Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BERING, Vitus, navigator, born in Horsens, Denmark, in 1680" died on Behring island, 8 December 1741. He entered the Russian navy in 1704, was made a captain by Peter the Great, and distinguished himself in the war with Sweden. He commanded an expedition to the northern seas in 1725, and in 1728 Peter the Great, who was anxious to find out whether the continents of Asia and America were connected, sent him on an expedition for that purpose. The exploration was continued for several years, and Bering" discovered the strait that bears his name. On 4 June 1741, he set sail again with two vessels, and discovered a part of the North American coast, supposed to be New Norfolk. AI-though Bering never knew that he had seen America, his discoveries were the foundation of Russia's claim to the northwestern part of the continent. On this last expedition Bering sailed as far north as lat. 69°; but stormy weather and sickness among his crew compelled him to return, and he was wrecked on the desolate island that is now known by his name. Bering also founded the settlement of Petropaulovski in Kamtchatka. See "Non-velles decouvertes fares des Russes entre l'Asie et l'Amerique" (Paris, 1781).
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