Dark tourism and the death of Russian Emperor Alexander II, 1881-1891.
Alexander's life had been threatened before that fateful day. First in 1866, when disgruntled student Dimitry Karakozov shot at him as he stepped out of St. Petersburg's Summer Garden. (3) The next attempt occurred in France. In June 1867, Alexander II arrived in Paris with his sons Alexander and Vladimir. They had been invited by Emperor Napoleon III (1808-73) to attend the universal exposition of art and industry. While riding in an open carriage, the Russian monarch was shot at by a Polish refugee named Antoni Berezowski (1847-1916), but the two bullets he fired missed their target. (4) Then, starting in the late 1870s, the emperor started a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the People's Will, a domestic group of terrorists formed in Lipetsk in 1879.
The People's Will's members believed that acts of terror against government officials would either force the government into reform or trigger a popular uprising once it had been demonstrated to the people that their divine-right monarch was, in fact, a mere mortal. (5) On 26 August 1879, the 22 members of the organization's executive committee sentenced Alexander II to death. Prior to his murder, the most serious of their attempts to kill the tsar came in February 1880. At 6:20 pm, an explosion rocked the Winter Palace, destroying the room where members of the Imperial family were due to dine with Prince Alexander of Battenberg (1857-93), the newly proclaimed chief of autonomous Bulgaria. The prince was late; hence, the room was still empty when the dynamite went off. The explosion still killed II and wounded another 56 people. The dynamite used in the attack had been smuggled into the palace in small batches by Stepan Khalturin (1857-82), a member of the People's Will who posed as a carpenter and was hired as part of a construction crew working on the palace. (6) All told, as Richard Wortman notes, Alexander II "escaped death seven times, and many regarded the news of an additional attempt with some indifference, assuming he would escape once more." (7) The events of 1 March 1881, when the People's Will was finally successful, showed just how misplaced that assumption, and the complacency it revealed, was.
Lindsey Hughes (1949-2007), one of the most distinguished scholars of the Russian monarchy, described the impact of the assassination of Alexander II on his heir and the rest of society this way: "The unavoidable fact of his father's shattered body brought home even to the most unimaginative observer the wound to the body politic and to Russia itself, arousing horror in ruling circles and hopes among extremists that the Romanov regime was literally and figuratively on its last legs." (8)
The latter group's hopes were thwarted, however. What the accounts of British and American travelers who visited St. Petersburg in the 1880s demonstrate was that the shock and grief at Alexander IPs death, in fact, helped to maintain political stability over the next decade. Members of the general public responded with acts of patriotism and loyalty such as covering the site on Catherine Canal (and the emperor's grave) with flowers, or donating money to build memorials to the slain monarch. Unnamed and unheralded government and military officials permitted the display of artefacts connected to the assassination in state-sponsored spaces. For instance, Alexander IPs damaged carriage became a focal point in the Museum of Imperial Carriages and his sword with its blood-covered scabbard was on display at the Preobrazhensky Cathedral. These locales were open to the public and presented sanctioned places where the event could be interpreted by visitors. The royal family and its servitors allowed for some--albeit limited--access to the Winter Palace, so visitors could even see the rooms where the Emperor had died. And, finally, his young widow also created her own semiprivate, semi-public shrine to her dead husband. These sites interpreted the murder of the emperor in such a way that his martyrdom was continually emphasized; they most certainly did not celebrate the ideas and actions of his killers.
Examining the accounts of contemporary British and American visitors reveals some interesting things, starting with the fact that few travelers were surprised to be shown these things. Violence seemed to hang in the very air in these years, making people respond to acts of terrorism simultaneously shocked and with equanimity. Travelers do not suggest that the Russian masses may have sympathized with the revolutionaries, meanwhile. It was far more common to find passages like this one by Maturin Bailou: "Nine tenths and more of the people of Russia are loyal to 'father the Tzar,'--loyal to his family and dynasty[, while |nihilism is almost entirely stimulated from without." (9) Impressions such as this showed a Russia where the bond between the monarchy and the people remained intact and strong. They also ran counter to much of the press coverage on Russian terrorism, especially in Britain, where it was suggested that terrorist attacks, while reprehensible, were a natural response to an oppressive government bent on ignoring peaceful calls for reforms. (10)
In addition, the travel accounts make an interesting contribution to the scholarly literature on dark tourism. Travel to locations connected with death and violence has happened for thousands of years; only recently have scholars begun to separate something they refer to as "dark," or sometimes "death," tourism from phenomena such as pilgrimages, or visits to battlefields. Some definitions of dark tourism can be quite broad, as say the one offered by Richard Sharpley: " [Dark] tourism may be defined simply and more generally as the act of travel to sites associated with death, suffering and the seemingly macabre." (11) Philip R. Stone's paper from the same edited collection adds another element by suggesting that works on dark tourism frequently dwell on the moral elements of visiting such places, while Peter Tarlow argues that the violent acts being commemorated have to have a continued impact on the lives of the visitors. (12) The most widely cited, and most precise, description of dark tourism is given in John Lennon and Malcolm Foley's eponymous book. They argue the following criteria are necessary for dark tourism to emerge: 1) global communications technologies; 2) an underlying discomfort with "the project of modernity"; and 3) a desire "to develop a tourism product" alongside any educational aspects that particular locations offer. (13) As a result, they posit that dark tourism is a relatively new phenomenon, something that emerged within the last hundred years or so.
What I hope to do here is push the scholarly literature on dark tourism in new directions, most obviously by bringing an early Russian case study to light. Russia seldom factors into works on the history of tourism, let alone those that consider dark tourism. The sole exception is the site of the Chernobyl disaster, which has recently become a tourist attraction. (14) Hence, this article introduces a new geographic terrain into the scholarly mix. Foregrounding events in the 1880s pushes the chronological focus suggested by Lennon and Foley back further as well. Rather than starting with the sinking of the Titanic or with the industrialized warfare of the First World War, I argue the episodes of political violence in the late 1870s and early 1880s, ones that used dynamite, can also offer a starting point for dark tourism. Dynamite created new kinds of threats for people and governments to grapple with. The assassination of Alexander II showed the world exactly what this invention of the second industrial revolution could do and ushered in a new phase in the history of terrorism.
Readers will see that my analysis veers more towards the research of Gary Best rather than studies of dark tourism that focus on large-scale phenomena such as the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide. (15) Best prefers to take single deaths--notably those of celebrities killed in car accidents--and work outwards from them. He describes how the crashes "snatched away their public personae and their private angst, their rage, their beauty and their serenity, and left a legacy of legends, misconceptions and highly sought and prized memento mori." (16) The same can be said about Alexander II. The moment the first bomb exploded under his carriage, the Emperor's image underwent a transformation. The difficulties of the previous few years, when his private life offered scandalous fodder amongst his extended family and, to some extent, society in general, to say nothing of the constant calls for more reforms that he faced, disappeared in an instant. In their wake came loving tributes to the man who had liberated millions of Russian serfs and the desire to preserve relics from his death.
Finally, it is the experiences of visitors that I am interested in rather than the curatorial decisions made by government or museum officials. My research comes to some of the same conclusions vis-a-vis the emotional and psychological reactions of travelers as that of Peter Tarlow. He posits that four basic emotions--insecurity, gratitude, humility, and feelings of superiority--emerge when people visit places of dark tourism. (17)
Astute readers will notice that while I engage with the scholarship on dark tourism, I refer to the authors of my sources interchangeably as travelers or visitors. That is because it would be a misnomer to do otherwise. Organized tourism (mass tourism, if you will) simply did not yet exist in Russia in the period under consideration.Is There were no package tours to Russia offered by companies such as Thomas Cook in the 1880s. American Express did not open a Russian office until 1916. (18) Individuals who wanted to see the country could consult a very limited number of guide books or travel accounts for information, but handled the logistics of their trips themselves. Travelers had to find, for instance, their own tour guides and that left them at the mercy of the guide's contacts, since few visitors to Russia spoke or read the language. These difficulties meant that relatively few people actually visited the country in the 1880s.
The era shaped our accounts in other ways as well. The decade predated the widespread use of personal cameras to photograph tourist sites. That means authors often included very lengthy and detailed descriptions of what they saw at various places since they could not rely on illustrations (with the exception of an occasional drawing or two) to act as a kind of shorthand for them. Moreover, it was also expected that visitors to Russia would write about what they saw. At this point in time, few newspapers could afford full-time foreign correspondents and many smaller or local papers, particularly in the United States, did not subscribe to foreign-news services, meaning that their coverage of the wider world was spotty at best. (20) The Times of London did have a resident correspondent in St. Petersburg, George Dobson, but his writings were subject to Russian censorship. (21) The gap in available information meant that travel accounts sold well, especially if they were either timely, by opinion makers, or both. Indeed, a solid majority of our travelers published their books immediately after returning home.
Fortunately for historians, in the 1960s, Harry W. Nerhood compiled an annotated bibliography of English-language travel accounts to Russia. (22) Although I read all of the listed works that dealt with the 1880s, I ultimately excluded many from my sample, for two reasons: Firstly, because some books focused explicitly on subjects (such as the 1879-1881 Arctic expedition of the USS Jeannette) that had little to say about tourism in the Russian capital, and secondly, because other texts concentrated solely on explorations of peripheral regions such as the Caucasus and Central Asia. That left more than three dozen works where the visitors were based, for varying lengths of time, in St. Petersburg, Moscow, or some other part of European Russia. Not all of them proved useful, depending on what the traveler saw, but twenty were beyond a doubt. They form the source base for the pages that follow. Fifteen of the people I cite were American; four were British; and one, Antonio Gallenga, was an Italian who wrote for The Times of London. Two of the six sources by women are by what we would call tourists today, while the other four are accounts and letters by women who were married to diplomats posted in Russia. Among the men, three were American clergymen, while six were journalists or professional writers. Francis C. Sessions was President of the Ohio Historical & Archaeological Society, while the professions of the remaining authors are not known.
Finally, we must take note of nineteenth-century attitudes towards violence, since these shaped the impressions of our authors. In the first half of the century, in Britain, it was common for bodies to be left on display at crime scenes so that juries could gain a sense of what had happened for themselves. Members of the general public were also allowed to peruse these sites, turning the curious into what one historian has termed "murder tourists." (23) When convicted murderers where hanged, souvenirs of the event (in the form of pieces of the rope used or shavings from the coffins) were much sought after. Those who did not wish to attend public executions could still satisfy their curiosity, however, because Madame Tussaud's set up a permanent exhibition space in London in 1836. It featured a "Chamber of Horrors," and figures of well-known murderers and would-be regicides. (24) These displays left people both shocked and accepting of the horror they depicted at the same time.
We see the same contradictory response to political violence as each individual attack on a head of state was met with surprise and shock, but also with the sense that these acts collectively were somehow now part of a new political landscape that some associated with modernity. Claudia Verhoeven's book about Dimitry Karakozov, who shot at the Russian Emperor in 1866, makes exactly this point, but similar views were in evidence from the moment Queen Victoria was first shot at in 1840. Perhaps the only difference was that her attackers did not believe that the collapse of the monarchy could be triggered by her death. (25) Instead, the attacks seem to have the opposite effect. They brought the nation together as social elites flocked to Buckingham Palace to inquire after the Queen's health or to leave some record of their visit, and as the popular press was filled with praise for the Queen's bravery as she continued to appear in public in the days that followed each incident. The propaganda value of her appearances was immense for they "signified that absolute trust existed between them [Victoria and her husband Prince Albert] and their subjects, and demonstrated their belief that no would-be assassin could come between them." (26)
On the European continent, the situation was slightly different, since those who carried out political assassination attempts often were trying to bring about revolutions. For instance, Louis-Philippe (1773-1850), who came to the throne in France in 1830, faced seven attempts on his life before he was finally deposed during the 1848 revolutions. His eventual successor, Emperor Napoleon III (1808-73), faced similar threats throughout his time in power and he was not alone. In 1878, the year before the People's Will was formed in Russia, German Emperor Wilhelm I (1797-1888), Spanish King Alfonso XII (1857-85), and Italian King Umberto I (1844-1900) all had their lives threatened by politically motivated assassins.
What changed as the 1870s gave way to the 1880s was the options terrorists had at their disposal since traditional weapons such as knives and pistols were now joined by dynamite and nitroglycerine-based explosives. Alfred Nobel (1833-96) obtained his first patent for a nitroglycerine-based explosive in 1863 and the following year he invented dynamite. By the end of the 1860s, Nobel had manufacturing plants in five European countries; that number continued to grow in the 1870s. In both Britain and the United States, concerns about the destructive power of such substances meant that Nobel faced public and some government opposition before he could set up shop. Nobel himself tried to emphasize the economic benefits of his explosives, for example in railway construction and mining, but worries about safety and eventually terrorism never fully receded. After one 1866 demonstration at a Manhattan quarry that was designed to quiet the fears of American lawmakers, "overexcited readers flooded editors with letters [and t]he overwhelming majority portrayed Alfred as a trafficker in death and horror." (27) That perception, in fact, never went away, especially as the number of terrorist attacks using dynamite continued to mount. It allowed August Strindberg (1849-1912) to refer to Alfred Nobel in an 1883 poem as "the deliverer of ammunition to assassins." (28)
This is what Strindberg meant: On 14 January 1881, Irish nationalists from the United States exploded a bomb in Salford. Two months later, they attacked the residence of the lord mayor of London. These bombings marked the start of a 15-year campaign that ultimately targeted such London landmarks as Whitehall, the Tower of London, the House of Commons, and most audaciously, Scotland Yard. (29) The campaign coincided with the adoption of dynamite as a weapon by Russian revolutionaries. Nobel's younger brother Ludvig (1831-88) established the Societe Franco-Russie des Dynamites to market explosives in Russia. There were no import prohibitions on bringing dynamite into Russia in the early 1880s, and it was dynamite from a Nobel factory that blew up the dining room in the Winter Palace. (30) That act by the People's Will was widely commented upon, especially since the devastated area was regularly shown to visitors. Among the authors quoted here, five of them recorded seeing it, but visitors could not fully imagine, or recreate the moment, in their minds because many of the details about the attack remained unknown. (31) Khalturin escaped the scene and the police did not connect him with the incident, so there was no known perpetrator to blame or to reveal every last detail of the plot. (32)
Information about the assassination of 1 March 1881, on the other hand, was plentiful and widely discussed, even with foreigners. Elizabeth Hunt, the wife of the US ambassador to Russia, was quite surprised by how openly the assassination was mentioned in polite conversation. At a court presentation, "[o]ne of the Princesses who received us spoke with great affection about the late Emperor,--she saw him about ten minutes after the explosion, and she told us that one of the gentlemen who helped pick him up and put him into the carriage had another bomb in his pocket," describing it to her correspondent as "flat like a pocketbook, and of about that size, easily concealed and carried." (33)
Other visitors worried about potential new attacks, particularly during the 1883 coronation celebrations. Mary King Waddington, who accompanied her husband William Henry Waddington to the event, was not pleased by his new diplomatic assignment. "I am so afraid they will take advantage of that crowd to blow up everybody," she wrote in a letter. "However, if that should happen it would be better to be blown up together, but I really am nervous (I am not usually such a coward, but Russian nihilists and dynamiters are terrible elements to contend with), and wish they hadn't asked him to go." (34) The following year, a plot referred to as the "2nd March 1st" was thwarted at the last minute. The revolutionaries, who included future Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin's older brother Aleksandr Ulyanov (1866-87), planned to mark the anniversary of Alexander II's death by blowing up Tsar Alexander III (1845-94) and his family as they went to a commemorative service. British journalist W.T. Stead told readers of his Truth About Russia that "it was at the station that the Emperor was informed that he had just escaped by the skin of his teeth from a catastrophe similar to that which had destroyed his father." (35) Dynamite, as one Russian terrorist noted and as the passages above reveal, marked "a new stage in the revolutionary movement." (36)
Ultimately, Alexander II's death showed the power of dynamite to remake the physical and political landscape of an empire. After his murder, Queen Victoria began to take ever greater precautions when she traveled, but that did not make her less of a target. She was the target of a new attempt on her life on 2 March 1882. As John Merriman's research reveals, French anarchists gravitated towards using bombs in their attacks in the fin-de-siecle era. One anarchist newspaper even went so far as to print illustrated instructions on how to make one. (37) In early July, US President James Garfield (1831-81) was shot by Charles Guiteau (1841-82); he died from his wounds on 19 September 1881. He was, of course, the second President to be killed while in office, following Abraham Lincoln's assassination more than fifteen years earlier. Dynamite also triggered the Haymarket Affair in Chicago in 1886. Such incidents were in the back of the minds of British and American visitors to Russia as they were confronted by reminders of Alexander II's own violent death. It is to their accounts that we now turn.
Reaction to the Emperor's death was swift. Within hours the site of the bombing on Catherine Canal had been fenced off, and the spot where the wounded man had suffered on the cobblestones was soon blanketed with flowers and wreaths. (38) But even before that many people descended on the site looking for relics. They seized upon shredded clothing and bone fragments, and they sought to mop up some of Alexander II's blood. One British journalist described the frenzied and emotional scene: "I myself ... saw men and women some time after searching for relics, and rubbing their handkerchiefs in the blood-stained snow, some falling on their knees at the scene of the occurrence, weeping, crying, and crossing themselves." (39) The crowd's behavior was understandable. By racing to see what had happened, Russians established a connection between themselves, the site, and the unfolding story. As Marita Sturken's research on sites of terrorist acts in the United States has shown, the taking of items from sites like Catherine Canal, or the leaving of some kind of tribute to the dead, offers a sense of comfort and belonging to those who are traumatized by the event. This behavior tapped into secular ideas of patriotism and nationalism. Each action was "an attempt to use an object as a means to counteract loss." (40)
In the eyes of many Orthodox Christians, Alexander's violent death also transformed him into a religious martyr. Indeed, the day after the attack, the St. Petersburg Municipal Duma met and suggested that something--a privately-funded chapel or a memorial--be built on the site. (41) The plans were drawn up by architect Leontii Benua in a couple of days and construction started ten days later. The small chapel had a specially designed platform that allowed key facets of the site to be both protected and observed. The platform butted against the canal railing, which enabled people to see the following through a set of glass doors: a piece of railing that was twisted during the explosion as well as a pavement slab and a piece of cobblestone bridge which both still bore traces of Alexander IPs blood. The chapel was consecrated on the late Emperor's birthday (17 April 1881) and remained there until 1883. It was finally moved to make way for the construction of a bigger memorial: the Temple of the Resurrection of Christ (Khram Voskreseniia Khristova), which is commonly referred to as "Savior on the Blood" (Spas na krovi). It was only completed in 1907, in other words long after our visitors had been in Russia. (42)
The site of the bombing did not resonate particularly with foreigners. Four travelers from the 1880s mentioned it in their works, although three of them offered only the barest factual information. Unlike other places and sights that had deep emotional impacts, the shrine on Catherine Canal did not. William Hunt, US Ambassador to Russia, dwelled more upon state security than emotion when he described, in a letter to the Secretary of State in Washington, the ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the commemorative chapel. Hunt referred to the event as "a ceremony from which the public was carefully excluded by a large military guard, and which was witnessed only by the imperial family and a few selected officials." (43) Hunt's comments were the most effusive. J.M. Buckley, who arrived in Russia along with his son and a friend at the end of July 1884, merely says: "Under the guidance of a person who arrived upon the scene ten minutes after the event occurred, I walked from the avenue along which the Emperor rode to the exact site of the murder." (44) That laconic sentence leaves a modern reader frustrated and keen to know more about Buckley's thoughts, feelings, and impressions as he retraced Alexander II's steps, but Buckley gives no more details. Instead, he dovetails into a broad discussion of nihilism. (45) Nor does William Wilberforce Newton's account tell us much. Newton visited Russia in 1889 and simply recorded the site (and its new chapel) as one that he saw, but with no additional comment. (46) A visit to the great writer Leo Tolstoy overshadowed everything else in his book.
Only Curtis Guild, who visited Russia along with a friend no earlier than 1887, used language that emphasized the violence of the act committed on the spot. "Still a stronger reminder which we saw," he wrote when discussing the murder of the Emperor, "is the pavement spattered with his blood, and his sword and other articles bearing the same gory stains, that have been preserved, near the very spot where he fell, in a small temporary temple erected over them, and guarded by a priest, who receives offerings from the faithful, who stop there to pray, in aid of a church which is to be raised on the spot to his memory." (47) Perhaps it was this religiosity of the site that caused American and British observers to be so dispassionate about it. Unlike the displays at the Carriage Museum or the Winter Palace, which, as we shall see, were strictly secular in nature, the commemoration here was closely connected with the Orthodox Church. Icons adorned the memorial from the moment the first people arrived to see what had happened and they must have looked slightly alien to our visitors, two of whom (Buckley and Newton) were Protestant ministers from the United States.
Certainly, the government that took over in October 1917 did not feel the location represented their point of view in its inherited form. The "Savior on the Blood" church was closed to the public and the building was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. To recast the assassination of the Emperor in heroic terms, surrounding streets and landmarks were renamed. For instance, Malaya Konyushennaya Street became Sofiya Perovskaya Street to honor one of the masterminds of the plot and a bridge near the church was now called Grinevitsky Bridge in memory of Alexander II's assassin. Even Catherine Canal itself did not escape the drive to rewrite history; it became Griboedov Canal in honor of a well-known writer of the nineteenth century.
"The back of it is completely smashed, as is the frame under the seats, and under the coach-box.... The glass from all the windows has utterly disappeared," recalled the then dowager marchioness of Dufferin and Ava (1843-1936) about seeing the carriage Alexander II was riding in on the day of his death. (48) Her husband, Marquess Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood (1826-1902), served as the British ambassador to Russia since 1879. The marchioness's visit occurred only a scant three weeks after the assassination, which demonstrates how quickly sites and artefacts commemorating the event were packaged for the public. The carriage had been a gift from French Emperor Napoleon III, who had also seen his fair share of assassination attempts; it was said to be "bomb-proof," and it did indeed survive the bomb thrown by Nikolai Rysakov. (49) After Alexander II's death, the mangled ruin was put on display at the Museum of Imperial Carriages in St. Petersburg. The two-story museum had been established after the Crimean War on the grounds of the Imperial Stables, and its four large rooms held everything from a travelling sledge made by Peter the Great to the carriages used on state occasions such as coronations. (50) The museum was open every day except Sundays and a visit to it was recommended by at least one contemporary guide book for foreigners. (51)
The sight of the ruined landau amidst all the other splendid carriages evoked powerful emotions in those who saw it. In this, the carriage was like the mangled objects that now form the basis of many commemorations of 9/11, although admittedly on a much smaller scale; as one scholar suggests, "these objects seem to evoke a fragile connection to a prior time, a time before, a time innocent of what was to come." (52) Mark Shaming, Director of the New York State Museum in Albany, writes eloquently of the challenges he faced when sorting through objects that would present the material legacy of 9/11 to the visitors of his museum, but also the importance of doing so. He argues that
[i]n museums it is possible to channel the actual moments of history and present it in a larger perspective so viewers can come to terms with the history that might be otherwise unfathomable ... the smallest object could be embedded with the biggest story. [Displaying such items] creates an internal tension between morbid curiosity and the opportunity to understand and remember. One is disturbed not by a particular object but by making the human connection. (53)
Although the event being considered here is separated by much time and space from the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States, the comments above are an insightful lens through which to view the accounts we have of visits to the carriage museum in the 1880s. The carriage museum as a site of mourning and remembrance carried very different connotations from the shrine which emerged on the spot where the bombs went off on Catherine Canal, or from the Winter Palace where the Emperor was taken to die. In those locations, it was possible to emphasize the blood and body of the dead Tsar and to recast him as a martyr. The physical location of the carriage museum was not tied to the assassination itself; hence it did not lend itself to such interpretations of events. That did not stop one or two authors from employing religious language in their accounts, however. William Curtis, who worked for the Chicago newspaper Daily News, visited Russia with his wife in 1887. He called the carriage a "holy historical relic," while John Bell Bouton, another American traveling with his wife, referred to the Tsar as a "doomed man" and the "martyred emancipator of the serfs." (54)
But most visitors seem to have been more impressed by what dynamite could do. Their accounts, like the one by the dowager marchioness that opened this section, linger on that point by recording in vivid detail the devastation that they saw. Augustus Hare, for instance, described it as "split and shivered at the back by the first bomb, from which he [Alexander II] so miraculously escaped; the place of the absent servant shattered; the cushions upheaved or thrown down." (55) By remarkable coincidence, or perhaps owing to plagiarism, Curtis Guild used similar wording when he wrote about the carriage. "The carriage of Alexander II., with the back part all split and shivered by the Nihilist bomb from which he escaped only to be killed after descending therefrom is here." (56) The same words, "split and shivered at the back" reappear in Charles Stoddard's work as well, only he omits any reference to the bomb, preferring instead to tell readers that the carriage's glass was "broken and lining rent." (57) Because it was possible to touch the damaged landau, other observers acted almost like forensic scientists. In other words, they offered interpretations of the damage sustained by the carriage and imaginative recreations of the moments when the bombs exploded near the Emperor. The dowager marchioness wrote how
Inside, the carriage looks almost untouched, but when you lift the cushions you see how it is broken up. The wheels and doors seem scarcely hurt. The way in which the coach-box was broken was that the bomb exploded the carriage was thrown up and in coming down smashed it. (58)
In one of her letters home, Almira Strong Lothrop, the wife of George Van Ness Lothrop (1817-97) (who was appointed to the position of Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to Russia by American President Grover Cleveland in 1885), described Alexander II's ruined carriage as "the most interesting thing" in the museum, for seeing it allowed her to recreate the moment when his assassination played out:
Evidently, it [the carriage] had nearly passed, for it is uninjured except at the back, which is a good deal shattered. It seems the coachman begged him to stay in the carriage and be driven on, but he insisted upon getting out to see what he could do for the people that had been wounded, when a second bomb killed him. (59)
Only Stoddard, who published his account in 1891, in other words well after it became perfectly clear that Alexander III was to going to spend his reign stamping out the revolutionary movement and rolling back as many of his father's reforms as possible, gave pause to comment on the political implications that this tangled ruin symbolized. As he wrote, "many a visitor feels his eyes grow moist and his heart sad, as looking upon this cruel wreck, he thinks that then liberty and progress were stayed for many years. (60)
The Soviet government saw things a bit differently. In 1918, Vladimir Lenin's government's Decree on Monumental Propaganda authorized the removal of monuments that celebrated the imperial past and launched a program that redesigned Russian museums. (61) Like many sites associated with Imperial Russia and its monarchy, the carriage museum did not survive the Soviet period intact. Instead, it was disbanded at the end of the 1920s and its contents were moved around from museum to museum in the decades that followed. Today, Alexander II's damaged carriage is housed in the Royal Court Carriage Exhibition in Pushkin on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. (62)
Another relic of the fateful day, the sword that Alexander II wore as well as its bloodstained scabbard, was put on display at the Preobrazhensky Cathederal. (63) This site, like the Carriage Museum with its ties to the Imperial Stables, had military connections. Located on Preobrazhensky Square near Liteiny Prospekt, the cathedral had been built by Empress Elizabeth (Elizaveta Petrovna, 170962) in honor of the guards' regiment that had helped to put her on the throne in 1741. A fire devastated the original building in 1825, but the cathedral was soon rebuilt. In the 1830s, one of its most memorable features, a fence made from cannons captured during battles with the Turks, was put up around the grounds. Eventually, a small chapel was also built near the main cathedral. After 1881, the cathedral gained other objects that came to rival the fence as its most notable feature. Glass display cases held uniforms worn by the last three Emperors (the uniforms were from the Preobrazhensky Regiment since the Emperors were heads of it) as well as Alexander II's bloodstained sword.
Few travelers ventured far enough off the beaten track of attractions in St. Petersburg to see this item. Lilian Leland, E. Frazer Blackstock, and Francis C. Sessions are the only three of our travelers to mention it. Leland had no idea what she was looking at, referring to it as "somebody's blood stained sword." (64) Blackstock's description does not offer much information either; she listed the presence of the uniforms and sword along with other details about the cathedral, but had no opinions about what she saw. (65) Sessions, on the other hand, gives a much more expansive description. He found the cathedral jampacked with people. "We soon learned the cause of the crowd," he noted, for "Alexander II's uniform and sword, with spots of blood upon it, which he wore when assassinated, were exposed to view in a silver case, and the people lingered around it as if the Czar had just been killed." (66) The last few words of his comment are interesting. Sessions visited Russia three months after the official coronation of Alexander III in 1883. What is striking is the depth of feeling on display, well after the initial period of shock and mourning had run its course. Historians of dark tourism Elspeth Frew and Leanne White capture what is going on here, and arguably at the Carriage Museum as well, when they write "these sites are managed to allow visitors to respect the victims [or in our case victim] and, at the same time, to avoid the glorification of the event associated with the site." (67)
As he lay on the cobblestones next to the Catherine Canal, Alexander II purportedly said, "To the palace, to die." By this, he meant the Winter Palace, the building that presently houses the Hermitage Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. This impressive structure has been a visible symbol of imperial power since the mid-eighteenth century. A project of Empress Elizabeth, its exterior was built under the direction of Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1700-71) over a period of six years (from 1755 to 1761). To hasten the work, the 4000-strong labor force toiled irrespective of season or hazardous working conditions. (68) Fires damaged the palace with some frequency, with the worst one occurring in 1837. Emperor Nicholas I (r. 1825-1855) took a keen interest in the palace's interior and his reign saw the construction of the New Hermitage, adjacent to the main palace. The New Hermitage was meant to be a public imperial museum, although visits to it were strictly limited at first. The museum was open for two-to-three hours per day, six days a week, but visitors had to obtain invitations through the minister of the imperial household. Regulations stipulated that men had to wear uniforms and women court dress, should they wish to stroll through the exhibits. (69) Under Alexander II, these restrictions on visiting the public parts of the Hermitage were eliminated. By then, the Winter Palace and its four add-on buildings had assumed their place in the political and social life of the country. To quote historian Susan McCaffray, whose research explores the dayto-day functioning of the Winter Palace, it "would serve as a family home, a seat of government, and a grand stage for displaying imperial authority." (70)
This mix of public and private was certainly in evidence on 1 March 1881. Alexander II lay dying, surrounded by distraught family members, in his study while courtiers and diplomats hastened to the scene. (71) He died at 3:35 pm. (72) The clock in the room was stopped in order to mark the moment and the family filed out, leaving the blood stained camp-bed behind them. The imperial standard was lowered and one of Alexander II's aides-de-camp appeared on the palace balcony to inform the crowd that the country had a new sovereign.
Alexander III, aided by a host of court and government officials, faced enormous decisions concerning the future direction of the country as well as more mundane matters such as how to memorialize the slain Emperor and whether the Winter Palace would figure in the effort to do so. On the question of the palace, Alexander III relied upon one of his few personal friends, Count Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov (1837-1916. Vorontsov remained in that position throughout Alexander Ill's reign. (73) Tradition dictated that the rooms remained intact, although there was no precedent vis-a-vis such a blood-soaked scene in the Winter Palace, since Paul I, who was murdered in 1801, had resided and died elsewhere. (74) His son, Nicholas I, believed that patriotism could be instilled through contact with Romanov memorials. (75) Hence, he ensured the private apartments of his elder brother Alexander I were shown to visitors. Alexander I's rooms were kept identical to the day he left for Taganrog, where he died in 1825. They were still that way decades later as Murray's Hand-Book for 1888 lists them among the attractions of the Winter Palace. (76) In time, Nicholas I's own rooms, with their plain iron bedstead and simple furnishings, were similarly revealed to the public after he died in 1855.
In the wake of Alexander IPs assassination, security was tightened at the Winter Palace and it remained closed to curious travelers for a year. The palace reopened for the winter 1882-1883 season--one described as "exceptionally brilliant" by a lady-in-waiting--when Alexander III agreed to host a grand reception, a dinner honoring the knights of St. George and court balls in the building he refused to live in. (77) It was at this point that the first foreign diplomats and their wives were taken to view the rooms where the previous Emperor had died. Thomas Hunt, appointed US Ambassador to Russia in April 1882, toured the palace with his wife and a handful of fellow Americans, but the group was only permitted to do so after Hunt had secured a special permit from the minister of foreign affairs. (78) By her own admission, Elizabeth Hunt was keen to see the dining room destroyed in the Khalturin attack as well as the spot where Alexander II had taken his last breaths; she was a bit disappointed when she got there, however, remembering how "rather shabby it was." (79)
Connections played a role in Mary King Waddington's account as well. Within days of arriving with her husband to represent France at Alexander III's coronation, Waddington joined a party of embassy personnel touring the Winter Palace under the guidance of Baron Lieven, likely Prince Andrei Aleksandrovich Lieven (1839-1913) who served as Minister of State Properties from 1877 to 1881. The Lievens were a distinguished Baltic German family, whose members first entered Russian service during the reign of Catherine the Great. This particular Lieven was apparently "very anxious" to show Alexander II's rooms to his charges, but was thwarted when no one could locate the person in charge of them, or the keys to open their doors. (80) Waddington believed that she had managed a narrow escape, since she actually had no desire to see the gruesome scene behind the locked door: "I was very glad (not that I should have gone in), for they said it was a horrid sight--the camp-bed and even his clothes left as they were, thick with blood." (81) Only one other traveler dwelled on the blood, although his account lies just outside the temporal limits of this article. M.M. Shoemaker saw the room in May 1893. In his opinion, twelve years after the death of the Emperor, the blood still had the power to disturb those who saw it: "The traveler of to-day shrinks with shuddering away from the bloodstained mattresses." (82)
In 1884, when Methodist clergyman J.M. Buckley, who lacked the special connections on which diplomats could rely, visited the palace he found that parts of it were undergoing repairs and, hence, were closed to the public. (83) For the next couple of years, no British or American traveler recorded seeing the private quarters of Alexander II. That gap may have had something to do with bureaucracy and paperwork. Unlike public sites such as the carriage museum, it remained difficult to gain access to parts of the Winter Palace in the 1880s. While some visitors were usually considered acceptable, particularly foreign envoys or nobles and their guests, no one apparently envisioned that it would be proper for hordes of people to be trampling through it. As a result, visitors had to demonstrate some degree of persistence when it came to this particular St. Petersburg attraction. William Curtis, the reporter for Chicago's Daily News who visited Russia in 1887 with his wife, benefited from having an unnamed member of the Emperor's Privy Council as his escort. The man was so "well known to the attendants ... that we were enabled to see not only the living rooms, the bed chambers, but even the bath-rooms and the china closets." (84) But despite the presence of such an illustrious personage, Curtis and his wife still faced considerable obstacles vis-a-vis their tour: They had to have a written endorsement from the American Ambassador, which they had to produce along with their passports before they could gain admission to the premises. They were also followed by two security guards during their tour. Curtis literally blamed the invention of dynamite for these precautions. He never says whether they were able to view Alexander II's rooms or not. His comment on them is vague in that regard: "A melancholy interest attaches to the chamber in which the late Czar died, but it is shown to few people [who] was brought here from the scene of his assassination, and died twenty minutes after reaching his bed." (85) Given that he goes on to discuss Nicholas I's apartment at much greater length, it is possible that Alexander II's doors remained closed to him.
The same may be true as well for Perry Heath, an American who went to Russia in the summer of 1887. He made the acquaintance of an unnamed gentleman, who served as a physician to Alexander II for 35 years. It is likely he meant Dr. Sergei Botkin (1832-89), who was in fact the Emperor's doctor from at least the late 1850s until his death. (86) So The man's service-badge proved invaluable everywhere Heath went in St. Petersburg. "At the markets, in the theatres, passing through the Winter Palace and the private places," he wrote, "my official friend was shown more distinction than a Cabinet officer would receive in the United States at the hands of men in the public service." (87) Heath spent five hours wandering through the Winter Palace, but does not tell his readers what he saw.
Travelers who hired James Pilley as their tour guide had much better luck than our last two visitors. Pilley was a British ex-patriot and long-time resident of St. Petersburg. While little information about his personal circumstances can be unearthed, we do know he married Augusta Wilhelmina Wahlstrom in one of the city's non-Orthodox churches on 20 June 1884. (88) By then, Pilley had already been working as a guide for at least a decade. Based at the Hotel d'Angleterre, he had a good reputation and was recommended by name in an American travel guide. (89) Pilley worked with Curtis Guild, William Wilberforce Newton, and E. Frazer Blackstone when they (separately) visited Russia in 1888 and 1889; the latter refers to him as "Philly" throughout her account. The travelers admit that it was Pilley who determined what they saw. He set their daily agendas and, when it came to the Winter Palace and the Hermitage, Newton described being "dragooned through these two buildings under the marching orders of Mr. James Pilley." (90) A standard tour of the Winter Palace with Pilley included Nicholas I's rooms, the dining room destroyed during the Khalturin explosion, and the apartment where Alexander II had died, even if Pilley had to sneak visitors into these places. Blackstock remembered that "[j]ust before we left the gallery, Philly [sic] came toward us, say in a mysterious whisper: 'Come, follow me at once, don't speak, and try not to breathe more than is absolutely necessary.'" (91) With these words, Pilley led Blackstock and her companions into the private quarters of the royal family, even though they were technically closed to the general public at that time. Pilley's warning added a frisson of danger to the occasion as well: "We were obliged to walk through these forbidden rooms very quietly, for fear the people in charge below would hear, and finding interlopers would probably have ejected us." (92) Unfortunately, we shall never know what made James Pilley so bold besides monetary gain, nor how he managed to penetrate into areas otherwise off-limits to foreigners, since he did not leave any letters or diaries for historians to pour over.
While Pilley's thoughts and feelings remain elusive, this is not the case with some of the people he guided through the Winter Palace. Newton certainly pondered what he saw and grouped the various sites associated with Alexander II's death in his mind. He connected the splintered landau at the carriage museum with the shattered furniture in the Winter Palace dining room, and ultimately with the broken body of the Emperor that once lay in the room he viewed. He argued they "are striking and suggestive objects of interest, showing as they do the thorny path of the crowned and kingly Russian autocrats." (93) A similar note of fatalism crept into the account of one last traveler, clergyman Charles Stoddard: "As I stood in the simple bedroom, beside the campbed, where Alexander II, cruelly wounded by the representative of a class whom he had tried to benefit, died in pain, I thought of our own martyred Lincoln, and wondered afresh at the ingratitude and inhumanity of man." (94) The meaning of Stoddard's words resonates through space and time because sites connected to dark tourism always force their visitors to consider that of which people, and the technologies they employ, are capable.
Twenty-five years after the last of our travelers toured the Winter Palace, Alexander II's rooms still had not been touched. Baroness Souiny mentioned them in a book written between the February Revolution that brought down the Russian monarchy and the October Revolution that ushered in the Soviet era. To her, the palace was a "dead splendor", filled with memories in every corner. (95) "The apartments of Alexander [II] are left intact, still breathing an incredible warmth of life from this amiable sovereign," she wrote. "Here are the pen he used for the last time, the half-smoked cigarette, the chair pushed back as he left the room to attend to the parade from which he was brought back, a poor, mutilated body, to expire on a small bed behind two columns and a portiere." (96) But changing political times brought changes to the Winter Palace. The threat posed by advancing German forces meant that, while the museums of the Hermitage remained open, some rooms were emptied to protect the treasures of the collection. A changing of the guard was also signaled when Alexander Kerensky (1881-1970), a member of the Provisional Government, took up residence in the palace. (97) He moved with his lover Elena Biriukova into Alexander III's suite on the third floor. His stay did not last long. Forces loyal to Lenin's Bolsheviks stormed the building on 25 October 1917. The tsarist quarters of the Winter Palace became part of the new State Hermitage Museum on 10 November 1917. Until today, though, the private imperial apartments, by and large, remain closed to the public, even if in Alexander II's study, a marble bust has been installed to mark the place where he died.
While the Winter Palace housed the room where the emperor had died and other officially sanctioned sites had objects connected to his assassination, some bloodied artefacts from 1 March 1881 remained in private hands, beyond the control of the new emperor and his government. Most of them were in the possession of Alexander II's widow, the Princess Ekaterina Yurievskaya (Dolgorukova; 1847-1922). In November 1880, Alexander II had drawn up a document for his eldest son and heir, outlining how he wished his morganatic second wife, and their children, to be taken care of in the event of his death. "All objects, which she gave me, must after my death be returned to her," he wrote, to which he added, "I wish that in this case the living quarters in the Winter Palace should be reserved for her and her children." (98)
Despite the dead emperor's admonitions to his successor, his grieving widow did not stay long in the Winter Palace. She kept her belongings, however. The Emperor's second family was given a house, quickly named the Yurievsky Palace, on Gagarinsky Street in St. Petersburg. There, the princess filled the rooms with furniture and books taken from her husband's former apartments, creating what her youngest daughter, also named Catherine (1878-1959), termed "an exact replica of my father's study, with his bedroom leading from it." (99) Yurievskaya displayed Alexander II's bed, his military decorations, and the clothes that he was wearing when he died. (100) And she apparently allowed people into her home to view these things, although no foreign visitor ever recorded doing so. Yurievskaya's daughter remembered that it was Russians who treated these rooms as a place of pilgrimage: "I can see them filing sadly and reverently past these living reminders of an Emperor they had loved so well." (101) After the Russian Revolution, the house on Gagarinsky Street became a ballet school, but the Yurievsky household was already long gone by then. A decade after the murder of her husband, the princess moved to France.
In January 1891, she bought a villa on Dubouchage Boulevard in Paris and she lived there until her death in February 1922. Yurievskaya's biographer, Alexandre Tarsaide, suggests that she brought more than furniture and clothing with her when she left for France; he states that she was given a finger torn from her husband's hand during the explosion that wounded him. The finger had apparently been found by a soldier who felt the princess should have it. (102) Family members, however, make no mention of a finger in their accounts of the items associated with Alexander II that the princess continued to display. According to Serge Obolensky, who was married to the younger Catherine Yurievskaya for a time, the princess "kept relics of him in a glass case in a large closet behind her bed." (103) Obolensky viewed the display as a sign of his mother-in-law's deep and abiding dedication to the memory of her husband. After her death, all of the items she so lovingly kept were donated to the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Nice. (104) This allowed commemoration of the death of Alexander II to continue long after the Soviet government interfered with sites in St. Petersburg.
By the early 1890s, travelers to Russia had become attracted to new subjects. Now visitors sought out people such as Count Leo Tolstoy, who had become an international celebrity, to get his opinions on every conceivable subject. Following the publication of George Kennan's Siberia and the Exile System in 1891, travelers toured Russian prisons and places of exile, and offered their impressions of both. (105) And they tried to publicize and combat the devastating 1891-1892 famine. Seemingly no one was as interested in the death of Alexander II after a decade had passed. That the sites and events I have described in detail received less attention is not surprising. Tourist sites associated with violence often have a declining number of visitors since they are superseded, in time, by new places. However, for a brief moment in time, during the 1880s, the aftermath of political violence in Russia made people question technological progress and fear the power of dynamite when it was in the hands of revolutionaries.
Dr. Alison Rowley is Professor of History at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; she currently chairs the Canadian Association of Slavists. Her most recent book is Open Letters: Russian Popular Culture and the Picture Postcard, 1880-1922, Toronto: U. of Toronto P., 2013. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1.) In the nineteenth century, Russia was still using the Julian calendar. In the rest of Europe and the United States and Canada, 1 March 1881 was 13 March 1881, following the Gregorian calendar.
(2.) Edvard Radzinsky, Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar, New York: Free Press, 2005, 416.
(3.) On Karakozov, see Claudia Verhoeven, The Odd Man Karakozov: Imperial Russia, Modernity, and the Birth of Terrorism, Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2009.
(4.) Berezowski received a life sentence and was transported to New Caledonia (see Alexandre Tarsaide, Katia: Wife Before God, New York: Macmillan, 1970, 116).
(5.) On the various attempts People's Will made on the life of the Emperor, see Lynne Ann Hartnett, The Defiant Life of Vera Ligner, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2014, 99-107.
(6.) On Khalturin's attempt, see Minister of War Dimitry Miliutin's diary entry for 5 February 1880 (see Dnevnik D.A. Miliutina, vol. 3: 1878-1880, Moscow: Gosudarstvennaia ordena Lenina hiblioteka SSSR imeni V.l. I.enina, 1947, 211-14).
(7.) Richard S. Wortman, Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy, vol. 2: Prom Alexander II to the Abdication of Nicholas II, Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2000, 155.
(8.) Lindsey Hughes, The Romanovs: Ruling Russia, 1613-1917, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2008, 189.
(9.) Maturin M. Bailou, Due North or Glimpses of Scandinavia and Russia, Boston, MA: Ticknor and Company, 1887, 226.
(10.) See Michael J. Hughes, "British Opinion and Russian Terrorism in the 1880s," European History Quarterly 2, 2011, 255-77.
(11.) Richard Sharpley, "Shedding Light on Dark Tourism: An Introduction," in R. Sharpley and P.R. Stone, eds, The Darker Side of Travel, Bristol: Channel View Publications, 2009, 3-22: 10.
(12.) Philip R. Stone, "Dark Tourism: Morality and New Moral Spaces," in Sharpley and Stone, eds, Darker Side, 56-72; and Peter E. Tarlow, "Dark Tourism: The Appealing 'Dark' Side of Tourism and More," in M. Novelli, ed., Niche Tourism: Contemporary Issues, Trends and Cases, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005, 47-58: 48.
(13.) John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, Dark Tourism, London: Continuum, 2000, 11.
(14.) Chernobyl receives up to 10,000 tourists a year and several tour companies offer day or overnight trips to it: See for example http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article3047031/ Chernobyl-thriving-holiday-destination-following-rise-dark-tourism-phenomenon.html, accessed 3 August 2016; and Philip R. Stone, "Dark Tourism, Heterotopias and Post-Apocalyptic Places: The Case of Chernobyl," in L. White and E. Frew, eds, Dark Tourism and Place Identity: Managing and Interpreting Dark Places, London: Routledge, 2013, 79-94.
(15.) Some of the latter are discussed in Brigitte Sion, ed., Death Tourism: Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape, London & Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2014.
(16.) Gary Best, "Dark Detours: Celebrity Car Crash Deaths and Trajectories of Place," in White and Frew, eds, Dark Tourism and Place Identity, 202-216: 215.
(17.) Tarlow, "Dark Tourism," 55.
(18.) For a history of the pre-1917 tourism industry in Russia, see Louise McReynolds, "The Pre-revolutionary Russian Tourist: Commercialization in the Nineteenth Century," in Anne E. Gorsuch and Diane Koenker, eds, Turizm: The Russian and East European Tourist under Capitalism and Socialism, Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2006, 17-42.
(19.) The office had a two-person staff: One member left in July 1917 and the other after the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 (see Alden Hatch, American Express: A Century of Service, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1950, 135-7).
(20.) See John Maxwell Hamilton, Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting, Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State UP, 2009.
(21.) Cynthia Marsh, "The Times (1881) and the Russian Women Terrorists," Scottish Slavonic Review 21, 1993, 53-70: 54.
(22.) Harry W. Nerhood, To Russia and Return: An Annotated Bibliography of Travelers' English-Language Accounts of Russia from the Ninth Century to the Present, Columbus, OH: Ohio State UP, 1968.
(23.) Judith Flanders, The Invention of Murder, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2011, 35.
(24.) Flanders, Invention of Murder, 165.
(25.) Paul Thomas Murphy, Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy, New York: Pegasus Books, 2012, 225.
(26.) Murphy, Shooting Victoria, 56.
(27.) Kenne Fant, Alfred Nobel, New York: Arcade Publishing, 1991, 87.
(28.) Quoted in Fant, Alfred Nobel, 94.
(29.) For more information see, Joseph McKenna, The Irish-American Dynamite Campaign: A History, 1881-1896, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012.
(30.) Fant, Alfred Nobel, 164.
(31.) E. Frazer Blackstock, The Land of the Viking and the Empire of the Tsar, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1889; Elizabeth Hunt's letters in Thomas Hunt, The Life of William H. Hunt, Brattleboro, VT: privately published, 1922; Lilian Leland, Traveling Alone: A Woman's Journey Around the World, New York: Press of John Polhemus, 1890; William Wilberforce Newton, A Run Through Russia, Hartford, CT: The Student Publishing Co., 1894; and Francis C. Sessions, From the Land of the Midnight Sun to the Volga, New York: Welch, Fracker Company, 1890.
(32.) Khalturin was eventually executed in 1882 for his role in a different act of revolutionary violence.
(33.) Elizabeth Hunt, letter of 29 November 1882, as quoted in Hunt, Life of William H. Hunt, 321-2.
(34.) Her husband represented France as Ambassador Extraordinary at the Coronation (Mary King Waddington, Letters of a Diplomat's Wife, 1883-1900, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911, 5).
(35.) W.T. Stead, Truth About Russia, London: Cassell & Company, 1888, 124.
(36.) Mikhail Frolenko, quoted in Hartnett, Defiant Life, 98.
(37.) John Merriman, The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siecle Paris ignited the Age of Modern Terror, New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2016, 111.
(38.) A photograph of the floral tributes can be seen in Maria Feodorovna Empress of Russia, Copenhagen: Christiansborg Palace, 1997, 138.
(39.) Charles Lowe, Alexander III of Russia, London: William Heineman, 1895, 47-8.
(40.) See Marita Sturken, Tourists of History: Memory: Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero, Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2007, 106.
(41.) The most comprehensive description of the early memorial can be found in Kristi Ann Groberg, "Petropolitan Reliquary: Temple of the Resurrection on the Blood, 1881-1998," unpubl. Ph.D. diss., University of Minnesota, 1999.
(42.) The original plan called for the church to be completed in 1890. On "Savior on the Blood," see Groberg; and Michael S. flier, "The Church of the Savior on the Blood: Projection, Rejection, Resurrection," in R.P. Hughes and I. Paperno, eds, Christianity and the Eastern Slavs, vol. 2: Russian Culture in Modern Times, Berkeley, CA: U. of California P., 1994, 25-48.
(43.) William H. Hunt, letter of 6 November 1883 to the Hon. Fred T. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State, quoted in Hunt, Life of William H. Hunt, 272.
(44.) J.M. Buckley, The Midnight Sun: The Tsar and the Nihilist, Boston, MA: Lothrop and Company, 1886, 194, 197.
(45.) In this he was not alone. Many travel accounts had lengthy discussions of nihilism (see, for instance, Antonio Gallenga, A Summer Tour in Russia, London: Chapman and Hall, 1882).
(46.) Newton, Run Through Russia, 11.
(47.) Curtis Guild, Britons and Muscovites or Traits of Two Empires, Boston, MA: Lee and Shepard Publishers, 1888, 129. Guild does not give precise dates for his trip, but mentions the 1887 budget as well as the price of wheat in the same year, indicating his visit occurred between that year and 1888, when he published his account.
(48.) Dowager Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, My Russian and Turkish Journals, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916, 118-19.
(49.) Richard Wormian, Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Rnssian Monarchy, vol. 2, Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2000, 156.
(50.) For a description of the museum's interior see Buckley, Midnight Sun, 194.
(51.) Murray's Hand-Book Russia, Poland, and Finland, fourth ed., London: John Murray, 1888, 100. The previous edition of the guide, published in 1875, offered an itemized list of the museum's contents (see https://archive.org/details/handbookfortrave00john_26, accessed 11 July 2016).
(52.) Sturken, Tourists of History, 207.
(53.) Mark Schaming, "From Evidence to Relic to Artefact: Curating in the Aftermath of 11 September 2001," in B. Sion, ed., Death Tourism, London: Seagull Books, 2014, 139-164:143, 159.
(54.) William Curtis, The Land of the Nihilist, Chicago, IL: Belford, Clarke, 1888, 95; and John Bell Bouton, Round about to Moscow: An Epicurean journey, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887, 213-14.
(55.) Augustus J.C. Hare, Studies in Russia, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1885, 120.
(56.) Guild, Britons and Muscovites, 129.
(57.) Charles Augustus Stoddard, Across Russia: From the Baltics to the Danube, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891, 91.
(58.) Dowager Marchioness, My Russian and Turkish journals, 119.
(59.) Almira Strong Lothrop, The Court of Alexander III, Philadelphia, PA: John C. Winston, 1910, 87.
(60.) Stoddard, Across Russia, 91.
(61.) On the history of museums in the early Soviet period, see Aurelie Gosselin, La politique des musees russes, Paris: Decouvrir, 1993.
(62.) Information about the Royal Court Carriage Exhibition can be found at http://worldwalk. info/en/catalog/287/, accessed 6 February 2016. The website does not have a photograph of the carriage. For a picture, see Elizabeth Narishkin-Kurakin, Under Three Tsars, New York: Dutton, 1931, opposite page 124.
(63.) The full name of the cathedral is Cathedral of the Lord's Transfiguration of all the Guards (Sohnr Preobrazheniia Gospodnia vsei gvardii); for information about it see www.saintpetersburg.com/cathedrals/transfiguration-cathedral/, accessed 21 July 2016.
(64.) Leland, Traveling Alone, 273.
(65.) Blackstock, Land of the Viking, 91.
(66.) Sessions, From the Land of the Midnight Sun, 101.
(67.) Elspeth Frew and Leanne White, "Exploring Dark Tourism and Place Identity," in White and Frew, eds, Dark Tourism and Place Identity, 1-10: 1.
(68.) Lydia Torchina, Musee de l'Ermitage: Histoire des edifices et des collections, St. Petersburg: Musee de l'Ermitage, 2000, 9.
(69.) Torchina, Musee de l'Ermitage, 112.
(70.) Susan P. McCaffray, "Ordering the Tsar's Household: Winter Palace Servants in Nineteenth-Century St. Petersburg," The Russian Review 1, 2014, 64-82: 65.
(71.) The best account of the scene at the palace can be found in Countess Kleinmichel, Memories of a Shipwrecked World, New York: Brentano's, 1923, 108-11.
(72.) Empress Maria Feodorovna, whose husband inherited the throne that day, described his death in a letter to her mother (see Maria Feodorovna: Empress of Russia, 140, 142).
(73.) Count Paul Vassili, Behind the Veil at the Russian Court, New York: John Lane, 1914, 131-2.
(74.) The tradition began after the death of Peter the Great (see Lindsey Hughes, Peter the Great: A Biography, New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2002, 202-5). The Michael Fortress where Paul I was killed was never opened to the public. Rumored to be haunted, it was used as a school for engineers. In the late 1990s, the building was given to the State Russian Museum (see Hughes, The Romanovs, 144).
(75.) Hughes, The Romanovs, 172.
(76.) Murray's Hand-Book, 179.
(77.) Narishkin-Kurakin, Under Three Tsars, 95.
(78.) The story is related in a letter written by Elizabeth Hunt on 13 August 1882 (see Hunt, Life of William T. Hunt, 287).
(79.) Hunt, Life of William T. Hunt, 287.
(80.) Waddington, Letters of a Diplomat's Wife, 119.
(81.) Waddington, Letters of a Diplomat's Wife, 119.
(82.) M.M. Shoemaker, Trans-Caspia: The Sealed Provinces of the Czar, Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Company, 1895, 11.
(83.) See Buckley, Midnight Sun.
(84.) Curtis, Land of the Nihilist, 31-2.
(85.) Curtis, Land of the Nihilist, 32.
(86.) Botkin is mentioned in several places in Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Romanovs 1613-1918, New York: Knopf, 2016.
(87.) Perry S. Heath, A Hoosier in Russia, New York: Lorborn Publishing, 1888, 27.
(88.) Available at: https://familysearch.Org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTFT-ZTR, accessed 15 July 2015.
(89.) William Pembroke Fetridge, Harper's Hand-Book for Travellers in Europe and the East, vol. 3, New York: Harper, 1874, 842.
(90.) Newton, Run Through Russia, 42.
(91.) Blackstock, Land of the Viking, 142.
(92.) Ibid., 143.
(93.) Newton, Run Through Russia, 46-7.
(94.) Stoddard, Across Russia, 44.
(95.) Baroness Souiny, Russia of Yesterday and To-Morrow, New York: The Century Co., 1917, 92.
(96.) Ibid., 93.
(97.) Kerensky was the only member to do so, however. Kerensky's first appointment was as Minister of Justice. A cabinet shuffle a couple of months later made him Minister of War and the Navy. By the summer of 1917, he was Prime Minister of Russia (see Richard Abraham, Alexander Kerensky: The First Love of the Revolution, New York: Columbia UP, 1987).
(98.) Tarsaide, Katia Wife Before God, 239.
(99.) Princess Catherine Yourievsky, My Book: Some Pages from My Life, London: Eveleigh Nash & Grayson, 1924, 8.
(100.) Interestingly, the widow of murdered Tsar Paul I also kept his bloodstained clothes in a shrine in her bedroom (see Montefiore, The Romanovs, 278).
(101.) Yourievsky, My Book, 8.
(102.) Tarsaide, Katia Wife Before God, 255.
(103.) Serge Obolensky, One Man in His Time, London: Hutchinson, 1960, 50.
(104.) The cathedral was built to honor Tsarevich Nicholas Aleksandrovich, Alexander II's eldest son, who died of cerebro-spinal meningitis in France in 1865. The cathedral was consecrated in December 1912 (see Cyrille Boulay, La France des Romanov, Paris: Edition Perrin, 2010).
(105.) For example, Charles Cook visited all the palaces of St. Petersburg, but managed to cram his description of them into one paragraph, preferring instead to dwell at length on the prisons he visited and the moments where he was able to distribute bibles to the inmates (see C. Cook, The Prisons of the World, London: Morgan and Scott, 1891).
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