(From Tavricheskiya Gubernskiya Vedomosti, 1851, Nos. 32 and 33, unofficial section. Microfilm held by Harvard University. Translated by Mark Conrad, 1997.)



Patriotic deeds during the memorable years from 1806 to 1814 were common to all of Russia, and all of these are precious items to be placed on the pages of chronicles so as to become historically valuable. Only in regard to the worthy Crimeans have historians not mentioned anything anywhere, and they remained unknown until our talented author G. Skal'kovskii shook the dust of oblivion from this interesting picture. We consider our duty to place in the pages of our journal the shining deeds of the Crimeans in an extract from the Chronological Review of the History of the New Russia Territory.

The Manifesto of 30 November, 1806, which called a land militia to arms, exempted Taurica Province from this obligation since it was still not completely organized and was full of foreigners of European and Asian origins. Rather, it obliged the province to aid in serving the government by other means. When they found out about this, Crimean inhabitants immediately gathered in congress: nobles to Simferopol, and government settlers to the town of Bol'shaya Znamenka. At these places in January of 1807, by common agreement, they proposed to send a deputation to the Tsarist Throne to beg permission to form a militia in the Crimea from nobles and other classes, so that they could serve the Fatherland in a difficult time in the same way as the entire territory of New Russia. This proposal of the nobles and town dwellers of Taurica Province was sent through Government Representative Notara and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Graf Kochubei, who submitted it for HIGHEST consideration. On his part, he added that a landowner in the Lower Dnieper District, Colonel Ossyaniko-Kulikovskii, was asking permission to join the militia with 55 armed fighting men whom he would organize and maintain at his expense. His example was followed with equal generosity by landowner Major Aleksei Umanets and many other nobles. They wanted to organize a militia mainly from Crimean inhabitants of the Christian faith, but when the Tatars, both nobles (murzy) and commoners, found out about this, they requested in a simple yet rather elegantly written letter that they not be excluded from this honorable duty. Here is a literal translation of this missive:

"We humbly ask His Excellency the present Civil Governor: all the following signatory murzy of Yevpatoria District, wanting with all their soul to serve the Sovereign in military service, as was heard expressed at our most respectful congresses at Simferopol, were determined to ask Your Excellency to request the SOVEREIGN EMPEROR to grant the wish of Taurica's inhabitants (on behalf of themselves and of the whole region) that a certain number of persons be accepted into service. Knowing that Your Excellency satisfied our respectful murzy's petition and deigned to present it to the gracious consideration of the SOVEREIGN EMPEROR, we wish to continue serving, and we pray to the Almighty for the SOVEREIGN EMPEROR's acquiescence in this for our singular happiness. So we humbly beseech you, being our Leader: When agreement to put into action what is asked by the murzy is received from HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, then make us happy by taking and putting into regiments those who freely desire to continue serving the SOVEREIGN EMPEROR."

Signed: Titular Councilor KASIM-MURZA MANEURSKII, Captain ABDULLAKH-AGA MAMAISKII, KHATIP AGA son of KHALIL AGA, and many others.

 In his generous spirit, the Monarch graciously conceded to the Crimeans’ zeal in their letter of 8 February, and he ordered Duke De Richelieu to form a local force [zemskoe voisko] in Taurica Province, separate from the other militia. De Richelieu was also given direct and full command of this force. The Taurica militia [Tavricheskaya militsiya] was intended to keep watch over the long expanses of coastline as an auxiliary to the regular coastguard, and thereby better observe Turkish movements. In spite of the Turks’ weakness and insignificance, disagreements might soon arise between Russia and the Porte that could lead to attacks on the Crimean peninsula.

Colonel Kulikovskii was named commander of the two militia guard regiments which kept internal order in the Melitopol and Dnieper districts, especially between Nogai tribesmen, schismatics, and other resettled groups. Kulikovskii’s deputy was Major Umanets. The number of militiamen in these districts amounted to about 900. These levies were stood down by a manifesto of 27 September, 1807.

Because of hostile actions between Russian and Turkey and the danger of Turkish forces from Anatolia landing on the southern coast of the Crimea, in accordance with the wishes of the Taurica Mufti MURTAZA CHELEBA EFENDI and the most important murzy, the Tatars living on the southern coast from Balaklava to Theodosia were moved to villages on the other side of the mountain range. This eliminated even the possibility of a revolt instigated by Turkish emissaries or by a landing. However, these measures did not last long, and in the same year of 1807 the Tatars were returned to their homes and they were not slow to show new zeal for Tsarist service and their duty. In accordance with their heartfelt desire a special mounted force was established, which by an ukase of 24 January, 1808, was sent to serve on the Prussian border to maintain cordon lines along with Don cossack regiments. This force [voisko] consisted of four horse regiments: the Simferopol, Perekop, Yevpatoria, and Theodosia. The formation of Tatar militia units [druzhiny] was done at their own expense. Officers were chosen from the murzy of the most important Crimean clans, by election by the Tatars. Majors KAYA BEI BALATUKOV, AKHMET BEI KHUNKALOV, and others were designated as regimental commanders. These regiments existed until 1818, and still today in the Crimea one may meet Crimean warriors who are retired from this force and who still keep their former uniform as a memento of their deeds.

In Russia’s difficult and memorable year of 1812, Taurica Province was second to none of the Empire’s other regions in its love for the fatherland. The Provincial Representative of the Nobility, Lieutenant Colonel TARANOV-BELOZEROV, reported to Duke De Richelieu that the Taurica nobility, which had gathered at his invitation in Simferopol on 29 July and heard the SOVEREIGN's Manifesto of 6 July, with one voice expressed the following:

 "Every noble who is able to bear arms, along with all persons registered to him in the latest census and who are capable of military service, are from this day on to be considered as warriors for the fatherland. Every one of them, on the first call from the Moscow chief commander of these forces, is to go forth armed to defend the fatherland in accordance with whatever orders are given to that purpose, using one’s own resources for those who have such, and for those who do not - with support received from the nobility. Each of us is obliged to inculcate and instruct these persons of both conditions in a subject’s true duty, even people who do not belong to the noble class are to be brought to think of the defense of their families, wives, homes, and property from the enemy who is bringing the sword, fire, and devastation into our beloved fatherland."

 At this meeting the Tatar nobility who did not understand Russian asked for a translation of the Imperial Manifesto and the above resolution. On hearing first the one and then the other, they immediately presented an address in the Tatar language to Governor Borozdin:

 "We, the noble class here in Taurica who follow the law of Mohammed and yet are loyal subjects of HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, here in the town of Simferopol announce our complete readiness to serve HIS MAJESTY the Padishah, not only at our own expense but also with our lives. Our sons too, who are not bound by obligation, are loyal to the throne and those who can ride a horse do not hold back: all must go to war against the common enemy, the Frenchman. We are confident that those who are not present here now will not gainsay what we have undersigned here!"

 There followed the signatures of Taurica Mufti SEIT MURZA EFENDI, Collegiate Assessor ATAI-BEI-SHIRINSKII, Major MERDEMSHA-MURZA-MANSURSKII, Court Councilors MEMETCHI-MURZA-ARGINSKII and KIPCHAK KHADVER BEI YASHLAVSKII, Major ABDURAMAN AGA MAMAISKII, many Girey nobles, and in a word representatives of all the ancient and famous Crimean Murzy.

From an 1816 report given by Borozdin to Langeron it is seen that pledged contributions in Taurica Province totaled 756,324 roubles 28 kopecks, excluding livestock, grain, weapons, and units of the armed levy. But soon great misfortunes came down all at once: pestilence, crop failures, and a harsh winter which caused unbelievable destruction. These were the reason that the inhabitants of the Crimea were only able to contribute: 


50,956 r.

16 k.

Black Sea Host

14,378 r.


3,941 r.

83 k.

Tatars, Nogai, Kirgiz, and their clergy


314,582 r.


90 k.

Russian state settlers

32,665 r.

60 k.

Russian clergy

1,228 r.



399 r.

35 k.

Total -

418,149 r.

84 k.


Official documentation of contributions from Theodosia could not be found. Theodosia, a trade center and administered by one of the most deserving and noble men of Russia, Town Administrator Bronevskii, gave the most true evidence of its loyalty and readiness for all possible contributions, but even before the manifesto of 6 July reached the town, a terrible misfortune befell it - a plague sent by Providence.