St. Petersburg: Naval Typ. 1832. Item #589
, , , , 275,  pp. 21x13,5 cm. Mistake in pagination with p. 96 being followed by p. 98, but no gap in text. With a folding copper engraved map at rear. Remnants of a label of a 19th-century bookshop of Alexander Smirdin on the front pastedown endpaper. Period half leather with marbled papered boards, spine with black sheep gilt title label. Binding with the cracks on hinges neatly recased, map with a tear neatly repaired, but overall a very original,clean copy of this rare book.
First and only edition, complete with the map not found in all copies, of this rare account of this early and important Russian circumnavigation, with a description of the first Russian visit to Tasmania, interesting notes on Russian America, California, Tahiti, and an account of a visit to the Rio de Janeiro residence of Georg von Langsdorff, naturalist on the first Russian circumnavigation of 1803- 1806 and Russian Consul in Brazil in 1813-1830. The book was written by the commander of the sloop “Ladoga” Andrey Petrovich Lazarev (1787-1849), navigator and explorer from a notable Russian naval family. His brother Mikhail Lazarev (1788-1851) commanded frigate “Suvorov” during his first circumnavigation (a voyage to New Archangel via Rio de Janeiro, southern Indian Ocean, and the Pacific, with a stop in Port Jackson; on the way to Alaska he discovered the Suvorov atoll in the northern group of the Cook Islands). In 1819-1821 Mikhail Lazarev commanded sloop “Mirny” during the First Russian Antarctic Expedition of Bellingshausen, which resulted in the discovery of the Antarctic continent. Andrey’s younger brother Alexey Lazarev (1793 – after 1851) took part in the Russian circumnavigation of 1819-23 when sloops “Otkrytiye” and “Blagonamerenny” were searching for the Northwest Passage from the west coast of America, navigating Bering Strait and exploring Alaskan coast from Kotzebue Sound to Icy Cape and from Norton Sound to Cape Newenham.
During the present circumnavigation“Ladoga”was accompanied by Russian frigate “Kreiser” under command of Andrey’s younger brother Mikhail Lazarev. The ships proceeded to the Pacific via Rio de Janeiro and the southern Indian Ocean, sighting Saint Paul Island, and stayed for a rest in Hobart, Tasmania from 18 May-9 June 1823 – the first stop in Tasmania in the history of the Russian fleet. During a storm in the south Pacific the ships got separated, and met in Tahiti in the Matavai Bay on 15 July. From there “Kreiser” proceeded to Russian America, and “Ladoga”– to Kamchatka (arrived on 10 September). From Petropavlovsk “Ladoga” proceeded to New Archangel (arrived on 9 November) and thence to San Francisco (arrived on 1 December), starting a homebound voyage together with sloop “Apollon” on 12 January 1824. Returned home via Cape Horn, Rio de Janeiro and the Faial Island (the Azores). Frigate “Kreiser” left Sitka in October 1824 and proceeded to California where she stayed for a month and then proceeded home via Cape Horn and Rio de Janeiro. Fragments of the account of the “Kreiser’s” voyage were published in the “Proceedings of the State Admiralty Department” (SPb., 1824, part VI, pp. 457-466), thus Andrey Lazarev’s book is the only complete published account of the voyage.
Very interesting are the descriptions of the “Mandioka” estate of Georg von Langsdorff near Rio de Janeiro; Tasmania (topography and population of Hobart Town, prices for groceries, life of convicts, mention about a Russian-speaking convict living in Hobart Town, festive dinner organized in honour of “Kreiser” and “Ladoga” et al.);Tahiti (trade with the natives, visit of the Tahitian royal family to theship, including the infant king Pomare III (1820-27), missionaries and their activities, Christian churches, Tahitians’ interest to the Russian priest and Orthodox services, endemic diseases et al.); Kamchatka (new construction in the Petropavlovsk harbor, new custom of the autumn feast with the produce from the native vegetable gardens introduced by Peter Rikord, Kamchadal pagan rite performed by a local shaman, a trip to the nearby Paratunka thermal springs and chemical analysis of the water; meeting with Peter Dobell, former Russian Consul General in Manila who had previously attempted to claim some of the Hawaiian Islands for Russia, et al.); Russian America (New Archangel port, brief history of the Russian-American company, the interior of the Company’s fort in New Archangel; manners, customs and beliefs of Koloshis or Tlingits, Company’s fur trade with the Tlingits and Aleuts, harsh native ways of child upbringing, popularity of polygamy amongst the Tlingits, Tlingit dance and dress, native slaves or “Kalgi,” suggestions on the improvement of the life of Aleuts, et al.); Spanish California (San Francisco harbor, Catholic missions, abuse and oppression of the native population by the missionaries, history and modern life of the San Francisco mission, bull fighting, Mexican War of Independence and the First Mexican Empire, Russian American Company’s trade in California – furs in exchange for grain, beaver hunting in the San Francisco Bay by the RAC’s Aleuts from Fort Ross); Santa Catarina Island off the southern coast of Brazil and its capital Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Florianopolis since 1893: local trade, city architecture, military forces, the establishment of the Empire of Brazil, whaling in the coastal waters); and Rio de Janeiro (port, naval squadron of the Brazilian Empire, Lord Thomas Cochrane and his service for the Brazilian navy, Corpus Domini ceremony in Rio de Janeiro with participation of the Emperor, a visit to the plantation of Russian vice-consul Peter Kelchen). The book is illustrated with a “Map to the Account of the Travel of Captain Lazarev in duration of 1822, 1823 and 1824, the trek of the sloop from Russia to Kamchatka indicated with the solid line, the return voyage – with dotted lines.”
‘‘The Ladoga was first directed to Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka, subsequently visiting the Russian colonies in America, particularly Sitka. Pp. 126-76 are devoted to the description of this part of the voyage. Pp. 177-99 (December 1823-January 1824) have an interesting description of San Francisco, and descriptions of that country’s flora and fauna. It is worth noting that previously (May 1823) the Kreiser and the Ladoga spent three weeks at Hobart, Tasmania, the first Russian vessels to visit there. They were received most hospitable by the local authorities. In addition to his own observations and remarks, Lazarev often quoted the ship’s doctor Ogievskii, who according to Lazarev was most helpful in the preparation of the present narrative. Ogievskii, obviously an intelligent and well-educated person, contributed a great deal to the description of various places visited by the expedition and not specifically mentioned in this annotation – Tahiti, Rio de Janeiro (including much information on the culture of coffee), etc. Dr. Ogievskii’s contribution is always enclosed by Lazarev in quotation marks. The chapter on Alaska is, however, entirely of Lazarev’s authorship. Practically all of the narrative on the Ladoga’s stay in California comes from Lazarev’s pen” (Lada-Mocarski, 96).
Howes L 160, Wickersham 6253.