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Voyages from Asia to America : for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America. To… Miller, Gerard Fridrikh, 1705-1783 1764

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The University of British Columbia Library
«»    V   O   Y
G   E   S
For Completing the DISCOVERIES of the
North Weft Coaft of America.
To which is prefixed,
Made by the R U   SUNS on the
In Search of a NORTH EAST Paffage.
Serving as an Explanation of a Map of the Ruffian Difcoveries, fublijhed
by the Academy of Sciences at Peterfburgh.
Translated from the High Dutch of
S. MULLER, of the Royal Academy of Peterfburgh.
With the Addition of THREE  NEW MAPS}
i. A Copy of Part of the Japanefe Map of the World.
2. A Copy of De Life's and Buache'& fictitious Map.    And
3. A large Map of Canada, extending to the Pacific Ocean, containing
the New Difcoveries made by the Russians and French.
I By Thomas Jeffervs, Geographer to his Majefty.
Printed for T. Jefferys, the Corner of 5/. Martin's Lane, Charing Crofs.  C P ?
TO afcertain the following Particulars hath Beift long Matter
of eager Enquiry, as. well among the curious as the commercial Part of Mankind, whether there is a Poffibility of
reaching the Eajl-Indies by a fhorter Way than that of
doubling the Cape of Good Hope; apid whether the two great Continents
of Afia and America do actually any where join or not. In regard to
the firft Article, there are at prefent only two Maritime Traces known,
by which we have a Communication with the Eajl-Indian Part of
the Globe; the firft, round the Southernmoft Promontory of Africa,
to .the Eaftward-, the fecond, that ftill more Southernly one of A-
merica, called Cape Horn, to the Weftward. The former of thefe,
is the only one ufed by the feveral Nations of Europe, whofe Commerce invites them to the Indian Seas, as being by much the fhorter
of the two, though a long and moft tedious Voyage. Various have
been the Methods thought ujgjon to facilitate our Navigation to thefe
Parts, to fhorten the vaft Circuit yve are forced to make, and to fave
both the Time and Trouble expended in faying round the Continent of Africa. As a Remedy againft this Inconvenience, a Scheme
was propofed to cut a Canal through the Neck of Land, that lies between the moft Northern Extent of the Red Sea, and the oppofite
Part of the Levant, (which dividing Afia from Africa, renders the
latter a great Peninfula,) and fo to open a Paflage to the Indian Sea,
from the Mediterranean through the Straits of Babelmandel -, but this
Scheme, though concerted, and begun to be put in Execution, more
a 2 than than once,'in remote Ages, was found to be impracticable, and the
.Proie&ors were obliged to defift, after having confumed Multitudes
of Men in the Attempt, either deterred by the Difficulty of cutting
throuo-h^E^E^SSi^and Beds of R.Qj^H-3££&^lalHI^^ Way,
or by a Fear of what Confequences might enfue from a Junction of
thofe Seas \ the Red Sea being found, by a Level taken, to be much
higher than the Mediterranean : The Event, therefore, of a Junction
of fuch vaft Bodies of Water, they dreaded might caufe great Devastation by the over-filling of the Mediterranean, which in all
Probabil.ty would have laid Egypt entirely under Water. Befides,
as the Turks govern the Country on both Sides the Red Sea, they
would-alftrfee Mafters of the Paffage, and levy^vhat exorbitant Tax
the)* fhould think proper to demand, in Opposition to all the Powers
in Europe, though they united in fighting for this Door to the Eaft
Another Project was, that of cutting a Way for failing from Europe
to Afia, through, the narrowed Part of the Ifthmus of PfW§&%fr-%
Neck ojfj&ahd, which connects the two Contihents\ixgLNorthern and
Southern America together ; but the Executic^ "of this Defign muft
meet with infurmountable Obftacles, from a Want of NumberSTbf-
ficient tdSccomplifh fo vaft an Enterprize, as well as Provifions to
fubfift them during their Labours, was it poflible to bring thither an
adequate Number of Hands j not to mention that the Unhealthineis
of the Climate, and, 'tno Fatigue joined with it, would be fo deftruCtive
to the People employed, "that perhaps the whole Maritime Power of
Europe would be fcarcely able to"fr^-ni£h out Men requifite for this
Purpofe, and fupply the continual Wafte of human Lives.
Thefe Schemes being therefore juftly deemed vifionary, and impracticable, Men eaft about to find whether Nature had offered to
them any ot'her Method of rendering the Voyage to the Eafi-Indies
lefs tedious and irkfome. Two Ways only now prefented themfelves
to be tried, the one to the North Weft-round America, the other to
the North Eaft, about the Coafts of Europe and Afia. Both have
been attempted without Succefs hitherto, though the following
Treatife makes it plain to Demonftration, that there is,jflpthe laft-
JXphtloned Voyage, a Continuation of Sea extending to China and
•Japan. Indeed^,'if we confider the extreme Difficulties that would
occur in the North-Weft Voyage by the Coaft of America, that round
Europe and the Northern Boundary of Afia, into the Indian Seas, is
the (     g     )
the moftefeafible;   and what Hopes there are of its future Succcf?,
the following Sheets will demonftrate.
This Work is divided into two Parts. The Firft contains an Account of the feveral Journies, Voyages, and Expeditions, which-were
made to difcover the Eafternmoft Extremity of Afia, and to determine whether the Frozen Sea was continued round from the moft
Northern Shores of Europe, along that of Afia, as far as to Japan; g
for "they knew if fo, the laft mentioned Continent, and that of Am-
rica, muft be feparated. By thefe Means alfo the Boundaries of the
vaft Empire of Ruffia, to the North and Eaft, were fixed, and many
of the Scattered and barbarous Nations that inhabit thofe prodigious
TraCts of Land, reduced under their Subjection. The Second Part
relates the Voyages and Adventures of the Commanders and Mariners,
that by the Order of the late Czar, Peter the Great, and the fucceed-
ing Emprefs, were undertaken in order to prove whether Afia and
America were any where connected ; if not, how wide the Diftance
might be between them. Thefe feveral Voyages, like all others that
are made for the Difcovery of unknown Coafts, were attended with
great Perils and Diftreffes to the Navigators ; but by their Affiftance
our Curiofity is at length fatisfied, and we are certain of thefe two
Points,- from Proofs founded upon very authentic Teftimonies, both
that the Poffibility of a North Eaftern Paffage to India does indeed
exift, and that the abovementioned Continents are really feparated by
Sea from each other. But as in all Probability the Diftance between
the Extremities of each is not great, the Peopling of America, which
has fo long puzzled the Inquifitive, may be very fairly hence accounted for, fince Accident might more than once have driven fome
of the Inhabitants of Kamtchatka in their Boats too far out to Sea,
for them to recover their native Shore, and have landed them upon
the oppofite Coaft of America. Neither is it impoffible, that the
intermediate Channel in this fevere Climate, may in fome Years be fo
entirely frozen over, at leaft for a Time, as to have given thofe People
tin Opportunity of paffing it on Foot, whofe Return back again a
fudden Thaw of the Ice may naturally be fuppofed to have prevented.
The Difference of Language, Cu$oms, Shape, and Features, that
appear between the American Savages and the Nations abovementioned, may arife from various Caufes in the Courfe of fo long a
TraCt of Time as may have paffed fince fuch a Chance as this firft
happened ; during which the fame, moft likely, hath been repeated
often in diftant Ages, of the World.
But I
(    vi    )
But to return; I obferved above, that there is indifputably, according to thefe Memoirs, a Paffage- along the Northern Coaft of Afia
round the Tchmjcbi Nofs, and fo to the South by Japan into the In-
diarti&eas, which is without doubt a much nearer Way,meerly in regard to Diftance, than the prefent TraCt about the Cape of Good Hope.
Yet there is one great Obftacle that, I am afraid, can never be fo far
overcome as to -make the Voyage this Way practicable, even although
the Courfe was much fhorter than it is; ef^aean the vaft Shoals of Ice,
fometimes fixed and fometimes floating, that inceffantly prefent them-
iwfcves in the Frozen Ocean, which oftentittfes Congeal together in fuch
a Manner as to form a new Continent, as it were, and freeze up the
8hh3sy* tfaafc&re unfortunate enough to befsftfdunded by them, and de-
t^irjfjthem for feveral Weeks together. The Delay, occafioned by
this CircuHiftance, to the Ruff an Veffels, has been fo great, that two
or three Years have elapfed in making the Voyage from the Lena to
KumisM^m-, it being hardly poflible, during the fhort Continuance
of the Summerly thefe Parts, to-jMs through the broken Shoals of
Ice befoise.the Winter fets in again. And though undoubtedly the
Britifh Sailors are the moft intrepid and fkilful on the Globe, yet,
provided the Voyage, one Time with another, fhould only take up
Twelve Months from Europe to India, notwithstanding the vaft Addition made to it is by the Circuit from England round Norway, Lapland, &c. into the Frozen Ocean, ftill this would be much more inconvenient, as well as of longer Duration, than the ufual TraCt about
the Cape of Good Hope. The Danger and Mifery that accrues, when
a Stay is made of any Length of Time in fuch Climates, and the
People are not continually exercifed with Labour, is certain and fatal
from that dreadful Diltemper the Scurvy, which is always found in
fuch Cafes to make horrible Ravages in the human Frame. Indeed
it is very uncertain whether this Diforder could be prevented by any'
Means whatever, while the Men are forced to fubfift upon Salt Provifions ; and to fupply them with frefh would be impoffible j fo that,
upon the whole, fuch a Voyage feems, in my Opinion, altogether
unfit, and impoffible to be executed with any tolerable Degree of
Succefs that can be depended upon.
It has been afferted, that the Ocean under the. Northern Pole is
open, and but little incumbered with Ice, and that therefore the Performance of the Voyage we are treating of, feems probable to be effected this Way; one would be loth to difcoiufage any Endeavour to
promote the public Benefit, but yet it fhould be confidered, that was
the (    vii    )
the Certainty of this FaCt proved by repeated Testimonies, whkh is
far from being the Cafe, even then the great Obstruction, both in entering and leaving the Polar Ocean, would ftill make the Voyage
exceedingly hazardous, tedious, and uncertain. I have thought proper to make thefe few Animadversions upon the North-eaftern Navigations, and fhall now proceed to fay fomething relating to the Work
in general.
The Reader will here find, in their Order, the feveral Expeditions
undertaken by the Ruffians and Coffacks to make themfelves acquainted
with fome of the barbarous Nations that inhabit the vaft TraCt of
Northern Afia, in order to extend the Limits of the Mufcovitifij Territories, and levy a Tribute from the Inhabitants of the only Riches
thofe Countries are as yet productive of, which are indeed the moft
properly fuited to them, the warra^nd beautiful Furs wherewith Nature has cloathed many of the Animals that aj^-Jbred there." In the
Courfe of thefe Narrations, a Number of curious and ftrange Particu -
lars occur, which arife fometiimes from the uncouth Cuftoms, as they
appear to us, of the rude Poffeffors; at others, from a Soil and Cli-'
<B3a|e fo different from our own, that it is only from the Ruffians and
Coffacks we can expect any authentic Information in what appertains
to thefe diftant Regions, becaufe they are not only better fitted to
travel tj^i^afld .nearer of a Complexion in Temper and Difpofition
with the wild Nations that people them, but their Intereft alfo, and
the Gain they expeCt to make by Difcoveries of this Sort, prompts
them thus to exert themfelves.
The Reader will find the Stile of this Recital to be very unaffected
and fimple, being only a plain Tranflation of Memoirs of Voyages
collected from the Original Manufcripts, containing the Difcoveries
made, Step by Step, along the Coafts of the Frozen Sea, and to the
Continent of America, from the Year 1636 to that of 1742, In regard to the Maps, which are inferted for the better Explanation of the
Matters related in the Work, the original Map of the Ruffian Difco-
!?I$3££»"t»!#prehending the Coaft of Afia, from Nova Zembla round
the Tchutkjchi to the Ifle of Japan, with the Courfe of the Ruff a
Ships which actually failed from the River Lena round the Tchutfkoi
Nofs to Kamtchatka, and alfo the TraCts of Captain Bering and
Tchirokow, from the Port of Awatfcha, in Kamtchatka, likewife to
the oppofite Coafts of North America -, I have likewife inferted on it
the Routs of the feveral Travellers by Land and Sea, which are not
in the Original 3 and added three other Maps.
The (    viii ■*)"
The Firft is a Copy of Part of ajapanefe Map of the World, formerly belonging to Sir Hans Shane's Collection, now in the Britifi?
Mufeum, of the fame Parts of the Globe, which agree, in moft effential
Particulars, with the Ruffian Accounts here given.
The Second \s a Map copied according to the Forgeries and.pretended
Difcoveries collected by Meffrs De Life and Buache.
The Third is a Map of Canada in North America^ extending from
Captain Bering's Difcoveries in about, 5gF-Degrees of North Latitude
to 40 Southward, and thence in a Parallel as far as Newfoundland,
laid down according to the moft accurate Obfervations, by which may
be perceived the great Extent the French gave to Canada, even into
the very remote Parts of this vaft Continent. Whain^pr%^B$&)$l
purpofe to themfelves by publishing fuch Falfities, in re]|§frCT rocfflfe/
Form and Situation of Part of the Globe, is not eafy to determine,
unlefs by a Pretence of having firft difcovered the whole, they intended to lay Claim to all the Eaftern, as well as to drive out aneftc3&-
elude us fronrml'the Weftern Shbjfes of the NortfjSBr Parts of the
New World-, if fo, we have now the Pleafure to fee tf|&PJA?ftril$§5
have met a proper Retaliation from arf injured Nat1^j5afra,c,irrrt&Q
of gaining hy^^^^^^^enr^i^^pon others, they have^JolS^fl
their valuable Settlements, irjfr are themfelves drove out fibv$$wor9% .,
America, which we have fo gallantly* IHd juftly purchafed by^fir
VOYAGES tne frozen Sea, beyond Nova Zembla, that delerves credit. The
Dutch difcoveries in 1643, merely regard the iflands fituated North
Eaft of Japan.
m A The  c I t
A   SUMMARY   of
v.gj|- Y a|'g  e s
Made   by  the  RUSSIAN^- 'On  the
FRO   m E  |pl 5  £   ^,
B,;, i 'Search of a
GEOGRAPHERS have ever been extremely defirous to
have it certainly determined, whether Afia and America
formed one continued Continent towards the North Eaftward j but the fituation of moft ojrtBi European nations,
being fo remote from thofe regions, rendered it both very difficult and
dangerous, if not intirely impracticable, for them to afcertain that
point, as the navigation, in fuch attempts, muft have been made,
either through the Frozen Sea, or the Southern Ocean j and upon this
latter, either round about from the Eaft Indies, or by the way of
We have nothing from the Voyages of the Engiifh and Dutch on
the Frozen Sea, beyond Nova Zembla, that deferves credit. The
Dutch difcoveries in 1643, merely regard the iflands fituated North
Eaft of Japan.
A The f * s
The landing of Sir Francis Drake on the American cbaft, in the
year 1579, when he gave the name of New Albion to a traCt of land
North of California, and the Voyage of Martin d'Aguiiar,'-m the,
year 1603, which was only a little^Iarther to the North Weft, are the
only attempts on the American fide, of which we have any certain Accounts. As to John de Fuca's pretended voyage, in the year 1592,
there are well-grounded Reafons to agree with thofe, who think it fictitious ; and we may furely look in the fame light upon the voyage of
the Spanifh Admiral De Fonte, in the year 1640, till the objections
that have been raifed againft it are anfwered.
The honour of doing fomething more, was referved for the Ruffian
Empire, which was much better fituated for that purpofe, as it lay
more contiguous to thofe parts. The renowned Emperor Peter the
Great, during his refidence in Holland in 1717, was requefted, not
only to encourage but promote fo ufeful an attempt, by fome who,
incited either by intereft or curiofity, had this affair moft at heart j
he accordingly, fome time after, with his own hand drew up particular orders on that head, which he delivered to his Chief Admiral,
Count Fedor Apraxin.
The imperial court of Peterfburg, and the greateft part even of
thofe in Siberia, were at that time entirely unacquainted with tbe
progrefs which had been made in thofe difcoveries above feventy years
before, by voyages of the natives of Jakutzk *, to the North Eaftward
'., are a Pagan people, called fo, by the Ruffians ; they are under the Ruffian.
government, and live along the river Lena, and about the city of Jakutfki; but they call
themfelves in their own tongue, Zhzacba, or 7iin%ogotock. This is one of the moft .numerous Pagan nations in Siberia, and confifts' of the followng tribes, i. Boro-Ganijka.
1. Baipngjki. 3, Body's. 4. Jock-Seyon. 5. Menga. 6. Kangalas. 7. Namin. 8.
Bathrufki. 9. Lugoi, 10. Bolugur. , All which together make about 30,000 men, who
pay fcot and lot. They call themfelves Zacha, from the name of one of their antient
Princes. But the name of that Prince who headed them, at the time when they feperated
from the Bratti,who Jive near the Baikalkun Lake, with whom they were formerly united as
one nation, was Deptzi Tarchentegin._ They do not worfhid Bullwans, or Idols carved in
wood, like the Ofliaks and Tungufi; but they offer Sacrifices to an invifible God in heaven ; yet they have a type or image of that deity fluffed out, with a monftrous head, eyes
of corral, and a body like a bag ; this image thay hang upon a tree, and round it the furs
of fables and other animals. Each tribe has one of thefe images. Their Priefts whom they
call Bihun, make ufe of Drums, like the Laplanders; they worfhip the Invisible God,
under three different denominations, Artoyon, Schugotaygon, and Tangara, which three
names are callen by them Sumans, (is e. Sacred.) What IJbrand Ides (in his travels, p.
132.) relates concerning thefe people, is all true, excepting the cuftom of burying alive,
or killing the oldeft feryants, or favourites of'a Prince, at his funeral, which is abolifh'd ;
but they ftill own, that formerly, before the Ruffians were among them, they were ufed
to (    3    >*
of that province^   The North Eafterly Ifthmus of Siberia, commonly <
called Tfchukotzhi Nofs, had been failed round long before the Ruf-
to do fo. They have befides many fuperftitious cuftoms, in common with other nations,
which they celebrate about certain trees, that they look upon to be facred : When they
meet with a fine tree, they prefently hang all manner of nick-nacks about it, as
iron, brafs, copper, &c. Their Priefts, or Bihuns, when they perform their fuperftitious
rites, put on a garment trimm'd with bits of iron, rattles, and bells. As foon as the fields
begin to be- green, each generation gathers together, at a place where there is a fine tree,
and a pleafant fpot of ground. There they facrifice horfes and oxen (as a new year's
offering, their new year beginning in April,) the heads of which they ftick up round the
trees, and on the heads of the former they leave the fkin. They then take a certain liquor,, which they call Cumifes, fit down in a* circle, and after havings lifted up
thejugg, with both hands, they drink to one another : Then they dip a brufti in
the Cumifes and fprinkle fome in the air, and fome into the fire, which they light up
on that occafion. On this Feftival they get wretchedly drunk, and gorge themfelves to
that degree with meat, that it is faid four perfons will commonly devour a whole horfe.
Nay fome will ftrip themfelws.ftark naked, that nothing may confine or hinder them, from
extending their paunches ; this they continue fo long, till fome breathe their laft op the
fpot. Thefe people are very^ftafty; they feldom or hardly ever warn themfelves; they
will eat the flefh of oxen, cows, and, horfes, but no pork, be they never fo hungry:
But then they never mind whetber the cattle be fick or found; for they indifferently kill
and eat it. If the meat has had but one boiling up, it is done enough for them, they never ikim the pot, but look upon the fkum to be the fatteft and beft part of all, and therefore diftribute it about, as a great dainty. The veffels in which they ftamp their dried
fifh, roots, and berries, are made of dried oxen and cow's dung. Their cattle ftand in
the fame room, or hut, where they themfelves dwell ; the floor of their huts is terraffed
even and fmooth. They eat bread, when they can get it, but it is no ufual part of their
diet, becaufe they neither plough, fow, nor plant. They eat but little fait, yet fometimes they take fait in exchange for other commodities. They are fond of fmoaking
Chinefe Schaar, or tobacco, for which they truck with the Ruffians. In February and
March is their harveft, when the fap rifes in the trees, for then they go into the woods,
cut down pine-trees, take off the inner bark or baft, which they carry home and dry for
their winter's provifion. They then beat it to a fine powder, boil it in milk, and eat it
together with dried fifh, alfo beat to powder. They fhift their habitations in the fame
manner as the Tobolfkian Tartars do. Their winter-houfes, or huts, are fquare, made of,
thin planks and beams ; the roofs are covered with earth, and a hole is left in the middle
for the fmoke to go out. Their fummer-dwellings are round, and in ftiape of a'fugar-
loaf; the out-fide fhell of thefe huts is made of the bark of birch trees, curioufly joined
together, and embroider'd with horfe-hair dyed of many colours. A. hole is alfo left at
the top, for the fmoak to pafs through. They make their chimneys, or fire-places, in the
middle of their huts, where they alfo fix a pot-hook to hang their pots on, which they
make themfelves, as they alfo do their kettles, which have only an iron bottom, the fides
being made of the bark of birch, which they have a way of joining to that iron bottom fo
tight and clofe, that it will not only hold water, but the flame of the fire cannot
burn it. They bury their dead divers ways : The moft eminent among them pitch upon
a fine tree, and declare that they will be .buried there ; and when the corpfe is buried,
they put fome of- the beft moveables of the deceafed, along with him into his grave. Some
only put the corpfe upon a board, which they fix upon four pofts in the wood, cover the
. dead body with an ox's or horfe's hide, and fo leave it.    Some agaio  put the body into
A 2
the (    4    )
fans had reached asftNis % Kamtfchatka, by this navigation. It was
therefore^already decided, th#t there was no connection between thofe
two parts of the world. Such a remarkable event would perhaps have
been for ever concealed, if I had not, in the year 1736, had the happinefs, during my ftay at Jakutzk, to find in the archives of the town
fome original writings, in which this voyage is defcribed, with circumftances that leave no room for doubt.
In the year 1636, they began to navigate the Frozen Sea from Ja-
the ground. But the greater part of them, when they die, are left in their huts, whence
the relations take the moft: valuable things, make the huts up clofe, and then leave them.
Thofe wh» die in the city of Jakutfkoi, are left lying in the ftreets, where they are frequently devoured by dogs. Each tribe of thefe people looks upon fome particular creature
as faered, e. g. a fwan, goofe, raven, &V. and fuch is not eaten by that tribe, though
the others may eat it. As to their tongue there is fome affinity between them and the
Crim Tartars ; and a conformity with the tongues of the Bratti, the Kirgafi, and the
Sajantzian Tartars ; though the laft talk pretty commonly the Mungalian and Kalmuch-
kian tongues, to which countries they are near neighbours. The Jakutzki, like other
Pagans, allow of polygamy. They buy and fell their*wives, and it is cuftomary among
the Tartars and Ofliacks, and all their neighbours j -where the bridegroon is obliged to
purchafe his bride of her parents.
Jakutzk, is capital of this province, on the river Lena, diftant above a hundred German
miles from the Frozen-Sea. There refides a Governor General. The foil about this
city, notwithftanding it lies pretty far north, produces corn. However, the inhabitants,
who are more intent upon hunting fables, foxes, and other animals, for the fake of their
furs, negleft cultivating what they call Starri pafcbni falahn, [i. e. the land which their
fore-fathers ufed to plough.) Another reafon why they are remifs in this point is, that
they have an opportunity of being fupplied with corn, by means of the rivers Wittim and
Kiringa, the banks of which produce fine corn. But though very little corn is fown in
this country, yet that which is, whatever grain it be of, thrives apace, but the ftraw never exceeds fix inches in height', for as foon as the corn peeps out of the ground, it immediately fhoots into ears, and ripens in fix weeks time. The reafon of this is, becaufe
here the fun is hardly ever below the horizon in fummer, but affords its cherifhing warmth,
both night and day, to the ground : And what is moft obfervable, is, that during the
whole time, it does not rain, but the earth, though fat and black, yet never thaws above
fix orpine inches deep, infomuch that the roots are plentifully fupplied with moifture
from below, whilft the conftant heat of the fun above, irradiates what is out of the ground;
and this is the caufe of fo quick aharveft: On the other hand, thofe places which are
fituated more Weftward, do not enjoy this advantage: The high icy mountains of the
ifland of Nova "Lembla, lying juft oppofite to them. Near this city are bred alfo very good
horfesj they are pretty large, are ufed to be turned out all the winter long, and willfcrape
the fnow with their hoofs afide, to come at the grafs ; they alfo eat the buds of birch and
afpen, and grow fleek, plump, and fat, and look much better than they do in fummer,
when their hair grows long. Not far from this city, Weftward, there runs a river called
JVilgui, near the head of which there is a Vulcano. The afhes thrown up by this mountain, are looked upon to be the Flares SalisArm—'-
t See the natural hiftory of Kamtfchatka, tranflated from the original, publifhed in the
Ruffian language at Peterfburg.
kutzk% (   3   )
kutzk. The Rivers Jana, Indigirka, Alafea, Kolyma, were difcovered
one after the other. The firft navigat|Ki from the river £olyma to-
. wards the Eaft, was made in the year 1646, by a Company of Volun-
tiers, who were called Promyfchleni. They found the fea full of ice,
yet between the ice and the continent a free navigable channel,
wherein they proceeded for forty-eight hours together, when they
opened a bay where they came to an anchor: The inhabitants proved
to be of the nation of the Tfchuktfchi, with whom they dealt in this
manner : The merchandize was expofed upon the Strand; the Tfchuk-
fchi took what pleafed them, and left in lieu of them fea-horfe
teeth, or things made of them. No one would venture to go afhore
to the Tfchuktfchi; and befides, an interpreter was wanted, as they
did not understand each other's language. They were content with
having made this firft difcovery, and returned to the river Kolyma.
Upon their return, the intelligence relating to the teeth of the fea-
horfe, induced more of the Promyfchleni to undertake a fecond voyage
the following year. Thefe were joined by Fedot Alexeew, who thought
it requisite to defire the Governor upon the river Kolyma, to fend
with him one of the Coffacs that were in his fervice, to take care of
the intereft of the Crown during the voyage : one Semun Defchnew
offered himfelf for this purpofe, and received his orders from the
Governor j and four fhips that were called Kotfches failed at once, in
June i6^y, from the river Kolyma. The river Anadir was reported
to be well inhabited; and it was the common opinion, that it emptied itfelf into the Frozen Ocean j confequently, one of the views of
this voyage was to difcover its mouth : But not only this attempt,
but every thing elfe that was propofed to be done at that time, mif-
carried; becaufe the fea was that fummer too full of ice to permit
of a free navigation.
The hopes conceived were, however, not abandoned ; on the contrary, the number of the favourers of this project, as well among the
Coffacs as Promyfchleni, increafed the following year in fuch a manner, that feven Kotfcbes were equipped, all with the fame view.
What became of four of thefe veffels is unknown : on board the remaining three were Semun Defchnew and Gerafim Ankudinow, the
Chiefs of the Coffacs, and Fedot Alexeew, the Chief among the Promyfchleni.
They fet fail on this remarkable voyage the 20th of June 1648.
It is much to be regretted, as we have yet but little  knowledge of ;
thofe parts, that all the circumftances of this navigation are not particularly (   6   )
ticularly mentioned. Defchnew, who, in an account fent to yakutzk,
relates his adventures," feems Ap fpeak only accidentally of what happened to him by fea. We find'no event mentioned till he had reached
the great ifthmus of Tfchuktfchi; no notice is taken of obstructions
by the ice, and probably "there were none, for Defchnew obferves, upon
another occafion, that the 7ea~IsTnot ufually fo clear of ice as it was
at that time. His relation begins with that great ifthmus, which indeed is a circumftance that deferves the moft notice. " This ifthmus,
fC fays he, is quite different from that which is found by the river
" Tfchukotfchia, Weft of the river Kolyma. It lies between the North
" and North Eaft, and turns circular towards the river Anadir. On
£C the Ruffian, or Weft fide of it, there falls a brook into the fea,.near
" which the Tfchuktfchi have erected a fcaffold, like a tower, of the
" bones of whales. Overagainft the ifthmus (it is not mentioned on
" which fide) there are two iflands in the fea, upon which were feen
" people of the Tfchuktfchi nation, thro' whofe lips were run pieces
" of the teeth of the fea-horfe. One might fail from the ifthmus to
*: the river Anadir, with a fair wind, in three days and' nights, and
" it might be travelled by land within the fame time, fince the river
" Anadir empties itfelf into a bay." The Kotfche which Ankudinow
was on board of, was wrecked on this ifthmus, but her crew were
faved, and taken up by the other Kotfches. Defchnew and Fedot A-
lexeew went on Shore on the 20th of September, and had an engagement with the Tfchuktfchi, in which the latter was wounded. The
two Kotfches loit fight of one another, and never after re]o\ne§J\)Defch*-
new was driven about in the fea by the wind and waves till OcJober 5
when he fuffered fhipwreck (as appears by circumftances) pretty far
to the Southward of the river Anadir, Somewhere about the river
Olutora : What became of Fedot Alexeew and his fhip's company,
will be mentioned hereafter.
After this difafter, Defchnew with his Ship's crew, which confifted
of twenty-five men, went in fearch of the Anadir; but being utterly unacquainted with the country, he wandered about for ten
weeks, at the end of which time he reached the banks of that river,
not far from its mouth, where he found neither inhabitants or woods j
here he fixed his habitation, and fent twelve of his men up the river,
who, after twenty days fruitlefs travel, determined to return3 but
moft of them perished on the road, being quite worn out with hunger and fatigue. The following fummer, he, with the remainder of
his company, went up the river by water, and found a people who
called (   7   )
called themfelves Ariauli, with whom he had-feveral Skirmishes; but
having deftroyed great numbers of them,#he in the end forced them
to pay tribute: he then built a fort, which he named Anadirftkoi-
Oftrog, where he fixed his refidence.' :J*j$0
After the departure of Defchnew for the river Kolyma, feveral others
exerted themfelves with great vigour, in preparing and regulating new
expeditions, as well by water as by land. Amongft thefe, one made
by fea deferves to be taken notice of; not fo much on account of the
difcoveries made thereby, as from what occasioned it.
Michael Staduchin, a Coffac of Jakutzk, with fome of his companions,
had built, in the year 1644, the lowermoft Oftrog on the river Kolyma,
and the year following returned to Jakutzk, with fome accounts which
feemi to deferve examination. He was told that there was a great ifland
in the Frozen Sea, which extends from the river Jana oppofite to
Kolyma, and could be obferved from the continent. The Tfchuktfchi
inhabiting round the river Tfchukotfchia, which falls into the Frozen
Sea to the Weftward of Kolyma, ufed to go with Rein-Deer in the
winter in one day's time to this ifland, there to kill fea-horfes, the
heads and teeth of which they brought back, and worshipped. Indeed, Staduchin himfelf had not feen fuch teeth among the people;
but he had heard from the Promyfchleni that fuch were found among
them, and that certain rings belonging to the fledges of their reindeer were .made of the teeth of fea-horfes, they at the fame time alfo
confirmod the reality of fuch an ifland, and imagined it to be a continuation of the land of Nova Zembla, whither they ufed to go from
Upon thefe advices, Staduchin was on the 5th olfune, 1647, difpatched for the fecond time. But he could neither difcover nor procure any farther intelligence of the ifland in the Frozen Sea, and after
fome fruitlefs refearches, the moft important fruit he reap'd from this
voyage was the information he brought, that the neareft way to the
Anadir was by land. But the advantageous intelligence of a way by
land to the river Anadir, was originally owing to a campaign made
by the Coffacs from the Kolyma up the river Ariui, in the beginning of
the year, 1650. What was known before, confifted only in an uncertain report; but fome prifoners were taken from the Chodynzi, who
were well acquainted with the way.
Thefe informations encouraged a Company of Voluntiers, pom-
pofed partly of Coffacs, and partly of Promyfchleni, to defire permiflion from the commander of Kolymfkoi Oftrog, to  let them go to the
river ( 8 )
river Anadir, in order to make the people tributary. They obtained
leave, and immediately fet out on the expedition. Semoen Motora,
the leader of this company, on the 23d of March, on the upper part
of the river Anui, took prifoner a perfon of diftinCtiou belonging to
the Chodynzi, whom he carried along with him to the Anadir, and on
the 23d of April, 1650, arived at the Anadir, where he was joined
by Defchnew; but Michael Staduchin, being jealous of fome of the
company, quitted them, and went to the Penfchina, fince which
nothing farther was ever heard of him.
Defchnew and Motor a had built veffels on the Anadir, to put to fea
with them, in order to difcover more rivers, when the death of the
latter happened; having in the end of the year 1651, loft his life in
an engagement with the Anaules. In the mean while Defchnew fail'd
in the fummer 1652, to the mouth of the river Anadir, where he obferved, that on the North fide of it, a fand-bank extended itfelf far
into the fea : On the mouth of this river, plenty of fea-horfes are
found : Defchnew got feveral of their teeth, and thereby thought himfelf fufficiently rewarded for his labour.
In the year 1653, ^e ^ad wo°d felled to build a Kotfche, in which
he might fend the tribute he had received to Jakutzk: But as other
materials were wanting, this affair did not go on. It was likewife faid,
that the fea about the great Tychukefchi Nofs, was not every year free
from ice.
A fecond voyage to the Korga, was made in the year 1654, on account of the fea-horfe teeth, wherein Juchko Seliwerftow, a Coffac,
lately come from Jakutzk, engaged, who had accompained Michael
Staduchin in his voyage, and being fent by him to Jakutzk, with a
propofal to have a Search made after the fea-horfe teeth, was now
provided with an order for that purpofe. In his inftrudions, next to
Anadir, is alfo named the river Jentfchendon, which empties itfelf
into the bay of Penff:infky. On thefe two rivers he was to make the
people tributary, becaufe the tranfaCtions of Defchnew at Jakutzk
were not yet known. This occasioned new difcontents: Seliwerftow
Wanted to afcribe to himfelf the difcovery of the Korga, as if this was
the place where he had arrived by fea with Staduchin in the year
1649; but Defchnew proved that they had not fo much as reached
the great Nofs of Tchutktfchy, which confifted of nothing but rocks,
and was but too well known to him, fince Artkudinow's Kotfche was
wrecked there. " This, faid he, was not the firft Cape which oc-
| curred under the name of Swatoi Nofs.    The iflands where the
teeth (   9   )
" teeth are found, fituated oppofite the Nofs of Tchuktchy, were the
" proper mark thereof. The inhabitants of this place Defchnew had
<c feen, but Maducnin and Seliwerftow had not; and the Korga on the
ce mouth of the river Anadir, was not far from it."
Aefchncw.taking at the fame time a view of the fea-coaft, found
Koreki * habitations, and in them a Jakutzk woman, whom he knew
to have belonged to Fedot' Alexeew. He afked her Where her mafter
was ? She anfwered, " Fedot and Gerafim [Ankudinow) had died of
" the fcurvy; others of their company had been flain, and fome few
" had made their efcape in fmall veffels ; but fhe was intirely ignorant
f towards what place they had Shaped their courfe, or what had be-
" come of them."
Some veftiges ©f thefe latter were difcovered afterwards on the river
Kamtfchatka ; it is however certain, that the Kamtfchedales had fome
knowledge of the Ruffians before the year 1697, ^^Ti'Wolodimer At-
lafjow laid the foundation of the conqueft of that country ; for a com-
* Korjaki, or Koreki, are a Pagan nation, living on the Weft and North Side of the
country of Kamtfchatka. They are beardlefs, like the Laplanders, Samojeds,. and OJliacks;
for, in the firft place, they have naturally very little hair about the mouth, and what
little they have they pluck out, as do alfo the Jakuhti, Tungusu and Kalmucks. ■ They
are naturally a good harmlefs people, and have no idols of ftone, wood, or any other materials, as the Ofliacks have. They ufe no manner of ceremony in their devotion ; but
. when they go out a hunting, they pray to the Supreme Being to blefs them with fuccefs. However, they have their Schaumans, or Magicians, and are a very filthy people.
They do not build their huts on the ground, but upon four pofts, like fome Armenians,
and get up, by means of a ladder, to the top, where they enter through a hole. For
their .neceflary occafions they make ufe of a tub, which they have with them in the-hut,
and, when full, they carry it out, and make ufe of the fame tub to bring in water, for
other occafions : A whole family will lie all naked together under one large coverlet.
The Ruffians, who trade with them, carry thither a kind of mufhroorns., called, in the
Ruffian tongue, Muchumor, which they exchange for fquirrils, fox, ermin, fable, and other
furs : Thofe who are rich among them, lay up large provifions of thefe mufhroorns for
the winter. When they make a feaft, they pour water upon fome of thefe mufhroorns,
and boil them. They then drink the liquor, which intoxicates them ; the poorer fost,
who cannot afford, to lay in a ftore of thefe mufhroorns, poft themfelves, on thefe occafions, round the huts of the rich, and watch the opportunity of theguefts coming down
to make water, and then hold a wooden bowl to receive the urine, which they drink off
greedily, as having ftill feme virtue of the mufhroom in it, and by this way they alfo get
drunk. In fpring and-fummer they catch a large quantity of fifh, and digging holes in
the ground, which they line with the bark of birch, they fill them with it, and eove^he
holes over with earth. As foon as they think the fifh is rotten and tender, they take out
fome of it, pour water upon it, and boil it with red-hot pebbles (as the Finlandians do
their beer) and feed upon it, as the greateft delicacy in the world. This mefs ftinks fo
abominably, that the Ruffians who deal with them, and who are none of the moft fquea-
mifh, are themfelves not able to endure it. Of this liquor they likewife drink fo immoderately,, that they will be quite intoxicated, or drunk with it.
B mom (    io   I
mon tradition had been handed down among them, that long before
Atlaftbw, a certain Fedotow, who, probably, was the fon of Fedot A-
lexeew, had, with fome of his comrades, lived amongft them, and intermixed with their Kamtfchedale women : they Still Shewed the place
of the Ruffian habitations, near the mouth of the fmall river Nikul,
which falls into the Kamtfchatka, and therefore in the Ruffian language
is called Fedoticha. They were faid to be held in fo much honour by
the natives, as to be almoft deified j for they imagined that no human
hand could hurt them ; till the Ruffians, beginning to quarrel among
themfelves, foon convinced the Kamtfchedales of their miftake, when
they perceived the blood to flow from the wounds they mutually received. This was the occafion, that when fome of them went afterwards over to the fea of Penjhinfky, the remainder were, on this fepa-
ration, fet upon, and all killed, partly by the Kamtfchedales, and partly
by Korjakes, fo that none of them remained when Atlaftbw arrived.
The river Fedotcha falls into the river Kamtfchatka on the.South
fide, 180 Werfts* below Werchni Kamtchatzkoi Ofircg, Opon this
river Fedoticha were feen, at the time of the firft expedition to Kamtfchatka, the ruins of two Simowies, or habitations, wherein Fedotow
with his companions were fuppofed to have lived ; but no body could
tell the way by which thefe firft Ruffians came to Kamtfchatka. This
was not known till the year 1736, when the particulars of this affair
were found in the Archives of Jakutzk.
As mention has been made in the voyage of Michael Stadukin, in
the year 1645, that a report had prevailed of a large ifland being
then feen in the Frozen Sea, but which, at the fame time, was not
confirmed, we muft therefore obferve, that although many defcrip-
tions of voyages between the rivers Lena and Kolyma were found in
the archieves of Jakutzk, yet not the leaft notice has been taken of
this ifland in any of them, notwithftanding that it muft neceffarily have
been feen (in cafe any fuch had exifted) by feveral- veffels which had
been driven by contrary winds far enough from the fhore to have perceived it. Two voyages may ferve to prove this, both made in 1650,
partly by one and the fame company, fo that the accounts of the one
may ferve to confirm thofe of the other : We may likewife gather from
them what toil and danger attends thefe voyages.
The firft voyage was that of Andrei Goreloi, a Coffac, who was difpatched from Jakutzk in July 1650, and ordered to proceed by fea
* Verfta, or Werft, is a Ruffian meafure of land, ufed inftead-of miles, of 500 Safches,
or Ruffian fathoms; 104 i-5th Werfts are equal to a degree of 6.9! Englijh miles. C   ii   5
to the river Indigirka, in order to make tributary the people dwelling
above that, and the river Moma, which falls into the Indigirka. He
arrived, on the laft day of Auguft, over againft the mouth of the river
Chroma, where he was frozen in, according to his account, two days
voyage from the continent, to which he propofed to have gone 01
foot over the ice : But he was then prevented, for the ice broke uj
again, and a violent tempeft enfued, which lafted ten days, and drove
his Kotfche ftill farther into the fea, where he was froze in again, ant
then had a journey of a fortnight over the ice on foot, to reach th,
land. In the mean while the Kotfche was wreck'd between the ice,
Goreloi and his men had drawn with them, upon fledges, fome of the
naval ftores and provifions, having loft a great part in the fea. They
fet out with fledges drawn by dogs*, on the 5th of October, from the
place where they reached the continent, and in four days arrived at
the mouth of the river Indigirka j from thence they proceeded,  on
*- Dogs are very fcarce in China, nor will they thrive there ; wherefore merchants and
travellers who go from Ruffia thither, commonly Carry fome with them, which turn to a
very good account, efpecially if they are broke, and have learned fome tricks. On the
other hand, there are at Thibet and Tanguht, dogs of a vaft fize : This feems to agree with
what Marcus Paulus relates of the large dogs in Tanguhtia, as alfo with that paffage in
Arianus, and §htintus Curtius, where they mention, that King Porus made a prefent of two
of thefe large dogs to Alexander. On the Eaft fide of the country of Kamtfchatka, towards
the Sea, there lives a people, who keep no other forts of beafts but dogs, which though
they are but of a common fize, are remarkable, in that they have hair of fix inches long.
In 1718, a certain Waiwode travelling in a fledge with, twelve dogs, towards the city of
Berefowa, got himfelf wrapped up in warm quilts, and girt faft in the fledge, in order to
■feXure him. from the feverity of the cold, and to prevent his falling out, in cafe the fledge
Ihould over-turn ; the Ofiiack, who was his guide, fkaited along fide of him, (according
to cuftom, in cafe the fledge fhould over-turn, to raife it up again) and coming on a
large plain, where the ground is generally covered man's depth with fnow, the dogs
(which the OJiiacks alfo ufe for hunting) efpying a fox at a diftance, immediately flew in
purfuit of their game, and run away with the Waiwode, with fuch fwiftnefs, that it was
impoffible for the guide to keep pace with them, and they foon got out of fight. The
guide followed the track, but did not come up to his paffenger till the next morning, when
he found him in the fledge overturned, ftill well wrapped up, and tightly girt into it. By
good luck, a ftump of a tree, which ftood out above the fnow, had flopped the fledge, or
elfe it might probably have coft the Waiwode his life Thefe dogs are able to draw great
burdens, for, in the year 1718, Governor Knees Mifchewfki ordered a whole pipe of brandy to be brought from the convent of Ketfkoe to the city of Berefowa, which was done by
fixteen dogs. People never travel in the nights, but only in the days with dogs: In the morning, before they fet out, each dog has two frozen fifh, which is his allowance for the whole
day. At night, when they come to their journey's end, thefe poor creatures are fo weary*
that they cannot eat, but prefently lie down to fleep. Whenever any paffenger comes to
a ftage, where be is to have frefh dogs, all the dogs of that village fet up a moft terrible
howling, knowing that they are, fome of them, to have the fame fate.
B 2' the (      12      )
the 12th of November, ,to Ujandino Simowie, where a Poud \ of
meal coft eight Rubles %, on account that they had loft the corn they
had brought out with them, and no other fupply had been fent to that
The fecond voyage was that ,of Timofei Buldakow, a Coffac; who,
in 1649, was fent as commander to the river Kolyma, but had paffed
the winter at Schigani, on the river, Lena. He arrived the 2d of
July, 1650, at the mouth of that river, and failed from thence to the
Gulph of Omoloewa. There he met with ice, and was driven between it for eight days together in the fea. Near one of the iflands,
formed by the feveral branches of the Lena, he was obliged to beat
his way through the ice, for two days, in order to reach it. At laft
it feemed as if the fea was quite free from ice ; wherefore he failed
again towards the Gulph of Omoloewa, but ftill found great fhoals of
ice there, among which he was driven about in the fea for four days
more, without any hopes of getting forward : His fole endeavour was
therefore to get clear from the ice, in order to return to the Lena, at
the mouth of which river lay eight Kotfches, manned partly with Coffacs, partly with merchants and Promyfchleni, all ready to put to fea:
A land-wind foon after arofe, which removed the ice ; and all the
nine Kotfches paffed the Gulph of Omoloewa at the fame time. Beyond this Gulph lies an ifland near the land, behind which was, at that
time, the ufual navigation. When they were going to enter the
ftreights that feparated this ifland from the continent, they found a
fhoal of ice, and the feveral crews of all the veffels were obliged to
join in affifting each other to remove this obstacle, before they could
make their paffage good ; for the Kotfches were forced to be drawn by
men ; but after twenty-four hours navigation in thefe Streights, a favourable wind fprung up, which brought them, in twenty-four hours
more, to the mouth of the river Jana. Here a wind from off the
fea brought fuch a quantity of ice together, that the Kotfches were almoft jammed to pieces.    But as the coafts of the Frozen Sea are in
f Poud, a Ruffian weight, of forty Ruffian, or about thirty fix Englijh pounds.
|| Rubel, is a Ruffian filver coin, about the fize of a crown piece, in value ten Griff-
wens, or one hundred Kopeiks"; two Rubels are of equal value with a Ducat. They go
generally in Holland for fifty-five or fixty ftivers, according as the Exchange runs. Formerly they had no other coin in Ruffia but Denga's (of the value of half a Kopeik,) -and
, their way of reckoning was to have a tally, and at the fum of every hundred Denga's,-
they cut a notch upon the tally, which notch they called Rubel; and, therefore, when
they afterwards coined filver coin, of juft one hundred Kopejks in value, they called it a
Rubel, or Notch.
thefe (    13    ) |P
thefe parts Sloping, the great fhoals of ice which fink deep in the
water, cannot come nigh to the fhore, they work'd themfelves therefore very fafely through, by keeping near to the land, and, on the
29th of Auguft paffed the Cape, which formerly was reckoned to be
the moft difficult place in this voyage, on account of its Northerly
fituation, and was therefore called Swatoi Nofs. They were almoft
oppofite to the mouth of the river Chroma, when in the night between
the 30th and 3 1 ft of Auguft, the fea was quite frozen over. Bulda-
kow, and the crews of four other Kotfches, being not far from the
fhore, in one fathom water, propofed, as foon as the ice fhould be
ftrong enough, to tranfport their effects over it to the land ; but thefe
hopes vanifhed ; for on the ift of September, when the ice was already half a fpan thick, a violent-land-wind arofe, and bore the ice
up again, driving the Kotfches entangled among the ice into the open
fea, for five days together. A calm afterwards coming on, the fea
froze again in oneenight, and on the third day the ice was fo thick,
that they might pafs over it. Some men were then fent out to take
a furvey on which fide the neareft land lay; who found that the kotfche
commanded by Andrei Goreloi, was a day's voyage more to the South
than the other four. Wherefore they embarked, for the prefent, on
board Goreloi's kotfche, with their provifions and other neceffaries,
that in cafe the fea fhould break up again, the way to the continent
might be fo much fhorter j but when every thing was ready for the
voyage, the fea fuddenly began to fwell; the ice, which was already
half an Arfchin * thick, broke in pieces, and a ftrong land-wind fpring-
ing up, drove the kotfches ftill farther into the fea than before. This
ftorm lafted five days; after which the wind ceafed, and the kotfches
were frozen in a third time. They were then obliged to leave them,
and proceed on foot over the ice to the continent, every one taking,
upon a fmall fledge, as much provifions and implements with him
as he could draw. But even now they had much danger and fatigue
to undergo ; for the ice often broke under their feet, which obliged
them to leap from one fhoal to another, to throw over their provifions and implements, and to pull one another over with poles and
ropes. They at laft arrived at the Shore, near the mouth of the Indigirka, and thence proceeded up the river to Ujando Simowie, &c.
Two years after, viz. in 1652, we find the  instructions of one
* Arfchin, is a Ruffian meafure, twenty-eight inches long, and is divided into fixteen
werfcbocks, or parts, fo that each quarter of this meafure contains four werfchpcks j
three arfchin make a fazohen, or Ruffian fathom.
Piati- (    14    )
Piatidefatntks Iwan Re'brow, who was fent as commander to the river
Kolyma, in Buldakow's room, to inform himfelf of the abovementioned
great ifland in the Frozen Sea, which Michael Staduchin had reported..
It is likewife probable, that the Kolymifh, and other commanders there,
received the fame inftruCtions. But this is certain, that no accounts of
the difcoveries made by him, are to .be met with in the Archives of
Jakutzk. This affair has of late been brought upon the carpet again,
and by exprefs expeditions are treated in fuch a manner, that the
reality of the faid ifland feems to have gained fome appearance of
On February 20, 1710, the following accounts were taken down
in writing, in the Chancery of Jakutzk, upon the interrogations and
depositions of feveral Coffacs of Jakutzk, in relation to that and other
iflands fituated oppofite to the coaft of Kamtfchatka.
Nikiphar "Malgin faid, that In the time of Knjas Iwan Petrowitfch
Borjatinfkoi, Waywode of Jakutzk, (who, from 1667 to 1675, had
prefided in that government) he had proceeded by fea with a merchant named Andrei Woripaew, from the Lena to the river Kolyma -y
during which voyage they had moftly failed along the continent as far
as Swjatoi Nofs; but afterwards, on account of the great quantity of -
ice, which barred up the fhore, they had been obliged to keep out to
fea. In this voyage, the pilot of their Kotfche had Shewn them an
ifland lying at a great diftance off, on this fide of the mouth of the river
Kolyma, which was plainly difcerned by all on board the veffel; and
on their arrival at the Kolyma, one Jacob Wjatha, a merchant, told
them in what manner nine Kotfches in company together had failed
from the Lena to the Kolyma, when three of thefe veffels were driven
to that ifland ; and how fome people, who. were fent afhore, obferved
the impreffion of the hoofs of unknown beafts, but faw no inhabitants : thefe Kotfches arrived at Kolyma; but he had never heard of
an ifland fituated oppofite the mouth of the river Lena, &c.
This deposition contains alfo an account of an ifland, fuppofed to
lie oppofite to the country of Kamtfchatka, but with fo many uncertain circumftances, that it requires a good explanation, if the accounts
publifhed afterwards are to be rendered confiftent with it. Taras Staduchin, a merchant, is faid to have told Malgin, that many years before that, he had failed with ninety men in a Kotfche from the river
Kolyma, to make difcoveries relating to the great cape of Tfchuktfchy ;
that they were not able to double it, but went over it on foot to the
other fide, where they built new veffels, in which they proceeded a-
loner (  <s  )
long-the coafts, and came to the mouth of the liver Penfchina; that
the place where they crofted over was moft remarkably narrow; but
going farther, faid, that oppofite to the mouth of the Penfchina, we
may fee an ifland in the fea; which ifland, according to the relation
of a woman, is inhabited by people who have great beards, wear long
cloaths, and call the Ruffians, Brethren, Thefe are the circumftances
that want a good explanation.
Firft, It is poffible, that the name of the river Penfchina may have
been put by miftake inftead of the river Kamtfchatka; for, as improbable as it is, that Staduchin fhould have failed all round Kamtfchatka •
to the river Penfchina in one voyage, fo certain is it on the other hand,
that oppofite to Penfchina, there is no ifland to be met with in the fea;
and altho' there is nonvto be feen from the mouth of the river Kamtfchatka, yet the Kamtfchedales may have had an account of the iflands
that are known in thofe parts. The great beards and long cloaths that
are to fhew a Similitude .with the Ruffians, feem to be borrowed from
the nation of the Kurilles, who inhabit the iflands fituated to'the South
of Kamtfchatka; as indeed thefe, contrary to the nature of all the
people of Siberia and Kamtfchatka, are bearded, and hairy on their
bodies : But it is a miftake, that they call the*Ruffians Brethren ; for
at the time of Taras Staduchin, the Kurilles had perhaps never heard
ofthe.Ruffians. It may therefore be concluded, that Staduchin adopted
the tide of Brotherhood from the Similitude of their form of body,
and Malgin might have afcribed it to the Kamtfchedales, from a miftake of memory.
Iwan Schamaew faid, That in the year 1700, he was fent to Kamtfchatka, with Timofei Kobelew, the commander of that country : that
they made ufe of rein deer, from Anadirfk to the river Penfchina,
where they built veffels, and proceeded in them by fea to Puftoi Oftrog,
(probably on the river Puftaia) where they again got rein deer, with
which they paffed over a chain of mountains to the river Kamtfchatka ; and that oppofite to the mouth of the river Penfchina, there was
a little ifland in the fea : And laftly, that in their return from Kamtfchatka, he had feen an ifland oppofite to the mouth of the river Ka-
raga, at the diftance of a day's rowing from the continent, on which
the Coflac Iwan Golygin had been afhore, with two others, where
they found inhabitants j but thefe refilling to pay tribute, they did
not venture to go. far from the Shore, to take a more particular account of it.
MichaelNafetkin faid, that, in the year 1702, he had been fent to
Kamtf- Kamtfchatka,, when they took the fame rout as in the former journey,
by Anadirfk to the river Penfchina, from thence by water to the river
Lefnaia,- and from that place by land with fledges to the river Kamtfchatka. From the mouth of this river an ifland might be ken, lying
at a diftance in the fea; but it was uncertain whether it was inhabited
or not, for the Ruffians had never been upon it. From the South
promontory of Kamtfchatka, he had feen iflands, or land, fuch as he
had likewife obferved on his return to Jakutzk, in his voyage by fea,
between the rivers Kolyma and Indigirka. This laft land, or ifland*
according to the account of the pilot Danelo Monaftirfkoi, who at that
time was with them, is contiguous to the land fituated oppofite to
Kamtfchatka, and extends itfelf oppofite to the mouth of the river
Lena; but whether the land was inhabited or not, that pilot was entirely ignorant of.
Alexei Porotow, who had been at Kamtfchatka in the year 1704,
faid the fame as Iwan Schamaew, with refpeCt to the ifland over-againfi
the mouth of the river Karaga.
Here ends the interrogations and depofitions in the Chancery of Ta-
kutzk. * 1   J J
At the fame time the Stolnick and chief commandant Knjas Wafilei
Iwanowitch Gagarin, was prefent at Jakutzk, being difpatched to Siberia by the Governor Knjas Matfei Petrowitfch Gagarin, his father's
brother, with full power to make difcoveries and better regulations.
He delivered an order, on the 17th of March, to the Waywode Trau-
ernicht, confifting of feveral heads, one of which was as follows :
" That he fhould make diligent enquiry about the iflands fituated op-
<c pofite the mouth of the river Kolyma, and the land of Kamtfchatka}
£C what people inhabited them ; under whofe jurifdidion they were •
" what was their employment; how large the iflands were, and how
" far diftant from the continent." The commanders and Coffacks
who were to be fent to thofe places, were to receive pofitive instructions with regard to thefe enquiries, together with the promife of a
particular reward which they might expect for this fervice from his
Czarifh Majefty, to whom an exprefs Should be fent, with an account
of what had been done therein.
Purfuant thereunto, orders, dated the 20th of Aug. and qth of Sept.
JV?ti S°m the Chancery of Jakutzk were given to the commanders
of Uft-Jana and Kolyma, to make thefe difcoveries their particular
bufmefs; upon which a deposition in writing was received from Ja-
cohPermakow, a Coffac of Uft-Jana, which mentioned that he had (    '7   )
once failed from the Lena to the river Kolyma ; and that on the farther fide of the Swatoi Nofs, he had feen an ifland in the fea, but did
not know whether it was inhabited or not. There was likewife fituated direCtly oppofite to the river Kolyma, an ifland that might be feen
from the continent, and mountains were obferved upon it; but that it
was alfo uncertain whether it was inhabited: this perhaps might be
known from the Jukagiri, who dwelt thereabouts*.
The following is a letter from the Governor Knjas Matfei Petrmv-
itfch Gagarin, dated the 28th of Jan. ijn, not only impowering,
but pofitively enjoining the Waywode Trauernic^t to profecute thefe
difcoveries : " I have heard by Coffacs and Dworancs from Jakutzk,
" that you intend to fend a party of Coffacs and voluntiers to the New
" Country, or Ifland, oppofite to the mouth of the river Kolyma ; but
W that you hefitated about doing it without orders j therefore I have
" found it neceflary to tell you, that you fhould by-no means neglect
<c to do it; and if other iflands may be discovered, you will be pleafed
" to do the fame with refpect to them. But above all things, the
" expedition is to be made this prefent year, 1711. This I write to
cc you, by order of his Czarifh Majefty.
" Knjas Matfei'Gagarin.    Jan. 28, 1711."
Hereupon the Waywode Trauernicht prepared for two expeditions,
one to the mouth of theriver Jana, and the other to the river Kolyma,
in order to go in fearch, of the pretended ifland, from both places at
once; for which purpofe, the commanders received orders either to
proceed by fea, or to travel over the ice, till a fufficient certainty could
be obtained, whether any fuch ifland exifted or not.
Concerning the firft expedition, made under the conduct of the
Coflac Merkurei Wagin, I have found feveral writings in the Archives
at Jakutzk; but they muft be judicioufly examined, and we muft not
implicitly believe every thing- contained therein. Wagin departed
from Jakutzk, in Autumn 1711, in company with eleven other Cc/-
facs; and in May 1712, made a voyage from Uft-Janfkoe Simowie to
river £e/«7? and the pr
:fe people were like t I I )
the Frozen Sea, in which Jacob Permakow, mentioned before, ferved
him as a guide. The carriage confifted, according to the cuftom of
' the country, of Nartes, a kind of fledges, drawn by dogs, in wlifc'li
they followed the coaft to Swiatoi Nofs; they from thence enfe||^
the fea directly towards the North, and failed to an ifland, which he
found to be from nine to twelve days journey in circumference, destitute both of inhabitants and wood. From this ifland, it is faid, they
faw another great ifland, or land, lying farther out in the fea; but
Wagin durft not go over to it, as the fpring was too far advanced, and
he was in want of provifions; he therefore returned to the continent,
in order to provide himfelf with a fufficient fupply of fifh during the
fummer, for making the voyage the following winter.
The place where he reached the continent on his return, was between Swiatoi Nofs and the river Chroma, and was called after Kataiew
Krefi, a Jakutzk Coffac, who had formerly erected a crofs there.
From thence he fet out for the river Chroma, in order to catch fifh j
but on their way, he and his company were in fuch extreme want of
provifions, that at firft they eat the dogs which drew their fledges, and
afterwards mice, and other unclean animals. In thisdiftrefs, defpair-
ing to reach the Chroma, they returned to the fea coaft, where they remained the whole fummer, living fparingly upon a few fifties, wild-
ducks, geefe, and their eggs.
In the mean while, the remembrance of the hunger they had fuf-
fered, and perhaps alfo the fear of being in ftill more miferable circumftances by going in fearch of the land they had feen, imbittered
the minds of the Coffacs who had come with Wagin from Jakutzk, in
fuch a manner, againft him and the guide, that they murdered him,
his fon, Jacob Permakow, and a Promyfchlenoi. This faCt was difcovered by an accomplice, and the murderers feized; and on their examination, it appeared that the guide, Jacob Permakow, did not take
that fecond great ifland, which was imagined to have been feen from
the firft, to be really land, but that he thought it to be no more than
vapours arifing from the fea. Perhaps doubts of fome moment may
likewife be raifed againft the reality of the firft ifland.
The fecond expedition from the river Kolyma was juft as fruitlefs as
this. It was to have been carried on by 50 men, in two veffels; but
there was only 22 perfons, who failed in one veffel, and were conducted
by a Coffac named Wafilei Staduchin, who obferved no more than a promontory, running Eaft from the river Kolyma into the fea j this was
furrounded by firm ice, through which no veffelwas able to pafs.   No
g?   —upj (    19    )
ifland was to be feen, even at a diftance. They ufed in tin's voyage a
kind of boats, the boards of which were faftcned, or, In a manner,
fewed together, with Straps, and, from their conftruCtion, have the
name Schitiki; they are ufually five fathoms long, and two broad, with
one deck, and a flat bottom caulked with mofs: They are properly
made ufe of in the rivers, and in paffing to them along the coafts.
The fail confifts of foft rein deer fkins, dreffed ; and, inftead of ropes,
they make ufe of Straps of elk fkins; and the anchors are of wood,
to which are faftened great ftones. Such a veflel Staduchin had ;
what wonder is there, then, that he could make no difcoveries ?
In the year 1714a new expedition was prepared from Jakutzk, for
the fame place, under the command of Alexei Markow, who was to
fail from the mouth of the J ana; and if the Schitiki were not fit for
fea voyages, he was to conftruct, at a proper place, veflels fit for pro-
fecuting the difcoveries without danger. Each veflel was allowed a
failor, who had been fent by the Governor Knjas Gagarin to Jakutzk,
in order to difcover the navigation from Ochozk to Kamtfchatka.
As foon as Markow and his company were arrived at TJft-Janfko Si-
mowie, he fent an account, dated Feb. 2, 1715, to the Chancery of
Jakutzk, mentioning, that it was impoffible to navigate the fea, as it
was continually frozen, both in fummer and winter; and therefore the
preferibed expedition was no otherwife to be carried on but with
fledges drawn by dogs. He accordingly fet out on fledges from U/l-
Janfiko Simowie, in company with nine other perfons, on the 10th of
March in the fame year, and returned on the 3d of April to the fame
place. His account is as follows : That he went feven days, as fa ft
as his dogs could draw him (which, in good ways and weather, is 80
or 100 werfts in a day *) direCtly towards the North, on the fea upon
the ice, without difcovering any land or ifland: That it had not been
poflible for him to get any farther, the ice rifing up there in the fea
like mountains: That he had climbed to the top of fome of them, and
looked at a diftance round about, but could difcern no land. At laft,
wanting food for his dogs, many of them died.
Nothing farther was done, till, in 1723, when Fedot Amoffow, a
Sin-bojarfkoi of Jakutzk, renewed the old report of an ifland in the
Frozen Sea, 1
Fered to go thither, and render i
ts inhabitants tribu-
0 his account, the ifland extenc
ed from the mouth
d the mouth of the Indigirka.
He was fent with
a party of Coffacs • but he
ifland from thence.    On ' (     20     )
the mouth of this river for the open fea ; but found, as he reported,
• fuch fhoals of ice before him, that he was hindered in his free navigation. He was therefore'obliged to fail along the coaft, eaftwards,
to the habitations of Kopai, which he reached on the 7th of Auguft
the fame year. He could hardly get along the^coaft on account of the
ice; and the wind being moftly contrary, he was unable to proceed,
and forced to lay afide all hopes of making difcoveries,•iJrjj|'"order to
hafte back to the Kolymai As I knew this man at Jakutzk, I have
learnt from him, that the habitations of Kopai were about 200 weBrs
diftant, to the eaftward, from the mouth of the Kolyma. He alfo
made mention of a fmall ifland fituated very near the continent; and
at the beginning of the following winter he made a journey, with
fledges; of which he gave the following account to the Chancery of
Jakutzk : That on the 3d of November, 1724, he fet out from Nifch-
noe Kolymftkoe Simowie, and met with land in the Frozen Sea, from
whence he came back to Kolyma on the 23d of the fame month. Upon
this land he faw nothing but old huts covered with earth ; but it was
unknown by what people they were inhabited, and whither they were
gone. The want of provifions, and efpecially of food for the dogs,
had obliged him to turn back, without making any farther difcoveries.
This journey was very difficult, on account of the Shoals of ice, which
were of a great height, and the fea-falt, with which all the ice was
To this account I may add fome explanations, which I got by word
' of mouth from Amoffow, at Jakutzk. The place where he left the
continent to go over to the land, he fays, lay between the rivers
Tfchukotfchia and Aldfea ; it was an ifland that might be encompaffed
in a fledge drawn by dogs, in a day ; and that it was fituated about
the fame diftance from the continent; from whence it might be feen,
on account of its high rocky mountains. Behind it there were two
other iflands, as mountainous as this, feparated by narrow ftreights, on
which he lal not been, and confequently did not know their extent.
The firft ifland- was without forefts , and he had obferved the foot-
fteps of no other animals but thofe of the rein-deer, whofe ufual food
is mofs. The old huts were built of wcod driven afhore by the fea,
and covered with earth. If this be faCt, then it feems that the former
inhabitants were Jukagiri or Tfchuktfchi, who, on the conqueft of the
regions about the Indigirka, Alafea, and Kolyma, fled over thither, and
afterwards returned to the continent again.
What has been alledged may, or may not,  be fufficient to put the
certainty of the pretended ifland in the Frozen Sea out  of doubt;
t,,   1 ii.x mmmmm* (     21     )
yet no farther refearches have been made about it. I cannot deny,
that neither Amofjbw's written account, nor his verbal relation of it,
have Satisfied me; for there is reafon to fufpect, that it was not fo
much the defign of making new difcoveries in fuch difmal parts, as
fome other felf-interefted motives, that occafioned his offering to undertake this expedition: It is not improbable but it proceeded from
his defire of becoming a commander, with- which feveral advantages
are connected ; or to trade with the nations in thofe parts, and for this
purport, he might have revived the report of the ifland in the Frozen
Sea. Yet we may fuppofe, that he afterwards found it neceflary to
put his written accounts and verbal relations into fuch order, as to present his meeting with reproach. But if this be the cafe, it may farther be afked, Why he did not, in the beginning of his account of the
expedition, to Jakutzk, give an exact defcription of the way he went
to the ifland, of its extent, and all other circumftances ? And why
he did not, at that time, make mention of the other two iflands fituated behind the firft? One might likewife afk, How it could be pof-
fible that Amoftbw's ifland, lying fo near the continent* fhould not
have been difcovered in former voyages to the river Kolyma, of which
I have found fo many circumftantial accounts in the archives of Jakutzk. At leaft its fmall circumference, according to Amoffotv, does
not afford a confirmation of the old report, of a large country extending from the mouth of the river Lena, or Jana, as far as oppofite
to the river Kokyma, or rather farther.
All thefe circumftances being duly confidered, we cannot help
thinking, that Meff. DeLifte and Buache aCted rather too precipitately, when in their new maps of the difcoveries of Kamtfchatka, published at Paris, they reprefented an ifland lying under .the 73d degree
of North latitude, oppofite to the mouth of the river Kolyma; and beyond it, under the 75th degree, a large country, faid to have been difcovered by the Ruffians in 1723. They refer, in this refpect, to written accounts received by M. De Life at Peterfburg, and efpecially to
a map made by Col. Scheftakow, a Coffac. They alledge thefe hifto-
rical circumftances : That, in the firft ifland, a Schelagan Prince, called
Kopai, was made prifoner of war, and was the conductor of the difcovery of the great country; but this is the very thing which Shews
the little ground there is for thefe allegations; for it is not to be fuppofed, that the writings of the archives I have quoted will be called in
queftion, as they may ferve for the beft explanation that can be given.
Kopai did not live upon an ifland, but on the continent; neither was
he ever a prifoner to the Ruffians: The firft time he paid tribute to
E£ Mftta, (      22      )
Ruffia, was to Willegin the Promyfchlenoi ; and he did the fame in 1724
to Amoffbw: But foon after he deferted the Ruffian party, and killed
fome of Amoftow's company. This is all that is known of him. According to the verbal depofition of Amoffow, there was fituated, not
far from his habitations, a little ifland near the continent. Is it not,
then, fufficiently clear, whether it is this, or fome other ifland, which
Scheftakow, and after him Me ST. De Life aud Buache, have placed oppofite *o the river Kolyma %
As to Scheftakow, and his map, it is to be obferved, that he could
neither read or write, and that he got the fituation of the countries
and rivers, marked upon his maps, merely from his memory, or from
the accounts he had heard from others who could fcarce write. He
was, in 1726, at Peterfburg, where he formed great projects for fub-
duing the favage Tfchuktfchi'. At that time feveral of his maps appeared, and I myfelf received one of them, but never ventured to
make ufe of it, except in what was confirmed by more certain accounts.
According to this#iap, Kopai'$ ifland is fituated two days voyage from
the continent, and takes up almoft as much room in length as the oppofite coaft, between the rivers Alafeia and Kolyma. It is farther mentioned, that it is inhabited by a refolute people called the Schelages.
Behind it, to the North, there is a coaft, under the name of the Large
Country, between which and the ifland, it is faid, in exprefs words,
there is not quite two days voyage. This being founded neither on
verbal nor written accounts, may juftly be considered as an addition by
Scheftakow, to what he had heard from others. So that I cannot fee
what can be taken from this, more than from the other reports, to
afcertain the fituation of this land, or even fuppofing its reality to be
But what fhall we fay, when we confider the teftimony of P. Avril,
who pretended to have heard at Smolenfk, in 1686, that that country
was inhabited, and full of forefts. I think this is plainly contrary to
faCt, if the former difcoveries are to be depended upon; and if we
confider, that along the coafts of the Frozen Sea there are no forefts,
nor will thefe northerly regions admit of any. In the mean while,
the fuppofition' given in writing by P. Avril, to the Waywode of
Smolenfk, that by means of this ifland America was peopled from Afia,
does honour to thofe times, if even the ifland itfelf fhould be proved
to have no exiftence; as it may be underftood of the iflands and the
continent oppofite Tfchukotfkoi Nofs, of which we fhall mention what
has been difcovered in former times, without the navigation of Defch?
g       IIJI-J
5S (
Sheftakow's map is here very imperfect; it only fays, " upon the
" Nofs dwell the Stubborn Tfchuktfchi, who throw ftones with flings.
<l There are alfo many red foxes." And oppofite, on the Eaft fide,
there is marked a large ifland, which is thus defcribed: " An ifland
** oppofite Anadirfkoi Nofs, well peopled: Upon it are found abund-
*c anceof all forts of animals. The inhabitants are not tributary, and
" are fubject to none." Another map, which I got at Jakutzk, from
a Dworanin, named Iwan Lwaw, who is the author of it, furnishes us
with fome more accounts. It reprefents a two-fold Nofs; the far*
thermoft towards the North Eaft, which, from the nation of the TfchuU
fchi, is commonly called Tfchukotfkoi Nofs, and has there the name of
Schelatzkoi, from the Schelagen, who are a particular race among the
Tfchutfchi. The other, which lies South from this, tho' it is far enough
from the river Anadir, is called from that river Anadirfkoi Nofs. It
is therefore a miftake in Sheftakow's map, to call the former by the
name of the latter, which he has quite omitted. Tfchukotfkoi, or
Schelatzkoi Nofs, is not limited, as the author of the map did not know
its extent. In a large gulph between Tfchukotfkoi and Anadirfkoi Nofs
lies an ifland, which is faid to be inhabited by the Tfchuktfchi, and another over-againft Anadirfkoi Nofs, the one farther from the continent
than the other j which are defcribed in the following manner : "It
" is half a day's voyage from the continent to the firft ifland, which is
" inhabited by a people whom the Tfchuktfchi call Achjuchaljat; thefe
" fpeak their own language, wear cloaths of duck-fkins, and live by
" catching of fea-horfes and whales; and, as the ifland is without fo-
", refts, they boil their provifions with train-oil. The fecond is two
t£ days voyage diftance from the firft; the inhabitants are called, in the
" Tfchuktfchi language, Peekeli. They have teeth let in thro' their
" cheeks; they live in fortified places, and are alfo cloathed with
" duck-fkins." I am of opinion, that the fituation here given to this
ifland is a miftake, and that it muft be looked for over-againft Tfchukotfkoi Nofs. Beyond this ifland there is marked a large country, the
inhabitants of which are called by the Tfchutktfchi, Kitfchin Elfat.
They have their own language; wear cloaths of the fkins of Sables,
foxes, and rein deer; dwell in fortified places j have their habitations
in the ground, and fhoot with bows and arrows. All the animals of
whofe fkins they make cloaths, are found there. Their wood is pine,
fir, birch, and the larch tree.    .
To this I will add another map, whofe author was alfo an inhabitant
of Jakutzk, in which Schelatfkoi Nofs is unlimited, as in the former.
Of the inhabitants, it is here faid, " That they fpeak their own lan-
2 guage» (
guage, are warlike, and cannot be fubdued ; becaufe, if any one of
" them is taken prisoner, he kills himfelf.5' This is in general the
Cafe with refpect to the reft of the people of Siberia, whofe firft fub-
jection was moftly effected by taking fome of them prifoners, and keeping them as hoftages for the fidelity of the reft; or, as they ufed to
exprefs it in Siberia, as Amanaten. Over-againft Schelatzkoi Nofs another unlimited country prefents itfelf-, the inhabitants of which are
called, in the Tfchuktfchan language, Kykykmei, and are faid to referable the Jukagiri. Other accounts, which I fhall mention here, are
found in the writings of our chiefs.
On the 14th of March 1710, the Waywode Dorofei Trauemicht
enquired at Jakutzk of feveral Coffacs, who had been at Anadirfkoi
Oftrog, about all the circumftances of the Tfchuktfchan nations, and
received from three Coffacs, viz. Timojei Daurzow, Fedor Pornci;®siia\' ~
PeterMungal, the following relation : In 1701, the tributary Jukagiri,
. under Anadirfkei Oftrog complained to the commander of that place,
that they were often attacked by the Tfchuktfchi, and.defired that Some
Rufficins might be fent with them to fubdue thefe enemies. The commander gave them twenty-four men, who were joined by 110 Jukagiri ■, thefe were eight weeks in their march, from April to June.
Their firft aCtion was to Summon thirteen habitations of the Tfchuktfchi, on the fea coaft of Anadir, to Submit themfelves, and pay tribute ; but this they refufed, and an engagement enfuing, about ten
men of the Tfchuktfchi were killed, and fome men, women, and children made prifoners; the men whom they thought to keep as hoftages, foon after killed each other. Thofe who had efcaped, raifed near
300 men at Tfchuktfchoi Nofs, who ventured to make head againft the
Ruffians and Jukagiri, but were again defeated ; near 200 were left
dead on the fpot, and the reft ran away. The next day, an army of
above 3000 Tfchuktfchi was feen on their march : The battle began
in the morning, and lafted till the evening; in which many of the
Tfchuktfchi were-Slain ; and yet the Ruffians and Jukagiri had not one
man killed, and only ten wounded; but tho'the Tfchuktfchi retired,
yet they encamped in fuch a manner, that the Ruffians and Jukagiri
were furrounded by them for five days: At laft, however, they efcaped, and retired to Anadirfkoi, without lofs. Upon this occafion,
■ the following obfervation has been made: Although it is not to be
denied that the Tfchuktfchi are expert at throwing ftones with flings
yet in war they moftly make ufe of bows and arrows. The Tjchukot-
fchoi Nofs is quite destitute of all kind of wood : Thofe of the Tfchuktfchi, who keep tame-rein deer, live by them-; --but-thofe who walk on
^■s ( i i
foot, live by catching fea-horfes, whales, and other fiSh j fuch of
them as keep rein deer dwell between the rocky mountains, in the
midft of the Nofs, but the footmen live on both fides on the fea coaft.
There are no fables on the Nofs, and no other wild animals, than red
foxes and rein deer. Sea-horfes teeth are found in abundance oh the
Thus far the written relation taken down at Jakutzk. Matfei
Skrebykin, a Pietidefatnik of the Coffacs, who at that time was fent
as commander to Anadirfkoi Oftrog, received orders to get better intelligence concerning the Tfchuktfchi, and the country inhabited by
them.    The following account is the fruit of his endeavours.
" Anadirfk, Sept. 2, 1711. The deposition of the Jakutzich, Coft
" fac Peter llun Sin Popow, of the Promifchleni, Jegar Wafihew Sin
tc Toldin, and the newly baptized Jukagir, Iwan Wafiliew Sin
" Terefcbkin, Peter llun Sin Popow, was Sent with the other two,
" who ferved him as interpreters, on the 13 th of January, 1711, by
" the governor Fedor Kotkowfkoi, to the banks of the river Anadir, to
" receive the Tribute from fome tributary Tfchuktfchi; they were
" likewife ordered to go to the Nofs, and endeavour by admonitions
| to bring the obftinate Tfchuktfchi under obedience j and receive
tC hoftages from them ; they were alfo to get full intelligence concern-
" ing their manner of living, their cuftoms, the nature of the country
ec and the neighbouring iflands; then to return to Anadirfkoi Oflrog.
tc Popow went from the mouth of the river Anadir to the Tfchuktfchi,
" who lived beyond a Gulph, and from thence to Tfchukotfkoi Nofs.
I He every where met with a denial with refpeCt to their rendering
te themfelves fubject, and paying tribute. The Tfchuktfchi faid, that,
tc fome Ruffians had formerly come to them mKotfches by fea, to
" whom they paid no tribute, and therefore they would not do it now;
" confequently, he ought to expedt no hoftages from them. Tho'
" he failed in this point, yet he had an opportunity to make many ufe-
r. ful obfervations, and got fuch intelligence as were agreeable to his
" orders. The folemn obligation, or oath of the Tfchuktfchi, confift s
" in calling on the fun to be fecurity for their promifes. Thofe of
* them who dwell on the Nofs keep tame rein deer, on account of
" which they often change their habitations between the rocks j but
" thofe who have no rein deer live on both fides of the Nofs, on the
| banks of the fea, where the fea horfes are ufed to come on fhore,
<c They have immoveable huts, which they dig in the ground, or
I cover with earth. Both live by hunting wild rein deer, catching
I whales, fea horfes, Seals, &c. and upon roots and herbs. Oppofite
P t» 0 26 y
if to the Nofs on both fides, as well in the fea, of Kolyma, as in that
sc of Anadir, an ifland is faid to be feen at a great diftance, which the
<5 Tfchuktfchi call a large country,'and fay, that the in habitant^ there-
" of bore holes through their cheeks, in which they infert large teeth,
« Thefe people are different in their language, and manner of living,
« from the Tfchuktfchi, who have waged war againft them time^jpir-'
" of mind. . Their. weapons are,- like thofe of the latter, bows'.^SP
" arrows. Popow faw ten men' of thefe people thus disfigured with
*' thefe projecting teeth.; who were prifoners of war among the
<l Tfchuktfchi; and he obferved, that the teeth, thus fet in, were cut
*' from thofe of the fea'horfe. Ig .mmmer time they fail over in one
•' day to this land, in Baidares, a fort of veffels conftruCted with whaje-
" bones, and coyered with feal-fkins j and you may likewife in \h^
" winter feafon travel thither in one day, on fledges drawn by rein deer
" if you go Swift. There'are no other animals on the Nofs than foxes
" and wolves, and even thefe very fcarce for want of wood, but on the
" other land are found all forts of beafts, as fables, feveral forts of foxes.
" wolves, white bears, fea otters, Gfr.'^*Tne inhabitants keep large
H? herds of tame rein deer ; they live by catching of fea animals', feeding;
" likewife on berries, roots, and herbs. They are like the Tfchuktfchi.
" without any governors. Their wood is cedar, fir, feveral forts of
" pines, and the larch tree ; which kinds of wood Popow obferved in
** the Baidares■' and huts of the Tfchuktfchi. According to the com-
" putation of Popoiv, the number of the Tjchmrffchi that lire\oiOhe.^
" Nofs, as well of thofe that have rein deer, as of thofe that are with-
" out, is about 2000 men,.or moreV'"whereas the Iflanders are faid to
" be three times that number; which is confirmed, not only by the
sc prifoners, but by one of the Tfchuktfchi, who has often been there.
C1 They go in ten weeks from Anadirfkoi Oftrog to the Nofs with laden
" rein deer, and confequently not very faft, but they muft not be de-
<c tained on the roads by violent winds, which are generally accompani-
u ed with fnow. The way leads by a rock called Matkol, fituated in
" the middlemoft or deepeft part of a great bay."
To this I will add another relation, received from fome Tfchuktfchi
at the time they come to Anadirfkoi Oftrog, in order to acknowledge
the dominion of'the Ruffians.
" The folemn obligation,   or  oath, with  the Tfchuktfchi, is, by
" conftituting the fun, or their forcerer-priefts,   their fureties.. They >
" live on the Nofs, beyond the rivers Anadir and Kolyma ; their num-
" ber may be between 3 or 4000, and upwards; they themfelves do
*' not know how ftrong they are, fince they have but little know-
5 ledge. ■' I   27   )
*c ledge of numbers. As they live without government, every one
*c does what he pleafes; however, thofe who belong to one tribe
" keep together. *f$eir herds of tame rein deer are numerous; on
*c. which they live, and, at the fame time they catch wild reindeer,
tc fea-horfes, whales, and other fea animals, which likewife Serve
..^Lthem for food, there are no wild land animals upon the Nofs, ex-
.'^de'pting foxes and wolves; fables are not found there, becaufe there
g are no woods. The Nofs is full of rocky mountains, and the low
£C grounds confift of land covered with turf. Oppofite to it lies an
<c ifland, within fight, of no great extent, and void of wood. It is in-
<f habited by people who have the fame afpect as the Tfchuktfchi, but
" are a quite different nation, fpeaking a language peculiar to them-
" Selves, though they are not numerous. It is half a day's voyage,
" with Badaires from the Nofs to this ifland. There are no fables on
' ■ it, nor any other animals than foxes, wolves, and rein deer. Be-
*f yond the ifland is a large continent that can fcarcely be difcerned
'" from it, and that only in clear days ; in calm weather one may row
<e over from the ifland to that continent, which is inhabited by a
l% people who in every particular refemble the Tfchuktfchi. There
<c are large forefts of fir, pine, larch, and cedar trees ; great rivers
*' flow through the country, and fall into the fea. The inhabitants
*' have dwellings and fortified places of abode, environed with ram-
ic parts of earth; they live upon wild rein deer and fifh; their
" cloaths are made of fable, fox, and rein deer fkins, for fables and
<c foxes are there m great abundance. The number of men in that
tl country may be twice or three times as many as that of the
<l Tfchuktfchi, who are often at war with them." Thus far this re-
rc lation deferves credit ; but now follows fomething fabulous. "There
" are likewife faid to be people in this country who have tails like
<c dogs; fpeak their own language ; are often at war among them-
" felves, and are without religion : They wear cloaths like the for-
<c mer, and live upon wild rein deer and fea animals. Another na-
I tion there, is faid to have feet like ravens, covered with the fame
<( kind of fkins as theirs. They never wear Shoes or Stockings:" We
fhall be fo juft as fo excufe the fables of the wild Tfchuktfchi, fince
European authors, writing of unknown countries, have fallen into no
lefs abfurdities.
The reft of the relation regards, in the firft  place, the diftance
between Tfchukotfkoi. Nofs and the mouth of the river Anadir :    To
determine which, the Tfchuktfchi faid,  " That they fpent three weeks,
As or leSs time,   in failing .with their BjmMx& from the innner bay of
D 2 " the {
2$     )
« the Anadir along tha coaft, fo the extremity of the Nofs, over-
V againft which the ifland lies." A circumftance next occurs, wp^hi
we fhould have entirely oniit0d, as foreign to our purpofe, if it did not
contain a very particular cuftom of the Tfchuktfchi, fo contrary to the
cuftoms of all civilized nations, that, though fomething of it is mentioned in Mr Refident Weber's Ruffia changed *, yet, without farther
confirmation, is hardly to to credited. What M. Paulus Venetus
relates -j- of the hofpitality of the inhabitants of the country of Cumult
and what is obferved of Tibet %; what Witfen j[, and the Jefuit
Trigaut repeats after him ; and what this latter § alledges about the
land of Cafchemir, is, out of all doubt, the fame with the Tfchuktfchi :
" When a ftranger comes to thtm, let him be of their own, or another
" nation, they offer him, upon the firft falutation, their wives and
u daughters, as bedfellows. If they are not handfome enough, or are
"" too old for the gueft, they bring him fome from among their neigh-
" bours; whereupon the woman prefents him a bafon of urine, frefh
" made in his prefence, with which he is obliged to rince his mouth :
" If he refufes the offer, they hold him for their enemy; but, from
" his accepting of it, they conclude his Sincere friendfhip." This
cuftom was not only related by the Tfchuktfchi at Anadirk, but is. alfo
contained in the written account I have given p and 1 have frequently
heard it at Jakutzk, from people who have been amongft the Tfchuktfchi.
We fhall not amufe ourfelves with comparing thefe accounts where
they contradict each other ; the difference only confifts in things of no
moment. The chief point ftill remains the fame, that there is a real
Separation between the two parts of the world, Afa, and America ;
that it confifts only in a narrow ftreight; and that, within this ftreight,
there are fituate one or more iflands ; by which the communication
is facilitated between theSe two large continents, whofe inhabitants
had knowledge of each other from antient times. Tho' I cannot prove
by written originals, fome other accounts of thofe parts as I have done
thofe hitherto alledged, yet they do not feem to me unworthy of
attention. People muft believe me upon my word, and give credit
to me when I aflert, that they have been told me at Jakutzk by per-
fpns of credit.
We have already faid, that Nikifor Malgin makes mention of certain
bearded people inhabiting an ifland, in the PenfchinJkan fea, whom I
Tiave interpreted to be the Kuriles. ■ The inhabitants of Anadirfkoi
Oftrog report the fame of the people of the continent, lying over againft
* Vol. i. p 406. t Book i. Ch. 46.
«i4 Eaft Tartary. Edit. ii. Pag. 334, 335.
t Book ii. Ch. 37.
§ Pag." 341.
[| No:
ES  miL[Li ( n V
the habitations of the Tfchuktfchi. There is faid to live fomewhere in
that country, a people who have a great deal in common with the
Ruffians, not only in refpect to their beards and cloathing, but likewife
in their trades and employments : The Tfchuktfchi get platters and o-
ther wooden veflels from them, that are hardly to bediftinguifhed from
thofe made in Ruffia. Some imagine that they are really delcended
from the Ruffians, and that their anceftors were driven by Shipwreck
to this country, where they have remained.
It is reported, that in the year 1715, there lived a man of a foreign
nation at Kamtfchatka, who, upon feeing the Kamtfchatkan cedar nuts,
and the low Shrubs on which they grow, faid, that he came from a
country where there were larger cedars, which bore bigger cedar nuts
than thofe of Kamtfchatka ; that his country was fituated to the Eaft of
Kamtfchatka; that there were found in it great rivers, which difcharg-
ed themfelves Weftward into the Kamtfchatkan fea; that the inhabitants called themfelves Tontoli, and refemble, in their manner of living,
the people of Kamtfchatka, making ufe of leathern boats, or Baidares,
like them. That, many years before that, he went over, with fome
more of his countrymen, to Karaginfkoi Oftrow, where his companions were all flain by the inhabitants, and he alone made his efcape to
On Karaginfko Oftrow* an ifland oppofite to the river Karaga, from
whence it derives its name, it is faid, there are obferved in the fubter-
raneous dwellings of the inhabitants, great beams of pine and fir trees,
with which thefe caves are partly wainfcotted : The inhabitants being afked whence they procured this timber, fince fuch kind of wood
was not found in Kamtfchatka, or the neighbouring .iflands ? They
made anfwer, that, fometimes, they were driven on Shore by Eafterly
winds, and that having no wood oS their own on the ifland, they made
ufe of them.
It has ever been obferved in Kamtfchatka, that, in winter time, a .
ftrong Eaft wind drives ice to the Kamtfchatkan coaft in two or three
days, and then certain birds annually fly from the Eaft, which having
remained fome months on thofe coafts, return back. \Yhat elfe can
be concluded from this, but that the continent oppofite to the country
of the Tfchuktfchi extends to the Southward of Kamtfchatka jj and may
not this be likewife conjectured from the Martins found in that country, which are not to be met with even in the northermoft countries,
nor yet in Siberia, except in the dominions about Catherinebourg and
the Ifettifchen Province. Perhaps in the former relations of the neighbouring continent, martins are to be understood inftead of fables : This (
is certain, that the Tfchuktfchi get cloaths of martin fkins from thence •
Some of which have now and then been- brought from Anadirfkoi
Oflrog to Jakutzk, as is known to every perfon thereabouts.
'Tis probable, that by the continent faid to be fituated Eaftward, near
to Kamtfchatka and the country of the Tfchuktfchi, is to be here un-
derftood, pot a large ifland, but North America itfelf; fince its nature,
So far as it is known, gives Sufficient grounds Sor this Suppofition.
French travellers who have been in Louiftana make mention of a great
river that flows Weftward to the Sea, Srom the head of the Miffouri,
which empties itSelf into the Miftifippi: 'Tis true, they have not been
on that river ; but 'tis enough that they have intelligence of it from
the heathen nations inhabiting thoSe parts. The Miffouri falls into the
Miftifippi between the 39th and 40th degree of North latitude, it is
reckoned between four hundred leagues and.upwards, from their conflux to the middle of the courfe of the Miffouri, and, from thence, fix
days journey to that river; which, according to the account of the
people in thofe parts, falls into the unknown Wefterly ocean *. Meff.
De Lifte and Buache, reprefent this fea in the maps they have lately
publifhed, as a great lake, or gulph, fituated between the 40th and 50th
degree of North latitude ; but the ground on which they Support their
opinion does not Seem to me of fufficient weight. William DeLifle,
the royal geographer, in the year 1697, firft figured to himfelf the
fituation of the Weftern ocean in this manner, following therein the
defcription of journeys in which were contained the depositions of certain Americans dwelling about this fea, and the rivers falling into it. In
the year 1700 he compofed a book on this fubject, in hopes of animating the French ministry to make preparations for new difcoveries.. But
when we come to a clofe examination of the testimonies alledged therein, we find that the greateft part of them do not fpeak of a fea or
gulph, but of the Pacific Ocean itfelf; and that the reft are doubtful ;
but they are all of them of fuch a nature, as not to be of force enough
to confirm an opinion, againft which there are So many objections
founded on fufficient grounds. Let us look on the map of America :
The river Miffouri falls into the Miffiffippi, fomewhat below the 40th
degree of North latitude ; we will iuppofe it flows from the North
Weft, as the people in thofe parts alledge : From its mouth to its.
head it is reckoned 800 French leagues:    How does that confift with
* We will take the lateft Teftimony : Memoire fur la Louifiane, par M. Le Sage du
Pratz in Jmrnal Oeconamique, 1751, Sept. P. 14c. On croit que le Miffouri vient de
l'Oueft. Selon le Rapport des Peuples du pais ; il a 800 lieues de court, & a fix Jour-
nees an Nord du milieu de fon cours ontrouve une autre riviere, qui contant-du levant au
couchant va fejetter dans la mer inconhue de fOuefi.
the C   3i    )
the Weftern fea, in the manner Meff. De Lifte and Buache figure it to
themfelves ? For here this Weftern fea, or gulph, which they believe,
takes up the fame parts which the river Miffouri ought to pafs through g
but it is ftiil fix days journey from the river Miffouri to the river that
falls into the Weftern Sea. This river is of confiderable bignefs, consequently its" head muft be very remote ; but Meff. De Lifte and'
Buache represent it quite narrow and fhort, probably from no other
reaSon but to have Sufficient room for their Weftern fea. They add
to the arguments of M. De Lifte fen. the travels of John de Fuca,
which we have Shewn above cannot be relied on ; and when M. Buachg
endeavours to confirm his opinion by the teftimonies of modern travellers of the prefent century, we may eafily fee that it is, by that means,
only the more weakened*, We may fubjoin to this, that the Americans call the Weftern fea an unknown Sea, i. e. fuch a one whofe
bounds or limits they neither do know, nor can know; but fuppofe it
to be a fea or gulph, furrounded on all fides with land, how comes it
to pafs that the people who live near it fhould be unable to give better
accounts of it ? Therefore, in my opinion, the Wefterly river, fo often'mentioned, falls into the Pacific Ocean, either oppofite to Kamtfchatka, or over againft the country of the Tfchuktfchi; and the accounts received from the Tfchuktfchi are hereby confirmed, with thefe
we muft therefore at prefent contend ourfelves, till fome future difcoveries fhall more exactly afcertain the fituation of thofe parts.
We now proceed to the iflands fituated towards the South from
Kamtfchatka, the difcoveries of which we fhall likewife confider, in
the fame order as they have been gradually made, and fo far as the
propofed period of time has a fhare in it.
The country of Kamtfchatka has been known at Jakutzk ever fince
the year 1690; but at that time only from a mere report. Hence it
is that Ijbrand Idos, in his travels to China, Chap. xx. and in his map
belonging to that work, was able to mention it. The firft expedition
to it was made by Sixteen Jakutzk Coffacs in 1696, under the command of Lucas Semoenow Sin Morofko, in which they did not quite
reach the river Kamtfchatka, but were content to receive tribute from
a Kamtfchedale Oftrog, and to return with it to Anadirfkoi Oftrog, from
whence they had been difpatched. The Piatidefatnik Wolodimer Atlaftbw, who is commonly reprefented as the difcoverer of Kamtfchatka,
was at that time commander at Anadirfkoi Oftrog :    He had fent Mo-
* New Charts of the Difcoveries of Admiral Fontes, and other Navigators, fcV. with
their Explications, &c. by M. De Lijle, printed at Paris in 1753, 4to. Geographical
and Phyfical Considerations on the new difcoveries, £s"c by M. Buache.   Paris, 1753, 4to.
rofka (
rofko to the Korjakin on the river Opuka, to make them tributary; the
reft Morofko did without orders. Atlaftbw writes of him, that he
came within four days voyage of the river Kamtfchatka, and a verbal
tradition agrees with this, which terminates his voyage at the river
Tigil. Morofko, on the contrary, mentions, that he had been only
one day's voyage diftance from the river Kamtfchatka. In the Kamt-
fchedale Oftrog he found fome unknown Writings, which he brought
home along with him. Thefe we fhall prove to have been Japanefe,
for, the year enfuing Atlaffbw following the Steps of Morofko', Set out,
with a more numerous party, for the river Kamtfchatka, took poffeffion
thereof, by erecting a crofs * at the conflux with the river Kanutch,
and founded a Simowie in the place were Werchnei Kamtfchatkoi Oftrog
was afterwards built, he at that time met a Japanefe, who had been
Shipwrecked two years before on tha coaft of Kamtfchatka, at the
mouth of the river Opala, to the Southward of Bolfchaia Reka.
■ The account of Atlaftbw's voyage, which Strahlenberg has annexed
to his defcription, is a relation, containing probably his anfwers to many queftions that were put to him, and which, to all appearance, were
taken down in writing at Mofcow. It is no depofition before a magistrate, and does not agree with that which Atlaftbw mentions in a petition, after his arrival at Jakutzk in the year 1700; nor with that which
he depofited at Mofcow, in the Siberian PrikaSe, in 1701 j it Seems rather to have been Set down by Some inquifitive private perSon; wherefore it ismuch more circumftantial than the other; and Atlaftbw may
have been afked about more things than he knew, and yet he might be
unwilling to plead ignorance j Somefalfe circumftances in relation to the
country may have ariSen from that cauSe; or, to judge with greater candour, from a defeCt in his memory. Others are manifeftly owing to
a mifunderftanding of the writer, or, perhaps, of the tranflator. In
Strahlenbergh relation, the Japanefe whom Atlaftbw found in Kamtfchatka is called an Indian ; and in the remarks it is faid, that he was
a Japanefe, who afterwards was brought to Mofcow when the Swedes
were in Siberia. This Japanefe feems to have been confounded with
another, who will be mentioned hereafter. Atlaftow himfelf, in his
petition, has called the Stranger a prifoner from the kingdoms of Ofacka.
What elfe can here be underflood, but the great trading town of Ofacka
in Japan f    Atlaftbw took hini with him in his voyage to Jakutzk;
* The Crofs was ftill feen at the time of the laft Kamtfchatkan expedition, and had the
following infcription \ On the ipb of July, in the Tear 1205, [This date is from the German copy ; but the Editor thinks it fhould be 1697] this Crofs was eretlcd, by Piatcjefiat-
nick Wolodirriir Atiaffow, and bis company, confifting of cc men.'
but I      (   33   >
but it does not appear that he arrived there*    Sfrahlenberg's intelligence
fays, that he Staid behind at Anadirfk, on account of weaknefs.
•  Thefe intelligences alfo contain fomething relative to the iflands fituated to the South of the country of Kamtfchatka.    We call them the
Kurilian iflands, becaufe feveral of them are inhabited by the Kuriles.
The people in that country   are  faid to  have told Atlaftbw, that it
contained walled towns; but what fort of people dwelt in them no body
could tell.    Strahlenberg here remarks, that the Northerly Japanefe
iflands are here meant; and, indeed, fince the iflands fituated in the
neighbourhood of Kamtfchatka have no fuch towns, it feems that this
circumftance muft have its rife from the faid Japanefe.    What is pretended of a continental commerce between thefe Japanefe iflands and
the country of Kamtfchatka, has been found without foundation in
later times.    All commerce from Japan, towards the North, is confined to a few of the neighbouring iflands, or to the land of Jefo :    Of
this the Japanefe in Kamtfchatka feem to have fpoken :    The reft of
the iflands, and the country of Kamtfchatka itfelf, were entirely unknown to the Japanefe, who were Stranded on Kamtfchatka, the winds
and weather having driven them thither againft their will, which we
have had feveral opportunities of learning, as the following times have
furnifhed fome more instances of Japanefe fhips being Stranded on the
coaft of Kamtfchatka.    Two points that were learned from this firft
Japanefe were effential:    Firft, that the  kingdom of Ofacka, as Atlaffbw calls it, or the land of Japan, is not at a very great diftance to
the Southward from Kamtfchatka: And, fecondly, That the intermediate fpace at fea is filled up with feveral iflands.of different fizes, the
inhabitants whereof, (the Kuriles) are called by the Japanefe, Jefo, or
Efo ; out of which the Europeans have formed the name of the land of
Bft, or Jefo.      '
Atlaffbw was to have made a fecond voyage to Kamtfchatka in the
year 1702, after his being declared chief of the Coffacs, as a reward
for his Services; but his bad conduct on his return to Jakutzk, brought
upon him afevereicrutiny ; on account of which his fecond voyage thither commenced no fooner than the year 1706. During the mean time,
the three Oftroges Werchnei, Nifchnei, and Bolfcheretfkoi, where built in
theyears 1701,1702, and 1703, by other commanders Sent from Jakutzk
to Kamtfchatka ; and, in the year 1706, a beginning had been made
ii) the conqueft of the Southermoft part of Kamtfchatka : Upon which
occafion the Ruffians, .hiving come to the extremity of the neck of
land, convinced themfelves of the fituation of the neareft Kurilim
iflands, by infpeCtion ; though only at a diftance, and without leaving
E eS31       the (   34   )
the eontineni". - Theteafon »'/hy theSe difcoveries were not profecuted
farther at that time, was, doubtlefs, owing to an insurrection amongft
the Kamtfchedales, in the year 1707, in which Bolecheretfkoi Oftrog
was loft, and the whole garriSon affaffinated. On the contrary, in the
year 1711, a mutiny of the Coffacs againft their commander (in which
Wolodimir Atlaffbw, with two others, loft their lives,) brought about a
favourable change in thefe parts; for the guilty, in order to exculpate
their crime, firft reduced the Kamtfchedales of Bolfcheretfkoi, then rebuilt Bclfcheretfkoi Oftrog, and leaving therein a ftrong garrifon, were,
after that, fo afliduous in difcovering the Kurilian iflands, that the inhabitants of the two firft no longer hefitated to acknowledge themfelves fubject to the dominion of the Ruffians.. In the preceding year,
viz. in April 171 o, another Japanefe veflel was Stranded on the coaft
of Kamtfchatka, in the Kaligirian bay (which lies North of Awatfcha)
ten of the crew, who came afhore, were furprized by the Kamtfche-
dales, and after a fharp engagement, wherein four of them were killed,
the remaining fix were made prifoners. Of thefe fix perSons, four
fell into tbe hands of the Ruffians j one of whom, called Sanima, was
in 1714 fent to the imperial court of Peterfbourg ; and as they foon
learned enough ofthe Ruffian language to give diftinCt anfwers to the
queftions that were put to them, the knowledge of the fituation and
nature of the Kurilian iflands was fet in a ftill plainer light by their relations, and by what was otherwife learnt from the Kurilians. But
before we fpeak of this, we muft fee what came to the knowledge of
the Ruffian Coffacs from their own' experience, in relation to the two
firft iflands, in the year 171 j.
Danilo Anziphorow, and Iwan Kofirewfkoi, ringleaders of the Coffac
mutiny, had (as was faid above) rebuilt Bolcheretfkoi Oftrog, and Subdued the Kamtfchedales who dwelt in thoSe parts. Hereupon they fet
out, on the firft of Auguft 1711, with as many men as they could
Spare, without weakening Bolfcheretfkoi, and paffed over a ftreight
with fmall Baidares, to the firft ifland, where a multitude of the Kuriles ftood affembled at the mouth of the rivulet Kudutugan; an engagement immediately -enfued between them and the Ruffians. The
firft ifland is not, however, inhabited by proper Kuriles: Thefe are,
StriCtly Speaking, the poffeffors'of the fecond and following iflands*
but it is ufual ih Kamtfchatka to give the name of Kuriles even to the
inhabitants of the continent South of Bolfchaiareka and Awatfcha, as
they differ in dialect from .the Kamtfchedales. A lake in the midft of
the country is called Kurilfkoe Ofer.o; and the Kamtfchedale Oftrog,
ftanding on an ifland in this lake, bears the name of Kurilfkoi Oftrog.
■ (   35   1
The inhabitants of this country feem to be the fame with thofe of
the firft ifland, who might have fled thither from the continent fince
the year 1706, and have formed a new nation. I follow herein fome
Written intelligences, founded on the common ufe of the name. The
confequence of the engagement was, that the inhabitants of the ifland,
after lofing ten men, and having many more wounded, promiSed an
eternal Subjection, though no tribute was received Srom them immediately ; for the ifland had neither Sables nor foxes, neither did the
otters uSe to make their appearance in the Sea hereabouts. The inhabitants lived by catching of feals," the fkins of which, together with
thofe of fwans, wild geeSe, and ducks, Served them Sor cloathing. As
for the reft, the Coffacs greatly praiSed theSe people for their valour in
war; and they had not met with any like them in all Kamtfchatka.
Three Kurilian veffels, built at the firft ifland, was ufed in the navigation to the fecond ifland, which immediately took place.
On this fecond ifland, according to the Coffacs, dwelt a people called
Jefowitenes : Thefe affembled, near a brook termed Jaffowilka, in
great numbers, and completely armed ; therefore the Coffacs, who
were but few, and were moreover in want of powder, would not venture to engage them; they rather endeavoured, by good words, to
perfuade the iflanders to acknowledge themfelves fubject to Ruffia, and
to pay a certain tribute: But thefe anSwered, " Hitherto we have been"
y Subject to nobody, and have known nothing of paying tribute. Sa-
" bles and foxes are not Sound amongft us; but in winter time we
" catch beavers, and theSe we have already Sold to Strangers who come
" to us from a neighbouring country, which you fee lying there to-
" wards the South, and who give for them iron tools, muffin, and
" other goods; confequently you have no tribute to expect now."
What they intended to do for the future they did not declare ; wherefore the Coffacs found it advifeable, after flaying two days on this ifland,
to return to the continent, and arrived, on the 18th of September, at
Bolfcheretskoi. The name of Jeftbwitenes, feems to be an imitation of
the name Jefo; by which name the Kuriles are known among the
Japanefe; and as, in all probability, this name was handed down to
the Coffacs of Kamtfchatka by means of the ftranded Japanefe, fo we
may conclude that, from this and the fecond ifland, the nations of the
Kuriles, as has been already mentioned, had their real origin.
After this firft attempt, two other expeditions were made, in 1712,
and 1713, from   Kamtfchatka to the Kurilian iflands, both foundedop
an order received from Jakutzk.    This order was occafion id by the
inftruCtions given to the Waywode Trauernkkt, by "the Prince Wdfitfei
B 2 pjcano- <   3«   )
hvanowitfch Gagarin, as is mentioned above ; in which inftruCtioreS
it was, amongft the reft, recommended to tbe care of the Waywode,
to have enquiry made after the iflands fituated near Kamtfchatka, and
a defcription given of them. Both expeditions were performed under
the conduct of Iwan Koftrewfkoi, the Coffac, who feems to have been
the moft affiduous in getting intelligence from the Shipwrecked Japanefe. He afterwards, in the year 1717, turned Monk, and from
that time was called Ignatei Kofirewskoi. He came in 1720 to Jakutzk, and in 1730 to Mofcow; from whence an account of his merit
was fent to Peterfburgh, and inferted in the Peterfburgh Gazette of the
26th of March. His whole life was a chain of broils and difquietudes $•
but this is not to the purpofe. His intelligences, which he delivered,
in Kamtfcatka, to the commanders there, and afterwards in the Chancery of the Waywode of Jakutzk; as alfo to Capt. Bering, on his
coming to Jakutzk in 1726, are altogether remarkable ; they were ac-<
companied with a kind of charts, in order to reprefent, in a plainer
manner, the continent and the iflands ; of all which I will here give
an extract.
Firft of all, a low promontory extends from the fouth end of Kmnt-
fchatka, to the diftance of 15 or 20 werfts, into the fea; it is about
400 fathoms broad; and, on account of its fquare "figure, is called
Lofatka,  i. e. a Shovel.
From this promontory one may row over the ftreight with Baidares:
in two or three hours, to the firft ifland, .called Scbumtfchuy which is
inhabited by the Kuriles. A remarkable difference between thefe and
the Kuriles that inhabit the iflands fituated farther towards the fouth,
confifts in this, that the latter wear long hair; whereas the former
have their heads fhaved to the neck; and when they falute any one,
they bend their knees. The foutherly Kuriles come lometimes hither
for the fake of trade • the goods which they take back with them are,
fea beavers, foxes, and eagles feathers, w-herewith. they plume their
Of the fame nature is the fecond ifland, named Purnmufchur,.-which
is Situated only three or four werfts from the firft. The inhabitants
make a fort of Stuff, wove from nettles, with which they cloath themfelves ; but, by trading with the remote Kuriles, they likewife get filk
and cotton fluffs; and a fort of veffels, which probably muft bepor-
celaine. He praifes their valour and dexterity in war: Their arms,
according to his account, are bows and arrows, together with pikes and
fabres; and they are, moreover, covered with armour.
One may, in fair weather, pafs over the ftreight with Baidares\
lightly (   37   )
lightly loaded, in half a day, to a third- ifland, called Mufchu, or Oni-
kutan, which is alfo inhabited by Kuriles, who manufacture fluffs
made of nettles, and catch fea beavers and foxes. There are no fables
to be found ofoothis and "the two aforementioned iflands. But the inhabitants go, for the fake of hunting, to fome iflands fituated on one
fide thereof; and fometimes vifit the eontilaent ofKamtfchatka, where
they buy beavers, fe*p&, and other nM&b&&Ks?e,: with which they
trade to the iflands fituated farther to the South. Many of them understand the language of the Kamtfchedales dwelling on the river Bol-
fchaia, with whom they trade and intermarry.
On the Weft fide of thefe three inhabited iflands, there are three
uninhabited ones, lying in the following order:
.-f^^JJfachkupa, oppofite to the ifland of Schumitfchi, at fome diftance1:
Upon it flands an high mountain, which, in clear weather, maybe feen.
from the mouth of the river Bolfchia. The inhabitants of the firft and
fecond ifland, as likewife fome from' the continent of Kamtfchatka,
come now and then over to this ifland in the hunting feafon.
2. Sirinki, a fmall ifland towards the Weft, oppofite to the ftreight,
which feparates the fecond and third iflands.
3. Kukumiwa, likewife a fmall ifland, fituated to the South-weft of
the former. Thefe two latter ones are both vifited by the inhabitants
of the before-mentioned iflands, in the hunting feafon.
We proceed now in the order of the iflands that extend themfelves
towards the South. The fourth is called Arasumakntan, and is uninhabited, having a volcano upon it. The ftreight between this ifland
and Mufchu, as alfo that between this and the following ifland Siafiku-
tan, are but about half as broad as that between the fecond and third
Siafkutan, the fifth ifland, has a few inhabitants. \ This is the market or rendezvous for the inhabitants of the before-mentioned and following iflands, where they meet to trade.
Ikarma, is a fmall uninhabited ifland, to the weftward of Siafkutan.
Mafchautfch is fuch another, fouth-weft from Ikarma.
Igaitu, is an ifland, like the former, to the fouth-eaft of Siafkutan.
Thefe three iflands are not reckoned in following the order in which
they extend to the South.
^yffom Siaskutan it requires a whole day to crofs over, with heavy-
laden Baidares, to the next ifland Schokoki, which is .to be confidered
as the fixth in order: But between this and the following ifland, the
diftance is but half as much,
Motogoy the feventh.
Scbafkowa, (    3S    )
• Sehafhowa, the eighth.
Ufchifchir,  the ninth.
Kitui, the tenth ifland.
Thefe are all but fmall iflands, in which there is notfcing worthy of
obfervation, but that the ftreights between them, and between Kitui
and the following ifland:-of SchimufcMr, are fo narrow, that one may
row over them in light Baidanes, in lefs than half a day's time ; heavy
laden Baidares require half a day, and fometimes more. There is a
ftrong current between thefe iflands, eSpecialiy at the time of ebb and
flood, which laft rifes very high in thofe parts, and therefore many
people lofe their lives in attempting to crofs over at that time. On
the ifland of Kitui there' grow reeds, which are ufed for arrows.
Schimufehi'r, the eleventh ifland, is inhabited, and the ftreight between it and the following ifland, Iturpu^ is fomething broader than
the former.
Tfchirpui, an ifland out of the number, is fituated to the Weft, of
the Streights between Schimuphit "and tturpu. Upon it is an high
Iturpu, the twelfth ifland, is large, and well peopled ; its inhabitants are called by the Kuriles of the aforementioned iffeafds, Kytch-Ku-
riles; but the Japanefe call them Efo. Their language and manner
of living differ from the former; they Shave their heads; their falu-
tation confifts in bending of the knees ; but as to their valour, and
dexterity in war, they may be preferred to the former. Great forefts,
and various forts of wild beafts are found here, particularly bears;
Here and there are alfo rivers, the entrances of which afford commodious bays, wherein large fhips may anchor fafe from the winds
and waves. This has been particularly taken notice of,. becaufe, on
the other iflands, there is fiaapd but little wood, and no fhelter for
large fhips.
Iturpu is only divided by a fmall ftreight from the thirteenth ifland^
named Urup, the inhabitants of which latter are the fame fort of Kuriles with thoSe on the former. They manufacture Stuffs Spun from
nettles ; but buy cotton and filk fluffs at Kunafchir, with which they
trade tathe firft and Second:ifla;nds, receiving in exchange the fkins of
fea-beavers and foxes, as alSo eagles feathers. It has been affirmed that
they are under no fubjeCtion ; which may be much more certainly
concluded of the inhabitants of Iturpu.
There lies a narrow ftreight between Urup and the fourteenth ifland
Kunafchir, which is yet larger than either of thofe already mentioned.
The inhabitants are very numerous, and of the fame nature with the
two (   39   )
two former j but it is uncertain whether they are free people, or dependant on the town of Matmai, which ftands on the ifland of the
fame name ; for as they frequently go over to Matmai, on account of
trade, fo thofe of Matmai frequently come over to them. Many
Kamtfchedales, of both fexes, are kept as flaves upon Iturpu, Uurup,
Kunafchir, and Matmai. How far it is from Kunafchir to the ifland
of Matmai, is not certainly known.
The ifland of Matmai is the fifteenth, and concludes this range, and
is the largeft of them all; it is inhabited by the fame people of Eft, or
Kytch-Kuriles. The Japanefe have built a town on this ifland, called
by the fame name, Matmai, which ftands upon the South Weft fhore,
and is inhabited by Japanefe. People are banifhed thither from Japan, and a garrifon kept there for the defence of the place, which
is fufficiently provided with cannon, mufkets, and and all other arms
and warlike ftores. There are, befides, ftrong guards on the Eaft and
Weft coafts, to obServe narrowly every thing that happens. The inhabitants of the ifland bring into the town fifh, blubber, and fkins of
beafts, by way of traffick*
Between the ifland of Matmai and the principal.ifland of the empire
of Japan, there is but a fmall ftreight, the navigation of which is very
dangerous, particularly at the time of flood and ebb, on account of the
many rocky capes which project on both fides.
Though many pieces of intelligence were alfo received concerning
the ifland of Japan, yet I fhall only mention the principal ones.
The name of the chief ifland is Niphon, after which the whole empire is named : Japan is a name entirely unknown on that ifland, and
is to be attributed to the Portuguefe, who thus pronounce the Chinefe
word, Ge-puen, properly, Dfchebyng, whereby Japan, or rather Niphon,
is called. The chief town of the country, in which the King has
his refidence, lies on the river Jedo, which empties itfelf into a great
Bay, at a fmall diftance from the town. The Japanefe who related this
and many other circumftances, when at Kamtfchatka, feemed to be
worthy of credit, fince moft of their accounts agree with what we know
of Japan from Kaempfer and others.
I cannot help obferving one thing, which contradicts the difcoveries
made by the fhip Caftricom in 1643, and all the reprefentations of Jefo,
which have, fince that time, appeared in maps and charts, viz. That,
according to the deposition of the Kuriles and Japanefe at Kamtfchatka,
that country is divided into feveral iflands; whereas, according to the
former, they form only one great ifland. We might, perhaps, have
fome reafon for doubt in this point if every thing mentioned by the
Japanefe, (    40    )
Japanefe, was not confirmed by the difcoveries of our - navigators^. ||
fhall be Shewn in its proper place.' *|.!is probable that the Dutch on
board the Ship Caftricom looked upon the Streights between the iflands
to be only bays, and never examined them particularly : But what can
be faid with regard to the ftrong currents which run in fnefe Streignlsj'
at the time of low and high water ? Thefe ought not to have efcaped
the obfervations of the Dutch; and if they did obferve them, why did
they not enquire into thefe openings, whereby they would have difcovered that, inftead of one, there were feveral iflands ? To reconcile
thefe contradictory accounts, a medium may,' perhaps, be "fdujd, that
will prejudice neither party. Suppofe Jefo was really at fhe time of the
Dutch navigation only one ifland, as is defcribed by the fhip Caftricom;
but let us acknowledge, at the Same .time, as a thing well known, that
our earth is Subject to many Sudden and Strange changes : Great earthquakes Swallowing up countries and iflands, and producing in their Stead
new ones: Now, theSe are very Srequent in thuSe parts; therefore the
land of Jefo might, after the voyage of the Dutch, have been torn into
feveral lefier iflands by an earthquake. This Seems to be, at leaft, more
equitable, than when Meff. De Lifte and Buache call in queftion the
modern discoveries made in our times, on account of the fituation of
the land Jefo, as deScribed by the fhip' Caftricom.
We fhall make mention of fome other iflands, fituated to the South
of the river Ud, on the continent of Siberia, which are commonly called
the Schantarian iflands. The name feems to be old ; for it has its
origin from the Giljackes, a people who dwell near the mouth of the
river Amur, and, about the middle of the laft century,'were SubjeCt to
the Ruffian empire, as 1 have Shewn in The Hiftory of the River Amur.
At that time the Ruffians, probably, enquired of the Giljackes for the
name of thefe iflands: Thefe latter, not knowing any particular name
they had, anSwered Schantar, which Signifies, in the G'iljackifh language,
an ifland in general. But though thefe iflands were, from that tunL'
known to the Ruffians, yet we do not find, in any written accounts,
that any body had taken the pains to make a more exact enquiry about
them, till, in the year 1710, when the Prince Waftlei Iwanowitfch Gagarin, among other preparations at Jakutzk, committed this affair to
the Waywode Trauernicht. It was only known in general from the
relations of fome Coffacs and Tungufes who had been at Ud/koi Oftrog,
that thefe iflands might be feen from the mouth of the river Ud; that
the firft ifland was fituated a day's voyage Srom the continent, like-
:w?Brthc fecond Srom the firft, and the third Srom the Second, at the
Same diftance; that many Sables and foxes were found upon them, and
that I   41   )
that the Gilijackes ufed to vifit them merely on account of hunting; probably, becaufe the Gilijackes have larger and ftronger veffels than the
Tungufes, whofe canoes of birch bark fewed together, are not at all fit
for croffing the fea. There were no written accounts about it till after
the year 1709, when the Waywode Trauernicht, of his own accord,
ordered the commander Sorokoumow, ■ who was fent to Udfkoi Oftrog, to
fail to the Schantarian iflands, and make enquiry in relation to their
nature and Situation, bringing back to Jakutzk certain intelligence of
thefe particulars: For although he did not perform this voyage himfelf,
yet he brought back with him fome writings containing the above depositions of the Udfkoi Coffacs and Tungufes.
Hereupon Trauernicht gave frefh orders to the commander Wafitei
Ignatiew (who was fent the following year to Udfkoi Oftrog) concerning
the navigation of the. Schantarian iflands, and provided him, at the
fame time, with all materials requisite for building and equipping a Ship
on the river Ud, in which the navigation might be fafely and conveniently made. The commander of Udskoi purfuant thereto charged
fome Coffacs with this commission ; who in the year 1712, fet fail in
two boats from Udskoi Oftrog, and followed the coaft as far as to the river Tugur, where they remained the whole fummer, to obtain a fupply
of fifh, to fupport them during their voyage. In the mean while another company of Coffacs joined them, who had been difpatched from
Udskoi for the fame purpofe. They agreed to build a larger veffel, of
the fame conftruCtion with thofe ufed in the frozen fea; in which, when
finifhed, they fet fail in March 1713. Their leader being called Semom
Anabara: They followed the coaft to a Promontory, from whence
they rowed over in three hours to the firft ifland, on which they perceived neither man nor beaft, except one black bear. Having paffed
the night on this ifland, they went to the Second, which paffage they were
half a day in making: Here they alfo Saw nothing but bears ; wherefore,
on the third day, they pafled to the third ifland ; how long they were on
their paffage is not mentioned. They arrived there on the 29th of June,
and found Sables and foxes, wherefore they refolved to ftay there the
following winter, iTi hopes of obtaining great advantages by hunting.
They here found a woman, whofe language they did not understand
(probably a Giljack woman); whom they kept with them .for a
month, fhe was then miffing without their knowing what became of
her. Anabara fent fome of his people to the river Tugur, to fetch a
frefh fupply of fifh, but they never returned ; and only four then remained with him on the ifland, whom the want of provifions hindered from gaining any intelligence of its extent, and other properties;-for
F no (    4*    )
no one went above a day's journey from their place of abode; this the
hunting of fables required, Since, on all fides, at that diftance, traps were
fet, which every day were looked after, to fee if any Sables were caught
in them : There were alfo wolves and bears on the ifland. The
woods confifts'of larch trees, firs, birch, and afpens. Two of the
company died on the ifland, and three failed back to the continent on
the 29th of June, 1714, where they arrived on the firft of July following, without landing on any other of the iflands. From thence they
came, in ten days, to the river Ud, and afterwards went to Udskoi
Oftrog. After their arrival at jakutzk, depositions of their voyage
were taken down in writing in the chancery, on the 20th ofOclober m
the fame year, from which materials I have compiled this relation..
Hitherto there was no other way to Kamtfchatka, but by Anadirsk^
which was attended with great fatigue and expence, and was very dangerous on account of the Korjacks, who commonly lying in wait for the
Ruffians that travelled either to or from-Kamtfchatka, killed them and
divided the booty. This occasioned the propofal of difcovering a way
to it by fea from Ochotzk.
They had not indeed at Ochotzk, veffels fit to navigate the fea ; nor
was the ufe of the compafs known there, till in the year 1714, when*
exprefs orders from the great Emperor Peter I. were Sent to the governor Prince Gagarin to fupply thefe deficiencies. In the beginning the governor thought they might be able to do without the affiftance of thefe, for his firft order relating to the navigation by fea to
Kamtfchatka, dated 17 Feb.. 1713, and directed to the Waywode
Jeltfchin, contains nothing about fhip-building, nor people experienced, in navigation. But, then, the confequence of this order was nothing
clfe than the arrival of the Dworanin Iwan Sorokaumow, at Ochotzk,
with twelve Coffacs, who was charged with the affair at Jakutzk,
in the autumn of the fame year; and after having committed many difor-
ders there, was brought back undeF an arreft to Jakutzk, without having done any thing worthy of notice. It was highly neceflary therefore, for the governor to fend thither immediately fome failors and Ship-
carpenters. Thefe arrived at Jakutzk on the 23d of May 1714 under the conduct of Cofmas Sokotow, with twenty other Coffacs; and
were difpatched to Ochotzk on the third of July j by thefe the difcovery was made.   .
One of the failors who was a Dutchman, a native of Hoorn, named
Henry Bufhx was ftill alive at Jakutzk in 1736, when I refided there,
' upon my enquiry, told me the following particulars I
That after their arival at Ochotzk; the carpenters built a veflel for the
fea C   43   )
fea Service, after the manner of the RuffianfLoiiiesf with which Ihey
formerly ufed to fail from Archangel to Mefen, Puftofero, and Nova
Zembla. This work took them up the year 1715. The veffel was
a very good and durable one. It was eight fathoms and a half long,
three fathoms broad, and drew, when laden, three feet and a half of
water. The firft voyage was undertaken in June \y\ 6. They followed the North-eaft coaft, as far as the country-about tlje river Ola, and
wanted to continue this courfe ftill farther ; but a contrary wind drove
the veffel acrofs the fea to Kamtfchatka. They firft got fight of a
Promontory, fituated North of the mouth of the river Tigil, where
they eaft anchor. Some of the company went afhore to feek for
fome inhabitants ; but found only empty huts. The Kamtfchedales
had obferved the approach of the veffel, and out of fear were fled into
the woods and mountains. Flereupon our navigators fet fail again, and
paffing the Tigil, arrived in one day at the brook Chariufowka, near
to the mouth of which two fmall iflands are fituated ; the firft, which
is the largeft, lies about five Werfts from the continent; the fecond,
confifting merely of rocks, lies a little farther off. From Chariufowka
they proceeded the following day to the river Itfcha, and having kept
the fea all night, made the land in the morning: Here they put fome
people afhore; but found neither inhabitants nor habitations, and foon
came back : Wherefore they followed the coaft ftill farther, and
came to the river Krutogorowa. They intended to make this river,
but milled its mouth; and finding a convenient bay to the South of
the river, eaft anchor. As they examined the country, they met with
a Kamtfchedale girl, who was fearching the fields for roots fit for eating, fhe Shewed them fome habitations, in which then dwelt
twelve Kamtfchedale Coffacs, who were there in order to receive tribute ; thefe being fent for, ferved them for guides and interpreters.
The veffel was brought to the mouth of the river Ksmpakowa, where
they reSolved to winter. At that time the fea eaft upon the fhore a
whale that had in its body an Harpoon of European workmanfhip,
marked with Roman letters. In the beginning of the month of May,
1717, they put to fea again ; but it was yet full of ice. On the/ourth
day after their departure they were jammed between the ice, and obliged to continue in this manner five weeks and three days, before they
could proceed on their voyage , at laft they regained the coaft of
Ochotzk, between the river Ola and Tauifkoi Oftrog, where they Staid
feveral daya, and returned, about the middle of July, to Ochotzk.
From this time there has been a continual navigation between Ochotzk
and Kamtfchatka.
F 2 In (    44    )
In 1718, the Sin-bojarkoi Procofei Philkeew, was fent on the difcovery of the Schantarian iflands. This man was yet alive when I was
at Jakutzk ■, he informed me that their number is not determined j
that the largeft is about twenty Werfts long from North to South, and
from three to four Werfts broad, and that it is to be feen from the
mouth of the river Ud.
In the beginning of 1719, the Czar fent two navigators, Iwan
Jevreinow and Fedor Lufchin, to Kamtfchatka, with inftruCtions in his
own hand writing, and at the fame time an order to all the Siberian
commanders, that they Should be affifted in every thing they defired.
They arrived at Jakutzk in May 1720, went over to Kamtfchatka
the fame fummer, and returned to Jakutzk in 1721, but kept their
tranfaCtions fecret; therefore we cannot know what they did, as we
have no opportunity of confulting their inftruCtions. In the mean
while, if we may judge from the confequences, the aim of their expedition was limited merely to the Kurilian iflands; and perhaps
chiefly to that, from whence, according to report, the Japanefe fetched ore. Henry Bufto, the Dutch failor, conducted them. The firft
fummer he brought them from Ochotzk to Bolfcheretzkoi Oftrog; and
the following year they failed by the Kurilian iflands. On coming to
the fifth of them (which perhaps is the Sixth, as Bufh may have made
a miftake in the number) they came to an anchor : Bufh adviSed them
to the contrary, as the ground was rocky ; but was obliged to obey.
They loft four anchors while there, which were all they had, for the
cables were torn to pieces by the ftones and rocks; but thro' great good
fortune they returned to Kamtfchatka without farther damage. Here
they made wooden anchors, to which they faftened great ftones, and
thus failed the next fummer to Ochotzk. This account I had from
Henry Bufh. Jevreinow left Lufchin, his companion, behind him in
Siberia, and went to the Czar with an account of his voyage, and a
map of the Kurilian iflands, as far as he had difcovered them, in the
month of May, j 722.
TH E Czar, Peter the Great, being curious to know whether
Afia and America were contiguous to, or feparated from each
other; and alfo to have the breadth of the channel afcertained, by which they were Separated, in caSe a paffage was Sound,
Wrote the following inftruCtions with his own hand, and ordered his
chief Admiral, Count Fedor Matfewitfch Apraxin, to fee them carried
into execution.
I. One or two boatsswith decks to be built at Kamtfchatka, or at any
other convenient place, with which
II. Enquiry fhould be ?nade in relation to the northerly coafls, to fee
whether they were not contiguous with America, fince their end was not
known.    And this done, they fhould
III. See whether they could not fomewhere find an harbour belonging
to Europeans, or an European fhip.    They fhould likewife fet apart fome
men, who were to enquire after the name and fituation of the coafts dif- .
covered.    Of all this an exaB journal fhould be kept, with which they
fhould return to Peterfburg".
The Emprefs Catharine, who endeavoured in all points to execute
moft precifely the plans of her deceafed hufband, in the very beginning of her reign gave particular orders for the expedition to Kamtfchatka.
Vitus Bering, at that time, captain of a fhip, was nominated commander of this expedition, having two lieutenants. Martin Spang-
berg and Alexei Tfchirikow for his affiftants, together with other Sea-
officers of inferior rank 5 they alSo had Some along with them that
underftoojd y
I   46   )
"underftood fhip-building. They Set out on the 5th of February, iJ2f,
from Petersburg, and on the 16th of March arrived at Tobolfk, the
chief town of Siberia, where they remained till the 16th of May, as
well to wait, for the convenience of a paffage by watef, as to take '
with them feveral mechanicks and materials, which were neceflary for
their intended voyage. The following fummer was fpent in navigating the rivers Irtfch, Oh, Ret, Jenifei, Tungufka and Ilim, after which
they found themfelves under the neceffity of wintering in the Ilimfkt
and, in the mean while, took in provifions for a longer voyage.
In the fpring of 1726, they failed down the river Lena to Jakutzk;
Lieut. Sfiangberg went immediately before them upon the rivers Aldan, Maia, and Judoma, with part of the provifions, and heavy naval
ftores. He was followed by Capt. Bering by land, with another part
of the provifions that were packed upon horfes; while Lieut. Tfchi-
rikow ftaid at Jakutzk, in order to bring the reft of the provifions by
land. This divifion was neceflary, on account of the toilfome way
between Jakutzk and Ochotzk, it being not paffable in fummer with
waggons, or in winter with fledges, on account of the marfhes.and
rocky ground, and the country's being entirely uninhabited, except
in the neighbourhood of Jakutzk..
Lieut. Spangberg's voyage was as unfortunate as Capt. Bering's
was fuccefsful, fince he did not reach Judomfkoi Kreft, the place to
which he was bound, but was frozen up in the river Judoma, at the
mouth of the little river Gorbei. He fet out on the 4th of November,
to proceed over land to Judomfkoi Kreft, and Ochotzk, with the moft
neceffary naval ftores, but fuffered fo much with hunger by the way,
that he was obliged to fupport life by eating leather bags, Straps, and
Shoes; at length he arrived at Ochotzk, on the ift of January, 1727.
*M beginning of February he returned to the Judoma to fetch the
In the
reft of his lading; but as his party was not fufficient, another was difpatched with horfes from Ochotzk, who affifted in tranfporting every
thing happily. On the 30th of July, Lieut. Tfchirikow arrived alfo
from Jakutzk with the laft provifions.
In the mean while, a veffel had been built at Ochotzk, named the
For tuna, which Set Sail on the 30th of June, under the command of
Lieut. Spangberg, to tranfport to Bolfcheretzkoi the moft neceffary naval ftores, and fome Ship-carpenters. This Ship returned, together
with the old veffel, which had remained there ever fince the year
1716, when the navigation between Ochotzk and Kamtfchatka firft
On (   47   )
On the 21 ft of Auguft, Capt. Bering, and Lieut. Tfihirikow, began
their voyage j they entered the mouth of the river Bolfchia on the 2d
of September, and went the following winter, together with Lieut.
Spangberg, from Bolfcheretzkoi to Nifchnei Kamfchatkoi Oftrog, whither the fhip-carpenters had been fent before them, in the fummer, to
fell wood for building of Ships ; they carried along with them as much
provifions, and naval ftores, as they believed were-neceffary, with which
they went on very flowly, on account of the tedious carnage wkhdogs.
On the 4th of Apail, 1728, a boat was put upon the flocks, like the
packet boats ufed in the Baltick, which was launched on the 10th of
July, and named the Gabriel. This veffel being provided with all
neceffary ftores and provisions for forty men, for a year's voyage, they
immediately fet out to execute the chief point they had in vbw.
For this end, Capt. Bering fet fail from the mouth of the river
Kamtfchatka, on the 20th of July, in the year abovementioned, and
iteered North Eaft, moftly in fight of the coaft of Kamifcatka; his
chief endeavour was to defcribe this coaft as exactly as poflible upon a
map, in which -he fiicceeded fo well, that we have none better. On
the 8th of Auguft, being in the latitude of 64 d. 30 m. eight of the
Tfchuktfchi came rowing from the fhore in a leathern canoe, called a
Baidare, formed of feal-fkins, in order to inform themfelves about
the intention of this voyage. Thefe people were converfed with by
means of a Korjak interpreter, and invited to come on board the fhip,
upon which one of them, by means of two blown-up feal-fkins tied
to a pole, came fwimming to the fhip, and was followed by all in
the canoe. The Captain obtained information .from them, of the
fituation of the coaft, and learned that they would find it turned towards the Weft. Whether they made any -enquiry about the oppofite iflands, or coafts, is not mentioned in the Captain's account, of
which this is an extract. One may, however, reafonably believe they
were not thought of, fince our navigators had no knowledge at all
of what had been done before them, and consequently could not fuppofe the land fo near. They heard of an ifland, which was faid to lie
fomewhat farther, at no great diftance .from the continent ■; to this they
gave the name of St Lawrence^ on account of its being the 1 oth of
Auguft, that faint's day, when they paffed by it, without obferving any
thing upon it, befides cottages of fishermen.
At laft they perceived, on the 15th of Auguft, in 67deg. i8min.
North latitude, a promontory, behind which the coaft extended towards the Weft, as the former Tfchuktfchi had Said.    From this the
Captain (48 )
Captain drew a pretty plaufible conclusion, that now he had reached
the extremity of Afia towards the North Eaft. He was of opinion
that the coaft muft continually run from that Cape towards the Weft ;
and if this was the cafe, no connection- with America could take
place; consequently he believed that he had fulfilled his orders, and
therefore propofed to the officers and the reft of the Ship's company,
3 That it was time to think of their return. If they fhould fail far-
" ther to the North, it was to be feared they might meet with ice, in
" which they might be jammed, fo as not eafily to extricate them-
" felves; the ufual thick fogs, in autumn, which already began to
tc appear, might deprive them of a free profpect; and, in cafe contrary
<c winds Should arife, it would be almoft impossible for them to return
f to Kamtfchatka that fummer, and yet it was not advifeable to win-
" ter in thofe parts, fince the well known want of wood in all the
4 northerly regions towards the frozen fea, the favages of the country
tc not being yet reduced to the obedience of the Ruffian government,
" and the fteep rocks, every where found along the fhore, between
" which there was neither anchorage nor harbour, rendered it too
'• dangerous.
It muft be allowed that the circumftances, on which the captain
founded his judgment, were falfe ; for it was afterwards found that this
was the Promontory, which, by the inhabitants of Anadirfkoi Oftrog,
is called Serdze Kamen, on account of a rock upon it in the Shape of
a heart. And, although the country behind it winds to the Weft, yet
this winding compofes only a large bay, in the innermost part of which
the rock Matkol lies, according to the above account given by the
Coffack Popow. But here the coaft begins again to run regularly to
the North and North Ea/t, till in the 70th degree, or more, of North
latitude, the proper Tchuktfchian Nofs appears as a great peninfula;
where, and not before, it might be faid, that there was no connection
between the two parts of the world, but who on board that fhip
could know this ? For the particular and true knowledge of the
country of the Tfchuktfchi is owing to my geographical reSearches made
zt Jakutzk, in the years 1736, 1737. It may fuffice, that in the
chief-point there was no miftake, and that Afia is really feparated
from America by a channel which connects the frozen fea with the
Pacific Ocean.
They returned without any thing remarkable happening, excepting
that on the 20th of Auguft, 40 of the Tfchuktfchi came rowing to the
iju'p in four Baidares, and brought prefents, confifting of the fleSh of
rein- i   49   )
rein-deer, fifh, frefh water, fox-Skins, white foxes, and the teeth of fea-
horfes ; for which they were rewarded with needles, fteelsfor ftriking
fire, iron, &c. On the 29th they came to an anchor on the coaft of
Kamtfchatka, in foggy and ftormy weather; and, as the cable was
cut to pieces in attempting to weigh the anchor on the following
morning, they were obliged to leave it behind them. They returned
on the 20th of September to the river Kamtfchatka, went up it, and
took their winter quarters again at Nifchnei Kamtfchatkoi Oftrog.
Our fea officers frequently heard relations from the inhabitants of
Kamtfchatka, that were important enough to merit their obfervation,
fince, according to them, a country muft be at no great diftance towards the Eaft, the diScovery of which, and following its coafts was
their duty afterwards; they themfelves had not obferved fuch great
and high waves, as, in other places, are common in the open fea ;
they had feen fir-trees Swimming in the fea, tho' they do not grow in
Kamtfchatka. Some even affured them, that they had feen this
adjacent land, in clear weather, from the elevated coafts of
Now the captain, willing to be affured of the truth of this affertion,
made preparations for another voyage, and difpofed things in fuch a'
manner, that the return might not be by the way of"Kamtfchatka, but
immediately to Ochotzk; and, on the 5th of June 1729, he fet fail the
fecond time, but a violent wind did not fuffer him to leave the coafts
at a greater diftance than about 200 Werfts; and, meeting in that
time with no land, he failed back, and fteered around the South Promontory of Kamtfchatka *, the proper fituation and form of which he
defcribed in his map, and returned by fea to the mouth of the river
Bolfchaia, whence he went to Ochotzk on the 23d of July.
Hence he travelled on the 29th of the fame month to Judomfkoi
Kreft, there he found fome fmall veffels, built floats, and with them
went down the rivers Judoma, Maia, and Aldan. At Belfkoi Fere-
wofs, which is a paffage over the Aldan, at the river Bela, he took
horfes from the neighbouring Jakutes -, and with them proceeded to
Jakutzk, where he arrived, on the 29th of Auguft; he fet out from
thence again on the 10th of September, in order to go up the Lena by
water as far as poflible. The violent driving of the ice obliged him to
Stop on the 1 oth of October, at Peleduifkaia Stcboda, but this lafted no
longer than till the 29th of the fame month, when he proceeded on his
* This is called by fome Cape Ofkoi; perhaps Ofkoi has its origin from the Ruffian word
for Southerly.
G travels ■(   50   )
journey with fledges.    He took his way by liimfik, Jenrfeifky Tomfk $
and Tara,  to Tobolk,  where he Staid from the   10th  to the   25th   of
January, and returned on the ift of March 1730, to Peterftourg.
A miftake had a little before flipt into the Geography of thefe coun-.
tries, defcribing Kamtfchatka to be the fame with the land of Jefey
and consequently to extend towards the South, as far as the neighbour-,
hood of Japan.
Two maps publilhed foon after the death of Peter the Great (a)
had occasioned this. They were confided in, as founded on the neweft
difcoveries, and what helped to confirm this miftake was fome remarks
made by the Swe-difh officers, who had been prifoners in Siberia, and
which were annexed to the hiftory ofTartary, written by AbiilgafiBaya- ■
du-r Chan (b). Therefore this hypothefis was alfo adopted by Scheuchzer,
on his publifhing Kaempfer's hiftory of Japan (c). M. Strahlenberg;.
feemed to give it new weight by his teftimony (d). M. de Marti-
niere (e) followed him in this miftake, as well as M. Bellin (f),
who added another new miftake, as if there was a free navigation
from the mouth of the river Lena to Kamtfchatka,by means of which
a trade Was carried on to this country, j Tho' this was not fo much
owing to M. Bellin, as to the author of the remarks on Abul'gafi, who
firft mentioned it (g).
M. Bering, who had failed about the South point of Kamtfchatka,
\n the 51ft degree of North latitude, rectifies their rnjiftakes, and his
map was fent to Paris, and incorporated with Du Halde's, or rather
D'Anville's Atlas. Father Cajlel (h) hence took an opportunity to^
refute M. Bellin, and the latter defended the miftake (i), thinking,
that M. D' AnvilHe had been miftaken, and had not fufficient authority  for aliedging M. Bering to be the author of the map inferted in
(a) A new map of the whole Empire of Great Ruffia, in, the condition in which it was
found on the death of Peter the Great; and Ajiatk Rujfia, drawn from the map publifhed
by order of the late Czar..   There is alfo' a map by Homan, engraved according to thefe.
(b) A genealogical hiftory of the Tai'tars-jjiZQ. 109.
(c) Hiftory of Japan by M. Kaempfer,  Vol. I. Preliminary difcourfes, page 17, and
„, the eight plate belonging to ir.
- (d) - The North and Eaft parts of Europe and Jjia,. Introduction, page 31, and the map
banging to it.
(e) Geographical dictionary, Vol V. under the.word Kamtfchatka.
(f) Hiftory of Japan by Father Charlevoix, Vol. II. page 493, and the map to which
he refers..
- (g). L. c. page 108.
(h) Diflertation o;i the celebrated land of Kamtfchatka, in the Memoirs of Trevoux for
July 1.737, page 1156, and following,  ;
(i) Memoirs of Trevoux for Augujt 1737, page 2389, and following.
. i^WfctnB Du Halde's, ( M )
■'Wm Maided Atlas, yet nothing is more certain than that M. Bering
delineated that map himfelf. M. Iwan Kirilow the chief fecretary of
the directing Senate, and afterwards counsellor of ftate, had inSerted
the moft effential part of it, in his general map of Ruffia, beSore Du
Halde's woik was published ; for his map was already finished in
1732, and published in 1734, therefore M. D'Anville could not be
mistaken. M. Bellin Should have read what Father Du Halde (k)
himSelf fays of the means by which he came by this map, and it
would have eafily convinced him of the contrary.
At the time Capt. Bering was on his laft voyage from the river
Kamtfchatka towards the Eaft, another Japanefe veffel was driven on
the coaft of Kamtfchatka, where it Stranded in July 1729, to the
Southward of the bay of Awatfcha. Andreas Schtinnikow, a chief of
50 Coffacs, came thither with fome Kanf^fcHedales, juft as the Japanefe
had brought their goods afhore from the Ship. Schtinnikow received
fome preSents from them, but this did not fatisfy him ; for, after
Spending two days among the Japanefe, he left them in the night
time, and concealed himfelf with his company in the neighbourhood,
in order to fee how they would proceed. Tne Japanefe afflicted "at
Schtinnikow^ departure, wanted to find out fome other inhabitants, for
which purpofe they took a boat, and fteered along the coaft ; upon
which Schtinnikow ordered the Kamtfchedales to follow them, and to
fhoot them all except two, which they accordingly did, fo that out of
17 Japanefe there remained alive only an old man, and a boy of 11
years old. Schtinnikow, having taken poffeffion of all their efteCts,
caufed their fhip to be broke to pieces, in order to make ufe of the
iron, and conducted the two Japanefe as prifoners of war, or rather
as flaves to Werchnei Kamtfchatfkoi Oftrog. This barbarity fhewn t®
fhipwreck'd ftrangers did not remain unpunifhed, for Schtinnikow having taken his tryal, received the halter for his reward, but the
Japanefe were fent to Jakutzk in 1731, and from thence to Tobolfk,
after which, in 1732, they were'brought to Peterjbourg.
Having been there inftruCted in the Ruffian language, and the principles of the chriftian religion, they became chriftians: the firft was
baptized by the name of Cafmas, and the fecond by that of D ami an,
for they were before called Sofa and Go??fa; they were then fent, by
order of the directing fenate, to the academy of fciences ; where they
were employed in inftruCting the Ruffians in their language, fome of
whom were, able to- read and write tolerable gcod Japanefe,   at the
(i) Defcription of Chh
.page 561
G 2 I   5*   )
time thefe Strangers died, which happened in the years 1736 and
j 73 9. They called the town of their nativity Satzmd\ Kaempfer
writes this name Satzuma, and on the maps, it is called Saxuma, according to the Portuguefe pronunciation. It is a town and province
iituate on the South Weft of the ifland of Ximo, otherwife called
Kiufiu. Sofa had been a merchant; but the. father of Gonfa had been
a pilot on board the Japanefe fleet, and the fon chofe the fame way
of life. Their veffel which they called Wakafchimar,, was freighted
with cotton and filk Stuffs, rice, and paper. As they were deftined
for Ofacka, the commander of the town of Satzma, named Inatzdare
Oftna Nokam, had freighted them with the rice and paper, the firft of
which was to ferve for the food of the inhabitants, no rice growing
at Ofacka, and the fecond was for the uSe of the public offices, but
they had been diftreffed by ftorms, and driven about on the Sea for
fix months, till at laft they were ftranded on Kamtfchatka, on the 8th
of July. They called the capital of their empire Kid; it is fituated on
the river Jedogaw, which is there about a werft broad, and falls into
the fea at a fmall diftance from the town. The king of Japan they
called Ofama, and gave more accounts of the fame nature, but the
inferring them here would be foreign to our purpofe.
Afanaffei Scheftakows, the chief of-the Jakutzk Coffacks, prefented
Several propoSals to the Senate for rendering the obftinate Tfchuktfchi
tributary, as alfo the Korjaks, who inhabited as well the Siberian coaft
of the Penfchinfkin gulf, as both coafts of the North parts of Kamtfchatka, and had often revolted. He was defirous of difcovering the
country oppofite Tfchukotfkoi Nofs, and of reducing its inhabitants under the fubjeCtion of Ruffia: He likewife propofed to make another
attempt to difcover the pretended country in the frozen fea, and finally
he comprifed the Schantarian and Kurilian iflands in the enquiries he
was to make. He brought his propofals on the carpet with fo much
eloquence, and fo clearly demonftrated to perfons of all ranks the benefit likely to be derived from them, that they met with an univerfal
approbation, and in purfuance thereof, he was appointed the chief of
a particular expedition, in which he was to attempt the execution of
all he had promifed. The admiralty office at Peterfburg appointed
one Jacob Hens to be his pilot; Iwan Fedorow to be his fecond mate;
Michael Gwojdew for his geodefift, or navigator ; Herdehol for a
Searcher of ore, and likewife granted him ten failors. He was to be
provided with fmall cannon and mortars, with all their appurtenances,
at T=1HT
(   53    )
^t Catherineburg*, and Dmitri Pawlutzki, a captain of the ^Siberian
regiment of dragoons, was ordered to join him at Tobolfk, and thefe
two had the joint command of 400 Coffacks ; moreover all the Coffacs
who were garrifon'd in the Oflroges and Simowies within the ffchu-
kutfch jurifdiCtion, received injunctions to obey their orders wherever
they Should come.
Scheftakow returned with -thefe" difpatches from Peterfbourg to Siberia in the month of June 1727, He tarried at Tobolfk till the 28th of
November, fpent the winter in the upper huts on the Lena, and arrived at Jakutzk in the fummer 1728. Here a great difpute arofe between Scheftakow and Pawlutzki, which probably occasioned their fe-
paration, though both had the fame defign in their intended enter-
prizes. Scheftakow went in 1729 to Ochotzk, where he took poffeffion of the veflels which Capt. Bering had lately brought back with
him from Kamtfchatka ; and on the firft of September diSpatched his
coufin Simbojarfki Iwan Scheftakow, in the boat Gabriel, to the river
Ud, from whence he was to proceed to Kamtfchatka, and enquire into the fituation, and alSo make a map of the iflands lying within this
navigation; he himfelf fet out with the other veflel called the For-
tuna, for Tauifkoi Oftrog, but had the misfortune to fuffer Shipwreck
on his way, and to See the greateft part of the men he had with him
perifh, whilft only he and four others narrowly efcaped in a canoe.
On the 30th of September he ordered Iwan Oftafiew, a Coffack, with
fome Korjack elders, to .go before him along the coaft, from Tauifkoi
Ofirog to the river Penfchina, and to endeavour, by perfuafions and
* Catherineburg. A new city, begun in the year 1721, in the government of Siberia,
in the province of Ugor, on the river Ifett, between the Uralcian mountains, and had
this name given it in honour to the late Emprefs Catharine. This place is five hundred
and fifty Werfts from the city of Tobolfki. The fortification is fquare, and has fix whole
and four half baftions : The. river Ifett runs through it, along which is a great dam
made, and near it the following works and manufactures are fet on foot: (1) Two high
maft-ovens : (2) Four mills with hammers for drawing iron-bars : (3) Three mills with
hammers for flatting plate iron: (4) Two fabricks for making of plates for tin, with a
ftone building where the plates are tinn'd: (5) A fabrick for working rough fteel, containing two fmall hammer works, and eight forges: (6) A fteel fabrick with two hammer works :- (7) A wire fabrick : (8) Two machines for making iron hoops : (9) A machine for "cutting iron into fmall bars for courfe wire and nails : ^io) A mill for hammer--
ingof anchors : (11) Two machines for making fword-blades: (12) A machine for boring and polifhing cannon: (13) Six furnaces to melt copper : (14) A faw-mill with
three frames ; all thefe works are kept going by forty-two water wheels. The directors
of thefe feveral works are moftly Germans, each of whom has a houfe to himfelf, all
built in a regular and uniform manner ; they have, befides the Ruffian, a church of their
own, and a German minister, who alfo teaches their children reading,, writing, and the
fair, --(   54   )
fair promifes, to bring into obedience the obftinate Korjacks dweiiifg
in the places he Should go through. He himSelf followed in the be-
o-inning of December with the reft of his people, overtook Oftaftew on
the road, and arrived fortunately within two days journey from the river Penfchina, where he met an innumerable fwarm of Tfchuktfchi^
who were on their march to make war againft the Korjacks elders. Sp
inconsiderable were Scheftakow's company oS Ruffians, added to the
Ochotzk Tungufes-f, Lamutes, and Korjaks he had with him, that they
amounted in all to no more than 150 men ; this did not prevent him
from venturing an engagement with the Tfchuktfchi, the event of which
was fatal to him, for he was mortally wounded by an arrow, his party
defeated, and Such of his men who efcaped with their lives were entirely diSperSed. This happened on the 14th of March 1730, near
the brook of Jegatfch, which falls into the Penfchinfkin gulph, between
the rivers Paren and Penfchina.
Three days before this unhappy accident. Scheftakow had fent orders
to Tauifkoi Oftrog, that Tryphon Krupifchew, the Coffac, fhould go to
Bolfcheretfkoi Oftrog, in a veffel properly fitted for the fea, from thence
\ Tungufi. This is the moft numerous and moft ftraggling Pagan nation (with refpect
to their dwellings) that is in Siberia, and are fuppofed to amount to 7c or 80000 men.
Thefe people are, in general, diftinguifhed by three names, viz. Konni Tungufi, Oleni Tungufi, and Sabatfchi Tungufi, that is, thofe that make ufe of horfes for riding and draught,
thofe who ufe rein-deer for that purpofe, and thofe who ufe dogs. In the fame manner as
the Finlandians have been diftinguifhed formerly, by fome writers, into Skrete and Rede;
i. e. into fkating Finlandians, and fuch as ufed fledges. The R.uffians in Siberia give, befides, to the latter fort of thefe Tungufi divers other names, as Podkumena, Tumaki, and
Wonki Tungufi, &c. beeaufe the latter have very difagreeable Smells, occafioned by the fifh,
and other uncommon things they feed upon ; and the former live in and about the mountains: In other things they are no way different from the Sabatfchi Tungufi. The Ja-
kuhti call them Udfchiaen, from the word Ud, fignifying a dog : Whence alfo a capital
river, which difcharges kfelf into the Bay of Lama, on account of thefe people, who
Jceep dogs, that have hair one fourth of an ell long, is named Ud-Reka, i. e. the river of
Dogs. Moreover, thefe Sabatfchi.Tungufi living partly at the point of the bay of Penfchin
cr Lama, and partly near the rivers Aldan, Tungur, and Ud, the Ruffians have given that
point the name of Sabatfchi Nofs. The Sabatfchi Tungufi ate fubdivided among themfelves
into divers tribes, viz. 1. Lamun.ka. 2. Kaeltaku, which is the largeft and ftrongeft. 3. La-
kigir. ^..Brangatkal. 5. Ninengath. 6. Bugagi. 7. Maimogur. 8. Boldati. o. Sologon,
IO. Mamour. 11. Ilqgin. 11. Kotnachan; and, 13. Jukagri or Jukairi. As to the two
other forts, viz the Kouni and Oeeni Tungufi, they are fufficiemly defcribed in the travels
of I/brand Ides, and in thofe of Adam Brant, where it is obfervable that both thefe wrj-
, ters are of opinion, that the Konni Tungufi, as well as the Targuzini, came originally from
Dauria, and that the Oleni-Tungufi, who live near the river Angara, are all one people
with the Konni, though their tongues are different; and the account of the above authors
with my table, taken together, wiij pretty well clear up wbat I have faid concerning this
nation. That their anceftors were thofe primitive Tartars who are called in ancient Eu-
roptan authors by the name oCAbfi.
double (   55  %   ;
double-the fouthern headland of Kamtfchatka, make the harbour of
Nifchnei Kamtfchatzkoi Oftrog, and proceed to the river Anadir, in
order to invite the inhabitants of the large country oppofite to it to pay
tribute to Ruffia, He moreover defired, that if Gwofdew, the navigator, chofe to go in this expedition, he fhould take him on board the
veflel and Shew him refpeCt. There are no accounts that mention the
confequences of thefe orders; we only know that, in the year 1730,
Gwofdew, the navigator, was actually in between 65 and 66 degrees of
North latitude, on a Strange coaft, Situate at a fmall diftance, oppofite
to the country of the Tfchuktfchi, and that he found people there, but
could not fpeak with them for want of an interpreter.
In the mean while, Iwan Scheftakow, the Sinbojarfkoi, had failed
to Kamtfchatka in the boat Gabriel, and arrived at Bolfcheretfkoi the
19th of .September. For, though he had been enjoined to go firft to
the river Ud, yet he could not execute thefe orders on account of a
ftrong.contrary wind. The following fummer he made the voyage to
the river Ud, and arrived at Udfkoi Oftrog, where he found people,
who had been fent thither by the chief Scheftakow, and had built a
very indifferent veffel; he failed back to Kamtfchatka, and both going and coming back faw Several iflands, and at laft returned to Ochotzk.
I regret that I am not able to mention the particular circumftances
of this voyage, as no journal was kept at fea. However, in an account, which, on the 23d of Oclober 1730, was delivered to the Jakutzk company by the Sinbojarfkoi Iwan Schestakow, the days are
noted on which every thing- was done ; thefe we will add as a proof.
June 16, 1730, departure from Bolfchaia reka.
July 16, j \  arrival at the river Ud.
19, arrival at Udfkoi Ostrog.
28, • departure from thence.   .
Aug. 13, '— arrival at Bolfchaia reka.
20, departure from thence.
Sept. 5, arrival at Ochotzk.
- Captain Pawlutzki had, in the mean while, advanced from Jakutzk
by the ufual road over land to Nifchnee Kolymfkoe Simowie, or Oftrog ;
and, although advice had been there received, by the way of Anadirfkoi Oftrog, of the death of Scheftakow, chief of the Coffacks, yet he
was determined that fhould occafion no impediment to the expedition,
andimmediately fent orders to the pilot Jacob Hens to take one of
the veffels left by Capt. Bering \ at Ochotzk, and come round Kamtfchatka to Anadirfk, for which place he himfelf intended Shortly to
depart C   5«   )
depart, &c.    Jacob Hens received thefe orders at the time Iwan Scheftakow had returned to Ochotzk*
In confequence of this order, Hens took the boat Gabriel, and failed
to Kamtfchatka, at the mouth of which river he arrived on the 20th
of July 173 1 ; but on his voyage to the river Anadir, he there received intelligence, that on the fame day a rebellious band of Kamtfchedales had come to Nifchnei Kamtfchatzkoi Oftrog, and having
killed moft of the Ruffians there, fet fire to the houfes of the inhabitants. The remaining few Ruffians took fhelter in the veffel, and
Hens immediately fent fome men to reduce the Kamtfchedales to obedience, which they effected. But this infurrection put a flop to the
intended navigation to the river Anadir.
In the mean while, Captain Pawlutzki arrived, on the 3d of
September, 1730, at Anadirfkoi Oftrog; from whence he made, in the
following fummer, a campaign againft the obftinate Tfchuktfchi, I
have collected, not only written, but likewife verbal relations of it,
from perfons who were prefent on the fpot, ^ifik are remarkable on
account of feveral circumftances, and more efpecially becaufe they
explain the geography of thefe parts.
The 12th of March 1731, Pawlutzki marched with 215 Ruffians-,
1 bo Korjacks, and 60 Jukagiri, againft the rebellious Tfchuktfchi.
The rout was taken by the fources of the rivers Uboina, Be/a, and
Tfcherna, which fall into the Anadir, and-then they turned off directly northward to the Frozen Sea, leaving the fource of the river
Anadir on the left of their way, It is not known that they paffed
any other rivers, fince nobody could indicate or name them. After
two months, marching hardly more than ten werfts a day, and refting
now and then, Pawlutzki arrived at the Frozen Sea, at a place where
a confiderable river falls into it, but none of the company knew the
name thereof. He travelled for a fortnight together towards the Eaft,
along the coafts, moftly upon the ice, without observing the mouths
of any rivers, becauSe of his going frequently at too great a diftance
from the land. At laft they obferved a great company of Tfchuktfchi
advancing, who feemed prepared for an engagement. Pawlutzki,
by his interpreters, fummoned them to obedience; and, on their re-
fufal, immediately attacked them, and had the good fortune to beat
them entirely from the field of battle,   on the 7th day of June.
After halting 8 days, Pawlutzki proceeded on his march, and arrived
towards the end of June at two rivers^ which emptied themfelves into
the r $7 5
the Frozen Sea, at about a day's journey diftance from each other.
On the latter of thefe rivers a fecond engagement happened on June
30, the event of which was as fortunate as that of the former.
They halted there three days, and then advanced towards the Tfcbu-
kotzkoi Nofs, intending to crofs it in their way to the Anadirfk fea,
when they met another army of Tfchuktfchi, who had affembled
from both feas. Here enfued the third engagement, on the 14th of
July, in which the lofs on the fide of the enemies was greater than the
advantage on the fide of the Ruffians; for the Tfchuktfchi would neither fubmit, nor agree to pay tribute; among the fpoils, fome things
were found belonging to Scheftakow, the chief of the Coffacks, who had
been killed in an engagement near the brook Jegatfch, as was mentioned before. We are likewife affured, that among thofe of the enemy flain in the engagement, there was found one who had two holes
in the upper lip on each fide of the mouth, through which pieces of
fea-horfe-teeth were put. There were no more than three Ruffians,
one Jukagir, and five Korjacks killed in the three engagements.
Pawlutzki proceeded from thence to the Tfchukotzkoi Nofs; he had
feveral high mountains to climb, which detained him ten days on the
road, before he regained the coaft. He there embarked part of his
people on board baidares, with orders to keep near the fhore, whilft
he himfelf, with the greateft part of his men, continued his rout by
land, following the coaft, which there extends itfelf towards the
South-Eaft, So that every evening he received intelligence from the
baidares. They came on the feven th day to the mouth of a river, and
twelve days after to the mouth of another; from which, at the diftance
of about ten werfts, there runs into the fea, far towards the Eaft, a
point of land, which at firft is mountainous, but ends in a plain, whofe
extent could not be feen. Probably, this is the point of land that
caufed Captain Bering to return. Among the mountains upon it, there
is one which by the inhabitants of Anadirfkoi Oftrog is called Serdze
Kamen. From hence Pawlutzki took his rout through the inland
country, and arrived at Anadirfk on the 2 ift oS Oclober.
I omit the reft of the exploits of this brave man (who afterwards
was made a Major, then Lieutenant-Colonel, and at laft died a Waywode at Jakutzk) and proceed to the fecond expedition of Kamtfchatka, which, as it furpafles all thofe before made, deferves a more
circumftantial defcription,
"Captain Bering himfelf made the propofals for it,  and he, as well
as the two lieutenants, Sfangberg and Vfchirikow, declared that they
H would 11}
would travel a Second time to Kamtfchatka, and undertake the difcoveries that remained to be made in thofe feas. For this purpofe the
captain was made a commodore,, and both lieutenants were raifed to
be captains, in the beginning of the year 1732. The defign of the
firft voyage was not brought on the carpet again upon this occafion„
fince it was looked upon as compleated; but, inftead of that, orders
were given to make voyages as well eaftward to the continent of A-
merica, as Southward to Japan, and to difcover, if poflible, at. the
fame time, the north paffage through the Frozen Sea, which had been
fo frequently attempted by the Engiifh and Dutch. The Senate, the
Admiralty-office, and the Academy of Sciences, all united to com-
pleat this important undertaking, and M.. Kirilow, the Upper Secretary in the Senate, afterwards Counfellor of State, pufhed the affair fo.
warmly, that it was foon brought to bear.
The firft imperial order from the cabinet to the fenate with regard,
thereto, was of ths 17th of April 1.732. The fenate defired the academy of fciences to communicate to them all the intelligence which;
they had received, to that time, of Kamtfchatka, and its neighbouring;
countries, rivers, and feas. With this M. de Lifte was charged by the
academy, and accordingly made a map, upon which Kamtfchatka, the
land of Jefo, (agreeable to the defcription of the fhip Caftricom) Sta~
ten Ifland, the Company's Ifland, Japan, and the coaft that had been feen
by a Spanifh captain, named Don Juan de Gama, were reprefented.
To this map was added an account in writing, in which M. de Lifte
defcribed the old difcoveries, and propofed ways and means of making
new ones. It was therefore a fault in his memory, to fay, after his
return to Paris, in a memoir which he delivered to the academy of
fciences at Paris,, that the faid map, and account, had been made by
him in the year 1731, and that a new Kamtfchatkan expedition had
been made by it.
When the map, and the account belonging to it, had been delivered to the fenate, by the academy of fciences, there followed an
order, that a profeffor of the academy fhould be nominated to accompany Capt. Bering in his voyage, who was to afcertain, by astronomical observations, the proper fituation of the countries that
might be difcovered, and to notice whatever occurred with refpeCt to
animals, plants, and minerals, belonging to natural hiftory. It happened fortunately for the fciences, that two profeffors of the academy,
'viz. John George Gmelin, profeffor of chemiftry and natural hiftory,
and Lewis de Lifte de la Croyere, profeffor of aStronomy, voluntarily
■ (   59   )
offered to make the voyage, and, upon the academy's propofal, were
nominated by the fenate. in the beginning of the year 1733, I undertook to write the civil hiftory of Siberia, and its antiquities,
with the manners and cuftoms of the people, as alfo the occurrences
of the voyage, which was likewiSe approved of by the Senate. It
may be Said with truth, that fo tedious and long a voyage was
never undertaken with more alacrity than this was, by all who had a
fhare in it
As feveral voyages were propoSed to be made, the admiralty or-,
dered the following fea-officers to join the commodore, as lieutenants : Peter Laffenius, William Walton, Dmitri Laptiew, Jegor Jen-
dauro, Dmitri Owzin, Swen Waxel, Wafili Prontfchifchtfchew, Mi-
chailo Plautin, and Alexander Scheltinga, midfhipmen. Three of
thefe were defigned for the diScovery of the North Paffage, one was
to go from the Ob to the Jenifei*; another to Sail out of the Lena,
towards the Weft, and likewife go into the Jenifei; and the third
was to fail out of the Lena towards the Eaft, round Tfchukotzkoi Nofs,
and endeavour to reach Kamtfchatka. The paffage from Archangel
to the Ob, the admiralty referved for their own immediate inspection ; for which three lieutenants, Murawiew, Malagin, and Skura-
tow, were employed. The reft of the fea-officers were ftationed a-
board the fhips that were to be commanded by the Commodore, and
* Jenifei, or Jenzea. This is one of the largeft rivers that runs through Tartary and
Siberia; it extends itfelf, from its fource to its mouth, one thoufand fix hundred Englijh
miles in length. I could never learn the fignification of the name of this great river, the
word being neither Sclavonian nor Rujfian ; nor do the Tartars, who live on the banks
of it, near its fource, give it the name of Jenefei, but call it Kemm. However, the word
Jenifei Signifying, in the Tartarian and Turkijh tongues, tofiuell, or to over-flow, and this
river overflowing the land every fpring, towards its mouth, on both fides, for feveral
miles, it is not unlikely that it had the name Jenifei from thence: For Sat, or Sei, fignifies
Rocky river, where there are water-falls, and having a rapid current; and Jenie denotes
Xpreading, fwelling, e.g. the rivers Jaxartes and Chefeldaria, are alfo called, near their
fources, or Dfai Dfeihun; Now the river Jenifei, near its fprings, between the town, of
Abakan and the river Kemtfchyk, is not only ftony and rocky, but has above ten Potroggs,
or cataracts ; as it has likewife between the cities of Crofnayahr and Jenifei, not far from
Kemjkroi Ofirog. Whence it eomes, that this river, from the town of Abakan, towards
its fource into Mungalia, is not navigable, which other wife would much Shorten and facilitate the way, through Mungalia into China, and render that trade much more eafy, as
well as profitable. This river, on account of its ftony bottom, yields no fifh, till below
the city of Jenifei, and after it has received the rivers Angara and Tungus, which caufes
annually a great number of veflels from this city, and others, to go down fo far as Nova--
Mungafeia, in order to catch and fait fifh. At this city,v the river is one werft, or one
thoufand five hundred paces over; from which the reader may judge of its vaft breadth
downwards, near the fea, after it has Swallowed up fo many largerivers.
H 2 the C 60  }
the Captains Spangberg and Tfchirikow. One was alfo intended id
navigate a particular fhip, becaufe it was ordered that four fhips fhould
put out to fea from Kamtfchatka.
On the 21 ft of February 1733, Captain Spangberg was fent before,
with a party, and the heavieft materials. The commodore fet out
from Petersburg on the 18 th of April, and went from Twer as far as
Cafan by water, and afterwards by Catherineburg to Tobolsk. The
fame rout was taken by our academical travellers, who began their
journey on the 8th of Auguft in the fame year, and in January 1734
overtook the Commodore at Tobolsk. The Commodore travelled from
thence by the way of Tar a, Tomsk, and Krafnojarsk, to Irkutzk, from
whence he went to the Lena, and took advantage of the water-carriage as far as Jakutzk. On the other hand, Captain Tfchirikow went
in the fummer 1734 from Tobolfk, upon the rivers Irtifch, Ob, RetT
Tunguska, and Him, as far as llimsk, and only reached Jakutzk the"
following year.
While the fliip-building at Ochotzk went on, our academical fel-
low travellers made Several tours, that have been of no. fmall advantage to geography and natural hiftory. Profeffor de la Croyere travelled with captain Tfchirikow by water, left him at the mouth of
the river Ilim, from whence he went to Jakutzk, and pafled the
lake Baieal, to Selengink, Nertchinsk,. and the river Argun ; but Profeffor Gmelin and myfelf went up the Irtifch, as far as Uft-Kamenogor-
fkaia Krepoft y we proceeded by Koliwano-Woskrefenskci, Sawod,.
Kufnetzk, and Tomsk, to Jenifeisk ;, and from thence to the parts
fituated beyond the lake Baieal,. in which latter voyage we Spent
the fummer of the year 1735. We affembled again in the fpring-
of 1736, in the upper parts of the river Lena.. De la Croyere went
to Jakutzk, without Staying by the way. Gmelin and I- Spent the
whole Summer again in this, navigation, in order £0 gain the more time
for our observations.
The commodore was ftill at Jakutzk, and took care .to transport
provifions Srom thence to Ochotzk. Captain Spangberg ftaid with the
Ship-builders at Ochotzk; but neither of them had any great SucceSs
in what they undertook, for every thing went on So flowly, that it.
was impoflible to determine when the voyage to Kamtfchatka would
take place. In the mean while we were not idle, but intent on new
travels in order to employ ourSelves. A fire at Jakutzk deprived Profeffor Gmelin of all his itinerary observations, among which, thoSe he
piade laft Summer are particularly to be regretted, (for copies of the
former I   61    )
former had been before tranfmitted to Peterfburgh ;) this lofs
-was the occafion of his going again in the fummer 1737, up the
.Lena. But De la Croyere made a voyage down the Lena to Schigani
Siktak, and the river Olenek. I was obliged, on account of my ill
ftate of health, to accompany M. Gmelin, in order to receive, occafionally, the benefit of his affiftance and advice. This ficknefs was the
reafon of my not returning afterwards to Jakutzk, for on that account
there came an order from the fenate, which releafed me from proceeding on the voyage to Kamtfchatka, and inftead of that gave me a
commiffion to travel through thofe parts of Siberia where I had not yet
been, in order to give a more circumftantial defcription of all that country.
Gmelin petitioned likewife to be recalled, which was granted him.
When we were at Jakutzk we had fent before us to Kamtfchatka one
Stephen Krafcheninikow, a Student, in order to make the neceffary preparations there before our arrival. In the year 1738, the AdjuncJus,
George Wilhelm Steller, whom the academy of fciences had fent to
affift profeffor Gmelin, joined us. By him was compleated what was
to be done at Kamtfchatka in regard to the fciences.
- During the time preparations were making for the chief bufinefs, federal voyages were made along the coafts of the frozen fea, to difcover
whether a paffage might not be found that way to Kamtfchatka.
Lieutenant Murawiew was firft ordered on a voyage from Archangel
to the Ob. He got no farther the firft fummer, 1734, than the river
Petfchera, and wintered at Puftoferfkoi Oftrog. The following fummer he failed through the ftreights of Weygat, leaving the ifland of
Weygat on the left. This paffage is called lugorfkoi Schar by the Ruffian promyfchleni, who go from Nova Zembla to catch fea-horfes, feals,
Stone-foxes, and white bears. The other paffage between the ifland
of Weygat and Nova Zembla was not enquired into. From thence he
came again into an open fea, known by the name of Karfkoe More,
and is fo called from the river Kara, which falls into a bay fituate in
this fea.
Thus far this navigation has been known ever fince the beginning
of the laft century. The inhabitants of Archangel, Kolmagori, Me-
Jbn, Puftoferfkoi Oftrog, fail almoft annually to Nova Zembla to catch
fea-horfes, feals, and white bears. There have formerly been voyages
made this way by fea to Siberia, I mean to the river Ob, and to Man-
gafea, which were performed in the following manner : They failed
up the river Muinaja, which falls into the fame bay as the Kara, and (     62     )
in eight days entered a lake from which that river has its fource j this
lake they croffed over in one day, and came to a carrying place of a>-
bout 200 fathoms, or, according to other accounts, three werfts.
They then entered another lake, out of which a river* known by the
name Selenaia, or, according to the Ruffian atlas, Tylowka, runs towards-
the Bay of the river Ob. They were obliged to unload their veflels for
the eafier carriage (between the two lakes) both of theirgoods and
fmall veffels, or cajucks, uSed in this navigation : Now as this required
a great deal of labour,: feveral of thefe veffels generally went ki-cmanv
pany together that they might mutually aflift each other. Being once
in the Selenaia, they went down with the current, but on account of
the many Shallows, almoft ten days were ufually fpent in reaching the
.bay of the river Ob. Then fome went to Obdorfkoi Gorodock, in order to trade with the Samojades; but moft of them turned into the
gulf of the river Tap, and thus arrived at the place where formerly
ftood the town of Mangafea.
Lieut. Murawiew failed along the faid cape in 1735, as far as 72
deg. 30 min. North lat. The Lieutenants Mhagin and Skurataw
went on with this navigation, and doubling, the Capejalmal, came into the bay of the river Ob, fo that thereby this navigation may be con/*
fidered as entirely difcovered and accomplifhed in the year 1738.
In this Same year the navigation from the Ob to the river Jenifei,
was alfo made by Lieut. Owzjn, and Iwan Kofchelew, the mafter of
the fleet, with two veffels that were built at Tobolfk; for after overcoming many difficulties, they at laft not only happily doubled Cape Mat-
fol, fituated Eaft from the bay of the river Ob, but alfo without far-*
ther hindrance entered the Jenifei.
Lieut. Prontfchifchtfchew, having failed from Jakutzk on the 27th
of June 1735, came no farther that fummer than to the mouth of the
river Olenek, where he found a Ruffian village lying fome Werfts up
that river, in which he wintered. The following fummer he profe-
cuted his voyage, and failed by the rivers Anabara and Chatanga, but
did not quite reach the mouth of the river Taimura. Here he found
a row of iflands before him that extended from the continent towards
the North Weft, far into the Sea. Between them the Sea was every
where full of ice, and no paffage feemed poflible. Prontfchifchtfcksin'
was of opinion, that if he failed along the iflands he would at laft
meet with an open fea where thefe iflands ended. But this was not
the cafe, for he Sailed as far as yy deg. 25 min. North latitude, and
found (    «3   1
found fuch ftrong ice before him, that now he gave over all hopes of
proceeding farther, and returned, foon after which he died.
In the year 1738, Lieut. Chariton Laptiew was fent from Peterfburgh in his ftead, and had orders to defcribe the coafts by land, if he
could proceed no farther by Sea. In doing of which his travels were of
particular ufe.
Now follows the laft voyage into the frozen fea, -which was made
from the mouth of the river Lena towards the Eaft, to difcover the
way by Sea to Kamtfchatka. It was conducted by Lieutenant Lafife-
nius, who proceeded on his voyage from Jakutzk on the 30th of June
1735, and on the 7th of Auguft Sailed Srom the mouth of the Lena,
or, properly, from Buikowfkoi Muis, into the fea; but, on the 14th of
the fame month, he found himfelf obliged to look out for a harbour
where he might take up his winter quarters, on account of the contrary
winds, fogs, and ice.. He met with no convenient place for this till
■the 19th of Auguft, when he entered the river Charaulack, which
falls into the frozen fea between the rivers Lena and Jana, where his
navigation ended. On this river, a werft from its mouth, he met with
fome old Jakutzk habitations, near to which he caufed barracks to be
built, with partitions, in which he intended to pafs the winter with
his people; but both he and moft of them were feized with fuch a
dreadful fcurvy, that out of 52 perfons who had failed out on board the
Ship from Jakutzk, no more than fix furvived.
Laffenius was fucceeded by Lieutenant Dmitri Laptiew, who, in
the beginning of the fummer 1736, fet out from Jakutzk with frefh
men for the river Charaulack, where the fhip lay ; he failed from that
place on the 15th of Auguft, but, after 48 hours, found fuch rocks
.of ice before him to the eaft and north, that he gave up all hopes of
.proceeding any farther ; and, a confultation being held, it was unani-
.moufly agreed upon to return to the Lena, which he reached on the
23d of Auguft, went up the river in the month of September, and, on
account of the great quantity of ice driving againft the veflel, took his
winter quarters at the mouth of the little river Chotufchtak. Here the
fcurvy began to appear among the fhip's crew; but a flop was put to
the progrefs of the diftemper by ufing the leaves or points of the
dwarf cedar, which grows there, and (according to the cuftom of that
country) frozen fifh, which, raw and frozen as they are, are fcraped
fmall and eaten. By this food, and conftant labour and exercife, moft
of the men preferved their health, and the fick recovered.
Our academical fellow-travellers were at Jakutzk in the beginning
J of of the year 1737, when advice was received there from Lieutenant
Laptiew that this navigation had again mifcarried the fecond time.
The inftruCtions given by- the fenate to the commodore, contained,
that if fuch a navigation could not be accomplished in the firft voyage,
it was to be attempted a Second time; and if they Should, even then,
meet with obstacles, the commanding officer fhould be Sent to Peterfburgh to give an account of his voyages to the fenate and admiralty.
Now two voyages had been made in vain, of which, however, Lieutenant Laptiew had made but one, fo that the commodore was undetermined what to do. His inftruCtions likewife directed him to advife
with the proSeffors that were in the Kamtfchatkan expedition; this
was accordingly done, and we all unanimoufly agreed that the decision fhould be left to the fenate. I had at that time already gathered
from the archives of Jakutzk, thofe intelligences of former navigations through the frozen fea, fome of which 1 have inferted in the beginning of this tract. I digefted them in proper order, and added 0-
ther accounts of the prefent nature of the frozen fea, which I had
likewife learned at Jakutzk from perSons who had navigated in that
fea, and, to promote the common good, in cafe any farther attempt
fhould be made, I delivered my writings to the commodore, who
fent them to Peterfburgh, where, in 1742, they were inSerted in the
Peterfburgh observations, by way of extracts.
In conSequence of this, the commodore fent an order to the Lieutenant Laptiew to return with the boat Irkutzk, and all the men to
Jakutzk. He accordingly came, and fet out for Peterfburgh, from
whence he was again, in 1738, diSpatched to Siberia. Another attempt was to be made, whether the navigation, which, according to
the accounts discovered by me, had been really accomplished many
years ago, might not poffibly be made now. In caSe the Lieutenant
Should meet with unSurmountable difficulties, he was ordered to follow the coaft by land, and to make both a circumftantial description
of them, and a chart. It muft be owned that this able and induftri-
ous officer Spared no pains to fulfill the orders he had received, though
he did not every where meet with the fuccefs he could have wifhed.
He arrived in the Spring 1739 at the firft open water at Jakutzk, embarked on board his former Ship, and failed in her towards the frozen
fea. On the 15th of Auguft he came to the Swjatoi Nofs, and at the
end of the month to the mouths of the Jndigirka, where the winter had
already fet in fo feverely, that the Ship was frozen in on the ift of September.   He would have entered one of the mouths of this river had f   «J   )
iolthey been too Shallow for his Ship. A ftorm parted the veffel from her
anchor, and drove her Sarther into the Sea, where, on the 9th of September, fhe was frozen in again about 60 werfts from the land. There was
now no other refource left but to bring the naval ftores and provisions on
Shore, which was happily effected, but the Ship itSelf, as it could not be
a- voided, was left to her fate. Laptiew having paffed the winter on
the river Jndigirka, went the following fummer in a fmall*veffel a-
long the coaft to the river Kolyma; for to follow the coafts any farther, either by land or by water was not advifeable, on account of the
Tfchuktfchi: he therefore went over land to Anadirsk, and from thence
fo far as the mouth of the river Anadir. Here his expedition was
finifhed, after which no other has been undertaken through the frozen,
fea in thofe parts.
The intent of all thefe endeavours was, on the one hand, to afford
an increafe of knowledge, and more certainty in the geography of
thofe. parts, and, on the other, to afcertain, in the moft decisive manner, the impossibility of the navigation through the frozen fea, that
had been formerly undertaken by the Engiifh and Dutch, in order to
difcover a nearer way to the Eaft Indies, which has here been fo
clearly evinced, that, in my opinion, nobody for the future will eafily
think of attempting any fuch voyage. To put this important truth in*
the ftrongeft light, I will add the following considerations :
Firft, Such a navigation ought to be made in one Summer, it cannot
tife be of any uSe. But now we have feen, that it is not practicable
to go in one Summer, even from Archangelto the Ob, and from thence
to the Jenifei. Five or fix years have elapSed before one fuch Single
voyage was accomplifhed. And have not alfo the Dutch and Engiifh
met with infinite difficulties in their paffage through the ftreights
of Weygat f
In the next place, between the Pjaftda and Chatanga, a row of iflands
extends from the continent a great way into the fea, which blocks up
ail paffage as well on one fide as the other. Jelmerland is reprefented
by Hafius, in his map of Ruffia, difcovered in 1664, according to ancient accounts, uniting Nova Zembla to Siberia. Thefe iflands may
be the fame impediment to navigatoin.
The fame may be faid of the vaft rocks of ice to be met with, that
iare firmly fixed. Thefe, at the fame time, raife a doubt againft the
opinion of thofe who are for attempting a navigation, not along the
coafts, but through the wide fea, near the North pole. 'Tis true, the
voyage wouldt>e much fhorter; but would not the obstructions remain
I the
*"■ (   66   )
the very fame ? For, if the before-mentioned mountains of ice, Such m
have been found about Greenland and Spitzbergen^ are -i'hamovahky
there 'muft then be fomething that hinders the motion that would o-
therwife be communicated to them by the fea and tBe winds. This
may be occasioned by the ice being continued as far as the North pole>
or becaufe under that pole, or near it, there is land to which the
mountain's of ice are fixed. Capt. Wood, in 1676, ftrongly maintain*
ed the probability of the North pafTage, near the North pole, before
he commenced that voyage ; but by the voyage itfelf he was fufficient-1
ly convinced of the impoffibility of it.
It is true, in the defcription of the moft ancient navigations through
the frozen fea, I have no where, with certainty, found that great
country which has been reported to be fituated in the frozen fea ; but
this is nO proof that it does not exift. The American coaft lying oppofite to the land of the Tfchuktfchi, may extend far enough to the
North and Weft, without our knowing it. And if fo, it would, to-
. gether with.the mountains of ice fixed to it, be directly in the way of
thofe who would pafs near the North pole.
Even the paffage along the coafts does not promife better fuccefs than
that with which it was attended 100 years ago. Thergffeeral obfervation that the water in the fea decreafes, proves alfo here true. There
is to be feen along the coafts of the frozen fea, wood eaft on fhore on
fuch heights that now-a-days are not to be reached by any flood or
waves. Not far from the mouth of the river Jana, in the Weft,
there is faid to lie an old Kotfche, about five werfts diftant from the fea
fhore, as it is at prefent. From this, an extraordinary flatnefs of the
coaft is to be concluded, which is alfo confirmed by the verbal relations ^
of people who have frequently been on the frozen fea. But Such a change^%
is by no means advantageous for the navigation, which is moftly made
in a channel, not very wide, between the ice and the continent, which
grows fhallower and Shallower. In the year 1709, it was hardly
poflible to go with Schitikes between the rivers Jndigirka and Kolyma,
though thefe veflels are Smaller than the Kotfches Sormerly, and draw .
lefs water, of which I have a written teftimony. Now, if ftill fmaller
and flatter veffels were built, they would do very well for fuch Shallow
places : but, as, in fome places, there are likewife fteep rocks that
project into the fea, they would do the lefs fervice there ; not to
mention that fmall veffels are entirely contrary to the intention of the
In the like manner there are impedimenta which foreign Ships particularly ( I J
cularly would meet' wi'th, were they to undertake this paffage. When~
in our days, the navigations through the frozen fea were to be mades
people were fent out from all the rivers falling into it, who were obliged to erect at their mouths, certain marks, by piling up wood, for the
navigators to direCt their courfe by, at their arrival in thefe parts. Magazines were eftablifhed in feveral places along the coafts, out of which,
in cafe of need, the provifions might be taken. All the Pagan nations, dwelling thereabouts, were apprized of the navigation, and
had orders, on the firft call, to haften to the affiftance of the mariners.
Such advantages no foreign fhips can promiSe themSelves. They muft
always put a. wonderful confidence in their own Strength, which, however, mayibo eafily fail. They muft not expect to find any thing but
what they bring with them, and, fuppofing it was to be hoped that
the natives there would not deny foreign Ships their affiftance, yet they
are but feldom to be met with along the fea coafts, but rather go up
the rivers, becaufe they enjoy greater advantages of hunting.
■ What Sad conSequences muft attend an European Ship, (like Heemjkirk
at Nova Zembla) when obliged to winter there ? The manner of liv*
ing, and food of the European mariners, are by no means fit for fuch
winter quarters. Brandy, fait meat, and bifcuit, are no remedies a-
-gainft the fcurvy ; and the want of exercife, which neceffarily follows,
when a Sailor has nothing to do out of his hat, is ftill more fatal.
In fuch cafes the manner of living of the Ruffians may • ferve for a
pattern, they almoft every other year alternately winter at Nova Zembla, without any harm. Thefe imitate the Samojedes in drinking frequently the frefh blood of rein-deer. The brandy, of which they
make provifion for the voyage, is confumed before they reach the
coaft of Nova Zembla. They know nothing of fait, or dry victuals, *
-but live upon the frefh game which they catch, efpecially on wild
rein-deer. Hunting requires continual motion. No body remains
there above one day at a time in his'hut, except he is hindered from
going out by too great a ftorm, or too much Show: Not to mention,
that thefe people are provided with good warm furred cloaths, which
the European failors want. Thefe are, in my opinion, reafons fufficient to deter any nation from undertaking for theTuture fuch an enter-
prife. Father Caftel * was of the fame opinion before ; but it was
not then fupported on a fufficient foundation, and we fhould have re-
* Diffcrtation fur la celcbre Terre de Kamtfchatka, et fur edit cfTeco dans les Memoires
de Trcvcux 1737, Juillet. p.  1169.
I 2 mained t  68   )
tBtuned in a continual uncertainty,   if the above related navigations
through the frozen fea had not cleared up the matter.
We proceed now to the chief bufinefs of the fecond Kamtfchatka
expedition, which confifted in the navigations that were to be made
from Ochotzk and Kamtfchatka to the Eaft and South. Capt. Spangberg had in the month of June 1734, arrived at Jakutzk, and profe-
cuted the voyage, on the rivers Aldan, Maia, and Judoma, in order to
reach, if poflible, Judomfkoi Kreft before the winter. But he was frozen in, above 150 Werfts from that place, and proceeded on foot with
a few men to Judomfkoi Kreft, and Ochotzk. That nothing might be
wanting there that was moft neceflary, the Commodore had fent thither in the fpring of 1735, an hundred horfes, every one loaded with
five pouds of meal, according to the cuftom of the country. In the
next place, they were endeavouring to tranfport from Jakutzk to
Judomfkoi Kreft, the naval ftores and provifions in veflels, fome o£
-which the Commodore had brought with him, and fome were built
at Jakutzk, and at the mouth of the river Maja. In the fummer
1736, Capt. Tfchirikow had the infpeCtion of them, and went the
fubfequent winter to Ochotzk. In the fummer 1737, Lieut. Warel
tranfmitted 33000 pouds of provifions and materials by the fame road
to Judomfkoi Kreft; but from Judomfkoi Kreft they were tranfported
by land, to the river Urak, where magazines were eftablifhed, new
veflels built, and the ftores removed to Ochotzk, with the firft open
water, when this river, which in fummer, is very Shallow, fwelled
very much. The place, on the upper part of the river Urak, from
whence the veffels put off, was called Uratzkoe Plothifchtfche; it lies
about half way between Judomskoi Kreft and Ochotzk; but the river,
comprehends, with its windings to the Sea, about 200 Werfts, which
may be accomplished in Sixteen hours, without oars, by means of the
fwift current.
In tbe mean while, Capt. Spangberg had ordered two veffels to be
built at Ochotzk, for the voyage he was commanded to make to Japan j
one an hucker, named Michael the Archangel, the other a double
fhallop, called the Hope. Thefe were quite finished by the end of the fummer, 1737. Commodore Bering, who came in the fame fummer to
Ochotzk, had two more packet boats built for the American voyage, and
alfo two veffels for provifions, which were only to ferve as far as Kamtft
chatka. All thefe were finished in the fummer 1740, and the two packet
boats-were called by the names of St Peter-, and St Paul. In the mean
lime they went on without interruption, in tranfporting the provifions
from f 69 )
from Jakutzk to Jinhmshi Kreft, and frbm Jihcnce to Ocbctzk. A
great help towards which was, that, upon the representation of the
Commodore, two Lieutenants of the fleet, Waft-lei Larionow, and
GabrielTolbuchin, were, in 1738, Sent by the Admiralty to Siberia,
the firft of whom provided at Jakutzk, and the fecond at Jakutzk,
whatever was neceffary Sor the Kamtfchatka expedition.
In conSequence of this, they were able in 1738, to make a beginning with the navigation to Japan. Capt. Spangberg commanded
the hucker Michael, and Lieut. Walton, the double Shallop, called the
Hope. The boat Gabriel of the firft Kamtfchatka voyage, was added
to thefe, and the command of her intrufted to the Midihipman Schel-
tinga; with theSe three veflels Capt.. Spangberg Set Sail Srom Ochotzk,
about the middle of June 1738. He could not get out fooner, for the
fea was till that time full of ice, and he had even then much trouble
in getting through it. He failed firft towards Kamtfchatka, entered
the river Bolfchaia Reka, and made preparations for his future winter
quarters. After a fhort ftay there, he directed his the Kurilian iflands, which he made in the beginning of autumn, having
fteered a South and Weft courfe, to 46 deg. N. lat. but returned to
Kamtfchatka, with an intent to put out to fea earlier the following
fummer, and then to end the navigation. During their winter refidence at Bolfcheretzkoi Oflrcg, Capt. Spangberg built a fmall yacht, or
decked Shallop, of birch wood, with twenty four oars, which he
called Bolfchaia-reka. This he propofed to make ufe of in discovering the iflands, ask would be more convenient than either the hucker,
or double Shallop, for the navigation of the narrow ■ftreights which
feparated them.
On May 22, 1739, *hcy again put to Sea, with all the four veffels;
and rendezvoused at the firft Kurilian islands, where the Captain gave
the officers under him the neceffary inftruCtions-, and proper Signals.
This being done, they proiecuted their voyage, on the 1 ft of June,
fleering South Eaft, till about 47 deg. North Lat. without meeting
with any land, and then S. W. in order to make the Kurilian iflands-
again, which they did. On the i^th of June, a violent ftorm came
on, with a very thick fog, in which Lieut. Walton, with the double
Shallop, was feparated from Capt. Spangberg, and, tho' they fought
each other for two days, and fired feveral guns for fignals, yet they
did not join again during the voyage. Each therefore made his navigation for himfelf, they both landed in Japan at different places, and,
after their return, gave the: following accounts to the Commodore.
Capt. c
Capt. Spangberg came to an anchor under the land of Japan, on
the 18th of June, in 25 fathom water, accounting himfelf to be in
38 deg.' 41 min. N. Lat. The fhore appeared pleafant, being inter-
fperfed with valleys, and covered at a distance with pretty woods; a*
multitude of Japan veffels were perceived, two of which came rowing towards them; but when they were at the diftance of 30 or 40
fathoms, they lay on their oars, and would not approach nearer.
When the men on board the Ship beckoned for them to come up,
they did the fame, and made them understand that the Captain and
his people fhould go on Shore. But this Captain Spangberg carefully avoided, nay, he did not long remain in one place, for fear of
being Surprized.
On the'20th of June, many Japanefe veffels were again feen, each
of which contained ten or twelve men. On the 22d, the captain anchored at another'place, in 38 deg. 25 min. N. Lat. there^-iwo fifhing boats came on board, and the men exchanged frefh fifh, rice,
large tobacco leaves, pickled cucumbers, and other things, for various Ruffian goods, with which the fhip's company we're, provided.
Cloth, and cloaths made of cloth, likewiSe bits of blue glafs, feemed
moft agreeable to the Japanefe, but they 'did not fet any value on
cotton, or filk fluffs, nor on looking-glaffes, Sciffars, needles, and
Such like implements, that were Shewn them, having all theSe in
their own country. They were very civil, and reasonable in their
prices. ^^Su
The Ship's company got from them fome oblong fquare gold coin,
of the fame kind as are defcribed and represented by Kaempfer; they
are not of fo high a colour as the Dutch ducats, and fome what
lighter, as I have found by examining one of them, and obferved,
by comparing it to. a Dutch ducat, the difference in weight to be
two grains.
The following day, Seventy-nine Such fifhing-boats were feen at a
diftance, all of which were flat at the ftern, and Sharp at the head.
Their breadth was from four and a half to five feet, their length a-
bout twenty-four feet; in the midft was a deck, upon which a fmall
hearth was placed ; the rudder might be taken out, and flowed away
when not ufed : rSome veffels had two rudders, both behind, one on
each fide ; thefe are bent quite crooked : They uSe their oars Standing, and are alSo provided with graplings.
They uSe another kind oS veffels to trade to the circumjacent iflands,
and even along the coaft, when their voyage is of any lengthy    Thefe
are r v )
4re mueh) larger than t&e Jojanen,. fhafp equally at' the head and-the
Stern : they carry more people, and fail better, though chiefly before
the wind," for they can do hoth?inig oh a wind, they are therefore eafily
eaft away byxontrary winds and weather,, for the people, on account
of their: inexperience in navigation, do not know how to help themfelves,- but fubmit to their fate. Such were thofe which were Stranded
an the coaft of Kamtfchatka.
The Japanefe are moftly of a fmall ftature, and of a Swarthy complexion:, with black-eyes, and flat nofes. The men, and great boys,
fhave their hair from the forehead to the crown, the reft of the hair
is combed fmooth, and made to Shine with glue ; it is tied in the neck
behind, and wrapped up in a paper. But little boys are diftinguifhed
by a Shaved patch in the middle of the crown, one and a half, or
two inches over, about which the reft of their hair is dreffed in the
fame manner as that of the former , their cloaths are long and wide,
after the manner of the European night-gowns; they do not wear
breeches, but, inftead of them, the lower part of their bodies is wrap-"
ped up in linnen.
Before Capt. Spangberg left this place, a great canoe came to his
fhip, in which fat four men, befides the mariners, wbo, if we may
judge from their embroidered cloaths, and appearance in other re-
fpeCts, feemed to be people of condition. The Captain invited them
into his cabin; at going in they bowed down to the ground, held
up their hands folded over their heads, and kneeled till the Captain
defired'them to rile; they were entertained with brandy and eatables
which they feemed to like. When the Captain Shewed them a chart.
of thofe parts, and alfo a globe, they immediately knew their country, the name of which they pronounced Niphon. They likewife
pointed out with their fingers, on the chart, the iflands Matfmai and
Sado, and alfo the CapeJs ^Stmgar and Noto. At parting, they again
bowed to the ground, and expreffed their thanks, as well as they could,
for what they had received j the fame day, the former fifhing-boats
came again, and brought feveral things for fale, which they exchanged
for Ruffian goods.
Captain Spangberg made no doubt but the chief defign of his
voyage, which was the difcovery of the proper fituation of Japan,
with refpeCt tothecountry of Kamtfchatka, was now fulfilled. Therefore,
fome days after, he fet out on his return, wherein he made feveral obfervations on the iflands he had feen before, and by which he was
obliged to repafs. I cannot avoid mentioning his obfervations, referring (   72 N)
ferring for the reft to the map he has made of tins voyage, contained
in the Ruffian Atlas.
He failed to the N. E. and arrived on the 3d of July, in lat. 43
deg. 50 min. at a great ifland, before which he anchored in 30 fathoms water, and lent his birch yacht with a boat on Shore, in Search
offrefli water; but they could. find no landing-place, on account of
the Steep rocks, of which the coaft confifted. He therefore failed to
another place,, from whence the boat was again fent afhore, which
brought thirteen cafks of good water on board. On this ifland grew;
birch, firs, and other trees, unknown to the Ruffian failors ; tfepyji;
faw men, who ran away as foon as they perceived the Ruffians; they
found leathern boats, and the bottom covering, or foles of fledges,
made after the Kurilian or Kamtfchatkan manner. This induced
the Captain to fail nearer, and to come to an anchor in a fandy
bottom, in a bay, at eight fathoms water. Inithis bay was a village,
to which the Captain fent a Shallop, which brobght eight of the inhabitants on board.
The afpeCt and ftature of thofe people were like thofe of the Kuriles, and they fpoke the fame language. The chief difference between them confifted in thk& that they had pretty long hair all over
their bodies, the men of a middling age had black, and the old had
grey beards; fome of them wore filver ear*-rings. Their cloaths were
made of filk fluffs of various colours, and reached to their feet, which
were bare. They had brandy given them to drink, and prefents were
alfo made them of various trifles, whidft they thankfully received.
When they Saw a live cock on board the .Ship, they fell upon their
knees, clapped their hands together over their.heads,'and bowed down
tp the ground, both before the cock, and for the prefents they had
rffigjved.    After which the Captain fet them afhore.
On the 9th of July, Capt. Spangberg left this ifland, and failed to
difcover the fituation of the otheigiin its neighbourhood, in order to
|$^t» them with certainty in his map. This was not done without
danger and inconvenience. Sometimes they bad only from three to
four or five fathoms water; many of the fhip's company, about this
time, fell fick, and feveral died foon after. On the 23d of July, he
arrived by a South Weft courfe at the ifland Matfmai, lying in 41 deg.
22-min. North lat. where he found, three large Japanefe bufles, on
which account he prepared for an ergagement, in cafe they fhould at-
taofc him, and was fo cautious that he would neither fend afhore, nor
tome to an anchor; but, on the 25^ fet fail on his return to Kamtfchatka, (   73   1
fchatka. On the 15th of Auguft he reached the mouth of the river
Bolfchaiareka, which he entered in order to give his people a little
reft. On the 20th he fet fail again, on his return to Ochotzk, where
he arrived on the 29th, and found Lieut. Walton already there, from
whofe report I fhall now mention what is moft remarkable.
Walton having been feparated in a fog and tempeft, from Captain
Spangberg, whom he endeavoured in vain to rejoin, took the resolution to Seek, without loSs of time, the land of Japan, of which he
got fight two days after, viz: on the 16th, in 38 deg. 17 min. N. lat.
According to his account, he was then from the firft Kurilian ifland,
11 deg. 45 min. of long. He ftill continued his courfe to the South,
till he came to 33 deg. 48 min. North lat. following moftly the coafts,
and made the following obfervations : On the 17th of June, being near
the fhore, 3 9 Japanefe veffels of the fize of gallies appeared, Seeming
to come out of a harbour; but foon feparated for different places.
They had Straight fails of cotton fluffs, fome blue and white ftriped,
others all white. Walton purfued one of them in fearch of a harbour,
and arrived before a great town or city, where he anchored ia 30 fathoms water. On the 19th, a Japanefe veffel, with 18 perfons on
board, came to the Ruffian fhip. As the people appeared very civil,
and by tokens gave them to understand that they might come on
Shore, the lieutenant fent the fecond mate, Lew Kaftmerow, and the
quarter-mafter Tfcherkafchenin, with fix armed foldiers in a yawl a-
fhore, and gave them two empty cafks, which they were to fill with
frefh water. He provided them, at the fame, time, with things of
which they were to make prefents to the Japanefe, in order to gain
their friendship.
When thefe approached the Shore, above 100 fmall veffels came
to meet them, and crowded fo hard upon the yawl, that they could
Scarce uSe their oars. The Japanefe rowers were naked to the girdle.
They Shewed pieces of gold, of which they had not a fmall quantity, feemingly indicating that they had a mind to engage in trade
with their foreign guefts. Mean while, the yawl landed, and the
fmall veffels flayed behind at fome diftance. On the fhore were af-
fembled an innumerable multitude of people, they all bowed to the
new comers. The two empty water-calks were carried afhore by the
Japanefe with great complaifance, filled with water, and brought
back into the yawl.
During this interval,, the fecond mate and the quarter-mafter, with
four foldiers, went on fhore, leaving two foldiers to take care of the
K yawl. (74)
yawl. The town confifted of about 1500 wooden and ftone houfes,
which took up a Space of about three werfts along the coaft. Kafi-
merow went into the houfes, in which he faw that his cafks were carried. At the door he was received by the landlord in an extraordinary friendly manner, conducted into an apartment, and entertained with wine and deferts, which "were both ferved in porcelain
veflels. The defert confifted in grapes, apples, oranges, and preserved radifhes. Out of this houfe he went into another, where he
was treated in the fame manner, and, befides, had boiled rice prefented him to eat. The fame was done to the quarter-mafter and
foldiers that were with him. Kaftmerow, on his part, prefented
his benefaCtors, and the people who took care of his cafks, with
glafs beads, and other trifles. After this, he patroled the town a
little, and obferved every where, as well in the houfes as ftreets, a
great deal of cleanlinefs and good order. In fome places he met
with Shops, where chiefly cotton fluffs were fold, In this hurry
they did not obferve any filk fluffs. Horfes, cows, and hens, he
found in abundance. The. fruits of the field there confifted in wheat
and peafe.
- When Kaftmerow returned to his yawl again, he faw before him
two men with Sabres, and one had two fabres in his hands. This
filled him with fome apprehenfions, wherefore he hurried to the Ship
as faft as he could.
Above one hundred fmall Japanefe veffels, with 15 men in each,
followed the yawls to obferve the fhip near at hand. In one of
them was a gentleman, who ordered a rope to be thrown into the
yawl to have, his fmall veffel drawn quite near fhe fhip. He came
on board; by his fine 'Silk cloaths, and the reSpeCt that was Shewed to
him by his retinue, it was judged he was the governor of the place.
He made a prefent to Lieut.. Walton of a veflel with wine, which the
latter brought with him to Ochotzk. The wine was of a dark brown
colour, pretty ftrong, and not difagreeable of tafte, only Somewhat
tart. But it might perhaps be damaged by the heat at fea. Thefe
civilities the Lieutenant returned by other preSents. He treated, moreover, his gueft and his retinue with victuals and drink, when it was
observed, that the Japanefe did not find the tafte of the Ruffian brandy
a mils. At the fame time the fhip Vcrew carried on a little trade with,
the Ruffians. Whatever the latter had, even old.Shirts, ftockings, &c.
the Japanefe liked. They paid for them in their copper coin, which,
as that of the Chinefe, has a fquare hole in the middle, and is Strung
together. 1   7S    )
together. At laft the perfon of quality, with demonftrations of Satisfaction and gratitude, returned to the town. In the mean time*
Walton obferved that the number of fmall veffels which furrounded
his fhip, continually increafed, and therefore thinking himfelf not fafe,
weighed anchor and put to fea again, having firft fired a gun in token
of his taking leave.
The 22d of June he made land again, and anchored in "23 fathom^
water, but, the anchor not holding, they were obliged to weigh it a-
gain, and look about for a more convenient landing place, but the1
coaft was every where Steep and rocky. In one place veflels were
ob/erved, which, though not Small, were drawn afliore Sor want of
an harbour. Walton therefore returned to the place where he could
not before fucceed in anchoring, when fome fmall veffels came off to~
his affiftance ; he gave them to understand that he was in want of water. Immediately the Japanefe took the cafks that were given them,
went afhore, and returned with them full of frefh water. They
alSo fhewed our people a written paper, which was taken for an order, by virtue of which they are obliged to give all affiftance to ftran-
gers. It feemed as if the Japannefe wanted to give the lieutenant to
underftand to come nearer to the fhore, where there was a harbour,
into which the Ship might be hauled; and that they would help him
in it. But beSore Walton reSolved upon it a boat came Srom the fhore
Which forbad the people any farther communication. In the boat
was a pi&f&ti who was taken for a foldier, having a fword by his fide,
and a piftol in his hand, on which Lieutenant Walton fuppofed this to
be a Japanefe guard-boat.
The next day they came to an anchor in another place, near the
fhore, in two fathoms water, where the ground confifted in a coarfe
fand and mufcle-Shells. Considering the great heat of the fummer,
they could not iay in too much frefh water; and befides, this furnifhed always new opportunities to get intelligence about the country.
Wherefore on the 24th of June, Walton fent the fecond gunner, Jurge
Alexaridrow, with fome men, and a furgeon's apprentice, named Iwan
Djagilew, in the yawl on Shore. Alexandrow found no water, but
faw Japanefe, who were clad in long white linnen frocks. The horfes
in this country were of a dark brown and black colour. He brought
back with him an orange-tree, pearl-Shells, and the branch of a pine-
tree. But the apprentice gathered herbs, and efpecially provided himfelf with the buds of the fir-tree, of which decoctions were afterwards
made for the fick on board the Ship.
jt 2 Walton C 76  )
Walton failed about the coafts of Japan a while ldngfer, and then
Stretched pretty far to the Eaft, to fee whether he eould not difcover
any land or iflands there, but not finding any he returned for
Kamtfchatka, and arrived on the 23d of July on the river of Bolfchaia-,
reka, where he tarried till the 7th of Auguft, to join, if poflible, Capt.
Spangberg. Eut as in the mean time the latter did not arrive, he proceeded on his voyage to Ochotzk, which he reached the 21 ft of Auguft.
It is not neceflary to make particular mention of the third veffel,
commanded by the midfhipman Scheltinga, he having had the fame
fate. with the captain, from whom he was not feparated during the
voyage. , Spangberg, as well as Walton, have made charts of their navigations, from which thofe are compofed that are inferted in the
Ruffian Atlas.
After his arrival, Capt. Spangberg obtained permiflion from the
commodore to winter at Jakutzk, and then to travel to Peterfburgh,
in order to give an account of his expedition, in perfon, to the fenate
and admiralty. Mean time advice was fent to Peterfburg of the difcoveries made by him, which at firft were well received, and occafio-
ned the commodore's order about Capt. Spangberg's return to Peterfburg to be confirmed ; but the opinions Soon changed. The proofs of
Spangberg's having been in Japan were looked upon as not convincing
enough. Kirilow's general map of Ruffia, after the example of Strah-
lenberg's, reprefented Japan almoft under the fame meridian with
Kamtfchatka ; whereas, according to the courfe and obfervations of
Spangberg and Walton, it ought to lie 11 or 12 degrees more to the
Weftward. It was believed Spangberg might have miftaken the
coafts of Korea for Japan ; and it was thought proper that he fhould
attempt a fecond navigation, and that, in this expedition, he fhould
have two Ruffian lads for interpreters^ who had learnt the Japanefe
language from the Japanefe that had been fent to Peterfburg in the
year 1732.
This order Spangberg received at Kirenfkoi Oftrog in the month of
July 1740, as he was on his road to Peterfburg. He immediately returned to Jakutzk, and from thence proceeded to Ochotzk, where he
did but juft fee the commodore, who had by that time got every thing
ready, for his own intended voyage. In the mean while the proper
SeaSon for the voyage to Japan was not only paft for this year, but a
veffel was likewife wanting, fince one of thofe which Spangberg had
ufed in his firft voyage was Sent to Kamtfchatka by order oS the commodore, on account of certain preparations.    It was therefore neceifeg^
to (   77   )
jftr^ybuitd a new one, which was done the following winter under
Spangberg'& own infpection, who refided at Ochotzk till the veffel was
In the fummer 1741, he went to fea with her, but fhe foon became
fo leaky that they could fcarce reach the coafts of Kamtfchatka. The
reafon of it was afcribed to the hafty building of the veffel, and the
greenefs of the wood, which had no time to dry. The refitting of
her at the mouth of the river Bolfchaia-reka, and Spangberg'* paffing.
the winter, for this reafon. at Bolfcheretzkoi Oftrog, was to no purpofe : For when he fet fail the fecond time on the 2 qth of May
1742, and had hardly paffed the firft Kurilian ifland, fhe let in the
water again So faft that he was not able to prevent it or ftop the leaks.
In this fituation of affairs Spangberg did not choofe to return without
gaining Some informations. He therefore fent out the midfhipman
Scheltinga, to make difcoveries as far as the mouth of the river Amur,
but even this was not attended with the wifhed for fuccefs. In fhort,
the whole fecond voyage of Capt. Spangberg was nothing but a feries
of adverfities.    Thus ended the navigation to Japan.
By degrees the opinions oS people altered, and they began to believe that our Sailors had not miffed the aim the firft time : And now
no body doubts any more of it, fince the moft famous French geographers, fuch as D'Anville, Buache, and Bellin, admit in their maps
as great, nay a fomewhat greater difference of longitude between
Kamtfchatka and Japan, than Spangberg and Walton.
The expedition of Capt. Spangberg to Japan in the year 1738, had
deprived the chief detachment at Ochotzk in fuch a manner of provifion, that two years elapfed before it was fufficiently fupplied again by
frefh importations. During which time two new veffels more were
built at Ochotzk, viz. the packet-boats St Peter and St Paul, which"
were properly defigned for the intended American difcoveries. The
Commodore had Sent before him to Kamtfchatka, in autumn 1739,
the pilot Iwan Jelagin, with one oS the veffels that had been with
Capt. Spangberg, in order to enquire into the bay of Awatfcha, on
the Eaft coaft of that country, where there was reported to be all the
tequifite con.venie'ncies for a harbour, and, at the fame time, to eftablifh
magazines, and build barracks there. In the following fpring 1740,
the profeffors, De Lifte, De la Croyere, and the AdjunCtus Steller, arrived at Ochotzk, and alfo from Peterfburgh, the lieutenant of the fleet,
Iwan TfcMchatfchew, and the mailer of the fleet Sophron Chitrow, who
foon (    7S    )
foon after was made a lieutenant; thefe latter* were to fupply the places of other fick and discharged officers.
Now, every thing being compleated, it was reSolved to pafs over t&
Kamtfchatka in the lame Summer; but the departure was delayed till
the 4th of September. The commodore conducted the packet-boat St
Peter, and Capt. Tfchirikow the packet-boat St Paul. Two other
Ships were loaded with provifions, and De la Croyere and Steller had
a particular veffel for their ftores, with which they followed the reft of
this Small Squadron the 8th oS September, and the packet-boats arrived
at the mouth of the river Bolfchaia-reka the 20th, when the commodore ordered the florefhips to enter it. De la Croyere'% and' Steller'^
voyage was finished here, becauSe they had propoSed to make observations and difcoveries at Bolfcheretzkoi Oftrog >, but the commodore
and captain Tfchirikow finding the entrance into the river too Shallow
for their Ships, went the next day farther, and doubling the South
point Kamtfchatka, made the harbour Awatfcha. ■
In paffing the ftreights between this point and the firft Kurilian i-
flands, the commodore perceived, by the danger he found himfelf in,
how neceffary the precaution had been of his leaving behind him-ihe
Store-Ships at Bolfchaia-reka. In the midft of the ftreights, which is
reckoned three leagues broad and one league long, there lies a great
ridge of rocks, over which the water rolls; it is navigable on both
fides, but th« South paffage being broader, is preferable to that on the
North fide. Favourable and ftrong as- tfefeP-ivind was with which the
fsommcdore entered the ftreight, it availed little, fince juft, at that very time, he had a ftrong tide of flood againft him, and being unac*
quainted with theSe Seas, he had never Seen Such a one before. For an
hour together it could not be obServed by the coafts that the Ship had
advanced in the leaft. The waves, which were very high, beat over
the Ship's Stern, and a boat that was tied to the Ship, with a rope of
forty fathom long, often beat againft the fhip with great violence, nay,
once it had almoft been flung on board by the waves. We. had from
ten to twelve fathoms water, but the Ship, in the trough of the waves,
was reckoned to be hardly three fathoms from the ground. The wind
was fo vehement that they could only carry the fore-fail and top-
Sail, and nothing was to be done but to keep the Ship Steady beSore
the wind, againft the flood, Sor had they turned her ever So little, they
would have been in great danger oS Soundering. Befides, the afore-
faid ridge of rocks.was very near, which required their utmoft Skill
carefully to avoid.    When the vehemence of the flood began fome-
what mm
(   79   )
Awhat to abate, the Ship advanced by little and "little,'and having quite
paffed the ftreights, they at laft faw themfelves quite free from all farther
impediments. This difficulty only happened- to the commodore,
-whereas Tfchirikow, paffing through an hour and a half later, met
-with no obftruCtions of that nature.
It was on the 26th of September when they paffed the faid ftreights,
and on the following day they arrived off the bay of Awatfcha.; but a
thick fog juft rifing at that time, hindered them from difcerningthe entrance, and obliged them to put to fea again ; but in the end, both
packet-boats had the. good luck to enter the bay and harbour of A-
.watfcha on the 8th of OSlober, where they fpent the following winter.
This bay has its name from the river Awatfcha, of properlvj according to Kamtfchadalian pronunciation, Suaatfcha, and empties itfelf from the Weftward into the bay, which is almoft circular, and
about twenty Werfts in diameter: The entrance may be from 3 to
•400 fathoms broad, extending to the Southward, and is So deep that
large Ships may Sail through it. The bay itSelSis alSo of a good depth.
Three Smaller bays lying in this large bay were all alike convenient for
harbours, viz. Niakina, Kakowaia, and Tareinaia-guba, differing only
as to fize. The pilot Jelagin had choSen the firft and leaft for a harbour for the packet-boats, which he named Petropaulowfka, or the
harbour of St Peter and St Paul, and near it had built magazines,
houSes, and barracks.
- An officer,, who, during forty years, had navigated the feas to all
parts of the univerfe, and was now in this expedition, gave this harbour the character of being the beft place for ihfpping that ever he had
feen. It will hold twenty fhips conveniently, is covered from all
winds, has a fine fandy bottom, and from 14 to 18 feet water ; fo that
larger veffels than packet-boats may lie in it. There is, moreover,
very good and who'lefome water found in the neighbourhood, particularly that of the river Awatfcha, which is much preferred before
the water of fome rivers and brooks thereabouts, that have their fources
out of moraffes. From the entrance of the large bay to the harbour,
the courfe is N.'N.W. and N.W. by N. when you will find 8, 9, 10,
and 11 fathoms water, and a fecure paffage over fandy ground, except
about three Werfts before the harbour, where in the' middle of the
channel there lies feveral funk rocks, of which you muft be cautious,
as there is but eight feet of water over them. The higheft water there,
at the time of the new or full moon, when the fpring tides happen,
.    ..   : rifesv (    8o   )
rifes five feet eight inches  Engiifh meafure,  according  to   obfervations that have been made for that purpofe.
During the winter quarters at Petropawlowfka, every endeavour was
ufed to get all the provifions that were brought to Bolfcheretzkoi, tran- !
Sported thither ■ but that could not be quite compleated ; Sor the diftance between thefe two places is 212 Werfts, and, as there are no
horfes in Kamtfchatka, they were obliged to put dogs to the carriages, which could be procured no nearer than at the diftance of four
or five hundred Werfts; eight or ten times as many dogs were required as they would have wanted horSes, for the latter, in Ruffia, draw
in winter time, where the roads are bad, forty pouds, for which weight
eight or ten dogs are neceffary in Kamtfchatka. The Kamtfchedales
were not uSed to Such delays, especially at So great a diftance Srom their
habitations, So that it occafioned many hindrances : But they had been
aware of this, and therefore had bought up a good number of reindeer at Anadirfkoi Oftrog, and drove them to Awatfcha, where they
had a good pafture, which Served for their fupport during the following winter ; they likewife got dried fifh in abundance from the Kamtfchedales, So that half oS the uSual Sea provifion could be Saved. In
the following fpring 1741, the commodore ordered one of the Ships
that remained behind at Bolfcheretzkoi, to bring over the reft oS the
provifions that were left there, fhe arrived happily in the harbour of
Petropawlowfka, before he put to fea, and delivered her cargo, partly
on board the fhips that were ready to fail, and partly into the magazines there.
When the roads began to grow better, De la Croyere and Steller
went to Petropawlowfka to affift in the intended American difcoveries.
The commodore took the latter with him, and the firft joined Tfchirikow,
Now the queftion was, what courSe they Should fteer in their
voyage ? To determine which, the commodore, on the 4th of Mayy
called all the officers together to hold a council, to which the Profeffor
De la Croyere was alfo invited. Every one was to give his opinion,
out of Which the beft was to be choSen. Now the indications of a
near country towards the Eaft were known to every one, and the officers had judged, during the whole winter, that the courfe muft be
kept towards the Eaft, or fome what Northerly. But with this De
Life's map did not agree, which, I have mentioned above, had been
prefented by the academy to the fenate, who had given it to,the commodore that he might be directed by it.    De la Croyere had alfo a
copy '   "(   81   I
copy of it, which he produced in the council. No land was fet down upon it towards the Eaft, but, on the contrary, there was marked on this
map South-Eaft from Awatfcha in 46 to 47 deg. North lat. a coaft
extending 15 deg. from Weft to Eaft, in Such a manner that it had only
been Seen on the South fide.. The words Terres vues par dom Jean...
de Gama, [land Seen by Don Jean Gama] were put to it. Accordingly it was judged by the maritime council, that if Such a coaft really
existed in thofe parts, as they trufted the authors of the map would not
have represented it on an uncertainty, then that land might extend far
enough to the Eaft, and therefore it was determined firft to Steer S. E.
by S. towards that land, and, having discovered it, to make its coafts
Serve as a guide to the North and Eaft .; but, if it fhould not be found
in 46 deg. North lat. then to alter the courfe, and to fail fo long to
the Eaft, and Eaft by North, till they fhould difcover land, which
they were to follow between North and- Eaft, or between North and
Weft, as far as the 65th deg. North lat. and to order the voyage in
fuch a manner as to be able to return to Awatfcha in the month of September.
Since this determination was afterwards looked upon by the mariners that were in the expedition as the fource of all the misfortunes they
had met with on the voyage, it is neceflary to dwell a little upon the
fubject. It is not known who Jean de Gama was, nor when the difcovery was made that is afcribed to him. All we know is, that, in
the year 1649, T'exeira, cofmographer to the King of Portugal, publifhed a map, in which is reprefented .10 or 12 degrees North Eaft
from Japan, in 44 to 45 deg. North lat. a multitude of iflands, and a
coaft extendingtowards the Eaft, with the following words, Terrevue
par Jean de Gama Indien en allant de la Chine a la Nouvelle Efpagne*,
(land feen by John de Gama the Indian, in going from China to New-
Spain) fothat the difcovery has been made either at the fame time as that
of the Ship Caftricom, or before ; - and the fituation of the land of Gama, as it is reprefented in Tcxeira's maps, feems not to be diftinguifhed
from the company's land, difcovered by the fame fhip Caftricom. Our
failors are of opinion that they were milled to an unprofitable navigation by De Life's map. This is true with refpeCt to the navigation to
America, which, by this means, was very much retarded. But the -
only fault is, that M. De Lifte has placed the land of Gama too much
towards the Eaft, as belonging to the American diScoveries, whereas it j
ought to have been among thoSe of Japan or Jefo. If he had done
* Confiderationes Geografoiqueset Pbyfiques par M. Buache, p. 1-28.
L this." I     82     )
this, the difcovery of it w'ould have been committed to Capt. Spangberg, and it would have been no miftake if no more of it had been
difcovered than Jefo, Staten ifland, or the Company's Land. We
need not wonder if the land of Gama, and the Company's Land, have
met with the fame fate as the land of Jefo. As for the reft, it has
been. obServed, that the land of Gama is now either not at all represented
by geographers, or made So minute, and placed fo near Japan and the
Company's Land, thatthere remains hardly any difference between it
and the Company's Land. We need, but to examine in this reSpeCt the
moft modern maps of M. D'Anville, Bellin, Green, Buacher and even
De Life's.
All neceffary regulations being finished, and the fhips ftored with as
much provifions as they could contain, the voyage was begun with
both fhips on the 4th of June 1741. They fteered the courfe a-
greed upon, viz. South Eaft by South, till, the 12th of the faid month,
when they found themfelves in 46 deg. North lat. There was no occafion for this to be convinced of the non-existence of the lands of Gama. They went with a Northerly courfe as far as 50 deg. North
Jat. intending to go from thence Eafterly, in order to difcover the
continent of America, but Capt. Tfchirikow, in a-violent ftorm and fog,
was feparated on the 20th from the Commodore.
This was their firft misfortune, the fhips were thereby deprived of
the mutual affiftance which they might have received from each other,
and Which was the intention of fitting out two Ships at once, with inftruCtions for them never to Separate. The Commodore did all in his find Tfchirikow; he cruized three days between 50 and 51
deg. North lat. and then Sailed back to the South Eaft as Sar as 45 deg.
but all in vain. Tfchirikow had taken an Eaft courSe, from 48 deg.
. North lat. which the Commpdore commenced in 45 deg. which was
the cauSe of their not meeting again ; but nevertheless they both made
difcoveries which moft exactly agree. pHC^';
Nothing particular happened till the 18th of July, when the Commodore having given orders for fleering ftill more and more Northerly,
got fight of the continent of America in 58 deg. 28 min. North lat.
and believed, according to his journal, that he had failed 50 deg. Eaft
long, from Awatfcha. Capt. Tfchirikow had reached the fame coaft
three days before, viz. on the 15th of July, in 56 deg. North lat. and,
according to his account, 60 deg. long, from Awatfcha. But both
may have been fomewhat miftaken in the difference of longitude; for,
if* we compare their voyjage thither with their return, it feems that the
Com- ( s3  )•
Commodore was on the coaft of America in 60, and Capt. Tfehirikodi
in 65 deg. long, from Awatfcha, Now, the longitude from the harbour of St Peter and Paul, in the bay of Awatfcha, is about 176
deg. 12 4-min. from the firft meridian of Ferro ; confequently the
longitude of the coafts of America, for the firft place, amounts to
236, and, Sor th? Second, to 241 deg. but, if thefe places are considered 'with refpeCt to the neareft known parts of California, then
the difference of latitude between Cape Blanco, the moft northerly
part of California, and the place where Capt. Tfchirikow was, is only
13 deg. lat. and the longitude not much above 5 deg. A diftance
indeed very confiderable, which might deferve to be enquired into#
efpecially as this is the place to which is afcribed the dubious difcoveries of Admiral de Fontes. But of this our navigators had, at that
time, no intelligence.
The coaft made by Capt. Tfchirikow was fteep and rocky, with*
out any iflands, wherefore he did not dare to approach it,v but anchored at fome diftance : Yet, as he intended to enquire info the nature of the country, and, being likewife in want of frefh water, he
fent the mate, Abraham Dementiew, with ten of his beft men, and
the long-boat afhore, having firft furnifhed them with provifions for
. fome days, with guns and other arms, a brafs cannon, and every other
requisite, together with circumstantial inftruCtions, how, on various
occafions they ought to behave, and to make themfelves understood
by Signals. The boat was*feen to row into a bay behind a fmall Cape.
It was concluded that She was fortunately arrived afhore, becaufe
fuch Signals were made as were ordered in that cafe. Several daya
paft, but the boat did not come back ; 'and yet Signals continued without interruption. The people on board began to think the boat might
have received damage in landing, and could not return to the Ship
without being repaired ; therefore it was determined to fend afhore,
in the fmall boat, the boatfwain, Sidor Sawehw, with three men, (another account fays fix men) amongft whom were carpenters, and a ca-
reener well armed and provided with the neceffary materials. This
was done on the 21ft of July. Sawelew had orders, when he had
given the neceflary affiSlance to Dementiew to return, either with hint
or by himfelf, to the Ship. But neither of them obeyed thefe orders:
In the mean while a great fmoke was obferved, arifing continaaily from
the Shore. '
The next day two veffels came rowing from the land towards the
ihip.    The one was larger than the other:  It was believed, on»tbd>
L 2 being (    *4    )
being feen afar of£ that it was Dementiew and Sawelew with the two
boats. From.this opinion, Capt. Tfchirikow ordered all the men upos
deck, and directed them to prepare for their departure; but thefe were
Americans, who, feeing many people upon the deck, ceafed rowing,
and lay on their oars at fome diftance from the veffel; they then Stood
up, and crying out with a loud voice Agai, Agai, fpeedily returned
towards the Shore. If it be true, that the Americans were afraid of
the many Ruffians on deck, and that imagining there were few of
none left on board the fhip,tbey might therefore eafily make themfelves
mafters of it, it would then have been better for Tfchirikow to have
concealed his men. The Americans would,., perhaps, have come on
board ; and, if they had, they and their veffels might have been feized,
and exchanged for the Ruffians and thek boats on Shore* But the joy
he felt at thinking that Dementiew and Sawelew were returning,, was
fo great; that no Such precaution was thought of.
Now tbey began to give up all hopes of feeing their comrades return from Shore; they had no more Small boats, and durft not venture
to approach the land with the fhip, on account of the rocky coaft j
at this juncture, a ftrong Weft wind arifing, and the Ship being at anchor towards the open Sea, without Shelter, they were obliged to weigh
anchor, and put to Sea again, for fear of being driven' againft the rocks*
Tfchirikow cruized fome days longer in thefe parts, and when the
weather began to grow milder, he Sailed again towards- the place where
his people were landed. It muft be faid, in his praife, that it was
witn regret he was obliged to leave his countrymen on Such a remote
coaft, and among Savages; but as now he neither heard nor faw any
thing of them, it was concluded, in a council of the reft of the Sea-
officers, to return to Kamtfchatka, which was done on the 27th of
At the time when this happened, Commodore Bering likewife attempted to get a better account of the eoaft which he had difcovered,
and to provide himfelf with frefh water. The country had terrible
high mountains that were covered with fnow. He Sailed towards it;
but only Small variable breezes blowing, he could reach it no Sooner
than the 20th of July, when, under a pretty large ifland, not far
from the continent, he anchored in 22 fathoms water, and a Soft
clayey bottom. A point of land, which there projects into the fea,
they called St Elias's Cape, on account of its being Elias day. Another "headland, that afterwards appeared oppofite the firft, towards
4he Weft,   received its  name from St Hermogenesf   Between  thefe
there (   85   )
there was a bay, in which they promifed themSelves fecurity, in caSe
their circumftances fhould require their Seeking for a harbour.
For this purpofe, the Commodore fent Chitrow, the .mafter of the
.fleet, with fome armed men, to reconnoitre this bay • another boat,
in which was the AdjunCtus Steller, was fent at the fame time to fetch
water. Chitrow found between fome iflands a convenient anchoring
place, fecure from all winds, but there was no occafion to make ufe
of it. He alfo found in an ifland fome empty huts, which made
them imagine that the inhabitants on the continent ufed to come thither on account of the fifhery. Thefe huts were formed of Smooth
boards, fome of which were carved; whence it may be concluded,
that the inhabitants are not quite fo wild and uncivilized as thofe in
North America are generally defcribed to be. In the huts he found
a fmall box made of poplar, a hollow earthen ball, in which a ftone
rattled, like a toy for children ; and a whetftone, on which it appeared that copper knives had been Sharpened. Thus neceffity teaches
the making ufe of one metal inftead oS another. Even in Siberia, in
the uppermoft parts on the river Jenifei, .all Sorts of edge tools made
of copper have been found in the antient Pagan graves, but none of
iron, which is a proof that the uSe of copper has been of greater antiquity in thofe regions than that of iron.
I fhaHonly mention what is moft material in Steller's observations.
He met with a cellar, and in it Store of red falmon, and a fweet herb*,
which is dreffed for food in the fame manner as in Kamtfchatka;
there lay likewife ropes, and all forts of houfhold furniture. He
came to a place where fome Americans- had but juft before dined,
who fled on his approach. He there found an arrow, and a wooden
instrument to procure fire, made in the Same manner as they have
them in Kamtfchatka -J-, which things the Americans leSt behind them
when they ran away. Steller gathered herbs, and brought Such a
quantity oS them to the fhip, that the deScribing oS them took him
up a confiderable time, Of his defcription, Gmelin afterwards made
ufe in the-Flora Siberica. He has regretted nothing fo much, as that
no more time was allowed him to look about on the American coaft;
* Sphondilium feliolis pnnatifidis.    Linn. Hort Cliff. 103.
f A board with feveral holes in it, and a ftick, the one end of "which is put into
the holes, and the other turned about fwiftly between the hands, till the wood within
the holes begins to burn, whete there is tinder ready, which catches the fire, and communicates it farther.
as (   S6    )
as his whole ftay lafted but fix hours, for as foon as they had taken in
frefh water, he was obliged to return on board.
The Sailors, who had fetched the water, related that they had met
with two fire places, where a fire had been juft before made, they alfo
found hewn wood, and obferved the Steps of men in the grafs , that
they had feen five red foxes, which went along quite tame, being not
in the leaft afraid of them. They brought fmoaked fifties with them
onboard, that appeared, like.large carp, and tafted very well, and had
alio found a hut thrown up of earth, which perhaps is the fame as what
Steller called a cellar.
Having laid in a fufficient provifion of water, they were willing to
Shew the Americans that they had had no reaSon to become fugitives
from their unknown guefts. Some preSents were ordered to be left for
them on Shore; viz. a piece of green glazed linnen, two iron kettles,
two knives, twenty large beads of glafs, two iron Chinefe tobacco-
pipes, and one pound of Tfcherkaffian tobacco leaves. Thefe things
were thought to be according to the tafte of thefe people, and were
carried into the above huts.
The next day, viz. the 21ft of July, it was determined to put to
fea again, but it was alfo refolved before their departure for Awatfcha,
to take the courfe along the coafts as far as 65 deg. N. lat. but they
could get no farther to the North, and were even obliged to fail continually more and more to the Southward, becaufe the coafts extended
South Weft. At the fame time they met with continual hindrances
from the many iflands which were very clofe together, almoft every
where about the continent. When they thought to fail moft fecure,
land was difcovered a head, and on both fides, wherefore they were
obliged feveral times to turn back, and Seek another freer pafiage.
Sometimes it came to pafs, that in the night with the fame wind and
weather, they at one time failed in a boifterous fea, and at another io
calm water, and a few hours after found themfelves again between
large waves, where they could hardly govern the fhip. What elfe
could-this indicate, than that in the calm they had failed in Sheltered
water, between iflands which the darknefs of the night did not permit
them to diScover.
Some days pafled without their feeing any land, when, on the 27th'
of Jutya About midnight^.'they came into 20 fathom water. They
could not know whether it was a fand-bank, or whether they were
near to the continent, or art -ifland ; for it was quite dark. They ftill
found lei's water, but durft not venture to come to an anchor as the
wind (   87    )
wind was ftrong, and the waves high. Moreover it was to be feared
that they might b>e either too Sar Srom the Shore, or too.near it. At laft
it was concluded to hazard Sailing to the South, in which they Succeeded So well, that, aSter Steering Some hours longer in 20 fathoms.-'
Water, they regained a Secure Sea.
They difcovered an ifland, on the 30th of July, in foggy weather,
which they called Tumannoi Oftrog, that is, the Foggy Ifland, where
they came to anchor in 7 or 8 fathom water. But when it began to
clear up, they found themfelves a Werft from it. The whole month
of Auguft elapfed with the like occurrences ; when the fhip's crew begun to be much affected with the fcurvy, particularly the Commodore*
Their frefh Water beginning now to be reduced to a fmall quantify,
they ran, on the 29th of Auguft, to the North, and again difcovered
the continent, with a. multitude of iflands before it, between which
they anchored. Thefe iflands, fituated in 55 deg. 25 min. North lat.
were called the Schumagins iflands, after the name of the firft of the
Ship's company, who died in the voyage, and was buried there. On
the 3 oth of Auguft the pilot Andrew Heffelbekg was fent to one of the
largeft iflands, in fearch of frefh water. He did not ftay long before
he brought two famples of water, which, though they were found to
be not very good, being of a brackifh tafte, yet as there was no time
to lofe, they thought it was better to have fome of this water than,
none at all, as it might at leaft ferve for boiling, while what they had
ftill left, being ufed Sparingly, might hold out for drinking. Steller
afterwards attributed to this water the Scurvy and other difterriperft
which prevailed among the Sailors.
The Ship did not lay very Secure, being expofed to all the Southerly
winds, and to the North they had nothing but rocks and cliffs before
them ; whereSore they would not venture to flay long at anchor in
this place; but as, in the night before, a fire had been feen on a Small
ifland toward the N.N.E. while the yawls were gone for water, they
fent Chitrow in the fmall boat, with five men, among whom was a
Tfchuktfchian interpreter; they were all well armed, and had fome
trifles given them to distribute among the inhabitants if they fhould
find any, On the 30th of Auguft, about noon, they got to the ifland,
which was computed to be about fix leagues diftant from the fhip ;
.f<jh£,Jires were ftill to be Seen, but the people were gone. In the afternoon Chitrow intended to return to the fhip, but a ftrong contrary
wind drove them on another ifland, and detained them till the 2d of
September, when the ftorm ceafed. As Chitrow did not return the Same
day, (
day, the large boat was fent for him next morning, and found that the
fmall boat bad received So much damage, when fhe was thrown on Shore
by the waves, that they could not venture with her to Sea again ; She
was therefore leSt on the ifland, and he came back in the large boat.
Difpofitions were immediately made to weigh anchor, and put to
Sea again ; they could not however advance much, becauSe of the ftrong
contrary winds, but were again forced towards the evening to feek out
for a place of fecurity between the iflands. On the 4th of September
it was the fame ; they however fet fail, but the continual vehement
contrary wind forced them back to their former anchoring place, and
during the night there was a violent ftorm.
The next morning they heard on one of the iflands a loud cry of men,
and obferved fire burning. Soon after two Americans came rowing towards the fhip, in two canoes, fhaped like thofe ufed by the favages in
Greenland, and Davis's ftreights, but they flopped at fome diftance.
The calumets ufed by the North American nations to exprefs their
peaceable fentiments were known ; and thefe people were obferved to
have them; they were flicks with hawks wings tied to one end, and
they feemed as well by words as geftures, to invite our mariners on
fhore ; as, on the other hand, theSe latter by beckoning and throwing
preSents to them to invite them to the fhip ; the Americans would not
be perSuaded, but turned back to their ifland.
It was refolved to pay them a vifit on fhore, Lieutenant Waxel, ac-v
companied by nine men, all well provided with arms, went to the i-
fland. Our people tried firft to induce the Americans (nine of whom
ftood on the fhore) to come to them in the boat, by a friendly behaviour, and offering of various prefents; but as this proved fruitlefs, and
the Americans, on their part, invited the Ruffians to go on fhore, Waxel
ordered three men of his company to debark, among whom was a
Tfchuktfchian, or Korjak interpreter, and to faff en the boat with a rope
to the ftones, at fome diftance from the fhore. It has been obferved
every where that the Tfchuktfchian and Korjak interpreters did not un-
derftand the language of thefe people ; but they were nevertheless
very ferviceable, as conductors, being bold, and looked upon by the A-
mericans as the fame with themfelves. The whole converfation con-
fequently confifted here merely in geftures and Signs, by which, on
both fides, they Shewed great good will. The Americans had a mind
to regale the Ruffians, and gave them whale's flefh, as the only provifion they had. It Seems they were there only on account oS the
whale Sjfhery; for our people obServed? on the fhore, as many canoes
II (    »9    )
as there were men, but neither huts nor women ; from whence 'tis to
be concluded that their habitations were on the continent.
The canoes were Shaped like thofe that had been feen before, and
only large enough to hold one man: In the middle there is a round
opening, in which the American feats himfelf, and ties the leather fo
faft to his body, that not a drop of water can penetrate into the canoe.
No bows and arrows, nor any other weapon, were feen among thefe
Americans to give our Ruffians any uneafineSs, therefore they Stayed
pretty long on Shore, and went about with the Americans, yet not So
far as to loSe fight of their boats, as they were ordered.
In the mean while one of the Americans had the courage to come
to Lieutenant Wax elm the boat; he feemed to be the oldeft and of the
moft importance. Waxel prefented to him a cup of brandy, but this
was a liquor quite unknown and disagreeable to him; he fpit the brandy
out again as foon as he had tafted it, and cried aloud, as if he was complaining to his countrymen how ill he had been ufed. He would by
no means be appeafed ; needles, glafs beads, an iron kettle, tobacco-
pipes, &c. were offered him, but he accepted of nothing; he only de-
fired to return to the ifland, and it was not thought proper to detain
him. Waxel, on his part alfo, called to his people that were on Shore,
to come back.
c ^^rfiis the Americans did not like; they made an attempt to keep all
three with them ; at laft they let the two Ruffians go, but kept the interpreter. Some of them laid hold of the rope with which the Ship's
boat was faftened to the Shore, and pulled as hard as they could, probably thinking that it might be drawn on Shore as eafily as their Small
canoes ; to.prevent which Waxel ordered the rope to be cut. The
interpreter called out to them not to abandon him; but talking and
making Signs Srom the boat to let him go was all to no purpoSe, the
Americans perfifted in detaining him; wherefore Waxel discharged
two blunderbuffes, which, as it was merely done with a defign to
frighten them, had the defired effeCt ; for the unufual noiSe of the report being' greatly increaSed by the echo from a neighbouring mountain, fo amazed the Americans that they fell flat on the ground, and
the interpreter, taking the advantage of their furprife, made his efcape
to the boat; they, however, foon after recovered themfelves, and by
their geftures and noife expreffed their discontent, Seeming to indicate
that no body Should again come on Shore. The night now approached,
it was Stormy weather, and the fhip lay at two Werfts diftance from
M the ( 90 )
the boat - wherefore Waxel did not think it advifeable to try thefe
people farther.
I have faid before, that no bows and arrows were obferved at that
time.among the Americans; but this does not prove that they ufe
none, but only ferves to confirm the opinion that they were then out
on the whale fishery, in which fuch arms were of no fervice. One
of them had a knife hanging by his fide, of which-our people toqk
particular notice, on account of its unufual make, but they could not
conjecture what uSe it was intended for. Their upper garment was
made of whales guts, their breeches of feal-fkins, and their caps of
the fkins of fea-lions, (in Kamtfchatka called ftwutftha) theSe were
adorned with various feathers, especially thbSe of hawks. They had
their nofes ftopt with grafs, which Sometimes they took out, when a
great deal of matter iffued out, which they licked up with their tongues?
forae had their feces painted red, and Some of various colours j their
features were different, like the Europeans; fome had flat nofes, as the
Calmucks, and they all were of pretty good ftature. It is probable that
they chiefly feed on the fea animals, which are caught in thoSe parts,
fuch as whales, fea-lions, bears, fea-beavers, or rather fea-otters, and
feals. They were obServed likewife to eat roots which they dug out of
the ground, and Scarce Shaked off the earthbefore they eat them.
There is nothing farther worth the mentioning here, except that a
certain perSon maintains that he made himfelf underftood, in fome
meafure, by the lift of words, which La Hontan has fubjoined to his
defcription of North America. For having pronounced according to
the Said lift the words water, or wood, the people had pointed to Such
parts where thefe things were found; but I rather think this might have
happened through chance, or perhaps the geftures which accompanied
the words might have contributed to render them intelligible ; for La
Hontan is not to be placed among the confcientious and credible writers of travels. But, fetting fhis afide, the diftance between the countries is too great for one and the fame language to be fpoken in each,
not to maintain that an European, particularly a Frenchman, can
hardly conceive and write the words of fuch a language in fuch a manner as to be intelligible to another natbn that fpeaks nearly the fame
Lieut. Waxel returned to the fhip, and the next morning prepared
for his departure, when (even of the Americans, whom he had left the
day before, appeared in feparate canoes, and approached near to the
\cQbl.   Two of them rofe up in the canoes, laid hold of the rope
ladders IH   if   9i    ?
fe&Ie*s of the Ship, and ds&vfcted as prefents two of their caps; together with-the irri&ge of a man carved out of bone, which we imagined
to be an idol. The Catttmet, the ufual mark of peace, was again: offered; it confifted of a ftick five feet long ; to the upper and inner part of
which were tied many forts of feathers without the leaft order.
Whence we See that the fimilitude of the Calumet to Mercury's ftaff,
as represented by the American travellers, is not eflfiSMad^&eceflary,
Ft*fents were reciprocally made, and they would certainly have come-
aboard, if the W&id'had not began to rife, which obliged them tore-
turn to the fhore with all expedition. After their return to land, they
affembled in a clufter, and made a great noife, which lafted almoft a
Quarter of an hour. Our people fet fail foon after, and as they paffed
the iflariit^n which the Americans were, thefe again began to make
as great a noife as ever they could, which may as well be taken for a
token of friendfhip, whereby they intended to exprefs their wishing
them a happy voyage, as their rejoicing at getting rid of their ftrange
guefts. They fteered for the moft part Southerly, to get clear of the
coaft, and indeed could keep no other courfe, the wind blowing W.
and W.S.W. From this time till late in autumn, when the voyage was
finished, the wind feldom changed, but genera?% kept between W. S.
W, and W. N. W. fo that there is reafon to bel%Ve, that, at this time
of the year, the Wefterly winds blew almoft continually in thofe parts.
When the Eafterly gale fometimes arofe, it did not laft above a few
hours, and then Shifted round to the Weftward again. This was a
great hindrance to them in their return; befides the weather was con-
ntiually fo foggy, that fometimes for two or three weeks together
they never faw the fun nor any Star by which obfervations
of the latitude could be obtained, and confequently, the fhip's
reckoning could not be corrected. What inquietude this muft
have caufed in our navigators, who were thus fleering in an unknown
Sea, with long uncertainty, may be beft conceived Srom the words
of an officer, who was with them, and expreffed himfelf in his
relation of this voyage, in the following manner: "I do not
f< know whether there can be a more difcontented and worfe manner
" of living in the world, than to navigate an undeScribed Sea: I
" Speak from experience, and can fay with truth, that during the five
i months I was in this voyage, without feeing any land knbvfcn before,
$ I never flept quietly, becaufe I was in continual danger and uncer-
jj tainty."
M 2 They (     92     )
They had moftly contrary winds and Storms, till the 124th of September, when they faw land again, which confifted of very high
mountains, with many iflands lying before them at a great diftance.
Here they computed that they were in -i deg. 27 min. N. lat. and 21
deg. 39 min. long, from the harbour of St Peter and Paulzt Awatfcha.
As it was the day of the conception of St John the Baptift, one of the
higheft mountains on the coaft was named St John's mountain. Afterwards to determine the fituation of the coaft more exactly, it was Sup-
poSed to be in the latitude of 52 deg. 30 min. which, however, is
contradicted by Capt. Tfchirikow's account, who had alfo been on this
coaft, and placed it in 51 deg. 12 min. as is mentioned hereafter.
Nothing farther happened here, fince they durft not approach the
coaft, on account ©f a ftrong South wind ; for it was thought more
advifeable to haul their wind, which foon after changed to a violent
ftorm from the Weft, and drove the fhip very far towards the S. E.
The ftorm continued without interruption for 17 days, of which we
can find but few inftances, for the pilot Andrew Haffelberg, a man
who had been in the fea fervice 50 years, in feveral parts of the world,
declared that he had never feen fuch a long continued ftorm mr&is
life. They, in the mean while, carried as few fails as they coulifagfa
prevent their running too far to the Southward ; but how far they
were driven back, may, in fome meafure, be concluded by their finding themfelves, on the 12th of OcJober, when the ftorm abated, in 48
deg. 18 min. N. lat. This is to be underftood according to the fhip's
reckoning ; for the continual dark weather would not permit their
making any obfervations.
Many of thefhip'screw had been before this taken fick, but now the
fcurvy began to break out more and more ; Seldom a day paffed without fome of them dying, and fcarce fo many retained their health as
were neceffary to govern the Ship.
In thefe circumftances it was difficult to determine, whether they
fhould endeavour to return to Kamtfchatka, or feek a harbour fome
where on the American coaft. This latter the general ficknels, the
late SeaSon, the want of frefh water, and the very great diftance from
the harbour of St Peter and Paul, Seemed to require, but in a council
of the officers, the firft was refolved upon, and the wind fpringing up
favourable, they again failed North, and from the 15th of OtJcber towards the Weft. They paffed by an ifland, which they ought to
have feen in their going out, according to the courfe of the Ship, as
defcribed in the map, nav Steller has mentioned, in one account, that (   93    )
land had been Seen in thefe parts, in the outward bo|iSad voyage, but
the fhip's journals contain nothing of it, and it is difficult to believe,
that thejygould have, fought fo far for the land, had they found it before fo much nearer. The miftake may rather have happened in deferring the courfe on the map, an error, which, in an unknown fea,
may eafily have happened, or the ifland, in going out, might be
concealed by a fog. This ifland was called after St Macarius, and the
others that followed towards the Weft obtained the names of St.
Stephen, St. Theodore, and St. Abraham.
On the 29th and 30th of Oclober, they made two iflands which
they left without names, as according to their Situation, fize, and other
exterior appearances, they refembled the two firft Kurilian iflands, for
which they were taken, and therefore they bent their courfe to the
North, but had they continued to fleer to the Weft only two days
longer, they would have made the harbour of Awatfcha. I therefore
call thefe iflands the [Ifles de la Seduclion\ Seducing Iflands, but the
foduCtion which they occafioned was of fatal confequence.
As the long wifhed for coaft of Kamtfchatka did not appear towards
the Weft, they had then no hopes of a harbour, and the men, notwithftanding their want, miSery, and fickneSs, were obliged to work
continually in the cold and wet, which drove every one todeSpair; and
the fickneSs was So dreadSul that the two Sailors, who governed the
rudder, were obliged to be led to it by two others who could hardly
walk. And when one could Set and Steer no longer, another in little
better condition, Supplied his place. They durft not carry much SaiJ,
becauSe there was nobody to lower them in CdSe of need, and indeed
they were fo thin and rotten that a violent wind would have torn them
to pieces, and they were not in a condition either to repair them, or
. make others, for want of hands.
The continual rains now began to change into hail and fnow; the
nights grew longer and darker, they knew not in what latitude they
were, or how far from Kamtfchatka. When at laft land appeared a-
bout eight o'clock in the morning, to the great joy of the whole.
They immediately made fail for it, but it was yet at a great diftance:
For, in the beginning, they had only difcerned the tops of the mountains, which were covered with fnow, and before they could get near
enough in, the night began to come on, during which it was more ad-
vifible to keep the fea, that they might not endanger the veflel.
iTh; next morning they found that moft of the rigging on the Starboard fide of the fliip was damaged ; nothing more was wanting  to
compleat y
(   94   )
eompleat their misfortunes; for the people were now fe- weakened by
ficknefs, that they were notable to remedy this difafter.
Lieut. Waxel who gave intelligence of it to the Commodore, received orders to call all the officers together, to confult what was beft to be
done. A council was held, wherein the immediate danger of their
prefent fituation was taken into consideration; thesffrip was now rendered
unfit for farther navigation, on account of the deficiency of her tackle.
The want of water, and the ficknefs among the fhip's crew increafed;
for, as the continual wet had before caufed a great inconvenience, they
now became the more fenfible of the cold, and the late feafon promifed
no mitigation, but rather threatened an increafe thereof. All this considered, the refult was, that they fhould endeavour to make the land
they had feen, and, if poflible, preferve the Ship, but in cafe that was not
practicable, they might at leaft faye their lives, and commit their
future'fate to providence.
They immediately fteered towards the land j the wind was Northerly, and they failed W. S. W. and S. W. They founded, and
found by the lead 37 fathoms water, and a fandy ground. At five
o'clock in the evening, they were, by the lead, in 12 fathoms water,
having the fame ground. Here they call out one anchor, veering out
three quarters of the cable, which, at fix o'clock, tore in pieces. Vaft
waves drove the Ship on a rock, which fhe touched twice, notwithftanding they found by the lead, 5 fathoms water; at the fame time
the waves broke over the fhip feveral times, with Such vehemence,
that they feared fhe would go to pieces; they then let go the Second
anchor, the cable of which was broke before they obferved that the
anchor had taken ground.
A high fea at laft threw the veffel on the other fide of the rock,
when they were juft about getting ready another anchor. And all at
once they got into ftill water, anchoring in a depth of 4 fathoms and
a half in fandy ground, about 300 fathoms from the fhore.
As they were obliged to take up their winter quarters here, the firft
care was to look about on Shore, and choofe the moft convenient
place for it. As the Ship's company was quite weak, they refted a
little till noon, when they hoifted out the boat, but not without a
1* great deal of difficulty. On the 6th of November, at one o'clock,
Lieutenant Waxel, and Adjunctus Steller went on Shore, which they
found quite covered over with fnow. A brook running from the
mountains, and falling into the fea, not far from the landing place,
was not yet frozen, and proved to be clear wholefome water; but na
wood (   95   V
wood was feen, nay, not fo much as fire-wood, except what was
thrown on Shore by the fea, and even that was already covered with
fnow, and not eafily to be found They could neither build houfes
or barracks to Shelter their lick, neither knew they how to defend
themfelves againft the cold: But neceffity, the mother of invention,
pointed out to them many fandy hills, near the brook juft mentioned,
between which were pretty deep ditches; thefe they refolved to clear
towards the bottom, and cover them with fails, being the only habitations they could procure to dwell in, at leaft till they Should be provided with wood thrown on Shore Sufficient to build huts, however
indifferent they might be. Towards the evening, Waxel and Steller
returned to the fhip, and gave an account to the Commodore of what
they.had Seen.
It was concluded to fend on fhore the next morning as many men as
were yet able to Stand on their legs, to prepare firft of aU as conveniently as poflible a ditch between the faid hills, for the reception of the
fick. The 8th of November, a beginning was made to land the Sick,
but fome died as foon as they were brought from between decks into
the open air, others during the time they were on the deck, fome in
the boat, and many more as foon as they were brought on Shore.
The Stone foxes, of which a great many harboured in this place,
were observed to fall very eagerly upon the corpfe. It was though
that they had never beenrfoared by men, nor had ever feen any before
.thofe that now for the firft time fet foot on this land; for they were
not in the leaft afraid of them, and did not run away when any body
Approached them. It required fome trouble to keep them from the
dead bodies; this circumftance gave occafion already to fuppofe this to
be an ifland, as it afterwards proved.
On the 9th of November, Commodore Bering was brought en
fhore, being carried by four men on a hand-barrow, which confifted
of two poles, bound round with ropes, and well fecured from the open
air. They continued to bring their fick on fhore, fome of wJa<om died
every day; none of thofe recovered who were confined to their beds
on board; thefe were chiefly fuch as by indifference and faint-fcearted-
nefs had much contributed to the increafe of the difeafe.
This diftemper begins with a weaknefs over the whole body, an4
renders the patient heavy and averfe to all bu&aefs j is attended with
a dejeCtion of mind, and by degrees caufes a fhortnefs of breath on
eubeleaft exercife ; fo that thofe who are affected with itchoofe rather
to lay down than to walk; but this, is the patient's deftruCtion; for it C   &   )
is followed by a pain in all the limbs, the feet begin to fwell, the face
grows quite yellow, and the body is covered with blue Spots ; the
mouth and the gums bleed, and all the teeth grow looSe; then the
patient commonly does not care to Stir, but becomes quite indifferent
with regard to life or death. Thefe feveral degrees of the fickneSs,
■ and their effects, were gradually Seen on board the fhip. Some of the
patients were obferved to be fubject to a fearful anxiety, and the leaft
noife1' (which on board of a fhip is unavoidable) put them in a fright;
•notwithftanding which, many eat their victuals with a good appetite,
not thinking themfelves fo ill as in reality they were; for, when orders were given to land the fick, they very chearfully put on their
cloaths, and believed they fhould now be fpeedily cured; but, as foon
as they got from their couch (which was in a lower part of the veflel)
and came upon deck into the open air, they died.
Thofe alone were beft off that did not Suffer themSelves to be conquered by the diftemper So Sar as to keep their bed constantly, but
Strove to remain on their legs, and to exerciSe, as much as poflible ;
and alSo Such whoSe lively diSpofition prevented them Srom deSpair.
^Such among them were of great Service to the others, as well by their
example as perSuafion. This has been obServed in particular among
the officers, who, being continually employed in affairs relating to the
command, in order to take care that nothing might be negleCted, were
obliged to fpend moft oS their time upon the- deck, and had always a
great deal of exercife.
But the Commodore did not avail himfelf of this remedy; for hfa
age, and the difpofition of his body, were the caufe of his being inclined more to reft than to exercife. He grew at laft diffident, ;
and looked upon every one as his enemy, infomuch that he could
not bear even the fight of Steller, for whom he before had fo great
an affeCtion.
Waxel and Chitrow remained tolerably healthy as long as they were
at fea, and they continued longeft on board, not only becaufe they
would fee every thing brought on fhore, but becaufe they alfo had
more conveniency in the fhip. But in a few days they likewife grew
fo fick, that, on the 21ft of November, they were carried on fhore like
the reft. Experience having taught them how to behave in going out
of the Ship, and in entering in the free air, the patients were carefully
wrapt up, and not Suffered to partake oS the open air, by a free transpiration, till by degrees they had been uSed to it. TheSe two officers
were aSterwards reftored to health.
Com- I C   97   )
Commodore Bering died on the 8th of December, and had the honour
to have the ifland called Bering's Ifland, after his name. He was a Dane
by birth, and had, in his youth, made voyages to the Eaft and Weft
Indies, when the great encouragement given by the Emperor Peter the
Great for the marine fervice, tempted him to Seek his fortune in
Rufftai I have fomewhere met with it, that, in the year 1707, he
was Lieutenant, and, in 171 o, Captain-lieutenant in the Ruffian fleet.
When he was made a Captain I cannot exactly determine. Having
thus ferved in the Cronftadt fleet from its beginning, and been in all
the expeditions by fea, in the war with the Swedes, he joined to the
capacity requisite for his office, a long experience, which made him
particularly worthy of being employed on fo important a fervice, as
was the difcoveries wherewith he had been twice intrufted. It is a
pity that it was his fate to end his life in fuch an unfortunate manner.
He may be faid to have been buried half alive; for the fand rolling
down continually from the fide of the ditch in which he lay, and covering his feet, he at laft would not fuffer it to be removed, and faid,
that he felt fome warmth from it, which otherwiSe he fhould want in
the remaining parts of his body, and thus the fand increafed to his
belly; fo that after his deceaSe they were obliged to fcrape him out
of the ground, in order to inter him in a proper manner.
On the 27th of July, Captain Tjchirikow failed on his return from
tbe American coaft, and Suffered almoft the fame accidents as the
Commodore; meeting with contrary winds, and other impediments
from the coafts and iflands, which they greatly lamented not to have
had the good fortune to difcover in their Outward paffage. Nay, he
had one ftill greater inconveniency than the Commodore, which was,
that he could not provide himSelf with frelh water, on account of the
loSs of his two boats.
He arrived, on the 20th of September, in 51 deg. 12 min. North
lat. on a coaft, which they SuppoSe to have been the Same that the
Commodore alSo arrived at four days after. This coaft was Surrounded
with rocks, the tops of which reached above the water, fo that they
•were obliged to take all imaginable pains to efcape a danger that, on
a nearer.approach, would have been unavoidable. They found themselves obliged to anchor at 200 fathoms diftance from it. Twenty-
one of the inhabitants of the country came rowing, every one in his
leather canoe, with a friendly mien, as if they intended to affift our
people,, and full of aftoniShment about the Ship, which they gazed at
with admiration. But no body could fpeak with them, neither durft
our Ship tarry, becaufe the cable was torn to pieces by the rocks, and
N the (    98   )
the crew were forced to endeavour to regain the open fea j butaltho'
they fucceeded therein, it was but of little advantage to the paffage,
becaufe of the contrary winds.
The frefh water beginning todecreafe, they thought to Supply them-
Selves by diftilling the Sea-water; and indeed they did thereby deprive it of its fait, but the bitternefs remained. In the mean time, nothing elfe was to be done than to mix this diftilled fea-water with ah
equal part of the remaining freSh water, which they diftributed in
fmall portions, to make it go the farther. How great • was; their joy
when, in this diftrefs, it rained 1 for then they refrefhed themfelves
with the rain-water that they had gathered, and its being preffed out
of the Sails gave them no averfion to it.
One may eafily conceive'that this circumftance muft increaSe the
Scurvy on board of Tfchirikowxs Ship, whereby many were Swept away*
The Captain himSelS lay continually fick, from the 2o:h of September.
At laft, on the 8th of October, they came in fight of the land of
Kamtfchatka, and on the 9th entered the bay oS Awatfcha. On the
1 oth, De la Croyere, who had alSo been lingering for a long while,
Was impatient to go on fhore, but he fell down dead when he came
upon deck. Of 70 men, which was the whole number of the Ship's
company, there remained only 49 alive. The pilot, Jelagin, who
was the only officer that continued healthy, brought the fhip back into
the harbour of St Peter and Paul on the i ith, after fhe had Spent in
this voyage above four months.
In the following fpring, Captain Tfchirikow, who by that time was
recovered from his ficknefs, cruifed about in the fea, in hopes of meeting with the Commodore, and then failed to Ochotzk, from whence
he travelled to Jakutzk, where he expected to receive orders from
Peterfburg how to proceed. He was obliged to make fome ftay at
Jenifeifk, On his return to Peterfburg, he was appointed Commodore,
but died foon after.
But let us return to Bering's Ifland; where, a little before the death
of the Captain, the company had the misfortune to lofe their chief
comfort and hopes, the only means by which, in their opinion, they
could be delivered out of their diftrefs; I mean the veflel. She rode
at anchor, as we have feen already, in the open fea; not a foul was
left on board to guard her, as the few people that were able to Stand
on their legs, were employed in attending the fick, and other bufinefs.
A violent ftorm arifing from E. S. E. in the night between the 28th
and 29th of November, the cable was tore to pieces, and the Ship.,
drove on Shore, not far from the place where our people lay in the
ditchesA (   99    )
ditches, and fettled in the fand from 8 to 9 feet, the bottom and fides
muft at the fame time have been very much damaged : For it was
obferved, that with the flood the Sea water penetrated into her from
below, but with the ebb ran out again. By this means moft of their
meal and fait was loft, as the chief of their provifions were on board ;
and, although at low water a good deal was Saved, yet it had Suffered
much damage; it was very fortunate that the fhip was eaft on fhore,
and not driven out to fea; for,' in the laft cafe, thefe poor people
muft have been obliged to abide, as long as they lived, on this defert
ifland, which afforded no timber for them to have built another veffel..
But there were now hopes left, that, though the Ship itSelS could not
be refitted Sor Service, they might, with her materials, conftruCt a new
veffel Sufficient Sor their return to Kamtfchatka. They now therefore
Submitted to their fate with patience, and endeavoured to preferve,
their lives as long as poflible ; Sor which purpoSe the Sollowing diSpofi-
tions were made.
In the firft place, it was neceffary to Search the country in order to
discover whether it was a continent or ifland; for of this they could
not be certain in the beginning. Rocky mountains were feen, which
feemed to indicate the firft; and, indeed, this ifland may have been
formerly a part of the continent, though perhaps feparated from it by
earthquakes. They wanted to know whether any inhabitants were to .
be found, from whom they could get affiftance. It was of importance to
learn whether any foreft could be difcovered, and what animals, and.
other productions of nature the country yielded. People wefe fent out
towards the North and South, who went as far as the high rocks projecting into the fea would permit them. Some returned in two, others
in three days. Their unanimous account was, that they had no where
found fo much as the veftiges of men. But they had every where a-
long the coaft met with many fea-beavers, viz. fuch as in Kamtfchatka
are called beavers,,but ought properly to be called fea-otters *j and farther in the country they had feen a multitude of Stone-foxes, both blue
and white ones, which were not in the leaft Shy of men ; from whence
they concluded that thefe animals had never feen any men before them.
After this, others were fent into the country, who went about 12 or 13
Werfts from the fhore, and, on a high mountain difcerned, towards the
Weft, the open fea, in the fame manner as it appeared towards the Eaft.
Now they were convinced that they were on an ifland. They could
fee no forefts, and the floating wood found during the winter was Scarce
' Lutra marina Margravii, BraJilienfium Jaga f. Carigueibeiu,
Suf- (     100     )
fufficient for firing; for they were obliged to feek it from under the
foow; but, as the Snow melted, there was no farther want of it, which
was a prcof that on fome neighbouring land there muft be forrefts
from whence the wood, came floating.
The largeft breadth of the ifland was computed to be above twenty
odd Werfts, but its length, extending from South-Baft to North-Weft,
has not been exactly determined. It lies in the Same direction with
the mouth of the river Kamtfchatka, and the diftance between both
was reckoned, in the following voyage, to be thirty German miles, or
Sixty leagues. There are many high mountains and rocks; and in the
valleys lying between them there is good Srelh water and high graSs.
On the banks of the brooks there grew low buShes of willows, but
they were of no ufe, as the branches were not above the thicknefs of
a finger. Pains were taken to fee whether a place could be found
where a Ship might ride fecure from winds, but they could difcover
none. The flood rifes from feven to eight feet. Of land-animals, none
have been obferved except the ftone-foxes above-mentioned, and of
them more blue than white ones ; but their hair was not fo foft as
that of thofe in Siberia, which may perhaps be owing to the difference of the food and air.
It was refolved to examine what ftore of provifions there was left,
. and compute how long they would laft, in order to regulate the distribution of the Shares accordingly. They found the ftores were fo
much exhausted, that iS they had not been Supplied with the flefh of
fea-animals they muft have all periShed for want of food : They however loft thirty perfons, who died on theiSland. Eight hundred pounds
of meal were kept in referve to be ufed in the next voyage, in cafe
they Should be fo happy as to construct another veffel, in which they
might return to Kamtfchatka. Here was no reSpeCt of perSons; officers and men had the Same portions, and fo they mefled together, tho*
in Separate companies, throughout the Several ditches in which they
dwelled. The ftate of natural liberty and equality of men Seemed here
to be restored, and therefore properly no command, aecordiisg to the
prefcribed rules, could have place. For although Lieut. Waxel took
the command upon himfelf after the deceafe of the Commodore, yet
he did pot chufe to correct any for fear they would be revenged on
him in private.
As to the fea-animals that ferved them for food, they had none at
firft but the beavers above-mentioned, the meat whereof, efpecially
that of the males, was found infipid, hard, and as tough as leather; fo
that (    iox    )
-that they were obliged to cut it in fmall pieces before they could chew
it. One of thefe beavers may afford from forty to fifty pounds folid
. flefh. The entrails and guts were moftly ufed as food by the fick,
Steller has exaCtiy defcribed fome of thefe fea-animals, which defcription is inferted in the commentaries of the Academy of Sciences. In
it he prefcribes the flefh of the beavers as a remedy againft the fcurvy.
A great rhultitude of beavers were killed even when their flefh was
no longer ufed for meat, only on account of their fine fkins, for every
one of which the Chinefe on the frontiers at Kjachta pay from 80 to
100 rubles. This was ftill fome comfort for our Ship's company, as.
it afforded a view of gain. They amaffed near 900 of thefe
Skins, which were divided among them all ; but here none had better luck than Steller, for being phylician, many fkins were given him
as preSents, and others he bought of thoSe, who, in an uncertainty
whether ever they fhould return to any place where they could diSpoSe
of them, did not value thefe goods. His Share alone is faid to have
amounted to 300 beaver-fkins, which he brought with him to Kamtfchatka and Siberia.
It alfo happened, in the beginning of the winter, that a dead whale
was thrown on the ifland, which occafioned great joy among our
people, though they were obliged to go five Werfts after it. It was
about eight fathoms long, and might perhaps have had floa'ei a pretty
while in the fea, for the fat was already Somewhat Sourifh ; but this
did not hinder our people from making uSe of it. They called the
whale their magazine of provifion, becauSe it was a certain reSource
in caSe they Should be in want of other animals. The fat was cut in
fmall fquare pieces, and boiled a long time in water, to extraCt from it
the moft fluid parts, and the remaining hard and Sinewy parts were
fwallowed unchewed, like the flefh. In the enSuing Spring, the Sea
threw on fhore another whale, which was much frefher than the former, and they dreffed it in the Same manner.
. The beavers disappeared in the month of March, and inftead of
them another animal appeared, called in Kamtfchatka a Sea-cat, on
account of its long hairs Standing out on both fides of the mouth, as
thofe of the cats. Dampier who has defcribed it, met with many of
them in his voyage on the South Sea, and gives it the name of the fea-
bear. The weftern Shore of the ifland was in a manner covered by
them. TheSe animals keep together in a family-like manner, fo that
a male, who has generally from 15 to 20 females, keeps them and
his children along wiQi him, as well by fea a6 by land, till they begin
-fsfrc-p their (      102      )
their own houfe-keeping. The largeft weigh from 18 to 20 pouds,
that is towards 800 pounds. It is a very favage animal, fierce, and difficult to come at; but they killed no more of thefe than was absolutely
neceffary, for the flefh has a very loathfome rank tafte, and the fkin is '
hardly good for any thing at all, except that of thofe which are very
young, and thofe taken out of the womb, which are, in fome meafure, ufeful as furs. They were moftly killed a-Sleep, for the old'",
ones, in the fpring time, fpend a couple of months in Sleeping, without taking the leaft food, as the fat bears do in the depth of winter.
It was near the end of the month of May before thefe difappeared,
then the Ship's crew had for fome time no other fuftenance than the
large feals, which in Kamtfchatka, are called Lachtak. They are as
big as an ox, weighing about 800 pounds a piece, but the flefh being
of a loathfome tafte, it was lucky that fometimes they could catch
fea-lions, which afforded them better food.
The fea-lion is the animal, which, in Kamtfchatka, is called Sci-
vufcha. They are as big again as the largeft fea-bears, and weigh
from 36 to 40 pouds, that is about 1600 pounds; they are distinguish-'
ed from the reft of the fea animals, by their Short and yellow hair.'
As theSe purSue the Sea-bears, it may be the reaSon that the latter betake themSelves So abundantly to the coafts; whither the Sea-lions^fJ&
dom reSort. They moftly poft themSelves at Some diftance Srom the
fhore, on large ftones and rocks in the Sea, that, to appearance, have
been Separated from the continent by earthquakes. Here theSe animals
make Such a terrible roaring, that they may be heard at three or •four:
Werfts diftance. All other beafts flee as Soon as the fea-lion appears.
Their fierce and grim look befpeak their ferocity : Wherefore our
fhip's crew unwillingly attacked them. They killed feveral of the
young ones, the flefh of which was found particularly favoury, and
only a few of the old ones as they lay afleep. Dampier defcribed them
before Steller. Their fimilitude to the lion confifts merely in long
hair Standing up, which grows about the neck of the male.
They alfo lived' fometimes upon the flefh of the animals, which, in
the Ruffian, as well as in the Dutch and Engiifh language, is called
the fea-cow ; the Spaniards name it Manati, and the French, Lamen-
tin. One would think its fimilitude with a cow muft be very great,
as it appeared fo to all different nations and travellers at firft fight, when
people are ufed to give names to things that were unknown to them before. But this likenefs confifts in nothing elfe than the fnout, which
probably, they faw firft, and perhaps alone ; for it has neither horns
J (   i°3   )
nor ftreight ears, no feet, nor any thing elfe fefemMtWg £_%$to& f$£fl
an animal like a feal, only incomparably larger ; has two fins dn^ftft
fore part of the body, wherewith it fwims; betweetvtlfem are feen twO
teats in the females, forfuckling its young ones. This difjlofition of
,parts being fomewhat Similar with the human, efpecially fince the
•mother makes ufe of the fins to hold her young ones clofe to the teats,
is the reafon for the Spanifh name Manati, i. e. the handed animal'■;
for the Spaniardscompare the fins to the "hands of men. Lamentin it
was firft called by the French, becaufe it does not cry loud, but in a
manner Whines and Sighs. Chriftopher Columbus is Said to have taken
it Sor the Syren of the ancients. When it Swims in the fea, one'sf&rt
of its back ftands commonly out of the water, which is falJto &$$&&
like a boat overfet, floating on the fea. It is not only found in thefe
feas, but in all others furrounding Afia, Africa, and Africa, wherefore many travellers, for inftance, Lopez, Dampier, Kolb, Atkies, and
JLabat, have made mention of it; but they contradict one another too
frequently, which alfo has occaSf®rted many miftakls'-ift the natural
hiftory of Clufius, Johnfton, Rajus, Klein, Artedi, LMrfi&iis, and others,
for the rectifying of ail which, Steller's defcription is hardly fuffi*
cient. A particular fpecies of thefe animals harbours in the river A-
mazon in South America, and an account of it is given by M. de la
Gmdamine in his travels.
I return to my defign, to fhew how efefol the Manati was to our
Ship's company with refpect to their fuftenance. Some of thefe animals have been caught, which, from the fnout to the point of the tail,
were from three to four fathoms long, and weighed 200 pouds, or
#000 pounds. One was- food enough to ferve for a foftrfight, and
the fleSH was very fa«4ury, like the beft beef; that of the young ones
was like .veal. The fick found themfelves considerably better, when,
'inStead 'of the difagr^eable hard flefh of the beaver, they eat that of
the Manati, though it was much more difficult to catch them than
the beavers. They never came on the land, but only approached the
boajft to eat fea-grafs, which grows on the Shore, or is thrown up by
the fea. This fort of food may, perhaps, contribute a great deal to
give the flefh a more agreeable tafte than that of the other animals
that live on fifh. The young ones, that weighed 1200 pounds and
upwards, remained Sometimes at low water on the dry land between
the rocks, which afforded a convenient opportunity for killing them ;
but the old ones, which were more cautious, and went off at the right
time with the ebb, could be caugWno other wife than with harpoons,
fixed (    io4   )
fixed to long ropes. Sometimes the ropes were broke, and the animal efcaped before it could be Struck a fecond time. This animal
was feen as well in the winter as in the fummer time. They melted
fome of the fat, with which, like the hogs, they are covered from
three to four inches thick, and ufed it as butter. Of the flefh, feveral
cafks full were pickled for fhip's provifion, which did excellent fervice on their return.
The month of March iy42 being near concluded, and the ground
becoming free from fnow, Lieut. Waxel called together the remainder
of the fhip's company, being 45 in number, that they might confult
together, and come to fome refolution in what manner it was beft to
return. Here the meaneft oS the Sailors had the Same right to give
his vote as the commanding officer : After they had all given their
various opinions, Waxel and Chitrow made the propofal to break
up the packet-boat, and to build a Smaller veflel of her materials,
which fhould be large enough to contain all the company, with fufficient provifions for a fortnight; by which means, thofe who had been
fellow-fufferers might equally partake of the deliverance out of their
diftrefs; or if any unforefeen misfortune fhould happen, they might
all remain together, and there would be no room left for reproaching
of one another. This was unanimoufly agreed to, and a writing drawn
up, which every one confirmed by Signing his name to it. But, ne-
verthelefs, a new obstacle arofe ; for fome refufed to break up a fhip
which had been built at the expence of the crown; but thefe were
obliged to yield, being out-voted in a new council. In the beginning
of the month of April they began to unrig and take to pieces the
■wreck ; a work which lafted the whole month, and at which the officers were always the moft affiduous, in order to encourage, by their
example, the common men to imitate them* I§pf
The greateft difficulty was, who fhould have the direction of
building of the veffel. They wanted a fhip-carpenter; for the three
that fet out on the voyage had died in the ifland. Luckily, one Soma
Starodubzow, a Siberian Coffack, and native of Krafnojarfk, who had
been formerly employed as a workman in building of Ships at Ochotzk,
offered to take upon him the management of the work, if they woul4
confent to give him his proportion of the veffel, Indeed the Coffack
kept his work as well as could be wished; and, after his return, had
the favour beffowed upon him, for his Services, to be made, by the
provincial chancery of Jenifetfk, a Simbfjarfkoi, which is the loweft
degree of the Siberian nobility,    On the 6th of May, a veffel was
f>ut; C   105   )
put on the flocks, 40 feet long in the keel, 13 feet broad, and fix feet
and half deep ; and at the end of the month, all the timbers were fet
in, fo that in the beginning of June they fet about to plank her
as well within as without. A deck was made, and the veffel provided
with a ma ft, and eight oars. There was no want of hemp and old
tow for careening ; but the quantity of tar not being Sufficient, they
fupplied themfelves in the following manner : They took a new cable,
which never had been in the water, chopped it to pieces, each piece
a foot long, then pulled the threads afunder, and filled a large copper'
kettle with them, to which they made a tight cover with a hole in
the middle. Then they took a wooden veflel, which had a cover
made in the Same manner as the former, with a hole in the middle ;•
this Was ftuck into the ground as far as the cover ; they fet the copper
kettle upon it upfide down, fo that one cover and one hole of the one
were exactly oppofite to thofe of the other. Then fo much earth
was laid about the kettle, that no fire could penetrate to the wooden
veffel : After which, fire was made round about the kettle, the lower
part of which did now ftand up more than half above the earth.
The tar contained in the tow melted, and gathered in the wooden
veffel below, by which means they procured as much as was requisite
to tar the lower part of the veflel. Her upper part was payd over
with melted tallow. In the fame manner they built a canoe, which
would hold from eight to ten men : While all this was executing,
mails, Sails, ropes, anchors, water-caSks, and Sea-provifions were prepared, and every thing put in proper order.
At the end of the month of July, nothing elfe was wanting but to
make the cradle for launching the veffel, which was to be 25 fathoms
long ; for the veffel could not be put on the Stocks nearer to the fea,
on account of the tide's flowing up pretty high. On the 10th of
Auguft fhe was launched, and named, after the packet-boat, St Peter,
out of the wrecks of which veffel She had been built. She might be
called a Angle mafted hucker; for, according to her rigging, She approached neareft to this fort of veSfels. A quantity of cannon-balls,-
cartridges, and all the iron-work that remained of the former veflel,
ferved Sor ballaft. The mail was got in, ropes, Sails, and rudder,
properly diSpoSed. Happily, the weather was calm, without which
they would hardly have Succeeded. The Ship lay expoSed to the open
Sea, Srom N. N, W to N. E. If a ftorm had arifen, fhe might eafily
have been ftranded again on the coaft. She drew five feet water, and
could have carried a greater burthen, but this was fufficient for the
intended purpofe.
O The f-I<* )
The es*ew being embarked, they put to fea on the roth'of Auguft?
towards the evening. The boat belonging to the former fhip was
taken in tow, only by way of trying whether they could preferve her j
if it was not practicable, they refolved to fet her adrift. They paffed
by the rocks and other fhallow places that evening, and found front-
four to nine fathoms water; after which they took to their oars; and
tohen.they had got off about four leagues from the fhore, a gentle
breeze from the North began to fpring up, with which they proceeded on their voyage. It is furprizing how well the veffel failed
and worked. Had fhe been built by an experienced mafter, She couloV
not have well failed better. The next day at noon they were in fight
of the fouth-eaft point of Bering's Ifland, at a diftance of four leagues,
N. by E. to which they gave the name of Cape Manati, from the
above-mentioned fea-cows, which herd more here than in any other
parts. The North latitude, of this cape is 54 deg. ~§ min. or about
§§ deg. whereas the place where they refided this winter had been
obferved to be almoft in 56 deg. On the i8th of Augufty in the
morning, they had a ftrong contrary wind from the South Weft -y
'wherefore it was refolved to cut the tow-rope, and Set the boat adrift,
for fear fhe Should damage the veffel. On the fame day, about noon,
the veffel began to be very leaky ; .two pumps were not fufficient to
keep her free; they were obliged to ufe buckets, and throw their
heavy goods over-board, in order to lighten the veffel, and difcover
the leak, which they found out, and flopped fo well, that they made
ufe of but one pump, and that not conftantly. On tbe 25th o-t Auguft
they came in fight of the land of Kamtfchatka; the following day
they were fo happy as to make the bay of Awatfcha, and on the 27th
they entered the harbour of St Peter and Paul. What exultation
this muft have caufed in our failors, every one may eafily conceive. All
the diftrefs and danger to which they had been expofed was nowoy^.
They came to a plenteous magazine of provifions, which Capt. Tfchirikow had left there, They wintered here in commodious dwellings,
having firft attempted to return toOchotzk in the fame autumn, but were
prevented by contrary and violent winds. In the mean time, the veffel
Was cleaned, and put in a condition for another voyage.- They fet fail
again in the month of May following, to carry back to Ochotzk the
^. whole fhip's company. Waxel went from the harbour of Peter and
Paul to Jakutzk, and having wintered there, proceeded to Jenifeifk>
where, on his arrival, in October 1744, he found Captain Tfchirikow^
wh& I   io7   )
who had received orders from the Senate to take up his' refidenee
there, till a refolution fhould be taken with refpeCt to the profecuting
the Kamtfchatka navigations. Waxel flayed at Jenifeijk j and when
Tfchirikow was ordered, in 1745, to Peterfburg, Waxel took upon
him the command of the mariners there, and did not arrive with
them at Peterfburg till January 1749, which time may be fixed as
the end of the fecond Kamtfchatka expedition; fo that it lafted near
Sixteen years, r3p|*||p
As to the academical company of travellers, Gmelin and myfelf arrived at Peterfburg on Feb. 15, 1743, having paffed through all the parts
of Siberia. But Steller, who had flayed in Kamtfchatka alter Waxel, to
make refearches in natural hiftory, had not the Same good fortune.
He immerged himfelf without neceffity, though with a good intention, in matters that did not belong to his department ; for which he
was called to an account by the provincial chancery at Jakutzk, but
he vindicated himfelf fo perfectly, that the vice governor there gave
him permiflion to fet out on his journey, thefe proceedings were not
however fent to the fenate at Peterfburg fo foon as tranfaCted, wherefore they having intelligence of his paffing through Tobolfk, fent an
exprefs to meet him, and carry him back to Jakutzk, yet foon after
advice being received from Jakutzk, of his acquital, another exprefs
was difpatched to revoke the firft order. In the mean time, the firft
expreSs met Steller at Solikamfk, and had carried him back as far as
Tara, before the fecond exprefs overtook him. He then proceeded
without delay, on bis return for Peterfburg by the way of Tobolfk, in
company with one Hau a furgeon, who had heen with him in the
Kamtfchatka expedition, but got no farther than Tumen, where he
died ,of a fever in November 17^6. I have thought it neceflary to relate thefe circumftances, becaufe many Salfities have been propagated
abroad concerning him, nay, even his death has been doubted.He was
born on the 10th of March 1709, at Winfheim in Franconia. His
induftry and ingenuity would have been of much greater ufe to the
learned world, had it pleafed divine providence to prolong his life.
Gmelin returned in the year 1747, to Tubingen, his native place,
where he died profeffor of botany and chyj^iftry, on the 20th of
May 1755.. The lofs of him is likewife not inconfiderable to the republic of the learned; fince he had not, by far, finifhed tranfc.ribing
fhe many obfervations collected by him in Siberia. Since that time,
nothing farther has been attempted in thofe Seas, by efpecial order
Jjgjo^jhe Emprefs; but fome private perfons have made feveral trips
0 2 ta (    ioB    )
ta<JB'ering*s and the neighbouring ifles. Tht*,t&tfeM»|fr:6f beavers m
thofe parts enticed many people to go to them, and they never return without great quantities, which always produced large profits.
This has brought confiderable revenues to the crown, by paying a
' tenth as toll ; wherefore the governors tJS Jtik&tzk, Ochotzk, and in
Kamtfchatka, have encouraged the merchants and PrQmffi&ferf&p4&
carry on the trade; the fmall hucker Peter was left for the ufe of thefe
people, to whom it was of great Terviae Indeed, it muft be by a
veffel like this, or rather lefs, in which the iflands fituated in thofe
p'arts, are to be approached, and the landing place muft be free from
rocks ; the moft proper would be a fandy coaft, that the veflel might
with the flood run in far enough towards the land to remain dry at low
water, where fhe might lie fafe from danger. Such places are faid to
have been found only on the Weft fide of Berings ifland. nor is there
any harbour, or bay, round about the whole ifland, where a veffel
may lie at anchor, without Sear of being, in ftormy weather, dafhed to
pieces againft the rocks, or el'fe ftranded.
In 1753, a letter was publifhed at Berlin, entitled, Lettre d'un
Officier de la Marinee*J2i^%50@ aun SeignMr de la Cours, taking notice
of a map published by M. de Lifte at Paris, in the year 1752, representing not only the difcoveries of the Kamtfchatka expedition, but e-
ven th'oSe aSeribed to admiral de Fonte, w&h a printed explanation ; the
author of this letter found that M. de Lifte had very indifferent materials for composing his map. He discovered in it, and in the explanation, Several errors and untruths, and particularly obServed in what a
groundleSs manner the author would appropriate to himSelf, and to
his brother M. de Lifte de la Croyere, who died in Kamtfchatka, the
honour of thefe difcoveries2v-ckfi tins he proved with great candour.
The letter was firft d>#inted Singly ; and afte^ft&Tds corrected and inferted in the 18th Vol. of Nouvelle BibliotheqUe<&eAr^0^ue. At London an Engiifh tranflation of it was publilhed, with fome obfervations
by Mr Arthur Dobbs, the great promoter of the Northern navigation.
The annexed map of the new KaMfchatka difcoveries, lately publifhed by the academy of fciencies, was made under my infpection. Some
of the firft copies have the date 1754, for the" map was finished and
engraved that year. But I have revifed and corrected it in feveral
places, and changed the date to 1758, in which particulars the fub-
Sequent copies differ Srom the former. The memoir mentioned in the
original title is no other than this treatiSe. (    lop    )
I Siberia is copied from a new map of Siberia, done by my order, ac-
| vcording to the obfervations and descriptions made by me in that country, but is not yet engraved. A very great difference will be observed
'between this and the maps of Siberia in the Ruffian Atlas.
The coafts of the frozen fea aie drawn according to the above defcribed navigation.
I have given a new form to the Tfchukotfkoi Nofs, it is a narrow
Ifthmus, which has been more than once croffed on foot from the fea
of Kolyma, over to the fea of Anadir. And I think this Ncfs muft extend a great way farther heyond the Ifthmus. I am afraid it is reprefented too fmall yet, for which reafon the out-line is only marked
with points, to Shew the uncertainty. I might have put iflands a-
bout the Tfchukotfkoi Ncfs, if the intelligencies received of them were
of authority enough to determine their fituation; As for the ifland
Puchotfkoi, which-is found in the maps publifhed in Holland, after
the death of Peter the Great, and in that of Strahlenberg, the name
is quite unknown in Siberia, unlefs, inftead of this, it be called
Anadirfkoi Oftrog, and the courfe of the river Anadir, are placed
more northerly in this -than in the former maps. By following the
obfervations made at Anadirfkoi Oftrog, which is in 66 deg. 9 min. and
according to this alfo, the fituation of the Penfkinftkian Bay is regulated. For the diftance between Anadirfkoi Oftrog, and the mouth
of the river Penfkina, has been found to be not much above 200
Werfts. And befides it was neceffary that the Penfkinftkian Bay fhould
extend farther towards the North than in the former maps, on account
of the many confiderable rivers that empty themfelves into it, of which
only the principal ones can be pointed out. Thefe coafts were never
before properly defcribed. It may reafonably be reckoned a fault in
both the Kamtfchatka expeditions, not to have taken notice of fuch
occurrences as thefe.
An error has been committed in this map, in determining the
fituation of Ochotzk, which proceeded from my not having received
the aftronomical obfervations from Ochotzk. But I thought, that
according to the menfuration and defcription of the roads from Jakutz
to Ochotzk, the diftance between both places, as it is fet down in
the Ruffian. Atlas, was two degrees too much in longitude j confe-
quently I placed Ochotzk two degrees more to the Weftward. After
this, I received-the obfervatiohs of the true longitude of Ochotzk,.
which is   160 deg.   59 min.  15 fee.    Its latitude 59 deg.  20 min.
Any 1
( n )
Any difagreement with this, is to be attributed to my following
too precifely my firft map, where this determination is hot made
ufe of.
Concerning the coaft between Ochotzk and the river Amur, it
muft run" not towards the South, as it does in all maps publilhed
hitherto, but from Ochotzk as far as the river Ud, towards the South-
Weft ; and from the river Ud, as far as the Amur, to the South Eaft ;
and in this manner this coaft is reprefented in the prefent map. At
Udfkoi Oftrog, obfervations have been made of the latitude. It has
been found at one time 55 deg. 10 min. and at another 5$ deg. 27
min. whence a medium of 55 deg. 18 min. is to be concluded on ;
the reafon for reprefenting the coaft in thofe parts in the aforefaid manner is, that it agrees better with the meafured and geometrical diftance
deScribed between Jakutzk and Udfkoi Oftrog, and the multitude of
rivers that fall into the fea, between Ochotzk and Udfkoi Oftrog, and
with their distances communicated by perfons acquainted with thofe
parts : For, if the coaft from Ochotzk runs South Weft, then the rivers will have more room, and the diftance between them be more
agreeable to truth.
With refpect to the Shantarian Iflands, they are only in a manner
hinted at, in the map, without making the fituation agree with my
description of them, which, though drawn as carefully as poflible,
will hardly correfpond with the truth, For whoSoever navigates this
fea hereafter with attention, will doubtlefs find the fituation, magnitude, arid number of the iflands quite different. The ifland Situate
oppofite to the mouth of the river Amur, as well as all the coafts and
countries belonging to China, being taken from Du Haldt's maps,
require no great vindication for mistakes made in them. But,
that the Chinefe maps of thofe parts are not free from errors, may be
fuppofed, becaufe no Jefuit ever was there; and the Mandarines fent
by Chan Cang-hi to defcribe the ifland, took but little pains about it,
Many other difcoveries might be made, there, if a voyage was undertaken for that purpofe. The many various opinions of geographers
about the land, or rather ifland of Jefo, that is Situated in the middle
between Kamtfchatka and Japan, do not clear up any thing fatif-
faCtory from the antient difcoveries; Since fome connected this country with Japan, others with America, or with Eaft Tartary, and by
others Kamtfchatka was taken for it; then again they made one, and
at another time feveral iflands of it. Great credit is given to the account of the Ship Caftricom, publifhed in the collection of Thevcngt, ( m )
in the third Tom. of Voyages au Nord, m Father Charlevoix's Hif-
toire du Japon. (Tom. II. p. 494.) but I cannot perfuade myfelf to
take it, with M. Buache, for decisive. There is too little of a proper fea-journal in it, and nothing from which one might conclude
that the captain of the Ship has taken pains to get an exact knowledge of the land he had Seen, or the Sea in which he Siiled. No
computation of the longitude is obferved, and yet it is not to be believed that the mafter had been neglectful in this refpeCt. The courSe
of the fhip Caftricom was moftly towards the North, and hence moft
maps repreSent Jefo nearly under the Same meridian with the North
coaft of Japan, which is an error that Mr D'Anville alone has, in
fome meafure, corrected in his map of Afia. The account of the
fhip Brefkes, which Sailed out at the Same time with the Caftricom,
on the diScovery of Jefo, contains much exacter obfervations ; but
they are little known, and therefore have not yet been made ufe of
by any geographer; for though it feems as if M. D'Anville had
known fomething of them, fince the fituation he has given the land
of Jefo, comes neareft to that given in the relation of the fhip Brefkes ;
yet, from other circumftances, the contrary may be fuppofed. M.
D'Anville trufts much to probabilities ; thefe have caufed him to take
Jefo, Staten Ifland, and Company's Ifland, with the Jefoian Iflands,
from Japan to the Ifland Nadefchdas, for one. They have likewife,
perhaps, milled him, to connect feveral places from the relation of
the Caftricom; for inftance, Blydenburg, Tamari Aniwa, Cape Ani-
wa, &c. with Eaft Tartary, and to place Cape Patience, which is generally elteemed to be the North point of the ifland Jefo, on the
South point of the ifland of Sachalin Ula; in which, whether he is
right or wrong, cannot eafily be decided. What information the account of the Ship Brefkes, from Witzen, affords, I will infert, becaufe
k is rare : This Ship, in 1643, Set Sail in company with the Caftricom,
Sor the diScovery of Tartary, and was feparated by a ftorm from the
latter, on the Eaft coaft of Japan, and difcovered the land of Jefo.
In the month of June She Sailed through the Streights, which Separate the land of Jefo from Japan. In 41 deg. 50 min. North lat.
and in 164 deg. 48 min. long, on the point of land which was firft
difcovered appeared eight or ten rocks, like fails-, and from thefe a
great ridge extended a mile into the fea. They faw there Small veffels (Prawen) the rowers had in each hand an oar, which they ufed
alternately, ftriking into the water, and went very fwift; they appeared to be a fenfible people,   had long, black, rough beards, and
were c n2 y
were of a tawny complexion: On the fore part of their heads, about,
the breadth of three fingers, they wore long hair; but that on the
hind part was cut off. It was remarked, that, in token of gratitude,
they folded their hands together over their heads; they were cloathed
in bear-fkins; their weapons were bows and arrows. From thence
the fhip Sailed much to the Eaftward, and the failors caught plenty of
cod. In 43 deg. 4 min. North lat. they faw land again ; in 44 deg.
4 min. lat. veffels came to the fhip, whoSe people were ftrong of
body, and fenfible in conversation; they had women with them, of
a brown complexion, and their lips and hands painted blue. Thefe
wore their hair round about their heads cut off about three fingers
breadth below their ears, and had an afpect like young mem They
took much delight in drinking of brandy; fome of thefe people alfo
wore cloaths after the Japannefe fafhion ; others had croffes on their
coats. Befides bows and arrows, they were alfo armed with fabres,
(bowers) which are made like thofe in Japan; the hilts of their
Swords were ornamented with Small pieces of gold, the blades with
filver backs, and the fheaths with foliage. The belts of their fabres
were embroidered with gold ; they wore filver rings and Nuremberg
beads in their ears; feals and braver Skins, and fome India fluffs, were
feen among them ; their veffels were made of hollowed trees. In.
43 deg. 45 min. North lat. land was again difcovered; as alSo in 44
deg. 12 min. lat. and 167 deg. 21 min. long, they Saw high land,
and perceived many iflands, and the main land. A little more northerly many Seals were obServed, and a Sort of grafs floating in the
fea. In 45 deg. 12 min. North lat. and 169 deg. 36 min. tong. the
land appeared afar off like iflands; but when they came near it,
they found it was a continent covered with-fnow in many places;
here they went on fhore, but the country Was deSert. In a valley, not
far from the coaft, there was a brook of clear frefh water, along
which they found alfo low Shrubs, cherry-trees, Sorrel, wild cabbage,'
leeks, and nettles; they Saw neither men nor beafts, except one fox.'
In 46 deg. 15 min. lat.. and 172 deg. 16 min. long, as alSo in 172
deg. 53 min. long, appeared a chain oS high mountains. Land was'
likewiSe discovered in 47 deg. 8 min. lat. and 173 deg. 53 min. long,
but no Soot Set on it. This land lies, according to the journal of the
Ship Brefkes, 12.deg.. more eaflerly than the Eaft point of Japan,.
which is Situate in 38 deg. 4 min, difference of lat. 9 deg. ^ min.
courfe N, E. by E. and S. W. by W.
From whence I conclude, that the fituation of the pretended land
Wf:" of
1 g   u3   )
of Jefi, is the fame with the iflands laid down in this map, and that
the latter may, without any inconsistency, be put in the place.of the
former: For neither the navigation of the Brefkes, or of the Caftricom, prove that all the land thefe fhips met with was united ; Matf-
■mey is taken for one ifland by Meff. de Lifte and Buache, notwithstanding many accotlnt^ efpecially thofe of the Miffionaries of Japan,
and even thofe of the Caftricom, are againft this opinion. But as.
fubmiffion is already paid in this point, why is not the Same acknowledgement ,made in regard to the iflands Kunafchir, Urup Figurnoi,
Ziturnoi, ,&c;   e
The reality of the ifland of Nedefcha is not denied; but if the
journals of the Caftricom and the Brefkes have any credit, and ail the
land which they havf febn, is taken for continent, then this alfo cannot Stand ;'which, if we grant them the faid navigation, proves too
much, and ddffiequently is not at all conclusive, even for Meff.
de Lifte and Buache. Neither is it a proof for them, that the Europeans in, Japan have heard the land of Jefo defcribed as a large
continent. What -has been faid above," thatthe inhabitants of all thefe
iflands are called by the Japannefe by one common name of Jefo, may
have occafione^^h.e miftake; with which, the Ships Caftricom and
Brefkes being prejudiced, they believed thereSore that all the land they
Saw, was one and the Same ifland. By this they may have been prevented from making enquiries into the openings and bays obferved by
them, which were probably ftreights between the iflands. Thus it is
even unneGeffary to call to our affiftance a forced change of places, as
has been done above, for the explanation of the prefent fituation of
thofe parts. Van Ketilen fets down in his map, that Jefo is contiguous to Tartary, of which hitherto nothing can be faid with certainty ±
though I am Sure that Jefo is certainly divided into iflands. Such
like teftimonies Serve at leaft to Secure an opinion from being called
rafhneSs. The fame order and names of the iflands have been retained as they are fet down in the Ruffian Atlas, according to Captain
Spangberg's voyage, without employing any other affiftance. The
comparing of thefe accounts with the former, may be of ufe in future
enquiries into theSe parts, which it is to be wifhed will not be left
undone, in order to remove all doubt that may remain concerning
the land of Jefo. Japan is laid out in imitation of Meff. D'Anville
and Bellin. It is true, Father Charlevoix fays, that according to a
new map- corrected after the aftronomical obfervations of the Jefuits
m China, this empire lies between 157 and 175 deg. longitude. But
P this (    "4    )
this is an evident error, from whence it would follow that, contrary
to experience, Ships would be obliged to Sail from Kamtfchatka to
Japan directly Southward. My emendations in refpeCt to Kamtfchatka, may be feen by comparing this map with the former. la
general, Kamtfchatka appears now a good deal longer than before,
fince the Penfhinfkian bay takes up a greater extent to the North.
The river Penfhina emptied itSelf, in the Kirilowian map, on the
Weft ; and, on the map in the Ruffian Atlas, on the Eaft fide into the
bay : Here it falls into the Northetfeoft corner of it. All the rivers
have almoft got another fituation, and many of them a corrected orthography too. The moft remarkable mistakes were in the rivers
Plutora and Tigil or Kigil, the firft of which was laid out two degrees too far to the South, and the fecond fo much too far Northerly, There remained not fo much as one degree of latitude between
the mouths of both j and the difference ought to amount to five degrees. There is no room left here for uncertainty or doubt, as thefe
rivers belong to the principal ones of the country ; and they are frequently vifited by the inhabitants of both the Ruffian Ojlrogs, on the
river Kamtfchatka; fince the road from the river Penfkina to the Tigil, and from thence to the rivers Kamtfchatka, Bolfchaia reka, &e.
has been defcribed by furveyors j and Since, laftly, it is exaCtly known .
in Kamtfchatka that the rivers which fall into the fea on" either fide,
are oppofite to one another. People travel from Anadirfkoi Oftrog to
the river Kamtfchatka, and pafs the river Olura half way : consequently it muft be in about 61 deg. North lat. for the mouth of the
river Kamtfchatka is in 56 deg. or fomething more Northerly. But
the mouth of the Tigil is known for certain to be in the fame latitude with the' mouth of Kamtfchatka. At Bolcheretfkoi Oftrog, and
in St Peter and Paul's harbour, aftronomical obfervations have beea
made, which determined the fituation of thefe places.
Bolfcheretfkoi Oftrog in
St Peter and Paul's harbour
Mouth of the Bolfchaia-reka
South point of Kamtfchatka
This may fuffice at prefent concerning Kamtfchatka.    As to that
part of the map which exhibits the American difcoveries, they are
taken from drawings made on board the Ships, aSter the beft reconciliation
52 54^
174  10
53    W
176   |p
fl 54
5i    3 (    »5    )
clliation of the different, accounts, and therefore I am not anfwerable
for it, if, in fome places, a difference Should be obferved between
the defcription and the niaj*. My work herein has been no more
than to connect together, according to probability, by points, the
coafts that had been feen in various places, MonS. Buache, who before had taken the coaft Seen between 51 and 52 degrees North latitude, and 21 degrees longitude from Awatfcha (MonS. de Lifte Says,
miftakenly, 12 degrees) for a diftinCt and Separate country or ifland,
has Sollowed this advice in his neweft maps, and in general has hit the
mark pretty well, notwithftanding Several coafts, belonging to the
connexion, were not known to him. But fince the cafe may be the
fame here, as that which caufed us to fay fo much on occafion of
Jefo, I mean, an uncertainty whether the land be ifland or continent,
prudence requires us not to truft too much to fuppofition, but to leave
to future difcoveries to confirm which of thefe is the real circumftance
in this affair.
I have likewiSe thought proper to conneCt the Ruffian difcoveries,
after the example of Meff. de Lifte and Buache, with the parts of A-
merica already known. For this purpofe it was neceffary to be directed by a map of America, the exaCtnefs of which cannot be denied.
I chofe that of Mr Green, it being juft at hand during the work.
According to which, the then known parts of America are therein
planned. Had fuch aftronomjcal obfervations been taken on board of
our fhips, as were defigned, the diftance between the new-diScovered
parts, and thoSe already known beSore, might have been determined
with m$$£>certainty: But for want of that, our fole and only grounds
lirei^be fhip's reckoning, which we fhall not infift upon, fuppofing
future navigations may Shew a difference from the prefent determination. 'Till that fhall happen, the decifion of Mr Dohbs's doubt may
be deferred; he will not take all for continent that our. people have
feen, except it be confirmed by new difcoveries. All is, to reprefent
a large ifland. Indeed, the hoped-for North Weft paffage from Hudfon's Bay to the South Sea, is rendered more difficult by our opinion,
and lofes almoft its probability. But I have given the groja^ds, why
one may reafonably fuppofe that the continent of America extends as
far as the neighbourhood of the country of Tfchuktfchi. I could wifh
Mr Dobbs might be right; Ruffia would lofe nothing by it. Her
future poijEeilions would be the more inconteftible, fince no European
would be able to boaft of haj^ng ever had any knowledge of this gjatat
ifland. And, oa the other hand, the enterprizes of the Engfjjh,
P 2 with - V
ii 6    )
w.irfi refpeCt to finding out the North Weft paffage, which certainly T&
to be wifhed, for more reafons than one, might be the more conveniently. Supported. But it feems to me," that hitherto the contrary-
opinion is the moft probable.
What has been   faid above,   is a fufficient declaration   why   the
Weftern Sea of M. William de Lifte, and the pretended- difffjveries of
Admiral de Fdfilfe, have no place here.'*W$i% always much bettfeffro   '
omit whatever is uncertain, and leave a void Space, till future difcoveries ffiallj|fjfertain the affair in diSpute.
Finally, 1 fnigetiot taken any notice, eitheraj^the map, ^fceih this
description, concerning the pertinent accomitof M. de Guigne, which
he has collected from Chinefe writings, and communicated, in 1752,
to the Academy of Belles Lettres at Paris, and inferted afterwards in
the Journal des Sgavans for the month of December in the fame year j.
becaufe M. de Gaubil,' at Peking, a perfon very converfant in the
language and hiftory of the Chinefe, gives no credit to that account;.,
but, on the contrary, believes it to be a mere fiCtic^^'The affl^ty.-^'
and Sincerity of this man cannot be questioned, he has given proofs
thereof in many writings, which do honour to his. country, his order,,
and our academy, of whidl^le is a member; his judgmem^ therefore muft be rounded on an entire^onviCtion^ -yiie^^e^^^ffatfi^,
and my own justification,, obliges me to infert Father Gaubill's'^f^^
words, from his letter of the 23d of November 1755, to the illustrious president of our Academy. ^'Mous avons vu ici les Cartes de
'.Lifte et Buache, fur les decouvertes des Ruffiens en Amerique..
Un Francois, nomme Monf. de 'Guignes, qui.etudie la Chinoife a Paris,.
croit qui I a decouvert dans les libres Chinois un Voyage ^llhiriois de-
la Chine jujqu' d la Californie «z Amerique, %flis fan deW^G. 458..
II a fait graver une Carte de ce Voyage-, et a lu la deffus diverfes Memoires a IAcademic des Infcriptions et Belles Lettres. Je crois qui ce-
voyage eft une fable, et j'ai ecrit a M. de Guignes mes raifons en re-
pondant a une de fes Lettres ou ii me detailloit fa decouverie..
" We have feen here tKFj& of Meff. de Lifte and\ Buache, on
the difcoveries of the Ruffians in America. A Frenchman, named
M. de Guignes, who ftudies the Chinefe language at Paris, believes he
has difcovered in the Chinefe books, a voyage of the Chinefe from
China, as far as California, in America, in the year of Jefus Cbf^^^Z
He has had a map engraved of this voyage, and has read divers'Memoirs before the Academy of Infcriptions and Belles Lettres on that
Subject.    I believe that this voyage is a fiction,, and I have wrote to
M. de- {    ii7 0
one of his
Now, it
s grounds
s fee that
yet fome-
bring fuch
of Ruffia,
honour to
rage them
other na-
l this. A
pan deface,
•y does the
our  great
hed by her
)f bringing.
DEI !i
(    no    J
\yifh refpec"
to be wifh1
niently- Su|
opinion is t j
What h
Weftern St
Admiral dt
omit whati
veries Shall
he has coll
to the Acac p r^tejffc
7 the Journal
becauSe M
language ai ^fe
but, on the I
and fincerii
thereof in i
and our ac
fore muft %
and my ow
words, froi   :
ous prefide:
Meff. de Li
Un Franco!;   ,
croit qui I a
la Chine ju
II a fait gr
moires a lyy.
^voyage eft u
pondant a i
i We I
the difcove
M, de Guig
has difcov€
China, as fa  - K^-    ^j^ffis!
He has had
moirs beSoi
Subject.    I Beiie?rthat this voyage is a fiction,
and I have wrote to {    H7 I
M. ^ Guignes my reafons for fo thinking, in my anfwer to ofte of his
letters, wherein he gave me a detail of his difcovery." Now, it
is M. de Guignes's bufinefs to communicate to the world his grounds
for fupporting his opinion againft Father Gaubil.
I beg leave to conclude with a general observation: We fee that
the refult of. all is, that although much has been done, yet fome-
thing ftill remains to be executed. May we not hope to bring Such
an important work to perfection ? The glorious Sovereigns of Ruffia,
in imitation of Peter the Great, efteem it their higheft honour to
promote the. fciences. They endeavour not Ǥfeto encourage them
among their own Subjects, but they alSo communicate to other nations Such improvements as are made therein, by their regulations,
and at their own expences. No praiSe is more lafting than this. A
Prince hereby erects forhimSelf monuments that no time can deface,
no accidents deftroy. Such a monument dqes^the firft Kamtfchatka
expedition raiSe for its author Peter the Great. Such glory does the
fecond expedition give to the happy reign of Elizabeth, our great
This accounf^f the difcoveries already'made, are publifhed by her
order, for the ufe. of the Jwfiole world,, and the hopes of bringing
them to perfection*.
INDEX. 120
Ochotzk, fituation of
dytgin, Lieutenant,  his v
Ob to the river Jenifei
I   iV   D
Pawlutzki, Captain, his-expedition againft the
Tfchuktfchi 56.    Defeats them .56, 57
Porotow, Alexei, his depofition 16
Soud, a £*JWweight  •    '-*<%&-? ■■        12.
Promyfchleni, their voyages-ftom£>£«a towards
the Eaft c.    Their account of the ifthmus of
Tfchuktfchi « 6"
■ PfAtfjfffchtfche™, Lieutenant, his voyage from
jakutzk for Kaift^^pk^ 62. Dies, and is
fucceeded bv Chariton Laptiew 63
Puchotfcdi ifland   109
R -
liable^ ^Ruffian com  ■—     , _ -   12.
Ruffians,   known to the inhabitants  of Kar.
Jchatka before the year  1697, 9.
of living in the winter zt.No-va Zei
Scurvy, defcripi
the beft remedy foi
effe&s  95.
his depofition :    —
ffa^s, account of 40.    voyages
S'heftakow, Afanajei, ordered to proceed againft
the Tfchuktfchi, and to make enquiries about
fhe pretended ifland oppofite to Kamtfchatka,
as alio of the Schantarian and Kurilian iflands
. $2.    He was to be joined by Captain Pawlutzki with 4GO Co^ar/  53.     Send* Iwan
Scheftakow to. the river Ud and coaftof Kamtfchatka 53.    Sets out for Tauifkoi Oftrog 53.
Is defeated and flam by the Tfchuktfchi     54
Scheftakow, Iwan, account of hl&ybyage      $.5
Schitiki, a kind of boats, account of
Schtinnikow, Andreas,   chief of fome >
his inhuman behaviour to fome Japanefe 51
Condemned to be hanged for it ih.
Sea Cats, defcription of       >•«••  -■« 101
Sea Cows, or Manati, defcription of 102
Sea Lion, defcription of   ib.
Serdze Camen, a mountain, why fo.called 48,56
Spangberg, Captain, fails from Ochotzk to the
fouthward, in company with Lieut, Walton,
to make difcoveries of the land of Japan 6<
Rendezvous at the Kurilian iflands ib. Separated from Lieut. Walton ib. Comes to an
anchor off Japan 70. His obferuatians du-
<■' .lg§g-the voyage 72. His account of Japan
not deemed fatisfa&ory at Petersburg 76.
Ordered to make another voyage thither ib.
Sails again for Japan, but could not proceed
*a account of the Ieakiuefs of his veffel 77.
E   X.
His account of Japan flow deemed authentic, and accepted by geographers ■ 77
Staduchin, "Michael, "his" voyages in 1644 and'
' 1647,  7.    Builds an Oftrog on the river Ko-
Staduchin, Wafilei, his voyage in fearch of the
' i oppofite' the coaft of Kamtfchatka
pofite to
s accoui
• Penfch.
ifland op-
14. Remarks"
Tfchirikow, Captain, fails With Commodore Bering 8z.-. Sejajjated from him ib. Makes the
coaft of America ib. Sends ten of his people
~ on fhore for frefh water 83. Sends another
boat to bring the people, as they had not yet
returned ih. Was at laft obliged to fail without them on his return to Kamtfchatka 84,
Makes the coaft of America again, being the
fame land that Capt. Bering had made 97. Is
vifited hy fome of the' inhabitants ib. Arrives
at the bay of Awatfcha, after encountering,
many difircnlties and dangers *    ' 58
Tfchukotfchia river, account of 7
TfdSuktfchi ifthmus defcribed :o°* *<      'ib.
Tfchuktfchi, a Pagan nation, account of, and expeditions againft 24, 25.    The fame as the
' ^rrlaoifants ofCumul mentioned by Venetus 28
Tfchuktskoi Nofs, account of 109. Its diftance
from' the river jfnadir       -    j   •   ■ 27
Tungufi, a Pagan nation, account of 54.
Urak river, account of .— ..         86
Wagin, Mercmrei, his voyage in fearch of the
pretended ifland oppofite the coaft of Kamtfchatka \% ,'^fUrdered by his Coffacs        18
Walton, Lieut, account of his voyage to Japan
73. Sends a boat on fhore there ib. Returns to Bolfchairela river 76
Waxel, Lieut, who fucceeded Commodore Bering in the command, has the mortification to
fee his veffel drove afhore gtif j©ifcovers that
the land they were on was not the continent,
but an ifland 99. Calls a council, inJrafck
it was agreed to build a fmall veffel out of the
materials of the wreck, to carry them home
184. His contrivance to procure tar 105.
Launches his new veffel ib. Proceeds on his
voyage, and arrives at the bay of Awatfcha
Werknei Oftrog built ■- ■ ■ 33
Wtrft, a Ruffian land meafure —       10
Witzen, his acroimt of the fhip Bruits to Ja-
FINIS.       G(>8o  a\9    '7&
| ^o^S'S' 


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