March 8, 1788
St. Petersburg, February 1. The court has received news of Mr. Billings, the English officer ordered by the Empress a year ago to survey the coast of the Arctic Ocean as far as the eastern and northern extreme of Asia. After successfully traversing the whole of Siberia, this intrepid traveller had a ship built suitable for this hazardous navigation. Having embarked in the shallow reaches of the Kolyma, in May of last year he entered that river for the purposes of exploring it, and then followed the coast to the cape where Captain Cook concluded his reconnaissance, and whose position he fixed with some variation from those reported by the Russian navigators prior to him. If the ice cooperates, which is hard to believe, Mr. Billing’s bold expedition proposes to go around the cape of Tshutskoi, and then return to Kamchatka.
Original Spanish text courtesy of Robert King. Translated by Maria Guadalupe Soto de Podritske, Lorill Ireland and John Black.
Updated: January 21, 2015