Mathisen Fedor Andreevich 
(20.05 (01.06).1872–19.12.1921)


Naval officer, hydrograph, explorer of the Arctic. 
Born in Petersburg. 
In 1892  Mathisen graduated with honors from the Naval Cadet Corps and was awarded the Prize named after Admiral P.S. Nakhimov. In the years 1892-1894  served as a midshipman in the Baltic Fleet, and in January – April 1895 he graduated from the navigating officer class and took the position of junior navigator officer of the Rurik cruiser, who in 1896 joined the Pacific Squadron. In the Pacific  he served until 1898, and in 1899  in the rank of lieutenant, he was appointed to the post of watch officer of the Bakan transport, which was part of the Spitsbergen expedition, academician F.N. Chernyshev engaged in "degree measurement". 
In the years 1900–1902 in the rank of lieutenant, Mathisen participated in the E.V. Toll Russian Polar Expedition   on the yacht "Zarya". During the wintering of 1900–1901 off the coast of Taimyr, he undertook two successful toboggan trips to refine the map of the Nordensheld archipelago, as well as many areas of the coast of Taimyr. In February 1902  after the commander of the "Zarja" N.N.Kolomeitsev was sent by the expedition leader to the mainland, led the schooner team. During the second wintering of 1901-1902 in the Nerpalah lagoon of theKotel'niy island, Mathisen made several sledges to survey the Novosibirsk islands. He tried unsuccessfully to drive as far north as possible, but was stopped by open water 7 km from the coast. Then Mathisen visited the islands of Faddeevsky and Bunge Land, carried out topographical works on the island of Belkovsky. 
Like the vast majority of Russian naval officers, Mathisen was a man of high culture with a wide range of knowledge and interests, besides a jack of all trades. These qualities related him to Toll  and contributed to the success of the expedition. 
Shortly before leaving the island Bennett Toll handed Mathiesen detailed instructions for further actions and an order appointing him as the head of the expedition in case of his non-return from the hike. 
In September 1902  after two unsuccessful attempts to reach New Siberia and Bennett Island, where the A.A. Byalynitsky-Biruli and Toll groups went in the summer, Mathisen, fearing to be in ice captivity and having a limited supply of fuel, made the difficult decision to go to Tiksi Bay. This decision cost the life of Toll's group, but most likely saved everyone else. The "Zarya", abandoned by the crew, was left for the winter. The following year Mathisen again visited Tiksi Bay. Reaching deers from Yakutsk to Buor-Khaya Bay, in spring and summer of 1903  Mathisen compiled the first detailed map of the shores of Tiksi Bay, carried out depth measurements on a steam boat and concluded that the bay was suitable for building a large port. For hydrographic work, he was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir, 4 degrees. 
The Imperial Russian Geographical Society awarded him in 1904 a small silver medal.

 

"Zarja" in Tiksi Bay, 1904

 


After the final completion of the work related to Russian Polar expedition, Mathisen served as the commander of the destroyer "The Seer", a senior officer of the cruiser "Diana", but his relationship with the Arctic was not interrupted. He drafted the Hydrographic Expedition to study the Laptev Sea, was a member of the Commission A.I. Vilkitsky on the organization of the hydrographic expedition of the Arctic Ocean, an observer of the construction and the first commander of the icebreaker "Taimyr".

 

"Zarja" in Tiksi Bay, 1932

(the photo from  archive of E.N. Freiberg)


In this position in 1909 he set off on a campaign from St. Petersburg to the base of the expedition, to Vladivostok. After a brutal storm in the North Sea, one of the boilers was damaged by the fault of the stokers, which delayed the expedition in Le Havre for two months. The commander answered for the error of his subordinates: Mathisen was removed from his post. After being seconded from the expedition, he was recruited into the Siberian navy crew, in which he commanded the Hurricane gunboat on Amur. 
In 1920–1921 after the restoration of Soviet power in Eastern Siberia, Matisen was assigned to lead an expedition to conduct hydrographic surveys of the mouth of the Lena and Tiksi Bay. In the field season of 1920  the coastline was covered with an instrumental survey of 213 versts, a route survey of 70 versts, a boat and ship survey of 780 versts, measured over 7000 depths. A reconnaissance survey and a measurement of about 130 versts along the Trofimovskaya channel, about 100 versts along the Olenekskaya channel. Built dozens of different kinds of signs. In fact, a detachment of Matisen conducted surveys, on the basis of which the port of Tiksi was later laid. Also, the Matisen group opened the Soginskoe coal deposit in the Tiksi area, which helped the port survive in difficult war and post-war years. 
In 1921 N.I. Eugenov became the head of the expedition. Mathisen with a responsible assignment was sent to the Far Eastern Republic. Upon his return, he was supposed to go to Petrograd for a new appointment, but he fell ill with typhus and died in Irkutsk on December 23. Buried at the Jerusalem cemetery. When a city park of culture and recreation was arranged over the graves, the grave disappeared from the face of the earth along with many others. 
Cape on Horseshoe Island in Minin's skerries. The name, on the proposal of the Hydrographic Enterprise of the Ministry of the Navy, was approved by the decision of the Dickson regional executive committee of February 28, 1973 (not on the maps or in the LOTION). 
The mountain range on the island of Western Spitsbergen in the eastern part and the Geer Land. Named in 1899-1901 by expedition on "degree measurement". 
Strait in the south of the archipelago of Nordensheld. Named in 1901  by E.V. 
Toll.

 

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