Geographer, zoologist, anthropologist, ethnographer. Nikolay Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maclay

The birthplace of this extraordinary man is the village of Rozhdestvenskoe, which was located in the forest expanses near the town of Borovichi. This settlement was a temporary settlement of workers during the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg railway. AT stories its creation left the name of the engineer-captain Nikolay Miklukhi - a dark-haired and thin man with glasses. The father of the future traveler worked on the Novgorod sections of the road, which were considered the most difficult. He performed the work brilliantly, well ahead of his colleagues in pace. Democracy and humanism of Miklukha in relations with “working” people contributed to this to a large extent. Subsequently, Nikolai Ilyich was appointed the first head of the main Nicholas (Moscow) railway station in St. Petersburg, but five years later he was dismissed from this post. The occasion was 150 rubles, sent to the disgraced poet Taras Shevchenko.

Geographer, zoologist, anthropologist, ethnographer. Nikolay Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maclay
Miklouho-Maclay with Papuan Ahmat. Malacca, 1874 or 1875 year

The second son of Miklukha, Nikolai, was born on July 17 1846. Since childhood, the boy got used to the need. When his father passed away, catching consumption while laying the main road through the Novgorod region's marshes, Nikolay was in his eleventh year. The financial situation of the family (the mother of Ekaterina Semenovna Becker and five children) was extremely difficult. The need pursued the young man and in the years of adolescence, being a student of Miklukh, he always independently repaired his squalid outfits.

Photo of Nikolay Miklukha - student (up to 1866 year)16 August 1859 Nikolay together with his brother Sergey was enrolled in a gymnasium, but in June 1863 was excluded from it for political reasons. Leaving the gymnasium, the young man wanted to enter the Academy of Arts, but his mother dissuaded him. At the end of September at 1863, as a volunteer, he got into the Physics and Mathematics Department of St. Petersburg University. But Nikolay did not stay here either - in February 1864, for violating university rules, he was forbidden to attend this educational institution.

Nikolay Nikolayevich's wanderings around the globe began in 1864, when Mikluha decided to move to Europe. There he first studied in Germany at the University of Heidelberg, then moved to Leipzig, and then to Jena. He "probed" many sciences. His subjects included physics, chemistry, geology, philosophy, civil and criminal law, forestry, physical geography, the theory of national economy, comparative statistics, history of Greek philosophy, the study of tendons and bones ...

Ernst Haeckel (left) with his assistant Miklouho-Maclay in the Canary Islands. December 1866 of the yearAt the end of 1865, the poor Russian student in patched, but always clean clothes caught the eye of the famous naturalist Ernst Haeckel. The young man liked this convinced materialist and ardent supporter of Darwin's theory. In 1866, tired of the office work, Haeckel took a twenty-year-old Miklukha on a major scientific journey. At the end of October, 1866 Nicholas traveled by train to Bordeaux, and from there sailed to Lisbon. November 15 travel participants went to Madeira, and then to the Canaries. In March, 1867, returning to Europe, travelers visited Morocco. Here Nikolai Nikolayevich, along with a conductor and translator, visited Marrakesh, where he became acquainted with the life and life of the Berbers. Then the travelers went to Andalusia, then to Madrid and through the capital of France in early May 1867 returned to Jena.

In 1867-1868, Nikolai Nikolayevich visited the largest zoological museums in Europe. And in 1868, the “Jena Journal of Natural Science and Medicine” published the first article of a scientist devoted to the rudiments of the swim bladder of the Selachians. It is curious that the work was signed "Miklouho-Maclay". Since that time, this name is firmly entrenched for the Russian traveler.

At 1868, Nikolai Nikolayevich graduated from the University of Jena's medical school, but he wasn’t going to become a practicing doctor at all and continued to assist Heckel. In subsequent years, he wrote a series of articles in which he expounded his own views on the mechanisms of evolution. In the autumn of 1968, he, along with Dr. Anton Dorn, arrived in Messina to study sea sponges and crustaceans. In January, 1869 also climbed Mount Etna, only three hundred meters from the crater.

After exploring the Mediterranean fauna, the young scientist wanted to learn more about the animals of the Red Sea, and also to find a connection between the fauna of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. In the spring of 1869, when the surface of the Bitter Lakes in Africa was rippled from the first waters that flowed along the bed of the new Suez Canal, Nikolai Nikolayevich appeared on the streets of Suez. Dressed in Arab dress, he visited Jeddah, Massawa and Suakin. The working conditions turned out to be difficult - even at night the heat did not fall below + 35 degrees Celsius, the scientist most often did not have housing, he was tormented by attacks of malaria picked up earlier, and he developed strong conjunctivitis from the sand from the desert. Nevertheless, Maclay managed to collect an interesting collection of flint, lime and horn sponges, now stored in the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In the summer of 1869, Alexandria, a scientist on the steamer "Elbrus" left for Russia.

Maclay during the trip to the Red Sea in the Arab Burnous. 1869 yearNikolay Nikolayevich's journey to the Red Sea played a huge role in his fate. It was here that the specific features of its activity first manifested themselves - the work of one and the preference of stationary research methods. From now on, the twenty-three-year-old zoologist firmly knew his goal - to visit the peoples and countries where the white man had not yet walked. These countries were located in the Pacific ...

At the end of 1869, the famous Russian academic Karl Maksimovich Baru was informed that someone Miklouho-Maclay wanted to meet with him. The young man, who appeared before the old scientist, was wearing a patched, worn coat and had with him a letter of recommendation from Ernst Haeckel. Baer, ​​who was fascinated by the study of primitive tribes and was a fierce advocate of racial equality, affably met a young zoologist and at first entrusted him to study the collections of sea sponges brought from the north of the Pacific by Russian expeditions. This work captured Maclay. He managed to find out that all the available sponges of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Bering Sea belong to the same species that has adapted to local conditions.

All this time, Nikolai Nikolaevich had a strong conviction about the need to organize an expedition to explore the Pacific Ocean. For hours he sat at the reception of Fyodor Litke, who is the vice-chairman of the Russian Geographical Society, with the hope of seeing a wayward and formidable admiral. At first, Fyodor Petrovich did not even want to hear about Maclay's amazing demands, who sent a note to the Society Council with a request to send him to the Pacific Ocean. A prominent figure in the geographic society, the remarkable Russian geographer Peter Semenov, who managed to bring the young traveler and admiral face to face came to the rescue. At this meeting, the always shy and modest Maclay suddenly showed himself to be a delicate diplomat. He very skillfully started a conversation with Litke about past adversary Pacific and world tours. In the end, the harsh sea eagle, touched by the memories, promised to beg for Nikolai Nikolayevich. Fyodor Petrovich managed to get permission for Maclay to pass on board one of the domestic ships. Also, the traveler from the means of the Geographical Society was given 1350 rubles. The young scientist, burdened by poverty and debt, breathed a sigh of relief.

Corvette Navy "Vityaz" sailed from Kronstadt in October 1870. Nikolai Nikolayevich agreed with the ship's commander about the place and time of the meeting, while he himself went to Europe. In Berlin, Maclay met with the famous ethnographer Adolf Bastian, who showed the guest recently received copies of the famous “speaking tables” from Easter. In Amsterdam, the traveler was accepted by the Netherlands Minister of Colonies, who ordered Nikolay Nikolayevich to hand out the latest editions of maps of the Pacific Ocean. British military sailors in Plymouth presented a scientist from Russia with a device for measuring ocean depths. In London, Maclay also talked to the outstanding traveler and biologist Thomas Huxley, who had once studied New Guinea.

In the end, Nikolai Nikolayevich boarded the Vityaz. During a long voyage, he managed to make one important discovery in a seemingly far from his field of activity - oceanography. Patiently lowering the thermometer into the depths of the ocean, Miklouho-Maclay was convinced that the deep waters are in constant motion and have different temperatures. This indicated that equatorial and polar waters are being exchanged in the ocean. The prevailing theory argued that the lower layers of water in the ocean have a constant temperature.

Stocking up in Rio de Janeiro with food and fresh water, the Vityaz set off on a difficult voyage around Cape Horn. A few weeks later, Polynesia opened before the travelers. Nikolai Nikolayevich kept his way to the shores of New Guinea - the second largest island of the Earth. A primitive man lived there and a Russian scientist wanted to find a solution to the origin of the human race.

7 September 1871 corvette went to drift in the Gulf of Astrolabe, opened by the Frenchman Dumont-Durvil. No white man had ever landed on these shores of New Guinea. The first day of stay on the shore of Maclay completely spent on meeting with the locals - the Papuans. The Russian scientist generously gave them various trinkets. Towards evening he returned to the Vityaz, and the ship’s officers breathed a sigh of relief — the savages had not yet eaten the Russian scientist.

The next time, when Maclay again went ashore, the natives, without much fear, came out to meet him. This is how the first rapprochement of Nikolai Nikolayevich with the terrible "cannibals" occurred. Soon work began to boil near the sea — ship carpenters and sailors built housing for Maclay. At the same time, the officers from the Vityaz carried out a topographical survey. Coral Bay in the vast bay of Astrolabe called the port of Constantine, capes were named after surveyors who made the survey, and the nearest island began to bear the proud name of Vityaz. 27 September 1871 Russian flag hoisted over the roof of the built hut, and a solemn and at the same time sad moment of parting set in — Nikolay Nikolayevich remained alone on the bank of New Guinea.

When the Russian scientist first decided to visit the village of the natives, he wondered for a long time whether to take the revolver with him. Finally, weapon he left at home, seizing only a notebook and gifts. The inhabitants of the island met the white man is not very friendly. A dozen of the Papuan warriors, hung with braided bracelets with tortoiseshell earrings, crowded around the scientist. Arrows flew over Maclay's ear, spears twitching in front of his face. Then Nikolai Nikolayevich sat down on the ground, took off his shoes and ... went to bed. It is difficult to say what was going on in his heart. However, he forced himself to sleep. When, having woken up, the scientist lifted his head, he triumphantly saw that the natives were sitting peacefully around him. With astonishment, the Papuans watched as the white man slowly tied up his shoelace and went back to his hut. So Nikolai Nikolayevich "spoke" himself from an arrow, a spear and a knife from a cassowary bone. So he learned to despise death.

Life on the island was measured. A hermit scholar got up at dawn, washed with spring water, and then drank tea. The working day began with diary entries, observations of the tidal wave, measurement of air and water temperature. At noon, Maclay had breakfast and then went to the forest or to the seashore to collect collections. In the evening, the Papuans came, who helped a scientist learn a language he did not know. Maclay sacred to honor the indigenous customs, and the number of his friends among the Papuans grew rapidly. They often invited the scientist to themselves. He treated the sick, witnessed the funeral and the birth of the Papuas, and the guest of honor sat at dinner parties. Increasingly, Nikolai Nikolayevich heard the words "Karaan-tamo" (a man from the moon) and "Tamo-rus" (a Russian man), as the natives called him among themselves.

More than a year Miklouho-Maclay lived in his house on the ocean and managed to do a lot during this time. In the land of New Guinea, he planted the seeds of useful plants and was able to bring corn, beans and pumpkins. Also caught around his huts and fruit trees. Having become infected with the example of a Russian researcher, many natives came for seeds. The scientist has compiled a dictionary of Papuans adverbs and has accumulated invaluable information about the arts and crafts of local residents. In his diary, he wrote: "I am ready to live on this shore for many years." By the right of discoverer Maclay eagerly studied the territory of New Guinea. He climbed into the mountains, discovered unknown rivers, swam across azure bays. His scientific collections grew every day. Nikolai Nikolayevich discovered valuable oilseeds and fruit plants, as well as a new variety of sugar banana. His notebooks were full of notes, notes and wondrous drawings, among which portraits of Maclay's dark-skinned friends prevailed. His hut has become a real scientific institution. Diseases, snakes, crawling on the bed and the desk, shaking the quake tremors - nothing could prevent Nikolai Nikolayevich in his great work.

Miklouho-Maclay to a large extent occupied with the questions of anthropology. In those years, there was a real war in this science. Many scientists, supporting the planters and slave owners, argued that the Australians and the blacks are not equal to the white man. The anthropology of those years divided human skulls in form into short and long. "Long-headed" were considered representatives of the dominant or superior race, compared with the "short-headed." The most ardent defender of such a scholar of obscurantism was Germany, then already engaged in the search for inferior peoples and started talking about the superiority of the long-headed blond Germanic race. Russian science, truly advanced and pure, could not stay away from the ensuing struggle. She contrasted her observations and conclusions with the evil revelations of the enemies of the “colored” nations. Miklouho-Maclay, being a representative of the national anthropological science, in his researches of human nature tried to always approach the representatives of any nation or tribe without any bias. About three and a half thousand Papuans lived in the surrounding mountains around the Astrolabe Bay. The measurements of their skulls, carried out by Maclay, showed that among the inhabitants of this part of the island there are both “short-headed” and “long-headed” people.

Miklouho-Maclay Travel Map

In December, the ship Emerald arrived at 1872 after Nikolai Nikolayevich. The sailors gave military honors to the Russian scientist, having met him with a loud triple cheer. The sailors and officers were amazed when the bearded hermit told them that he would think whether to return to his homeland. The last night of “Karaan-tamo” was spent among the natives. When "Emerald" together with Nikolai Nikolayevich sailed away from the island, barums sounded all over the Maclay Coast - long Papuan drums.

After a long voyage, the Emerald stopped at the harbor of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The Russian scientist had heard about the various wonders of these lands. 22 March 1873, having disappeared from the supervision of the Emerald team and finding a knowledgeable guide in the port, set off through the Bay of Manila to the Limay Mountains. There, in a deep forest, he met those whom he had long wanted to see - stray black Negritos. Compared to them, Nikolai Nikolayevich seemed a giant, their height did not exceed 144 centimeters. Why they are called "Negritos", which means in Spanish "little negros". In fact, not a single anthropologist of that time knew which group of peoples they belong to. Studying the representatives of this tribe, Maclay made another major discovery. He found that Negritos have nothing to do with blacks, but are a separate tribe of Papuan origin.

"Emerald" traveler left in Hong Kong, where, after reseeding on a merchant ship, went to Java. First glory awaited him in the Javanese capital. They wrote about MacLay in the colonial newspapers, and James Loudon himself, the governor-general of the Netherlands India, invited the Russian explorer to his residence near the mountain town of Bogor. Hospitable Loudon did everything so that Nikolai Nikolayevich could work and rest. The residence of the Javanese governor was located in the center of the Botanical Garden, and the Russian scientist spent seven months under the shadow of the rarest palm trees and huge orchids. At the same time, Russian newspapers “started talking about MacLay” for the first time. In the rich local library, the traveler saw numbers of the St. Petersburg Gazette, the Kronstadt Gazette, the Voice with notes about it. However, Maclay did not like fame, preferring to devote all the time to scientific studies. Having prepared a series of articles about the first trip to the Papuans, the brave traveler began to prepare for the campaign on the coast of Papua Kovia, located in the west of New Guinea. These Europeans were afraid of visiting places, and the Malays claimed that the inhabitants of this shore were terrible robbers and cannibals. However, Nikolai Nikolayevich was not afraid of such rumors and at the end of 1873, Bogor left. In a large sea boat with a crew of sixteen, he sailed from the Moluccas and successfully reached the coast of Papua Koviay. Here, Maclay discovered the straits of Sofia and Helen, made important corrections to the old maps of the coast, and without fear moved into the interior of the island. In the waters of the local lakes Maklay gathered unique collections of shells and found a new type of sponges. Also, they found outlets of coal and opened a new cape, which received the name of Laudon.

After returning from this hike in June, the 1874 researcher fell seriously ill. Fever, neuralgia, erysipelas of the face permanently chained him to the bed of the hospital in Amboina. Here Nikolay Nikolayevich heard stories about the mysterious tribes of the “Oran-Utan” (in Malay “forest people”) living inside the Malacca Peninsula. No scientist has ever seen a live oran. Saying goodbye to Loudon, for whom Maclay was recovering from an illness, the traveler went in search of wild orans. Fifty days his squad wandered through the wilds of Johor. Often, travelers walked to the waist in the water or floated in boats through flooded forests. Often they came across traces of tigers, rivers were full of crocodiles, huge snakes crossed the road. The first oran-utanov scientist met in December 1874 of the year in the forests in the upper reaches of the river Palon. They were dark skin, low, well-built and, as noted by Maclay, not strong in height. In the Johan oran-utanas, Nikolai Nikolayevich recognized the remnants of the primitive Melanesian tribes that once inhabited the whole of Malacca. He managed to make friends with them and even live in their homes, besides the researcher collected samples of poisons from the teeth of snakes and vegetable juices with which the oran smeared their arrows.

In March, 1875, he launched a new voyage into the depths of Malacca. Having reached the seaside town of Pecan, the scientist headed to the rainforests of the principality of Kelantan. The creaky wagon, the boat and the raft, and most often their own legs carried the traveler into the country of the “forest people”. On the day he walked about forty kilometers. In the mountain gorges between the principalities of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, Nikolai Nikolayevich found the Melanesian tribes of Malacca - the Oran-Sakai and the Oran-Semang. Stunted, fearful black people lived in trees. All their property consisted of knives and loincloths. They roamed wild forests and mined camphor, which they traded with Malays for cloth and knives. The Russian scientist found that five pure Melanesian tribes lived in the depths of the peninsula, noted their habitats, studied their way of life, appearance, language and beliefs. One hundred and seventy-seven days Maklay stayed in Malacca. After bidding farewell to the “people of the forest,” he returned to Baudor to Loudon.

1875 year ended. Maclay Maclay did not even imagine how his popularity grew. The most eminent researchers were looking for meetings with him, the pages of “Picturesque Observation”, “Niva”, “Illustrated Week” and many other domestic editions were decorated with portraits of Nikolai Nikolayevich. Domestic cartographers mapped Miklouho-Maklay mountain on the map of New Guinea. But none of them knew that the famous traveler had been wandering homeless for many years and borrowed money in order to make his distant and dangerous campaigns.

Very soon, the walls of the palace in Botora became tight for the tireless traveler. Thanking for all of James Laudon, Nikolai Nikolayevich sailed from the Javanese port city of Cheribon on the schooner “The Sea Bird” and in June 1876 of the year arrived on the Maclay Coast. All his old friends were alive. The return of Tamo-Rusa was a holiday for the Papuan people. Maclay's old hut was eaten by white ants, and the natives vied with each other to invite Nikolai Nikolayevich to settle with them. The traveler chose a village called Bongu. In its environs ship carpenters with the help of the Papuans built a new housing for the scientist, this time a real house of solid timber.

During the second visit to the Maclay Coast, the scientist finally became close to the local people. He perfectly learned the customs of the Papuans and their language, the structure of the community and family. His long-time dream came true - he studied the birth of human society, observed a man in a primitive state, with all his sorrows and joys. Maclay ascertained the high morality of the natives, their peace loving, love for family and children. As an anthropologist, he was convinced that the shape of the skull was not the decisive sign of race.

At the end of 1877, an English schooner accidentally swam into Astrolabe Bay. On it, Nikolay Nikolayevich decided to go to Singapore to put his collections in order and write articles about the discoveries made. He also had thoughts about the establishment in Oceania of special stations for the international protection of black tribes. However, in Singapore, he again fell ill. The doctors who examined him literally ordered the scientist to go under the healing rays of the sun of Australia. Maclay did not want to die, he had not done too much in his life. In July, the Russian zoologist, 1878, appeared in Sydney, stopping first at the Russian Vice-Consul, and then at the head of the Australian Museum, William MacLay. Here he learned from Javanese and Singaporean merchants that his debts exceeded ten thousand Russian rubles. As a mortgage, MacLay had to leave them his priceless collections. Despite his fame, all the letters of Nikolai Nikolayevich with requests for help sent to the Geographical Society remained unanswered. The literary income of the researcher was also negligible.

Soon the poor scientist moved to live in a small room at the Australian Museum. There, using new methods, he explored Australian animals. At leisure, Miklouho-Maclay preferred to read the writings of Ivan Turgenev. Books of his favorite writer, he wrote out from Russia. On the shore of the local bay Watson Bay, a tireless explorer decided to organize the Marine Zoological Station. He disturbed the peace of dignitaries and ministers until he had knocked out a plot of land for the station, painted the building drawings himself and supervised the construction. In the end, the Marine Zoological Station - the pride of the Australian scientist - was discovered. After that, the eternal wanderer of Oceania began to gather in a new expedition. This time William Maclay gave him money.

Early in the morning of 29 in March 1879 from the port of Jackson came the schooner "Sadi F. Keller". For 1879-1880, Maclay visited Nova Caledonia, the Admiralty and Lifou islands, the Loub and Ninigo archipelagoes, the Louisiana archipelago, the Solomon Islands, the Torres Strait islands, the southern coast of New Guinea and the eastern coast of Australia. The traveler spent two hundred and forty days on the shores of unexplored islands and a hundred and sixty on the sea. The scientific discoveries made by him in this expedition were enormous. For the first time Maclay himself contemplated cases of cannibalism, but this did not frighten him - he calmly wandered through the settlements of cannibals, making drawings, conducting anthropometric measurements and compiling dictionaries of local languages. At the end of the journey he became very sick. Attacks of neuralgia lasted from the scientist for days. “Dengue” also returned to him - an agonizing fever, from which Maclay's finger joints swelled. Diseases so exhausted him that in 1880, the researcher weighed just a kilogram of 42. On the island of Thursday the traveler could not move independently. However, strangers helped him, Miklouho-Maclay was taken to the house of an English official, where, despite pessimistic forecasts, he managed to recover.

Maclay Maclay in Queensland in 1880 year. Staged photo. Attention is drawn to the attributes of "exotic": camping equipment, native spear and eucalyptus branches in the background

May 1880, Nikolai Nikolayevich met in Brisbane - the capital of Queensland. Here, from newspaper clippings, he learned a pleasant news that the Petersburg newspapers published an article by the famous Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari calling for help to Miklouho-Maclay. Moreover, the money collected by subscription was already transferred to his account in Sydney, which was enough to pay all the debts to the merchants and bankers and to snatch the treasures of science from their hands. For some time, the scientist returned to the study of the brain of animals inhabiting Australia. Along the way, he was engaged in paleontology, collected information about abductions and slavery of Pacific Islanders, and participated in the organization of the Australian Biological Society.

In 1882, Maklai yearned for home. His dream of returning to Russia came true when Rear Admiral Aslanbegov’s squadron arrived in Melbourne. 1 October 1882 world-renowned traveler and scientist spoke at a meeting of the Geographical Society in St. Petersburg. In a quiet, calm voice, without any fancy, he told about his activities in Oceania. Holding its breath, the entire congregation listened to him. Unfortunately, despite the desire of the leaders of the Geographical Society, the organization had neither the capacity nor the means to support further research of Nikolai Nikolayevich. Among scientists there were also a lot of fools and envious. Whispering behind his back, they said that Maclay (who knew, by the way, seventeen different languages ​​and adverbs) had not done anything outstanding. More than once, during a scientist's reports, notes came to him with questions about what a person's meat tastes like. One inquisitive person asked Nikolai Nikolayevich whether savages can cry. Maclay bitterly answered him: “They know how, but black people rarely laugh ...”.

But no grudging envious and reactionary could darken the glory of the great Russian scientist. Newspapers and magazines all over the world wrote about his works - from Saratov to Paris, from St. Petersburg to Brisbane. The famous artist Konstantin Makovsky painted a wonderful portrait of Tamo-Rus, and the Moscow Society of Ethnography, Anthropology and Natural History Amateurs awarded him a gold medal. Maclay left Russia in December 1882. After visiting his acquaintances in Europe, he arrived along the old road Port-Said - Red Sea - Indian Ocean in tropical Batavia. There, he met the Russian corvette "Skobelev", persuaded his captain to go on the way to Vladivostok on Maklay Coast. In mid-March, 1883, Nikolai Nikolayevich arrived at familiar shores. This time he brought with him pumpkin seeds, seedlings of citrus and coffee trees, mango. Malay knives, axes and mirrors delivered to his friends Tamo-rus. An entire herd of cows and goats purchased by MacLay was also transported to the shore from the ship.

In the summer of 1883, the Russian traveler returned to Sydney, settling in the house at the Marine Station. In February, 1884 Nikolai Nikolayevich got married. His wife was a young widow Margaret Robertson, the daughter of the former Prime Minister of New South Wales. In the same year, an ominous German flag began to rise over Oceania and Africa. German adventurers were insane in East Africa, and merchants from Hamburg hurried the government to seize Togo and Cameroon, eagerly studying maps of the Slave Coast, rich in oil palm and rubber. Maclay closely watched the events. At that time, he still believed in the nobility of the powerful and even wrote a letter to Bismarck in which he said that “a white man must take over the protection of the rights of dark-skinned natives from the islands of the Pacific Ocean”. In response, at the end of 1884, the German colonists raised their flag over the Maclay Coast.

In 1885, Nikolai Nikolayevich returned to Russia again. After much agony and hassle, an exhibition of his collections opened. Its success could be compared only with the success that a year later had an exhibition of another great Russian traveler - Nikolai Przhevalsky. However, the Russian Geographical Society still delayed the publication of his works, and the promises of the emperor to publish the books of the traveler for sovereign funds remained on paper. In October, the 1886 special committee, created by order of Alexander III, completely refused to Nikolai Nikolayevich any support.
In 1886, Maclay again went to Sydney. He went there last time, in order to pick up his family, collections and materials. In Sydney, the traveler had to go through a new shock. News came from Maclay Coast - the ruler of German New Guinea evicted the Papuans from seaside villages, which they then compared to the land. The Germans openly reported this in their colonial heralds. Back in St. Petersburg, Maclay terminally collapsed. He had difficulty holding a pencil, preferring to dictate his autobiography.

Once, one newspaper article came across Maclay's eyes. It was reported that Germany finally annexed the island of New Guinea to its empire. The comedy of the Protectorate is over. After reading the article, "Tamo-rus" demanded to bring a pen. He wrote just a couple of lines. It was a message to the German Chancellor, an angry cry of a bold and noble heart: “The Papuans of Maclay Coast protest against their annexation to Germany ...”

Shortly thereafter, Nikolai Nikolayevich made his last trip to the clinic of Willie, belonging to the Military Medical Academy. Anticipating a close end, he bequeathed all his collections, papers, and even his own skull to his native country. Six weeks Nikolai Nikolayevich spent in terrible suffering. Neuralgia, fever, dropsy - there is no living space left on it. Miklouho-Maclay's heart beat faster and harder. He died on the 9 hours of 2 on April 1888. A simple wooden cross with a short inscription was installed on the Volkov cemetery on the inconspicuous grave of the great son of the Russian land. Professor Vasily Modestov in his funeral speech said that the fatherland had buried a man who glorified Russian courage and Russian science in the farthest corners of the immense world, and that this man was one of the most eminent people ever born on our ancient land.

Monument to Maclay in New Guinea

According to the materials of the collection of V. Volodin "Great Russian people" and the site
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