January 01, 2020

The Sixth Minister



The Sixth Minister
George W. Campbell

George Washington Campbell was born in Scotland, emigrated with his family to North Carolina in 1772 (when he was 3), and went on to have a distinguished career as a member of the House and Senate representing Tennessee, and also served as Secretary of the Treasury. He was appointed by President James Monroe to be the sixth American minister to Russia on April 18, 1818. He served there until June of 1820. He kept a diary of his service that offers a very intimate and at times tragic look at the very human side of diplomatic life in the eighteenth century. (Dates given are Old Style.)

Thursday Morning – Went on Shore – at Cronstadt – visited the Mole – where Shipping are moored… Visited the Admiral Muller – being also Military Governor of the place – a respectable looking old gentleman… went with us, myself & Capt. Maconaugh, to See the Dry-docks – for making & repairing men of war – in which there were Seven – Ships of the line – 74s & of larger Size – to be repaired – heavy-looking bulky vessels, in bad repair – & condition – Some of them built at ArchAngel – & brought round the coast of Norway and up the Sound – visited the Town – the houses generally very mean-looking hovels – few persons of respectability live in the town – Exclusive of the Military, & Marine, the inhabitants are estimated not to exceed 10,000 – The Batterie are very Strong, & appear to be kept in find order –– Those designed for the defence of Cronstadt, & the mouth of the Neva mount 3,000 guns of various calliber… About 2 Oclock got into the Steam-boat which came along Side the Ship, & proceeded to St. Petersburg – where we arrived about 6 O’clock in the evening – landed and proceeded to the Hotel d l’Europe – where we took Lodgings…

The weather very fine, as it has been Since my arrival – Carriage engaged yesterday arrives, & I visit Some parts of the City in it – but not before proceeding 2 versts, one fo the wheels break – & we walk home – Mr. Pinkney recvd. [Charles Pinkney, Charge d’Affaires] from Monsieur d’Oubril, [acting Minister of Foreign Affairs] an answer to his note assigning Tuesday for an audience etc–


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See Also

The First Ambassador

The First Ambassador

America sent its first ambassador to Russia 200 years ago. He would go on to become the sixth U.S. president.

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