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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 1787

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TO     WHICH     ARE     ADDED,
and COMMERCE between RUSSIA and CHINA.
One of the Senior Fellows of King's College, Cambridge;
Member of the Imperial (Economical Society at St. Peterf-*
burg, of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Copenhagen ; and
Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Marlborough.
O  F
B y
March 27, 1780*  ACCOUNT
O F   T H E
T   O
TH E author has, in this third edition,
arranged the chapters in a more regular and connected manner than in the former impreffions; and has fubjoined a comparative View of the Ruffian Difcoveries with
thofe made by Captains Cook and Clerke,
which has lately appeared in a feparate publication,
May 30, 1J87.
P. ii. 1. 8. dele having.
. P. 6. 1. 7. for are read were.
P. 24. Note 2. for Part II. Chap. L read
Appendix, No, I.
P. 82. 1. 18. for turbot read halibuts.
Ps 124. 1. 5. dele right.
P. 229. note 2. £ 2. for chrijiatus read rr//^- [   v   ]
H E late Ruffian Difcoveries between
Afia and America have, for fome time,
engaged the attention of the curious ; more
efpecially iince Dr. Robertfon's admirable
Hiitory of America has been in the hands of
the public. In that valuable performance the
elegant and ingenious author has communicated to the world, with an accuracy and
judgement which fo eminently diftinguifli all
his writings, the moft exa£t information at
that time to be obtained, concerning thole
important difcoveries. During my flay at
Peterfburg, my inquiries were particularly directed to this interesting fubject, 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 colleft the refpedtive journals
of the feveral voyages fubfequent to the expedition of Beering and Tfchirikof in 1741,
with which the celebrated Muller concludes
his account of the firft Ruffian navigations.
a % During ti P   R   E   F   A   C   E.
During the courfe of my refearches I was
informed, that a treatife in the German language, publifhed at Hamburg and Leipfic in
1776, contained a full and exacT: narrative of
the Ruffian voyages, from 1745 to 1770*.
As the author has not prefixed his name, I
ftiould have paid little attention to an anonymous publication, if I had not been affured,
from very good authority, that the work in
queftion was compiled from the original journals. Not refting however upon this intelligence, I took 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 teflimony
to its exadhiefs and authenticity: ft Vous
" feres bien de traduire pour Fufage de vos
64 cornpatriotes le petit iivre fur Ies ifles
" fitues entre le Kamtchatka et 1'Amerique.
91 liny a.point de doute, que l'auteur n'ait
* The title of the book is, Neue Nacbrichten von denen
Neuendeckten lnfuln in der See zwifchen Afia und Amerika
aus mitgetheilten Urkunden und Aufzuegen verfatfet von
J. L. S.
" ete PREFACE. vii
" et£ pourvu de bons memoifs, et qu'il ne
" sen foit fervifidelement.   J'ai confrontele
" livre avec Ies originaux*"  Supported therefore by this very refpecTable authority, I con-
fidered this treatife as a performance of the
higheft credit, and well worthy of being more
generally known and perufed.     I have accordingly, in the firft part of the prefent publication, fubmitted a tranflation of it to the
reader's candour ; and added occafional notes
to fuch paffages as feemed to require an explanation.    The original is divided into fee-
tions without any references. But as it feemed
to be 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 Peterfburg is thrown into a Second
Part: it confifts of fome new information, and
of three journals *, never before given to th$
public. Amongft thefe I muft particularly
mention that of Krenitzin and Levafhef, which,
* The journal of Krenitzin and Levafhef, the fliort ac-
rognt of Synd's voyage, and the narrative of Shalaurofs expedition, Part II. Chapters I. VII. VIII,
a 4 to- rr~
together with the chart of their voyage, was
communicatee! to Dr. Robertfon, by ofder of
the Emprefs of Ruffia ; and which thalij/uftly
admired hiftorian has, in the politeft and moil
obliging mana^, permitted me to make uf@
qf in this colle&ion. This voyage, which redounds greatly to the honour of the fovereiga
who planned it, confirms in general the authenticity of the treatife above-mentioned ;
and afcertains the reality of the difcoveries
made by the private merchants.
As a farther illuftration of this fubjeel, I
collected the belt charts which could be procured at Peterfburg, and of which a lift will
be given in the following advertisement. From
all thefe circumftaqces, I may venture, per-*
haps,, to hope that the curious and inquifitive
reader will not only find in the following pages
the moft authentic and circumftantial 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 Iflands 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
(ketch of its prefent ftate, together with a
fuccincT: view of the tranfadtions between the
two nations, would not be unacceptable.
The conqueft of Siberia, as it firft opened
a communication with China, and paved the
way to all the interefting difcoveries related
in the prefent attempt, will not appear unconnected, I truft, with its principal de-
The materials of this fecond part, as alfo
of the preliminary obfervations concerning
Kamtchatka, and the commerce to the New-
difcovered Iflands, are drawn from books of
eflablifhed and undoubted reputation. Mr.
Muller and Mr. Pallas, from whofe interefting works thefe hiftorical and commercial
fubje&s are chiefly compiled, are too well
known in the literary world to require any
other vouchers for their judgement, exa&nefs,
j mm
and fidelity, than the bare mentioning of their
names. I have only farther 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 collected during my continuance in Ruffia.
I   CAN- [   xi   ]
I  CANNOT clofe this addrefs to the
reader without embracing with peculiar fa-
tisfa&ion 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 ftrikingly
marks the character of the prefent Emprefs of
Ruffia.   Since her acceffion to the throne, the
inveftigation and difcovery of ufeful knowledge has been the conftant object of her generous encouragement.     The  authentic records of the Ruffian hiftory have, by her ex-
prefs orders,   been   properly arranged;   and
permiffion   is  readily  granted  of infpecting
them.    The moft diftant parts of her vaft do-
minions have, at her expence, been explored
and defcribed by perfons of great abilities and
extenfive learning ; by which means new and
important lights 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 fubje&s, than had been effected by all the fovereigns her predeceflbrs
fince the glorious aera of Peter the Great.
In t
In order to prevent the frequent mention of
the full title of the books referred to in the
courfe of this performance, the following
catalogue is fubjoined, with the abbreviations.
Muller's Samlung Ruffifcher Gefchichte, IX volumes, 8vo. printed at St. Peterfburg in 1732,
and the following years: it is referred to in the
following manner : S. R. G. with the volume and
page annexed.
From this excellent collection I have made ufe
of the following treatifes 1
vol. IL p. 293, &c. Gefchichte der Gegenden
an dem FlufTe Amur.
There is a French tranflation of this treatife,
called Hiftoire du Fleuve Amur, 121110, Amfter-
dam, 1776.
vol. III. p. 1, &c. Nachrichten von SeeReifen, &c.
There is an Englifh and a French tranflation of
this work; the former is called $f Voyages from
Alia to America for completing the Difcoveries of
the North Weft Coaft of America,-5 4to, London,
1764. The title of the latter is " Voyages et
\Decouvertes faites par Ies Ruffes," &c. 12mo,
Amfterdam, 1766. p. 413. Nachrichten Von der
Handlung in Sibirien.
Vol. VI. p. 109, Sibirifche Gefhlchte.
Vol. VIII. p. 504, Nachricht Von der Ruffif-
chen Handlung nach China.
4 Pallas [   XIii    ]
Pallas Reife durch verchiedne Provlnzen des
Ruffifchen Reichs, in Three Parts, 4to, St. Pe«
terfburg, 1771, 1773? and 1776, thus cited, Pallas Reife.
Georgi Bemerkungen einer Reife im Ruffifchen
Reich in Jahre, 1772, III volumes, 4to, St. Petersburg, 1775, cited Georgi Reife.
Fifcher Sibirifche Gefchichte, 2 vblumes, 8vo,
St. Petersburg, cited Fif. Sib. GeL
Gmelin Reife durch Sibirien, Tome IV. 8vo,
Gottingen,  1752, cited Gmelin Reife.
There is a French tranflation of this work, called
S( Voyage en Siberie/' &c. par Gmeliri. Paris,
Neuefte Nachrichten von Kamtchatka aufgefetft
im Junius des 1773stcn Yahren von dem dafigen
Befehls-haber Herrn Kapitain Smalew.
Aus dem abhandlungen der freyen Ruffifchen
Gefellfchaft Mofkau.
In the journal of St. Petersburg, April, 1776—
cited Journal of St. Petersburg.
Ex. Explanation of fome Ruffian words made ufe
of in the following work.
Baidar, a fmall boat.
Gufra, a bay.
Kamen, a rock.
Kotche, a veffel.
Krepqfty a regular fortrefs.
Nofs, a cape.
OJlrogy a fortrefs furrounded with palifadoes.
O/lrcff, an ifland.
OJlrova, iflands.
Sguafs, a fort of fermented liquor*
Reka, a river.
The Ruffians, in their proper names of perfons,
make ufe of patronymics j thefe patronymics are
formed in fome cafes by adding Vitch to the Christian name of the father ; in others Ojf or Eff: the
former termination is applied only to perfons of
condition ; the latter to thofe of an inferior rank.
As, for inftance,
Among perfons 1 .     ^
of condition— J ^^anavitcbM^ the fon
of inferior rank,    Ivan hanoff,    J     °   van*
Michael Alexievitch, "\ Michael    th e
Michael Akxeeff,     J fon of Alexey.
Sometimes a furname is added, Ivan hansvltch
Table [    XV    ]
Table   of  Ruffian Weights,    Meafures   of
Length, and Value of Money.
A pood weighs 40 Ruffian pounds = 36 Engliflu
16 verfhocks=:an arfheen.
Anarfheen = 28 inches.
Three arfheens, or feven feet,=ra fathom *, or
too fazfhens=a verft.
A degree of longitude comprifes 104I verftsz:69§
Englifh miles. A mile is therefore 1,515 parts
of a verft; two miles may then be eftimated
equal to three verfts, omitting a fmall fraction.
A rouble — 100 copecs : Its value varies according
to the exchange from 3s. 8d. to 4s. 2d. Upon
an average, however, the value of a rouble is
reckoned at four fhillings.
* The fathom for meafuring  the depth of water is the
fame as the Englifh fathom,zz6 feet.
J rr [    xvii    ]
To the Edition of 1780.
AS no aftronomical obfervations have been
taken in the voyages related in this collection, the longitude and latitude afcribed to
the New-difcovered Iflands in the journals
&nd upon the charts cannot be abfolutely depended upon. Indeed the reader will perceive^
that the pofition * of the Fox Iflands upon
the general map of Ruffia is materially different from that affigned to them upon the
chart of Krenitzin and Levafhef* Without
endeavouring to clear up any difficulties which
may arife from this uncertainty, I thought it
would be moft fatisfactory to have the beft:
charts engraved : the reader will then be able
to compare them with each other, and with
the feveral journals. Which reprefentation
of the New-difcovered Iflands deferves the
preference, will probably be ascertained upon
the return of captain Gierke from his prefent
* See p. 383.
b Lift
I  xviii ]
Lift of the  Charts,   and  Directions   for
placing them.
CHART I. A reduced copy of the general
map of Ruffia, publifhed by !p»3l
the Academy of Sciences at
St. Petersburgh, 1776,
to face the title-page*
II. Chart of the voyage
Krenitzen and Levafhef to
the Fox Iflands, communicated by Dr. Robertfon,
to face p. 205.
III. Chart of Synd's Voyage towards Tfchukotfkoi-Nofs,   p. 223.
IV. Chart of Shalaurof s Voyage
to Shelatfkoi-Nofs, with a
fmall Chart of the Bear-
Iflands, p. 263,
View of Maimatfchin, p. 311-
Communicated by a gentleman
who has been upon the fpot.
C O N- [    xix    ]
'jffihertifement to this Edition, p. iii-
Dedication, |] p. iii.
Preface, p. v.
Catalogue of books quoted in this work,    p. xii.
Explanation of fome Ruffian words,        p. xiv.
Table 0/* Ruffian Weights, Meafures of Length,
and Value of Money, p. xv.
Advertifement of 1780, p. xvii.
Lift of'Charts, and Directions for placing them,
p. xviii.
PART     I.
Containing Preliminary Obfervations concerning Kamtchatka, and Account of
the New Discoveries made by the Rus-
Chap. I.   L
yirfl Difcovery of Kamtchatka.—t.
That Peninfula conque
red and colonifed by the
—Prefent St
ate  of Kamtchatka-—
^rovernment — Popular
P- 3-
b 2                    Chap. yaw
Chap. II. General idea of the commerce carried
on to the New-difcovered Iflands*— Equipment
of the vejfels—Risks of the trade, profits, &c.
p. 8.
Chap. III. Furs andfkins procured from Kamtchatka and the New-difcovered Iflands.—
Sea-Otters.—Different fpecies of Foxes,-p. 12*
Account of the Russian Discoveries, p. 19.
Chap. I. Conquejl of Siberia—Commencement of
the New Difcoveries—Their Progrefs-—The
Emprefs promotes all Attempts towards New
Difcoveries—P of tion of the New-difcovered
Iflands, p. 19.
Chap. II. Voyages in ij^$.-*-Firft difcovery of
the Aleutian Ifles by Michael Nevodtfikof,
p. 29.
Chap. III.  Succejjive Voyages, from  1747 to
; 1753, teBeering's and Copper Ifland, and to
the Aleutian Ifles.—Voyage c/Emilian Yu-
gof.—Voyage of the Boris and Glebb.—Voyage 0/" Andrew Tolftyk to the Aleutian Ifles,
1749.—Voyage o/~Vorobief, 1750.—Voyage
of Novikof and Baccoffrom Anadyrfk.—
Shipwreck upon Beering's Ifland.—Voyage
of Durnef, in   the St. Nicholas,   1754.-—
Narrative of the Voyage.—Defcription  of
the  Aleutian  Ifles.—Some account of the
inhabitants. p. 39.
Chap. IV. Voyages from 1753 to 2756.
Kolodilof 9sjhipfails from Kamtchatka, 1J 53--
Departure of Serebranikoff's VeJfeL—-Shipwrecked upon one of the more dijlant Iflands.
—Account of the Inhabitants.—The Crew
conflrudl another Vejfel, and return to Kamtchatka.—Departure of Kraffilnikof's VeJfeL
—Shipwrecked upon Copper Ifland.—The
Crew reach Beering's Ifland in two Baidars,
P* 52-
Chap. V. Voy-agesfrom 1756/5 1758.—Voyage
" 0/Andrean Tolftyk in 1756 to the Aleutian
Ifles,—Voyage of 'Ivan Shilkin/Vz the Capiton,
1757.—Shipwrecked upon one of the Fox-
Iflands.—The Crew conftruft a fmall Vejfel,
and art again fihip-wreeked, .  p. 59.
Chap. VI. Voyages in 1758, 1759, #W 1760—
to the Fox Iflands—in the St. Vlodimir, fitted
cut by Trapefnikof, and commanded by Paikof,
1758—and in /^Gabriel, by Betfhevin—
The latter under the command of Pufhkaref
fails to Alakfu or Alachfkak, one of the
remotefi Eafiern Iflands hitherto vijited—
Some account of its inhabitants and productions, which latter are different from thofe
b 3 of w^mmM
xxii       CONTENTS*
of the more Wefiern Iflands.*—Voyage of the
Peter and Paul to the Aleutian Iflands,
1759. p. 6j>
Chap. VIL Voyage of Andrem Tolftyk in the
St. Andrean *ww/Natalia 1760—Difcovery of
fome new Iflands az/Wx4.ndreanofskye Oftro-
va—Defeription of fix ofthofe Iflands^ Ay ugh,
Kanaga, Tfetchina* Tagalak, Atchu, and
Amlak ;—Auccount of their inhabitants.—,
The Veffel wrecked upon the coafi of Kamtchatka. p. 79.
Ch ap. VIII. Voyage of the Zacharias and Elizabeth,^//^ out by Kulkof, and commanded by
■ Drufinin, 1762-—They fail to Umnak and
Unalafhka, and winter upon the latter ifland
—The veffel defrayed; and all the crew,
except four, murdered by the ifianders-—The
adventures of thefe jour Ruffians, and their
wonderful efcape. p. po.
Chap. IX. Voyage ofthe vejfel called/& Trinity,
under the command of Korovin, 1762—Sails
to the Fox Iflands—Winters at Unalafhka—*
Puts to fea thefpr ing following—The vejfel is
fir ande d in a bay of the ifiand Umnak, and the
crew attacked by the natives—Many of them
killed—Others carried off by fieknfis—They
are reduced to great fir eights—Relieved by
Glot- CONTENTS. xil
Glottof, twelve of the whole company only
remaining—Defcription of Umnak and Unalafhka—and account of the Inhabitants,
p.  10L
Chap. X. Voyage of Stephen Glottof//z the Au-
drean and Natalia, 1762—He reaches the
Fox-Iflands—Sails beyond Unalafhka to Ka-
dyak—Winters upon that Ifland—Repeated attempts of the Natives to defiroy the
Crew—They are repulfed, reconciled, and
prevailed upon to trade with the Ruffians—
Account of Kadyak—Its inhabitants—animals—productions—Glottof fails back to
Umnak—Winters there—Returns to Kamtchatka—journal of his voyage,        p* 122.
Chap. XI. Voyage of Soloviof in the St. Peter
and Paul, 1764—he reaches Unalafhka, and
pajfes two winters upon that ifland—relation of
what paffed there—fruitlefs attempts of the natives to defiroy the crew—Return of Soloviof
to Kamtchatka—/0«r»tf/ of his voyage in returning—defcription of the iflands Umnak
and Un al a fhka—productions—inhabitants—
their manners—cujfatns, &c. &c,      p. 152.
Chap. XII. Voyage of Otcheredin  in the St.
Paul 1 265—He winters upon Umnak—-Ar-
1 rival ,^m^4^j- [,jmm
xxiv       CONTENTS.
rival of Levafhef upon Unalafhka.    Return
of Otcheredin   to Ochotfk, p. 182.
Chap. XIII. Conclufion General pofition and
fituation of the Aleutian and Fox Iflands-—
their difiance from each other—Further defcription of the drefs, manners^ and cujloms,
of the inhabitants—their feafis and ceremonies, &c, p. 191
PART      II.
Containing Supplementary Accounts of
the Russian Discoveries.
Chap. I. Extracl from the journal of a voyage
made by Captain Krenitzin and Lieutenant
Levafhef to the Fox Iflands in 1768,  1769,
by order of the Emprefs of Kuffm—they fail
from Kamtchatka—arrive at Beering's and
' Copper Iflands—reach  the Fox  Iflands—
Krenitzin winters at Alaxa—Levafhef upon
Unalafhka—productions of Unalafhka—defcription of the inhabitants of the Fox Iflands
—their manners and cufioms, &c.      p. 205.
Chap. IL Voyage of Lieutenant Synd to the
North Eafi of Siberia—He dfcovers a clufier
of iflands, and a promontoryy which hefup-
pofes CONTENTS. xxv
fofes to belong to the continent of America,
lying near the coafi of the Tfchutfki, p. 223.
Chap. III. Summary of the proofs tending to
Jhew, that Beering and Tfchirikof reached
America in 1741, or came very near it.
p. 226.
Chap. IV. Pofition of the Andreanoffsky Ifles
afcertained—Number of the Aleutian Ifles.
p. 229*
Chap. V.   Conjectures concerning   the   proximity of the Fox Iflands to the continent of
America, p. 232.
Chap. VI. Of the Tfchutfki—Reports of the
vicinity of America to their coafi, firfi propagated by them, feem to be confirmed by late
accounts from thofeparts, p* 234.
Chap. VII. Lfi of the New-difcovered Iflands,
procured from an Aleutian chief—Catalogue
of Iflands called by different names in the Account of the Ruffian Difcoveries, p. 238.
Chap. VIII. Attempts of the Ruffians to dif-
cover a North Eajl pajfage—-Voyages from
Archangel towards the Lena—From the Lena towards Kamtchatka-—Extract from.
Muller's account of DefchneVs voyage round
Tfchukotfkoi Nofs—Narrative of a voyage
made sxvi       CONTENTS,
made by Shalaurof from the Lena to She-?
latfkoi Nofs, p,. 241.
Containing the Conqueft of Siberia ; and
the Hiftory of the Tranfactions and Commerce between Russia and China.
Chap. I. Firfi irruption of the Ruffians into Siberia—fecond inroad—Yermac, driven by the
Tzar of Mufcovy from the Volga, retires to
Orel, a Ruffian fettlernmi-^-Enters Siberia,
with an army of Coffacz^—his progrefs and exploits—-Defeats Kutchum Chan-—conquers
his dominions-—cedes them to the Tzar—receives a reinforcement of Ruffian troops*—is
fur prized by Kutchum Chan— his defeat and
death—veneration paid to his memory'—Ruf-
iian troops evacuate Siberia—re-enter and
conquer the whole country—their progref
flopped by the Chinefe, p, 275,,
Chap. II. Commencement of hofiilities between
the Ruffians and Chinefe—D'fputes concerning the limits of the two empires—Treaty of
Nerfhinfk—Embaffes from the court cfRu{-
fia to Pe
ment CONTENTS. xxyH
tnent of the commerce between the two nations, p. 297c
Chap. III. Account of the Ruffian *W Chinefe
fettlements upon the confines of Siberia—de-
jcription oftheRuffian frontier town Kiakta
—of the Chinefe frontier town Maimatfchin
—its buildings, pagodas, &c, p. 311
Chap. IV. Commerce between the Chinefe and
Ruffians—lift of the principal exports and
imports—duties—average amount of the Ruffian trade, P* 333'
Chap. V. Defcription of Zurukaitu—and its
trade—Tranfport of the merchandife through
Siberia, p. 345.
Chap. VI. Tartarian rhubarb brought to Kiakta
by the Bucharian Merchants—Method of examining and purchafing the roots— Different
fpecies of rheum which yield the finefl rhubarb
—Price of rhubarb in Ruffia — Exportation
—Superiority of the Tartarian over the Indian rhubarb, p. 351
Concerning the longitude of Kamtchatka, and oj
the Eafiern extremity of Alia, as laid down
by the Ruffian Geographers, \    p. 367.
xxviii      CONTENTS.
Lifi  of the principal charts   reprefeniing the
Ruffian difcoveries, p. 378
Specimen of the Aleutian language,    p. 386
Table of Longitude and Latitudey     p. 387
PART PART       I.
B T [   3    ]
K A M T C H A T K A, &c.
CHAP.   I.
Firfi Difcovery of Kamtchatka.—That Penin-
fula conquered and colonifed by the Ruffians--*
Prefent State of Kamtchatka—Government
THE Peninfula of Kamtchatka was not
difcovered by the Ruffians before the
latter end of the laft century. The firft expedition towards thofe parts was made in.
1696, by fixteen Coffacs, under the command of Lucas Semaenof Morofko, who was
fent againft the Koriacs of the river Opooka
by Vlodimer Atlaffof commander of Anadirfk.
Morofko continued his march until he came
within four days journey of the river Kamt-
B a chatka, mt&mmm.mmmKimm*'*'*
4     preliminary observations
chatka, and having rendered a Kamtchadel
village tributary, he returned to Anadirfk *.
The follo^t-ng year Atiaffof himfelf, at the
head of a larger body of troops, penetrated
into the Peninfula ; took poffeffion of the
river Kamtchatka by erecting a crofs upon its
banks; and built fome huts upon the fpot,
where Upper Kamtchatkoi Oftrog now ftands.
Thefe expeditions were continued during
the following years : Upper and Lower Kamtchatkoi Oftrogs and Bqlcheretfk were built;
the Southern diftrict conquered and colonifed ;
and in 1711 the whole Peninfula was finally
reduced under the dominion of the Ruffians.
During fome years the poffeffion of Kamtchatka brought very little advantage to the
crown, excepting from the fmall tribute of
furs exacted from the inhabitants. The Ruffians indeed occasionally hunted in that Peninfula foxes, wolves, ermines, fables, and
-other animjalsj whofe valuable fkins form an
extenfive article of commerce among the
^aftern nations. But the fur trade carried on
from tho|$£e was inconfiderable ; until the
Ruffians, difcovered   the iflands fituated be-
* S.R.G. V. III. p. 72.
% tweea concerning kamtchatka, &c. 5
tween Alia and America, in a feries of voyages ; the journals of which will be exhibited in the fubfequent tranflation. Since
thefe difcoveries, the variety of rich furs,
which are procured from thofe iflands, has
greatly encreafed the trade of Kamtchatka,
and rendered it a very important branch of
the Ruffian commerce.
The Peninfula of Kamtchatka lies between
51 and 62 degrees of North latitude, and
173 and 182 of longitude from the ifle of
Fero. It is bounded on the Eaft and South
by the fea of Kamtchatka, on the Weft by the
feas of Okotfk andPenfhinfk, and on the North
by the country of the Koriacs.
It is divided into four difiri&s, Bolcherefk,
Tigilfkaia Krepoft, Verchnei or Upper Kamt-
chatkoi Oftrog, and Nifhnei or Lower Kamt-
chatkoi Oftrog. The government is vefted
in the chancery of Bolcheretfk, which depends upon, and is fubject to, the inflection
of the chancery of Ochotfk. The whole Ruffian force, ftationed in the Peninfula, confifts
of no more than three hundred men %
The prefent population of Kamtchatka is
very fmall, amounting to fcarce four thou-
* Journal ©f St. Pe-terfourg for April,  1777.
fand fouls. Formerly the inhabitants were
more numerous; but, in 1768, that country
was greatly depopulated by the ravages of the
fmall-pox, which diiorder 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 are
tributary, and an hundred and fourteen in th&
Kuril Ifles, which arefubjectto Rufiia.
The fixed annual tribute confifts in 279
fables, 464 red foxes, 50 fea-otters with a
dam, and 38 cub fea-otters. All furs exported from Kamtchatka pay a duty of 10 per
cent, to the crown; the tenth of the cargoes
brought from the new-difcovered iflands is
alfo delivered into the cuftoms.
Many traces of volcanos have been obferved in
this Peninfula ; and there are fome mountains,
which are at prefent in a burning ftate. The
moft confiderable of thefe volcanos is fituated
near the Lower Oftrog. In 1762 a great
noife was heard iffuing from the infide of that
mountain ; and flames of fire were feen to
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 Kamt-
chadel&. CONCERNING   KAMTCHATKA, &C.        7
chadels, who were at that time upon an
hunting party. The afhes, and other com-
buftible 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 of
fire were obferved ftreaming 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
conftant fmoak. The fame phenomenon is
alfo obferved upon another mountain, called
The face of the country throughout the
Peninfula is chiefly mountainous. It produces
in fome parts birch, poplars, alders, willows,
underwood, and berries of different forts.
Greens and other vegetables are raifed with
great facility; fuch as white cabbage, tur-
neps, radifhes, beetroot, carrots, and fome
cucumbers. Agriculture is in a very low
ftate, which is chiefly owing to the nature of
the foil and the fevere hoar frofts: for though
fome trials have been made wdth refpect to
the cultivation of oats, barley, and rye ; yet
no crop has ever been procured fufficient in
quantity or quality to anfwer the pains and
expence of raifing it. Hemp however has of
late years been cultivated with great fuc-
eefs *.
Every year a veffel, belonging to the crown,
fails from Okotfk to Kamtchatka, laden with
fait, provifions, corn, and Ruffian manufactures ; and returns in June or July of the following years with fkins and furs.
General idea of the commerce carried on to the
New-difcovered Iflands—Equipment of the
veffels—Rjks of the trade, profits, &c.
QINCE the conclufion of Beerlng's Voyagfc,
which wras made at the expence of the
crown, the profecution of the New Difcoveries begun by him has been almoft entirely
carried on by individuals. Thefe perfons
were principally merchants of Irkutfk, Ya-
kutfk, and other natives of Siberia, who
formed themfelves into fmall trading: com-
panies, and fitted out veflels at their joint
* Journal of St. Peterftnirg.
Moft of the veffels which are equipped for
thefe expeditions are two-mafted ; are commonly built without iron, and in general fo
badly conftructed, that it is wonderful how
they can weather fo ftormy a fea.    They are
called in Ruffian Shi tiki, or fewed veffels, be-
caufe the plants are fewed together with thongs
of leather.    Some few are built in the river of
Kamtchatka ; but they are for the moft part
conftructed at the  haven of Okotfk.    The
largeft are manned with  feventy  men, and
the fmalleft with forty.    The. crew generally
eonfifts  of an equal number of Ruffians and
Kamtchadals.    The latter occafion a confi-
derable faving, as their pay is fmall; they alfo
refift, more eafily than the former, the attack
of the fcurvy.    But as Ruffian mariners are
more enterprifing, and more to be depended
upon in time of danger than the others, fome
are unavoidably neceffary.
The expences of building and fitting out
the veffels are very confiderable : for there is
nothing at Okotfk but timber for their con-
ftruction. Accordingly cordage, fails, and
fome proVifions, muft be brought from Ya-
kutfk upon horfes. The dearnefs of corn and
fteur, which   muft be   tranfported from the
diftricts lying about the river Lena, renders
it impoffible to lay-in any large quantity for
the fubfiftence of the crew during 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 exceffive fcarcity of cattle both
at Okotfk and * Kamtchatka, very little pro-
vifion is laid in at either of thofe places : but
the crew provide themfelves with a large ftore
of the flefh of fea animals, which are caught
and cured upon Beering's Ifland, where the
veffels for the moft part winter.
After all expences are paid, the equipment
of each 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 fhare is worth
from ^oo to 500 roubles.
The rifk of the trade is very great, as fhip-
wrecks are common in the fea of Kamtchatka,
* In 1772, there were only 570 head of cattle upon the
whole Peninfula. A cow fold from 50 to 60 roubles, an
on from 60 to 100. A pound of frefh beef fold upon an
average for 12J copecs. The exceffive dearnefs of this
price will be eafily conceived, when it is known, that at
Mofcow a pound of beef fells for about three copers.
Journ. St, Peterft.
which is full of rocks and very tempeftuous;
Befides, the crews are frequently furprifed
and killed by the iflanders, and the veflels
deftroyed. In return the profits arifing from
thefe voyages, are very confiderable, and
compenfate the inconveniencies and dan*-
gers attending them. For if a fhip comes
back after having an advantageous voyage,
the gain at the moft moderate computation
amounts to cent, per cent, and frequently to
as much more. Should the veffel be capable
of performing a fecond expedition, the expences are qoniiderably leffened ; and the profits of courfe encreafed.
Some notion of the general profits arifing
from this trade (when the voyage is fucceff-
ful) 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
iflands, in a veffel belonging to Ivan Popof.
The tenth part of the fkins being delivered
to the cuftoms, the remainder was diftributed
in fifty-five fhares. Each fliare confifted of
twenty fea-otters, fixteen black and brown
foxes, ten red foxes, three fea-otter tails ; and
fuch a portion was fold upon the fpot from
800 to  j ooo  roubles: fo that according to
this price the whole lading was worth about
50,000 roubles Q§
Furs and fk;ns procured from Kamtchatka
and the New-difcovered JJlands.—Sea-Otters.
—Differentfpeices of Foxes.
THE principal furs and fkins procured
from the Peninfula of Kamtchatka and
the New-difcovered Iflands are fea-otters,
foxes, fables, ermines, wolves, bears, &c—
Thefe furs are tranfpcrted to Okotfk by fea,
and from thence carried to + Kiacta upon the
frontiers of Siberia ; where the greateft part
are fold to the Chinefe at a very confiderable
Of all thefe furs the fkins of the fea-otters
are the richeft and moft valuable. Thofe
animals re fort in great numbers to the Aleutian and Fox Iflands : they are called by the
Ruffians BobriMorfki, or fea-beavers, and fome-
times Kamtchadal beavers, on account of the
refemblance of their fur to that of the com-
* Georgi Reife Tom. I. p. 23, & feci. Journal of St.
f See Part III. Chap. Ill,
mon beaver. From thefe circumftances fe-
veral authors have been led into a miftake,
aq&have fuppofed that this animal is of the
beaver fpecies ; whereas it is the true fea-ot-
ter *.
The female are called Matka, or dams; and
the -robs 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 Kofchloki.
The fur of the fineft fort is thick and long,
of a dark colour, and a fine gloflyhue. The
methods of taking thefe fea-otters are, by
ftriking them with harpoons as they arefleep-
ing upon their backs in the fea ; by hunting
them down in boats ; by furprifing them in
caverns ; or taking them in nets.
Their fkins bear different prices, according
to their quality.
At Kamtchatka f the beft fell for
per fkin from 30 to 40 roubles.
Middle fort 20 to 30
Worftfort    15 to 25
* S. R. G. III. p. 530. For a defcription of the fea-
Otter, Lutra Marina, called by Linnaeus Muftela Lutris,
fee Nov. Comm. Fet. Vol. II. p. 367, &c.
f Journal St. Peteriburg.
At ■A—..
At Kiachta * the old and middle-
aged fea-otter fkins are fold
to the Chinefe per fkin from 80 to 14a
The worft fort 30 to   40
As thefe furs are fold at fo great a price to the
Chinefe, they are feldom brought into Ruffia
for fale : and feveral, which have been carried
to Mofcow as a tribute, were purchafed for
30 roubles per fkin ; and fent from thence to-
the Chinefe frontiers, where they were dif-
pofed of at a very high intereft +•
There are feveral fpecies of Foxes, whofe
fkins are fent from Kamtchatka into Siberia
and Ruffia. Of thefe the principal are the
black foxes, the Petfi or Arctic foxes, the red
and ftone foxes.
The fineft black foxes are caught in different parts of Siberia, and more commonly
in the Northern regions between the Rivers
Lena, Indigirka, and Kovyma: the black foxes
found upon the remoteft Eaftern iflands dif-
covered by the Ruffians, or the Lyffie Oftrova,
are not fo valuable. They are very black and
large; but the coat for the moft part is as
coarfe as that of a wolf. The great difference
in the finenefsof the fur, between thefe foxes
* Pallas Reife, Part III. p. 137.
t S.R. G. V. HI. Pallas Reife.
and thofe of Siberia, arifes probably from the
following circumftances. In thofe iflands
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 the above-
mentioned parts of Siberia, there are large
tracts of forefts in which they find fhelter.
Some black foxes, however, are occafionally
caught in the remoteft Eaftern Iflands, not
wholly deftitute of wood, and thefe are of
great value. In general the Chinefe, who
pay the deareft for black furs, do not. give
more for the black foxes of the New-difcovered iflands than from 20 to 30 roubles per
The ArElic or ice foxes are very common
upon fome of the New-difcovered Iflands.
They are called Petfi by the Ruffians, and
by the Germans blue foxes *. Their natural
colour is of a bluifh-grey or afh colour ; but
they change their coat at different ages, and
in different feafons of the year. In general
they are born brown, are white in winter,
and brown in fummer; and in fpring and autumn, as the hair gradually falls off, the coat
is marked with different fpecks and croffes.
* Pennant's Synopfis.
6 At riff
At Kiacta * all the feveral varieties fell upon
3n average to the Chinefe per fkin from 50
copecs to    —         —       2f roubles.
Stone foxes at Kamtchatka per fkin
from        _—±m1 — 1 to 2§
Red foxes from 80 copecs to — 1 rouble,
80 copecs.
At Kiadta from 80 copecs to   — 9 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 f fells
At Yakutfk for        *  10 roubles.
Of the middling:  8
Inferior ditto         » from 5 to 7.
Four, five, or fix teeth generally weigh a
pood, and fometimes, but very rarely, three.
They are fold to the Chinefe, Monguls, and
*| Pallas Reife.
f S. R. G. V. III.
O   F     T   H    E
MADE     BY     THE
c If I M
O F   T H E
CHAP.   I.
Conquefi of Siberia—Commencement of the New
Difcoveries—Their Progrefs—The Emprefs
promotes all Attempts towards New Difco-
of   the     New-aifcovered
^hirft after riches WTas the chief motive which excited the Spaniards to
the difcovery of America ; and which turned
the attention of other maritime nations to
that quarter. The fame paffion for riches
occafioned, about the middle of the fixteenth
century, the difcovery and conqueft of
Northern Afia, a country, before that time
unknown to the Europeans. The firft foundation of this conqueft was laid by the celebrated  Yermac *, at the head of a band of
* The reader will  find an account  of this conquefi: by
Yermac in Part III. Chap. I.
C 2 adven- 20 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
adventurers, lefs civilized, but at the fame
time not fo inhuman as the conquerors of
America. By the acceffion of this vaft territory, now known by the name of Siberia,
the Ruffians have acquired an extent of empire
never before attained by any other nation.
The flTft project * 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 the prefent emprefs. The nature
and completion of this project under his immediate fucceffors are well known to the public
from the relation of the celebrated Muller*
No fooner had f Beering and Tfchirikof, in
* There feems a want of connection in this place, which
will be cleared up by confidering, that, by the conqueft of
Siberia, the R.uffians advanced to the fhores of the Ealtem
Ocean, the fcene of the difcoveries here alluded to.
f Beering had already made feveral expeditions in the
fea of Kamtchatka, by orders of the crown, before he
undertook the voyage mentioned in the text.
In 1728, he departed from the mouth of the Kamtchata
river, in company with Tfchirikof. The object of this voyage was to afcertain, whether the two Continents of Alia
and America were feparated j and Peter I. a fhort time be*
fore his death, had drawn up inftru&ions with his own
hand for that purpofe. Beeriqg coafted the Eaftern fhore
of Siberia as high as latitude 670 18' s but made no difcovery of the oppofite Continent.
the profecution of this plan, opened their
way to iflands abounding in valuable furs, than
private merchants immediately engaged with
ardour in fimilar expeditions ; and, within a
period of ten years, more important difcoveries were made by thefe individuals, at their
own private coft, than had been hitherto effected by all the expenfive efforts of the
Soon after the return of Beering*s crew
from the ifland where he was fliipwrecked
and died, and which is called after his name ;
the inhabitants of Kamtchatka ventured over
to that ifland, to which the fea-otters and
other fea-animals were accuftomed to refbrt
in great numbers. Mednoi Ofirofi or Copper
Ifland, which takes that appellation from large
mafies  of   Native   copper found   upon   the
In 1729, he fet fail again for the profecution of the fam-e
defign ; but this fecond attempt equally failed of fuccefa.
In 1741, Beering and Tfchirikof went out upon the
celebrated expedition (alluded to in the text, and which is
fo often mentioned in the courfe of this work) towards the
coafts of America. This expedition led the way to all the
important difcoveries fince made by the Ruffians.
Beering's veffel was wrecked in December of the fame
year ; and Tfchirikof landed at Kamtchatka on the 9th of
October,  1742.
S. R. G. ill. Nachrichten von See Reifen, &c. and Robert-
fon's Hiftory of America, Vol. I p. 273, & feq,
C 3 beach > £2 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
beach, and which lies full in fight of Beering's
Jfle, was an eafy and fpeedy difcovery.
Thefe two fmall uuinhabited fpots were
for fome time the only iflands that were
known ; until a fcarcity of land and fea-ani-
numbers   were   grea
tly  dimi"
nifhed by the Ruffian hunters, occafioned other
expeditions. Several of the veflels which
were fent out upon thefe voyages were driven
by ftormy weather to the South-eaft ; by
which means the Aleutian Ifles, fituated about
the 195th* degree of longitude,, and but
moderately peopled, were difcovered.
From the year 1745, when it feems thefe
iflands wTere firft vifited, until 1750,' when
the firft tribute of furs was brought from
thence to Okotfk, the government appears
not to have been fully informed of their dii~
covery. In the laft-mentioned year, one Le-
bedef was commander of Kamtchatka. From
1755 to 1760, Captain Theredof and Lieu-
•* The author reckons, throughout this treatife. the'
longitude from the firft meridian of the ifle of Fero. The
longitude and latitude, which he gives to the Fox Iflands,
porrefponds exactly with thofe in which they are laid down
upon the General Map of Ruffia. The longitude of Beering's
Copper Ifland, and of the Aleutian Ifles, are fomewhat
different. See Advertifement relating to the Charts, and
aifo Appendix N\ II.
tenant Kafhkaref were his fucceflbrs. In
1760, Feodor Ivanovitch Soimonof, governor
of Tobolfk, turned his attention to the above-
mentioned iflands ; and, the fame year, Captain Rtiftfhef, at Okotfk, inftructed Lieutenant Shamalef, the fame who was afterwards commander in Kamtchatka, to pro*
mote and favour all expeditions in thofe feas.
Until this time, all the difcoveries fubfequent
to Beering's voyage were made, without the
interpofition of the court, by private, merchants in fmall veficls fitted out at their own
ex pence.
The prefent Emprefs (to whom every cir-
cumftance which contributes to aggrandize
the Ruffian empire is an object of attention)
has given new life to thefe difcoveries. The
merchants who engaged in them have been
animated by recompences. The importance
and true pofition of the Ruffian iflands have
been afcertained by an expenfive voyage *.
.made by order of the crown ; and much additional information will be derived from the
* The author here alludes to the fecret expedition of
Captain Krenitzin and Levafhef, whofe journal and chart
were fent, by order of the Emprefs of Ruffia, to Dr. Robert-
fon. See Robertfon's Hiftory of America, Vol. I. p. 276.
and 460.    See Appendix, N°. I.
C 4 journals 24 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
journals and charts of the officers employed
in that expedition, whenever they fhall be
Meanwhile, we may reft aflured, that feveral modern geographers have erred in advancing America too much to the Weft, and
in queftiojiing the extent of Siberia Eaft-
wards, as laid down by the Ruffians. It appears, indeed, evident, that the accounts
and even conjectures of the celebrated Muller,
concerning the pofition of thofe diftant regions, are more and more confirmed by facts ;
in the fame manner as thejuftnefs of hisfup-
pofition concerning the form of the coaft of
the fea of Okotfk * has been lately eftablifhed.
With refpect to the extent of Siberia, it appears almoft beyond a doubt, from the moft
recent obfervatious, that its Eaftern extremity
is fituated beyond f 200 degrees of longitude,
In regard to the Weftern coaft of America,
all the navigations to the New-difcovered
Iflands evidently fhew, that between 50 and
60 degrees of latitude,   that  Continent  ad-
* Mr. Muller formerly conjectured, that the coaft of the
fea of Okotfk ftretched .South-weft towards the river Ud j
and from thence to the mouth of the Amoor South-eaft ;
2nd the truth of this eon] eel ure had been fince confirmed by
a coafting voyage made by Captain Synnd,
t Part II. Chap. I.
vances no where nearer to Afia than the *
coafts touched at by Beering and Tfchirikof,
or about 226 degrees of longitude.
As to the New-difcovered Iflands, no credit
muft be given to a chart published in the Geographical Calendar of St. Peterfburg for
1774; in which they are inaccurately laid
down. Nor is the antient chart of the New
Difcoveries, published by the Imperial Academy, and which feems to have been drawn
up from mere reports, more deferving of attention "f*.
The late navigators give a far different de-
fcription of the Northern Archipelago. From
their accounts we learn, that Beering's Ifland
is fituated due Eaft from Kamtchatkoi Nofs,
in the i8cth degree of longitude.    Near it ifc
Jo o
Copper Ifland ; and, at fome diftance from
them, Eaft-fouth-eaft, there are three fmaU
iflands, named by their inhabitants, Attak,
Semitfhi, and Shemiya : thefe are properly
the Aleutian Ifles ; they ftretch from Weft-
north-weft towards Eaft-fouth-eaft, in the
fame direction as Beering's and Copper Iflands,
in the longitude of 195, and latitude 54.
Appendix, N° I.
f Appendix, NJ II.
To the North-eaft of thefe, at the diftance
of 600 or 800 verfls, lies another group of
fix or more iflands, known by the name
of the Andreanofffkie Oftrova.
South-eaft, or Eaft-fouth, of thefe, at thedif-
tance of about fifteen degrees, and North by
Eaft of the Aleutian, begins the chain of Lyffie
Oftrova, or Fox Iflands : this chain of rocks
and ifles ftretches Eaft-north-eaft between 56
and 61 degrees of North latitude *, from 211
degrees of longitude moft probably to the Continent of America ; and in a line of direction,
which croffes with that in which the Aleutian
ifles lie. The largeft and moft remarkable of
thefe iflands are Umnak, Aghunalafhka, or,
as it is commonly fhortened, Unalafhka,
Kadyak, and Alaofhak.
Of thefe and the Aleutian Ifles, thediftahce
and pofition are tolerably well afcertained by
fhips reckonings, and latitudes taken by pilots. But the fituation of the Andreanoff-
fky Ifles j- is ftill fomewhat doubtful, though
probably their direction is Eaft and Weft;
and fome of them may unite with  that part
* See p. 286.
f Thefe are the fame iflands which are called, by Mr.
Strsehlin, Anadirfky Iflands, from their fnppofed vicinity
to the river Anadyr.    See Part II. Chap, IV.
of   the   Fox   iflands which   are   moft   contiguous to the oppofite Continent.
The main land-of America has not been
touched at by any of the veffels in the late
expeditions ; though  poffibly the time is not
turers will fall in with that coaft*. More
to the North perhaps, at leaft as high as
70 degrees latitude, the Continent of America
may ftretch out nearer to the coaft of the
Tfchutfki ; and form a large promontory,
accompanied with iflands, which have no
connection with any of the preceding ones.
That fuch a promontory really exifts, and
advances to within a very fmall diftance from
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 -f. That prolongation, therefore, of America, which by Delifle is made
to extend Weftward, and is laid, down juft
oppofite to Kamtchatka, between 50 and 60
degrees latitude, muft be entirely removed ;
for many of the voyages related in this collection  lay through that part of the   ocean
* Part II. Chap. V.
f Ibid. Chap. VI. **£■*/
where 28 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
where this imaginary Continent was marked
It is even more than probable, that the Aleutian, and fome of the Fox Iflands, now well
known, are the very fame which Beering fell-
in with upon his return ; though, from the
unfteadinefs of his courfe, their true pofition
could not be exactly laid down in the chart
of that expedition *.
As the fea of Kamtchatka is now fo much
frequented, thefe conjectures cannot remain
long undecided ; and it is only to be wifhed,
that fome expeditions were to be made North-
eaft, in order to difcover the neareft coafts
of America. For there is no reafon to expect a fuccefsful voyage by taking any other
direction ; as all the veffels, which have
fleered a more foutherly courfe^ have failed
through an open fea, without meeting with
any figns of land.
A very full and judicious account of all the
difcoveries hitherto made in the Eaftern ocean
* This error is however fo fmall, and particularly with
refpecT: to the more Eaftern coafts and iflands, as laid down
in Beering's chart, fuch as Cape Hermogenes, Toomanoi,
Shumaghin's Ifland, and mountain of St. Dolmat, that if
they were to be placed upon the general map of Ruffia,
which is prefixed to this work, they would coincide with
the very chain of the Fox Iflands.
may be expected from the celebrated Mr.
Muller*. Meanwhile, I hope the following account, extracted from the original papers, and procured from the beft intelligence,
will be the more acceptable to the public ;
as it may prove an inducement to the Ruffians
to publifh fuller and more circumftantial
relations. Befides, the reader will find here
a narrative more authentic and accurate, than
what has been publifhed in the abovemen-
tioned calendar f; and feveral miftakes in
that mem'oir are here corrected.
Voyages in 1745.—'-Firft difcovery of the Aleutian Ifles by Michael Nevodtfikof.
A Voyage made in the year 1745 by
Emilian Baffof is fcarce worth mentioning ; as he only reached Beering's Ifland,
and two fmaller ones, which lie South of the
* Mr. Muller has already arranged and put in order fe«
▼eral of the journals, and fent them to the board of admiralty at St. Peterfburg, where they are at prefent kept,
together with the charts of the refpe&ive voyages.
f A German copy of the treatife alluded to in the text,
-Was fent, by its author, Mr. Str^hiin, Counfelior of State
to the Emprefs of Ruffia, to the iate Dr. Maty; and it is
and returned on   the 31ft of July,
The firft voyage which is in any wife remarkable was undertaken in the year 1745.
The veflel was a Shitik named Eudokia, fitted out at the expence of Aphanaflei Tfebaef-
fkoi, Jacob Tfiuprof,   and others;   fhe failed
from the Kamtchatka river Sept.  ig, under
> the command of Michael Nevodtfikof, a native of Tobolfk.    Having difcovered three unknown  iflands, they   wintered upon one of
them, in order to kill fea-otters, of which
there was  a large quantity.    Thefe iflands
were   undoubtedly   the   neareft *   Aleutian
Iflands : the language of the inhabitants wras
not underftood by an interpreter, whom they
had brought  with, them from Kamtchatka.
For the purpofe   therefore of learning  this
language, they carried back w7ith them one
of the Iflanders ; and prefented him  to   the
chancery of Bolcheretfk,   with  a   falfe  ac-
roentioned, in the Philofophical Tranfactions for 1774, under the following title : " A New Map and Preliminary
Defcription of the New Archipelago in the North, discovered a few Years ago by the Ruffians in the N. E, beyond
Kamtchatka." A tranflation of this treatife was publifhed
the fame year by Heydingcr.
* The fmall group of iflands lying S. E. of Beering's
Ifland, are the real Aleutian ifles: they are fometimes
called the Neareft Aleutian Iflands j and the Fox Iflands,
the Fur theft Aleutian ifles.
count RU S S I A N   D I SCO VER I ES. 3I
count of their proceedings. This iflander
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
ifland of which he was a native was Att. At
fome diftance from thence lies a great ifland
called Sabya, of which the inhabitants are
denominated Kogii; who, as the Ruffians un-
derftood or thought they underftood him,
made crofles, had books and fire arms, and
navigated in baidars or leathern canoes. At
no great diftance from the ifland where they
wintered, there were two we 11 -inhabited
iflands : the firft lying E. S. E. and S. E. by
South, the fecond Eaft and Eaft by South.
The above-mentioned Iflander was baptifed
under the name of Paul, and fent to Okotfk.
As the mifconduct of the Chip's crew towards the natives was fufpected, partly from
the lofs of feveral men, and partly from
the report of thofe Ruffians, who were not
concerned in the diforderly conduct of their
companions, a ftrict enquiry was infiituted ;
in confequence of which the following cir-
cumftances were brought to light.
According to the account of fome of the crew,
and particularly of the commander, after fix
days failing they came in fight of the firft
ifland on the 24th of September, at mid-day.
They paffed it, and towards evening they
difcovered the fecond ifland ; where they lay
at anchor until the next morning.
The 25th feveral inhabitants appeared 011
the coaft, and the pilot was making towards
fhore in the fmall boat, with an intention of
landing ; but, obferving their numbers in*
creafe to about an hundred, he was afraid of
venturing among them, although they beckoned to him. He contented himfelf therefore
with flinging fome needles amongft them $
the iflanders in return threw into the boat
fome fea-fowl of the cormorant kind. He
endeavoured to hold a converfation with them
by means of the interpreters, but no one could
underftand their language. And now the
crew attempted to row the veffel out to fea f
but the wind being contrary, they were driven to the other fide of the fame ifland, where
they eaft anchor.
The 26th, Tfiuprof, havinglanded with
fome of the crew in order to look for water,
met feveral inhabitants; he gave them fome
tobacco and fmall Chinefe pipes ; and recei-
ved in return a prefent of a ftick, upon which
the head of a feal was carved. They endeavoured to wreft his hunting gun from
him ; but, upon his refufing to part with it
and retiring to the fmall boat, they ran after
him, and feized the rope by which the boat
was made faft to fhore. This violent attack
obliged Tfiuprof to fire ; and having wounded one perfon in the hand, they all let go
their hold ; and he rowed off to the fhip.
The Savages no fooner faw that their companion was hurt, than they threw off their
cloaths, carried the wounded perfon naked
into the fea, and wafhed him. In confe-
quence of this encounter the fhip's crew
would not venture to winter at this place ;
but rowed back again to the other ifland,
where they came to an anchor.
The next morning Tfiuprof and one Shaf-
fyrin landed with a more confiderable party :
they obferved feveral traces of inhabitants ;
but meeting none, they returned to the fhip,
and coafted along the ifland. The following
day the Coflac Shekurdin went on fhore,
accompanied by five failorS : two he fent
back with a fupply of water; and remained
himfelf 34 ACCOUNT   OF   THE    j
himfelf with the others, in order to hunt fea-
otters. At night they came to fome dwellings inhabited by five families : upon their
approach the natives abandoned their huts
with precipitation, and hid themfelves among
the rocks. Shekurdin no fooner returned to
the %rip, than he wras again fent on fhore with
a larger company, in order to look out for a
proper place to lay up the veffelduring winter. In their way they obferved fifteen iflan-
ders upon an height ; and threw them fome
fragments of dried fifh, in order to entice
them to approach nearer. But as this overture did not fucceed, Tfiuprof, who was one
of the party, ordered fome of the crew to
mount the height, and to feize one of the
inhabitants, for the purpofe of learning their
language : this order was accordingly executed, notwithftanding the refiftance which
the iflanders made with their bdne-fpears J
and the Ruffians immediately returned with
their prifbner to the fhip. They were foon
afterwards driven to fea by a violent ftorm,
and beat about from the 2d to the 9th of October, during which time they loft their
anchor and boat : at length they came back
to the fame ifland,   where  they palled the
Soon after their landing, they found in an
adjacent hut the dead bodies of two of the inhabitants, who had probably been killed in
the laft encounter* In their way the Ruffians were met by an old woman, who rrad
been taken prifoner, and fet at liberty. She
was accompanied with thirty-four iflanders
of both fexes, who all came dancing to the
found of a drum ; and brought with them a
prefent of coloured earth. Pieces of cloth,
thimbles,, and needles^ were diftributed a-
mong them in return ; and they parted amicably. Before the end of October, the fame
perfons, together with the old woman and
feveral children, returned dancing as before;
and brought birds, fifh, and other provilion.
Having paffed the night with the Ruffians",
they took their leave. Soon after their departure, Tfiuprof, Shaffyrin* and Nevodt-
fikof, accompanied with {even of the crew,
went after 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
D 2 ; ftone, 1
ftone, and needles made of bone : they lived
upon the flefh of fea-otters, feals, and fea-
lions, which they killed with clubs and bone-
So early as the 24th of October, Tfiuprof
had fent ten perfons, under the command of
Laigion Belayef, upon a reconnoitring party.
The latter treated the inhabitants in an hof-
tile-manner ; upon which they defended
themfelves as well as they could with their
bone-lances. This refiftance gave him a pretext for firing ; and accordingly he (hot the
whole number, amounting to fifteen men,
in order to feize their wives.
Shekurdin, fhocked at thefe cruel proceedings, retired unperceived to the fhip, and
brought an account of I all that had paffed.
Tfiuprof, inftead of punifliing thefe cruelties as they deferyed, was fecretly pleafed
with them ; for he himfelf was affronted at
the iflanders for having refufed to give him
an iron bolt, which he faw in their poffeffion. He had, in confequence of their refufal.
committed feveral acts of hoftilities againft
them; and had even formed the horrid de-
j figu of poifoning them with a mixture of
1 corrofive fublimate. In order however to
preierve appearances, he difpatched Shekurdin RUSSIAN  DISCOVERIES.-      37
din and Nevodtfikof to reproach Belayef for
his diforderly conduct ; but fent him at the
fame time, by the abovementioned perfons,
more powder and ball.
The Ruffians continued upon this ifland,
where they caught a large quantity of fea-
otters, until the 14th of September, 1746;
when, no longer thinking themfelves fecure,
they put to fea with an intention of looking
out for fome uninhabited iflands. Being
howrever overtaken by a violent ftorm, they
were driven about until the 30th of October,
when their veffel ftruck upon a rocky fhore,
and was fhipwrecked, with the lofs of almoft
all the tackle, and the greateft part of the
furs. Worn out at length with cold and
fatigue, they ventured, the firft of November, to penetrate into the interior part
of the country, which they found rocky
and uneven. Upon their coming to fome
huts, they were informed, that they were
eaft away upon the ifland of Karaga, the inhabitants of which were tributary to Ruffia,
and of the Koriac tribe. The iflanders behaved to them with great kindnefs, until
Belayef had the imprudence to make propo-
fals to the wife cf the chief. The woman
D 3 gave jjx> ACCOUNT   OF   THE
gave immediate intelligence to her hufband ;
and the natives were incenfed to ftich a degree, that they threatened the whole crew
with immediate death : but means were
found to pacify them, and they continued to
live with the Ruffians upon the fame good
terms as before.
The 30th of May, 1747, a party of Qlo-
torians made a defcent upon the ifland in
three baidars, and attacked the natives ; but,
after fome lofs on both fides, they wTent a-
way. They returned fopn after with a larger
force, and were again compelled to- retire.
But as they threatened to come again in a
fhort time, and to deftroy all the inhabitants who paid tribute, the latter advifed the
Ruffians to retire from the ifland, and affifted
them in building two baidars; With thefe
they put to fea the. 27th of June, and landed
the 21ft of July at Kamtchatka, with the
reft of their cargo, confifting of 320 fea-
otters, of which they p^id the tenth into
the cuftoms. During (his expedition twelve
men were loft.
Succejflve Voyages, from 1747 to 1753, to
Beering's and Copper Ifland, and to the
Aleutian Ifles.—Voyage of Emilian Yugof.
—Voyage of the Boris and Glebb.—Voyage
of Andrew Tolftyk to the Aleutian Ifles,
1749.—Voyage o/'Vorobief, 1750.—Voyage
of Novikof and Baccof from Anadyrfk.—-
Shipwreck upon Beering's Ifland.—Voyage
of Durnef, in the St. Nicholas, 1754.-—
Narrative of the Voyage.—Defcription of
the Aleutian Ifles.—Some account of the
N the year 1747 * two veffels failed from
the Kamtchatka river, according to a
permiffion granted by the chancery of Bolc-
keretfk for hunting fea-otters. One was
fitted out by Andrew Wfevidof, and carried
forty-fix   men,    befides eight Coflacs:    the
* It may be neceffry to inform the reader, that, in this
and the two following chapters, fome circumftances are oc-
cafionally omitted, which are to be fcund in the original.
Thefe omiffions relate chiefly to the names of fome of the
partners engaged in the equipments, and to a detail of im«
material occurrences prior to the actual departure of the
other belonged to Feodor Kolodilof, Andrew
Tolftyk, and company ; and had on board
a crew, confifting of forty-one Ruffians and
Kamtchadals, with fix Coffacs.
The latter veffel failed the 20th of October,
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,
in order to provide themfelves writh water
and other neceffaries. They then fleered
S. E. for a confiderable way without discovering any new iflands ; and, being in
great want of provifions, returned into
Kamtchatka River, Auguft 14, with a cargo
of 250 old fea-otter-fkins, above 100 young
ones, and 148 petfi or arctic fox-fkins, which
were all killed upon Beering's Ifland.
We have no fufficient account of Wfevi-
dof's voyage. All that is known amounts
only to this, that he returned the 25th of
July, 1749, after having probably touched
upon one of the neareft Aleutian Ifles which
was uninhabited : his cargo confifted of the
fkins of 1040 fea-otters, and 20.0 arctic
Emilian Yugof, a merchant of Yakutfk,
obtained from the fenate of St. Peterfburg
the permiffion of fitting out four veffels for
himfelf and his aflbciates. He procured, at
the fame time, the exclufive privilege of
hunting fea-otters upon Beering's and Copper
Ifland during thefe expeditions ; and for this
monopoly he agreed to deliver to the cuftoms
the third part of the  furs.
October 6, 175c, he put to fea from Bol-
cherefk, in the floop John, manned with
twenty-five Ruffians and Kamtchadals, and
two Coffacs ; he was foon overtaken by a
ftorm, and the veflel driven on fhore between the mouths of the rivers Kronotfk and
October 1751, he again fet fail. He had
been commanded to take on board fome officers of the Ruffian navy ; and, as he dif-
obeyed this injunction, the chancery of
Irkutfk iflued an order to confifcate his fhip
and cargo upon his return. The fhip returned
on the 22d of July, 1754, to New Kamt-
chatkoi   Oftrog,    laden   with  the   fkins   of
755 old fea-otters,     of
J5 cub fea-otters,
of 44.7 cubs of fea-bears, and of 7044 arctic
fox-fkins :   of the latter 2000 were white,
and I
and 1765 black. Thefe furs were procured upon Beering's and Copper Ifland.
Yukof himfelf died upon the laft-menti*
oned ifland. The cargo of the fhip was,
according to the above-rrien Honed order,
fealed.and properly fecured. But as it appeared ^ that certain perfons had depofited
money in Yugof's hand, for the purpofe of
equipping a fecond veffel, the crown delivered
up the confifcated cargo, after referving the
third part according to the original ftipula-
This kind of charter-company, if it may
be fo called, being foon diflblved for mifcon-
duct and want of fufficient ftock, other merchants were allowed the privilege of fitting
out veffels, even before the return of Yugof's
fhip ; and thefe perfons were more fortunate
mentioned rhonopolift.
Nikiphor Trapefnikof, a merchant of Ir-
kutfk, obtained the permiffion of fending
out a fhip, called the Boris and Glebb, upon
the condition of paying, befide the tribute
which might be exacted, the tenth of all the
furs.    The   Coffac Sila  Shefryrin   went on
board this veffel for the purpofe of collecting
the tribute. They failed in Auguft, 1749,
from the Kamtchatka river; and re-entered
it the 16th of the fame month, 1753,
with a large cargo of furs- In the fpring of
the fame year, they had touched upon an unknown ifland, probably one of the Aleiitians,
where feveral of the inhabitants were prevailed upon to pay a tribute of fea-otter
fkins. The names of the iflanders, who had
been made tributary, were Igya, Oeknu>
Ogogoektack, Shabukiauck, Alak, Tutun?
Ononufhan, Rotogei, Tfchinitu, Vatfch>
Afhagat, Avyjanifhaga, Unafhayupu, Lak,
Yanfhugalik, Umgalikan, Shati, Kyipago,
and Oloffikot * ; another Aleutian had contributed three fea-otters. They brought with
them 320 of the beft fea-otter fkins, 480 of
the fecond, and 400 of the third fort, 500
female and middle aged, and 220 medwedki
or young ones.
Andrew Tolftyk, a merchant of Selenginfk,
having obtained permiffion from the chancery
of Bolfheretfk, refitted the fame fhip which
* The author here remarks in a note, that the proper
names of the iflanders mentioned in this place, and in other
parts, bear a furpriiing refemblance, both m their found
and termination, to thofe of the Greenlanders.
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,
the fhip lay at anchor from the 6th of September, 1749, to the 20th of May, 1750^
before Beering's Ifiand, where they caught
only 47 fea-otters. From thence they made
to thofe Aleutian Iflands, which were * firft
difcovered by Nevodtfikof, and flew there
1662 old and middle-aged fea-otters, and 119
cubs; befide which, their cargo confifted of
the fkins of 720 blue foxes, and of 840
young fea-bears.
The inhabitants of thefe iflands appeared
to have never before paid tribute ; and feemed
to be a-kin to the Tfchutfki tribe, their women being ornamented with different figures
fewed into the fkin 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
their under-lips, 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 when
* See Chap, II.
it is placed in the hole. They had killed,
without being provoked, two of the Karat-
chadals who belonged to the fhip. Upon
the third Ifland fome inhabitants had payed
tribute ; their names were reported to be
Anitin, Altakukor, and Alefhkut, with his
fon Atfchelap. The weapons of the whole
ifland con filled of no more than twelve fpears
and one dart of bone, all pointed with flint,
and the Ruffians obferved in the pofleffion of
the natives two figures carved in wood, refem-
bling fea Tions.
Auguft 3, 1750, the veffel Simeon and
John, fitted out by the above-mentioned
Wfevidof, agent tor the Ruffian merchant
R. Rybenfkoi, and manned with fourteen.
Ruffians (who were partly merchants, and
partly hunters), and thirty Kamtchadals, J
failed out for the difcovery of new iflands,
under the command of the Coflac Vorobief.
They were driven by a violent, current and
tempeftuous. weather to a frnall defert ifland,
the pofition whereof is not determined, but
which was probably one of thofe that lie near.
Beering's Ifland. The fhip.being fo fluttered by the ftorm, that it was no longer in
a condition to  keep the fea, Vorobief built
another 46 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
another fmall veffel with drift-wood, which
he called Jeremiah ; in which he arrived at
Kamtchatka in autumn,  1752.
Upon the above-mentioned ifland were
caught 700 old and 120 cub fea-otters, 1900
blue foxes, 5700 black fea-bears, and 1310
Kotiki, or cub fea-bears.
A voyage made about this time from Anadyr fk deferves to be mentioned.
Aug. 24, .1749, Simeon Novikofof Yakutfk
and Ivan Baccbf of Uftyug, agents for Ivan
Shilkin, failed from Anadyrik into the mouth
of the Kamtchatka river. They affigned the
infecu^ity of the roads as their reafon for
coming from Anadyrfk to Kamtchatka by fea :
on this account, having determined to rifk all
the dangers of a fea voyage, they built a
veffel one hundred and thirty verfts above
Anadyr, after having employed two years
and five months in its conftrudion.
The narrative of their expedition is as follows. In 174S, they failed down the river
Anadyr, and through, two bays, called
Kopeikina and Onemenfkaya, where they
found many fend banks, but pafled round
them without difficulty. From thence they
fleered into the exterior gulph, and waited
for a favourable wind. Here they faw feveral
Tfchutfki, who appeared upon the heights
fingly and not in bodies? as if to reconnoitre ;
which made them cautious. They had ,de-
fcended the river and its bays in nine days.
In paffing the large opening of the exterior
bay, they fleered between the beach, that
lies to the left, and a rock near it ; where,
at about an hundred and twenty yards from
the rock, the depth of water is from three to
four fathoms. From the opening they fleered
E, S. E. about 50 verfts, in about four fathom water ; then doubled a fandy point,
which runs cut directly againft the Tfchutfki coaft, a" nd thus reached the open fea.
From the ioth of July to. the 30th, they
were driven by tempeftuous winds, at no
great diftance 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 river is from fixty to eighty yards broad, from
thfee to four fathoms deep, and abounds in
fifh. From thence they again put, to fea;
and after having beat about for fome time,
they at length reached Beering's Ifland.
Here they lay at anchor from the 15th of
7 Septem- 48 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
September to the 30th of October, when a
violent ftorm drove the veffel upon the rocks,
and dafhed her to pieces. The crew however
being faved, they looked out for the remains of
Beering's wreck, in order to employ the materials for the purpofe of conftruclinga boat.
They found indeed fome remaining materials*
but almoft entirely rotten, and the ironwork corroded with ruft. Having felecled
however the beft cables, and what iron-work
was immediately neceffary, and collected
drift-wood during the winter, they built with
difficulty a fmall boat, whofe keel was only
feventeen Ruffian ells and an half long, and
which they named Capiton. In this they
put to fea, and failed in fearch of an unknown ifland, which they thought they faw
lying North-eaft ; but finding themfelves
miftaken, they tacked about, and flood for
Copper Ifland : from thence they failed to
Kamtchatka, where they arrived at the time
The new-conftrujcted veffel was granted in
property to Ivan Shilkin as fome compenfa-
tion for his loffes, and with the privilege of
employing it in a future expedition to the
New-difcovered  Iflands.       Accordingly   he
failed therein on the 7th of October, 1757,
with a crew of twenty Ruffians, and the
Tame number of Kamtchadals: he was accompanied by Studentzof a Coffee, who wras
fent to collect the tribute for the crown. An
account of this expedition will be given
hereafter *.
Auguft, 1754, Nikiphor Trapefnikof fitted out the Shitik St. Nicholas, which failed
ftfbm Kamtchatka under the command of the
CoflaC Kodion Durnef. He firft touched at
two of the Aleutian Ifles, and afterwards
upon a third, which had not been yet discovered. He returned to Kamtchatka in 1757.
His cargo confifted of the fkins of 1220 fea-
otters, of 410 female, and 665 cubs ; be-
fide which, the crew had obtained in barter
from the iflanders the fkins of 652 fea-otters,
of 30 female ditto, and 50 cubs.
From an account delivered in the 3d of
-May, 1758, by Durnef and Sheffyrin, who
was fent as collector of the tributes, it appears
that they failed in ten days as far as Ataku,
one of the Aleutian Iflands ; that they remained there until the year 1757, an(^ ^vec*
upon amicable terms with the natives.
* See Chap. V.
The fecond ifland, which is neareft to
Ataku, and which contains the greateft number of inhabitants, is called Agataku ; and
the third Shemya : they lie from forty to
fifty verfts afunder. Upon all the three iflands
there are (exclufive of children) but fixty
males, whom they made tributary. The inhabitants live upon roots which grow wild,
and fea animals : they do not employ them-
felves in catching fifh, although the rivers
abound with all kinds of falmon, and the
fea with turbot. Their cloaths are made of
the fkins of birds and of fea-otters. The
Toigon or chief of the firft ifland informed
them, by means of a boy who underftood
the Ruffian language, that Eaftward there
are three large and well-peopled iflands,
Ibiya, Kickfa, and Olas, whofe inhabitants
fpeak a different language. Sheflyrin and
Durnef found upon the ifland three round
copper plates, with fome letters engraved upon them, and ornamented with foliage,
which the waves had eaft upon the fhore :
they brought them, together with other
trifling curiofities, which they had procured
from the natives, to New Kamtchatkoi
Another fhip built of larchwood by the
fame T?apefnikof, which failed in 1752 under the conduct of Alexei Drufinin a merchant of Kurfk, had been wrecked at Beering's Ifland, where the crew conftructed another veffel out of the wreck, which they
named Abraham. In this veffel they bore
away for the more diftant iflands ; but being
forced back by Contrary winds to the fame
ifland, and meeting with the St. Nicholas
upon the point of failing for the Aleutian Ifles,
they embarked on that fhip, after having left
the new-conftructed veffel under the care of
four of their own failors. The crew had
flain upon Beering's Ifland five fea-otters,
1222 arctic foxes, and 2500 fea-bears : their
fhare of the furs, during their expedition in
the St. Nicholas, amounted to the fkins of
500 fea-otters, and of 300 cubs, exclufive of
200 fea-otters-fkins, which they procured by
CHAP.    IV.
Voyages from  1753 to   1756*
KolodiloCs fhip fails from Kamtchatka, 1753 —
Departure of Serebranikoff's Vejfel.—Shipwrecked upon one of the more difiant Iflands.
—Account of the Inhabitants.—The Crew
conftrudl another Vejfel, and return to Kamtchatka.—Departure <yrKraflilnikoff's VeJfeL
—Shipwrecked upon Copper Ifland.—The
Crew reach Beering's Ifland in two Baidars.
HREE  veffels were fitted out for the
JL     Iflands in   J 753, one by Kolodilof, a
fecond by Serebrenikof agent  for the merchant  Rybenfkoy,   and  the  third  by  Ivan
Kraffilnikof a merchant of Kamtchatka.
Kolodilof's fhip failed from Kamtchatka
the 19th of Auguft, the crew whereof con-
filled of thirty-four perfons ; and anchored
the 28th. before Beering's Ifland, where they
propofed to winter, in order to lay-in a flock,
of provifions; but, as they were attempting to
land, the boat overfet, and nine of the crew
were drowned*
June 30, 1754, they flood out to fea in
queft of new difcoveries : the weather however proving flormy and foggy, and the fhip
fpringing a leak, they were all in danger of
perifhing ; but in this fituation they unexpectedly reached one of the Aleutian Iflands,
where they lay from the 15th of September
until the 9th of July, 1755. In the autumn
of 1754 they were joined by a Kamtchadal,
and a Koriac : thefe perfons, together with
four others, had deferted from TrapefnikoFs
crew ; and had remained upon the ifland in
order to catch fea-otters for their own profit.
Four of thefe deferters were killed by the
iflanders for having feduced their wives :
but, as the two perfons above-mentioned were
not guilty of the fame diforderly conduct, the
inhabitants fupplied them with women, and
lived with them upon the beft terms. The
crew killed upon this ifland above 1600 fea-
otters, and   came back  fafe to Kamtchatka
in autumn 1
Serebranikof's veffel failed in July 1753,
manned alfo with thirty-four Ruffians and
Kamtchadals : they difcovered feveral new
iflands, whch were probably fome of the
more diftant ones ; but were not fo fortunate
E 3 in m
in hunting fea-otter§ as Kolodilof*s. crew.
They fleered S. E. and on the 17th of Au-
guft 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 the coming on of a fudden florm,
which carried away 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 on
neither of thefe were they $ble 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 before it : they were however again forced from |:his ftation ; the veffel
wrecked upon the coaft ; and the crew with
difficulty reached the fhore.
This ifland feemed to be oppofite to Katy-
fkoi Nofs in the peninfula of Kamtchatka,
and near it they faw three others. Towards
the end of September, Dmitri Trophin, accompanied with nine men, wei}t out in the
boat upon an hunting and reconnoitring party : they.were  attacked by 3 large body of
inhabitants, who hurled darts from a.fmall
wooden engine, and wounded one of the
company. The firft fire however drove them
back ; and although they returned feveral
times to the attack in numerous bodies, yet
they were always repulfed without difficulty.
Thefe favages mark and colour their faces
like the Iflanders above-mentioned ; and alfo
thruft pieces of bone through holes made iff
their under-lips.
Soon afterwards the Ruffians were joined
in a friendly manner by ten iflanders, who
brought the flefh of fea-animals and of fea-
otters : a prefent the more welcome, as
they had lived for fome time upon nothing
but fmall fhell-fifh and roots, and had fuf-
fered greatly from hunger. Several toys were
in return diftributed among the favages.
The Ruffians remained until June, 1754,
upon this ifland : at that time they departed
in a fmall veffel, conftructed from the remains of the wreck, and called the St. Peter
and Paul; in which they landed at Katyr-
fkoi Nofs; where having collected 140 fea*
horfe teeth, they got fafe to the mouth of
fhe Kamtchatka river.
E 4 During mmm
During this voyage twelve Kamtchadals
deferted ; of whom fix were flain, together
with a female inhabitant, upon one of the
moft diftant iflands. The remainder, upon
their return to Kamtcjaatka, were examined;
and from them the following circumftances
were collected. The ifland, where the fhip
was wrecked, is about 70 verfts long, and 20
broad. Around it lie twelve other iflands of
different fizes, from five to ten verfts diftant
from each other. Eight of them appear to be
no more than five verfts long. All thefeiflands
contain about a thoufand fouls. The dwellings of the inhabitants are provided with no
other furniture than benches, and mats of
platted gfafs *. Their drefs confifts of a kind
of fhirt made of bird-fkins, and of an upper
garment of inteftines flitched together :
they wear wooden caps, ornamented with a
fmall piece of board proje&ing forwards, as
it feemed, for a defence againft the arrows.
They are all provided with ftone knives, and
a few of them ppffefs iron on-es: their only
weapons are arrows with points of bone or
flint, which they flioot from a wooden in-
flrument. There are no trees upon the ifland :
* Matten aus einem ge&flef* Kraut-geflochten.
it produces howTever the cow-parfnip *, 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.
Kraffilnikof's   veffel  failed in   1754,   and
anchored  on   the 1 Sth    of   October   before
Beering's Ifland ; -where all the fhips  which
make to the New-difcovered Iflands   are ac-
cuflomed   to   winter, in order to  procure a
flock of falted provifions  from the fea-cows
and other amphibious animals, that are found
in great abundance.    Here they refitted the
veffel, which  had been damaged by  driving
upon her anchor ; and, having laid in a fulfil
cient ftore of all neeefiaries, weighed the ift of
Augaft,  1754    The icththey were in fight
of an ifland, the coaft whereof was lined with
fuch a number of inhabitants, that they durft
not venture afhore.    Accordingly they flood
out to fea, and being overtaken by  a ftorm,
they were  reduced to great diftrefs for want
of water t 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 an««
* JleracleufB.
chou I
chors near the fhore ; but the ftorm increaf-
ing at night, both the cables were broken,
and the fhip dafhed to pieces upon the coaft.
All the crew were fortunately faved,; and
means were found to get afhore the fhip's
tackle, ammunition, guns, and the remains
of the wreck : the provifions, however,
were moftly fpoiled. Here they were ex-
pofed to a variety of misfortunes ; three of
them were drowned on the 15th of October,
as they were going tp hunt; others almoft pe-
rifhedwith hunger, hayjng no nourifhment but
fmall fhell-fifh and roots. On the 29th of
December great part of the fhip's tackle, and
all the wood, which they had collected from
the wreck, was wafhed away during an high
lea. Notwithstanding their diftreffes, they
continued their hunting parties ; and caught
103 fea-otters, together with 1390 blue foxes.
In fpring they put tp fea for Beering's
Ifland in two baidars, carrying with them all
the ammunition, fire-arms, and remaining
tackle. Having reached that ifland, they found
the fmall veffel Abraham, under the care of
the four failors who had been left afhore by
the crcwr of Trapefnikof's fhip *: but as that
* See the preceding chapter.
veffel was not large enough to contain the
whole number, together with their cargo of
furs, they flaid until Serebranikof 's and Tol-
flyk's veffels arrived. Thefe took in eleven of
the crew, with their part of the. furs. Twelve
remained at Beering's Ifland, where they killed great numbers of arctic foxes, and re-?
turned to Kamtchatka in the Abraham, excepting two, who joined Shilkin's crew.
CHAP.   V.
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 confiruB a fmall Vejfel,
and are again fhip-wrecked.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1756, the veffel
Andrean and Natalia, fitted out by Andrean Tolftyk, merchant of Selenginfk, and
manned with thirty-eight Ruffians and
JCamtchadals, failed from the mouth of the
Kamtchatka river. The autumnal ftorms
coming en, and a fcarcity of provifions en-
fuing, they made to Beering's Ifland, where
they continued until the 14th of June,
j757.    As no fea-otters came on fhore that
winter, I
winter, they killed nothing but feals, fea-
lions, and fea-cows ; whofe flefh ferved them
for provifion, and their fkins for the coverings of baidars.
June 13, 1757, they weighed anchor, _
and after eleven days failing came to Ataku,
one of the Aleutian ifles difcovered by Ne-
vodtfikof. Here they found the inhabitants,
as well of that as of the other two iflands,
affembled ; thefe iflanders had juft taken
leave of the crew of Trapefhikof's veffel,
which had failed for Kamtchatka. The Ruffians feized this opportunity of perfuading
them to pay tribute ; with this view they
beckoned the Toigon, whofe name was
Tunulgafen : the latter recollected one of the
crew, a Koriac, who had formerly been left
upon thefe iflands, and who knew fomewhatof
their language. A copper kettle, a fur and cloth
coat, a pair of breeches ftockings, and boots,
were beftowed upon this chief, who was prevailed upon by thefe prefents to pay tribute.
Upon his departure for his own ifland, he
left behind him three women and a boy, in
order to be taught the Ruffian language,
which the latter very foon learned.
The Ruffians wintered upon  this  Ifland,
$nd divided themfelves,   as ufual, into dif-
ferent  hunting  parties :   they were compelled, by ftormy weather, to remain there until the 17th of June, 1758 .:  before they went
away,   the above-mentioned   chief returned,
with his family, and paid a year's tribute.
This veffel brought to Kamtchatka the
moft circumftantial account of the Aleutian
ifles which had been yet received.
.The two largeft contained at that time
about fifty males, with whom the Ruffians
had lived in great harmony. They heard of
a fourth ifland, lying at fome diftance from
the third, called by the natives Iviya, but
which they did not reach on account of the
tempeftuous weather.
The firft ifland is about an hundred verfts
long, and from five to twenty broad. They
eftimated the diftance from the firft to the
fecond, which lies Eaft by South, to be about
thirty verfts, and about forty from the latter
to the third, which ftands South Eaft* The
original drefs of the iflanders was made of
the fkins of birds, fea-otters, and feals, which
were tanned ; but the greateft part had procured from the Ruffians dog-fkin coats, and
under-garments of fheep-fkin, which they
were very fond of. They are reprefented as
naturally  talkative,   quick of apprehenfion,
and 62 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
and much attached to the Ruffians. Their
dwellings are hollowed in the ground, and
covered with wooden roofs refembling the
huts in the peninfula of Kamtchatka. Their
principal food is the flefh of fea animals,
which they harpoon with their bone-lances ;
they alfo feed upon feveral fpecies of roots
and berries : namely * cloud-berries, crake-
berries, bilberries, and fervices. The rivulets abound with falmon, 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 quantities of fmall
offers and underwood, but no large trees :
the fea however drives afhore fir and larch,
fufficient for the conftruction of their huts-
There are a great number of arctic foxes
> upon the firft ifland, as well as fea-otters ;
and the fhores, during flormy weather, are
covered with wild geefe and ducks.
The Ruffians, 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  diftri-
*   Rubus Chamzemorus -
• E.mpetrum. • RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 6*
buted among the iflanders fome linen, and
thirteen nets for the purpofe of catching fea-
otters, which were very thankfully received.
This veffel brought to Kamtchatka the fkins
of 5030 old and young fea-otters, of 1040
old and young arctic foxes, and of 270 Med-
wedki or cubs of fea-otters.
In the year 1757, Ivan Nikiphorof, a
merchant of Mofcow, fitted out a veffel :
but we have no further account of this voyage, than that fhe failed to the Fox Iflands,
at leaft as far as Umnak.
The fmall veffel Capiton, the fame that
was built upon Beering's Ifland, and which
was given to the merchant *Ivan Shilkiu,
put to fea September 26, 1757, carrying on
board the Coffac Ignatius Studentfof, who
has given the following account of the voyage.
They had not long failed, before they
were driven back to the fhore of Kamtchatka
by ftrefs of weather, and the veffel ftranded ;
by which accident they loft the rudder and
one of the crew. This misfortune prevented
them from putting to fea again until the following year, with thirty-nine of the original
crew, feveral   perfons being left behind on
* See Chap. III.
account 6 4- ACCOUNT   OF   THE
account of ficknefs. They made directly to
Beering's Ifland, where they took up two
of Krafilnikof 's crew *, who had been fhip-.
wrecked. They again fet fail in Auguft of
the fame year, and touched at the neareft
Aleutian Ifles, after fuffering greatly from
fto'rms. They then continued their courfe
tothe remoter iflands lying between Eaft and
South Eaft ; and, having paffed by the firft,
they anchored before the fecond. A boat
being immediately fent out towards the fhore,
the crew was attacked by a numerous body
of Iflanders in fo fudden a manner, that they
had fcarcely time to fecure themfelves by returning to the veffel. They had no fooncr
got aboard, than a violent gale of wind
blowing from the fhore broke the cable, and
drove them out to fea. The weather became fuddenly thick and foggy; and under
thefe circumftances the veffel was forced upon
a fmall ifland at no great diftance from the
other, and fhipwrecked. The crew got to
fhore with difficulty, and were able to fave
nothing but the fire arms and ammunition.
* See Chap. IV,
They K US S I A N   D I SC O VER I E S. 6$
They had fcarcely landed before they were
befet by a number of favages, rowing in
baidars from the Wefterii point of the ifland.
This attack was the more to be dreaded, be-
caufe feveral of the Ruffians were difabled by
cold and wet; and there remained only fifteen
capable of defending themfelves. They ad->
vanced however without heMation to the
iflanders; and one Nicholas Tfiuprof (who
had a flight knowledge of their language)
accofted and endeavoured to footh them, but
without fuccefs. For upon their approach the
favages gave a fudden fhout, and, fainting them
at the fame time with a volley of darts,
wounded one perfon in the hand. Upon this
the Ruffians fifed, killed two of the affailants,
and forced the remainder to retire ; and although a frefh body appeared in fight, as if
they were coming to the affiftance of their
companions, yet no new attack wras made*
Soon afterwards the favages left the ifland,
and rowed acrofs the ftrait.
From the 6th of September to the 23d of
April, they underwent all the extremities of
famine : during that period their beft fare
was fhell-fifh and roots ; and they were even
at times reduced to flill the cravings of their
appetite with the leather which the waves
F wafhed 66 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
wafhed afhore from the wreck. Seventeen died
of hunger ; and the reft would foon have followed their companions, if they had not fortunately difcovered a dead whale, which the
fea had eaft afhore. They remained upon
this ifland another winter, where they killed
230 fea-otters; and, having built a fmall
veffel out of the remains of the wreck, they
put to fea in the beginning of fummer 1760.
They had fcarcely reached one of the Aleutian iflands, where Serebranikof's veffel lay
at anchor, when they were again fhipwreck-
ed, and loft all the remaining tackle and
furs. Only thirteen of the crew now
remained, who returned on board the
above-mentioned   veffel to Kamtchatka July
Voyages in 1758, 1759, and 1760—to the
Fox Iflands—in the St. Vlodimir, fitted out
by Trapefnikof, and commanded by Paikof,
1758—and in //fo Gabriel, by Betfhevin—
The latter under the command of Pufhkaref
fails to Alakfu or Alachfkak, one of the
remotefi Eaftern Iflands hitherto vijited—
Some account of its inhabitants and productions, which latter are different from thofe
of the more Wefiern Iflands.—Voyage of the
Peter and  Paul  to  the Aleutian  Iflands,
SEPTEMBER 1758, the merchant Simeon Krafilnikof and Nikiphor I rapef-
nikof fitted out two veffels for the purpofe
of catching fea-otters. One of thefe veffels,
called the St. Vlodimir, failed the 28th under the command of Dmetri Paikof, carrying on board the Coffac Sila Shaffyrin as collector of the tribute, and a crew of forty-
five men. In twenty-four hours they reached
Beering's Ifland, where they wintered. July
*6, 1759, t^ey fl-eere("l towards the South
F 2 in 6S ACCOUNT   OF   THE
in order to difcover land ; but, being difap-
pointed, they bore away to the North for
the Aleutian Ifles : being prevented however by contrary winds from reaching them,
they failed fbeight towards the diftant ifiands,
which are known at prefent under the name
of Lyffie Oftrova, or the Fox Iflands. September i, they reached the firft of thefe,
called by the natives Atchu, and by the Ruffians
Goreloi, or the Burnt Ifland : but, as the coafts
were very fleep and craggy, they made to Am-
lak, lying at a fmall diftance, where they determined to pafs the winter. They divided
themfelves accordingly itoto three parties :
the firft, at the head of which was Alexey
Drufinin, went over to a fmall ifland called
In the journal Sitkin ; the Coffee Shaffyrin
led the fecond, con fitting of ten perfons, to
the ifland Atak ; and Simeon Polevoi remained aboard with the reft of the crew*. AH
thefe iflands were well peopled ; the men had
bones thruft through their ears, under the
lips, and griftle of their nofes ; and the
faces of the women were marked with biackifh,
ftreaks made with a needle and thread in the
fkin, in the fame manner as a Coffee, one of
the Russian Discoveries 69
the crew, had obferved before upon fome of
the Tfchutiki. The inhabitants had no iron ;
the points of their darts and lances were tipped with bone and flint.
They at 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 an hut, wherein were two women,
four men, and as many boys, whom they
treated kindly, and employed in hunting,
fifhing, and in digging roots. This kind
behaviour encouraged others to pay frequent
vifits, and to exchange fifh and flefh for
goats hair, hories manes* and glafs beads.
They procured alfo four other iflanders with
their wives, who dug roots for them : and
thus the winter paffed away without any disturbance.
In the fpring the hunting parties returned ;
during thefe excurfions one man alone was killed upon the ifland Atak, and his fire-arms taken away by the natives. June 1760, the fame
parties were fent again to the fame iflands.
Shaffyrin, who headed one of the parties, was
F 3 foon \i
foon afterwards killed, 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,
who were left on board. Although he fuc-
ceeded in regaining the veffel, their number
was by this time fo confiderably reduced that
their fituation appeared very dangerous : he
was foon however relieved from his appre-
henfions by the arrival of the merchat Bet-
fhevin's veffel at the ifland of Atchu *. The
two crews entered into partnerfhip: the St.
Vlodimir received twenty-two men, and
transferred eleven of her own to the other
veffel. The former wintered at Amlak ;
and the latter continued at anchor before
This veffel, fitted out at the expence of
Betfhevin, a merchant of Irkhutfk, was called Gabriel ; and put to fea from the mouth
of the Bolfhaia Reka July 31ft, 1760.    She
* Atak and Atchu are two names for the fame ifland,
called alfo by the Ruffians Goreioi, or Burnt Ifland. This
ifland and Amlak are probably two of the Andreanoffsky
Ifles.    See Part II. Chap. IV.
was manned with forty Ruffians and twenty
Kamtchadals, and carried on board Gabriel
Pufhkaref, of the garrifon of Ochotfk, Andrew Shdanof, Jacob Sharypof, Prokopei
Lobafhkof, together with Nikiphor Golodof,
and AphanafleiOfkolof, Betfhevin's agents.
Having failed through the fecond ftrait of
the Kurill Ifles, they reached the Aleutian *
Ifles on the 24th of Auguft. They flood
out from thence in order to make new difcoveries 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 above-mentioned
fhip, the St. Vlodimir, lying twenty verfts
from that ifland, before Amlak, in dange
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 is it ufual in fuch
cafes, entered into a contract for the divifion
of the profit. During that winter the two
crews killed, partly upon Siguyam, about 800
iea-otters of different fizes, about 100 med-
F 4 wedki 72 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
wedki or cubs, fome river otters, above 400
red, greyifh, and black foxes, and collected
twelve pood of fea-horfe teeth.
In June, of the following year, the two
crews were diftributed equally on board'th^
two veffels : Kraffilnikof's remained at Amlak, 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 Niki-
phorof's veffel, Here they took in wood
and water, and repaired their fails ; they
then failed to 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 very
well inhabited, and the natives behaved at
firft in a very friendly manner, for they trafe
ficked with the Ruffians, and even delivered
up nine of their children as hoftages ; but
fuch was the lawlefs and irregular behaviour
of the crew, that the iflanders were foon ir-t
ritated and provoked to hoftilities.
In January 1762, Golodof and Pufhka-
ref went with a party of twenty men along
I This is probably the fame ifland which is laicj down in.
Krenitzin'? chart under tlje name of Ala^a,
the fhore ; and, as they were attempting to
violate fome girls upon the ifland Unyumga,
WTere furprifed by a numerous body of the
natives : Golodof and another Ruffian were killed, and three were wounded. Not long afterwards, the watch of the crew was fuddenly
attacked by the iflanders ; four men were
flam upon the fpot, as many wounded, and
the huts reduced to afhes.
May 3, Lobafehkof and another Ruffian
were killed, as they were going to bathe in
the warm fprings, which lie about five verfts
from the haven : i?pon which feven of the
hoftages were put to death. The feme month
the natives attempted to furprife the Ruffians
in their huts ; but, being fortunately discovered in time, were repulfed by means of
the fire arms. At length the Ruffians, finding themfelves in continual danger from thefe
attempts, weighed anchor, and failed for
Umnak ; where they took up two inhabitants
with their wives and children, in order to
fhew them other iflands. They were prevented however by tempeftuous weather from
reaching them; and were driven out to fea
Weft ward with fiich violence, that all their
fails wTere carried away : at length, on the 23d
of September, they ftruck againft land, which
they took for the peninfula of Kamtchatka ;
and they found it to be the diftrict of Sto-
bolfkoi Oftrog. Six men were immediately
difpatched in the fmall boat and two baidars
to land : they carried with them feveral girls
(who had been brought from the New-difcovered iflands) in order to gather berries^
Mean while the crew endeavoured to ply the
fhip to the windward. When the boat returned, thofe on board were fcarcely able, on
account of the florm, to row- to the fhip,
and to catch hold of a rope, which was flung
out to them. Two men remained with the
baidars; and 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 Ka-
latzoff on the 25th of September. Their
cargo confifted of the fkins of 900 old and
young fea-otters, and of 350 foxes.
Pufhkaref and his crew had during this
voyage behaved with fuch inhumanity towards the iflanders, that they were brought
to trial in the year 1764; and the above-
mentioned account is taken 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
above 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. Upon their
firft approach to that coaft, fourteen women
were fent afhore, to dig roots and to gather
berries. Of thefe, two ran away, and a
third was killed, as they were returning to
the fhip, by one Gorelin : upon this the
others in a fit of defpair leaped into the fea,
and were drowned. All the remaining
Aleutians, excepting the two perfons above-
mentioned, were immediately thrown overboard by Pufhkaref's order. The account
which follows,. although it is found in the
depofitions, does not deferve to be entirely
credited in all particulars.
The natives of the above-mentioned iflands
are very tall and ftrongly made, They
make  their  cloaths  of the fkins of birds;
and 76 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
and thruft bones through their under-lips
by way of ornament. They were faid to
flrike their nofes until they bled, in order to
fuck the blood ; but we are informed from
fubfequent accounts, that the blocd thus
drawn from themfelves 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 of the criminals, who reprefented
the iflanders in the moft hideous colours, in
order to excufe their own cruelties. Their
dwellings under-ground 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 confifl
of arrows and lances pointed with bone,
which they dart at a confiderable diftance.
The ifland Alakfu is faid to contain reindeer, bears, wild boars, wolves, otters, and
a fpecies of dogs with long ears, which are
very fierce and wild. And as the greateft
part of thefe animals are not   found upon
* It appears, in the lad'chapter of this tranflation, that
the iflanders are accuflomed to glue on the point of their
darts with blood ; and that this was the real motive to the
practice mentioned in the text.
thofe Fox Iflands which lie nearer to the'weft,
this circumftance feems to prove that Alakfu
is fituated at no great diftance from the Continent of America. As to red, black, and grey
foxes, there is fo large a quantity, that they
are feen in herds of ten or twenty at a time.
Wood is driven upon the coaft in great abundance. The ifland produces no large trees,
having only fome 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 Ry-
benfkoi by his agent Andrew Serebranikof,
and manned with thirty-three perfons, fet
fail from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river.
They fleered fouthwards until the 20th of
September without feeing any land, when
they flood for the Aleutian Ifles, one of which
they reached the 27th of September. They
remained there until the 24th of June, 1761 ;
during which time they killed upon this and
the two other iflands 1900 old and young
fea-otters,  and obtained 450 more by barter- 78 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
ing with the iflanders. The Coffee Minya-
chin, who was on board as collector of the
tribute, calls in his account the firft ifland by
the Ruffian name of Krugloi, or Round
Ifland, which he fuppofes to be about fixty
verfts in circumference : the largeft ifland
lies thirty verfts from thence, and is about an
hundred and fifty round ; the fmallefl: is
about thirty verfts from the latter, and is
forty in circumference. Thefe three iflands
contain feveral high rocky mountains. The
number of inhabitants were computed to be
about forty-two men, without reckoning women and children.
Voyage <3/~Andrean Tolftyk in the St. Andrean
and Natalia 1760—Difcovery of fome new
Iflands called i\ndreanofskye Oftrova—Defcription of fix of thofe Iflands, Ay ugh,
Kanaga, Tfetchina, Tagalak, Atchu, and
Amlak ;—Auccount of their inhabitants.—
The Veffel wrecked upon the coaft of Kamtchatka.
THE moft remarkable voyage hitherto
made is that of the St. Andrean and
Natalia, of which the following extract is
drawn from the Journals of the two Coffacs,
Peter Wafyutinfkoi and Maxim Lafarof.
This veffel, fitted out by the above-mentioned merchant Andrean Tolftyk, weighed
from the mouth of the Kamtchatka river
September 27, 1760; flood out to fea right
Eaftwards ; and on the 29th reached Beering's Ifland. There fhe lay at anchor in a
bay, from whence the crew brought all the
tackle and lading^ afhore. Soon afterwards
they were driven upon the fhore by a violent
autumnal florm, without any otber damage
than j
than the lofs of an anchor. Here they paf-
fed the winter ; and, having refitted their
veffel, put to fea June 24, 1761 : they paf-
fed by Copper Ifland, which lies about an
hundred and fifty verfts from the former ;
and fleered S. E. towards the Aleutian Ifles*
which they did not reach before the 6th of
Auguft. They eaft anchor in an open bay
near Attak, in order to procure an interpreter
-from the Toigon Tunulgafen ; but the latter
being dead, they fent prefents to the Toigon
Bakutun. As there were already three fhips
lying at anchor before this ifland, on the 19th
they agam flood out to fea in queft of the
more diftant iflands, for the purpofe of exacting a tribute. They carried on board a
relation of the Toigon Bakutun, who had a
flight knowledge of the Ruffian language.
They fteered N. E. and N. E. by E. and were
driven, on the 28th, by an high gale of
wind towards an ifland, before which they
immediately eaft anchor. The following
morning the two Coffacs, with a party of
eight perfons, went afhore to reconnoitre the
ifland ; but faw no inhabitants. Auguft
30,    the   veffel   was brought   into   a fafe
bay. The next day fome of the crew were
fent afhore to procure wood, that the fhip
might be refitted ; but there wTere no large
trees to be met with upon the whole ifland*
Lafarof, who was one of the party, had been
there before in Serebranikof's veffel : he
called the ifland Ayagh or Kayaku ; and
another, which lay about the diftance of
twenty verfts, Kanaga. As they were r&-
fgpning to the fhip, they faw two iflanders
rowing in fmall canoes towards Kanaga,
one of whom had ferved as an interpreter,
and was known to Lafarof. The latter accordingly made them a prefent of fome frefh
provifion, which the others gratefully accepting continued their courfe acrofs the
ftrait to Kanaga. Soon afterwards Lafarof
and eight men rowed over to that ifland;
and having invited the Toigon, who was a
relation of the above-mentioned intrepreter,
to pay them a vifit at Kayaku, they immediately returned to the fhip.
Near the place where they lay at anchor,
a rivulet falls into the bay ; it flows from a
lake that is about two or three verfts in circumference, and which is formed from a
number of fmall fprings. Its courfe is about
eight verfts long ; and in fummer feveral
fpecies of falmon and other fifh, fimilar to
thofe which are found at Kamtchatka, afcend
the ftream as far as the lake.
Lafarof was employed in fifhing in this
rivulet, when the Toigon of Kanaga, accompanied with a confiderable number of
the natives in fifteen baidars, arrived at the
fhip : he was hofpitably entertained, aofd received feveral prefents. The Ruffians feized
this opportunity of perfuading the iflanders
to acknowledge themfelves fubject to the
Emprefs, and to pay a regular tribute ; to
which they made no great objection. By
means of the interpreter, the following information wras obtained from the Toigon*
The natives chiefly fubfift upon dried fifh and
other fea animals. They catch *turbotof a
very large fize, and take feals by means-$£
harpoons, to which they fatten bladders.
They fifh for cod with bone hooks,, and lines
made of a long and tough fpecies of fea-weed,
which they dip in frefh water, and draw out
to the fize of a fine packthread.
As foon as the veffel was-' laid up in a fe-
cure place, Tolftyk, Vaflyutin, and Lafarof,
• * The author adds, that thefe turbot [paltus] weigh oc-
cafionally feyen or eight pood, j
with feveral others, went in four baidars to
Kanaga. The firft remained upon that ifland ;
but the two others rowed in two baidars to
Tfetchina, which is feparated from Kanaga
by a ftrait about (even verfts in breadth : the
iflanders received them amicably, and promi-
fed to pay tribute. The feveral parties returned all fafe to Kayaku, without having
procured any furs. Soon afterwards Tolftyk
difpatched fome hunters in four baidars to
Tagalak, Atchu, and Amlak, which lay to
the Eaft of Kayaku : as none of thefe parties
met With any oppofition from the natives ;
they accordingly remained with great tranquillity upon thefe feveral iflands until the year
1764. Their fuccefs in hunting was not
however very great ; for they caught no more
than 1886 full grown fea-otters* 778 middle-
aged, and 372 cubs.
The following is Lafarof's defcription of
the above-mentioned fix iflands *$ which lie
in a chain fome what to the North Weft of
the Fox Iflands* and muft not be blended
With them.    The firft certain account was
* Thefe are the fix Iflands defcribed by Mr. Stalin in
his dfifcription of the New Archipelago. See Book 11.
Chap. IV;
G a brought 84 ACC0UNTOFTHE
brought by this veffel, the St. Andrean and
Natalia, from whence they are called the An-
dreanofskie Oftrova, or the Iflands of St.
Ayagh is about an hundred and fifty verfts
in circumference : it 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 feem for the moft
part like thofe which grow in Kamtchatka.
Of berries there are found * crow or crake-
berries and the larger fort of bilberries, but
in fmall quantities. Of the roots of burnet
and all kinds of fnake weed, there is fuch an
abundance as to afford, in cafe of neceffity^
a plentiful provifion for the inhabitants. The
above-mentioned rivulet is the only one upon the ifland. The number of inhabitants
cannot fufficiently be afcertained, becaufe
the natives pafs continually from ifland to
ifland in their baidars.
Kanaga flands Weft from Ayagh, and is
two hundred verfts in circumference. It contains an high volcano, where the natives find
* Empetrum, Vaccin. TJliginofum, Sanguiforba, &
fulphur RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES.        85
fulphur in fummer. At the foot of this
mountain are hot fprings, wherein they oc-
caiionally boil their provifion. There is no
rivulet upon this ifland : and the low grounds
are fimilar to thofe of Ayagh. The inhabitants are reckoned about two hundred fouls.
Tfetchina lies Eaftward about forty verfts
from Kanaga, and is about eighty in circumference. It is full of rocky mountains, of
which the Bielaia Sopka, or the White Peak,
is the higheft. 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 production fit for nourifhment.
The coafts are rocky, and dangerous to approach in baidars. This ifland is alfo inhabited
by no more than four families.
Atchu lies in the fame pofit'ion forty verfts
diftant from Tagalak, and is about three
hundred in circumference : near it is an harbour, where fhips may ride fecurely at anchor. It contains many rocky mountains;
and feveral fmall rivulets that fell into the
G a fea. 86 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
fea, and of which one running Eaftwards
abounds in fifh. The roots which have juft
before been mentioned, and bulbs of white
lilies, are found there in plenty. Its inhabitants amount to about fixty fouls.
Amlak is a mountainous ifla&d Handing
to the Eaft more than feven verfts from Atchu,
and is alfc* 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 there is one only, which flows
towards the North, that contains any fifh.
Befides thefe a clutter of other iflands were
pbferved fliretehing farther to the Eaft, which
were not touched upon.
The inhabitants of thefe fix inlands are tributary to Ruffia. They live in holes dug in
the earth, in which they make no fires even
in winter. Their clothes are made like
Hurts, of the fkins of the * guitlimot and
puffin, which they catch with fpringes*
Over thefe in rainy weathef they wear an
upper garment, made of the bladders, and
other dried hi teflon es of feals and fea-lions
piled and ftitched together.    They catch  cod
*' Colymbu* 'Ifmile, Alca Arftica.
and turbot with bone-hooks, and eat them
raw. As they never collect a flore of pro-
vifion, thefy fuffer  greatly from   hunger  in
> J o J O
flormy weather, when they cannot go out to
fifh ; at which time they are reduced to live
upon fmall fhell-fifh and fea-wrack, which
they pick up upon the beach and eat raw.
In May and June they kill fea-otters in the
following manner : When the weather is
calm, they row out to fea in feveral baidars :
having found the animal, they ttrike him
with harpoons, and follow him fo clofely,
that he cannot eafily efcape. They take fea
dogs in the fame manner. In the fevereft
weather they make no addition to their ufual
cloathing. In order to warm themfelves in
winter, whenever it freezes very hard, they
burn a heap of drygrafs, over which they fland
and catch the heat under their clothes. The
clothes of the women and children are made
of fea-otter fkins, in the fame form as thofe belonging to the>men. Whenever they pafe the
night at a diftance from home, they dig a
hole in the earth, and lay themfelves down
in it, covered only with their clothes and
matts of platted grafs. Regardlefe of every
thing but the prefent moment, deflitute of
G 4 religion, rmwm
religion, and without the leaft appearance of
decency, they feem but few degrees removed
from brutes.
As foon as the feveral baidars fent out upon hunting parties were returned, and the
veffel got ready for their departure, the Toi-
gons of thefe iflands (excepting Kanaga)
came in baidars to Tolftyk, accompanied
with a confiderable number of the natives ;
their names were Tfarkulini, Tfhunila*
Kayugotfk and Mayatok. They brought with
them a voluntary tribute, making prefents
of pieces of dried falmon, and unanimoufly
expreffing their fatisfaction upon the good
conduct of the Ruffians. Tolftyk gave
them in return fome 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 come amongft them, if they had
a mind to be treated in the fame manner.
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   fhore.
This accident obliged them to fend the
lading afhore, and to draw the fhip upon
land in order to repair the damage, which
was performed with much difficulty. On the
18th of Auguft they flood out to fea and
made towards Atchu, which they reached
on the 20th. Having fprung a leak, they
again refitted the veffel ; and, after taking
on board the crew of a fhip which had been
lately eaft away, they failed for Kamtchatka.
On the 4th of September they came in fight
of that peninfula near Tzafchminfkoi Oftrog; and on the 18th, as they were endeavouring to run into the mouth of the Kamtchatka river, they were forced by a ftorm
upon the coaft. The veffel was deftroyed,
and the greateft part of the cargo loft.
C H A P. m
Voyage of the Zacharias and Elizabeth, fitted out by Kulkoff, and commanded by Dru-
iinin, 1762—They fail to Umnak and
Unalafhka, and]winter upon the latter ifland
«—The veffel deftroyed; and ell the crew,
except four,   murdered by the iflanders—The
~y&£ue%$ures of thefe jour Ruffians, and their
wonderful efcape.
M SHALL here barely mention that a veffel
JL was fitted out in Auguft, 1760, at the ex-
pence of Terrenti Tfebaeffkoi ; but I fhall
haveoccafion to be very circumftantial in my
accounts concerning feveral others, which
failed during the following years : more co«?
pious information concerning the Fox Iflands
having been 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 thefe only one returned fafe to
The firft was the Zacharias and Elizabeth,
fitted out by Kiilkof, a merchant of Vologda,
and Company, under the command of Dru-
finin, and manned by thirty-four Ruffians,
and three Kamtchadals.
September the 6th, they weighed anchor
from Okotfk, and arrived October the nth
in the haven of St. Peter and Paul, where they
wintered. June the 24th, 1763, they again
put to fea, and having reached, after eleven
days failing, the neareft Aleutian Iflands,
they anchored before Attak. They ftaid
here about fourteen days, and took up Cevea
Ruffians who had been fhipwrecked on this
coaft. Among thefe was Korelin, who returned to Kamtchatka, and brought back the
following account of the voyage.
July the 17th, they failed from Attak to*
s wards the more diftant iflands. In the fame
month they landed upon an ifland, where the
crew of the Andrean and Natalia was engaged in hunting ; and, having laid in a provision of water, continued their voyage.
In the beginning of September they arrived at Umnak, one of the Fox Iflands ;
and eaft anchor about a verft from the fhore.
They found there Glottof's veffel, whpfe
Voyage will be   mentioned in a  fucceeding
chapter *. Drufinin immediately difpatched
his firft mate Maefnifk and Korelin, with
thirty-four of the crew, to land. They .
paffed over to the eaftern extremity of the
ifland, which was diftant about feventy verfts
from the veffel; and retuned fafe on the 12th
of September. During this expedition, they
faw feveral remains of fox-traps which had
been fet by the Ruffians ; and met with feveral natives who fhewed fome tribute-quittances. The fame day letters were brought
by the iflanders from Medvedef and Ko-
rovin -j-, who were juft arrived at Umnak
and Unalafhfka in two veffels fitted out by
the merchants Protaffof and Trapefnikof
Anfwers were returned by the fame mef-
On the 2 2d, Drufinin failed to the Northern
point of Unalafhka, which lies about fifteen
verfts from Umnak : the crew, having laid
up the veffel in a fafe harbour, and brought
the lading afhore, made preparation to con-
ftruct an hut. Soon after their arrival, two
Toigons of the neareft village brought hof-
tages of their  own  accord ;   their example
* Chap. X.
t See the following chapter.
was RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES.        93
was immediately followed by feveral of the
more diftant villages. Here they received information of an hunting party fent from
Trapefnikof s fhip. Upon which Maefnifk
alfo difpatched three companies upon the
fame errand, one confifting of eleven men,
among whom was Korelin, under the command of Peter Tfekalef; a fecond of the
fame number, under Michael Kudyakof;
and a third of nine men, under Yephim
Kafkitfyn. Tfekalef's party was the only one
of which we have received any circumftan-
tial 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
the two other companies were difpatched to
the Northern point of the ifland. Kudyakof
flopped at a place called Kalaktak, which contained about forty inhabitants : Tfekalef
went on to Inalok, which lies about thirty
verfts from Kalaktak. Having found there
a dwelling with about feventy inhabitants,
to whom he behaved with kindnefs, he
built an hut for himfelf and his companions -x
and kept a conftant watch.
December the 4th, fix of thd party being
difpatched to look after the pit-falls, there
remained only the five following Ruffians,
Peter Tfekalef, Stephen Korelin, Dmitri
Bragin, Gregory Shaffyrin, and Ivan Ko-
kovin : the iflanders therefore feized this opportunity of giving the firft proofs of their
hoftile intentions, which they had hitherto
concealed. As Tfekalef and Shaffyrin were
upon a vifit to the iflanders, the latter fud-
denly, and without any provocation, flruck
Tfekalef upon the head with a club, and
afterwards ftabbed him with knives- They
next fell upon Shaffyrin, wrho defended him-
felf with an hatchet; and, though defperate*
ly wounded, forced his way back to hh
companions. Bragin and Korelin, who remained in the hut, had immediate recourfe
to their fire-arms; but Kokovin, who was.
at a fmall diftance, was furrounded by the
favages, and thrown dpwn. They continued
flabbing him with knives and darts, until
Korelin came to his affiftance ; who having
wounded two iflanders, and driven away the
others, brought his wounded companion
half-dead to the hut.
Soon afterwards the natives furrounded
the hut, which the Ruffians had taken the
precaution to provide with fhooting holes.
The fiege lafted four days without intermif-
fion. The iflanders were prevented indeed
by the fire-arms from ftorming the hut ; whenever the Ruffians made their appearance, darts were immediately fhot at
them from all fides ; fo that they could not
venture to go out for water. At length,
when Shaffyrin and Kokovin were a little recovered, they all fallied out upon the iflanders
with their guns and lances; three perfons
were killed upon thefpot, and feveral wounded ; upon which the others fled away and
difperfed. During the fiege the favages were
feen at a little diftance bearing fome arms
and caps, and holding them up in triumph:
thefe things belonged to the fix Ruffians,
who had been fent to the pit-falls ; and had
fallen a facrifice to the refentment of the
The latter no fooner difappeared, than the
Ruffians dragged the baidar into the fea, airaf
rowed without moleftation out of the bay,
which is about ten verfts broad. They'riext
landed  near a fmall habitation :   fmding it
empty, $6 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
empty, they drew the baidar afhore, and
traverfed, with their fire-arms and lances*
the mountains towards Kalaktak, where they
had left Kudyakof's party. As they approached that place towards evening, they fired
from the heights ; but no fignal being returned, they concluded, as was really the
cafe, that this company had likewife been
maflacred by the inhabitants. They themfelves narrowly efcaped the fame fate; for,
immediately upon the report of the firearms, numerous bodies of the iflanders made
their appearance, and clofely purfued the
Ruffians : darknefs however coming on, the
latter found means to efcape over the fandy
fhore of a bay to a rock, where they were
fheltered, and could defend themfelves. They
here made fo good a ufe of their arms, that
the iflanders thought proper to retire : the
fugitives, as foon as their purfuers wrere withdrawn, feized the opportunity of proceeding
towards the haven, where their veffel lay
at anchor. They ran without interruption
during the whole night ; and at break of
day, when they were about three verfts from I
the haven, they efpied a locker of the veffel
lying on the fhore. Struck with aftonifh-
ment at this alarming difcovery, they retreated with precipitation to the mountains ;
from whence they defcried feveral iflanders
rowing in canoes, but no appearance of their
own veffel. During that day they kept themfelves clofely concealed, and durft not venture again towards the haven before the
evening. Upon their arrival they found the
veffel broken to pieces, and the dead bodies
of their companions mangled along the beach.
Having collected all the provifion which had
been untouched by the favages, they returned
to the mountains.
The following day they fcooped out a cavity at the foot of a mountain fituated about
three verfts from the haven ; and covered it
with a piece of a fail. In the evening they
returned to the haven, and found there an
image of a faint and a prayer-book ; and all
the tackle and lading were taken away, excepting the facks for provifion. Thefe facks
were made of leather : the natives had ript
them up, probably to fee if they contained
any iron, and had left them, together with
the provifion, behind as ufelefs. The Ruft
fians collected all that remained ; and dragged
as much as they were able to carry into the
mountains to their retreat, where they lived
in a very wretched flate from the 9th of December to the 2d of February,  1764.
Mean while they employed themfelves in
making a little baidar, which they covered
with the leather of the facks. Having drawn
it at night from the mountains to the fea,
they rowed without waiting for break of day
along the Northern coaft of Unalafhka, in
order to reach Trapefnikof's veffel, which, as
they had reafon to think, lay at anchor fome-
where upon the coaft. They rowed at fome
diftance from the fhore, and by that means
paffed three habitations nnperceived. The
following day they obferved at fome diftance
five iflanders in a baidar, who upon feeing
them made to Makufhinfk, before which
place the fugitives were obliged to pafs.
Darknefs comingon, the Ruffians landed on
a rock, and paffed the night afhore. Early
in the morning difcovering the iflanders advancing towards them from the bay of Makufhinfk, they placed themfelves in an advantageous poft ; and prepared for defence.
The favages rowred clofe to the beach :
part landing, and  part   remaining in  their
baidars, they  commenced the  affault by  a
volley of  darts ;   and  not with (landing  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 canoe
to  an  adjoining cavern.     The  attack  was
again   renewed during  the night ; but  the
Ruffians were fo  advantageoufly polled, that
they  repulfed   the aflailants without   much
difficulty. In this encounter Bragin was flight*
j 00
ly Wounded. They remained in this place three
days ; but the fea rifing at a fpring-tide into the rock, forced them to felly out towards
a neighbouring cavern, which they reached
without lofs, notwithftanding the oppofition
of^the iflanders.
ned  in this cave five
were imprifor
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,
with the moifture dripping from the rock.
They fuffered alfo greatly from hunger, having no fuftenance but fmall fhell-fifh, which
they occafionlly found means to collect upon
the beach. Compelled at length by extreme
want, they one night ventured to draw their
oaidar into the fea; and were fortunate enough
to get off unperceived.
They continued rowing at night, but in the
day they hid themfelves on the fhore ; by this
means they efcaped unobferved from the bay
of Makufhinfk, and reached Trapefnikof's vefe
fel 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 alone of
all the four died of ficknefs during the voyage ; but Korelin, Kokovin, and Bragin *,
returned fafe to Kamtchatka. The names
of thefe brave men deferve our admiration,
for the courage and perfeverance with which
they fupported and overcame fuch imminent
* Thefe Ruffians were well known to feveral perfons of
credit, who have confirmed the authenticity of this rela*
tion. Among the reft, the celebrated naturalift Mr. Pallas
faw Bragin at Irkutfk : from him he had a narrative of
their adventures and efcape; which, as he affured me,
perfeclly tallied with the above account, which is drawn,
from the journal of Korelin.
Voyage of the veffel called the Trinity, under
the command of Korovin, j 762—Sails to thi
Fox Iflands*—Winters at Unalafhka—Puts
to fea the fpring j allowing—The veffel is
firanded in a bay of the ifland Umnak, and the
crew attacked by the natives—Many of them
killed—Others carried off by ficknefs—They
are reduced to great freights—Relieved by
Glottof, twelve of the whole company only
remaining—Defcription of Umnak and Unalafhka—and account of the Inhabitants,
rp H E fecond veffel which failed from
X Kamtchatka in the year 1762, was
the Trinity, 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, and flood out to fea the 29th,
when they were driven at large for ten days
by contrary winds.    At laft upon the Sth of
H 3 October 102 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
October they came in fight of Beering's and
Copper Ifland, where they eaft anchor before
the South fide of the former. Here they
were refolved to winter on account of the
late feafon of the year. Accordingly they
laid up the veffel in a fecure harbour, and
brought all the lading afhore. They ftaid
here until the firft of Auguft, 1763 ; during
that time they killed about 500 arctic foxes
and 20 fea-otters; the latter animals refprted
lefs frequently to this ifland, in confequence of
the difturbance from the Ruffifian hunters.
Korovin, having collected a fufficient ftore
of provifion, feveral fkins of fea cows for the
coverings of baidars, and fome iron which
remained from the wreck of Beering's fhip,
prepared for his departure. Upon his arrival at
Beering's Ifland the preceding autumn, he
found there a veffel fitted out by Jacob Pro-
taflbf, merchant of Tiumen, under the command of Dennis Medvedef *, with whom Korovin had entered into a formal contract for
the divifion of the furs. Here he took on board
ten of Medvedef's crew, and gave him fever*
in return.
* This is the fourth veffel which failed in 1762. As the
whole crew was ma-ffacred by the favages, we have no account of the voyage. Short mention of this maffacre is
occafionaliy made in this and the following chapters.
Auguft RUSSIAN    DISCOVERIES.        I03
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 : on
the 15th, Korovin made Unalafhka, where
Glottof lay at anchor, and Medvedef reached
Umnak. Korovin received the news of the
1 atter's fafe arrival, firft by fome iflanders,
and afterwards by letters ; both veffels lay at
no greater diftance from each other than about
an hundred and fifty verfts, taking a ftreight
line from point to point acrofs the firth.
Korovin eaft anchor in a convenient bay
at the diftance of fixty yards from the fhore.
On the 16th he landed with fourteen men ;
and having found nothing but an empty fhed,
he returned to the veffel. After having taken
a reinforcement, he again went afhore in
order to look for fome inhabitants. About
feven verfts from the haven, he came to two
habitations ; and faw three hundred perfons.
Among them were three Toigons, who recollected and accofted in a, friendly manner
one Barnafhef, a native of Tobolfk, who had
been there before with Glottof: they fhewed
fome tribute-quittances, which they had lately
H 4- received 104 ACCOUNT   OF  THE
received from theCoffac 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 the third delivered
his fon of about fifteen years of age, the
fame who had been Glottof's hoftage, and
whom Korovin called Alexey. With thefe
hoftages he returned to the fhip, which he
laid up in the mouth of a river, after having
brought all the provifion and lading afhore.
Soon afterwards the three Toigons came to
fee the hoftages ; and informed Korovin,
that Medvedef's veffel rode fecurely at anchor
before Umnak.
September 15, when every thing was 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. 1 hey
went along the Northern coaft of the ifland,
towards its Weftern extremity, in order to
hunt, and to enquire after a certain interpreter called Kafhmak, who had been employed
by Glottof on a former occafion. Having
rowed about twenty verfts, they paffed by
a village ; and landed at another, which lay
about five verfts further.. But as the number RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES.        105
ber of inhabitants feemed to amount to two
hundred, they durft not venture to the dwellings, but flayed by the baidar. 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, and whom Korovin called Ste-
panka, as an hoftage, for which he received
a prefent of corals.
They rowed now further to a third village,
about fifteen verfts from the former, where
they found the interpreter Kafhmak ; the latter accompanied them to the two Toigons,
who gave them a friendly reception, and
fhewed their tribute-quittances. A few natives only made their appearance; the others, as
the Toigons pretended, were gone out to fifh.
The next morning each Toigon gave a boy
as an hoftage ; one of the boys Korovin called Gregory, and the other Alexey. The Ruffians were detained there two days by a violent
ftorm; during which time a letter from Medvedef was brought by an Aleutian ; and an
anfwer was returned by the fame perfon.
The ftorm at length fomewhat abating,
they rowed back to the next village ; where
they Io6 ACCOUNT   OF   THE i
they continued two nights without any ap-
prehenfions from the favages. At length
Korovin returned in fafety with "the hoftages
to the crew.
In the beginning of October they built a
winter-hut, partly of wood, and partly of
feal-fkins ; and made all the neceflary preparations for hunting. On the 14th, two
companies, each confifting of eleven men,
were fent upon an hunting party to the
Eaftern point of the ifland ; and returned in
four days with hoftages. About fixty verfts
from the haven, they had met a party of
twrenty-five Ruffians, commanded by Drufinin. About the fame time fome Toigons
brought a prefent of fturgeon and whale's
blubber; and received in return fome beads
and provifion,
Korovin and his company now thought
themfelves fecure ; for w7hich reafon twenty-
three men, under the command of the above-
mentioned Barnafhef, were difpatched in two
baidars upon an hunting party towards the
Weftern point of the ifland. Eight mufkets
were diftributed to each boat, a piftol and a
Jance to each man, and alfo a fufficient
(lore of ammunition  and  provifion.     The
follow- RUSSIA If   pi SCO VER IES. I07
following 4?y twoxaccounts  were fent from
Barnafhef: a
btter.s were alfo received from
the crew of Protaffof 's veffel. From the 2d
of November to the §th of December, the
Ruffians, who remained with Korovin, killed forty-eight dark-coloured foxes, together
with an hundred and feventeen of the common fort : during this expedition one man
was loft. Some of the natives came occa-
fionally in baidars ; and exchanged fea-otters
and fox-fkins for corals. On the Sth of December letters were again brought from Barnafhef and alfo from the crew of Protaffof's
fhip. Anfwers were returned by the fame
After the departure of thefe meffengers,
the mother of Alexey came with a meflage
from the Toigon her hufband, importing, that
a large number of iflanders were making
towards the fhip. Upon this Korovin ordered the men to arms ; and foon after feven-
ty 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 I
ed without attempting any hoftilities. Their
apprehenfions were now fome what quieted ;
but they were again raifed by the arrival of
three Kamtchadals belonging to Kulkofs fhip,
who flew for protection to Korovin : they
brought the account that the crew had been
killed by the favages, and the veffel deftroyed.
It was now certain, that the feventy iflanders
above-mentioned had come with hoftile intentions. This information fpread fuch a
fudden panic among the Ruffians ; that it
was even propofed to burn the veffel, and to
endeavour to find their companions, who
were gone upon hunting parties.
That day however paffed without any attack;
but, towards the evening of the icth of December, the favages affembled in large bodies, and inverted the hut on all fides*
Four days and nights they never ceafed annoying the Ruffians with their darts ; two
of the latter were killed, and the furvivors
were nearly exhaufted by continual fatigue.
Upon the fifth day the iflanders took poll in
a neighbouring cavern, where they continued watching the Ruffians fo clofely during
a whole month, that none of the latter durft
venture fifty. paces from their dwelling*
Korovin, finding himfelf thus annoyed by
the natives, ordered the hut to be deftroyed ;
and then retired to his veffel, which was
brought for greater fecurity out of the mouth
of the rivulet to the diftance of an hundred
yards from the beach. There they lay at
anchor from the 5th of March to the 26th of
April, during which time they fuffered greatly
from want of provifion, and flill more from
the fcurvy.
During this period they were attacked by
a large body of the natives, who advanced
in forty baidars with the hopes of furpri-
fing the veffel. Korovin being warned of
their approach by two of the inhabitants,
one of whom was a relation of the interpreter Kafhmak, was prepared for their reception. As foon as the favages came near the
veffel, they brandifhed their darts, and pre-?
pared for the attack. Korovin however had
no fooner fired and killed one perfon, than
they were ftruck with a panic and rowed,
away. They were fo incenfed at this failure
of fuccefs, that they immediarely put to
death the two good-natured natives, who
had betrayed their defign to the Ruffians.
Soon afterwards the father of Alexey came
and demanded his fon, who was reftored to
him : and on the 30th of March Korovin
and his three companions arrived as it is mentioned in the preceding chapter. By this
reinforcement the number of the crew a-
mounted to eighteen perfons.
April 26, Korovin put to fea from Unalafhka with the crew and eleven hoftages.
The veffel was driven until the 28th by con*
tray winds, and then ftranded in a bay of the
ifland Umnak. The ammunition and fails,
together with the fkins for the conftruction
of baidars, were brought afhore with great
difficulty. During the difembarkation one
lick man Was drowned ; another died as foon
as he came to land ; and eight hoftages ran
away amidft the general confufion. There
flill remained the faithful interpreter Kafh-*
mak and three hoftages. The whole number
of the Ruffians amounted to only fix teen per-*
fons ; and of thefe three were fick of the
fcurvy. Under thefe circumftances they fe-
cured themfelves between their baidar and
fome empty barrels, which they covered with
leal-fkins, while the fails were fpread over
them in form of a tent.    Two Ruffians kepg
watch ;
watch; and there being no appearance of
any iflanders, the others retired to fleep.
v Before break of day, about an hundred
favages advancing fecretly from the fea-fide,
threw their darts at the diftance of twenty
yards with fuch force, that many of them
pierced through the baidar and the fkins ;
others fell from above 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
were wounded. The latter indeed were fo
effectually furprifed, as to be prevented from
having recourfe to their fire-arms. In this
diftref s Korovin fallied out, in company with
four Ruffians, and attacked the enemy with
lances : two of the favages were killed, and
the others driven to flight. Korovin and his
party were fo feverely wounded, that they
had fcarcely ftrength fuffieient to return to
their tent.
During the night the ftorm increafed to
fuch a degree* that the veffel was entirely
dafhed to pieces. The greateft part of the
wreck, which was eaft on fhore by the fea,
was carried away by the iflanders. They alfo
- broke 112 ACCOUNT OF   THE
broke to pieces the barrels of fat; emj:
the facks of provifion ; and defiroyed moft
of the furs : having thus fatisfied their re-
fentment, they went away ; and did not
again make their appearance until the 30th
of April. Upon their retiring, the Ruffians
collected the wretched remains which had
been left untouched by the favages, or which
the waves had call on fhore fince their departure.
April 30, a body of an hundred and fifty
natives advanced from the Eaftern point of
the ifland towards the tent; and, at the
diftance of an hundred yards, fhot at the Ruffians with fire-arms, but luckily without
execution. They alfo fet on fire the high
grafs, and the wind blew the flames towards
the tent ; but the Ruffians by firing forced
the enemy to flight, and gained time to ex-
tinguifh the flames.
This was the laft attack which • was made
upon Korovin ; although ficknefs and mifery
detained him and his companions upon this
fpot until the 21ft of July. They then put
to fea in a baidar eight yards long, which
they had conftructed in order to make to Pro-
taftof 's vefiel, writh whofe fate they were as
yet unacquaintqcL Their number was now
reduced to twelve perfons, among whom
jsra-e.fix Kamtchadals*
After having rowed ten days, they landed
upon the beach of the fame ifland Umnak i
there they obferved the remains of a veffel
which had been burnt, and few fome clothea,
fails, and ropes, torn to pieces. 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 the neck, with which he had been
dragged along. Korovin and his companions recollected them to have been fome of
thofe who had failed in Protaffof 's veffel ;
and could diftinguifh among the reft the
commander Medvedef. They difcovered no
further traces of the remaining crew; and,
as none ever appeared, we have no account
of the circumftances with which this ca-*
taftrophe w7as attended.
After having buried his dead  countrymen,
Korovin and his companions began to build
an hut; but were prevented from finifhing
if-,   by  the   unexpected   arrival of Stephen
I Glottof^ 114 ACCOUNT  OF   THfc
Glottof*, who came to them with a fmall
party by land. Korovin and his companions
accordingly joined Glottof, and rowed the
next day to his veffel.
Soon afterwards Korovin was fent with a
party of twenty men to coaft the ifland of
Umnak, in order to difcover if any part of
Medvedef s crew* had made their efcapefrorrl
the general maffacre : 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 having
fhot at them with fire-arms, though without effect, inftantly retired. The fame even*
ing Korovin entered a bay of the ifland Um-
nak, with an intention of paffing the night
on fhore : but, as he came near the coaft, a
large number of favages in an hundred baidars furrounded and faluted him with a volley of darts. Korovin fired, and having foon
difperfed them made to a large baidar, which
he few at fome diftance, in hopes of finding
fome Ruffians.    He was however miftaken ;
* See the fbU
g chapter.
the iflanders who were aboard landed at his
approach; and, after fhooting at him from
their fire-arms, retired to the mountains.
Korovin found there an empty baidar,
which he knew to be the fame in which
Barnafhef had failed, when he was fent upon a hunting party. Within were nothing
but two hatchets and fome iron points for
darts. Three women were feized at the fame
time ; and two natives, who refufed to fur-
render themfelves, were put to death. They
then made to the dwelling, from which all
the inhabitants had run away ; and found
therein pieces of Ruffian 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 whom they had taken prifoners,
was, that the crew had been killed, and this
booty taken away by the inhabitants, who
had retired to the ifland Unalafhka. Korovin gave thefe women their liberty ; and,
being apprehenfive of frefh attacks, returned
to the haven.
Towards winter Korovin, with a party of
ditionto the Weftern point of Unalafhka : he
I 2 was I
was accompanied by an Aleutian interpreter,
called Ivan Glottof. Being informed by fome
Iflanders, that a Ruffian fhip, under the
command of Ivan Soloviof *,• was then lying
before Unalafhka, he immediately rowed towards the haven where fhe was at anchor.
On the way he had a fharp encounter with
the natives, who endeavoured to prevent him
from landing : of thefe, ten were killed upon
the fpot; and the remainder fled away, lefflM
ing behind them fome women and children.
Korovin ftaid three days aboard Soloviof's
veffel; and then returned to the place where
he had been fo lately attacked. The inhabitants however, for this time, made no
oppofition to his landing ; on the contend]
they received him with kindnefe. and permitted him to hunt : they even delivered
hoftages ; and entered into a friendly trafffeyj
exchanging furs for beads. They were alfo
prevailed upon to reftore feveral mufkets and
other things, taken from the Ruffians who
had been maffacred.
A  fhort time before his departure, the inhabitants   again  fhewed their hoftile in ten-
Chap. XI.
tions; for three of them came up to the Ruffian centinel, and fuddenly fell upon him
with their knives. The centinel however
difengaging himfelf, and retreating into the
hut, they ran away. The Toigons of the
village protefled ignorance of this treachery ;
and the offenders were foon afterwards dif-
covered and punifhed. Korovin, as he was
returning to Glottof, was forced to engage
with the iflanders upon Unalafhka, and alfo
upon Umnak, where they endeavoured to
prevent him from landing. Before the end
of the year a ftorm drove the baidar upon
the beach of the latter ifland ; and the tem-
peftuous weather fetting in, they were detained thereuntil the 6th of April, 1765, During
this time they were reduced, from a fcarcity
of provifion, to live chiefly upon fea-wrack
and fmall fhell-fifh. On the 2 2d they returned to Glottof; and, as they had been
unfuccefsful in hunting, their cargo of furs
was very inconfiderable. Three days after
his arrival, Korovin quitted Glottof, and
went over with five other Ruffians to Soloviof, with whom he returned the following
year to Kamtchatka. The fix Kamtchadals
of Korovin's party joined Glottof.
13 Ac- 118 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
According to Koroviffs account, the
iflands Umnak and Unalafhka are fituated not
much more Northwards than the mouth of
the Kamtchatka river i and, according to the
fhip's reckoning, about the diftance of 1700
verfts Eaftwards from the fame place. The
circumference of Umnak is about two hundred and fifty verfts : Unalafhka is much
larger. Both thefe iflands are wholly defti-
tutc of trees ; drift-wood is brought afhore
in large quantities. There were five lakes
upon the Northern coaft of Unalafhka, and
but one upon Umnak, of which none were
more than ten verfts in circumference. Thefe
Jakes give rife to feveral fmall rivulets, which
flow only a few verfts before they empty
themfelves into the fea : the fifh enter the
rivulets in the middle of April; they afcend
the lakes in July, and continue there until
Auguft. Sea-otters and pther fea-animals
fefort but feldom to thefe iflands ; but there
is great abundance of red and black foxes.
North Eaftwards from Unalafhka two iflands
appeared in fight, at the diftance of five or
ten verfts; byt Korovin did no? touch at
The inhabitants of thefe iflands row in
their fmall baidars from one ifland to the
other. They are fo numerous, and their
manner of life fo unfettled, that their number cannot exactly be determined. Their
dwelling caves are made in the following
manner. They firft dig a hole in the earth, pn>
portioned to the fize of their intended habitation, of twenty, thirty, or forty yards in
length, and from fix to ten broad. They
then fet up poles of larch, firs, and afh, driven
on the coaft by the fea. Acrofs the top of
thefe poles they lay planks, which they cover
with grafs and earth. They enter through
holes in the top by means of ladders.
Fifty, a hundred, and even a hundred and
fifty perfons dwell together in fuch a cave.
They light little or no fires within, for
which reafon thefe dwellings are much
cleaner than thofe of the Kamtchadals.
When they w$nt to warm themfelves
in the winter, they make a fire of dry
herbs, of which they have collected a large
ftore in fummer, and fland over it until they are fufficiently warmed. A few of
thefe iflanders wear fur-ftockings in winter ;
14 but J20 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
\mt the greateft part go bare-footed, and all
are 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 upon thick mats, which they twift out
of a foft kind of grafs that grows upon the
fhore ; and have no other covering but their
ufual clothes. Many of the men have five or
fix wives ; and he that is the belt 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 they throw like the
Greenlanders to the diftance of fixty yards by
means of a little hand-board. Both the darts
and arrows are feathered : the former are
about an ell and an half long; the fhaft,
which is well made confidering their want
of inftruments, is often compofed of two
pieces that join into, each other ; the point is
Of flint, fharpened by beating it between two
Hones. Thefe darts as well as the lances
were formerly tipped with bone ; but at prefent the points are commonly made of the
iron which they procure from the Ruffians,
and out of which they ingenioufly form little hatchets and two-edged knives. They
fhape the iron by rubbing it between two
flones, and whetting it frequently with fea-
water. With thefe inftruments and flone
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 former two little bones,
wrought in the form of teeth, which project fome inches from the face. In the nofe
a piece of bone is placed crofsways. The
deceafed are buried with their boat, weapons,
and clothes *.
* The author repeats here feveral circumflances which
have been mentioned before, and many of them will occur
again : but my office as a tranflator would not fuffer mt
|o omit them.
CHAP. 124
C  H A  P.   X.
Voyage of Stephen Glottof in the Andrean
and Natalia, 1762—He reaches the Fox-
Iflands—Sails beyond Unalafhka to Ka-
dyak—Winters upon that Ifland—Repeated attempts of the4 Natives to defiroy the
Crew—"They are repulfed, reconciled, and
prevailed upon to trade with the Ruffians—
Account cf Kadyak—Its inhabitants—animals—productions—Glottof fails back to
Umnak—Winters there—Returns to Kamtchatka—journal of his voyage.
TH E following voyage, which extended
further, and terminated more fortunately than the laft mentioned expeditions, is oqe of the moft memorable yet
Terenty Tfebaeffskoi and company, merchants of Lalfk, fitted out the Andrean and
Natalia under the command of Stephen Glottof, an experienced and fkilful feaman of
Yarenfk. This veffel failed from the bay of
the river Kamtchatka  the   ill  of October,
17^% fcussiAtf Discoveries.     123.
J762, manned with thirty-eight Ruffians and
eight Kamtchadals. In eight days they reached Mednoi Oftrof, or Copper Ifland, where
having fought out a convenient harbour, they
unloaded and laid up the veffel for the winter. Their firft care was to fupply themfelves with provifions ; and they killed afterwards a quantity of ice-foxes, and a confi*
derable number of fea-otters.
For the benefit of the crown and their own
ufe in cafe of need, they refolved to take on
board all the remaining tackle and iron work
of Beering's fhip, which had been left behind on Commander's Ifland, and was- buried in the beach. For this purpofe they
difpatched, on the 27th of May, Jacob Ma-
levinfkoy (who died foon after) with thirteen
men in a baidar to that ifland, which was
feventy verfts diftant. They brought back
with them 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 Weftern point on its South fide. Of
this native copper Malevinfkoy brought with
him two large pieces, weighing together twelve
pounds, 124 Account of Tikfc
pounds, which were picked up between a
rock and the fea on a ftrand of about twelve
yards in breadth. Amongft other floating
bodies which the fea drives upon the fhores
of this ifland, the true right camphor wood,
and another' fort of wood very white, foft,
and fweet-fcented, are occafionally found.
Every preparation for continuing the voy-.
age being made, they failed from Copper
Ifland the 26th of July, 1763, and fleered
for the iflands Umnak and Agunalafhka,
where Glottof had formerly obferved great
numbers of black foxes. On account of florms
and contrary winds, they were thirty days
before they fetched Umnak. Here they arrived the 24th of Auguft, and without dropping anchor or lofing any time, they refol-
ved to fail further for the difcovery of new
iflands : they paffed eight contiguous to each
other and feparated by ftraits, which, according to their eftimation, were from twenty
to an hundred verfts broad. Glottof however did not land till he reached the laft and
moft Eaftward of thefe iflands, called by the-
inhabitants Kadyak ; from which the natives
faid it was not far to the coaft of a wide-extended
tended woody continent. No land however
was to be feen from a little ifland called by
the natives Aktunak, which is fituated about
thirty verfts more to the Eaft than Kadyak.
September Sth, the veffel ran up a creek,
lying South Eaft of Aktunak, through
which a rivulet empties itfelf into the fea;
this rivulet comes from a lake fix verfts long,.
one broad, and about fifty fathoms deep.
During the ebb of the tide 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 : however, foon after Glottof's arrival, all thefe
inhabitants 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 of thefe
iflanders, they foon afterwards returned with
a boy whom they had formerly taken pri-
foner from Ifanak, one of the iflands which
lie to the Weft of Kadyak. Him the Aleutian interpreter perfectly underftood : and by
his Pi
126 ACCOUNT   OF   t HE
his means every neceffary explanation could
be obtained from the iflanders.
• In this manner they converfed with the
favages, and endeavoured to perfuade them
to become tributary ; they ufed alfo every
argument in their power to prevail upon them
to give up the boy for an interpreter ; but all
their entreaties were for the prefent without
effect. The favages rowed back to the cliff
called Aktalin, which lies about three verfts
to the South of Kadyak, where they feemed
to have habitations.
On the 6th of September Kapliff was fent
with thirteen men to the cliff, to treat peaceably with the iflanders. He found there
ten huts, from which about an hundred of
the natives came out. They behaved feem-
inglyin a friendly manner,5 and anfwered the
interpreter by the boy, that they had nobody
proper for an hoftage ; that they would deliver the boy to the Ruffians agreeably to
their defire. Kaplin received him very thankfully, and brought him on board, where ho
was properly taken care of: he afterwards
accompanied GJottof to Kamtchatka, and
was baptized by the name of Alexander Po*
pof, being then about thirteen years of age.
For fome days after this conference the
iflanders came off in companies of five, ten,
twenty, and thirty : they were admitted on
board in fmall numbers, and kindly received,
but with a proper degree of circumfpec-
On the 8 th of September the veffel was
brought further up the creek without unload-
ingher cargo; and on the 9th Glottof with ten
men proceeded to a village on the fhore
about two hundred yards from the veffel,
where the natives had begun to refide : it con-
fifted of three fummer-huts covered only
with long grafs ; they were from eight to
ten yards broad, twelve long, and about four
high. They few there about an hundred men,
but neither women nor children.
Finding it impoffible to perfuade the favages to give hoftages, Glottof refolved to
let his people remain together, and to keep
a firong guard.
Although the iflanders vifited them ftill ra
fmall bodies, yet it was more and more vifi-
ble that their intentions were hoftile. At
laft on the ift of October, by day-break, a
great number, having affembled together in
the remote parts of the ifland, came unex-
3 pectedly I2& ACCOUNT   OF  THE
pectedly acrofs the country. They approach*
ed very near without being difcovered by
the watch ; and feeing nobody on deck but
thofe on duty, fhot fuddenly into the veffel
with arrows. Thewratch 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 immediately retreated
with great expedition. As foon as it was day,
there was no enemy to be feen : but they difcovered a number of ladders, feveral bundles
of hay in which the favages had put fulphur,
likewife a quantity of birchrtree bark, which
had been left behind in their precipitate
They now found it very neceffary to be on
their guard againft the attempts of thefe perfidious incendiaries. Their fufpicions were
ftill further increafed by the fubfequent conduct of the natives : for though the latter
came to the veffel in fmall bodies, yet it was
obferved that they examined every thing,
and more particularly the watch, with the
flricteft attention ; and they always returned
without paying any regard to the friendly
proportions of the Ruffians.
On the 4th of October about two hundred
iflanders 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 to defift ; but obferving that
they ftill continued advancing, he refolved to
venture a fally. This intrepidity difconcer-
ted the iflanders, and they immediately retreated without making the leaft re fi fiance.
The 26th of October they ventured a third
attack, and advanced towards the veffel for
that purpofe by day-break: the watch however gave the alarm in due time, and the
whole crew were immediately under arms.
The approach of day-light difcovered to their
view different parties of the enemy advancing under the protection of wooden
fcreens. Of thefe moving breaft-works they
counted feven ; and behind each from thirty
to forty men armed with bone lances. Be-
fide thefe a croud of armed, men advanced
feparately to the attack, fome of them bearing whale jaw-bones, and others wooden
fhields. Diffuafion proving ineffectual, and
the arrows beginning to fall even aboard the
K fhip, 130 ACCOUNT  OF   THE
fhip, Glottof gave orders to fire. The fhot
from the fmall arms however not being of
force enough to pierce the fcreens, the iflanders
advanced under their protection with fteadi-
nefs and intrepidity. Glottof neverthelefs
determined to rifk a fally of his whole crew
armed with mufkets and lances. The iflanders inftantly threw down their fcreens ; and
fled with precipitation until they gained their
boats, into which they threw themfelves and
rowed off. They had about feventeen large
baidars and a number of fmall canoes. The
fkreens which they left behind were made of
three rows of flakes placed perpendicularly,
and bound together with fea-weed and offers ;
they were twelve feet broad, and above half
a yard thick.
The iflanders now appearing to be fuffici-
ently intimidated, the Ruffians began to build
a winter hut of floated wood ; and waited
the appearance of fpring without further annoyance. Although they few none of the
inhabitants before the 25th of December, yet
Glottof kept his people together; fending
out occafionally fmall hunting and fifhing
parties to the lake, which layabout five verfts
from the creek. During the whole winter
they caught in the lake feveral different
fpeices of trout and falmon, foles, and her-
fi^gs of a fpan and a half long, and even
turbot and cod-fifh, which came up with
the flood into the lake.
At laft, on the 25th of December, two
iflanders came to the fhip ; and converfed at
a diftance by means of interpreters. Although propofals of peace and trade were
held out to them in the moft friendly manner, yet they went off without feeming ro
put much confidence in thefe offers ; npr did
any of them appear again before the 4th of
April, 1764. Want of fufficient exercife in
the mean time brought on a violent fcurvy
among the crew, by which diforder nine perfons were carried off.
On the 4th of April four of the natives
made their appearance, and feemed to pay
more attention to the propofals : one of them
at laft advanced, and offered to barter two
fox-fkins for beads. They did not fet the
leaft value upon other goods of various kinds,
fuch as fhirts, linen, and nankeen ; but demanded glafs beads of different colours, for
which they exchanged their fkins with plea-
JK 2 furs, I32 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
fure. This friendly traffic, together with
Glottof's entreaties, operated fo powerfully,
that, after holding a confutation with their
countrymen, they returned with a folemn
declaration, that their brethren would in
future commit no hoftilities againft the Ruffians. From that time until their departure
a daily intercourfe was carried on with the
iflanders, who brought all forts of fox and
fea-otter fkins ; and received in exchange a
flipulated number of beads. Some of them
were even perfuaded to pay a tribute of fkins,
for which receipts were given.
Amongft other wares the Ruffians procured two fmall carpets, worked or platted in
a curious manner, and on one fide fet clofe
with beaver-wool like velvet: they could
not however learn whether thefe carpets
were wrought by the iflanders. The latter
brought alfo for fale well-dreffed fea-otter
fkins, the hair of which was fhorn quite
fhort with fharp ftones, in fuch a manner,
that the remainder, which was of a yellowifh
brown colour, gliftened and appeared like
velvet. Their caps had furprifing and fome-
times not ungraceful decorations, fome being
adorned  on the forepart with  manes  like a
helmet ; others, feemingly pecular to the
females, were made of inteftines flitched together with rein-deer hair and finews in
a moft elegant tafte, and ornamented on the
crown with long ftreamers of hair died of
a beautiful red. Of all thefe curiofities Glottof carried famples to Kamtchatka *.
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 upon the other iflands,
viz. ermines, martens, beavers, river-otters,
wolves, wild boars, and bears : the laft-men-
tioned animal was not indeed actually feen
by the Ruffians, but the prints of its feet
were traced. Some of the inhabitants had
clothes made of the fkins of rein-deer and je-
vras ; the latter of which is a fort of fmall
marmofet.    Both  thefe fkins were probably
* Thefe and feveral other ornaments of a fimilar kind
are preferved in a cabinet of curiofities at the Academy
of Sciences of St. Peterfburg : a cabinet which well merits
the attention of the curious traveller ; for it contains a
large collection of the dreffes of the Eaftern nations.
Amongft the left, one compartment is entirely filled with
the dreffes, arms, and implements, brought from the New*
difcovered iflands.
K 3 pro- 134 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
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 %q uncommon fpecies was difcovered. The vegetable productions are bilberries, cranberries,
wortleberries, and wild lily-roots. Kadyak
like wife yields willows and alders, which
circumftance affords the ftrongeft proof that
it lies at no great diftance from the continent
of America. The extent of Kadyak cannot be exactly afcertained ; as the Ruffians,
through apprehenfion of the natives, did not
venture to explore the country.
The inhabitants, like thofe of the Aleutian
and nearer iflands, make holes in the under-
lips and through 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 of the fkins of birds, foxeSj,
fea-otters, young rein-deer, and marmofets ;
* Although this conjecture is probable, yet, when the
reader recollects that the ifland Alakfu is, faid to contain
rein-deer, he will perceive that the inhabitants of Kadyak
might have been fupplied with the lkins of that animaHrotn,
thence.    See p. 76.
they RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES.        I35
they few them together wnth finews. They
wear alfo fur-ftockings of rein-deer 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 reindeer bones. Their wooden fhields are called
kuyaky, which amongft the Greenlanders
fignifies a fmall canoe. Their manners are
altogether rude. They have not the leaft dif-
pofition to give a courteous reception to ft rangers : nor does there appear amongft themfelves any kind of deference or fubmiflion
from one to another.
Their canoes are fome of them fo fmall as
to contain only one or two perfons ; others
are large baidars fimilar to the women's boats
of the Greenlanders. Their food confifts
chiefly of raw and dried fifh, partly caught
at fea with bone hooks, and partly in rivulets,
in bag-nets made of finews platted together.
They call themfelves Kanagift, a name that
has no fmall refemblance to Karalit ; by
which appellation, the Greenlanders and Ef-
quimaux on the coaft of Labradore diftin-
guifh themfelves : the difference between
thefe two denominations is occafioned per-
K 4 haps
t> 136 ACCOUNT  OF   THE
haps by a change of pronunciation, or by a
miftake of the Ruffian failors, who may have
given it this variation. Their numbers feem
very confiderable on that part of the ifland
where they had their fixed habitations.
The ifland Kadyak * makes, with Aghu-
nalafhka, Umnak, and the fmall iflands lying between them, a continued Archipelago,
extending N. E. and E. N. E. towards America : it lies by the fhips's reckoning in 230
degrees of longitude ; fo that it cannpt be far
diftant from that part of the American coaft
which Beering  formerly touched at.
The large ifland Alakfu, lying Northward from Kadyak where Pufhkaref *f* wintered, muft be flill 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 at all
Although the conduct of the iflanders appeared more friendly ; yet on account of their
numbers Glottof, refolving not to pafs another
winter upon Kadyak,  prepared for his de-
* Kadyak is not laid down upon any-chart of the New-
difcovered iflands : for we have no chart of Glottof's voyage ;  and no other Ruffian navigator touched at that ifland.
f See Chap. VI.
parture.    He wanted hoops for repairing his
water-cafks ; and being  told by the natives
that there were trees on the ifland at no great
diftance from the bay, he difpatched, on the
25 th of April, Lukas Ftorufkin with eleven
men, for the purpofe of felling wood. Ftorufkin
returned the fame day with the following intelligence : that after rowing along the South coaft
of the ifland forty or fifty verfts from the haven,
he obferved, about half a verft from the fhore,
a confiderable  number of alders, fimilar to
thofe found in Kamtchatka, growing in vallies
between the rocks.    The largeft trunks were
from four to  feven inches in diameter.    Of
this wood he felled as much as he had oc-
cafion for ; and returned without having met
with either iflander or habitation.
They brought the veffel down the creek
in May; and, after taking in all the peltry
and ftores, left Kadyak on the 24th. Contrary winds retarded their voyage, and drove
them near the ifland Alakfu, which they paffed ; their water being nearly exhaufted, they
afterwards landed upon another ifland, called
Saktunak, in order to procure a frefh flock. At
lafton the^dof July, they arrived again at Um-
uak, and anchored in  a bay which Glottof
had formerly vifited. He immediately went
afhore in a baidar, and foon found out his
former hut, which Was in ruins : near it he
obferved another Ruffian dwelling, that had
been built in his abfence ; in which lay a
murdered Ruffian, but whofe face none of
them knew. Refolving to procure further
information, he went acrofs the ifland the
5th of July, accompanied by fixteen of his
crew, and difcovered the remains of a burnt
veffel, fome prayer-books, images, &c. ; all
the iron work and cordage were carried off.
Near the fpot he found like wife a bathing
room filled with murdered Ruffians in their
clothes. From fome marks, he concluded
that this was the veffel fitted out by Pro-
taffof ; nor was he miftaken in his conjectures.
Alarmed at the fate of his countryrrlet** I
Glottof returned to the fhip, and held acon^
fultation upon the meafures neceflary to be
taken ; and if was unanimoufly refolved that
they fhould endeavour to procure more in-*
telligence concerning the veffel. In the mean
time feven iflanders advanced in baidars, and
pretended that they wanted to trade. They
fhewed 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, however,
having fufficient caufe to diftruft the favages,
refufed to comply with their demands: upon
this they immediately landed, and fhot from
the fhore with fire-arms, but without doing
any execution.    They were even bold enough
to get into their canoes a fecond time, and to
row near the veffel.    In order if poflible to
procure intelligence  from  them, every me^
thod of perfuading  them to peace was tried
by means of the interpreters ; and at laft one
of them approached the fhip,   and demanded
victuals ; which being  thrown  to him, he
came on board.    He then  related the fate of
the above-mentioned veffel, of which the iflanders had made themfelves mafters; and gave
likewife   fome  intelligence   concerning   the
remaining fmall body of fugitives under the
command   of Korovin.     He  alfo confeffed,
that  their  defign was to entice Glottof on
fhore, and then to kill him ; for which pur-
pofe more than thirty iflanders were polled
in ambufh behind the  neareft rocks.    After
cutting off the leader, they imagined it would
be an eafy nqatter to feize upon  the fhip.
Upon I
Upon this information Glottof detained the
iflander on board, and landing with a ftrong
party attacked the favages : the latter fhot
with arrows, as well as from the mufkets
which they had feized, but without effect,
and were foon forced to retire to their canoes.
July the 14th a violent ftorm arofe, in
which Glottof's veffel parted her cable ; and
was forced on fhore without any other lofs
than that of an anchor. The crew likewife,
through want of frefh provifions, began to grow
fo fickty, that they were almofl in a defence-
lefs ftate. Glottof however, with ten men,
fet out the 28th of July for that part of
the ifland, where according to information
they expected to find Korovin. 1 hey discovered only parts of the wreck, but none
of the crew, fo that they now gave them
up for loft. But on the 2d of Auguft, as
Glottof was on his way back, five iflanders
approached him in canoes, and afked why
the baidar had been out ; to which a falfe an-
fwer being given, they told him, that on
the other fide of the ifland he would find Korovin with his people, who were building a
hut on the  fide  of the  rivulet.     Upon  re-
ceiving this intelligence, Glottof and his companions went over land to the place pointed
out by the iflanders, and found every thing
agreeable to their information : in this Ko-
vorin had not the leaft fhare, not having been
made privy to the tranfaction. The circum-
flances of his joining, and afterwards fepa-
rating from Glottof, have already been mentioned *.
Glottof now refolved to winter upon Umnak, and accordingly laid up his veffel for
that purpofe. On the 2d of September Korovin, as is before related, 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
Soloviof's veffel, which lay before Unalafhka,
and of which an account fhall be given f.
None of the iflanders appeared near the harbour during the winter, and there were none
probably at that time upon Umnak ; for
Glottof made excurfions on all fides, and went
once round the ifland. He likewife looked
into the habitations of the iflanders, and found
them empty : he examined the country, and
* See the preceding chapter
f Chap. XI.
caufed nm
caufed a ftrict fearch to be made after the remains of the plundered veffel.
According to his account, Umnak is about
300 verfts in circumference. It contains feveral fmall rivulets, which take their rife
from lakes, and fall into the fea after a very
fhort courfe* No trees were obferved upon
the ifland, and the vegetables were the fame
as thofe of Kamtchatka.
The following fummer fmall parties of the-
inhabitants were feen ; but they immediately
fled upon the approach of the Ruffians.
Some of them, however, were at laft per-
fuaded to a friendly intercourfe, and to pay a
tribute : by thefe means they got back part
of the arms, anchors, and iron work, of the
plundered veffel. They continued to barter
with the natives during the fummer of 1765,
exchanging beads for the fkins of foxes and
The following winter hunting parties were
fent out in Umnak as well as to Unalafhka;
and in July 1766 Glottof, without meeting
with any more difficulties, began his voyage homewards. We fhall here conclude
with a copy of the journal kept on board
Glottof's veffel, the Andrean and Natalia;
from which inferences with regard  to the
fituation of the iflands may be drawn.
Journal of Glottof, on board of the Andrean and Natalia.
Oct. 1. Sailed from Kamtehtka Bay.
2. Wind Southerly, fleered  between
E. and S. E. three hours.
3. Wind S. E. worked at N. E. courfe,
16 hours.
4. From midnight failed Eaft with a
fair wind, 18 hours.
5. At fix o clock A. M. difcovered
Beering's Ifland  diftant about   18
6. At 1 o'clock came to anchor on the
South Eaft point of Copper Ifland.
7. At 8 A. M. failed to the South fide
of the Ifland, anchored there at 10
July  26. Sailed  from  Copper  Ifland at  5 '
P. M.
27. Sailed with a fair S. S. W. wind,
17 hours.
28. Made little way.
July 3*
July     29. Drove-^-wind E. N. E.
30. Ditto.
31. Ditto.
Aug.       1. Ditto.
2. At n A. M. wind N.E. fleered E.
Wind W. S. W. failed 8 knots an
hour, 250 verfts.
Wind South—failed   150 verfts.
Wind dittor—failed 126 verfts.
6. Wind ditto, 3 knots, 45 verfts.
7. Calm.
8. During the night gentle S. E.
wind, fleered N. E. at 2| knots.
9. Forenoon calm. At 2 o'clockP. M.
gentle N. E, wind, fleered between E.N. E, and S.E. at the
rate of three knots.
10. Morning, wind E. N. E. afterwards S.S. W. with which fleered
11. At   5 o'clock the wind S. S. E.
fleered  E. N. E. at  the rate of-
three knots.
12. Wind S. fleered E. z| knots, failed
50 verfts.
13. Wind S. S. E. fleered E. at 4i
knots, failed 90 verfts.
14. Aug.
14. Wind W. N. W. at 2 Knots, failed
30 verfts.
15. The wind frefhened, at 4 knots,
failed 60 verfts.
16. Wind N.N. E.  fleered E. S;E.
at 3 knots, failed 30 verfts.
17. Wind E.S. E. and S. E. light
breezes and changeable.
18. Wind S. E. fleered N. E. at 3!
knots, failed in 12 hours 22 verfts*
19. Wind S. and light breezes, fleered
E. at 3 knots, failed in 8 hours
11 verfts.
20. Before   day-break   calm %   three
hours after fun- rife a breeze fprung
up at S. E. fleered E. N. E. at 3
knots, and failed 20 verfts.
Wind S. S. E. during the night,
the fhip failed at the rate of two
knots ; the wind afterwards came
round to the S. S. W. and the
fhip failed at 5 to 6 knots thefe
24 hours 150 verfts.
24. Saw land at day-break, at 3 knots,
failed 45 verfts.
22 146
25. Wind W. S. W. failed along the
coaft thefe 24 hours 50 verfts.
26. Wind N. W. fleered N. E.   at 5|
knots,  100 verfts.
27. Wind E. N.E. the fhip drove towards land, on which difcovered
a high mountain.
28. Wind N. E. andftormy, the fhip
29. Wind N. W. fleered E. N. E. at
the rate of 3 knots.
50. Wind S. S. E.  at 6 knots, fleering again towards land.
31. A violent ftorm, wind weft.
1. Wind Weft, fleered N. E. at the
rate of 3 knots towards land.
2. Wind S.W. fleered N.E. towards land at 5 knots.
3. Wind S. W. drove N. N. E. along
the coaft.
4. Wind W. N. W. fleered N. E. at
4 knots, failed 100 verfts.
5. Wind N. W. fleered E. NT. E. at
3 knots, and towards evening
came   to anchor  off the Ifland
Sailed from Kadyak*
Wind N. W. and made but little
way W. S. W.
26. Wind W. fhip drove towards S. E^
27. Wind W.S.W. fhip drove E.S.e!
The fame day the wind came
round to the S. when fleered a-
gain towards Kadyak.
Wind E. S. E.  fell in with the
ifland Alafka or Alakfu.
Wind S. W. fleered N. W.
Wind  W. N. W. the fhip drove
under the forefaiL
Wind W. drove  to  the Southward.
Wind W. S. W. landed on the
Ifland Saktunak, for a fupply of
Wind S* E. fleered S. W. along
the ifland at 3 knots.
Wind N. E. fleered W. S. W. at
the rate of 3 to 4 knots, failing in
thefe 24 hours 100 verfts*
At Eight o'clock A. M. a fmall
breeze S. E.
L 2 June
5* mmm
r4» ACCOUNT   OF   T&E
June 6, Wind E. afterwards calm. Towards evening the Wind S. E~
fleered S« W. at 3 knots, and unexpectedly discovered land ahead,
which kept clear of with difficulty*
From the 7th to the 10th at anchor
off a fmall cliffy.
10. A hard gale at S. the fhip drove
;   foul of the anchor, flood out to
fea fleering E.
11. Anchored again at a fmall distance  from land.
13. Wind S.S. W. flood out to fea
and fleered E. S.E.
14. Wind W. S. W. fleered S. S. E.
at the rate of 1 knot.
15. Calm.
16. WindS. fleered W. at 1 knot,
the fhip drove a little to the Northward.
17. WindS. S.E. fleered W.S.W.afe
3 knots.
18. Calm.
19. Ditto.
20. Wind N. E. fleered S. W. and
failed this day about 87 verfts.
The wind blowing right ahead,
came to anchor off an unknown
ifland, where continued till the
When flood out to fea early in
the morning.
Wind W. N. W. afterwards W.
fleered S. E.
Calm, in the night a fmall but favourable breeze.
28. Wind N. W. continued the courfe,
at the rate of 2 to 3 knots *.
29. Wind N. E, fleered W. at 3 to 4
knots, and few land.
30. Wind N.E. fleered  S.W.atthe
rate of 7 knots.
1. With the fame wind and courfe,
at the rate of 5 knots, failed 200
2, Fell in with the ifland Umnak, and
came to an anchor under a fmalj
ifland until next day; when
brought the fhip into the harbour,
and laid her up.
13. Brought the fhip into the harbour,
:f man bey nordweft wind auf den ours zu 2 bis 3
L 3 and m
and continued at anchor there un*
til the 3d of July.
Got under way.
Wind E.
A South Weft wind drove the fhip
about ^o verfts N. E-
6. Wind S. failed about 60 verfts W.
7. Wind W. S. W. the fhip drove to
the Northward.
8. Wind N. W.   fleered S.  at  the
rate of one knot.
9. Wind N. W. fleered  the whole
day W. S. W.
Wind  S. S. W.   failed about 40
verfts W.N.W.
Wind S. W. continued the fame
courfe, failing only 5 verfts.
Continued the fame courfe, and
failed 55 verfts.
For the moft part calm.
Wirid  W. N. W.   and  ftormy,
the fhip drove under the forefail.
Wind  S. failed on   the proper
courfe 100 verfts.
Wind E. S. E. failed W. S. W. at
the rate of 6 knots, joo verfts.
July     17. WindN. N.W. failed S. W. at
the rate of 2 knots, 30 verfts.
iS. Wind S. fleered W. at the rate of
5 knots, and failed 130 verfts.
-19. Wind S. W. the fhip drove under
the forefail.
20. Wind E. N. E. fleered W. N. W.
at the rate of 3 knots.
21. Wind E. N. E. at the rate of 4
to 5 knots, failed 200 verfts.
22. Wind N.E. at 4I knots, 150 verfts.
23. Wind E. N. E. fleered W. at 3
knots,   100 verfts.
24. Wind E. fleered W. at the rate of
3 knots,  50 verfts.
25. Wind N. E. fleered W. at 5 knots
100 verfts.
26. The wind continued N. E. and
frefhened, fleered W. at the rate
of 7 knots, 200 verfts.
27. A fmall breeze N. N. W. with
which however failed 150 verfts.
28. Wind being W. S. W. drove 24
hours under bare-poles.
29. Wind South, fleered W. at the
rate of 2 knots, 48 verfts—this
day faw land.
L 4 July 1
July  30. Wind S. S.JS. failed, at the rate of
four knots,   96  verfts,   and approached the land, which found to
be the ifland Karaga.
From the ift to the 13th of Auguft, continued  our   voyage   towards   the mouth  of
Kamtchatka river, fometimes plying to windward, fometimes driving, and at laft arrived
happily with a rich cargo.
Voyage of JSoloviof in the St. Peter andPaul,
1764—he reaches Unalafhka, and paffes two
winters upon that ifland—relation of what
paffed there—fruitlefs attempts of the natives
to defiroy the crew—Return of Soloviof to
Kamtchatka—journal of his voyage in rem
turning—defcription of the iflands Umnal$
and Unalafhka—productions—inhabitants—-
their manners—cufioms, &c, &c.
IN the year 1764, Jacob Ulednikof, merchant of Irkutfk, and company, fitted
out a fhip called the Holy Apoftles Peter and
Paul, under the command of Ivan Soloviof:
flbe ikiled from the mouth of Kamtchatka
river the 25th of Auguft. The crew coa*
fiited of fifty-five men, amongft wfeom were
fome of the owners, and thirteen Kamt-
They fleered at firft S. E. with the wind at
N. W. but on its comiag foutherly they afterwards fhaped their courfe E. N. E, The 27th
one of the Ruffian failors died off Kamtchatka
point ; the 31 ft they made Beering's Ifland,
which they paffed on their left. The 1 ft and
2d of September they were becalmed, and
afterwards the wind fpringing up at W. S. W.
they continued their former courfe : until the
5th they failed on with the wind at South ;
but on the 5th and 6th, from changeable
breezes and dead calms, made no progrefs ;
from the 7th to the 13th, they failed E. S. £-.
with' Southerly 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 ill
Nikiphorof s veffel. As they failed along
the Northern coaft, three iflanders came to
them in  baidars ; but, the  crew having no
in- *54 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
interpreter, would not truft them&lves on
board. As they found no good bay on that
fhore, they proceeded through a ftrait of about
a verft broad, which feparates Umiiak from
Unalafhka. They lay-to during the night;
and early on the 17th dropped anchor at the
diftance of about two hundred yards from
the fhore, in a bay on the North fide of the
laft mentioned ifland.
From thence the captain difpatched Gre-<
gory Korenof at the head of 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 an account that he had difcovered one of the dwelling-caves of the favages, but 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 brought the fhip near the
coaft," and endeavoured to get into the mouth
of a river called by the natives Tfikanok, and
by the Ruffians Ofernia, but were prevented by fhallow water. They landed how*-
ever   their  tackle and  lading.    No  natives
made their appearance until the 22d, when
two of them came of their own accord, and
welcomed the Ruffians on their arrival. They
told their names, and were recognized by
Soloviof : he had known them on a former
expedition, when Agiak, one of the two, had
feryed as an interpreter ; the other, whofe
name was Kafhmak, had voluntarily continued fome time with the crew on the fame
Thefe two perfons recounted the particular circumftances which attended the lofs
of Kulkof's, Protaffof's, and Trapefnikof's
veffels; from the laft of which Kafhmak had,
with great hazard of his life, efcaped by flight.
Agiak had ferved as interpreter to Protaffof 's
company ; and related that the iflanders, after murdering the hunting detachments of
the Ruffians, came to the harbour, and entered the fhip under the moft friendly appearances. Finding the crew in perfect fecurity,
they fuddenly attacked and flew them, together with their commander. He added, that
he had hid himfelf under a bench until the
murderers were gone : that fince that time,
\\e, as well as Kafhmak, had lived as fugitives ; I
fives; and in the courfe of their wanderings
had learned the following intelligence fromthd
girls who were gathering berries in the fields.
The Toigons of Umnak, Akutan, and Tofh-
ko, with their relations of Unalafhka, had
formed a confederacy. They agreed not to
ffifturb any Ruffians on their firft landing,
but to let them go out on different hunting
cxcurfions : being thus feparated and weakened, the intention of the Toigons was to
attack and cut them off at the fame time, fo
that no one party fliould have afilftantfTTrom
zny of the others. They acquainted him alfo
with Glottof s arrival at Umnak.
Thefe unfavourable reports filled Soloviof
with anxiety : he accordingly doubled his
watch ; and ufed every precaution in his
power againft attacks from the favages. But
wantitfg wood to repair his veffel, and wifh-
ing for more particular information concerning the fituation of the ifland, he difpatched,
the 29th, a party of thirty men, with the
above-mentioned interpreter, to its weftern
extremity. In three or four hours they rowed
to Ankcnom, a point of land, where they
Taw a village, confiftins; of two la roe  caves,
'and over agamic
a  little ifland at no great
diftance. The moment the inhabitants few
them approaching, they got into their baidars*
and put out to fea, leaving their dwellings
empty. The Ruffians found therein feveral
fkeletons, which, in the interpreter's opinion,
were the remains of ten murdered failors of
Trapefnikofs company. With much per-
fuafion the interpreter prevailed on the iflanders
to return to the place which they had juil
quitted : they kept however at a wary diftance, and were armed for whatever might
Soloviof attempting to cut off their retreat?
in order to fecure fome hoftages, they took
the alarm, and began themfelves the attack.
Upon this the Ruffians fired upon and purfued
them ; four were killed, and feven taken prisoners, among whom was the Toigon of the
little ifland Sedak. Thefe prifoners, being
bound and examined, confefled that a number of Korovin's crew had been murdered inr
this place ; and the Toigon fent people to
bring in a number of mufkets, fome kettles
and tackle, which the natives had taken upon
that occafion. They alfo brought intelligence th^tt Korovin, with a pa*ty in two baidars, I58 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
dars, had taken fhelter at a place called Inalga.
Upon this information, letters were immediately fent to Korovin ; upon the receipt of
which he joined them the 2d of October.
At the time of Korovin's arrival, the favages made another attack on Soloviof's watch
with knives ; which obliged the latter to fire,
and fix of the affailants were left dead on the
fpot. The captive Toigon excufed this attempt of his people, by afcribing it to their
fears, left Korovin out of revenge fhould put
all the prifoners to death ; on which account
this effort was made to refcue them. Soloviof,
for the greater fecurity, fent the prifoners
by land to the haven ; while Korovin and his
party went to the fame place by fea. The
Toigon however was treated kindly; and
even permitted to return home on condition
of leaving his fon as an hoftage. In confer
quence of this, kind behaviour, the inhabitants
of three other villages, Agulak, Kutchlok,
and Makufki, prefented hoftages of their own
From the
timber  of the  old
dwelling the Ruffians built a new hut; and
on the fourteenth they laid up the veffel. Ko-
ronof was   then  fent  upon a reconnoitring
party to the Southern fide of the ifland,
which in that part was not more than five or
fix verfts broad: he proceeded on with his
companions, fometimes rowing in canoes,
fometimes travelling by land and dragging
them after. He returned the twentieth, and
reported that he had found upon the coaft on
the further fide of the ifland an empty habitation ; that he rowed from thence Eaft ward
along the fhore, and behind the firft point of
land came to an ifland in the next bay ; where
he found about forty iflanders of both fexes
lodged under their baidars, wrho by his friendly
behaviour had been induced to give three
hoftages. Thefe people afterwards fettled in
the above-mentioned empty hut, and came
frequently to the harbour.
On the 28th of October, Soloviof himfelf
went alfo upon a reconnoitring party along
the North coaft, 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, which lies about four hours row
from the harbour. He found there thirteen
men and about  forty women and children, I
who delivered up feveral gun-barrels and fhip-*
flores, and likcwife informed him of two of
Korovin's crew who had been murdered.
November 5, they proceeded further ; and
after five or fix hours rowing, they faw on a
point of land another dwelling called Ikutch-
lok, beyond which the interpreter fhewed
them the haven, where Korovin's fhip had
been at anchor. This was called Makufhin-
fky Bay ; and on an ifland within it they
found two Toigons, called Itchadak and Ka-
gumaga, with about an hundred and eighty
people of both fexes employed in hunting
fea-bears. Thefe natives not being in the
leaft hoftile, Soloviof endeavoured to eftablifh
and confirm a friendly intercourfe with them.
He remained there until the icth, when the
toigons invited him to their winter quarters,
jjEhich lay about five hours fail further Eaft :
there he found two dwelling caves, each of
forty yards fquare, near a rivulet abounding
with fifh which fell from a lake into a little
bay.    In the neighbourhood of this village is
J iD o
a hot fpring below the fea mark, which is
only to be feen at ebb tide.    From thence he
departed the 25th, but was forced back by
llM ftorm s, RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. l6t
ftorms, and detained there until the 6th of *
Kagumaga then accompanied him to another village called Totchikala ; both the Tok
gon and the interpreter advifed him to be on his
guard againft the natives, whom they repre-
fented as very favage, fworn enemies to the
Ruffians, and the murderers of nine of Kul-
kof's crew. For thefe reafons Soloviof paffed
the night on the open coaft, and next morning fent the Toigon before to infpire the natives with more friendly fentim^nts. Some
of them liftened to his reprefentations; but
the greateft part fled upon Soloviof's approach;
fo that he found the place confifting of four
large dwelling caves almoft empty, in which
he fecured himfelf with fuitable precaution.
Here he found three hundred darts and ten
bows with arrows, all which he deftroyed,
only referving one bow and feventeen arrows
as fpecimens of their arms. By the moft
friendly arguments he urged the few natives
who remained to lay afide their enmity, and
to perfuade their leaders and relations to return to their habitations, and live on terms of
amity and frieiidfhip.
M On . l6z- ACCOUNT   OF   THE   gg^
On the 10th about an hundred men and a
ftiil greater number of women returned. But
the faireft fpeeches had no effect on  thefe favages, who kept aloof and prepared for hoftili-
ties, which they began 011 the  17th by an
open   attack.    Nineteen of them were killed,   amongft whom was Inlogufak one   of
their leaders, and the moft inveterate fomen-
terof hoftilities   againft the Ruffians.    The
other leader Aguladock being taken confeffed,
that, on receiving the firft news of Soloviof's
arrival, they had refolved to attack the crew,
and  burn  the  fhip.    Notwithftanding  this
confeffion, no injury was offered to him : in
confequence of this kind ufage, he was prevailed upon to give his fon as an hoftage, and
to order his people to  live on friendly  terras
with the   Ruffians.    During  the  month   of
January, the natives delivered in three anchors,
and a quantity of tackle,   which  had  been
laved from a veffel formerly wrecked on that
coaft; and   at the fame   time they brought
three   boys and two young girls  as  hoftages
and pledges of their future fidelity.
January, 25, Soloviof fet out for the haven
before his departure the
his fhip lay
Toigons  of Makufhinfk   paid of their ovVn
accord a double tribute.
February t, Kagumaga of Makufhinfk,
Agidalok of Totzikala, and Imaginak of
Ugamitzi, Toigons of Unalafhka, with a
great number of their relations, came to Soloviof, and acquainted him with the arrival
of a Ruffian fhip at Unimak, the fixth ifland
to the Eaft of Agunalafhka ; adding, that they
knew hone of the crew excepting a Kamt-
chadal named Kirilkb, who had been there
on a former occafion. They likewife informed
him, that the natives, after having cut off
part of the creW who had been fent out in
two baidars, had found means to overpower
the remainder, and to defiroy the veffel From
the name bf the Kamtchadal; they concluded
that this muft have been another veffel fitted
out by Nikiphor Trapefnikof and company,
of which no farther intelligence was ever
received. Willing to procure farther intelligence, they endeavoured to perfuade the
Toigons to fend a party of their people to the
abovementioned ifland ; but the latter excufed
themfelves, on account of the great diftance
and their dread of the iflanders.
Fe- m
February 16, Soloviof fet out a fecond
time for the Weft end of the ifland, where
they'had formerly taken prifoner, and after-
. wards fet at liberty, the Toigon of Sedak*
From thence he proceeded to Ikolga, which
lies 011 the bay, and confifts of only one hut*
On the 26th he came to Takamitka, where
there is likewife only one hut on a point of
land by the fide of a rivulet, which falls from
the mountains into* the fea. Here he met
with Korovin, in whofe company he cut the
blubber of a whale, which the waves had
eaft on fhore : after this Korovin went acrofe
the gulph to Umnak ; and he proceeded to
Ikaltfhinfk, where on the 9th one of his party
was carried off by ficknefs.
March 15, he returned to the haven,
having met with no opposition from the iflanders during this excurfion. On his return he
found one of the crew dead, and a dreadful
fcurvy raging amongft the reft ; of which
diftemper five Ruffians 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 upon inquiring privately into the
reafon, fome of.the latter difcovered, that
the inhabitants of Makufhinfk had formed
the defign of cutting off the crew, and making themfelves mafters of the veffel. Sj-
loviof had now great reafon s to be apprehen-
five ; for the crew were afflicted with the
fcurvy to fuch a violent degree, that only
twelve perfons were capable of defending
themfelves. Thefe circumflances did not
efcape the obfervation of the natives ; and
they were accordingly infpired with frefh
courage to renew their hoftilities.
On the 27th of May the Ruffians perceived the Toigon of ltchadak, who had formerly paid a voluntary tribute, near the fhore :
he was accompanied by feveral iflanders in
three baidars. Soloviof calling to him by
the interpreter, he came on fhore, but kept
at a diftance, defiring a conference with fome
of his relations. Soloviof gave orders to feize
him i and they were lucky enough to take
him prifoner, together with two of his companions. He immediately confeffed, that he
had come with a view of inquiring of the
hoftages how many Ruffians were ftill remaining : having procured the neceffary intel-
M 3 ligence, 'I
ligence, his intention was to furprife the watch
at a convenient feafon, and afterwards to fet
fire to the fhip. As they few feveral iflanders row paft the harbour at the fame time,
and the Toigon like wife informed them that
they were affembling to execute the above-
mentioned d.efign ; Soloviof refolved to be
much upon his guard. They feparated, however, without   attempting any hoflilities.
June 5, Glottof arrived at the harbour on
a vifit, 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 twq
more of the crew died ; fo that the arrival
of Korovin, who joined them about this
time, with two of his own and two of Kul-
kof's crew, was of courfe a very agreeable
circumftance. The fick likewife began to
recover by degrees.
July 22, Soloviof, with a party of his
people, in two baidars, made another excur-
flon Northwards ; he paffed by the places
formerly mentioned as far as Igonok, which
lies ten verfts beyond Totzikala. Igonok
confifts of one dwelling cave on the fide of a
rivulet,   which  falls  from   the   mountains^
and empties itfelf into the fea. The inhabitants amounted to about thirty men, who
dwelt there 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 fburce among
the hills, and flows through a plain.
Upon the fhore of the fame bay, oppofite
to the mouth of this rivulet, lay two villages, one of which only was inhabited ; if
was called Ukunadok, and confifted of fix
dwelling caves. About thirty-five of the inhabitants were at that time employed in catching falmon in the rivulet. Kulkof's fhip had
lain at anchor about two miles from thence ;
but there were no remains of her to be found.
After coming out of the bay, he went forwards to the fummer village Umgaina, diftant
about {even or eight leagues, and fituated on
the fide of a rivulet, which takes its rife in
a lake abounding with falmon. Here he found
the Toigon Amaganak, with about ten of the
natives, employed in fifhing. Fifteen verfts
further along the fhore they found another
fummer village called Kalaktak, where there
was likewife another rivulet, which came
M 4 from t 68 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
from the hills. The inhabitants were fixty
men and an hundred and feventy women and
children : they gave Soloviof a very friendly reception ; and delivered two hoftages, who
were brought from the neighbouring ifland
Akutan ; with thefe he fet out on his return,
and on the 6th of Auguft joined his crew.
On the iith, he went over to the ifland
Umnak, accompanied by Korovin, to bring
off fome fhips ftores left there by the latter ;
and returned to the haven on the 27th. On
the 2]^- Shaffyrin died, the fame perfon
whofe adventures have been already related *.
Sept. tg, Koronof being fent northwards
upon an hunting party, returned the 30th of
January, 1766. Although the Ruffians who
remained at the haven met with no molefta-
tion from the natives during his abfence ; yet
he and his companions were repeatedly attacked. Having diftributed to the inhabitants
of the feveral villages through which he paffed nets for the purpofe of catching fea-otters,
he went to the Eaft part of the ifland as far
as Kalaktak, with an intention of hunting.
Upon his arrival at that place, on the 31ft of
October, the  inhabitants fled with precipi-
* Chap. VIIL
tation ; and as all his efforts to conciliate their
affections were ineffectual, he found it re-
quifite to be upon his guard. Nor was this
precaution unneceffary; for on the following
day they returned in a confiderable body,
armed with lances, made with the iron of
the plundered veffels. Korenof, however,
and his companions, who were prepared to receive them, killed twenty-fix, and took feveral prifbners ; upon which the others be.
came more tractable.
Nov 19, Korenof, upon his return to the
haven, came to Makufhinfk, where he was
Jandly received by a Toigon named Kulu-
maga ; but with regard to Itchadak, it was
plain that hi§ defigns were ftill hoftile. In-
flead of giving an account of the nets which
had been left with him, he withdrew privately : and on the 19th of January, accompanied by a numerous body of iflanders, made
an attempt to furprife the Ruffians. Victory,
however, again declared for Korenof; and
fifteen of the affailants, amongft whom was
Itchadak himfelf, remained dead upon the
fpot. Kulumaga affured them, in the ftrongeft
rrianner, that the defign had been carried on
without I
without his knowledge ; and protefted, that
he had often prevented his friend from committing hoftilities againft the Ruffians.
Korenof returned to the haven on the 30th
of January ; and on the 4th of February he
went upon another hunting expedition toward the Weftern point of the ifland. During
this excurfion he met with a party, fent out
by Glottof, at a place called Takamitka ; he
then rowed over to Umnak, where he collected a fmall tribute, and returned on the 3d
of March. During his abfence Kyginik,
Kulumaga's fon, paid a vifit to the Ruffians,
and requefted that he might be baptized, and
be permitted to go aboard the veffel ; his demand was immediately complied with.
May 13th, Korovin went, with fourteen,
men, to Umnak, to bring off an anchor,
which was buried in the fend. On his return preparations were made for their departure. Before the arrival of Korovin the hunters had killed 150 black and brown foxes,
and the fame number of old and young fea-
otters ; fince his arrival they had caught350.
black foxes, the fame number of common
foxes, and 150 lea-otters of different fi-zea.
This RU S $ X A N   DI SCO VER IES, 171
This sargo being put on board, the inter-
preter Kafhmak fet at liberty, wiih a certifi-*
cate of, and prefents for, his fidelity, and the
hoftages delivered up to the Toigons and theit
relations, who had affembled at the haven,
Soloviof put to fea on the iftof June, with
an Eafterly wind. Before his departure he
received a letter from Glottof, informing him
that he was likewife preparing for his return, flpy
June 2. The wind being contrary, they
got but a fmall way from land.
5. Steered again towards the fhore,
came to an anchor, and fent a boat
for a fupply of water, which returned without   having feen any
:- body.
6. Weighed and fleered W. with a
S. E. wind.
7. Favourable wind at N.E. and in
the afternoon at N.
8. Wind at N. W. and ftormy, the
fhip drove under the forefail.
9    &  10. Sailed Northwards, with a Wefter-
ly wind
11. Calm till noon ; afterwards breeze
fprung up at S. with which they
fleered !
fleered W. till ne&t day at noon ;
when the wind coming round to
the Weft,   they   changed  their
courfe, and fleered N. W.
June     12. Calm during the night.
13. A fmall breeze of Northerly wind,
with which they fleered W. In the
afternoon it fell calm, and continued fo till the
16. At noon, when a breeze fpringing
up  at Eaft, they fleered W. on
which    courfe   they    continued
during the
18. with a S. S. E. wind.
From the 19 to the 22. The wind was changeable from the S, W.  to N. W.
with which they ftill made a fhift
to get to the Weftward.
23. The wind E. they fleered betwixt
N. & W. which courfe they continued the
24th,  25th, 26th, with a Northerly
27. A. M. the wind changed to S. W.
28, 29, 30. Wind at Weft.
July        1. The wind changed to  E. with
which they fleered between W#
and S.W. with little variations,
till the 3d.
Jgljf       4. They reached Xamtchatkoi Nofs,
and on the
5th.  Brought  the fhip,   in  good
condition,   into Kamtchatka river.
Soloviof *s defcription of thefe iflands and
the inhabitants, being more circumftantial
than the accounts given by former navigators,
deferves to be inferred at full length According to his eftimation, the ifland Unalafhka lies between 1500 and 2000 verfts due
Eaft from the mouth of the Kamtchatka
river: the other iflands to the Eaft ward ft retch
towards N.E. He reckons the length of
Akutan at eighty verfts ; Umnak at an hundred and fifty ; and Unalafhka at 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 the Eaftern parts of Siberia, and continues only from November to the end of
March. The fnow feldom lies upon the
ground for any time.
Rein- 1^4 Account of th£
Rein-deer, bears, wolves, ice-foxes, are
hot to be found on thefe iflands; but they
abound in black, grey, brown, and red foxes'1
for which reafon they have got the name of
Lyffie Oftrova, or Fox Iflands. Thefe foxes
are ftroriger than thofe of Yakutfk ; and their
hair is much coarfer. During the day they
lie in caves and c lifts of rocks ; towards
evening they come to the fhore in fearch of
food : they have long extirpated the brood of
mice, and other fmall animals* They are
not in the fmalleft degree afraid of the inhabitants, but diflingnifh the Ruffians by the
fcent; having experienced the effects of their
fire-arms. The number of fea-animals, fuch
as fea-lions, fea-bears, and fea-otters, which
refort to thefe fliores, are very confiderable.
-Upon fome of the iflands warm fprings and
native fulphur are to be found.
The Fox-iflands are in general very populous ; Unalafhka, which is the largeit ifland,
is fuppofed to contain feveral thoufahd inhabitants. Thefe favages live together in
feparate communities, compofed of fifty, and
fometimes of two or even three hundred perfons ; they dwell in large caves from forty
to eighty yards long, from fix to eight broad,
and from four to five high. The roof of thefe
caves is a kind of wooden grate, which is
firft fpread over with a layer of grafs, and
then covered with earth. Several openings
are made in the top, through which the inhabitants go up and down by ladders : the
fmalleft dwellings have two or three entrances
of this fort, 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
means of flakes driven into the earth. The
men and women fit on the ground ; and the
children lie down, having their legs bound
together under them, in order to make them
learn to fit upon 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, and without efteeming 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 themleives, efpecially before they lie down  to fleep, thev fet fire to
J L   ' J
dry grafs and walk over it.    Their hahita-
4 tiohs %j6 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
tions being almoft dark, they ufe particularly
in winter a fort of large lamps, made by hollowing out a flone, into which they put a
rufh-wick and burn train oil A flone fo
hollowed is called Tfaaduck. The natives *
are whites with black hair ; they have flat
faces, and are of a good feature. The men
lhave with a fharp flone or knife the circumference and top of the head, and let the hair
which remains hang from the crown -f*. The
women cut their hair in a ftreight line over
the forehead ; behind they 1st it grow to a
confiderable length, and tie it in a bunch.
Some of the men wear their beards ; others
fhave or pull them out by the roots.
They mark various figures on their faces, I
the backs of their hands, and lower parts of
their arms, by pricking them firft with a needle,
and then rubbing the parts with a lort of
black clay. They make three incifions in
the under-lip ; they place in the middle one
a flat bone, or a fmall coloured flone ; and in
* Von geficht find fie platt un dweifs durchgaengig mit
fchwarzen haaren.
f The original in this paffage is fomewhat obfeure. Die
jnaenner fcheeren mit einem Scharfen Stein oder Meffer den
Umkreiii des Haarkopfs und die Platte, und laffen die Haare
um die Krone des Kopfs rundum ueberdangen.
each of the fide-ones they fix a long pointed
piece of bone, which bends and reaches al-
moft to the ears. They likewife make a hole
tlorough the griftle of the nofe, into which
ifaey put a fmall piece of bone in fuch a manlier as to keep the noflrils extended. They
alfo pierce holes in their ears, and wear in
them what little ornaments they can procure.
Their dr$fs confifts of a cap and a fur-
coat, which reaches down to the knee.
Some of them wear common caps of a party
coloured bird-fkin, upon which they leave
part of the wings and tail. On the fore-part
of their hunting and fifhing caps they place a
fmall board like a fcreen, adorned with the jawbones of fea-bears, and ornamented with
glafs beads, which they receive in barter
from the Ruffians. At their feftivals and
dansing parties they ufe a much more fhowy
fort of caps. Their fur-coats are made like
fhirts, being clofe behind and before, and are
put on over theJiead. The .£$£$& of the men
is made of bird fkins, that of the women of
fea-otters and fea-bears. Thefeikins are died
with a fort of red earth, and neatly fewed
with finews, and ornamented with various
ftripes of fea-otter fkins and leathern fringes;
They have alfo upper garments made of the
inteftmes of the largeft fea-calves and fea-
lions. ?&M
Their veffels confift of two forts : the
larger are leathern boats or baidars, which have
oars on both fides, and are capable of holding
thirty* pr forty people. The fmaller veffels
are rowed with a double paddle, and referable
the canoes of the Greenlanders, containing
only one or two perfons : they never weigh
above thirty pounds, being nothing but a
thin fkeleton of a boat covered with leather.
In thefe however they pafs from one ifland
to another ; and even venture out to fea to a
considerable diftance. In calm weather they
go out in them to catch turbot and cod with
bone-hooks and lines made of finews or fea-
weed. They ftrike fifh in the rivulets with
darts. Whales and other fea-animals thrown
.afhore by the waves are carefully looked after,
and no part of them is loft. The quantity
of provisions which they procure by hunting
and fifhing being far too fmall for their wants,
the greateft part of their food confifls of fea-
. wrack and fhell-fifh, which they find on the,.
afhore. Ijjp1
'ln£ 2   I ..- No RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. IJ<§
No ftranger is allowed to hunt or fifh near
a village, $x to carry off any thing fit for
food. When they are on a journey, and their
provifions are exhaufted, they beg from village to village, or call upon their friends and
relations for affiftance.
They feed upon the flefh of all forts of
fea-animals, and generally eat it raw. But
if at any time they choofe to drefs their
victuals, they make ufe of an hollow flone :
having placed the fifh or flefh therein, they
cover it with another, and clofe the inter-
ftices with lime or clay. They then lay it
horizontally upon two ftones, and light a
fire under it. The provifion intended for
keeping is dried without fait in the or en air.
They gather berries of various forts, and lily
roots of the fame fpecies with thofe which
grow wild at Kamtchatka. They are unacquainted with the manner of dreffing the cow-
parfnip, as practifed in that Peninfula ; and
do not underftand the art of diftilling brandy
or any other ftrong liquor from it. They
are at prefent very fond of fnuff, which the
Ruffians have introduced among them.
No traces were found of any worfhip, nei-
N 2 ther I So ACCOUNT   OF   THE
tJier did they feem to have any forcerers *
among them. If a whale happens to be eaft
on fhore, the inhabitants affemble with great
marks of joy, and perform a number of extraordinary ceremonies. They dance and beat
drums f of different fizes : they then cut up
the fifh, of which the greateft and beft part
is confumed on the fpot. On fuch occafions
they wear fhowy caps ; and fome of theua
dance naked in wooden mafks, which reach
down to their fhoulders, and reprefent various
forts of fea-anirnals. Their dances confift of
fhort fteps forwards, accompanied with many
ft range geftures*
Marriage ceremonies are unknown among
them ; and each man takes as rhahy wives as he
'can-ttDOKUteha, but the number feldom exceeds
* In the laft chapter it is faid that there are forcerers
-among them.
f The exprefiion in the original is,t; Schlagen auf groffen.
" platten Handpauken von v^rfchiedenen Klang," which,
being literally tranflated, fignifies " They beat upon large
" flat hand-kettle drums of different founds.'*
By the account is which I procured at Petersburg, concerning tire form of thefe drums, they feem to refemble in fhape
thofe made ufe of by the forcerers of Kamtchatka, and
are of different fizes. I had an opportunity of feeing one
of die latter in the Cabinet of Curiofities. It is of an
oval form, about two feet longand one broad : it is covered
-only at one end like the tambour de bafque, and is worn
.upon the arm like a fliield.
four. Thefe women are occafionally allowed to
cohabit with other men ; they and their children are alfo not unfrequently bartered in exchange for commodities. When an iflander
itfies, the body is bound with thongs, and
afterwards expofed to the air in a fort of wooden
cradle hung upon 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, arrows,
and d^rts ; they throw the latter very dex-
teroufly, and to a great diftance, frorri a hand-
board For defence they ufe wooden fhields,
called kuyaki. Thefe iflanders are, notwith-
ftanding their favagenefs, very docile; and
the boys, whom the Ruffians keep as hoftages, foon acquire a knowledge of their -
N 3
Voyage 0/Otcheredin  in the St. Paul *7^fff*1
He winters upon Umnak—Arrival of Leva-
fheff upon Unalafhka—Return of Otchere-
din  to Ochotfk.
N the year 1765 three merchants, namely,
Orekhof of Yula, Lapin of Solikamflv,
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 : his crew confifted of
fixty-two Ruffians and Kamtchadals ; and fhe
carried on board two inhabitants of the Fox
Iflands, named John and Timothy Surgef,
..who had been brought to Kamtchatka and
September ic, t^ey failed from Okotfk,
axd arrived the 22c] in the bay of Bolcheretfk,
where they wintered. Auguft 1, 1776, they
continued their voyage, and having paffed
the fecond of tl%, KuH Ifles, fleered " on the
6th into the opeii^fea; on the 24th they
reached the neareft of the Fox Iflands, which
"■;   ';■ th§ PRUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES.      I 83
the interpreters called * Atchak. A ftorm
arifing, they eaft anchor in a bay, but few no
inhabitants upon the fhore. On the 26th
they failed again, difcovered on the 27th Sa-
gaugamak, along which they fleered North
Eaft, and on the 31ft 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 ift of September,
by the advice of the interpreters, they brought
the veffel into a convenient bay near a point
of land lying N. W. where they fattened it
to the fhore with cables.
Upon their landing they difcovered feveral
pieces of a wreck ; and two iflanders, who
dwelled on the banks of a rivulet which empties itfelf into the bay, informed them, that
thefe were the remains of a Ruffian veffel-,
fCvhofe-commanders name was Denys. From
this intelligence they concluded that this
was Protaflbf's veffel,- fitted out at Okotfk.
The inhabitants of Umnak, Unalafhka, and
of the Five Mountains, had affembled, and
murdered the crew, when feparated into different hunting  parties.     The fame iflanders
* Called in a former journal Atchu, p. 70.
N 4 alfo ii ;
alfo mentioned the fate of Kulkof *s and Tra-
pefnikof's fhips upon the ifland Unalafhka.
Although this information occafioned general
apprehenfions; yet they had no other re-
fource than to draw the veffel afhore, and to
take every poffible precaution againft a fur-
prize. Accordingly they kept a conftant
watch ; made prefents to the Toigons and the
principal inhabitants ; and demanded fome
children as hoftages. For fome time the
iflanders behaved very peaceably, until the
Ruffians endeavoured to perfuade them to become tributary : upon which they gave fuch
repeated figns of their hoftile intentions, that
the crew lived under continual alarms. In
the beginning of September information was
brought to them of the arrival of a veffel*,
fitted out by Ivan Popof, merchant of Lalfk,
at Unalafhka.
About the end of the faid month the Toigon
of the Five Mountains came to Otcheredin ;
and was fo well fatisfied with his reception-,
that he brought hoftages ; and not only af-
fured them of his own friendfhip, but pro-
mifed to ufe his influence with the other
Toigons, and to perfuade them to the fame
peaceable behaviour.    But the other Toigons
not only paid no regard to his perfuafions,
but even barbaroufly killed one of his children. From thefe and other circumftances
the crew paffed the winter under continual
apprehenfiocis; and durft not venture far from
the harbour upon hunting parties. Hence
£afued a fcarcky of provifions ; and hunger,
joifted to the violent attacks of the fcurvy,
jnade great havock amongft them ; infomuch
that fix of them died ; and feveral of the fur-
vivors were reduced to fo weak a condition,
that they were fcarcely able to move.
The health of the crew being re-eftablifhed
iri the fpring, twenty-three men were fent on
the 25th of June in two boats to the Five
Mountains, in order to perfuade the Mjafc?*
tants to pay tribute. On the 26 th they landed
no the ifland Ulaga, where they were attacked
with great fpirit by a large body of the in-
habitants ; and though three of the Ruffians
were wounded, yet the favages were repul-
fed with considerable lofs : they were fo terrified by this defeat, that they fled before the
Ruffians during their continuance on that
Jfland. The latter were detained there by
tempefluous weather until the 9th of July;
'jjr I
during which time they found two rufty fire-*
locks belonging to Protaflbf's crewi i On the
ioth they returned to the harbour ; and it
was immediately refolved to difpatch fome
.companies upon hunting expeditions.
Accordingly ov\ the i ft of Auguft Matthew
Pplofkof, a native of Ilinfk, was fent with
twenty-eight men in twTo boats to Unalafhka ;
if the weather and other circumftances were
favourable, they were to make to Akutan
and Akun, the two neareft iflands to the Eaft,
but to proceed no further. Polofkof reached
Akutan about the end of the month ; and
being kindly received by the inhabitants, he
left fix of his party to hunt; with the remainder he went to Akun, wrhich lies about
two verfts from Akutan. From thence he
difpatched five meqilfo \he 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 pf the different iflands affembled in great
numbers, and attacked them by land and fea.
They in formed ..Polofkof, by me,ans of the interpreters, RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. jgy
Jfrpreters, 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 crew put to death ;
and that they were now come to make him
and his party fhare the fame fate. The Ruffian fire-arms however kept them in due re-
fpect ; and towards evening they difperfed.
The fame night the interpreter deferred, probably at the infligation of Jiis countrymen,
who neverthelefs killed him, a§ it was fai-cL
that winter.
January 16, the favages ventured to make
a fecond attack. Having furprifed the guard
by night, they tore oft the roof of the Ruffian
dwelling, and fhot down into the hut, making
at the fame time great outcries : by this unexpected aflault four Ruffians were killed,
and three wounded; but the furvivors no
fooner had recourfe to their fire-arms, than
the enemy was driven to flight. Meanwhile
another body of the natives attempted to feize
-the two veffels, but without  fuccefs : thev
however cut off the party of fix men left by
• Polofkof at Akutan, together with the five
■ hunters difpatched to the contiguous iflands*
and itS ACCOUNT   OF   THE
and two of Popdf*s crew who were at the
Wefternmoft part of Unalafhka.
Polofkof continued upon Akun bi great
danger until the 20th of February ; wheff,
the wounded being recovffed, he failed ov&r
with a fair wind to Popof's veffel at Unalafhka ; and on the 10th of May turned to
In April, Popof *s veffel being ready for the
voyage, all the hoftages, whofe number
amounted to forty, were delisted to Otcheredin. July the 30th, a veffel belonging to
the fame Popof arrived from Beeritfg's Ifland,
and eaft anchor in the fame bay where
Otcheredin's lay ; and both crlws entered in*
to an agreement to fhare in common the profits of hunting. Strengthened by this alliance, Otcheredin prevailed upon a number
of the inhabitant^ to pay tribute. Auguft
the 22d Otcheredin's mate was fent with $%
boats and fifty-eight men to hunt upon Unalafhka ancl Akutan ; and there remained thirty
men with the vdlels in the harbour, who
kept conftant 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 was
dated September n, 1768 ; it informed them
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 order 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 feafba
of the year, they deferred fending them till
the fpring. May the 31ft Levafhef fet fail
for Kamtchatka ; and in 1771 returned fafely
from his expedition at St. Peterfburg.
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 they had fuch good fortune, that the
fhare of Otcheredin's veffel (whofe voyage is
here chiefly related) confifled in 530 large
fea-otter fkins, 40 young ones and 30 cubs,
the fkins of 656 fine black foxes, 100 of an
inferior fort, and about 1250 red fox fkins.
4 With tgb ACCOUNT   OF   TH^
With this large cargo of furs Otcheredin fet
failj on the 22d of May, 1770, from Umnak,
leaving Popof's crew behind. A fhort time1
before their departure, the other interpreter
Ivan Surgef, at the inftigation of his relations,
After having touched at the h-0#reft of the
Aleutian Iflands, Otcheredin and his crew arrived on the 24th of July at Okotfk. They
brought two iflanders v^ith them, whom they
baptized. The one was named Alexey So-
lovief; the other Boris Otcheredin. Thefe
iflanders unfortunately died on their way to
Peterfburg ; the firft between Yakutfk and
Irkutfk ; and the latter at Irkutfk, where he
arrived on the iftof February, 1771.
CHAP. =3.
Conclufion—General pofition andfituation of the
Aleutian and Fox Iflands—their diftance from
each other—Farther defcription of the drefs,
manners, and cuftoms, of the inhabitants—
their feafls and ceremonies, &c.
ACCORDING to the lateft infcrma-
rions brought by Otcheredin's and
Popof s veffels, the North Weft point of
CommandorfkoiOftrof, or Beering's Ifland, lies
due Eaft from the mouth of the Kamtckatka
river, at the diftance of 250 verfts. It is
from 70 to 80 verfts long, and ftretches from
North Weft to South Eaft, in the fame direction as Copper Ifland. The latter is fituated
about 60 or 70 verfts from the South Eaft
point of Beering's Ifland, and is about 50
verfts in length.
About 300 verfts Eaft by South 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 South Eaft. From thence about
20 verfts Eaftwards is fituated Semitfhi, extending: tgZ ACCOUNT   Ojf   THE
tending from Weft to Eaft, and near its Eaftern
point another fmallifland. To the South of
the ftrait, which feparates the two latter
Iflands, and at the diftance of 40 verfts from
both of them, lies Shemiya in a IushIh^ position, and not above 25 verfts in length. All
thefe iflands ftretch between 54 and 55 degrees of North latitude.
The Fox Iflands are fituated E. N. E. from
the Aleutians : the neareft of thefe, Atchak,
Is about 800 verfts diftant; it lies in about
56 degrees North latitude, and extends from
W. S.W. towards E.N.E. It greatly re-
fembles Copper Ifland, and is provided with a
commodious harbour on the North. From
thence all the other iflands of this chain ftretch
in a direction towards N. E. by Eaft.
The next to Atchak is Amlak, about 15
verfts diftant ; it is nearly of the fame fize ;
and has an harbour on its South fide. Next
follows Sagaugamak, at about the fame diftance, but fome what fmaller ; from that it
is 50 verfts to Amukta, a fmall rocky ifland ;
and the fame diftance from the latter to
Yunakfan, another fmall ifland. About 20
Verfts from Yunakfan there is a clufter of five
fmall iflands, or rather mountains, Kigalgift,
Kagamila, Tfigulak, Ulaga, and Tana-Unok,
and which are therefore called by the Ruffians Pat Sopki, or the Five Mountains. Of
thefe Tana-Unok lies moft to the N. E. towards which the Weftern point of Umnak advances within the diftance of 20 verfts.
Umnak ftretches from S. W. to N. E. ; it is
150 verfts in length, and has a very confider-
able bay on the Weft end of the Northern
coaft, in which there is a fmall ifland or rock,
called Adugak ; and on the South fide is
Shamelga, another rock. The Weftern point of
Aghunalafhka, or Unalafhka, is feparated from
the Eaft end of Umnak by a ftrait near 20 verfts
in breadth. The pofition of thefe two iflands
is fimilar ; but Aghunalafhka is much the
largeft, and is above 200 verfts long. It is
divided towards the N. E. into three promontories, one of Which runs out in a Wefterly
direction, forming one fide of a large bay on
the North coaft of the ifland : the fecond
ftretches out N. E. ends in three points, and
is connected with the ifland by a fmall neck
of land. The third or moft Southerly one is
feparated from the laft mentioned promontory
by a deep bay. Near Unalafhka towards the
Eaft lies another fmall ifland, called Skirkin.
About 20 verfts from the North Eaft promontory of Aghunalafhka lie four iflands : the
firft, Akutan, is about half as big as 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 almoftfrom
N. to S. Kigalga is fituated about the 61 ft
degree of latitude. About 100 verfts from
thence lies an ifland called Unimak *, upon
which Captain Krenitzin wintered ; and beyond it the inhabitants faid there was a large
tract of country called Alafhka, of which
they did not know the boundaries.
The Fox Iflands are in general very rocky,
without containing any remarkably high
mountains: they are deftitute of wood, but
abound in rivulets and lakes, which are nioft-
ly without fifh. The winter is much milder
than in Siberia: the fhow feldom falls before the beginning of January, and continues
on the ground till the end of March.
** Krenitzin wintered in the ftraits of Alaxa, which fs-
parate Uuimak from Alaxa.    See Part 11.   p. 208.
There is a volcano in Amuchta ; in Kaga*
mila fulphur flows from a mountain ; ill Taga-
Unok there are warm fprings, hot enough to
boil provifions ; and flames of fulphur are oc-
cafionally feen at night upon the mountains
of Unalafhka and Akutan.
The Fox Iflands are tolerably populous in
propotion to their fize.- The inhabitants are
entirely free, and pay tribute to no one : they
are of a middle flature ; and live, both in
fummer and winter, in holes dug in the earth.
No figns of religion were found amongft
them. Several perfons indeed pafs for for-
cerers, pretending to know things paft and to
come, and are accordingly held in high efteem,
but without receiving any emolument. Filial
duty and refpect towards the aged are not
held in eftimation by thefe iflanders. They
are not however deficient in fidelity to each
other ; they are of lively and chearful tem^
pers, though rather impetuous, and naturally
prone to anger. In general, they do not ob-
ferve any rules of decency, but follow all the
calls of nature publicly, and without the
leaft referve. They wafh themfelves with
their own urine.
O2 There I96 ACCOUNT   OF   THE
Their principal food confifts in fifh and
other fea-animals, fmall fhelhfifh, and fea-
plants : their greateft delicacies are wild lilies
and other roots, together with different kinds
of berries. When they have laid in a ftore of
provifions, they eat at any time of the day without diftinction ; but in cafe of neceffity they
are capable of fatting feveral days together*
They feldom heat their dwellings ; but when
they are defirous of warming themfelves,
they light a bundle of hay, and fland over
it; or elfe they fet fire to train oil, which
they pour into a hollow flone.
They feed their children when very young
with the coarfeft flefh, and for the moft parte
raw. If an infant cries, the mother immediately carries it to the fea-fide, and be it fummer or winter holds it naked in the water un
til it is quiet
is fo  far from
doing the, children any harm, that it hardens
them againft the cold, and they accordingly
bare-footed through the winter without
the leaft inconvenience. They are alfo trained
to bathe frequently in the fea ; and it is an
opinion generally received among the iflanders
that by that means they are rendered bold,
and become fortunate in fifhing.
The men wear fhirts made of the fkins of
cormorants,   fea-divers, and  gulls ; and, in
order to keep out the rain, they have upper
garments of the bladders and other inteftines
of fea-lions,   fea-calves, and whales,   blown
up and dried.    They cut their hair in a circular form clofe to their ears ; and fhave alfo
a round place upon the   top.    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 upon the top of the
head.   They pierce the ears, and hang therein bits of coral, which they get 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 kind of ornaments.    They mark alfo
and colour their faces with different figures.
They barter  among one another fea-otters,
fea-bears, clothes made of bird-fkins and of
dried inteftines, fkins  of fea-lions   and fea-
calves  for the  coverings of baidars, wooden
mafks, darts, thread made of finews and reindeer hair,   which they get from the country
of, Alafka.
Their houfhold utenfils are fquare pitchers
and large troughs, which they make out of
O3 the I
Ihe wood driven afhore by the fea. Their
weapons are bows and arrows pointed with
flints, and javelins of two yards in length,
which thy throw from a fmall board. In-
flead of hatchets they ufe crooked knives of
flint or bone. Some iron knives, hatchets,
and lances, were obferved amongft 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
amongft 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;
and fome inhabitants of Alafhka, who came
upon a vifit to that ifland, fattened to his arm
a dru'rn, out of mockery, and invited him to
dance. The parents and relations of the boy
being offended ^t this infult, a quarrel enfued ;
and from that time the two people have lived
in continual enmity, attacking and plundering each other by turns. According to the
reports of the iflanders, there are. mountains
upon Alafhka, and woods of gteat extent
at fome diftance from the coaft. The natives RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. I go
tives wear clothes made of the fkins of reindeer, 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 Alafhka.
Feafts are very common among thefe iflanders ; and more particularly when the inhabitants of one ifland are viiited by thofe of the
others. The men of the village meet their
guefts beating drums, and preceded by the
women, who fing and dance. At the con-
clufion of the dance the hofts invite them to
partake of the feaft; after which ceremony
the former return fir/l 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
Firft, the children dance and caper, at the
fame time making a noife with 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 thefe are weary,
they are relieved by the women, who dance
in their clothes, the  men continuing in the
mean j
n|£an time to fing and beat their drums. At laft '
the fire is put out, which had been kindled for
the ceremony* The meaner of obtaining fire is
by rubbing two pieces of dry wood, or moft
commonly by finking two flints together,
and letting the fparks fall upon fome fea-otter's hair mixed with fulphur. If any for-
cerer is prefent, it is then his turn to play hisf
tricks in the dark ; if not, the guefts immediately 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 himfelf but one
wife, he then makes the offer of a female
fervant. -
Their hunting feafon is principally from
the end of October to the beginning of December, during which time they kill large
quantities of young fea-bears for their clothing.
They pafs all December in feaftings and di-
verfions fimilar to that above mentioned |
with this difference, however, that the men
dance in wooden rnafks, reprefenting various
fea-animals, and painted red, green, or black,
with coarfe coloured earths found upon thefe
During 20X
During thefe feftivals they vifit each other
from village to village, and from ifland to
ifland.    The  feafts   concluded,   mafks  and
drums are broken to pieces, or  depofited  in
caverns among the  rocks, and never afterwards made ufe of.    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 make ufe of
a firing made of a long tenacious  fea-weed,
which is fometimes found in thofe feas near
one hundred and fixty yards in length.
Whenever they are wounded in any encounter, or bruifed by any accident, they apply a fort of yellow root to the wound, and
faft for fome time. When their head achs,
they open a vein in that part with a flone
lancet. When they want to glue the points
pf their arrows to the fhaft, they flrike their
nofe till it bleeds, and ufe the blood as glue.
Murder is not punifhed amongft them, for
they have no judge. Their ceremonies of
burying the dead are as follow : The bodies
of poor people are wrapped up in their own
clothes, 20% ACCOUNT   OF   THE
clothes, or in mats ; then laid in a grave*
find covered over with earth. The bodies of
the rich are put, together with their clothes
£iid arms, in a fmall boat made of the wood
driven afhore by the fea : this boat is hung
uppi} poles placed crofs-ways; and the body
is thus left to rot in the open air.
The cuftoms and manners of the inhabitants of the Aleutian Ifles are nearly fimilar
to thofe of the inhabitants of the Fox Iflands.
The former indeed are rendered tributary,
and entirely fubject to Ruffia ; and moft of .
them have a flight acquaintance with theRufe
fian language, which they have learned from
the crews of the different veffels who have
landed! there.
0    F     T   H    E
\2Iai'      / t/fr
CS7zifuiti\ xfndfan>
o    X
K     A     M     T      C
w&\ C *°5 ]
CHAP.   I.
t&xtraB from the journal of a voyage made by
Captain Krenitzin and Lieutenant Levafhef
to the Fox Iflands, in 1768, 1769, by order of the Emprefs of Ruffia—they fail from
Kamtchatka—arrive at Beering's and Copper Iflands—reach the Fox Iflands—Krenitzin winters at Alaxa—Levafhef upon Unalafhka—productions of Unalafhka—defcription of the inhabitants of the Fox Iflands—
their manners and cufioms, &c.
ON the 23d of July Captain Krenitzin
failed in the Galliot St. Catherine from
the mouth of the Kamtchatka river towards
America : he was accompanied by Lieutenant
Levafhef, in the Hooker St. Paul. Their
inftructions 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 Ruflian traders
and hunters, that a fimilar * miftake was committed
* This paffage is obfcurely expreffed. Its meaning may
be afcertained by comparing Krenitzin's ohart with that of
Beering's voyage prefixed to Muller's account of the Ruffia**
Difcoveries.    The route of Krenitzin's veffel was confider-
ably WW
/>uM>/udAprX/3?7S0a<:c<m&'n# &ActY/>arZi^tfy2:Guie/li,i#uS6riKJ
mitted in the chart of that expedition. Thefe
traders, who for fome years paft were ac-
cuftomed to ramble to the diftant iflands in
queft of furs, faid that they were fituated
much more to the South, and farther Eaft,
than was imagined. On the 27th they few
Commodore's or Beering's Ifland, which is
low and rocky, efpeeially to the S. W. On
this fide they obferved a fmall harbour, dif-
tinguifhed by two hillocks like boats, and
not far from it they 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 upon
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, that
many fhips may load with it. Perhaps an
India trader might make a profitable voyage
from thence to China, where this metal is
in high demand. This copper is moftly in a
metallic or malleable ftate, and many pieces
feem as if they had formerly  been in fufion.
ably to the North of the courfe held by Beering and Tfchirikof, and confequently he failed through the middle of
what they had fuppofed to be a continent, and which he
found to be an open fea. See Robertfon's Hiftory of America,
p. 461 j and p. 2*7, 28. of this work.
The ifland is not high, but has many
locks, each of which has the appearance or
having formerly been the crater of a volcano.
We may here, once for all, obferve, that all
the iflands reprefented in this chart * abound
with fuch craters, called in Ruffian Sopka, in
fo much that no ifland, however fmall, was
found without one ; and many of them con-
fifted of nothing elfe. In fhort, the chain of
Iflands here laid down may, without any
violent ftretch of imagination, be confidered
as thrown up by fome late volcanos. The
apparent novelty of every thing feems to
juftify this conjecture : nor can any objection
be derived from the vegetable productions with
which thefe iflands abound ; for the fummer
after the lower diftrict of Zutphen in Holland
was gained from the fea, it was covered over
with wild muftard. All thefe lands are fub-
ject to violent and frequent earthquakes, and
abound in fulphur. 1 he writer of the journal
was not able to inform us whether any lava
was found upon them ; but he fpeaks of a
party-coloured flone as heavy as iron. From
this account it is by no means improbable,
* Namely, the chart prefixed to this journal. 2b8       SUPPLEMENTARY   ACCOUNTS  OF
that the  copper above-mentioned has  been
melted in fome eruption.
After leaving Copper Ifland, no land was
feen from either of the {hips (which had parted
company in a fog), till, on the S. E. quarter
of their track, was difcovered the chain o.
iflands or head-lands laid down in the chartf
Thefe in general appeared low, the fhore
bad, without creeks, and the water between
them very fhallow. During their courfe outwards, as well as during their return, they
had frequent fogs. It appears from the journal,
as well as from the relation of the hunters,
that it is very uncommon to have clear weather for five days together, even during furn*
The St. Catherine wintered in the ftraits of
Alaxa, where they hauled her into fhoal water. The inftructions given to the captain fet
forth, that a private fhip had in 1762 found
there a commodious haven ; but he looked for
it in vain. The entrance of this ftrait from the
N. E. was extremely difficult on account of
flats, and ftrong currents both flood and ebb :
the entrance however from the S. E. was
afterwards found to be much eafier wkh not
lefs than 5! fathoms water. Upon furvey-
ing 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 us to fuppofe that the
coaft had fuffered confiderable changes fince
the year 1762? Few of the iflands produce
wood, and that only in the vallies by the
rivulets. Unalga and Alaxa contain the moft :
they abound with frefh-water ftreams, and
even rivers ; from which we may infer that
they are extenfive. The foil is in general
boggy, and covered with mofs ; but Alaxa
has more foil, and produces much grafs.
The St. Paul wintered in Unalafhka. This
wintering place was obferved to lie in 520
2c/ North latitude ; and its longitude from the
mouth of Kamtchatka river, computed by
the fhip's journal, was 27005''Eaft*. Unalafhka is about fifty miles long from N. E„
to S. W. and has on the N. E. fide three bays.
One of them, called Udagha, ftretches thirty
miles E. N. E. and W. S. W. nearly through
the   middle of the ifland;    Another,  called
■* According to the general map of Ruffia, the mouth
of the Kamtchatka river is in 1789 25' from Fero. Unalafhka therefore, according to this estimation, is 2050 30' from
Fero, or 1879 55' 15" from Greenwich.
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 ground.
It is well fheltered from the North fwell at its
entrance by rocks, fome of which are under
water. The tide flows here five feet at full
and change ; and the fhore is in general bold
and rocky, except in the bay, at the mouth
of a fmall river. There are two burning
mountains on this Ifland, one called Ayaghifh,
and the other (by the Ruffians) the Roaring
Mountain. Near the former is a very copious
hot fpring. The land is in general rocky,
with loamy and clayey grounds; but the
grafs is extremely coarfe, and unfit for pafture.
Scarcely any wood is to be found on it. Its
plants are dwarf cherry (* Xylofteum of
Tournefort), wortle berry (Vaccinium Uligi-
nofum of Linnaeus), rafberry, faranaandfhik-
fhu of Kamtchatka, and kutage, larch, white
poplar, pine, and birch+. The land animals   are   foxes  of different  colours,   mice,
* The Lonicera Pyrenaica of.Linnaeus, It is not a dwarf
cherry, but a fpecies of honeyfuckle.
f All the"other journaliils uniformly defcrite Unalafhka
as containing nothing but underwood ; we muft therefore
fuppofe that the trees here mentioned were very low and
fmall ; and this agrees with what goes before, " fcarcely
" any wood h to be found on it."
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, for whofe Ruffian names I can
find no tranflations, are (excepting the Ari)
defcribed in Krafhininikoff's Hiftory of
Kamtchatka, or in Steller's relation contained
in the fecond volume of the Memoirs of the
Academy of St. Peterfburg.
The inhabitants of Alaxa, Umnak, Unalafhka, and the neighbouring iflands, are of
a middle flature, tawny brown colour, and
black hair. In fummer they wear coats (parkif)
made of bird fkins, over which, in bad weather, and in their boats, they throw cloaks,
called kamli, made  of thin whale cuts.    On
"» o
their heads they wear wooden caps, ornamented with ducks feathers, and the ears
of the fea-animal, called Sclvutcha or fea-
lion ; they alfo adorn thefe caps with beads
of different colours, and with little figures of
* By beavers the journaliils certainly mean fea-otters,
called by the Ruffians fea-beavers.    See p. 15.
f Parki in Ruffian ftgnifies a firirt, the coats of thefe
iflanders being made like fhirt-s.
P 2 bone 212        SUPPLEMENTARY   ACCOUNTS   OF
bone or flone. In the partition of the nof-
trils they place a pin, about four inches long,
made of bone, or of the ftalk of a certain
black plant; from the ends of this pin or
bodkin they hang, in fine weather and on
feftivals, rows of beads, one below the other.
They thru ft beads, and bits of pebble cut
like teeth, into holes made in the under-lips.
They alfo wear firings of beads in their ears,
with bits of amber, which the inhabitants
of the other iflands procure from Alaxa, in
exchange for arrows and kamli. They cut
their hair before juft above the eyes, and fome
fhave the top of their heads like monks. Behind, the hair is loofe. The drefs of the women fcarcely differs from that of the men, excepting that it is made of fifh-fkins. They
few with bone needles, and thread made of
fifh guts, fattening their work to the ground
before them with bodkins. They go with
the head uncovered, and the hair cut like
that of the men before, but tied up behind in
a high knot. They paint their cheeks with
flrokes of blue and red, and wear nofe-pins,
beads, and ear-rings like the men : they hang
beads round their neck, and checkered firings
round their arms and legs.
In their perfons we fhould reckon them
extremely natty. 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 they are fick, they lie
three or four days without food ; and if bleeding is neceffary, they open a vein with
lancets made of flint, and fuck the blood.
Their principal nourifhment is fifh and
whale fat, which they commonly eat raw
They alio feed upon fea-wrack and roots,
particularly the jhran, a fpecies of lily ; they
eat an herb, called kutage, on account of its
bitternefs, only with fifh or fat. They fometimes kindle fire by catching a fpark among
dry leaves and powder of fulphur : but the
moft  common   method  is bv   rubbing  two
J o
pieces of wood together, in the manner prac-
tifed at Kamtchatka *, and which Vakfel,
Beering's lieutenant,    found to be in ufe in
* The inftrument made ufe of by the Kamtchadals, t
procure fire, is a board with feveral holes in it, and a flick '
the latter is put into the holes, and turned about fwiftly*
until the wood within the holes begins to burn, and the
fparks fall upon the tinder placed in fuch a manner as to
receive them.
that part of North America which he few in
1741. They are very fond of Ruffian oil
and butter, but not of bread. They could
not be prevailed upon to tafle any fugar until
the commander fhewed the example ; finding
it fweet, they put it up to carry it home to
their wives.
The houfes of thefe iflanders are huts
built precifely in the manner of thofe in
Kamtchatka, with the entry through a hole
in the middle of the roof. In one of thefe
huts live feveral families, to the amount of
thirty or forty perfons. "1 hey keep themfelves warm by means of whale fat burnt in
ijiells, which they place between their legs.
The women fit apart from the men.
Six or fey en 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 which are feen
continually plying along the fhore. There
tire  upwards  of a  thqufand   inhabitants on
"Unalafhka, and they fay that it was formerly
» j     j     . j
much more populous. They have fuffered
greatly by their difputes with the Ruffians,
zi d by a famine in the year 1762 ; but moft
of all from a change in their way of life-
No longer contented with their original fim-
plicity, they long for Ruffian luxuries : in
order therefore to obtain a few delicacies,
which are prefently confumed, they dedicate
the greateft part of their time to hunting,
for the purpofe of procuring furs for the
Ruffians; by which means, they neglect to
lay up a provifion of fifh and roots, and
fuffer their children frequently to die of
Their principal food is fifh, which they
catch with bone hooks. Their boats, in
which they row   to  a preat diftance from
J o
land, are made, like thole of the Innuet or
Efquimaux, of thin flips of wood and fkins:
thefe fkins cover the tops as wrell as the fides
of the boat, and are drawn tight round the
waift of the rower. The oar is a paddle,
broad at both ends. Some of their boats hold
two perfons; one of whom rows, and the
other fifhes: but this kind of boats feem
appropriated to their chiefs. They have alfo
large boats capable of holding forty men.
They kill birds and beafts with darts made
of bone, or of wood tipped with fharpened
flone: they ufe thefe knd of darts in war,
which break with the blow given by them,
and leave the point in the wound.
The manners and character of thefe people
are what we fhould expect from their neceffi-
tous fituation, extremely rude and favage.
The inhabitants however of Unalafhka are
fomewhat lefs barbarous in their manners
and behaviour to each other, and alfo more
civil to ftrangers than the natives of the other
iflands; but even the former are engaged in
frequent and bloody quarrels, and commit
murder without the leaft compunction. Their
difpofition engages them in continual wrars,
in w7hich they always endeavour to gain their
point by ftratagem. The inhabitants of
Unimak are formidable to all the reft; they
frequently invade the other iflands, and carry
off women, the chief object of their wars.
Alaxa is moft fubject to thefe incurfions,
probably becaufe it is more populous and ex-
tenfiye. They all agree in hating the Ruffians, whom they confider as general invaders, and therefore kill them wherever they
can. The people of Unalafhka however are
more friendly; for Lieutenant Levafhef,
being informed that there was a Ruffian veffel
in  the ftraits  of Alaxa, prevailed  on fome
Unalafhkans to carry a letter, which they
undertook, notwithftanding the danger they
were expofed to from the inhabitants of the
intervening iflands,
The journalift fays, that thefe people have
no kind of religion, nor any notion of a
God. Weobferve however among them fuf-
ficient marks of fuch a religion, as might
be expected from people in their fituation.
For the journalift informs us, that they have
fortune-tellers employed by them at their
feftivals. Thefe perfons pretend to foretel
events by the information of the Kugans or
Daemons. In their divinations they put on
wooden mafks, made in the form in which
they fay the K ugan appeared to them ; they
then dance with violent motions, beating at
the fame time drums covered with, fifh fkins.
The inhabitants alfo wear little figures on
their caps, and place others round their
huts, to keep off the devils. Thefe are fuf-
ficient marks of a favage religion.
It is common for them to have two, three,
or four wives ; who do not all live together,
but, like the Kamtchadals, in different
yourts. It is not unufual for the men fo
exchange their wives, and even fell them,
in time of dearth, for a bladder of fat.
The hufband afterwards endeavours to get
back his wife, if fne is a favourite, and in
cafe he is unfuccefsful he fometimes kills
himfelf. When ftrangers arrive at a village,
it is always cuftomary for the women to
meet them, while the men remain at home :
this is considered as a pledge of friendfhip
and fecurity. When a man dies in the hut.
belonging to his wife, fhe retires into a dark
hole, wThere fhe remains forty days. The
hufband pays the fame compliment to his
favourite wife upon her death. When both
parents die, the children are left to fnift for
themfelves. The Ruffians found many in
this fituation, and fome were brought for
In each village there is a fort of chief
called Tookoo*: he decides differences by
arbitration, and the neighbours enforce the
fentence. When he embarks at fea he is
exempt from working, and has a fervant
called Kale, for the purpofe of rowing the
canoe : this is the only mark of his dignity ;
at other times he labours like the reft. The
office is not hereditary ; but is generally con-
* This is probably a miflake for Toigon.
ferred on him who is moft remarkable for his
perfonal qualities; or who poffeffes a great
influence by the number of his friends.
Hence it frequently happens, that the perfon.
who has the largeft family is chofen.  +m$
During their feftivals, which are held at
the conclufion of the fifhing feafon in April,
the men and women fing longs : the women
daiice fometimes fingly, and fometimes in
pairs, waving in their hands blown bladders ;
they begin with gentle movements, which
J D D '
become at laft extremely violent.
The inhabitants of Unalafhka are called
Kogholaghi; thofe of Akutan, and further
Eaft to Unimak, Kighigufi; and thofe of
Unimak and Alaxa, Kataghayekiki. They
cannot tell from w7hence thefe appellations
are derived ; and now begin to call themfelves by the general name of Aleyut, given
to them by the Ruffians, and borrowed
from fome of the * Kuril iflands. Upon
being afked concerning their origin, they
faid that they had always inhabited thefe
iflands,   and  knew  nothing of  any other
* I cannot find, that any of the Kuril Ifles are called
Aleyut in the catalogue of thofe iflands given by Mr.
Muller, S. R. G. III. p. 86—92. Neither are any of
them laid down under that name in the Ruffian charts.
country beyond them. All that could be
gathered from them was, that the greateft
numbers came from Alaxa, and that they
did not know whether that land had any
bounds. The Ruffians furveyed this ifland
very far to the N.E. in boats, being out about
a fortnight, and fet up a crofs at the end of
their furvey. The boats of the iflanders are
like thofe of the Americans. It appears however from their cuftoms and way of life, fo
far as thefe are not neceffarily prefcribed to
them by their fituation, that they are of
Kamtchadal original. Their huts, their
manner of kindling fire, and other circum-
flances, lead to this conjecture. Add to this,
the almoft continued Wefterly winds, which
muft render the paffage Weft ward extremely
difficult. Beering and Tchirikoff could never obtain Eafterly winds but by going to the
The Ruffians have for fome years paft
been accuftomed to repair to thefe iflands in
queft of furs, of which they have impofed a
tax on the inhabitants. The manner of carrying on this trade is as follows. The Ruffians
J       o
go in autumn to Beering's and Copper Ifland,
and there winter; they then employ themfelves THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 22l
felves in   catching  the fea-cat,    and   afterwards the Scivutcha, or fea-lion.    The flefh
of the latter is prepared   for  food,   and is
efteemed very delicate.    They carry the fkins
of thefe fea-animals  to the Eaftern iflands.
Next fummer they fail Eaftward, to the Fox-
iflands; and again lay their fhips up for the
winter.    They then endeavour to procure,
either by perfuafion or force, the children of
the inhabitants, particularly of the Tookoos,
as hoftages.    This being accomplished, they
deliver to the inhabitants fox-traps, and alfo
fkins for their boats, for which they expect
in return furs and provifions during the winter.    After  obtaining from them a certain
quantity of furs, by way of tax, for which
they  give quittances; the Ruffians pay for
the  reft   in  beads,   falfe pearls, goats wool,
copper kettles, hatchets, Sec.    In the fpring
they get  back their traps, and   deliver  up
their  hoftages.    They dare not hunt alone,
nor in fmall  numbers, on account  of the
hatred of the natives.    Thefe people could
not, for fome time, comprehend   for what
purpofe the Ruffians impofed a tribute  of
fkins, which were not to be their own property, but belonged to an abfent perfon ; for
their Tookoos have no revenue. Nor could
they be made to believe, that there were any
more Ruffians than thofe who came among
them; for m their own country all the men
of an ifland go out together. At prefent
they comprehend fomething of Kamtchatka,
by means of the Kamtchadals and Koriacs
who come writh the Ruffians; and on their
arrival love to affbciate with people whofe
manner of life refembles their own.
Krenitzin and Levafhef returned from this
expedition into the mouth of Kamtchatka
river in autumn 1769.
The chart which accompanies this journal
was compofed by the pilot Jacob Yakof,
under the inflection of the commanders
* Krenitzin and Levafhef. The track of the
St. Paul is marked both in going out and
returning. The harbour of the St. Paul in
the ifland Unalafhka, and the ftraits of Alaxa,
are laid down from obfervations made during the winter 1768 ; and the iflands connected by bearings and diftances taken during a cruife of the St. Paul twice repeated.
* Krenitzin was drowned foon after his return to Kamtchatka, in a canoe belonging to the natives.
In this chart the variation is faid to be
In Lat.
54° 4°'-
2 Eaft.
52 20
52 5°
53 2°
192 30
53 4o
54 5°
182 30
55 °°
180 30
But the arrows in the compafs imply that
the variation is Wefi ; probably the miftake is
in the arrows.
Voyage of Lieutenant Synd to the North Eaft of
Siberia—He difcovers a clufier of iflands, and
a promontory, which he fuppofes to belong to
the continent of America, lying near the
coafiof the Tfchutfki.
IN 1764 lieutenant Synd failed from
Okotfk, upon a voyage of difcovery towards the continent of America. He was
ordered to take a different courfe from that
held by the late Ruffian veffels, which lay
due Eaft from the coaft of Kamtchatka.    As
he fleered therefore his courfe more to th'6
North Eaft than any of the preceding navi-
, gators; and as it appears from all the voyages
related in the firft part of this work *, that
the vicinity of America is to be fought for in
that quarter alone, any accurate account of
this expedition would not fail of being highly
interesting It is therefore a great mortification to me, that, while I raife the reader's
curioiity, I am not able fully to fatisfy it.
The following intelligence concerning this
voyage is all which I was able to procure.
It is accompanied with an authentic chart.
In 1764 Synd put to fea from the port of
Okotfk, but did not pafs (we know not by
what accident) between the Southern Cape
of Kamtchatka and Shufhu, the firft Kuril
Ifle, before 1766. He then fleered his courfe
North at no great diftance from the coaft of
the peninfula, but made very little progrefs
that year ; for he wintered South of the river
The following year he failed from Ukin-
fki Point due Eaft and North Eaft, until he
fell in  with a clufter of iflands + ftretching
* See p. 28.
■f Thefe  are certainly  fome of the iflands which  the
Tfchutfki refort to in their way to  what they call the con- »
tinent of America.
t between 61 and 62 degrees of latitude, and 1950
and 2020 longitude. Thefe iflands lie South
Eaft and Eaft of the coaft of the Tfchutfki ;
and feveral of them are fituated very near the
fhore. Befide thefe fmall iflands, he difcovered alfo a mountainous coaft lying within
one degree of the coaft of the Tfchutfki,
between 64 and 66° North latitude ; its moft
Weftern extremity was fituated in longitude
380 15' from Okotfk, or 1990 i/ from Fero.
This land is laid down in his chart as part of
the continent of America ; but we cannot determine upon what proofs he grounds this
reprefentation, until a more circumftantial
account of his voyage is communicated to the
public. Synd feems to have made but a fhort
flay afhore. Inftead of endeavouring to furvey
its coafts, or of fleering more to the Eaft, he
almoft inftantly fhaped his courfe due Weft
towards the courfe of the Tfchutfki, then
turned directly South and South Weft, until
he came oppofite to Katyrfkoi Nofs. From
that point he continued to coaft the peninfula
of Kamtchatka ; doubled the cape ; and
reached Okotfk in 1768,
CHAP mmm -
Summary rf the proofs tending to Jhew, that
Beering and Tfchirikof reached America
in 1741, or came very near it.
TH E coaft which Beering reached, and
called Cape St. Elias, lay, according
to his eftimation, in 580 28'N. latitude, and
in longitude 2360 from Fero : the coaft
touched at by Tfchirikof was fituated in lat,
56°long. 2410*.
Steller, who accompanied Beering in his
expedition towards America, endeavours to
prove, that they difcovered that continent by
the following arguments + : The coafts were
bold, prefenting continual chains of high
mountains, fome of which were fo elevated,
that their tops were covered with fnow :
their fides were cloathed from  the bottom
* The reader will find the narrative of this voyage made
by Beering and Tfchirikoff in Midler's account of the Ruffian Difcoveries, S. R. G. III. p. 193, &Q.
f See Krafhininikoff's account of Kamtchatka, Chap. X.
French Tranflation ;   Chap. IV. Englifh tranflation.
to the top with large tracts of thick and fine
wood *.
Steller went afhore, and although he remained only a few hours, yet he obferved
feveral fpecies of birds wThich are not known
in Siberia : amongft thefe Was the bird deft ribed by + Catefby, under the name of
Blue Jay ; and which has never yet been found
in any country but North America. The foil
was very different from that of the neighbouring iflands, and at Kamtchatka; and he
collected feveral plants, which are deemed by
botanifts peculiar to America.
The following lift of thefe plants was communicated to me by Mr. Pallas : I infere
them however without prefuming to decide,
* The recent navigations in thofe feas ftrongly confirm
this argument. For in general all the New-difcovered Iflands
are quite deftitute of trees; even the largeft produce nothing
but underwood, one of the moft Eafterly Kadyak alone excepted, upon which fmall willows and alders were obferved
growing in vailies at fome diftance from the coaft. See
p.  137.
•f See Catefby's Natural Hiftory of Florida, Carolina,
&c> This bird is called, by Linnseus, Coitus Chriftatus. I
have feen in Mr. Pennant's MS account of the hiftory of
the animals, birds, &c. of N. America, and the Northern
•hemifphere, as high as lat. 60, an exa£t defcription of
this bird. Whenever that ingenious author, to whom we,
are indebted for many elegant and interefting publications,
gives this part of his labours to the world, the zoology of
thefe countries will be fully and accurately confidered.
.  Q 2 whether 228       SUPPLEMENTARY ACCOUNTS   OF
whether they are the exclufive growth of
North America : the determination of this
point is the province of botany.
Trillium Erectum. Fumaria Cucullaria.
A fpecies of Dracontium, with leaves like the
Canna Indica. Uvularia Perfoliata. Heu-
chera Americana. Mimulus Luteus, a Peruvian plant. A fpecies of Rubus, probably
a variety of the Rubus Idasus, but with larger
berries, and a large lacinated red calyx. None
of thefe plants are found in Kamtchatka, or
in any of the neighbouring iflands *.
Though thefe circumftances fhould not be
conficlered as affording decilive proofs, that
Beering    reached   America ;   yet they will
* According to Mr. Pallas, the plants of the New-difcovered Iflands are moftly alpine, like thofe of Siberia ;
this he attributes to the fhortnefs and coldnefs of thefu:n-r
mer, occafioned by the frequency of the North winds.
His words are : " Quoique Ies hivers de ces ifles foient
affez temperes par Pair de la mer, de facon que Ies neiges
ne couvrent jamais la terre que par intervalles, la plupart
des plantes y font alpines, coname en Siberie, par la raifoa
que l'ete y eft auffi courte et froide, a eaufe des vents de
nord qui y regnent." This paifage is taken from a MS
treatife in the French language, relative to the New-difcovered Iflands, communicated to me by my very learned
and ingenious friend Mr. Pallas, profeffor of natural hiftory at St. Peterfburg; from which I have been enabled
to collecl: a confiderable degree of information. This treatife was fent to Monf. Buffon ; and that celebrated na-
turalift has made great ufe of it in the fifth volume of his
Supplement a i'Hiftojre Naturelle. ^
furely THE   RUSSIAN   DtfeCGWfclES. 229
furely be admitted as flrong prefumptions,
that he very nearly approached that continent *.
Pofttion of the Andreanoffsky Ifles afcertained
—Number of the Aleutian Ifles.
WHEN the anonymous author pub-
lifhed his account of the Ruffian
Difcoveries in 1766, the pofition of the Andreanoffsky Ifles was not afcertained. It was
generally fuppofed, that they formed part of
that clufter of iflands, which Synd + fell in
with in his voyage towards Tfchukotfkoi
Nofs; and Buffon J reprefents them to be
the fame with thofe laid down in Stjshlin's
chart, under the name of Amadirfky Ifles.
The anonymous author, in the paffage here
* The reader will recollect in this place, that the natives of the contiguous iflands touched at by Beering and
Tfchirikof " prefented to the Ruffians the calumet, or
44 pipe of peace, which is a fymbol of friendship univerfal
44 among the people of North America, and an ufage of
44 arbitrary inftitution peculiar to them." See Robertfon's
Hift.Am.vol. I. p. 276. S. R. G. III. p. 214.
f See p. 223, 224, 225.
\ Ifles Anadyr ou Andrien. Supp. vol. V, p. 591,
Q 3 referred 2jp      SUPPLEMENTARY   ACCOUNTS  OF
referred to, fuppofes them to be N. E. of the
Aleutian Ifles ; H at the diftance of 600 or
<c 800 verfts ; that their direction is probably
Ci Eaft and Weft, and that fome of them
*c may unite with that part of the Fox Iflands
" which are moft contiguous to the oppofite
<c continent.", This conjecture wras advanced
upon a fuppofition  that  the Andreanoffsky
Ifles lav near the coaft of the Tfchutfki ; and
j *
that fome of the Fox Iflands were fituated in
latitude 61, as they are laid down upon the
general map of Ruffia. But according to
'fubfequent information the Andreanoffsky
Ifles lie between the Aleutian and the Fox
Iflands, and complete the connection between
Kamtchatka and America^. Their chain is
fuppofed to begin in about latitude ^, near
the moft Eafterly of the Aleutian Ifles, and
to extend in a fcattered feries towards the Fox
Iflands. The moft North Eafterly of thefe
iflands are faid to be fo near the moft Southerly of the Fox Iflands, that they feem oc-
cafionally to have been taken for them. An
inftance of this  occurs  in  p. 61 and 62  of
* P. 64. Some of the remoter iflands are faid to be
E. S. E. of the Aleutian Ifles; thefe muft be either part
of the Andreanoffsky lfles,or the moft Southerly of the Fox
this work; where Atchu and Amlak are
reckoned among the Fox Iflands. It is however more probable, that they are part of the
group called by the Aleutian chief Negho *,
and known to the Ruffians under the name
of Andreanoffsky Iflands, becaufe they were
fuppofed to have been firft difcovered by
Andrean Tolftyk, whofe voyage is related
in the feventh chapter of the Firft Part.
I take this opportunity of adding, that the
anonymous author, in defcribing the Aleutian Ifles, both in the firft and laft chapter
of the account of the Ruffian difcoveries,
mentions only three; namely, Attak, Se-
mitfhi, Shemiya. But the Aleutian Ifles
confift of a much larger number ; and their
chain includes all the iflands comprehended
by the iflander in the two groups of Khao
and Safignan f. Many of them are laid down
upon the general map of Ruffia ; and lom$
of them are occafionally alluded to in the
journals of the Ruffian voyages J.
* See p. 239.
t See p. 238, 239.
% Seep. 31, and particularly p. 50, where fome of thefe
iflands are mentioned under the names of Ibiya, Kifka,
and Olas. ( 232 )
CHAP.    V*
Conjectures concerning   the  proximity   of the
Fox Iflands to the contine?2t of America.
TH E anonymous author, in the courfe
of his account of the Ruffian difcoveries, endeavoured to prove, by many cir-
cumftances drawn from natural hiftory, that
the Fox Iflands muft lie near the continent
of America : hence he grounds his conjecture, that fjj the time is not far diftant when
" fome pf the Ruffian navigators will fall-in
" with that coaft."
The fmall willows and alders which, according to Glottof, were found growing upon Kadyak, do not appear to have been fuffi-
cient either in fize or quantity to afcertain,
with any degree of certainty, the clofe vicinity of that ifland to America. River-otters,
wolves, bears, and wild boars, which were
^obferved upon the fame ifland, will perhaps j
be thought to afford a ftronger prefumption
in favour of a neighbouring continent: martens THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 233
tens were alfo caught there, an animal which
is not known in the Eaftern parts of Siberia,
nor found upon any of the other iflands. All
the abovementioned animals, martens alone
excepted, were feen upon Alakfu, which is
fituated more to the North Eaft than Kadyak,
and alfo rein-deers and wild dogs. To thefe
proofs drawn from natural hiftory, wre muft add
the reports of a mountainous country covered
with forefts, and of a great promontory called
Ataktak, lying ft ill more to theN. E. which
were prevalent among the inhabitants of
Alakfu  and Kadyak.
Although thefe circumftances have been
already mentioned *, yet I have thought proper to recapitulate them here, in order to lay
before the reader in one point of view the
feveral proofs advanced by the anonymous
author, which feem to fhew, that the Fox
Iflands are fituated near America. Many of
them afford, beyond a doubt, evident figns of a
lefs open fea; and give certain marks of a
nearer approach towards the oppofite continent
But how far that diftance may be fuppofed,
muft be left to the judgment of the reader ;
and remains to be afcertained by fubfequent
* See p. 76 and 77 ;   134—137; 198.
navigators. All that we know for certain is,
that, as far as any Ruffian veffels have hitherto failed, a chain of iflands has been difcovered lying E. or N. E. by E. from Kamtchatka, and ftretching towards America.
Part of this chain has only been touched at ;
the reft is unknown ; and all beyond is uncertainty and conjecture.
CHAP.    VI.
Of the Tfchutfki—Reports of the vicinity of
America  to  their coafi, firft propagated by
them, feem to be  confirmed by late accounts
from thofe parts.
THE Tfchutfki, it is well known, inhabit the North Eaftern part of Siberia :
their country is a fmall tract of land, bounded
on the North by the Frozen Sea, on the Eaft
by the Eafteni Occean ; on the South it
borders upon the river Anadyr, and on that
of Kovyma to the Weft. The N. E. cape
of this country is called Tfchukotfkoi-Nofs,
or the promontory of the Tfchutfki. Its
inhabitants  are   the  only people of Siberia
who have not yet been fubdued by the Ruffians.
The anonymous author agrees with Mr.
Muller in fuppofing, that America advances
to within a fmall diftance of the coaft of the
Tfchutfki; which, he fays, " is confirmed by
" the lateft accounts procured from thefe
$ parts."
The firft intelligence concerning the fup-
pofed vicinity between Afia and America was
derived from the reports of the Tfchutfki in
their intercourfe with the Ruffians. Vague
and uncertain accounts, drawn from a barbarous people, cannot deferve implicit credit;
but as they have been uniformly and invariably propagated by the inhabitants of thofe
regions from the middle of the laft centuiy
to the prefent time, they muft merit at leaft
the  attention of every curious enquirer.
Thefe reports were firft related in Muller's
account of the Ruffian difcoveries, and have
been lately thought worthy of notice by Dr.
Robert fon *, in his Hiftory of America.
Their probability feems ftill further increafed
by the following circumftances. One Ple-
nifner, a native of Courland, was appointed
* Hift. of America, vol, I. p, 274,—277,
commander of Okotfk, in the year 1760,
with an exprefs order from the court to proceed as far as I Anadirfk, and to procure all
poffible intelligence concerning the North
Eaftern part of Siberia, and the oppofite continent. In confequence of this order, Pie-
nifner repaired to Anadirfk, and proceeded
likewife to Kovimfkoi Oftrog : the former of
thefe Ruffian fettlements is fituated near the
Southern, the latter near the Weftern limits
of-the Tfchutfki. Not content however with
collecting all the information in his power
from the neighbouring Koriacs, who have
frequent intercourfe with the Tfchutfki; he
alfo fent into their country one Daurkin, a
native Tfchutfki, who had been taken prifoner,
and bred up by the Ruffians. Daurkin continued two years with his countrymen ; and
made feveral expeditions with them to the
neighbouring iflands, which lie off the Eaftern
coaft of Siberia. The fum of the intelligence brought by this man was as follows :
that Tfchukotfkoi-Nofs is a very narrow
peninfula ; that the Tfchutfki carry on a trade
of barter with the inhabitants  of America ;
' * Anadirfk has been lately deftroyed by the Ruffians
that they employ fix days in paffingthe ftrait
which feparates the two continents ; that
they direct their courfe from ifland to ifland ;
and that the diftance from the one to the
other is fo fmall, that they are able to pafs
every night afhore. More to the North, he
defcribes the two continents as approaching
ftill nearer to each other, with only two iflands
Iviiis: between them.
<i       o
This intelligence remarkably coincided
with the accounts collected by Plenifnerhim-
felf among the Koriacs. Plenifner returned
to Peterfburg in 1 776, and brought with him
feveral* maps and charts of the North Eaftern
parts of Siberia, which were afterwards
ufed in the compilation of the general map
of Ruffia, publifhed by the academy in 1776+.
* The moft important of thefe maps comprehends the
country of the Tfchutfki,' together with the nations which
border immediately upon them. This map was chiefly
taken during a fecond expedi.irm made by major Paulofsky
againft the Tfchutfki; and his march into that country is
traced upon it. The firft expedition of that Ruffian officer,
in which he penetrated as far as Tfchukotskoi-Nofs, is related by Mr. Muller, S. R. G. IH. p. 134—138. We have
no account of this fecond expedition^ during which he had
feveral fkirmifhes with the Tfchutski, and came off victorious ; but upon his return was furprifed and killed by them.
This expediton was made about the year 1750.
f The circumftances mentioned in the text were communicated to me during my continuance at Peterfburg by
By thefe means the country of the Tfchutfki has been laid down with a greater degree
of accuracy than heretofore. Thefe are probably the late accounts from thofe parts
which the anonymous author alludes to.
L'fi of the New-difcovered Iflands, procured
from an Aleutian chief—Catalogue of Iflands
called by different names in the Account of the
Ruffian Difcoveries.
ry-l H E fubfequent lift of the New-difeo-
JL vered Iflands was procured from an
Aleutian chief brought to Peterfburg in 1771?
and examined at the defire of the Emprefs by
Mr. Muller, who divides them into four
principal groups. He regulates this divifion
partly by a fimilarity of the language fpoken
by the inhabitants, and partly by vicinity of
The  firft group *, called by  the iflander
Safignan, comprehends,    1. Beering's Ifland*
feveral perfons of credit, who had frequently converfed with
Plenifner fince his return to the capital, where he died in
the latter end of the year 1778.
* Thefe two firft groups probably belong to the Aleutian
g| Copper Ifland. 3. Otma. 4. Samya, or
Shemiya.    5   Anakta.
The fecond group is called Khao, and com-
jfrifes  eight iflands:   1. Immak.    2. Kifka.
3.   Tchetchina.     4.   Ava.    5.   Kavia.     6.
Tfchagulak.    7. Ulagama.    8. Amtfehidga.
The third general name is Negho, and comprehends the iflands known by the Ruffians
under the name of Andreanofsky Oftrova :
fixteen were mentioned by the iflander, under
the following names :
1. Amatkinak. 2. Ulak. 3. Unalga. 4.
Navotfha. 5. Uliga. 6. Anagin. 7. Kagu-
lak. 8. Illafk, or Illak. 9. Takavanga, upon which is a volcano. 10. Kanaga, which
has alfo a volcano. 11. Leg. 12. Shetfhuna.
13. Tagaloon : near the coaft of the three laft
mentioned iflands feveral fmall rocky ifles are
fituated. 14. An ifland without a name, called by the Ruffians Goreloi *. 15. Atchu.
16. Amla.
The fourth group is denominated Kava-
lang, and comprehends fixteen iflands : thefe
* Goreloi is fuppofed by the Ruffian navigators to be
the fame ifland as Atchu, and is reckoned by them among
the Fox Iflands.    See p, 68, and p. 229.
are j«r<
are called by the Ruffians Lyffie Oftrova, or
the Fox Iflands.
1. Amukta. 2. Tfchigama. 3. Tfche-
gula. 4. Uniftra. 5. Ulaga. 6. Tana-
gulana. 7. Kagamin. 8. Kigalga. 9.
Schelmaga. 10. Umnak. 11. Aghun-Alafh-
ka. 12. Unimga. At a fmall diftance from
Unimga, towards the North, ftretches a promontory called by the iflanders the Land of
Black Foxes, with a fmall river called Alafhka, which empties itfelf oppofite to the laft-
mentioned ifland ' into a gulf proper for a
haven. The extent of this land is not known•
To the South Eaft of this promontory lie four
little iflands. 13. Uligan. 14. Antun-
duffume.    15. Semidit.     16. Senagak.
Many of thefe names are not found either
in journals or charts : while others are wanting in this lift which are mentioned in both
journals and charts. Nor is this to be wondered at; for the names of the Iflands have
been confiderably altered and corrupted by the
Ruffian navigators. Sometimes the fame
name has been applied to different iflands by
the different journalifts ; at other times the
fame ifland has been called by different names.
Several inftances  of thefe changes  feem  to
occur in the account of the  Ruffian  Difcoveries : namely,
Att, Attak, and Ataku.
Shemiya and Sabiya.
Atchu, Atchak, Goreloi or Burned Ifland.
Amlak, Amleg.
Ayagh, Kayaku.
Alakfu, Alagfhak, Alachfhak.
Aghunalafhka, Unalafhka.
Attempts of the Ruffians to difcover a North
Eaft paffage—Voyages from Archangel towards the Lena—From the Lena towards
Kamtchatka—Extract from Muller's account of Defchneff's voyage round Tfchu-
kotfkoi Nofs—Narrative of a voyage made
by oh&zxxxoff from the Lena to Shelatfkoi
TH E only communication hitherto
known between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, or between Europe and the Eaft
Indies, is made either by failing round the
Cape of Good Hope, or by doubling Cape
Horn. But as both thefe navigations are extremely tedious, the great object of feveral
late European voyages has been turned to-
R wards
wards the difcovery of a North Eaft or a
North Weft paffage. As this work is entirely
confined to the Ruffian navigations, any dife
quifition concerning the North Weft paffage
is totally foreign to the purpofe; and for the
fame reafon in what relates to the North Eaft,
thefe refearches extend only to the attempts of
the Ruffians for the difcovery of that paffage,
The advocates for the North Eaft paffage
have divided that navigation into three principal parts ; and by endeavouring to fhew
that the three parts have been feparately
paffed at different times, they conclude,
that the whole navigation is not impracticable.
The three parts are, i. from Archangel
to the Lena; 2. from the Lena to Kamtchatka ; 3. from Kamtchatka to Japan,
With refpect to the latter, the connection
between the feas of Kamtchatka and Japan
firft appeared from fome Japanefe veffels
wrecked upon the coaft of Kamtchatka in
the beginning of this century ; and this communication has been unqueftionably proved
from feveral voyages made by the Ruffians
from Kamtchatka to Japan £
No one ever afferted that the firft part from
Archangel to the Lena was ever performed in
ut feveral perfons having  ad-
one voyr
S. R.G. III. p- 78> and
vanced that this navigation has been performed by the Ruffians at different times, it becomes neceffary to examine the accounts of
the Ruffian voyages in thofe feas.
In 1734 lieutenant Morovief failed from
Archangel toward the river Oby ; and got no
farther the firft year than the mouth of the
Petchora. The next fummer he paffed through
the ftraits of Weygatz into the fea of Kara ;
and coafted along the Eaftern fide of that fea,
as high as latitude 720 30', but did not double
the promontory which feparates the fea of
Kara from fhe bay of Oby. In i 738, the
lieutenants Malgyn and Skurakof doubled
that promontory with great difficulty, and
entered the bay of Oby. During thefe expeditions the navigators met with great dangers and impediments from the ice. Several
unfuccefsful attempts were made to pafs
from the bay of Oby to the Yenisei, which
was at laft effected in 1738 by two veffels
commanded by lieutenants Offzin and Kof-
kelef. The fame year the pilot Feodor Me-
nin failed from the Yenisei towards the Lena :
he fleered North as high as lat.   720,   1 c/. but
R i he
*&"   cw   ™*|3       ~-       i5
when he came to the   mouth   of the Pifida Wr
he was flopped by the ice ; and finding it
impoffible to force a paffage, he returned to
the Yenisei *.
July, 1735, lieutenant Prontfhiftfhef failed
from Yakutfk up the Lena to its mouth, in
order to pafs by fea to the Yenisei. The
Weftern mouths of the Lena were fo choaked
with ice, that he was obliged to pafs through
the moft Eafterly one ; and was prevented by
contrary winds from getting out until the
13th of Auguft. Having fleered North Weft
along the iflands which lie fcattered before the
mouths of the Lena, he found himfelf in
lat. 700 4/. He faw much ice to the North
and North Eaft ; and obferved ice-mountains
from twenty-four to fixty feet in height.
He fleered betwixt the ice, which in noplace
left a free channel of-greater breadth than
an hundred or two hundred yards. The
veffel being much damaged, on the 1 ft of
September he, ran up the mouth oftheOlenek,
which, according to his eftimation, lies in
720 30', near which place he paffed the
winter 4>
He got out of the Olenek the beginning:
of Auguft in the following year; and arrived
I S. R.G. III. p.   145 to 149.
f Gmelin Reife, II. 425 to 427.
on the third at the mouth of the Anabara,
which he found to lie in lat. 730 1''. There
he continued until the ioth, while fome of
the crew reconnoitred the country in fearch of
fome mines. On the ioth he proceeded on his
voyage : before he reached the mouth of the
Katanga, he was fo entirely furrounded and
hemmed in with ice, that it was not with-
.out great difficulty and danger he was able to
get loofe. He then obferved a large field of
ice ftretching into the fea, on which account
he was obliged to continue near the fhore,
and to run up the Khatanga. The mouth of
this river was in lat. 740 g/'. From thence he
bent his courfe moftly Northward along the
fhore, until he reached the rrtouth of the
Taimura on the 1 Sth. He then proceeded
further, and followed, the coaft towards the
Piafida. Near the fhore were feveral fmall
iflands, between which and the land the ice
was immovably fixed. He then directed his
courfe toward the fea, in order to pafs round
chain or
At firft he  found the
fea more free  to
North of the iflands,
while he obferved much ice lying between
them. He came at length to the laft ifland,
fituated in lat. 770 2< 246      SUPPLEMENTARY   ACCOUNTS   OF
the fhore, as well as on its northern fide, the
ice was firm and immovable. He attempted
however to fleer flill more to the North ; and
having advanced about fix miles, he was prevented by a thick fog from proceeding. This
fog being difperfed, he few on each fide, and
before him, nothing but ice ; that towards
the fea was not fixed ; but the accumulated
maffes. were all fo clofe, that the fmalleft veffel could not have worked its way through.
Still attempting however to pafs to the
North, he was forced by the ice N. E. Ap-
prehenfive of being hemmed in, he returned
to the Taimura ; and from thence got, with
much difficulty and danger, to the Olenek,
on the 2 9th*of Auguft.
This narrative of the expedition is extracted
from the account of profeffor J Gmelin : according; to Mr. Muller 4-, who has given a
curfory relation of the fame voyage, Pront-
fhiftfhef did not quite teach the mouth of the
Taimura; for he there found the chain of
iflands ftretch ing from the continent far into
the fea. The channels between them were
fo choaked with ice, that it was impoffible to
force a paffage : after fleering as high as lat.
he found fuch a plain of fixed ice
p. 434*
77   25 »
* Gmelin Reife,  vol. II, p. 4
f S. R.G. III. p. 14;,  150.
before him, that he had no profpect of getting any farther. Accordingly he returned
to the Olenek.
Another voyage, to pafs from the Lena to
the Yenisei in 1739, was attempted by Khari-
■ton Laptief, with the fame bad fuccefs; and
he relates, that between the rivers Piafida
and Taimura there is a promontory which he
could not double, the fea being entirely
frozen before he could pafs round *.
From all thefe circumftances we mutt collect, that the whole fpace between Archangel and the Lena has never yet been navigated ; for in going Eaft from the Yenisei
the Ruffians could get no farther than the
mouth of the Piafida; and, in coming
Weft from the Lena, they were flopped, according to Gmelin, North of the Piafida ; and,
according to Muller, Eaft of the Taimura.
The Ruffians, who fail almoft annually
from Archangel, and other towns, to Nova
Zernla, for the purpofe of catching fea-horfes,
feals, and white bears, make to the Weftern
Coaft ; and no Ruffian veffel has ever paffed
round its North Eaftern extremity -f-.
* Gmelin Reife, p. 440. Mr. Muller fays only, that
Laptief met with the fame obftacles which forced Pront-
fhiftfhef to return.    S. R. G. III. p. 150.
f Although this work is confined to the Ruffian Difcoveries, yet as theN. E, paffage is a inbjeci of fuch ihtereft-
The navigation from the Lena to Kamtchatka now remains to be confidered.    If we
ing euriofity, it might feem an omiflion in not mentioning,
that feveral Englifh and Dutch veffels have paffed through
the Straits of Weygatz into the fea of Kara : they all met
with great obftru6tions from the ice, and had much difficulty in getting through. See Hiftoire Gen, des Voyages,
tome XV. paffim.
In 1696 Heemfkirk and Barentz, after having failed
along the Weftern coaft of Nova Zemla, doubled the North
Eaftern cape lying in latitude 770 20', and got no lower
along the Eaftern coaft than 76% where they wintered.
See an account of this remarkable voyage in Girard Le
Ver's Yraye Defcription des Trois Voyages de Mer, p. 13
to 45 ; and Hift., Gen. des Voy. torn. XV. p. 111 to 139.
No veffel of any nation has ever paffed round that Cape,
which extends to the North of the Piafida, and is laid down
in the Ruffian charts in about 780 latitude. We have already feen that no Ruffian veffel has ever got from the Piafida to the Katanga, or from the Katanga to the Piafida ;
and yet fome authors have pofitively afferted, that this
promontory has been doubled. In order therefore to elude
the Ruffian accounts, which clearly afiert the contrary; it
is pretended, that Gmelin and Muller have purpofely concealed fome parts of the Ruffian journals, and have im-
pofed upon the world by a mifreprefentation of facts. But
without entering into any difpute on this head, I can venture to affirm, that no fufficient proof has been as yet advanced in fupport of this affertion ; and therefore, until
fome pofitive information fhallbe produced, we cannot deny
plain fa£ts, or prefer hearfay evidence to circumftantial and
well-atte-fted accounts.
Mr. En gel has a remarkable paffage in his Effai fur une -
route par la Nord Eft, which it may be proper to confider
in this place, becaufe he afferts, in the moft pofitive manner, that two Dutch veffels  formerly paffed three hundred
leagues to the North Eaft of Nova Zemla ; ircm whence
may believe fome authors, this navigation has
been open for above a century and an half 5
he infers, that they muft have doubled the abovemen-
tioned Cape, which extends to the North of the Piafida,
and have got at leaft as far Eaft as the mouth of the Ole-
nek. His words are, L'llluftre Societe Royale, fous Pan
1675, rapporte ce voyage, et dit, que pen d'arinees aupara-
vant une Societe de merchands d'Amfterdam avoit fait une
tentative pour chercher le paffage du Nord Eft, et equippa
deux vaiffeaux Ies quels etant paffe au feptante neuf ou hui-
tantieme degre de latitude, avoient poufse felcn Wood,
jufqu' a trois cent lieues a 1'Eft de la Novelle Zemble, &c.
&c. Upon this fact he founds his proof that the navigation
from Archangel to the Lena has been performed. Par con-
fequent cette partie de la route a etefaite. He refts the
truth of this account on the authority of the Philofophical
Tranfa&ions, and of Captain Wood, who failed upon a
voyage for the difcovery of the North Eaft paffage in 167&.
The latter, in the relation of his voyage, enumerates feveral arguments which induced him to believe the practicability of the North-Eaft paffage.—"The feventh argument,5*
he fays, iC was another narration, printed in the Tranf-
" actions, of two fliips of late that had attempted the paf-
** fage, failed 300 leagues to the Eaft ward of Nova Zemla,
*' and had after profecuted the voyage, had there not a
" difference arofe betwixt the undertakers and the Eaft-
" India company." We here find that Captain Wood refers to the Philofophical Tranfactions for his authority.
The narration printed in the Tranfactions, and which is alluded to by both Captain Wood and Mr. Engel, is to be
found in Vol. IX. of the Philofophical Tranfactions, p? 209,
for December 1674. It confifts of a very curious " Nar-
S rative of fome obfervations made upon feveral voyages,
" undertaken to find a way for failing about the North to
" the Eaft-Indies ; together with inftructions given by
" the Dutch Eaft-India Company for the difcovery of the
** famous land of Jeffo near Japan." Thefe inftructions
were, in 1643, given to Martin Geritfes Vries, captain of ■rfrft
2 CO
and filver
two Dutcl
and  feveral   veffels have  at different times
paffed round the North Eaftern extremity of
the fhip Caftricum, " who fet out to difcover the unknown
*' Eaftern coaft of Tartaiy, the kingdom of Kata, and the
58 Weft coaft of Ameiica, together with the ifles fituate
" to the Eaft of Japan, cried up for their riches of gold
Thefe inftructions contain no relation of
,. which paffed 300 leagues Eaft of Nova
j is indeed made of two Dutch veffels,
out in the year 1639, under the command
[aft, to difcover the Eaft coaft of the Great
ially the famous gold an(4 filver iflands' j
eafon of feveral unfortunate accidents,
rned re in feet a." Short mention is after-
apt.ain Kwail's journal, together with the
lerchants who were with him, as follows;
south Sea, at the 37J degrees Northern
about 400 Spanifb, or 343 Dutch miles,
trees longitude Eaft of Japan, there lay a
high ifland, inhabited by a white, hand-
d civilized people, exceedingly opulent in
bracts it appears, that, in the fhort ac-
nals of the two Dutch veffels, no longi-
to the Eaft of Nova Zemla j but the dif-
t were made in  the South fea, to which
count or tn
jtude is men
coveries of
place he,
failed round
narrative cc
ticable, in
M out of t
as Captain Vries afterwards,
ape of Good Hope. The autl
s indeed, that the N. E, paffai
:he following words : £< To promote this paffage
le Eaft-Indies to the North into Europe, it.were
" neceffary to fail from the Eaft-Indies to the Weftward of
** Japan-, all along Core a, to fee how the fea-coafts tend to
'* the North of the faid Coren, and with what conveniency
•$* Illips might fail as far as Nova Zemla, and to the ISforth
** of the fame. Where our author faith, that undoubtedly
" it would be found, that having paffed the North corner
i( of Nova Zemla, or, through Weygatz, the North end
" of Yclmer land, one might go on bouth-Eaftward, and
<l make r
Afia. But if we confult the Ruffian accounts,
we fhall find, that frequent expeditions have
been unqueftionably made from the Lena to
the Kovyma ; but that the voyage from the
Kovyma round Tfchukotfkoi Nofs, into the
Eaftern ocean, has been performed but once.
According to Mr. Muller, this formidable
cape was doubled in the year 1648. The
material incidents of this remarkable voyage
are as follow * :
" In 1648 {even kotches or veffels failed
from the mouth of the river Kovyma f * in
order to penetrate into the Eaftern Ocean.
Of thefe, four were never  more   heard of;
P make a fuccefsful voyage." But mere conjectures cannot be admitted as evidence. As we can find no other
information relative to the fact mentioned by Captain Wood
and Mr. Engel, (namely, that two Dutch veffels have paffed 300 leagues to the Eaft of Nova Zemla), we have no
reafon to credit mere aflertions without proof : we may
therefore advance as a fact, that hitherto we have no*
authentic account, that any veffel has ever paffed the cape
to the Eaft of Nova Zemla, which lies North of the river
Piafida. See Relation of. Wood's Voyage, &c. in the Account of feveral late Voyages and Difcoveries to the South
and North, &c. London, 1694, p. 148. See alio Engel,
Mem. et Obf. Geo. p. 231—234.
*  T fhnnld not  have Wiled  mv hnoV   vaith this evtrAft. wfr
the remaining three were commanded by
Simon Defhnef, Gerafim Ankudinof, two
chiefs of the Coffacs, and Fedot Alexeef, the
head of the Promyfhlenics. Defhnef and
Ankudinof quarrelled before their departure :
this difpute was owing to the jealoufy of
Defhnef, who was unwilling that Ankudinof fhould fhare with him the honour, as
well as the profits, which might refult from
the expected difcoveries. Each veffel was
probably manned with about thirty perfons;
Ankudinof s, we certainly know, carried that
number. Defhnef promifed before-hand a
tribute of feven fables, to be exacted from
the inhabitants on the banks of Anadyr ; fo
fanguine were his hopes of reaching that
river. This indeed he finally effected ; but
not fo foon, nor with fo little difficulty, as
he had prefumed.
On the 20th of June, 1648, the three veffels failed upon this remarkable expedition
from the river Kovyma. Confidering the
little knowledge we have of the extreme
regions of Afia, it is much to be regretted,
that all the incidents of this voyage are not
circumftantially  related.    Defhnef*, in an
account  of his expedition fent  to Yakutfk,
* In order thoroughly to underftand this narrative, it is
peceffary to inform   the reader, that the voyage  made by
otten until the year 1736, when
lives of Yakutfk, the ori-
navigations in  the Frozen
Defhnef was entirely
Mr. Muller found, in  the
ginal accounts  of the Ruf
Thefe papers were extracted, under his infpection, at
Yakutfk, and fent to Petersburg ; where they are now pre-
ferved in the library belonging to the Imperial Academy
of Sciences'. they confift of feveral folio volumes. The
circumftances relating to Defhnef are contained in the fecond
volume. Soliverftof~and Stadukin, having laid claim to the
difcovery of the country on the mouth of the Anadyr, had
afferted, in confequence of this claim, that they had arrived there by fea, after having doubled Tfchukotskoi
Nofs. Defhnef, in anfwer, fent feveral memorials, petitions, and complaints, againft Stadukin and Soliverftof,
to the commander of Yakutsk, in which he fets forth, that
he had the foie right to that difcovery, and refutes the arguments advanced by the others. From thefe memorials
Mr. Muller has extracted his account of Deflmef's voyage.
When I was at Peterfburg, I had an opportunity of feeing
thefe papers: and as they are written in the Ruffian language, I prevailed upon my ingenious friend Mr. Pallas to
infpect the part which relates to Defhnef. Accordingly
Mr. Pallas, with his ufual readinefs to oblige, not only
compared the memorials with Mr. Muller's account, but
even took the trouble to make fome extracts from the moft
material parts : thefe extracts are here fubjoined ; becaufe
they will not only ferve to confirm the exactnefs of Mr.
Muller, but alfo becaufe they tend to throw fome light on
feveral obfcure paffages. In one of Defhnefs memorials he
fays, "To go from the river Kovyma to the Anadyr, a
" great promontory muft be doubled, which ftretches
" very far into the fea : it is not that promontory which
li lies next to the river Tfchukotskia. Stadukin never
" arrived at  this   great   promontory : near  it are  two
li iflands,
H waaMtm«<MM>aa»aipw»M«M
feems only as it were accidentally to hint at
his adventures by fea : he takes no notice of
11 iflands, whofe inhabitants make holes in themunder-
" lips, and infert therein pieces of the fea-horfe tufli,
" worked into the form of teeth. This promontory
" ftretches between North and North Eaft : it is known
" on the Ruffian fide by the little river Stanovie, which
*' flows into the fea, near the fpot where the Tfchutski
** have erected a heap of whale-bones like a tower. The
** coaft from the promontory turns round towards the
*< Anadyr, and it is po'ifible with a good wind to fail from
" the point to that river in three days and nights : and
" it w'i'1'i take up no more time to go by land to the fame
*{ river, becaufe it difcharges itfelf into a bay," In another memorial Defhnef fays, " that he was ordered to
; g° b>: fea from the indigirka to the Kovyma ; and
" from thence with his crew to the Anadyr, which was
" then hewly difcovered. That the firft time he failed
*' from the Kovyma, he was forced by the ice to return
*' to that river; but that next year he again failed from
** thence by .fea, and after great danger, misfortunes,
*_' and with the lofs of part of his fhipping, arrived at
9 laft at the mouth of the Anadyr. Stadukin, having in
p vain attempted to go by fea, afterwards ventured to
44 pal's over the chain of mountains then unknown j and
*' reached by that means the Anadyr. Soliverftof and
" his party, who quarrelled with Defhnef, went to the
*4 fame'place from the Kovyma by land ; and the tribute
" was afterwards fent to the laft mentioned river acrofs
" the mountains, which were very dangerous to pafs
" am id ft the tribes of Koriacs and Yukagirs, who had
*' been lately reduced by the Ruffians."
IB another memorial Defhnef complains bitterly of Soliverftof; and afferts, "that one Severka Martemyanof,
K who had. been gained over by Soliverftof, was fent to
«'  Yakutsk,  with an  account that he (Soliverftof) had dif- THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 355
any occurrence untill he reached the great
promontory of the Tfchutfki; he mentions no obftruct ions from the ice, and probably there were none; for he obferves, upon
another occafion, that the fea is not every
year fo free from ice as it was at this time.
He commences his narrative with a defcription of the great promontory : $ It is,"
fays he, $J very different from that which
44 is fituated Weft of the Kovyma, near the
44 river Tfchukotfkia. It lies between North
44 and North Eaft, and bends, in a circular
44 direction, towards the Anadyr. Itisdiftin-
44 guifhed on the Ruffian (namely, the Wef-
44 tern) fide by a rivulet which falls into
44 the fea,   clofe  to   which   the Tfchutfki
44 have raifed a pile, like a tower, with the
45 bones   of whales.    Oppofite the promon-
6i tory (it is not faid on which fide)  are two
upon fays,'" that Soliverftof and Stadukin never reached
" the rocky promontory, which is inhabited by numerous
*c bodies of the Tfchutfki ; over-againft which are iflands .
" whofe inhabitants wear artificial teeth thruft through.
" their under lips. This is not the firft promontory from
" the river Kovyma, called Svatoi Nofs ; but another far
" more considerable, and very well known to him (Defhnef ),
ii becaufe the veffel of Ankudinof was wrecked there, and
" becaufe he had there taken prifoners fome of- the psople
*" who were rowing in their boats 5 and feen the iflanders
§4 with teeth in their lips, fie alfo well knew, that it was
i* full far from that promontory to the river Anadyr."
44 iflands, 256        SUPPLEMENTARY   ACCOUNTS OF
*4 iflands, on which he obferved people of
4C the nation of the Tfchutfki, who had
4 pieces of the fea horfe tooth thruft into
4 holes made in their lips. With a good wind
4 it is poffible to fail from this promontory to
4 the Anadyr in three days; and the jour-
4 ney by land may be performed in the fame
*c fpace of time, becaufe the Anadyr falls
4< into a bay." Ankudinof's kotche was
wrecked on this promontory, and the crew
was diftributed on board the twTo remaining
veffels. On the 20th of September, Defhnef and Fedot Alexeef went on fhore, and
had a fkirmifh with the Tfchutfki, in which
Alexeef was wounded. The two veffels foon
afterwards loft fight of each other, and never
again rejoined. Defhnef was driven by tem-
peftuous winds until October, when he was
fhipwrecked (as it appears from circumflances)
confiderably to the South of the Anadyr,
not far from the river Olutora. What became of Fedot Alexeef and his crew will
be mentioned hereafter. Defhnef and his
companions, who amounted to twenty-five
perfons, now fought for the Anadyr ; but
being entirely unacquainted with the country,
ten  weeks elapfed   before  they   reached its
banks at a fmall diftance from its mouth :
here he found neither wood nor inhabitants,
The following year he went further up
the river, and built Anadirfkoi Oftrog : here he
was joined by fome Ruffians on the 25th of
April, 1650, who came by land from the river
Kovyma. In 1652, Defhnef having conftruc-
ted a veffel, failed down the Anadyr as far
as its mouth, and obferved on the North fide
a fend bank, which ftretched a confiderable
wav into the fea. A fend bank of this kind
is called, in Siberia, Korga. Great numbers of fea-horfes were found to refort to
the mouth of the Anadyr. Defhnef collected feveral of their teeth, and thought him-
felf amply compenfated by this acquifition
for the trouble of his expedition. In the following year, Defhnef ordered wood to be
felled for the purpofe of conftructing a veffel,
in which he propofed fending the tribute
which he had collected by fea to Yakutfk *•
But this defign was laid afide from the want
of  other materials.     It  was alfo  reported,
* That is, by fea, from the mouth of the Anadyr,
round Tfchukotskoi Nofs to the river Lena, and then up
that river to Yakutsk,
S that 258       SUPPLEMf&grTARY ACCOUNTS OF
that the fea about Tfchukotfkoi Nofs was not
every year free from ice.
Another expedition was made in 1654 to
the Korga, for the purpofe of collecting fea-
horfe teeth. A Coffee, named Yufko Soliverftof, was one of the party, the fame who
not long before had accompanied the Coffac
Michael Stadukin, upon a voyage of difcovery in the Frozen Sea. This perfon was
fent from Yakutfk to collect fe^-horfe teeth,
for the benefit of the crown. In his inftruc-
tipns mention is made of the river Ye&fcflien-
don, which falls into the bay of Penfhinfk,
and of the Anadyr ; and he was ordered to
exact a tribute from the inhabitants dwelling;
near thefe rivers ; for the adventures of Defhnef were not as yet known at Yakutsk.
This was the occafion of new difcontents.
Soliverftof claimed to himfelf the difcovery
of the Korga, as if he had failed to that
place in his voyage with Stadukin in 1640.
Defhnef, however, proved that Soliverftof
had not even reached Tfchukotskoi Nofs,
which he defcribes as nothing but bare rock,
and it was but too well known to him, becaufe the veffel of Ankudinof was fhipwrecked
there. 44 Tfchukotski Nofs," adds Defhnef, THE  RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 259
nef, 44 is not the firft promontory * which
44 prefents itfelf under the name of Svatoi
44 Nofs. It is known by the two iflands
46 fituated oppofite to it, whofe inhabitants
44 (as is before-mentioned) place pieces of
*4 the fea-horfe tufh into holes made in their
44 lips. Defhnef alone had feen thefe peo-
44 pie, which neither Stadukin nor Soliver-
44 ftof had pretended to have done : and the
44 Korga, or fand-bank, at the mouth of the
44 river Anadyr, was at fome diftance from
44 thefe iflands'."
While Defhnef was furveying the fea-
coaft, he few in an habitation belonging to
fome Koriacs  a woman of Yakutfk,   who,
* We may collect from Defhnef s reafoning, that Soliverftof, in endeavouring to prove that he had failed round
the Eaftern extremity of Afia, had miftaken a promontory
called Svatoi Nofs1 for Tfchukotskoi Nofs : for otherwife,
why fhould Defhnef, in his refutation of Soliverftof, begin
by afferting, that Svatoi Nofs was not Tfchukotskoi Nofs I
The only cape laid down in the Ruffian maps, under the
name of Svatoi Nofs, is fituated 2 c degrees to the Weft:
of the Kovyma ; but we cannot poffibly fuppofe this to
be the promontory here alluded to ; becaufe, in failing
from the Kovyma towards the Anadyr, " the firft promon-
*' tory which prefents itfelf" muft neceffarily be Eaft of the
Kovyma. Svatoi Nofs, in the- Ruffian language, fignifies
Sacred Promontory ; and the Ruffians occafionally apply
if to any cape, which it is difficult to double. It therefore moft probably here relates to the firft cape, which
Soliverftof reached after he had failed from Kovyma.
S 2 as f0(/
as he recollected, belonged to Fedot Alexeef.
Upon his enquiry concerning the fate of her
mafter, fhe replied, 44 that Fedot and Gera-
44 fim (Ankudinof ) had died of the fcurvy ;
44 that part of the crew had been flain ; that
44 a few had efcaped in fmall veffels, and
€t have never fince been heard of." Traces
of the latter were afterwards found in the
peninfula of Kamtchatka ; to which place
they plohably arrived with a favourite wind,
by following the coaft, and running up the
Kamtchatka river.
When Vladimir Atlaflbf, in 1697, firft attempted the reduction of Kamtchatka, he
found that the inhabitants had previous
knowledge of the Ruffians. A common tradition ftill prevails amongft them, that, long
before the expedition of Atlaflbf, one * Fe-
dotof (who was probably the fon of Fedot
Alexeef) and his companions had refided
amongft them, and had intermarried with
the natives. They ftill fhew the fpot where
the Ruffian habitations flood; namely, at
the mouth of the fmall river Nikul, which
falls into the Kamtchatka river, and is called
by  the Ruffians Fedotika.    Upon Atlaflof's
* Fedotof, in the" Ruffian language, fignifies the fon of
arrival none of the firft Ruffians remained.
They are faid to have been held in great
veneration, and almoft deified by the inhabitants, who at firft imagined that no human power could hurt them ; until they
quarreled amongft themfelves, and the blood
was feen to flow from the wounds which
they gave each other : and upon a feparation
taking place between the Ruffians, part of
them had been killed by the Koriacs, as they
were going to the fea of Penfhinfk, and the
remainder by the Kamtchadals. The river
Fedotika falls into the Southern fide of the
Kamtchatka river about an hundred and
eighty verfts below Upper Kamtchatkoi
Oftrog. At the time of the firft expedition
to Kamtchatka, in 1697, t^le remains of
two villages ftill fubfifted, which had probably been inhabited by Fedotof and his
companions : and no one knew which way
they came into the peninfula, until it was
difcovered from the archives of Yakutfk in
* No other navigator, fubfequent to Defhnef, has ever pretended  to have paffed the
* Mr. Engel  indeed  pretends   that lieutenant Laptief
in 1739, doubled Tfchukotskoi-Nofs, becaufe Gmelin fays,
S 3 that br=
North Eaftern extremity of Afia, notwith-
flanding all the attempts to accomplifh this
paffage, as well from * Kamtchatka, as from
the Frozen Ocean.
that " he paffed from the Kovyma to Anadirfk partly by
" water and partly by land." For Mr. Engel afferts the
impoffibility of getting from the Kovyma to Anadirfk, partly
by land and partly by water, without going from the KovjyjH*
to the mouth of the Anadyr by fea, and from thence to Ana-
dirsk by land. But Mr. Muller (who has given a more particular account of the conclufion of this expedition) in*
forms us, that Laptief and his crew, after having wintered near the Indigirka, paflred from its mouth in fmall
boats to the Kovyma ; and as it was dangerous, on account of the Tfchutski, to follow the coaft any farther,
either by land or water, he went through the interior part
of the country to Anadirsk, and from thence to the mouth
of the Anadyr. Gmelin Reife, vol. II. p. 440. S.R. G.
III. p. 157. j
Mention is alfo made by Gmelin of a man who paffed
in a fmall boat from the Kovyma round Tfcukotskoi-Nofs
into the fea of Kamtchatka ; and Mr. Engel has not
omitted to bring this paffage in fupport of his fyftem, with
. this difference, that he refers to the authority of Muller,
mftead of Gmelin, for the truth of the fact. But as we
have no account of this expedition, and as the manner in
which it is mentioned by Gmelin implies that he had it
merely from tradition, we cannot lay any ftrefs upon fuch
vague and uncertain reports. The paffage is as follows :
*« Es find fp gar Spuren vorhanden, dafs ein Kerl mit einem
tt Schiffiein, das nicht viel groeffer als ein Schifferkahn
S gevefen, von Kolyma bis Tfchukotski-Nofs vorbey, und
" bis nach Kamtfchatka gekommen fey." Gmelin Reife
II. p. 437. Mem, et Obf. Geog. &c. p. 10,
* Beering, in his voyage from Kamtchatka, in 1628,
towards Tlchukotskoi-Nofs, failed along the coaft of the
Tfchutski as high as lat. 670, 18'. and obferving the coaft
take a Wefterly direction, he   too haftily concluded, that
he ^1 V
\t of SHJ
SSF! O   R
Y/WteJJfir/J /3»//8# euxv,
.»^o»dias THE   RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 263
The following narrative of a late voyage,
performed by one Shalaurof, from the Lena
towards Tfchukotfki-Nofs, will fhew the
great impediments which obftruct a coafting
navigation in the Frozen Sea, even at the
moft favourable feafon of the  year.
Shalaurof, a Ruffian merchant of Yakutfk,
having conftructed a fhitik at his own ex-
pence, went down the Lena in 1761 *.
He was accompanied by an exiled midfhip-
man, whom he found at Yakutfk, and to
whom we are indebted for the chart of this
expedition. Shalaurof got out of the Southern
mouth of the Lena in July, but was fo much
embarraffed by the ice, that he ran the veffel
into the mouth of the Yana, where he was
he had paffed the North Eaftern extremity. Apprehen
five, if he had attempted to proceed, of being locked in
by the ice, he returned to Kamtchatka. If he had followed the fhore, he would have found that what he took
for the Northern ocean was nothing more than a deep
bay ; and that the coaft of the Tfchutski, which he con-
fidered as turning uniformly to the Weft, took again a
Northerly direaion.    S. R. G, III. p. j 17.
* According to another MS. account of ShalauroPs
voyage, which I have in my poffeffion, he is faid to have
fet out upon this expedition in 1760 ; and was prevented
by the continued drifts of floating ice, which the Northerly winds drove towards the fhore, from penetrating that
yesr any further than the mouth of the Yana, where he
wintered. In 1761, he put to fea on the 291k of July,
paffed Svatoi-Nofs, &c &c.
S 4 detained rfi
CJTAXT of S ^AJ^^OJ^lJ^f^f-
r   (j^z^M^J^   o _?_ E:A* N 264       SUPPLEMENTARY ACCOUNTS  OF
detained by the ice until the 29th of Auguft,
when he again fet fail. Being prevented by
the ice from keeping the open fea, he coafted
the fhore ; and, having doubled Svatoi-Nofs
on the 6 th of September, difcovered at a fmall
diftance at Sea, to the North, a mountainous
land, wrhich is probably fome unknown ifland,
in the Frozen Ocean. He was employed
from the 7th to the 15th in getting through
the ftrait between Diomed's ifland and the
coaft of Siberia ; which he effected, not without great difficulty. From the 16th he had
a free fea and a fair S. W. wind, which carried him in 24 hours beyond the mouth of
the Indigirka. The favourable breeze continuing, he paffed on the 18th the Alafca.
Soon afterwards, the veffel approaching too
near the fhore was entangled amongft vaft
floating mafies of ice, between fome iflands *
and the main land.    And now the  late fea-
* Thefe iflands are Medviedkie Oftrova, or the Bear
Iflands ; they are alfo called Krefftofskje Oftrova, becaufe
they lie oppofite the mouth of the fmall river Kreftova,
For a long time vague reports were propagated that the
continent of America ftretched along the Frozen Ocean,
yery near the coafts of Siberia j and fome perfons pretended
to have difcovered its fhore not far from the rivers Kovyma
and Kreftova.   But the falfity of thefe reports was proved
fon of the year obliging Shalaurof to look out
for a wintering place, he ran the veffel into
one of the mouths of the river Kovyma,
where fhe was laid up. The crew immediately conftructed an hut, which they fe-
cured with a rampart of frozen fnow, and a
battery of fmall guns. Wild rein-deer re-
forted to this place in large herds, and were
fhot in great plenty from the enclofure. Before the fetting-in of winter, various fpecies
of falmon and trout afcended the river in
fhoals; affording to the crew a plentiful fub-
fiftence, and preferving them from the
fcurvy *.
The mouth of the Kovyma was not freed
from ice before the 21ft of July, 1762, when
by an expedition made in 1764, by fome Ruffian officers
fent by Denys Ivanovitch Tfchitcherin, governor of Tobolsk. Thefe officers went in winter, when the fea was
frozen, in fledges drawn by dogs, from the mouth of the
Kreftova. They found nothing but five fmall rocky iflands,
fince called the Bear Iflands, which were quite uninhabited;
but fome traces were found of former inhabitants, namely,
the ruins of huts They obferved alfo on one of the iflands
a kind of wooden ftage built of drift-wood, which feemed
as if it had been intended for defence. As far as they
durft venture out over the Frozen Sea, no land could be
feen ; but high mountains of ice obftructed their paffage,
and forced them to return. See the map of this expedition upon the chare of Shalaurof s voyage.
* Raw fifh are confidered in  thofe Northern countries
as a prefervative againft the fcurvy.
Shalaurof again put to fea, and fleered until the
28th N. E. by N. E. J E. Here he obferved
the variation of the cornpafs afhore, and
found it to be n*j 15" Eaft. The 28th
a contrary wind, which was followed by
calm, obliged him to come to an anchor, and
kept him flat ion a ry until the "ioth of Auguft*
when  a favourable breeze fpringing up, he
~ fet fail. He then endeavoured to fleer at
fome diftance from fhore, holding a more
Eafterly courfe, and N.E. by E; but the
veffel was impeded by large bodies of float-
. ing ice, and a ftrong current, which feemed
to bear Weftward at the rate of a verft an
hour. Thefe circumftances very much retarded his courfe. On the 18th, the weather being thick and foggy, he found him-
felif unexpectedly near the coaft with a number of ice iflands before him, which on the
19th entirely furrounded and hemmed in the
veffel. He continued in that fituation, and
in a continual fog, until the 23d, when he
got clear, and endeavoured by fleering N. E.
to regain the open fea, which was mueh lefs
clogged with ice' than near the fhore. He
was forced, however, by contrary winds,
S. E. and E. among large maffes of floating
ice. This drift of ice being paffed, he again
flood to the N. E. in order to double She-
latfkoi-Nofs *; but before he could reach the
iflands lying near it, he was fo retarded by
contrary winds, that he was obliged, on account of the advanced feafon, to fearch for
a wintering place. He accordingly failed
South towards an open bay, which lies on the
Weft fide of Shelatfkoi-Nofs, and which no
navigator had explored before him. He fleered into it on the 25th, and got upon a fhoal
between a fmall ifland, and a point of land
which juts from the Eaftern coaft of this
bay. Having got clear with much difficulty,
he continued for a fhort time a S. E. courfe,
then turned S. W. He then landed in order
to difcover a fppt proper for their winter re*
fidence; and found two fmall rivulets, but
neither trees nor drift-wood. The veffel was
towed along the Southerly fide of the bay
as far as the ifland Sabedei. On the 5 th of
September, he few fome huts of the Tfchut-
* He does not feem" to have been deterred from proceeding by any fuppofed difficulty in paffing Shelatfkoi-
Nofs, but to haye veered about merely on account of the
late feafon of the year, Shelatfkoi-Nofs is fo called from
the Shelagen, a tribe of the Tfchutski, and has been fuppofed to be the fame as Tfch-ukotski-Nofs. S.R. G. ill.
p. 52.
fki clofe to the narrow channel between Sabadei and the main land ; but the inhabitants
fled on his approach.
Not having met with a proper fituation9
he flood out to fea, and got round the ifland
Sabadei on the  8th, when he fattened  the
veffel to   a large body of ice,  and was carried along by a current towards W. S. W. at
the rate of five verfts an hour.    On the ioth,
he few far  to the   N. E. by N. a mountain,
and fleered the  iith and   12th towards his
former wintering place in the river Kovyma.
Shalaurof propofed to have made the following year another attempt to double Shelatfkoi-Nofs ;   but  want of provifion, and the
mutiny of the crew, forced him to return to
the Lena in   1763.    It is worth  remarking,
that during his whole voyage  he found the
currents   fetting in   almoft uniformly   from
the Eaft.    Two remarkable rocks were obferved by Shalaurof near the point where the
coaft turns to the N. E. towards the channel
which fepatates the  ifland Sabadei  from the
continent ;   thefe rocks may ferve to direct
future   navigators :   one   is    called   Saetfhie
Kamen, or   Hare's   Rock, and rifes   like  a
crooked horn ; the other Baranei Kamen, or
Sheep's Rock ; it is in the fhape of a pear,
narrower at the bottom than at top, and
rifes twenty-nine yards above high-water
mark. Ipfl
Shalaurof, concluding from his own experience, that the attempt to double Tfchu-
kotfkoi-Nofs, though difficult, was by no
means impracticable, and not difcouraged by
his former want of fuccefs from engaging
a fecond time in the fame enterprize, fitted out the fame fhitik, and in 1764 departed as before from the river Lena. We have
no pofitive accounts of this fecond voyage :
for neither Shalaurof nor any of his crew have
ig circumftances
1 he and his crew
Dy tne
r departure from
ever returned. The follow^
lead us to conclude, that bott
were killed near the Anadyr 1
about the third year after thei
the Lena. About that time the Koriacs of
the Anadyr refufed to take from the Ruffians the provifion of flour, which they are
accuftomed to purchafe every year. Inquiry
being made by the governor of Anadirfk, he
found that they had been amply fupplied
with that commodity by the Tfchutfki.
The latter had probably procured it from the
plunder of Shalaurof s veffel,   the  crew   of
which appeared to have perifhed near the
Anadyr. From thefe facts, which have been
fince confirmed by repeated intelligence
from the Koriacs and Tfchutfki, it has been
afferted, that Shalaurof had doubled the N.
E. cape of Afia. But this affertion amounts
only to conjecture ; for the arrival of the
crew at the mouth of the Anadyr affords
no decifive proof that they had paffed round
the Eaftern extremity of Afia ; for they
might have penetrated to that river by land,
from the Weftern fide of Tfchukotfkoi-
In reviewing: thefe feveral accounts of the
Ruffian voyages in the Frozen Sea, as far
as they relate to a North Eaft paffage, we
may obferve, that the cape which ftretches
to the No^th of the Piafida has never been
doubled ; and that the exiftence of a paffage
round Tfchukotfkoi-Nofs reftsupon the fingle
authority of Defhnef. Admitting however
a practicable navigation round thefe two promontories ; yet, when we confider the difficulties and dangers which the Ruffians encountered in thofe parts of the Frozen Sea
which   they     have   unqueftionably    failed
through, THE    RUSSIAN   DISCOVERIES. 271
through, how much time they employed
in making an inconfiderable progrefs, and
how often their attempts were unfuccefsful ;
when we reflect, at the fame time, that thefe
voyages can only be performed in the midft
of a fhort fummer, and even then only when
particular winds drive the ice into the fea,
and leave the fhores lefs obftructed ; we fhall
reafonably conclude, that a navigation, pur-
fued along the coafts in the Frozen Ocean,
would probably be ufelefs for commercial
A navigation therefore in the Frozen
Ocean, calculated to anfwer any end of general utility, muft (if poffible) be made in
an higher latitude, at fome diftance from the
fhores of Nova Zemla and Siberia. And
fhould we even grant the poffibility of failing
N. E. and Eaft of Nova Zemla, without
meeting with any infurmountable obftacles
from land or ice ; yet the final completion
of a N". E. voyage muft depend upon the ex-
iftence of a   free paffage * between the coaft
* I have faid a freepajage, becaufe if we conclude from
the narrative of Defhnef's voyage, that there really does
exift fuch a paffage • yet, if that paffage is only occifionlly
navigable (and the Ruffians do not pretend to have paffed
it more than once}, i; can never be of any general and commercial utility,
of the Tfchutfki and the continent of America.
But fuch difquifitions as thefe do not fall
under the intention of this work, which is
meant to ftate and examine facts, not to lay
down an hypothefis, or to make theoretical
enquiries *.
* I beg leave to affure the reader, that throughout this
whole work I have entirely confined myfelf to the Ruffian
accounts ; and have carefully avoided making ufe of any
vague reports concerning the difcoveries lately made by
captains Cooke and Clerke in the fame feas. Many of
the geographical queftions, which have been occafionally
treated in the courfe of this performance, will probably
be cleared up, and the true polition of the Weftern coafts
of America afcertained, from the journals of thofe ex-
perieaced navigators,
OF     THE
CHAP ,\ [ *7S ]
CHAP.   I.
Firft irruption of the Ruffians into Siberia—
fecond inroad—Yermac, driven by the Tzar
of Mufcovy from the Volga, retires to Orel,
a Ruffian fettlement—Enters Siberia, with
an army ofCoffaOS—his progrefs and exploits
—Defeats Kutchum Chan—conquers his dominions—cedes them to the Tzar—receives a
reinforcement of Ruffian troops—is fur prized
by Kutchum Chan-—his defeat and death—
veneration paid to his memory—Ruffian troops
evacuate Siberia—re-enter and conquer the
whole country—their progrefs flopped by the
SIBERIA, was fcarcely known to the
Ruffians before the middle of the fix-
teenth century *: for although an expedition was made, under the reign of Ivan Vaffi-
lievitch I. into the North-Weftern. Parts of
that country, as far as the river Oby, by
which feveral Tartar tribes were rendered
tributary, and  fome of their   chiefs brought
*S.R. G. VI. p. 119—21 r.     Fif. Sib. Gef. Tom. I.
T 2 prifoners 2;6       CONQ.UEST-  OF   SIBERIA.
prifoners to Mofcow ; yet this incurfion bore
a greater refemblance to the defultory inroads of barbarians, than to any permanent
eftablifhment of empire by a civilized nation.
Indeed, the effects of that expedition foon va-
nifhed ; nor does any trace of the leaft fub-
fequent communication with Siberia appear
in the Ruffian hiftory before the reign of
Ivan Vaffilievitch II. At that period Siberia
again became an object of attention, by
means of one Anika Strogonof, a Ruffian
merchant, who had eftablifhed fome fa It-
works at Solvytfhegodfkaia, a town in the
government of Archangel.
Strogonof carried on a trade of barter with
the inhabitants of the North-Weftern parts
of Siberia, who brought every year to the
abovementioned town large quantities of the
choiceft furs.' Upon their return to their
country, he was accuftomed to fend with
them fome Ruffian merchants, who croffed
the mountains, and traded with the natives.
By thefe means a confiderable number of
very valuable furs were procured at an eafy
rate, in exchange for toys and other commodities of trifling value. This traffick was continued-for feveral years, without any interruption;
during CON QJJ EST   OF   SIBERIA. 277
during  which Strogonof rapidly amafled a
very confiderable   fortune *.    At length the
Tzar Ivan Vaffilievitch II. forefeeing the advantages which would accrue to his fubjects,
from eftablifhing a  more general and regular
commerce  with thefe people, determined to
enlarge the  communication already  opened
with Siberia.    Accordingly he fent a body of
troops  into  that country.     They  followed
the fame route which had  been difcovered
by the Ruffians   in the former  expedition ;
and which was lately frequented by the merchants  of  Solvytfhegodfkaia.    It  lay  along
the banks of the Petfchora, and from thence
crofled the Yugorian mountains, which form
the   North-Eaftern    boundary    of   Europe.
Thefe troops, however, do not feem to have
paffed the Irtifh, or to have penetrated further
than the Weftern  branch  of the river Oby.
Some Tartar tribes were   indeed laid   under
contribution ; and a chief, whofe name was
Yediger, confented to pay an annual tribute
of a thoufand  fables.    But  this expedition
was not productive of any lafting   effects ;
for  foon afterwards   Yediger was  defeated,
* S. R. G. VI. p. 220—223.    Fif. Sib. Gef. p. 182.
sfiJid taken prifoner by Kutchum Chan* ft
lineal defcendant of the celebrated Zinghis
Chan, who had newly eftablifhed his empire
in thofe parts.
This fecond inroad was probably made
about the middle of the fixteenth century ;
for the Tzar Ivan Vaffilievitch affumed the
title of Lord of all the Siberian lands fo early
as 1558, before the conquefts of Yermac in
thofe regions *. But probably the name of
Siberia was at that time only confined to the
diftrict then rendered tributary ; and, as the
Ruffians extended their conquefts, this appellation was afterwards applied to the whole
tract of country which now bears that
For fome time after the above-mentioned
expedition, the Tzar does not appear to have
made any attempts towards recovering his
loft authority in fo remote a country. But
his attention was again turned to that quarter
by a concurrence of incidents ; which, though
begun without his immediate interposition,
terminated in a vaft acceffion of territory.
Strogonof, in recornpence for having firft
opened a  trade with the inhabitants of Si-
*S. R. G. VI. p. 217.
-wJ CONQJJEST   OF   SIBERIA.        279
beria, obtained from the Tzar large grants
of land. Accordingly he founded colonies
upon the batiks of the rivers Kama and
Tchuflbvaia ; and thefe fettlements gave rife
to the entire fubjection of Siberia by the refuge which they not long afterwards afforded
to Yermac Timofeef, a fugitive Coffac of the
Don, and chief of a troop of banditti who
infefted the fhores of the Cafpian fea. And
as Yermac was the inftrument by which fuch
a vaft extent of dominion was added to the
Ruffian Empire, it will not be uninterefting
to follow him from the fhores of the Cafpian
to the banks of the Kama ; and to trace his
fubfequent progrefs in the diftant regions of
By the victories which the Tzar Ivan
Vaffilievitch had gained over the Tartars of
Cafan and Aftracan, that monarch extended
his dominions as far as the Cafpian Sea ; and
thereby eftablifhed a commerce with the Per-
fians and Bucharians, But as the merchants trading to thofe parts were continually
pillaged by the Coffees of the Don; and
as the roads which lay by the fide of that
river, and of the Volga, wrere infefted with
T 4 thofe 2%0        CONQJJEST   OF   SIBERIA.
thofe banditti ; the Tzar fent a confiderable
force againft them. Accordingly, they were
attacked and routed ; part were flain, part
made prifoners ; and the reft efcaped by
flight : among the latter was a corps of fix
thoufand Coffees, under the command of
Yermac Timofeef *.
This celebrated adventurer, being driven
from his ufual haunts, retired with his followers into the interior part of the province
of Cafan ; and directed his courfe along the
banks of the Kama, until he reached Orel+>
one of the Ruffia^fettlements recently planted, and governed by Maxim grandfon of
Anika Strogonof. Yermac, inftead of ftorm-
ing the place, and pillaging the inhabitants,
acted with a degree of moderation unufual in
a chief of banditti. Being hofpitably received by Strogonof, and fupplied with all
things neceffary for the fubfiflence of his
troops, he fixed his winter: quarters at that
fettlement. His reftlefs genius howrever
did not fuffer him to continue for any length
of time in a ftate of inactivity; and, from the
intelligence he procured concerning the fitua-
* S. R. G. VI. p. 232. Fif. Sib. Gef. I. p. 185.
f S. R. G. VI. p. 233.
tion of the neighbouring Tartars of Siberia,
he turned his arms toward that quarter.
Siberia was at that time partly divided
among a number of feparate princes ; and
partly inhabited by the various tribes of independent Tartars. Of the former Kutchum
Chan wras the moft powerful Sovereign. His
dominions comprifed that tract of country
which now forms the South-Weftern part of
the province of Tobolfk ; and ftretched from
the banks of the Irtifh and Oby to thofe of
the Tobol and Tura. His principal refi-
dence was at Sibir *, a fmall fortrefs upon
the river Irtifh, not far from the prefent
town of Tobolfk ; and of which fome ruins
ftill remain. Although his power was very
confiderabie ; yet there were fome circum-
ftances which feemed to enfure fuccefs to an
* Several authors have fuppofed the name of Siberia to
derive its origin from this fqrtrefs, foon after it was firft;
taken by the Ruffians under Yermac. But this opinion is advanced without Efficient foundation ; for the name of
Sibir was unknown to the Tartars, that fort being by them
called Isker. Befides, the Southern part of the province
of Tobolsk, to which the name of Siberia was originally
applied, was thus denominated by the Ruffians before the
invafion of Yermac. This denomination probably firft
came from the Permians and Sirjanians, who brought the
firft accounts of Siberia to the Ruffians.
S.R^G. VI.p, 180.
enter- 2o*2        CONQJJEST   0F  SIBERIA.
enterprizing invader. He had newly ae*
quired a large part of his territories by conqueft ; and had, in a great meafure, alienated
the affections of his idolatrous fubje&s by the
intolerant zeal with which he introduced and
diffeminated the Mahometan religion *.
Strogonof did not fail of difplaying to
Yermac this inviting pofture of affairs, as well
with a view of removing him from his prefent
ftation, as becaufe he himfelf was perfonally
exafperated againft Kutchum Chan : for the
latter had fecretly inftigated a large body of
Tartars to invade the Ruffian fettlements
upon the river Tchuflbvaia ; and had afterwards commenced open hoftillties with a body
of forces under the command of his coufin
Mehemet Kul. And although both thefe attempts had failed of fuccefs ; yet the troops
engaged in them had left traces of havoc and
devaftation too lafting to be eafily effaced +•
All thefe various confiderations were not
loft upon Yermac : having therefore employed
the winter in preparations for his intended
expedition, he began his march in the fummer of the following year,  1578, along the
* S.R. G.VI. p. 180.
•f Fif. Sib. Gef. I. p. 187.
tanks   of the Tchuffovahu;    The want of
proper guides, and a neglect of other necef-
fary precautions* greatly retarded his march ;
and he was overtaken by the winter before he
had made  any coniiderabk progrefs.    And
at the  appearance of fpring   he   found his
flock ofprovifions fo nearly exhaufted, that he
was reduced to the neceffity of returning to
Orel. But this failure of fuccefs, inftead of ex-
tinguifhing his ardour for the profecution  of
the enterprize, only ferved  to render  him
ftill more felicitous in guarding againft the
poffibility of a future mifcarriage.   By threats
he extorted  from Strogonof every affiftance
s which the nature  of the  expedition feemed
to require.    Befide  a  fuffieient  quantity of
provifions, the greateft part of his followers,
who were before unprovided with fire-arms,
were fupplied with mufkets and ammunition ;
and, in order  to give the  appearance  of a
regular   army   to his troops,   colours  were
diftributed   to each company,   which   were
ornamented with the  images of faints, after
the manner of the Ruffians.
Having thus made  all previous arrange-
ments, he  found himfelf in a condition  to
force his way into Siberia ; and in the month
2 of 284        CONQJJEST   OF   SIBERIA.
of June,  1579* he commenced  this fecond
expedition.    His followers amounted to five
thoufand men ; adventurers inured to  hard-
fhips, and regardlefs of danger : they  placed
implicit confidence in their leader, and feemed
to be ail animated with the fame fpirit.    He
continued his route partly by land, and partly
by water :   the  navigation   however  of the
rivers was fo tedious, and the roads fo rugged
and   difficult, that eighteen  months elapfed
before he reached Tchingi, a fmall town upon
the banks of the Tura *.    Here he muftered
his troops, and   found his army confiderably
reduced : part had been exhaufted by fatigue ;
part  carried off by ficknefs ;   and  part  de-
ftroyed   in   fkirmifhing    with   the   Tartars.
The whole remaining  number amounted  to
about fifteen   hundred   effective   men ;    and
yet with this handful of troops  Yermac did
not hefitate for a moment in advancing a-
gainft Kutchum  Chan.     That   prince was
already upon his guard ; and refolved to defend his crown to the laft extremity.   Having
collected his forces, he difpatched feveral flying parties againft Yermac, himfelf remaining behind with the flower of his troops :
* S.R. G. VI, p. 243-248—262.
but CONQJJEST   OF   SIBERIA.        285
but all thefe detachments were repulfed with
confiderable lofs ; and worfted in many fuc-
ceffive fkirmifhes. Yermac continued his
march without intermiffion, bearing: down all
refiftance until he reached the center of his ad-
verfary's dominions.
Thefe fucceffes however were dearly bought;
for his army was now reduced to five hundred
men. Kutchum Chan was encamped * at no
great diftance upon the banks of the Irtifh,
with a very fuperior force, and determined to
give battle. Yermac, not daunted by the inequality of numbers, prepared for the engagement, with a confidence which never forfook
him: his troops were equally impatient for
action, and knew no medium between conqueft and death. The event of the combat
correfponded with this magnanimity. After
an obftinate and well-fought battle, victory
declared in favour of Yermac: the Tartars
Were entirely routed, and the carnage was fo
general, that Kutchum Chan himfelf efcaped
with difficulty.
* The place where the Tartar army lay encamped was
called Tfchuvatch : it is a neck of land wafhed by the Irtifh, near the fpot where theTobol falls into that river. Fif.
Sib. Gef. I. p. 203.
This- 2%6     CONQJJEST    OF    SIBERIA.
This defeat proved decifive: Kutchum Chart
was defeated by his fubjects ; and Yerma^
who knew how to improve as well as gain a
victory, marched without delay to Sibir, the
refidence of the Tartar princes. Being well
aware, that the only method to fecure his
conqueft wasJt®, obtain poffeffion of that important fortrefs, he expected to ha?4 been op-
pofed by a confiderable garrifon, determined
to faarifice their lives in its defence. But the
news of the late defeat had diffufed univerfal
confirmation ; and a body of troops, whom he
had difpatched in order to reduce the fortrefs,
finding it quite deferted, he himfelf made his
triumphant entry, and feated himfelf upon
the throne without the leaft oppofition. Here
he fixed his refidence, and received the allegiance of the neighbouring people, wrho flocked
from all quarters upon the news of fo unexpected a revolution. The Tartars, ftruck with
his gallant intrepidity and brilliant exploits,
fubmitted to his authority without hefitation,
and acquiefced in the payment of the ufual
Thus this enterprifing Coffac was fuddenly
exalted, from the ftation of a chief of banditti,
to CONQJf?ST   OF   SIBERIA.      287
to the rank of a fovereign prince.   It does not
appear from hiftory whether his firft defign
was to conquer Siberia, or folely to amafs a
confiderable booty.   The latter indeed feems
the more probable conjecture.    The rapid tide
of fuccefs with which he was carried on, and
the entire defeat  of Kut&hum Chan, afterwards expanded his views, and opened a larger
fcene to his ambition. But, whatever were his
original projects, he feems worthy, fo far as
intrepidity and prudence form a bafis of merit,
of the final fuccefs which flowed in upon him.
For he was neither elated with unexpected
profperity, nor dazzled with the fudden glare
of royalty : on the contrary, the dignity of
his deportment was as confiftent and unaffected, as if he had been born a fovereign.
And now Yermac and his followers feemed
to enjoy thofe rewards which they had dearly
purchafed by a courfe of unremitted fatigue,
and by victories which almoft exceeded belief.
Not only the tribes in the neighbourhood of
Sibir wore the appearance of the moft unre-
ferved fubmillion ; but even princes from the
moft diftant parts acknowledged themfelves
tributary, and claimed his protection. This
calm, however, was of fhort duration,    in-
furrections 20*8      CONQJJEST    OF   SIBERIA*
furrections were concerted by Kutchum Chan ;
who, though driven from his dominions, yet
ftill retained no fmall degree of influence over
his former fubject^. ft £$8g^
Yermac few and felt the precarioufnefs of
his prefent grandeur : the inconfiderable number of his followers, who had furvived the
conqueft of Sibir, had been ftill further di-
minifhed by an ambufcade of the enemy -, and,
as he could not depend on the affection of his
new fubjects, he found himfelf under the ne-
ceffity either of calling in foreign affiftance, or
of relinquifhing his dominion. Under thefe
circumflances he had recourfe to the Tzar of
Mufcovy ; and made a tender of his new ac-
quifitions to that monarch, upon condition of
receiving immediate and effectual fupport.
The judicious manner in which he conducted
this meafure fhews him no lefs able in the
arts of negotiation than of war.
One of his moft confidential followers was
difpatched to Mofcow at the head of fifty
Coffees. He had orders to reprefent the progrefs which the Ruffian troops, under the
command of Yermac, had made in Siberia:
he was artfully to add, that an extenfive empire was conquered in the name of the Tzar;
i that CON QJJ EST O £ SIBERIA. 289
that the natives were reduced to fwear alle*
giance to that monarch ; and confented to pay
an annual tribute. This reprefentation w#&
accompanied with a prefent of the choiceft and
moft valuable furs*. The embiffador was
received at Mofcow with the ftrongeft marks
of fatiitfaction : a public thankfgiving was celebrated in the cathedral; the Tzar acknowledged and extolled the good fervices of Yermac ; he granted a pardon for all former offences ; and, as a teftimony of royal favour,
diftributed prefents for him and his followers*
Among thofe that were fent to Yermac was a
fur robe, which the Tzar himfelf had worn,
and which was the greateft mark of diftinction
that could be conferred upon a fubject. To
thefe was added a fum of money, and a pro-
mi fe of fpeedy and effectual affiftance.
Meanwhile Yermac, notwithftanding the
inferior number of his troops, did not remain
inactive within the fortrefs of Sibir. He de*
feated all attempts of Kutchum Chan to recover his crown ; and took his principal general prifoner: he made occafional inroads
into the adjacent provinces, and extended his
* S. R. G. VI. p. 304,
U con- 2G/0     CON QJJ EST    OF    SIBERIA.
conquefts to the fource of the Taffda on one
fide, and on the other as far as the diftrict
which lies upon the Oby above its junction
with the Irtiih.
At length the promifed fuccours arrived at
Sibir. They confifted of five hundred Ruffians, under the command of prince Bolkofky,
who was appointed wayvode or governor of
Siberia. Strengthened by this reinforcement,
Yermac continued his excurfions on all fides
with his ufual activity ; and gained feveral
bloody victories over different princes, who
imprudently afferted their independence.
In one of thefe expeditions he laid fiege to
Kullara, a fmall fortrefs upon the banks of
the Irtifh, which ftill belonged to Kutchum
Chan : but he found it fo bravely defended by
that monarch, that all his efforts to carry it
by ftorm proved ineffectual. Upon his return
to Sibir he was followed at fome diftance by
that prince, who hung unperceived upon his
rear; and was prepared to feize any fortunate
moment of attack which might occur: nor
was it long before a favourable opportunity
prefented itfelf. The Ruffians to the number
of about three hundred lay negligently ported
in CONQJJEST    OF   SIBERIA.      291.
in a fmall ifland, formed by two branches of
the Irtifh. The night was obfcure and rainy ;
and the troops, fatigued with a long march,
repofed themfelves without fufpicion of danger. Kutchum Chan, apprifed of their fitu-
ation, filently advanced at midnight with a
felect body of men ; and, having forded the
river, came with fuch rapidity upon the Ruffians, as to preclude the ufe of their arms. In
the darknefs and confufion of the night, the
latter were cut to pieces almoft without oppo-
fition; and fell a refiftlefs prey to thofe ad-
verfaries, whom they had been accuftomed to
conquer and defpife. The maflacre was fo
univerfal, that only one man is recorded to
have efcaped, and to have brought the news
of this cataftrophe to his countrymen at Sibir*
Yermac himfelf perifhed in the rout, though
he did not fall by the fwrord of the enemy. In
all the hurry of furprife, he was not fo much
infected with the general panic, as to forget
his ufual intrepidity, which feemed to be en-
creafed rather than abated by the danger of
his prefent fituation. After many defperate
acts of heroifm, he forced his way through
the furrounding troops, and made to the banks
U 2 of 3£2     CONQJJEST    OF    SIBERIA.
of the Irtifh*. Being clofely purfued by a detachment of the enemy, he endeavoured to
throw himfelf into a boat which lay near the
fhore; but flepping fhort, he fell into the
water ; and, being incumbered with the
weight of his armour, funk inftantly to the
bottom f.
His body was expofed, by order of Kutchum
Chan, to all the infults, which revenge ever
fuggefted to barbarians in the frenzy of fuccefs.    But thefe firft tranfports of tefentment
* Many difficulties have arifen concerning the branch of
the irtifh m which Yermac was drowned ; but it is now
fufficiently afcertained that it was a canal, which fome time
before this cataftrophe had been cut by order of that Cof-
fac. Not far from the fpot where the Vagai falls into-the
Irtifh, the latter river forms a bend of fix verfts ; by cutting
a cann! in a ftraight line from the two extreme points of this
fweep, he fhortened the length of the navigation. S. R. G.
p. 365, 366.
f Cyprian was appointed the firft archbifhop of Siberia
in 1621. Upon his arrival at Tobolfk^ he enquired for fe*
vera! of the antient followers of Yermac who were ftill alive;
and from them he made himfelf acquainted with the prin--
cipai circumftances attending the expedition of that Collac,
and the conqueft of Siberia. Thofe circumftances he committed to writing ; and thefe papers may be conftdered a$
the archives of the Siberian hiftory; from which the feveral hiftorians of that country have drawn their relations.
Sava Yefimof, who was himfelf one of Yermac*s followers,
'• is one of the moft accurate hiftorians of thofe times. He
carries down his hiftory to the year 1636. Fif, Sib. Gef. I.
p. 430.
had CONQJJEST    OF    SIBERIA*       2*9.3
had no fooner fubfided, than the Tartaf s; l-ef-
tified the moft pointed indignation at the ungenerous ferocity of their leader. The prowefs
of Yermac, his confommate valour and magnanimity, virtues which barbarians know how
to prize, role upon their recollection. They
made a fudden tranfition from one extreme to
the other: they reproached their leader for
ordering, and themfelves for being the inftru-
ments of indignity to fuch venerable remains.
At length their heated imaginations proc;e.ed&d
even to confecrate his memory : they interred
his body with all the rites of Pagan fuper-
ftition ; and offered up facrifices to his manes.
Many miraculous ftories were foon fpread
abroad, and met with implicit belief. The
touch of his body was fuppofed to have proved
an inftantaneoys cure for all diforders ; and
even his clothes and arms were faid to be endowed with the fame efficacy. A flame of fire
was reprefented as fometimes hovering about
his tomb, and fometimes as ftretching in one
luminous body from the fame fpot towards the
heavens. A prefiding influence over the affairs
of the chace and of war was attributed to his
departed fpirit; and numbers reforted to his
tomb to invoke his tutelary aid in concerns fo
U"3 in- 294     CONQJJEST    OF    SIBERIA.
interefting to uncivilized nations. Thefe idle
fables, though they prove the fuperftitious
credulity of the Tartars, convey at the fame
time the ftrongeft teftimony of their veneration
for the memory of Yermac; and this veneration greatly contributed to the fubfequent
progrefs of the Ruffians in thofe regions*.
With Yermac expired for a time the Ruffian
-empire in Siberia. The news of his defeat
and death no fooner reached the garrifon of
Sibir, than a hundred and fifty troops, the
fad remains of that formidable army, which
had gained fuch a feries of almoft incredible
victories, retired from the fortrefs, and evacuated Siberia. Notwithftanding this difafter,
the court of Mofcow did not abandon its de-
fign upon that country ; which a variety of
favourable circumftances ftill concurred to render a flattering object of Ruffian ambition*
* Even fo late as the middle of the next century, this
veneration for the memory of Yermac had not fubfided. Al-
lai, a powerful prince of the Calmucs, is faid to have been
cured of a dangerous diforder, by mixing fome earth taken
from Yermae's tomb in water, and drinking the infufion.
The fame is alfo reported to have carried with him a fmall
portion of the fame earth, whenever he engaged in any
important enterprize. This earth he fuperftitioufly confi-
dered as a kind of charm ; and was perfuaded that he always fecured a profperous iffue to his affairs by fuch a precaution.    S. R. G. VL p. 391.
Yer- CONQJJEST    OF    SIBERIA.       2||
Yermac's fagacity had difcovered new and
commodious routes for the march of troops
acrofs thofe inhofpitable regions : the rapidity
with which he overran the territories of Kutchum Chan, taught the Ruffians to confider
the Tartars as an eafy prey. Many of the
tribes, who had been rendered tributary by
Yermac, had teftified a chearful acquiefcence
under the fovereignty of the Tzar ; and were
inclined to renew their allegiance upon the
firft opportunity : others looked upon all re- '
fiftance as unavailing; and had learned, from
dear-bought experience, to tremble at the very
name of a Ruffian. The natural ftrength of
the country, which proved not to be irrefift-
ible even when united, was confiderably weakened by its inteftine commotions. Upon the
retreat of the Ruffian garrifon from Sibir, that
fortrefs, together with the adjacent diflrict,
was feized by Seyidyak, fon of the former fovereign, whom Kutchum Chan had dethroned
and put to death ; oth&r princes availed themfelves of the general confufion to affert independency ; and Kutchum Chan was able to
regain only a fmall portion of thofe dominions,
of which he had been flripped by Yermac.
U 4 In- court ©f
296     CON QJJ EST    OF    SIBERIA.
Influenced by thefe motives, th
Mofcow difpatched a body of three hundred
troops into Siberia, who penetrated to the
banks of the Tura as far as Tfchingi almoft
without oppofition ; and, having built the fort
of Tumen, re-eftablifhed their authority over
the neighbouring diftrict. Being foon afterwards reinforced by an additional number of
men, they were enabled to extend their operations, and to erect the fortreffes of Tobolfk,
Sirgut, and Tara. The conftruction of thefe
and other fortreffes was foon attended with a
fpeedy recovery of the whole territory, which
Yermac had reduced under the Ruffian yoke.
This fuccefs was only the fore-runner of
ftill greater acquifitions. The Ruffians pufhed
their conqueft far and wide : wherever they
appeared, the Tartars were either reduced or
exterminated ; new towns were built; and
colonies were planted on all fides. Before a
century had well elapfed, all that vaft tract
of country now called Siberia, which ftretches
from the confines of Europe to the Eaftern
Ocean, and from the Frozen Sea to the prefent frontiers of China, was annexed to the
Ruffian dominions.    A ftill larger extent of
ter- CONQJJEST  OF  SIBERIA.        297
territory had probably been won; and all the
various tribes of independent Tartary, whicai
lie between the South-Eaftern extremity of
the Ruffian empire and the Chinefe Wall,
would have followed the fate of the Siberian
hordes ; if the power of China had not fud-
denly interpofed.
Commencement of hofiilities between the Ruffians
and Chinefe—Difputes concerning the limits
of the two empires—Treaty of Nerfhinfk—
Embaffies from the court of Ruffia to Pekin—
Treaty of Kiakta—Efiablifhment of the commerce between the two nations.
TOWARDS the middle of the feven-
teenth century the Ruffians were rapidly extending themfelves Eaftward through
that important territory which lies on each
fide of the river * A moor. They foon reduced feveral independent Tungufian hordes ;
and built a chain of fmall fortreffes along the
banks of the above-mentioned river, of which
* Amoor is the name given by the Ruffians to this river ;
it is called Sakalin-Ula by the Manfhurs, and was formerly
denominated Karamuran, or the Black River, by the Mongols.    S. R, G. II. p. 293,
the 1
the principal were Albafin, and Kamarfkoi
Oftrog. Not long afterwards, the Chinefe
under * Camhi conceived a fimilar defign of
fubduing the fame hordes. Accordingly the
two great powers of Ruffia and China, thus
pointing their views to the fame objedt, unavoidably clafhed ; and, after feveral jealoufies
and intrigues, broke into open hoftilities about
the year 1680. The Chinefe laid fiege to
Kamarfkoi Oftrog; and, though repulfed in
this attempt, found means to cut off feveral
ftraggling parties of Ruffians. Thefe animo-
fities induced the Tzar Alexey Michaelovitch
to fend an embafly to  Pekin ;   a meafure,
* Camhi was the fecond emperor of the Manfhur race,
who made themfelves matters of China in 1624.
The Manfhurs were originally an obfcure tribe of the
Tungufian Tartars, whofe territories lay South of the
Amoor, and bordered upon the kingdom of Corea, and the
province of Leaotong. They began to emerge from ob-
fcurity at the beginning of the feventeenth century. About
that time, their chief Aifchin-Giord reduced feveral neighbouring hordes; and, having incorporated them with his
own tribe, under the general name of Manfhur, he became
formidable even to the Chinefe. Shuntfchi, grandfon of
this chief, by an extraordinary concurrence of circumftances,
was raifed while an infant to the throne of China, of which
his fucceffors ftill continue in poffeffion. Shuntfchi died in
1662, and was fucceeiled by Camhi, who is well known from
the accounts of the Jefuit millionaries.
For an account of the revolution of China, fee Duhalde
Defer, de la Chine, Bell's Journey to Pekin, and Fif. Sib.
Gef. torn. I. p. 463. RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 299
.which did not produce the defired effe£t. The
Chinefe attacked Albafin with a confiderable
force : having compelled the Ruffian garrifon
to capitulate, they demolifhed that and all the
Ruffian forts upon the Amoor; and returned,
with a large number of prifoners, to their own
Not long after their departure, a body of
fixteen hundred Ruffians advanced along the
Amoor; and conftructed a new fort, under
the old name of Albafin. The Chinefe, ap-
prifed of their return, marched inftantly towards that river ; and laid fiege to Albafin
with an army of feven thoufand men, and a
large train of artillery. They battered the
new fortrefs for feveral weeks, without being
able to make a breach, and without attempting to take it by ftorm. The befieged, though
not much annoyed by the unfkilful operations
of the enemy, were exhaufted with the complicated miferies of ficknefs and famine ; and,
notwithstanding they continued to make a
gallant refiftance, muft foon have funk under
their diftreffes, if the Chinefe had not voluntarily retired, in confequence of a treaty in
agitation between the two courts of Mofcow
and Pekin.    For this purpofe the Ruffian em-
baffador Golovin had quitted Mofcow iri%6$$,
accompanied by a large body of troops, in order to fecure his perfon, and enforce refpect
to his embaffy. The difficulty of procuring
fubfiftence for any confiderable number of
men in fuch defolate regions, joined to the
ruggednefs of the roads, and the length of the
rfrarch, prevented his arrival at Selengiafe until the year 1687. From thence meffengers
were immediately difpatched to Pekin, with
overtures of peace.
After feveral delays, occafioned partly by
policy, and partly by the pofture of affairs in
the Tartar country through which the Chinefe were to pafs, embaffadors left Pekin in
the beginning of June 1689. Golovin had
propofed to receive them at Albafin ; but,
while he was proceeding to that fortrefs, the
Chinefe embaffadors prefented themfelves at
the gates of Nerfhinfk, efcorted by fueh a numerous army, and fuch a formidable train of
artillery, that Golovin was conftrained, from
motives of fear, to conclude the negotiation
almoft upon their own terms. The conferences were held under tents, in an open
plain, near the town of Nerfhinfk 5 and a
treaty concluded, which firft checked the pro-
4 grefe RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 30I
grefs of the Ruffian arms in thofe parts ; and
laid the foundations of an important and regular commerce between the two nations.
By the firft and fecond articles, the South-
Eaftern boundaries of the Ruffian empire were
formed by a ridge of mountains, ftretching
North of the Amoor from the fea of Okotfk
to the fburce of the fmall river Gorbitza %
then by that river to its influx into the Amoor,
and laftly by the Argoon, from its junction
with the Shilka up to its fource. By the fifth
article reciprocal liberty of trade was granted
to all the fubjects of the two empires, who
fhould be provided with paffports from their
refpective courts +.
This treaty was figned.on the 27th of Auguft, in the year 1689, under the reign of
* There are two Gorbitzas ; the firift falls into the
Amoor, near the conflux of the Argoon and Shilka ; the
fecond falls into the Shilka. The former was meant by the
Ruffians; but the Chinefe fixed upon the latter, for the
boundary, and have carried their point. Accordingly the
prefent limits are fome whet different from thofe mentioned
in the text. They are carried from the point where the
Shilka and Argoon unite to form the Amoor, Weftwar"
-along the Shilka, until they reach the mouth of the Weftern
Gorbitza ; from thence they are continued to the fource of
the laft-mentioned river, and along the chain of mountains
ae before. By this alteration the Ruffian limits are foiaewhat
f S. R. G. II. p. 435.
Ivan and Peter Alexiewitch, by which the
Ruffians loft, exclufively of a large territory,
the navigation of the river Amoor. The importance of this lofs was not at that time un-
derftood ; and has only been felt fince the difcovery of Kamtchatka, and of the iflands between Afia and America. The products of
thefe new-difcovered countries might, by
means of the Amoor, have been conveyed by
water into the diftri£t of Nerfhinfk, from
whence there is an eafy tranfport by land to
Kiakta: whereas the fame merchandife, after
being landed at Okotfk, is now carried over a
large tra£t of country, partly upon rivers of
difficult navigation, and partly along rugged
and almoft impaffable roads.
In return, the Ruffians obtained, what they
had long and repeatedly defired, a regular and
permanent trade with the Chinefe. The firft
intercourfe between Ruffia and China commenced in the beginning of the feventeenth
century * ; at which period a fmall quantity
of Chinefe merchandife was procured, by the
merchants, of Tomfk and other adjacent towns,
from the Calmucs.    The rapid and profitable
* S. R. G. VIII. p. 504, & feq.
fale RUSSIA    AND     CHINA. 303
fale of thefe commodities encouraged certain
wayvodes of Siberia to attempt a direct and
open communication with China.    For this
purpofe feveral perfons were deputed at different times to Pekin from Tobolfk, Tomfk,
and other Ruffian fettlements; and although
thefe deputations failed of obtaining the grant
of a regular commerce, they were neverthe-
lefe  attended  with   fome   important  confe-
quences.   The general good reception, which
the agents met with, tempted the Ruffian
merchants to fend occafional traders to Pekin.
By thefe means a faint connection with that
metropolis was kept alive : the Chinefe learned the advantages of the Ruffian trade ; and
were  gradually prepared  for  its fubfequent
eftablifhment.  This commerce, carried on by
intervals, was entirely fufpended by the hofti-
lities upon  the  river Amoor : but no fooner
was the treaty of Nerfhinfk concluded, than
the Ruffians engaged with extraordinary alacrity in their favourite branch of traffic.   And
its advantages were foon found to be fb con-
fiderable, that Peter I. conceived an idea of
ftill farther enlarging it.    Accordingly,   in
1692, he difpatched I fb rand Ives, a Dutchman in his fervice, to Pekin ; who requefted
and obtained, that the liberty of trading to
China, which by the late treaty was granted
to individuals, fhould be extended to caravans. -
In confequence of this arrangement, fuccef-
five caravans went from Ruffia to Pekin ;
where a caravanfary was allotted for their reception ; and all their expences during their
continuance in that metropolis were defrayed
by the Emperor of China. The right of fending thefe caravans, and the profits refulting
from them, belonged to the crown of Ruffia.
In the mean time, private merchants continued as before to carry on a feparate trade
with the Chinefe, not only at Pekin, but alfo
at the head quarters of the Mongols. The
camp of thefe roving Tartars was generally
flationed near the conflux of the Orkon and
Tola, between the Southern frontiers of Siberia and the Mongol defert. A kind of annual fair was held at this fpot by the Ruffian
and Chinefe merchants, who brought their
refpective goods for fale. This rendezvous
foon became a fcene of riot and confufion ;
and repeated complaints of the drunkennefs
*md mifconduft of the Ruffians were trailf-
tefitted to the Chinefe Emperor. Thefe complaints RUSSIA     AND     CHINA. 305
plaints made a ftill greater impreffion from a
coincidence of fimilar exceffes, for which the
Ruffians at Pekin had become notorious. Ex-
afperated by the frequent reprefentations of
his fubjects, Camhi threatened to expel the
Ruffians from his dominions, and to prohibit
them from carrying on any commerce, as
well in China as in the country of the Mongols.
Thefe untoward circumftances occafioned
another embafly to Pekin in the year 1719.
Leff Vaffilievitch Ifmailof, the embaflador
upon this occafion, fucceeded in the negotiation ; and adjufted every difficulty to the
fatisfaction of both parties. At his departure
Laurence Lange, who had accompanied him
in the chara&er of agent for the caravans,
was permitted to remain at Pekin for the pur-
pofe of fuperintending the conduct of the Ruffians. His refidence however in that metropolis was but fib or t; for he was foon afterwards compelled, by the Chinefe, to return.
His difmiffion was owing partly to a fudden
caprice of that fufpicious people ; and partly
to a frefh mifunderftanding between the two
courts, in relation to fome Mongol tribes who
bprdered upon Siberia, A fmall number of
X thefe 5WPF""
thefe Mongols had placed themfelves under
the protection of Ruffia, and were immediately
demanded by the Chinefe ; but the Ruffians
refufed compliance, under pretence that no
article in the treaty of Nerfhinfk could, with
any appearance of probability, be conftrued
as extending to the Mongols. The Chinefe
were incenfed at this refufal; and their re-
fentment was ftill farther inflamed by the dif-
orderly conduit of the Ruffian traders, who,
freed from all controul by the departure of
their agent, had indulged, without reftraint,
their ufual propensity to excefs. This concurrence of unlucky incidents extorted in
iy22, an order from Camhi for the total ex-
pulfion of the Ruffians from the Chinefe and
Mongol territories ; and all intercourfe between the two nations immediately ceafed.
Affairs continued in this ftate until the year
1727; when the count Sava Vladiflavitch Ra-
gufinfki, a Dalmatian in the fervice of Ruffia,
was difpatched to Pekin. He was inftructed
at all events to compofe the differences between the two courts relating to the Mongol
tribes ; to fettle the Southern frontiers of the
Ruffian empire in that quarter; and to obtain
the permiffion of renewing the  trade with
China. RUSSIA    AND     CHINA. 307
China. He accordingly prefented a new plan
for a treaty of limits and commerce to Yund-
fchin, fon and fucceffor of Camhi; by which
the frontiers of the two empires were finally
traced as they exift at prefent; and the commerce eftablifhed upon a permanent bafis,
calculated to prevent as far as poffible all future fources of mifunderftanding. This plan
being approved by the emperor, Chinefe com-
miffioners were immediately appointed to negotiate with the Ruffian embaffador upon the
banks of the Bura, a fmall river which flows,
South of the confines of Siberia, into the Or*
kon near its junction with the Selenga.
At this conference, the old limits, fettled
by the treaty of Nerfhinfk, were continued
from the fource of the Argoon Weftwards as
far as the mountain Sabyntaban, which is
fituated at a fmall diftance from the, fpot
where the conflux of the two rivers Uleken
and Kemtzak form the Yenisei : this boundary feparates the Ruffian dominions from the
territory of the Mongols, who are under the
protection of China. It was likewife ftipu-
lated, that for the future all negotiations
fhould be tranfafted between the tribunal of
foreign affairs at Pekin, and the board of fo-
X 2 reign 308      TRANSACTIONS    BETWEEN
reign affairs at St. Peterfburg ; or in matters of
inferior moment between the two commanders of the frontiers *.
The moft important articles relating to
commerce were as follow :
A caravan was allowed to go to Pekin every
three years, on condition of its not confifting
of more than two hundred perfons ; and that
during their refidence in that metropolis, their
expences fhould be no longer defrayed by the
emperor of China. Notice was likewife to be
fent to the Chinefe court immediately upon
their arrival at the frontiers ; where an officer was to meet and accompany them to
Pekin. The privilege before enjoyed by individuals of carrying on a promifcuous traffic
in the Chinefe and Mongol territories was
abolifhed ; and no merchandize belonging to
private perfons was permitted to be brought,
for fale beyond the frontiers. For the pur-
pofe of preferving, confiftently with this regulation, the privilege of commerce to individuals, two places of refort were appointed
on the confines of Siberia : one called Kiakta,
* This article was inferted, becaufe the Chinefe emperor, from a ridiculous idea: of fuperiority, had contemp-
tuoufly refufed to hold any correfpondence with the court of
from RUSSIA     AND     CHINA.
from a rivulet of that name near which it
ftands; and the other Zurukaitu ; at which
places a free trade was reciprocally indulged to
the fubjects of the two nations. A permiffion was at the fame time obtained for building a Ruffian church within the precincts of
their caravanfary ; and, for the celebration of
divine fervice, four priefts were allowed to re-
fide at Pekin *. The fame favour was alfo
extended to fome Ruffian fcholars + for the
purpofe of learning the Chinefe tongue : in
* The firft Ruffian church at Pekin was built for the accommodation of the Ruffians taken prifoners at Albafin.
Thefe perfons were carried to Pekin, and the place appointed for their habitation in that city was called the Ruffian
Street, a name it ftill retains. They were fo well received
by the Chinefe, that, upon the conclufion of the treaty of
Nerfhinfk, they refufed to return to their native country.
And, as they intermarried with the Chinefe women, their
defcendants are quite naturalized • and have for the moft
part adopted not only the language, but even the religion
of China. Hence, the above-mentioned church, though
it ftill exifts, is no longer applied to the purpofe of divine
worfhip: its prieft was transferred to the church, which
was built within the walls of the caravanfary.
f The good effects of this inftitution have already been
perceived. A Ruffian, whofe name is Leontief, after having refided ten years at Pekin, is returned to Petersburg.
He has given feveral tranflations and extracts of fome in-
terefting Chinefe publications, viz, Part of the Hiftory of
China ; the Code of the Chinefe Laws ; Account of the
Towns and Revenues, &c. of the Chinefe empire, extracted
from a Treatife of Geography, lately printed at Pekin. A
fhort account of this Extract is given in the Journal of St.
Petersburg for April, 1779.
order to qualify themfelves for interpreters between the two nations.
This treaty, called the treaty of Kiakta,
was, on the fourteenth of June, 1728, concluded and ratified by count Ragufinfki and
three Chinefe plenipotentaries upon the fpot
where Kiakta was afterwards built; it is the
bafis upon which all the fubfequent tranfactions between Ruffia and China have been
founded *.x
One innovation in the mode of carrying on
the trade to China, which has been introduced
fince the acceffion of the prefent emprefs Catherine II. deferves to be mentioned in this
place. Since the year 1755 no caravans have
been fent to Pekin. Their firft difcontinuance
was occafioned by a mifunderftanding between
the two courts of Peterfburg and Pekin ; and
their difufe, after a reconciliation had taken
place, arofe from the following circumftances.
The exportation and importation of many
principal commodities, particularly the moft
valuable furs, were formerly prohibited to individuals, and folely appropriated to caravans
belonging to the crown. By thefe reftrictions
the Ruffian trade to China was greatly fhackled
* S.R.G. VIII. p. 513. -^"  RUSSIA     AND    CHINA.
and circumfcribed. The prefent emprefs
(who, amidft many excellent regulations
which characterife her reign, has fliewn her-
felf invariably attentive to the improvement
of the Ruffian commerce) abolifhed, in 1762,
the monopoly of the fur trade; and renounced
in favour of her fubjects the exclufive privilege which the crown enjoyed of fending caravans to Pekin *. By thefe conceffions the
profits of the trade have been confiderably en-
creafed; the great..expence, hazard, and delay, of tranfporting the merchandife occa-
fionally from the frontiers of Siberia to Pekin,
has been retrenched ; and Kiakta is now rendered the center of the Ruffian and Chinefe
Account of the Ruffian and Chinefe fettlements
upon the confines of Siberia—dejcription of
the Ruffian frontiertown Kiakta—oftheQhx^
nefe frontier town Maimatfchin—its buildings, pagodas, &c.
)Y the laft-mentioned treaty it wTas ftipu-
lated, that the commerce between Ruffia and China fhould be tranfailed at the fron-  312      TRANSACTIONS    BETWEEN
tiers. Accordingly two fpots were marked
out for that purpofe upon the confines of Siberia, where they border upon the Mongol
defert; one near the brook Kiakta, and the
other at Zurukaitu. The defcription of the
former of thefe places fhall be the fubject of
the prefent chapter.
This■fettlement confifts of a Ruffian and
Chinefe town, both fituated in a romantic
valley, furrounded by high, rocky, and for
the moft part well-wooded, mountains. The
valley is interfered by the brook Kiakta,
which rifes in Siberia, and, after wafhing
both the Ruffian and Chinefe town, falls
into the Bura, at a fmall diftance from the
The Ruffian fettlement is called Kiakta
from the abovementioned brook : it lies in
124 degrees 18 minutes longitude from the
ifle of Fero, and 35 degrees N. latitude, at
the diftance 01*3676 miles from Mofcow, and
1025 from Pekin.
It confifts of a fortrefs and a fmall fuburb.
The fortrefs, which is built upon a gentle rife,
is a fquare enclofed with palifadoes, and
ftrengthened with wooden baftions at the feveral angles.    There are three gates, at which
guards RUSSIA     AND    CHINA. 313
guards are conftantly ftationed : one of the
gates faces the North, a fecond the South towards the Chinefe frontiers, and a third the
Eaft dole to the brook Kiakta. The principal
public buildings in the fortrefs are a wooden
church, the governor's houfe, the cuftom-
houfe, the magazine for provifions, and the
•guard-houfe. It contains alfo a range of fhops
and warehoufes, barracks for the garrifon, and
feveral houfes belonging to the crown ; the
latter are generally v inhabited by the principal
merchants. Thefe buildings are moftly of
The fuburb, which is furrounded with a
wooden wall covered at the top with chevaux
de frize, contains no more than an hundred
and twenty houfes very irregularly built; it
has the fame number of gates as the fortrefs,
which are alfo guarded. Without this fob-
urb, upon the high road leading to Selenginfk,
ftand a few houfes, and the magazine for
This fettlement is but indifferently provided with water; for although the brook
Kiakta is dammed up as it flows by the fortrefs ; yet it is fo fhallow in fummer, that,
unlefs after heavy rains, it is fcarcely fuffi-
cient 314        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
cient to fupply the inhabitants. Its ftream is
alfo turbid and unwholefome ; and the fprings
which rife in the neighbourhood are either
foul or brackifh : from thefe circumftances,
the principal inhabitants are obliged to fend
for water from a fpring in the Chinefe dif-
trict. The foil of the adjacent country is
moftly fend or rock, and extremely barren.
If the frontiers of Ruffia were extended about
fix miles more South to the rivulet of Bura ;
the inhabitants of Kiakta would enjoy good
water, a fruitful foil, and plenty of fifh, all
which advantages are at prefent confined to
the Chinefe.
The garrifon of Kiakta confifts of a company of regular foldiers, and a certain number of Coffacs ; the former are occafionally
changed, but the latter are fixed inhabitants
of the place. It is the province of the commander to infpect the frontiers, and, in conjunction with the prefident of the Chinefe
merchants, to fettle all affairs of an inferior
nature ; but in matters of importance re
inn  tr
ft be 1
lad to the chancery of Selenginfk,
and to the governor of Irkutfk. The Ruffian
merchants,   and  the agents of the Ruffian
trading; RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 315
trading company, are the principal inhabitants of Kiakta.
The limits Weftwards from this fettlement
to the river Selenga, and Eaftwards as far as
Tchikoi, are bounded with chevaux de frize,
in order to prevent a contraband trade in-c&ttjfe,
for the exportation of which a considerable
duty is paid to the crown. All the outpofts
along the frontiers Weftwards as fer as the
government of Tobolfk, and Eaftwards to the
mountains of fnow, are under the command
of the governor of Kiakta.
The moft elevated of the mountains that
furround the valley of Kiakta, and which is
called by the Mongols Burgultei, commands
J ■ CD D 7
the Ruffian as well as the Chinefe town: for
this reafon, the Chinefe, at the conclufion of
the laft frontier treaty, demanded the ceffion
of this mountain, under the pretext that fome
of their deified anceftors were buried upon its
fummit. The Ruffians gave way to their re-
queft; and fuffered the boundary to be brought,
back to the North fide of the mountain.
The Chinefe town is called, by the Chinefe
and Mongols, Maimatfchin, which fignifies
fortrefs of commerce. The Ruffians term it
the Chinefe Village (Kitaijkaia Sloboda), and
alfo jiff
alfo Naimatfchin, which is a corruption of
Maimatfchin. It is fituated about an hundred
and forty yards South of the fortrels of Kiakta,
and nearly parallel to it. Midway between
this place and the Ruffian fortrefs, two pofts
about ten feet high are planted in order to
mark the frontiers of the two empires : one is
infcribed with Ruffian, the other with Manfhur characters *.- $1^
Maimatfchin has no other fortification than
a wooden wall, and a fmall ditch of about
three feet broad ; the latter was dug in the
year 1756, during the war between the Chinefe and the Calmucs. The town is of an
oblong form : its length is about feven hundred yards, and its breadth four hundred. On
each of the four fides a large gate faces the
principal ftreets ; over each of thefe gates
there is a wooden guard-houfe for the Chinefe
garrifon, which confifts of Mongols in tattered clothes, and armed with clubs. Without the gate, w7hich looks to the Ruffian
frontiers, and about the diftance of eight yards
* Upon the mountain to the Weft of Kiakta, the limit
is again marked; on the Ruffian fide by an heap of ftones
and earth, ornamented on the top with a crofs ; and on the
Chinefe by a pile of ftones in the fhape of a pyramid. Pallas
Reife, P. III. p. no.
from RUSSIA     AND     CHINA.     ,      317
from the entrance, the Chinefe have raifed a
wooden fcreen, fo conftructed as to intercept
all view of the ftreets from without.
This town contains two hundred houfes and
about twelve hundred inhabitants. It has
two principal ftreets of about eight yards
broad, croffing each other in the middle at
right angles, with two by-ftreets running
from North to South. They are not paved,
but are laid with gravel, and kept remarkably
The houfes are fpacious, uniformly built of
wood, of only one flory, not more than fourteen feet high, plaiftered and white-wafhed ;
they are conftructed round a court-yard of
about feventy feet fquare, which is ftrewed
with gravel, and has an appearance of neat-
nefs. Each houfe confifts of a fitting-room,
fome warehoufes, and a kitchen. In the
houfes of the wealthier fort the roof is made
of plank ; but in meaner habitations of lath
covered over' with turf. Towards the ftreets
moft of the houfes have arcades of w7ood projecting forwards from the roof, like a pent-
hou-fe, and fupported by ftrong pillars. The
windows are large after the Furopean manner,
but, on account of the dearnefs of glafs and
Ruf- vr
318        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
Ruffian talc, are generally of paper, excepting
a few panes of glafs in the fitring-room.
The fitting-room is feldom turned towards
the ftreets ; it is a kind of fhop, w7here the feveral patterns of merchandize are placed in
receffes, fitted up with fhelves, and fecured
with paper-doors for the purpofe of keeping
out the daft.    The windows are generally
ornamented with little paintings ; and the
walls are hung with Chinefe paper. Half the
floor is of hard-beaten clay; the other half is
covered with boards, and rifes about two
feet. Here the family fit in the day-time,
and fleep at night. By the fide of this raifed
part, and nearly upon the fame level, there is
a fquare brick ftove, with a ftreight perpendicular cylindrical excavation, which is heated
with fmall pieces of wood. From the bottom
of this ftove a tube defcends, and is carried
zigzag under the boarded floor above-men-
Honed, and from thence to a chimney which
opens into the ftreet. By this contrivance,
although the ftove is always open and the
flame vifible ; yet the room is never troubled
in the leaft degree with fmoke. There is
fcarcely any furniture in the room, excepting
one large dining-table in the lower part, and
j two RUSSIA     AND    CHINA. 319
two fmall lackered ones upon the raifed floor:
one of thefe tables is always provided with a
chaffing-difh, which ferves to light their pipes
when the ftove is not heated.
In this room there are feveral fmall niches
covered with filken curtains, before which
are placed lamps that are lighted upon fefti-
vals: thefe niches contain painted paper idols;
a flone or metal veffel, wherein the afhes of
incenfe are collected; feveral fmall ornaments
and artificial flowers : the Chinefe readily allow ftrangers to draw afide the curtains, and
look at the idols.
The Bucharian * merchants inhabit the
South Weft quarter of Maimatfchin. Their
houfes are not fo large nor commodious as
thofe of the Chinefe, although the greateft
part of them carry on a very confiderable
The Surgutfchei, or governor of Maimatfchin, has the care of the police, as well as
the direction of all affairs relating to com-
* ie The chief merchandizes, which- the Buchanans
" bring to Ruffia, are cotton, fluffs, and half-filks, fpua
*' and raw cotton, lamb-skins, precious ftones, gold-duft,
fj unprepared nitre, fal-ammoniac, &c." See-Rluffia, or a
complete Hiftorical Account of all the nations that compofe
that Empire, V. II. p. 141, a very curious and interefting
work lately publifhed by Mr. Tooke.
merce; 320 COMMERCE     BETWEEN
merce : he is generally a perfon of rank, oftentimes a Mandarin, who has mifbehaved
himfelf in another ftation, and is fent here as
a kind of punifhment. He is diftinguifhed
from the reft by the cryftal button of his cap,
and by a peacock's * feather hanging behind.
The Chinefe give him the title of Amban,
which fignifies commander in chief; and no
one appears before him without bending the
knee, in which pofture the perfon who brings
a petition muft remain until he receives the
governor's anfwer. His falary is not large ;
but the prefents which he receives from the
merchants amount annually to a confiderable
The moft remarkable public buildings in
Maimatfchin, are the governor's houfe, the
theatre, and two pagodas. The governor's
houfe is larger than the others, and better
furnifhed ; it is diftinguifhed by a chamber
where the court of juftice is held, and by two
high poles  before the  entrance ornamented
* In China the princes of the blood wear three peacocks
feathers ; nobles of the higheft d:ftin£tion, two ; and the
lower clafs of the nobility, one. It is alfo a mark of high
rank to keep a carriage with four wheels. The governor of
Maimatfchin,rode in one with only two wheels. All the
Chinefe wear buttons of different colours in their caps,
which alfo denote the rank.    Pallas Reife, P. III. p. 126.
7 with RUSSIA    AND     CHINA. 321
with flags. The theatre is fituated clofe to
the wall of the town near the great Pagoda:
it is a kind of fmall fhed, neatly painted, open
in front, and merely fpacious enough to contain the flage; the audience fland in the ftreet.
Near it are two high poles, upon which large
flags with Chinefe infcriptions are hoifted on
feftivals. On fuch occafions the fervants belonging to the merchants act fhort burlefque
farces, in honour of their idols. The fmalleft
of the two Pagodas is a wooden building,
ftanding upon pilfers, in the center of the
town, at the place where the two principal
ftreets crofs. It is a Chinefe tower of two
flories, adorned on the outfide with fmall columns, paintings, and little iron bells, &c.
The firft flory is fquare, the fecond octangular. In the lower flory is a picture representing the God Tien, which fignifies, according
to the explanation of the moft intelligent Chinefe, the Moft High God, who rules over the
thirty-two heavens. The Manfhurs, it is
faid, call this idol Abcho ; and the Mongols, Tingheru, heaven, or the God of
heaven.     He   is   reprefented   fitting   with
his head   uncovered,
encircled with  a
ray J22        COMMERCE     BETWEEN
ray * of glory fimilar to that which furrounds
the head of our Saviour in the Roman catholic paintings : his&mr is longismkiflawing;
hehoWsiti his right hand a drawn fword,
attd his left is extended as in the act 6f giving
a behedifliion. On one fide of this figure two
youthi, on the other a maiden and a greyheaded old man, are delineated.
The upper flory contains the picture of
another idol in a black and white checquered
cap, with the fame figures of three young
periods and a little old man. There are no
altars in this temple, and no other ornaments
excepting thefe pictures and their frames. It
is opened only on feftivals, and ftrangers cannot fee it without permiffion.
The great Pagoda f, fituated before the
governor's hotife, and near the principal gate
* When Mr. Pallas obtained permiffion of the governor to
fee this temple, the iatter affured him that the Jefuits of
Pekin, and their converts, adored this idol. From whence
he ingerffoUlly conjectures, either that the refembBfece between this idol, and the reprefentatibn of our Saviour by
the Roman Catholicks, was the occafion of this affertion^
or that the Jefblts, in order to excite the devotion, of the
converts, have, out of policy, given to the picture of our
Saviour a refemblance to the Tien of the Chinefe. Pallas
Reife,  P. III. p. 119.
+ The great Pagoda is omitted in the engraving of Maimatfchin prefixed to this chapter; an omiffion owing to the &USSIA    AND    CJITNA. 323
looking to the South, is larger and rnore magnificent than the former. Strangers are allowed to fee it at all times, without the leaft
difficulty, provided they are accompanied by
one of the priefts, who are always to be found
in the area of the temple. This area is fur-
rounded with chevaux de frize : the entrance is from the South through two gates
with a fmall building between them. In
the infide of this building are two receffes
with rails before them, behind which the
images of two hdrfes as big as life are
coarfely moulded out of clay : they are
faddled and bridled, and attended by twro human figures dreffed like grooms. The horfe
to the right is of a chefnut colour, the other
is dun with a black mane and tail; the former is in the attitude of fpringing, the latter
of walking. Near each horfe a banner of
yellow "filk, painted with filver dragons, is
In the middle of this area are two wooden
turrets furrounded with galleries : a large bell
artift's being obliged to leave Kiakta before he had time to
finifh the drawing. In every othei^reTpect, the view, as J
was informed by a gentleman who has been on the fpot,
is complete, and reprefented with the greateft exactnefs,
of eaft iron, which is ftruck occafionally with
a large wooden mallet, hangs in the Eaftern
turret; the other contains two kettle-drums
of an enormous fize, fimilar to thofe ufed in
the religious ceremonies of the Calmucs. On
each fide of this area are ranges of buildings
inhabited by the priefts of the temple.
The area communicates by means of a
handfome gateway with the inner court,
which is bordered on each fide by fmall compartments open in front, with rails before
them ; in the infide of thefe compartments
the legendary ftories of the idols are exhibited
in a feries of hiftorical paintings. At the farther extremity of this court Hands a large
building, conftructed in the fame flyle of architecture as the temple. The infide is fixty
feet long and thirty broad : it is flored with
antient weapons, and inftruments of war of a
prodigious fize ; fuch as fpears, fcythes, and
long pikes with broad blades, fhields, coats
of arms, and military enfigns reprefenting
hands *, dragons heads, and other carved
figures. All thefe warlike inftruments are
richly gilded, and ranged in order upon fcaf-
* Thefe hands refemblethe manipuhiry ftandards of the
2 folds RUSSIA     AND     CHINA. 325
folds along the wall. Oppofite the entrance
a large yellow flandard, embroidered with foliage and filver dragons, is erected ; under it,
upon a kind of altar, there is a,feries of
little oblong tables, bearing Chinefe infcrip-
An open gallery, adorned on both fides
with flower-pots, leads from the back-door of
the armoury to the colonade of the temple.
In this colonade two flare tablets are placed,
in wooden frames, about fix feet high and
two broad, with long infcriptions relating to
the building of the temple. Before one of
thefe plates a fmall idol of an hideous form
flands upon the ground, enclofed in a wooden
The temple itfelf is an elegant building,
richly decorated on the outfide with columns,
lackered and gilded carved-work, fmall bells,
and other ornaments peculiar to the Chinefe
archite<ture. Within there is a rich pro-
fufion of gilding, which correfponds with
the gaudinefs of the exterior. The walls
are covered thick with paintings, exhibiting
the moft celebrated exploits of the principal
This temple contains, five idols of a co-
loffel flature, ^tting cr&fs-legged v*pon pecfef-
%$.$ in three receffes, which fill the whole
Northern fide.
The principal idol is feated alone, in the
middle recefs, between two columns ornamented with gilded dragons. Large ftreamers
of filk, hanging from the roof of the temple,
veil in fome meafure the upper part of the
image. His name is Qhe^£ife or Ghefl^
Chan * ; the Chinefe .call himLoo-ye, or the
firft and moft antient; and the,
Guanloe, or the fuperior god. tie is of a gi*
gantic iize, furpafj&ng more than fourfold the
human flature, with a face gliftening like
burniftied  gold,   black hair and  beard.    He
% The Mongols and Calmucs call him by this name of
Gheffur Chan ; and although they do not reckon him
among their divinities, yet they confider him as a great
hero, the Bacchus and Hercules of Eaftern Tartary, who
was born at the fource of the Koango, and who vaiymifhed
many monfters. They have in their language a very long
hiftory of his heroical deeds. His title, in the Mongul
tongue, is as follows : Arban Zeeghi Elfin Gheffur Bogdo
of the ten points of the compafs, or the
monarch Gheffur Chan.
I have in my poffeffion a copy of this manufcript, contain-
ing the Hiftory of Gheffur Chan j it is in the original Mongol language, and was a prefent to me from Mr. Pallas : I
lliould be very happy to communicate it to any perfon verfed
in the Eaftern lane RUSSIA     AND    CHINA.        327
wears a crown upon his head, and is richly
drefl^4>iiv|jhe Chinefe fafhion : his garments
are not moulded out of clay, as thofe of the
other idols ; but are made of the fineft filk.
He holds in his hands a kind of tablet, whicji
he feigns jto read wit^deep attention. Two
fmall female figures, fefembling girls of about
fourteen years of age, fland on each fide of
the ■$$, upon the fame pedeftal; one qf
which gi^afps a roll of paper. At the right-
hand of the idol lie {even golden arrows, and
at his left a bow.
Before the idol is a fpacious enclofure, fur-
rounded with rails, within which ftands an
altar with four coloffai figures, intended probably to reprefent the principal mandarins of
the deified Gheffur. Two of thefe figures are
dreffed like judges, and hold before them
fmall ftablets, fimilar to that in the hapds of
the principal idol. The two other figures are
^cqoutred in complete armour : one wears a
turban ; and carries, upon the left fhoulder,
a large fword fheathed, with the hilt upwards. The other has an hideous copper-
coloured face, a large belly -, and grafps in
his right-hand a lance with a broad blade.
Although all the remaining idols in the tem-
Y 4 pie 528        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
pie are of an enormous fize, yet they are
greatly furpaffed in magnitude by Gheffur
The firft idol in the recefs to the right is
called Maooang, or the Otfchibaftm of the
Mongols. He has three ghaftly copper-coloured faces, and fix arms: two of his arms
brandifh two fabres crofs-ways over the head ;
a third bears a looking-glafs ; and a fourth a
kind of fquare, which refembles a piece of
ivory. The two remaining arms are employed in drawing a bow, with an arrow laid
upon it, ready to be difcharged. This idol
has a mirror upon his breaft, and an eye in
his navel : near it are placed two fmall
figures ; one holds an arrow, and the other a
little animal.
The next idol in the fame recefs is called
by the Chinefe Tfaudfing, or the gold and
filver god; and by the Mongols * Tfagan-
Dfambala. He wears a black cap, and is
dreffed, after the Chinefe fafhion, in fump-
tuous robes of ftate ; he bears in his hand a
fmall jewel cafket. Near him alfo ftand two
little figures, one of which holds a truncated
In RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 329
In the recefs to the left is the god Kufho,
called by the Manfhurs Kua-fchan, and by
the Mongols Galdi, or the Fire God. He is
reprefented with a frightful firey reddifh face :
clad in complete armour, he wields a fword
half-drawn out of the fcabbard ; and feems as
in the act of ftarting up from his feat. He is
attended by two little halberdeers, one of
whom is crying ; and the other bears a fowl
upon his hand, whicfP%efembles a fea-phea-
The other idol in the fame recefs is the god
of oxen, Ni^h. He appears to be fitting in
a compofed pofture, is habited like a Mandarin, and diftinguifhed by a crown upon his
head. He has, in common with the other
idols, a mirror upon his breaft. The Chinefe imagine him to be the fame with the Ya-
mandaga of the Mongols ; and it is faid his
Manfhurifh name is Kain Killova ; his Mongol name, which relates to the hiftory of
Ghefliir, is Bars-Batir, the Hero of Tygers.
Before thefe feveral idols there are tables,
or altars, on wThich cakes, paftry, dried fruit,
and flefh, are placed on feftivals and prayer-
days : on particular occafions even whole car-
gaffes of fheep  are offered up.    Tapers and
lamps r
Janips.bu.m day and jnight before the idols.
\Ajmong the utenirls of the temple, jthe mjofj
#ei»4rkable is a veffel .flipped like a quiver*
and 6J|ed with flat pieces of cleft reed, on
which fhort devices are infcrit^. Thefe devices are taken putt by the Chinefe on New*
year's day; aind are confidered as oraclea,
which foretell the good or ill luck of the perfon, by whom they are drawn, during the
follo$¥,ing yea^r, There lies alfo upon a table
an hollow wooden black lackered helmet,
which all perfons of devotion • fjrike with a
woo<fe# hammer, whenever they enter the
temple. This helmet is regtirdeei with fuch
peculiar awe, that no ftraAgers are permittqcl
to handle it, although they are allowed to
touch even the idols themfelves.
Thiq ftrft day of the new and full rnoon is
appointed for the .celebration of worfhip.
Upon each of thofe days no Chinefe ever fails
to make his appearance onqe in the temple:
h^rCiiters without taking off his cap*, joins
his hands before his face ; bows five times to
each idol; touches with his forehead the pe-
-deft a 1 on  which, the idol fits; and therr re-
* Among the -Chinefe, as well as other Eaftern nations,
it is reckoned a mark of difrefpect to uncover the head be>
fore a fuperior,
- RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 331
tires. Tfihek principal feftival^ ^e held in
the *fitftjrtfcath of their year, which anfwers
to February. It is called by them, as well
as by the Mongols, the white month; and is
confidered as<a Jucky time for the tranfaction
of hri&nefs : at that time they difplay flags
before thp temples ; and place meat upon the
tables of the idols, which the priefts take
away in the evening, and eat in the fmall
apaiftixtents of the interior court. On thefe
^JBJbsitMft&idS plays are performed in the .-theatre,
in honour of the idols: the pieces are generally
of the fatyricalkind, and pointed againft un-
juft magiftrates and judges.
But although the Chinefe have fuch few
ceremonies in. their fyffem of religious wor-
fhip ; yet they are remarkably infected with
fuperftition. Mr. Pallas gives the following
defcription of their behaviour at Maimatfchin
during an eclipfe of the moon. At the clofe
of the evening in which the eclipfe appeared*
all the inhabitants feemed to vie with each
other indefatigably in raifing an inceffant uproar, fome by hideous fhrieks, others by
knocking wood, and beating cauldrons: the
din was heightened by ftriking the bell and
beating the kettle-drums of the great Pagoda.
The $$2        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
The Chinefe fuppofe, that during an eclipfe
the wicked fpirit of the air, called by the
Mongols Arakulla, is attacking the moon;
and that he is frightened away by thefe hideous fhrieks and nbifes. Another inftance
of fuperftition fell under the obfervation of
Mr. Pallas, while he was at Maimatfchin. A
fire breaking out with fuch violence that feveral houfes were in flames, none of the inhabitants attempted to extinguifh it; they
flood indeed in idle confternation round the
fire; and fome of them fprinkled occafionally
water among the flames, in order to footh the
fire god, who, as they imagined, had chofen
their houfes for a facrifice. Indeed, if the
Ruffians had not exerted themfelves in quenching the fire, the whole place would probably
have been reduced to afhes *«
* This account of Kiakta and Maimatfchin is taken from
Mr. Pallas's defcription of Kiakta, in the journal of his travels through Siberia, P. III. p. 109—.126. Eveiy circum-
ftance relating to the religious Worffiip of the Eaftern nations
is in itfelf fo interefting, that I thought it would not be unacceptable to my readers to give a tranflation of the above
paffages refpecting the Cbinefe Pagodas and Idols j although
in a work treating of the new difcoveries, and the commerce
which is connected with them. In the abovementioned
journal the ingenious author continues to defcribe from his
own obfervations the manners, cuftoms, drefs, diet, andfb-
yeral other particulars relative to the Chinefe ; which, although exceedingly curious and interefting, are too foreign R U S S.1A    AND    CHINA.
Commerce between the Chinefe and Ruffians-—
lift of the principal exports and imports—*
duties—average amount of the Ruffian trade.
THE merchants of Maimatfchin come
from the Northern provinces of China,
chiefly from Pekin, Nankin, Sandchue, and
other principal towns. They are not fettled
at this place with their wives and families:
for it is a remarkable circumftance, that there
is not one woman in Maimatfchin.    This re-
to the immediate purpofe of thefe fheets to have been inferted
in the prefent work.
No writer "has placed the religion and hiftory of the Mongol nations in a more explicit point of view than Mr. Pallas : eyery page in his interefting journal affords ftriking
proofs of this affertion. He has lately thrown new lights
upon this obfcure fubject, in a recent publication concerning
the Mongols, who inhabit parts of Siberia, and the territory
which lies between that country and the Chinefe-wall. Of
this excellent work.the firft volume appeared iti 1776, and
contains the genealogy, hiftory, laws, manners, and cuf-
toms, of this extraordinary people, as they are divided into-
Calmucs, Mongols, and Burats. The fecond volume is expected with impatience, and will afcertain, with minutenefs
and accuracy, the tenets and religious ceremonies which
diftinguifh the votaries of Shamanifm from the followers of
Dalai-Lama, the two great fects into which thefe tribes are
diftinguifhed. Pallas Samlunghiftorifcher Nachrichten ueber
die Mongolifchen Volkerfthafter.
flriftion fff?*"
ftri&ion arifes from the policy of the Chinefe
government, which totally prohibits the women from having the flighteft intercourfe with
foreigners. No Chinefe merchant engages in
the trade to Siberia who has not a partner.
Thefe perfons mutually relieve each other.
One remains for a ftated time, ufually a year,
at Kiakta ; and, when his partner arrives
with a frefh cargo of Chinefe merchandize,
he returns home with the Ruffian commodities *.
Moft of the Chinefe merchants underftand
the Mongol tongue, in which language commercial affairs are generally tranfacted. Some
few indeed fpeak broken Ruffian ; but their
pronunciation is fo foft and delicate, that it is
difficult to comprehend them. They are not
able to pronounce the R, but inftead of it
uie an L ; and when two con fon ants come
together, which frequently occurs in the Ruffian tongue, they divide them by the inter-
pofition of a vowel f. This failure in articulating
* Pallas Reife, P. III. p. 11$.
f Bayer, in his Mufeum Sinicum, gives feveral curious
inftances of the Chinefe mode of articulating thofe founds,
which they have not in their own language. For inftance.
they change BDRXZ into PTLSS.
Thus RUSSIA     AND     CHINA, 335
culatkig the Ruffian language feems peculiar
to the Chinefe; and is not obfervable in the
Calmucs, Mongols* and other net^bo^iring
n4tionls *.
The commerce between the Ruffians and
Chinefe is entirely a trade of barter, or an
exchange of one merchandize for another.
The Ruffians are prohibited to export their
own coin :• nor indeed could the Chinefe receive it, even fhould that prohibition be taken
off; for no fpecie is current amongft them
except bullion +.    And the Ruffians find it
Thus for Maria they fay Ma-ii-ya ;
for crux,
for bapkizo*.',
for cardinalis
for fpirkus,.
for Adam,
for Eva,-
for Chriftus,
Hoc, eft,- corpus, meurr
cu-lu-lu ;
pa-pe-ti-fo ;
kia-nhfi-na-li-fu ;
va-tam :
-ho-ke, nge-fu-tu, co-ul-
Bayer, Muf. Sin. Tom, I. p. ic.
?■ Pallas Reife, P. III. "p. 134.
•f The Chinefe have no gold or filver coin. Thefe metals are always paid in bullion ; and for the purpofe of ascertaining the weight, every Chinefe merchant is conftantly
provided with a pair of fcales. As gold is very fcarce ia
China, filver is the great medium of commerce. When fe-.
veral authors affirm that the Ruffians draw large quantities
of filver from China^ they miftake an accidental occurrence
for a general and ftanding fa£t. During the war between
the Chinefe and Calmucs, the former had occafion to pur-
chafe at Kiakta provifion, horfes, and camels, for which
they 336        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
more advantageous to take merchandise iri
exchange, than to receive bullion at the Chinefe flandard. The common method of tranf-
a&ing bufinefs is as follows. The Chinefe
merchant, having at Kiakta examined the
merchandize he has occafion for in the ware-
houfe of the Ruffian trader, adjufts at the
houfe of the latter the price over a difh of
tea. Both parties next return to the magazine ; and the goods in queftion are carefully
fealed in the prefence of the Chinefe merchants. At the conclufion of this ceremony,
they both repair to Maimatfchin ; the Ruffian
choofes the commodities he wants, not forgetting to guard againft fraud by a ftri£t in-
they paid filver. This traffic brought fuch a profufion o*
that metal into Siberia, • that its price was greatly reduced
below its real value. A pound of filver was at that period
occasionally fold at the frontiers for 8 or 9 roubles, which
at prefent is worth 15 or 16. But fince the conclttfion of
thefe wars by the total reduction of the Calmucs under the
Chinefe yoke, Ruffia receives a very fmall quantity of filver
from the Chinefe,    S. k. G. III. p. 593 & feq.
The filver imported to Kiakta is chiefly brought by the
Bucharian merchants, who fell cattle to the Chinefe in exchange for that metal, which they afterwards difpofe of to
the Ruffians for European manufactures. Gold-duft is alfo
occafionally,obtained from the fame merchants; the quantity however of thofe metals procured at Kiakta is fo incon-
iiderable, as fcarcely to deferve mention. The whole fum of
gold and ftlver imported to Kiakta, in 1777, amounted to
only 18,21^ roubles.   See* p. 344.
 -ul RUSSIA    AND     CHINA. ^37
fpe£lion. He then takes the precaution to
leave behind a perfon of ttftfidence, who remains in the warehoufe until the Ruffian
goods? are delivered, when he returns to Kiakta
with the Chinefe merchandize *.
The principal commodities which Ruffia
exports to China are as follow:
FURS and PELTRY. It would be unin-
terefting to enumerate all the furs and fkins -f
brought for fale to Kiakta, which form the
moft important article of exportation on the
fide of the Ruffians. The moft valuable are
the fkins of fea-otters, beavers, foxes, wolves,
bears, Bucharian lambs, Aftracan fheep, martens, fables, ermines, grey-fquirrels.
The greateft part of thefe furs and fkins
are'brought from Siberia and the New-difcovered iflands: a fupply however not fully
adequate to the demand of the market. Foreign furs are therefore imported to St. Peterf-
burg, and from thence fent to Kiakta. England
alone furnifhes a large quantity of beaver and
* Pallas Reife, P. III. p. 13$.
f The lift of all the furs and fkins brought to Kiakta,
with their feveral prices, is to be found in Pallas Reife,
Part III. p. 136 to p. 142.
Z other 33°
other fkins, which fhe procures from Hud-
fon's Bay and Qjfiada *.
CLOTH. Cloth forms the fecond article
of exportation which Ruffia exports to China.
The coarfe fort is manufactured in Ruffia;
the finer is foreign, chiefly Englifh,.Pruffian,
and French. An arfhire of foreign cloth
fetches, according to its fitrenefs, from 2 to 4
roubles. Camlets. Calimancoes. Druggets.
White flannels, both Ruffian and foreign.
The remaining articles are, Rich fluffs.
Velvets.    Coarfe linen, chiefly manufactured
* Lift of furs fent from England to Peterfburg in the
following years:
1775 I 4646° I
1776 [ 27700 j
1777 j 27316 j
The fineft -Hudfon's beavers have been fold upon an average at Peterfburg, from        70— 90 roubles per 10 skins.
Inferior ditto and beft Canada beavers from 50— 75
Young or cub-beavers from 20— 3 5
Beft otter-skins from 90—100
Inferior ones from 60— 80
The qualities of thefe skins being very different occafior*
great variations in the prices.
At Kiakta, the beft Hudfon's Bay beaver is fold from   7 to 20 roubles per skin.
Otter's ditto        — 6 — 35
Black foxes skins ftom Canada are alfo fometimes fent from
England to Peterfburg.
At Kiakta they fetch from 1 to 100 roubles per skin.
in kUSSIA     AN I*    CHINA. ^^9
in Ruffia. Ruffia leather. Tanned hides.
Glafs ware and looking glaffes. Hardware,
namely knives-, fciflars, locks, &c. Tin..
Ruffian talk. Cattle, chiefly Camels, horfes,
and horned cattle. The Chinefe alfo pay
very dear for hounds, grey hounds, barbets,
and dogs for hunting wild boars. Provifions *.
Meal. The Chinefe no longer import fuch
large quantities of meal as formerly ; fince
they have employed the Mongols to cultivate the lands lying near the river Orchon f,
&c. &c.
Lift of the moft valuable commodities
procured from China.
The exportation of raw filk is prohibited in
China under pain of death : large quantities
howrever are fmuggled every year into Kiakta,
bdt not fufficient to anfwer the demands of
the Ruffian merchants.
•* In the year 1772, the Chinefe purchafed meat at Ki«
akta> at the following prices :
A pound of beef 3f copecs.
lamb 21
Horfe-flefh for the Tartars   \.    Pallas Reife, P. III.
f S. R. G, III. p, 495—571.     Pallas Reife,   P. ill. p.
Z   % A pood 340        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
A pood of the beft fort jis jsfti*>i
mated at — 150 roubfcBTJ
of the worft fort at        75.
The manufactured filks w£i>f YMioWi$tit$,
fafhions, and prices^fe. fattins, taffaties, da-
mafks, and gauzes, fcanes of filk died of all
colours, ribbands, &c. &c.
RAW AND MANUFACTURED COTTON; Raw cotton is imported in very lange
quantities; a great part of this comibodity
being employed in packing up the china-ware
is conveyed into the inland part of Ruffia
without any additional expence of carriage.
A pood fells for—from 4 roubles, 80 cop.
to 12.
Of the manufactured cotton, that which
the Ruffians call Kitaika, and the Englifh
Nankeen, has the moft rapid fale. It is the
moft durable, and, in proportion to its good-
nefs, the cheapeft of all the Chinefe fluffs;
it is ftained red, brown, green, and black.
TEAS. The teas which are brought into
Ruffia are much fuperior in flavour and quality to thofe which are fent to Europe from
Canton. The original goodnefs of the teas is
probably the fame in both cafes ; but it is
con- RUSSIA     AND     CHINA. 341
conjectured, that the tranfport by fea con-
fiderably impairs the aromatic flavour of the
pj$$t. This commodity, now become fo favourite an object of European luxury, is
efteemed by the Ruffian merchants the moft
profitable article of importation.
At Kiakta a pound of the beft tea * is
eftimated at — —        2 roubles.
Common ditto at — 1
Inferior at — — 40 cop.
fome years paft the Chinefe have brought to
Kiakta, parcels of porcelain, painted with
European figures, with copies of feveral favourite prints and images of the Grecian and
Roman deities.
Furniture, particularly Japan cabinets and
cafes, lackered and varnifhed tables and
chairs, boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
&c. &c.
Fans, toys, and other fmall wares. Artificial flowers. Tiger and panther fkins. Rubies t? but neither in large quantities nor of
* At Peterfburg a pound of the beft green tea fetches 3
f Rubies are generally procured byfmuggling; and by
the fame means pearls are occafionally difpofed of to the
Chinefe, at a very dear rate. Pearls are much fought for
by the Chin efe j and might be made a very profitable article.
Z 3 great 342        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
great  value.     White lead,   vermilion,   and
other colours.   Canes.   Tobacco.   Rice.   Sugar-candy.     Preferved   ginger,   and   other
fweatmeats.    Rhubarb *.    Mufk, &c. &c.
It is very difficult to procure the genuine
Thibet mufk, becaufe the Chinefe purchafe a
bad fort, brought from Siberia, with which
they adulterate that which is brought from
Thibet f.
Ruffia derives great advantages from the
Chinefe trade. By this traffic, its natural
productions, and particularly its fur§ and
ikins, are difpofed of in a very profitable
manner. Many of thefe furs, procured from
the moft eafterly parts of Siberia, are of fuch
little value that they would not anfwer the
expence of carriage into Ruffia ; while the
richer furs, which are fold to the Chinefe at
a very high price, would, on account of their
dearnefs,' feldom meet with purchafers in the
Ruffian dominions. In exchange for thefe
commodities the Ruffians receive from China
feveral valuable articles of commerce, which
they would otherwife be obliged to buy at a
*-See Chap. VI.   p. 35:
t  S. R. G. III. p. 572-
-592.    Pallas Reife, P. III. p8
mucjj RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 343
much dearer rate from the European powers,
to the great difadvancage of the balance of
their trade.
I have before obferved, that formerly the
exportation and importation of the moft valuable goods were prohibited to individuals ;
at prefent only the following articles are prohibited. Among the exports, fire-arms and
artillery ; gun-powder and bail ; gold and
filver, coined and uncoined ; Itallions and
mares; fkins of deer, rein-deer, elks, and
horfes; beaver's hair, potafh, rofin, thread,
and * tinfel-lace : among the imports, fait,
brandy, poifons, and copper-money.
The duties paid by the Ruffian merchants
are very confiderable ; great part of the merchandife is taxed at 25 per cent.
Furs, cattle, and provifions, pay
a duty of -^ 23.
Ruffian manufactures j8.
One per cent, is alfo deducted from the
price of all goods for the expence of deepening
the river Selenga; and 7 per cent, for the fup-
port of the cuftom-houfe,
* Tinfel-lacc is fmuggled to the Chinefe, with confiderable profit; for they pay nearly as much for i,t a.s if it
was folid filver.    S. R. G. III. p. 588.
Z 4
Some 344        COMMERCE    BETWEEN
Some articles, both of export and import
pay no duty.    The exported are,   writings
royal,  and poll paper; Ruffian cloth of all
forts and colours, excepting peafants cloth.
The imported are, fat tins, raw and flained
cottons,  porcelain,  earthen-ware,   glafs corals,   beads,   fans,   all mufical inftruiftents,
furniture, lackered and enamelled ornaments**
needles, white-lead,   rice,   preferved ginger,
and other fweet-meats *.
The importance of this trade will appear
from the following table.
Table of exportation.
importation at
Kiakta, in the
Cuftom-houfe duties,
Importation of Chinefe
goods, to the value
Of gold and filver,
Total of importation
Exportation of Ruffian
commodities 1,383,621.
From this table it appears,
that the total fum of export
and import amounts to 2^68,333,
* Pallas Reife, P. III. p. 154.
In RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 345
In this calculation however the contraband
trade is not included, which is very large ;
and as the year 1777 was not fb favourable to
this traffic as the preceding years *, we may
venture to eftimate the grofs amount of th©
average trade to China at near 4,000,000
CHAP.   V.
Defcription  of  Zurukaitu—and its   trade—*
Tranfport of the merchandife through Siberia.
AS almoft the whole intercourfe between
Ruffia and China is confined to Kiakta,
the general account of the traffic has been
given in the preceding chapter. The defcrip*-
tion therefore of Zurukaitu, the other place
fixed upon by the treaty of Kiakta for the
* In the year's 1770, 1771, 1772, the cuftom-houfe duties
at Kiakta (according to Mr. Pallas, P. III. p. 154.) produced 550,000 roubles. By taking therefore the medium
between that fum and 481,460, the amount of the duties in
1777, the average fum of the duties will be 515,730 ; and,
as the duties in 1777 make nearly a fixth of the whole fum of
exportation and importation, by multiplying 515,730 by 6,
we have the grofs amount of the average exports and imports at 3,094,380. But as feveral goods pay no duty ; and
as the contraband trade, according to the loweft valuation, is
eftimated at the fifth part of the exports and imports, the
grofs amount of the average trade to China may be fairly
computed at near 4,000,000, the fum flated above,
purpofe of carrying on the fame trade, will
neceffarily be comprifed in a narrow com-
Zurukaitu is fituated in 1370 longitude,
and 49° 20' N. latitude, upon the Weftern
branch of the river Argoon, at a fmall diftance from its fource. It is provided with a
fmall gar ri fon, and a few wretched barracks
fur rounded with chevaux de frife. No merchants are fettled at this place : a few traders
come every fummer from Nerfhinfk, and
other Ruffian towns, in order to meet two
parties of Mongol troops, who are fent from
the Chinefe towns Naun and Merghen, and
arrive at the frontiers about July. Thefe
troops encamp near Zurukaitu upon the other
fide of the river Argoon, and barter with the
Siberian merchants a few Chinefe commodities, which they bring with them.
Formerly the commerce carried on at Zu«?
rukaitu was more confiderable \ but at prefent
it is fo trifling, that it fcarcely deferves to be
mentioned. Thefe Mongols furniffo the di-
ftrift of Nerfhinfk with bad tea and tobacco,
bad filks, and fome tolerable cottons. They
receive in return ordinary furs, cloth, cattle,
and Ruffian leather.    This, tracle lafts about a
month RUSSIA     AND    CHINA. 347
month or fix weeks ; and the annual duties
of the cuftoms amount upon an average to no
more than 500 roubles. About the middle of
Auguft the Mongols retire : part proceed immediately to China ; and the others defcend
the ftream of the Amoor as far as its mouth,
in order to obferve if there has been no ufur-
pation upon the limits. At the fame time the
Ruffian merchants return to Nerfhinfk, and,
were it not for a fmall garrifon, Zurukaitu
would be quite deferted *.
The Ruffian commodities are tranfported
by land from Peterfburg and Mofcow to Tobolfk. From thence the merchants fometimes embark upon the Irtifh down to its
junction with the Oby; then they either tow
up their boats, or fail up the laft mentioned
river as far as Narym, where they enter the
Ket, which they afcend to Makofffkoi Oftrog.
At that place the merchandize is conveyed
about ninety verfts by land to the Yenisei.
The merchants then afcend that river, the
Tungufka, and Angara, to Irkutfk ; crofs the
lake Baikal; and go up the river Selenga al-
pioft to Kiakta.
* S. R. G. III. p. 465. Pallas Reife, P. III. p. 42^
It 348      commerce   BETWEEN
It is a work of fuch diffiqully to afceftdk
the ftreams of fo many rapid rivers, that this
navigation Eaftwards can hardly be $t*ifhed
in one fummer*.; for which reafon the merchants commonly prefer the way by land.
Their general rendezvous is the fair of Irbit
near Tobolfk : from thence they go in fi&dges
during winter to Kiakta, where they arrive
about February, the feafon in which the
chief commerce is carried on with the Chinefe. They buy in their route all the furs
they find in the fmall towns, where they are
brought from the adjacent countries. When
the merchants return in fpring with the Chinefe goods, which are of greater bulk and
weight than the Ruffian commodities, they
proceed by water : they then defcend the
ftreams of moft of the rivers, namely, the
Selenga, Angara, Tungufka, Ket, and Oby
to its junction with the Irtifh ; they afcend
that river to Tobolik, and continue by land
to Mofcow and Peterfburg.
Before the paffage from Okotfk to Bolche-
refk was difcovered in  1716, the only com-
* Some of thefe rivers are only navigable in fpring when
the fnow water is melting ; in winter the rivers are in general frozen.
munication RUSSIA    AND    CHINA. 349
munication between Kamtchatka and Siberia
was by land ; and the road fey by Anadirfk
to Yakutfk, The furs * of Kamtchatka and
o£the E