Item #10034 Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia]. CALIFORNIA, RUSSIAN AMERICA, 1837- 20 December 1884 O. S./ 1 January 1885 N. S.
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].
Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].

Ot Niyu-Yorka do San-Frantsisko i obratno v Rossiyu [From New York to San Francisco and back to Russia].

Item #10034



Saint Petersburg: Edition of booksellers F. Kolesov & F. Mikhin, Typ. of Dr. M. Khan, 1872. First edition. Octavo (ca. 21x14 cm). [1 – t.p.], 398 pp. Ink stamps “Donated by the will of Professor Artemy Robertovich Orbinsky” on the title page, pp. 1 and 398; ink-stamped decorative ex-libris of Konrad Berezowsky on verso of the title page. 20th-century brown half morocco with marbled papered boards; spine with raised bands and gilt-lettered title. Title page and several leaves very mildly soiled, but overall a very good copy.

Rare content-rich original travel account by a Russian dissident to the United States in August-September 1869, with a detailed description of the state of affairs of the Russian diaspora in San Francisco and the former possessions of the Russian American Company two years after the Alaska purchase by the United States (the Treaty of Alaska Purchase was signed on March 30, 1867, and came into effect on October 18 that year). The account was first published in a Saint Petersburg conservative magazine, “Zarya: Zhurnal Uchyono-Literaturny i Politichesky” (1870, Nn. 4, 5, 6, 9, 11 & 12). The current first edition was issued privately in 1872, and the second enlarged edition was published in 1882 (Ogorodnikov, P. V Strane Svobody. SPb.: E. Gartye, 1882, 2 vols.). The book was never translated into other languages.

Pavel Ogorodnikov, a Russian military officer, served in Warsaw in the late 1850s and joined the revolutionary “Committee of Russian officers in Poland,” which supported the Polish independence movement. In 1862, Orogodnikov was arrested and imprisoned in the Modlin Fortress near Warsaw. After his release in 1863, Ogorodnikov was expelled from the Russian army and worked as a technician on the Odessa Railway. In 1869 he took a trip to Germany, France and the United States.

Compiled in the form of a diary, the book covers Ogorodnikov’s travel from New York to San Francisco and back, August 6 – September 6, 1869, and his return ocean voyage to Hannover and thence by train to Saint Peterburg. The entries include the author’s observations of New York (Broadway, elevated cable car line on Greenwich street, city port, hotels, markets, shops, pubs, brothels, problems with hotel keepers, interactions with a Russian consul and vice-consul, &c.), notes taken during a ten-day trip to the American West – to Sacramento by the Union Pacific Road and then by river steamer to San Francisco (the construction and facilities of railway cars, passengers, main stations, the routine of a railroad journey, history and current life of Mormons in Utah, impressions about Mormon passengers, Chinese railway construction workers), &c.

Over 160 pages (pp. 86-252) describe Ogorodnikov’s travel in California and stay in San Francisco, August 16-23, 1869. This part contains valuable observations on the local Russian community and extensive conversations with the Russian consul Martin Klinkovstrem, Russian Orthodox priest from Sitka Nikolay Kovrigin, Ukrainian Orthodox priest and oppositional (to the Russian government) journalist Agapius Honcharenko (1832-1916), who published the “Alaska Herald” (1868-72), addressed to Russian residents in Alaska, former clerks of the Russian American Company and their families, &c. Among the discussed topics are the “Russian-Greek-Slavonian Church and Philanthropic Society,” formed in San Francisco in 1864 (Martin Klinkovstrem was its first president), the state of former Russian possessions in Alaska, where the privileges of the Russian American Co. were transferred to the “Hutchison, Kohl & Co.” of San Francisco, the abuse by the Russian American Co. of native people and its associates, the life of Kolosh (Tlingit) people in Sitka, hostile relations between Russian immigrants in San Francisco, the affair of the “Russia Silver Mining Company” in March 1869, difficulties that Russian travellers in America encounter &c.

A large part of the San Francisco account is dedicated to the 1869 California Legislature elections, with descriptions of pre-election meetings and gatherings, election day and a reproduction of a voting ballot (“Democratic Ticket, Tenth Ward”). There are also descriptions of steamers on the Sacramento River, San Francisco Chinatown and the life of Chinese immigrants in California, “Anatomical Museum” (Jordan’s “Pacific Museum of Anatomy and Science,” opened in 1865), masonic societies and Jesuits, the hotel “Orleans,” duties and salary of San Francisco police officers, &c.

The rest of the book includes notes on Native Americans (“Digger and Snake Indians,” Cheyenne, Shoshone, Dakota, and others), ranches, Polish immigrants in America, Great Salt Lake, Ogden, Lynch law, Omaha, Mississippi, Illinois, a Russian immigrant in Chicago who worked on a sawmill in Michigan, the life of African Americans in Chicago, &c. Overall an original content-rich description of the Russian community in San Francisco and the life of Russians in Alaska in 1869. Our copy bears three ink stamps, indicating that the book belonged to the library of a prominent physicist and astronomer from Odessa Artemy Orbinsky (1869-1928).

Price: $6,500.00