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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVII. The Amúr district and the Amúr railway

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the Tungus tribes. Many of them are extraordinarily
skilful and persevering hunters, and a people like the
Golds are famous for the masterly way in which they
handle their boats up and down the rivers. But these
primitive peoples are also steadily declining through
contact with advancing European civilization, and
unfortunately they, too, are doomed to disappear
sooner or later, as the country becomes colonized.
Another race that is penetrating into the country
simultaneously with the Europeans is that of the yellow
men, both Koreans and Chinese, as we have already
pointed out.
The total population of the Amiir District, in 1897,
is stated to have been 120,306, of whom 16,783 were
non-Russians ; but in 1911 there were 286,263 inhabi
tants, of whom 43,959 were non-Russians, that is,
chiefly yellow men.
The journey from Russia to the Amiir district was
formerly a very long one. First, there were the endless
roads through Siberia to Irkutsk and Baikål, the cross
ing of that lake by boat, the road again through Trans
baikalia to the Shilka, and then the voyage by raft or
boat down that river and the Amiir to the destination.
The whole of the journey might take the emigrant a
year or a year and a half. Since the construction of
the railway through Eastern Siberia and Transbaikalia,
the journey can be made by rail as far as the town of
Sryétensk on the Shilka, and then by steamboat down
the Shilka and the Amiir. But even this journey is a
troublesome one, and it was of course a great disad
vantage that there was no connexion between the
Transbaikal railway and the Ussuri line.
It is no wonder, therefore, that projects were early
formed for the laying down of a railway through the
Amiir district, to connect the Transbaikal line, which

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