Irkutsk: Typ. Of N.N. Sinitsyn, 1880. Item #584
With a large folding lithographed map at rear. Original publisher’s wrappers. Paper slightly age toned, wrappers with minor creases, otherwise a very good copy.
First and only edition. Very rare East Siberian imprint with no paper copies found in Worldcat. First-hand account of the great fire in the main city of the Irkutsk province which happened on June 22- 24, 1879 and destroyed the most part of the old Irkutsk. The account was written by Dmitry Larionov, a cavalry officer, aide-de-camp to the military governor of Irkutsk General Konstantin Shelashnikov, and at the same time a publicist and secretary of Irkutsk Provincial Statistical Committee in 1869 – early 1880s. Larionov authored several books on the statistics of the Irkutsk province; his manuscripts reports about statistics and several censuses in the province are now in the library of Irkutsk University. With a group of about 20 soldiers he took a direct part in the fight with the fire; the account contains his personal impressions and those of the other witnesses interviewed by him, quotes from the government decrees, materials from the archive of the Irkutsk Statistical Committee and the special commission organized to investigate the cause of the fire and to help the victims, contemporary newspapers, printed speech of the Governor General of Eastern Siberia which was hung on the remaining houses, etc. The book includes six chapters: 1) Brief overview of the location and state of Irkutsk before the fire; 2) The fire on the 22nd of June: losses of buildings, human casualties; 3) Actions to help the sufferers, overview of the anti-fire measures; state of the fire stations in Irkutsk before the fire; 4) Meteorological information to the 24th and 25th of June. Second fire. The development of the fire, actions of police, military men and civilians. Statistical information about burned buildings, losses for science, typographies and lithographies, pharmacies, telegraph, human casualties; 5) [Government and private help after the fire; establishment of aid services and committees and their actions; one-day census of the inhabitants of Irkutsk after the fire; crimes; epidemics]; 6) Influence of the Irkutsk disaster on the economy of the province, administration and population.
The main text is supplemented with a list of government and public buildings and organizations perished in the fire. Large interesting map lithographed in the local typography of N. Sinitsyn shows the modern-day historical core of Irkutsk, on the site where Irkut River flows into Angara, with the Glazkovsk, Znamensk and Remeslennoye suburbs, now all parts of the city centre. The map outlines the two areas burned during the fires on June 22 and 24, and the part of the city which wasn’t affected; marks main streets, buildings (specially emphasizing stone buildings) and the sites where the fires started. The map shows the quarter where stood the office of the Russian American Company (Spaso-Lyuteranskaya, now Surikova Street, 24), this area also suffered in the fire on June 24. The insert in the upper left corner contains a brief statistical report about the damage: the fire destroyed 75 city quarters with 856 private estates, which included 86 stone and 1648 houses and 19 stone and 1790 uninhabited structures; five stone and one wooden Orthodox churches, one wooden Lutheran church, one wooden Catholic church, two Jewish synagogues, four stone and one wooden Gostiny dvors (markets), customs house and a meet market. Overall a very rare interesting source on the history of Irkutsk and East Siberia, with a detailed map, preserved in the original publisher’s wrappers.