MULLER, Gerhard

Author Tags: 1700-1800, Geography

Having served with Vitus Bering as the head of the academic section of the Great Northern Expedition, the German scholar and scientist Gerhard Müller combined his knowledge of Bering’s 1728 and 1741 voyages with his knowledge of Semen Dezhnev’s 1648 voyage to produce maps in 1754 and 1758 that best represented the known geography of the North Pacific. Müller had come to St. Petersburg from Leipzig in 1725. He later became permanent secretary of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences after he had spent ten years exploring Siberia.

First published by the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg, Müller’s Nouvelle Carte Des Decouvertes etc. became the primary source for information on the North Pacific until Captain Cook’s third voyage. Müller’s first map in 1754 was not widely known. In 1758 Müller published a book that contained a revised version. It was translated by Thomas Jefferys and later published in England in 1761. As the senior naval officer at San Blas on the west coast of Mexico, the Spanish explorer Juan Pérez took copies of two maps by Müller when he was later sent to explore the North Pacific coast by Viceroy Antonio Bucareli in 1774. Mysteriously, information about this first Spanish expedition to British Columbia appeared the following year in an American atlas prepared by Müller’s translator, Jefferys, even though the Spanish were stringently secretive about their explorations.


Müller, Gerhard Friedrich. Nachricten von Seareisen. St. Petersburg: 1758. Translated as Bering's Voyages: The Reports from Russia (University of Alaska Press, 1986) by Carol Furness.

Müller, Gerhard Friedrich. Voyages from Asia to America, for Completing the Discoveries of the North West Coast of America. Translated by T. Jefferys (London: 1761)


G. F. Müller and Siberia 1733-1743 (University of Alaska Press, 1989). Edited by Black, J. L. and Buse, D. K. Translation of German Materials by Victoria Joan Moessner

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2004] "German"