Laptev Khariton Prokopyevich 

Sailor, captain of rank 1, member of the All-Union Military Cooperation. Cousin D.YA. Laptev. 
Laptev came from an old noble family, whose representatives faithfully served the Fatherland. One of his ancestors was granted a patrimony near the Great Onions. Laptev's father Prokofy owned a small village in six courtyards Pekarevo (Pukarevo), now Pokarevo. The estate of his brother Jacob was located next door. 
Khariton Laptev’s childhood was no different from his cousin Dmitry’s childhood. The resulting physical and spiritual training also served him well in the later life of a sailor and a polar explorer. Literacy was taught by a priest, and in 1715 the boy entered the Maritime Academy. 
In 1718, after passing the exams, Laptev was promoted to midshipmen and enlisted in the Baltic Fleet, where the practical development of the knowledge gained at the Academy began. In 1720 he received the rank of sub-officer, and in 1726 the officer rank of midshipman. 
Laptev had a great experience of serving on various navy ships. The successful passage of his service was disrupted in 1734. The frigate Mitau, in which Laptev served as a midshipman during the period of Russia's military actions against Poland, was fraudulently captured by the French squadron, who illegally supported Poland. After the prisoners exchanged, all officers, including Laptev, were sentenced to death for surrendering the ship without a fight. The execution of the sentence was postponed, and an additional investigation was scheduled, which resulted in a year and a half later revealing the innocence of the convicts. All of them were returned to the previous ranks. 
In 1737, having received the rank of lieutenant, Laptev was appointed commander of the
Great Northern Expedition 1733–1743 detachment instead of the deceased V.V. Pronchishchev. This detachment was prescribed a description of the coast of Siberia from Lena to the Yenisei. Since in the course of the previous voyages, considerable difficulties were revealed in the inventory of the coast from the sea due to the most severe ice conditions, the detachment was given new instructions on how to conduct the survey. In case of impossibility of navigation, the vessel should be sent to Yakutsk or put in a sheltered place for the winter and continued work by ground groups. However, such a decision was allowed to be taken by the commanders only after consultation with all the officers. 
Only at the end of May 1739, Laptev arrived in Yakutsk. By this time, he organized the preparation of food warehouses in the mouths of the Anabar, Khatanga and Taimyra in case of ground work. Through the efforts of the navigator S.I. Chelyuskin  “Yakutsk” dubbing boat, on which this detachment worked in previous years, was already prepared for the march. Almost the entire detachment of forty-five people participated in the voyages of Pronchishchev. 
In the beginning of June, they set off down the Lena River and in the second half of July, through the western Krestyatsky channel, went out to sea. Overcoming the “great ices”, we reached Khatanga Bay and moved along the coast to the north, reaching Cape Faddey and discovering Transfiguration Island. Because of the ice, they were forced to turn back and by the beginning of September they came to the lower reaches of Khatanga, where they hibernated on the right bank of the Khatanga two kilometers north of the mouth of the Prodigal River. During the wintering period, Laptev introduced raw fish, a planer, to food, thanks to which the detachment avoided the diseases of scurvy. In the autumn and spring months, we conducted land routes according to the inventory of the coast of Taimyr. Surveyor N. Chekin moved from the Gulf of Thaddeus, which they took to the mouth of the Taimyr River, to the west, and the boatswain Medvedev from the mouth of Pyasina to the east. In addition, as it turned out later, the Ob-Yenisei detachment, F.A. Minin, was shooting the coast from Pyasina to Taimyr.  Between the extreme points reached by these groups remained about 200 kilometers. 
In the summer of 1740, the detachment resumed sailing to the north, but only managed to reach 76º 21N , where the vessel was trapped and seriously damaged by the ice.Anticipating the death of the vessel, they unloaded food and equipment on the ice, being 15 km from the coast. For 15 days, cargo was dragged onto the shore, but only a small part was saved. Everything else, along with the sinking ship was blown away by ice. 
Going south to populated places was impossible because of the ice drift on the rivers. They managed to move only at the end of September. In the end, leaving the patients in one of the nearby wintering industrialists, in mid-October, they got up to wintering by the Prodigal River. 
All previous voyages, and most importantly the loss of the vessel, convinced Laptev that it would not be possible to complete the survey of the coast between the mouths of Pyasina and Taimyr by sea. Fulfilling the requirements of the instructions, Laptev arranged a consultation with the leadership of the detachment: Chelyuskin, Chekin, and Medvedev. The obvious decision was made, but it was possible, of course, only in winter time to carry out a land survey on dog and reindeer sleds. The necessary consent of the Admiralty Board was obtained in April, but Laptev, without waiting for him, at his own peril and risk, had long since started to implement the plan. Having sent most of the people on reindeer to Dudinka, Laptev retained nine people, of whom three groups were organized. At the head of one commander stood up himself, the other two were commanded by Chelyuskin and Chekin. The first left the group Chelyuskin, then Chekina and the last Laptev. 
The Laptev Party reached Lake Taimyr and reached the coast along the Taimyr Valley. Here Laptev was convinced that the mouth is located considerably west of the hall.Thaddeus, and decided not to move west to meet Chelyuskin, but east to meet Chekin, whose workload turned out to be more than expected. Due to the significant difficulties of advancement, snow blindness, the film crews were unable in 1741 to close the inventory of the coast. The area between Cape Thaddeus in the east and the extreme point in the west, which he himself had reached, moving from the mouth of the Taimyr towards Chekin, remained not filmed. The filming of this site was completed the following year by Chelyuskin. 
On August 27, 1742, the entire detachment gathered in Yeniseisk. The task entrusted to him was completed. On September 13, 1743, Laptev filed a report to the Admiralty Board, in which he presented the results of the work, and his notes, which were of great scientific value. 
In the lower reaches of Khatanga, near the mouth of the Bludnaya River, there is a monument to the participants of the Lena-Khatanga detachment. It is a red metal cone-shaped buoy with a height of 5 meters, standing on a twenty-meter coastal cliff, with the inscription: “In memory of the first hydrographers - discoverers of the Taimyr Peninsula Khariton Laptev, Semyon Chelyuskin and 45 of their comrades who wintered in 1739–1742  200 m from here to the south, this mark was put by the Khatanga Hydro Base to the 50th anniversary of the Taimyr Autonomous Okrug on August 15, 1980”. Not far from the monument, hillocks of graves with remains of ancient crosses, in which members of the expedition are buried, are guessed. The monument is clearly visible from the ships passing through Khatanga, which, by the decision of the Khatanga district executive committee, must salute him for a quarter of a minute. 
After the expedition was completed, Laptev continued his service first in Kronstadt, and then commanding various ships of the Baltic Fleet. In 1751 he was transferred to the galley fleet to the position of captain of the 3rd rank, but a year later he became the commander of the ship "John Chrysostom the second". In 1752, Laptev was introduced to the leadership of the new educational institution - the Marine Cadet Corps. 
In the spring of 1757, he headed the Navigator company to train future navigators, commanding the ship, took part in hostilities during the Seven Years War, rose to the rank of captain of the 1st rank. In 1762, Laptev received a significant position as Ober-Shter-Krigs Fleet Commissioner (Head of Supply Service), which D.L Ovtsin had before him. By that time, from the ordeal of his health shaken. The situation was aggravated by litigation with a rich neighboring landowner in Pekarevo, who illegally sold part of the land of Laptev. 
He died in St. Petersburg.
 Probably was buried in Pekarevo, but his grave is unknown. 
The coast of the Taimyr Peninsula between the Minin skerries and the Nordenskjold archipelago. In 1900, he named E.V. Toll. 
Cape on Pilot Island Makhotkina of the Nordenskiöld archipelago. Called N.A. Nordenskiöld in 1878. 
Cape south of Pronchishchev Cape on the east coast of Taimyr. Named in 1919 R. Amundsen. 
The sea Title suggested by Yu.M. Shokalsky and approved in 1913 by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. It was enshrined on Soviet maps by a decree of the
Central Executive Committee of the USSR on June 27, 1935. Earlier it was called Tatarskoye, Lenskoye (on the maps of the XVI – XVII centuries), Siberian and Arctic (XVIII – XIX centuries), and in 1893 F. Nansen called the Nordenskiöld Sea.


Return to the main page