Washington Irving and Prince Dolgoruki

Jun 2006
I'm sure anyone who has read early American literature is at least somewhat familiar with Washington Irving... Along with the Legend of Slweepy Hallow and many short stories and of course Irving's rich story telling in The Alhambra..

What some may not know is that when Irving travelled in Spain his travelling companion was a Russian Prince who later served in Persia...

Washington Irving set out on his ride of discovery in the company of a Russian royal, Prince Dolgoruki, an envoy to the Court of Persia, who was equally interested in the confluence of Europe and Africa, Christianity and Islam. East met west to explore the deep south of Spain and in 1829 this odd couple were the first outsiders to cut a cross-section across the region.

A confluence of two cultures - Europe - Travel - The Independent

I believe this was the very Prince who was instrumental in influencing the Shah to exile Baha'u'llah rather than execute Him...

When the attempt on the life of Nasiru'd-Din Shah occurred in 1852, Bahá'u'lláh was arrested as he left the Russian legation, where his brother-in-law, Mirza Majid Ahi, was a secretary. Dolgorukov exerted himself greatly to obtain Bahá'u'lláh's release, a fact that is referred to in Bahá'u'lláh's tablet to the Czar of Russia. On his release, Dolgorukov is reported to have offered to arrange for Bahá'u'lláh's exile to be in Russian territory; but Bahá'u'lláh declined, preferring to go to Baghdad.


Dolgoruki and Dolgorukov are actually the same .. being different forms of the same name.. Dolgorukov being the Russian form.

Dolgoroukov is the name of a princely Russia family

n family Dolgorukovs of Rurikid stock. Descendants of Mikhail of Chernigov, they took their name from one prince of Obolensk, whose sobriquet was Dolgorouky, or "Long-Armed" in Russian, alluding their lineage to the ancient Persian monarchy

. Among its members are:
•Maria Vladimirovna Dolgoroukov (d. 1625), first wife of Michael I
•Prince Vasili Vladimirovich Dolgorukov

(1667-1746), Russian Field Marshal

•Vasily Lukich Dolgoroukov (1672-1739), Russian diplomat and minister
•Vladimir Petrovich Dolgorukov (1696-1761), Russian General Governor of Livonia and Estonia
•Vasili Dolgorukov-Krymsky (1722-1782), Russian general and governor of Moscow

•Helene Pavlovna Dolgoroukov (1790-1860), grandmother of Blavatsky and Sergei Witte

Dimitri Ivanovich Dolgorukov
(1797-1867), career diplomat

•Vasily Andreyevich Dolgoroukov (1804-1868), Russian minister of war
•Pyotr Dolgorukov

(1816-1868), Russian nobleman and historian
•Vladimir Dolgorukov, mayor of Moscow 1865-1891
•Catherine Dolgorukov

(1847-1922), Princess
and morganatic
wife of Alexander II

•Pavel Dolgoroukov

(1866-1927), prominent liberal politician prior to 1917

Dolgorukov: Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article
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Jun 2006
Brief bio of

Dimitri Ivanovich Dolgorukov (1797 —1867) (also known as Dolgorouki or Dolgoruki) was born in one of the most prominent families in Russia, and was a career diplomat.[1]

He held several diplomatic posts, first in Istanbul, Turkey, and then in the Russian Embassy in Madrid, Spain, in the late 1820's travelling with American diplomat and writer Washington Irving from Seville to Granada and staying at the Alhambra together between May and June 1827. He also held diplomatic posts from 1832-7 in the Hague, from 1832-1837 in Naples and in 1842-5 again in Istanbul.
He was also the Russian Minister in Iran from 1845-54.[1] Dolgorukov retired from the diplomatic service in 1854 and died in 1867.[1]

From the Wikipedia:
Dimitri Ivanovich Dolgorukov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sep 2010
United Kingdom
What a fascinating story! I of course knew of Sleep Hollow but I had never heard of this Russian Prince before. :happy:
Jun 2006
There's a rough translation via Bling of some Russian notes of Dolgoruki that further describes him:

diplomat, Senator date of birth: August 10, 1797 (8/10/1797) place of birth: Moscow nationality: Russian Empire date of death: October 19, 1867 (10/19/1867) (70 years), place of death: Moscow father: Ivan Mikhailovich dolgorukov mother: Yevgeniya dolgorukov (née Smirnaâ) Wife: Sophie Nikanorovna Khitrovo (Dolgorukov) coat of arms of princes Dolgorukovyh Dmitry Ivanovich Dolgorukov (August 10, 1797 (17970810)-October 19, 1867) was a Prince, a Russian diplomat, Senator. Contents 1 Biography 2 participate in the fate of the bábí 3 Comments 4 5 Literature Reference edit Biography
He studied at the Moscow Noble University hostel.

In 1816, he entered the service of kancelâristom in Moscow province Government. In 1819, is the official College of Foreign Affairs. In 1820, he was appointed Secretary for the Mission in Constantinople. Was a member of the society "green lamp, raced with reading his poems. In 1822, several poems were printed in the "News of literature" (No. 11). For a long time consisted in missions (mostly — Secretary) in Rome (1822-1826), Madrid (1826-1830), London (1830-1831), the Hague (1831-1838), Naples (1838-1842). In 1843 he was appointed Adviser to the Mission in Constantinople. Minister Plenipotentiary in 1845 with the Persian Court in Tehran. After the outbreak of the Crimean War made of Shah Nasr-ed-Din neutrality of Persia.

Was a connoisseur of Arts, especially painting: collected a rich collection of Persian manuscripts, was fond of collecting autographs, icons. Was a member of the Artistic society and of the Commission on the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. From the literary heritage of Dolgorukov (travel essays, diaries, travel notes, poems), the greatest value is epistolary creativity: in his letters, written with great literary skill, reconstructs the life in the Russian Embassy at the time.

Left travel essays, diaries, historical note. In 1859, published in Moscow, two collections of poems of amateur nature: "Sounds" and "Dronovo".

In 1854, Senator.

Died in Moscow and was buried at the Donskoy monastery cemetery. One of his sons, he left offspring — daughters: Eugene who Natalia Dmitrievna Dmitrievna and who Was. The son of the famous poet, writer and memoirist leads us Prince Ivan Mikhailovich Dolgorukov and Princess Eugenia Sergeevna Dolgorukoj, née Smirnoj (1770-1804). Brothers p. Dolgorukov (1787-1845), Russian composer and pianist, memoirist, actual State Counsellor (1842) and a. i. Prince, writer, Member of the Patriotic War of 1812, the edit in the fate of the bábí watching the atrocities against the bábí Iran, in their reports superiors in St. Petersburg lamenting about the cruelty of torture and gruesome executions, which they had been subjected.

Also lodged protests seeking the Shah to place prison Baba was selected away from the border with Russia.
Bahá ' u ' lláh, the founder of the Bahá ' Í faith, was sentenced by the Persian Government to exile in 1853. Prince Dolgorukov, watching the proceedings of the bábí and Bahá ' U ' lláh knowing that innocent of any crimes, asked him, on behalf of the Russian authorities, asylum on Russian territory. Bahá ' u ' lláh expressed gratitude for the generosity of the Russian Government, but agreed to adopt the Decree of exile in Iraq, in the city of Baghdad. During trëhmesâčnogo journey to Baghdad, accompanied by Bahaullu Prince Dolgorukov, official representative of the Russian diplomatic mission


Dimitri's father Ivan Mikhalovich was also a poet and actor..

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Jun 2006
General assessment by Graham Hassall in his "Notes on the Babi and Baha'i Religions in Russia and its territories":

In examining the course of subsequent events, historical explanation and religious interpretation intertwine. Shoghi Effendi has suggested the "persistent and decisive intervention of the Russian Minister, Prince Dolgorukov, who "left no stone unturned to establish the innocence of Bahá'u'lláh" was one of several important factors among those that secured Bahá'u'lláh's release from prison. Informed that Bahá'u'lláh was to be exiled, the Russian Minister

expressed the desire to take Bahá'u'lláh under the protection of his government, and offered to extend every facility for His removal to Russia. This invitation, so spontaneously extended, Bahá'u'lláh declined, preferring, in pursuance of an unerring instinct, to establish His abode in Turkish territory, in the city of Baghdád.

There were several factors that may have influenced the efforts of Dolgorukov. His daughter is known to have especially pleaded for this, and Bahá'u'lláh's brother-in-law's employment with the Russian legation may have carried some effect.

Furthermore, it is well known that foreign missions extended favours to those in need in order to cultivate future support from a cross-section of Persian interests. Russian diplomats continued to extend protection to Bahá'ís in later years, prior to the revolution. In Isfahan in 1903, for instance, Bahá'ís took refuge from mobs in the Russian Consulate, and the Russian acting consul, M. Baronowsky, petitioned Persian authorities on their behalf. Such humanitarian assistance has been interpreted as "Russian support for the Bahá'ís". If this had been the case, however, more would surely have been done, or at least said, by Russian officials, to prevent the deaths of so many thousands of Bábís and Bahá'ís the hands of their Persian enemies.

Notes on the Babi and Baha'i Religions in Russia and its territories
Jun 2006
"The kingdom belongs to God."

Washington Irving for his part wrote a biography of Prophet Muhammad and His Successors and of Ali he wrote:

"We make no concluding comments on the noble and generous character of Ali, which has been sufficiently illustrated throughout all the recorded circumstances of his life. He was one of the last and worthiest of the primitive Moslems, who imbibed his religious enthusiasm from companionship with the prophet himself; and who followed, to the last, the simplicity of his example. He is honorably spoken of as the first Caliph who accorded some protection to Belles-Lettres. He indulged in the poetic vein himself, and many of his maxims and proverbs are preserved, and have been translated into various languages. His signet bore this inscription: "The kingdom belongs to God." One of his sayings shows the little value he set upon the transitory glories of this world. "Life is but the shadow of a cloud; the dream of a sleeper."

Washington Irving, Mohammed and His Successors

Baha'u'llah makes reference I believe to the above inscription of Ali:

God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth, and that the seal, "the Kingdom is God's", may be stamped upon the brow of all its peoples.

~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 11

Irving also wrote of the Matyrdom of Imam Hussein at Karbala...

Both parties desisted from the fight at the hour of noontide prayer; and Hosein put up the prayer of Fear, which is only used in time of extremity.

When the prayers were over the enemy renewed the assault, but chiefly with arrows from a distance. The faithful followers of Hosein were picked off one by one, until he was left almost alone; yet no one ventured to close upon him. An arrow from a distance pierced his little son Abdallah, whom he had upon his knee. Hosein caught his blood in the hollow of his hand and threw it toward heaven. "Oh God," exclaimed he, "if thou withholdest help from us, at least take vengeance on the wicked for this innocent blood."

His nephew, a beautiful child with jewels in his ears, was likewise wounded in his arms. "Allah will receive thee, my child," said Hosein; "thou wilt soon be with thy forefathers in paradise."

At this moment Zeinab rushed forth, imprecating the vengeance of Heaven upon the murderers of her family. Her voice was overpowered by the oaths and curses of Shamar, who closed with his men upon Hosein. The latter fought desperately, and laid many dead around him, but his strength was failing him; it became a massacre rather than a fight; he sank to the earth, and was stripped ere life was extinct. Thirty wounds were counted in his body, and four-and-thirty bruises. His head was then cut off to be sent to Obeid’allah, and Shamar, with his troops, rode forward and backward over the body, as he had been ordered, until it was trampled into the earth.

Seventy-two followers of Hosein were slain in this massacre, seventeen of whom were descendants from Fatima. Eighty-eight of the enemy were killed, and a great number wounded. All the arms and furniture of Hosein and his family were taken as lawful spoils, although against the command of Amar.

Washington Irving, Mohammed and His Successors

O Husayn! Consider the eagerness with which certain peoples and nations have anticipated the return of Imam-Husayn, whose coming, after the appearance of the Qá'im, hath been prophesied, in days past, by the chosen ones of God, exalted be His glory. These holy ones have, moreover, announced that when He Who is the Day Spring of the manifold grace of God manifesteth Himself, all the Prophets and Messengers, including the Qá'im, will gather together beneath the shadow of the sacred Standard which the Promised One will raise. That hour is now come.

The world is illumined with the effulgent glory of His countenance. And yet, behold how far its peoples have strayed from His path! None have believed in Him except them who, through the power of the Lord of Names, have shattered the idols of their vain imaginings and corrupt desires and entered the city of certitude. The seal of the choice Wine of His Revelation hath, in this Day and in His Name, the Self-Sufficing, been broken. Its grace is being poured out upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink in, in His Name, the Most Holy, the All-Praised.

~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 11
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