A Voyage Down the Amoor: With a Land Journey through Siberia, and Incidental Notices of Manchooria, Kamschatka, and Japan


Perry McDonough Collins was appointed the American Commercial Agent to the Amur River in March 1856. He arrived at his post in Irkutsk in January 1857 after a 35-day overland journey from Moscow. On June 4, 1857, he began a trip down the Amur River, which forms the border between the Russian Far East and northeastern China. On July 10, he arrived at the mouth of the river, becoming the first American to sail its course. In March 1858 Collins sent a report to the U.S. Department of State on the great potential of the Amur River for American trade in Asia, helping to set off a mini-boom in American interest in Siberia. A Voyage Down the Amoor recounts Collins’ adventures and observations. Collins later launched a project to link Europe and the United States with a telegraph line that would run through Alaska and across the Bering Strait to Siberia. Construction of the project began but was abandoned once the feasibility of the shorter and less expensive trans-Atlantic undersea cable was established.

Last updated: December 12, 2017