ZAGOSKIN, Lavrentii Alekseevich

Author Tags: Anthropology, Early B.C.

Born in 1808, Zagoskin was a lieutenant in the Russian navy who proposed to Governor F.P. Wrangell of Alaska in 1840 that he lead an expedition into Alaska's western interior. He was subsequently dispatched in 1842 by Governor Adolph K. Etholin. Zagoskin left Mikhailovskii Redoubt in December of 1842 and travelled within the Yukon and Alaska territories for 18 months with the talented artist and illustrator I.G. Voznesensky. In the employ of the Russian American Company, they explored and recorded the Yukon, Koyukuk and middle and lower Kuskokwim rivers while attempting to identify locations for future Russian trading posts. They also made methodical descriptions of how people lived in Inuit and Athabaskan villages. They traded so successfully for furs that their cache was nearly sufficient to pay for the expedition by the time they returned to St. Michael in August of 1844. For ten years, from 1839 onwards, Voznesensky made accurate sketches of life in Alaska, Siberia and California on behalf of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Zagoskin, on the other hand, returned to Russia in 1845 and published an account of his adventures in 1858 at the urging of Wrangell. Lavrentii Alekseevich Zagoskin died in 1890. The artifacts that Zagoskin and Voznesensky gathered are housed at the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in Saint Petersburg. A Russian edition about Zagoskin's 3,000-mile journey in the Yukon and Alaska was published in 1956, and translated into English in 1967.


Lieutenant Zagoskin's Travels in Russian America, 1842-1844. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1967). Translations from Russian sources by Henry N. Michael.

[BCBW 2004] "Anthropology" "Russian" "Early B.C."