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printed at St. Petersburg in 1752 or 1753; the original Russian I have not seen. It was translated, however, into French and printed at Berlin (not dated) in 1753, under the following title: "Lettre d'un officier de la Marine Russienne. A un Seigneur de la Cour concernant la carte des nouvelles découvertes au nord de la mer du Sud et le mémoire qui y sert d'explication. Publiée par M. de l'Isle. à Paris en 1752. Traduit de l'Original Russe, à Berlin, chez Haude et Sperer, Libraires de la Cour et de l'Academie Royale (1753)."

This edition forms part of my library, and is the only copy which I know of in the United States. It is not to be found in the Library of Congress, the Astor Library, the Boston Athenæum, or the Boston Public Library. It is not even in the Royal Library at St. Petersburg, but, as might be anticipated, is in the British Museum. I find it nowhere catalogued in any bibliography of arctic or subarctic works. The French edition was inserted, with some changes, it is believed, in the eighteenth volume of the Nouvelle Bibliotheque Germanique.

8. "A letter from a Russian Sea-Officer to a Person of Distinction at the Court of St. Petersburg, containing Remarks on Mr. de l'Isle's Chart and Memoir relative to the New Discoveries North and East from Kamtschatka, together with some Observations on that Letter by Arthur Dobbs, Governor of East Carolina, to which is added Mr. de l'Isle's Explanatory Memoir on his Chart." Svo, 85 pp., London, 1754.

The "Arthur Dobbs" who published this edition, and who possibly was the translator thereof, is well known as the energetic promoter of the discovery of the "northwest passage," and was personally interested in discovery voyages to Hudson bay. The explanatory memoir of de l'Isle's chart is a translation of the memoir previously mentioned as belonging to the map of 1752, which memoir I have not been able to consult in the original French. It may be added that Dobbs' reproduction of the "Letter from a Russian naval officer" is not accurate, the translation in places being so carelessly or indifferently made that the text cannot be relied on for critical purposes.

This English translation is to be found neither in the Library of Congress, the Boston Public Library, the Boston Athenæum, nor in the Library of the American Geographic Society. It is, however, in the Astor Library, and a second copy at one time belonged to the library of Mr. J. C. Brevoort.

Origin of de l'Isle's Map.


9. "Mappe Monde. Carte Universelle de la Terre. Par J. B. Nolin, Geographe." 1755, 20 x 27 inches. On this appear the legends: "I. de Beering; Detroit de Nord; Terres découvertes par les Ruses [sic] en 1741; Terres veues en 1741.”

It is quite possible that this is the first map of the world on which Bering island was charted.

10. John Christopher Adelung's very interesting history of sea voyages for the discovery of a "northeast passage," which was published in quarto form under the following title: "Geschichte der Schiffahrten und Versuche welche zur Entdeckung des Nordöstlichen Weges nach Japan und China von verschiedenen Nationen unternommen worden. Zum Behufe der Erdbeschreibung und Naturgeschichte dieser Gegenden entworfen von Johann Christoph Adelung, Herzoglich Sachsichen Rath Halle bey Johann Justinus Gebauer, 1768."

11. Notice des Ouvrages de M. d'Anville. 8°, Paris, An. X [1802], 120 pp. By Barbie du Bocage.

In addition to these and other works from my own collection, I have consulted at the library of the United States Naval Observatory, in this city, "Histoire de l'Academie Royale des Sciences, Année 1750," Paris, 1754, and the same, "Année 1754," Paris, 1757, which contain articles on de l'Isle's manuscript maps of 1731 and 1752, the latter being substantially identical with the published map of 1752.

From Dall's review we learn that Lauridsen is responsible for the statement that the discoveries of Bering in his first voyage were shown on a chart made at Moscow in 1731, but no authority is given as to the cartographer. Later I shall adduce evidence to confirm Dall's opinion that the Moscow map was merely a copy, such as were distributed to personages of importance or to those connected with the expedition. It is further susceptible of, as I think, tolerably satisfactory proof that the outlines of Kamshatka, with fairly correct meridians of longitude, were made public in a chart by de l'Isle not in 1731, but the year following, 1732, and it is likely that the lost map of that year was substantially reproduced in the chart of 1752, which I have the pleasure of now presenting for your examination.

De l'Isle presented this map to the Academy of Sciences of Paris on April 8, 1750. The circumstances connected with the

presentation have been drawn from the official records of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and are as follows:*

Cette année (1750) M. de l'Isle lut à l'assemblee publique de l'Acadèmie, un Mémoire sur les Nouvelles Découvertes au nord de la mer du Sud; et presenta en meme temps une Carte que M. Buache avoit dressée sur ses Mémoires, et qui representoit ces Découvertes avec toute la partie du Globe terrestre, à laquelle elles appartiennent. Ces Ouvrages, alors manuscrit, furent depuis publiés en 1752, M. Buache presenta dans cette meme année la première partie de ses Considérations géographiques sur le meme sujet, avec les Cartes qui y étoient relatives.†

"Muni de ces premières connoissances [referring to the discoveries of 1729–1739] M. de l'Isle traça une carte qui representoit l'extremite orientale de l'Asie, avec la partie opposée de l'Amerique septentrionale qui y répond, afin de faire voir aisément ce qui restoit à découvrir, et il dressa un Mémoire dans lequel il exposoit la manière qu'il jugeoit la plus avantageuse pour faire ces découvertes."‡

"Mais les vaisseaux Russes qui avoient été envoyés pour les découvertes dont nous venons de parler (1731-1741), n'étant pas encore revenus lorsqu'elle lui fut envoyé il extremit l'examen après son retour en France, qui étoit assez prochain. A son arrivée, il communiqua ses vues et cette relation a M. Buache; celui-ci, qui par la," etc., etc.¶

"Cette Mémoire [de l'Isle, 1750] étoit accompagnée d'une carte qui étoit comme l'esquisse du système géographique de M. de l'Isle sur cette partie.”*

It has been pointed out by several authorities that some of M. de l'Isle's statements in his memoir of 1752 are to be received with caution, especially his elaborate endeavors to impress the Paris Academy with the belief that the discoveries of Bering subsequent to the first voyage were the result of his (de l'Isle's) own carefully considered instructions. In this connection Adelung says:

"De l'Isle, in his Explication de la carte des nouvelles découvertes au Nord [1752], traces out his proposed route quite differently [referring to de l'Isle's previous statements in his report to the St. Petersburg Academy in 1732], somewhat as if it had been outlined in view of accomplished facts."

* Extracts from Histoire de l'Acadèmie Royale des Sciences, Année MDCCL (1750), 4°, Paris, 1754; and the same, Année 1753, 4°, Paris, 1757. † Loc. cit., "Année MDCCL," p. 142

ན Ibid.,

‡ Ibid.,

p. 151.

p. 145.

* Loc. cit., "Année 1753," p. 263.

De l'Isle's own Statements.


It behooves us, then, to inquire carefully into the authenticity of the alleged map of de l'Isle of 1731, since if he antedated his opinions as to the route he might also have antedated his map. Fortunately we do not have to depend only on de l'Isle's own statement, either in 1750 before the Academy of Sciences at Paris, or as published in 1738 at St. Petersburg and printed at the printing office of the Royal Academy; for we also have extraneous and convincing evidence, even from sources critically hostile to the French astronomer.

M. de l'Isle, in his Mémoires sur les Nouvelles découvertes au Nord de la mer du Sud, Paris, 1752, says:

"After I had, near twenty years ago, got these first informations of the longitude of Kamschatka by means of Captain Bering's map and journal, I made use of them in constructing the map, representing the eastern extremity of Asia, with the opposite coast of North America, in order to show at once what still remains for discovery between two large parts of the world.

"This map I had the honor of presenting to the Empress Anne and the Senate, in order to animate the Russians to undertake these discoveries, and it took effect, this princess ordering a second voyage to be made according to the plan which I had drawn up for it."

"Two maps," he adds, were presented to the Academy in Paris, "one being a copy of the map which I had drawn at St. Petersburg, 1731, on Captain Bering's first voyage, and had the honor of presenting to the Empress Anne and the Senate, with a manuscript memoir explaining its use and construction." The other map (from which the lithograph before you was lately reproduced) was, according to de l'Isle, only changed by adding the later discoveries of Bering and his lieutenants.

De l'Isle further says of this chart:

“The second manuscript map which I laid before the Academy at Paris was in all respects like the former, only with the advantages of the new discoveries made since 1731."

Ph. Buache, the French geographer, made for de l'Isle a reduced copy of the second chart, and it is supposed that the map before you is a substantial reproduction of that copy.

In the preface to de l'Isle's scattered essays, 1738, St. Petersburg, page 2, we find:

"Aiant comparé la situation du Kamschatka et des pais voisins, avec celle de la Chine, du roiaume de Corée, du Japon, et de la terre d'Yeco, qui m'étoit connue d'ailleurs, je me suis fait un sistème, & j'ai dressé l'an

29-NAT. GEOG. MAG., VOL. III, 1891.

1731, une carte de cette extremité orientale de l'Asie. J'ai marque aussi sur cette carte les dernières terres connues de l'Amerique, les plus voisines de cette partie septentrionale de l'Asie, afin de faire voir ce qui restoit encore d'inconnu entre-deux. On trouvera dans ce recueil une reduction de cette carte, avec le Mémoire que j'ai dressé dans ce temsla, & lu a l'Academie, dans lequel je rends raison de la construction de cette carte."

Only one volume of de l'Isle's essays appeared, so that the map and memoir promised in the introduction were never, so far as can be learned, published in their original form. The statements made by de l'Isle, however, unless definitely refuted, should be given full credit, seeing that the work was published by the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg, to which the map and memoir were presented, as is claimed, only seven years earlier. A doubt does, however, exist as to the date of the map made by de l'Isle. On this point Adelung, in his "History of Northeastern Voyages," Halle, 1768, page 569, evidently quoting from Müller, says:

"On the 17th of April, 1732, the order was, therefore, sent from the privy Cabinet to the Senate, which thereupon inquired of the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg what and how much had as yet been found out about Kamschatka, the surrounding countries and waters. The Academy confided the making of the report to Mr. Delisle, who prepared a chart upon which Kamschatka, Jeso, according to the description of the crew upon the Castricom, the Staten island, Company island, and the coast of Gama were designated. This chart was supplemented by a memoir in which he described the discoveries already made and suggested various routes for making new ones. He expressed himself in regard to those routes in the following manner: 'If one have attained the northern boundary of Asia, and at the same time the eastern limits, as far as Captain Bering went on his first voyage, one cannot fail to arrive in America, and might even choose the route, either northeast or southeast, whichever he prefers, as he would have, at most, only 600 miles to pass over. 2. Or, without venturing so far, it would perhaps be better and more comfortable to sail from the east coast of Kamschatka, go directly east, to look for the neighboring country which Bering found traces of in his first voyage. 3. Finally, he thought that if they should sail southeast from Kamschatka they would perhaps more speedily and more certainly discover the country seen by Juan de Gama.''

Can the inconsistency between the dates, as given by Müller and Adelung on the one hand, and by de l'Isle on the other, be reconciled, or is it apparent rather than real? As Bering, according to the Russian marine officer (Waxel ?) returned to St. Petersburg on March 1, 1730, it is reasonable to suppose that de l'Isle,

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