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1854, . 




I DATE.. 0.;.., .;....... 


Entered, according to act of Congress, 

in the year one Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty-four, 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United 

States, for the Southern District of New York. 



The following pages pretend not to literary merit, but 
are presented to the public as merely a relation of facts, 
connected with, and growing out of a system of slavery, 
concerning which, little is generally known to the world. 
Serfdom, as it exists in Russia, is a name — and but trifling 
inquiry has been instituted relative to its operation and 
oppressions. It is a relic of barbarism, and as such ac- 
knowledged ; yet, few would feel inclined to mtJdle with 
a matter that so decidedly affects the policy of so mighty 
a power as that of Russia. 

The author of this work seeks not consideration or per- 
sonal favor, being well aware that when once before the 
public, he is amenable to its decision, irrespective of the 
motives that may have impelled him to his task. 

He would, therefore, merely mention, that in his pro- 
duction he aims at nothing further than simple statement — 
that most of the material has been gathered by personal 
observation ; and the gleanings from history have been 
carefully compiled, with the intent, they shall be authentic 

If the work sliall serve to throw any light upon the 
actual condition of so large a portion of our race as are 
suffering in the condition of Russian slavery — if it help to 
awaken the sympathies of enlightened philanthropy — if it 
enhance the appreciation of liherty in more favored coun- 
tries — in short, if it add one tittle of evidence against tlie 
principles of despotism, it will not have been written in 
vain, and the aim of the author will be attained. 




Introductory Remarks — Author's account of himself. .„ 

Plan of an Insurrection Escape from Grodna 

Reaches home Is assisted to fly . - . .Sails for England 

Arrives in America. 


Appearance of Poland to the casual observer Descrip- 
tion of Nobleman's plantation Peasant's villages 

Their cabins and manner of living Their outfit by 

the proprietors .Arrangements for labor Church 

service Hotel carouse Working upon the roads 

Abuse by the soldiers Disregard of life — Taxa- 
tion and penalty Conveyance of dispatches In- 


Kindly dispositions of the peasants Proprietors' views 

of slaves Emperor's responsibility in the matter 


Peasant's and Jew's fairs Efforts of a Christian lady 

to instruct the peasants Her treatment Peasants 

employed to transport merchandize Amusing inci- 
dent Holidays Marriages Births. . .Funerals 

Love and sufferings The young man whipped to 



Condition of the Jews in Poland Natural character 

Taxes Impressment for the army Style of 

dress Change by order of the Emperor Travel- 
ling — Annoyance and imposition Spies Alleged 

political offences Delay of justice and loss of pro- 


Mode of obtaining soldiers for the army Treatment of 

recruits Drilling of soldiers Rations Clothing 

Barracks Discipline Punishment. 


Marksmen Stealing Connivance of officers Policy 

of the government with reference to the soldiers Re- 
view Soldiers quartered upon a plantation Abuse 

of power Soldiers' holidays Disabled soldiers 

Requirements on those whose term of service has 

expired Officers Distribution of the army. . . . 




Noblemen generally Polish nobles Anecdote of a 

Polish father Penalty of defeat, and redemption of 

spoils Russian nobles Servile classes Con- 
struction and defence of castles Chiefs Policy of 

the Emperor with regard to strangers. 

Condition of Polish noblemen many years since Pro- 
ceedings on the accession of Nicholas Miserable 

situation of degraded nobles and their families An 

instance of suffering State of the nation since 1830 

The several partitions of the country. 


Hopes of the Poles during the progress of Napoleon ^ 

Disappointment Conduct of Alexander after the con- 
gress of Vienna Appointment of Constantine as com- 
mander-in-chief, and the promotion of Zajaczek 

Removal of Polish officers, and the substitution of Rus- 
sians Insults and oppressions Constantine med- 
dles vv^ith all branches of the administration Spies 

Imprisonment of students Meeting of the Diet 

First intimation towards a revolution Council and 

arrangements Proposal to murder the Grand Duke 

Reply of Prince Jablonowski Death of Alex- 
ander. . , .Contest for the throne Atrocities of Nicho- 


las Sisters of Rukievvicz Inquisition Nicholas 

crowned Emperor in 1826, and King of Poland in 1828 
Contrast between Alexander and Nicholas. 


Infringement on tlie rights of proprietors The poor 

man and his tobacco Imprisonment of his protector 

Schlegel and W^^socki venture upon the idea of a revo- 
lution Revolution in France occurs Effect upon 

Constantine and his minions The Czar prepares to 

make war upon France and Belgium, and is joined by 

Prussia and Austria The Polish army being put in 

requisition The revolution hastened b)'- abuse of 

law... Arrest of students Patriots Final arrange- 
ment for proceedings. . .The outbreak Attack upon 

the barracks of the cavalry Attempt to secure the 

Grand Duke Attack upon a remnant of cavalry 

Refusal of two generals to join the patriots, and conse- 
quent loss of life Stanislaus Potocki Progress of 

the cadets and light infantry united The fourth regi- 
ment Storming of the prisons Barracks of Stanis- 
laus Patrol of the city Bozniecki Consultation 

of the patriots as to measures Their appeal to the 

citizens The response Plans Freedom The 

power of the oppressor Hope. 


Boleslas th*e Great ascended the throne in 992 Division 

of the government with Wladyboy Expulsion of 


Wladyboy Consequent disturbances Policy of 

Boleslas Boleslas II., Duke of Bohemia, and Adal- 
bert, Bishop of Prague Boleslas III Determina- 
tion of Boleslas of Poland Request to the Pope 

and refusal He dispenses with regal sanction 

Boleslas III. driven from his dominions and Wladyboy 

rules in his stead He is at length imprisoned and 

dies Boleslas takes possession of Bohemia The 

monastery of Kazimerz Boleslas interferes in the 

affairs of Russia Contests The last years of 

Boleslas Tarnow Birth and education of John 

Tarnowski He goes to France Returns to Po- 
land He is sent against Wallachia The Lithu- 
anians request him for their leader Taking of Star- 

doub Enmity He maintains his integrity and dies 

beloved and respected. 


John Sobieski Early heroism Casimer restored to 

the throne, and Sobieski appointed chief agent in the 

government Sobieski during the reign of Michael 

Retires in disgust Returns to active life and is 

made king of Poland Invasion of Mahomet The 

miracle and the wizard king, also terms of peace. 


Kosciuszko, birth and education He is appointed major- 
general by the Polish Diet Submission of Stanislaus 


to Catharine, and Kosciuszko retires to Leipsic He 

is called back to become leader of a band of patriots 

Expulsion of llie Russians from Cracow .Onsets, and 

subsequent retreat of the insurgents to the capital 

Unfortunate circumstances Defence of Warsaw 

Austria joins the confederates against Poland Battle, 

and Kosciuszko left for dead upon the field Is recog- 
nized and sent to St. Petersburg, and there imprisoned 

Is liberated on the accession of Paul, and goes 

thence to England, afterward to the United States 

Returns to Europe and resides near Paris.... Incident 
Finally settles at Soleure, where he meets his death 

by accident. 


Niemcewicz Condition of the country and council He 

advances and sustains liberal views Establishes a lib- 
eral paper Poetical and dramatic powers. . .Becomes 

aid-de-camp to Kosciuszko Imprisoned at St. Peters- 
burg Is released, and accompanies Kosciuszko to 

America Visits his native country Returns to Amer- 
ica and marries In 1830 goes back to Poland and is 

made Secretary of State After the fall of Poland he 

journeys to England, goes thence to Paris, where he 
dies Selections from his poetical productions. 


Joseph Poniatowski Early career Serves under Na- 
poleon — Covers the retreat from Leipsic Is drowned 

Honor to his remains. 


Want of reliable documents regarding tlie early history of 

Russia Difficulties Peter and his half-brother — 

Sophia Persecution of Peter's mother. . .Preservation 

of the child Ivan is declared sovereign, and requests 

to have Peter associated with him Sophia is made re- 
gent and banishes Peter to an obscure village His 

companions The village becomes a military school 

Sophia's uneasiness and plans Peter opposes her 

Sophia changes her tactics, but being abandoned by her 
supporters, is obliged to accede to the terms of Peter. 


Peter has undivided sovereignty Slow advancement of 

the country under his predecessors The efforts of the 

Czar towards the improvement of his subjects Con- 
spiracy of the Strelitz Peter is informed, and the re- 
sult Execution of the conspirators. 


Peter goes to Sardam, and there learns ship-building... 
Visits England, and applies himself to different sciences 

He is called home to suppress a rebellion of the 

Strelitz — Marries Catharine Alexovvina Determines 

upon tiie tour of Europe Is appointed to the conmiand 

of the united fleets Visit to Amsterdam Goes to 

France. . .Anecdote Disturbances in Russia caused 

by his son He receives the title of Emperor from the 


senate Fetes continued at Moscow Sickness 

Partially recovers, and sets out for Ladoga Relapse 

and death Character of Peter as developed in his life 

Catharine assumes the government Is succeeded 

by the grand-son of Peter Anna Ivan Elizabeth 

Peter the Third Is displaced by a revolution and 

Catharine II. reigns... Her character Paul Alex- 






No COUNTRY on the globe occupies a more conspicuous 
position at the present time, than does Russia, yet of no 
so-called civilized country is so little known. Comprising 
more than half of Europe and the entire Arctic region of 
Asia, her very magnitude will excite astonishment. The 
imposing semblance of power, and her never ceasing and 
ever grasping activity, startle the nations, and have hith- 
erto caused them to succumb to her arbitrary influence. 
Onward has she urged her Juggernaut of despotism, and 
the cries of her crushed victims have sounded in vain in 
the ears of enlightened and christian Europe. Her tre- 
mendous physical energy appears to have intimidated the 
astute and far-reaching statesmen of her more advanced 
and refined neighbors, whilst an almost utter ignorance 
concerning the mass of her population, has prevented the 
awakening of such indignant interest, as is in general 
elicited by contemplating the oppressor and the oppressed. 

Guided by the wary intellect of Nicholas, Russia has 
encouraged Arts and Manufactures, but she has dons it in 

14 SLAVEfty IN 

a manner that brings little or no advantage to the great 
body of her people. In her luxurious capital are collected 
artists of the finest talent, but their efforts add little to its 
magnificence, and they cater to the enjoyment of nobles 
and dignitaries only — for the larger portion of Russian 
subjects are too far removed from intelligence, to appre- 
ciate the productions of genius, when aided by its potent 
auxiliaries, education and practical skill. Manufactures 
have been improved, and the cause has received an impe- 
tus by the patronage of the Emperor ; foreign overseers 
are sometimes employed to instruct in the mode of opera- 
tion, but at the same time, they are bound to utter no 
sentiment, to propound no principle, that will militate 
against the system of tyranny under which they sojourn. 

In some respects Russia commands a fair show of con- 
fidence and respect. The courtesies of her court are 
unexceptionable, and are likely to fascinate those whose 
rank or official dignity entitle them to enter that exclusive 
circle. This is the amount of knowledge afforded to the 
world — a polished court, of which much is heard and 
something known, and an immense mass, degraded to 
such a degree as scarcely to be reckoned within the pale 
of human sympaties, called the Serfs. 

The difficulties to be encountered in an attempt to leave 
Russia, would be likely to deter any from the undertaking, 
except those who are impelled by a " necessity that knows 
no law." I number myself among this class of individ- 
uals, and before proceeding to treat of the country and its 
slaves, I will briefly narrate the circumstances that led to 
my departure, and the manner by which my escape was 
finally effected. 

In the 3'ear 1844 I was placed by my father at the Gov- 
ernment College of Grodna, in Poland, with the view of 


Completing my education. Study, liowever, channelled 
in particular courses, inevitably rouses the powers of 
reflection and volition, which distinguish the free acting 
agent from the merely passive, or propelled instrument. 
In early life, before self-interest has warped the mind, or 
suffering has induced caution, this is more especially no- 
ticeable in result. " Freedom " is the watchword of the 
boy, and though the manner of seeking the coveted good 
may be injudicious in the extreme, yet the aim is enno- 
bling ; in the struggle the youth emerges from the chry- 
salis, and the stripling becomes a man. The Polish con- 
test had fired the bosoms of many of my companions, and 
during my stay at Grodna my reflections most naturally 
turned upon the wrongs, that I could not fail to perceive, 
were inflicted on the people. Indulging in such a train 
of thought did not tend to reconcile me to the present 
aspect of affairs, and gradually, but surely, I wrought 
myself into a perfect fever of enthusiasm : this somewhat 
detracted from my judgment, so that soon nearly all things 
seemed possible, and consequently liberty for Poland was 
certainly attainable. 

The students at Grodna, numbering about twelve hun- 
dred, were formed into secret societies, and in these our 
prmciples and projects were discussed. About this time 
a secret messenger from Krakowa informed us that a 
number of soldiers, who were stationed at that place, 
were combining for the purpose of making a desperate 
attempt to throw off the Austrian imposition. The very 
intimation roused our patriotism to the highest pitch. 
We lost no time in conveying to our brethren at Krakowa 
the determination to risk our lives in connection with 
themselves. We also contrived to make our intentions 
known to some Polish noblemen of the surrounding coun- 


try, and tlicy euncnrriiig in our project, agreed to be ready, 
and at a concerted signal to join us with their serfs, and 
commence the march towards Krakowa. There were 
but small military forces stationed at intervals along our 
way, and we anticipated but little fighting before we should 
reach that post. 

But alas ! before our plans were fully matured, the 
conspiracy was detected, the Russian government was 
informed, and a regiment of Cossacks was dispatched to 
surround the college. Their orders were to permit no 
one to pass in or out, save the officers and servants of the 
establishment ; these being Russians, were not participa- 
tors in our scheme. I was informed by one of the Pro- 
fessors that an examination would immediately follow-, the 
result of which would most likely condemn us all to the 
army, as common soldiers, for life — a doom that would 
be far more intolerable than that of slavery in any of the 
Southern States of America. The Professor who gave 
me this information was an intimate friend of my father, 
and he kindly tendered his assistance to aid the son in 
attempting his escape ; — and here let the meed of grati- 
tude be offered to generosity, which is confined to no one 
people, but lightens occasionally the darkest realms of 

He brought his servant's clothes, which Avere of a kind 
denoting his grade of service, and having seen me fully 
dressed, lie placed in my hand a letter fictitiously directed, 
that I was to hand to the guard stationed at the gate. 
With much fear and trembling I approached this man, and 
pronounced the word, and after a close scrutiny was per- 
mitted to pass out — and the country was before me. I 
hastened my steps, and after walking about two miles 
I fortunately was able to engage a peasant to take me 


to the post road leading to my father's house, near War- 

I reached home in safety, and there a most tryiajr scene 
awaited me. My mother was overwhehned with sorrow, 
and stood trembling at the sound of every footstep ; but in 
the midst of all the consequent confusion, I could not pre- 
vent the reflection that I was the cause of this distress, 
and the thought greatly aggravated my suffering. But 
a mother's love is ever active, and she nerved herself to 
perform all that yet remained for her to do. She promptly 
raised the requisite funds, and a friend was dispatched, 
who at the distance of seven miles was to have post horses 
in readiness for me — and then came the heart-rending 
separation from mother and sister, whom I would never 
again behold, and with whom I probably would not be able 
to communicate, either by letter or otherwise. My state 
was not despair, but desperation — freedom, or worse than 
death was before me — there was no receding, so forward 
I must go.- 

I found my friend in waiting with the horses, and I 
continued to travel for eight successive days and nights 
without a change of clothing, and with scarcely food 
enough for sustenance ; but on the ninth morning I reach- 
ed Mamel, a small sea-port town on the Baltic. I had a 
letter to a broker of that place, preferring the request that 
he would engage for me a passage on some vessel about 
leaving the country, and manage to have me secreted on 
board until we were fairly out at sea. Without delay I 
sought this man, and received information that a ship 
would leave two days hence for Grimsby, England, and 
he added also a promise of assistance to the utmost of his 
power ; I then repaired to the hotel, in order, if possible, 
to sleep, of which I was by this time in great need. 


About five the following morning I was aroused bj'^ a loud 
knocking at the door of my room, and an unknown voice 
called, " Friend, get up and dress yourself as quickly as 
possible ; I will try to save you !" In a twinkling I was 
out oi^ bed, but was only partly dressed, when a person 
rushed in and speaking in German, said, " follow me." I 
did so, and was conducted to the back entrance of the house, 
where I found a carriage waiting ; I jumped in, and with 
almost lightning speed was driven to a tinman's shop. In 
the rear of this stood a small barn containing a quantity 
of hay ; here I was told to secrete myself, and to remain 
until called for. I was entirely at a loss to account for 
the friendly interest manifested by the German, but sub- 
sequently learned that he had been apprised by the broker, 
before mentioned, of my being at the hotel, and noticing 
a platoon of soldiers about to dismount, had carelessly 
inquired whom they were seeking ? They answered freely, 
and stated they had orders from government for the appre- 
hension of a young Pole who had escaped from Grodna ; 
they also gave an accurate description of my person. 
The German affected a knowledge of my whereabouts, 
but directed them to a place some little distance from the 
town, and as soon as they had fairly set off he came to my 
relief. We were aware that every effort would be made 
by the soldiers to detect me, and that even the vessels in 
the harbor would be searched by the Russian and Prussian 
police, thus rendering my evading them a bare possibility. 
By dint of the most careful management, and agreeing 
to pay twice the amount usually required, a passage was 
secured in a ship already hauled out into the stream, and 
the captain himself was to be at the dock in a small boat 
to convey me to his vessel. After being released from 
my uncomfortable situation in the barn, I repaired to the 


wharf, and was fortunate enough to reach the sliip in 
safety. The captain then directed me to remain below 
in his state-room, and should the officers come on board 
and approach the entrance, I would find a trap door through 
which I could let myself into the hold, where I must keep 
perfectly quiet until he should come to me. But a 
short time elapsed before the tyrants were within my 
hearing. The captain talked loudly and gaily, and I was 
able clearly to distinguish their approach. In a moment 
I found myself in the hold, entirely shut out from light, 
and nearly suffocated from want of air ; indeed, I could 
not have survived had the search continued for any length 
of time, but most fortunately it was soon over. The po- 
lice convinced I was not on board left, and the ship 
stretched her canvas towards the shores of good old 
England. I was soon standing on deck, and whilst look- 
ing to the clear heavens above, and on the broad expanse 
of waters around, though homeless and comparatively des- 
titute, I for the first time realized that / ivas free. During 
our entire voyage the captain continued to treat me witli 
the greatest kindness and respect. He refunded my mo- 
ney, and refused even the slightest consideration for his 
trouble and expense. 

I remained but a short time in England, for America 
was the land to which my longing eyes were turned. I 
have now been for some years a citizen of the United 
States ; my feelings, hopes and prospects are identified 
with the interests of my adopted country, but the heart 
still yearns towards the loved ones of another land, and 
my bosom throbs with joyful expectation, that ultimately 
the power of the oppressor will be successfully defied, and 
that the blessing of freedom will yet be the lot of those, 
over whom I had so long, almost hopelessly mourned. 



Poland, my Country ! Martyr, laurel-crowned, 
Crushed yet not suppliant, conquered yet renowned, 
Scourged and in fetters, yet unstained by crime, 
And clothed in dust and sackcloth still sublime, 
Thy banished son, by Tyranny's decree 
Outlawed for Treason, that was Truth to thee, 
With filial heart, on Freedom's chosen strand, 
Invokes a blessinnf on his Fatherland. 

Ah ! what a doom, fair Poland, has been thine ; 
In thy fate's woof few golden fibres shine ; 
Naught save oppression, contumely and wrong 
To thy last century's history belong : 
Blood-stained and black its every leaf appears, 
Each record blotted with indignant tears. 
Lo ! dove-eyed Pity shudders as she reads, 
And frowning Justice for atonement pleads ! 
Say, from the ashes of the Patriot dead. 
Shall nothing spring that Tyranny may dread ? 
Shall Poland's graves but nourish blades of grass, 
For Cossack steeds to trample as they pass — 
Pass, spurred by Rapine, that with savage joy 
Plies the red rowels, eager to destroy ■? 
They shall ! they shall ! a harvest rich though late, 
Is ripening now beneath the breath of fate. 


As from the teeth of dragons sprang of old 

Avenging armies, so shall Time behold 

The fields made fertile with heroic dust, 

Bristle with steel ; and battle's thunder gust 

That drowned with stormy breath a Nation's moan, 

Refluent shall shake the Vandal on his throne. 

Heaven's justice fails not — in its long delay 

Vengeance is deepening for the vengeance day. 

Suwarrow's butcheries ruthlessly pursued 

In cities rendered, till grown dull with blood 

The reeking knife-blades mangled ere they slew, 

And Cossack arms with murder wearied gre^y ; 

Poland's partition, Warsaw's second fall, 

The dungeon tortures of each fettered thrall, 

And all the wrongs Polonia has seen, 

From the black reign of Russia's harlot queen, 

Down to the days of Nicholas the First, 

Of living monarchs haughtiest and worst. 

Shall yet be answered ; Vengeance has been tlow, 

But God's right arm at last will deal the blow. 

Martyrs of Poland ! from your myriad graves 

Neath dungeon floors, in cold Siberia's caves. 

On Grochow's heights, and Ostrolenka's plain. 

In Warsaw's streets, where blood-showers fell like rain, 

Rise and rejoice ! Through darkness breaks the light 

And Western Europe beards the Muscovite. 

The Cross and Crescent side by side advance. 

And British fleets support the hosts of France ; 

All Faiths, all Creeds, are gathering as one clan, 

To smite the common enemy of man. 

Poland be glad ; the kingdoms that stood by 

And viewed thy sufferings with a callous eye, 

-,:0- V' 


Menaced themselves, no longer dare be dumb, 
And thy avengers shall at last become. 
Strong be their arms — resistless fall the swords 
Of the leagued Nations on the Northern hordes ; 
Whate're their motives, friends they need must be, 
For whoso slays a Russian, strikes for thee. 

Home of my heart, from despots laws and chains 

Swift be thy rescue. To thy heroes manes 

May red libations copiously be poured, 

Drawn from the veins of tyrants with the sword. 

Upon the Imperial Moloch of them all, 

May foul defeat and shame eternal fall ; 

Beat backward, scattered, may his hosts be driven 

Far from the Danube's banks, as he from Heaven ; 

And when at last he shares the general doom, 

Let Poland write these Avords upon his tomb — 

" Here lies the second Attilla, who trod 

In the red foot-prints of ' The Scourge of God !' " 



Poland, now called New Russia, is a beautiful and pic- 
turesque country, abounding in rivers, lakes, mountains 
and plains. These plains are in a high state of cultiva- 
tion, and afford everj' facility for rendering the inhabitants 
prosperous and happy ; but here again the power of des- 
potism is exercised, inasmuch as the laws respecting trav- 
eling are so stringent, as to make journeying through the 
country next to impossible, and hence it is that the roads 
are neglected, and in some parts have become nearly 
impassable by day, and entirely so by night. 

In traveling through Poland there will be found much 
to interest, aside from the natural features of the country. 
The dwellings of the nobles are often on a magnificent 
scale.. They are usually in the Gothic style, and as you 
approach them, in the distance present a fine and imposing 
appearance. On leaving any towji or city, the first object 
that will be likely to arrest the eye will be one of these 
mansions, situated on some elevated spot, the grounds 
comprising an enclosure of about three miles in circum- 
ference. The area surrounding the house is tastefully 
arranged, and through it may be seen winding nicely 
gravelled roads, leading to the clerk's tenements and to 
the stables. Within the enclosure there is always an 
immense building, capable of containing from two hundred 
and fifty to five hundred thousand bushels of grain, and 


this is usually kept filled i'or the use of the Russian go\'- 
ernment, in the event of either war or famine. Each 
proprietor has a distillery, in which from a hundred to a 
Innulrcd and fifty thousand barrels of whiskey are annually 
distilled ; also a brewery producing about the same quan- 
tity of beer. In the back ground are large stables, some 
appropriated to horses of the finest breed, others contain- 
ing great numbers of cows, others again allotted to sheej 
A large amount of wool is yearly exported to England, 
and great quantities of pork and bacon are sent to the 
Russian and Prussian markets. Such are the means of 
income by which the nobles fill their coffers and roll iu 
luxury : the laborers are se7-fs, that, like all other prop- 
erly, aj'e bought smd sold as the will of owners may 

A number of villages may be found adjoining a planta- 
tion, of much extent ; these are inhabited by peasants 
who belong either to the proprietor of the estate, or 
are slaves to the Rnssian Government ; these latter are 
never sold. A village contains, sometimes, not more than 
forty, but oftener about an hundred persons. There is 
but one street, e.xtending in a straight line, and the houses, 
or rather huts, are built of logs covered on the outside 
with clay or plaster, and the roof is generally of straw 
thatch. There is an entrance or kind of door, and on 
each side is a small window composed of minute pieces 
of glass that are picked up by beggars and' sold to the 
peasants for any trifle, such as they can pay. These 
cabins have no floors, and the fire is made in the centre 
upon the ground. Over this, and suspended by a chain 
from the roof, hangs a huge kettle in which they cook 
the messes, which I suppose must be called food. There 
are no chimneys, and the smoke is left to escape through 


the crevices of the roof, and the openings at the doors and 
windows. On one side of the room is a large square 
oven, and over this are placed a number of shelves having 
a covering of straw ; these are beds for the different mem- 
bers of the family. In one corner will always be seen a 
crucifix, and above it a likeness of the Czar ; before these 
they kneel daily, and pray that their Emperor may be 

In the rear of the hut is constructed a rude shed, as a 
shelter for the horse and cow ; the pig being a favorite 
animal is allowed, in winter, a share of room with the 
family. Every peasant is permitted to cultivate a small 
piece of ground for his own benefit, and two days in a 
week, is the time allotted to improve it. Each one is 
also provided with a horse, a cow, an ox, a sheep and a 
pig, but for these he is required to pay by instalments 
from the crops he raises. Should one of these animals 
die, its place is not supplied, but the poor man is com- 
pelled to pay for the lost creature, and stint himst'f until 
he can purchase another. 

In every village is an overseer, whose duty it is to call 
in the evening at each hut, and notify the inmates as to 
the part of the plantation, where they are to meet the fol- 
lowing morning and be ready to start for work. Men, 
Avomen and children are included in this order, of course ; 
they assemble as directed, and are then driven like so 
many oxen to their labor. Of whatever kind the work 
may be, the women are compelled to toil as the men ; the 
children are assigned lighter tasks, as picking stones, etc. 
Over each division is placed an overseer, having in his 
hand a whip of braided straps of leather, and slxould any 
one presume to stop, even for a moment, the lash is un- 
mercifully applied — children are not exempted from this 

•2t) SLAVKKV !N 

infliction, and whoover may be the object of punishment, 
he, or she, is obliged to kiss the hand and foot of the in- 
flictor. Should any one refuse to do so, as is sometimes 
the case, the poor creature is laid upon the ground and 
receives forty additional stripes, then with blood trickling 
from his back, returns again to work. In some instances, 
(the overseer being in an unusual rage,) children, perhaps 
a son and daughter, are required to hold down a parent, 
whilst another member of the same family is made to 
administer the lash with his utmost strength. These 
things seem heart-sickening to relate, nevertheless they 
are true, and not a day passes without many individuals 
being subjected to such treatment. 

When they leave their miserable homes in the morn- 
ing, each peasant carries upon his back a coarse cloth 
sack containing the dinner of its bearer ; this consists of 
a loaf of brown bread, having the appearance of baked 
saw-dust, and if the bearer has been so fortunate as to 
have recently killed a pig, he takes with his bread a piece 
of raw pork. Before commencing work, these sacks are 
deposited in heaps upon the ground, and at noon, when 
the signal is given, they rush with the speed of half- 
starved animals, every one for his bag, and then com- 
mences a devouring of bread and salt in the most ravenous 
manner. Each gang is allowed a mug for water, and 
this is passed from one to another until all have been 
served. Such is the manner in which these poor crea- 
tures toil on through their period of existence, without a 
ray of hope to cheer, or a single solace to alleviate their 

Attached to every plantation is a church, in which the 
villagers congregate on Sunday. The minister is a Greek 
Catholic, generally called Batushka or Pope ; he preaches 


in Greek or Latin, and lias always among- his hearers 
spies or secret police, who are stationed by government, 
to ascertain that no other religion than that authorized 
by the Emperor, is propounded. Near the churches are 
always low public houses, where a kind of ardent spirits 
of the most intoxicating nature is sold. This liquor is 
distilled on noblemen's plantations, and from those, these 
houses are supplied. It is sold to the peasants for small 
quantities of flax, wheat, potatoes, or anything they are 
able to raise on their own piece of ground, and it is so cheap 
that five cents worth of flax will purchase a gallon. At 
the entrance of these houses a man is standing to receive 
the orders of the peasants as they enter ; these being 
given, they pass into a large hall, in which are long tables 
with benches arranged on either side. Here they are 
soon seated, and father, mother, son and daughter alike, 
commence drinking ; and there being always a fiddler 
present, they alternately drink and dance, until, at last, 
entirely overcome, they drop upon the floor to sleep until 
reason returns to them again. This is their usual routini? 
for Sunday — first to church, thence to the public house 
for a carouse. And these scenes of drunken reveling. 
are the only amusement v/hich these poor wretches know, 
and no gleam of knowledge shows them they are wrong. 
It may be asked, " is this possible 1" The writer of these 
pages speaks from actual observation and positive knowl- 
edge. He does not pretend to give a history of the coun- 
try, but as simply and truthfully as possible, to present a 
view of the real condition and sufferings of the white 
slaves of Russia and Poland. ******** 
Occasionally comes an order from the Emperor, for a 
hundred, or perhaps three or more hundreds, of men and 
women, to work on the roads, that they may be rendered 


passable for the Russian army. The specified number is 
immediately selected, and with their overseers proceed to 
the place designated, where they labor until the work is 
completed ; they arc then turned honfieward, and are after- 
ward required, by working nights, to make up to their 
propri(;tor, the time that has been given to the sovereign. 
If perchance on their way home, the army should cross 
their path, they are immediately pressed into service to 
carry the burdens of sick soldiers ; and these burdens are 
frequently so heavy, that were the peasants less inured to 
hardship than they are, they would be unable to sustain 
them. In this manner they are compelled to follow the 
soldiers for days and nights in succession, the women 
beiTig taxed as heavily as the men ; and should they sink 
with fatigue, they are beaten and kicked by the ofBcers, 
until an effort is made to proceed — if this prove ineffec- 
tual, they are left by the road-side to die. When they 
reach a village, this gang is released and others are taken 
to supply their places. On their backward way, these 
weary creatures often find those who had given out and 
were left behind on the road ; such, they manage to carry 
to within a night's journe}" of their homes, where depos- 
iting them as carefull}^ as possible, they themselves go on, 
and the next night return with their wretched horses and 
convey the miserable creatures to their huts. This is 
done by night, for when again at work, the proprietor will 
not permit them to leave the plantation during the day. 

Thinking the reader may inquire, " why are the lives 
of these slaves so little regarded!" I will endeavor to 
explain. As a general custom, the noblemen hire their 
plantations, and the peasants that work them, from gov- 
ernment. When they lose one or more by death, there 
is deducted from their rent the estimated value of the 


lost, consequently there is no real loss to the proprietor, 
and human sympathy or moral obligation is neither men- 
tioned nor considered. Also, in case there prove to be 
an insufficient number of hands to perform the labor of 
the plantation, the noble is privileged to hire from the 
surplus of some neighboring one, and these laborers can 
be procured for about the value of six cents each, per day, 
they finding themselves, as providing their own food is 
called — such an arrangement is always agreeable to the 

There is a government tax levied upon the serfs, requir- 
ing from every one the sum of from four to six cents a 
month ; this fund is to defray the extra expenses of the 
Emperor, and is to them an amount occasioning much 
self-denial, and often positive suffering, for in the event 
of its non-payment, the debtors are obliged to receive 
into their huts two soldiers, and to supply them with food 
during thirty days. In such a case the men, instead of 
going to church on Sundays, are under the nece.isity of 
taking their small quantities of flax, potatoes, <fec., (which 
they usually sell to provide for their only recreation,) to 
some secluded town in which Jews are permitted to re- 
side, and there dispose of the articles at a sacrifice, and 
thus meet the demands of despotism — otherwise, they are 
subjected to the inconvenience above mentioned. There 
is also a yearly tax of five dollars per head, and this is 
oftentimes beyond their power to pay ; yet the penalty is 
a whipping, dreaded as much as death itself, and added to 
this infliction, is that of having quartered upon them such 
a number of soldiers as the judgment of officials may di- 

And this is one mode in which Russia helps to sustain 
the largest standing army in the world. Such a condition 


of tilings cannot continue ; the advancement of the age 
will penetrate even to the regions in which tyranny holds 
her sway — -tyranny, by far the worse, that it claims civil- 
ization for its ally, and the rights of nations for protection, 
thus deterring Christian countries from meddling with po- 
litical observances. 

It would be impossible for me to narrate consecutively, 
the facts that present themselves in illustration of the 
oppressed and degraded condition of that portion of our 
race called Russian peasants. I trust the reader will 
pardon the want of systematic arrangement, when he 
reflects that this purports to be but a selection from mem- 
cry, (though of recent date) the object being to convey a 
correct impression of the wrongs and sufferings endured 
by many of God's creatures, under a Christian govern- 
ment and in an enlightened age. 

Going backwards a little, I will mention that every 
nobleman is provided with a plantation officer, whose duty 
it is, to keep an exact account of the proceeds of the 
estate, and to transmit a monthly statement of the same 
to government. The only conveyance for this dispatch is 
by means of a peasant. The unfortunate man is ordered 
to be in readiness with his wretched horse ; he is provided 
with a bag containing food and salt — there is suspended 
from his shoulder by a strap, a box, resting beneath his 
arm, and in this box is placed the official document, and 
after these preliminaries he departs, under a threatening 
injunction that it shall be delivered by the time appointed. 
Should his provision fail, he must beg or steal ; should 
his horse die, he must perform the remainder of his jour- 
ney on foot, but must not fail to reach the designated 
place by the day specified. 

1 will relate an incident that 1 had the sorrow to wit- 


ness. When abuut dismounting at one of the rope ferries 
of the country, I beheld a miserable looking creature, 
with his box and bag, waiting for the boat to touch the 
shore. He was without his horse, it having died on his 
way. Soon after he stepped on board, some horses being 
driven rapidly on, came in contact with him and he was 
forced overboard. He sank, and the current being rapid, 
in rising, his box was separated from his arm, but he 
lodged against a tree that had fallen into the stream, and 
to this he clung with almost superhuman strength. With 
hope of assisting him, I seized a pole and rushed to the 
river side, when he cried out — "For God's sake, save 
the box, or let me drown !" The box was swept down 
the stream, and it was impossible to rescue it, but by 
means of a rope, the man was dragged from his perilous 
situation, and he went forward in nearly a state of dis- 
traction, at the thought of the di-eadful punishment that 
awaited him. The penalty paid for such a misfortune, is 
one hundred lashes for the delay, and another hundred for 
the loss of the dispatch. 



I HAVE sometimes heard remarks to this effect, that the 
peasants are in a better condition than they would be, it' 
more liberty were allowed them. Ignorant and degraded 
as they are, yet, being oppressed until lif>- can prove only 
a burden, does not improve even the condition of slavery. 
Besides, these slaves are human beings, possessing all the 
elements of elevation which are common to the educated 
races ; and though knowledge has not opened to them her 
magazine of riches, still, nature will assert her supremacy, 
and the latent fire occasionally flashes forth, discovering 
that wretchedness may be aggravated by the conscious- 
ness that a higher, better state, belongs to man, of right. 

These peasants are naturally kind and sympathizing ; 
in liberality towards strangers they are really remarkable, 
considering their own state of destitution. If a traveler 
pass through the village and but speak kindly to them, he 
will be welcomed to their cabins, and rendered as com- 
fortable as their misery will admit. Such food as they 
have will be freely proffered, and for it, is ahvays refused, 
the slightest compensation in return, though they may be 
compelled to live on a scanty supply for many days after- 
ward. The magical influence of kind words, is never 
more plainly perceptible, than when bestowed upon the 
desolate — the wretched. Burdened as these creatures 
are by labor, suffering as thej- do from privation, yet, if 


their brutal task-masters would occasionally smile upon 
them, or bestow a gentle word, it would be some allevia- 
tion to their lot. But no, such is the force of despotism, 
that it deadens sensibility and weakens intellect ; power 
is said to corrupt even the better order of humanity, but 
power in the hands of a despot, converts the man into — 
almost the demon. The proprietors do not think of their 
serfs, as of men and women; they are slaves — mere 
machines — useful in operation, but requiring neither sol- 
ace nor consideration. The wheels of machinery must 
sometimes be oiled, in order that friction may be lessened ; 
also, servitude must occasionally be relaxed, that strength 
may be recovered for future exertion. But this is never 
because they are human and suffer as humanity ; no 
thought of physical debility, no sympathy for broken 
.spirits, enters the mind of the Russian slave-liolder. 

Do you inquire, " Is the Emperor fully aware of the 
condition of this large portion of his subjects'?" My an- 
swer is, he must le, for the evil exists in an unmitigated 
form in every part of his vast dominion. I do not pre- 
sume to say his eye has witnessed it to much extent, but 
his intellect can comprehend, and he cannot avoid the 
knowledge, that every tendency of his government is 
toward oppression ; he also is aware, that subordinates 
are ever more inveterate in tyranny than the principal 
movers in the scheme. He knows, likewise, that any 
amelioration of suffering, any breathing spell permitted 
the down-trodden, is but so much oxygen afforded to the 
vital powers, and that these powers exist in every image 
of the Creator bearing tlie form of man. Nicholas is no 
simpleton — but he dare not suspend oppression! 

•All the lower faculties of the peasants are stimulated 
into active operation, and among these, aversion and terror 


are predominant. Should a Kussian noble call at theif 
Imts, as sometimes happens, they shrink from him with 
positive loathing ; but when any one in the dress of an- 
other country appears, they instantly uncover their heads, 
and if he speak civilly to them, they kiss his hand and 
utter, " May you live long and prosper !" 

The Jews hold yearly fairs in their towns, and some 
members of each peasant's family arc allowed to attend 
for one week. They take with them their horse, ox, 
sheep and pig, and diligently seek an opportunity for ex- 
changing them for others that are more valuable than 
their own, or to obtain something to boot in their bargain. 
In case of failing to effect this, they resort to any device 
to obtain, if possible, a few rubles ; they will do any kind 
of work, and will not hesitate to steal, but are never 
known to perpetrate a cruelty. They know nothing of 
morality or wickedness ; these would be words to them, 
devoid of meaning. They are not taught, how should 
they understand ! Perhaps the question may be asked, 
" Are there none whom philanthropy would prompt to 
instruct these creatures — to teach them what is right, 
and to warn them against wrong]" Probably there are, 
and the penalty would be, banishment to Siberia for life. 

I remember an instance of this nature. A Christian 
lady, widow of a nobleman, made an effort of the kind. 
She visited the cabins of the peasants, taught them many- 
things, endeavored to instil impressions of right, and to 
weaken the power of superstition over them. She attend- 
ed the Jews' fairs and held meetings for instruction, and 
was really effecting much good, when lo ! the change was 
perceived — the police notified the government, and an 
order was issued for her arrest. However, she offered 
money for her release to the magistrates who were attend- 


ing her to the carriage, and their cupidity being stronger 
than their sense of duty, they accepted her terms, and she 
again, but more cautiously, pursued her labors. Agreea- 
ble to law, magistrates can remain in office but three 
years, consequently, at the expiration of that period new 
ones supplied the places of the lady's favorers ; after the 
lapse of a little time she was the second time arrested, 
and on this order was committed to prison. During her 
incarceration she suffered almost every indignity to her 
person, afterwards was publicly whipped, and then ban- 
ished to Siberia for life. 

I have previously mentioned, that the surplus slaves of 
one plantation are occasionally hired by the neighboring 
proprietors. This is frequently done when they are to be 
used as transports for articles of produce to the different 
cities. I have also, before adverted to the miserable state 
of the roads, but will mention here that post rnads must be 
an exception ; these are always in excellent condition — 
but on these peasants are not allowed to travel, unless 
they transport for government. Sometimes a gang, laden 
with various kinds of produce, sets forth on a journey of 
fifty or an hundred miles. An amusing incident occurred, 
within my own knowledge, connected with one of these 
caravans. * * * * A German, of some wealth, having 
traveled as far as Warsaw, there invented a carriage of 
the miniature order, to be propelled by himself, and in 
this proceeded on his tour. Having arrived at the top of 
a hill, he descried at the foot about forty of these peasants, 
with their horses and merchandize. On perceiving him 
in his strange vehicle, they immediately left horses, pro- 
duce and all, and with the greatest speed ran across fields 
and meadows to the nearest village, where, calling upon 
the priest, they announced that they had seen the evil 

36 SLAVKRY 1/** 

spirit descending in a carriage without horses. The 
priest, humoring their superstition, took bottles contain- 
ing holy water, and went forth with them to drive away 
the demon. On approaching the German, they commenced 
throwing the water towards him, at the same time crying 
out, "keep off"! keep off"'" and on coming nearer the 
inquiry was put, " Are you man or devil V He answered 
gaily, "lam not devil, but man" — yet their fears were 
not allayed until he left his little carriage and walked 
about before them. 

Three holydays are given the peasants during the year 
— Chri-stmas, New Year, and Easter. On these days 
they attend church at an early hour, but instead of resort- 
ing to the public house afterwards, as on Sundays, they 
return home and receive their friends, feast upon pies, 
dance, and wind up as usual, by drinking to the worst 
stage of intoxication. The pies mentioned, have paste 
made of cracked rye, which is filled with small pieces of 
fat pork, and sometimes, as a greater luxury, with bits of 
herring that have been purchased at the Jews' fair. 

When a marriage is to be celebrated, the villagers make 
a regular turn out, with their horses and wagons ; this is 
to them a grand display. In the first conveyance, are the 
bride and the bridegroom, also a fiddler and a fifer ; this 
W'agon is decorated with bushes. Following the car of 
dignity is a long train of wagons with their motley occu- 
pants ; these all in due order proceed to the plantation, 
and the peasants, after kissing the hands of the proprie- 
tor and officers, go thence to church — during all this 
time they are singing to the extent of their voices. Aftei 
the ceremony has been performed, they repair to the den 
of drunkenness, and there carouse in the most indecen' 


manner. When Ihey return home, the bride and bride' 
groora receive presents from every person in attendance, 
such as hemp, flax, rye, potatoes, turnips, onions, &c. ; 
bread and salt are esteemed the most valuable gifts. 

On the occasion of a birth, they assemble to lament that 
another being is added to the list of sufferers. For a 
time tlicy refuse food, and make the most ludicrous de- 
monstrations of sorrow. This, however, is prohibited by 
government, and if their orgies of sadness be discovered, 
they are subjected to a whipping, Should a death occur, 
they meet to rejoice, but this also, if known, incurs the 
same penalty. Their funeral ceremonies are perfoi-med 
three days after the decease of the individual, (for so the 
law requires) and this is irrespective of weather or dis- 
ease ; the season may be either summer or winter, the 
sickness may have been fever or consumption, or any 
other mortal malady. The corpse is placed in a rough deal 
box, and the relatives and friends of the deceased, men, 
women and children, with bare feet, form a procession and 
follow it to the grave ; but after their return, never fail 
to hold a carouse, ending in the most gross intoxication. 

I am aware that the refined reader will be shocked and 
disgusted by these details, but let not refinement prevent 
the observing of facts, and pondering upon the cause of 
such entire degradation. These beings, Avith the facul- 
ties of men, have, from their birth, been treated merely 
as brutes. The senses crave, though the intellect lie 
dormant ; — the real, the actual, is around them, and their 
reality, how low ! how sad ! Their utmost stretch of in- 
telligence cnn only lead them to desire — thev know not 

The writer has no Utopian scheme for sudden eleva- 
tion — that is not praf-ticable ; the sure piiueiple of moral 



legeneration operates slowly, as viewed by human eyes ; 
' One day with God, is as a thousand years " to man — 
rtiink not "He is slack concerning his promise" — our 
iuty is to work accordinjT to our knowledge and our 
means, leaving the result to Him. The pressure of des- 
potism is always downward ; its root, its principle of re- 
sistance, may be found in the upper regions of its influ- 
ince. Therefore, in whatever form it may manifest itself, 
whether in the theory of general government, or in the 
order of social life, that tends eventually to form govern- 
ment, should not a monopoly of power be strictly guarded 

I have related some instances of punishment, such as 
are frequently occurring ; I Avill nov/ mention one more 
out of the usual course of events. The facts of this case 
will appeal to the sympathies of every individual, be he 
of high or low degree — though he may have placed him- 
self behind the feeble defence of ridicule, or disgusted by 
his own experience in sensuality, may disclaim loudly and 
stupidly against the existence of true and tried alfection. 
The instincts of nature are in themselves pure and holy. 
There are affinities oi mind among even the oppressed — 
the degraded. Let the scoffer sneer, and in sneering at- 
test his own corruption. The man or woman who jeers 
a.t God's appointment, is unworthy the consideration of 
one who recognizes a loving Father, in the manifestation 
of real attachment among his creatures. 

A young man of noble lineage, Michalowsky by name, 
was appointed by government, to the situation of clerk to 
the officer on a plantation. After having served for some 
length of time, acquitting himself to the entire satisfac- 
tion of his superiors, he became deeply interested in a 
beautiful young peasant girl, who was employed upon the 


same estate. This young woman indicated an unusual 
capacity, and a degree of intelligence quite remarkable 
for one of her condition, and this, at length, induced him 
to propose spending his evenings at her father's hut, for 
the purpose of teaching her to read and write ; though, 
of course, it must he done without the knowledge of his 

His effort was crowned with, perhaps, too much suc- 
cess, for she was a ready scholar, and soon gave evidence 
of her instruction. By this time, the young man had be- 
come so deeply interested that he proposed marriage, and 
was accepted. He continued his instructions, intending 
to give her a passable education before the marriage should 
be consummated. But, unfortunately, his intentions now 
became so obvious, that they attracted the attention of the 
secret police, and an intimation of the same was forward- 
ed to government. Had he chosen to marry without edu- 
cating her, the offence would have passed without notice, 
but educating a peasant is a crime for which a fearful 
penalty must be demanded. Orders were forthwith issued, 
that the young man should be transferred to the army as a 
common soldier, for life ; he was awarded to a regiment 
that was destined to the vicinity of the Black Sea, the 
most sickly part of the country, where, if not killed in 
battle with the Circassians, he would be likely to die of 
malignant disease. 

The gii-1 was made stewardess to a regiment going to a 
different part of the country ; a situation the most degrad- 
ed in which it was possible for a woman to be placed, 
where she is compelled to submit to the most brutal out- 
rages, or, in case of resistance, undergoes the severest 
tortures, as pulling out the hair, and disfiguring the face, 
besides receiving frequent blows from the whip of officers, 


cuul kicks aiul tlini«ts iVuin soldiers. But lluougli all 
these sufferings, the poor creature remained constant to 
the idol of her heart. 

By his uprightness and attention to the duties of his po- 
Bition, Michalowsky gained the favor and esteem of the 
commanding oflicer of the regiment, who one day kindly 
inquired as to the cause of his habitual depression of spi- 
rits. The kind words were unexpected, and the natural 
response v/as, an entire and unreserved communication of 
his story. The officer was deeply touched, and knowing 
Michalowsky to be more competent than the generality 
of soldiers, contrived that he should be made bearer of 
despatches to diff'erent regiments in the country, so that, 
in process of time he might possibly ascertain the locality 
of his promised wife. 

After a long, wearying perseverance, he found her re- 
giment ; they met. Who will attempt to describe the 
event ! Their feelings, restrained by dire necessity — the 
outward calmness that takes its rise almost from despair — 
the caution which the want of alternative renders nearly 
mechanical — these, can be felt, but cannot be expressed. 

But again, they met, and devised a plan for escape. 
This could only be effected in the summer season, as her 
course must of necessity be through the woods. Her 
mark of progress was to be a few sprigs of bushes, placed 
in a particular manner, that he would recognize when he 
should attempt to follow. She succeeded in making good 
her escape, and traveled many days and nights, subsist- 
ing merely upon berries, wild apples, hazel-nuts, &c., 
having no shelter from the weather, save that afforded by 
the luxuriant growth of the forest through which she 

Not long afterward the young man effected his retreat 


to the Pushcha Bialowiezo, (woods) and he pursued his 
journey some twenty or thirty miles, guided only by the 
now, almost indistinct marks, left by the girl as she pro- 
ceeded. Winding through dense thickets, with a miser- 
able uncertainty before him, hope, at times, became nearly 
dead within ; but again he would rouse himself, and press 
on with, almost, a feeling of encouragement. At length, 
he approached a pass where he found the concerted sig- 
nal bearing the appearance of having been recently placed, 
and with renewed energy he urged himself onward. In 
the course of a few hours he beheld the object of his 
search lying beneath the trees, and to all appearance, 
quietly sleeping. But, on coming up, he found that, over- 
come with fatigue and despair, she had laid herself down, 
as she supposed, to die. He endeavored to arouse her, 
and immediately set about procuring such sustenance as 
the woods afforded ; this, added to the stimulus of his 
presence, so far revived her, that they were soon able to 
continue their journey. Guided only by the sun, they 
shaped their course towards an outlet, and after the lapse 
of a few days, were so fortunate as to reach a village, 
where they engaged themselves to a peasant to work for 
their support. They next applied to the priest to marry 
them, but the law required the names of candidates to be 
published for three successive Sundays, before the cere- 
mony could be performed. They had previously changed 
their names, and therefore supposed themselves secure 
against discovery ; but unfortunately, a description of 
their persons had been forwarded to the officers of the 
different villages, and the circumstance of their entering 
together, as strangers, served to aid in their detection; 
they were taken and sent back to government. Oh ! the 
horror of the sufferings that there awaited them I 


A detachment of one hundred suhliers was ordered out 
upon the parade ground ; these were formed in two lines, 
and in the hand of each soldier was placed a bunch of 
thorn buslies, previously prepared by soaking, that they 
iiiight not break. The victim was bound upon a two- 
wheeled cart, having his naked back exposed — on each 
side of him was a soldier, and in front were stationed two 
drummers. When the word was given to move, the drum- 
mers commenced a slow march, in order to drown the 
cries of the sufferer, and as they proceeded, each soldier, 
to the utmost of his strength, inflicted a blow with his 
dreadful weapon. At the end of the line a physician was 
in waiting, who inspected the subject, and declared that 
he would hold out to endure the balance, and the same 
number of blows were again inflicted. The wretched 
creature was then taken to the hospital, where his wounds 
were dressed ; he subsequently recovered, and was placed 
in his former regiment, under orders for severe restric- 

The girl was also inhumanly tortured. Two pieces of 
board were nailed together in the form of a cross ; to 
this she was bound (entirely divested of clothing) and 
received twenty-five stripes from the Pletnia (a kind of 
whip made by braiding strips of raw-hide, and having a 
heavy handle attached, for wielding.) After undergoing 
this infliction, she was also returned to her former situa- 
tion in the regiment. 

A year elapsed, and during that period, these unfortu- 
nate individuals attended strictly to the duties of their 
respective positions ; the officers began to relax somewhat 
in their oversight, probably considering it impossible they 
would again make the rash eflbrt to escape. Expediency 
effects wonders, and Michalowsky being competent ia 


matters of which his fellow soldiers were ignorant, he 
was again appointed to be the bearer of despatches. Love 
and hope are not easily eradicated ; with much precau- 
tion he once more found means of communicating with 
his beloved, and another escape was planned, but through 
a different portion of the country from their former route. 
Their scheme in this instance proved successful, for they 
met, and at a distant village effected the consummation 
of their marriage. They then returned themselves to 
government, proposing to receive any punishment, to be 
subjected to any suffering, but at the same time earnestly 
praying that they might remain together. There would 
have been some hope, had they attempted flight, but, in 
an appeal to exasperated tyrants, there could be none. 

The miserable girl was sent to the most secluded part 
of the country, there to be employed in brick-making, 
i-arrying mortar, and other of the lowest kinds of drudg- 
ery ; and with this account rests all the knowledge of her 
probable sufferings. The partner in her misfortunes was 
sentei.ced to receive four hundred blows, to be inflicted 
in the i.'ianner before described. After two hundred had 
been re( eived, the physician reported that life would not 
sustain n.ore than an additional hundred, and it would 
then be nei-.essary to send him to the hospital. This was 
accordingly done, and when pronounced able to pay the 
entire penalty, the poor wretch was brought forth to sat- 
isfy the demands of law. He was soon dead, but the 
requirements oi justice were not yet fully met, and many 
of the later blows were spent upon a lifeless corpse. The 
author witnessed this spectacle with his own eyes. 



1 HAVE previously slightly alluded to the Jews. One 
of the modern geographies mentions them as enjoying 
more privileges in Poland, than in any other European 
country. This is a mistake. They are more ill-treated 
in Russia (and Poland now is Russia) than in any other 
part ; they fare even worse than the serfs, and are, em- 
phatically, THE w^HiTE SLAVES OF RussiA. They are not 
permitted to own either houses or land, except in some 
cities, where by dint of concealment they have amassed 
sufficient means to purchase, and by the same cautious 
method, have become property owners. After thus much 
is accomplished, they become useful as tax-payers, and in 
various ways can be made to subserve the interests of 
government ; therefore, if they act discreetly, they are 
likely to remain unmolested. 

They are a shrewd, calculating people ; their intellects 
appear to have been sharpened by oppression, but the 
moral sense has been perverted. They are an anomaly. 
Oppressed and degraded as we find them, they seem to 
have an intuitive perception of the ruling passion in man 
or nation ; and being cut off from every influence, save 
that which money can confer, as a consequence, the 
amassing of wealth has become their chief object — not 
as an end, perhaps, but as a means. Power is the great 
desideratum with all who are not in the exercise of pure 


Christian benevolence — money is power; and through 
this power opens the only avenue to influence for this 
straightened and contemned people. Their craft is inde- 
structible — it may be read in the keen, restless eye of the 
lowest specimen among them — they may be debased in 
sentiment and corrupt in action, but they cannot be ren- 
dered lethargic and insensible. Few, however, are able 
to achieve anything like comfort or independence ; hut, 
as they all contrive to attain some amount of knowledge 
from each other, this, joined to natural quickness, is ren- 
dered available, even under the close restrictions that are 
imposed upon them. 

The taxes levied upon the Jews are beyond the con- 
ception of a free and Christian people. First, there is a 
head tax, then a tax upon every door and window in their 
houses, also a tax upon every description of food they 
eat, and, in short, upon every thing that supports exist- 
ence, with the exception of air and water, and with regard 
to these, their labor is so contrived that they obtain but 
a scanty supply. In order to meet these taxes, they are 
often subjected to dreadful hardships, and the miserable 
creatures will have recourse to any plan to satisfy the 

Twice in the year an order is sent forth by the Empe- 
ror, for impressment to the army ; and by night the Jews' 
houses are forcibly entered, and all male children, between 
the ages of thirteen and fifteen years, are torn from their 
agonized parents, that they may be prepared to serve as 
Russian soldiers. These scenes are heart-rending, for 
never arc found more strong family attachments, than 
among this unfortunate race. The boys are taken to a 
retired part of the country, and there are instructed in, 
and compelled to adopt the Greek religion, and when ar- 


rived at the age of eighteen years, they aie incorporated 
with the army, for the term of twenty years. 

The system of Jewish education is also the care of gov- 
ernment. Their teachers must be Jews, and none other. 
These teachers are required to procure licences, for which 
they must pay exorbitantly, and then, even the method of 
teaching is prescribed by law. Their very sanctuaries 
are invaded by the demon of despotism ; their priests 
must purchase licences, and their mode of worship is dic- 
tated by government. The same power also appoints a 
priest, (who by the way is a Jew) to exercise a strict 
espionage during the exercises of the synagogue. 

The Jews formerly were clothed, the male, in a gown 
reaching down to the ankle, and a short trouser extending 
not above the knee ; these were never changed nor washed, 
but were worn until they became too old and ragged to 
conceal their nakedness. They wore neither collar nor 
cravat ; the head was covered when out of doors with a 
broad brimmed hat. Their beard was not shaven, except 
upon the upper lip, and they had a superstitious reverence 
for long hair passing down on either side of the face, 
which they never cut and scarcely ever combed. This 
hair was highly prized by them, much as the Chinese 
value their indispensable que. 

The dress of the female was also a gown, having a belt 
passed across the back, that gave to that part the appear- 
ance of an ordinary dress with a waist, while the front 
was left to hang loose from the shoulders down. They 
had upon the head a shawl, arranged in such a manner 
as entirely to conceal the hair ; but this article was only 
worn before marriage, for as soon as the event took place, 
their heads were closely shaven, in order that their bus- 


bands, who had never beheld their hair, might not after- 
ward be obliged to look upon it. 

Some years since the Emperor made a law requiring 
them to change this dress for that of the peasants. This 
was considered a great calamity. They immediately re- 
sorted to their synagogues and fasted and prayed for the 
removal of the evil ; but prayers and fasting were of no 
avail, and they were eventually compelled to submit. In 
some few instances, there was a refusal, but the offenders 
were imprisoned, which, of course, deterred others from 
the useless rebellion. One might frequently see Jews in 
nearly a state of nudity, they not having sufficient means 
to procure the clothes ordered by government. The 
pieces cut from their long gowns would have sufficed to 
make garments for their children, but even that privilege 
was denied them, these pieces being allowed as perquisites 
to the soldiers who officiated in the cutting off. 

Jews are not permitted to reside in sea-port towns, and 
are not allowed to travel from one place to another with- 
out a passport, yet, in this particular, they are not more 
closely restricted than any other class of inhabitants, all 
alike being subject to this requirement. It may be re- 
marked, in reference to the matter of passports, and the 
strict surveillance exercised by the police over all orders 
of the people, that in traveling from place to place, no 
person can remain in one house more than a short time, 
without causing himself to be reported to the police and 
depositing his passport ; and should the master of the 
house fail to have this attended to, he is liable to a fine, 
and imprisonment. The performance of this exaction is, 
as may be supposed, attended with much trouble and ex- 
pense. It may not be uninteresting to describe the manner 
in which money is extorted from individuals " ' are en- 


deavoring to procure passports. When arrived at tho 
police station, the applicant is met by a sentry, or guard, 
to whom it is necessary to pay a trifle before he can pro- 
ceed, and the same is demanded in several instances before 
he C5in gain admission to the department ; and should he 
fail to pay this tax, from inability or otherwise, he will be 
oompelled to tarry outside the larger portion of the day, 
under the plea that there is a great number of persons 
before him, waiting for a similar purpose. But wc will 
suppose him to have gained admittance, yet the drain 
upon his purse ceases not even then, for now he is re- 
quired to pay dollars instead of cents ; and so tedious and 
vexatious are these details, that the unfortunate applicant 
is willing to pay largely rather than be detained longer. 
After handing over his passport, he is obliged to make 
known to the Chief of Police where is his place of resi- 
dence, to what town he is going, and how long he intends 
to remain ; lie is then given a receipt for the same, and is 
at liberty to go — but should necessity compel him to stay 
over the time specified in the permit, he will suffer both 
fine and imprisonment. 

The stranger is subjected to the still further annoyance 
of being followed by soldiers wherever he may chance to 
go. These wretches are repeatedly demanding his pass- 
ports, and the only way to quiet their importunity is by 
bribing them ; but this done with one set, the next day he 
will likely meet with the same vexation from another. If 
the traveler has lost his permit, he is immediately arrest- 
ed and cast into prison, where he is obliged to consort 
with criminals of the worst description. If the stranger 
be a foreigner, he is incarcerated until his identity is cer- 
tified, he is then transferred to the Consul of his country, 
who furnishes him with the necessary pass to the fron- 


tiers, and he is thus literally driven from the country. If 
it is ascertained that a native Pole or Russian has falsely 
asserted the loss of his pass, he is thrust into the army as 
a common soldier — should the offender be a woman, she 
is severely punished. 

Very few are permitted to travel with post horses, and 
unless they are government officers or spies, they are 
prohibited from stopping at post stations. So strict are 
the laws with regard to traveling, that strangers, unac- 
customed to such restrictions, find it exceedingly difficult 
to proceed without very inconvenient hindrances. They 
are watched in public and in private, at the hotels and in 
the dwellings of citizens, at church and in the market 
place, for it is impossible to elude the vigilance of the 
secret police, who have the entree of every circle, from 
the highest to the lowest. Not a word must be uttered 
in deprecation of any measure of government — not an 
exception can be taken to the modes of punishment — 
not a remark may be made in disparagement of the 
Emperor or his laws, but the speaker is immediately 
seized, and without explanation is hurried into the 
" Black Wagon," which conveys'^him to prison. And 
here a few words in explanation of the " Black Wagon." 
This vehicle is a large square box upon wheels, and it is 
covered on all sides, being painted black, as its name de- 
signates ; there is a ventilator at the top, affording its 
occupant just sufficient air for breathing. 

The official spies who thus track the steps of travelers, 
are generally the outcasts of the best society, and it is 
imperative they should be highl}'- educated ; for the better 
carrying out their nefarious designs, they are required to 
speak with facility a number of languages. It is unne- 
cessary to add, they are well paid, besides being allowed 


to pass free through the length and hreadth of the 
land. Whilst journeying, should these men make them- 
selves known, they will have large quantities of money 
and many valuable presents bestowed upon them, and the 
individuals that fail to contribute, are generally obliged 
to pay dearly for the neglect. How lamentable, when we 
consider the immense power for evil, thus placed in the 
hands of men who are dead to every principle of right, 
and who, to satisfy a grudge, to be revenged for some 
real or fancied injury, will often prefer false charges, and 
thus, while pandering to their own vindictive passions, 
will scrupl6 not to destroy the happiness of the innocent 
victims of their malice ! 

These men enjoy the privilege of being present at any 
entertainment given by noblemen, and can demand the 
names of all the visitors ; and in order to facilitate their 
schemes, they assume the dress and appearance of men 
of rank. They enter into familiar conversation with the 
guests, and in this manner entrap many an unwary indi- 
vidual into the utterance of remarks obnoxious to the 
government; but no sooner are the words spoken, than 
the offender is tra,nsferred from the saloon to the " Black 
Wagon," which is waiting near at hand ; and often with- 
out knowing in what particular he has transgressed, he 
finds himself consigned to lodgings in a prison. 

With regard to the trial of political offenders — if the 
individual chance to have friends at court, or be in pos- 
session of vast wealth, it is barely possible he may be 
acquitted ; but let it be remembered, it requires a very 
large amount of money to effect such a result. There is 
a peculiar feature in these cases. The arrested persons, 
instead of being simply kept in confinement until the 
period of trial, are immediately regarded as convicted 


criminals, and committed to the hardest labor, irrespec- 
tive of age or sex. What with bodily hardship, mental 
distress, and the deprivation of wholesome food, the 
miserable victims sometimes die before the time of trial 
arrives (often a happy release) ; but in event of their 
living, the period of investigation is generally prolonged 
from one to five years, and if they succeed in gaining 
freedom, it is to find themselves stripped of fortune, and 
with a shattered constitution turned destitute upon the 



I PROPOSE ill this chapter to give some account of the 
manner in which the ranks of the Russian army are from 
time to time supplied with recruits, and of the horrors 
attendant upon a system that violates all the better feelings 
of humanity, and brings desolation upon many an otherwise 
happy home. From every town or village seven per 
cenmm of the male population must be given up to the 
authorities ; and that the requisite number may be secured, 
at least twenty are taken, as only the healthiest are re- 
tained. The victims intended for proscription are known 
but to the officers and police. This practice is put in 
force once every year, and the fall is chosen for that pur- 
pose. When this period approaches, the inhabitants exhibit 
the deepest concern, all appearing to experience the sen- 
sations peculiar to impending evil, for this doom is dreaded 
even as death itself — and a living death it proves to the 
unfortunate beings who are selected. The agony of the 
relatives from whom they are torn may, perhaps, be 
imagined, but certainly cannot be expressed. 

The men chosen must not exceed the age of thirty years, 
nor be less than eighteen, except in the case of 'Jews, 
among whom age is less regarded, the tender child, as 
well as the man, mature in years, being alike hurried to 
the same wretched fate. The names of the proscribed are 
entered in a memorandum, and when they have noted as 


many as they require, a force of police and gend'armes is 
dispatched to secure them, and this is always done at night, 
when the unconscious victims are roused from their sleep 
to find themselves in the hands of the stern officers of law. 
A wooden lock is placed upon the leg of each, in order to 
prevent escape, and be he father, husband, brother or son, 
he is dragged from the arms of his wretched family and 
consigned to his dreadful doom. The cries of the sufferers 
by this inhuman outrage are fearful in the extreme. 
Children clinging to their father's legs, wives hanging 
upon their husbands' necks, mothers gazing, it may be for 
the last time, upon the features of a darling son, whose 
infancy they had watched, and whose manhood they had 
with pride anticipated ; sisters again and again embracing 
the playmates of their early years, but upon whom they 
will probably never look again — the wretchedness of such 
a scene who shall attempt to describe ! Still, this is but a 
feeble delineation of facts as they really ocdr, yet they 
may serve in some measure to give the reader an idea of 
what has to be endured yearly by thousands of human 
beings, upon whom the iron heel of the despoiler presses 
with frightful severity. 

A circumstance occurs to me, that happened within my 
own circle of acquaintance. Residing in one of the Russian 
towns was a merchant, whose want of intrigue had caused 
him to be reduced by the exactions of government to com- 
parative want. He had four sons, three of whom managed 
to effect their escape, and eventually reached America in 
safety ; thence they regularly remitted to aid in the support 
of their aged parent. The youngest son, but ten years of 
age, remained at home. He was the pride of the old man's 
eyes — tlie delight of his heart; but this love was a con- 
stant source of misery, knowing, as he well did, that when 


the season of proscription siiould conic round, the child 
would be liable to be taken from him. His fenrs were not 
groundless, for eve long the ruthlc'is decree of law, through 
its agents, a brutal soldiery, had robbed him of his only 
remaining son ; and when the truth was made known the 
old man dropped senseless on the ground. However, he 
had friends who sympathized in his deep distress, and 
whose elTorts were immediately put forth to serve him. 
In order to raise sufficient money to hrihe the officers to 
procure the release of the boy, the father was under the 
necessity of selling all that he yet possessed ; but after an 
interval of eight days, during which time the old man was 
unable to leave his bed, the child was set at liberty, and 
was brought to the bedside of his almost dying parent, 
literally naked. Joy gave the aged sufferer a momentary 
strength — he sprang from his couch — the boy was clasped 
once more to his father's heart ; but nature could not endure 
the shock — " My boy! my boy!" was uttered, and then 
the son could only gaze upon a father's corpse. 

The boy above alluded to subsequentl)'' escaped to 
America, and under the glorious "stripes and stars" 
can now openly pray for the onward march of libei-ty and 
the sure dov.'nfall of despotism ! 

But to return to the recruits ; the miserable creatures 
are taken first to the guard-house, where they pass the 
remainder of the night, their relatives and friends usually 
standing around on the outside, uttering the most dismal 
cries and lamentations. On the following morning the 
subjects are chained together in fives and tens, and then 
packed by fifties in huge wagons appointed for the purpose. 
In this way they are carried to the barracks, (where are 
the requisite officers to control) and the arrival of recruits 
is awaited until the number attain to tliat of several thou- 


sands. Tliey are received one by one, in regular order ; a 
doctor is in attendance to examine tlieir persons; if they 
are pronounced fit for service tliey are next passed into 
the hands of the military barber, and the top part of each 
one's head is shaven perfectly smooth, and the back hair 
cropped very close, almost to the skin. After this opera- 
tion, which is performed with the greatest rapidity, the 
recruit is dressed in clothes similar to those of the soldiers. 
He is not permitted to see any of his friends, many of 
whom follow on foot ; and some of these devoted beings 
have been known to die of over-fatigue, or of sickness 
induced by exposure and suffering. 

Those who happen to be rejected by the doctor are also 
delivered into the hands of the barber, who treats tliem in 
the reverse order of the others ; the back part of their 
heads being shaven and the hair on the upper part closely 
cropped. After this is accomplished the poor wretch is 
not allowed time to dress, but is thrust out in a state of 
nudity, and his clothes are thrown after him. He is kicked 
and cuffed by the soldiers, who appear disgusted at his 
want of physical ability, Avhilst the victim of this brutal 
treatment is overjoyed at his release, and bears unrnurmur- 
ingly all that may be inflicted. Men and boys can be seen 
running from the barracks, some entirely naked, with their 
clothes under their arms, and some in their haste even 
leave their garments behind them, so glad are they to get 
clear ; their friends follow in crowds, and they appear more 
like the wild men of Africa than the inhabitants of a 
civilized region. 

Should any one be seen with the back part of his head 
shaven, he is safe from molestation, but if any unfortunate 
creature, with the upper part of his head smooth, be dis- 
covered abroad, he is immediately captured as a deserting 


recruit. If any person or persons attempt to harbor or 
conceal the fugitives, the offending individuals are liable 
to the loss of their property, and the male members of such 
families, all who are of suitable physical appearance, will 
be taken as soldiers, and the residue, old men and women, 
are doomed to perpetual exile in the wilds of Siberia. 

When the men are properly shaven and dressed, they 
are formed into companies, and over every ten is placed 
an old soldier to look after them. They are now afforded 
food of the best quality, and this in abundance, the wooden 
locks are removed from their lefrs, nnd the liberty of walk 
is permitted them. The good livi.i r is furnished for a 
time in order to give strength and spirits, that they may 
be able to endure the hardships which are awaiting them 
After feasting in this manner for several days, they are 
driven on foot to some distant place, it may be thousands 
of miles from the part that is their home, this being the 
policy of government to prevent the possibility of com- 
municating with their friends. On reaching their destina- 
tion they then assume the dress of the regular soldier and 
begin to realize their true position. The drilling process 
is very severe; they are beaten like beasts until they be- 
come thoroughly acquainted with military duty and disci- 
pline, and their sufferings during this period it would be 
utterly impossible to portray. 

From among the younger recruits some are always 
selected to be taught music, that they may become mem- 
bers of the band; of some they make tailors, and others, 
again, learn to be shoemakers. The soldiers, when not 
on march through the country, are drilled every second 
day ; they never attain to the rank of officer, the officers 
being chosen from among the noblemen of the court, who 
are free to enter the army, and arc always abundantly 


provided for. The wages of the Russian soldier is three 
rubles per annum, payable once every four months; this 
sum is equal to about two dollars and twenty-five cents — • 
what a yearly stipend ! The rations are, to each soldier 
daily, two pounds of suchary, which is a very coarse kind, 
of bread mads of cracked rye, and baked very hard at first, 
then cut in small pieces and further dried in a heated oven ; 
besides this a small quantity of salt is allowed and some 
soup. This soup is boiled in a huge caldron, capable of 
containing about three or four hundred gallons; it is about 
three-quarters filled with v^fater, into the water is cast some 
cracked barley, together with the shell dirt, and to this a 
little salt is added, but nothing of the meat kind enters into 
the composition. Tlie soup is dealt out by a number of 
men, each provided with a dipper, and every soldier, in 
his turn, comes to receive his allotted quantity. Sometimes 
an adventurous man, hoping to obtain a greater supply, ven- 
tures upon presenting a new and larger bucket but woe to 
the unfortunate, if this be detected ! he receives one hun- 
dred lashes upon his naked back ! 

The soldier's provision for clothing corresponds with 
his allowance of food. He is furnished with a long coat 
extending to the ankle; it is called a "shinel;" this gar- 
ment is made of a coarse but thick Russian cloth, the color 
of it is the natural shade of the wool, which is gray; 
besides, he has a black dress-coat of similar texture to the 
other. He is also supplied with two pairs of black pants 
and two of white, and likewise with two shirts, made of 
the very coarsest materials, and two pairs of heavy boots ; 
these comprise the Russian soldier's outfit, and these would 
undoubtedly be sufficient for the year, but being provided 
with neither bed nor bedding, he is compelled to use them 
for this purpose, which soOn reduces them to rags. 

58 slaverv in 

The style of barracks is very peculiar. It consists of 
one room of immense length, capable of accommodating 
from three to seven hundred persons. Built up against 
one side of the apartment is a kind of shelf that is used for 
sleeping purposes. The soldiers manage to either beg or 
steal a small quantity of hay or straw, or indeed anything 
softer than boards, to lie on, and they cover themselves 
with their "shinel." There is, however, one comfort, the 
barracks are usually kept comfortably warm. These men 
are always hungry, as they are never more than half fed, 
for from the government's provision for the expenses of 
the army the commanders generally manage to secure "a 
proportion to themselves of what is intended as support for 
the soldiers ; and thus the officers gradually accumulate 
until they have acquired quite an amount of wealth at the 
expense of deprivation to their subordinates. 

The punishment inflicted upon the Russian soldiers is 
exceedingly severe ; for the smallest oflence he receives a 
hundred lashes, and this discipline is extended to the 
nearest non-commissioned officer in command. The first 
grade above a common soldier is called in Russian, " Felt- 
webel," and the duty of a private requires him, on the 
approach of this officer, to remove his cap, and remain 
thus uncovered till the superior is beyond sight, no matter 
whether it be rain or shine. Should the soldier, through 
neglect or mistake, fail in the performance of this re- 
quirement, the officer will walk up and strike him in 
the face until the blood stream from his nose ; he then 
takes the number of his company, and the poor wretch is 
ordered to be whipped for insulting an individual in com- 

Whipping is of so common occurrence in the army that 
full ten per cent, of the men suffer this punishment daily, 


and it is a familiar practice of the people to resort to the 
public squares day after day, in order to witness the inflic- 
tion. They become so hardened that these scenes occa- 
sion not a pang when they look upon them. 



The term of service for the Russian soldier is twenty 
years, and during that period he is drilled certainly two- 
thirds of the time. As marksmen, notwithstanding their 
practice, they would never be able to compete with the 
American western boy of twelve years. Their skill is 
manifested in simply raising the gun to the shoulder and 
discharging it. 

The health of these men is materially impaired by the 
use of strong and deleterious drinks, and this, joined to 
the hard labor they are compelled to endure, and suffering 
from the frequent infliction of punishment, unfits them, at 
an early age, for the performance of their duties; in truth, 
the Russian army is better luhipped tban/e(f. On account 
of their scanty allowance they will steal anything they 
can lay their hands upon, and their pilferings are con- 
ducted in the most adroit manner. Their large coat offers 
peculiar facilities for this sort of proceeding. It being of 
itself very long and wide, and the sleeves of corresponding 
proportions, open at the wrist, their wearers can easily 
slip in any article of the size of a spoon, fork, tumbler, or 
even of a pitcher, whilst there is little liability of detec- 
tion. These purloined articles are readily disposed of, for 
although it is, of course, supposed they are stolen, yet the 
barkeeper of any public house will never fail to receive 
them in pay for " Wodka" (whisky) enough to produce 


intoxication. When they enter a drinking place the for- 
ward man will call for a " groch wodka," and whilst the 
bar-tender is pouring out this measure, he dexterously 
thrusts forward his large sleeve and conceals whatever 
may come within his reach, of a size that can thus be 
disposed of. He then passes the stolen article to the one 
next behind him, this person transfers it to his rear neigh- 
bor, and so on it moves lill quite beyond the vigilance of a 
detector. If the person in waiting accuse the individual 
nearest the counter, he immediately desires to be searched, 
but search proving of no avail, the article is consequently 
given up as lost, and no further trouble accrues. But, as 
rarely happens, if the soldier be detected in his pilferings, 
he is punished, not for the theft, but for its detection, his 
want of adroitness being considered the crime instead of 
the actual commission of the wrong. This is for the 
reason that the officers themselves are somewhat inter- 
ested in these gains, as should the article or articles reach 
the value of three or four kopeckas, he receives a certain 
profit from their sale. A peasant who chances to leave 
his horse and cart outside an inn in which soldiers may be 
carousing, in all probability will find his cart minus its 
wheels ; these will be stolen that they may get possession 
of the tires, and the iron in this manner procured, they 
barter for drink. 

Whilst on marches through the country they improve 
their many opportunities for plunder, but horses are never 
taken, as they cannot dispose of this sort of merchandize, 
yet oxen, cows and sheep are almost staple commodities ; 
these can be used for food, therefore anythingof such kind 
is seized, killed, cut in pieces, and placed beneath their 
ample coats. So soon as they reach a wood, a fire is 
kindled, and the flesh i.^ cooked and eaten, save a small 


portion, which they reserve to sell at the next village for 
bread and liquor. 

The soldiers are changed frequently from one station to 
another; they are allow^ed to remain but a short time in 
any one place, it not being policy to permit their becoming 
intimate with the inhabitants. The Polish soldiers are 
usually sent to the northern parts of Russia, and the 
Russians are placed either in, or on the borders of Poland ; 
yet even with this arrangement there is a constant anxiety 
on the part of government. " A guilty conscience admits 
of no repose" — an adage that the Emperor faithfully veri* 
fies; he rests not himself, nor allows any rest to his de- 
fence, the army. 

Each soldier has a " Raniec," or knapsack, which con-' 
tains an of the apparel Avhich he has not on his back ; on 
the outside of it is fastened a tin can, containing water, in 
case of need. This knapsack is also furnished yrith. 
several yards of thread, a few buttons, and some hooks 
and eyes (as the collar of his coat is always fastened by 
hooks, and he is subject to punishment if it be found open.) 
A brush and box of blacking is given him for his boots once 
in the course of a year. 

On review, these knapsacks are examined by the offi- 
cers, and so strict are they, that should the smallest article 
be missing, the supposed offenders are severely whipped ; 
as a consequence, not a review passes without hundreds 
being obliged to suffer this punishment. The soldiers 
would sell their souls for " wodka," and it is for that 
poison they often dispose of the articles furnishing their 
knapsacks ; then on the field of review they pass the 
required implements from one to another, but if in doing 
this they be detected, which is often tlie case, then dread- 
ful is the penalty to be paid. 

Russia and Poland. 


The cruelty of the commanders is just in keeping with 
the entire system of government. Whipping a common 
soldier to death is not regarded, and an inquiry is seldom 
instituted, even should it have been for no positive misde- 
meanor, but merely in accordance with the will of the 

When a company of soldiers is quartered upon a noble- 
man's plantation, they commit with impunity every kind 
of excess. They occupy the best rooms in the house — 
they take the best cattle for their use, and stable their 
horses in the parlor, if they choose so to do. A circum- 
stance of this kind occurred, to which I was knowing* 
During such an unwelcome visitation to an estate, one of 
the non-commissioned officers became desperately enam- 
ored of a young servant woman in the establishment. 
This woman, intoxicated by her conquest, conceived the 
idea that all men should remove their caps whenever they 
might meet her. The deference was, however, refused 
by one man, and the '• Felt-webel " forthwith ordered 
that he should receive two hundred lashes. These were 
inflicted, but subsequently the same individual encoun- 
tered the girl, and again refused to lift his cap to please 
her. This conduct was reported to her lover, who directed 
the same punishment as before. In general, during the 
enactment of such a scene, the oflended person is standing 
by as witness, and it is usually the case, that the poor suf- 
ferer cries out to his persecutor, calling him or her all 
sorts of honorary titles, and promising, if left go, to kiss 
his hands and feet, &c. But in this case the soldier was 
so exasperated, that instead of begging, he exclaimed, 
" After I get my whipping, fewill pay you and your woman 
off!" To this the officer replied, " You shall be whipped 
until you do beg pardon I" But the soldier's answer was 


still " No !" and as a consequence, the lashes were con- 
tinued, and in the course of the following fifteen minutes 
he was a corpse. There was not the smallest investiga- 
tion made respecting the affair, as one human being (and 
that being a Russian soldier) more or less, is a matter of 
no moment in the estimation of those in command. These 
cruel and inhuman deeds are constantly being enacted by 
the officers ; the power is awarded them, and they use it 
to the utmost. 

The commissioned officers in the army never suffer the 
indignity of corporeal punishment ; they are imprisoned, 
except in cases of treason, when a " Court Martial " is 
summoned, and if convicted, they are whipped and are then 
obliged to enter the ranks for life, as common soldiers. 

On New Year's day, Christmas, and during Easter, as 
also on the anniversaries of the birth days of the Emperor 
and Empress, the soldiers have what they call good liv- 
ing. They receive potatoes, corned beef and pork, and 
these to them are luxuries indeed. They are required to 
accompany their officers to the cathedral, and all are equip- 
ped in full uniform. Before going to the church they 
assemble in front of the guard house, where is placed a 
large tub filled with "wodka."' Each soldier marches 
up, cup in hand ; this he dips in to the brim, then raising 
it to his mouth he calls out, " Long live our Emperor and 
his family !" and without further ceremony swallows down 
the liquor. The soldier's cup is the top of the can before 
mentioned, and it will contain about one pint. Sometimes 
an individual will swallow the contents of his cup with 
the greatest celerity, and endeavor to obtain another 
draught ; but this is likely to Be detected, and invariably 
is followed by a w-hipping. The drinking operation is 
repeated after their return from church. 


Whilst in cimrch, they all pray for the Emperor and 
his family, and if any Cossacks be present on the occa- 
sion, they add, " We will die for our dear Emperor " — 
they imaffine that dying in his cause insures them a direct 
passport to Heaven. 

But among the crowd of prayer-offering men, may occa- 
sionally be observed the countenance of a poor broken- 
hearted creature, whose bosom is swelling with emotions 
that his lips dare not utter. The silent prayer that ascends 
from his soul, is not like the meaningless utterance of the 
stupid Cossack, but is the petition of agony, asking the 
blessing of the Highest on a father and mother who are 
left childless, on a wife who is widowed, and on children 
rendered fatherless by the doom that separates him from 
them forever. Such individuals are Poles, generally of 
fine families and excellent attainment, who have become 
victims of the secret spies before alluded to. 

After dinner the soldiers visit and salute the officers, 
and though not permitted to enter the houses, they are 
again treated to " wodka," which is brought to the street 
and then dealt out to them ; when this process is con- 
cluded, they are at liberty to spend the remainder of the 
day as they please, with the exception of being limited as 
to the distance they may go, and a carouse follows, as a 
matter to be expected, this usually ending in a decided 

Such is the life led by the Russian soldier, and in no 
other country, it is presumed, can a parallel be found, 
where large numbers of men exist in a state of such utter 
demoralization, produced by the three-fold calamity of 
ignorance, poverty and despotism. When any member 
of the army becomes disabled and unfit for active service, 
whether it be by age, accident or war, he is cast off by 


the government, and for tlic remainder of his life is obliged 
to beg, in order to obtain his daily sustenance. The poor 
wretch must also conceal the fact of his being a disabled 
soldier, or he w^ill receive neither alms nor sympathy ; 
and this concealment it is most difficult to effect, so that 
the unfortunate creature is often near perishing from hun- 
ger. The men who endure until their time has expired, 
are generally so thoroughly broken in constitution, as to 
be unfit for any mode of life, save beggary. The only 
privileges earned by their long term of servitude are, per- 
mission to travel through the country without paying for 
a passport, exemption from taxes, and from further ser- 
vices to the government. But here again is a provision, 
requiring the discharged soldier, during the first five years 
after his dismissal, to report himself at head quarters occa- 
sionally, in order to ascertain if his services are again 
wanted ; should that not be the case, as in the event of 
war, he can return home, or be at large, as his inclination 
or circumstances may direct. Very few, however, are to 
be found after the expiration of their first period ; most of 
them are so worn down by privation and abuse, that they 
sink as soon as the unnatural energy of fear and compul- 
sion are no longer the stimulus of life. The officers are 
always well paid ; indeed, I think they are more amply re- 
munerated than in the army of any other country. They 
are at liberty to marry whenever they may choose, their 
means being even sufficient for the expenses of a family. 
The army of Russia, in ordinary times, comprises from 
six hundred to six hundred and forty-seven thousand men, 
the most of whom are employed in executing, to the let- 
ter, the despotic laws of the country. Very strong bodies 
of soldiers are necessary on all the frontier lines; not a 
town or village, however insignificant, but requires the 


aid of the army to maintain order. This is especially 
the case in, and near Poland, where the memory of wrongs 
in the past, and tlic cnrbed, yet indignant and independent 
spirit seek relief in the continual outbreaks of excitement. 
Finland also needs to be securely guarded, for should the 
Tartars find no garrison to oppose them, they would rise 
en masse. Courland, too, requires the same careful over- 
sight. The army thus unavoidably distributed over an 
immense extent of territory, would leave Russia, in the 
event of war, a concentrated force of only some two hun- 
dred or two hundred and fifty thousand men. But from 
the enormous numbers of the empire, the Emperor can 
raise yearly an hundred, or a hundred and fifty thousand 
to swell the ranks of his army ; and these, though com- 
paratively undisciplined, under the direction of efficient 
officers, may be rendered active and efficient agents. 

Again I say, the physical power of Russia is mighty, 
but TRUTH and freedom are mightier still. She may put 
forth her tremendous agency, and perhaps the luxurious 
indolence of her allied opposers may allow a present 
triumph — yet despotism is cankered at its root — the 
boughs may still give signs of life, but the trunk ere long 


The Emperor has no reliable dependence upon his array, 
at least he is not entitled to have, and yet it is his ■main 
defence ; in reality, how insecure an one "? At the frontier 
stations the officers engage extensively, and the soldiers 
pettily, in smuggling operations. It is a notorious fact, 
that those whose duty it is to protect the revenue, are the 
most active contrabandists themselves. 

Tyranny can never be in harmony with itself. There 
is no mutual dependence in its parts, and the forced exist- 
ence can continue but a limited time, and then its muscles 


will relax their contortions ; its fluttering pulse will sub- 
side into the faint and delayed beatings of exhausted 
vitality — or the earthquake and the whirlwind will re- 
dress the wrongs of outraged humanity ; and the sentence 
of public sentiment will guillotine, the already expiring 
monster of despotic principle. 



Having frequently adverted to the nobles of my country, 
I intend in the present chapter to illustrate, so far as pos- 
sible, their characters and habits. 

Although this class of individuals is much corrupted by 
the influence of government, yet are they well deserving 
the name of noblemen. Generous and hospitable in their 
dispositions and manners, they tender a whole-souled wel- 
come to the stranger who may chance to cross their 
thresholds, and their attentions are of the most graceful 
and kindly character, calculated to place the visitor en- 
tirely at ease, and to make him feel as if he were enjoying 
the peculiar privileges of home. 

The sports of the " field ,and flood " are thoroughly 
appreciated and entered into by the aristocracy. Con- 
nected with almost every plantation is either a small lake 
or river, and on this may be seen the beautiful gondola 
bearing its gay party of pleasure seekers. Hunting, 
during the proper season, is a favorite amusement, and in 
all plans for enjoyment the stranger is invited to partici- 

The Polish noblemen, in character, are generous, frank 
and courageous; and a Polish noble has never been known 
to commit a crime, though he may have been guilty 
of many offences. Their education has been carefully 


attended to. The different languages are taught in the 
respective seminaries of tlie country, and in particular, is 
the knowledge of French and German deemed requisite 
to all who claim a liberal education. Insisting upon the 
expediency, indeed the necessity of learning some trade, 
is also peculiar to the Poles. 

The generality of readers are doubtless familiar with 
the anecdote of the young Prussian nobleman, who, be- 
coming enamored of the daughter of a Polish aristocrat, 
requested her hand in marriage. 

" And what will you do for my daughter ■?" inquired the 
old noble. 

The young man having vast possessions, and the father 
of the lady being also wealthy, the question excited no 
small degree of surprise. 

" Do for her !" replied he in astonishment ; " why, take 
her to my home, where she will be supplied with all the 
luxuries and elegancies afforded by my estates." 

" But," said the father, " a^ hat if you should not find 
your estates when you return ?" 

" I cannot understand how that can be possible," Avas 
the answer. 

" But I can," rejoined the Pole ; " look around and 
notice the many, who were once in affluence like your- 
self, but are now reduced to penury and want. Consider 
the precarious tenure by which estates are held ; what to- 
day are yours, to-morrow may be yours no longer, as they 
are liable to confiscation at any time, should you chance 
to give offence to government. No, no ; a man must 
have resources within himself, or he has no reliable de- 
pendence for support. Become master of a trade, and 
my daughter shall be yours." 

The young Prussian, tliougli deeming the requirement 


an unnecessary one, complied with tlie terms, and after 
acqnainting himself with the art of fancy-basket making, 
he presented to his intended father-in-law a specimen of 
his skill, and claimed his reward. 

The forethought of the father was as fortunate, as it 
proved wise. Some time subsequent to the marriage of 
his daughter, he became involved in political difficulties, 
and the son-in-la,w, by endeavoring to assist him, was 
likewise made a participator in his misfortunes. The 
estates of both noblemen were confiscated, and them- 
selves and families were condemned to exile. By dint 
of the most strenuous exertion, they managed to reach 
England, where the young Prussian began to render his 
trade available. Being quite destitute, he was at first 
obliged to rely upon the work of his own hands entirely, 
and the two families subsisted on the proceeds of his labor, 
while, scanty as they were, he contrived to put aside a 
small portion for the purchase of a further supp'y of ma- 
terial. In this manner he struggled on, gradually gaining 
a little, until he was enabled to establish a regular busi- ' 
ness, which soon became decidedly profitable, affording an 
ample support for those dependent upon him. 

This circumstance is well authenticated, and the indi- 
vidual mentioned, is now at the head of one of the largest 
manufacturing establishments in England. 

Some of the Polish noblemen liave not been deprived 
of their rights by the Czar, but are permitted to enjoy 
their former privileges unmolested. They, indeed, com- 
prise the " fathers of the country." Ages back, when 
the barbarous tribes overran and ravaged the country, 
their progenitors had stood foremost in battle, and their 
best blood had been spilled in defence of their homes and 
land. Such of these, as have not by overt acts become 


obnoxious to goveniment, are still sustained and honored 
in their positions. 

A century since, the old men, and women and children, 
were held as the price for defeat of the party to which 
they belonged, and it may not be uninteresting to describe 
the manner in which they could be redeemed. 

The chiefs assembled, and one was selected from either 
party, attended by one or two seconds, and a combat was 
arranged ; before it commenced, however, it was custom- 
ary for the individuals who intended to engage, on their 
bended knees respectively to swear to deal honorably with 
each other, to take no advantage, but to be guided by the 
strictest rules of justice. Then calmly and deliberately 
they commenced the contest, usually fighting with swords, 
and the first blood drawn decided the victory — the party 
to which the wounded man was attached being required 
to deliver up its living spoil. Prisoners might also be 
redeemed by purchase — either by land or otherwise. 

The Russian nobles are a widely different order. I 
will briefly speak of them. The Russians were originally 
divided into two classes — freemen, descended from free- 
men, and plebians, who were themselves enfranchised 
slaves, or the descendents of such as had been enfran- 
chised ; the former of these classes had, at first, innuuui- 
ties and privileges which the latter did not enjoy, but 
ultimately this distinction was done away, and both were 
treated in the same manner. 

Regarding the servile body in Russia, from first to last, 
it was considered not worthy of any rights, either social 
or political, the slaves being exclusively the property of 
their masters, who could dispose of them according as 
their interest or pleasure might dictate. When the sav- 
age Slavi broke over the Russian frontiers, and devastated 


the country, they put to the sword all who opposed them, 
and carried away many captives, together with the valua- 
ble effects of the inhabitants. After frequent succeeding 
ravages, and little or nothing was left to plunder, they 
began to settle in the border provinces. In this emer- 
gency, the voice of the nation called upon the nobles to 
lead them to fight against entire subjugation. Thus urged, 
they prepared for conflict, and led their miserable depend- 
ents to battle, but they soon forsook their post and aban- 
doned their army to inevitable destruction. 

This contrasts strongly with the conduct of the Polish 
noblemen. They were always foremost in battle, and 
their courage never failed, and their pretensions never 

The Russian chiefs would plunder any weaker body of 
men, and take the little left by the Slavi, from them. 
This was done to indemnify themselves for their own per- 
sonal losses. " Might," not " right," was the principle 
of action, and according to his success in fraud or oppres- 
sion, was the estimation of the dignity of the individual. 

These chiefs were the most abject cowards. So easily 
were they terrified, that on the approach of a mere hand- 
ful of adventurers, the strongest castles were deserted 
without an attempt at defence. The sea-board castles 
were usually built upon some rocky promontory, and thus 
rendered difficult of access on all sides, while the inland 
fortresses were in general erected at the turning point of 
some stream. The Russian castles were all constructed 
upon a similar plan. The central and most imposing part 
was the square or keep, around which were grouped the 
outer defences. This keep was several stories high, and 
from its upper platform was presented an extensive view 
of the surrounding country. Some castles had a b^fse- 


court, or outer area, encompassed by walls having flanking 
towers ; beyond this again was a mural enclosure, the 
exterior of which formed a kind of vestibule to the chief 
entrance. Outside of this was a deep moat, that could be 
crossed only by the draw-bridge. The interior arrange- 
ments were as follows : — The ground story had very thick 
walls, and the rooms, or more properly the arched vaults, 
had no windows, but were dimly lighted by loop-holes. 
In some cases a postern door gave access to the lower 
story, but the proper entrance was usually placed quite far 
up the wall in one of the fronts. The door opening to the 
interior had placed behind it another door, or portcullis, 
that is, it could be made to slide up or down at pleasure, 
thus to admit or debar entrance. On the second floor 
were the rooms of the wardens and the garrison ; these 
generally had no windows in the front or outer walls, but 
were lighted by apertures from the passages. The third 
floor comprised the chief apartments, including the great 
hall, at the end of which was the fire place, a deep recess 
sufficiently wide to admit of benches on either side the 
fire. In the palatial halls of great castles, there was a 
dais or raised part at one end, and sometimes above, a 
gallery for musicians. This hall was lighted by narrow, 
lancet-headed windows, and some of the side rooms re- 
ceived a borrowed light from the hall. 

The fourth and uppermost story was generally the best 
lighted, its windows being numerous, though narrow. 
During a siege, the larger and more powerful instruments 
of defence were placed upon this floor. The roof of the 
structure was surmounted with battlements, that in some 
instances were " machicolated " — which is, having a 
bulging course with openings, through which molten lead 
could be poured down upon th'^ heads of close assaulters. 


The mode of attacking- these places was invariably the 
same, and that was by mining, battering the walls, and 
■wheeling up to them immense covered machines, divided 
into several stages, from which the archers and cross-bow 
men could hurl their weapons at the soldiers who were 
stationed upon the battlements. But such was the resist- 
ance offered by the thick walled fortress, that a few deter- 
mined men could hold them for months against a beleag- 
uring host, notwithstanding its many means of assault. 

Lovers of the picturesque are accustomed to look upon 
old, and especially upon dilapidated castles, with almost a 
doting reverence ; but when reflection dwells upon their 
design, and the ultimate purpose to which they ministered, 
I think sorrow and aversion must take the place of rever- 
ence, and we can only long for the reign of peace, when 
communities may dwell in safety, not fearing the attack 
of marauder or oppressor. 

The feudal chiefs had the most entire confidence in the 
impregnable character of their castles ; also, each regard- 
ed the mettle of his sword as superior, and the training 
of his steed as better, than those of any opponents, and 
this ignorant conceit often served a fair turn in originating 
a fierce kind of valor, which defeated by onset, when de- 
liberate attack would have failed to conquer, or calm 
resistance would eventually have been forced to yield. 
Yet it is worthy of lemark, that the means of defence 
were greater than those of attack. Modern warfare ha.s 
much augmented the latter class, and no fortress could 
long resist the force of balls and shells. 

The whole life of a chief was devoted to the exercise 
of arms and to the training of his charger ; it follows, of 
course, that the nobility became more and more ignorant, 
in spite of the gradual softening of national manners. Yet 


these men, self-confident as they assumed to be, were 
repeatedly driven from their strongholds by a few barba- 
rian invaders. The lapse of more than a century has 
certainly changed the aspect of the country in these par- 
ticulars, and the customs of more enlightened nations 
have become known, and somewhat influence this realm 
of despotism at the present day, yet the surface only ia 
presented to the transient sojourner. 

It is the policy of the Emperor to place everything in 
the most propitious view, before distinguished visitors, 
and it is generally the case, that such individuals leave 
his dominions with favorable impressions. The pageantry 
of the Russian court is grand and imposing, and there is 
a universal deference paid to those strangers who are 
permitted to enter its precincts. This, as a natural con 
sequence, flatters self-love, and enlists kindly feelings 
towards it. After having been received by the Emperor 
any person may be sure of the most gratifying attentions, 
wherever he may visit. Should he wish to travel in dif- 
ferent parts of the country, he is directed to the most 
agreeable places, and the best roads and conveyances are 
pointed out — the darker and yet truthful side, is sedu- 
lously hidden from the casual observer. 

The career of despotism has, however, passed its meri- 
dian. The innate, though long dormant principle of liberty, 
is stirring in and throughout Europe — and the struggle 
of the powers of the Old World, we will hope, may even- 
tuate in the utter extinction of all unlimited individual 



Many years since, when Poland was the theatre for 
warlike prowess, all men who had assumed and sustained 
a prominent position in military matters, were designated 
Noblemen, and as such enjoyed the freedom of the coun- 
try, were exempt from taxes and from any demands of 
government. Their achievements were recorded m the 
historical books of the country, and many of them held 
certificates of their acquirements — some however refused 
these, deeming them unnecessary, their deeds having won 
a notoriety that required no parchment memorial to sub- 

Until the accession of Nicholas, these honors were con- 
tinued, but soon after that event took place, an order was 
issued for the burning of the records, and he likewise 
required all such certificates as the before mentioned, 
should be forwarded to him. Thinking this might be 
merely to pass under his inspection and to obtain his sig- 
nature, the nobles sent on their testimonials. These were 
also destroyed ; and this was shortly followed by a com- 
mand, that all persons considering themselves noblemen, 
should produce satisfactory claims to the title. This, of 
course, it was not now in their power to do ; all their 
property reverted to government, with the exception of a 
small portion, about the amount usually allotted to the 
peasants, their badges were taken from them, and they 


were compelled to exchange their costume for the garb 
of peasants, and were henceforth to live in the manner of 
that class of subjects. 

At the same time officers were stationed tliroughout the 
country, who were the merest tools of oppression, slaves 
to the Emperor, being ready to execute any mission of 
tyranny without questioning or hesitation — and these men 
were made noblemen — and these men constitute a large 
proportion of the nobles of the present day. A vei'y small 
number of officials failed to give evidence of entire satis- 
faction with the laws — such were also degraded, and be- 
came as serfs. We can conceive the miserable situation 
of the born peasants, who are condemned to toil through 
life without enlightenment and without hope, but how ag- 
gravated the fate of those that liaving been accustomed to 
luxury, possessing cultivated minds and refined tastes, are 
suddenly precipitated from this elevation and doomed to 
drag out the remainder of existence as companions for the 
lowest order of degradation, and as menials to perform 
the lowest services. Could the traveler who visited the 
kingdom in former days and received the hospitality of its 
gentry, enjoying comforts and luxuries, not to be excelled 
by those of any country in the world ; I repeat, could the 
traveler of those days return and witness the condition of 
the children of those parents, would he not curse the des- 
potism that had power to produce so disastrous a (change 1 
Alas ! alas ! for the woes of all in human mould ! and 
alas ! for the miseries and wrongs of Poland ! 

But life and spirit are not entirely crushed out from 
these wretched victims. One generation will scarcely 
effiice the image of what they were, and still may occa- 
sionally be heard uttered the sentiments of some who 
prefer their present state of servitude to the conscious- 



ness of having abetted, in the slightest degree, any scheme 
of Nicholas for the utter degradation of their country. 

The nobles of the present day are highly educated men, 
yet they passively submit to being prohibited from free- 
dom of speech, and also to many restraints, insignificant 
in themselves, but still excessively annoying and humili- 
ating in their nature. For instance, the Emperor directs 
the manner in which they shall wear their beards — he 
also orders the shape of coats, hats, caps, boots, etc. — 
fit details to employ the attention of one of the longest 
heads in Europe ! 

An instance of cruel suffering occurs to me, the partic- 
ulars of which I was personally known to. A widowed 
lady and her children, whose husband and father had died 
of a broken heart, concluded that as a solace to them- 
selves and a benefit to others, they would devote their 
evenings to instructing the children of peasants, with 
whom they were now associated. The family T refer to, 
consisted of the lady, her three daughters, and one son. 
The peasants were invited to their hut, and a system of 
teaching commenced — but this was soon discovered, and 
information thereof transmitted to government. But be- 
fore they were made subjects of complaint, the girls had 
resisted the base attempts of some of the oflicers, and in 
consequence had fallen under severe displeasure. The 
daughters were condemned to pass two years in the tread- 
mills, and the son was sentenced to fifteen months hard 
labor in the salt mines ; before this punishment took 
effect, all, mother, son and daughters, were publicly 

Under the heavy pressure of affliction, the womaji was 
deprived of reason, and accompanied only by her poor, 
half-starved dog, (which had been her companion in pros- 


perity and remained faithful in adversity,) she wandered 
oft' in pursuit of her children. At different times she was 
taken by the soldiers, but the cunning of insanity enabled 
her to elude their vigilance and escape from them, but 
she was again seized, and an iron band placed about her 
wrist, to this being attached by a chain, a heavy bar, that 
she was compelled to drag along whenever she moved. 
Even this did not deter her, and the fourth time she es- 
caped : she went with her dog to the burial ground, and 
there succeeded in digging a hole sufficiently large, as 
she supposed, to conceal them — she then collected a 
quantity of straw and leaves, -whic!. -jhe matted together 
for a bed, and there she made her abode. In this place 
she remained unmolested, and continued for two years, 
subsisting chiefly upon nuts and berries that she procured 
during her wanderings in the day. Sometimes when she 
was absent from her den, the peasants would contrive to 
throw into it pieces of bread, and when she would find 
them on her return, she would exclaim, " The angels 
have given." 

On the approach of winter she covered her hiding 
place with boards, to keep out the snow, and I was accus- 
tomed to place articles of clothing within her reach, so as 
if possible to prevent her perishing with cold. The reader 
is aware that in Poland the winters are long and severe, 
the snow frequently covering the ground to the depth of 
several feet. At such times she and her dog would burrow 
their way out when necessity compelled, but they remained 
most of the time in her place of concealment. In the early 
part of their third winter, a terrible storm occurred, and the 
snow continuing to fall during three days, she was com- 
pletely drifted under. When the storm had somewhat 
abated, I repaired to the poor creature's abode, but to my 


horror found no possible ingress to it. However, with 
tlie aid of some neighboring peasants, I commenced dig- 
ging away the snow, and at length succeeded in effecting 
an entrance. But what a spectacle did we behold ! The 
unfortunate woman and her dog were stretched stiff and 
dead upon the ground ! the distressing sight can never be 
effaced from my memory. 

During the stay of the daughters in the treadmills, an 
overseer became honorably attached to one of them, and 
on the expiration of her term of punishment, married her. 
For this generous act he was deprived of his situation, 
disgraced, and himself and wife driven forth to seek their 
livelihood by begging. The other two girls returned to 
the desolate hut, where they found their brother, who had 
been released from the mines some months before. Previ- 
ous to her death the young man had sought his mother and 
endeavored to persuade her to return home with him, but 
the poor distracted creature refused to recogniz°. him — 
at one time insisting that her son was dead, and at another, 
pointing to her dog, she would declare it to be her child. 

The sisters were again made the subjects of degrading 
importunity by the ofhcials, but these were indignantly 
resisted, and their resolution was nobly defended by their 
brother. For their heroism, the young man was sent to 
the army for life ; the girls were falsely accused, and 
placed in separate regiments as stewardesses ; this horri- 
ble situation I have before adverted to. 

This is only one of the numerous instances that might 
be related, in illustration of the grievous sufferings to which 
many of the educated class in Poland are latterly subjected. 
The groans of that afflicted people cannot be heard in other 
lands., but their anguished cry ascends to the throne of 


immutable Justice, and the avenging hand will eventually 
be stretched forth to redress their wrongs. 

Since the disastrous revolution of 1830, the woes of 
that nation have been greatly increased. Por the infor- 
mation of some who may not be familiar with tlie details 
of that struggle, I have carefully compiled, from reliable 
sources, a few of its events, and will here introduce them 
as historical facts. 

It is well known, that Poland has been at three dilFer- 
cnt times partitioned — first in 1772, again in 1793, and 
still further in 1795 — the latter time being when Stanis- 
laus was deprived of kingly dignity, and the country was 
no longer recognized as a kingdom. In 1807 most of Prus- 
sian Poland was taken from Prussia, and became what 
was denominated the Duchy of Warsaw. By the Con- 
gress of Nations, held at Vienna in 1815, the larger part 
of Poland was awarded to Russia. This occurred during 
the reign of Alexander, and, notwithstanding the aid ren- 
dered to Napoleon by the Poles, that generous prince 
seemed disposed to manifest a lenient disposition towards 
his brave, but refractory subjects. 



When Napoleon, in the height of his military career, 
had succeeded in occupying Wihia, and the throne of 
Russia M'as trembling before him, the Polish nation con- 
fidently cherished a hope of regaining their former liber- 
ties and importance. They endeavoured to impress Bon- 
aparte with an idea of the advantage that would result to 
him, as also to all of Western Europe, if such a destiny 
for them were accomplished. Deputies were despatched 
from Warsaw to that Emperor, representing the bulwark 
that Poland, in its full extent, would form against the en- 
croachments of Russia. Its territory rightfully extended; 
from the Dneiper on the East, to the Oder on the west ; 
on the north it reached the Baltic, and on the south was 
bounded by the Carpathian Mountains and Black Sea. 
This vast region, comprising many divisions, contains a 
population of twenty-two millions of people, who have the 
same origin, speak the same language, profess the same 
religion, and whose manners and customs are similar in 
almost all respects. And this portion of country the 
Poles desired to have returned to their possession. The 
appeal of the deputies concluded with these words : " Say, 
Sire, that the Kingdom of Poland exists, and that declar- 
ation will be in the eyes of the world, equivalent to the 
reality." To this was returned the ans^wev . " In my sit- 
uation I have many interests to conciliate, and many du- 

&1 SiJiTEBT I9E 

ties to fulfill. If I had reigned during the firs!, the second, 
or the third partitioa of Poland, I wonld hare armed my 
people to defend her. I lore jour nation. I authorize 
the efforts yon wish to make. It is alone in the unan- 
imilty of joor population that you wpl find the hope of sue* 
ee^. I ought to add, that I hare guaranteed to the Em- 
peror of Austria the integril^ of his dominiraw." 

The Poles were unprepared for such a reply from Na- 
poleon; thej had so zealously fought for him. bad se 
faithfully endearored to adrance his cause ; thousands of 
their number had lallen in Italy, Egypt. St. Domingo, and 
Russia ; and now, to have returned to diem merely a for- 
mal, and probably, indncere expression of good wishes, 
grealdy disappointed and saddened the hearts, that, a short 
time before, looked forward widi confident expectation. 
The hope of indiTidual existence died out in this people, 
but their integril^ would not sdlow them to desert the 
cause of the Emperor, and eren in the dark day of his 
destiny, he was not foneaken by them. At Im request he 
was followed to Elba by many of the Poles who had 
served him in the day of his prosperity. 

After the Congress of Vienna had giiren the Grand 
Duehy of Warraw into the hands of Russia, the Emperor 
Alexander made a demonstiation of kind feeling toward 
Poland, that secured to himself the good will of the peo- 
ple, although not the willing fealty to their enforced sub- 
jection. He Tisited Warsaw, and was receired with pro- 
per respect by its inhabitants. He addressed the repre- 
sentatJTes of the people in the following words : " Gentle- 
men, I respect and love your nation. To these feelings 
on my part, in which all Europe partakes, yon are entitled, 
by your continual and disinteirested saerificeB for the pros- 
perity of other uatiosss. I swear to maintain your consti- 

RrsstA AND Poland. §5 

tution with all the privileges guaranteed by it; and this 
same constitution I promise to grant to your brethren in 
the provinces, which are to be united in one kingdom." 

These promises, confirmed as they appear to be by the 
gracious bearing of Alexander, appealed immediately to 
the hearts of the Poles ; and they credulously placed reli- 
ance upon them. However, they were soon to be unde- 
ceived. Before leaving Warsaw the Emperor raised the 
aged General Zajaczek, to tlie dignity of Prince, and con- 
stituted him Viceroy of Poland, at the same time making 
the Grand Duke Constantino, (Alexander's brother.) Com- 
mander in Chief of the Polish Army. A more unfortu- 
nate movement lor the Poles could scarcely have been 
devised : Zajaczek was at too advanced an age to be com- 
petent for the post of Viceroy ; he would now .be only an 
instrument in the hands of younger and more active agents 
of the Government. Constantine was, in every respect, 
a tyrant, and soon after tlie return of Alexander to St. 
Petersburg, the encroachments of power began to be sen- 
sibly experienced. 

In all tlic departments of Government, Polish olllcerp 
were removed, and their places were supliod by mercena- 
ry and intriguing Russians ; and before the expiration of 
one year, the Bureau of Police was extended and occu- 
pied by individuals, whom tlie people justly held in utter 
detestation. The brave and renowned body, the Army of 
Poland, whose exploits liad been the wonder of Europe, 
anil whose unyielding integrity had won, not only the ad- 
miration, but the respect and entire confidence of one, to 
whom confidonce in aughf, save liis own invincibility, was 
little known — this body was now insulted and debased by 
the powerful representative of Tyranny — Constantine. 
Words cannot convey an idea of the atrocities perpetrated 


by this monster. His persecutions were so barbaroua and 
unrelenting, that during his first six months many officers, 
among whom was the celebrated Sokolnicki, committed 
suicide, and a large proportion of the officers sought their 
dismission. In this latter list, was General Chlopicki, 
whose choice was to encounter poverty, rather than to 
continue in tlie degrading service. Throughout the first 
entire year, few days passed without some of the soldiers 
putting an end to their miseries by suicide. But Constan- 
tine did not content himself with the exercise of cruelty, 
in the army, but meddled and controlled in all branches of 
the administration. Liberty of the press was forbidden, 
free-masonry was prohibited, and a regular system of es- 
pionage were established. The expenses of this body of 
spies was afterward ascertained to have amounted to 
Sl,000,000, thus draining the resources of the country for 
the support of menials of oppression. It soon became un- 
safe to speak either in public or in private, for spies, like 
a pestilence, were spread through the entire land, and 
their baleful influence was acknowledged in the trembling 
solicitude of every class of native Poles. Conversations, 
no matter how innocent the intention, were distorted, and 
with the view of obtaining money as bribes, many of the 
most honorable persons were hurried to a prison, and some 
of these were never again to behold their families and 
friends, from whom they had been wrested > 

Those who neglected to pay due deference to the Grand 
Duke, by removing their hats when he passed, were made 
to wheel barrows of mud, Avliere they were exposed to 
public gaze. Students were considered particularly ob- 
noxious ; these were thrown into prison on the simple 
accusation of a spy, and there doomed to pine, perhaps, 
for years — blighting the promise of their after days, by 


undermining their healtlis, and checking, almost beyond 
hope, the probability of eventual success. During the 
progress of the revolution many such individuals were 
liberated, and in the cells beneath the barracks many 
corpses were found — these were properly buried. 

On the first meeting of the Diet, the Grand Duke pre- 
sented himself among the deputies from Praga. Previ- 
ously, however, a memorial had been sent to the Czar, 
asking the removal of several of the officers, whose con- 
duct had been particularly oppressive. On this occasion 
different subjects were debated, of a nature annoying to 
Constantine — such as " the liberty of the press," the 
" abolition of system of spies," and the request to the 
Czar, before mentioned, was dwelt upon. Forthwith a 
decision was proclaimed, that the Diet should act in 
accordance with the will of the Grand Duke, and this 
order was enforced by surrounding the Palace and filling 
its galleries with guards. The debates were no longer 
to be public — a ticket from the police being required for 
admission. These tickets were only given to Russian 
Generals and minions of government, with their families. 
In the presence of such an assemblage, how was it pos- 
sible to discuss, freely, matters pertaining to the interests 
of the nation ? In this Diet might be seen the melancholy 
countenances of the descendants of Tarnowski, Zamoiski, 
Chodkiewicz and Kosciuszko — they were sitting in sad 
council over the destinies of their country, whilst they 
were often interrupted by the scoffs and ridicule of Rus- 
sian spectators. The freedom of debate was paralyzed, 
and the Diet became merely one of those shams with 
which Russian diplomacy abounds, and which so deeply 
brand the treachery of that government. 

In all the Bureaus, spies held important situations, and 

88 slaVerv iS 

these departments were ripe with intrigues and venality. 
Neither law nor right was regarded, and even the consti- 
tution became a matter of jest. " What is the constitu- 
tion'?" was the derisive question — " it is only au imped-^ 
iment to government and the course of justice ; the Grand 
l)uke is the best constitution V 

After a few years had passed, the nation continuing in 
this lamentable condition, a few noble and patriotic men 
considered that a revolution was practicable ; and whilst 
secretly employed in concerting a scheme, they had the 
satisfaction of learning that a similar attempt was proposed 
in Russia, and they v/ere cordially invited to join their 
forces in the desperate effort to free themselves from ths 
despotism of the government. This invitation filled the 
Poles with joy, and they offered, with their v.-hole hearts, 
to aid in the redemption of the Samaratic nation from the 
thraldom to which they had so long been subject. The}"^ 
met in the town of Orla, in little Russia, where oaths 
were administered, and they bound themselves to sacrifice 
life and property in the cause. They adopted resolutions, 
and means were planned for executing them ; and in case 
of success, the Russians were to give to the Poles all 
Provinces Vvithin the boundar)^ established by Boleslaw- 
Chrobry. The 25th anniversary of the accession of Alex- 
ander, was the day appointed for the first outbreak. On 
that day the imperial family and the larger portion of the 
army, would assemble on the plain of the Dneiper, for the 
purpose of celebrating the event. It was thought that many 
Generals might be gained over to the cause, and by this 
means the royal family could be secured. It had been 
proposed at Orla, that in the very onset the life of the 
Grand Duke Constantine should be taken. The proposal, 
however, was rejected — Prince IabIonu^^■sky replying to 


it in these words: — "Russians — Brotiier Samaritans! 
You have summoned us to co-operate in the lioly work 
of breaking t!ie bonds of slavery under which our Samar- 
atic race has so long pined. We come to you with sincere 
hearts, willing to sacrifice our fortunes and our lives. 
Rely, my dear friends, on this our promise. The many 
struggles in which we have already fought for the sake 
of liberty, may warrant our. assertions. Brethren, you 
demand of us the murder of the Grand Duke — this we 
can never do ; the Poles can never stain their hands with 
the blood of their Princes ! We promise you to secure his 
person in the moment of revolution, and as he belongs to 
you, we shall deliver him into your hands." 

Both sides made strenuous efforts to increase their party, 
by inducing members of the army and others to join them. 
In Lithunia many prominent men lent their countenance to 
the conspiracy, among whom were Downarowicz and 
Rukiewicz — the former being the President of the Nobles, 
and the latter belonging to the Lithunian Corps. The 
plan of the approaching struggle had been carefully con-- 
sidered, and the arrangements were effected with the ut- 
most caution, and there appeared to be a strong probability 
of success, when the sudden death of Alexander cast a 
damper upon the hopes of the patriots. But it was only 
for a little time that they delayed. The troubles occa- 
sioned by the respective claims of Constantine and Nich- 
olas to the throne, rather seemed to facilitate the plan for 
revolt ; and on the 18th day of December, at Petersburg, 
the first movement was made. Although some regiments 
and great numbers of the people joined the patriots, yet, in 
default of proper leaders and proper discipline, they were 
unable to stand the fire of cannon, and a few discharges 
served to scatter their numbers. 


Constantine liad given offence by marrying a noble 
Polish lady, and a written document was produced, which 
transferred the succession to Nicholas in his stead, and he 
was finally compelled to relinquish his claim. And with 
the reign of Nicholas commenced a system of revenge 
unparalleled in the records of civilized countries. The 
prisons were literally crowded with victims, some promi- 
nent individuals were executed on the gallows, and some 
two hundred persons belonging to noble families were 
banished to Siberia. That infamous inquisitor, Wiliam- 
now, exercised his ingenuity in devising cruelties for his 
prisoners. Among this number were Rukiewicz, Igel- 
strom, and Wigelin, and these were exiled to Siberia for 

The heroic behavior of the two sisters of Rukiewicz 
deserves to be noticed. He was a true patriot, and had 
been secretary of a club in Lithunia. He had a small 
summer-house in his garden, which was strictly private, 
and here he kept concealed the papers belonging to the 
society. When arrested he was absent from home, 
and an officer was dispatched with a company of soldiers 
in order to search his premises and obtain his papers. 
The sisters being at home, were ever on the alert, and on 
perceiving the officer and suite approach, though imme- 
diately conceiving the truth, they were not paralyzed by 
their fears. The elder of tlie two requested the younger 
to remain and receive their unwelcome visitants, while she 
hastily collected some combustibles, which she carried to 
the summer-house, to which she set fire — thus destroying 
the register of about two thousand names of persons con- 
cerned in the conspiracy. 

She returned to the house, and answered the inquiries 
of the officer respecting the cause of the fire, by saying, 


" I only wished to save you the trouble of farther brutali- 
ties — I have burned the papers of my brother. You will 
be sure not to find anything left, and now I am your pris- 
soner — drag me along with you to increase the number 
of your victims ! " 

These estimable sisters were both ordered to a prison 
in which they languished for three years, and when liber- 
ated found themselves destitute and alone. Their noble 
brother was far distant in the wilds of Siberia. Notwith- 
standing the solicitations of friends to the contrary, they 
determined to share his hardships, and, if possible, to 
mitigate his sufferings. They expected to perform their 
dreary journey on foot, but sometimes they were favored 
with short conveyances on the wagons of peasantry ; but 
of the final result of this undertaking nothing is known 
to us. 

Warsaw was made the headquarters of intrigue, the in- 
fluence of Constantine causing an inquisition to be estab- 
lished, composed of persons who were capable of being 
bribed by Russia. An aged and honorable senator wa-s 
subjected to the infamous and barbarous infliction of the 
knout, and another committed suicide in anticipation of 
the torture. Wyczechowski, who, I regret to say, was a 
Pole, and a most unworthy son of a noble race — this 
man, not contented with pronouncing sentence of death, 
ordered the bodies to be exposed upon the wheel, after 
they had been hanged upon the gallows ! But the virtuous 
Belinski was still president of the senate, and contrary to 
the will of the Grand Duke, countermanded the odious 
direction, and Wyczechowski was obliged to succumb. 
Belinski substituted imprisonment for the death penalty, 
and this arrangement was acceded to by all the senators, 
with one exception. 



Nicholas was crowned Emperor of Russia in 1826, and 
again, in 1828, was crowned Kinf^ of Poland, at AVarsaw. 
He was desirous of avoidin": the last-mentioned cere- 
mony, that he might not be required to assume the respon- 
sibility of the constitution which guaranteed to Poland tiie 
privileges avowed by Alexander. But the distracted state 
of the country, and the persuasions of his minions, at 
length induced him to do it; thus adding perjury to 
tyranny, and cowardice to atrocity ! Alexander was not 
a bad man at heart ; but weakness is sometimes a syno- 
nym for wickedness, and the result of being led is often 
as disastrous, as being the instigator of oppression. He 
was prevented from a true perception of his duty by the 
distorted representations of those, who were around him. 
He was naturally kind, and kind to himself in particular. 
He loved ease — he loved pleasure — and therefore made 
no efforts to obtain direct personal information of the sub- 
jects on which he legislated. 

Nicholas, on the contrary, had all the errors, but was 
destitute of the redeeming points of Alexander. Nicholas 
was proud and passionate in his disposition ; haughty and 
repelling in his demeanor. He was well calculated to 
inspire terror, but could awaken no feeling of affection. 
He could command, but would ever fail to win. His 
brother Constantine was his very prototype in these par- 
ticulars, yet on a somewhat lower and more brutal scale. 
With such a head, and such an acting agent, what could 
await unhappy Poland but a series of the most barbarous 



In short, Russia seemed determined to root out our 
national feeling, by plunging us so deeply in distress, as 
to leave no opportunity for reflection upon any subject, 
save our aggravated sufferings. The number of spies 
was increased, and females also were enlisted in this ser- 
vice, so that no sanctuary, even that of home, was secure 
against these abominable visitants. 

The greatest outrages were often perpetrated upon 
those who in reality made no resistance to the barbarous 
enactments. It will be remembered that the brewing and 
distilling of liquors, and the sale of these, together with 
tobacco, were permitted to all proprietors of estates, and, 
indeed, was their chief source of wealth. The capital, 
of course, was the most available market for these arti- 
cles — and the frequent and abundant supply so reduced 
the prices, as 1o bring them within the means of the work- 
ing class and of the soldiers. However, this soon attracted 
the notice of government, and a wealthy Jew, who was 
an agent in its employ, obtained the privilege of sole mo- 
nopolizer of the sale of all such articles. Consequently, 
all persons who had these productions to dispose of, were 
under the necessity of gaining this Jew's permission, and 
for the permission they were required to pay an enormous 

This condition of things oppressed all classes, and irri- 


tated the proprietors almost beyond the bounds of endur- 
ance. Petitions were presented for the removal of the 
exaction, but they eifected nothing, except a more rigid 
enforcement of them. The Jew agent appointed guards, 
wearing a uniform, who infested every part of Warsaw, 
and often committed the greatest outrages. At one time 
a day laborer was returning to the city with some brandy 
and tobacco which he had bought at a distance. He was 
intercepted by these w-retches, and taking from him all 
that he carried, they insisted upon a heavier fine than was 
the real value of the articles seized. The poor man had 
not the ability to meet their demands, and thev were about 
to take him to prison, when, by a desperate effort, he 
succeeded in making his escape, and sought refuge on 
the estate of a nobleman in the vicinity. The nobleman, 
learning the treatment the laborer had received, censured 
the guards for their abuse, and detained the man, propos- 
ing to send with him, on the following day, a note, that 
might exonerate him with the Jew. Before he had time 
to effect this, however, he himself was arrested for having 
harbored a defrauder, and was carried to prison. A com- 
pany of two hundred soldiers was quartered upon his estate 
for two weeks, and during this space of time they de- 
stroyed property to the amount of 70,000 Polish guilders. 
The nobleman was imprisoned through a whole )'ear, and 
when released, found himself ruined in fortune, and broken 
in spirits. The poor man who had been the occasion of 
such disastrous consequences, received one hundred blows 
of the knout, which resulted in his death a {ew da)-s after- 

This is only one of the many instances of extortion 
that were practiced upon the people. At length, two 
brave young Poles, Scblegel and Wysocki, ventured upon 


the idea of a revolution, believing deliverance was yet 
possible. By secret means they communicated with 
others, and in this manner succeeded in forming several 
patriotic clubs For five years Schlegel and Wysocki 
continued, with unabated perseverance, to move forward 
in their perilous course. They were never disheartened ; 
they hesitated at no obstacles, but confiding in the omnip- 
otence of justice, they threw their all into the scale, and 
liberty or death was the end in view. 

Just at this crisis occurred the revolution in France, 
and the event of the three days of July carried dismay 
into the hearts of Constantine and his adherents. Yet, 
their fears only served to madden and to render them 
reckless. Their measures became even more barbarous, 
and the system of espionage more hopelessly galling. 
Not a day passed without witnessing the imprisonment 
of new victims ; and it seemed as if there was an intoxi- 
cation in the excitement that led the agents into the 
greatest excesses, in order to expedite their own down- 
fall. On the 7th of September, forty students were 
arrested, being dragged from their beds, and hurried to 
prison. Every movement of the government tended to 
confirm the patriots in their project for a revolution, and 
they were cheered again by the news of a revolutionary 
movement in Belgium. 

Numbers were being added to the association, and the 
circumspection that at first was the result of strict neces- 
sity, had become so much a habit, that now the effort was 
comparatively slight — the time for action seemed rapidly 
approaching. But just at this juncture, the Czar prepared 
to make war upon France and Belgium, and he was 
joined by Prussia and Austria. The army of Poland was 
put in requisition to form the vanguard of the expedition, 


and every arrangement was made for the most speedy 
summons to march. Here was a dilemma ; and it now 
l)ecame necessary to adopt measures accordingly. The 
revolution was also hastened by the following circum- 
stances ; — It was requited of the citizens to furnish quar- 
ters for the army, and this being exceedingly unpleasant to 
the inhabitants, it was resolved instead, that a tax should 
be levied in proportion to property. This being equitable, 
gave entire satisfaction. But the manner in which it was 
executed, was utterly at variance with the spirit. It was 
so managed that the poorer classes were called upon for 
the heavier amount — indeed, they were often obliged 
both to pay the tax and provide quarters. All spies were 
exempt from every requisition of the kind. These impo- 
sitions being discovered, and the asking redress from the 
agents of government eliciting no attention, the discon- 
tent of the people rose to a height that would no longer 
admit of concealment. In their indignation they took 
leave of their caution, and the public dignitaries were 
fearlessly insulted, and even the dwelling of the Grand 
Duke was, by some daring malcontent, advertised " to be 
let," from the following New Year's Day ! 

The eventful moment was now near at hand, and the 
true sons of Poland were impatient for the signal to com- 
mence the contest. The Grand Duke had for some time 
lived in continual terror. He was surrounded by guards 
to secure his personal safety ; and patrols of Russian 
soldiers were constantly passing in the streets to insure 
the quiet of the city. The anniversary of the storming 
of Praga was observed in a solemn manner, and on its 
occurrence this year, eighty students, young, brave, and 
honorable men, had assembled to pray to the Almighty for 
the souls of their murdered ancestors. This was a usual 

RUSSIA AM) Poland. 9? 

observance ; but the Grand Duke had forbidden public 
devotions, and therefore they were compelled to meet 
secretly. Whilst they were in the act of worship, the 
doors were forced open, and Purga.sczho with a company 
of soldiers entered ; but the young men continued on their 
knees, and whilst remaining in this position were bound 
and dragged thence to prison. But this was the climax ; 
patience could endure it no longer. The news spread 
through Warsaw in almost an incredibly short space of 
time, and immediate action was determined upon. A 
number of officers of the 4th Polish regiment were to mount 
guard on the 29th day of the month, and that time was 
fixed for the period of the first signal of revolt. 

The annals of Poland present the names of many heroic 
men, and record many of the noblest achievements. Who 
will not recognize the bravery and honor of Boleslaw and 
Casimir, and lagelo 1 Who reverences not the name of 
Sobieski] Who has not heard of Czarnicki, Chodkie- 
wicz, Tamowski and Poniatowski^ And, as for the name 
of KosciuszKo, it is the watchword of patriotism on either 
continent! But even these world-renowned names cannot 
dim the later stars of the revolution. Schlegel and Wj?- 
socki deserve to be recorded in the list of tliose who had 
preceded them, as patriots v/hom no discouragement could 
deter, and whom no briberies could corrupt. There was, 
among the band of patriots now collected, a unanimity of 
feeling that is rarely to be witnessed ; and this unanimity 
gave strength to councils, and force to action. The Poles 
were nerved by the one resolution, to gain freedom, to 
enjoy the rights of civilization, and to extend those bless- 
ings, it' possible, even to Russia. They imagined that 
Russians groaned beneath a despotism which they would 
joyfully shake off; and that the summons to freedoin 


would meet a loud rcsjjonse from thousands who werS 
quiet only for want of stimulus to act. But, alas ! they 
were, for the present, blinded by the gilded pageantry of 
Nicholas ; and forgetting their sulferings in the past, they 
thought not of their future. Ingrates that they were, they 
were unresistingly led to do battle against the principle of 
liberty; thus covering themselves with everlasting disgrace. 

Early in the morning of the 29th the patriots met to 
re-swear their oath, and to pray for the blessing of the 
Almighty upon their undertaking. They agreed upon a 
signal, which was the burning of a wooden house near the 
Vistula. The patriots were mostly young men ; many of 
the number were students. They were to disperse them- 
selves through the city, so that, on perceiving the signal, 
they would be in readiness to stir up the inhabitants. 

The last stroke of seven had sounded — ihe flames were 
reflected upon the sky — when, throughout Warsaw, was 
heard the shouts of the revolters : " Poles ! brethren ! the 
hour of vengeance has struck ! Down with the tyrants ! 
To arms ! to arms ! Our country forever ! " The citizens 
crowded together, and "Down with the tyrants! Poland 
forever ! " was the reiterated cry. A body of students 
under Schlegel and Wysocki marched to the quarters of 
the Russian cavalry in order to take them by surprise. It 
now became necessary to get possession of the gates; this 
would render the egress of the troops extremely diflicult, 
as a moat surrounded the barracks, and the few bridges 
were their only means of passage. The soldiers were 
thrown into the utmost confusion ; the officers knew not 
what to direct, having no knowledge of the movement 
without, save the direct attack upon the quarters. The 
patriots, taking advantage of the panic, rushed with a shout 
through the gates. The feat was successful ; and one 


hundred and twenty young Poles effected the dispersion of 
some eighteen hundred Russian cavalry. The soldiers 
might all have been either destroyed or made prisoners, 
had the patriots but fired the barracks, these being con- 
nected with a range of wooden buildings filled with prov- 
ender and other combustible materials ; but this they 
would not do. Elated withv present success, they aban- 
doned the attack and turned to the city. 

While these events had been occurring at the barracks, 
about a dozen students had been watching the palace, with 
the view of securing the person of the Grand Duke. The 
passages were strictly guarded ; and at last they advanced 
to the very door of his apartment ; but he had made good 
his escape through a secret passage. The patriots, with- 
out causing the least disturbance, hastily left the palace, 
but on descending a flight of steps, they encountered the 
vice-president of the city. At first he cried aloud for aid ; 
immediately after he fell upon his knees and prayed for 
life. They retained him as prisoner, thinking they might 
be likely to gain available information from his fears. 
Meeting the Russian general, Gendre, accompanied by 
about a dozen gensd'annes, they attacked them, and 
Gendre falling, his attendants fled in terror. 

The company that had been engaged in dispersing the 
officers and soldiers at the barracks, were now proceeding 
along the main road, and on reaching the bridge they heard 
a noise like advancing cavalry. There was no time to be 
lost ; the cadets concealed themselves in a park near by, 
and received their enemies with a brisk fire. The road 
being narrow, it was not possible that the cavalry shouhl 
turn for retreat, and sixty of them fell ; the others efi'ected 
their flight in great disorder. A little time following, the 
the young cadets met a squadron of Russian hussars. 


and in the same moment they heard the cavalry from 
the barracks in pursuit. This was a crisis, but their 
courage did not fail. Some threw themselves into the 
ditch, to prevent the passing of the hussars ; and the 
others, Ibrming a line, and shouting "Poland forever!" 
made an attack at the point of the bayonet. The young 
Poles were again successful ! The Russians fled, and the 
patriots, without the loss of one of their number, passed on 
to a part of the city called the " New World," where they 
found two Polish companies of light infantry under the 
command of Stanislaw Potocki and Trembicki. The 
cadets hailed them with the following words: — "Bro- 
thers! Are you here to shed the blood of brethren? 
Remember Russian tyranny ! Come to our embrace, 
and hand to hand we will attack the tyrants. Poland 
forever!" The address was sufficient; they neglected 
the commands of their general.^, and joined the populace. 
The two generals, however, refused, and even went so 
far as to reproach the soldiers with desertion. The 
cadets pleaded with them in the most respectful and 
earnest manner, and on their knees begged they would 
join the cause of their country. They offered to Stanis- 
law Potocki the command of the arniy, but he refused to 
accept it, and both generals joined insult to refusal These 
mistaken, but unfortunate men, fell victims to popular 
fury. The fate of Stanislaw Potocki was lamented by 
every worthy son of Poland. He was honored and be- 
loved, not only by the army, but by the nation. More- 
over, he was a strictly honest man. His adherence to the 
Russian interest grew out of a mistaken view of his duty, 
as the officer of a regiment, being paramount to his dut)' 
to the country at large. Notwithstanding, he was a true 
Pole, and had always avoided the companionship of Rus- 


sians, and had ever despised their protection. Yet, his 
death cannot be considered unjust ; it \A'as the penalty paid 
to the principle of patriotism, by one who, by his acts, was 
publicly sustaining the cause of despotism. Trembicki's 
death was not lamented. He was an arrogant and trouble- 
some man ; a fitting tool for the cause he abetted. 

After the union of the cadets with the light infantry, it 
was determined to march to the left bank of the Vistula, 
and there endeavor to establish order, so far as practicable, 
among the citizens ; then to gain possession of the bridge, 
so that the communication between Praga and Warsaw 
might be uninterrupted through the night. The cadets 
commenced their march, singing patriotic songs, and 
shouting " Poland for ever ! " Their shouts were answered 
from all sides ; men, both old and young, and even women 
issuing from their dwellings, to swell the ranks of the 
liberators. When they had proceeded as far as the resi- 
dence of the viceroy they were met by two officers with 
^ensd'artnes, who were going to the Belvidere to aid in 
defending the Grand Duke. One of these officers, Hanke 
by name, was a Pole ; and the cadets, intercepting the 
way, begged them to dismount and join the popular inter- 
est. In reply, Hanke drew a pistol, and discharged it, 
wounding a cadet ; which injudicious act was repaid by 
his death and that of his companion. 

Other attempts to impede the cadets and disperse the 
citizens proved equally futile. While the events before- 
mentioned were taking place, the 4th regiment was equally 
effective in another section of the city. At the first signal 
this regiment revolted. The men on guard sounded the 
alarm, and two battalions were almost immediately formed 
to attack the barracks of the Russian infantry. The shouts 
of soldiers and citizens, who were rushing to join the regi- 


inent, were inspiriting to the patriots, but confounding to 
the Russians; in their confusion they attempted flight, but 
many of them, together with a number of spies, were 
seized by the assailants. Divisions were soon sent to 
liberate the inmates of the different prisons. This expe- 
dition was one of much peril, these places being strongly 
guarded by Russian soldiers. The prisons were stormed 
and the soldiers forced back into the halls, where many 
were massacred at the point of the bayonet. The doors of 
the apartments were then broken in, and those who were ex- 
pecting only torture or death, were greeted with the joyful 
news of freedom. The scene was affecting beyond all 
power of description. Some of the captives were so re- 
duced as to be unable to walk, and dragged themselves on 
hands and knees towards the arms of their friends. Among 
the prisoners were found four ladies, worn nearly to skele- 
tons, who had thus cruelly suffered for the heinous offence 
of resisting the licentious advances of some Russian gen- 
erals ! Tears were not wanting on the occasion, and an 
oath was taken to avenge these brutalities. One hundred 
and seventy students, and about fifty older persons, were 
liberated from two prisons. 

At the barracks of Stanislaws and Alexander, some 
companies under arms were found by the patriots. An 
attempt was made at resistance, but it was feeble against 
the powerful attack, and the guard was easily dispersed. 
In their panic some sought concealment in the cellars, 
from which they were dragged out by the Poles. By noon 
of the first day, the eastern, western and northern parts 
of the city were entirely in possession of the patriot 
soldiers and the citizens. Part of the south side was 
occupied by the Russian cavalry. Strong detachments 
were ordeied to secure the bank and all the public trea- 


sures. One of these patrols met the odious Col. Sass as 
he was fleeing for safety. He was challenged, but not 
obeying, he was immediately shot ; thus freeing the coun- 
try from one of its most merciless oppressors. He had 
been chief among the spies, and exercised his ingenuity 
principally upon foreigners, whom he would decoy to his 
house by friendly invitation, and with the assistance of 
female spies would endeavor to seduce them to the Russian 
interest, and render them fit to serve his purposes in their 
own countries. No blandishments were spared to gain 
those upon whom he once fastened his attention, and I 
regret to say he was too often successful. 

When the city was thought to be nearly freed I'rom the 
Russians, great numbers turned to the arsenal, in order to 
provide themselves with the further means of deience. 
But the Polish officer, Blummer, who commanded at that 
post, indiscreetly ordered his soldiers to fire upon the citi- 
zens. That order was his death warrant. The different 
apartments were forced, and great quantities of arms were 
distributed among the people. 

Being supplied in this manner, the citizens were ranged 
in divisions, each under a competent commander, and 
dispatched to different quarters of the city. Some were 
to traverse the city for the .purpose of arresting officers 
and spies who might be attempting to fly. A large 
number were taken, but one of the most obnoxious, Roz- 
niecki, escaped. He had served forty years in the Polish 
army, having entered the service when Stanislaus was 
king. He held a command under Napoleon, though but 
little is known of him during that period. But under 
Russian administration he made himself one of the most 
detestable tools of tyranny. He became chief of the secret 
police, and various were the means ho devised for extorting 


money from the people. He was the means of imprisoning 
hundreds ; whilst those who bribed him were nearly certain 
of promotion. Rozniecki was the intimate friend of the 
Grand Duke, and he was also the treasurer appointed to 
pay the spies. These he remunerated according as he 
estimated the value of their information. In this way he 
was enabled to cheat even the spies themselves. He kept 
a clerk concealed behind a high chest of drawers in the 
room where he was wont to receive these mercenaries ; 
and whilst they were relating their exploits, this clerk was 
employed in writing down their statements; and when the 
narrator had concluded, Rozniecki vmild often protest he 
had heard the same account the day previous. He would 
then leave the room for a few moments, and return with 
the written statement, and in this way cheat the spy out of 
his disgraceful earnings. The sums thus defrauded he 
would put in his own coffers. He had been accused of 
heinous crimes, but had hitherto escaped punishment. 
When the first tumult of the revolution was heard, he was 
at the city hall engaged in giving orders to the different 
spies assembled there. Guilt made him a coward, and 
stealing out, he found a coach standing near; he paid a 
round sum to the coachman, who permitted him to drive 
off wherever he could best secure his safety, and having 
borrowed the man's cloak, he succeeded in effecting his 
escape. He was, nevertheless, hung in effigy by the 
citizens, and the body, decorated with twelve Russian 
orders, was kept suspended during seven days. 

About three hundred spies Avere arrested. The office 
of the secretary, Marcrot, was attacked, and this person 
concealed himself in the cellar with some of his rninions, 
and had the hardihood to fire upon the assailants ; this 
resulted in their being immediately shot down. 


As morning approached, and the quiet of the city was 
somewhat restored, the patriots, most of them, gathered 
in the Long street (Ulica DIuga) to advise as to measures 
for the coming day ; and to consider the manner in which 
the nation should he appealed to. 

In the address they recounted the cruelties of govern- 
ment, and the gradual demoralization of the people under 
the tyrannical exactions imposed upon them, urging the 
imperative necessity of a revolution, in order to preserve 
any degree of national honor. They besought the people 
to be of one mind ; to unite their efforts in the holy cause ; 
but on no account ever to do violence to humanity by per- 
petrating deeds of cruelty. " Dear brethren ! " they saidj 
" let no one have a right to accuse us of cruelty. May the 
sanctity of our cause never be polluted by barbarous 
passions. Having a single end in view — national free- 
dom and justice — may we prove lions in battle, mild and 
indulgent to defenceless foes and repentant apostates. 
Brethren ! let unity, love and friendship be ours. Let us 
forget private rancor and selfish interest ! Children of one. 
mother — our dear Poland — let us save her from ruin ! " 

The people manifested their enthusiam by repeated 
shouts of " Poland, for ever ! " They swore to defend 
her cause, and never to yield, unless death put an end to 
their struggle. They then knelt before the Almighty, to 
return thanks for this signal deliverance, and to pray that 
His mercies might be contiuued. The scene was one of 
overpowering interest. An immense concourse of people 
bowed upon their knees, whilst the glare of street fires 
shed a lurid and fitful light over the uplifted countenances ; 
these people, surrounded by perils, yet sending up the 
offerings of trusting, thankful hearts to the Great Dis- 


penser of justice ; it was a sight that might be placed iii 
the moral records of sublimity. 

The plans adopted for the defence of the city were 
these : Some of the barriers were defended by cannon. 
Officers with companies were detached to join the garrison 
at the bridge leading to Praga. Wagons were likewise 
sent to bring ammunition from that place. 

Approaching the bridge the patriots found themselves 
opposed by a body of cavalry. This company were igno- 
rant that the light infantry who had joined the patriots 
were near, and upon receiving a volley were thrown into 
momentary confusion. At this juncture, some detach- 
ment stationed in the Border street came up, and the 
cavalry was obliged to retire, after suffering considerable 
loss. Such are the details of the first twenty-four hours 
of the Polish revolution. Amid all the tumult consequent 
upon the outbreak, still the most admirable order prevailed- 
and the populace evinced none of the recklessness of life 
and property usually attendant upon these occasions. 
None were slain, nor severely treated without the greatest 
provocation having been given. 

The windows of the houses were crowded with ladies 
who witnessed many of the deeds, and joyfully waved 
their handkerchiefs by way of encouragement. After the 
Russians were expelled, the order of the city was undis- 
turbed ; and the songs and shouts that rung the air, were 
the outpourings of grateful and patriotic hearts. 

Poland was free ! for a little time Poland was free ! 
Alas! that it was of short duration. The prelude and 
opening of the struggle I have recounted ; it were need- 
less to follow, in succession, the vicissitudes of that mem- 
orable contest, in which might prevailed over right, and 


the power of the oppressor again raised the standard of 
despotism. The force ordered against Poland was, at 
least, 200,000 men, and some 300 pieces of cannon — 
and to this she could only oppose some 32,000 infantry, 
about 13,200 cavalry, and 96 pieces of cannon. 

Such an unequal contest would appear like madness, if 
the energy and enthusiasm of the Poles be not taken into 
consideration. Between the periods of February 10th and 
the 2d of March, thirteen sanguinary battles were fought, 
and many brisk skirmishes occurred. 

But right and energy proved inefficient to subdue, when 
Russian bribes and Russian policy were brought to bear 
upon those whom a common principle should have united. 
The free countries of Europe passively witnessed the 
most unrighteous subjugation of a nation, whom their 
privileges and their progress had helped to stimulate. It 
needs no comment. But the day is approaching when the 
power of the East will be brokeli. Poland is not forever 

108 SLAVEHY m 


In treating of the Polish revolution, 1 have alluded to 
the noblemen of an earlier period, and it may not be unin- 
teresting to relate some particulars concerning them as 
individuals. Their characters aided largely in forming 
that of the nation, and the reverence with which their 
names are regarded, has powerfully operated in sustaining 
the honor and integrity of Poland's later patriots. 

Boleslas the Great ascended the throne in 992, being 
then twenty-five years of age. Gregory the Fifth then 
filled the papal chair : Hugh Capet had established himself 
in France; Otho Third, and Basile Third, were the sove- 
reigns of the East and West. 

Boleslas was not an only son, and, in conformity to his 
father's will, was under the necessity of submitting to a 
partition of his kingdom. His co-heirs were, his brother 
Wladyboy, and a natural son of his step-mother. Boleslas 
soon discovered that they were not likely to add to the 
happiness of the kingdom, or to jxove able coadjutors with 
himself, and he unhesitatingly expelled them from the 
kingdom. However weak and unfaithful they might be at 
home, they proved themselves annoying enemies abroad, 
and they sedulously sought to revenge themselves by insti- 
gating war against their country.. They visited Germany, 
Bohemia, and Russia, erdeavoring to raise allies in their 


Under such circumstances, it will readily be perceived, 
that Boleslas had numerous difficulties to surmount in the 
outset of his career, but his powers of mind were equal to 
the emergency. He formed and disciplined an army from 
a mass of men who were destitute of any idea of order or 
of military tactics. 

He gathered about him the youth of the country, and 
himself exercised them in military performances, in ordej 
that they might serve as models for future troops. 

Boleslas was the individual of an age, yet ho was in 
advance of his age, both in thought and in action. His 
intuition served as experience, and he had glimpses of 
futurity which his course tended to make reality. 

Boleslas Second, Duke of Bohemia, had given part of 
Silesia to Wladyboy, but still keeping possession of Cra- 
cow, appointing a governor to rule there subject to him- 
self. At this period, Adalbert, Bishop of Prague, raised 
his crusade against the violence and abuses of the nobles, 
and fearlessly through Hungary and Krobatic preached 
the Christian faith. Some of his brother-workers met 
martyrdom ; but Adalbert continued his labors, and at 
length came to Boleslas, who received him with much 
distinction, and mentioned Prussia as worthy of his efforts. 
Adalbert followed the advice thus given, and, accompanied 
by Gaudent and Radzyn, they proceeded to Dantzic under 
an escort; but there martyrdom awaited them. Adalbert 
was slain by idolaters. Boleslas caused his body to be 
brought and deposited at Gnezne. A hymn, composed by 
Adalbert in honor of the Virgin, has since been chantod 
in the churches, and was sung by the army of Boleslas 
before going to battle. 

The Duke of Bohemia, Boleslas Second, died in 999, 
and Boleslas Third, who succeeded, at the very first proved 


himself cruel and unprincipled. This determined Boleslaa 
of Poland to make war upon his dominions. Without 
warning, he fell upon Cracow, took the town by assault, 
and put the garrison to the sword. This only led the way 
to further conquest, and he pursued his career as far as the 
Carpathian mountains : like Hannibal, he led his army 
over hitherto considered inaccessible heights, and from 
these pointed his men to the beautiful plains of Hungary 

After his dominion was thoroughly established, his next 
step was toward rendering it splendid and permanent. For 
this purpose, he sent to request the Pope to crown him 
with all due religious ceremonies. This request was 
refused, for about the same time the Duke of Hungary 
preferred the same petition, accompanied by the offer of 
spiritual jurisdiction, whereas Boleslas wisJied nothing but 
papal sanction to his regal power. 

Boleslas was crowned, but he dispensed with the Pope's 
sanction, and he could rule without it. Boleslas Third, 
Duke of Bohemia, still lived, and his cruelties spread 
terror through his circumscribed dominion ; bat by a 
climax in atrocity he became to his people, that they 
would bear no longer ; he was driven away in disgrace, 
and Wladyboy was chosen to rule in his stead. VVlady- 
boy did not long exercise his authority ; he died a yeax 
after his accession. Boleslas had witnessed the elevation 
of his brother without jealousy and without anger. Yet 
his repeated acts of cruelty, and, at last, determined hos- 
tility against his benefactor, i-oused the vengeance of the 
King beyond control. Wladyboy was sentenced to have 
hot iron applied to his eyes, and afterward was cast into a. 
dungeon, where he died a lingering and fearful death. 

The day after the Duke's death, Boleslas entered 


Prague , his troops, with little difficulty, conquered Bo- 
hemia, and soon all Moravia became dependent upon that 
crown. But Boleslas found a most annoying adversary in 
Henry of Austria, who was able, for a time, to gain a 
doubtful advantage over him. At one period, nearly all 
the states of Germany were in alliance against him. It 
now became important that he should obtain sanction of 
his royal dignity from the Pope, and for this purpose he 
resorted to indirect means. 

There was a monastery in Great Poland called Kazi- 
m'ierr, and to this he resorted privately, and made a tender 
of immense sums to any monk who would undertake to 
visit Rome, with the plea of paying, what is called Peter's 
Tax, but with the real view of obtaining the Pope's coun- 
tenance for the king. At first all the monks refused ; but 
gold is mighty, and at last one was induced to assume the 
responsibility. Soon following, Boleslas set out on his 
return, but some of those who escorted him turned back to 
the monastery, in order to obtain the treasure that the 
king might have left behind. The monks were all mur- 
dered, with the exception of one who chanced to make his 
escape ; and that one was the individual to whom the 
money had been entrusted. He succeeded so far as to 
commence his journey, but was arrested on the way and 
made prisoner. 

Thus intercepted in his plans, Boleslas could only rely 
upon the contingencies of war ; and after seven years of 
contest, during which he was mainly the conqueror, it was 
thought by all parties desirable that peace should be con- 

Vladimir, Duke of Kiiow, died in 1815, and Boleslas 
now interfered in the affairs of Russia. Tiie Duke had 
divided his estates between his twelve sons and this 


arrangement soon proved the cause of dissensions among 
the heirs : the eventual result was all took up arms against 
the eldest brother, Sviatopolk.' In order to escape their 
fury, he sought refuge in Poland. Boleshis still remem- 
bered the inroads of the Russians, in the lime of his 
father, and he now availed himself of the opportunity for 
regaining the possessions. He rushed into a bloody but suc- 
cessful war. His troops ravaged tlie country, and Henry, 
becoming really intimidated) was the first to seek a peace^ 
This settled matters with the Germans, but Russia stjU 
presented immense forces against him ; yet in a little time 
this also v/as placed at iiis discretion, for his victorious 
army was actually in besiege of Kiiow. This city was 
not only strongly fortified, but was possessed of vast 
means for sustaining her population. The siege, how- 
ever, was so long continued that it brought on a famine, 
which at last compelled the town to surrender. Nothing 
was removed but the treasures of the Dukes ; the inhabi- 
tants suffered no molestation from the conquerors. But 
a conspiracy being formed by the Russians for the assassi- 
nation of every unarmed Pole, Boleslas was so much en- 
raged, that he gave up the city to be sacked. 

Before reaching his own country, on liis return, he had 
another bloody engagement with the Russians under the 
command of the intrepid Yaroslaf, but in this again he 
was victorious, and the enemy, astonished at his prowess, 
gave him the name of Chrobry, or valiant. 

The last years of Boleslas's life were devoted to pro- 
moting the happiness of his people. His officers were 
directed to place beneath his own eyes the results of in- 
vestigations of the magistrates who had jurisdiction in the 
different districts. 

He formed a council of twelve men, of suitable age and 


wisdom, whose duty it was to visit throughout the pro- 
vinccB, and to hear the complaints of peasants, to follow 
out the detail of their wants, and to watcii with the utmost 
carefulness that all the laws should he scrupulously observed. 

Yet Bolesias had one more desire to accomplish, and 
that was to obtain his coronation. We remember his vain 
attempt to gain the concurrence of the Pope. This fail- 
ing, he resolved to render his own power the means of 
obtaining the end proposed. He summoned an assembly 
of his bishops, and, with imposing religious ceremonies, 
placed the crown upon liis own brow. 

This great man reigned twenty-five years, and died on 
third of April, 1025, deeply regretted by the nation which 
he had elevated — honored and respected even by those 
whom he had subdued. 

The ancient town of Tarnovv is crowded with associa- 
tions of the powerful and warlike family of Tarnowski. 
Here the traveller reposes amid scenes of surpassing 
beauty, and the ruins of its once noble castle, awaken the 
remembrance of other days, when its lords, possessing 
almost kingly dignity, dispensed alike their justice and 
their favors. Alas ! the broken fragments of the massive 
walls speak only of former grandeur, and attest but the 
universal truth of " passing away." 

The pensive mind dwells with a melancholy pleasure 
upon these mementoes of a by-gone age. It recalls the 
feats of heroes whose bones lie mouldering in the soil be- 
low. It traces the gradual change of mental life, and con- 
trasts thQ development of a present age with the highest 
advancement of the past ; and in the retrospect, it recog- 
nizes the power of individual talent in every movement of 


progression, and the influence of individual passion in 
every instance of suffering and decay. 

John Tarnowski was born in the year 1488. He was 
the son of John Amos Castellan of Cracow, and from his 
earliest years gave promise of remarkable talent. His 
memory was astonishing, being able to recite hundreds 
of verses in succession without the slightest apparent 

At this period, few of the noble families resided in 
towns ; they preferred living upon their estates, where 
they could best display their taste in adornment, and meet 
the demands of extensive and luxurious hospitality. In 
such a home passed the early years of Tarnowski, relieved 
by frequent residence at the Court of Drzewiecki, Bishop 
of Przeniysl. When still very young, he was presented 
to the king, John Albert ; but amidst the effeminacies of a 
Court, his taste forbid their influence, and he turned for 
companionship and instruction to the number of aged war- 
riors whom circumstances placed within his reach. His 
ambition caused him to visit other countries. He passed 
through Syria, Palestine, the coast countries of Africa, 
thence to Germany, England, France, Italy, and Spain. 
At Portugal he was received by Emanuel with marked 
distinction, and was appointed to command a body of 
troops in a war i' gainst the Muors. In the ranks of Lusi- 
tania, Tarnowski acquired a relish for the manners of 
chivalry that never after was divested from him. He 
carried it to his northern home, and it impelled him to 
many hazardous undertakings. 

In September, 1514, 33,000 Polish troops found them- 
selves opposed to 80,000 Russians. Tarnowski, clad in 
the manner of a Castilian knight, advanced, and chal- 
lenged any warrior among the Russians to single combat. 


The commander-in-chief, an aged officer, reproved the 
bravado of the yonng aspirant, and advised him to dis- 
pense with the chivalric notions of the south, for they 
were unsuiled to the northern discipline of Poland. 

Nevertheless, the courage and daring of Tarnowski so 
influenced his companions, that they proclaimed him their 
chief, which appointment was subsequently confirmed by 
Sigismond himself. 

The province of Pokehia was not long after invaded by 
the Palatine of Walancie, and, on receiving this informa- 
tion, Tarnowski marched with six thousand men against 
Walachia. He fortified himself at Oberstein, and although 
the enemy, numbering some fifty thousand, were encamped 
on the adjacent heights, he made the bold venture of 
attacking them. Tarnowski was the victor, and was 
honored by the king with a triumph. 

Shortly following the defeat of the Wallachians, the 
Russians attempted the possession of Lithunia, and this 
people in their terror requested the king to give them 
Tarnowski as a leader. The request was complied with, 
and Tarnowski entered Wilna and assumed the command 
of the Lithunian army. He pursued the Russians as far 
as Starodoub, where the Regent and many of the nobles 
were strongly garrisoned. The walls were joined and 
supported by a bank of earth — these forming a secure 
defence against the power of artillery ; but the Polish 
engineer fired the palisades by means of gunpowder and 
pitch, and soon the entire fortifications were in ashes. 
The fire spread into the town ; terror and devastation were 
on every side; and thus menaced, the Regent and officers 
concluded to surrender at discretion. 

We find Tarnowski equally great in council as in war. 
His policy was not that of the liberal of the present day, 



but still he was greatly in advance of his age, and was a 
zealous promoter of the prosperity of the people. 

His greatness excited much jealousy, and his enemies, 
with the J'alatine of Cracow as their head, endeavored to 
bring disgrace upon his name, and particularly to detract 
from his influence with the king. Sigismond was easily 
swayed by his queen, a beautiful and haughty woman of 
Italian origin. She created dissensions, and tried to lower 
all who seemed to command the respect of the king and 
of the nation. But personal injuries could not make Tar- 
nowski forget his loyalty ; and when a band of 150,000 
men, who, in compliance with Sigismond's orders, had 
assembled for the common defence, transformed themselves 
into mutineers, he was foremost in lending aid to sustain 
the king upon his throne. 

After the death of Sigismond, Tarnovvski was an in- 
valuable friend and counsellor to the young king, in the 
agitating debates which succeeded the coronation. 

Tarnowski was a zealous friend to science and to art. 
He endowed the college of Tarnow, and gave every en- 
couragement to the labors of the learned. He died in 
1561, universally beloved and respected for both his public 
and private virtues. 



John Sobieski was born in 16:29. He belonged to a 
noble Polish family, and his education corresponded to his 
brilliant expectations : he learned not merely the theory of 
war, but became familiar with the languages, history, poll* 
tics and philosophy. When he had scarcely arrived at the 
age of sixteen, he set out on his travels, accompanied by 
his brother Mark. He became the pupil and friend of 
Conde, in France, studied law and the policy of princes, 
besides cultivating the arts, in Italy ; and vvliilst in Con- 
stantinople, he carefully calculated the resources ofthe im- 
mense power with which he might yet bo called to con- 

Not content with visiting these countries, he still purpos- 
ed to continue his investigations, but an insurrection of the 
serfs, and likewise an Invasion of the Tartars, called him 
home to aid in the defence of his own country. John Cas- 
simir was then the elected king of Poland, and in his ele- 
vation the family of Sobieski had an important influence. 
The young hero was therefore looked upon with partial 
eyes, and his bravery soon won him, despite of his youth, 
a distinguished position in the army. 

After this insurrection was put down, more powerful foes 
arose ; Charles Gustavus of Sweden on one side, and the 
Muscovite Alexis on the other, threatened to ravage the 
entire country. These formidable adversaries were not to 

118 SiLAVERY !K 

be defeated ; the Polish armies were conquered, Cassimil* 
was driven from the throne, and for a time Poland ceased 
to be a nation. 

At this early period of Sobieski's life, his genius display- 
ed itself as if in full maturity ; and with the most indefati* 
gable perseverance he labored to restore his country to an 
individual position. There were fine hearts remaining — 
those that were true and brave ; such never despaired, and 
through their exertions noble and peasant at length combin- 
ed, and Cassimir was again placed upon the throne. So- 
bieski was appointed the principal agent in the government, 
and through him only could the death penalty be inflicted. 
It was with much joy that the Poles witnessed their favor- 
ite chief at the head, not only of the military, but the civil 
affairs of the country. He fully equalled their expectations 
in all the emergencies of the remainder of Cassimir's 

During the reign of Michael, Sobieski acted an equally 
important part. He triumphed over Cossack, Tartar, and 
Turk ; but this success availed not to save the kingdom 
from disgrace, for the feeble-minded king consejited to the 
most ignominious terms of peace. Sobieski retired in dis- 
gust, and the vilest aspersion of his character was the 
consequence. This soon called the intrepid patriot forth, 
and whilst silencing calumny, he effectually ruptured the 
disgraceful treaty. 

Sobieski again appeared on tiie field, and his wonderful 
exploits excited and astonished Christendom. Michael 
soon after died, and this event summoned a meeting of the 
Diet for the purpose of electing a sovereign. The unani- 
mous voice was, " Let a Pole reign over Poland ! " and 
John Sobieski was called to the throne. He was now 
King of Poland, but his new dignity brought not repose 

RUSSIA AND Poland. 119 

from toil. He was soon called upon to defend the country 
against the invasion of Mahomet, at the head of a formida- 
ble and well-trained force. Sobieski had not more than 
eight thousand men, and these were so situated, as to ren- 
der the arrival of supplies somewhat uncertain. Neverthe- 
less, he invested Lemberg, and calmly waited the event. 

His situation was desperate, but he knew not despair. 
A heavy fall of snow, that was blown in the face of the 
foe, afforded the first opportunity for attack, and Sobieski 
sallied forth with his little band. They were roused to en- 
thusiasm by his favorite cry, " Christ forever 1''^ — the In- 
fidels were routed — and the victory was considered a mir- 
acle ! Yet this disaster did not deter the Turks from 
prosecuting their design. An army of 300,000 men was 
placed under the command of the Pasha of Damascus, and 
to oppose this mighty force Sobieski could only present 
about 10,000 men. With this com.paratively small number 
he placed himself as advantageously as practicable, and 
sustained a bombardment through twenty days. The com- 
mander of the Moslems was confounded by this continued 
resistance, and admiration gradually merged in superstition, 
and he proposed terms of peace, but they were rejected by 

The bombardment was recommenced, but Sobieski order- 
ed the shells to be quickly gathered and sent back into the 
ranks of the enemy. The Turks, from this destructive 
process, supposed the Poles had received a reinforcement 
from the Tartars, and for forty-eight hours they ceased 
from action. What was their astonishment, when on the 
morning of the 14tli of October, Sobieski, with his little 
band came forth from his intrenchments, and regularly drew 
up for battle. They immediately invested him with super- 
natural powers, and refused to contend longer with a iviz- 

[-20 SLAVEliV IN 

ard king. The Pacha dictated liberal terms of peace, 
which were immediately complied with. 

A short peace followed the campaign, but during this 
Sobieski's life was harassed by political intrigues, instigat- 
ed by his wife. From these, however, he was soon divert- 
ed by another war with the Turks. They penetrated into 
Hungary, and threatened the subjugation of Austria. The 
Pope was in dismay, and sent couriers to the Polish hero, 
to pray him to assist in saving the Church ; also offering 
subsidies from Rome for his command. With these, when 
joined by the Austrian forces, Sobieski found himself at the 
head of about 70,000 troops, and tliis being a larger number 
than he had ever before commanded, he considered himself 
able to contend witli all the infidel world. 

A violation of national liberties had caused the Hunga- 
rians to revolt against Leopold, their king, who was also 
emperor of Germany, and to form an alliance with the 
Turks. Mahomet notified Leopold that the Austrian 
troops must be withdrawn from Hungary, as that country 
was now his ally. Leopold sought aid from Sobieski, who 
was rather disinclined to listen, but his queen turned a more 
favorable ear to the request. The king could not resist 
the artifice of his wife, who had her own reasons for advo- 
cating the measure ; he promised to raise 48,000 troops for 
the assistance of Leopold ; but a certain provision nearly 
deprived the emperor of his powerful all}'. Sobieski re- 
fused to sign any treaty, unless the emperor would style 
him " His Majesty," and this acknowledgment of regal dig- 
nity Leopold for a time persisted in refusing. The neces- 
sity of the case at last induced him to yield, and John 
Sobieski united his present fortune, but not his destiny, 
with the arrogant but still servile monarch. 

The Grand Vizier, with his army, marched along the 


course of the Danube, and reached Vienna, liaving met but 
a feeble opposition. Tiie cowardly Leopold retreated from 
town to town, and at length sought only his own safety, 
leaving his capital to be defended by his subjects. Vienna 
was well fortified ; the Duke of Lorraine threw a part of 
his infantry into the city, and placed the remainder on an 
island in the Danube, north of the town. On the 8th of 
July the Turks began their attack upon the walls. By the 
1st of August they had effected a considerable breach ; the 
suburbs were in their possession, but still the garrison de- 
fended itself bravely. 

It had been represented in France that Sobieski had be- 
come too unwieldly and decrepid to take his place at the 
head of an army. Great was the astonishment, therefore, 
when he commenced his march, and on the 15tli of Sep- 
tember reached the summit of the mountains that overlook 
the capital of Austria. The Turkish commander could 
scarcely believe his eyes, when he beheld the glittering 
lances of the Poles, as he was not aware that the wizard 
king was again in action. 

As the king descended the mountain, the shouts of his 
army bore to the Moslem ranks the terrifying name of 
Sobieski. The contest was of the most obstinate kind, 
and by five o'clock Sobieski had relinquished all hope of 
success for that day, but observing Mustapha calmly taking 
his coffee in a tent, he was so enraged by this contemptu- 
ous coolness, that he resolved upon a general assault. The 
shock was dreadful ; the terror inspired by the name of 
Sobieski, the valor of the Poles, but more than all, the pro- 
vidence of God, decided the victory. In one hour's time, 
Sobieski was in possession of the enemy's camp. The 
next day he entered Vienna, and was received with the 


warmest expressions of gratitude, and the greatest demon- 
strations of joy. 

All Christendom rejoiced ; Protestants and Catholics, 
forgetting minor differences, united in the general thanks- 
giving for their rescue from Moslem power. 

But notwithstanding the general joy, Sobieski was mis- 
erable. Poland was racked by divisions within itself, and 
new discontents were daily occasioned by the want of 
union in its councils. The intrigues of the queen embit- 
tered the State, and thus harassed, the king resolved to di- 
vest himself of royal dignity and retire to private life. No 
sooner was this become known, than dissensions were 
quelled, and even his enemies joined in the petition that he 
should continue to be their sovereign. He remained king, 
but it was merely nominal. Sick of public life, he wan- 
dered from one place to another, at one time dwelling in a 
tent, at another sojourning in a castle. T^he world no 
longer offered consolation, and in his weariness he turned 
inward to religion and philosophy. His death was occa- 
sioned by an over-dose of mercury, intended by himself to 
relieve his suffering, but which prostrated beyond all power 
of rallying. He died on the 17th of June, 1696, 



The records of history do not present a fairer name than 
that of Thaddeus Koscinssko. A real hero, an unswerv- 
ing patriot, and still more, an honest man, he stands before 
the world, a beacon to all classes, and an object of rever- 
ence to all nations. 

Kosciuszko belonged to a noble Lithuanian family, and 
was born at Warsaw in 1755. He was placed at the school 
of Cadets in that city, and his industry and proficiency so 
won the admiration of Prince Czartoryiski that he pro- 
moted him in the corps of Cadets, and at his own expense 
sent him to France, where he pursued his military studies 
with much profit. On his return he was made captain, but 
an unhappy circumstance of a private nature rendered it 
necessary for him to leave Poland. 

Previous to his coming to America his mind liad been 
prepared by the study of history and by reflecting upon its 
various incidents, as also by the discipline of Mathematics, 
to take part in the struggle for freedom in which America 
was then engaged. He became the aid of Washington, 
and won distinction on many occasions. A number of 
distinguished Frenchmen were serving at tliat time in the 
American war, and among these were La Fayette and 
Lameth. By these men he was highly esteemed, and he 
was eulogized by Franklin, and received the public thanks 
of Congress. He was made General, and returned to 
Poland in 1786. 


Tlie Polish army was organized in 1789, and Kosciuszko 
was appointed major-aeneral by the Diet. In 1791 he 
served under Prince Joseph Poniatowski, and during this 
campaign his name became generally known in Europe. 
In the following year he still further distinguished himself 
against the Russians, performing some of the most hazard- 
ous, but successful exploits. Stanislaus eventually sub- 
mitted to Catharine, and Kosciuszko retired from service 
and consequently was obliged to leave Poland. In a state of 
discouragement he retired to Leipsic, but soon after heard 
the pleasing intelligence that the Assembly of France had 
conferred upon him the rights of a French citizen. 

The oppression of Russia so roused the spirit of some 
of the more daring Poles, that they determined upon a 
desperate effort to free themselves from subjection. The 
plan was devised in Warsaw by the friends of Kosciuszko, 
and with one voice he was selected as their leader. In 
obedience to their call he repaired to Warsaw. When he 
had fully acquainted himself with the proposed movement, 
he imparted the project to some well-known patriots, who 
objected to countenance it, considering the plan an inju- 
dicious one. Kosciuszko, however, would not be deterred, 
but went himself to the frontier and dispatched two ap- 
proved generals into the Russian provinces of Poland to 
make preparations for the outbreak. But owing to misun- 
derstanding or to mismanagement, the insurrection broke 
out before the period determined on. 

The sound to arms was immediate. Cracow was strongly 
iiurrisoned by the Russians, but these were expelled, and on 
the 24th of March Kosciuszko entered the city in triumph. 
However, he remained only long enough to publish a man- 
ifesto, and then with 5000 men he marched forth to en- 
counter the enemv. At Wraclawice he met the Russians, 


twelve thousand strong ; he routed these and turned back 
to Cracow. The popular ferment had by this time risen 
nearly to fury ; the garrisons at Warsaw and Wilna had 
been all massacred or made prisoners. Kosciuszko 
checked, so far as possible, the general tumult, and en- 
deavored to secure order by organizing the government of 
Warsaw. He sent troops against different stations, and 
early in June, at the head of 13,000 men, he marched out 
and attacked the enemy at Szcnekociny. In this battle the 
Russians gained the advantage, and Kosciuszko was 
obliged to retreat. Once more in the capital, he was en- 
abled to defend himself against the frequently repeated 

Just at this juncture, the battle of Chelm was lost by the 
Poles, and Cracow was basely delivered to the Russians 
by the governor. Under these trying circumstances Kos- 
ciuszko manifested the most admirable composure and 
promptitude. The difficulties were increased by the king 
of Prussia, wiio, cooperating with the Russians, laid siege 
to Warsaw in July. Kosciuszko kept them at bay, and 
after a two months' defence, was finally able to repel tliem. 
The Prussian King raised the siege, and the confidence 
now placed in Kosciuszko was without limit, and well was 
it deserved. His every power was devoted to his country. 
Cincinnatus-like, he labored in his position, until supposing 
peace to be secured, he tendered to the national council his 
resignation of the command that had been delegated to 

This state of things did not long continue. Austria, in 
concert with the other powers, raised her standard against 
Poland. Kosciuszko left Warsaw in command of about 
21,000 men, and was attacked at Macieiowice by the en- 
emy, numbering about 63,000. The battle was dreadful ; 

126 SLAVKllV IN 

the confederates were repulsed three times, but the fourtli 
attack broke through the lines of the Poles. Kosciuszko 
fell from his horse and was left for dead upon the field. 
He was found by some Cossacks, who recognized him, 
and he was conveyed to St. Petersburg, where the in- 
famous Catharine caused him to be immured in a dungeon. 

The heroic Poles continued their desperate struggle 
under Wawrzecki, but at length Warsaw was wrested 
from them, and another calamity followed close in succes- 
sion, and on the 18th of November the Polish army was 

Kosciuszko was confined two years in prison. On the 
death of Catharine and the accession of Paul, he was im- 
mediately liberated, and many marks of esteem were ten- 
dered him by the emperor, but he declined them all, and 
seemed anxious to leave the Russian dominions. He 
passed some time in England, thence visited the United 
States, and in 1798 returned to Europe. He spent the 
greater part of his remaining days in France, and mostly 
in retirement. In 1814, when the Russians had penetrated 
into France, and were approaching Paris, it was with 
astonishment that they discovered Kosciuszko in that part 
of the country. The Russian army was engaged in plun- 
dering the commune in which he resided, and he recog- 
nized a regiment of Poles among the troops. Mortified 
and indignant, he rushed towards the ofiicers and boldly 
reproached them for the barbarous proceeding. " Who are 
you, that you dare to speak to us 1" was the angry ques- 
tion. " I am Kosciuszko !" — the arms of the soldiers were 
immediately cast down, tliey tlirew themselves at his feet 
and prayed his forgiveness for the outrage they had com- 

Kosciuszko could never be induced again to enter 


Poland. He afterward travelled with a friend to Italy, and 
in 1816 settled at Soleure ; the next year he freed all his 
serfs, executing a deed which should secure the full per- 
formance of his intention. His death occurred in October, 
1817, and was caused by a fall with his horse, from a pre- 
cipice. His remains were removed to Poland, and placed 
in the Cathedral of Cracow, between those of John 
Sobieski and Joseph Poniatovvski.* 

* Through the kindness of Professor Mapes, the writer has 
been favored with an introduction to Mrs. Evans, daughter of 
the late Lieut. General White, at whose house Kosciuszko was 
domesticated duriug much of the time of his sojourn in Amer- 
ica. General White resided in New Brunswick, N. J., and the 
family seat is still occupied by Mrs. Evans, the little Eliza, to 
whom Kosciuszko refers in some of his communications. This 
estiurable lady generously afforded me raanj'- minute particu- 
lars, a few of which I M'ill note for the interest of my readers. 

She describes Kosciuszko as having been small in stature, 
thin and pale in countenance, and of a quiet and apparently 
reserved demeanor. He usually wore a handkerchief bandaged . 
across his forehead, in order to conceal a deep scar caused by 
a gash received in battle. He had also been wounded in the 
leg, which so lamed him as to render the aid of crutches neces- 
sary in walking. He was simple and unostentatious in his 
habils, unwilling to be made the object of special atteutiou, and 
carefully avoided neighborhood notoriety. He pertiuaeionsly 
resisted any attempts to obtain his likeness, and one day per- 
ceiving a lady stealthily endeavoring to sketch his features 
whilst he was lying upon a sofa, he immediately threw a hand- 
kerchief over his face. He was always attended by his own 
servant, who had accompanied him from Europe, and catered to 
his taste and ministered to his fancies after their own fashion. 
He remained in the hospitable family of Gen. White for many 
months, during this time making occasional trips to Philadel 


phia. His friend and confidant, Julian Ursin Niemcewicz, ■who 
had also been imprisoned at St. Petersburg, now shared with 
him the kindness of the Whites in America. The following are 
transcripts of letters written by them from Philadelphia ; — 
they are interesting merely as being relics of two noble spirits 
that have passed away : 

Phil.. Januarii 2Gth, 1198. 
To Mrs. White, 

New Brunswick 

I cannot rest. Madam, be- 
fore I obtain your pardon, in full extent and force, for the 
trouble I gave during my stay at your house. The uneasiness 
hangs upon my mind, and my feelings suffer greatly. I "was 
perhaps the cause of depriving you of a pastime more suited 
to your inclination or satisfaction than with me. You never 
were out on a visit, you were pleased to inquire every day 
what I liked or disliked, every wish Avas complied with, every 
thought was presented to make my situation more comfortable 
and agreeable. Let me read in your answer foi-giveness, and I 
beg Eliza to solicit for me. I am too much indebted to express 
in -words corresponding to my obligation and gratitude. Let it 
suffice that I will never forget, neither will thy memory cease 
for a moment in my breast. May the gods of health, wealth, 
content, and happiness attend you the whole of your life. 
With respect and esteem, and sincere friendship, if you will 

allow me, 


Your humble and obedient servant, 


Phil., Oct. 24:lh, 11%8. 
To General White, 

N. Brunswick, N. J 

Dear General: 

I wrote a 

week ago to Mrs. White, but am afraid ehe has not received it. 


1 write you these few lines in order to inform you that on Sat- 
urday next General Pinekney -mil pass through New Bruns- 
•wiek on his way to Trenton, and I thought you and Colonel 
Bayard, and other citizens of Brunswick who will be glad to 
see him, and I took tlie liberty to give you this notice of it. 

With my best lespects to Mrs. White, Miss Ellis, Col. Bayard, 
and Patterson family, 

Your affectiunate and 

obedient servant, 


Whilst in America Kosciuszko was the subject of repeated 
attentions from the Court of St. Petersburg ; large parcels 
arrived containing valuable presents, but these he invariably 
refused to have opened, and directed their immediate return. 

His final departure from this countiy was conducted with 
the strictest secrecy, not even his most intimate friends being 
made acquainted with his intention. His favorite attendant 
was not aware he had gone until finding the crutches which 
Kosciuszko had left behind, at his last stopping-place in Phila- 
delphia. The man was greatly distressed at the seeming want 
of confidence manifested towards him by the master whom he 
had so faithfully served. 



Julian Ursin Niemcewicz, the friend and companion 
of Kosciuszko, Secretary of the kingdom of Poland, the 
statesman, historian, and poet, was born in the year 
1758. His varied talents and rare acquirements, attracted 
notice and admiration, whilst he was still at an early period 
of youth. He continued with succeeding years to win his 
way to eminence, and in 1788 was elected to the Diet aa 
representative of the Palatinate of Polish Livonia. 

Here his talents Avere put in full requisition. The 
council was torn by the intrigues of faction, the people 
were obstinate and turbulent, and much danger was appre- 
hended from enemies abroad. But Niemcewicz was equal 
to the task. He sustained his liberal views with an elo- 
quence that silenced opposition, and caused the haughty 
aristocrats to quail beneath his withering indignation at 
their abuse of privilege. 

He lent all his energies to the cause of liberty, and, not 
content with speeches in the Diet, he, in connection with 
two of his patriotic friends, established a political journal, 
devoted entirely to the propagation of liberal principles ; 
and, although this paper was of short duration, it served 
materially to advance the popular cause. His poetical 
powers were also called into full exercise, and his heroic 
verse wakened the dormant spirit in the breasts of many 
of his countrymen. The stage also was made to forward 


his favorite project. The comedy of the " Return of the 
Representative," was a clear exposition, not only of his 
talents, but also of his principles- The drama of " Casimir 
the Great" presented many startling views, and was 
adorned with sentiments of the- truest patriotism. 

When the immortal Kosciuszko appeared as the cham- 
pion of his country's rights, Niemcewicz was also upon 
the ground, and became aid-de-camp to the great com- 
mander. He dictated all proclamations, bulletins for bat- 
tles, orders of the day, etc. 

He likewise was imprisoned at St. Petersburg, after the 
fall of Poland, but was released upon the accession of 
Paul, and subsequently followed his illustrious friend to 
America- Desirous of again meeting his family, in 1809 
he returned to Warsaw, but again sought America, and 
there married an American lady, to whom, in his former 
visit, he had become warmly attached. 

After the Grand Duchy of Warsaw came into existence, 
the Poles, once more, anticipated the restoration of their 
country, and many of her ardent friends returned into her 
bosom ; amongst these was Niemcewicz, and, being ap- 
pointed Secretary of State, he accepted the position, and 
remained in it until the events of 1830. During this 
period, literature, particularly poetry, formed the relaxation 
of his private hours. 

After the revolution of 1830, he went to England, where 
he lived for a time in a retired manner in London : he 
journeyed thence to Paris, and there remained until the 
close of his useful and honorable career. His death 
occurred in 1841, and the last tribute of respect was paid 
by numbers of Polish, English, and American residents, 
joined to a large class of the higher order of French 


We subjoin some specimens of Niemcewi6z's produc 
tions, as they are not in general circulation. The follow- 
ing poem is addressed to an old and esteemed friend, and 
has reference mainly to matters pertaining to America. 

" With my wounded commander, compelled to depart, 
From thee, oppressed Poland, the pride of my heart ; 
,An asylum I sought, o'er the dark rolling sea, — 
In the land of the noble, the brave and the free ; 
But e'en there, the sad thought of my country would rise. 
And the tears of deep anguish would roll from my eyes. 

" In boundless savannahs, where man never strayed, 
Amid woods, that ne'er echoed the axe's keen blade, 
In the foaming abyss, where the clouds of bright steam 
Round the falls of the roaring Niagara gleam ; 
And on the deep sea, when the white sails are spread, 
Lo ! the shade of my country — all gory and dead ! 

" Full of bliss to my heart is the thought of that day 
When to Washington's mansion I wended my way, 
To visit the warrior, the hero, and sage, 
Whose name is the day-star to each coming age ; 
By his valor the new world rose happy and free, 
And her glory his endless memento shall be. 

" His featm-es are still on my memory defined, 
With the fadeless and delicate colors of mind ; 
Full noble, majestic, with crown of swan-hair, 
And a brow deeply writ with the finger of care: 
Old Roman simplicity marked his fine face, 
Expressive of dignity, giaiideur and grace. 

" When an exile from home, with deep sorrow oppressed, 
In the new world a pilgi'im, unknown and unblessed, 
With no light to illumine the shadows that spread 
Like the gloom of the sepulchre over my head — 


My lonely condition made woman's bright eye 
Mould tbc beautiful tear-drop of sweet sympathy. 

"But the feelings of pity were soon changed to love, 
Tliat bright serapli of mercy bequeathetl from above ! 
"With the gift of her fond heart she sweetened my woe, 
Making hope's dying embers with sweet brightness glow ; 
Since then my neat cottage, tlie meadow, parterre — 
Ricli j^leasurea of freedom ! — have been my sole care. 

" Far away from the crowd of the giddy and vain. 
From the thraldom of tyrant.^, the rude and profane— 
From the folly of idlers, that cumber the earth, 
Wasting life's precious reason in profitless mirth, 
Ambition and avarice disturb not the breast, 
While hope points the eoul to the realms of the blest. 

" So pure were the joys, and ao peaceful the life, 
That I shared with my lovely and beautiful wife, 
I might have been happy, could man but forget 
When his country with deadliest foes is beset ; 
But too oft the sad thoughts would convey me away, 
In the stillness of midnight, the bustle of day, 
Througli the foam-crested waves of the dark-rolling sea, 
To thee, distressed Poland, once peaceful and free !" 

The other selection is of a different character, and 
alludes to Glinski, an apostate chief of the sixteenth 
century. The rnea.sure is unlike the preceding, and the 
movement somewhat less smooth and mellifluous. 

" In a dark, dreary dungeon, wiiere the beam. 
The gladdening beam of sunliglit never shone, — 

Where from the dismal roof its little stream 
Of twilight pour'd a pendant lamp, — alone 

And conscience-tortured, sat, misery bound, 
Glinski — in victory and in crime renown'd. 

l34 StAVERY m 

" His forehead, years and grief had furrowed o'er 
His gray hair hung disordered on his brow ; 

His bloody sockets saw the h'ght no more : 

Plough'd were his wasted ciieeks with scars and woe. 

He sat, and leaned upon his hand : his groans 
Were echoed by the dungeon's atones. 

" With him his only child, his daughter fair, 
A very gem of virtue, grace, and youth : 

She left the smiling world and the free air 
Her miserable father's woes to soothe — 

Pleased in that fearful solitude to stay. 

While life's young bloom fled silently away. 

" ' Father I I pray thee by these tender years,' 
So spake the maid, ' be comforted, and chase 

Despair ; though chains hang heavy on thy years, 
Yet hope deserts not e'en this desert place ; 

Time yet may smile upon thee ; thou uiay'st rest 
Tl:y gray old age upon thy country's breast' 

" 'My country ! breathe not that, dread name to me, 
For crimes rush down upon my tortured thought, 

And wakened conscience gnaws the memory. 
And gentle sleep these eyes will visit not. 

Did I not head her foes ? — and can the name 
Of traitor but be linked to death and shame ? 

" ' All that can raise a man above mankind — 
All that is good and great in war or peace — 

Power, riches, beauty, courage, strength of mind, — 
Yes ! nature gave me these, and more than these ; 

I wanted nought but laurels — which I found — 
And glory's trophies wrcatiied my temples round. 

"'The locust swarming hosts of Tartars bioke 

Upon Lithuuia and Volhynia's land, 
Plundering, destroying. Their terrific yoke 

RUSSIA AND Poland. 136 

Spared neither age nor sex ; their fiery brand 
Of desolation swept the country o'er, — 

Children and mothers drowned in father's gore. 

" ' I sought tiie invaders' I'avage to withstand, 

Proud of tiieir strength, in widespread camps they lay ; 

But fhey were scattered by my victor-hand. 
The misty eve looked on the battle fray, 

While corpses on the Niemen's waters rode, 
And Infidel blood the thirsty fields o'erflowed. 

" ' When Alexander on his dying bed 

Lay, mourned by all his children-subjects, came 

The news that the defeated Tartars fled, 
Upon his clouded brow joy's holy flame 

Kindled sweet peace : " Now let me die, 
For I bequeath to Poland victory I" 

" ' My deeds, my monarch's praises, warmed my breast, 
And love of daring violence grew. The fame 

Of Zabrzezynki oft disturbed my rest ; 

I — a most foul and midnight murderer — came 

And butchered all in sleep. My Poles rebelled :— 
I joined with Poland's foes, by rage impelled. 

"'I looked upon a battle-field ; I saw 

Many a well-known corpse among the dead. 

Then did fierce agony my bosom gnaw, — 

Then burning tears of conscious guilt were shed ; 

And I implored forgiveness from my king — 
Forgiveness for a vile and outcast thing. 

" ' I told my penitent tale. My foes had wrought 

Upon the Czar, and roused him to distrust. 
He met indignantly my honest thought. 

Dashed my awakening virtue to the duat, 
Bid them tear out my eyes, and bind me here 

In galling fetters to this dungeon drear. 


" ' Ten years liave passed, and yet I live. The euil 
And the gay stars shine on, but not for rae ; 

Darkness and torments with my being run ; 
My strength decays, my blood flows freezingly 

Through my cliill'd veins, and death — not gentle death — 
Lays its hand upon my weakening breath. 

'"Yet a few days— this corpse, my grief's remains, — 

Will ask a handful of unfriendly earth; 
Leave, then, my child ! these foul and foreign plains, 

Blest who can claim the country of his birth ; 
Tlie Poles forgive — and thou shalt be forgiven. 

My child, be blest, and I be left to HeaVen ! 

'"Yes! thou shalt see thy country, and its smile 
Shall chase the memory of these gloomy days ; 

Thy father's princely hall shall greet thee ; while 
Thy thought o'er long-deparied glory strays ; 

Thy friends, thy countrymen, shall welcome thee — 
Give thee their love — but pour their curse on me. 

'"Yet e'en my death may hallow'd thoughts inspire : 
From this scathed trunk may wisdom's blossoms grow ; 

My history .shall check revengeful ire — 

None other Pole shall join his country's foe. 

Why should a traitor live ? — when he hath bound 
His veiled and sorrowing country to the ground.' 

"Thus spake the miserable man. A groan — 
A dark and hollow groan the dungeon filled : — 

On her pale breast his snow-white head was thrown — 
Death's shade o'ershadowed it — and all was still'd. 

So died the mighty Glinski ; — better lot 

Might have been his, but he deserved it not." 



The name of Joseph Poniatowski is familiar alike to 
French and Polish ears, and by both nations is he equally 

Poniatowski claims Warsaw as his native place, where 
he was born in the year 1763. He figured in the unsuc- 
cessful struggles of 1792 and '94, and subsequently attached 
himself to tbe French service, in wiiich he continued to 
distinguish his name until 1814. He commanded a corps 
in 1813, composed of French and Polish soldiers, which 
was always stationed as an advance guard. In order to 
bind him more closely to the interests of France, Napoleon 
appointed him a marshal of the Empire. 

Arranging for the retreat from Leipsic, the Emperor 
gave his final orders to each chief in succession. Ponia- 
towski stated that out of the eight thousand men he had 
commanded he had but a remaining eight hundred. " Well, 
then," replied the Emperor, " it is to you and yours, Prince 
Poniatowski, that I leave the duty of covering my retreat 
— eight hundred heroes are worth eight thousand men." 
Faithful to their orders, this brave body accomplished their 
perilous duty. 

Poniatowski, on receiving his orders, went directly to 

the faubourg, and commanding the troops to shorten their 

ranks, he delivered the message of Napoleon to them. 

Just at this moment the alarm was spread of a fresh attack 



by the enemy ; " The allies arc marching towards the town,'' 
was hurriedly passed from mouth to mouth, and all felt that 
the hour (u" peril had indeed arrived. 

The Emperor and Murat bade adieu to Frederick Au- 
gustus, and passing Poniatowski, they reached the gate of 
Halle. By this time the havoc had become terrific ; the 
bridge was blown up, and the trees were scattered in every 
direction. Yet no disorder pervaded this little body of 
devoted men. There were now two rivers to be passed, 
and without bridges ; but there was no quailing, no thought 
of attempting to desert their desperate undertaking. At 
length the advice was hazarded, for " the General to reserve 
himself for future service,"—" to follow the example of 
the Saxon army." The reply cf Poniatowski was worthy 
of his nature — " God has confided to me the honor of the 
Polanders— it is to Him only I will return it." As the 
enemy gained upon them, he drew his sword, and animated 
his soldiers by his example, urging them to die rather than 

The ranks of the dead before them served as a kind of 
protection, and from behind they poured an incessant fire 
upon the allies. They repelled the attack of bayonet in a 
manner that fairly astonished the opposing commanders. 
During a whole hour they continued the contest when dec- 
tilute of cartridges, and, in fact, whilst almost entirely un- 
armed. But such efforts could not but terminate. Ponia- 
towski threw himself upon a horse and plunged into the 
Pleisse ; his horse struggled for a little, and then sank 
beneath the waves. The Prince was rescued by his de- 
voted aid-de-camp, and they both succeeded in reaching the 
bank ; then crossing a meadow, they arrived at the Elster. 
Here a new horse was given to Poniatowski, and again he 
dashed into the water. All eff'ort to save was this time 


unavailing ; both rider and horse went down, and Ponia- 
towski was lost to Poland and the world. 

The body was afterward recovered, and found its last 
resting-place at Cracow, near the ashes of Sobieski. 



The geography and statistics of Russia have never been 
satisfactorily recorded. Except, perhaps, some of the 
estimates made, at great pains, within our own time, there 
are no available documents of that description extant ; at 
least, none that can safely be relied upon. Systematic 
inquiry into the resources of the empire may be said to 
have first been instituted by Catharine II., and although 
the inquiries have been continued under each successive 
reign with increased energy, the results are still unsatis- 
factory. The clergy, who furnished the substance of the 
greater part of the returns, were comparatively ignorant ; 
it is not, therefore, very surprising that their statements 
may not be considered reliable. 

The magnitude of the empire presents one difficulty ; 
the jealousy of the petty authorities another; and the 
monkish character of the imperial despotism a third. The 
great variety of nations or tribes embraced within the circle 
of Russia presents an aspect quite unexampled in the his- 
tory of any other country. It would naturally follow, that 
where people are united under one government, and habit- 
ually drawn together by the same interests and pursuits, 
they should eventually assimilate and present the appear- 
ance of one body. Such, however, is not the case in Rus- 
sia. There are many different nations, and each retains 
its own distinctive features in cociety and religion, one 


never intermixing witli the other, except for governmental 
purposes. The origin of tlie people who originally settled 
Russia has long been a question, or, rather, a series of 
questions, upon which history has shed little light ; but this 
much is known — from the earliest data it has been noted for 
its barbarism, tyranny, and cruelty. 

Prior to the accession of Peter the Great, he, like other 
royal princes, was persecuted, and was often within a hair's- 
breadth of losing his life. His half-brother was disquali- 
fied for reigning, long continued physical suffering having 
reduced him nearly to a state of idiocy. His half-sister, 
Sophia, used every art, suggested by her demon mind, to 
obtain possession of the throne. She called to her aid the 
brutal services of the Strelitz, an order of persons in the 
pay of the government, and with their assistance perse- 
cuted the unfortunate mother of Peter until she was com- 
pelled to leave the capital, carrying, it is said, the boy in 
her arms. In this manner she traveled a distance of sixty 
versts, (a verst is three-quarters of a mile) but the fero- 
cious Strelitz tracked her footsteps and followed close on 
her path. Her strength at length began to give out. and 
her pursuers were gaining rapidly upon her. She could 
distinctly hear their yells and the tramp of their approach- 
ing feet ; her heart trembled with horror, and in a state of 
desperation she rushed into a convent, to seek, as a last 
resort, the shelter of the sanctuary. 

The Strelitz, uttering cries of savage triumph, were 
close upon her, and the despairing mother had barely time 
to reach the foot of the altar and place her child upon it, 
when two of the murderous band came up ; one of them, 
seizing the young prince, drew his sword and was about to 
sever the child's head from its body, when the sound of 
approaching horsemen was heard from without. The ruf"- 


fian hesitated, and his fellow murderers in the church were 
struck with consternation, and in their dismay they aban- 
doned their prey and fled, and Peter the Great was pre- 
served to Russia. 

The immediate result of these violent efforts of the 
Strelitz, was the declaration of the sovereignty in the name 
of Ivan. That prince, however, trembled at the idea of 
the responsibility thus thrust upon him, and knowing him' 
self to be inadequate to the trust, he earnestly entreated his 
friends and counsellors to permit his half-brother Peter to 
be associated with him. The reasonableness of this re- 
quest could not be denied, and consequently it could not be 
refused. By the consent of all parties, on the 6th of May, 
1681, the coronation of Ivan and Peter was conducted in 
due form, Sophia being appointed regent, on account of the 
imbecility of the one and the youth of the other brother. 

Sophia was now really in possession of the power she 
had so long coveted, but she yet desired to have that power 
formally recognized and publicly acknowledged. In order 
to exclude Peter from any future lien upon the throne, she 
planned and effected the marriage of Ivan, trusting to the 
issue to present an insurmountable barrier to the claims of 
the young prince, whose dawning genius, even at that 
early age, she appeared to dread. But this was not the 
only means resorted to by the daring Sophia, to crush the 
pretensions of Peter. She resolved not only to place im- 
pediments in his way, but, if possible, to render hinr 
incapable of reigning, should his succession become indis- 
putable. ^yith this view, she banished him in his early 
boyhood to an obscure village, where he was compelled to 
associate with low companions, by whose example she 
hoped his heart would be corrupted and his intellect 


General Menzies, an educated Scotchman, had been ap- 
pointed by Alexis, the father of Peter, to superintend his 
education ; but this man refusing to join the intrigues of 
the princess, was removed from his situation, and his pupil 
was consigned to the seclusion appointed by Sophia, and 
kept in entire ignorance of those duties and acquirements 
that were essential to his prospective station. 

Through his early youth, his companions were of that 
class whose immoral habits and vulgar associations were 
only calculated to injure his constitution and pervert the 
vigor of his intellect. Youths who had been driven from 
respectable society by their excesses, were, by the princess 
Sophia, provided with means for their support, and placed 
about the person of Peter, with the vain hope of entirely 
debasing him by associating him in their degrading sensu- 
alities. But the development of natural talent could not 
be restrained. Peter became the leader, and not the fol- 
lower, of those with whom he was associated. His genius 
was characteristically developed in the manner by which 
his influence was exercised upon his young friends. Much 
time was, of course, spent in profligate amusements, but 
the military spirit of the young Czar soon gave a nobler 
direction to their energies. 

He formed his companions into a mimic corps of sol- 
diery, in which each individual was obliged to pass through 
the regular gradation of service, himself setting the exam- 
ple of discipline by entering the ranks as drummer. xA-ftei 
serving a specified time in that capacity, he became a pri- 
vate soldier, next an officer, and lastly, when fully qualified 
by experience, the commander of the amateur regiment. 

This present regularity proved to be not merely the 
mockery of sport, but the well-directed practice of minds 
and bodies, destined to carry into actual service the ac- 


quiremeiits gained as the amusement of iJIe hours. Peter 
erected fortifications, and for forming intrenchments 
wheeled the earth in a barrow made by his own hands. 
The village became a military school, and the little band 
was an army of embryo heroes, moulded by necessity, 
directed by an intellect whose power even Christendom 
does not question. 

This boy-militarj- force soon found itself confined 
within a too narrow space ; it gradually extended itself, 
and soon occupied a portion of the adjacent neighborhood. 
Peter now became aware of the necessity of understanding 
the different languages of the country, and successfully 
applied himself to their acquirement. His own unaided 
genius rendered the feeble means afforded him available, 
and he also made considerable progress in mathematics, 
and whilst Sophia supposed him occupied with low pur- 
suits and vulgar amusements, he was gradually preparing 
for his after noble career of power and usefulness. Nor 
was he alone in this improvement ; his companions shared 
the benefit, and were all more or less elevated by his in- 
structions and example. 

Accounts of these proceedings at length reached the 
capital, but they excited merely derision, and the military 
display of the youthful band was considered as only the 
frolics of idle boys. The profound and varied pursuits of 
Peter were unknown, consequently no uneasiness was 
occasioned by his miniature parade. However, on the 
approach of manhood, his friends began to urge him to 
claim his seat in the senate, which eventually he did, and 
beginning to understand the machinations of Sophia, he set 
himself about circumventing her designs. At the age of 
seventeen he married a Russian lady, the daughter of 


Colonel Capuchin. This measure, so hohl and unsuspected, 
awakened Sophia to the real character of Peter. 

Two years previous she had caused her image to be 
stamped upon the coin in connection with that of Ivan ; but 
Peter's appearance in tiie senate and his subsequent decided 
measures, now caused her to tremble at her own temerity ; 
but indefatigable in perseverance, she at last resolved upon 
a desperate effort for the preservation of her power. 

Peter was rapidly gaining ground in popular favor. His 
genius had made itself apparent, and several bitter disputes 
had occurred in the senate between him and Sophia, in 
which she perceived that the majority of that body coin- 
cided with the views of the Czar. She therefore thought 
it necessary to lose no time by delaying to strike the con- 
templated blow. 

The Strelitz, as before, were employed as the instru- 
ments of her vengeance. Under the cover of night, 
several hundreds of this body were despatched t"> the resi- 
dence of Peter for the purpose of assassinating him. But 
he, being forewarned by friends, had retired to the monas- 
tery of the Holy Trinity, a place so often made the refuge 
of the Czars. There he called about him his personal 
friends and members of the senate, and advising with them, 
declared his intention of opposing the rage of woman by 
the strong arm of power, at the same time demanding their 
adherence and support. The call was promptly responded 
to, and soon a large number of the nobility and most of the 
army deserted Sophia and declared for Peter. The 
Strelitz, who (like all men of degraded character) pos- 
sessed no real courage, shrunk from further eflbrt so soon 
as danger threatened them. 

Sophia finding herself abandoned by her accomplices and 


servants, now clianged her tactics and attempted to gain by 
flattery what she had failed to secure by fraud and violence. 
She appointed individuals to mediate between herself and 
Peter, proposing to bring their dispute to an amicable ad- 
justment, and desiring to make some specific arrangement 
for her future mode of life. 

But Peter had now the power in his own hands ; he re- 
fused to accede to any terms of reconciliation, and insisted 
upon her entire abandonment of all authority. He repre- 
sented the baseness of his sister's conduct to the commis- 
sioners who had been appointed to treat with him, and so 
influenced them that they resigned their trust and espoused 
liis cause. 

In this emergency, Sophia determined to try the effect 
of her personal presence. She was a woman possessing 
much physical beauty, and to a display of this she trusted 
to regain her influence over the soldiery. But in this, again, 
she was outwitted. She set out from Moscow escorted by 
soldiery, but on the way was met by an embassy from 
Peter, demanding the surrender of Scheglovitoi, the com- 
mander of the Strelitz, also the immediate banishment of 
Galitzin, the crafty minister of her intrigues, and requiring, 
besides, her full and entire resignation of all right or claim 
to the throne of Russia. 

These conditions, hard as they were, Sophia was not in 
a position to refuse. She was deserted on all sides, and, 
for the first, realized that she had pursued a phantom that 
always vanished whenever she stretched forth her hand to 
grasp it. She acceded, and the commander of the Strelitz 
was beheaded ; Galitzin and family were banished to the 
vicinity of Archangel, where they were allowed the daily 
sum of three kopecks (the value of three cents) each, for 


their support. Sophia was compelled to shave her head 
and retire to a nunnery for life. 

Great numbers of the Strelitz were put to death in the 
most cruel manner of the age — cruel, but yet a just retri- 
bution for their many acts of violence and murder. 

148 SLAVERY liN 


Peter was now sole Sovereign of Russia ; for, although 
Ivan still lived, he was only nominally associated in the 
government. Immediately after the execution of the in- 
famous Streiitz, Peter issued a proclamation, in which he 
declared that the name of Sophia should no longer be 
mentioned as Regent, or in any manner as connected with 
governmental matters, and at the same time directed her 
image should be struck from the coin of the country. Her 
personal favorites and servants were dismissed from all 
offices of state, and the young Czar reigned supreme. 

From this period dates the era of Russia's prosperity. 
Mv object is not to give an historical detail, but simply to 
glance at the incidents which have been transpiring in that 
country during the past two centuries. The name of 
"Peter the Great" is connected with the general history 
of Europe. Previous to his time, the usages of civiliza- 
tion had acquired no permanent hold in Russia, their intro- 
duction depending merely upon accidental circumstances, 
and not upon any systematic eifort of the sovereigns to 
effect so desirable a result. Thus, Russia had been 
Asiatic under ttie Runicks, but developed a tendency to 
become European under the Romanoffs ; but customs and 
influences vacillated, and there appeared no basis on which 
to ground either change or progress. The trade of the 
country was not beneficially arranged. Romanoff opened 


a commercial intercourse with England, France, and Per- 
sia. Alexis enlarged upon the plans of his predecessors, 
and sent an embassy into Spain — also to France and Hol- 
land — for the purpose of acquiring information with respect 
to agriculture and manufactures. He invited to Russia 
some foreign shin-carpenters and sailors, with the view to 
the navigation of the Volga to the Caspian. The special 
object of reaching the Caspian by water, was to secure a 
more rapid and certain means of communicating with 
Persia, on account of the silk trade, which was then 
assuming a degree of importance. The rebellious Ra- 
dazin, who roamed at large in the neighborhood of Astra- 
chan, had hitherto interrupted these designs, and he could 
more easily be defied on water than on land. Alexis also 
established a trade with China, exchanging the Siberian 
furs for Chinese silks, and stufts of various kinds. About 
this time, the hemp, soap, potash, and coarse linens of 
Russia, began to form articles of export, and wer.; received 
largely in Sweden, she transmitting large quantities of iron 
in return — iron not having, at that period, been discovered 
in Russia. 

Some progress had been made in the formation of laws, 
and, although the statutes were deficient for strong moral 
purpose, not taking a comprehensive view of human con- 
tingencies, still they opened the way to a perception and 
applicability of system. 

The domestic character of the people was higher than 
might have been expected. Education had scarcely 
touched the confines of the Empire, but the people seemed 
to have purified themselves, by some unconscious process, 
from much of the grossness that had formerly marked 
them. They had a vague sense of moral obligation ; of 
the sacredness of a pledge ; of the reciprocal responsi 


bility of kindred ; and of unlimited obedience to their 
spiritual rulers. These intuitions supplied to them the 
place of knowledge, for they were yet profoundly ignorant. 
In this state of things, what was required but a master 
mind, whose native powers would perceive, and whose 
practical ability would mould the elements subjected to his 
control 1 and this mind was found in Peter. His first 
step was to improve the art of war ; next, the advance- 
ment of naval tactics, himself becoming a partaker in the 
discipline of naval operations. He issued a proclamation, 
calling on the patriarchs, the clergy, the nobility, and the 
trading classes, to furnish contributions for the building of 
a certain number of vessels, whilst he should be engaged 
in the construction of others. The two first mentioned 
classes, possessing sufficient knowledge to perceive the 
tendency of these operations, began to feel apprehensive 
as to the result ; their influence would be endangered, 
consequently secret operations were made to work against 
the policy of the Czar. Many of the nobility joined in 
these schemes, but the honest energy of Peter was not 
easily withstood. The priests he never paused to con- 
ciliate ; he considered them a body subservient to the 
state, and kept them ignorant of his intentions, that ren- 
dered them of necessity obedient to his will. But, mould- 
ing the people was a more difficult task. Obtuse through 
ignorance, and brutalized by habitual slavery, they were 
slow to perceive the benefits of amelioration or advance- 
ment ; and, though it was for them he labored, they neither 
acknowledged nor appreciated his efforts in their behalf. 
In this state of matters, but one course remained for him 
to pursue ; he must compel them to receive the benefit 
they refused ; and an opportunity soon presented itself to 
bring this resolution to bear. 


The order of the Strelitz was not yet abolished : they 
still congregated in various parts, and still continued a 
body in the capital. Knowing that disaffection prevailed 
among the people, they conspired against the life of the 
Czar. The plan was this : the city was to be set on fire 
in a number of places, and when Peter, according as he 
was wont, should have thrown himself among the popu- 
lace, to aid their efforts, the occasion should be used to 
assassinate him in the crowd ; then to massacre, so far as 
possible, the guard of soldiers, and afterwards hasten to 
relieve Sophia from her convent, and place her upon the 

The leaders and principal instigators of this infamous 
plot were Tsickler and Sukanim, two prominent members 
of the Strelitz. The appointed place of rendezvous was 
the residence of Sukanim ; and, on the night specified for 
the attempt, a number of the leagued assassins assembled 
there at a grand banquet, in order to fortify themselves by 
a preliminary revel for their contemplated act. Two of 
the party, however, lost their resolution, and the liquor 
they drank served only to stimulate their fears ; so, taking 
leave of their comrades, under plea of going home to 
sleep for a few hours, they left the house, hastened to the 
palace, and discovered to Peter the whole plot. The Czar 
instantly sent orders to the Captain of his Guard, to repair 
with his troops to Sukanim's house : they were to be 
silent in their movements, so that the revellers might not 
be warned, but be entrapped in their own net. Tn his 
haste and confusion, he unfortunately mentioned the hour 
as eleven instead of ten o'clock, and despatched the com- 
munication without being aware of his mistake. A few 
minutes after ten he went alone to the house, expecting to 
fjnd it surrounded by soldiers. However, to his great 


surprise, he found tlie doors open and unguarded, but, 
hearing a noise within, he supposed the soldiers had 
already entered, and lie went forward to find himself, 
single and unarmed, in the midst of the desperate band 
who were at that moment uttering the last word of the 
oath by which they pledged themselves to his destruction. 

The unexpected circumstance occasioned some tem- 
porary confusion, but Peter's admirable presence of mind 
did not forsake him. He saw at once the peril to which 
he was exposed, and, though much irritated at what, he 
supposed, the culpable neglect (rf his officers, he sup- 
pressed his emotions, and, advancinL: with a friendly air 
into the midst of the group, accosted them in terms of 
familiarity. He said, that observing a light in the house 
as he was passing, and hearing the sounds of revelry, he 
had entered to share in their amusements; and, begging 
he might not interrupt their enjoyment, he asked leave to 
seat himself with them at the table. 

Accordingly, seating himself, he filled a glass, which he 
drained to their health with the most apparent confidence 
and good will. The assassins, cowed by his cordiality, 
could not avoid returning the courtesy. But this masque- 
rade did not last long ; a few more glasses drew out the 
spirit of the malcontents ; they became impatient of their 
object, and soon began to consult each other by signs and 
significant looks, upon the necessity of falling upon Peter 
at once. He watched their motions narrowly, but without 
seeming to do so ; and at last they became more explicit, 
and one of them, stooping over the table, uttered to Suka- 
nim, in a low tone, " Brother, it is time." Sukanim, 
shrinking, it is possible, from his personal responsibility as 
master of the house, hesitated to reply ; but Peter, who 
providentially heard the approaching footsteps of his guard, 

nussiA AND Poland. 153 

tising suddenly from liis seat, struck the traitor a blow 
upon his face, which prostrated him on the ground, at the 
same time crying, — " Not yet, villain ; if it is not yet 
time for you, scoundrel, it is for me!" At that moment 
the soldiers entered, and the conspirators, overcome with 
dismay, fell upon their knees, and in the most abject man- 
ner craved for pardon. 

The Czar was inexorable ; and, ordering the soldiers to 
take them in charge, he turned to the Captain of the 
Guard and struck him a violent blow in the face, reproach- 
ing him witii neglect of duty in not being at the place by 
the hour appointed. That officer, who was exact to the 
time, produced the written order ; Peter perceived his 
error, and, always as prompt to atone for injury as to 
inflict punishment, he clasped the Captain in his arms, and 
kissing him on the forehead, declared him free from all 
censure, and committed the conspirators to his keeping. 
The officer was immediately promoted to a high ^ank. 

The next morning the wretched culprits were executed. 
He first condemned them to the rack, and while suffering 
the agonies of that punishment, iie further ordered their 
members to be slowly and successively mutilated, and life 
to be extinguished by a final process. After this was 
over, their heads were placed on the summit of a column, 
and this was surrounded by the mangled limbs, placed in 
most revolting regularity. The sight struck the people 
with horror. It was in consonance with the barbarous 
habits of the country, but exceeded in disgusting detail 
anything that even the Russians had ever before wit- 
nessed. The only palliation to be admitted, was the 
exigency of the occasion, the customs of the country, and 
the imperfect education of the Czar. 

154 sLAVERV m 


We next find Peter in Sardam, a town of North Hol- 
land, a few miles northwest from Amsterdam, a place in 
which there are a great number of shipwrights. Here, 
under the name of Peter Zimmerman, he hired himself to 
a builder, for the purpose of acquiring more perfectly the 
art on which he hoped to found the future greatness of hia 
empire. In this capacity he observed the most scrupu- 
lous punctuality ; was at his work during all the prescribed 
hours in common with the other men ; he labored hard and 
received his wages like the other workmen. With the 
revenue of an empire at his command, it is worthy of 
remark, that he lived exclusively upon the small stipend 
wliich he procured by his daily toil. 

Through this period he still attended to the cares of gov- 
ernment, and from his lowly home at Sardam. he issued 
instructions to his officials that guided safely the mighty 
country of which he was sovereign. After remaining 
sometime in Holland he went thence to England. Wil- 
liam HI. gave a hearty welcome to his Russian friend and 
presented him with a beautiful yacht, which Peter prized 
as a gift of inestimable value. But it was not to enjoy ease 
anil to bask in the flattery of the court that he visited 
England ; the same motive that sustained him under for- 
mer privation still urged him onward for information and 


Retiring, therefore, from the palace, he took up his resi- 
dence in one of the dock yards, and again followed his 
trade as ship builder. With this he combined a plan of 
fortifications, and also gave much attention to the sciences 
of Geography, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Anatomy, en- 
deavoring to acquire a sufficient knowledge of each to 
appreciate and direct their progress when he should return 
to his own realm. After gaining what he deemed a suffi- 
cient stock to serve his purpose, he proposed to continue 
his journey, never allowing himself to indulge in repose 
or to enjoy the amusements to which opportunity frequently 
invited him. 

However, he was suddenly called home to suppress a 
rebellion instigated by the Strelitz in favor of the Princess 
Sophia. This wa.s soon put down and the offenders pun- 
ished accordingly. In the year 1704 Peter granted re- 
ligious freedom to his subjects, and the priests branded him 
with the name of Antichrist. 

In 1707 he was privately married to Catharine Alexina, 
and the time had now arrived when he proposed to ac- 
knowledge this marriage to his subjects, and on the 6th of 
March, 1711, the Czarina, Catharine Alexina, was publicly 
declared to be his lawful wife. 

After the lapse of a few years, the Czar, satisfied with 
the circumstances of the empire, and anxious to extend his 
knowledge of the political systems of Europe, resolved 
upon a tour for that purpose. When he before travelled, 
he was young, ardent, and undistinguished ; under what 
different circumstances did he now set forth? Nineteen 
years had elapsed, and in that interval he had strengthened 
and enlarged his dominions, had subjugated many provinces, 
and had accomplished the great purposes of his wise am- 
bition. True, he had also experienced reverses, but from 


these a mind like his could not fail to deduce the most uss^ 
ful admonitions. In 1715 he set out, bearing with him the 
gratitude of his subjects, whom even this journey was 
intended to serve. The Czarina accompanied him, but 
falling ill upon the way, she was under the necessity of 
remaining a short time at Saleitz, but Peter continued on 
his tour ; she soon recovered and rejoined her husband in 

Peter visited Stralsund, Mecklenburg, and Hamburgh, 
and subsequently proceeded to Copenhagen, where he was 
received with great distinction by the King of Denmark. 
On this occasion a squadron of British vessels, under the 
command of Sir John Norris, and also one of Dutch ships, 
under Admiral Graves, arrived at Copenhagen, and it being 
understood that a Swedish fleet was on the waters, the four 
armaments, Russian, Danish, Dutch, and English, united 
under the standard of the Czar and put out to sea. Not 
falling in with the Swedes, they having secured their safety 
in Carlscrona, the fleets separated, and Peter, having taken 
leave of the Court of Demnark, proceeded to Hamburgh. 
This incident was ever afterward adverted to by the Czar 
as one of the most gratifying circumstances of -his life; 
even his proudest victories afforded less pleasure in the 
recollection, tlian the moment when he raised his flag as 
commander-in-chief of the united fleets. 

On reaching Amsterdam he was received with a delight 
and admiration almost approaching to idolatry. The people 
regarded him as their pupil in the art of ship building and 
commerce, and they felt a share in the glories of the 
" Hero of Pultawa," as if he were belonging to themselves. 
Nor did Peter hesitate in placing them as much at their 
ease in his presence as they formerly were when he lived 
and worked as one of their number. The cottage in which 


he once had made his home remained as he had left it, hut 
distinguished by the name of the " Prince's House." It 
had been preserved in order by the people, and was looked 
upon by them with unabated interest. The house still 
stands. In 1823 it was purchased by the Princess of 
Orange, sister to the emperor Alexander ; by her it was 
surrounded by a neat building resembling a coiiservatory. 
The ladder leading to the loft where Peter was accustomed 
to perform his devotions, is still carefully kept, as are also 
a little table of oak, three chairs, some models he had used, 
and a few of his working tools. Over the mantel is in- 
scribed " Petro Magno Alexander," and under this in- 
scription is written in Prussian and Dutch — " To a great 
man nothing is little^ 

He remained three months in Holland^ and during this 
time he was occupied by a succession of trivial incidents, 
mostly connected with his former associates, all of whom 
were recognized by the Czar with the greatest cordiality. 
But whilst he was thus engaged in visiting dock yards, in 
exchanging models, and in receiving small tokens of popu- 
lar attachment, he was not indifferent to matters of higher 

His intention was next to visit France, and preparations 
were extensively made in that country for his reception ; 
but Peter, with his usual contempt of splendor, endeavored 
to avoid all display, so far as possible. Accompanied only 
by four gentlemen, he outstripped the escorts, and entered 
Paris without ostentation. His journey was a succession 
oi fetes, and these were conducted on a magnificent scale. 
His fame had penetrated the haunts of art and science, 
and had been sounded in the halls of princes. Portraits 
of himself and the Czarina — medals hearing the most flat- 
tering inscriptions and ingenious devices, intended to repre- 

158 slaverV in 

sent some of the events of his life, started up before hirtt 
in places where he might least have expected to meet 
tribute to his greatness. But he could not be flattered out 
of his simplicity. Declining the honors of the court, he 
retired to a private hotel in a remote quarter of the city, in 
order to employ his time in accordance with his own 
wishes, instead of being trammelled by the fatiguing and 
idle ceremonies of the Louvre. 

Peter enjoyed a joke, even when practiced on himself. 
He had one private servant whom he liked better than any 
other, and with whom he often conversed on familiar and 
confidential matters. Prior to bis leaving Russia, he had 
given orders to this man, that wherever they might be, and 
under all circumstances, he should be awakened every 
morning at precisely four o'clock. It happened one morn- 
ing, that the Czar, being unusually sleepy, replied to the 
call, " I do feel very sleepy, let me rest fifteen minutes 
longer, and then you may call me." " No," said the man, 
" these orders were given by the Emperor of Russia, and 
you must obey them ; get up immediately." Peter replied, 
" I will obey the orders of the Emperor of Russia, and 
you shall be rewarded for enforcing them, even on an 

On the return of the Czar to his capital, he had the dis- 
tress and mortification of finding that his son Alexis, then 
twenty-nine years of age, had been making disturbance m 
the government. The young prince was heir to the throne, 
and greatly beloved by his father, but Peter was prompt to 
punish as well as ready to reward. He would make no 
allowance for his son, but caused him to be closely 
watched until the period of his death, which occurred in 
July, 1718. 

In 1721 the senate decreed to the Czar the title of 


" Great Emperor and Father of his Country." He was 
addressed in the cathedral by the High Chancellor, and the 
senators rent the air with their acclamations of " Long Jive 
our great Emperor and Father !" When the fetes were 
concluded at St. Petersburg, Peter considered it proper to 
renew them at Moscow for the entertainment of his inland 
subjects, and as these people had never seen the sea, he 
ordered a little yacht and a frigate of sixteen guns to be 
mounted on sledges and driven for several days through the 
streets, with colors flying, and accompanied by a band of 
martial music. This exhibition not only pleased the people 
by its novelty, but served to aid them in forming a more 
correct idea of naval matters than they otherwise could 
possibly have acquired. 

In the year 1724, the emperor was confined to his room 
for more than four months, under the care of a physician. 
So soon as his health was partially restored, he signified 
an intention of visiting the works on Lake Ladoga. His 
friends remonstrated against his imprudent step, but Peter's 
resolution was not to be shaken. The voyage occupied 
from the beginning of October to the fifth of November, 
and during this time Peter betrayed symptoms of a return 
of his disorder. Yet his spirits never flagged, and on one 
occasion he waded to his knees in water to assist in the 
rescue of a boat that had run aground. This unfortunate 
act hastened the catastrophe which human skill could not 
have much longer averted. He was attacked by fever 
and immediately conveyed back to St. Petersburg. His 
malady now made rapid progress, and he was almost con- 
stantly delirious. In the interval of reason he made many 
attempts to write, but the few characters he traced were 
nearly unintelligible ; the only words that could be de- 
ciphered were a fev.' written in Russian, " Let everything 

160 sIjAvery itJ 

be given — ." He sent for the Princess Anna Petruna, fot 
the purpose of dictating to her, but when she arrived he 
was speechless, having fallen into a fit which continued for 
sixteen hours. The Empress Catharine faithfully watched 
by his bedside during three successive nights, and at four 
o'clock on the morning of January 28th, 1725, he expired 
in her arms. 

The funeral ceremonies were conducted on a scale of 
unprecedented magnificence, and the honors paid to his 
memory were not confined to the vulgar testimonials that 
ordinarily mark the death of sovereigns. They were the 
demonstrations of grief, the outbursts of sorrow from an 
afflicted people, who realized they had lost in him their 
father and the founder of their prosperity. 

The character of Peter was fully developed in his acts. 
His life was one of action, and the impediments against 
which he struggled from the commencement to the close 
of his career, afford a partial, if not a sufficient, apology 
for his faults, whilst they much enhance his numerous and 
varied merits. Looking back to the circumstances of his 
youth, we may consider him to have been a self-educated 
man, and in everything that concerned the responsibility 
of the sovereign, or the duties of the commander, he owed 
nothing to the precepts or example of his predecessors, or 
to the influence of those around him. He was indebted to 
none ; the wisdom and perseverance were his, and his only. 
He found the empire convulsed by disorders* the prey of 
petty and privileged tyrannies, weak through disunion, and 
trembling before nations more advanced and powerful than 
itself. He left it an ally and equal of the proudest state 
of Europe, augmented in territory, improved in trade, and 
with outlets upon the ocean for the extension of its com- 
merce. The nation was freed from many of its ancient 


and barbarous usages ; society was advanced in civilization 
and knowledge of the arts of life ; there was a well-disci- 
plined and effective army, and a considerable naval force. 
The country possessed, also, numerous institutions for the 
culture of military and other sciences, for the promotion 
of the arts, etc., besides various charitable establishments 
that would have done honor to a later period. Peter gave 
to mankind a wondrous sample of the power of an individ- 
ual mind. In his case it had elevated an obscure and dis- 
tracted country, in an almost incredible short space of time, 
to the highest rank among the kingdoms of the earth. 
Taking into consideration the circumstances in which 
he was placed, and the low standard of morality in the 
nation ; that no ennobling influence, except such as ema- 
nated from his own heart, was brought to bear upon him, 
we cannot expect that he could have accomplished his 
gigantic ends without committing many infractions of the 
strict principles of justice. We find the caree.- of Peter 
the Great marred by occasional acts that derogate much 
from his magnanimity. The slave of turbulent passions, 
he sometimes reminds us of "Ivan the Terrible," and ap- 
pears to vie with him in the needlessness and cruelty of his 
sanguinary punishments. At one time violating the laws 
of nature by the continued imprisonment of his son, and 
anon rebelling against his own sovereignty by an extrava- 
gant act of despotism which engendered hatred in the 
bosoms of many of his subjects. Still, we never find him 
abandoning for a moment the general interests of the em- 
pire. He had one distinct purpose, and to this he was 
ever constant, and at length had the satisfaction of finding 
his efforts towards that end crowned with entire success. 
On the whole, never was the title of " Father" more justly 
bestowed by a grateful people upon their sovereign, and 

162 SLAVERY in 

never were tlie solemn obligations it implies discharged 
v.'ith more unfaltering courage, perseverance, and wisdom. 

Owing to political troubles, Catharine was compelled to 
assume the government on the very day of her husband's 
death ; thus, for the first time since the reign of Olga in 
the tenth century, was the throne of Russia occupied by a 
woman. She died after a reign of but two years, and was 
succeeded by Peter the Grand, son of Peter the Great, a 
boy of eleven years. He lived but three years after his 

The Princess Anna was then called to tlie throne, but 
was restricted in the exercise of power ; she could act 
only by the consent or advice of the senate. She died in 
1740, and was succeeded by Ivan, a prince seventeen years 
of age, and at the expiration of the first year of his reign 
a revolution broke out, which placed the Princess Eliza- 
beth upon the throne. During her reign of twenty-one 
years there was little or no advancement in civilization ; 
nor was any improvement introduced or benefit conferred 
upon the people. After Elizabeth comes Peter the Third ; 
he also was a grandson of Peter the Great. But another 
revolution soon followed, that resulted in Catharine II. 
being proclaimed sole monarch of Russia. Peter was 
compelled to abdicate the throne, and to swear allegiance 
to her. He was afterward cast into prison, and eventually 
was poisoned by order of Catharine. The character of 
this empress is too revolting for description. As a sov- 
ereign she was capricious and tyrannical ; as a woman she 
was detestable. Her profligacy was too flagrant to admit 
of concealment, and the dissoluteness of her court shed its 
baleful influence through all ranks of society. Her life 
was a curse to her people, and her death a blessing for 
which Christendom might be thankful. 


Paul ascended the throne in 1776, and after a reign of 
twenty-four years was assassinated in the year 1800. Pie 
made many clianges in the military system of the country, 
and attempted some things that he called reforms, but most 
of his measures might be deemed of questionable expe- 
diency. After his death Alexander was elevated to the 
imperial dignity. He was a noble specimen of the emper- 
or ; simple in character and manners, and mild in disposi- 
tion, his life was devoted to the good of his people. The 
general European convulsion of this period inevitably 
checked the advancement of the private interests of the 
diflerent countries. In Russia it was particularly the case. 
Being emphatically a military nation, this power was put 
in full requisition, and the more recent pursuit of the arts 
of peace was partially abandoned when the people were 
called to repel the invasion of the Man of Corsica. Yet, 
to the utmost of his influence, did Alexander labor for the 
benefit of his subjects. 



Number 1. 

William Cox, an English traveller, visited Poland in 
1778, and, with much care, collected and recorded many 
important events and circumstances connected with the 
country. He visited the tombs of her kings and heroes, 
and mused among the ruins of palaces and cabtles. We 
subjoin an extract from his account : 

" Whilst contemplating the remains of Casimir the Great, 
I feel a sentiment of profound veneration. I regard him 
as one of the greatest princes that ever graced a throne. 
It is not, however, the magnificence of his court, the glory 
of his warlike exploits, or even his protection of the arts 
and sciences, that inspires me with this sentiment. It is 
his ability as a legislator, and his goodness to the inferior 
classes of his subjects. On reading the history of his 
reign, we forget that it is that of the sovereign of a semi- 
barbarous people. The superiority of his genius elevated 
him above his contemporaries, and he anticipated the more 
enlightened ages that were to come. 

" It is to him that Poland owes the reunion of the Rus- 
sian lands and of Masovia, insuring thereby the safety of 


her frontiers from the inroads of the Teutonic knights 
He also attended carefully to the exterior administration 
built many towns, and enlarged and ornamented those 
which already existed. 

" He encouraged industry, science, and commerce. He 
found Poland without written laws, and he gave her a 
regular code, couched in precise and simple terms. The 
means of obtaining justice were made easy, and the 
peasantry protected against thewisurpations of the nobility. 
His consideration for this abused order procured him the 
surname of ' King of the Peasants ;' and this title, given 
him in derision by the nobility, was perhaps the most 
glorious that a sovereign can merit. 

" About a mile from Cracow, may be seen the ruins of 
an ancient building called his palace. My veneration for 
his memory induced me to visit it. Some scattered 
columns of marble alone attested its ancient magnificence. 
The greater part of the building is evidently a work of 
more modern times. 

" Casimir frequently resided in this palace. A mound 
of earth in the garden is still called the Tomb of Esther. 
To this beautiful Jewess, whom Casimir so greatly loved, 
it is said, the Jews owed the extensive privileges they so 
long enjoyed in Poland, and which caused it to be called 
the ' Jeif's Paradise.^ 

" Bartholomew Brozela, mayor of the locality of Lobzow 
seconded the king in all his acts of bounty : he did good 
in his master's name ; each peasant had in him a generous 
protector. He did justice to the oppressed, and all, with- 
out exception, were protected by him against tyranny. 

" King Stephen Batory, in repairing the habitation of 
Casimir the Great, entirely changed the form of the castle, 
and Sigismond Third destroyed all that had been done by 


Batory. At a still later period, the work of Sigisiiiond 
was not spared, and nothing was left standing except the 
principal walls. 

"In 1815, the newly-born republic of Cracow sold this 
demesne, and in 1824, she ordered the purchaser to build 
an addition to support the walls of the former building. 
Modern taste presided over these repairs, and the castle 
lost its picturesque aspect ; its Gothic arches v/ere re- 
placed by more elegant but less venerable architecture. 
One solitary memorial of the great Casimir was respected. 
It was a stone, bearing a sculptured eagle, with the date 
of 1367. At a later period, this was transported to 

" Lobzow was a place of pleasure and festivity for 
some of the Polish kings. A manuscript, found by the 
researches of the learned and laborious Ambroise Gra- 
bowski, tells us that Sigismond the Third made it a second 
Capua ; thus reproving his indolence and voluptuousness, 
— ' Our enemies wage a bloody warfare, but our king, 
carelefis of consequences, remains inactive, and thinks 
only of masquerades, balls, and the society of unworthy 
favorites : he humors himself by listening to their volup- 
tuous music, and passes his time rambling through the 
gardens of Lobzow with them. He considers the fine 
examples of the kings, his predecessors, unworthy of imi- 
tation. He surrounds himself with strangers and despises 
his fellow-citizens.' 

" If Lobzow has been the theatre of memorable events, 
it has also witnessed romantic adventures. We relate one 
which did not want for singularity. 

" Hedwige, while still a minor, was promised in mar- 
riage to William, Archduke of Austria, by her father Louis, 
king of Poland and Hungary. When she had attained 


her majority, she was proclaimed queen ol" Poland, and her 
choice becoming free, she broke the engagement made 
without her concurrence, and offered her royal hand to 
Wladislas Jagellon, Grand Duke of Lithunia. 

" William, deceived in his dearest hopes, as well as in 
his ambitious projects, formed the singular design of being 
present at the marriage of the princess — the most severe 
trial for one sincerely attached that can be imagined. 
Assuming the disguise of a merchant, he went secretly to 
Cracow ; but, despite all his precautions, the police were 
informed of his arrival, and pursued him so closely, that 
the poor prince was forced to conceal himself in the castle 
of Lobzovv, where he remained many hours hid behind a 
beam. The police searched the castle narrowly without 
suspecting where he was, and, when tired of their fruitless 
task, they retired. He left his hiding-place, vowing not to 
attempt any more adventures, and regained his country, 
keeping in mind but concealing the fact of his failure 

"In 1512, Barbara, daughter of John Zapol, palatine of 
Transylvania, first wife to king Sigismond First, made a 
public entry into the castle of Lobzow, followed by three 
hundred knights, and on the 9th of February she was 
crowned in the cathedral of the royal castle of Cracow. 

" Tn 1588, the mortal remains of Stephen Batory were 
deposited at Lobzow, where they were left for a space of 
time ; and, after they had been exposed in great pomp in 
the reception-saloon, they were transported to Cracow. 

" Wladislas Fourth, son of Sigismond Third, was born 
at Lobzow on the 9th of June, 1595. This castle was the 
favorite residence of queen Bona. 

" Charles G ustavus, king of Sweden, when he approached 
Cracow for the purpose of invading Poland, established his 
head-quarters at Lobzow, the 28th of September, 1655 


'* King Juhn Sobieski sojourned there before the deliver- 
ance of \'"ienna, awaiting- the assembling of the army that 
was to open this remarkable campaign ; and after the 
victory, wiien he sent to Poland the tents of the Grand 
Visier, he recommended the queen, Maria Casimir, to have 
them deposited in the vaults of Lobzow. . . . Frederick 
Augustus, elector of Saxony, passed some time at Lobzow 
in 1697 and 1706. 

"The last king of Poland, Stanislaus Augustus Ponia- 
towski, gave the castlo and village to the academy of 
Cracow, that the pupils might exercise themselves in prac- 
tical geometry ; but the Austrians, after the invasion of 
Poland, confiscated this property. 

" A popular tradition asserts that the remains of Esther, 
a Jewess of Opoczno, and a favorite of Casimir the Great, 
are at Lobzow. Stanislaus Augustus, during his visit to 
Cracow in 1789, had her tomb sought for, but the search 
was useless. Esther, one of the most beautiful persons of 
her time, had inspired Casimir with so much love, that she . 
exercised a powerful influence over the heart and will of 
the monarch. Her tragical end must be regarded as a 
fable. The character of Casimir takes from it all appear- 
ance of truth ; however, we will relate it on the faith of 
romancers. One day Casimir perceived that his favorite 
had a complaint in her head, bearing the unpoetical name 
of ' scurvy,' and, irritated at seeing that she had so long 
deceived him, or in a fit of disgust, he threw her out of 
the window. Esther, it is said, died from the efiects of 
her fall." 

The following are snatches of songs from the effusions 
of one of the national bards : 

" Traveller, if thou art a stranger, think of the insta- 
bility of all below and tremble ; but if thou art a Polander, 


weep. Who may equal the heroes that have inhabited 
this castle ? Look back on past ages ; see what Sarmatia 
has been, and behold also what she is! 

" Greece sought in vain for her ancient glory in the land 
of Alcibiades ; she admired the days that were past, and 
mourned over those that were present. Casimir built this 
castle ; past ages have saluted him with the name of 
' Great.' He it was who built so many other edifices ; 
who protected the poor laborer ; who lightened the yoke 
of an oppressed people ; who transformed a troop of slaves 
into men. 

" He endowed his country with benificent rays ; he re- 
pressed the insolence of the great, and, notwithstanding 
his love of peace, he extended the frontiers of Poland. 

" He triumphed over the Teutonic knights, defied the 
Jadvings and Lithunians, reunited the Russias to the 
mother-country ; and this monarch, otherwise so great, be- 
came the slave of his passions. 

" The charms of Esther pleased his fancy ; he admired 
her beauty ; but beauty has to submit to the common law. 
Esther died, and Casimir built her tomb in a place she had 
loved while living. You who can feel for the grief caused 
by love, give a tear to this tomb, and adorn it with a 
flowery wreath. If Casimir erred, other heroes have been 
guilty of similar indiscretions. In the presence of this 
castle, this memorial of his magnificence, let us sing the 
glories of the great Casimir !" 


Number 2. 

hnperial Manifesto of February, 1832, relative to the 
Union of Poland and Russia. 

" By the Grace of God, Nicliolas First, Emperor of 
Russia, King of Poland, etc. When, by our manifesto of 
January 2d, last year, we announced to our faithful sub- 
jects the march of our troops into the kingdom of Poland, 
which was momentarily snatched from the lawful authority, 
we at the same time informed them of our intention to fix 
the future state of this country on a durable basis, suited 
to its wants, and calculated to promote the welfare of our 
whole empire. Now, that an end has been put by force of 
arms to the rebellion in Poland, and that the nation, led 
away by agitators, has returned to its duty, and is restored 
to tranquillity, we deem it right to carry into execution 
our plan with regard to the introduction of the new order 
of things, whereby the tranquillity and union of the two 
nations, which Providence has entrusted to our care, may 
be forever guarded against new attempts. 

" Poland, conquered in the year 1815 by the victorious 
arms of Russia, obtained by the magnanimity of our illus- 
trious predecessor, the Emperor Alexander, not only its 
national existence, but also especial laws sanctioned by a 
constitutional charter. These favors, however, would not 
satisfy the eternal enemies of order and lawful power. 
Obstinately persevering in their culpable projects, they 
ceased not one moment to dream of a separation between 
the two nations subject to our sceptre, and in their pre- 
sumption they dared to abuse the favors of the restorer of 


their country, by employing for the destruction of his noble 
work, the very laws and liberties which his mighty arm had 
generously granted them. Bloodshed was the consequence 
of this crime. The tranquillity and happiness which the 
kingdom of Poland had enjoyed to a degree until then un- 
known, vanished in the midst of civil war and a general 
devastation. All these evils are now passed. The king- 
dom of Poland, again subject to our sceptre, "will regain 
tranquillity, and again flourish in the bosom of peace, re- 
stored to it under the auspices of a vigilant government. 
Hence, we consider it one of our most sacred duties to 
watch with paternal care over our faithful subjects, and to 
use every means in our power to prevent the recurrence 
of similar catastrophes, by taking from the ill-disposed the 
povver of disturbing public tranquillity. As it is, moreover, 
our wish to secure to the inhabitants of Poland the contin- 
uance of all the essential requisites for the happiness of 
individuals, and of the country in general, namely, security 
of persons and property, liberty of conscience, and all the 
laws and privileges of towns and communes, so that the 
kingdom of Poland, with a separate administration adapted 
to its wants, may not cease to form an integral portion of 
our empire ; and that the inhabitants of this country may 
henceforward constitute a nation, united with the Russians 
by sympathy and fraternal sentiments, we have, according 
to these principles, ordained and resolved this day, by a 
new organic statute, to introduce a new form and order in 
the administration of our kingdom of Poland. 

St. Peiersburo; Fchuarij 2%th, 1832. 


Secretary of State, Count Stephen Grabowski." 

After this imperial manifesto the London Courier pub- 


lished a document, from which the fullovving is an ex- 
tract : 

" Vv'e perceive that the manifesto of the Emperor of 
Russia, relative to Poland, whicli we gave on Saturday, 
has excited general indignation in France, as well as in 
this country. Perhaps, as the Poles are not of a character 
to bo awed into submission by the power of the oppressor, 
whilst the slightest chance of emancipation is open to them, 
it is better for tiie cause of humanity that they should be 
bound hand and foot in the bonds of slavery, than that any 
opportunity should be afforded them of again saturating the 
soil of Poland with the blood of its best and brav'est 
patriots. If life, with disgrace, be better than death with- 
out dishonor, the destruction of the nationality of Poland 
may not be so great an evil as the world at large imagines. 
If the utter impossibility of successful revolt be clearly 
shown, the Poles may at length wear their fetters without 
resorting to vain attempts to shake them tff; and the 
monarch who has enslaved them, may gradually witness 
the extinction of mind, in proportion as he coerces and 
binds the body. 

" But what a sad disgrace it is upon the government and 
the people of this country, to have neglected, in proper 
season, the means of securing to the brave and unfortunate 
people of Poland a nationality which would have given to 
them the form and substance of liberty without involving 
the necessity of a rupture with the power which has con- 
quered them. Is it not true, that, at a time when the 
warm-iiearted and generous portion of the people of this 
country were calling upon the goveinment to exercise 
the influence and power of the British crown on behalf of 
the Poles, the reply was — ' We cannot go to war with the 
Emperor of Russia for foreign interests— we cannot insist 



upon his evacuating Poland, and leaving the country in a 
state of complete independence ; but we will use our good 
offices towards obtaining favorable terms for the insur- 
gents ; and we have already the satisfaction of knowing 
that the Emperor Nicholas has declared that the nationality 
of Poland shall in no way be forfeited, and that in all other 
respects the world shall be astonished at his generosity 
towards the vanquished.' 

'' Is there a member of the govermenl, or any other per- 
son, who will tell us that such language as this was not 
made publicly and privately, in Parliament and out of Par- 
liament, in the newspapers and out of the newspapers, and 
that the sole excuse for non-intervention was not the real 
or pretended belief that the nationality of Poland would be 
respected, and the conduct of the Emperor Nicholas be 
full of generosity and magnanimity. Gracious God ! and 
are we come to such a pass that the sovereign of a semi- 
barbarous country can laugh at the honor and dignity of 
the British name ! Is all the respect that he can show to 
the good offices of the British government, in behalf of a 
great minded people, to be found in empty professions and 
unmeaning declarations ; and are we to put up tamely with 
one of the greatest insults that ever was inflicted upon the 
government of the country? Was it for this that we con- 
ciliated the Autocrat of the North on the Belgian ques- 
tion '? And is all the return of our concessions a bold and 
naked defiance of our power, and a determination to con- 
vince the world that the days of British influence aie 
passed forever 1 Perhaps we shall be told, even now, of 
the magnanimous intentions of the Emperor of Russia ; 
but the cheat is too stale. Everybody knows, not only 
that we have truckled to Russia in vain, but that to decep- 
tion she has added insult, and that at this moment there is 

A.PP13NDIX. 175 

a Russian ambassador in town, with instructions to cajole 
the government on the Belgian question, and to withhold 
the ratification of the treaty until after the passing or re- 
jecting of the " Reform Bill," when the Emperor may be 
enabled by a change of government to dispense with it 
altogether. But we are tired of the subject ; the more we 
look at it, the more we feel disgraced. We blame not this 
or that minister : for the intentions of the government 
towards Poland, we firmly believe, were kind in the ex- 
treme ; but we blush for the country at large in having 
purchased the chance of peace at the sacrifice of honor." 

Below are some of the organic statutes of Poland, given 
by the magnanimity of the Emperor Nicholas. 

Art. I. The kingdom of Poland is forever to be reunited 
to the Russian Empire, and to form an inseparable part of 
that Empire. It shall have a particular administration, 
conformably to its local necessities, as well as a civil and 
military code. The statutes and the laws of cities and 
towns remain in full vigor. 

Art. II. The crown of the kingdom of Poland is hered- 
itary in our person, and in our heirs and successors, agree 
ably to the order of succession to the throne prescribed by 
all the Russias. 

Art. III. The coronation of the Emperors of all the 
Russias and Kings of Poland, shall be one and the same 
ceremonial, which shall take place at Moscow, in the pre- 
sence of a deputation from the kingdom of Poland, which 
shall assist at that solemnity with the deputies from the 
other parts of the empire. 

Art. IV. In the possible event of a regency in Ru.'^jsia, 
the power of the regent or regentess of the empire, will 
extend over the kingdom of Poland. 


Art. V. The freedom of worship is guaranteed ; every 
one is at liberty to exercise his religion openly, under the 
protection of government; and the diflerence of christian 
faiths shall never prove a pretext for the violation of the 
rights and privileges which are allowed to all the inhabi- 
tants. The Roman Catholic religion, being that of the 
majority of our Polish subjects, shall be the object of es- 
pecial protection of the government. 

Art. VI. The funds which the Roman Catholic clergy 
possess, and those of the Greek church united, shall be con- 
sidered as the common and iuva1iia!j!n property of the hier- 
archy of each of these creeds. 

Art. VII. The protection of the laws is assured to all 
the inhabitants without distinction of rank or class. Each 
shall be empowered to assume dignities or to exercise pub- 
lic functions, according to his persona! merits or talents. 

Art. VIII. Individual liberty is guaranteed and pro- 
tected by the existing laws. No one shall be deprived of 
his liberty, or called to justice, if he be not a transgressor 
of the law in all the forms prescribed. Every one detained 
shall be apprised of the motive of arrest. 

Art. IX. Each person arrested must submit to a delay 
of three days to be heard and judged of, according to the 
forms of latt', before competent tribunals ; if he be found 
innocent, he will instantly obtain his liberty. He will be 
equally restored to libert}^ who sliall furnish a sufficient 

Art. X. The form of judicial inquests directed against 
the superior functionaries of the kingdom, and against per- 
sons accused of high treason, shall be determined b}' a 
particular law, the foundation of which shall be accordant 
with the other laws of our empire. 

APPExNDlX. 17? 

Art. XI. The right of property, of individuals and of 
corporations, is declared sacred and inviolable, inasmuch as 
it will be conformable to existing laws. All the subjects 
of the kingdom of Poland are perfectly free to quit the 
country, and to carry away their goods, provided they con- 
form to the regulations published to that effect. 

Art. XIL The penalty of confiscation shall not be en- 
forced but against state crimes of the first class, as may 
hereafter be determined by particular laws. 

Art. XIII. Publication of sentiments, by means of the 
press, shall be subjected to restrictions which will protect 
religion, the inviolability of superior authority, the interests 
of morals and personal considerations. Particular regula- 
tions to this effect, will be published according to the prin- 
ciples which serves as a basis to this object in the other 
parts of our empire. 

Arts. XIV and XV. The lungdom of PoLnd shall pro- 
portionably contribute to the general expenditure, and to 
the wants of tiie empire. The proportion of taxes shall 
be levied after the manner formerly settled, till the new 
fixing of taxes. 

Art. XVI. The treasury of the kmgdom of Poland, 
and all the other branches of the administration, shall be 
separated from the administration of the other parts of the 

Art. XVII. The public debt of Poland, acknowledged 
by us, shall bo guaranteed as formerly, by the governm.ent, 
and indemnified by the receipts of the kingdom. 

Art. XVIII. The Bank of the kingdom of Poland, and 
the laws respecting credit, shall continue under the pro- 
tection of government. 

178 APFENOa. 

Art. XIX. The mode of commercial transactions be^ 
t\veen the Russian empire and the kingdom of Polandj 
shall be regulated according to the respective interests of 
the two countries. 

Art. XX. Our army in the empire and in the kingdom 
shall compose one in common, without distinction of Rus- 
sian or Polish troops. We shall reserve to ourselves a 
future decision of this, by an especial law, by what ar- 
rangement, and upon what basis, the kingdom of Poland 
shall participate with our army. The number of troops 
which shall serve as the military defence of the kingdom 
will be also intimately determined upon by a law. 

Art. XXI. Those of our subjects of the empire of 
Russia, who are established in the kingdom of Poland, who 
possess, or shall possess, real property in that country, 
shall enjoy all the n'ghts of natives. It shall be the same 
with our subjects of the kingdom of Poland, who shall 
establish themselves, and shall possess property, in the 
provinces of our empire. We reserve to ourselves to 
grant hereafter letters of naturalization to other persons, as 
well to strangers as to Russians, who are not yet estab- 
lished there. Those of our subjects of the Russian Empire, 
who may reside for a certain time in Poland, and those of 
our subjects of the kingdom of Poland, who may sojourn 
in the other parts of the empire, are subject to the laws 
of the country where Ihey may reside. 

Art. XXII. The superior administration of the king- 
dom of Poland is confided to a council of administration, 
which shall govern the kingdom in our name, under the 
presidency of the governor of the kingdom. 

Art. XXIII. The council of administration is composed 
of the governor of the kingdom, of superior directors, who 


superintend the commissions, and among whom are divided 
the interests of the administration, of comptroller, presiding 
over the supreme chamber of tinance, and of other mem- 
bers, Vvfhom we shall appoint by special orders. 

For the following memorial of the Polish exiles, I am 
indebted to the " New York Herald." This memorial 
gives the best elucidation of the Polish question that has 
been written. It cannot fail to be read with interest 
throughout the United States. It is understood to have 
been written by Stanislaus Worcell, distinguished as a 
philosopher, scholar, and patriot : — 

To the President of the United States of America, the 
Memorial of the Polish Central Democratic Committee. 

Poland, every way oppressed as she is, may worthily 
understand the grandeur and the bearing of American 
policy. She does understand them ; she appreciates both 
the inner meaning of the manifestations of American sym- 
pathy with the elements of the European future, and also 
the reserve imposed on those manifestations by existing 
international relations ; and, respecting that reserve, but 
profiting by the last and perhaps the most significant of 
those manifestations, she, through us, would place in the 
hands of the government of the New World those informa- 
tions which she knows to be indispensable to every State 
preparing to actively influence the future destinies of 

It is to this, by their position, by their power, by the 
renovating principle which, in the strength of their youth, 
they inaugurated in modern history, that the United States 
of North America seem to be called. In proclaiming 
themselves independent, and at the same time republican. 


in the face of a world yet altogether monarchical, they 
boldly took the initiative of that progressive movement 
which was to draw all people after them, and assured 
themselves the first place in the new order of things 
created by them. 

And, as if the republican principle itself had needed to 
preserve the affiliation of its historical development along 
the :iges, the only great republic of the worm-eaten Europe 
of that day, Poland, expiring under the violence of royal 
conspirators and the deleterious influence of monarchical 
elements which had been introduced iiito its bosom, sent 
the latest of the heroes of her past to die under the walls 
of Savannah, and borrowed from the war for American 
independence, the hero-initiator of her future — Kosciuszko. 

To the American monument of Pulaski responds the 
mound raised to Kosciuszko upon his natal shore by the 
hands of all Poland ; and, since the mighty shades hovering 
over them grasp hands athwart the thickness of the ter- 
restrial globe, the indissoluble pact is sworn of the com- 
mon destinies of America and Poland. 

For since then Poland has not one instant ceased to live 
in the shroud with which the kings had wrapped her ; and, 
at that moment in which America is preparing to give 
back to her old mother, Europe, that youthful life whose 
germs were her's, and to preside over her future destinies, 
Poland finds herself ready to re-enter the lists and to re- 
conquer the existence which the monarchies refuse her. 

It is this last fact which should be known to America ; 
it is of this that we are to inform her — and we are compe- 
tent to do it ; for, representing in the emigration the reno- 
vating principle of Poland, that of its future vitality, we 
have, since 1830, mixed in all the manifestations of Polish 
national life, from those of the martyrs of the espediticD 

AP?EN0I5. 181 

of Colonel Zaiiwski, in 1834, to lliose of the prisoners 
issuing triumphantly in 1848 from the dungeons of Berlin, 
and the unknown names which since, even until now, have 
borne wiuiess to the vitality of their country before tlie 
inquisitors and the executioners of Vienna, of Berlin, of 
Warsaw, and of Petersburg. 

Tt is also we, the Polish Democratic Society, who have 
furnished chiefs to those sens of Poland who, wanting 
battle-fields in their own country, have sought them since 
1849 in Hungary, in Italy, in Germany, bearing the Polish 
flag wherever floated that of freedom, of which it was the 
inseparable companion. 

But it is not of the subterranean life of Poland that we 
would bear v.itness, nor even of that eccentric life which, 
lacking scope to manifest itself within, broke the vase and 
spread itself beyond, in the form of emigration or of 
legion. All that is known, ascertained, incontestible ; and 
more, all that is of the past. What we would bear witness 
of is the near future of Poland and those elements of the 
present which already guarantee its infallible advent. 

Confidants of the secret thoughts of our people, through 
a thousand channels, worn underneath bars, frontier bar- 
riers and seas, by the repressed love of liberty on one side, 
and the exile's love of country on tlie other, in order that 
they might communicate together and concert the means 
of reunion, we simply tell you it is so, and establish the 
fact. But if it is not permitted us to furnish the proofs 
of its existence, of that general, universal disposition of 
men's minds which but dissembles itself the more carefully 
as it thereby assures itself a prompter and completer satis- 
faction, of that sullen fermentation, progressing in a man- 
ner so uniform, though rapid, as to be imperceptible until 
the moment in which the vase is broken, we can and are 


about to prove that it cannot be otherwise, and that if the 
cabinets of our oppressors misunderstand this fact, and by 
the measures which they take and the events which they 
provoke are rendering it inevitable, it is because the prin- 
ciple upon which they base themselves is a principle of 
death — a fatality, blinding them, and pushing them to self- 

One of the grounds of security upon which our op- 
pressors are so foolishly slumbering, is the apparent inac- 
tion of Russian-Poland in 1848. This inaction was fatally 
imposed upon it by its position then ; and this position is 
now reversed. 

No v/here taore than in Poland has a general movement 
need of time to ripen and burst forth — for a double reason, 
peculiar to this country : — On the one hand, the want of 
great centres of population, and the difficulty of communi- 
cation between widely-strown villages, and on the other the 
marked separation between the people and the noble class. 

This separation is one not only of interests, but also of 
habits, of beliefs, of affections, and, in most of the pro- 
vinces, of dialect or language. The only sentiment which 
unites them is their love of country, but so differently con- 
ceived that the proper moment for rising could not be the 
same for both classes, unless it should be imposed upon 
them both by European events. It is to the treasons of 
the nobility that the people attribute the defeat of the 
efforts in which it has taken part since 1794 ; and, though 
the nobles may be now ready to join in a popular move- 
ment, because they are convinced that without it their own 
force would be insufficient, the people would not obey the 
appeal of the nobles, unless it obtained from them farther 
guarantees than they have already given. For the Polish 
nobility alone the meaning of 1948 was clear : so the people 


irgfnained everywhere passive, except in the Grand Duchy 
of Posen, where, being nearer to events, it better under- 
stood them, and responded with an ardor of patriotism 
which even the nobles, whose policy was one of expe- 
diency, thought it necessary to calm. Besides, it needed, 
for the mutual understanding of the two classes for a com- 
mon movement, and still more for any concert between 
populations dispersed over an immense territory, more 
time than elapsed between the triumph of February and 
the fall of Rome and Hungary, without taking into con- 
sideration the bad effect produced on the public mind by 
the dealings of the French government with the partition- 
ing cabinets, the massacres of June, and the triumphs of 
the reaction at Vienna, Berlin, and Dresden, in Baden and 
in Lombardy, the bloody suppression under the very eyes 
of the French ambassador of the rising in the Grand 
Duchy of Posen, and the bombardment of Cracow and 
Lemberg. The Russians, waiting, were coi.?entrated in 
Poland for the new effort they were purposing to make in 
Hungary against the European revolution ; and Poland 
had to remain a moveless spectator of the grand drama 
played under her eyes, without the great majority of her 
inhabitants comprehending what it meant. 

Both time and a direct appeal were waiting. 

Now she has already had the one, and is about to hear 
the other. 

And it was not at the first shot fired on the Danube that 
the time of preparation began, but indeed in that same 
year, 1848, which appeared to have made so little im- 
pression upon the Polish people. 

What the massacres of Gailicia, organized by Metter- 
nich, and conducted by Szela, had hindered in 1846, the 
revolution of 1848 accomplished. The serfs of Gailicia 

were emancipated, were admitted to the national repre» 
sentation, saw their former lords hold out their hands tc 
them and sit down beside them on the legislative benches : 
and, although the Austrian government has endeavored to 
have the honor of this attributed to itself, yet, since it has 
afterwards exacted from the peasants the price of the 
ceded lands and the' abolished soccage labor, since it has 
also done avvay with the Representative Chambers to 
which the revolution had called them, some hundred thou- 
sands of emancipated peasant-proprietors now in Gallicia. 
are to the millions of Polish serfs under Russian domina- 
tion a living testimony of what they have to expect from 
the revolution in Poland. 

This great, this decisive question, of the future destinies 
of Poland,— this of the emancipation of the serf and of 
the throwing open the land to be cultivated by him for his 
own use, free from all feudal charge, and without indemni- 
fication for the proprietor, which had been discussed and 
affirmatively resolved in the Polish emigration for a num- 
ber of years — has been, since then, regarded by the class 
of territorial proprietors in Poland as in fact decided ; and 
the peasants' unbelief of the promises of their lords, till 
then not followed by deeds, has had to give way to the 
evidence of the accomplished fact in the provinces which 
the revolutionary movement had passed over. This im- 
mense progress toward the fusion of the classes, from 
which the independence of Poland must proceed, has been 
found accomplished since 1849. The propaganda of the 
alliance between the national and the social ideas thence- 
forth slowly extended among the unemancipated people, 
and progressed there uninterruptedly, while above it each 
of the triumphs of the reaction threw trouble, disheart- 
ening, and too often doubt and apostacy, in the souls of 


the noble and privileged classes. From this arise the 
erroneous judgments of tourists in Poland as to the spirit 
of the populations, of which they never touch but a single 
surface layer, without ever having time or means to sound 
its depth. 

It was in this disposition of mind that the aflairs of Tur- 
key found Poland. Their action on the masses was 
doubly decisive. 

Certainly the nobility could see and did see in it a com- 
plication from which the derangement of the European 
equilibrium might issue, and thence an occasion for new 
national efforts. But, accustomed to judge of events from 
the relations of the journals, and reading there how all the 
powers of Europe were determined to maintain peace, or 
at least the status quo of territorial divisions, by confining 
the war to the limits of Turkey, it thought, conscious of 
its own powerlessness, that it might content itself with 
waiting some deliverance from without — something like the 
Napoleonist intervention of old time in the affairs of Po- 
land. From that nothing could result, except, at very 
most, a change of masters. 

But the people judges not from such premises ; and con- 
sequently it arrives at very different conclusions. It has 
traditions, and Jjelieves in them ; it has impulses, and it 
follows them. Its acts are determined by its feelings 
more than by its reason ; or, rather, the popular reason, 
which we improperly call instinct, takes special count of 
its affections, its wants, its faith, and the facts which meet 
its understanding, without complicating them with calcula- 
tions and arguments beyond its reach. Now, the events 
which are passing in Turkey, by their proximity, as well 
as by their notoriety, are especially of a nature to impress 
it and to determine it to a rising- 


For a year past it lias seen its fields traversed by two 
immense avalanches of soldiers coming from the North, 
and precipitatiniT themselves southward into the two yawn- 
intr gulfs of Wallachia and the Caucasus. There the 
Turkish scimitar lays them low ; for the cannon roars, the 
Te-Deums in the churches resound unechoed, but none re- 
turn to bear witness of the victories they have won. On 
the contrary mysterious voices whisper in the ear that 
word — defeat ; and the faces of every regiment that arrives 
are more downcast and more pale than those that went 
before. And yet these armies are not enough ; they are 
being exhausted, they are shrivelling up : for sealed papers 
come to the village registrars, which, when they are 
opened, condemn nine of everjr thousand peasants to the 
hell of military service. At this mournful news the steppes 
are peopled with fugitives, the forests with rangers, and in 
the villages only old men, women, and children are left. 
The cholera never so unpeopled them as now the pitiless 
fear of the Czar. For how can the Czar be without fear, 
whom even the Turks are beating, while England and 
France are arming against him 1 France who, formerly, 
in spite of England, could pass one night at Moscow, and 
only be driven thence, according to the popular sentence, 
by the Generals Frost and Famine — now France is no 
more in the eyes of the people of Poland the France of 
1812, but that of 1848. It is the revolution which enfran- 
chised our brothers in Gallacia ; it is emancipation ; it is 
freedom — it is Poland. Heretofore, between the free peo- 
ples and Poland rose the insurmountable wall of the Rus- 
sian, Austrian, and Prussian forces, untied together in one 
fascis of royal conspiracy ; to-day this conspiracy is dis- 
solved, Russia isolated, and her army, the principal bar- 
rier, removed from the West to the South. Between the 

\PPEND1X. 187 

VV"est and Poland there is no more barrier ; access to Po- 
land is left free to the European Revolution : for what 
matters to the people the letter of Napoleon III. and his 
conservative assurances 1 Does it know them 1 Can they 
have on its imagination the same influence as the memory 
of the revolutions of France, Vienna, Berlin, Venice, 
Rome, and Hungary ? All these revolutions, which, six 
years ago, did not move it, have since appeared to it, 
clothed with the prestige of the past. Paris, Vienna, Ber- 
lin, Rome, Venice, Hungary : they all mean Liberty. Po- 
land, it is Liberty ; and more, it is independence, glory, 
bravery. And liberty is the abolition of the Russian re- 
cruiting system, the abolition of soccage labor, the aboli- 
tion of a vexatious police — it is the proprietorship of the 
land ; it is freedom for religious worship, free-trade, mar- 
kets open for its grain and cattle — it is, in a word, wealth, 
prosperity, well-being. This is how the good sense of the 
people of Poland sums up the present question, and solves 
it with one single argument : the Turks can beat the Rus- 
sians — why may not the Poles ? 

Under these circumstances, any appeal would determine 
them to rise — no matter whence it might proceed, from a 
town, the fields, or the forests, from a Cossack or a noble, 
from the steppes of the Ukraine or a fleet in the Baltic — 
provided it is sufficiently noised abroad to be heard through- 
out the country, and of sufficient duration to reach its far- 
ther frontiers. But this appeal has already reached them, 
and now slirs their minds, reheartens them, and sharpens 
their scythes and lances. And this appeal is an old legend, 
an accredited prophecy, an article of the popular faith ; it 
is the apocalyptic prediction of the Cossack Wernvhora. 

This prophecy, uttered after the confederation of Bar, 
on the banks of the Dnieper, and conceived in a sense em- 


inently Polish, has since penetrated into all the provinces 
of Poland, and found believers everywhere among the 

This prophecy, in old yelloiv manuscripts, passing from 
hand to hand among our grandfathers, was preserved 
by them, if they were noble, with that sort of veneration 
which attaches to a curious monument of the visionary 
patriotism of old time ; but, if they belonged to the people, 
was learned by heart as a confirmation of their hopes and 
a guarantee of their realization. After having very clearly 
predicted the total dismemberment, the utter fall of Poland, 
it indicates, in apocalyptic images, the fruitless efforts 
which will be undertaken for its relief, and ends with the 
prediction of a universal cataclysm, terminated by a war, 
in which the Turks, allying with Poland, shall come to 
water their horses in the Vistula, but which shall be de- 
cided by the maritime intervention of England. Then, 
says Wernyhora, all Poland will rise, glorious and trium- 
phant, and engage in one great and last battle, in a locality 
of the Ukraine, which he mentions by name, and pursue 
the fleeing Russians into a defile, also mentioned, where 
our final triumph shall be sealed by their utter extermina- 
tion. In the minds of the great majority of the people of 
Poland, the names mentioned in this prophecy have passed 
into the condition of a sacramental formula ; they are part 
of the articles of its belief, and have taken over its deter- 
minations the authority of a commandment of the Most 

Here, again, may find place what has already so many 
times in history put the systematic doubt of skepticism to 
the proof— the pretended effect will have determined the 
cause, the prediction will have produced its own fulfilment, 
and the fact will have taken place solely because it had 


been announced. It is not only very natural, but also 
necessary, inevitable, fatal, in the eyes of whoever knows 
the circumstances and dispositions of the people as we 
know them. The people of Poland, following the events 
of the present war, will rise because it will find motives 
determining it to rise ; and will not be able to hinder itself 
from obeying them ; it will rise because these motives are 
suggested to it, not by a system of policy of which it un- 
derstands nothing, nor by conspirators in whom it could 
have no confidence, and who, moreover, once discovered, 
would draw into one ruin both their plans and the end they 
proposed to attain — but by greater events, having a clear 
and positive meaning for it — by a redoubling of oppression 
caused by the conscription and by military and police ex- 
actions — by the wandering life to which all the young and 
robust generation has been reduced, and the mutual con- 
tact into which it has been thrown in the forest depths, 
which served it as a hiding place — by the recollections of 
1848, which only by now have had time to ripen in its 
mind — by the hopes of freedom and amelioration which it 
connects with them — 'by its legitimate desire of holding 
territorial property — by its love of family, of kindred, and 
of country, and its hate of foreign oppressors — by the 
spectacle of the fear and consequent weakness of those 
whose defeats on the Danube are the first satisfaction ac- 
corded to its tliirst for vengeance, as well as an encourage- 
ment to its daring — by the vague belief that the peoples 
which triumphed six years ago continue to live, all stricken 
down as they are, and that they will, like itself, profit by 
the divisions of their oppressors — by its traditions, its be- 
liefs, its recollections, and its prophecies. It will rise, in 
fine, because, for the first time since the partitionings, not 
only throughout the eight Palatinates of the so-called king- 


dom of Poland, as in 1830, or in the Grand Duchy of Po- 
sen and the republic of Cracow, as in '46 and '48, but also 
in Lithuania and Volhynia, in the Ukraine, in Podolia, in 
Gallicia, everywhere, even to Little Russia beyond the 
Dnieper, and White Kussia beyond the Dzwina — its pas- 
sions find themselves in accord with the desires of the 
nobles, who this time will obey the appeal of the people, 
even though they should not conspire on their own account, 
and will throw themselves into the ranks to win at the 
point of the lance some compensation in consideration and 
renown for the position lost to them by the revolution. 
And now, what will be the consequence of this rising, to 
the future of Europe 1 This, for the sake of our cause, 
and in accomplishment of the duty which we have to fulfil 
towards the peoples, our brothers — this is what we are 
about to examine. 

As Mr. Drummond very pertinently said in the House 
of Commons, without Poland there can be no useful or 
profitable issue to the war of Europe against Russia. 
Leave that its frontiers of 1826, and the first misunder- 
standing between England and France, to say nothing of 
Prussia and Austria — heterogeneous bodies whose interests 
draw them together, without, however, uniting them — will 
open to it again the way to Constantinople, which, besides, 
is accessible to it from two opposite sides — from the north 
across the Danube and the Balkan, from the south across 
Thessaly, Macedonia, and Epirus. And henceforth Con- 
stantinople is necessary to Russia, not only as its outlet to 
the Mediterranean, but because it must have the Greco- 
Slavonian world in order to reconstitute for its own advan- 
tage, the empire of the East. The Slavonian world alone 
would have no historic meaning ; would remain incomplete, 
or must bring Austria and Europe down upon it, as it 


would be forced to encroach upon them ; besides, it is less 
rooted in European traditions than the Byzantine tenden- 
cies, which, since Vladimir the Single-handed, at Kijow, 
and John Basilides at Moscow, have pursued Czarism even 
to the winter palace, and there, in our days, baptized the 
grandsons of Catharine, and then the sons of Nicholas, 
with the names of Alexander, Constantine, and Michael. 
Authentic or apocryphal, the testiment of Peter I. reveals 
the real thought of the Czars ; Poland as the means, Con- 
stantinople for the end. If we would not that Russia 
should have Constantinople, we must not leave it the means 
of conquering it ; we must take from it Poland, its first 
stage on the road to the empire of the East. Master of 
Poland, Russia sooner or later renews the empire of the 

And Poland in the hands of Russia serves it to attain a 
double end — an end yet nearer, in the normal situation of 
Europe, than the destruction of the Ottoman Empire — an 
end which Russia is attaining pacifically, silently, by the 
aid, not only of its underground agents, its hired writers, 
the secret societies it organizes in the border countries, but 
also by the growing influence of its religious, commercial, 
and industrial relations : we are speaking of the concen- 
tration at Moscow and Petersburg of the direction of all 
the Slavonian peoples of that grand system of absorption 
which they name Russian Panslavism. Let it keep Po- 
land, and some fine day Russia will see its protectorate 
invoked by all the Slavonians of Germany and Turkey, 
from the Styrian Alps in the west, and the Hartz Moun- 
tains at the north, to the Balkan at the south and Varna in tlie 
east — hauling then into its immense net those Roumanian 
populations fur which it now contends with Turkey, and 
adding to the crowns of Kazan and Astracan those of Bui- 


garia, Servia, Montenegro, Dalmatia, lUyiia, Crotia, Bohe- 
mia, Moravia, and Silesia. Then it will no longer need to 
displace a large number of its troops ; it will have only to 
excite troubles, and, after having let the Germans and 
Turks be driven out by the Slavonian populations, to step 
in to stop the effusion of blood, and to establish an order 
of things permitting it to act as ptotector against all future 
oppression, The Slavonian Empire will be founded atone 

The reason of this is, that Russia is, at the present time, 
the only great Slavonian power ; and so offers to the Sla- 
vonian populations, oppressed by the German, Ottoman, or 
Magyar races the only element wanting to them for con- 
stituting themselves nationally — the leverage of its strength. 

No ! — Russia has no force of attraction on a great por- 
tion of these peoples but that of its material power. Sile- 
sians, Moravians, lUyrians, Dalmatians, Croats, and now 
an immense majority of Tcheks, belong to a different 
faith — to the Latin Church ; and in their language approach 
much nearer to the Poles, who, with them, constitute the 
western branch of the Slavonian dialects, than to the Rus- 
sians. And as to the Slavonians of the South, who, with- 
out belonging to the Russian Church, belong yet with it to 
the great Eastern Church, having Constantinople for reli- 
gious metropolis, it is independence and liberty, and not 
Czarian despotism to which they aspire, for which they in- 
voke assistance, and not domination, and an assistance they 
would gladly exchange for the friendship and brotherly sup- 
port of a free, a strong, and a republican Poland. Even 
among the Cossacks of Little Russia, there are none who 
do not, in their hatred of Czarism, turn their hopeful eyes 
towards an aliiance with a Poland reconstituted upon new 
bases, in whom they know, from the Polish pupils of their 


tJiuversity of Crakow, so numerous since the closing of 
the Universities of Wihia and Krzemieniec, that they 
would find not a master, but a friend. 

Let Poland rise, then, (and we have proved that siie will 
rise), and risen, let her maintain herself in the rank of in- 
dependent nations rejoicing in the plenitude of their rights, 
and Russia will find itself deprived of all possibility, either 
of putting itself at the head of the Greco-Slavonian world 
by the conquest of Constantinople, or of establishing the 
Panslavenian Empire, of which else in a very near future 
the possession is unfailingly assured to it. 

Poland, then, is a necessary element of the new European 
equilibrium, an indispensable guarantee for the security of 
the Western States, and consequently a condition sine qua 
non of any definite treaty, an end forcefully prescribed for 
the operations of the present war, if any profit is to be 
drawn from it for humanity, for Europe, or for the bellig- 
erents themselves. 

However, we cannot, and we should not, dissemble that 
the rising of Poland will completely alter the conditions of 
the present struggle, and that if, on the one hand, it assures 
the security and progress of the peoples allied with Tur- 
key, it may, on the other hand, menace more than one of 
their governments, detach Austria and Prussia from the 
alliance, and remake, to the advantage of liberty and right, 
that map of Europe which was drawn by despotic force. 

It is in vain that the governments of France and Eng- 
land assure their respective countries of the acquisition of 
the two great German powers to their confederation against 
Russia. This acquisition is owing only to the assurance 
given by Napoleon to Austria and Prussia of his help 
against any revolutionary attempt. Xow France may 
keep down Italy, and by maintaining tranquillity there, hin- 

191 APrENOlX. 

der any outbreak in Hungary. But when Lord Clarendon, 
in the same speech in which he announces to the House of 
Lords the good news of the Austro-Prussian alliance, lets 
peep out the possibility of the re-establishment of Poland 
(if it is that which he really means under the denomination 
of portions of territory taken from the neighboring pow- 
ers,) he forgets that this re-establishment would be a death- 
blow to his two allies. The Polimd of 1815, even if aug- 
mented by all the provinces which have fallen to Russia, 
would not satisfy tlie exigencies of the aw^akened national 
sentiment. The limbs violently separated by their dis- 
memberment would rejoin each other. Deprived of Gal- 
licia and the Grand Duchy of Poscn, Poland would not 
feel itself living with that proper life which alone can as- 
sure its existence and stability, for it would not be on the 
recognition of its rights, but on the conveniences of the 
intervening powers, that its new existence would be de- 
pendant. Gallicia and Posnania would rise and proclaim 
themselves Polish ; and then Austria and Prussia, not find- 
ing in their alliance with France and England the pronv 
ised security, would seek it in new combinations hostile to 
the two powers. But such an arrangement will never be : 
for Poland conscientiously feels her duty in the present 
crisis, and will rise without waiting for permission, know- 
ing that to wait is to abdicate. Then Hungary will follow 
it, and with Hungary, Italy ; then the populations of Ger- 
many — Dresden, Berlin, Vienna, Carlsruhe, Hesse and 
Schleswig — will feel themselves revive ; then France, see 
ing her government on a wrong tack, and involved in inex 
tricable complications for the sake of its alliances with 
worm-eaten despotisms, will return to the republic, and 
the year 184-8 will be repeated, with more experience, and 
consBquently with more perfectness and success. We 


know not if all this enters into the calculations of the Eng- 
lish government ; but it all results from what we know to 
be the dispositions of the Polish populations ; and this is 
why we should submit it for the consideration of the only 
government altogether disinterested in these matters, or 
rather the only one that can find in it a satisfaction of the 
principle after which it exists — the government of the 
United States of North America. 

We do not think it necessary to discuss here the sup- 
position — inadmissible according to us — of the conse- 
quences to result from a completely passive attitude on the 
part of Poland. Let it suffice us to establish summarily 
that for each of the oppressed nations — Italy, Hungary, 
France, &c. — the difficulties thrown in the way of their 
emancipation, on the one hand, b}' the Franco-Austrian 
alliance, being immense, and those occasioned to the allied 
powers, on the other hand, by the insurrection of the Greek 
provinces, being very great, those powers would be led to 
conclude a hasty peace on the first advances made to them 
by Russia, leaving intact in Europe an order of things so 
oppressive and monstrous, that, even if the dangers now 
menacing them from Russia should be removed, revolution 
would remain imminent, and peace be less assured and 
more precarious than ever. 

It is to prevent this return to the deplorable scatus quo 
of the present time that, to make use of a celebrated re- 
mark applied to the Supreme Being, if the insurrection of 
Poland is not in the order of inevitable destinies, it ought 
to be invented ; the more necessary is it, consequently, 
this insurrection being a fact foreseen, to take count of it 
in all plans relative to European affairs, and for every state 
preparing to influence them to take some pains to facilitate 


its bursting t'oitli and the bearing of its fruit, for the gen- 
eral well-being and for its own stability in Europe. 

Wo should think ourselves unjust toward the United 
States if, misunderstanding the generous nature of their 
intentions with regard to Europe, we were to insist upon 
the advantages which its emancipation would render to 
their influence, their power, their commerce, and their 
material prosperity. It is so fine a thing for colonies, 
emancipated by their own heroism, and elevated to the rank 
of powers of the first order, to return to tlie mother coun- 
try youth, vigor, development, and political progress, for 
the germs of civilization which they had taken from her, 
and the liberty that they had known how to snatch with 
armed hands from her unjust ambition, that mere views of 
material interests, however vast they may be in themselve-s, 
seem as nothing compared with it. Without stopping far- 
ther, then, at this, and without availing ourselves of the 
recollections which the sons of the heroes of the war of 
independence preserve of their fathers' Polish comrades — 
Pulaski, Kosciusco, Niomcewicz — after having demon- 
strated the benefits which the rising of Poland, in the 
present war, upon the rear of the Russian armies, would 
bring to Europe, by striking her enemy to the heart and 
putting an end to the war of kings, as well as by deciding 
the final European revolution — after proving that in the 
present situation nothing else but this rising could have the 
same effect — we will content ourselves with explaining the 
conditions which may facilitate its success. 

These conditions are of two kinds, — moral and ma- 

The moral consists of the collectiveness, the unity, and 
the universality of the effort ; and depend, consequently, 
to a certain extent on the support which the insurrec^ 



tionavy government will iind in its spontaneous recognition 
by free nations. Tliis government will only be installed 
by the insurrection itself — that is to say, by the armed 
people : and will make itself known to friends and enemies 
by its blows upon these last. ' But, before it can become a 
power, it must have been a party, an association, a prin- 
ciple ; and it is in this state of embryo that the epoch be- 
gins in which the sympathetic and effective, if not the 
official, recognition of free nations is especially necessary 
to it. To sympathize with and to assist the party, is to 
ally with the government which shall issue from it. Now, 
as there are two classes and two sorts of interests in Po- 
land, there are also two parties in the emigration — that of 
privilege and monarchy, round which rallies the Polish 
aristocracy — and that of democracy, representing the 
people, its aspirations, and its rights. We have shown 
above how only from this last the insurrection and its 
government can proceed, and how the individuals belong- 
ing to the first will come perforce to join it — the party of 
the aristocracy now resting all its hopes and basing all its 
calculations upon the initiative of the Cabinets of France 
and England, the object of whose policy is quite another 
thing from the restoration of Poland. In the choice of the 
party with which henceforth the different governments 
ought to connect themselves, there can be no mistake. 
With the monarchical party, that of pretenders and diplo- 
matists, the monarchical cabinets will be connected ; we 
do not deplore it. But to the democratic party, that of the 
people, of the national and humanitarian revolution — to 
the party recognized by the European committee, allied 
with France, with Italy, with Hungary, with Germany, 
with Moldo-Wallachia, with revolutionary Russia — to that 
belongs henceforth the alliance, the support, the recognition 


of republics already constituted. Its flag has from the 
beginning been carried in the enaigration by the Polish 
Democratic Society, from whose hands the country re- 
ceived it and adopted it in 184G, and toward which to-day 
the Polish people turn their eyes, to see what greeting it 
meets with from the peoples, what support it may hope for 
in its efforts. Every mark of sympathy from America for 
the Polish democracy, is more than an encouragement ; it 
is a redoubling of strength for the coming insurrection of 

Connected with the moral conditions of a successful 
rising is the written and oral, the public and private, the 
printed and epistolary propagandism which must precede 
action, and move it from a directing centre. It is upon us 
that this task devolves, and to us that the disposal of the 
material means necessary for its accomplishment is in- 
trusted. We pass, then, to the material conditions of a 
successful rising. 

Of these conditions, the Central Committee of the Polish 
Democratic Society is in a clear way of realizing one of 
the principal : the disarming of a portion of the hostile 
forces in Poland, through their defection at the moment of 
action. For this it has been only necessary to revive in 
the Russian army the remembrance of the generous inten- 
tions of Pestel, Mouravieff, Bestuleff, Ryleieff, and Ka- 
chowski, and to knit between the democrats of the two 
countries a sincere alliance, based upon the recognition of 
common objects and of mutual rights. This alliance has 
been concluded at London ; a centre of Russian propa- 
gandism has been established ; numerous, varied, and 
popular writings have been published ; communications 
opened ; and the ardor with which the writings are de- 
manded, and new materials furnished, proves that the 


fevolutionary representatives of the two countries do not 
mistake as to the existence of the elements they represent, 
and the effect they reckon upon producing. 

There remain for the preparatory period, perhaps already 
very limited, the gathering of the refugees, especially of 
those who are most distant from their country, at fixed 
points, whence they might be transported nearer and kept 
in readiness to enter the country armed, at the first mo- 
ment of the insurrection ; the means of transport for them 
and also for those who must precede them ; and, while 
waiting, their keep and outfit. 

For the period of action, supplies of arms and munitions 
of war, of which the arsenals in the enemies' hands can 
furnish but a very small part, and that not immediately nor 
everywhere. The supplies of arms should be contracted 
for and kept ready in depots where they might be handy at 
any moment for the use of the insurrection. 

For both periods, funds, with which the insurrection, not- 
withstanding the revolutionary means of which it ought to 
make use, will probably be ill-supplied at the beginning, 
but which, rich in the immense resources of the nation, 
once constituted, it can easily reimburse. This need can 
only be met by the national credit, the resources of the 
class which now contains the germ of the future revolu- 
tion being null, and the wealthy classes being interested 
not in nourishing but in retarding the insurrection, waiting 
the country's restoration from Cabinets which are disposed 
to do nothing for it. It is then for the States which would 
have a Poland restored by the hands of her own sons — 
that is to say, the only Poland capable of filling the part of 
protector and civilizer, to which she is called — it is for the 
States which feel the necessity of a Poland, which be- 
lieved in the actual present existence of the elements of 


her approaching resurrection, and which can reckon upon 
her — it is for them from to-day to open an account with 
her, not with the object of provoking a rising, which in 
every case is inevitable, but, b}' facilitating and hastening 
her success, to ward off many sufferings, many struggles, 
and much of bloodshed from Poland, and many mistakes 
and calamities from the other peoples of Europe. 

This is what the Central Polish Democratic Committee, 
strong in its convictions and in the truth of the facts here 
brought under notice, and confident of the wisdom and 
generosity of the government of the United States, sub- 
mits to it, in witness of its unbounded confidence, and as 
pledge of the decisive part which Poland will take in the 
approaching struggles of the peoples. It will believe it 
lias attained its aim, if in its relations with the govern- 
ments and with the peoples of Europe, during the present 
crisis, the government of the United States keeps count &f 
the facts and assurances contained in this communication. 
On behalf of the Polish Democratic Society. 

Stanislaus Wohcell. 

Anthony Zabicki. 

Leo Rienkowicz. 
The Polish Central Democratic Committee. 
London, 38 Regent Square, Grey's Inn Road, March 10. 






DK Allen, Julian 

^2 Autocrasy in Poland and 

A58 Russia 

cop, 2