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Vrangel, Ferdinand Perroviets
EXPEDITION TO THE POLAR SEA,
IN THE YEARS 1820, 1821, 1822, AND 1823
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.
The recent voyages to discover a Northwest Passage, persevered in through a series of years, and crowned with partial success, have, from the boldness of the enterprise, as well as the skill and courage displayed by the successive navigators, excited a far more lively interest than any others in modern times. But while the British have been thus actively engaged in exploring the Polar Sea north of the Armerican, Continent, the Russians have not been ide in atempting to extend their geographical knowlerlge: 'in the same latitudes north of Siberia. Of the former we have been long since fully informed of the saiter, until now, entirely ignorant. - This voluire, therefore, the publishers feel persuaded will be in the highest degree interesting to the American reader, from the great amount of curious information it contains, and especially from the manner in which the different expeditions were conducted, by means of sledges, drawn by dogs, over the ice of the Polar Sea.
The English copy, from which this is taken, was edited by Major Sabine, whose extensive personal knowledge of the Polar Regions peculiarly qualified him for the task.
The work, as now presented to the public, has been carefully revised by the American editor, and considerably abridged, by the exclusion of most of the introductory matter, as well as of two chapters that have no connexion with the general narrative, and all of which consist of little more than minute topographical and other details, destitute of interest to the general reader.
H. & B. New-York, Sept., 1841.
The work, of which the present is a translation, was drawn up in the German language by M. En. gelhardt, from the journals and papers of M. Wran. gell, and of the other officers of the expedition, placed in his hands for that purpose, and was pub. lished at Berlin in July, 1839, under the editorial care of Professor Ritter, with the sanction of M. Wrangell, who himself communicated the map which accompanied the publication. Notices had been previously given by Professor Parrot in re. gard to some of the physical observations which were made in the course of the expedition, but no general account of its proceedings appeared until this of 1839, either in the Russian or any other language.
The German orthography of the proper names has been generally retained. Great part of the names being new, and their pronunciation only known approximately through the medium of a representation by German letters, it did not appear that any adequate advantage would have been gained by an attempt to substitute letters with English values, involving, as it must necessarily have done, an additional degree of uncertainty. The temperatures have been changed from Réau. mur to Fahrenheit's scale. Distances, weights, and prices have been preserved in the original ex. pressions, in wersts, poods, and roubles. The