Status: Indexed


This expedition has received almost not attention in our English
histories of Alaska, and so far I have not seen it mentioned in the
Russian. Bancroft (p. 526) said, "No report of the expedition is
extant," and neither Andrews (The Story of Alaska) or Hulley
(Alaska, 1741-1953) mention it at all. Dall in Alaska and its
devotes only 62 words to it, without documentation, in a
chronological listing of historical evernts (pp. 331, 332).

My first step in this search was to consult the Arctic Biblio-
, which did not yield any results. My next step was to
consult Wickersham's Bibliography of Alaskan Literature, 1724-
, where I found three items, Nos. 6287, 6291, and 6292 per-
taining to the journey. The first one is the long account that
I mentioned in my letter to Peter-- an account of the two-year voyage
of the Good Intent written by K. K. Hillsen, who was under Shish-
. It contains valuable ethnographic and historic information
about Alaska, St. Lawrence Island and Siberia. The second item
contains only progress reports in 1820 of a few pages. No. 6292,
I discovered, is a considerably shortened version of Hillsen's
account written in German.

Of the above, we shall translate the Hillsen article and the progress
reports, but there are two other articles that I want to include ,
and which I found purely by accident. During my incarceration in the
Library of Congress last fall I checked the tables of contents of
all journals that I thought might contain articles about the expe-
ditions to Bering Strait: Morskoi Sbornik, Otechestvennye zapiski
(in which Hillsen's three-part article appeared), Sievernyi arkhiv,
Syn otechestva, and Zapiski Gidrograficheskago Detartamenta, etc.,
and the more recent journals and state and national ethnographic
and historical series. In Zapiski Gidr. Dep. for 1851 I found the
article, "Svedeniia o Chukchakh, Capt. Shishmarev." which contains
his observations of the Chukchi in his journey of 1821.

Then, by pure change, I discovered Vassili Berkh's Khronologicheskaia
istoriia vseikh puteshestvii v sievernyia poliarnyia strany
logical history of all voyages to the Arctic), volumes I and II, 1821,
1823, in an uncatalogued collection of books that had come to the
Smithsonian Libraries from William H. Dall's estate. I had inquired
about Dall's manuscript collection, now in the Smithsonian, and the
librarian Mr. Marquardt gave me permission to look through Dall's
wonderful collection of books, which has now been broken up and is
in the process of being catalogued.

I had never heard of this publication before (Berkh's history of the
discovery of the Aleutians in well known and has even been translated).
In volume two of the Chronological history of the voyages are good
summaries of various northern expenditions up to the date of publication,
including Vasiliev's and Shishmarev's two-year voyage.

At that time I had not see Lada-Mocarski's Bibliography of Books on

Notes and Questions

Please sign in to write a note for this page


Line 29 note in R margin
Wicker. 6287
-Hillsen art.
is this

Line 31 note in L margin