Chichagov, Vasilii Iakovlevich
Born Feb. 28 (Mar. 11), 1726; died Apr. 4 (16), 1809, in St. Petersburg. Russian navigator; admiral (1782).
Chichagov studied at a school for navigation and continued his education in England. He joined the Russian Navy in 1742. In 1764 he was appointed leader of an expedition to find a sea route from Arkhangel’sk to North America via the Arctic Ocean; the expedition was then to proceed west across the Bering Strait to Kamchatka and join up with P. K. Krenitsyn’s detachment. In 1765 the expedition reached 80°26’ N lat., northwest of Spitsbergen, but it was forced to return to Arkhangel’sk because of heavy ice. During a second attempt in 1766 the expedition managed to reach 80°30’ N lat. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74, Chichagov commanded a detachment of the Don Military Flotilla from 1772 to 1774 and fought in the defense of the Kerch’ Strait. He became a member of the Admiralty College in 1775. During the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–90 he commanded the Baltic Fleet, which fought in the battles of Oland Island, Revel’ (now Talinn), and Vyborg. Chichagov retired in 1797.
Several geographical features have been named in honor of Chichagov, including islands in the Novaia Zemlia Archipelago, an island in the Alexander Archipelago off the coast of North America, a gulf and cape on the island of Nuku Hiva in southern Polynesia, a cape on the island of Kyushu, and a mountain on the island of Vestspitsbergen.
REFERENCESSokolov, A. Proekt Lomonosova i ekspeditsiia Chichagova. St. Petersburg, 1854.
Belov, M. I. Istoriia otkrytiia i osvoeniia Severnogo morskogo puti, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956.