The American Expedition

The American Expedition

The American Expedition

The American Expedition

Excerpt

Knowledge of the so-called Second Kamchatkan Expedition which set out from Russia in 1733 must undoubtedly have reached the academic world, since on this occasion no secret was made of the expedition and it was fully noted in the newspapers and other public journals and reports, yet so far there has been no one willing to take the trouble to tell the world anything of what the expedition actually achieved or of its conclusion; that is, apart from the ships' logs which are greatly summarized and only contain navigational computations and such like. All other observations, whether of hitherto unknown islands or newly discovered lands and coasts, have hardly been mentioned, if at all. For that reason I have decided to attempt a first account more or less such as it should be written. What has chiefly prompted me to undertake this is the fact that I personally was a member of the expedition from the very first day right to the end, and, further, it is possible that by doing this other members of the expedition, that is people who know as much as I or more, will let those who thirst for knowledge have the benefit of their additional information. I can well imagine that these would be able to put on paper something better and more polished than what I shall write.

I should be sadly mistaken were I to consider myself a learned historian or to set myself up as an authority and one able to write books and historical works. Far be it from me to do so; for I am well . . .

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