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thence onward, leaving Tomsk fifty or sixty miles to the north,
and passing through Mariinsk, and Achinsk, it reaches the
Yenisei River at Krasnoyarsk after a course of about five
htmdred miles; thence through Kansk and Nijni Udinsk,
Irkutsk is reached, after a distance of a little less than seven
hundred miles. But from Obi an important branch with
radiating arms penetrates a rich prairie region for several
hundred miles southward to the important mining centers of
Barnaul, Biisk, Kusnetsk, and the towns on the Irtysh River
above Semipalatinsk ; while at Achinsk a branch runs 250 miles



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426 ASIATIC RUSSIA

to Minusinsk, and from Krasnoyarsk one of equal length to
Yeniseisk, and for several hundred miles farther down the
river to Turukhansk.

Starting from Irkutsk, a main line branches to the north-
east and strikes the head of the Lena River, about lOO miles
distant, whence a post road follows down the stream to
Yakutsk, a distance of i,8oo miles, thence crosses to Okhotsk,
700 miles, thence, by a long detour, to New Kamchatka, 2,350
miles, thence to the fortress of Petropavlosk, on the Pacifixf,
200 miles, making a total of more than 5,000 miles.

The other branch from Irkutsk, crossing Lake Baikal in
summer and winter, but going around the southern end in
spring and autumn, reaches Stryetensk, on the east side of the
Vitim Plateau, after a course of 700 miles, having put off
branches on either side at Chita and Nerchinsk ; thence, follow-
ing the course of the navigable streams, the post road keeps
communication open in the winter to Khabarovsk, 1,370 miles.

So excellent is the system of post roads along the main line,
that, except in the late autumn, when the ground is beginning
to freeze, and in the spring, when the frost is coming out,
travel is both easy and rapid, and not very expensive. Post
houses occur at intervals of from twelve to twenty miles, at
which a public official is stationed with his family who is bound
to keep a certain number of horses, usually from fifteen to
thirty, with about one third as many drivers and tarantasses
or sledges, all of which are at the command of travelers at
reasonable rates. Three horses is the average number attached



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Kirghiz Village on the Border of the Desert.



filacksmith Shop on the Military Road South of Lake Balkash.



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MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 427

to the vehicle, and the charge made is from one cent to two
cents a mile for each horse.

The Russian officials usually travel both night and day, fre-
quently covering more than two hundred miles in twenty-four
hours. But if one wishes to rest nights, the post house is
provided with one or two cots and plenty of space upon the
floor, upon which he can lie down, being expected to furnish
his own blankets or bedding. For food, he is supplied with
black bread, and a samovar of hot water with which he can
make his own tea, and he can usually obtain eggs and milk;
the charge for all being barely nominal or left to the judg-
ment of the traveler. In an actual trip of one thousand, four
hundred miles by tarantass in the summer of 1900 in which
three horses were usually engaged, the total expense, includ-
ing provisions, was less than six cents a mile for the two who
formed the party. So little do the Russians make of a long
journey by tarantass or sledge that one not infrequently meets
two ladies traveling tc^ether between points many hundred
miles distant

Railroads

The vast agricultural plains and the remote mining and
lumber regions of Siberia, like those of the United States and
Guiada, have long waited the advent of the iron rail and of
the locomotive to insure their full development. Projects for
building a trans-continental Siberian railroad beg^ to be
formed as early as the middle of the nineteenth century, being



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428 ASIATIC RUSSIA

specially incited by MuravieflTs activity in opening a new outlet
for Russia to the Pacific through the Amur River. The first
of these, proposed in 1857. was, however, merely for a carriage
road which might later be turned into a railroad between
Sophiisk, on the lower part of the Amur, and the Bay of
De-Kastri, on the Gulf of Tartary, following the depression
occupied by Lake Kizi. The acquisition of the Usuri River
soon after, and the diversion of trade from the mouth of the
Amur to the harbor at Vladivostok, however, prevented the
completion of this plan.

The same year (1857) witnessed a proposition to construct
a tramway for horse cars from Perm, in the valley of the Volga,
to some port on the Pacific Ocean. As horses are abundant
and cheap throughout the central portions of Siberia, this
project is not so visionary as it might seem. For 150 years
travelers have been rapidly conveyed across Siberia by horses
in ordinary carriages over rough roads, and they are still con-
veyed in this manner over many thousand miles of ordinary
post roads. But the age of steam was too near at hand to think
of running horse-cars five thousand miles.

In 1857, also, an enthusiastic American engineer, Mr. Perry
McDonald Collins, under appointment as United States Com-
mercial Agent at the Amur River, went overland from Moscow
giving special attention to the possibility of improving com-
munication by a railroad. After careful examination of the
region between Lake Baikal and the Amur, Mr. Collins pro-
posed to Muravieff (who was then in the height of his power
and deeply engaged in his plans for the opening of the Amur



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MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 429

and its occupation by Russian settlers), to connect the water
conununication on Lake Baikal and the Yenisei Valley with
that of the Amur by a railroad from Irkutsk to Kiakhtaand from
there across the Vitim Plateau to Chita. " What is necessary,"
he writes, ** is to assist nature a little and by building this road
make the heart of Siberia easily accessible to commerce, so
that her products can be quickly and readily exchanged or
transported to the ocean by way of this railroad and the Amur,
where a ready market can be found." But although Mr. Cd-
lins's plan was favored by Muravieflf, the government was not
prepared to take it up and carry it to completion.

During the next twenty years various other projects for a
trans-Siberian railroad were in succession brought before the
public and to the notice of the government. Among the most
likely of these was that of Liubimoff, a wealthy merchant, who
proposed a road about five hundred miles long, starting from
Perm and crossing the Ural Mountains so as to connect the
water oxnmunication of the Kama and Volga rivers with that
of the Obi Valley near Kurgan, on the Tobol. This and one
or two other parallel propositions had the advantage of meet-
ing local demands, since they followed in line both of Yermak's
original conquest of the country and of the great tide of settlers
who had taken permanent possession. Liubimoff's proposed
road crossed the Tobol at the exact point afterwards chosen
by the promoters of the present system.

Plans for the more perfect utilization of the waterways and
their combination with independent railways to shorten the
distance continued for some time to occupy the public atten-



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430 ASIATIC RUSSIA

tion. Ostrofski, another engineer, proposed in 1880 a road
from Perm to Tobolsk joining the Kama with the Irtysh,
thence the use of the river systems to Tomsk and a railroad to
Krasnoyarsk, on the Yenisei, which it was hoped could be
connected with Irkutsk by improving the navigation of the
Angara River. A line was also proposed from Omsk to Bar-
naul connecting the Irtysh and the Obi in their upper portions,
and facilitating access to the mining r^ons of the Altai
Mountains.

Siedensner, another engineer, about the same time pushed
with great vigor a plan for a still larger devdc^ment of the
waterways. He was in favor of the canal through the river
Ket connecting the Obi with the Yenisei, and of the improve-
ment of the navigation of the Angara ; so that steamers of ade-
quate size could make the entire passage from Tiumen to Lake
Baikal, a distance, as the steamers would run, of 3,300 miles.
He thought it possible, also, by slack-water navigation up the
Selenga and its tributaries on the west, and the Shilka and
Ingoda on the east, to reduce to twelve miles the actual land
portage over the Yablonoi Mountains. This part of the plan
was indeed very much like that which was carried into execu-
tion in the early part of the nineteenth century by the State of
Pennsylvania in building a canal across the Alleghany Moun-
tains.

By the year 1890 the Russian railroads had extended their
lines across the Ural Mountains, one of them having reached
Tiumen, and the other Mias, some distance west of Chdiab-
insk, on the line of the present road.



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MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 431

The time was now ripe for the promotion of the grand scheme
of the transcontinental Siberian railway which was undertaken
by the government. Taking advantage of the railroad already
completed from Moscow through Samara and Ufa across the
Ural to the vicinity of Cheliabinsk, a distance of nearly 1,200
miles, the road was made to continue its course eastward nearly
in a direct line through the heart of the rich agricultural dis-
trict lying between the fifty-fourth and fifty-sixth degrees of
north latitude, and touching all the principal towns which had
grown up along the line of the original post road extending
from the Ural Mountains to Irkutsk, a distance of 2,030 miles.

There is no better way of getting an impression of the ad-
vancement already made in the settlement of the country than
by following the line of this railroad eastward from Cheliab-
insk, and noticing in order the principal stations, with the popu-
lation of the districts of which they are the centers of trade.
We will give them in tabular form, noting not only the size
of the particular village or city in which the station is situated,
but also the populfition of the contiguous territory, and such
trade statistics as are accessible. It will be noticed that owing
to the narrowness of the territory and its great length and
the number of navigable rivers crossed, this single line of
road supplies ahnost the entire necessities of the empire, being
in this respect absolutely unique among all the railroads of the
world.



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43^



ASIATIC RUSSIA



Cheliabinak

Chemya vskaya. «
Chumlyak. •••••«



Shomikha..,
Mishkino. ..
Urgamitch ,
Zjrryanka ..
Kurgan . . . <



Vargatchi...
Lebyazhya .



Makutchino.
Petukhovo .



Mamltttka.



Petropavlovsk.

Tokutchi

Medvezhya ...
IsllKtd



Kochubaevo . .
Marianovka •
Post of Omsk.
Omsk



Distmnoe
in miles.



77K

"5>i
136K
160K

184
ai3

271^

348
378

438
466

494
496>i



PopoUtion,



10.719
5.000



30.000
In 34 vilUs



UUges

40,000
In 35 vilUges

20.000
In 15 villages

7.000
In 8 villages

4.000
In 6 villages

68.000

In X3S villages

c. T0.57a



38.000
In 60 villages

ao.ooo
In 40 villages

8.000

In 5 villages

and xo hamlets

4.000
In zo villages

C. 19.637



10.500
In so villages



C99) c. 50,768



Exports.



Cwt. of grain.

24.000



159.697
800.000

849.321

280,000—360.000

80.000

1,603.066

40,000
200.000

600,000

200,000

40.000
*22.000.000



19*812



8.969



More than 400,000



• Rubles* worth of oomsMfoe.



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MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 433



Eormilovka ....
Kalatcbinskaya.
Tchadrinskaya •



Tatarskaya
Karatchi ..



Tebisskaya.



Kainak.



Kozhttrla

Ubinskaya

Kargatskaya.....

Chulym.

Duplenskaya.....

Eochenevo

Kri voshchekovo .



Obi

Soktir.

Oyash

Bolotnoe ....
PolomoGhnaya



Distanoe
in miles.



54b

593

60a

634H

664

699«

736

777M

800

838

m^

888
916
944
979
998



Population.



130
5,000

{(Russian) 3,000
In $ vulAget
(Luth'n) 2,000

10,000
In x5 villages

aStOoo

In 13 hamlets

and Q villages

9.000

In xo hamlets

and 4 villages



{



{



8,000

In 17 villages

C. 5.858

4.000
In x8 villages

3,500
In la villages

1,300
In 5 villages

1,300
In 5 villages

I 000

In 4 villages

3.000

In 7 villages

X6,000

In x6 villages

C. 11,700

C. 15,000

700

653

500

500



Rzports



Cwt. of grain.
4.814

40,000

38,464



•6,000

130,000

z6o,ooo



40,000



900,000



80,000

36,000



300,000
400,000

2,000,000



25,375



• Cwt of tmtter*



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434



ASIATIC RUSSIA



Distanc*
in miles.



Population.



Bzports.



Litvinovo ,

Taiga.

Sadzhenka

Ishmorskaya

Beriktilskaya.

Mariinsk

Sualovo

Tyazhin

lute

Bogotol

Knumaya

Achinsk.

Tamtino

Chemorechinskaya

Kemchug

Kacha

Minino

Krasnoyarsk

Yenisei

Zykovo •<



1.015M

1,036

i,o6oM

1.083M

M07M

M44
i.i66Ji

i,axa
x.a68

1.354
1.365>i
i.367>i
1.384

i.399>i

Mi5>i

1.418

1.446

1.464M

1.478
* 30 or 40,000 xiiblM* worth per annum.



Sorokino

Kamarchaga

Balai

Olginskaya

Troitsko-Zaosemaya .



2,000

In 9 villages

V. 650

c. 8,300
1,861

X,306

V. 2,546
V. 4.673
▼. 3.167
c 6,714
V. 1,726
V. 1,406

833

115

4,500

c. 27.299

1.239

In z vilUure

and z hamlet

1,260

836

1.248

In • villages



CwCof i^rain.



36,877
54.533

108,154

8.873

17.357

•0,558



♦3a,7M



71.591



Tyrbyl.



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MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 435



PetmshkoYO • • •

Kansk

Ilanskaya

Ingashe

Tinskaya

Klttchinskaya • • .

Urty ,

Taishet

Bainmovka . . • • ,

Racgon

Akamai

Zamxor ••,

Kamjrahet

Uk

NijniUdinak...

Khingui

KhttdoelanskaTa

Ktirzaii ,

Ttdtm

Azey....

Sheragol ,

Enittm ,

Kimiltei ,

Zima ,

Tyret

Zalari

Golovinskaya ..,

Kutulik

* Tons oement.



Dittanc*
in miltt.



M93>i

1.550M
I.567IS

1, 603

i.6fo?i

1.634

1.664M

1.677M
1.691M

1.70a Ji

i.7«o

i.734«

1.749M

1.772

1.79a Ji

1.818JS

1.84a

i.86a

1.879K
i.893)i
i.9i4>i
i.9a8

i.94iJi



Populatioiu



c 7.504
874
574
804
•07
470
1,600
900



840
aas

aoo
900
0.5.803
400
500
370
5,000



1,800
2.350
3.300
2,860
17.000
1.650
17a
1.996



BzporU.



Cwt. of gimlo.
90.833

67.798



♦45.000



7.a



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43^



ASIATIC RUSSIA





Distmnoe
in miles.


PoptUatiofi.


BzporU.


Choremkhovo •..••••••• «t.


I.955)i

1.969M

l.983>i

l.997>i

a.oi3>i

2.oa9>i

a.o34>i

a.o77>i

a,i8o

a.a69K

a,33i>S'

a.508Ji

a.7i3M

a.767M

a.8a6l

3.i35t

3.541
3.895?i
4.i43ji
4.47a

4.55aJi
84.6aoM


1.276

300

1,000

8,000

300

c. 51*434


Cwt.of arain.


PoloviuA . ■•••••••••«




Malta




Telma


*iao,ooo


Sukhovskaya




Innokentevskava




Irkutsk


ti9t6o4,5oo


T/ake Baikal




Verkhni U^insk


8,00a

3*673

1.130

11480

6.713
8,000

957

786

31.606

1.195

14.971

1,068

1*199
15,000

18.933




Petrovak

Bada


tio,ooo


Chita




Nerchinak




Stryetensk.




ShilHmk •....




AltMisin

Blaffvmmtchenftk




Bkaterino-Nikolsk.




Khaban>vsk. , . • .., »..,,. ,




Snaaakava •••.•..#..




KV|MH10AAjra.

Chernigovka




Nikolsko©




Vladi vo6t(^









* Salt. t Rnbles* worth of mannfacturea.

I Or 6,6x4 •-a milM from St. Petersburg.



t Cwt. of pig iron per annum.



In the above list nearly all the villages of less than one
thousand inhabitants after leaving Stryetensk have been
omitted, but stations both on the Amur River and on the



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MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 437

Usuri railroad, many of them accommodating a population of
several thousand, occur along the entire line at intervals of
fifteen or twenty miles.

The Chinese Eastern railroad, branching oflf from Kaidalova,
522 miles cast of Lake Baikal, and 168 west of Stryetensk,
pursues a direct line to Vladivostok, saving a distance of 800
miles. By this route the total distance from St. Petersburg
to Vladivostok is 5,800 miles, and by turning oflf at Harbin,
400 miles west of Vladivostok, the distance to Port Arthur, in
roimd numbers, is 6,000 miles ; or, again, by turning oflf from
the Port Arthur line at Niu-chuang, 150 miles above Port Ar-
thur, Peking may be reached by rail at a distance of about
6,300 miles from St. Petersburg.

The significance of the contemplated road from Irkutsk or
Verkhni-Udinsk, through Kiakhta, Urga, the Gobi Desert and
Kalgan, to Peking, will be seen by noting, that it would be a
still further saving of about 900 miles, bringing Peking within
5400 miles of St. Petersburg, within 3,400 of Cheliabinsk,
and within 1,300 miles of Irkutsk.



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XXIII

CAPACITY FOR DEVELOPMENT

THIS rapid summary of the physical geography, climatic
conditions, history, conquest, colonization, develop-
ment, and natural resources of the Asiatic provinces
of the Russian Empire prepares the way for a better under-
standing of the problems which present themselves both to the
people and the government, and for a more intelligent forecast
of their future. After even a brief study of the details already
presented, one can readily understand why the development
of this country has been so long delayed, and can appreciate
the advantages to be derived from the improved methods of
modem transportation. It is only by the introduction of steam
that the interior region has been brought into such contact
with the outside world that its limited natural resources can
readily be supplemented by the wider range of both natural
and artificial products which are essential to the highest civiliza-
tion ; while at the same time these improved methods of trans-
portation and communication have enabled the central govern-
ment to extend its influence more effectually everywhere and
to administer its affairs more wisely.

438



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CAPACITY FOR DEVELOPMENT 439

Increase of Population

The expansicMi of Russia has been aptly compared to that
of a glacier whose slow but steady accumulations of snow find
relief in an outward movement all around the margin wherever
lines of least resistance are offered. Owing to their social
organization, their religious ideas and their natural tempera-
ment, the Russians are the most prolific race in Europe, the
annual birth-rate for European Russia being 46 3-10 to the
thousand as compared to a death-rate of 33 6-10, leaving at
the present time an annual surplus of births amounting to
1,613,377. This rate of increase has been for 200 years so
steady that it can pretty safely be counted upon to continue.
In 1722 the population was but 14,000,000; in 1815 it was
45,000,000; in 1835, 60,000,000; in 1851, 68,000,00; in 1859
74,000,000; in 1897, 135,000,000; or, subtracting frwn tiie
last figures, the ntmiber added by annexation, which may
be roughly calculated at 15,000,000, the population at the end
of the nineteenth century, belonging to the natural increase,
was approximately 120,000,000. From these figures it appears
that by the natural increase alone the population of Russia
doubles once in about sixty years.

There is, therefore, a considerable surplus of population in
Russia always ready for emigration. It is not, however, to be
assumed that this increase of population could not have been
provided for in Russia itself, but simply that under the existing
social and agricultural conditions the virgin soil in Siberia, as
in Canada and the United States that of the great northwest,
has seemed to be, and probably really is, more attractive than



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440 ASIATIC RUSSIA

the waste and worn-out lands in the settled portion of the coun-
try which demand higher cultivation, and to secure that, an
amount of capital which it is not easy for the peasant to obtain.
Siberia, therefore, has steadily added to its population by immi-
gration as well as by the natural increase. The extent and
growth of the immigration to Siberia in recent years may be
appreciated by glancing at the statistics, giving the number of
immigrants carried on the steamers which run on the Obi and
Irtysh rivers. In 1888 there were 26,129; ^^ ^889, 30410; in
1890, 36,000; in 1891, 60,000; in 1892, 100,000; in 1896 and
1897 nearly 200,000 each year; while since the railroad has
been running, and emigrants have been carried to the Usuri
region by way of Odessa, the Suez Canal, and Vladivostok, the
annual increase by immigration amounts to considerably over
200,000.

At the same time the birth-rate in Siberia is higher even
than that in European Russia, being 46 8-10 to the thousand
in Siberia and only 46 3-10 in Russia, while the death-rate in
Siberia is slightly less, being 33 4-10 to the thousand as com-
pared with 33 6-10. The annual addition to the population
by the excess of births over deaths in Siberia is 80J43 ; in the
Caucasus, 151,485; in Central Asia, 33,681 making a total of
^5»309« O" comparing the census of 1897 with that of 1859
it appears that the population of the Caucasus increased during
the thirty-seven years (exclusive of annexations) 95 per cent,
and Siberia 130 per cent ; whereas the total increase of popula-
tion in the Empire during that period was but 83 per cent, in-
cluding that by annexation.



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CAPACITY FOR DEVELOPMENT 441

Agricultural Area

In endeavoring to forecast the future of this great domain it
is essential to form some estimate of the available resources
of the country with reference to its ability both to support a
large population, and to put at their command the varied ele-
ments of culture and comfort which belong to a high state of
civilization. Of these resources those relating to the agricul-
tural interests are of course predominant. But the climatic
and physical conditions of the region are so peculiar that the
general statistics must be carefully analyzed before a true con-
ception can be formed of the full resources of the dominion.

The total area of Asiatic Russia is estimated, as said at the
outset, at 6,564,778 square miles, of which 4,833496 belong
to Siberia proper, including the region of the Amur and that
bordering the Pacific coast; 1,548,825 belong to Central Asia,
and 94,182 to Trans-Caucasia. But by far the larger part of
Siberia consists of tundra and of forest belts where agricul-
ture is practically out of the question, on account either of the
shortness of the summer and the extreme severity of the winter,
or of the moimtainous character of the country. So that, after
eliminating the portions unfitted to agriculture, it is estimated
by Ballod, who has given special attention to the subject, that
there are only about 500,000 square miles of arable land in
Siberia proper, lying principally between 55* and 58* 30' north
latitude, extending, however, in the Altai region to 51*. Of
this, 192,000 square miles are in West Siberia, mostly along
the upper portions of the Obi River and its tributaries ; 20,000
in the steppe region of Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk ; 100,000



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442 ASIATIC RUSSIA

in East Siberia; 85,000 in Transbaikalia; 40,000 in Amur; and
63,000 in Usuri.

This would make for Siberia alone a cultivable area nearly
equal to that contained in what are called the twelve north
central States of the United States of America, namely, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Mis-
souri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas;
for, though these combined have an area of 753,550 square
miles, the amount of waste and desert area included is fully
sufficient to bring the area of cultivation down approximately
to the same limits as in Siberia, while the climatic conditions,


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