Adam Johann von Krusenstern was born on November 19, 1770 in Hagudi, near Rapla, Estonia, and died on August 24, 1846, in Revel [now Tallinn]. He commanded the first Russian expedition (1803-1806) to explore the full extent of the Pacific Ocean and to circumnavigate the globe. The expedition entered the Pacific by way of Cape Horn, and visited, among other places, the Marquesas, Kamchatka (where Krusenstern had a variety of goods to deliver), Sakhalin (where he made contact with the Mongols), and Canton. The expedition returned to Russia via the Sunda Strait and the Cape of Good Hope. It had a number of purposes, including a diplomatic mission to Japan, as part of an attempt to reinstitute trade with that country, and similar initiatives with regard to trade with China and the Pacific coast of North America, in the latter case specifically in relation to the fur trade. The voyage made a significant contribution to the knowledge of the hydrography of the Pacific coast of North America. Krusenstern spent the years between 1809 and 1813 publishing an account of his voyage. In 1815 he contributed an article on the Malaspina Expedition to the Zapiski, izdavayemiya Gosudarstvennim Admiralteiskim Departmentom, otnosyashchiyasya k' Moryeplavaniyu, Naukam i Slovesnosti [Notes issued by the State Admiralty Department relating to Navigation, Science and Literature], November 20, 2006cation in the same periodical of Malaspina's own account of the voyage.  (On this see Dario Manfredi: "Sulla Prima Edizione del Viaggio di Malaspina: S. Pietroburgo, 1824-1827" in M. Arca Petrucci & S. Conti (eds.): Giovanni Caboto e le vie dell'Atlantico Settentrionale, Atti del Convegno di Studi, Genova, Briugati, 1999, pp. 485-504.) Eventually promoted to the rank of Admiral, Krusenstern directed the Royal Naval Academy from 1827 to 1842.

Image courtesy of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani, Mulazzo, Italy. Biographical note by John Black.

Krusenstern and the History of Metrology

Updated: November 20, 2006