Author Topic: Jim Hercules  (Read 28862 times)

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Constantinople

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2010, 04:27:41 AM »
I am pretty sure that Jim hercules was born in the Southern US from slave parents.  The guava jam may have been sent by other relatives in other parts of the US or the carribean. He was probably born in 1867, which would have made him about 50 when the Tsar abdicated and approximately the same age as the Tsar.  After the revolution, a man of 50 without education or connections probably wouldnt have done well.  There were housing and food shortages.  He probably would have had an American passport and so would have been treated differently than Russians although not necessarily better.  He would have been allowed to leave if he wanted.  At 50 and having been a boxer, I am pretty sure he would not have lasted more than 60, although this is speculation.

Offline Douglas

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2010, 12:23:59 PM »
According to ship manifests, Hercules, an Afro-Caribbean, is the only Jim (James) Hercules found in passenger records that traveled before and during the Russian Revolution.
Jim Hercules is not listed in the American passport database, which again points to a possible Caribbean origin. (This means that as an Afro-Caribbean he would be classified as a British citizen).

 But again, according to primary research documents, they point to Herculesí nativity as the West Indies.
Since guava is one of the "keys" to researching Hercules, my assumption is that Hercules was from an Afro-Caribbean background. I define Afro-Caribbean to also include people in the Gulf Coast Region of North America.

There is mention of Jim Hercules on page 126 of a book by Greg King, "The Court of the Last Tsar". There is even a picture of Mr. Hercules taken in 1891 which I posted above in this thread. Mr. King says in his book that Jim Hercules was born to former slaves in the American South in 1867. After the Civil War he moved to New York City and became a  boxer. He toured Europe, settled in London, and took British citizenship. Alexander III's wife invited him to Russia, and Alexander III offered him a position as an Abyssinian guard.

He was retained in service after the death of Alexander III.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 12:29:22 PM by Douglas »

Constantinople

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2010, 02:09:40 PM »
His salary probably would have been about 100 rubles a year.

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2010, 05:26:42 PM »
It's nice to be able to put a face with a name! I've only read about him in the fictional Royal Diaries book.

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2010, 08:48:05 PM »
We have a different photo of Jim Hercules taken in Tsarskoie Selo, in civilian clothes.  He was born in Virginia according to Bob's research. Not only did he bring guava jam, but he brought the Indian Tepee and canoe for Alexei which are seen in many photographs of his play room.


Offline MademoiselleAndrea

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2010, 08:49:15 PM »
That's interesting to know that the guava jam story is true; I assumed it was made up for the royal diary.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything You gave me". --Erma Bombeck

Offline RealAnastasia

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2010, 11:49:01 PM »
I don't know what are you assuming that. Robert K. Massie told about the story of guava jam in "Nicholas and Alexandra", and I think he took it from Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna's memories, dicted to Ian Vorres. Massie does not fictionalize NAOTMAA's life, as far as I know.

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Offline lilianna

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2010, 05:20:07 PM »
You do not think add a photo of Jim wearing civilian clothes ?
Very, very much want to see what I read.
For example, when he appeared, then everyone knew that soon there will be Emperor. Because his job was only to open doors for the Emperor and stand near his office.

Offline Alyosha_Love

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2011, 09:40:27 AM »
Does anyone happen to know if Hercules learned Russian in his time at court? thanks!

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2011, 10:33:55 AM »
Bob says that they did not WANT Jim to speak Russian. They family all spoke English, and the point of having him was how "American" he was.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2011, 05:48:33 PM »
I have heard about the Black servants of the IF. I have some comments ect i saw a picture on the Great War Forum a long time ago of a Young Black boy standing on some street in Russia collecting money for some charity i believe. Also there is Sgt Marcel Pilat who was thought to be of French/African descent who I found out recently was from Tahiti. He was working for some French company in Russia as a mechanic at the start of WW I. He volunteered and flew with the EVK (Squadron of Flying Ships) as a mechanic/gunner. pilat was awarded the Cross of Saint George, third class and fourth class. I think he was credited with shooting down one aircraft and had one other unconfirmed claim. This makes the first Black man to be credited with shooting down an aircraft in combat. in Over the Front 7-1 Spring 1992  there is an artical "Imperial Russian Orders, Medals, Badges and decorations awarded to Aviatiors in World War I" that has a picture of him and how he won the Cross of st george 3rd class. i believe he is mentioned in the Book "The Imperial Russian Air Service". Nobody knows anything else about him so does anyone on this site have anything? I wasn't sure where to post this question. thanks in advance.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2011, 05:14:47 PM »
In reading a review of the book "Stalin and His Hangmen" there was a sole Black Man named Johnston in the Cheka who killed for them.

Offline Duchess Hydrangea

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2012, 04:12:51 PM »
During the time he worked at the palace where would Jim have lived?
Arthur of The Last Russian Czarhttp://www.amazon.com/Last-Russian-Czar-H-Carpathia/dp/1600431690/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1438094724&sr=8-6&keywords=the+last+russian+czar&pebp=1438094722063&perid=0HY1DJMAWA2SXA4BFAJ3

Offline TimM

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2012, 12:25:52 AM »
I wonder what became of him after the revolution?  Did he go back to the U.S.?  Obviously, he's long dead by now, but one has to wonder if there are any living relatives who might know what happened to him, or where he's buried?

Offline Duchess Hydrangea

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Re: Jim Hercules
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2012, 07:17:10 AM »
I wonder what became of him after the revolution?  Did he go back to the U.S.?  Obviously, he's long dead by now, but one has to wonder if there are any living relatives who might know what happened to him, or where he's buried?

I wonder that too. You'd think with as popular as the Romanovs are that Jim's family would have a lot to share from his stories but Jim makes it seem possible that a person can indeed vanish off the face of the earth. If I knew better how I would try to find these people but alas I wouldn't know where to start. I wonder if the name died out or if Jim even hard children.
Arthur of The Last Russian Czarhttp://www.amazon.com/Last-Russian-Czar-H-Carpathia/dp/1600431690/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1438094724&sr=8-6&keywords=the+last+russian+czar&pebp=1438094722063&perid=0HY1DJMAWA2SXA4BFAJ3