Josiah Pierce description of St. Petersburg, Russia, 1856

Contributed by Pierce Family Collection through Maine Historical Society

Josiah Pierce description of St. Petersburg, Russia, 1856

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Josiah Pierce (1827-1913), a native of Gorham, arrived in Russia in late 1855 to work for the American delegation there.

In a letter to his parents, he describes the city, including how thaws in the winter cold cause frozen fish and meat to thaw, leaving residents without adequate food.

He also describes the Winter Palace, home to "six thousand or more persons." He notes that squatters are reported to live there unnoticed.

He comments on being presented to the various officials and royalty in the city, including the Emperor and Empress and their relatives.

He describes a court ceremony and a gypsy concert he attended.

The dates on his letters reflect both the Julian calendar used in Russia and the Gregorian calendar used in Western countries.

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About This Item

  • Title: Josiah Pierce description of St. Petersburg, Russia, 1856
  • Creator: Josiah Pierce
  • Creation Date: 1856-01-10
  • Subject Date: 1856-01-10
  • Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Collection: Pierce family collection
  • Object Type: Text

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Maine Historical Society
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