The Russian expedition of 1874 with images of gravures in the report by Dr. P. Piassetsky
Col. Sosnovsky’s Russian Expedition of 1874 (also see Introduction to Shu Roads):
Russian travellers accompanying Col. Sosnovsky’s expedition came to Hanzhong from Hankou along the Han River by boat in 1874 and then travelled to Gansu and Lanzhou via Mianxian, Lüeyang, Huixian and present day Tianshui (Qing period Qin Zhou) along what is today Highway G316. A personal report of the expedition by Dr. Pavel Piassetsky, including gravure productions of his sketches from the places visited was published in 1880 in Russian [R.1] and was quickly translated and published in French (1883) [R.2] and English (1884). The English title is “Russian travellers in Mongolia and China.” (Piassetsky, [R.3]). Apart from the linking roads through the Han Valley, they did not travel by the main Shu Roads but did leave significant information on the secondary roads through Gansu that became so important near the end of WW2. The description of the Han River route from Hankou to Hanzhong is detailed and valuable. The interactions between the Upper Han and the Lower Han and the shipping information from these times are all important in Shu Road research. The difficulties of river travel were recorded in the shipwreck that nearly finished the expedition just north of Shiquan. The expedition included a professional photographer (A.E. Boyarsky) some of whose early photographs of Hanzhong have been included in a recent publication in Chinese by Sun Qixiang [R.4].
[R.1] Павел Яковлевич Пясецкий. Путешествие по Китаю в 1874-1875 гг. (Через Сибирь, Монголию, Восточный, Средний и Северо-западный Китай). В двух томах. Тома 1-2. Типография М. Стасюлевича, 1880. (Russian).
[R.2] Piassetsky. P. (1883). Voyage a travers la Mongolie et la Chine. Traduit du Russe par Aug. Kuscinski et contenant 90 gravures d’après les croquis de l’Auteur et une carte. Paris, Libraire Hachette et Cie. (French).
[R.3] Piassetsky, P. (1884). Russian travellers in Mongolia and China. Translated by J. Gordon-Cumming. London: Chapman & Hall. Two volumes with folding maps. (English).
[R.4] Sun Qixiang (2013). Hanzhong in Old Photographs. Hanzhong Archival Material Research Collection, Sanqin Press, Shaanxi, China. (Chinese).
Table of Gravure Prints of the Upper Han (use "back" to return to Table)
A 12 MB zip file containing this document and the Jpeg images of the gravures can be downloaded HERE.
If you have sufficient bandwidth, a very LARGE 170 MB zip file containing the Jpeg
images of the gravures at full 600 dpi resolution can also be downloaded HERE.