Matyushkin Fedor Fedorovich
Arctic explorer, round-the-world navigator.
Matyushkin came from an old Russian noble family. Born
in Germany, in Stuttgart, where his father was the court counselor
at the Russian embassy. There
was no Russian church in the city, and the boy was christened
according to the Lutheran custom. Mother
left her son in the care of her father and went to Russia as a
mentor in the Moscow Catherine Institute. Matyushkin's
childhood was not happy. After
the early death of his father, his mother took the 10-year-old boy
and put him in the Noble boarding house at Moscow University, where
he received his primary education. Thanks
to the patronage of Empress Maria Feodorovna Matyushkina, they were
allowed to take exams at the newly founded Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo,
which was allowed to accept only children from noble and personally
familiar families to the tsar. After
passing the exam at the age of 12, Matyushkin became the first
Lyceum student, as he was later called the “Pushkin” recruitment.
The boy had a good-natured gentle nature, but a strong will,
wonderful talents and excellent dedication. In
the official report card compiled for each of the graduates, it is
said about Matyushkin: “he is very well-behaved, with all his fervor
polite, sincere, good-natured, sensitive; sometimes
angry, but without rudeness". Already in the Lyceum all noted his
passionate love for the sea. Matyushkin
was sympathetic to his comrades and teachers, he was one of
Pushkin’s closest friends both during his studies and after
graduating from the lyceum.
From the Lyceum Matyushkin was released by the collegiate
Lyceum E.A. Engelhardt,
with the help of the Ministry of Public Education, helped Matyushkin
to join the team of the sloop Kamchatka, under the command of V.M. Golovnin
set off for a two-year round-the-world voyage calling at Kamchatka
and in Russian America. To
get on the ship to the strict and demanding Golovnin was considered
a great honor even for honored naval officers. Everything
was decided by a personal meeting with Golovnin, to whom Matyushkin
arrived with a letter of recommendation from Engelhardt. After
reading the letter, Golovnin said: “Here you are recommended, and
you will not die of the road? And
it will be boring, I will report to you, it will be, and you will
become sick from pitching: you will yellow, you will lose your
appetite, but why”? And
after a pause he added: “Not scared? Well,
in short, I’ll say: I’m just going to land in England. I
haven't given you any orders yet”.
Thus, Matyushkin’s cherished dream of becoming a sailor was
was accepted by a volunteer with the subsequent enrollment in the
midshipmen, "if by the efforts of his opportunity is presented".
Unfortunately, it turned out that the young sailor suffered
severely from seasickness. Golovnin
even suggested that he stay in Portsmouth, but Matyushkin assured
him that he would endure everything, and that leaving the ship was
out of the question. On
board the Kamchatka, he met the future outstanding navigators and
scientists, F.P. Litke
warrant officers, understanding the state of Matyushkin as best they
could, supported him, told about themselves, asked about the lyceum,
about Pushkin. They
were bound by a craving for knowledge, love for the sea, travel. Relations
of young people with Golovnin became trusting and warm. They
have kept friendship with him for many years.
Swimming gave a lot to Matyushkin. He
became an experienced, seasoned sailor. Gentleness
and kindness helped him to easily converge with people. In
Kamchatka and in Russian America, Golovnin instructed him to travel
to get acquainted with the life and customs of the local people. Matyushkin
established friendly relations with famous PI Kamchatka’s ruler. Rikord
and his wife Lyudmila Ivanovna. The
image of this beautiful woman for the rest of his life remained in
the heart of Matyushkin. He
was looking for the same, but he did not find, never having created
a family: "I am not alone because I don’t want to love anyone, but
because the one I love is inaccessible and prevents me from
converging with others".
At the end of the voyage Matyushkin was given the title of
he could rightfully say about himself the same thing that Litke said
later: "At the beginning of the march I had no idea about the
service: I returned as a real sailor, but a sailor of Golovnin
Despite Golovnin’s excellent recall, the official decision to
transfer him to the fleet was taken only three months after the
completion of navigation in December 1819. And
only in February 1820 after the petitions of Engelhardt and Prince
Golitsyn, Matyushkin was granted the Order of St.
Anna of the 3rd degree, which his comrades had already received.
In 1820 an expedition was organized to inventory the coast of
Siberia to the east of the Kolyma River, the site of the least fully
described in the process of the EVE. In
addition, it was necessary to explore the area north of the coast in
order to search for land, known from the stories of local residents. The
expedition was headed by Wrangel, who invited Matyushkin as his
had to change the side of the ship for sledges with dog sleds, and
the ocean expanses to snow-covered tundra and ice hummocks.
The expedition departed from St. Petersburg at the end of March
1820 and arrived 10 days later in Moscow; it traveled from Moscow to
Irkutsk with a length of 5317 versts in six weeks. In
Irkutsk, Wrangel and Matyushkin were introduced to the Siberian
Governor-General MM. Speransky,
who took an active part in organizing the expedition.
Matyushkin traveled to the north before the main part of the
expedition for the purchase of food and the construction of winter
quarters at Cape Baranov Kamen and the observatory. Upon
arrival in Nizhnekolymsk, he
discovered that the local authorities had done nothing of what was
prescribed to them, putting the expedition in a very difficult
with the help of Matyushkin began the construction of an
observatory, and he himself went to the mouth of the Kolyma to buy
fish for dogs from local residents.
In November 1820 after an almost eight-month journey through
Siberia, expedition members reached Nizhnekolymsk. Having
completed the training, Wrangel, Kozmin and
three Cossacks went along the coast to the Chaunskaya
Bay, from the mouth of the Kolyma east to Shelagsky Cape, the
eastern entrance Cape of the Chaunskaya Bay. They
had to solve one of the tasks of the expedition - to establish
whether there is an isthmus between Asia and America, as claimed by
some foreign geographers. Matyushkin
also went to the fair in the village of Ostrovnoe, where he was to
meet with the elders and ask them about unknown land supposed to the
north of the mouth of Kolyma. The
solution of this question was the second main task of the
one of the elders, Valetka, drew an island to the northeast of Cape
Shelagsky on snow.
Returning to Nizhnekolymsk, they immediately set off on a new
expedition, now to the north to solve the mystery of the Andreev
parallel ridges of hummocks, deep snow-filled crevices between them,
suffering from snow blindness, travelers left 215 kilometers from
the coast and, not meeting new lands, were forced to turn back and
take up the description of the Bear
Matyushkina described the island Chetrebstolbova.
In the summer of 1821, the expedition examined the Kolyma region,
a detachment of Matyushkin described the basin of the Big Anyuya,
the right lower tributary of the Kolyma.
The third trip on the ice was undertaken in the spring of 1822
from the cape Bolshoy Baranov, located east of the mouth of the
Kolyma River. They
managed to go to the north from the coast for more than 250
kilometers, reaching 72° 02′N,
from where they were forced to turn back, meeting an open raging
went ashore in May after a 46-day wander on the ice.
In the summer of 1822 a detachment of Matyushkina produced an
inventory of the tundra east of the mouth of the Kolyma and explored
the area of Maly Anyuya.
A year later in the spring, the fourth, last voyage to the
north, was made, now from Cape Shelagsky. Matyushkin
did not participate in it. He
was tasked with inventorying the coast from the Chaun Bay to Cape
Severny (now Schmidt). The
detachment of Matyushkin and the detachment of Wrangel, returning
from a campaign to the north, met on the coast, and this meeting was
truly salutary for Wrangel. They
miraculously survived, hitting small drift ice, but they lost almost
all of their food, and there were 360 miles to the nearest ground
During the shooting, Matyushkin met with Chukchi elders, who
informed him that the mountainous land is clearly visible in the
summer to the north of Cape Yakan, located at 176° 32′E. The
travelers, arriving at Cape Yakan, peered for a long time to the
north, but did not see the land. Now
we know that she is there. Matyushkin
went to the north, but did not achieve success.
25 years later, this land was discovered by the American captain G.
Kellett and was named
after his vessel, the Land Plover. After
another 19 years, the American whaler
T. Long called
this deserted land "Wrangel". With
the same right, it could be called the "Land of Matyushkin". Matyushkin
was delighted by the honesty of the American, but bitterly mixed
In 1823 the order of the Admiralty Board came to finish the
to the results of her Wrangel published a book, which included two
reports of Matyushkin. Pushkin has repeatedly advised him to take up
writing a great book. The
years spent in the north, Matyushkin himself considered the most
outstanding in his life, but he never wrote a book.
After the expedition ended, Matyushkin was sent to serve in
was in a depressed state: the matter did not go well with the
production of the next officer rank, it was sad to realize that all
the successes of the expedition were attributed to Wrangel alone. His
expedition leader also had his reason for sadness. He
was sad that he had failed to set foot on the land they had been
looking for for four years. Golovnin,
who offered Wrangel a round-the-world voyage for the military
sailing transport “Krotkiy” to the shores of Kamchatka, helped out:
“Take Matyushkin with you. And
God forbid you to glorify the fatherland with a new voyage.
”Matyushkin received an invitation from Wrangel almost
simultaneously with the news of his production to lieutenant.
Swimming continued throughout 1825–1827.
Matyushkin's return to his homeland was woeful. Many
of his comrades were convicted for participating in the uprising on
Senate Square. Fate
saved Matyushkin, in his sympathy for the Decembrists there is no
After the voyage on the Meek, the paths of Matyushkin and Wrangel
years of joint expeditions did not make them very close. The
characters and the political views of these people were too
different: a convinced monarchist Wrangel and brought up in a
free-thinking Lyceum family Matyushkin. However,
until the end of their days, they maintained good relations and
Until 1833, Matyushkin served on ships of the Black Sea Fleet
that participated in military operations on the side of Greece
against the Turkish Empire. In
1828, for participation in the Dardanelles blockade, he was awarded
of St. Vladimir of 4 degrees, and in 1831 he was awarded the Order
of St. George
of the 4th degree for
carrying out 18 naval campaigns. In
subsequent years, the list of Matyushkin's awards was replenished
with the orders of St.
Stanislav of 1 degree (1853), St.
Anna of 1 degree (1861), St.
Vladimir of 2 degrees and St.
Vladimir of 3 degrees with swords (1864).
After a brief transfer to the Baltic in 1835 he
returned to the Black Sea Fleet, where he served for almost 15
the rank of
commanded by frigate “Brailov”, which
cruised off the Caucasian coast to prevent the sailing of Turkish
vessels, and took part in the capture of Tuapse. On
the "Brailov" Matyushkina found terrible news of the death of
Pushkin is killed! Yakovlev! How
did you make it? What
scoundrel has his hand lifted on him ...? ”. In
violation of the charter, he ordered a mourning salvo from all the
In 1849 with the rank of Rear Admiral Matiushkin, he was again
transferred to the Baltic. At
the turn of the second half of the XIX century, he left the military
service, but did not leave the fleet, occupying various posts in the
maritime ministry, in the Committee for the development of maritime
regulations, headed the Marine Scientific Council.
During the Crimean War, the Honored Admiral did not remain aloof
from the events. He
was appointed commander of the naval base Sveaborg and played an
important role in repelling the attack of the English squadron that
entered the Gulf of Finland. After
the end of the Crimean War, he was promoted to vice admirals, and 11
years later he became full admirals. In
addition to the service, he led a large pedagogical and social
activities: he wrote textbooks, organized an exhibition dedicated to
the Sevastopol defense, played a major role in building a monument
to Pushkin in Moscow. From
1861 he was a senator.
All his life a bachelor Matyushkin did not have his own house. He
was replaced by a ship cabin, a barracks, a tent, a Demuth hotel in
St. Petersburg, friends' houses, and service apartments. Only
towards the end of his life did he acquire his own summer cottage,
which he loved very much.
Matyushkin died in September 1872 from paralysis, by that time
only four of his lyceum comrades were alive. He
was buried in the Smolensk Lutheran cemetery in St. Petersburg. In
1950 dust and a monument, a granite block with a cross, were
transferred to the necropolis
of art masters of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
the Chaun Bay of the East Siberian Sea. Named
in 1823 by F.P. Wrangell.
the south of Wrangel Island. Named