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A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
Impressed by the discoveries of Captain Cook, and conscious that Russia was lagging behind other countries in terms of navigation and exploration, Catherine the Great commissioned an expedition in 1785 to chart the coastline in the far north-east of her empire. Born in Middlesex, Joseph Billings (1758-1806) had sailed under Cook but entered Russian service in 1783. He was chosen to lead the expedition, which would last for nine years. Written up by Martin Sauer, secretary and translator to the expedition, this illustrated account was first published in English in 1802, documenting the sheer scale of the task and the range of scientific activities carried out. Notable for producing the first accurate maps of the shoreline and islands of east Siberia, the expedition also contributed to the ethnographic and zoological knowledge of this most inhospitable of environments.
Explanations of Russian and other foreign words
1. Departure from St Petersburg
2. A succinct account of our transactions at Irkutsk
3. Departure from Irkutsk
4. Arrival at Ochotsk
5. Departure from Ochotsk
6. Meeting of the command, under circumstances of difficulty
7. Departure from Virchni Kovima
8. Departure from Neizshni Kovima Ostrog
9. Meet with Mr Ledyard
10. Account of the Yakuti
11. Leave Yakutsk
12. Receive information from Petersburg of an enemy's ship
13. Depart from Oonalashka
14. Leave Kadiak
15. Leave Prince William's Sound
16. Mr Pribuloff appointed to the sturman's place
17. Billings abandons all thought of re-visiting the American coast
18. Reception by the natives
19. Deplorable state of the party
20. Part of the company sail for Ochotsk
21. The peninsula of Kamtshatka described
22. The La Flavia departs for Canton
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