Nikolay Przhevalsky. What surprising treasures it brought from the travel? Return of Nikolay Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky to St. Petersburg after the first expedition took place part 1
almost unnoticed by public. But soon over the country the book “Travel in Ussuri Krai, 1867 - 69.“ published by it on the means which caused interest of readers and in expedition to the low-studied region and to the identity of the traveler dispersed.
From the subsequent expeditions Przhevalsky always came back with triumph. About his arrival foreknew, enthusiastically met the traveler on all transit across Russia, in his honor held receptions and nearly queued to invite the famous researcher on a visit.
The particular interest of public always called the enormous baggage of Przhevalsky consisting of diligently packed bales and boxes which when unloading in St. Petersburg was protected by the Cossacks accompanying the traveler. Interested all that is this time brought from far lands. Right there was a mass of rumors. Also treasures of ancient Mongols, and the potions received from the Tibetan monks and gold nuggets curing everything which in far mountains literally roll under legs appeared in them.
The traveler answered direct questions that brought by him indeed he is of enormous value. Przhevalsky did not dissemble, his baggage also actually was invaluable for the science receiving for studying hundreds of new species of plants, animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, and also the detailed description of regions where yet the European`s leg did not go. Among geological samples there was also a native gold, but at all not in those quantities about which rumors went.
Nikolay Przhevalsky decided to become a traveler and to investigate unknown lands in the childhood which passed in a small manor “Otradnoye“ in Smolensk region. The boy was inquisitive, read much, differed in independence and independent temper. He studied well, but for mischief it was nearly excluded from a gymnasium.
Subsequently he remembered the childhood: “Much I got Rozog in early youth because I was the preporyadochny madcap so the rural neighbors who were on a visit ordinary advised my mother to send me eventually to the Caucasus, to service“.
He and actually soon appeared on military service, but chose it as he considered that it is possible to become the traveler only through officer service. In principle it was right, military department the adjacent countries to which research expeditions headed by officers periodically went always interested.
In 16 years Przhevalsky was employed an unter - the officer, and in a year received the ensign`s epaulets. He coped with obligations for service successfully, but the gimper did not become. Gave all free time to books, reading descriptions of travel avidly. After emergence of publications about the first travel of Pyotr Petrovich Semenov in unknown before Tian - Shan, he made for himself the decision to devote life to research of this far region at the southern borders of Russia.
Its attempts to achieve transfer to Siberia from where most often the way of expeditions to the novel regions of Asia began, was not crowned with success, and for sticktoitiveness it was even necessary to spend several days under house arrest. An exit was soon found - receipt in Academy of the General Staff. It was extremely difficult to pass examinations in academy, but Przhevalsky managed to make it from the first calling. In 22 years he became the listener of one of the most prestigious higher educational institutions of the country.
After the first course Przhevalsky wrote surprisingly work, mature for his age, “Experience of the statistical description and a military review of the Priamursky region“ which was highly appreciated not only in academy. For this work the Russian geographical society at the beginning of 1864 elected the perspective officer in full members. Agree that to gain such recognition in only 24 years is an undoubted success.
By this time Przhevalsky who is ahead of schedule let out from academy in connection with revolt in Poland served in Polotsk. Soon it was transferred to Warsaw to teach geography and history in yunkersky school. It stayed in Warsaw two years, combining teaching with laborious studying of sciences which as he considered, will be necessary on future travel. Big help in it to him was given by the famous zoologist Vladislav Kazimirovich Tachanovsky specializing in studying of birds and arthropods.
At the end of 1866 Przhevalsky`s dream began to come true, he was ranked as the General Staff and sent to service to Irkutsk to a staff East - the Siberian military district. On Nikolay Mikhaylovich Road, the rank which received by this time shtabs - the captain, stopped by in St. Petersburg where got acquainted with the outstanding geographer and the traveler P. P. Semenov. The venerable scientist supported the young follower, but advised against at once to try to obtain expedition to Central Asia, having recommended to conduct for a start research in the Far East to get forwarding experience and to prove in the General Staff and in scientific community.
To letters of recommendation of Semenov in a staff of the district treated with due consideration. Soon the chief of a staff of the district general Boleslav Kazimirovich Kukel who was at the same time the chairman Vostochno - the Siberian department of the Russian geographical society, appointed Przhevalsky in long business trip to Ussuri Krai for the purpose of carrying out statistical inspections. Money for expedition was allocated a little. With himself Przhevalsky could take only two people, the skilled Siberian Cossack and Nikolay Yagunov, the son of the exiled of the Pole from whom hoped to prepare to itself the assistant. Already in the Far East added two soldiers to expedition.
On May 26, 1867 Przhevalsky with satellites left Irkutsk, and in a month was in the settlement of Habarovka (modern Khabarovsk) from where its first expedition began. Travelers went down on the river Ussuri, investigated the lake Khanka and its vicinities, left to the Sea of Japan, having carried out studying of the considerable coastal territory from Posyet`s gulf to Olga`s gulf, having overcome on the way spurs of Sikhote-Alin. Then, having passed through ridge, along the rivers Lifudzin and Ussuri left at the beginning of January, 1868 to Busse`s village where spent slightly more than a month, having a rest, processing materials and preparing for further researches.
In February, 1868 small expedition went again to vicinities of the Lake Khanka where till summer Przhevalsky continued researches. It was necessary to interrupt field work in connection with a sharp aggravation of a situation in the region. Borders of Russia broke several large gangs of hunkhuz in which defeat Przhevalsky had to take part, and then until the end of winter to carry out duties of the aide-de-camp of a staff of troops of the Priamursky region.
The compelled break in forwarding activity was used by Nikolay Mikhaylovich for processing of materials, preparation of the statistical report on the population of the region and the beginning of work on the book. Since spring of 1869 expedition worked in vicinities Khanka again, filling up collections and studying valleys of the rivers flowing into the lake. Only at the beginning of August Przhevalsky, having decided that all tasks of expedition are carried out, went to Irkutsk.
In Irkutsk it was already waited by the order on the transfer to the General Staff. In St. Petersburg where Przhevalsky arrived in January, 1870, it continued processing of results of expedition. Soon to them it was read in Geographical society several reports on expedition which caused a great interest in scientific community. To Przhevalsky was what to tell and show. Expedition passed more than 3 thousand kilometers across Ussuri Krai, having carried out the mass of topographical, climatological, hydrological and biological researches and supervision (it apart from those that were carried out for the benefit of military department). More than 300 effigies of birds, a big collection of eggs, a herbarium from 2 thousand plants, skins of animals were brought to the capital.
Rewarding with its silver medal of Geographical society became recognition of merits of the traveler. Encouraged by success, Przhevalsky prepared the reasonable offer on serious expedition to Central Asia which was supported by both Geographical society, and the General Staff.
Ahead of Przhevalsky extremely difficult, but extremely interesting travel, new opening and an international recognition, but about it in the following part of article waited.