(1) - a government of European Russia, bounded N. by the White Sea and Arctic Ocean, W. by Finland and Olonets, S. by Vologda, and E. by the Ural mountains. It comprehends the islands of Novaya-Zemlya, Vaygach and Kolguev, and the peninsula of Kola. Its area is 331,505 sq. m., and its population in 1867 was 275,779 and in 1897, 349,943. The part which lies within the Arctic Circle is very desolate and sterile, consisting chiefly of sand and reindeer moss. The winter is long and severe, and even in summer the soil is frozen. The rivers (Tuloma, Onega, Dvina, Mezen and Pechora) are closed in September and scarcely thaw before July. The Kola peninsula is, however, diversified by hills exceeding 3000 ft. in altitude and by large lakes (e.g. Imandra), and its coast enjoys a much more genial climate. South of the Arctic Circle the greater part of the country is covered with forests, intermingled with lakes and morasses, though in places there is excellent pasturage. Here the spring is moist, with cold, frosty nights; the summer a succession of long foggy days; the autumn again moist. The rivers are closed from October to April. The inhabitants of the northern districts - nomad tribes of Samoyedes, Zyryans, Lapps, and the Finnish tribes of Karelians and Chudes - support themselves by fishing and hunting. In the southern districts hemp and flax are raised, but grain crops are little cultivated, so that the bark of trees has often to be ground up to eke out the scanty supply of flour. Potatoes are grown as far north as 65°. Shipbuilding is carried on, and the forests yield timber, pitch and tar. Excellent cattle are raised in the district of Kholmogory on the Dvina, veal being supplied to St Petersburg. Gold is found in the districts of Kola, naphtha and salt in those of Kem and Pinega, and lignite in Mezen. Sulphurous springs exist in the districts of Kholmogory and Shenkursk. The industry and commerce are noticed below in the article on the town Archangel, which is the capital. The government is divided into nine districts, the chief towns of which are - Alexandrovsk or Kola (pop. 300), Archangel (q.v.), Kem (1825), Kholmogory (1465), Mezen (2040), Novaya-Zemlya (island), Pechora, Pinega (1000) and Shenkursk (1308).
See A.P. Engelhardt, A Russian Province of the North (Eng. trans., by H. Cooke, 1899).
(2) - chief town of the government of Archangel, Russia, at the head of the delta of the Dvina, on the right bank of the river, in lat. 64° 32' N. and long. 40° 33' E. Pop. (1867) 19,936; (1897) 20,933. As early as the 10th century, if not earlier, the Norsemen frequented this part of the world (Bjarmeland) on trading expeditions; the best-known is that made by Ottar or Othere between 880 and 900 and described (or translated) by Alfred the Great, king of England. The modern town dates, however, from the visit of the English voyager, Richard Chancellor, in 1553. An English factory was erected on the lower Dvina soon after that date, and in 1584 a fort was built, around which the town grew up. Archangel was for long the only seaport of Russia (or Muscovy). The tsar Boris Godunov (1598-1605) threw the trade open to all nations; and the chief participants in it were England, Holland and Germany. In 1668-1684 the great bazaar and trading hall was built, principally by Tatar prisoners. In 1691-1700 the exports to England averaged £112,210 annually. After Peter the Great made St Petersburg the capital of his dominions (1702), he placed Archangel under vexatious commercial disabilities, and consequently its trade declined. In 1762 it was granted the same privileges as St Petersburg, and since then it has gradually recovered its former prosperity. It is the seat of a bishop, and has a cathedral (1709-1743), a museum, the monastery of the Archangel Michael (whence the city gets its name), an ecclesiastical seminary, a school of navigation and a naval hospital. Linen, leather, canvas, cordage, mats, tallow, potash and beer are manufactured. There is a lively trade with St Petersburg, and the sea-borne exports, which consist chiefly of timber, flax, linseed, oats, flour, pitch, tar, skins and mats, amount in value to about 1 millions sterling annually (82 % for timber), but the imports (mostly fish) are worth only about £200,000. A fish fair is held every year on the 1st (15th) of September. Archangel communicates with the interior of Russia by river and canal, and has a railway line (522 m.) to Yaroslavl. The harbour, deepened to 18 ft., is about a mile below the city, and is accessible from May to October. About 12 m. lower down there are a government dockyard and merchants' warehouses. A new military harbour, Alexandrovsk or Port Catherine, has been made on Catherine (Ekaterininsk) Bay, on the Murman coast of the Kola peninsula. The shortest day at Archangel has only 3 hrs. 12 min., the longest 21 hrs. 48 min. of daylight.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)