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employ a great number of hands. We saw immence plates for mir-
rours. Some as large as 16 by 8. They shewed us the process of sil-
vering the glass. After the quicksilver is put on, it requires to be
pressed to the plate for 6 weeks. The cut glass unless very highly
wrought was not dear. Little more than a third of the price given
in the U States. In the afternoon we visitted the glass magazine in
the City, which is an immence glass shop in which all kinds of
manufactured glass is to be purchased.

Sunday 8. — We had an invitation to dine with the Duke of Sierra
Caprioli the Sicilian Minister, to day, who resides in the Country
about 13 versts from the city. The weather was bad and the day
unpleasant. We went out about 4 oclock accompanied by Mr. Adams.
The Duke and Dutchess received us with great curtesy. The com-
pany was a small one. There was an old Russian Princess at the
table, a sister of the Dutchess and Two Gentlemen, one a french
Abbe. There was also a young Dutchess about 20 years of age a
daughter of the Duke, who without being handsome was rendered
interesting by her affability. Having had the honor of conducting
her into the dining room I was seated next to her at dinner. She
spoke English quite well, tho she spoke the french with more facility.
Upon leaving the dinner room we were led into a billiard room,
where the french Abbe without regard to its being Sunday exhibited
his dexterity at the game. The young Dutchess play'd with consid-
erable skill. As soon as decency would admit, not being well, I or-
dered my carriage, and returned to Town.

Monday 9. — The Count Romanzoff sent us this morning packets
containing letters and papers from America accompanied by a very
polite note. They had been brought to Gottenburg by Mr. Swinin,^
who had come out with Genl. Moreau and gone on with him to the
head quarters of the Emperor Alexander. So far distant and so long
from home, nothing could be more gratifying, than the intelligence
thus conveyed to us. The intelligence however, which came down
to the 22d of June left the affairs of the U. S. in a very critical sit-
uation and we are now to wait an indefinite time to know the fortune
of the war. We went to day to dine with the Baron Rahl, who is the
Court Banker. His country seat is about 4 versts from the city. We
were received and treated with great politeness, and partook of a
very good dinner. The weather was bad and the ground wet and
not being well I declined walking in the gardens after dinner and
making an apology on the score of health, I called my carriage and
returned home.

Tuesday 10. — The morning was spent in perusing our American
newspapers. Mr. G. and myself and the Secretary of legation Mr.

^ Paul Svinine, see p. 242, note 2.


H. were engaged to dine to day at the Princess Beloselsky. Her resi-
dence is about 8 versts from St. P. We left the Town about 4 oclock
and were put down at her chateau before 5. The company were all
assembled by 5 oclock. They were all of the highest class in the
Russian empire. There were two Princesses Gallitzin, mother
and daughter.^ The mother was of Georgian descent. Her grand-
father was King of Georgia. Her mother who was one of the com-
pany was Princess of Georgia. The Princess G. the daughter who
appeared to be about 18 years of age spoke english very well and
being seated along side of her at table, we had abundant conversa-
tion. She was intelligent and entirely affable. The Princess Dol-
gorousky her cousin sat next to her, of the same apparent age but
much prettier. She resembled the Princess G. much more than her
daughter and had altogether the Georgian face. I had an oppor-
tunity after dinner of conversing with her, but in french as she spoke
english with difficulty. She gave me the impression of being amiable
as she was pretty. There were two of the Narishkins at table. One
the grand Chambellan and the other the grand veneur.^ The latter
is the husband of the present mistress of the Emperor. He is a fine
looking man, but it was impossible to regard him without a sentiment
of contempt knowing that he was content to receive the reward of
his wife's prostitution. I led into the dining room the Countess of
Choiseul, celebrated for some adventures at Paris. She was a Polish
heiress and married from love but had been long tired of her husband
and been separated from him for ten years, tho not more at present
than 30 years of age. She enquired how we made ourselves happy in
America and upon being told it was in domestic life, she wondered
we did not all die of ennui. She had a great passion to be younger
and said if she could retiu'n to 16, she would be content to live
only five years. The Princess B. with whom we dined is not
handsome but is an amiable and interesting woman. She is about 40
years of age and the motlier of several children. The apartments of
her chateau are genteel but not splendid, especially for Russia, where
the senses are drowned in the blaze of splendour which overwhelms
them in the imperial palaces.

We returned to St. P. about nine oclock. Shortly after our return
we had a visit from Mr. A. who had a private communication to make
to us. The Count R had received despatches by a courier from the
Emperor. They were not however in answer to his communication
after our arrival, but merely to the information that the President
had accepted his mediation and in consequence had dispatched a
special mission. We were told by Mr. A. that the Count in address-
ing him had stated that he was not to be considered as speaking as

1 Probably the wife and daughter of Prince Alexander Golitzin, secretary of state.
* Alexander and Dimitri.

DIARY, AUC4UST, 1813. 433

the chancellor of the Empire nor as speaking to him as minister of
the U. S. but that he was ordered by the Emperor to give to the Min-
isters composing the special mission some tokens of his particular
respect-.^ The Count observed that what those tokens were, had not
been indicated by the Emperor, but were left to himself. That he
was some what at a loss to know what our laws and usages would
admit of. That he was satisfied that it would be agreeable to the
Emperor that the Ministers should be supported upon an establish-
ment at the expence of his Majesty, or if that were exceptionable
that presents of furs should be made to them, or that any other
mode would be adopted to afford proof of the Emperor's respect for
the mission which had been so promptly expedited at his instance.
Mr. A. had answered, that he did not suppose that the Ministers per-
sonally could accept of anything, but that he would make them
acquainted with the views of the Russian government. My answer
was that I could consent to accept nothing which had for its object
personal gratification, but if I could be used in any way to enable
the Emperor to demonstrate his good will and respect for the U. S.
and of his satisfaction in the course the government had adopted,
that I was entirely willing to be employed as the instrument. This
sentiment was acquiesced in by Mr. G. and such was the answer that
Mr. A. was to report to the Count. The Mdiole establishment of the
French minister Caulincourt- had been accommodated by the Em-
peror. He had a palace in Town and two in the Country completely
furnished. Sixteen horses and a competent number of servants. His
personal expences were notwithstanding unbounded.

Wednesday 11th. — An order having been given for our admission
into the imperial palaces, we went first this morning to visit that of
St. Michaels. This is the palace which was built by the late Emperor
Paul and in which he was strangled. It is surrounded by a wet
ditch faced with hewn stone, and was regularly fortified during the
time of Paul. We were conducted by a well dressed officer thro a
long suite of Apartments. They were all stripped of glasses, paint-
ings and furniture and there was little to be seen but the bare walls.

The conductor attempted to hurry us thro the room in which Paul
was assassinated, but I loitered behind in order to examine it. The
floor has been newly laid, to remove the stains of blood. It adjoins
the bed room of the Empress. Two large doors open into it at the
opposite sides. Near to where the bed stood is a private door, and
stair case. There is a private stair case and door which opens out-

1 See Adams, " Memoirs ", II, 504-505. Daschkoflf had written to Romanzoff, Apr. 4,
suggesting a present to Mrs. Madison, and tliat the Russian government pay the expenses
of the commissioners, adding, to decorate them will " tickle their vanity," Russian
Archives, For. Affairs, Washington, 181 3, No. 17.

= Armand-Augustin-Louis de Caulaincourt (1773-1827), French amha.ssador to Russia

62513°— VGL 2—15 28


side one of the principal doors and between this and the chamber
en suite. It was by this stair case that the conspirators ascended and
cut down at the door the centinel who guarded it. The Empress in
the adjoining room endeavoured upon hearing the bustle in her hus-
bands chamber to excite an alarm. As soon as Paul was despatched
one of the conspirators, entered her apartment and informed her of
the fact, upon which it is said that she exclaimed, " then I am Em-
press ". She was coolly answered, no madam, but you are the mother
of the Emperor. In the morning when the death of Paul was an-
nounced, the whole population of St. P. rushed into the streets, with
tokens of the most extravagant joy. The regulations of the Em-
peror which had been strictly executed had scarcely left the person
of an individual untouched, and it was the petty tyrranny in the
regulation of dress and manners, which rendered him extremely
odious. No one here seems to doubt, that his mind was not sound
and that his malady was encreasing. His death was necessary to pre-
serve the Russian Empire. It is said the oi^iginal plan, was not [to]
kill him, but to compel him to abdicate the crown, and afterwards to
imprison him. His son was to be placed upon the throne. To this
plan, it is said, the son was accessory and had agreed to assume the
reins of government, from a conviction that it was necessary to the
safety of the State. The murder of his father filled Alexander with
distress and horror, but he could not refuse the sceptre tho stained
with a Parent's blood. It is well Iniown that exile was the only
punishment of the Conspirators. The chapel is the only part of St.
Michael's palace which is not despoiled of its ornaments. This Sanc-
tuary is preserved in its original state, in order that the prayers of
holy and devout may expiate the Crime committed under the palace
roof. Upon leaving St. Michael's palace, we went to the first palace
erected by Peter the Great after founding St. P. It is situated in
the summer gardens and is occupied only by a few domestics, who
[were] placed there to take care of it. We were told that a great
part of the house and furniture was the handy work of the monarch.
The house is only worth seeing because it Avas the residence of Peter
and is considered as the first palace erected in a great city. It Avas
a palace when it was built, but it is a hovel now compared to the
palaces of St. P. I omitted to notice that Avhen our carriages entered
the Court yard of St. M's palace the guard consisting of about 30
men, immediately turned out paraded and were drawn up. This
ceremony Avas repeated upon our departure. This is a mark of singu-
lar respect and not knoAvn before to have been paid to any but Am-
bassadors or Ministers of the first rank. But it seems that a special
Mission is treated with a consideration not extended to ordinary
Ministers tho of the same rank. In our case from Avhat has been

DIARY, AUGUST, 1813. 435

communicated, we owed the mark of respect to the recent directions
given by the Emperor in relation to us. From the old palace of Peter
we went to the Hermitage. We were received by Mr. ^ a

Gentleman of rank under the governmt. a counsellor of state and
Governor of the palace. The Imperial family are at present at Zars-
koe Zelo, tho the Empress occasionally comes to Town to hold a Court
and receive presentations. The Hermitage and the Winter palace
communicate and furnish a suite of Apartments apparently endless.
These apartments are finished in the highest stjde of architecture and
filled with the finest paintings of Europe. The ceilings are very
fancifully stuccoed and richly gilt and painted. The walls from top
to bottom are covered with original paintings mounted in the most
superb frames. The collection in one apartment cost the Empress
Catherine - £60,000 stg. The rooms are furnished with a taste and
magnificence truly imperial. In addition to the innumerable paint-
ings in the Apartments there are tvro long perspective gallery's con-
taining the richest collection of the pieces of the first masters.

We employed upwards of three hours in passing from room to room
and always meeting with splendid objects of curiosity and admira-
tion. The Apartment which bears the name of St. George and in
which the Knights of the order are installed is distinguished by its
grandeur and magnificence. Its length must exceed 100 feet and its
hight and breadth in proportion. At one end of the Hall stood the
imperial throne, veiled by curtains which however was not denied
to the sight as we were permitted to remove the curtains. We saw
a magnificent chair of State surmounted by the crown and other
imperial signia placed upon a platform raised a few steps and
covered with cri[m]son velvet. The Hall was hung with a vast
number of chandoliers and lustres, besides a great number of geran-
doles and branches employed to illuminate it. At 4 oclcck we left
the palace, for myself with eyes satiated with the view of grandeur
and magnificence.

Thursday i^.— We went a second time to the Winter palace and
not being well I limited my curiosity to the imperial library. This
library is about 300 feet in length and contains a great number of
Books. The libirary of Voltaire composes a part of it. It Avas pur-
chased from his neice Madame Dennis ^ by the Empress Catherine.
In front of it is a fine statue of the author said to be a striking like-
ness. The books being locked up in cases, we had not the means of
opening one of them. Many of those of Voltaire were filled with

1 Blank in the manuscript.

2 Catherine II.

= Madame Denis, the elder daughter of Voltaire's sister Catherine, who had lived with
Voltaire for many years before his death, inherited the larger part of his fortune and his
entire library, of which Cather'ne purchased 6000 volumes.


slips of paper used as marks and the same which had been placed in
them by that great genius. I was obliged by indisposition to return
home very early.

Friday 13^ Saturday H, Sunday 15. — These three days I have been
confined to my room by a violent diarrhia caused by a bad cold in
conjunction with the Neva Water. On Saturday I was to have dined
with the Countess De Columbi but was unable to leave my room.

Monday 16. — The Empress having signified to the Chancellor of
the Empire her intention of passing Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
in the city with great condescension intimated, that upon either
of those days the American Ministers might have an opportunity of
viewing the palace of Zarskoe Zelo and the gardens. This day was
fixed upon for the excursion.^ Mr. Adams who has resided 4 years
in Eussia had never yet visitted this palace and he proposed to go with
us accompanied by Mrs. A. I was extremely anxious not to lose the
occasion of seeing this celebrated place. Upon rising in the morning
I found myself very unwell and extremely weak. For the three last
days I had not set up half an hour at a time. At tlie time appointed
to start, I was unable to go and on the point of determining to remain
at home. Mr. G. set off with his son and secretary Mr. D. in a
chariot and six, Mr. A. with his wife, secretary and Mr. and Mrs.
Smith ^- in a coach and six. The chariot is more in style because
more expensive. Col. M. and myself remained two hours longer
and flattering myself I could bear the ride and wishing not to dis-
appoint the Col. at 12 oclock I determined to proceed. My chariot
and six had been waiting in the Court yard. Our distance from the
palace was 23 versts. It is reckoned 22 from St. P. This distance
we drove in an hour and 3/4. The approach to the palace is fanciful
and picturesque. The arched gate way under which you pass upon
leaving tlie great road rests upon rocks upon either side cut into
various forms. The avenue leads you along the margin of a canal at
the foot of a hill covered with wood and upon the other side of the
road is a row of Chinese temples. The view of the palace breaks
suddenly upon you, and exhibits the most magnificent spectacle. The
extent between the wings is about 600 feet, and the front is decorated
and emblazoned with all the ornaments of architecture. We drove
to the gate of the palace Court yard and were soon attended by a
page belonging to the establishment. We first enquired for the Party
who had gone before us and being informed that they had gone to
walk in the gardens we took it for granted they had seen the Apart-
ments and therefore determined to view them before we followed.
We were led thro a long suit of rooms, the walls of which were

1 See Adams's account of this expedition, " Memoirs ", II, 507-509.

2 William Steuben Smith, a nephew of Adams, had accompanied him to Russia as his
private secretary.


DIARY, AUGUST, 1813. 437

richly gilt and the ceilings painted with a great variety of figures
and designs. The Apartments were furnished in the most sumptuous
style. There was not here the like collection of paintings as in the
Winter palace. In fact I observed but few. After viewing the
Apartments, we went to walk in the gardens which are laid out in
admirable taste. "We found Mess. G. and A, just embarking in a boat
upon an artificial lake, and going to visit the Islands. They had left
the shore a short distance, but as soon as they descried us j)ut back
to receive us. The boat was row^ed by four Russian sailors and
under the direction of the Count Ozarowsky grand chambellan of
the Palace, to whom I was introduced. We passed first to a small Island
upon whicli a spacious and handsome building was erected, and where
the Empress occasionally had parties to dinner and to dance. We
next visitted a monument erected in honor of the Count Orloff ^ the
conqueror of the Turks in the celebrated naval engagement. It stood
in the middle of the lake rising out of the water to the height of about
18 feet. The base was composed of liugh blocks of hewn and polished
granite and the shaft of marble. It exhibited various views of the
battle in bronze relief.

We now passed to the opposite side of the lake and debarked. We
went thro many of the walks which were shaded with most trees
of the forest. We were shewn the baths of the Emperor and Em-
peress, furnished with every convenience for bathing. There were a
number of Apartments some containing polished marble tubs in the
form of common bathing tubs, and others reservoirs in which one
might swim.

After going over the grounds, the Count expressed his expectation
that we would do him the honor to dine with him. The invitation
was accepted by the rest of the company, but being extremely indis-
posed and exhausted by the exercise I went to my carriage and
returned with the Col. to the city. Along the road I remarked that
they had just commenced talring in their harvest. They were cut-
ting rye, barley and oats at the same time and pulling flax. The
fields of grain were very extensive, and without enclosures or parti-
tions. The ground appeared productive. The labour was per-
formed chiefly by women and children.

Tuesday 17. — It rained during the day, and [I] was personally
unwell. In the evening visitted the Casan church and witnessed
the curious ceremonies of the Greek worship.

Wednesday 18. — Confined by bad weather and indisposition. Was
attended by a Scotch Physician Dr. Gallaway who prescribed the
tincture of rhubarb. This Gentleman was educated at Edinburg

1 Count Alexis Grigorievich Orlov (1737-1808), who had played the leading role in
the murder of Peter III had, as commander-in-chief of the Russian fleet, defeated the
Turks at Cheshme, July 5, 1770.


under Dr. Monroe.^ He spoke of having studied with Drs. Wistar^
and Barton^ of Philada. and knew the names of most of the dis-
tinguished Physicians of that city.

Thursday 19. — My complaint caused by the Neva water forsook
me to day, but left me weak and without appetite. An arrangement
had been made for our seeing the commercial Institute, an establish-
ment under the patronage of the Empress Mother. We accordingly
proceeded there at 11 oclock and were received by the Director, an
officer of rank. He conducted us thro the whole building pointing
out the details of the establishmt. It is designed for the education
of boys for commercial pursuits.

It contains at present 150 students, who are divided into four
classes. They are taught reading, writing, erithmetic. Mathematics,
geography, natural history, political econemy, accounts, foreign lan-
guages and Drawing. We visitted all the classes and were shewn
speciments of their proficiency. The boys were from 12 to 17 years
of age. Each class was m a distinct Apartment with a tutor, and
under the chief Director there appeared to be subordinate civil

We were shewn the kitchen, dormitory and eating room. Every-
thing appeared very clean neat and well arrange [d]. AVe were in
the dining room when the boys were marched into dinner two and
two. After a short prayer they took their seats and commenced
their mea[l]. It consisted of soup, pea porrage, and a small portion
of meat all very good in appearance. They are fed by contract at 28
copecs a head, the day. This is less than 6 cents for which they have
breakfast, dinner and supper. The bread is what they call black
bread and made of rye, but palatable and wholsome. In the after-
noon we went to dine with Mr. Myer one of the richest merchants of
St. P. and one of the most civil men in the city. The dinner was
served more in the Ani. fashion than any I had met with. For the
first time we met with a ham and boiled chickens. The ham was
english and equal to any I had ever tasted. The dinner was very
profuse and was the first one of which I had tasted for 8 days. But
for an Invalid I performed no bad part.

Friday 20. — This day was remembered and this remark is de-
signed to say every thing.* We had an appointment at 11 o'clock

1 No doubt Alexander Monro the second (1733-1817), professor of anatomy and surgery
at Edinburgh for many years.

2 Dr. Caspar Wistar (1761-1S18) had been for two years president of the Royal
Medical Society of Edinburgh. He began the practice of medicine in Philadelphia in
1787, and in 1789 became a member of the faculty of the College of Philadelphia (Univer-
Eity of Pennsylvania), and physician to the Philadelphia hospital. From 1815 until Ids
death he was president of the American Philosophical Society.

* Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815), who had studied in Edinburgh, London,
and Gottingen 1786-1788, was a member of the faculty of the College of Philadelphia, and
was for some time vice-president of the American Philosophical Society.

* The reference is to Mrs. Bayard's birthday ; she was born Aug. 20, 1777.


DIARY, AUGUST^ 1813, 439

to go and see the Academie des jeune Demoiselles. At the appointed
time we proceeded there and were received by an officer in his court
dress. This establishment originated with the Empress Elizabeth^
and has been successively enlarged and its endowments encreased
by the Empress Catherine and the Emperor Paul. It is designed
for the education of girls a ad at present contains about 500, besides
pensioners. The building is very extensive and capacious enough
to accommodate 5000 persons. The Bourgeoise and nobility are
entirely separate. We visitted first the quarter of the Bourgeoise.
Of these there are about 200 besides boarders. We were received by
an old Lady who conducted us thro all the apartments. We were
soon conducted to the quarter of the nobility, and introduced to
the Baroness ^ who is a Lady of the Court and presides

over the whole establishment. The Baroness received us with great
civility and shewed and explained everything to us belonging to

Online LibraryAmerican Historical AssociationAnnual report of the American Historical Association (Volume 1913, v.2) → online text (page 49 of 64)