing it between two ftones, and wetting it
frequently with fea-water. With thefe inftruments and ftone hatchets they
build their baidars. They have a ftrange cuftom of cutting holes in the
under-lip and through the griftle of the nofe; they place in the lip two
little bones, wrought in the form of teeth, which projea fome inches from the
face, and in the nofe a piece of bone is inferted crofsways. The dead
are buried with their boat, weapons, and clothes *.
*The author repeats here several c
many of them will occur again : but my office
which have been mentioned before, and
anslator would not suffer me to omit them. Voyage of Stephen Glottof in the Andrean and Natalia, 1762—He reaches
the Fox Iflands—Sails beyond Unalafka to Kadyak—Winters on that Ifland
—Repeated Attempts of the Natives to deftroy the Crew—They are repulfed,
reconciled, and prevailed on to trade with the RuJ/ians—Account of
Kadyak.—-Its InhabitantS-^-Animals—ProduBions—-Glottif'•fails back to
Umnak—Winters there—Returns to Kamtchatka*-Journal of his Voyage.
rTT1HE following voyage, which extended further, and terminated more
fortunately than the laft expeditions, is one of the moft memorable
yet made.
Terenty Tfebaeffskoi and company, merchants of Lalfk, fitted out the
Andrean and Natalia tinder the command of Stephen Glottof, an experienced and fkilful fcaman of Yarenfk. This veffel, manned with thirty-
eight Ruffians and eight Kamtchadals, failed from the bay of the river
Kamtchatka the ill of Oaober, 1762. In eight days they reached Mednoi
Oftrof, or Copper Ifland, and having found a convenient harbour, unloaded
and laid up the veffel for the winter. They firft fupplicd themfelves with
provifions ; and afterwards killed a quantity of ice-foxes, and a confiderable
number of fea-otters.
For the benefit of the trôwn, i
refolved to take on board all the
fe of need, they
fork of Beering's
fhip. «ROM   1741   TO   1778. ,43
fhip, which was buried in the beach of Commander's Ifland. For this
purpofe they difpatched, on the 27th of May, Jacob Malevinfkoy with
thirteen men in a baidar to that ifland, who brought back twenty-two pood
of iron, ten of old cordage fit for caulkers' ufe, fome lead and copper, and
feveral thoufand beads.
Copper Ifland has its name from the native copper found on the coaft,
particularly at the fouth weftern point. Of this native copper Malevinfkoy
brought two large pieces, weighing twelve pounds. Amongft other floating
bodies the fea drives on the fhores of this ifland, the true camphor wood,
and another fort very white, foft, and fweet-fcented, is found.
After making the neceffary preparations for continuing the voyage, they
failed from Copper Ifland the 26th of July, 1763, and fleered for Umnak
and Agunalalhka, where Glottof had formerly obferved great numbers of
black foxes. On account of ftorms and contrary winds, they did not reach
Umnak till the 24th of Auguft; and without lofing time, refolved to fail
further for the difcovery of new iflands. They paffed eight, feparated only
by ftraits, which, according to their eftimation, were from twenty to a
hundred verfts broad. Glottof did not land till he reached the laft and moft
eafterly of thefe iflands, called by the inhabitants Kadyak, which according
to the natives was not far diftant from the coaft of a wide-extended woody
continent. No land however was to be feen from a little ifland' denominated by the natives Aktunak, fituated thirty verfts eaft of Kadyak.
September 8, the veffel ran up a creek, fouth eaft of Aktunak, where a
rivulet falls into the fea, which flows from a lake fix verfts long, one broad,
and fifty fathoms deep. During the ebb, the veffel was left aground; but
the return of the water fet her again afloat. Near the fhore were four large
huts, fo crouded with people, that their number could fcarcely be counted V
but foon after Glottof's arrival, they quitted their dwellings, and retired
with precipitation. The next day fome iflanders in baidars approached
the veffel, and accofted the people on board: and as Ivan Glottof, the
Aleutian interpreter, did not well underftand the language, they foon afterwards returned with a boy whom they had formerly taken prifoner from
Ifanak, an ifland to the weft of Kadyak. Him the Aleutian interpreter
perfeaiy underftood; and by his means they converfed with the favages,
and endeavoured to perfuade them to become tributary. They ufed every
argument in their power to prevail on them to deliver the boy for an
interpreter, but all entreaties were ineffeaual, and the favages rowed back
towards the cliff called Aktalin, which lies three verfts to the fouth of
Kadyak, where they feemed to have habitations.
On the 6th of September, Kaplin, who was fent with thirteen men to
the cliff, found ten huts, which contained a hundred natives. They behaved
in a friendly manner, and anfwered the interpreter by the boy, that they
had nobody proper for a hoftage, but would deliver the boy. Kaplin
received him thankfully, and brought him on board; he afterwards
accompanied Glottof to Kamtchatka, and was baptized by the name of
Alexander Popof, being then thirteen. For fome days after this conference,
the iflanders came off in companies of five, ten, twenty, and thirty ; were
admitted on board in fmall numbers, and kindly received, but with a proper
degree of circumfpeaion.
On the 8th of September the veffel was brought further up the creek, FROM   I741    TO   1778. 145
and on the gth Glottof with ten men proceeded to a village, where the
natives had begun to refide : it confifted of three fummer-huts covered with
long grafs, from eight to ten yards broad, twelve long, and four high. They
faw there about a hundred men, but neither women nor children, and as they
could not perfuade the favages to give hoftages, Glottof refolved to keep
a ftrong guard.
Although the iflanders vifited them ftill in fmall bodies, their hoftile
intentions became more and more apparent. At laft on the ill of Oaober,
by day-break, a great number having affembled in the remote parts of the
ifland, approached without being difcovered by the watch; and feeing no
one on deck but thofe on duty, fhot fuddenly into the veffel with arrows.
The watch found refuge behind the quarter boards, and gave the alarm
without firing. Glottof immediately ordered a volley to be fired over their
heads with fmall arms ; upon which they inftantly retreated. At break of
day, no enemy was feen ; but they difcovered feveral ladders, bundles of hay
in which the favages had put fulphur, and a quantity of birch-tree bark, left
behind in their precipitate flight.
Glottof now found it neceffary to be on his guard againft their evil attempts,
and his fufpicions were further increafed by the fubfequent condua of the
natives: for though they came to the veffel in fmall bodies, yet they
examined every thing, and particularly the watch, with the ftriaefl attention,
and always returned without paying regard to the friendly propofitions of the
On j-ggjBWgg-g-g
On the 4th of Oaober two hundred made their appearance, carrying
wooden fhields before them, and preparing with bows and arrows for an
attack. Glottof endeavoured at firft by perfuafion to prevail upon them
todefift; but obferving them to continue advancing, he ventured a fally.
The enemy difconcerted by this intrepidity, retreated without refiftance.
The 26th of Oaober they made a third attack, and advanced towards
the veffel by day-break; the alarm however was given in due time, and the
whole crew were under arms. The approach of day-light difcovered different parties of the enemy advancing under the proteaion of wooden fcreens.
Of thefe moving breaft-works they counted feven, covering from thirty to
forty men armed with bone lances. Befide thefe a croud of armed men
advanced feparately to the attack, fome bearing whale jaw-bones, and others
wooden fhields. Diffuafion proving ineffeaual, and the arrows beginning
to fall even aboard the fhip, Glottof gave orders to fire. As the fhot
from the fmall-arms did not pierce the fcreens, the iflanders advanced with
fteadinefs and intrepidity. In this imminent danger Glottof rifked a fally of
his whole crew, armed with mufkets and lances ; the iflanders inftantly threw
down their fcreens, fled with precipitation to their boats, and rowed off.
They had feventeen large baidars and feveral fmall canoes. The fkreens
which they left behind were made of three rows of flakes placed perpendicularly, and bound together with fea-weed and ofiers, twelve feet broad
and above half a yard thick.
The iflanders now appearing fufficiently intimidated, the Ruffians built a
winter hut of drift wood, and waited the approach of fpring without further
I «•ROM   174*  TO   1778. nj
annoyance..Although they faw none of the inhabitants, yet Glottof kept
his people together j fending out occafionally fmall hunting and fifhing
parties to a lake, five verfts from th* creek. During the whole winter they
caught in the lake feveral different fpecies of trout and falmon, foles, and
herrings, a fpanand a half long, and even turbot and cod-fifh, which afcended
with the flood.
At laft, on the 25th of December, two iflanders vifited the fhip, and
converfed at a diftance by means .of interpreters ; hut foon departed without
paying any attention to the propofals of peace and trade made by the Ruf-
fians; nor did any of them appear again before the 4th of April. Wan.
of fufficient exercife in the mean time brought on a violent fcurvy among
the crew, of which nine died.
On the 4th of April four natives made their appearance, and feemed
to pay more attention to the propofals; at kvft one Of them advanced,
and offered to barter two fox-fkins for beads. They did not fet die leaft
yalue upon other goods of various kinds, fuch as fhirts, linen, and nankeen ;
but demanded glafs beads of different colours, for; which they exchanged
fkins with pleafure. This friendly traffic, together with Glottof's entreaties,
operated powerfully, and after holding a confutation with their countrymen, they returned with a folemn declaration, that their brethren would
in future commit no hoftilities. From that time until their departure a daily
intercourfe was carried on with the iflanders, who brought fox and fea-otter
fkins, and received in exchange a ftipulated number of beads. Some were
even perfuaded to pay a tribute of fkins, for which receipts were given.
Among other wares the Ruffians procured two fmall carpets, curioufly
platted and interwoven with beaver-wool like velvet. The iflanders brought
alfo for fale, well dreffed fea-otter fkins, the hair of which was fliorn with
fharp ftones, and appeared* like velvet. The caps of the natives had fur-
prifing and fometimes not ungraceful decorations, fome being adorned with
manes like a helmet ; others, feemingly peculiar to the females, were made of
inteflines ftitched together with rein-deer hair and finews in a moft elegant
tafte, and ornamented on die crown with long ftreamers of hair died a beautiful
red.    Of all thefe curiofities Glottof carried famples to Kamtchatka*.
I The natives differ confiderably in drefs and language from the inhabitants
of the other Fox Iflands ; and feveral fpecies of animals were obferved upon
Kadyak, which are not to be found on the other iflands, viz. ermines, martens,
beavers, river-otters, wolves, and wild boars. The tracks of bears were
alfo obferved. Some of the inhabitants had clothes made with the fkins of
rein-deer and the jeV-âs, a fort of fmall marmofet. Both thefe fkins Were
probably procured from the continent of America. Black, brown, and red
foxes, were feen in great number ; and the coaft abounds with fea-dogs, fea-
bears, fea-lions, and fea-otters. The birds are cranes, geefe, ducks, gulls,
ptarmigans, crows, and magpies ; but no uncommon fpecies was difcovered.
The vegetable produaions are bilberries, cranberries, whortleberries, and
* These and several similar ornaments are preserved in a cabinet, of curiosities
Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg : a cabinet which well merits the atteaitioi
curious traveller; for it contains a large collection of the dresses of the Eastern
Amongst the rest, one compartment Is entirely filled with the dresses, arms, and impl
brought from the New-discovered islands. Engravings of these caps, dresses, and
are found in Cook, Vancouver, and Sauer. FROM   1741   TO   1778. ,49
wild lily-roots. Kadyak likewife yields willows and alders, which affords the
ftrongeft proof of its vicinity to the continent. The extent of Kadyak
cannot be exaaiy afcertained ; as the Ruffians, through fear of the native*,
did not venture to explore the country.
The inhabitants, like thofe of the Aleutian and nearer iflands, perforate
holes in the under-lips and the griftle of the nofe, in which they infert the
bones of birds and animals--worked into the form-of teeth. Their clothes
are made with the fkins of birds, foxes, fea-otters, young rein-deer, and
marmofets, fewed together with finews. They wear alfo fur-ftockings of reindeer fkins, but no breeches. Their arms are bows, arrows, and lances, whofe
points, as well as their fmall hatchets, are of fharp flint : fome few make knives
and lance-points of rein-deer bones. Their wooden fhields are called kuyaky,
which amongft the Greenlanders fignifies' a fmall canoe. Their manners are
altogether rude ; they are not courteous to ftrangers, nor do they fhew any
kind of deference or fubmiffion to each other.
Some of their canoes contain only one or two perfons ; others are larger,
and fimilar to the womens' boats of the Greenlanders. Their food confifts
chiefly of raw and dried fifh, partly caught at fea with bone hooks, and
partly in rivulets, by means of bag-nets made of finews. They call themfelves
Kanagift, a name that has no fmall refemblance to Karalit; by which appellation the Greenlanders and Efquimaux on the coaft of Labradore dif-
tinguifh themfelves : the difference between thefe two denominations is occa-
fioned perhaps by a change of pronunciation, or by a miftake of the Ruffian
failors. Their numbers feem very confiderable on that part of the ifland
where they had fixed habitations.
Kadyak »5°
Kadyak drakes ,w_i .Aghunalafhka, Umnak, and the fmaft intermediate
iflands, a continued Archipelago, extending N. E. and E. N. E. towards
America: it lies by the fhip's reckoning in 2300 of longitude ; fo that it
cannot be far diftant from that part of the American coaft which Beering
formerly reached.
• The large ifland Alakfu, lying northward from Kadyak where Pufhkaref*
wintered, muft be ftill nearer the continent : and the account given by its
inhabitants of a great promontory, called Ataktak, ftretching from the continent N. E. of Alakfu, is not improbable.
Although the conduQ of the iflanders appeared more friendly ; yet, on
account of their numbers, Glottof refolved not to pafs another winter on
Kadyak, and prepared for his departure. He wanted hoops for repairing his
water-cafks, and learning from the natives that there were trees at no great
diftance from the bay, he difpatched, on the 25th of April, Lukas Ftorufkiri
with eleven men to fell wood. After rowing along the South coaft forty or
fifty verfts, he obferved, half a verft from the fhore, in val lies between the
rocks, alders, fimilar to thofe of Kamtchatka; the largeft of which were
from lour to feven inches in diameter. After felling as much wood as he
wanted, he returned the fame day without perceiving an iflander or habitation.!
They brought the veffel down the creek in May; and, after taking in
all the peltry and flores, left Kadyak on the 24th. Contrary trinds retarded
«heir voyage, and drove them near the ifland Alakfu, which they paffed;
e chapter 6. ÏROM   1741   TO   1778. _5.t
their water being nearly exhaufted, they afterwards landed upon another ifland
called Saktunak, in order to procure a fupply. At laft on.the 3d of juîy.
they reached Umnak, and anchored in a bay which Glottof had formerly
vifited. Going a-fhore in a baidar, he found his hut, which was in ruins j
and near it obferved another Ruffian dwelling, that had been built in his
abfence; in V__ich lay a murdered Ruffian. Refolving to procure further
Mformation, he croffed the ifland the 5th of July, with fixteen of his
crew, and difcovered the remains of a burnt veffel, fome prayer-books,
images, &c. ; but all the iron-work and cordage were carried off. Near
the fpot he found alfo a bathing room filled with murdered Ruffians in their
clothes. From fome marks, fie concluded that this was the crew of the veffel fitted out by Protaffof ; nor was he miftaken in his conjeaures.
Alarmed at the fate of his countrymen, Glottof returned to the fhip.
Seven iflanders now advanced in baidars, and expreffed a defire to trade.
They held up fea-otter,fkins at a diftance, but would not venture on board ;
and by the interpreter defired Glottof and two of his people to come on fhore
and barter. Glottof, diftrufting the favages, refufed to comply with their
demands; oU^wbich they landed, and fired at the veffel, but without effea.
They were even bold enough to row towards the veffel a fécond time. In
order if poffible to procure intelligence, every method of conciHatbg them .
was tried by means of the interpreters ; and at laft one approached the fhip,
and demanded viauals, which being thrown to him, he came on board. He
then related the fate of the veffel feized by the iflanders; and gave fome
intelligence concerning the fugitives _mdë_ the command of Korovin. He
confeffed, that their defign»was to entice Glottof on fhore, kill him, and
make themfelves matters of the fhip ; for which purpofe more than thirty
,        iflanders je_ RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
iflanders were polled in ambufh behind the neareft rocks. Glottof having
detained the iflander on board, landed with a ftrong party, attacked the favages :
who fhot both with arrows and mufkets, but without effea, and were foon
forced to retire to their canoes.
July 14, a violent ftorm arofe, in which Glottof's veffel parted her cable,
and was forced on fhore, but without any other lofs than that of an anchor.
The crew through want of frefh provifions, became fo fickly, that they were
almoft defenceléfs. On the 28th of July, Glottof, with ten men, went for that
part of the ifland, where, according to information he expeâed to find Korovin ;
but difcovered only parts of the wreck. On the 2d of Auguft, as he was
returning, five iflanders' approached him in canoes, and informed him,
that on the other fide of the ifland he would find Korovin with his people,
who were building a but on the bank of a rivulet. Glottof and his companions accordingly went over land to the place pointed out by the iflanders,
and found Korovin conformable to their information. The circumftances
of their junaion and reparation are related in the preceding chapter.
Glottof having now refolved to winter on Umnak, laid up his veffel. On
the 2d of September Korovin, was at his own defire difpatched with a hunting
party in two baidars. On his return, in May 1765, they received the firft;
intelligence of the arrival of SolovioPs veffel, which lay before Unalafhka*.
None of the iflanders appeared near the harbour during winter, and there
were none probably at that time upon Umnak. fo-! Glottof made excurfions
on all fides, went once round the ifland, and found ail the habitations empty.
t Chapte PROM   I74I   TO   1778. j£(>
He Iikewife examined the country, and caufed a ftria fearch to be made after
the remains of the plundered veffel.
According to Glottof's account, Umnak is about three hundred verfts
in circumference. It contains feveral rivulets, which take their rife from
lakes, and fall into the fea after a very fhort courfe. No trees were obferved
on the ifland, and the vegetables were the fame as thofe of Kamtchatka.
The following fummer fmall parties of the inhabitants were feen ; but they
fled upon the approach of the Ruffians. Some of them were at laft perfuaded
to hold a friendly intercourfe, and pay tribute ; by which means the Ruffians
recovered part of the arms, anchors, and iron-work of the-plundered veffel.
They continued to trade with the natives during the fummer of 1765, for the
fkins of foxes and fea-otters.
In the winter hunting parties were fent out in Umnak as well as to
Unalafhka; and in July 1766, Glottof, without meeting with more difficulties,
began his voyage homewards. We' fhall here conclude with a copy of his
journal kept on board; from which, inferences with regard to the fituation
of the iflands may be drawn. RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES.
Journal of Glottof, on board the Andrean and Natalia^
. Sailed from Kamtchatka Bay.
. Wind Southerly, steered between E. and S E. three hours.
. Wind S. E. worked at N. E. course sixteen hours.
i From midnight sailed East with a fair wind, eighteen hours.
„ At: six o'clock A. M. discovered Beering's Island distant about eighteen
': At one o'clock came to arches 4j_ tb .. East point of Copper
. At eight A. M. sailed to the South side of the Island, anchored there at ten
i   o'clock...
July 26. Sailed from Copper Island at five P. M.
27. Sailed with a fair S. S. W wind, seventeen hours.
28. Made little way.
29. Drove—wind E. N. E.
30. Ditto
31. Ditto
Aug. l.
At eleven A.M. wind N. E. steered E. rROM 1741 to 177t. ,j5
Jug. 3. Wind W. S. W. sailed eight knots aa tour, two hundred an_ fifty versts.
4. Wind South—sailed one hundred and fifty versts.
é. Wihd dftto---sailed 0_e hundred and tw en ty_sk$ terât».
6. Wind ditto, three knots, forty-five versts.
7. Calm.
8. During the night gentle S. E. Wind, steered N> fi. at two an d a half fcfcots.
9. Forenoon calm»   At two o'clock, P. M. gehtle N. E* triad, Steered -between
E. N. E. bnd S. E. at the rate of three knots.
10.Morning, wind E. N. E. afterwards S.S. Wi with which .teefe_ N»E.
11. At five o'clock the wind S. S, E. steered E. N. E. at the rate of three
12  WindS steered E. two and a half kaots, sailed fifty ^rfer-ts.ii1.^
13. Wind S. S. E. steered E. four and a half knots, sailed ninety ./«rsts.
14. Wind W. N. W. at(two knots, sailed thirty versts.
15. The wind freshened, at four knots, sailed-isty vçrstti
16. Wind N. N. E. steered E. Si E. at three knots, sailed thirty versts.
17. Wind E. S. E and S. E. light breezes and changeable.
18. Wind S. E. steered N. E. at three and a half knots, sailed in twelve hoars
twenty-two versts.
19. Wind S. and light breezes, steered E. at three knots, sailed in eight hours
eleven versts.      ,%/$ v .'
20. Before day-break calm ; three hours after sun-rise a breeze sprung tip at
S. E. steered E. N. E. at three knots, and sailed twenty versts.
22. Calm.
23» Wind S. S. E. during the night, the ship sailed at the rate of two knots;
the wind afterwards came round to the S. S. W. and the ship Sailed
at five to six knots these twenty-four hours, one .hundred and fifty
24. Saw land at day-break ; at three knots, sailed forty-five versts.
X 2 Aug.
Aug.Zô. Wind W S. W. sailed along the coast these twenty four hours, fifty
26. Wind N. W. steered N. E. at five and a half knots, one hundred ver
27. Wind E. N. E. the ship drove towards land, on which discovered £
28. Wind N. E. and stormy, the ship drove.
29. Wind N. W. steered E. N. E. at the rate of three knots.
30. Wind S. S. E. at six knots, steering again towards land.
31. A violent storm, wind west.
Sept, 1. Wind West, steered N. E. at the rate of three knots towards land.
2. Wind S. W. steered N. E. towards land at five knots.
3. Wind S W. drove N. N. E. along the coast.
4. Wind W. N. W. steered N. E. at four knots, sailed one hundred versts.
5   Wind N. W. steered E. N. E. at three knots, and towards evening came
• to anchor off the Island Kadyak.
HI \
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 c
to the S. when steered again towards Kadyak.
28. WindE. 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. .
- to four knots, sailing
-ROM 1741 to 1778.
June 1. Wind W. S. W. landed on the Island Saktunak, for a supply of water J
2. Wind S. E. steered S. W. along the island at three knots.
3. Wind N. E. steered W. S. W. at the rate of thre
in these twenty-four hours one hundred verst
4. Calm.
5. At eight o'clock A. M. a small breeze S.E.
6. Wind E afterwards calm. Towards evening the Wind S.E. steered S.W.
at three 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 one knot.
15. Calm.
16. Wind S. steered W. at one knot, the ship drove a little to the Northward.
17. Wind S. S. E. steered W. S. W. at three knots.
18. Calm.
19. Ditto.
20. Wind N. E. steered S. W. and sailed this day about eighty-seven versts.
21. The wind blowing right ahead, came to anchor off an unknown island,
where continued till the
25th, 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 two to three knots*.
» Lief iè
1 bey nordwest wind '<
:f den 0:
u 2 bis 3 knoten.
JuncQfr. Wind N. Ei steered W. at three to four knots, aad saw land,
30. Wind N.E. steered S. W. at the ra*e of Seven knots.
July 1. With the same wind and course, at the rate of five knots, sailed two
hundred 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 ths ship into the harbour, aad continued at afachor tfefe uMil the
third of July.
July 3. Got under weight
4. Wind E.
5. A South West wind drove the ship about fifty versts N. E.
6. Wind S-. sailed about sixty versts W.
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 forty Versts W, N. W.
11. Wind S. W. continued the same course, sailed only five versts.
12. Continued the same course, and sailed fifty-five versts.
13. For the most part calm.
14. Wind W. N. W. and stormy, the Ship drove under the foresails.   M
15. Wind S. sailed ®n the proper course one hundred verbis-. ' .
r6. Wind E. S. E, Sailed W. S. W. at the rate of six knots, «nié. haadred
17. Wind N. N. W. sailed S. W. àt thé rate of two knots, thirty vèrsts. FROM   I74I   TO   I778.
July 18. Wind S. steered W. at the rate of five knots, and s
thirty versts.
19. Wind S. W the ship drove under the foresail.
20. Wind E. N. E. steered W. N. W. at the rate of thi
21. Wind E. N. E. at the rate of four to f_
e hundred and
3ts sailed two hundred
22". Wind N. E. at four and a half knots, OBe"h«__lred and fifty versts.
'9.9. Wind E. N. E. steered W. at three knots, one hundred versts.
24» Wind E steered W. _t the rate of three knots, fifty versts.
25. Wind N. E. steered W. at five knots, one hundred versts.
Q6. The wind continued N. E. and freshened, Steered W.. at the rate of seven.
knots, two hundred versts.
97. A small breeze N. N. W. with which however sailed one hundred and fifty
28. Wind being W. S. W. drove twenty-four hours under bare-poles.
29. Wind South, steered W. at the rate of two knots, forty-eight versts—this
day saw land.
SO. Wind S. S. E. sailed, at the rate of four knots, ninety-six versts, and
approached the land, which found to be the island Karaga.
From the 1st to the 18th- of August, continued our voyage towards the
mouth of Kamtchatka river, sometimes plying, sometimes driving,
and at last arrived happily with a rich cargo. RUSSIAN    DISCOVERIES
CHAP. 10,
Voyage of Soloviof in the St. Peter and Paul, 1764—He paffes two Winters upon
Unalqfhka—Attempts of the Natives to deflroy the Crew—Return of Soloviof
to Kamtchatka—Journal of his Voyage—Defcription of the Iflands Umnak and
Unalafhka—Productions—Inhabitants—Their Manners—Cuftoms, (3c. &c.
TN 1764, Jacob Ulednikof, merchant of Irkutfk, and company, fitted out a
fhip called the Holy Apoftles Peter and Paul, under the commaniof Ivan
Soloviof; which failed from the mouth of Kamtchatka river on the 25th of
Auguft. The crew confifted of fifty-five men, among whom were fome of
the owners, and thirteen Kamtchadals.
They fleered at firft S. E. with the wind N. W. but on its turning foutheriy
they fhaped their courfe E. N. E. On the 27th one of the Ruffian failors
died off Kamtchatka point; and the 31ft they made Beering's Ifland, which
they paffed on their left. The lft and 2d of September they were becalmed,
and the wind fpringing up at W. S. W. continued their former courfe ; the
5th they failed with the wind at fouth ; but that day and the 6th, from
changeable breezes and calms, made no way; from the 7th to the 13th,
they failed E. S. E. with foutherly and wefterly winds; and from that time
to the 15th eaft, with the wind at weft.
September 16, they made the ifland Umnak, where Soloviof had formerly
been with Nikiphorof.    As they failed along the Northern fhore, three
iflanders FROM   1741    TO   1778. tQt
iflanders approached in baidars; but, the crew having no interpreter, they
would not venture on board. Finding no good bay, Soloviof proceeded
through a lirait, which feparates Umnak from Unalafhka, lay-to during the
night, and early on the 17th dropped anchor at the diftance of two hundred
yards from the fhore, in a bay on the north fide of Unalafka.
From thence the captain difpatched Gregory Korenof with twenty men in
a baidar, with orders to land, reconnoitre the country, find out the neareft
habitations, and report the difpofition of the people. Korenof returned
the fame day, with the account that he had difcovered dwellings abandoned and
demolifhed, in which he had found traces of Ruffians, viz. a written legend,
and a broken mufket-ftock. In confequence of this intelligence, they endeavoured to enter the mouth of a river called by the natives Tfikanok, and
by the Ruffians Ofernia, but the water was too fhallow. They landed
however their tackle and lading. No natives made their appearance until
the 22d, when two came and welcomed the Ruffians. They told their
names, and were recognized by Soloviof, who had known them on a former
expedition, when Agiak, one of the two, ferved as an interpreter ; the other,
whofe name was Kafhmak, had continued fome time with the crew in the
fame capacity.
They recounted the circumftances which attended the lofs of Kulkof's,
Protaffof's, and Trapefnikof's veffels; from the laft of which Kafhmak had
efcaped by flight. Agiak had been interpreter to Protaffof's company ; and
related that the iflanders, after murdering the hunting detachments of the
Ruffians came to the harbour, and having entered the fhip under the moft
friendly appearances,  fuddenly attacked and flew the crew.    He had con-
I 1.2
cealedhimfelfunder a bench fill the departure of the ra_rdere__a-H_l fince that
time, Kafhmak and himfelf had lived -as fugitives; and in the courfe of
their wanderings had learned the following intelligence from the girls who wen-
gathering berries in the fields : The Toigons efUmnak, Akutan, and Tofliko,
with their relations of Unalafhka, had formed a confederacy ; they agreed not
to difturb any Ruffians on their firft landing, but to attack them at the fame
time in their different hooting excurfions. They acquainted him alfo with
Glottof's arrival at Umnak.
Soloviof alarmed by thefe -«favourable reports, doubled his watch ; and
ufed «?very precaution _tgainft-attacks. But wanting wood to repair his veffel,
and defirous to afcertam the fitaatioflof the ifland, be-difbat-hed on the 20tb
a party of thirty men, with the interpreter, to its weftern extremity. Ih
three or four hours they rowed to Ankonom,a point of land, wtiere they found
a village, confi-ting of two large dwelling xsatoes, oppofite to wMch was a
fmall ifland. As foon as the inhabitants fhw them approaching, they efcaped
in _heir baidars, leaving their dwellings empty ; in which the Ruffians found
fevera. fkeletons, fuppofed by the interpreter to l»e the remains often murdered failors of Trapefnikof's company. Wife much perfuafion the interpreter prevailed on the iflanders to return, but they kept at a wary diftance.
Soloviof attempted to cut off their retreat whh a view to Jecare fome
hoftages, but they took the alarm and began an attack. The Ruffians then
fired and purfoed them j .bar were IrfHed, aftd feven taken prisoners, among
whom was the Toigon of the Htde ifland Sedak. Thefe prifoners, being
bound and examined, confeffed that many of Korovin's crew had been
here murdered ; and the Toigon fent people to bring nmfkets, fame kettles
and FROM   I741   TO   I778. xSg
and tackle, plundered by the natives. They alfo brought intelligence that
Korovin, with a party in two baidars, had taken, fheUer at a place called
Inâlga. On this information letters being difpatched to Korovin, he joined
them the 2d of October.
At the time of his arrival, the favages made another attack on Soloviof's
watch with knives ; which obliged them to fire, and fix of the affailants were
killed on the fpot. Thfi:<_-p_ive Toigon excufed this attempt of his people,
by afcribing it to. their fears, left out of revenge Korovin fhould put all. the
prifoners to death. Soloviof, for the greater fecurity, fent the; prjfoners by
land to the haven ; while Korovin and his party went by fea. The Toigon
however was treated kindly ; and even permitted to return home on condition of leaving his fon as an hoftage. In confequence of this kindbehaviouj;,
the inhabitants of three other villages, Agulak, Kutchlok, and Maknflii, pre-
fented hoftages of their own accord.
From the remaining timber of the old dwelling, the Ruffians built a new
hut; and on the- %£&■ laid up the veffel. Koronof being fens on a reconnoitring party to the fouthern fide of the iflandj,. w]ti<_. in. that part
was not more than five or fix verfts broad, proceeded with his companions,
fometimes rowing in canoes, and fometimes dragging them over by land.
On the 20th he returned and reported, that he had;found an empty habitation
upon the coaft qj_ the further fids, of the ifland; he rowed from thenee- eafli-
ward along the _io_e^ and behind! the firft point ©fi landr came to an ifland in
the next bay; where he difcovered forty iflanders of both fexes lodged under
;tbs_i_ baidass, who by his. ficiendly bebafsmUc had» hsa&i induced to give
three hoftages   Thefe people afterwards fettled in the empty hut, and came
frequently to the harbour.
On the 28th of Oclober, Soloviof himfelf went on a reconnoitring party
towards the north-eaft end of the ifland. He rowed from the firft promontory
acrofs a bay ; and found on the oppofite point of land a dwelling-place called
Agulok, about four hours row from the harbour ; it was occupied by thirteen
men and about forty women and children, who delivered feveral gunbarrels
and fhips-ftores, and informed him of two of Korovin's crew who had
been murdered.
November 5, they proceeded, and after five or fix hours rowing, faw on a
point of land another dwelling called Ikutchlok, beyond which the interpreter
. fhewed them the haven where Korovin's fhip had anchored. This was called
Makufhinfky Bay ; and on an ifland within it they found two Toigons,
Itchadak and Kagumaga, with an hundred and eighty people of both fexes
employed in hunting fea-bears. Thefe natives not being hoftile, Soloviof
eftablifhed a friendly intercourfe with them. He remained there until the
loth, when the Toigons invited him to their winter quarters, which lay about
five hours fail to the eaft : there he found two dwelling caves, each forty
yards fquare, near a rivulet, abounding with fifh, which fell from a lake into a
little bay. In the neighbourhood of this little village is a hot fpring, which
is only to be feen at ebb tide ; from thence he departed the 25th, but was
forced back by ftorms, and detained until the 6th of December.
Kagumaga then accompanied him to another dwelling-place called Totzikala ;
both r_ow 1741 to 1778.
both the Toigon and the interpreter advifed him to be 01
natives, whom they reprefented as lavage, fworn encmit
the murderers of nine of KulkoPs crew. For thefe re
the night on the open coaft, and next morning fent 1
the natives with more friendly fentimenu. Some lift,
tat ion s ; but the greater part fled 00 his approach, and _
caves, almoft empty, in which he fecured himfelf wit
Here he difcovered three hundred darts and ten bows
deftroyed, after refcrving one bow and fcventeen ar«v
enmity, and perfuade their leaders and relations to retun
On the 10th about a hundred men and a ftill greater number of worn
returned; but the faire ft fpeeches had no effed; they kept aloof and pi
pared for hoftilitiea, which they began on the 17th by an open attac
Nineteen of them were lulled, amongft whom was Inlogufak one of tb
leaders, and the moft inveterate fomenter of hoftilities againft the Kuftiai
The other leader Aguladock being taken, confefled, that, on receiving 1
firft news of Soloviof's arrival, they had refolved to attack the crew, a
burn the fhip. But notwithftanding this confeffion, no injury was offered
him ; he was prevailed upon to give his fon as an hoftage, and order his peoj
to live on friendly terms with the Ruffians. In January, the nati.
delivered in three anchors, and a quantity of tackle, which had beenfev.
from a veffel formerly wrecked on the coaft; and at the fame time broug
three boys and two young girls as pledges of their future fidelity.
January 25, Soloviof fet out for the haven where his fhip lay, and before
his departure the Toigons of Makufhinfk paid of their own accord a double
February 1, Kulumaga of Makufhinfk, Agidalok of Totzikala, and Ima-
ginak of Ugamitzi, Toigons of Unalafhka, with their relations, came to Soliviof
and acquainted him with the arrival of a Ruffian fhip at Unimak, the fixth
ifland to the eaft of Agunalafhka ; adding, that they knew none of the crew
except a Kamtchadal named Kirilko, who had been there on a former occa-
fion ; that the natives, after cutting off part of the crew in two baidars, had
found means to overpower the remainder, and deftroyed the veffel. From
the name of Kamtchadal, they concluded that this muft have been another
veffel fitted out by Nikiphor Trapefnikof and company, of wlnoh bo.fuEuher
information was ever received. Willibg to procure better intelligence, they
endeavoured to perfuade the Toigons to fend a party of their people to
Unimak, but the- people excufed themfelves, on account of the great diftance
and their dread of die- inhabitants.
February 16, Soloviof fet out a fécond time for the. .weft end of the
iflapd, where they had formerly taken prifoner, and afterwards liberated, the
Toigon of Sedak, and proceeded to Ikolga, a fingle hut whigh; lies: pn-%
bay. On the 26th he came to Takamitka, where there is only one hut on a
point of land by the fide of a rivulet. Here he met with.» Korovin, in
whofe company he cut the blubber of a whale, winch the waves, had eaft on
fhore ; after thriis Korovin croffed the gulph to Umnak, and Solo viof proceeded
to Ikaltfhinfk, where on the 9th one of his party was carried off by fick-
March fROM   I74I   TO  I778. ,67
March 15, he returned to the haven, having met with no oppofition from
the iflanders during his excurfion. On his return he found one of the crew
dead, and a dreadful fcorvy raging among the reft* of which five died in
March, eight and a Kamtchadal in April, and fix more in May. About this
time the iflanders were obferved to pay frequent vifits to the hoftages;
and on inquiring privately into the reafon, fome of them owned that the
.inhabitants of Makufhinfk had formed the defign of cutting off the crew,
and making themfelves mailers of the vefifeL Soloviof had now great reafon
to be apprehenfiye ; for his ipeople were affli-ted with the fcurvy to fo violent a
degree, that only twelve were capable of defending themfelves. Thefe cit_.
cumftances -did not efcape the obfervation of the natives $ and they -wete
infpired with frefh courage to renew their hoftilities.
On the 27th of May the Ruffians perceived the Toigon of Itchadak, who
bad formerly paid a voluntary tribute, near the fhore, accompanied by feveral
iflanders in three baidars. Soloviof calling to him by the interpreter, be
landed, but kept at a diftance, defiring a conference with fome of bis relations. Soloviof gave orders to feize him ; and he was taken with two of
his companions. He immediately confefled- that he had come with a view
to inquire of the hoftages how many Ruffians were ftill remaining ; having
procured the neceffary intelligence, his intention • was to finrprife the watch
and afterwards fet fire to the fhip. He pointed out feveral iflanders who
were paffing the harbour as affembling to execute that defign. They fepa-
rated, however, without attempting any hoftilities.
Tune 5, Glottof vifited the harbour and returned on the 8th to his fhip.
The captive Toigon was now fet at liberty, after being ferioufly exhorted to
defift from hoftilities. In the courfe of this month two more of the crew
died ; fo that the arrival of Korovin, who joined them with two of his own and
two of Kulkof's crew, was a fortunate circumftance. The fick began to
recover gradually.
July 22, Soloviof, with a party, in two baidars, made another excurfion
northwards ; he paffed the places formerly mentioned as far as Igonok,
which lies ten verfts beyond Totzikala, and confifts of one dwelling cave on
the fide of a rivulet, which was inhabited by thirty men, with their wives
and children. From thence Soloviof proceeded along the fhore into a bay ;
five verfts further he found another rivulet, which has its fource among
the hills, and flows through a plain.
Upon the fhore of the fame bay, oppofite the mouth of this rivulet, lay
two villages, one of which only was inhabited ; it was called Ukunadok, and
confifted of fix dwelling caves. About thirty-five of the inhabitants were
employed in catching falmon in the rivulet. Kulkof's fhip had lain at anchor
at the diftance of two miles, but no remains were to be found. Hence Soloviof proceeded forward to the fummer village Umgaina, diftant feven or
eight leagues, and fituated on the fide of a rivulet abounding with falmon.
Here he found the Toigon Amaganak, with ten of the natives employed in
fifhing. Fifteen verfts beyond was another fummer village called Kalaktak,
alfo by the fide of a rivulet. The inhabitants were fixty men and an hundred
and feventy women and children : they gave Soloviof a friendly reception,
and delivered two hoftages, who were brought from the neighbouring ifland
Akutan ; with thefe he returned, and on the 6th of Auguft joined his crew
On FROM   174»   io   I778. j.
On the nth, he went over to the ifland Umnak, to bring off fome M .
flores left there by Korovin, who accompanied him, and returned to the haven
on the _7th. On the 3-ft Shaffyrin died, whofe adventure, have been
already related*. ^^
September i9, Koronof being fent northwards upon an hunting party, returned the 3oth of January, 1766. Although the Ruffians who remained at the
haven met with no moleftation from the natives during his abfence; yet, hi
and his companions were repeatedly attacked. Having diftributed to : the
inhabitants of the feveral villages through which he paffed, nets for catching
fea-otters, he went to the eaft part of the ifland as far as Kalaktak, with an
intention to hunt. Upon his arrival at that place, the 31ft of Oaober, the
inhabitants fled with precipitation ; and all his efforts to conciliate their affections were vain. On the following day they returned in a confiderable body,
armed with lances, made from the iron of the plundered veffels. Korenof and
his companions were prepared to receive them, killed twenty-fix, and took
feveral prifoners; upon which the reft became more traaable.
November 19, Korenof, on his return, came to Makufhinfk, where he was
kindly received by the Toigon Kulumaga; but the defigns of Itchadak were
ftill hoftile. Inftead of giving an account of the nets which had been left wftb
him, he withdrew privately; and on the 19th of January, accompanied by a
numerous body of iflanders, made an attempt to furprife the Ruffians. Victory again declared for Korenof; and fifteen of the affailants,'amongft ' whom
was Itchadak himfelf, were killed. Kulumaga affured them in the ftrongeft
er, that   the defign   had been   formed without   his   knowledge ; and
pro- riff /p
protefted, that he had often prevented his friend from committing a.&s of
Korenof returned to the haven on the 30th of January ; and on the 4th of
February went upon another hunting expedition towards the weftem point of
the ifland. tearing this fexcurfion he met with a party, fent out by Glottof,
at a place called Takamitka ; he then rowed over to Umnak-, where he
colleaed a fmall tribute, and returned on the 3d of March. During his abfcnce
Kyginik, Kulumaga's fon, paid a vifit to the Ruffians, and requcfted that
he might be baptized, which was complied with.
May 13, Korovin went with fourteen men to Umnak, to bring off an
anchor, which was buried in the fand. On his return, preparations were made
for their departure. Before the arrival of Korovin the hunters had killed one
hundred and fifty black and brown foxes, and the fame number of old and
young fea-otters : fince his arrival they had caught three hundred and fifty
black foxes, the fame number of common foxes, -and one hundred and fifty
fea-otters of different fizes.
This cargo being put on board, die im
certificate and rewards for his fidelity,
Toigons and their relations, Soloviof j
eafterly wind. Before his departure
informing him that he was like wife prep
iter Kafhmak
it liberty, with a
the hoftages
rered up to the
d fea on the
lft c
f June, with an
received a
r from Glottof,
for his retui
n. . Thei
FROM    174-   TO   1778b
tod being contrary, they got but a small way from land.
_. Steered again towards the shore, came to an anchor, and sent a boat fa*
a supply of water, which returned without h&vmg 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 shjp drove under the foresail,
9 &10. Sailed Northwards, with a Westerly wind.
11. Calm till noon ; afterwards a 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
16th,. at noon, when a breei,e springing up at East they steered W. on which
course they continued during the
18th, with a S.S. E. wind.   .
From the 19th to the 22d the wind was changeable from the S. W.
to N. W. with which they still made a shift to get to the Westward.
23. The wind E. they steered betwixt N. & W. which course they continued
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 variation, till the 3d.
4. They reached Kamtchatkoi Noss, and on the
5th, brought the ship in good condition, into Kamtchatka river.
Soloviof's defcription of thefe iflands and the inhabitants, is more cir-
cumftantial than the accounts given by former navigators. According to his
eftimation, the ifland Unalafhka lies between one thoufand five hundred and
two thoufand verfts due eaft from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river ; the
other iflands to the eaftward ftretch towards N. E. He reckons the length of
Akutan eighty verfts ; Umnak an hundred and fifty; and Unalafhka two
hundred. No large trees were feen upon any of the iflands which he vifited.
They produce underwood, fmall fhrubs, and plants, for the moft part fimilar
to the common fpecies found in Kamtchatka. The winter is much milder
than in the eaftern parts of Siberia, and continues only from November to
March.   The fnow feldom lies upon the ground for any confiderable time.
Rein-deer, bears, wolves, ice-foxes, are not found on thefe iflands; but
they abound in black, grey, brown, and red foxes ; for which reafon they
have acquired the name of Lyffie Oftrova, or Fox Iflands. Thefe foxes
are ftronger than thofe of Yakutfk ; and their hair much coarfer. During the
day they lie in caves and clefts of rocks ; and towards evening approach the
fhore in fearchoffood ; having long extirpated the brood of mice and other
fmall animals. They are not in the fmalleft degree afraid of the inhabitants,
but diftinguifh the Ruffians by the fcent ; as they have experienced the effec.
of their fire—arms. The number of fea-animals, fuch as fea-lions, fea-bears,
and fea-otters, which refort to thefe fhores, is very confiderable. Upon fome
of the iflands warm fprings and native fulphur are found.
The Fox Iflands are in general very populous ; Unalafhka, which is the
largeft, is fuppofed to contain feveral thoufand inhabitants. Thefe- lavages
live together in feveral communities, compofed of fifty, and fometimes of two
--^^S_S- FROM    I74I   TO    I778. 173
or even three hundred perfons ; they dwell in large caves from forty to
eighty yards long, fix to eight broad, and from four to five high. The
roof of thefe caves is a kind of wooden grate, over which is firft fpread a
layer of grafs, and it is then covered with earth. Several openings are made
in the top, through which the inhabitants afcend and defcend by ladders ; the
fmalleft dwellings have two or three entrances, and the largeft five or fix.
Each cave is divided into a certain number of partitions, which are appropriated
to the feveral families, and thefe partitions are marked by flakes driven into
the earth. The men and women fquat on the ground ; and the children lie
down, having their legs bound together under them, in order to accuftom them
to fit on their hams.
Although no fire is ever made in thefe caves, they are generally fo warm,
that both fexes fit naked. Thefe people obey the calls of nature openly.
without deeming it indecent ; they wafh themfelves firft with their own urine,
and afterwards with water. Even in winter they are always bare-footed ;
and when they want to warm themfelves, efpecially before they lie down to
fleep, they fet fire to dry grafs and walk over it. Their habitations being
almoft dark, they ufe, particularly in winter, a fort of large lamps, made by
hollowing out a ftone, into which they put a rufh-wick and.burn train-oil. A
ftone fo hollowed is Called Tfaaduck. Their complexion is white with black
hair ; they have flat faces, and are of a good ftature. The men fhave with a
fharp ftone or knife the circumference and top of the head, and let the hair
which: remains hang from the crown. The women cut their hair in a ftraight
line over the forehead, let it grow behind to a confiderable length, and tie it
in a bunch. Some of the men wear beards ; others fhave or pluck the hair
out by the roots.
They *74
They mark various figures dtt their faces, the backs of their bands, and
lower parts of their arms, by pricking them with a needle, and then rubbing
the parts with a black clay. They make three incifions in the under-lip ;
in the middle incifion they place a flat bone, or a fmall coloured ftone ; and
in each of the other two a long pointed piece of bone, which bends and
reaches almoft to the ears. They likewife make a hole through the griftle of
the nofe, into' which they put a fmall piece of bone fo as to keep the noft rils
extended. They bore holes in their ears, and wear in them what little
ornament, they can procure.
Their drefs confifts of a cap and fur coat, made like a fhirt, which
reaches down to the knee. Some of them wear caps of bird-fkin, on which
they leave the wings and tail. On the fore-part of their hunting and fifiring
caps they place a fmall board like a fcreen, adorned with the jaw-bones of
fea-bears, and ornamented with glafs beads which they receive in barter from
the Ruffians, but at their feftivals and dancing parties they wear more ornamented caps. The drefs of the men is of bird-fkins, that of the women of fea-
otters and fea-bears ; thefe fkins are died with a fort of red earth, neatly
fewed with finews, and decorated with various ftripes of fea-otter fkins and
leathern fringes. They have alfo upper garments made of thé intcflines of the
largeft fea-calves and fea-lions.
Their veffels confift of two forts ; the larger are leathern boats or baidars,
capable of holding thirty or forty people ; the fmaller veffels are rowed with
a double paddle, refemble the canoes of the Greenlanders, contain only one
or two perfons, and do not weigh above thirty pounds, being only a flight
frame covered with leather.    In thefe they pafs from one ifland to another ;
and *roai *74l to 1778. 175
and even venture out to a confiderable diftance at fea. In calm weather they
catch turbot and cod with bone-hooks, and lines made of finews or fea-weed -
they Alike fifh in the rivulets with darts. Whales and other fea animals
thrown «-fhore by the waves are eagerly feiaed. The provifions which they
procure by hunting and fifhing being infufficient, the greater partof their food
confifts of fea-wrack and fhell-fifh, which they find on the fhore.
No ftranger is allowed to hunt or fifh near a village, or to take away any
thing fit for food. When they are on a journey, and their provifions ex-
haufled, they beg from village to village, or call on their friends and relations
for affiftance.
They feed upon the flefh of fea-animals, and generally eat it raw. But for
drefling their victuals they ufe a hollow ftone, in which they place the fifh or
flefh, cover it with another, and clofe the interftices with lime or clay : they
then lay it horizontally upon two ftones, and light a fire underneath. The
provifion intended for keeping is dried without fait in the open air. They
gather berries of various forts, and lily roots of the fame fpecies as thofe
which grow wild at Kamtchatka. They are unacquainted with the manner of
dreffing the cow-parfnip, as practifed in that peninfula j and do not underftand
the art of diftilling brandy or any other ftrong liquor from it. They are
very fond of fnuff, which the Ruffians have introduced among them.
No tiaces were found of any worfhip, neither did they feero to have any
Torcerers * among them.   When a whale happens to be eaft on fhore, the
• In the last chapter it is said that there are sorcerers among them. jy6 RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES
inhabitants affemble with great marks of joy, and perform a number of extraordinary ceremonies ; they dance and beat drums * of different fizes ; and
then cut up the fifh, of which the greateft and beft part is confamed on the
fpot. On fuch occafions they wear fplendid caps, and fome of them dance
naked in wooden mafks f, which reach down to their fhoulders, and reprefent
various forts of fea-animals. Their dances confift of fhort fteps forwards,
accompanied with ftrange geftures.
Marriage ceremonies being unknown among them, each man takes as many
wives as he can maintain; but the number feldom exceeds four. Thefe
women are occafionally allowed to cohabit with other men, and both they
and their children are not unfrequently bartered for commodities. When an
ifiander dies, the body is bound with thongs, and afterwards expofed to the
air in a fort of wooden cradle hung on a crofs-bar, fupported by forks;
upon thefe occafions they cry and make bitter lamentations.
Their Toigons or Princes are thofe who have numerous families, and are
fkilful and fuccefsful in hunting and fifhing.
Their weapons confift of bows and arrows, and of darts which they throw
very dexteroufly, and to a great diftance, from a hand-board.    For defence
• By the accounts whic
seem to resemble in shape tl
I procure
d at Petersburg,
concerning    e
•urns, they
an oval form, about two f
basque, and worn on the a
e end like the tt
It is of
mbour de
t Sauer has given a phjte of the differ
lasks used by these islanders.   Plate 11. PROM   I74I   TO   I778. _77
they ufe wooden fhields, called kuyake. Thefe iflanders, notwithftanding
their favagenefs, are very docile ; and the boys whom the Ruffians keep as
hoftages, foon acquire a knowledge of their language.
CHAP. 12-
Voyage of Otcheredin in the St. Paul, 1765—He winters on Umnak—Arrival
of Levafheffupon Unalafhka—Return of Otcheredin to Ochotfk.
TN 1765, three merchants, Orekhof of Yula, Lapin of Solikamfk, and
Shilof of Uftyug, fitted out a new veffel called the St. Paul, under the
command of Aphanaffei Otcheredin. She was built in the harbour of Okotfk,
and the crew confifted of fixty-two Ruffians and Kamtchadals, with two
inhabitants of the Fox Iflands, John and Timothy Surgef, who had been
brought to Kamtchatka and baptifed*
September 10, they failed from Okotfk, and arrived the 22d in the bay of
Bolcheretfk, where they wintered. Auguft 1,1766, they proceeded on their
voyage, and having paffed the fécond of the Kurile Ifles, fleered on the 6th
into the open fea ; on the 24th they reached the neareft of the Fox Iflands,
which the interpreter called Atchak ; and a ftorm arifing, they call anchor in
a bay, but faw no inhabitants. On the 26th they again failed, difcovered on the
27 th Sagaugamak, along which they fleered north-eaft, and on the 31 ft came
within feven miles of the ifland Umnak ; where, on account of the latenefs
of the feafon and the want of provifion and water, they determined to winter.
Accordingly on the lft of September, by advice of the interprète.., thejr
brought the veffel into a convenient bay near a poytt of land lying N. W.,
and moored it.
On landing they difcovered feveral pieces of a wreck. Two iflanders,
who dwelt on the banks of a rivulet which empties itfelf into the bay, informed them, that thefe were the remains of a Ruffian veffel, whofe commander's name was Denys. From this intelligence they concluded that this
was Protaffof's veffel, fitted out at Okotfk. The inhabitants of Umnaki
Unalafhka, and of the Five Mountains, had affembled, and murdered the
crew, when feparated into different hunting parties. The fame iflanders mentioned the fate of Kulkof's and Trapefnikof*s fhips upon' Unalafhka.
Although this information occafioned general confirmation, yet having no
other refource, they drew the veffel a-fhore, and took precautions againft a
furprife. They kept a confiant watch, made prefents to the Toigons and
principal inhabitants, and demanded fome children as hoftages. For fome
time the iflanders behaved peaceably, until the Ruffians endeavoured to per-
fuade them to become tributary, on which they gave repeated figns of their
hoftile intentions. In the beginning of September information was brought
of the arrival of a veffel, fitted out by Ivan Popof, merchant of Lalfk, at
Towards the end of the month the Toigon of the Five Mountains came" to
Otcheredin; being fatisfiedjwith bis reception, brought hoftages, and not
only affured them of his own friendfhip, but promifed to ufe his influence with
the other Toigons, and perfuade them to the fame peaceable behaviour, but
the other Toigons paid no regard to his perfuafion, and even barbaroufly
bt FROM   I74I   TO   I778. xjq
killed one of his children. From thefe and other circumftances the crew
durft not venture far from the harbour on hunting parties. Hence enfued a
fcarcity of provifions ; and hunger, joined to the violent attacks of the
fcurvy, made great havoc amongft them; infomuch that fix died, and
feveral of the furvivors were reduced to fo weak a condition, that they were
fcarcely able to move.
The health of the crew being re-eftablifhed in the fpring, twenty-three ment .
were fent on the 25th of June in two boats to the Five Mountains, in order
to perfuade the inhabitants to pay tribute. On the 26th they landed on the
ifland Ulaga, where they were attacked with great fpirit by the inhabitants j
and though three of the Ruffians were wounded, yet the favages were repul'fed
,wit_i eohfiderable lofs, and fo terrified by this defeat, that they fled before the
Ruffians during their continuance on the ifland. They were detained there by
tempeftuous weather until the 9th of July ; during which time they found two
rufty fire-locks belonging to Protaffof's crew. On the 10th they returned
to the harbour, and fome companies were difpatched on hunting expeditions.
On the lft of Auguft Matthew Polofkof, a native of Ilinfk, departed witli
twenty-eight men in two boats to Akutan, Akun, and Unalafhka. Polofkof
reached Akutan about the end of the month ; and being kindly received by
the inhabitants, left fix of his party to hunt ; with the remainder he went to *
Akun, which lies two verfts from Akutan ; from whence he difpatched five
men to the neighbouring iflands, where he was informed by the interpreters
there were great quantities of foxes.
Polofkof and his companions continued the whole autumn upon Akun,
without being annoyed ; but on the 12th of December the inhabitants of
the different iflands affembled in great numbers, and attacked them by land
and fea. They informed Polofkof, by means of the interpreters, that the
Ruffians whom he had fent to the neighbouring iflands were killed ; that the
two veffels at Umnak and Unalafhka were plundered and the crews put to
death; and that he and his party fhould fhare the fame fate. The Ruffian
fire-arms however kept them in due refpe_t, and towards evening they dif-
perfed. The fame night the interpreter deferted, probably at the inftigation
of his countrymen, who neverthelefs killed him. as it was faid, that winter.
January 16, the favages ventured to make a fécond attack. Having
furprifed the guard by night, they tore off the roof of the Ruffian dwelling,
and fhot down into the hut: by this unexpefted affault four Ruffians were
killed, and three wounded ; but the furvivors with their fire-arms compelled the
enemy to fly. Meanwhile another body attempted to feize the two veffels,
though without fuccefs : they however cut off the party of fix men left by
Polofkof at Akutan, together with the five hunters difpatched to the contiguous iflands, and two of PopoPs crew who were at the wefternmoft part of
Polofkof continued upon Akun in great danger until the 20th of
February; when, the wounded being recovered,-he failed with a fair wind
to PopoPs veffel at Unalafhka; and on the 10th of May returned to
In April, Popof's veffel being ready to depart, the hoftages were delivered *ROM   I74I   TO    I778. ___
to Otcheredin. July 30, another veffel belonging to Popof arrived from
Beering's Ifland, eaft anchor in the fame bay where Otcheredin lay, and both
crews entered into an agreement to fhare the profits of hunting. Strengthened
by this alliance, Otcheredin prevailed upon many of the inhabitants to pay
tribute. Auguft 22, Otcheredin's mate was fent with fix boats and fifty-eight
men to hunt upon. Unalafhka and Akutan, and thirty men remained with the
veffels in the harbour, and kept confiant watch.
Soon afterwards Otcheredin and the other commander received a letter
from Levafhef, Captain Lieutenant of the Imperial fleet, who accompanied
Captain Krenitzin in the fecret expedition to thofe iflands. The letter,
dated September 11, 1768, informed them that he was arrived at Unalafhka in
the St. Paul, and lay at anchor in the fame bay in which Kulkof's veffel had
been loft ; he likewife required a circumftantial account of their voyages.
By another of the 24th he fent for four of the principal hoftages ; and
demanded the tribute of fkins which had been exacted from the iflanders.
But as the weather was generally tempeftuous at this feafon of the year, they
deferred fending them till the fpring, to St. Peterfburgh.
The two veffels remained at Umnak until the year 1770, during which time
the crews met with no oppofition from the iflanders. They continued their
hunting parties, in which the fhare of Otcheredin's veffel (whofe voyage
is here chiefly related) confifted of five hundred and thirty large fea-otter
fkins, forty young ones, and thirty cubs, the fkins of fix hundred and fifty-fix
fine black foxes, one hundred of an inferior fort, and about one thoufand
two hundred and fifty red fox fkins. _$_. RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
With this Cargo Otcheredin fet fail on the aad of May, 1770, from Umnak,'
leaving Popof's crew behind. A fhort time before their departure, the other
interpreter Ivan Surgef defer ted at the mitigation of his relations.
ft» II
After touching at the neareft of the Aleutian Iflands, Otcheredin arrived
on the 24th of July at Okotfk. He brought two iflanders with him, who were
baptized ; the one was named Alexèy Solovief ; the other Boris Otcheredin.
Thefe iflanders unfortunately died on their way to Peterfburg; the firft
between Yakutfk and Irkutfk j and the other at Irkutfk, where he arrived
on the lft of February, 1771.
_*J FROM   1741   TO   1778.
CHAP.  :
Conchfion—General Pofition and Situation of the Aleutian and Fox I/lands-^
Further Defcription of the Drefs, Manners, and Cuftoms, of the Inhabitants
—Their Feafts and Ceremonies.
À CCORDING to the lateft informations brought by Otcheredin's and
Popof's veffels, the north-weft point of Commandorfkoi Oftrof, or
Beering's. Ifland, lies due eaft from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river,
diftant two hundred and fifty verfts ; it is from feventy to eighty verfts long,
and ftretches from north-weft to fouth-eaft. Copper Ifland is in the fame
dire£tion, fixty or feventy verfts from the fouth-eaft point of Beering's Ifland,
and is fifty verfts in length.
About three hundred verfts eaft-by-fouth of Copper Ifland, lie the Aleutian
Ifles, of which Attak is the neareft : it is rather larger than Beering's Ifland,
of the fame fhape, and ftretches from weft to fouth-eaft. From thence about
twenty verfts eaftwards, is fituated Semitfhi, extending from weft to eaft,
and near its eaftern point another fmall ifland. To the fouth of the lirait,
which feparates thefe two iflands, and at the diftance of forty verfts from
each, lies Shemiya in a fimilar pofition, and not above twenty five verfts in
length.    AU thefe iflands ftretch between 540. and 55% of north latitude.
The Fox Iflands are fituated E. N. E. from the Aleutians : the neareft,
Atchak, is about eight hundred verfts diftant;  it hes in about fifty-fix
degrees -84 RUSSIAN  niSCOVERIES
degrees north latitude, and extends from W. S. W. towards E. N. E. It
greatly refembles Copper Ifland, and is provided with a commodious harbour on the north. From thence all the other iflands of this chain ftretch
in a dire_tion towards N. E. by E.
The next to Atchak is Amlak, about fifteen verfts diftant ; it is nearly of
the fame fize, and has an harbour on the fouth fide. Next follows Sagauga-
mak, at about the fame diftance, but fbmewhat fmaller ; from hence it is
fifty verfts to Amukta, a fmall rocky ifland, and at the fame diftance another
called.Yunakfàn. About twenty verfts from Yunakfan is a clufter of five
fmall iflands, or rather mountains, Kigalgift, Kagamila, Tfigulak, UJaga,
and Tana-Unok, which are therefore called by the Ruffians Pat Sopki, or
the Five Mountains. Of thefe Tana-Unok is the moft eafterly ; N. £.
towards which, the weftern point of Umnak advances, within the diftance of
twenty verfts.
Umnak ftretches from S. W. to N. E. ;
n length, and has a very confiderable bay
ifland or rock,
coaft, in which there is a
fide is Shamelga, another rock. The weftern
Unalafhka, is feparated from the eaft end of U
verfts in breadth. The pofition of thefe two if
lafhka is much the largeft, and is above twc
divided towards the N. E. into three promontt
wefterly direction, forming one fide of a large 1
ifland; the fécond ftretches N. E., ends in tl
with the ifland by a fmall neck of land; and  tl
is one hundred and fifty verfts
n the weft end of the northern
_dled Adugak ; and on the fouth
point of Aghunalafhka, or
nnak by a ftrait near twenty
inds is fimilar; but Aghuna-
hundred verfts long. It is
ries; the firft runs out in a
iy on the north coaft of the
: third or moft
_aed FROM   1741   TO   1778. j85
feparated from the fécond by a deep bay.    Near Unalafhka towards the eaft
lies another fmall ifland, called Shirkin.
About twenty verfts from the north-eaft promontory of Aghunalafhka lie
four iflands : the firft, Akutan, is about half the fize of Umnak ; a verft
further is the fmall ifland Akun ; a little beyond is Akunok ; and laftly
Kigalga, which is the fmalleft of thefe four, and ftretches with Akun and
Akunok almoft from N. to S. Kigalga is fituated about the fixty-firft degree
of latitude. About one hundred verfts from thence lies an ifland called Uni-
mak *, upon which Captain Krenitzin wintered ; and beyond it the inhabitants
faid there was a large tra6t of country called Alafhka, of which they did not
know the extent
The Fox Iflands are in general very rocky, though they contain no high
mountains: they are deftitute of wood; but abound in rivulets and lakes,
which are moftly without fifh. The winter is much milder than in Siberia;
the fnow feldom falls before the beginning of January, and continues on
the ground till the end of March.
There is a volcano in Amuchta ; in Kagamila fulphur flows from a mountain; in Taga-Unok there are fprings, fufficiently hot to boil provifions, and
fulphureous flames are occafionally feen at night on the mountains of Unalafhka and Akutan.
The Fox Iflands are tolerably populous ; the inhabitants are entirely free,
• Krenitzin wintered in the straits of Alaxa, which separate Unimak from Alaxa,
and pay no trlBètti they are of a middle ftàtoei âhd Hvê, both in fummer
and winter, in holes dug in the earth. No agtti of religion were found
among them ; feveral perfons indeed pafs for forcerers, pretending to know
things paft and future, and are held in high eftmation, but receive no emolument. Filial duty and refpect towards the aged are not regarded, but the
natives are not deficient in fidelity to each other ; they are lively and ehear-
ful, though rathe* fthjHfb. bits,-and choleric. In general, they obferve no
rules of detenby, but follow all the calls of nature publicly, ar__ without the
hAft Téfèrvè.
. Their principal food confifts of fifh and other fea-animals, fmall flicll-fifh,
and fea-plants : their greateft delicacies are wild fillies and other roots, together
with different kinds of berries. When they have laid in a flore of provifions,
they eat at all hours, but in cafe of neceffity are capable of falling feveral
days together- Thejr feldom heat their dwellings -, bat when defirous of
warming themfelves, they light a bundle of hay, andHand over it; or
elfe they fet fire to train oil, which they pour into a hollow ftone.
They feed their children when young with the coarfeft flefh, and for the
mo& part raw.    If an infant cries, the mother carries it CO the fea-fide, and
naked i
water until it is quiet.    This cuitom hardens them
againft the cold, and they go bare-footed through the winter without the
leaft inconvenience. They are alfo trained to bathe frequently in the fea;
and it is an opinion that they are thus rendered bold, and become fortunate in
The men wear fhirts made with the flrins of tormorants, fca-divers, and
gulls. Il
FROM   1741   TO   I778. jg-,
gttU-$'ana»to ^eeP out ^e ra*n' ^ave uPPer garments of the bladders and
other inteflines of fea-Ucsas^ fea-tjalvf., and whales, blown up and dried.
They cut their hair in a circular form clofe to their ears ; and fhave a round
place on the crown. The women, on the contrary, let the hair defcend over
the forehead as low as the eye-brows, and tie the remaining part in a knot
on the top of the head. They pierce the ears, and hang therein bits of coral,
which they obtain from, the Ruffians. Both fexes make holes in the griftle of
the nofe, and in the under-lip, in which they thruft pieces of bone, and are
very fond of fuch ornaments. They mark alfo and colour their faces with
different figures. They barter with each other fea-o,ttfir s, fea-bears, clothes
made of bird-fkins and of dried. nteftines, fkins of fea_ioii- and fea .calves for
the coverings of baidars, wooden mafks, darts, thread made of finews and
rein-deer hair, which they procure from Alafka.
Their houfehold utenfils are fquare pitchers and large troughs. Their
weapons are bows and arrows pointed with flints, and javelins of two yards
in length, which they throw by means of a fmall board ; inftead of hatchets
they ufe crooked knives of flint or bone. Some iron knives, hatchets,
and lances, were obferved among them, which they had probably obtained by plundering the Ruffians. -
According to the reports of the oldeft inhabitants of Umnak and Unalafhka,
they have never been engaged in any war either among themfelves or with
their neighbours, except once with the people of Alafhka, the occafion of
which was as follows : The Toigon of Umnak's fon had a maimed hand ;
fome inhabitants of Alafhka, who came upon a vifit to the ifland, out of
mockery fattened a drum to hj. arm and invited him to dance. The parents
B b. 2. and if
and relations of the boy being offended at this infiilt, a quarrel enfued ; and
from that time the two people have lived in continual enmity, attacking and
plundering each other. According to the reports of the iflanders, there are
mountains on Alafhka, and woods of great extent at fome diftance from
the coaft. The natives wear clothes made of the fkins of rein-deer, wolves,
and foxes, and are not tributary to any of their neighbours. The inhabitants
of the Fox Iflands feem to have no knowledge of any country beyond
1 Feafts are common among thefe iflanders; particularly when the inhabitants
of one ifland are vifited by thofe of the others. The men of the village meet
their guefts beating drums, and preceded by the women, finging and dancing : .
they then invite their guefts to partake of the feaft; after which ceremony
they return to their dwellings, place mats in order, and ferve up their beft
provifion. The guefts next enter, take their places, and after they are
fatisfied the diverfions begin.
Firft, the children dance, beating their fmall drums, while the owners of
the hut of both fexes fing. Next, the men dance almoft naked, tripping
after one another, and beating drums of a larger fize ; when weary, they are
relieved by the women, who dance in their clothes, the men continuing to fine
and beat their drums. At laft the fire which had been kindled for the ceremony is extinguifhed. If any forcerer is prefent, he plays his tricks
in the dark; if not, the guefts retire to their huts, which are made on that
occafion of their canoes and mats. The natives who have feveral wives do
not withhold them from their guefts : but where the owner of the hut has
but one, he makes the offer of a female fervant.
Their ÏROM   1741   TO   1778. ^
Their hunting feafon is principally from the end of OÉtober to the beginning
of December, during which time they kill great numbers of young fea-bears
for their fkins. They pafs all December in fimilar feaftings and <fiverl_oi_.
to that above mentioned ; with this difference, however, the men dance in
wooden mafks, reprefenting various fea-animals, and painted red, green; orl
black, with coarfe coloured earths.
During thefe feftivals they vifit each other from village to village, and
from ifland to ifland. The feafts concluded, the mafks and drums are broken
to pieces, or depofited in caverns among the rocks, and never afterwards ufed.
In fpring they employ themfelves in killing old fea-bears, fea-lions, and whales.
During fummer, and even in winter when it is calm, they row out to fea,
and catch cod and other fifh. Their hooks are of bone ; and for lines they
employ a tough fea-weed fometimes near one hundred and fixty yards in
Whenever they are wounded or bruifed, they apply a yellow root to the
wound, and faft for fome time. When their head achs, they open a vein with
a ftone lancet; and when they want to fix the points of their arrows to the
fhaft, they ftrike their nofe till it bleeds, and ufe the blood as glue.
Murder is not punifhed amongft them. Their ceremonies of burying the
dead are as follow : The bodies of the inferior people are wrapped up in
their clothes, or in mats, then laid in a grave, and covered with earth.
The bodies of the chiefs are put, together with their clothes and arms, in a
fmall boat made of drift-wood, which is hung upon poles placed crofs-ways,
and the body thus left to rot in the open air.
The cuftoms and manners of tbo Aleutians are nearly fimilar to thofe of
the inhabitants of the Fox Iflands. The former indeed are rendered
tributary, and fubje-t to Ruffia; and moft of them have a flight acquaintance
with the Ruffian language, which they have acquired from the crews who
.ave landed there.
1 I      . _- _ FROM. I744-TO   1778.
CHAP. 14.
Voyage of Captain Krenitzin and Lieutenant Levafhef, to the Fox Iflands in
1768 and 1769—Krenitzin winters at Alafhka, Levafhef upon Unalqfhka—
Produirions of Unalqfhka—DefcrtpHion of the Inhabitants of the Fox
The preceding Voyages of which an Account has heen given in? Hus second Part, were made
by private Merchants; but we now submit to the TteSder an-Extract from the Journal of
Krcnitzin's and Levashef. Voyage to the Fox Islands, undertaken-by Order t_?Caï_erme the
/^N the 23d of July, 1768, Captain Krenitzin failed in the galliot
^~^ St. Catherine, and Lieutenant Levafhef in the hooker St. Paul,
from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river towards America. Their inflections were regulated by information derived from Beering's expedition in
1741. Shaping their courfe accordingly, they found themfelves more to
the north than they expected; and were told by the Ruffian traaers and
hunters that a fimilar * miftake was committed in the chart of that expedition.
* This passage is obscurely expressed. Its meaning may be ascertained by conroaring Kre
zin's chart with that of Beering's voyage prefixed to Muller's account of the Russian Discover
The route of Krenit-b's vessel was considerably to the north of the course held by Beei
and Tchirikof, and consequently he sailed through the middle of what they had supposed tc
h he fou
Thefe traders obferved that the diftant iflands were fituated much more to
the fouth, and farther eaft than was imagined. On the 27th they faw Commodore's or Beering's Ifland, which is low and rocky, efpecially on the
S. W. On this fide they obferved a fmall harbour, diftinguifhed by two
hillocks like boats, and not far diftant found a frefh-water lake.
To the S. E. lies another ifland, called by the Ruffians Mednoi Oftrof, or
Copper Ifland, from a great quantity of copper found on its N. E. coaft, the
only fide which is known to the Ruffians. It is wafhed up by the fea, and
covers the fhore in fuch abundance, as to furnifh a freight for many fhips.
Perhaps an India trader might make a profitable voyage from thence to China,
where this metal is in high demand. This copper is moftly in a metallic or
malleable ftate, and many pieces feem as if they had been in fufion. The
ifland is not high, but has many hillocks, each of which appears like the
crater of a volcano. We may here in general obferve, that all the iflands
reprefented in the chart prefixed to this journal abound with fuch craters,
called in Ruffian Sopka ; no ifland, however fmall, was found without one, and
many confifted of nothing elfe*. All thefe iflands are fubje £t to violent
and frequent earthquakes, and abound in fulphur. The writer of the journal
was not able to afcertain whether any lava was found upon them ; but
fpeaks of a party-coloured ftone as heavy as iron. From this account it is
by no means improbable that the copper has been melted in fome eruption.
• The chain of islands here laid down, may without any violent stretch of imaginatioi
considered as thrown up by some late volcanos.    The apparent novelty of every thing seer
can any objection be derived from the vegetable production;
r district of Zutphen in Holland was gained from the sea, it
covered with wild mustard.
justify this conjectui
the summer after the lows FROM   1741   TO   1778. 193
After leaving Copper Ifland, no land was feen from either of the fhips
(which had parted com pany in a fog) till, on the S. E. quarter of their track
was difcovered the chain of iflands or headlands laid down in the chart.
Thefe in general appeared low, the fhore dangerous, without creeks, and
the intermediate ftraits very fhallow. During their courfe outwards, as well
as during their return, they had frequent fogs, and it appears from the journal,
as well as from the relation of the hunters, that even during fummer clear
weather for five days together, was an uncommon circumftance.
The St. Catherine wintered in the Straits of Alaxa, and was drawn into
fhoal water. The infiru-tions fet forth, that a private fhip had in 1762 found
there a commodious haven; but the Captain looked for it in vain. The
entrance of thiseftrait from the N. E. was extremely difficult on account of
flats, and ftrong currents both at flood and ebb : the entrance however
from the S. E. was afterwards found to be much eafier, with not lefs than five
fathoms and a half water. On furveying this ftrait and the coaft of Alaxa,
many craters were obferved in the low grounds clofe to the fhore, and
the foil produced few plants. May not this allow the conjecture that the
coaft had undergone confiderable changes even fince the year 1762. Few of
the iflands produce wood, and only in the vallies near rivulets. Unalga
and Alaxa contain the moft, they abound alfo with frefh-water ffreams, and
even rivers ; from which we may infer that they are extenfive. The foil is
ufually boggy, and covered with mofs, but Alaxa has greater depth of earth,
and produces much grafs.
The St. Paul wintered in Unalafhka in 530. 19'. north latitude;- and
the computed longitude from the mouth of Kamtchatka river, was 270. 5'.
C c eaft. 1
tgi Russian uiseevÉRïSs
eaft *. Unalafhka is fifty miles long from N. E. to S. W. and has on the
N. E. fide three bays : one called Udaga, ftretches thirty miles E. N. E. and
W. S. W. nearly through the middle of the ifland ; another, named Igunok,
lying N. N. E. and S. S. W. is a tolerably good harbour, with three and a half
fathom water at high-tide, and fandy bottom ; it is well fheltered from the
north fwell by rocks at the entrance, fome of which are under water. The
fpring-tides rife five feet, and the fhore is in general bold and rocky, except
in the bay, at the mouth of a fmall river. There are two volcanoes on this
ifland, one called Ayaghifh, and the other by the Ruffians, the Roaring
Mountain ; near the former is a copious hot-fpring. The land is in general
rocky, with loamy and clayey grounds ; but the grafs is extremely coarfe, and
unfit for pafture. It contains fcarcely any wood : the plants are the dwarf
cherry (t Xylofteum of Tournefort), whortle-berry (Vaccinium Uliginofum
of Linnaeus), rafberry, farana and fhikfliu of Kamtchatka, and kutage, larch,
white poplar,pine, and birch. The land animals are foxes of different colours,
mice, and weafels ; there are alfo beavers +, fea-cats, and fea-lions, as at
Kamtchatka. Among their fifh we may reckon cod, perch, pilchards,
fmelts, roach, needle-fifh, terpugh, and tchavitcha. The birds are eagles,
partridges, ducks, teals, urili, ari, and gadi. The animals, of whofe Ruffian
names I can find no interpretation (excepting the Ari) are defcribed in
* According to the general map of Russia, the mouth of the Kamtchatka river is 178°. 25'. '
#<__ Fero. Unalashka t_ere_6re, according tô thîs estiMàtiôn, is 205°. 30. from Fero, 0¥
187°. 55'. 15". from Greenwich.
f The Lonicera Pyrenaica of Linnteus.   It ii
t a dwarf cherry, but a species of honey-
$ % béa vers __s .oUr_âl_.s "C-ïtà__îy _îea_ séà-c. téïé) . allcd By "t __ Russians, s .&*eave_i.
Krafli- FftOM   1741   TO   I778. jog
flCrafhwùùkpff'_ Hiflory of Kwitehatka, pr in St filer's re&tjon spn^yied
in jbe Jèeond voluœe jpf the Memoir, ©f die A^cgdemy of St. Peterfburg.
I The inhabitants of Alaxa, Umnak, Unalafhka, and the neighbouring iflands»
are of a middle ftature, tawny brown colour, with black hair. In fummer they
wear coats (parki *) made of bird fkins, over which, in bad weather, and in
their boats, they throw cloaks, called kamli, of the inteftines of whales.
They wear wooden ca^s, ornamented with beads of different <çfiUjn#r$, little
-HgH*«. of bone or ftone, d*W_ks'. feathers, .and the eaps pf the animal called
Scivutcha pe fea-Koo. J» the ^riftle of the nofe ibey place a bone, four
inches long, or the ftalk of a certain black plant ; from the ends of which
they hang ûriogs of beads in fine wither and on feftiv.ajs. They thruft beads
«nd bits of pebble cut like teeth» into holes ma^te -jjn the under Up$,$$$
wear fhrings of beads in ibeir eég?g, ■with hits of amber, ri_hjfh--^'^lîiafei-9nfcs jtjf
the other iflands procure from Alaxa, in e^ehange for arros. fc and kamli.
: They out ibeir hair juft above the eyes, and fome fhaye the ecowo of their
heads like monks ; behind» the hair is loofc. The drefs of the women fcarcely
differs from that of the men, excepting that it is made with fifh_fki_s. Tkay
few with bone needles, and thread of fifh guts, fastening their work to the
ground before them 1-ith bodkins. They go bargrbeadedrihe b#i. mt like
that of ithe men before, but tied up behind in a high knot. They paint their
cheek- with ftrokes of blue and red, wear nofc-pins and ear-rings like the
men, hang beads round their necks, and chequered firings round their arms
and legs.
• Parki, in. Russian,, signifies a shirt : the coats of these islanders- being made like shirts, or ig6 RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES
In their perfons they are extremely nafty; they eat the vermin with
which their bodies are covered, and fwallow the mucus from the nofe.
Having wafhed themfelves, according to cuftom, firft with urine and then
with water, they fuck their hands dry. When fick they lie three or four days
without food ; and if bleeding is neceffary, open a vein with flint lancets, and
fuck the blood.
Their principal nourifhment is fifh and whale fat, which they commonly eat
raw. They alfo feed on fea-wrack and roots, particularly the faran, a
fpecies of lilly ; they eat an herb called kutage, on account of its bitternefs,
only with filh or fat. They fometimes kindle fire bycatching a fpark among
dry leaves and powder of fulphur; but the moft common method is by rubbing two pieces of wood together, in the manner practifed at "Kamtchatka*,
and which Waxel, Beering's lieutenant, found in ufe in that part of North
America which he faw in 1741. They are fond of Ruffian oil and butter,
but not of bread. They could not be prevailed upon to tafte fugar until the
commander fhewed the example ; but finding it fweet, they carried it home
to their wives.]
Their huts are built precifely in the manner of thofe in Kamtchatka, with
the entry through the middle of the roof. In each live feveral families, to
the amount of thirty or forty perfons.    They keep themfelves warm by means
* The instrument made use of by the Kamtchadals, to procure fire, is a board with se1
holes, and a stick ; the latter is put into the-holes, and turned about swiftly, until the \
within the holes begins to burn, and the sparks fall upon the tinder. PROM    I74I   TO    I778. _g7
of whale fat burnt in fhells, which they place between their legs.    The women
fit apart from the men.
Six or feven of thefe huts or yourts make a village, of which there are
fixteen in Unalafhka. The iflands feem in general to be well inhabited, as
may be conjectured from the great number of boats continually plying along
the fhore. There are upwar