- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
180

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
to an old Russian map of the Yenisei estuary, dated
1745 ,which appears to give a remarkable mass of detail,
there was a fairly dense population the whole way,
especially along the east side of the Yenisei, from
Dudinka northward, right up past Dickson Island and
eastward to the mouth of the Pyasina.
According to information gathered by Siddrov, there
were, in 1824, 46 Russian homesteads north of Turu
khansk, while at the time he wrote, in 1863, there were
only 27. And now, I suppose, there are still fewer. About
1830, says Siddrov, 25 boats used to go from Yeniseisk to
Turukhansk, and 30 traders carried on business there.
They also did a large trade with the natives on the
tundra, between the Yenisei and the Anåbara. But
now, in 1863, he says, only two good-sized boats and
two smaller ones go from Yeniseisk to Turukhansk,
and the trade with the tundra has entirely ceased.
In our time there is certainly more traffic and a
livelier trade again, but it can be nothing compared
with what there was once. This must be chiefly due to
the fur trade, which was once so valuable, håving greatly
declined owing to too many animals being caught.
As soon as we had anchored we went ashore. On
the bank were the first crows I had seen in Siberia.
They flew up with the same flight and pretty nearly the
same "voice" as our crows at home; but they were
quite black. Crows—they are a sign of civilization ;
farther north along the river wc have only had the
company of gulls, besides geese and ducks.
We turned our steps at once towards the church,
as we were told the post office was near it, and we
expected letters. After passing the church we reached
a long wooden building which, as we afterwards heard,
belonged to the monastery, but was temporarily rented
by the Government. This was the post office, and
180

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