John DeWolf II, 1779-1872, of the noted Bristol family, also known as "Norwest John", was a mariner who left Bristol aboard the Juno on August 13, 1804, before rounding Cape Horn and sailing northward to acquire furs along the Pacific Coast. After accumulating a full cargo of pelts, DeWolf sailed to Sitka in Russian Alaska where he exchanged the Juno for a Russian ship, sent his crew and that vessel to China and crossed Siberia to St. Petersburg, reaching that city sixteen months after leaving Alaska. DeWolf was the first American to transverse Siberia overland. He then sailed from Russia to Copenhagen aboard a Dutch vessel, where he caught the U.S. ship Mary about to sail to Portland, Maine via Liverpool. On April 1, 1808, after three years and eight months, John rode the stage into Bristol. He continued in the Russian trade for many years after.
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