Sidorov Mikhail Konstantinovich
activist, researcher of the North, honorary member of the Free
Economic Society, member of the commission of the Imperial Russian
Geographical Society to develop a plan for the study of the northern
seas, an outstanding advocate of the development of the North,
Convinced of the outstanding role of the North in the Russian
economy, Sidorov devoted himself to implementing the idea that “the
desert Russian northern provinces, which are in very similar
climatic conditions with Canada and Norway, can easily achieve
prosperity, for which it is necessary to start developing natural
resources North". That
is why he organized and subsidized polar expeditions, initiated the
creation of government commissions for the North and the development
of appropriate legislative measures.
Sidorov was born in Arkhangelsk. His
grandfather was ravaged by foreign merchants-steamers, his father
died as well. Sidorov
studied at the gymnasium, but because of the independent,
indomitable nature was excluded. As
he wrote himself "... left the gymnasium in 1842, more because the
French teacher Otto Kazimirovich Gutkovsky called students from the
tax-paying state a Russian creature". He
went to serve in the office of his uncle, but he was soon ruined. As
an external student, Sidorov passed the exams for the title "home
The enterprising and resolute Sidorov tried to organize a private
bank in Arkhangelsk, managed to win over the local rich merchants to
his side, but met with resolute opposition from the governor. The
matter reached the minister, but failed to overcome the resistance
of the governor, and in order to avoid arrest Sidorov was forced to
leave for Krasnoyarsk. As
a home teacher, he took up the upbringing of the children of the
resourceful Zyryan entrepreneur Vasily Latkin, whom he devoted to
his plans to create Russian Eldorado.
Mikhail married his student Olga Latkina, self-taught
comprehended the basics of chemistry and geology, was fond of the
glorious history of seafarers and explorers.
Sidorov began his entrepreneurial activity with the fact that he
began to buy land for the pennies in the Yenisei, which had already
been worked out by the miners. Five
years, rising higher and higher on the Yenisei and its tributaries,
suffering severe hardships, he washed the rock in the basins without
losing hope of finding gold. In
1850, happiness smiled at him, fate rewarded him for perseverance
and courage. He
discovered a gold deposit on the Podkamennaya Tunguska. Having
grown rich, Sidorov decided to establish a university in Siberia,
but the outbreak of the Crimean War changed his plans. All
money Sidorov donated to the needs of the army and started
everything from scratch.
Over the next ten years, the mines of Sidorov gave the treasury
three million net profit. He
went to Petersburg and offered the Academy of Sciences to accept
income from him for the opening of a university in Siberia. However,
this time too, Sidorov’s impulse sank in the indifference and
heartlessness of the officials. In
1864, the business with the university died down completely.
In 1859–1864 Sidorov
equipped several survey parties in the Turukhansk region, one of
which opened a graphite deposit in the Kureika area. Noting
Imperial Russian Geographical Society awarded Sidorov in 1866 a silver medal. He
caught fire with a new idea: to use the Siberian rivers to export
the wealth of Siberia to Europe, which could have contributed to the
development of trade with Western countries that was extremely
profitable for the Russian economy. But
here he met insurmountable obstacles. “Swimming
in the ice is impossible,” stated the President of the Academy of
Sciences F.P. Litke,
“It is impossible to bakery in the north ... people must be
relocated from the North ...” - he was echoed by General Zinoviev,
the tutor of the future Emperor Alexander III. Sidorov
began to invest his own money in the development of Arctic
1869, on the steamer "Georg", coming out of Gammerfest, he tried to
go to the mouth of the Yenisei, but without success. Already
in the Pechora region, the sea was clogged with solid ice. Sidorov
organized a series of expeditions by the English captain I.
Wiggins, who several times reached the mouths of the Ob and the
with A.M. Sibiryakov Sidorov
participated in the swimming gear of N.A.-E. Nordenskiöld in
the first through navigation through the Northeast Passage. He
organized a demonstration of the riches of the Russian North at the
World Exhibition in London, at an exhibition in Paris, gave
presentations and lectures, conducted surveys on the Ukhta River,
contrary to the ban of the Minister of State Property, bought
drilling equipment at his own expense and discovered oil. His
name was known far beyond the borders of Russia, but he never became
a prophet in his own country. All
the money was spent, for some time he used loans, but there was
nothing to pay back debts. That
was the end. Sidorov
lived his life in humiliating poverty, but he never doubted that he
had lived his life correctly.
The merits of Sidorov are marked by the Orders of St.
Anna of 2 degrees and St.
Stanislav's 2 degrees.
He died in the Prussian city of Aachen, was buried at the
Lazarevskoye cemetery of St. Petersburg. To
date, his grave has not been preserved.
Novaya Zemlya in the Kostin Shar Strait.
the island Rykachev in the Kara Sea near the coast of Khariton
by Russian Polar Expedition in 1900.
the far northeast of the island of Edge, Svalbard archipelago. The
coordinates are 78°
13.2'N 22° 54'E. Named
by the German geographer A.
the islands of Lee Smith, Bliss, Bryce and the islands of Brady and
Alger in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Named
by Soviet cartographers in the 1950s.