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repayment of the $120,000 which Le Ray had taken.
It can hardly be necessary to say that the count was obliged to accept lands instead of money when the loan came due.
Le Ray had only postponed the disaster which was inevitable. He became land poor. The abundance of better land in less rigorous climates, and the completion of the Erie Canal, which opened the States on the Ohio River to emigration, operated disastrously upon all the large land proprietors in the East providentially, no doubt, for the country. He was unable to make head against the sea of trouble on which he found himself embarked, and at last was compelled to apply for the benefit of the insolvent laws, and, like his father before him, surrender his estates in turn to his own son for the benefit of his creditors.*
His landed property in the State of New York at the time of making the assignment consisted of
The winding up of his affairs was so managed as to satisfy in full all the claims of his American creditors; but Count Survilliers (Joseph Bonaparte), as early as 1820, had consented to accept 26,840 acres of land, valued at that time at $40,260, in discharge of his claims. To hold this land, the New York legislature passed an enabling act in March, 1825. In June, 1835, the count sold his land to John La Farge of New York City for $80,000, and thus dropped the curtain upon the last act of this disastrous enterprise. It gave a chill to the spirit of emigration from France, from which it never recovered. Had Le Ray invested in lands on or near any of our great water-ways, or even in a more congenial climate, it might now be the descendants of the French, rather than of the English, who would be making the laws of the United States.
Le Ray seems to have been an amiable man, and a liberal and popular landlord. The towns of Raysville and Chaumont perpetuate the remembrance of his name, his rashness, and his misfortunes. He founded the Jefferson
As a justification of his course, Le Ray published a statement entitled "Acte de transmission par M. Le Ray de Chaumont à son fils de ses propriétés, 4to,
County Agricultural Society, and was its first president. He was also one of the earliest presidents of the New York State Agricultural Society. He returned to France in 1832, and died at Paris on December 31, 1840, in the eightieth year of his age.
Le Ray's son, Vincent Le Ray de Chaumont, to whom in his troubles he assigned his property, and who at the age of eighty and upwards frequented the American colony in Paris as late as 1866, lost no time in winding up the estate, all of which has long since passed entirely out of the De Chaumont family. Charles Le Ray de Chaumont de St. Paul, great-grandson of Le Ray, and of course great-great-grandson of Franklin's host, if still alive is now the only representative of the family. As he has been many years married and is childless, with his death the name will probably become extinct.
If the De Chaumonts did not secure the Golden Fleece in America, they secured in the United States what was of far greater value American wives. Le Ray married a Miss Coxe, and their son married a Miss Jahel, both of New York.
From a letter which appeared in the "New York Evening Post" on the 19th of November, 1885, dated from Royat, Puy de Dôme, and devoted to an account of "The Treasures of French Country Houses," I make the following extract, which fitly concludes this account of a family whom the people of the United States can do no less than hold in grateful and honored remembrance:
It was in Blois that I first rummaged among these shops, whose attractions are almost a rival to those of the castle, though this is certainly one of the most interesting in France. The traveler will remember the in the center of the town. Near the foot of this hill long flight of stone steps which climbs the steep hill there is a well-furnished book-shop; its windows display old editions and rich bindings, and tempt one to enter and inquire for antiquities. Here I found a quantity of old notarial documents and diplomas of college or university, all more or less recently cleared out from some town hall, or unearthed from neighboring castles, and sold by a careless owner, as no longer valuable to him. This was the case with most of the parchments I found at Blois; they had been acquired within a few years from the castle of Madon, and from a former proprietor of the neighboring castle of Chaumont (the calvus mons of medieval time), and most of them pertained to the affairs of the seigneurie de Chaumont. Contracts, executions, sales of vineyards and houses, legal decisions, actes de vente, loans on mortgage, the marriage contract of a M. Lubin-these were the chief documents that I found and purchased.
pp. 70, Paris," in which, says Hough, he vindicated himself satisfactorily. See "History of Jefferson Co." by Franklin B. Hough. John Bigelow.
RUSSIAN STATE PRISONERS.
FURTHER DETAILS OF THE PRISON LIFE OF THE REVOLUTIONISTS.
N considering the life of political prisoners in the fortress of Petropavlovsk, the reader must bear steadily in mind the fact that the men and women who thus languish for months or years in the silent bombproof casemates of the Trubetskoi bastion are all persons who have not had a trial. Their case is by no means that of condemned criminals undergoing just punishment for offenses of which they have been duly convicted in a court of justice. It is rather that of presumably innocent persons, deprived for an unreasonable length of time of the right to be heard in self-defense, and treated meanwhile as if their guilt were unquestionable. That a very large proportion of the men and women thrown into prison in Russia upon political charges are in fact innocent is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of official record. I have shown in a previous paper that out of more than a thousand persons arrested for alleged participation in the so-called "revolutionary propaganda" of 1872-75 only 193 were ever brought to trial, and even of this relatively small number 90 were acquitted by a court of judges of the Government's own selection. Nine-tenths, therefore, of these prisoners were entirely innocent, not only of real crime but even of the vague and shadowy offenses set forth in Section 250 of the Russian Penal Code; and yet all of them were subjected before their release to from six months to three years of rigorous solitary confinement in the House of Preliminary Detention, or in the damp prison sepulchers of the Trubetskoi bastion. That a system which brings about such results is in the highest degree arbitrary and unjust, and that the subjection of presumably innocent persons to two or three years of such treatment pending trial is cruel in the extreme, are propositions that hardly admit of argument. Whether such wrongs and cruelties are adequate to excuse the violent measures of retaliation adopted by the terrorists is a question to which different answers may be given by different people; but it will, I think, be generally admitted that the confinement of an
Official Stenographic Report of the Trial of the Regicides, p. 217. St. Petersburg, 1881.
+ Sentence of the Court in the case of the 193, p. 8.
innocent man for three years in a casemate of the Trubetskoi bastion under the conditions that I have described, and the final release of such a man without reparation or apology, and perhaps without even the formality of a judicial hearing, constitute extreme provocation. Such was the view taken by the eminent Russian advocate Gerard when, in the trial of the regicides at St. Petersburg in 1881, he endeavored to show that his client Kibalchich had been changed from a law-abiding citizen to a revolutionist by unjust treatment of precisely this character; and such was evidently the view also of the Court, which refused to allow Mr. Gerard to finish his statement, and which, when he persisted, informed him sharply that the Government's treatment of its subjects was "not a matter for his judgment."*
That undeserved imprisonment and cruel. treatment before trial were important factors in the development of the Russian revolutionary movement clearly appears from the later history of the 90 prisoners who were acquitted at the end of the trial of the 193 in January, 1878. According to the judgment of a court not at all likely to err on the side of clemency, these 90 young people were wholly guiltless of any offense against the laws. They had not even rendered themselves amenable to the 250th section of the Russian Penal Code by manifesting "an intention to bring about a change of government. . . at a more or less remote time in the future," and yet they all had been punished with three years of the strictest solitary confinement in the House of Detention or the Petropavlovsk fortress, and had finally been denied even the poor boon of a public trial in an open court, where they might at least have made apparent to the world the injustice from which they had suffered. The result was that which might have been anticipated. Almost every one of the persons thus punished and then found not guilty ultimately became a revolutionist, and before 1885 more than a third of them were in Siberia, and two of them - Andre Zheliaboff and Sophia Perofskaya - had perished on the scaffold with the blood of Alexander II. upon their hands. †
I do not know a more significant illustration Manuscript list of names of political exiles in Siberia, now in my possession. Official Stenographic Report of the Trial of the Regicides, p. 260. St. Petersburg, 1881.
than this of one way in which revolutionary designate the criminal class or grade to which impulses in Russia are excited and kept alive. such prisoners belong, rather than the particThe agencies which transformed these inno- ular part of the fortress in which they are cent young people into revolutionists were confined. The material environment of the unwarranted arrest, denial for an unreasonable" condemned" differs little from that of the length of time of the right to be heard in their own defense, and prolonged imprisonment under conditions that threatened to deprive them of health, sanity, or life. Three years two years or even one year of solitary confinement in a casemate of the Trubetskoi bastion is quite enough to embitter and exasperate to the last degree a consciously innocent man; and if to such unjust imprisonment be added the loss of a brother, sister, wife, or friend in prison before trial, the transformation of the surviving sufferer into a revolutionist becomes at least an understandable phenomenon.
THE FATE OF THE "CONDEMNED." THIS, however, is by no means a complete presentation of that part of the revolutionist's case which relates to the fortress of Petropavlovsk. Political suspects awaiting trial are not the only persons therein confined, nor are the casemates of the Trubetskoi bastion the only cells in that vast state prison. The fortress is a place of punishment as well as a place of preliminary detention, and its gloomy walls hold the "condemned" as well as the "accused." When a burglar, murderer, or other common Russian felon has been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to penal servitude, he is, as a rule, released from the solitary confinement in which he has been held pending trial, is allowed to mingle with other prisoners of the same penal grade, and is forwarded without unnecessary delay to Siberia. When, however, a political offender has been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to penal servitude under the same code of laws, he is not released from solitary confinement, nor sent with reasonable promptness to Siberia, as he would be if he had merely killed his mother with an ax, but is thrown into a bomb-proof casemate in what is known as the "penal servitude section" of the Petropavlovsk fortress, or into one of the smaller cells of a "Central Convict Prison," and there lies in solitude and wretchedness for one, two, three, or even five years before he finally goes insane or is sent to the convict mines of Kara.* In what part of the fortress the "penal servitude section" is situated, the exiles whom I met in Siberia did not know. It is probable, however, that "condemned" politicals are distributed among various bastions and ravelins in that extensive fortification, and that the words "penal servitude section"
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, and Russian officials assert that political offenders are now
"accused." They are shut up in the same spacious but damp and gloomy casemates, with the same high grated windows looking out upon a blank wall, with the same "Judas" pierced doors through which they are constantly watched, and in the same tremorless atmosphere of eternal silence. The difference between their life and the life of the "accused" is mainly a difference of treatment.
DEPRIVATION OF ALL CIVIL RIGHTS.
WHEN a criminal in Russia is judicially condemned to a term of penal servitude, or "katorga," the sentence of the court carries with it deprivation of all civil rights. The political offender who incurs this penalty ceases to be a citizen, and loses at once not only all the privileges and immunities that appertain to his rank or social station, but also all control over his property, his family, and his own person, and all right to claim the protection of the laws, even when his life is imperiled by the treatment to which he is subjected. He is virtually outside the pale of the law, and may be dealt with by the officers of the state as if he were a slave. The fact that the term of penal servitude to which he has been condemned is a short one does not lessen the force of this secular excommunication. A hard-labor sentence of four years divests the criminal of all his civil and political rights as completely as a sentence to penal servitude for life. The property which was his before his condemnation descends to his legal heirs as if he were dead, or is sequestered by the state. The family of which he was the head ceases to belong to him, and the state may assume the custody of his children. The exemption from liability to corporal punishment which he has previously enjoyed is taken away from him, and he may be flogged with the" rods" or the cat. Finally, during what is officially known as the "period of probation," which lasts from a year and a half to eight years, he is not allowed to have either bed, pillow, blanket, money, books, writing materials, or communication with relatives; his head is kept half shaved longitudinally from the forehead to the nape of the neck; he must wear the coarse gray convict dress, must live on the convict rations, and must wear a chain and leg-fetters weighing five pounds. For violent insubordination, even when it is held in solitary confinement after sentence only in the castle of Schlüsselburg.
the result of delirium or partial insanity, he may be handcuffed, flogged, confined in a strait-jacket, fettered to the wall of his cell, or chained to a wheel-barrow.*
LIFE IN THE "PENAL SERVITUDE SECTION." It is hardly necessary to point out the difference which this treatment makes between the life of the "condemned" and the life of the "accused," even although both may be imprisoned in the same fortress. For the "accused" there is always the hope of ultimate trial and release; for the "condemned" there is only the prospect of slow mental and physical decay in the solitude and gloom of a bombproof casemate, and finally death, insanity, or the mines of the Trans-Baikal.
You cannot imagine, Mr. Kennan [said a condemned revolutionist to me in Siberia], the misery of prolonged confinement in a casemate of the fortress under what are known as dungeon conditions [kartsernoi polozhenie]. My casemate was sometimes cold, generally damp, and always gloomy. Day after day, week after week, and month after month, I lay there in solitude, hearing no sound save that of the high-pitched, melancholy bells of the fortress cathedral, which slowly chimed the quarter hours, and which always seemed to me to half articulate the words, "Tee zdais seedeeshee seedee tee" [Here thou liest lie here still]. I had absolutely nothing to do except to pace my cell from corner to corner and think. For a long time I used to talk to myself in a whisper; to repeat softly everything in the shape of literature that I could remember, and to compose speeches, which, under certain imagined conditions, I would deliver; but I finally ceased to have energy enough to do even this, and used to sit for hours in a sort of stupor, in which, so far as I can now remember, I was not conscious of thinking at all. Before the end of the first year I grew so weak mentally and physically that I began to forget words. I knew what ideas I desired to express, but some of the words that I needed had gone from me and it was with the great est difficulty that I could recover them. It seemed sometimes as if my own language were a strange one to me, or one which, from long disuse, I had forgotten. I greatly feared insanity, and my apprehension was increased by the fact that two or three of my comrades in cells on the same corridor were either insane or subject to hallucinations; and I was often roused at night and thrown into a violent chill of nervous excitement by their hysterical weeping, their cries to the guard to come and take away somebody, or something which they imagined they saw, or their groans and entreaties when, in cases of violent delirium, they were strapped to their beds by the gendarmes. My inability to see what was happening in the cells from which these groans, cries, and sounds of violence came gave full play, of course, to my imagination, and thus increased my nervous excitement, until I was on the verge of hysterics myself. Several times, when I feared that I was losing all self
Russian Penal Code [Ulozhenie o Nakazaniakh], Official Edition, sections 22 to 25, inclusive, and sections 27 and 28: Government Printing Office, St. Petersburg, 1885. See also the rules for the treatment of convicts which are contained in the XIVth volume of the Russian Collection of Laws [Svod Zakonof], and particularly the Statutes Relating to Exiles [Ustav o Sylnikh], Part II. An exception is made in the fortress to the rule that convicts shall wear leg-fetters, for the reason that the clanking of chains would facilitate communication between cells, and would break the
control, I summoned the fortress surgeon, or the “feldsher," who merely gave me a dose of bromide of potassium and told me that I must not excite myself so; that nothing serious had happened; that two or three of the prisoners were sick and delirious; but that there was nothing to be alarmed about. As the fortress contained no hospital, insane and delirious patients were treated in their cells, and were rarely removed to an asylum unless they were manifestly incurable, or the care of them became burdensome. The effect of the eternal stillness, solitude, and lack of occupation on the mind was greatly heightened by the want of proper exercise and nourishment for the body. "Accused prisoners awaiting trial in the Trubetskoi bastion were allowed to have money in the hands of the "smatritel," or warden, and could direct its expenditure for white bread, vegetables, tea, sugar, etc., to make up the deficiencies of the prison ration; but we, the "condemned," had to live upon black rye-bread, soup which it was often impossible to eat on account of the spoiled condition of the meat from which it had been made, and a small quantity of "kasha," or barley, boiled with a little fat and served without seasoning, and sometimes only half cooked. Such food, in connection with the damp, heavy air of the casemate and the lack of proper exercise, caused derangement of the digestive organs, and this was soon followed by more or less pronounced symptoms of scurvy. Madame Lebedeva, who was in the penal servitude section with me, suffered from scurvy to such an extent that her teeth became loose and her gums greatly swollen, and she could not masticate the prison bread without first soaking it in warm water. Scurvy, even in an incipient form, intensified, of course, the mental depression due primarily to other causes and made it almost insupportable. I never seriously meditated suicide,- it always seemed to me a cowardly thing to escape from suffering by taking one's own life, but I did speculate upon the possibility of suicide, and wondered how I could kill myself in a casemate where there was absolutely nothing that could be used as an implement of self-destruction. Once I went so far as to see if I could hang myself from the small cylindrical hot-air pipe which projected two or three inches into my cell from the face of the brick oven. I did not really intend to take my life, but I felt a morbid curiosity to know whether or not I could do it in that way. As soon as I threw my weight on the pipe, it pulled out of the masonry, making, as it fell to the floor, a noise which attracted the attention of the guard in the corridor. I was forthwith removed to another cell, and I never again tried a similar experiment. They say that poor Goldenberg succeeded in committing suicide in the fortress, but I cannot imagine how he accomplished it. I became satisfied that I could not kill myself in my casemate in any other way than by biting into an artery or dashing my head against the wall, and I ultimately became so weak that I doubt very much whether I could have fractured my skull by the latter method.
ARE FORTRESS PRISONERS FLOGGED AND TORTURED?
It is not my intention to create prejudice against the Russian government, nor to perfect stillness which is regarded as an essential part of prison discipline. The rule that there shall be no communication between the "condemned" and their relatives is sometimes so strictly enforced that a mother cannot even learn whether her son is living or dead. I met in Russia relatives and near friends of Muishkin, Nechaief, Gellis, and Madame Vera Phillipova, who told me that they had been unable to ascertain whether those unfortunate prisoners were in the castle of Schlüsselburg or in their graves.
excite sympathy for the Russian revolutionists, by exaggerating the sufferings of condemned politicals in the penal servitude section of the Petropavlovsk fortress. I desire to state only those things which I have the very strongest reason to believe are true. Stepniak and Prince Krapotkin have painted the life of condemned politicals in somewhat darker colors than my information would justify me in using. Of the fifty or more fortress prisoners whose acquaintance I made in Siberia, not one had ever heard of cells situated below the level of the Neva River; nor of the famous letter written by Nechaief in his own blood; nor of dungeons infested by rats; nor of the flogging of political prisoners with whips; nor of a single case of torture. I am not prepared to assert that the statements of Stepniak and Prince Krapotkin upon these points are inaccurate, or without foundation; but I must, in fairness, say that they are not sustained by the results of my investigations. There are cells in the fortress whose atmosphere is so damp that salt and sugar melt or liquefy in it after a few hours' exposure, and such cells are sometimes occupied by political offenders; but they are not situated below the level of the Neva. Nechaief was chained to the wall of his cell as a disciplinary punishment for striking the gendarme officer Potapoff; but previous to that time he had been treated fairly well, and if he was ever flogged, or ever wrote a letter in his own blood to Alexander III., or to any other person, the exiles in Siberia are ignorant of the fact. Condemned political prisoners in the fortress have frequently been beaten with the butts of guns and with the fists of the guard, but I have not been able to authenticate a single report of actual flogging with a whip, although the latter punishment is authorized by law. As for torture, that is, the infliction of pain by means of artificial appliances,-I do not believe that it has recently been practiced, either in the fortress or in any other prison of European Russia. A distinguished revolutionist, who is well known to Stepniak and whose biography the latter has written, said to me in Siberia:
I assure you, Mr. Kennan, that torture in the fortress, in our time, has not so much as been heard of. The nearest approach to torture of which I had knowledge during my three-years' confinement there was the forcible administration of chloroform to Oboleshef
and Madame Vitanieva, for the purpose of rendering them unconscious while their photographs were being
Oboleshef and Madame Vitanieva were thrown into the fortress upon a charge of participation in the plot to assassinate General Mezzentsef. They refused to allow their photographs to be taken, and were thereupon chloroformed by force. Madame Vitanieva became unconscious and quiet; but the chloroform ex
taken.* Several of the prison guard revolted even at that, and one of them refused to assist in holding the "palach" [hangman], and that it was not a part of struggling prisoners, declaring that he was not a his duty to poison people.
EFFECTS OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN
IN the main, however, the descriptions of fortress life given by Stepniak and Prince Krapotkin are much more nearly in accord with the results of my investigations than are those published by the Rev. Henry Lansdell and one or two other English travelers who visited and superficially inspected the Trubetskoi bastion some years ago. There can, I think, be no doubt- and in my own mind there is not even the shadow of a doubtthat prolonged solitary confinement in one of the casemates of a Russian fortress, without books, writing materials, bedding, proper food, or communication of any kind with the outside world, is a much more terrible punishment than death. Madame Vera Phillipova, a well-known revolutionist and a beautiful and accomplished woman, who was tried and condemned at St. Petersburg in 1884, asked as a last favor that she might be hanged instead of being sent to the castle of Schlüsselburg, but her request was denied. Suicides and attempts at suicide in fortress casements are comparatively common, and condemned political prisoners frequently strike some officer of their guard with the hope of being tried by court-martial and shot. The presiding judge of a Russian circuit court, whose acquaintance I made in Moscow on my way home from Siberia, told me, in reply to an inquiry, that the revolutionist Muishkin was shot in the castle of Schlüsselburg in the summer of 1885 for striking the fortress surgeon. The desperate prisoner had resolved to escape from a life of hopeless misery by starving himself to death, and the prison surgeon had been sent to his cell to feed him by force. The high judicial officer who gave me this information was not a revolutionist, nor a sympathizer with revolution; he made the statement dryly, without comment and without manifestation of feeling, and there is, so far as I am aware, no reason for doubting its truth.
The inhumanity of the treatment to which condemned political prisoners are subjected in the penal servitude section of the Petropavlovsk fortress is clearly shown by the phys
cited Oboleshef, and made him so delirious and violent that the attempt to photograph him was finally abandoned. There were present on this occasion Major Nikolski, an officer of gendarmes, Doctor Vilms, the fortress surgeon, and a number of "nadziratels," or prison overseers.