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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February, 1876

LETTER FROM GEORGE KENNAN TO JOHN KENNAN, FEBRUARY 4-16, 1867

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    This letter from George Kennan the elder to his father is missing a large section, but one small part can be read, in which Kennan unburdens himself to his father regarding the misfortunes of the Russian-American Telegraph Expedition, owing in part to the mistakes of the expedition head, Col. Charles Bulkley.
    "Letter from George Kennan to John Kennan, February 4-16, 1867," February, 1876, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Box 1, Folder 1, George Kennan Papers, Manuscript and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. Published in the "Siberian Letters of George Kennan, the Elder, 1866-1867," Susan Smith-Peter, Kennan Institute Occasional Paper #30 (May 2016). http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134080
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Head Quarters Asiatic Division

Ghijiga North Eastern Siberia

Feb 4th-16th 1867

My Dear Father,

The Company’s vessels arrive here just at the setting in of winter, they are lost and their large crews are thrown on our hands in such a terrible country as the mouth of the Anadyr with only two months’ provisions, and we have to take care of them and keep them alive till spring as best we can. Then comes the famine at Anadyrsk, the dogs there all die off & the people scatter to the four winds in search of food. This prevents us from bringing up the party at the mouth of the Anadyr or affording them any material assistance. Whether their provisions there will last until our vessels arrive next summer I do not know. I hope that the bringing up of 15 men will relieve them so that the other 31 will be able to get along. I wouldn’t go as much anxiety another year as I have this for three times my present salary.