Nikolai Nikolayevich stayed in stories controversial figure. He was born in the village of Yazykovo-Rozhdestvenskoe, Borovichsky district, Novgorod province, he was educated in Germany, and he spent most of his life on expeditions. Nikolai Nikolayevich wrote more than 150 scientific works. He denied that the black race is a transitional biological species from a monkey to homo sapiens. At the same time, the northeast coast of New Guinea, in his view, was the ideal “ethnographic reserve”, at the head of which he dreamed of standing up.
As for nationality, the question still remains open. Scottish roots of the scientist are not confirmed. And brother Michael said: “there was no leavened patriotism in our family, we were brought up in respect of all nationalities”. Nikolai Nikolayevich himself in an autobiography wrote about himself in the third person: “Nik. Nick. is a mixture of elements: Russian, German and Polish. "
Nikolai Nikolayevich caused quite ambiguous feelings in his contemporaries. Admiral Ivan Alekseevich Shestakov, manager of the Marine Ministry, dismissively called him a “projector” and wrote: “He wants to become a“ king ”in New Guinea”.
Here are the words of Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev: "The devil knows why it seems to me that all this gentleman is a poof and will not leave any such work after himself."
And this is the recognition of Leo Tolstoy: "You are the first to undoubtedly prove that a person is a person everywhere, that is, a good sociable being, in communication with which one can and should enter only good and truth, and not guns and vodka."
The researcher suffered from bouts of malaria, undertreated dengue fever, muscular rheumatism, and pain in the jaw. Due to the constant struggle with chronic diseases and the realization of imminent imminent death, cynical and cold-blooded Nicholas was quite sentimental in some moments. Moreover, this sentimentality, like the scientist himself, was distinguished, to put it mildly, by originality. A striking example is the lamp that Nikolai always took with him on trips. He made it from the skull and elbow bones of his beloved, who, before her death, bequeathed him a part of herself. Nikolai put the skull on the bones, put a wick on the vault, and built a lampshade of green color over it. Thus, he honored her memory and did not forget about the transience of human life.
Whether Rotey, or Buka
In mid-October, 1870, at a meeting of the Russian Geographical Society, Nikolai Nikolayevich presented a project of an expedition to the Pacific Islands. The idea was ambitious and large, but was very vague. Many scientists had a quite logical question: why does Russia need remote tropical pieces of sushi? But Miklouho-Maclay did not need the approval of scientists.
Soon he received the passport of a “nobleman Miklukho-Maclay, sent for a scholarly purpose”. From that moment on, the double surname of the researcher became official. Before that, it was not fixed in the documents. The scientist called himself Miklouho-Maclay to add weight. Indeed, in those days, the origin of man played a very large role and Nicholas's mother (she was half Polish with a dash of blue blood) with great difficulty managed to ensure that he was still ranked among the hereditary nobility.
The Council of the Society appointed Nikolai Nikolayevich 1200 rubles as a benefit. And soon the naval minister, Admiral Nikolai Karlovich Krabbe, informed the scientist that he would be taken on board by the corvette Vityaz, the truth “without production of allowances from the maritime department.”
And 8 November 1870, the “Vityaz” from Kronstadt set sail. The journey to the cherished goal - New Guinea - lasted almost a year. 19 September 1871, the corvette entered the Gulf of Astrolabe in the northeastern part of the island.
The Papuans sailed to the ship, taking gifts with them. The team took them well, but then a misunderstanding occurred. When the islanders headed back, the team decided to salute in honor of their arrival and banged the cannon. Frightened aborigines hurried to hide in the jungle. Miklouho-Maclay, together with the Swedish sailor Ulson and a black teenage servant, whose name was simply Boy, went ashore. The captain of the "Vityaz" suggested that the scientist take with him sailors as guards, but he refused. He decided on his own, demonstrating kindness, to establish contact with the inhabitants of the islands.
The researcher and his companions were lucky. Among the Papuans there was one daredevil - Tui. He coped with fear, approached Nikolai Nikolayevich. Since the scientist had a little knowledge of the local language, he managed to learn a curious thing. It turns out that the local perceived the appearance of the white man as an approaching apocalypse. But nothing terrible happened. Therefore, they decided that Nikolai was their great ancestor Rotey, who "left, but promised to return." But after the roar of the cannons, the Papuans' opinion, of course, changed: Nikolay Nikolayevich from the revived ancestor Rotei turned into an evil spirit named Buka.
"Vityaz" left the Gulf of Astrolabe a week later. During this time, at Cape Garagasi Miklouho-Maclay with assistants built a hut. And according to the captain of the ship, a small platform near the dwelling was mined in case of an attack by the aborigines. It is not known for certain whether this “shield” was useful to the researcher or not.
At first, relations with local residents did not develop. For any of his attempts to make contact, the Papuans simply ran away from their village called Bongu and hid in the jungle. Only Tui sometimes came to visit a scientist. He helped Miklouho-Maclay practice the language, and also talked about life on the islands.
The case helped to move things off the ground. Once a tree fell on Tui, injuring his head. And the treatment did not help - the wound began to fester. Then Nikolai Nikolayevich took up the business. He managed to help the unfortunate aborigine, after which the locals no longer perceived as evil Buk. Moreover, they invited him to their village. Here are just women and children, just in case, still hid. The memory of cannon shots went deep in their heads.
In the cabin on Cape Garagasi Miklouho-Maclay spent a whole year. During this time, he explored the vast territory of the island, compiled a detailed description of flora and fauna, renamed the Astrolabe Bay into Maclay Coast, and managed to become for the natives not just a friend, but a white-skinned god. They called him “kaaram tamo”, which can be translated as “moon man”.
In mid-December 1872, the Emerald clipper approached the island. It is curious: in Russia and Europe they were sure that the researcher had died a long time ago. The newspaper St. Petersburg Vedomosti even published an obituary about it. Therefore, the maximum that the Emerald team was hoping for was to find the grave of Miklouho-Maclay. To their surprise, he was alive, even though he was very sick. In the same condition was a Swede. But Boy did not manage to live until the arrival of the vessel, he was mowed by "a swelling of lymph glands in the groin."
For two days, the islanders saw off the scientist, whom by that time they called not only “Qaaram tamo”, but also “Tamo-boro-boro”. In the language of the aborigines, this meant the highest boss.
Papuans are people too
In May, 1875, Nikolai Nikolayevich heard rumors that England was preparing for the annexation of eastern New Guinea. Including the Gulf of Astrolabe. This news stunned the scientist. Therefore, he sent a letter to Semenov-Tyan-Shansky, the head of the RGO, in which he said that the Papuans needed protection. There were such lines: “Not as Russian, but as Tamo-boro-boro of the Papuans of Maclay Coast, I want to appeal to His Imperial Majesty with the request of the protection of my country and my people and support my protest against England ...”. Simply put, Nikolai Nikolayevich offered Russia a protectorate over New Guinea, but with preservation of its sovereignty. Petr Petrovich forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Internal Relations, which was headed by Baron Fyodor Romanovich Osten-Saken. He told the emperor Alexander II about the plan of Miklukho-Maclay, and at the same time recommended the sovereign to wrap up the project. Alexander did just that.
Realizing that there was no one else to hope for, Nikolai began to prepare for the second expedition on his own. He was able to negotiate with the Dutch businessman by the name of Shomburgk on the account that the trade schooner "Sea Bird" takes the researcher to the shores of New Guinea. In addition, Shomburgk undertook to send a ship for a scientist six months later.
27 June 1876, a schooner "Sea Bird" entered Astrolabe Bay. Maclay Maclay spent almost a year and a half among the Papuans, since the Dutchman did not keep his word. Unfortunately, little is known about the expedition, since many of the records from the field diaries of Nikolai Nikolaevich were lost.
The scientist, like the first time, settled near the village of Bongu. Only now he built a hut on Cape Bugarlom, because his old home was destroyed by termites. Nikolai Nikolayevich broke the garden, began to grow crops unfamiliar to Aboriginal people - pumpkin, corn, cucumbers and watermelons. Soon the vegetables were “registered” with the locals.
The Papuans, of course, remembered the scientist and greeted him very warmly. Moreover, they invited him to the wedding, where they were allowed to see the main sacrament - the abduction of the bride. He visited the funeral, which is reflected in the memories.
During his stay among the islanders, Nikolai Nikolayevich placed emphasis on anthropological research. In the diary he left a note: “In the future, the same birds of paradise and butterflies will delight the zoologist, the same insects number in the thousands in his collections, meanwhile, it almost can happen that the future anthropologist will have to look for a purebred Papuan in his primitive state in the mountains of Novaya Guinea, as I searched for Sakai and Semang in the forests of the Malay Peninsula. ”
Around this time, the researcher had the idea of creating the Papuan Union, uniting the isolated villages of New Guinea. And already this Union, he planned to attach under the protection of a powerful European state. As a "guard" Miklouho-Maclay considered not only Russia, but also Britain and Germany. The scientist visited several dozen villages, communicated with local people and thought how to unite them? The situation was complicated not only by the remoteness of the settlements from each other, but also by the language barrier. After all, the locals spoke different dialects. He found out that in 27 villages people speak 14 languages.
During the second expedition, Miklouho-Maclay was finally convinced that the Papuans were not at all the “connecting link” between the ape and the white people. He wrote about this in the following way: “Parts of the world with their different living conditions cannot be inhabited by one species of Speco Homo. Therefore, the existence of many races is completely in accordance with the laws of nature ... ".
Through 6 months the ship did not appear. His food supplies were running out. From the garden there was little confusion. Besides, there was nothing to take notes on. Therefore, the researcher had to use book sheets and write between the lines. But most importantly, precious time was melting. After all, Miklouho-Maclay thought that the annexation of New Guinea would begin literally from day to day. The current situation hit the scientist hard, his health deteriorated sharply, but he did not stop his scientific activity.
In such a nervous situation, another year passed. And suddenly the Flower of Yarrow schooner appeared in the bay. The Dutch businessman still remembered his promise. Before coming on board, Maclay spoke with the leaders of the villages for a long time. This conversation boiled down to one thing - if whites appear on the island, the locals should hide from them. He also showed the Papuans secret signs by which they could recognize a person from Tamo-Boro-Boro.
In November 1877, the schooner left the bay.
Attempt to realize a dream
After 4 years, Miklouho-Maclay presented to the British the “Maclay Coast Development Project”. So the commander of the naval fleet in the southwestern Pacific, Wilson found out that the scientist wants to return to the Papuans again to protect them from Europeans. After all, Miklouho-Maclay was still waiting for the bloody annexation of New Guinea from any state. As a scientist and researcher, Nicholas was well aware of the cruelty of the colonialists and hoped that his Papuans would not repeat the sad fate of the many indigenous tribes that inhabited the islands of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The main goal of the “Project” was to create a Grand Council of village elders. Schools, roads, bridges should have appeared in the united villages. It was assumed the gradual development of the local economy. The scientist himself identified himself as a consultant and minister of foreign affairs. And if everything went as planned, in time, the Union of Papuans would recognize the protectorate of Great Britain. But Nikolay Nikolayevich could not interest the Englishman.
With the same “Maklay Coast Development Project”, Nikolai Nikolayevich turned to Shestakov, manager of the Russian Naval Ministry. He also rejected the idea, stating that Nikolay “wants to become a“ king ”in New Guinea”. But another initiative of Miklukho-Maklaya — the creation of a filling base in New Guinea for the Russian fleet — interested the emperor himself. And Shestakov was instructed to study the initiative.
But the idea of the "Project" did not leave the scientist. In 1883, he again tried to “attach” him in Britain, and again unsuccessfully. But the idea of creating a base of the Russian fleet has moved forward. Shestakov set the task for the commander of the Russian Empire in the Pacific Ocean, Rear Admiral Nikolai Kopytov, to investigate the coastline of Niwa Guinea and decide whether the marinas proposed by Miklouho-Maklai would be suitable as coal stores for ships.
Therefore, a reconnaissance expedition to the shores of New Guinea was planned. And in mid-March 1883, the corvette Skobelev (renamed Vityaz) with Miklouho-Maclay on board reached Astrolabe Bay.
The third stay of Nikolai Nikolaevich among the Aborigines was the shortest - only 8 days. It turned out that almost all the locals he knew had already died, including Tui. And the village of Bongu became very depopulated. The Papuans explained this with diseases, wars and "sorcerers from the mountains."
Maclay Maclay was depressed and broken. He realized that the dream of the Union in the conceived version can not be realized. And I decided that the “Project” needed to be modified. Namely: it is he who should stand at the head of the Union. In this case, under whose protectorate will be the state, it does not matter. After promising the Papuans that he would be back soon, Nikolai Nikolayevich left the island.
Parallel to this, Kopytov explored the harbor, but none of them approached. The main problem was their remoteness from ocean communications. In order to get to the tracks, cruisers would have to spend too much coal. Nevertheless, Kopytov praised the merits of the scientist and even paid him a few hundred dollars for the services of a conductor and translator.
The difficult situation around New Guinea prompted Nikolai Nikolayevich to write a letter to Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, in which he again returned to the Papuan Union and the Russian protectorate over him. And at the same time sent a message to Alexander III.
And again Shestakov had to deal with the “Project” by Miklouho-Maclay and the report of Kopytov. After another thorough study of the materials, the manager of the Maritime Ministry issued the verdict: “search designer”. And the emperor was unpleasantly surprised by the miss of a scientist with the location of the base for the fleet. In general, from the Russian side Miklouho-Maclay could not count on support.
Meanwhile, the southeastern part of New Guinea became British — the government of the Australian state of Queensland tried it. Without asking permission from other states, it simply declared the island its own and sent the necessary documents to London. This was done for one reason - the Australians were afraid that they could be ahead of Germany. And thus, there will be a serious threat to the British colonies in that region.
Nikolai Nikolayevich tried to influence the fate, as he believed, of his Maclay Coast. The scientist considered that it was the Russian Skobelev that pushed the Queensland government to annexation. About the fear of Germany, he did not guess. Having hurried with the conclusions and not having understood the problem, Mikluha sent regular letters to Russia, England and Germany. Only this time, Nikolai Nikolayevich placed special hope on Germany and Bismarck: “... to protect the land itself from capture by the British, but also to protect the rights of dark-skinned natives of the Pacific islands as people, from unscrupulous unjust and cruel exploitation not only by Englishmen but all whites in general. ”
Waiting for the verdict of the powerful, in the summer of 1883, Nikolai Nikolayevich moved to Sydney. It settled in the biological station, continuing research work. Then he decided to marry his old friend - Margaret Robertson, despite the hostile attitude of the bride's relatives. They were literally not satisfied with everything in the groom: his disastrous financial situation, poor health, nationality ... And most importantly, under the will of her first husband Margaret (he died several years before the woman met Nicholas), she received 2 thousands of pounds of annual rent. And the Robertson family did not want to lose this money because of the Russian scientist, because in the case of her remarriage, the payments stopped.
But still relatives Margaret lost. The couple married 27 February 1884 of the year and settled in a house near the biological station. Miklouho-Maclay had two sons - Alexander and Vladimir, although in Australia they were called Niels and Allen. Curiously: they have never been to Russia.
British-German Better Party
The Germans also did not respond to the letter Maclay. Instead, they decided to act quickly and firmly. In the autumn of 1884, a confidant of the German New Guinean company, Otto Fish, with whom Miklouho-Maclay met in Sydney, arrived at Maclay Coast. Posing as a relative of the tamo boro-boro, he bought land for the coal base and plantations. Then a German cruiser entered the Gulf of Astrolabe and ... The northeastern part of New Guinea was under the protectorate of Germany. About the betrayal of Otto (the scientist thought that way), Nikolai found out in December of the same year. In a panic, he sent another telegram to Bismarck: "The natives of Maclay Coast reject the German annexation." In response, the usual silence again. And the Germans and the British amicably agreed on the division of New Guinea at the beginning of the 1885 year without the participation of Miklouho-Maclay and Russia. For Nicholas, this meant one thing - the Maclay Coast was lost.
As you know, trouble does not come alone. The government of New South Wales (the state in the southeast, where Sydney is a part) announced to Miklouho-Maclay that the land on which the biological station and its house are located is transferred to the military. Accordingly, he needed to release his “abode”. Being in a broken and depressed state (plus added old health problems), Nikolay Nikolayevich decided to return to Russia. And at the end of June 1886 of the year was in St. Petersburg.
The idea that the Russian colonialists would help the Papuans did not leave the scientist. And soon the "News and Exchange newspaper" published a note. It was an invitation to all who wish to go to the Maclay Coast to build a free state there. How the Germans would respond to this Mikluha and did not want to think. To his surprise, there were a lot of volunteers. The resettlement plan for compatriots was on the verge of implementation. Nikolai Nikolayevich even wrote a letter to Alexander III, in which he asked for permission to create a Russian colony on Maklaya Bereg. The emperor did not support, of course.
This finally broke the scientist. All of his many diseases have worsened and 2 April 1888, the scientist was gone. His wife ordered the caps of the phrase Nothing But Death Can Separate Us (“Only death can separate us”) on the grave slab. And after the funeral she returned to Sydney.