Indigenous Peoples of Russian Empire as Seen by American Traveller

PHOTO by The US Library of Congress

In 1864, George Kennan, a man from Ohio, joined a group of researchers studying the possibility of building a telegraph route from the United States to Russia through Alaska, the Bering Strait, Chukotka and Siberia. Kennan spent two years in Russia and met many of the Russian Empire’s indigenous peoples in that time.

Kennan returned to America with his diaries in 1870 and published a book called "Tent Life in Siberia." He travelled to Russia again in 1870 and 1885, visiting St. Petersburg, the Volga region, the Caucasus, Altai and Siberia. Kennan also studied the Russian penal system and published a book about it. Kennan collected not only information about the lives of minority groups but took photographs of them as well. His pictures are now stored in the US Library of Congress.