The First Russian Naval Voyage, Taken for the Resolution of the Geographical Question: Are Asia and America Connected? Completed in 1727, '28 and '29 under the Leadership of Navy Captain of the First Rank, Vitus Bering. Includes Short Biographies of Captain Bering and the Officers Accompanying Him


In the summer of 1728, Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681‒1741) sailed in his first Pacific voyage along the Russian coast from Kamchatka to the Arctic Ocean through the waterway that subsequently became known as the Bering Strait. In his last major official act as tsar, in 1725 Peter the Great had commissioned this journey to determine if Asia and North America were connected by land. This book, the title of which includes the tsar’s basic question about a land bridge, summarized the history and results of this expedition. The journey was onerous, as Bering first had to cross overland through Siberia and then build and provision his ship, the Saint Gabriel, in Kamchatka. The endeavor thus became known as the First Kamchatka Expedition (1725‒30). This volume provides the records of daily weather reports from the expedition, as well as readings of latitude and longitude and the recording of geographical location as the Saint Gabriel sailed north. Bering’s findings were inconclusive, as ice and bad weather prevented him from proving the presence or absence of a land connection between Asia and America. To Bering’s chagrin, Peter’s tsarist successors insisted that he return for a second voyage more than ten years later with an expanded mission. On this Second Kamchatka Expedition, part of the Great Northern Expedition (1733‒43), Bering finally sighted Mount Saint Elias in southern Alaska in July 1741. Bering claimed the entire region for Russia from this location, far to the south and east of the Bering Strait. The expedition also finally resulted in confirmation that Siberia and Alaska were indeed separated by water. Bering became famous in both Russia and throughout the world for these two voyages. Perhaps as a result, this book also contains brief biographical sketches of Bering and his senior officers from the first voyage. Bering was a Lutheran captain from Denmark who spent nearly his entire career in service to the Russian state and reached high rank in the Imperial Russian Navy.

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Publication Information

Academy of Sciences of the USSR, St. Petersburg


Title in Original Language

Первое морское путешествiе россiянъ, предпринятое для рѣшенiя географической задачи: соединяется ли Азiя съ Америкою? и совершенное въ 1727, 28 и 29 годахъ подъ начальствомъ флота Капитана 1-го ранга Витуса Беринга. Съ присовокупленiемъ краткaго бiографическаго свѣденiя о Капитанѣ Берингѣ и бывшихъ съ нимъ Офицерахъ

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Physical Description

126 pages : tables, maps

Last updated: August 17, 2016