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Description

"The First Printed Map of the Interior of Alaska Along the Lower Courses of the Yukon" (Streeter)

Rare separately published example of Zagoskin's map of Alaska.

According to the Streeter catalogue, “the map must be one of the first, if not the "first printed map of the interior of Alaska along the lower courses of the Yukon”.  Zagoskin’s expedition covered on foot, in just eighteen months, about 3000 miles of inland Northern Alaska, in the region encompassed by the Yukon and Kuskovkim rivers, and Norton Sound. Zagoskin describes in detail the Russian trading posts along the way, and the customs of local Eskimo and Indian inhabitants.

Lavrenty Zagoskin (1808-1890) had been in the service of the Russian-American Company since 1838. In 1824-44 he headed the exploratory expedition to the surroundings of the Norton and Kotzebue Sounds, during which he discovered the mountain range separating the Yukon River from the eastern shore of the Norton Sound, surveyed the basins of the local rivers, found previously unknown Aleut settlement (modern Holy Cross in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska), compiled  he first map of the area, and collected numerous zoological, botanical, mineralogical and ethnographical items.

For his achievements, Zagorskin was elected a member of the Russian Geographical Society which published excerpts from his travel diary in its ‘‘Proceedings’’ (1846 and 1847). This the first full edition of Zagoskin’s travel account was published in two volumes in 1847-1848 and was accompanied with a large folding map outlining the route of his expedition. This edition received the Demidov Award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1849).

Provenance

Коллегия Павла Галагана (The College of Paul Galagan).  A Ukranian/Russian Imperial Library which was closed and broken up by the Bolsheviks shortly after 1917.

Rarity

RBH and ABPC record only one copy having sold at auction: the Streeter copy (Parke-Bernet Galleries, 22-23 April 1969, lot 3521, $475).

Reference
Arctic Bib. 19781; Howes Z-1; Lada-Mocarski 130; Streeter sale 3521; Tourville 5019; Wickersham 5904.