Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/White Sea

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WHITE SEA, a branch of the Arctic Ocean which extends S. W. into the province of Archangel as far as the 64th parallel. It is separated from the open sea by the peninsula of Kola and a strait 246 miles long, and from 106 miles (between Capes Sviatoi and Kanin) to 28 wide, and divides itself for the most part into three bays, of which the broadest is the Dwina Bay to the S. E., the S. the Onega Bay, and the longest the Kandalak Bay in the W. Its area, including the N. E. bay, into which the Mezen falls, is 47,346 square miles. The coasts are flat, with numerous lakes, small rivers, and mountains in the N. and E. The White Sea is blocked with ice except during the months of June, July, and August. Canals connect it with the Volga and the Dnieper. The dwellers on its shores are Lapps, Finns, and Samoyedes, who live by fishing, seal hunting, and the chase. The chief port is Archangel. The passage to the White Sea was discovered in 1553 by Richard Chancellor, an officer under Sir Hugh Willoughby. The English in 1584 established the little fort of Archangel as the center of the White Sea trade, in which they enjoyed great privileges till the founding of St. Petersburg.