May 23, 1788
St. Petersburg. March 31. The Ministry has received news regarding the expedition in progress to the seas surrounding the NE of Siberia, as ordered by the Empress. According to the most recent news, which was received in July 87, Captain Billings, the Commander, has already left the R. Kolyma. The ships not being ready in which, as had been proposed, they should have embarked on the R. Lena in order to proceed thence to the Sea of Ice [Arctic Ocean], the expedition set off from the Kolyma, thus reducing its voyage by one year and making it easier to gain the furthest NE extent of Asia, which is the part of the Northern Ocean at which they should have arrived by way of the Lena.
Original Spanish text courtesy of Robert King. Translated by Maria Guadalupe Soto de Podritske, Lorill Ireland and John Black.
Updated: January 21, 2015