National Geographic : 1892 Feb 19
224 General A. W. Greely-Bering's First Voyage. efficient service he rendered first to his chief and later to his shipwrecked comrades. He writes in " Une Lettre " as follows: " Let us now come to the details of the second expedition, which M. de l'Isle pretends owes its origin to a map of his and was undertaken accord ing to a memoir made by himself. 'I had the honor,' he says,' in 1731 to present this chart to the Empress Anne and to the Senate, in order to stimulate the Russians to explorations of what still remained to be dis covered, and it had its effect.' Was it time or age which caused M. de 1'Isle to commit this error? Could he have forgotten the orders which led him to make the chart in question? Had he remembered it, perhaps he would not have said that he presented the chart to theEmpress, and still less that he made it in order to excite the Russians to new dis coveries. At that time I visited M. de 1'Isle ; I was a witness of his geo graphical labors, as far as they had new discoveries for their object; I acted as interpreter to M. Bering in the conversations which he had with him; and I can assert positively that when M. de l'Isle began that chart the second expedition was already ordered, and Captain Bering, knowing what was still wanting to his discoveries, offered to continue them and his lieutenants with him; and they each received promotion in conse quence. " It is therefore true that M. de l'Isle's work must be attributed to the orders of his superiors; and I remember that the Empress Anne having commissioned her secretary to give the necessary instructions to M. Bering for his new voyage, the latter did not think he could carry it on success fully without getting from the Academy all the information possible con cerning the countries and waters where he was to navigate. The Academy was therefore called upon by the Senate, and it ordered M. de l'Isle to compile the chart of which I speak, and in order that it might be better understood, to explain it in a memoir; which having been done, the chart and the memoir were presented to the Senate by the Academy ; so that there can be no possible doubt that, so far from having stimulated the Russians to new discoveries, so far from having occasioned the new voyage of M. Bering, M. de l'Isle only worked according to the orders he had received. There arises another question, as to whether the memoir caused the success of the expedition, which I will treat later on. However that may be, the Senate gave a copy of it to M. Bering as well as of the chart. I took a second copy, which enables me to compare it with what M. de l'Isle tells us about it in his last memoir from Paris. " He pretends to have proposed three different routes to be followed in order to discover what was still unknown. The first, to sail straight to Japan, pass Yeco, or rather the straits which separate it from the island of the States and the land of the Company, to discover what is to the north of Yeco and search for the passage between that country and the coast of eastern Tartary. This is what is called giving advice after the event. In the original memoir there is not a word said about any such researches. M. de 1'Isle contents himself with proposing three differ ent routes for finding the countries lying near to Kamshatka on the east.
1892 Mar 31
1891 May 29