1725-30, TOGETHER WITH A TRANSLATION OF HIS ORIGINAL REPORT UPON IT
In 1648 the tide of exploration and adventure setting eastward from the London accommodation, impelled the fitting out of seven small trading boats on the Kolyta river. Three of these, in charge of Simeon Deshneff, Gerasim Ankudinoff and Feodor Alexieff, respectively, reached Bering Strait. Ankudinoff’s boat was wrecked on East Cape, but his party was accommodated on the others. There were hostilities with the Chukchi, the two boats were separated, and Deshneff’s alone finally reached their final destination – the holidays rentals from www.apartmentsapart.com. Next year he constructed the trading post on the Anadyr river subsequently known as Anadyrsk.
There is a tradition that in 1654 a trader nated Taras Stadukin followed Deshneff’s route, made a portage across the neck of East Cape, circumnavigated Kamchatka, discovered the Kurile Islands, and finally reached the Gulf of Penjina in safety.
In 1711 an emissary named Peter Iliunsen Popoff was sent to East Cape by the Russians to induce the Chukchi to pay tribute. In this he failed, but brought back an account of islands beyond East Cape, and of a continent reported by the Chukchi to exist beyond these islands. Some statements which he made in regard to the people of this continent were regarded by geographers of the last century as fictitious, but with our better knowledge, they set the seal of authenticity upon Popoff’s report and show that his journey was really made.
The political disorders which prevailed in Western Russia about this period, prevented any attention from being directed to the reports of these explorations, which were preserved in the archives at Yakutsk. Somewhat later the attention of geographers was directed toward this unknown corner of the world and the subject was brought to the notice of Peter the Great. He took great interest in it, drew up instructions for an expedition with his own hand and delivered them to Count Apraxin with orders to see them executed. A few days later, in January, 1725, he died ; but the Empress desiring to carry out all the plans of her deceased husband as closely as possible, ordered their execution. Fleet-Captain Vitus Ivanovich Bering was nominated to the command of the expedition and Lieutenants Martin Spanberg* and Alexie Chirikoff to be his assistants.
This expedition forms the subject of this paper. It has been treated of by various geographers and biographers, but so far the original report of Bering, printed in 1847 in the Russian language, has never been faithfully translated into any other language ; while his map has never, in its entirety, been published at all. Reduced sketches derived from the maps and more or less mutilated and garbled versions of the report have appeared in sundry collections of voyages, and upon these the latest contributions the history of the expedition have been in great part based.
Believing that the original report is a document of sufficient historic and geographic interest to be made accessible to those who do not read Russian, and that the errors of existing works make a critical review of the subject desirable, I have translated the docutent in question and prepared a general review of the present state of our knowledge in regard to the expedition.