- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
443

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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APPENDIX
443
of sables, squirrels, foxes, and other furs were specially
valuable, and large quantities of these animals^were
caught at that time in northern Siberia. We hear that
sables from certain places on this route to Mangaséya
were specially sought after. Many commodities were
also imported through Mangaséya, and of these the English
furnished no inconsiderable quantity. The voyevods of
Tobolsk, therefore, became louder and louder in their
complaints of this northern trade, which, of course,
involved a loss to their traders. They wanted to have
the route forbidden to Russians, in order, as they said, that
they might not draw foreigners after them into Siberia.
1620. In 1620, therefore, the use of this trade-route was for
bidden by a ukase of the Tsar Mikhael Fedorovich ; and
those who transgressed the prohibition were to be flogged
to death. Fifty men were posted on Vaigach as a guard.
In this way those who wished to carry on trade with
Mangaséya were to be forced to take the land-route, in
order that they might not escape the customs ; but this
route was attended by too many difficulties, and the result
was that from the year 1620 Mangaséya declined, after
håving been in its flourishing days an important place,
where two thousand traders met in the summer.
After this prohibition of 1620 it seems that the Russians
entirely ceased their voyages to the Obi. On the other
hand, they certainly continued their sealing in the Kara
Sea for a long time, and no doubt they also carried on
trade with the Samoyedes of Yamal ; but of this there is
no record. The Dutchman, Witsen, in his great work
(of 1705) only has a casual mention of some voyages
1690-of this kind to Yamal in 1690 and 1691, derived from the
91 mate of a wrecked vessel who had wintered there.
After this time Russian sealing appears gradually to have
ceased.
It would take us too far to mention all the attempts that
have been made in the course of years to sail to the east
through the Kara Sea ; unsuccessfully, in the case of
most of the earlier voyages, but sometimes with better
1694 fortune. Thus, in 1694, the Dutch whaling captain,

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