Title


[iv]

Nicolas 1st, Emperor of Russia
NICOLAS 1st, EMPEROR OF RUSSIA

TRAVELS

IN

THE CRIMEA;

THROUGH HUNGARY, WALLACHIA, & MOLDAVIA,

DURING THE YEAR 1837.

BY

M. ANATOLE DE DEMIDOFF;

OF THE IMPERIAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, AND THE UNIVERSITY

OF ST. PETERSBURG;

OF THE ACADEMIES OF SCIENCE

OF PARIS, MUNICII, STOCKHOLM, ETC. ETC.

ILLUSTRATED BY RAFFET.

DEDICATED TO H.I.M. NICHOLAS I., EMPEROR OF ALL THE RUSSIAS.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

JOHN MITCHELL, ROYAL LIBRARY, OLD BOND STREET,

BOOKSELLER & PUBLISHER TO HER MAJESTY.

1853.

[v]

DEDICATION

TO

His Imperial Majesty

NICHOLAS THE FIRST,

EMPEROR OF ALL THE RUSSIAS.

SIRE,

Your Imperial Majesty deigned to approve of the tour which, in 1837, I undertook in Southern Russia : you honoured with your august protection an exploring expedition into the most recent and least known portion of your empire.

We now, Sire, after a preliminary labour jointly accomplished, publish the observations, reminiscences [vi] and delineations resulting from this tour. In this book, the object of which is to convey a knowledge of the countries through which we travelled, each has contributed his own special remarks and investigations — each has brought forward his humble conquests in the field of science. This joint production, therefore, is destined to make known to all who love the advance- ment of human societies, the marvellous results achieved, and the bright hopes entertained by a people and a country, which, but half a century since, were known only by the names they had borne in ancient fable.

Who could compute for how many centuries these vast plains have beheld only the same succession of invasions, pillage and destruction, until the day when the great Empress Catherine, whose firm will succeeded that of Peter the Great, and preceded yours, Sire, proudly thrust back the confines of the empire to the shores of the Black Sea, astonished to find its waves beating on a land, over which peace and Christianity reigned? The genius which, to their advantage, took possession of these countries, bequeathed its plans to its glorious successors ; but for a long interval they [vii] remained uncompleted, for the torch of war was kindled throughout Europe ; and so great were the terrors that seemed to threaten these hapless regions, that the dismayed people dared not establish themselves upon this fertile land, which they were not sure of rendering fruitful for their own advantage.

Meanwhile, the foundation of important establishments raised up a confidence in the new provinces, and testified to the price set by Russia upon its splendid conquest. The southern plains soon witnessed the arrival of colonists, who gathered about a powerful rampart of cities — Nicolaieff, Kherson, Odessa, and at a later period Kertch, springing with renewed youth from the ruins of Panticapaeum, to command once more its two seas and the kingdom of Mithridates, once so formidable to a great people, now forming but a slight part of an immense empire.

From that period the young colonies became possessed with a creative spirit. While Nicolaieff launched from its extemporised dock-yards so large a fleet that these seas had never seen its equal, Odessa threw open its free ports, and attracted all the trade of the Mediterranean. [viii] The astonished Bosphorus imagined itself once more in the glorious times of the Genoese settlement at Kaffa.' Around this nucleus of intelligent activity, placed here by civilisation, as in a favourable centre, flowed fresh streams of life and enterprise, augmented by the marvellous pro- ductiveness of the soil, and the wise protection afforded to all, without distinction of race or religious worship.

But it is especially of late years, and since the glorious peace won by force of arms from Persia and the Ottoman empire, that the southern provinces, henceforward irrevocably incorporated with Russia, have felt the onward impulse imparted to their prosperity, and have risen to the stability and consistency of a great community, perfectly prepared to receive, and advantageously employ its share in the progress of the age.

The foundation of numerous and flourishing cities in the provinces composing New Russia, the progressive increase in agricultural produce of every kind, the large amount of carriage in the interior, increasing activity in the coasting trade, an appreciation of the beneficial effects of commerce among every class of inhabitants, the formidable condition of the imperial fleet, the regu [ix] larity and ease with which, in the remotest points, the springs of government are worked, and lastly — that spirit of wise and conservative progress which constitutes the true vitality of a people — such are the benefits, rapidly enumerated, which have hitherto been conferred upon New Russia, but a little while since a barbarous wilder- ness, overrun by hordes of lawless depredators.

There is, however, Sire, a necessity which is felt by nations no less than by individuals, when a certain amount of prosperity has rewarded the labours and anxieties which have filled a long period of life. This necessity is that of initiating for one's-self, of building on one's own soil, of surrounding one's-self with original creations, and freeing one's-self from the vexatious tribute hitherto paid to the intelligence of another : this necessity, in a word, is industry.

Effectively, industry, Sire, — and who knows this better than your Imperial Majesty ? — is the free exercise of the faculties which Providence has bestowed upon us ; it brings men and nations in closer relation — it binds together all separate interests into one — industry combines in one word order, labour, obedience, [x] authority, material prosperity, the strength of govern- ments and of states. And as in sum, the manufacture of iron, the material of which ploughshares and swords are made, precedes all other branches of industry, it was quite natural that these provident minds should turn their attention, first of all, to the mineral riches of New Russia. Is Southern Russia to have, or not, an industry of its own ? Such was the important question arising in the first instance. The discovery of certain signs indicating the presence of iron ore crowned the hopes of the first inquirers ; but another investigation remained to be made, which would be decisive in the highest degree of the question to be resolved. If nature had refused to these vast wilds of the south the oak and the fir, it might reasonably be hoped that beneath the soil she had shown herself less grudging, and that thence might be drawn forth a supply of coal — that soul of the modern, material world, which constitutes, far more than gold, the wealth of nations. The character of the soil in some parts of the new provinces, not far from the Don and the Donetz, led to the anticipation of a considerable deposit : [xi] moreover, in the same localities, at a period already remote, the presence of coal had been actually ascer- tained ; and on it Peter the Great had founded hopes — he who seldom hoped in vain. " This mineral," he said, " will become a source of wealth to our descendants."

But the question had hitherto remained undecided. It was in the endeavour to solve it, that Your Imperial Majesty graciously allowed me to commence investigations which will not, under all circumstances, have proved fruitless.

In entering, Sire, upon a task so difficult, and requiring the most conscientious discharge, I was anxious to avail myself of all the light of science, and of all the assistance I could derive from the fine arts ; for it appeared to me that an exploring expedition, such as I contemplated, ought to embrace the entire physical history of the country. At the same time I believed that I should thus be accomplishing a truly useful and patriotic work ; and by the august approbation of Your Imperial Majesty, which is the living expression of the national mind, I am already rewarded for my exertions.

By a favour, which my heart thoroughly appreciates, [xii] Your Majesty will allow us to dedicate to you this account of our tour, and these scientific observations, that nothing may be wanting to the honour of an enterprise, carried on, I may say, under the eyes of Your Majesty.

I am therefore emboldened to present this work to Your Imperial Majesty, as the result of' continued studies, patient research, and obstinate labour — and I shall only be too happy, Sire, if the savans, the artists, and the men of letters, who have worthily laboured to the same end, and shared the same fatigues, should obtain, as well as myself, one of those glances which descend from the lofty throne of Peter the Great, and Catherine the First.

It is with the most profound respect, Sire, that I have the honour to be, Your Imperial Majesty's

Very humble, very devoted, and very

faithful subject,

ANATOLE DE DEMIDOFF.

Paris, April 1839.

PREFACE

[xiii]

PREVIOUS to undertaking the long voyage, of which we are about to give a narrative, we had prepared ourselves, by an especial course of study, for the Mineralogical and Geological researches which attracted us towards Southern Russia. The protection of the august personage who watches over the interests of the empire, and attends, with paternal solicitude, to the smallest details of his administration, was graciously extended to our enterprise — the first of the kind hitherto undertaken, with respect to the most recent and least known portion of the Russian empire.

We now publish, after a preliminary. labour jointly accomplished, the observations, reminiscences and delineations resulting from this tour. In this book, the object of which is to convey a knowledge of the countries through which we have travelled, each has con- tributed his own special remarks and investigations — each has brought forward his humble conquests in the field of science. This joint production, therefore, is destined to make known to all who love the advancement of human societies, the marvellous results achieved, and the bright hopes entertained by a people and a country, which, but half a century since, were known only by the names they had borne in ancient fable.

Who could compute for how many centuries these vast plains have beheld only the same succession of invasions, pillage and destruction, until the day when the great Empress Catherine, whose firm will succeeded that of Peter the Great, proudly thrust back the confines of the empire to the shores of the Black Sea, astonished to find its waves beating on a land over which peace and Christianity reigned ? The genius which, to their advantage, took possession of these countries, bequeathed its plans to its glorious successors ; [xiv] but for a long interval they remained uncompleted, for the torch of war was kindled throughout Europe ; and so great were the terrors at seemed to threaten these hapless regions, that the dismayed people dared not establish themselves upon this fertile land, which they were not sure of rendering fruitful for their own advantage.

Meanwhile, the foundation of important establishments raised up a confidence in the new provinces, and testified to the price set by Russia upon its splendid conquest. The southern plains soon witnessed the arrival of colonists, who gathered about a powerful rampart of cities — Nicolaieff, Kherson, Odessa, and at a later period Kertch, springing with renewed youth from the ruins of Panticapum, to command once more its two seas and the kingdom of Mithridates, once so formidable to a great people, now forming but a slight part of an immense empire.

From that period the young colonies became possessed with a creative spirit. While Nicolaieff launched from its extemporised dock-yards so large a fleet that these seas had never seen its equal, Odessa threw open its free ports, and attracted all the trade of the Mediterranean. The astonished Bosphorus imagined itself once more in the glorious times of the Genoese settlement at Kaffa. Around this nucleus of intelligent activity, placed here by civilisation, as in a favourable centre, flowed fresh streams of life and enterprise, augmented by the marvellous productiveness of the soil, and the wise protection afforded to all, without distinction of race or religious worship.

But it is especially of late years, and since the glorious peace won by force of arms from Persia and the Ottoman empire, that the southern provinces, henceforward irrevocably incorporated with Russia, have felt the onward impulse imparted to their prosperity, and have risen to the stability and consistency of a great community, perfectly prepared to receive, and advantageously employ its share in the progress of the age.

The foundation of numerous and flourishing cities in the provinces [xv] composing New Russia, the progressive increase in agricultural produce of every kind, the large amount of carriage in the interior, increasing activity in the coasting trade, an appreciation of the beneficial effects of commerce among every class of inhabitants, the formidable condition of the imperial fleet, the regularity and ease with which, in the remotest points, the springs of government are worked, and lastly — that spirit of wise and conservative progress which constitutes the true vitality of a people — such are the benefits, rapidly enumerated, which have hitherto been conferred upon New Russia, but a little while since a barbarous wilderness, overrun by hordes of lawless depredators.

There is, however, a necessity which is felt by nations no less than by individuals, when a certain amount of prosperity has rewarded the labours and anxieties which have filled a long period of life. This necessity is that of initiating for one's-self, of building on one's own soil, of surrounding one's-self with original creations, and freeing one's-self from the vexatious tribute hitherto paid to the intelligence of another : this necessity, in a word, is industry.

Effectively, industry, as it is understood in the present day, is the free exercise of the faculties which Providence has bestowed upon us ; it brings men and nations in closer relation — it binds together all separate interests into one — industry combines in one word order, labour, obedience, authority, material prosperity, the strength of governments and of states. And as in sum, the manufacture of iron, the material of which ploughshares and swords are made, precedes all other branches of industry, it was quite natural that these provident minds should turn their attention, first of all, to the mineral riches of New Russia. Is Southern Russia to have, or not, au industry of its own ? Such was the important question arising in the first instance. The discovery of certain signs indicating the presence of iron ore crowned the hopes of the first inquirers ; but another investigation remained to be made, which would be decisive in the highest degree of the question to be resolved. If nature had [xvi] refused to these vast wilds of the south the oak and the fir, it might reasonably be hoped that beneath the soil she had shown herself less grudging, and that thence might be drawn forth a supply of coal — that soul of the modern, material world, which constitutes, far more than gold, the wealth of nations. The character of the soil in some parts of the new provinces, not far from the Don and the Donetz, led to the anticipation of a considerable deposit : moreover, in the same localities, at a period already remote, the presence of coal had been actually ascertained ; and on it Peter the Great had founded hopes — he who seldom hoped in vain. " This mineral," he said, " will become a source of wealth to our descendants."

But the question had hitherto remained undecided. It was in the endeavour to solve it, that we undertook to commence investigations which will not, under all circumstances, have proved fruitless.

In entering upon a task so difficult, and requiring the most conscientious discharge, I was anxious to avail myself of all the light of science, and of all the assistance I could derive from the fine arts ; for it appeared to me that an exploring expedition, such as I contemplated, ought to embrace the entire physical history of the country. At the same time I believed that I should thus be accomplishing a truly useful and patriotic work ; and with this conviction, I am already rewarded for my exertions.

I am emboldened to present this work to the public, as the result of continued studies, patient research, and obstinate labour — and I shall only be too happy, if the savans, the artists, and the men of letters, who have worthily laboured to the same end, and shared the same fatigues, should obtain, as well as myself, one of those glances of approval, which are a recompense and an encouragement.

Paris, April 1839. DEMIDOFF.

CONTENTS.

[xvii]
PAGE
Dedicationv
Prefacexiii
CHAPTER I.
Paris to Vienna 1
CHAPTER II.
Vienna to Bukharest 47
CHAPTER III.
Bukharest. — Wallachia 127
CHAPTER IV.
Yassy, — Moldavia. — Bessarabia 213
CHAPTER V.
Odessa — The Southern Coast of Crimea 289
CHAPTER VI.
Crimea. — Taganrog. — Novo-Tcherkask 331



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