Russian Explorers

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     Vassili Mikhailovich Golovnin (1776-1831) explored and mapped the Kurile Islands northeast of Hokkaido, Japan to Kamchatka. While exploring the Kunashir Island, Golovnin was taken prisoner for two years by the Japanese. The map on the stamps features a map of the expedition route in 1811, a picture of the sloop Diana, and a picture of the Petropavlovskiy port in 1811. Golovnin rose to the rank of Vice Admiral, and was a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy.

     Adam Johan Ritter von Krusenstern (1770-1846) was the author of The Southern Seas Atlas. The map featured on the stamp with the planned route of the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe from east to west, 1803-1806. The stamp also has pictures of the ships Neva and Hope, a picture of the Main Admiralty in St. Petersburg (before 1806), and a pennant of the sort used from 1732 to 1917.

    Ferdinand Petrovich Wrangel (1796-1870) described the Siberian coast from the Indigirka River to Kolyuchinskaya Bay. He located the island later named for him. The map on the stamp is of Kamchatka and Alaska, the route of his expedition in North America, and pictures of the ships Krotkiy, the ship Wrangel commanded on a world cruise in 1825-1827, and a picture of Novo-Archangelsk where he held the post of chief administrator of Russian possessions in North America in 1829-1835.

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    Fedor Petrovich Litke (Lütke) led an expedition of “New Land” islands in 1821-1824. He was also president (1864-1882) of the St. Petersburg Academy of Science. The map on the stamp shows a plan of the 1821 expedition and a view of the “New Land” in the background.