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Map 1 - journey 1725

Map 2 - journey 1726-27


Vitus Bering:
A renowned Danish polar explorer

Jørgen Taagholt
Danish Polar Center
Copenhagen, Denmark

Translated from Danish by Richard A Caulfield, PhD,
University of Alaska
from Jørgen Taagholt: Vitus Bering - en af Danmarks store Polarforskere,
GRØNLAND nr. 4-5 1992 page 101-115


Dramatic events in 1741

Over 250 years ago, in NovemberDecember of 1741, dramatic events unfolded on a tiny remote island in the storm-filled waters between Alaska and Siberia. Two Russian ships, the St. Peter and the St. Paul, sailing as part of the great Russian polar expedition of 17241743, were given the task of charting waters around the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands. Because the ships crews suffered from scurvy, the ships doctor and naturalist aboard the St. Peter a German by the name of Georg Wilhelm Steller went ashore along the southern Alaskan coastline to gather plants that could be used to combat the disease. But because few crewmembers followed Stellers instructions, the men were continually plagued by illness. Sailing once again, the ships were battered by storms over a period of several months. At last the St. Peter anchored on the east side of a small unpopulated island in the Commander Islands. There, in November of 1741, the ship was hurled up on the only stretch of beach along a coastline otherwise dominated by rocky cliffs. The crew dug crude holes in the ground for shelter, and lived off of sea otters, seals, and stranded whales. Thirty-one of the ships 77 menweakened by fatigue and plagued by scurvyfinally succumbed to disease and starvation. Among them was the Danish expedition leader, Vitus Bering, who died on 19 December. Today, that small island bears his nameOstrov Beringa.

Bering was renowned for his explorations of northeastern Siberia, Bering Strait, and Alaska which extended from 1725 until his death in that primitive shelter near the beach on Ostrov Beringa. Vitus Jonassen Bering was born in Horsens, Denmark in 1681. His mother came from a family of judges and priests, and his mothers uncle was Vitus Pedersen Bering, who was well-known as a royal historian. As a young man, Bering gained experience at sea through a number of long voyages, including travels to India. In Amsterdam at the age of 22, he came to know another Scandinavian mariner, the Russian vice-admiral Cornelius Cruys, who was born in Stavanger, Norway. Cruys was actively involved in the development of the Russian fleet, and the friendship led to Berings enlistment in 1703 in the newly-established Russian navy. He advanced quickly. He became a lieutenant in 1707 and a lieutenant commander in 1710. In 1714 and again in 1720 he advanced again, finally achieving the rank of captain (second grade). But at that time, there were also many intrigues within the Czars court. As a foreign officer in the Russian navy, Bering managed to make more than a few enemies in the Admiralty.

On a tour through Europe in 1715, Czar Peter the Great visited the French Academy. Here he heard a proposal for an expedition to the easternmost part of Siberia to determineamong other thingsif Asia and North America were connected by land. Returning home, the Czar soon began his efforts to "Europeanize" Russia. He moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, and he made preparations to establish the Russian Academy of Sciences. He also began to develop plans for an expedition to Siberia to determine the boundaries of his vast realm. On 12 September 1724, he laid out the objectives of this mapping expedition: experienced men who had returned from Siberia would be found to assist in the mapping effort. A naval officer would accompany the expedition to Siberia and Kamchatka, as would a naval engineer who could build expedition vessels in eastern Siberia. Necessary equipment, weapons, and ammunition would be sent with the crew to Siberia.

Vitus Bering, who had served honorably in the Great Northern War (17001721) and who was made captain in August 1724, was named by the Czar to lead this first expedition to Kamchatka. His goal was to determine if there was a land bridge between Asia and North America.

The first step: 8000 kilometers across Russia in 1725

The Czar made his decision to support the expedition in the first few days of 1725. With this, Bering faced an enormously difficult task. He had to assemble men and equipment and undertake a nearly 8000 kilometer journey overland from the Baltic Sea across Europe and Siberia to the Sea of Okhotsk on the Pacific Ocean. For this undertaking, he chose Martin Spanberg, a fellow Dane, and Aleksei Chirikov, a Russian, as lieutenants. He chose Peter Chaplin, also a Russian officer, as second lieutenant.

On 4 February 1725, a vanguard of 26 men and 24 horse drawn sledges started out from St. Petersburg toward eastern Siberia. On 16 February, Bering himself received orders to depart and to catch up with the first group. Accompanying him were Spanberg and a number of others.

As much as possible, the expedition followed the great waterways comprised of the mighty Russian rivers and their tributaries. Following orders from the Admiralty, the expedition followed a well-known travel route to Solkamsk near the Ural Mountains. This range, extending some 2400 kilometers north to south, forms the geographic divide between Europe and Asia. However, the mountains proved not to be a major barrier. While some peaks reach nearly 2000 meters, erosion and weathering have created passes only 7-800 meters high. After negotiating these passes, Bering and his crew managed to drop down to the plains of western Siberia near Verkhoturje, located near the Tura River. They continued further to Tyumen and thereafter along the Tobol River to Tobolsk. On 27 March 1725, Bering and Spanberg caught up with the vanguard, which was under the leadership of Chirikov and Chaplin. Remarkably, this winter journeyapproximately 2300 kilometers as the crow flieswas completed in less than six weeks.

The west Siberian plains make up the worlds largest contiguous lowlands. They stretch from the Urals in the west to the Jenisej River in the east, and from the Kazak hills in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north; an area of some 2.6 million square kilometers. This is larger than Greenland, but with elevations in the south only 200 meters above sea level, and with gently sloping terrain over the nearly 2000 kilometer stretching to the sea. It was this immense lowland of steppes and wet tundra, containing some of the worlds largest rivers that are frozen from October until May, that Vitus Bering and his crew now had to cross with their heavy load of supplies.

The expedition waited first in Tobolsk for the arrival of spring and for ice break-up on the great rivers. The party left Tobolsk on 26 May on board four rafts and seven boats. The route followed down the Irtysj tributary and north to Samarovsk on the Ob River. From here, it went eastward up the Ob to Surgut and Narym. The Ob River is approximately 5400 kilometers long, and along its course through steppes and tundra there are many kilometers of boggy meadows which in summer are swarming with enormous numbers of mosquitoes. The partys course changed at the confluence with the Ket River, and thereafter the journey led up the Ket to its highest point of navigation and then over land to Jenisej, another of Siberias great rivers some 4100 kilometers in length.

The party finally put the great west Siberian plains behind them. Ahead lay the 8-900 meter high central Siberian plateau, which makes up the landscape between the Jenisej and the Lena rivers. Berings journey continued thereafter northward, down the Jenisej to its tributary, the Angara, which is also known as Upper Tunguska. The journey up the rugged Angara River was demanding. It required negotiating both swift currents and broad areas of low water. But the next part of the journey up the Ilim River, a tributary of the Angara, to the town of Ilimsk, was even worse. They had to give up use of the large and heavy boats as they attempted to negotiate the swift river, filled with obstacles. Because of the difficulties, Bering had to hire smaller boats from Ilimsk, with which he could finally reach the town. By the time he did so, winter set in and forced him to overwinternearly 4500 kilometers from St. Petersburg.

Thus in year 1725, Vitus Bering, the Dane from Horsens, had managed to travel over 5000 kilometers through both the European and Asian parts of the Russian Empire. This endeavor, which involved movement of men and heavy goods (including not only all necessary ships equipment but also cannons and ammunition) is in itself an achievement that deserves great respect.

Over the course of the winter, Bering and Spanberg undertook a journey by horse and sled to nearby Irkutsk by way of the Angara River. This rivers source, Lake Baikal, is one of the worlds largest inland seas with a coastline of some 31,500 kilometers. The governor in Irkutsk, Mikhaelo Izmailov, had earlier been governor in Siberias provincial capital at Yakutsk, located on the Lena River. Bering hoped to be able to obtain from him information about the opportunities for travel further eastward from Yakutsk out into the unknown eastern reaches of Siberia.

The second step in 1726 and a further 2500 kilometers journey in 1727

While the journey in 1725 had gone reasonably well. Bering and his crew now faced a demanding journey of some 2500 kilometers to the Pacific Ocean. Spanberg was sent overland with a vanguard of ships carpenters and soldiers to Ust-Kut, where the Kut River enters the Lena. Here they cut logs and built 15 prams (approximately 15 meters long and 4 meters wide) and 14 boats. On 19 May 1726, the first group sailed down the mighty Lena River (over 4,400 kilometers long). At the end of June, the entire expedition gathered in the east Siberian capital of Yakutsk, which at that time consisted of some 300 houses.

The east Siberian highland, which stretches from the Lena River in the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east, is primarily an untracked and wild mountain landscape with peaks reaching to 3000 meters and occasional highland plateaus. To the north, between the Jana and Kolyma rivers, there is only lowland and tundra.

Here in Yakutsk, Bering and his crew initiated preparations for the last and most difficult step of the journey across the Asian continent. Until the end of August, the crew was busy procuring supplies, which included obtaining 600 horses, having 2000 leather sacks sewn for carrying flour, and finding many other items necessary for the journey ahead.

On 18 July, Lieutenant Spanberg started down the Lena River with 13 rafts, a crew of 204, and the heaviest materials. They sailed north to the confluence with the Aldan River, and then eastward up that river to another tributary, the Maja. They then followed the Upper Judoma, and from there crossed over a wild mountain range and descended to the Urak River, which flows out into the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean.

Transportation overland involved more than 800 horses sent out in several groups. Bering broke off on his own on 27 August with 200 horses and managed to reach Okhotsk in only 45 days, despite the dangerous and stressful journey. But by the end of October, the entire party assembled in Okhotsk. The 800 kilometers journey was accomplished using heavy sleds hauled by horses or humans, often battling deep snow in the mountainous terrain that was cut through by deep gorges with raging rivers. It often involved traversing great untracked forests or stretches of wet, boggy tundra. It cost the lives of many horses, which died of starvation and overexertion. But Berings party continued on despite the harsh conditions and reached Okhotsk, a very small town with only 11 houses and no facilities for Bering and his crew. On the other hand, the advance party, under the leadership of lieutenant Peter Chaplin managed to fell timber, cut lumber, and begin the construction of the first ship.

In addition to continuing ship-building, there was also the great need to build quarters for the weary, hungry, and frostbitten crew. It took until the first of December to manage to get all men under shelter.

It was even worse, however, for Spanberg and his party. They were surprised by an early freeze-up and extreme winter conditions high up on the Judoma River. They were forced to leave most of their equipment under the care of a small detachment of soldiers. The rest of the party traveled on foot and using hand-drawn sleds in an attempt to battle their way over the mountain range. In a violent snowstorm on 15 November, the party was forced to leave their sleds and to continue on over several weeks, fighting off death, overnighting in driving snowstorms, and nearly dying of starvation. They survived only after stumbling by chance across tracks of Berings party, and finding food in the corpses of horses and in foodstuffs left behind.

On 17 January 1727, Spanberg finally managed to reach Okhotsk thanks in part to assistance from a rescue party sent by Bering. On several occasions over the course of the winter, crewmembers had to fetch goods and personnel left behind, and only at the beginning of summer 1727 was the entire group assembled in Okhotsk, which at that time was the provincial capital in Kamchatka.

Building the expedition ships Fortune and St. Gabriel

The ship that the crew was building was now outfitted as a ketch using the equipment that had just arrived. On 19 June 1727 the ship was christened the Fortuna and launched into the sea. The expedition now began the transfer of crew and goods to the great east Siberian peninsula, that we now refer to today as Kamchatka. Berings goal was the mouth of the Bolshoi [Bolshaja] River. Following the Czars orders, Bering would follow the Bolshoi (large) River and its tributary, the Byistraya (swift) River and then travel overland to the Kamchatka River. Following this to its mouth on the Pacific Ocean, Bering could at last begin the final stage of his expedition.

On 12 July 1727 Spanberg sailed with crew and goods on the Fortuna from Okhotsk to the Bolshoi River. On 15 September, the party began the last stage of the journey by crossing Kamchatka to the Pacific. There the group finally was assembled in March 1728 after traveling for more than three years.

Once again, Vitus Bering began building a ship; this ship was to be the St. Gabriel. At the same time, they began obtaining local provisions for a year-long voyage, including fish oil, dried fish, and distilled vegetable juices for making spirits. Taken together, these were enormous and all-encompassing tasks for Bering, and in the literature (Dr. Campbell in "Harris Collection of Voyages," London 1748 ) it states that "a more suitable personality could not easily have been found; no troubles and no dangers intimidated him; with unending industry and nearly unbelievable patience, he overcame the difficulties that for all others would have seemed insurmountable."

Vitus Bering the sailor now finally took over command of a ship. On 24 July 1728, the St. Gabriel sailed on a northward course. On board were 44 men: one captain, six officers, eight crew, seven carpenters, two translators, and 20 soldiers. The St. Gabriel followed close by the foggy coastline, typically with land in sight. On 7 August, she passed within three miles of Cape St. Thadeus, and it was reported that the ocean was alive with whales, seals, sea lions, and dolphins. After passing by the mouth of Anadyr River, the ships route turned northward across Anadyr Bay at about 64 degrees north toward Holy Cross Bay, and thereafter eastward close along the coastline. Based upon information gleaned from local customs, Bering continued his journey northward with the St. Gabriel, and on 20 August passed Cape Chukotka [Tschukotskoj].

On 22 August, the crew observed the large island east of the cape that lies across Bering Strait between 63 and 64 degrees north latitude. Bering named the island after his patron saint, St. Lawrentius. Today, this American island is known as St. Lawrence Island.

On 24 August, the ships sailed under a moderate breeze and overcast skies; on 25 August, calm winds and again, overcast skies. On 26 August, they continue to sail within sight of land under a gentle wind; the crew observed many whales. On 27 August, the ships continue under calm weather and overcast skies. When the coastline turned toward the west, Beringwithout going ashorecontinued to sail northeast. At 3 pm, Bering decided to turn back from the voyages northernmost position, which was about 67 degrees, 15 minutes North latitude. He believed at this point that he had established that Asia and North America were not connected by land, but he did not manage on this trip to catch sight of Alaska and the North American continent. If his estimated position was correct, he was at 67 degrees, 15 minutes North in the Chukchi Sea north of the Bering Strait, at a latitude that corresponds to Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg) in Greenland. On 28 Augustwith a strong wind and great speedBering sailed southward through the straits smallest passage. Poor visibility made it impossible for Bering to observe Alaskas mountains, only about 40 kilometers away. However, he did see a small island in the strait, which he named St. Diomede because he observed it on the holy day honoring the saint. It is one of the Diomede Islands, which lies in the middle of the strait.

On 31 August, Bering came into contact with about 40 Chukchis, who sailed out to the St. Gabriel in four canoes. They brought with them fresh water, meat, fish, fox skins, and walrus tusks, which Bering purchased for flint, nails, and iron. The Chukchis reported that they often went all the way overland to the Kolyma River while hunting reindeer. This affirmed Vitus Berings presumption that if he continued along the coast, he would be able to reach the Kolyma River mouth on the Arctic Ocean. Given the lateness of the season, Bering preferred to sail southward before being hindered by winter ice. On 13 September, the St. Gabriel and the Fortuna met at the mouth of the Kamchatka River, where they found reasonably good anchorages.

Bering overwintered here from September 1728 to 29 June 1729. He occupied himself by preparing reports and maps from earlier stages of his journey. He named the sea that he had just traversed "La Mer Dormante" (the Sleeping Sea); a sea that 13 years later Bering would come to know in a completely different and unfriendly way. On 17 June 1729, Bering sailed eastward again on the St. Gabriel, but because of weather, he returned and mapped Kamchatkas southern coastline, the northern Kurille Islands, and the Kam-chatka coastline northward toward Bolsjeretsk.

The journey home to St. Petersburg

On 25 July 1729, Bering left the Fortuna with its crew and equipment, and undertook the long journey via Okhotsk across Siberia and Russia back to St. Petersburg. He reached this goal on 12 March 1730. But despite Vitus Berings impressive achievements, his findings were not recognized by the Academy of Sciences nor by the administrative authorities in St. Petersburg.

Information about Vitus Berings explorations also reached Denmark. In the Copenhagen newspaper Nye Tidende from 20 April 1730, one reads that "Bering has discovered that there really is a Northeast Passage; that so long as one is not hindered by the northern ice, one can sail by ship to Kamchatka and from there to Japan, China, and the East Indies."

The Great Northern Expedition, 173343

Only two months after his return to his family, Bering delivered a proposal to the Admiralty, in part addressing recommendations for improving governance of east Siberia, and also laying out ideas for a new expedition designed to map the northeastern part of Asia. But he soon tired of the unending intrigues of the Russian Court, and in January 1732, he went on leave. His proposal, however, was not forgotten.

On 28 April 1732, Bering was appointed senior commander and leader of a new large expedition to east Siberia. Chirikov and the Dane, Spangberg, would both accompany him with the rank of captain. Theirs was the most comprehensive and ambitious expedition that had ever been planned.

On 8 January 1733, the Russian Ministers of State issued its final instructions for this expedition, and on 12 February 1733, the first contingent departed St. Petersburg under the command of Martin Spanberg. On 29 March, Bering followed, accompanied by his wife and daughter. They reached Yakutsk in October 1733. Here over the next six months, Bering succeeded in establishing a proper logistical base for further exploration and research in northeastern Siberia. He ordered the construction of warehouses, barracks, an iron foundry and rope-making facility, and riverboats capable of sailing down the Lena River to the Arctic Ocean and then along the coast for the purposes of mapping.

Over the course of fall 1735, not only did Chirikov arrive with necessary supplies and a large crew, but in addition members of the Academy of Sciences began to appear among the expeditions participants. They contributed a comprehensive library as well as instruments and supplies for special catering. The latter were included presumably because such dignitaries could not survive in the east Siberian hinterlands without such things as fine wines for dinner. Bering the explorer found that he increasingly was administrator of this massive undertaking. The conditions became worse and worse, and year after year Bering spent his time and efforts battling both the bureaucrats and the academics. Thus, it was of immeasurable relief for Bering when he finally was able to devote himself fully to the building of a new expedition ship in Okhotsk in the winter of 1739-40.

The two ships, St. Peter and St. Paul (24 meters long, about 6.5 meters wide, and drawing only 3 meters), were launched in June 1740. According to plans, they should have sailed under the command of Bering and Chirikov toward North America, where they were to overwinter. Bering was to send his wife and daughter back home to St. Petersburg. But because of numerous difficulties, including confusion about the orders from St. Petersburg, the ships managed only to reach Kamchatkas east coast in 1740. On 17 October, they found a magnificent natural harbor near Avacha Zaliv, where they overwintered. Here Bering and his crew built a small community, complete with its own church. The town was named Petropavlovsk, after Berings two ships. Today, Petropavlovsk is the capital city of Kamchatka with a population of about 300,000 people.

Vitus Berings last expedition, 1741

As leader of the great east Siberian expedition and after the long period of demanding administrative work, Vitus Beringnow 60 years oldwas finally able to set out from the harbor at Petropavlovsk on 13 July 1741. Bering himself was in command of the flagship St. Peter, with the Swede Sven Waxell as second in command. The ship had on board a total of 77 men, among them the German researcher Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-46) who represented the Academy of Sciences. Steller was a student of many disciplines, having studied theology, medicine, and botany. On this voyage too, he was to function as a mineralogist when the expedition reached America.

Alexei Chirikov was named officer in charge on the St. Paul, which had a total of 76 men on board. Bering, who was tired and sick-presumably stricken by scurvyhanded over the daily leadership to Sven Waxell. The two ships traveled together until 1 July 1741, when they became separated in poor weather.

After attempting unsuccessfully for several days to rejoin the St. Paul, the St. Peter continued eastward. On 27 July, the crew finally spied land; the worlds highest coastal mountain range capped by a 5,951 meter high snow-covered peak [not a volcano] which Bering named St. Elias (the mountain lies some 600 kilometers southeast of present-day Anchorage, Alaskas largest city). The ship anchored off an island which Bering also named St. Elias, but which today is known as Kayak Island. While a small crew rowed around the island looking to find the most suitable anchorage, Steller was set ashore on the island along with the crew with orders to find fresh water for the ship. In the few hours that he had at his disposal, Steller collected plants and information about the islands natural history. The traditional conflicts between the commanding officers, with their nautical and geographic backgrounds, and the natural scientist with an inquiring mind and a strong interest in biology, led to continual strife between the two parties. A result of this tension was that the crew did not follow Stellers advice about eating the fresh plants from the island which presumably would have helped many of those stricken with scurvy.

Because of the meager food supplies on board the ship, and the poor condition of the crew, Bering over the protests of Steller decided on 1 August 1741 to begin the journey home. He did so despite the fact that they still had not obtained sufficient drinking water on board, and had certainly not explored the region thoroughly. But the crew and its leader, both weakened by sickness, now started on their catastrophic homeward journey, plagued by fog in an uncharted archipelago. After sailing for six weeks, the St. Peter managed only to reach the Shumagin Islands just south of the Aleutian Peninsula, only about 900 kilometers from Kayak Island.

The Shumagin Islands are named after a sailor on the expedition who was one of the first to succumb to sickness and scurvy. He was buried in the islands. Here once again the crew sought fresh water, but disagreements and misunderstandings between the officers and Steller led once again to unfortunate consequences when the water tanks were filled with brackish water. And, once again, no one in the crew would follow Stellers advice about eating fresh green plants from the island. On 17 September, the ship continued its journey westward, but was plagued first by stormy conditions and then by calm weather. For a time around 10 November, south of the Aleutians, it was driven almost helplessly by storms, snow squalls, and hailstorms. About 15 November, the crew once again spied land. In fair weather and under full sail, the ship and its desperately-weakened crew were driven toward the coast with no one in command and no one at the oars. It was close to a miracle that on the night of 17 November, the crew managed to drop anchor only 300 fathoms from a stretch of beach on an otherwise inhospitable island. On the beach, the crew tried to dig holes to create shelter. On 9 December, a storm hurled the St. Peter and the rest of its food supplies (mostly wheat and oats) up on the beach. It was here that Vitus Bering died in a primitive log shelter on 19 December 1741. He was 60 years old, tired, sick, and defeated.

Vitus Bering was one of Denmarks great internationally-known polar explorers. His name lives on, printed on every map of the polar regions. He was not only a skilled sailor and navigator, but also a brilliant planner and administrator who was able to understand and carry out impressive exploration activities under the demanding conditions and circumstances of the 18th century. His expeditions extended more than halfway around the world; from the Baltic Sea in the west to Mt. St. Elias in Alaska in the east, span-ning some 186 degrees of longitude.

Remarkably, the remnants of the St. Peters crew of 77 managed to survive the winter. In spring of 1742 under Sven Waxells leadership, they built a smaller boat from the wreckage of the St. Peter. At the same time, Wilhelm Steller carried out comprehensive natural history studies, with descriptions of both flora and fauna. His scientific description of the then-rare and now extinct Steller Sea Cow is the only one that exists (see G. W. Steller, 1793. Reise von Kamchatka nach Amerika. St. Petersburg).

The newly-built boat, a single-masted cutlass 11 meters long and 3.5 meters on the beam, was launched with great difficulty on 19 August 1742. On 23 August, the crew was ready to sail after they had raised awooden cross over Vitus Berings grave. On 6 September, the boat and the 46 survivors arrived in Petropavlovsk on Kamchatka.

The international significance of Berings expeditions

Shortly after Vitus Berings death, his name became affiliated with the region between Asia and America. Robert de Vaugondie was the first to use the name on a map made in 1774. Later, it was imprinted on a publication describing and mapping the exploits of the English explorer and researcher Captain James Cook (172879). This included a map entitled "Chart of Norton Sound and Bering Strait made by the East Cape of Asia and the west point of America," on which the strait between Asia and America is named the Bering Strait. The so-called "Sleeping Sea" south of the strait, which Bering named during the expedition of 1729, has since been officially named the Bering Sea.

After Berings explorations of Alaska, hoards of Russian trappers and traders from eastern Siberia began to visit Alaskas coasts and to drive out or kill off the indigenous Indian and Eskimo tribes. In 1783, the first Russian trading station was established on Kodiak Island, and in 1804, the Russians conquered the Indian settlement at Sitka, which they then turned into a provincial capital under the name Ny Archangelsk. After the English captain James Cooks thorough charting of Alaskas southern coastline in the late 1700s, English interest in the region increased. Russia feared that England would overrun Russian possessions in North America. As a result, Russia decided in 1867 to sell Alaska to the USA for 7.2 million dollars. In 1959, Alaska became the 49th sovereign state in the United States of America.


Albrethsen, Svend E. 1992: Den Dansk-Sovjetiske Ekspeditiuon til Bering Ø. GRØNLAND, Nr. 4-5, 1992 pp. 116-122.

Dr. Campbell in "Harris Collection of Voyages," London 1748

Dall, W. H. 1890. Review of Berings First Expeditions, 1725-30. National Geographic Magazine , vol. 2, pp. 111-169.

Lauridsen, P. 1885. Vitus J. Bering og De Russiske Opdagelsesrejser fra 1725-43. Kjøbenhavn: Gyldendalske Boghandels Forlag.

Murphy, Robert. 1961. The Haunted Journey. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc.

Shumilov, Alexander, 1995: Russsian-Danish expedition to the Bering Island. Russian Academy of Science, No. 3, May-June 1995

Steller, Georg Wilhelm, 1793. Reise von Kamtschatka nach Amerika mit dem Commnadeur-Capitan Bering. St. Petersburg. J.Z.Logan 1793.

Stejneger, Leonhard, 1936. Georg Wilhelm Steller, The Pioneer of Alaskan Natural History. Harvard University Press 1936, republished by Gregg International Publisher Limited, Westmed, Farnborough, England 1970. SBN 0576 291242