Dezhnev Semen Ivanovich 
(ca.1605–1672)


Yakut Cossack chieftain, an outstanding Russian explorer, polar navigator. 
Born in the village Osinovskaya Voloko-Pinezhskaya parish Dvina county in a poor peasant family. Having retired from his native places, Dezhnev at first carried out Cossack service in Tobolsk, then in Yeniseisk. However, he was not satisfied with the service in the inhabited places, he was attracted to "unknown lands." In 1638, as part of the detachment of Peter Beketov, he moved to the Lensky burg, which was the center of the vast Yakutsk voivodship (now the city of Yakutsk). 
Since 1640, Dezhnev repeatedly participated in campaigns in Eastern Siberia. In these campaigns, he was most often a collector of the yasak, in this he was helped by the ability to get closer to the local population. 
In 1640–1641 in the squad of Dmitry Zyryany Dezhnev was sent to the river Yana. As often happened, it was necessary to equip at their own expense. The collection of yasak was successful, but Dezhnev was wounded on the way back in a skirmish with lamuts. 
Having passed yasak, Dezhnev already in the composition of the detachment of Mikhail Stadukhin went to the district of r. Oymyakon, from where the Cossacks moved to the Momu River, and in June 1643, along the Indigirka, they set off on the Koch to the Arctic Ocean. So Dezhnev became a navigator. 
In the autumn of 1643, the Stadukhin detachment on the Koch passed from the mouth of the Indigirka to the mouth of the Alazei, where the Cossacks met with the detachment of Dmitry Zyryana, who had arrived here earlier. Each time, reaching a certain turn, the Cossacks from local residents learned about new lands they did not know and strove further east. In the summer of 1644, a group of Cossacks, of which Stadukhin was a member, moved to the mouth of the Kolyma River on the Koch.Dezhnev came there by dry. The Nizhnekolymsky jail was founded here, soon becoming the center for organizing further expeditions. Even during the march on Oymyakon, Dezhnev learned of the existence in the southeast of the r. Hunting flowing into the sea. Having already been to the Kolyma, Dezhnev thought about the lands lying between her and the Hunt. Is the “end of the earth” washed by the sea behind the Hunt? Dezhnev lived in Nizhnekolymsk until 1647. By this time, the Anadyr River, which is rumored to be very rich in fur and walrus bones, was of particular interest. What was important was that not only residents of Nizhnekolymsk, but also authorities in Yakutsk, became interested in this river. By the summer of 1647, a sea expedition led by Fedot Popov was prepared to search for walrus rookeries, to trade with the Chukchi, and to open the unknown Anadyr River. Dezhnev filed a petition about including him on an expedition as a serving person, i.e. the person responsible for the surrender of furs and other valuables to the state treasury. The petition was granted, and Dezhnev, as a representative of the authorities, actually became one of the leaders of the expedition. An attempt to go by sea in 1647 was unsuccessful, and was repeated the following year. The seven voyages, on which there were ninety people, went on a sea voyage. 
Extreme eastern extremity of Asia, which Dezhnev called the “Big Stone Nose”, was rounded off only by three kochas, which were headed by Dezhnev, Popov and Ankudinov. In the Koch Strait, Ankudinova was defeated, the crew moved to Popov's Koch, and further sailing took place on two small boats. Dezhnev was an observant person: he remembered well, and later described some geographical features of the eastern tip of Asia. He perfectly understood the significance of his discovery. 
Storm divided the court. Koch Dezhnev, on which there were 25 people, washed ashore far south of the mouth of Anadyr, and the Popov koch, carried off to Kamchatka, went missing. So the fate of the three pioneers of the strait put forward one - Dezhnev. For 10 weeks his detachment reached the mouth of Anadyr. After a hard wintering, the surviving 12 people, led by Dezhnev, in summer, boarded their boats up the Anadyr River and, in the middle reaches, founded the Anadyr fortress, of which Dezhnev became the "clerk" (manager). He explored the Anadyr estuary, discovered the richest rookeries of the sea animal, collected a huge amount of furs and walrus tusks for the treasury. 
Considering the goals of his long-term expedition reached, Dezhnev began to bother about replacing him and allowing him to return to Yakutsk. The shift took place in 1659.The following year, with a group of industrialists, he crossed the Anyuy range to the Kolyma, wintered there, moved to the mouth of the Lena by sea, wintered in Zhigansky prison and only in 1662 reached Yakutsk. In 1664, with a rich state booty, he finally arrived in Moscow. 
In 1665, Dezhnev was promoted to Cossack chieftain with an appointment to Yakutsk, where he served until 1670. At the end of 1671, he returned to Moscow again. 
The great geographical discovery of Dezhnev very soon became the property of Russian science. It was known about him and abroad, however, in Western Europe at the very beginning of the XVIII century there was an opinion about the unification of Siberia with America. The correctness of Dezhnev was finally confirmed by the Kamchatka expeditions of V.I. Bering and A.I. 
Chirikov.

 

Cape Dezhnev (photo by A.A. Brataev)


Dezhnev found four monuments in the Arctic. 
On the bank of the Kolyma River, there is a three-meter obelisk with the inscription: “To brave explorers - discoverers of the Kolyma: Semyon Dezhnev, Mikhail Stadukhin, Dmitry Zyryan, Ivan Erastov, Fedot Popov, Gerasim Ankudinov, Isaiah Ignatyev, I haven out of my way to get out of my way to get my way out. the composition of the Russian state". Delivered in 1957. 
In the village of Zyryanka there is a granite pillar, at the top of the vessel is a 17th century Koch. Opened November 7, 1967. 
At Cape Dezhnev - a wooden cross, established in 1910. The inscription on the copper board in Russian and English: “In memory of Dezhnev. This cross was erected in the presence of the Amur Region Governor General Unterberger by the command of the military transport Shilka under the leadership of the commander - Captain 2 rank Pell and the officers of the vessel. September 1, 1910. Seafarers are invited to support this monument”.  
On Cape Dezhnev - a monument-lighthouse. Established in 1956. The tetrahedral obelisk with a bronze bust of Dezhnev lined with marble crumb. Height over 16 meters. On the front side, a cast-iron board with the text: "Semyon Ivanovich Dezhnev was born around 1605, died in 1672". On the side faces it is told about the advancement of Dezhnev from Indigirka to Alazei, from Alazei to Kolyma and from Kolyma to the strait. 
Cape, the northeastern tip of Asia. The name was approved by the government only in 1898 on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the opening of the cape. 
An island north of Samuel Island in the Laptev Sea. Opened by B.A. Vilkitsky in 1913. Named in 1919 by R. Amundsen. 
Glacier in the west of the island of the October Revolution of the archipelago Severnaya Zemlya. Polar geologists were named in the early 1950s. 
In addition, in honor of the icebreaker steamer “Dezhnev” islands are named among the islands of Litke in the Nordenskiöld archipelago; a bank in the East Strait in the Laptev Sea; bay in the east of the island of Alexandra Land archipelago Franz Josef Land.

 

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