National Geographic : 1890 May
Review of Bering's First Expedition, 1725-30.. 121 Campbell's engraving which will be referred to Jater, and of the chart which appears in the various editions of Du Halde. It is possible that this represents the original chart prepared by Bering in Kamchatka during the winter of 1728-9. The second and probably later form of the chart is represented by the Klinckofstrom chart, upon which the name and island of St. Demetrius have vanished and a smaller island in the corresponding latitude is represented close to the Siberian coast and westward from the meridian passing through the eastern extreme of East Cape. This island is named the island of St. Diomede. If it is intended as a revised position for the island of St. Demetrius of the other chart and of Bering's Report, it is in conflict with the facts and with the position assigned to St. Demetrius in the report. No one who had sailed between St. Demetrius and East Cape could have sanctioned such a position for the island with honesty. If a different island is intended the question arises, Why is St. Demetrius omitted? This sec ond chart is obviously the basis upon which in D'Anville's chart of Asia (1753) the configuration of the eastern extreme of Siberia is based, and I suspect that the chart of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg and the reproduction of Jefferys, were also derived from it as far as this region is concerned. It would be rash, in the absence of authentic information which only the Russian archives can supply, to hazard an opinion as to the origin of the important difference between these charts. I may return to this point later. Apart from this, it may be added that the northern coast of Siberia from East Cape west to Cape Sheiagskoi is represented as mountainous throughout its extent. A legend states that it is laid down from older charts and information. This relieves Bering from the responsibility for the fictitious or at least grossly erroneous and exaggerated form and direction given to Cape Shelagskoi on his chart. The west coast of the Okhotsk sea and part of its northeastern shores not visited by Bering are stated to be laid down from "information." This map is not dated and the blank space in the title left for Bering's autograph has never been filled. No name of draughtsman or place or authority of issue are indicated upon it. It measures 51 by 20* inches between the neat-lines. It is in black and white, the mountains washed in, the only color being small green trees as a conventional sign for wooded country. A copy of the earlier chart fell into the hands of Dr. Campbell and was published by him in his edition of Harris' Voyages,* together with a version of the report which is more or less mutilated and to which the editor to make his book more readable has * HARRIS, JOHN. Complete collection of Voyages and travels [etc.] . London, T. Woodward [and others] 1748. 2 v. folio, maps and plates, Vol. 2, pp. 1016-1041, is devoted to a discussion of Bering's discoveries, entitled: Book III, Section VIII. "A distinct account of part of the northeast frontier of the Russian Empire, commonly called the country of Kamschatka or Kamschatska including the voyages of Captain Behring for discovering toward the East [etc.], collected from the best authorities both printed and manuscript."