Our knowledge of eighteenth-century Siberia is both considerable and unsatisfactory. Significantly enough there is ample material available dealing with administrative measures, economic conditions, social structure, and institutional problems. Everything that reaches the world and, ultimately, the historian through official channels, through statistics, orders, and government reports, is well provided for. Two studies in the English language, such as George Lantzeff's Siberia in the seventeenth century 1 and Raymond H. Fisher's The Russian Fur Trade, 1550-1700 2 have shown how clear a picture—for the seventeenth century—can be gained of conditions prevailing in Russia's eastern dominions. Yet these very studies also indicate the limitations of our knowledge and make us wish for more sources on the natural history of Siberia and for additional, more intimate and direct personal observations that are able to give life to governmental institutions and blood and passion to men at work.