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rough and uneven. We followed in the rear of the Kings troops,
tho not without some apprehension from the horses whose manuevres
we were not informed of. We were informed that the American
Minister * a short time before narrowly escaped being rode over in
a charge of cavalry, and was saved only by one of the officers in pass-
ing crying out to him to lay hold of the tail of his horse which he did
and with difficulty was carried out of danger. It was not long
however before we espied the carriages of the Princess [es] of Den-
mark and of Hesse,^ to which we directed our course, judging that
they would be placed in the best positions to view the troops and at
the same time out of danger.

The number of troops on the ground was about 13,000 of which
3,000 were horse.

An incessant fire of artillery and small arms was kept up, while
the Kings troops constantly advanced, and the Prince's retired.

1 The princess Caroline (1793-1881), who In 1829 married her cousin Trince Frederick
Fe^-dinand mentioned on the next page. a

2 By ordinance of 1788 and 1799, issued by Fredericlj as regent during his father's

' Cousin.

* George W. Brving, no doubt; minister 1811-1812.

^ Sister of the queen of Denmark.


The Prince in the end was beat and retreated to a village where he
defended himself for a short time and then capitulated. The whole
body was then drawn up in a line and were reviewed by the King.
The Princesses passed down the line in their carriage, which we
followed at a short distance. The men are well clothed and thtf
cavalry well mounted. And they had the appearance of a fine body
of troops. We had followed about 4 miles and we had that distance
to walk back. The troops were dismissed from the ground about 12
oclock, but as they had all a causeway to pass in their route to the
city, it was near three oclock before we could enter the Town, being
in the rear of the troops. I was much gratified with the spectacle
of the day, which as to the number, the uniform, the marching, the
charging of the masses of horse and the rapid advancing and firing
of the artillery was entirely novel. We had an opportunity of being
near eno' to the King and the royal family to have a distinct view of
their persons and features, which certainty were recommended to
notice only by the rank of the objects. We returned to Copenhagen
covered with dust and sufficiently fatigued with the days excursion,
notice only by the rank of the sbjects. We returned to Copenhagen
and went aboard of our ship. The wind was directly a head and
the pilot refused to go on board with us, asserting that it was im-
possible to beat against the current thro the narrow channel in what
is called the grounds. We had with us a pilot for the Baltic and
with his aid the Capt. determined to attempt the passage, but when
the ship was getting under way the sound pilot came on board, and
with great difficulty we beat thro the grounds before night, but the
wind failing we were obliged to come to anchor off Drago, a small
village on the Island of Amag.

Friday 2. — Light winds, and we made little progress in our voyage.

Saturday 3. — We came in sight Moen Island, one of the Danish
Isles. We were now in the Baltic with fine weather and a smooth

Sunday 4- — We had been in hopes of celebrating this day in St
Petersburg, but it overtook us but little advanced in the Baltic. So
we celebrated it on board the good ship the Ne-ptune. In the evening
we were boarded from two Swedish frigates, who sent each an officer
on board of us, who examined our papers and with little detention
suffered us to proceed.

Monday 5. — At 4 oclock this morning we were brought too by the
english 74 the Zealous. An officer came on board and required the
sight of no other paper than the passport of Admiral Warren to
allow us to proceed. In all^instances in which we have been boarded,
we have been treated with entire civility. The morning was dark,
rainy and cold, and the w^ind fresh from North. Obliged to stay
below chief part of the day ai^d found it very uncomfortable.

DIARY, JULY, 1813. 407

Passed the Island of Bornholm which belongs to the Danes, and is
said to be strongly fortified. Saw several sail, but none ap-
proached us.

Tuesday 6. — High wind, cloudy, dark, cold and raining, a most
unpleasant day. Shivering on the 6 of July in winter clothes and
with a great coat on.

Wednesday 7. — A cold rain all day and the wind ahead. Beat in
view of the Island of Gottland on the Swedish shore. Gained not
more than 30 miles in the last 24 hours.

Thursday 8. — Having been confined below three days in succession,
I became much indisposed and heartily tired of a voyage which had
already continued two months. The wind fresh but ahead.

Friday 9. — The wind continues ahead, and we creep on to our
journey's end but slowly. The weather clear but cold. Still indis-
posed, but not so much as yesterday. My indisposition I attribute to
having neglected to put on my flannel jacket in the cold weather at
sea which I had taken off in very warm Aveather on land.

Saturday 10. — The wind unfavorable and the day spent in beating
up the Baltic.

Sunday 11. — The wind still ahead, the weather pleasant but little
progress made in our voyage.

Monday 12. — Opened the gulf of Finland, but still encountered by
head winds.

Tuesday 13. — The wind still adverse. The weather dark cloudy
and rainy. We have advanced about 50 miles in the gulf of Finland
which is from 30 to 40 miles wide — a clear navigation, which allows
us to beat 20 miles upon a tack.

Wednesday 14- — Beating all day in the gulf against head winds
and at night came into the roads of Revel.

Thursday 15. — The wind being a head and a strong current set-
ting down the gulf the Capt. and Pilot agreed that it was imprac-
ticable to proceed, and in consequence we went on shore. Revel is a
fortified Town belonging to Russia. It contains a Population of
10,000 souls. The buildings are generally of the ancient gothic
style. Upon landing we were met by the American vice consul Mr.
Roddey^ a Russian Merchant of wealth and of the first respecta-
bility in the Town.

He had been apprized of our arrival by a Mr. Barrett - an Ameri-
can who has been long in the Russian service and commanded a
frigate. He is now upon half pay. AYe were attended also by the
Capt. of the guard ship which lay in the roads. He was at the same
time a colonel of Marines. We proceeded first to the Consuls house.

1 Christian Rodde.

- Spoken of by Adams as Lieutenant Barrett, a native of Boston. Adams, " Memoirs ",


where we remained but a few minutes, and were conducted to the
House of the Admiral of the Port. We passed a number of sentinals
and thro a long suite of rooms before we reached the apartment in
which we were received, we were accompanied by the Capt. of our
ship and the Secretaries. The Admiral received us with great
curtesy. He spoke to us in English, but spoke indifferently. He was
an old man apparently 70. His speech and motions were very rapid.
He professed his disposition to furnish every accommodation we
could require. This was repeated twenty times in less than as many
minutes. He took our hands repeatedly pressed them reiterating his
extreme desire to render us some service. He is ^ and a Gen-

eral officer in the Russian service. The visit ended we returned to
Mr. Roddeys and we had scarcely entered the doors when the Ad-
miral's carriage drove up to the door and he entered to repay our
visit. The more quickly a visit is returned the greater is the proof of
respect. He remained but a minute and withdrew. We then went
to visit the civil commandant of the Town, Le Baron D. Uxkull
who at the same time is Governor of the Province and bears the title
of Gouverneur D'Esthonie. We again encountered guards and had
a long suite of rooms to pass thro. The Baron received us very re-
spectfully, but our visit was a short one. It was returned in the
afternoon, but we were out having gone to the theatre. It still re-
mained in the morning to visit the Military Governor of the Town.
General Berk.^ He had just returned from the army having fought
in the battles of Lustcn ^ and ^ and received a wound, which

induced to return home during the armistice.

As the armistice was expected to expire on the 26th inst he was
preparing to return to the Headquarters of the Emperor. He has
the rank of ^ The figure of this Gentleman was remark-

ably fine. He was tall, robust without corpulency, and had the bold,
free and commanding air of a soldier who had seen service and done
his duty. He appeared to be about the middle age of life, and enjoys
a ^ military reputation. These three officers were each cov-

ered with insignia of different orders and were attended with much
parade and occupied very handsome apartments. It does not often
happen that one family occupies a whole house. The common entry
is thro an arched way into a Courtyard. A \ery plain and ill looking
door admits you into a house and j^ou see rooms about jou fit only
to store the coarsest merchandize and having much the appearance
of the common goals in America. You are conducted thro dark
passages with rough and filthy walls, till you are at last ushered into
splendid Halls, some naked and others richly furnished.

1 Blank in the manuscript.

2 Adams speaks of the commandant of Reval as Berg. Adams, " Memoirs ", II, 624.
» Liitzen, May 2, 1813.

DIARY, JULY, 1813. 409

One house will contain many, suites of Apartments occupied by
distinct families. This is perhaps the reason the entrance is allowed
to be so shabby when the interior is finished in a costly and hand-
some style. The roofs of the houses here as well as at Gottenburg
and Copenhagen are all of tile.

About half past one we were carried by the Consul to an Hotel
where there is a table d bote, frequented by the nobility who come
from their estates in the Country, to pass some days in Town. The
consul had no table of his own in Town, but dined at this Hotel.
We had a separate table set for us, in the common dining room, and
dinner was served for both tables at the same time which was two
oclock. Only one dish appears at a time, and excepting the soup
none appeared on the table, but were handed round to each person,
being carved when that was necessary. The dinner was indifferent
and so were the wines which were medeira and claret. Our repast
being finished which was not very long Mr. R. rose from the table,
and the rest of the company with him and we sauntered thro a
long suite of rooms in which we found Gentlemen amusing them-
selves with cards and billiards, while we waited for a carriage which
Mr R had ordered to take us to his country seat, which is about three
versts ^ from the Town. The equipage which appeared was a Drosky
with 4 horses. A Postillion managed the two leaders and a coach-
man on a box the wheel horses. The Drosky is of a singular struc-
ture but not always of the same. They are drawn by one 2, 3, and 4
horses, are on four very low wheels of the same size, and have a
circular back and front connected by a covered stuffed bench on
which the company sit with their backs to each other. They are
entirely open, and the whole person exposed.

In the Town on the rough pavement, w^e were driven at a moderate
gaite, but after we got beyond the walls, the speed of the horses was
encreased to a full run. Our Postillion who was a Russian, was con-
stantly bawling to people and carriages to get out of his way, but
never abated any of his speed. We were put down in a few min-
utes at Mr. R'. country house. We were introduced to his wife and
three daughters, the eldest of whom had just been married. The
whole family spoke french entirely well, but english very imperfectly.
The exterior of the house had but a common appearance, but the inte-
rior was handsome and well furnished. The afternoon being fine,
we spent the chief part of it in the garden and walks which are
attached to the House. The grounds are very pleasingly laid out.
A very extended vista immediately presents covered with birch and
pine. In proceeding along it, you pass a number of bridges, thrown
over an artificial canal, which is carried in different dire-ctions thro

^ Two miles.


all the grounds forming in its course peninsulas and Islands. When
we were tired of walking we took seats upon one of the bridges
where we were served with tea. The conversation was chiefly in
french, the Ladies occasionally making an effort to speak english.
At half past six the carriage was brought to the door, and return-
ing at the same gaite we came, in fifteen minutes we were put down
at the Hotel, where we had dined. .The theatre was open and the play
proceeding when we arrived. It is under the same roof with the
Hotel. It was very badly lighted. There was but one chandelier in
the centre and the lights on the stage. The House was thin, and
the play being in german of which none of us understood a word, we
received but little entertainment. They had a fine band of music
and both men and women sang very w^ell. The play was over at a
little after eight, and we left the theatre before sun down, intending
to pass the evening at the House of the Count Steinbach who had
met us by accident in the street, and being introduced by Mr. E.
invited us to a Party at his house where he promised us at least some
good music. By the time we reached Mr. R's house we began to
balance in our intentions, and finally determined, as our intention
was to return on board the ship that night, and not knowing the
regulations as to shutting the gates, that it would be most prudent to
give up the benefit of the Counts invitation. We were pressed to
remain by Mr. R, who had very civilly provided a bed for each of us
in his own house in Town, which in the afternoon he had ordered
from the countr3^ But considering it as our duty to lose no time
in proceeding to St. Petersberg we thought we ought not to lose the
chance of any wind which would carry us on our voj^age. We there-
fore went on board of our ship which lay at anchor about a mile
from shore.

Friday 16. — The wind being directly ahead, a strong current set-
ting down the gulf of Finland, we have not ventured to disturb
our anchor. And for our consolation the best and most expe-
rienced opinions assure us that there is little chance of the wind
changing till the moon changes which will not happen for eleven
days. Having been indisposed for several days I have remained
on board ship during the day under the controle and direction of
the Doctor and have submitted to a prescription of 20 grains of cal.
and sal. in equal quantities. The rest of our company are all on
shore amusing themselves with the curiosities of Eevel. Revel
was founded upwards of 500 years ago and many of the houses
and buildings exhibit strong proofs of its antiquity. We were ad-
mitted into its most ancient church, the walls of which are covered
with escutcheons of noble families. It contains a magnificent organ
apparently of modern worJi^manship. The ground is covered or
paved with tomb stones, with figures in relief of men and woman,

DIARY, JULY, 1813. 411

carved upon them. In many instances Knights in full armour.
There is a very handsome monument to Admiral Greig^ who ren-
dered great services in the Russian navy. This building we were
informed was erected soon after the Town was founded. It shows
every mark of the waste and consumption of time. The Town is
divided into upper and lower. The upper Town is inhabitted chiefly
by noble families and contains many handsome palaces. We are
told that there are a great number of the nobility at present in the
Town and I have had several counts and countesses and Baronesses
pointed out to me, but they look no better than very common people
in the U States. But I have not yet learnt to appreciate the merit
and distinctive value of nobility or title and have found it difficult
to be grave, when formally addressed with " votre Excellence."
This is habit for I have seen some Americans at Copenhagen who
appeared to stand as much in aw^e of the King as if one of his sub-
jects. The Old Admiral whom we visitted yesterday told us, he was
in N York in the year 1778 and employed in the British service. The
evening has arrived, the wind is still ahead and not the smallest
prospect of being able shortly to leave the roads of Revel.

Saturday 17. — The wind being still adverse, and no prospect of a
change, we determined to go on shore and see if arrangements could
be made to travel to St. Petersburg by land. We accordingly applied
to the vice Consul who took the affair upon himself, giving us assur-
ances that he could certainly procure us carriages and horses. We
•then went to look at the Tow^n, and particularly to see the fair which
was held at this time and to which the venders of different sorts of
merchandize resorted from all parts of Europe. We were attended
by two black servants, one a small boy about 10 years of age. These
negros were the objects of general attraction and attention. There
were many of Isthonian nobility parading the passages where the
fair was held. They took very little notice of the Ambassadors and
their Secretaries, but crowded round the negros. One of the gentle-
men came up to the smaller negro (Peter) and stroked his face as we
do a favorite child, exclaiming " oh qu'il est joli qu'il est charmant."
The Ladies passed them several times, and I heard one remark, *' Le
petit est tres joli," to which another with her replied " oui, mais le
plus grand est plus joli." This was George my servant who at
the same time tho growm was a small but tolerably well made man.
He was well dressed, while Peter who had been carried on shore only
to shew him and belonged to a Russian Gentleman ^ who had left
us at Gottenburg, was but shabbily equipped. In Revel there is no
prejudice against the Blacks, they pass according to their personal

1 Sir Samuel Greig (1735-1788), a Scottish sailor who entered the Russian navy in
1764. He had commanded the Russian fleet in the Gulf of Finland in 1788.
2 Mr. Pflug. Adams, "Life of Gallatin ", 493.


appearance to the same advantage as the whites having at the same
time in their favor the benefit which novelty excites. From the fail
I went to a Bath, which was the only one in the town. We found
it was engaged till three oclock and in the mean time we went to
strole in the streets. Being attracted by the appearance of a very
ancient church, we contrived to get admittance. It was Lutheran
but very splendid. The arms of the nobility decorated the walls and
were graved on the pannels of the j)ew doors. There was a very
magnificent organ. The floor was paved with ancient tomb stones
many of which commemorated the deaths of persons who had de-
parted to the shades more than three hundred years ago. Some of
the tombs were raised and the figures of the deceased raised in lofty
sculpture on the decease. The Likeness represented them dead with
the hands in a suppliant position and yet the women in full dress and
the men in armour with their swords by their side. We returned to
the bath, and afterwards on board the ship having not been able to
complete any arrangement for our land journey. The V consul Mr.
Roddey went on board and took dinner with us and also Capt. Bar-
ratt our countryman, who had been so long in Russia that he spoke
English very badly and altogether as a foreigner. In the Evening
Mr. G. again went on shore to finish the arrangements but he returned
without accomplishing the object.

Sunday 18. — This morning early Mr. G. went ashore with the Capt.
to see the V. consul and to ascertain the terms upon which carriages
and horses could be obtained, and returned about 11 oclock having
settled everything for our journey by land. To understand the ex-
pence of the journey it is necessary to know the value of the current
money in Russia. The common money is the silver and paper rubel
and the Copec. The real value of the silver rubel is 75 cents of
American money, and is equal to four paper rubels. The rubel is 100
copecs. The Dollar commanded five paper rubels, but their was no
certain exchange for the guina. A few were passed from 18 to 25
rubels. There was a small paper in circulation issued by a private
club merely for the purpose of creating change. Mr. G. informed us
on his return that he had purchased a Landau for 400 paper rubels
and hired a calash for the journey for 110. We were to be supplied
with 6 horses for each carriage but these were an Item of Separate
expence. The time appointed to commence the journey was T in the
evening. We Avere informed of a melanchoUy event which had
occurred in the morning. A noble man named Baron Alstock, who
had been married but three months to a young and lovely bride had
shot her with a pistol and killed her on the spot. She was enceint at
the time. It was said to be the effect of insanity. The w^ife was a
Russian Princess from St. Petersbg.

DIAKY, JULY^ 1813. 413

Sunday 18. — Having dined on board the ship, in the evening we
debarked and proceeded to the House of the Consul, where we found
a Landau and Calash provided for us and twelve horses. The car-
riages were old and shabby, but appeared strong enough to perform
the journey and that was the point to which we chiefly attended. We
had the common Post horses in rope harness, and which were small,
lean and miseraljle enough in their appearance. Our baggage being
well lashed on for it was not to be taken off for 340 versts,^ and our
provisions being stowed away, for none was expected on the road.
A little after 7 oclock in the evening Mr. G. his son and myself seated
ourselves in the Landau and Col. M. and Maj. D. in the Calash and
our Servants were mounted on the boxes and thus we began our
journey from Revel to St. Petersburg. The horses were arranged
four abreast behind and two before. The Driver sat upon the second
left hand horse, and drove the 6 horses in hand. The stages are from
20 to 23 versts, when you arrive at a Post office and the horses are
changed. There is no stopping between the stages. The horses tho
small are vigorous and travel with great expedition. They are fre-
quently put into a full run and at all other times move in a very
rapid trot. The roads are uniformly the finest I ever travelled.
They present nothing to give you an apprehension of danger. We
reached the 1st Post office before sun down, about nine oclock. We
here refreshed ourselves with a cold tongue, some biscuit and wine
and water and as soon as the horses were ready recommenced our
journey. The horses are furnished by the Peasants and in order to
avoid delay we had dispatched an Estafette^ who travelled twelve
hours in advance and gave notice of the number of horses wanted
and of the probable time of our arrival. Our journey was continued
Avithout stopping except to change horses till we arrived at Narva,
which we reached about 5 oclock on Tuesday morning. The distance
from Eevel was 202 versts. Upon the whole of this road we saw no
houses but those of the Peasants. These houses are all built in the
same manner. There is a center part and two wings, each wing of
the same dimension with the centre. The whole presented a front of
about 180 feet. The centre is the dwelling house and is one story
with a loft. The two wings have no divisions and are inhabited by
horses, cows, hogs, chickens, fleas and vermin of all kinds and covered
with every species of filth. That part of the house inhabited by the
family is divided into different apartments, but I frequently saw men,
women, and children huddled and sleeping together. In every house
at which we stopt and these were the Post houses, I found the same
filthy appearance, and was half suffocated with stenc[h]es of differ-
ent kinds, before I could accomplish an examination of the interior.

1 About 225 miles, the verst being nearly two-thirds of a mile.
* Courier.


I made a rule to go into every room which was open, night or day,
wishing to observe whatever could be discovered in the actual habits,
manners and mode of living of the Russian Peasantry. No one ever
offered the least obstruction to my passing to any quarter of the
House. As we approached Narva it was impossible not to be moved
by the recollection of the great battle fought upon its plains by
Charles the 12th of Sweden and Peter Zar of Russia.^ The eye

Online LibraryAmerican Historical AssociationAnnual report of the American Historical Association (Volume 1913, v.2) → online text (page 46 of 64)