St. Petersburg: Typ. Of Karl Kray, 1847-1848. Item #380
Two vols. bound together. , 182; , , 120, 43,  pp., 1 map. 23,5x15 cm. Contemporary marbled papered boards neatly rebacked in style with leather spine (with gilt lettered title); original endpapers. Green paper label of the private library of Kapitan Nevostruyev attached to the front pastedown endpaper. Paper very mildly age toned, but overall a very good sound copy of this rare book.
First edition. With a large folding copper engraved map bound at rear. Very rare Russian imprint with only eight copies found in Worldcat.
‘‘Lieutenant Zagoskin’s expedition was to make an inland exploration of the northern territory of Alaska and to survey the Kvikhpak (Yukon) and Kuskokvim rivers and the region encompassed by them. Zagoskin kept a diary which forms the basis of his work. He described in detail the Russian trading posts visited and the topography of the surroundings of Norton Sound. He also gave a good account of the life and customs of the Eskimo and the Indian inhabitants and much other important first-hand information secured during the expedition’s 18 ½ months of travel, during which about 5,000 versts (some 3,000 miles) were covered on foot and in leather baidars – a truly remarkable achievement’’ (Lada-Mocarski 130).
‘‘The map must be one of the first, if not the first, printed map of the interior of Alaska along the lower course of the Yukon and between the Yukon and what is now Nome. Zagoskin’s explorations were confined chiefly to the middle course of the Kuslokwim and the lower course and northern tributaries of the Yukon’’ (Streeter 3521).
Lavrenty Zagoskin (1808-1890) had been in the service of the Russian-American Company since 1838. In 1824-44 he headed the exploratory expedition to the surroundings of the Norton and Kotzebue Sounds, during which he discovered the mountain range separating the Yukon River from the eastern shore of the Norton Sound, surveyed the basins of the local rivers, found previously unknown Aleut settlement (modern Holy Cross in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska), compiled
the first map of the area, and collected numerous zoological, botanical, mineralogical and ethnographical items. For his achievements he was elected a member of the Russian Geographical Society which published excerpts from his travel diary in its ‘‘Proceedings’’ (1846 and 1847). This the first full edition of Zagoskin’s travel account was published in two volumes in 1847-1848 and was accompanied with a large folding map outlining the route of his expedition. This edition received the Demidov Award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1849).
Our copy includes the paper exlibris label from the private library of Kapiton Nevostruyev (1816-1872), Russian church historian, archaeologist and writer, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1861). He authored the histories of over twenty Russian monasteries, as well as a fundamental description of Slavic manuscripts from the Library of the Holy Synod in Moscow (the main reference library of Russian Orthodox Church).
Arctic Bibliography 19781; Bancroft pp. 553-54; Wickersham 5904.