Turkistan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara, and Kuldja


Eugene Schuyler (1840–90) was an American diplomat, explorer, author, and scholar who was one of the first foreigners invited by the Russian government to see Russia’s newly conquered territories in Central Asia. In 1873, while serving as the secretary of the American legation in Saint Petersburg, Schuyler made an eight-month trip through lands then little known to outsiders. He gathered extensive geographical information and wrote accounts of his travels for the National Geographic Society and a lengthy confidential report for the U.S. Department of State. He was critical of Russian treatment of the Tartars but otherwise saw the Russian presence in Central Asia as benign. Turkistan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara, and Kuldja is Schuyler’s two-volume account of his travels. Volume one begins on the Russian steppe and the Volga River before proceeding to Central Asia proper, with chapters on the Syr Darya, Tashkent, Muslim life in Tashkent, bazaars and trade, Samarkand, the Zarafshan Valley, and Hodjent (present-day Khujand, Tajikistan) and Kurama (a mountain range in present-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). Volume two completes the geographic survey of the region with chapters on Khokand, Bukhara, Issyk Kul (in present-day Kyrgyzstan) and Semiretch (present-day Semirech’e, Kazakhstan), and Kuldja (in present-day China), and concludes with chapters on Russian administration, Russian foreign policy in Asia, and the Khivan campaign of 1873, in which Russia conquered the Khivan khanate. Both volumes contain appendices with supplemental materials and translations of primary documents, for example, at the end of volume one, a summary of early Chinese and medieval European travelers to Central Asia and the accounts of their voyages. Published in 1876 in the United States and Britain, the book includes illustrations, three maps, and a detailed index.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Scribner, Armstrong & Company, New York


Title in Original Language

Turkistan; notes of a journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara, and Kuldja, by Eugene Schuyler

Type of Item

Physical Description

2 volumes : illustrations, portraits, maps ; 24 centimeters

Last updated: September 30, 2016