Toll Edward Vasilyevich
Russian geologist, an outstanding Arctic explorer.
Born in Revel.
In 1882, he graduated from Derpt (now Tartu) University, traveled
as a naturalist in the Mediterranean, visited Algeria and the
Toll participated in the led
expedition Petersburg Academy of Sciences on the New Siberian
He examined the islands of Bolshaya Lyakhovsky, Bunge Land,
Faddeevsky, Kotelny, the western shore of the New Siberia Island.
In the clear weather, from the northern coast of the Boiler
Island, he saw, as he thought, “the contours of four mountains,
which in the east were connected to lowland land”.
Toll decided that this is Sannikov Land and since then has
unconditionally believed in its existence.
The dream of embarking on it determined all his further tragic
In 1890, at the International Geographical Congress, Toll met
with F. Nansen,
who dedicated him to the plans of his expedition on the Fram.
Since then, their friendship began.
At the request of Nansen, Toll organized the purchase and
delivery to Khabarovo and Olenek of good sled dogs for his
expedition, as well as during his expedition in 1893 he laid several
food depots on the New Siberian Islands in case of the death of the
For this assistance, the Norwegian government awarded Toll an
In 1893 he headed the geological expedition of the Petersburg
Academy of Sciences to the northern regions of Yakutia, surveyed the
space between the lower course of the Lena and Khatanga rivers and
gave the first description of the plateau between the Anabar and
Popigai rivers and the mountain ridge between the Olenek and Anabar
He visited Kotelny Island and again “saw” Sannikov
In 1894, the Imperial Russian Geographical Society awarded Toll
the Przhevalsky medal.
In 1899, under the leadership of
Toll participated in the navigation of the icebreaker "Ermak" to the
shores of Spitsbergen.
The idea of reaching Sannikov Land did not leave him.
On April 17, 1898, he spoke at the
Imperial Russian Geographical Society with a plan of the
In addition to the Russian scientists, Nansen was also present at
In the draft, which was published, Toll proposed to equip the
expedition already in 1898–1899, for which he considered it
necessary to send the ship to the mouth of the Lena and from there
head to Sannikov Land, leave the people there for the winter and
remove them next year.
The attractiveness of the project was that Toll envisaged a
comprehensive scientific study of the Arctic.
In general, the project was supported by the
Imperial Russian Geographical Society, its leader
sent a letter to the Academy of Sciences with a proposal to equip
It went slowly.
Some time later, in the same year of 1898, Toll gave a report at
the general meeting of the Academy of Sciences, where he proposed an
expanded plan, which included two winterings and a more extensive
study of the Novosibirsk islands.
Academy of Sciences supported Toll and appealed to the Ministry of Finance with a
request for an allocation.
The letter indicated that "... the projected expedition of Baron
Toll to the New Siberian Islands and Sannikov Land, in addition to
scientific interest, is of great government importance, for which it
is particularly desirable to implement it as soon as possible".
Allocations in a very significant amount of 150 thousand rubles
in gold were provided to Toll in a few weeks.
This was evidence of Russia's serious attitude towards its
northeastern possessions, which were increasingly attacked by
Toll’s expedition began a series of measures to protect Russia's
national interests in Chukotka, Kolyma, and Kamchatka.
In the final version of the plan of the expedition, it was
planned to reach Cape Chelyuskin in the first year and winterize the
It was supposed to organize systematic magnetic and
meteorological observations at the wintering site, as well as a
detailed survey of the adjacent coast.
The next year it was planned to devote to the search for Sannikov
Land and survey the Novosibirsk Islands, after which the expedition
was to go through the Bering Strait to Vladivostok.
Toll stressed that “the expedition under the auspices of the
Academy of Sciences is not limited to the desire to discover the
small Sannikov Land.
It sets itself serious scientific tasks, namely the conduct of
hydrographic, meteorological, geophysical, geological and other
types of observations".
For the expedition, which together with the crew consisted of 20
people, on the recommendation of Nansen, in Norway purchased the
sailing-steam bark “Harald Harfager”, which was renamed the yacht
It was a whaling vessel adapted for navigation in the northern
After the purchase, "Zarya" was rebuilt at the shipyard of
Colin Archer and
equipped for the purposes of the expedition.
In October 1899, "Zarya" was examined by the Norwegian bureau
Veritas, which issued a long-distance certificate for three years.
Toll was extremely happy.
The dream of his life came true: he could start to Sannikov Land.
"Zarya" left St. Petersburg on June 21, 1900, rounded Scandinavia
and reached the
Kara Sea in early August.
After a brief repair of the car on Dixon, we went to Cape
Chelyuskin, simultaneously conducting scientific observations.
The ice situation gradually deteriorated, and in the end the
vessel was stopped by ice, and the expedition set up for the winter
near the coasts of Taimyr in the Kolin-Archer bay, not reaching Cape
Swimming in the ice led to an overrun of coal, with the result
that it was left only for 20 days of swimming.
Wintering was successful, without serious diseases.
Constant magnetic and meteorological observations were made,
sleigh trips were made to survey the coast and nearby islands with
the collection of scientific collections.
Expedition Toll given more than 200 geographical names.
Only at the end of August “Zarya” got rid of ice captivity, on
September 1, the traverses of Cape Chelyuskin passed.
The crossing of the Laptev Sea was accompanied by numerous
oceanographic stations, bringing researchers a large amount of
unique scientific material.
Having met the edge of perennial ice directly to the north of the
New Siberian Islands, the ship began to move along it to the north.
In the area of the expected location of Sannikov Land at
and 140° 23'E
there was a huge field of pack ice hiding in thick fog.
The De-Long Islands moved northward, suggesting finding a
convenient wintering harbor there, from where it would be possible
to make sledge trips on the ice in search of Sannikov Land.
They walked in thick fog, gradually losing hope of seeing the
islands, when suddenly in the fog break,
was opened in full view, no more than 20 kilometers away.
This event raised the mood of Toll, who had already begun to
somewhat doubt the existence of Sannikov Earth: you can be near the
earth and not notice it.
The approach to the island was blocked by ice, the fog did not go
away, the cold weather was approaching, the car needed repair, and
Toll decided to go to Fr.
Boiler for wintering.
It was organized off the west coast of the island in
In winter, Toll traveled to the mainland for mail, and on his
return he began to prepare a sleigh trip to Bennett Island, from
where he intended to continue the search for Sannikov Land.
He was well aware of the danger of his journey, but could not
The desire to get to this treasured land completely seized him.
Ten years later, another Russian polar explorer
will be obsessed with the same strong desire to reach the North
in the first winter of
Toll in his cabin on the "Zaria"
(photo from the Wittenburg family
On June 5, 1902, Toll, accompanied by astronomer
F. Zeberg and
industrialists V. Gorokhov and N. Dyakonov (Protodyakonov), left the
Zarya was supposed to remove them from Bennett Island in the
Since then, no one else saw them.
Due to heavy ice it was not possible, not only to get to Bennett
Island, but also to see it.
An expedition without a boss arrived in Tiksi, where the vessel,
abandoned by people, was left for the winter.
Makarov offered to immediately move to the rescue of the Toll
group on the "Yermak", but was not supported.
Most likely, this was the right decision, since it is unlikely
that “Yermak” could accomplish what now only nuclear-powered
icebreakers can do.
In 1903, a search and rescue expedition was organized at the Dawn
whitewash under the direction of A.V.
After a hard and dangerous voyage, the sailors in August reached
Bennett Island, where on the
cape Emma found the houri and a bottle in it with notes of Toll
Toll's note began with the words "For those who are looking
for us" and "Congratulations on coming". From
the notes it became known that travelers built a house in the
south-east of the island, where there was a lot of fin.
Moving along the coast, the sailors found four boxes with
geological collections, then crossed the
peninsula named after academician Chernyshev, and on the same
day on the southern shore
the Pavel Keppen bay stumbled upon a small kitchen filled with
In it, under a layer of snow and ice, Toll's note and various
tools were found.
The note turned out to be Toll's report addressed to the
President of the Academy of Sciences.
In it, Toll gave a description of his last trip, and also gave
the results of a geological and zoological survey of the island - a
striking example of scientific dedication.
There were no reports of trips towards Sannikov Land in the
The note concluded with the words “Let's go south today.
We have provisions for 14-20 days.
All are healthy ", indicating the coordinates - 76°
signed: “Paul Köppen ’s Lip of Bennet’s
Island 26 X / 8.XI 1902 E. Toll”.
For the rescuers, the last lines of the report were the main
There are no doubts left: the Toll group died and, most likely,
during a voyage through the Great Siberian wormwood on fragile
canoes under polar night conditions.
Cape Emmeline - the north-eastern tip of the Emmeline
(photo by N. M. Stolbov)
Cape Emmeline, Emmeline Peninsula
(view from helicopter)
Everybody who knew Toll had a natural question: “How could such
an experienced polar explorer decide to cross the Siberian wormwood
Moreover, before the start of the campaign, Toll, as one of the
possible, considered the option of wintering on Bennett Island.
The party was provided with housing and fuel, and on bright days
there were all possibilities for preparing food.
Now we can only guess about what happened.
Most likely, Toll hoped for the arrival of the Dawn, and when he
realized that she could not get through to the island, it was
already too late to hunt: all living creatures migrated to the
In the 40-degree frost the polynya is an insurmountable obstacle:
it is impossible to walk on foot or on a kayak on the ice-water
Even it is impossible to approach the water, since the coastal
ice that forms does not hold a person, but at the same time is hard
enough to break through the kayak.
Russia has lost one of its best sons ahead of time.
He made an outstanding contribution to the study and development
of the Arctic, but did not realize his own cherished dream.
Not implemented, because Sannikov Land turned out to be a
The likelihood of the existence of this land was not excluded
until the second half of the 1930s.
It is interesting to note that in the expedition of 1937 on the
icebreaker steamer "Sadko" there was a group of L.F.
Mukhanov, which was supposed to establish a meteorological
station in Sannikov Land.
The final point in this question was put only after this campaign
"Sadko" and the flights of the Soviet polar pilots.
In the summer of 1973, one of the units of the Komsomolskaya
Pravda expedition on the west coast of Taimyr found a food depot for
the Russian Polar Expedition.
Samples of the seized products (black rusks, oatmeal, canned
meat, chocolate, tea, sugar, etc.) were transferred to the All-Union
Scientific Research Institute of the canning and vegetable-drying
industry, where they underwent physical and chemical analysis and
The analyzes showed that the products that had lain in the
permafrost for 73 years, basically retained their taste and
At the site of the last stop Toll
on the island of Bennett, a hydrographic expedition of the Arctic
Ocean in 1913 established a wooden cross, fortified with stones.
On the cross is a copper plate with the inscription: “In memory
of those who died in 1902, expedition leader Baron Eduard Toll,
astronomer Friedrich Zeberg, conductors Vasily Gorokhov and Nikolai
In 1956, the AARI expedition strengthened the crooked cross with
In August 2003, the Polar Historical-Memorial Expedition
"Bennett-2003" installed a 5-meter Orthodox cross and a memorial
plaque in honor of the centenary of the Rescue Expedition
A.V. Kolchak and his six satellites
the Bennet Island.
The scientific leader of this expedition was a researcher at the
Institute of Oceanology RAS.
In 2010, the expedition on the scientific expeditionary ship
"Mikhail Somov" here was installed a memorial sign.
(photo from the archive of N.I.
Volnov at the memorial cross on Bennett Island
Cross installed by the
Sea Integrated Arctic Expedition in 2003
(photo by N. M. Stolbov)
Memorial sign erected by the International
Attestation Committee in 2010
(photo by N. M. Stolbov)
Text on a memorial plaque.
(photo by N. M. Stolbov)
Toll's expedition is dedicated to a memorial plaque with its
bas-relief, established by the decision of the USSR Academy of
Sciences and the Government of the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist
Republic on the Kotelny Island in 1928.
The inscription: “Eduard Vasilyevich Toll entered the New
Siberian Islands on May 2, 1886, died during the work of the Russian
Polar Expedition when returning from Bennett Island in 1902,
together with his valiant companions F.G.
Zeberg, N. Dyakonov and V. Gorokhov.
Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
Summer of 1928".
Toll in the former estate of Toll "Kukruse".
Delivered in 1909 on the initiative of the kind of scientist.
(photo by Adam Jõge. 2002)
Cape on the island of the
Compass in the skins of Minin.
Named in 1965 by
Mountains in the north-west of the
northern island of Novaya Zemlya.
Named in 1913 by G.Ya.
The hill on the island Kotel'niy
archipelago Novosibirsk Islands.
Mountain on the Bennett
Island of the De Long archipelago.
Named in 1903 by A.V.
Glaciers (three) in the valley of
the river Toll in the mountains Byrranga on the Taimyr Peninsula.
Named in 1967 by the Taimyr Expedition of the
Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.
River (Toleva) on the
northwestern bank of Taimyr.
Named in 1967 by the Taymir Expedition of the
Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.
River in the mountains Byrranga on
the Taimyr Peninsula, a tributary of the river Klyuevka.
Bay north of the Oscars on
Named by F. Nansen in 1893.
Bay in the southeast of the island
Small Lyakhovsky archipelago Novosibirsk Islands.