Author Topic: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch  (Read 51748 times)

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2006, 11:16:34 PM »
more on his US trip in late 1871/early 1872 (including over his 22nd birthday):

--arrived in NYC in Nov 1872 and was rather homesick at first, writing to his mother "You can imagine how sad I was to greet the New Year alone, in a foreign land for the first time in my life without all of you ... " but he soon began to enjoy himself

--visited in 34 major American cities

--gave $5000 (in 1871 currency, a very large amount) in gold to those afflicted by the Great Chicago Fire and other very large sums to the slum-dwellers in such cities as Boston and NYC

--spent time in early 1872 buffalo hunting in Nebraska with such personages as Gen. Sheridan; Gen. George Amstrong Custer who became a close friend and who the GD maintained a correspondence with until Custer's death at Little Big Horn (there were also several pictures of the 2 men published in periodicals & newspapers); the legendary Buffalo Bill; Spotted Tail (who became chief of all the Sioux after Chief Red Cloud's arrest following, ironically, Little Big Horn) who  showed Alexis how to kill buffalo without using guns

--in 1997 Vice President Gore and then Russian
Prime Minister Chernomyrdin toured the Corcoran Gallery of Art's 5 room exhibit showing some of Russian royal families jewels, portraits, church vestments, and costumes. The exhibit was to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the grand duke's visit to America.
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Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2006, 08:42:49 AM »
Portrait of Alexandra Zhukovskaya, lover and possibly morganatic spouse of GD Alexey.


Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2006, 08:46:11 AM »
And son of Alexey and Alexandra, Count Alexey Belevskiy-Zhukovskiy, here with his spouse Princess Maria Petrovna Trubetskaya.



Count Alexey wasan  A.D.C of his uncle GD Sergey, and his spouse Maria was a lady-in-waiting of Sergey's wife, GDss Elilzaveta.

Offline Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2006, 04:41:21 AM »
By all accounts, the Grand Duke enjoyed his tour of America. According to his cousin, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich (“Sandro”), he remembered the “belles” of Washington, D.C., with great affection for the rest of his life. The admiration appears to have been mutual.

The Grand Duke certainly had wonderful time buffalo hunting. He loved to recount his adventures in the West for the rest of his life to anyone willing to listen. Sadly, his trip encouraged others to hunt these beautiful creatures, also. Within two years, there were no longer any buffalo left in Hayes County, Nebraska, where he had hunted.

Among his hunting partners were the infamous Gen. George Armstrong Custer, Gen. Philip Sheridan, Gen. George Forsyth, Brulé Lakota tribal chief Spotted Tail (a.k.a. Sinte Gleska), and Buffalo Bill Cody. Here are links to articles about the Grand Duke’s stay in America.

Using Google, I found some wonderful pictures of Alexei taken during his trip to America. I will post them separately.

http://www.americahurrah.com/PRR/GrandDukeAlexis.htm

http://www.rootsweb.com/~nehayes/hist/RUSSIAN.htm

http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/1918ks/biob/beesoncm.html

http://rs6.loc.gov/intldl/mtfhtml/mfpercep/percepduke.html
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 04:59:16 AM by Nadya_Arapov »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2006, 04:50:58 AM »
By all accounts, the Grand Duke enjoyed his tour of America.

In view of that his father send him to USA just to put an end to Alexey's romance (and probably marriage) and Alexandra Zhukovskaya...Grand Duke enjoyed the tour but wrote sad letters to his brother Vladimir.

Offline Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2006, 04:58:49 AM »
Have those letter ever been translated into English?

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2006, 06:01:04 AM »
Have those letter ever been translated into English?

I am not sure. The source of that letter is a Russian bio on Alexey by Z.Belyakova.

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2008, 05:33:35 PM »
I know there is an existing thread on this subject - when I tried to find it I got an error saying the thread wasn't available to me...

So anyway, here you go...

I have a book on this visit somewhere also.

Enjoy!

dca

http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/1300873.html

The Grand Duke Alexis
Walt Sehnert
Monday, December 31, 2007

In November 1871, the Grand Duke Alexis, 4th son of the Czar of Russia came to the United States on a state visit. Ulysses S. Grant was President and he was determined that the Duke, the first of the Czar's family to visit the United States, should have a good experience, so that when he returned to Russia he would carry a good impression of the United States.
Alexis was just 21 years of age and apparently had had his fill of fancy dress balls. At a White House dinner in his honor he confided to his host, Civil War hero, Gen. Phil Sheridan that he was looking forward to some "real adventure" in the American West. Sheridan assured him that he could surely witness untamed Indians and shoot a buffalo from the vast herds, which thundered freely across wide-open spaces in the country beyond the Mississippi, and that he could have the protection of the War Department while doing so.

The Duke made his obligatory Eastern stops during the next two months, while Sheridan made preparations for the Duke's hunt in Nebraska in mid-January. He chose the colorful General Custer (age 32) to be the Grand Marshall of the hunt and William F. Cody (25) to be the hunt's guide. Custer had attracted much favorable attention during the Civil War, and four years later would attract lasting attention with his famous "Last Stand."

Cody had distinguished himself as a great buffalo hunter, and was already well known as "Buffalo Bill." Sheridan's instructions were to "Put on a real show for the Grand Duke!," which probably launched Cody's real calling -- the Wild West Show.

Cody located "friendly Indians" -- Chief Spotted Tail's Brule Sioux, camped along the Frenchman River in Southwest Nebraska. After spending the night in Spotted Tail's lodge (offering flour, sugar, and coffee and 1000 pounds of tobacco) he arranged for 100 (or more) braves to leave their winter quarters and perform for the Duke at a Camp, north of the present Hayes Center on the Red Willow Creek.

The Duke and his entourage arrived at Fort McPherson on Jan. 13, accompanied by Gen. Custer, resplendent in a new buckskin outfit. They were greeted by an enthusiastic throng, headed by Buffalo Bill. After speeches and much pageantry the Duke's party set out for the hunting grounds. It was quite a group -- Department of the Platte Generals, two companies of infantry in wagons, two companies of cavalry, the cavalry's regimental band, outriders, night herders, couriers, cooks, trailing groups of Indians and sutlers -- and three wagons of "champagne and royal spirits."

At the camp (Camp Duke Alexis) the Duke and his entourage were treated very well. They were provided with floored wall tents -- the floor in the Duke's tent was covered with an expensive Oriental rug. The tents were heated with Sibley stoves. Chief Spotted Tail's braves put on breathtaking displays of riding and fighting exhibitions with bows and arrows. In the evening, they danced around a huge camp fire, honoring their own and the Duke. The dances were punctuated with blood-curdling cries that "caused shivers down the spine of the observers."

The next day was Duke Alexis' birthday and spirits were high in camp, and grew mightily when, after a hearty breakfast, scouts rode in with the word that a herd of buffalo had been spotted. As the hunting party neared the buffalo herd Cody gave word that the Duke should have first shot. Aboard Cody's favorite horse, Buckskin Joe, the Duke rode to within 20 feet of the herd, then shot wildly, emptying six pistol shots -- into the air. The buffalo looked vacantly at the Duke and began to walk slowly away.

Cody rode up to the Duke and gave him his famed .48-caliber rifle, "Lucretia," the one with which he had killed 4,200 buffalo. This time, from a distance of only 10 feet, Duke Alexis fired and successfully killed his first buffalo.

This was cause for a real celebration. Alexis severed the buffalo tail and proudly waved it for all to see as he rode back to the camp. The Russians immediately began to pop the corks on the champagne bottles to celebrate. Spotted Tail offered his pipe to the Duke in congratulations -- to which the Duke declined, saying he preferred cigarettes. Before they arrived at the camp Alexis accidentally killed a buffalo cow, and again the Russians began to pop more champagne bottles. Later Cody remarked, "I was in hopes that he would kill five or six more before we reached camp, especially if a basket of champagne was to be opened every time he dropped one."


Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2008, 05:34:35 PM »
Continued...

The second day of the hunt saw the Duke's party bag another 56 buffalo. The only damper on the hunt was when a greatly shaken Duke Alexis was forced to climb a telegraph pole when he was charged by a wounded buffalo.

When the hunt broke up Sheridan suggested that Cody should drive the Duke back to North Platte in an open carriage, saying, "Shake 'em up a bit, Bill, and give us some old-time state driving!" Cody was delighted. Later he exaggerated (just a bit), "We covered six bumpy miles in three minutes." The Duke commented on his ride, "I would not have missed that ride for a large sum of money -- but rather than repeat it I would return to Russia by way of Alaska and swim the Bering Straight!"

Duke Alexis was well pleased with his hunting trip. When he and Cody parted in North Platte, he presented Cody with a fur coat and expensive cuff links. From there the royal train journeyed on to Denver and an honorary ball at the American House Hotel. Here Gen. Custer heard that another buffalo herd had been spotted near Colorado Springs. That hunting trek exhausted the party's supply of caviar and sparkling wine. Custer continued to accompany the Duke and his entourage through Kansas, to St. Louis, and finally to Florida, where the Duke boarded a Russian Steamer for home -- with his hundreds of pounds of iced buffalo meat carefully stowed aboard.

Though the Grand Duke Alexis was thrilled with his trip to America, his father Czar Alexander II was not happy with the Americanization of his son. Soon after his return the Duke married a commoner. His father was enraged and had the marriage annulled. Duke Alexis never married again, though he remained something of an "International Playboy" throughout his lifetime.

Soon after the turn of the century, Alexis headed the Russian Navy, but that ended badly. He resigned his post when the Japanese destroyed the Russian fleet in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War 1904-05. His critics talked of Alexis' life as consisting of "fast women and slow ships," referring to his womanizing and naval failures. Perhaps the best time of his life had come during the glory days of the Old West when he had hunted buffalo with General Custer and Buffalo Bill. He died in 1908.

Source: Notes from the Frontier County Historical Society.

You can meet and visit with (re-enactors) Grand Duke Alexis, Generals Sheridan and Custer, Buffalo Bill, and Spotted Tail and others at the Grand Duke Alexis Rendezvous at Camp Grand Duke Alexis near Hayes Center. The Rendezvous, held each year in September, is very well done and a lot of fun, as well as being extremely educational. For more information contact Doris Vlasin, 73292 Old 17, Hayes Center, NE 69032

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2008, 10:21:52 PM »
I've merged the newest topic with the existing thread--I don't know why it wasn't able to open for you before, Dominic. I hope you enjoy looking at it--as you can see, there are a number of photos on the thread of his US trip.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2008, 04:45:42 PM »
Thanks Granduchess Ella - I guess I didn't have enough juice *grin*

Be well,

dca

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2008, 04:54:26 PM »
Yet another recent article on this visit...



Duke's adventure led him to Kansas
The Wichita Eagle
This is one in a series of vignettes celebrating Kansas history. The series' name comes from the state motto, Ad astra per aspera: "To the stars through difficulties."

BY BECCY TANNER

One hundred thirty-six years ago, Russian royalty and a cast of Wild West characters roamed the western Kansas prairie in a hunt reported in newspapers around the world.

Russia's Grand Duke Alexis was visiting the United States. At a party in Denver, he mentioned that he was looking forward to an American experience, "a real adventure."

Lt. Gen. Phil Sheridan, Gen. George Custer and "Buffalo Bill" William F. Cody arranged for a royal hunt through parts of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Seventy-five cavalry horses, four six-mule teams and four ambulances were requisitioned from Fort Wallace. The grand duke's private train traveled to Hays.

The royal hunt involved a series of chases and charges into herds of buffalo. In Nebraska, it was arranged for the grand duke to see American Indians -- Chief Spotted Tail's Brule Sioux camp along the Frenchman River in southwest Nebraska.

The grand duke cut the tail off of one dead buffalo and danced.

An early pioneer of Dodge City, Chalk Beeson, participated in the hunt in Kansas. Years later, he would describe it:

"The camp train was well fitted up, and it made us cow punchers sit up to see the stuff the commissary department carried," Beeson wrote. "There was every kind of liquor, champagne, all sorts of delicacies in the way of edibles -- enough, it looked to me, to feed an army."

Champagne and other liquor flowed freely as the duke's train slowly made its way to Topeka where Kansans hosted a party for him on Jan. 22, 1872.

The next day, "The Kansas Daily Commonwealth" reported the menu: buffalo, rabbit, venison, moose, elk, bear, duck, turkey, prairie chicken, antelope, chicken wings, breaded pigs feet, scalloped oysters, quail on toast, crumbled and fried squirrel and deviled ham.

And that's not including the vegetables, pastries or desserts.

The duke, it seemed, had made an impression on Kansans.

Beeson recalled: "The Grand Duke spoke English with a slight accent, and was extremely affable to every one. Affable is the word, for despite his courtesy he never forgot, nor did you, that he was a great noble. It was not exactly condescension, but you knew the minute you saw him, that he did not belong to the common herd."

The duke was especially noticed, Beeson wrote, in a place and time "where a scout was just as good a man as Phil Sheridan, and a cow puncher as good as his millionaire boss."

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 03:42:38 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2008, 12:29:52 AM »
Recently I've came across an on-line article about some new-discovered albums and papers of the Yusupovs and there was a mention there on a journal that GD Alexei had been writing all his life. This journal - a sort of diary - was discovered in the Yusupovs' papers! The journal begins in 1862 and ends in 1907 (year of Alexei's death). Seems to me the late bios on Grand Duke don't mention the journal so the find is really unique. The notes in the journal were not of a periodical character, and the article quotes some interesting lines and resumed that it's definitely the time to look at GD Alexei not only as a womanizer and fast-living person...

Offline ashanti01

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2008, 06:16:29 PM »
Recently I've came across an on-line article about some new-discovered albums and papers of the Yusupovs and there was a mention there on a journal that GD Alexei had been writing all his life. This journal - a sort of diary - was discovered in the Yusupovs' papers! The journal begins in 1862 and ends in 1907 (year of Alexei's death). Seems to me the late bios on Grand Duke don't mention the journal so the find is really unique. The notes in the journal were not of a periodical character, and the article quotes some interesting lines and resumed that it's definitely the time to look at GD Alexei not only as a womanizer and fast-living person...

Very intresting news...rather odd that the Yusupov's would have GD Alexei's journal. Did the article mention if they plan to release the journal for the public? Also, I know it's a little off topic, maybe you can IM me with this, but did they mention anything specific about the albums and papers of the Yusupov's? New pictures, letters, journals maybe? Thanks Svetabel

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2008, 01:24:43 AM »
Recently I've came across an on-line article about some new-discovered albums and papers of the Yusupovs and there was a mention there on a journal that GD Alexei had been writing all his life. This journal - a sort of diary - was discovered in the Yusupovs' papers! The journal begins in 1862 and ends in 1907 (year of Alexei's death). Seems to me the late bios on Grand Duke don't mention the journal so the find is really unique. The notes in the journal were not of a periodical character, and the article quotes some interesting lines and resumed that it's definitely the time to look at GD Alexei not only as a womanizer and fast-living person...

Very intresting news...rather odd that the Yusupov's would have GD Alexei's journal. Did the article mention if they plan to release the journal for the public?

Yes,the author of the article also wonders how the Alexei's journal appeared in the Yusupovs papers. No mention of the planning publishing, the journal is being preserved in the Russian National Library for detailed research.