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probable that these tribes will be gradually subdued by the Russian colonists, who, towards the end of the last century, passed over from the eastern extremity of Asia to the continent of America. The progress of these Russian Siberians towards the south ought naturally to be more rapid than that of the Spanish Mexicans towards the north. A people of hunters, accustomed to live in a foggy, and excessively cold, climate, find the temperature of the coast of New Cornwall very agreeable; but this coast appears an uninhabitable country, a polar region to colonists from a temperate climate, from the fertile and delicious plains of Sonora and New California.
The Spanish government since 1?88 has begun to testify uneasiness at the appearance of the Russians on the north-west coast of the new continent. Considering every European nation in the light of a dangerous neighbour, they examined the situation of the Russian factories. The fear ceased on its being known at Madrid that these factories did not extend eastwards beyond Cook's Inlet. When the emperor Pauhin 1799, declared war against Spain, it was some time in agitation at Mexico to prepare a maritime expedition in the ports of San Blas and Monterey against the Russian colonies in America. If this project had been carried into execution we should have been at hostilities two nations who, occupying the opposite extremities of Europe, approach each other in the other hemisphere on the eastern and western limits of their vast empires.
The interval which separates these limits becomes progressively smaller; and it is for the political interest of New Spain to know accurately the parallel to which the Russian nation has already advanced towards the east and south. A manuscript which exists in the archives of the viceroyalty of Mexico, already cited by me, gave me only vague and incomplete notions. It describes the state of the Russian establishments as they were twenty years ago. M. Malte Brun, in his universal geography, gives an interesting article on the north-west coast of America. He was the first who made known the account of the voyage of Billings*, published by M. Sarytscheto, which is preferable to that of M. Saucr. I flatter myself that I am able to give from very recent data, drawn from an official productionf, the position of the Russian factories, which are merely collections of sheds and huts, that serve, however, as emporiums for the fur trade.
* Account <yf the geographical and astronomical expedition, undertaken for exploring the coast of the Icy Sea, the land of the Tshutski, and the islands between Asia and America, under the command of Captain Billings, between the years 1785 and 179*> ty Martin Sauer, secretary to the expedition. Putetchestviie flota-kapitana Sarytschewapo severovoostochnoi tschasti sibiri, ledowitaxva mora, i laostochnogo oheana, 1804.
f Carta des ddcouvertes faites successivement par des navigateurs Russes dans F Ocean Pacifique, et dans lamer glaciate, sorrigle d'apres Us observations astronomiques lesplus rccentes de plusieurs navigateurs etrangcrs, gravee au depot des Cartes de sa Majeste I'Empercur de toutes les Russies, en 1802. This beautiful chart, for which 1 am indebted to the kindness of Af. de St. Aignan, is lm,23l (4.037 feet) in length.and 0m,722 (2.367 feet) in breadth, and embraces the extent of coast and seabetween the 40° and 720 of latitude, and the 125° and 224» of west longitude from Paris. The names are in Russian characters.
On the coast nearest to Asia, along Bering's Straits, between the 67° and 64* 10' of latitude, under the parallels of Lapland and Iceland, we find a great number of huts frequented by the Siberian hunters. The principal posts, reckoning from north to south, are, Kigiltach, Leglelachtok, Tuguten, Netschich,Tchinegriun, Chibakch,Topar, Pintepata, Agulichan, Chavani, and Nugran, near Cape Rodney (Cap du Parent). These habitations of the natives of Russian America are only from thirty to forty leagues distant* from the huts of the Tchoutskis of Asiatic Russia. The Straits of Bering, which separates them, is filled with desert islands, of which the most northern is called Imaglin. The north-east extremity of Asia forms a peninsula, which is only connected with the great mass of the continent by a narrow isthmus between the two gulfs Mitschigmen and Kaltschin. The Asiatic coast "which borders the Straits of Bering is peopled by great numbers of cetaceous mammiferi. On this coast the Tchoutskis, who live in perpetual war with the Americans, have collected together their habitations. Their small villages are called Nakan, Tugulan, and Tschigin.
* As it is more than probable that Asiatic and American tribes have crossed the ocean, it may be curious to examine the breadth of the arm of the sea which separates the two continents under the 65° 50' of north latitude. According to the most recent discoveries by the Russian navigators, America is nearest to Siberia, on aline which crosses Bering's Straits in a direction from the south-east to the northwest, from Prince of Wales's Cape to Cape Tschoukotskoy. The distance between these two capes is 44', or 1STV leagues of 25 to the degree. The island of Imaglin is almost in the middle of the channel, being one fifth nearer the Asiatic cape. However, it is not necessary for our conceiving that Asiatic tribes established on the table-land of Chinese Tartary should pass from the old to the new continent, to have recourse to a transmigration at such high latitudes. A chain of small islands in the vicinity of one another stretches from Corea and Japan to the southern cape of the peninsula of Karatschatka, between the 33° and the 51° of latitude. The great island of Tchoka, connected with the continent by an immense sand-bank (under the 52° of latitude), facilitates communication between the mouths of 1'Amour and the Kurile Islands. Another archipelago of islands, by which the great basin of Bering is terminated on the south, advances from the peninsula of Alaska 400 leagues towards the west. The most western of the Aleutian islands is only 144 leagues distant from the eastern coast of Kamtschatka, and this distance is also divided into two nearly equal parts, the Bering and Mednoi islands, situated under the 55° of latitude. This rapid view sufficiently proves that Asiatic tribes might have gone by means of these islands from one continent to the other without going higher on the continent of Asia than the parallel of 55°, without turning the sea of Ochotsk to the west, and without a passage of more than twenty-four or thirty-six hours. The north-west winds, which, during a great part of the year blow in these latitudes, favour the navigation from Asia to America between the 50° and 60° of latitude. It is not wished in this note to establish new historical hypotheses, or to discuss those which have been hackneyed these forty years: we merely wish to afford exact notions as to the proximity of the two continents.
Following the coast of the continent of America from Cape Rodney and Norton Creek to Cape Malowodan, Cape Littlewater, we find no Russian establishment; but the natives have a great number of huts collected together on the shore between the 63* 20' and 60° 5' of latitudet The most northern of their habitations are Agibaniach and Chalmiagmi, and the most southern Kuyncgach and Kuymin.
The bay of Bristol, to the north of the peninsula Alaska (or Aliaska) is called by the Russians the gulf Kamischezkaia. They in general preserve none of the English names given by Captain Cook, and Captain Vancouver, in their charts, to the nojth of the 55° of latitude. They choose rather to give no names to the two great islands which contain the Pic Trubizin (the Mount Edgecumbe of Vancouver, and Cerro de San Jacinto of Quadra), and Cape Tschirkof (Cape San Bartholome), than adopt the denominations