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    Re: Mid XIX century Nav
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2005 Nov 20, 19:36 -0500

    On Mon, 21 Nov 2005, George Huxtable wrote:
    > in case it didn't get around the list (though a copy was reflected back to
    Your previous message reached me in time.
    > Was this an official
    > government-backed voyage of exploration, staffed by the Russian savants of
    > the day, I wonder?
    > Alex may know, from his reading.
    This was an official government-sponsored expedition
    with the purpose to establish diplomatic and trade relations.
    (There was no much remaining objects of "exploration" in the neighborhood
    of Japan
    in 1850-s:-)
    The goal was the same as of the similar US expeditions at the same time:
    to "open" Japan to the West.
    The expedition was headed by an admiral and included one frigate,
    Pallada (Pallas) which
    sailed from Kronstadt (near S-Petersburg) around the Cape of Good Hope,
    with stops in England, Madeira, Kapstadt (Capetown) and Shanghai.
    Two or three smaller ships sailed from the Russian Far East.
    Sorry, this is out of scope of the list, but I want to quote one
    detail:-) When approaching Shanghai, they had to send a small schooner
    ahead "to find out the news from Europe". They worried whether Russia is
    not by chance in the state of war with some European power, in which case
    they could have troubles in Shanghai:-) The schooner brought newspapers,
    but the news from Europe were 6 months old!
    On the other hand, the writer describes all world except Japan as
    "very civilized". For example he does not recommend travellers to take
    too many pairs of shoes, "because excellent shoes they can be easily
    made for you in an English shop

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