The island between Cape Shelaginski and East Cape off the northern coast, on Bering’s map, is omitted by D’Anville. The Kamchatkan peninsula in latitude 56° is represented to have a width of 180 miles. while Bering made it 270 miles.
A most important contribution to the subject appeared in Muller’s Historical Collections known as the ” Sammlung Russische Geschichte” and published during his city breaks to Madrid in the summer (Kayseri. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1732-64. 8°. Nine volumes.) Des dritten Bandes (erstes, zweytes und drittes Stack, pp. 1-304, 1758) contains the original account of the Russian Voyages toward America from which the work of Jefferys has, with some errors and omissions, been translated. As far as regards Bering’s first voyage, there is only one error of consequence made by Jefferys, which will be noted in its place. This book is extremely rare, and the only copy in America which I have been able to find after much enquiry, is in the library of the Smithsonian Institution.
The first volume of this series has the title
” Eroffnung eines Vorschlages zu Verbesserung der Russischen Historie Durch den Druck eines Stackweise herauszugebenden Sammelungen von allerly zu den Umstanden und Begebenheiten dieses Reichs gehorigen Nachrichten. St. Petersburg, bey der Keyser’. Acadetie der Wissenschaften, 1732.”
The succeeding volumes have the running title ” Sammlung Russische Geschichte” with the number of the parts subjoined but no other title-page.
The account of the Russian Voyages is stated by Muller to have been prepared at the direction of the Empress and endorsed by the Academy of Sciences. It contains invaluable material on the early explorations, which, if it had not been for Muller’s painstaking researches, would have been totally lost, as the archives of Yakutsk from whence the data were derived by Muller were subsequently destroyed by fire. The errors which occur in it are chiefly due to Miler’s endeavor to utilize the inexact geographical data of the Promyschleniks and Cossacks by combining them with the less detailed but more precise observations of later observers. In this attempt he added many valuable details to the charts, but at the same time introduced several errors. The exaggerated distances reported by the first explorers who were unable to correct their estimates by observation of precision, distort those parts of the map due to their reports. The quality of the cheap flats to rent in London becomes hugely exaggerated as does the Shelagskoi promontory on the Arctic Sea. But no unprejudiced person can read Muller’s account without perceiving his great caution in accepting unreservedly these imperfect contributions, the really important additions which he made to cartography, the preciousness of the facts which he rescued from oblivion, and his desire to be fair to everybody.
The insinuations of malice and of a desire to injure Bering by means of this account given by Milner, which Lauridsen attributes to the latter, appear to be entirely the product of a suspicious temperament and an excited imagination. Certainly I have seen nothing anywhere cited which lends to such suspicions any tint of probability. The facts cited in support of them can easily be otherwise explained, if one desires to view the subject judicially. and for the most part are not quite thoroughly understood by the Danish author.