Aleksandr Leontievich Mayer ( 1792 - 1864 ) - historian , archaeologist , local historian .
|Alexander Leontievich Mayer|
|Date of Birth|
|Date of death|
|Scientific field||history , archeology , local history|
|Awards and prizes|
He served in the military department, a member of the commission for teaching aids; worked on the compilation of a guide to Russian grammar together with A. Kh. Vostokov , G. P. Pavsky and N. I. Grech . The main subject of his research was the topography of St. Petersburg, according to which he compiled the atlas “Historical plans of the capital city of St. Petersburg from 1714 to 1839”, with the key to them: “Explanations for historical plans, etc.” (St. Petersburg, 1843 ) Mayer's article “On the Old Winter Palace and the Chamber in which Peter the Great died” is published in the Bulletin of Europe (1872, No. 5).
April 10, 1792 in the family of a nobleman Leonty Leontyevich Mayer was born the first-born. L. L. Mayer was secretary of Victor Amadeus of Anhalt-Bernburg, Prince of Schaumburg, representative of the sovereign German family  , relative of Catherine II (Anhalt-Zerbst) 
It will not be superfluous to recall that it was the Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg, who commanded the Russian troops in Finland, during the siege of Pardakoski (1790), who was mortally wounded, and retreated to a better world, handed the sword to Mikhail Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly , who was an adjutant under Anhalt [ 3] . Subsequently, the great commander played a decisive role in the fate of Alexander Leontyevich. Uncle M. B. Barclay de Tolly, the foreman von Fermelen, was well acquainted with the father of Alexander Leontyevich (“the foreman Fermelen was the sister of the mother of Barclay de Tolly, nee Smithten”)   . The mother of A.L. Mayer was the St. Petersburg keyboard player and composer Katerina Skiatti, a woman gifted with extraordinary musical talent, which later manifested herself in her children. In 1797-1813 C. Mayer − Skiatti taught at the Smolny Institute. Her authorship: Three quartets for two violins, viola and bass, Fantasy for pianoforte, Sonata for pianoforte, Duet from the opera La Molinara (The Miller by J. Paisiello), Nel cor piu non mi sento for pianoforte, Romance from the opera “Nina” (N.V. Deleiraka?) with variations, duet for piano and violin and, of course, “Three Sonatas for Harpsichord or Pianoforte, composed and dedicated to P. A. Zubov by Katerina Mayer-Skiatti”  [6 ] ] .
- 1806 - June 15, Alexander Leontyevich joined the State College of Foreign Affairs as an actuary.
- 1809 - published a guide to the knowledge of Roman law on the systematic order of the Justinian statutes  .
- 1810 - February 20 appointed to the secret expedition of the college for various assignments with the secondment to the Ministry of War for special assignments.
- 1811 - May 31, appointed translator  .
“In 1812, accompanying the commander-in-chief of the 1st Western Army, as a forwarder of his special office and diplomatic official, he was with M. B. Barclay de Tolly in all the campaigns of that time, was with him in the battles of Vitebsk and Smolensk, was an eyewitness to the three-day Moscow fire ”  . “Having been with him without interruption and daily having lunch with him during the campaign, Meyer often had the opportunity to witness the troubles that Barclay was seriously upset and which resulted in his removal from the army. Despite his youth, Meyer was constantly in friendly relations with Barclay. This relationship lasted until his death. Mayer, out of deep respect for the memory of Barclay, was reluctant to talk about this time, since the late field marshal did not like to remember him. Since all of the information about Barclay was given by Mayer We are not rich, but those who have come down to us because of the closest relations that existed between the two people are not without interest, as Barclay’s two surviving letters to Mayer, located in the Pushkin’s House, also indicate that Field Marshal M. B Barclay de Tolly, after his removal from command, which was the result of the intrigues of the courtiers, and misunderstanding, arrived in St. Petersburg at the call of the Emperor, stayed in the apartment of A. L. Mayer  .
- 1812 - September 22 A.L. Mayer became a holder of the Order of St. Vladimir 4th degree.
- 1816 - March 9, he was transferred to the office of the Minister of War.
- 1817 - June 1 was appointed ruler of the office, then the Committee on the Finnish fortifications, where he was on the day of its abolition, that is, on July 19, 1818.
- 1819 - April 17 appointed ruler of the office in the commission for teaching aids  .
In an article dedicated to the memory of A. L. Mayer, A. N. Strugovschikov writes: “And here, where the ordinary figure is limited only to ritual performance, Alexander Leontyevich did a lot of useful work. His works on compiling a guide to Russian grammar, with the late A. Kh. Vostokov and G.P. Pavsky , as well as N.I. Grech , can best be evaluated by the latter, and we are pleased to put here a few of his lines: “With unusual zeal and love of work, he combined rare knowledge in the foundations of philology in general and in the application started it to individual languages; Quickly and successfully, he resolved many controversial issues and forced others to accept his comments, both in terms of their efficiency and literacy, and in the noble modesty with which he was able to offer them, sparing the opinion and pride of his comrades, In general, during my I didn’t find a person who could prefer this exemplary and truly noble figure in service and science. ”We need to recall another scientist, with whom A. L. Mayer, Ivan Martynovich Born, who was one of the main initiators, collaborated in compiling the mentioned manual  . In 1822, A. L. Mayer was appointed head of the archive of the Engineering Department  .
In the period from 1821 to 1836. A. L. Mayer carried out the following work:
- "The project of the establishment of the Imperial Library for the Russian Army" (1821)
- "On the compilation of a topographic description of the Russian Empire" (1821)
- "History of the formation of regular troops in Russia" (1836)
- "The experience of assumptions about the state defense system" (1836)
- "The project on the development of Russian cities."
- February 1834 - February 24, "by the will of His Highness the Inspector General of the Engineering Department of the War Ministry, A. L. Mayer was instructed to collect historical information with drawings on the Winter Palace and the room in which Emperor Peter the Great died." The manuscript of this work, is stored in the Pushkin House, it was published after the death of A. L. in 1866 in the "Bulletin of Europe"      .
Along with the aforementioned works, the activities of A. L. Mayer related to the formation of atlases continued. He was declared "The highest favor and granted a diamond ring with his Majesty's monogram name for his efforts to compile the first atlas on December 9, 1834. For his efforts to compile the 2nd and 3rd atlases, a diamond snuff box with the monogram name of His Imperial Majesty was awarded on February 13, 1836. ” From June 5, 1836, A. L. Mayer “It is supremely ordered to inspect the Moscow archives for presentation, considerations of what manuals will be needed to collect and systematize materials for the history of the formation of military forces in Russia during the time of Emperor Peter the Great or from previous reigns” . On February 17, 1843, A. L. Mayer "declared Monarchal favor for the work on a systematic description of fortresses and fortifications."
Alexander Leontievich Mayer was "kindly received by the authorities", for his many-useful service he was awarded several orders (St. Vladimir of 3 degrees, three orders of St. Anna, St. Stanislav of the 1st and 2nd degrees), medals, was awarded four diamonds rings and other valuable gifts. He ended his career with the rank of Privy Councilor  .
As for the family of A. L., we note that he lived forty-three years with Julia Petrovna (nee von Leviz of Menard), loving her dearly. Another life partner and friend was a sister, Aleksandrina Leontyevna Mayer.
In conclusion of the story about Alexander Leontyevich, we give a few more lines from the memoirs of A. N. Strugovshchikov: “The fact that A. L. inherited from his parents, in their strict mores of their material property, beginning with an old house, with its shady centuries-old garden, and ending with the last belongings, it remained without him an admixture of new undertakings ... a complete lack of ... luxury and helipad ... A. L. was not forgotten by nature and the good of comfort. Such is the young tribe of his nephews brought up by him, replacing his own children. Such was his hereditary musical talent, which his sister was gifted with: in the evenings, the lively sounds of their musical improvisations softened all the callousness of his dry work, the work with which he paid his debt for the best days of his life. And this debt was, of course, paid to those to whose memory we devote these few lines, as a tribute to a sincere feeling, as a faint echo of his future, a more worthy biographer. ” Alexander Leontyevich Mayer died after a long and serious illness on July 22 (August 4), 1864 in Carlsbad  .
Atlases of assumptions about the development of St. Petersburg. 1703-1839
The most important work of Alexander Leontyevich Mayer was, of course, “Atlases of a historical description of the assumptions about the development of St. Petersburg,” for which proper coverage will require a separate publication.
In order to better understand the nature of special attention to the real issue of Nicholas I, it should be remembered that between 1821 and 1826, Alexander Leontyevich Mayer collected, on the instructions of his then Grand Duke, the old “plans of his house, that is, Anichkov Palace” [13 ] . With the accession of the emperor to the throne, his interest in the topic of research increased and expanded to the scale of the entire capital. At the beginning of the thirties of the century before last, at the Highest command, a small group of researchers in the military topographic depot, under the supervision of the LSS A. L. Mayer, began to prepare information for the publication of “Atlases of a historical description of the assumptions about the development of St. Petersburg”, information about plans and projects from its foundation up to the most recent of that time.
First of all, it must be said that in order to obtain information to A. L. Mayer and his employees all the archives of the two capitals were accessible, as the academician Arist Aristovich Kunik noted, only individual documents stored in the archives of the Academy of Sciences could get away from the attention of researchers. In the period from 1833 to 1838 a huge number of plans and maps were viewed ( P. N. Stolyansky indicated a number close to 3 thousand)  . Almost all plans known at that time were crossed out and, together with explanatory texts, were collected in seven atlases. The data obtained during the modern development of the topic indicate that the following number of drawings for atlases was used:
- 1st - 68
- 2nd - 374
- 3rd - 327
- 4th - 210
- 5th - 162
- 6th - 510
- 7th - 438
In total, approximately 2,800 different cartographic documents were copied and prepared for publication  . However, all this valuable material has not been published (!), It is available only in handwritten form, in a single copy and therefore is inaccessible. The fact that there were insurmountable difficulties in comparing documents was also noted by Academician A.A. Kunik, who, on the instructions of the Minister of Education, director of the Imperial Public Library of Count I. D. Delyanov , was engaged in acquiring part of the deceased A. L. Mayer's archive from his sister Alexandrina Leontievna Mayer at her request (in 1866); further discussed are the results of the work of A. A. Kunik and fragments of his report submitted by c. I. D. Delyanov  .
It should be noted that this collection was of considerable interest even according to its description. The following is a summary (excluding materials related to atlases and the work “On the Old Winter Palace”):
"Manuscripts of the late vehicle A. L. Mayer,
- A table of all Russian cities with an indication of the number of houses (stone and wooden), churches, monasteries, educational and charitable institutions, factories and factories, shops, baths, gardens, the number of inhabitants husband. and w. gender and merchants.
- Register of affairs in the Moscow Archives.
- Chronological code of inventories of the Moscow Archives: I; 1462 = 1599. II; 1600 = 1699. III; 1700 = 1749. IV; 1750 = 1836.
- Extract from the Code of Laws of the Imperial Library and other repositories on treatises, trade, orders and cases of foreigners.
- Biographical Dictionary of Lawmakers and Lawyers.
- Experience assumption of the state defense system, 1836.
- The project of the establishment of the Main Imperial Library for the Russian Armies, 1821.
- On the compilation of a topographic description of the Russian Empire, 1821.
In addition to the listed papers, the description contains a number of documents in French and German, some of which are an analysis of social relations in Russia.
Arist Aristovich Kunik, examined the entire archive and, in particular, papers that are related to atlases, which are:
- one). cartographic documents, mainly Mayer's initial works and drawings, which served as the basis for the compilation of the Historical Plans of the Capital City of St. Petersburg, printed in 1843. These drawings are not in the folios of the archive of the Military Topographic Depot (now in the Museum of the History of the City);
- 2). Four notebooks describing cartographic documents (originals of the 1st and 2nd atlases, as well as two appendices containing two “Table of Contents of the Original Drawings” to all seven atlases).
Probably, A.A. Kunik left the attention of some details of the named table of contents, because in his letter to I. D. Delyanov he indicates that the last two tomes contain only information related to the first and fourth atlases, and not to seven, as shows his research. Be that as it may, A. A. Kunik came to the conclusion that in order to fully compare the documents available in different repositories, you need to be able to keep them close.
Here is what the letter says:
“The text in these four notebooks is curious in many respects for the historical and statistical description of St. Petersburg, but one cannot help but notice that it is almost literally, with the exception of very few articles, also found in the folios of the Topographic Depot. If I didn’t find all the articles there, then this is probably due to random circumstances, that is, the mentioned articles were included in the chapters of similar content, or were redone by the late Mayer in the final edition of his collection, or, as I was informed, in the Archive of the Military Topographic Depot , was recently issued to someone for reference. In any case, since the collections of the Military Topographic Depot may be accessible only to very few people, one cannot but wish that the four mentioned above be acquired by the Public Library. Unfortunately, these drawings of prorisi, etc., are not folded and numbered in such a way that they could be described without the help of handwritten Mayer descriptions. No matter how hard I tried to bring this meeting in proper order, I finally had to abandon this intention, making sure that the compilation of this work would be successful only for someone who had before him on the same table the folios of the Topographic Depot and Bags (with folios), which are in the Public Library ... I must say that in any case, they will serve future historians of the capital as a very useful tool in processing and evaluating the entire huge Mayer collection. In embarking on such work, these historians must certainly be guided by 7 plans drafted and published by Mayer in 1843. The late Mayer himself provided some information about the method of compiling these plans and, among other things, indicated that the location depicted on the actual drawings of the past century he had found was very erroneous, and therefore, when he published the Atlas, he had to bring this false location into agreement with the points of trigonometric survey of 1828. What techniques he used in this case will be revealed from the submitted initial works and drawings, a collection of which, of course, is highly desirable. Honorary Member of the Imperial Public Library A. Kunik "  
Speaking about the fact that future historians may be guided by plans published in 1843, A.A. Kunik was clearly mistaken - the analysis of the documents contradicts the assertion that the result of the tremendous work done by the employees of the Military Topographic Depot was named maps. The printing quality, extreme generalization and imperfection of this publication speaks for itself - in comparison with the volume and thoroughness of the material collected. It can be assumed that the reason for the failed publication of atlases and the publication of maps that do not correspond to them was the same thing that prevented A.A. Kunik from completing the work he had begun to its logical completion. It should not be forgotten that almost all topographic documents were regarded as military secrets.
Here's how things really are: "A complete publication of all seven atlases was supposed, but in 1843 only part of the city’s master plans was published, entitled" Historical plans of the capital city of St. Petersburg from 1714 to 1739, "which included only seven plans. The Explanation of the Historical Plans of the Capital City of St. Petersburg from 1714 to 1839. St. Petersburg 1843 was published. The same plans were reprinted in 1853 as an annex to N. Tsylov’s publication, “Plans of St. Petersburg in 1700, 1705, 1725, 1738, 1756, 1777, 1799, 1840 and 1849 with application m plans for 13 parts of the capital. ”   . It should be added that for some reason N. Tsylov did not find it necessary to even mention A. L. Mayer. Perhaps this was one of the reasons that the name of the scientist, and at the same time the names of those who worked with him are firmly forgotten.
Obviously, when using a huge number of heterogeneous documents, it was necessary for clarity of presentation and consistency of the created codes to develop a kind of harmonious dominant paradigm, guided by which it would be possible to give this work a uniform character that would allow avoiding the difficulties of familiarizing with atlases. A. A. Kunik tried to figure out the structure of the atlases, and, as can be seen from the above quote, he did not quite succeed.
The language of atlases is also of considerable interest, since they include documents from the most diverse sources of a fair period. Many of them, being in closed departments, were inaccessible to researchers both before A. L. Mayer and after him. Therefore, both toponymy and the literature of atlases in itself require study.
There is another aspect of the topic under discussion - the activities and biographies of those individuals who participated in the creation of the unique code. On the title pages of atlases, with minor changes in the composition and functions of employees (italics), it appears:
“In the preparation of plans belonging to this Atlas, by order of the Engineering Supervisors, they participated in the following works:
According to the General outline of the location and notes on the projects: Engineer Warrant Officer Godovikov 2nd, Firsov;
By comparative calculation of space Engineer lieutenant: Pospelov ;
By drawing brulions and clean plans: Engineer Conductors 1st Class Bass, Sokolov 1st, Sokolovsky 1st, 2nd class Gorliavil, Engineer Conductor 2nd Class Cools ,
To supplement the plans with information ' , the calligraphic part and verification of the calculations, the Archival Officer of the Department of Engineering Schulz 2nd  ; Actual State ( later - Secret ) Counselor Mayer "  
Of course, the publication should be preceded by a thorough work: the creation of a reference apparatus, voluminous notes, and, of course, the most important thing, the search, if not all, then at least most of the plans related to atlases. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, P. N. Stolpyansky expressed fears that most of them were irretrievably lost ...  A unique collection, collected by those who worked on the atlases, formed the basis of the Cartography Department of the Russian National Library  .
- Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg, Victor-Amadeus // Russian Biographical Dictionary : in 25 volumes. - SPb. - M. , 1896-1918.
- Zatvornitsky N. M. 1867. Memory of the members of the Military Council. Portraits and biographical essays. SPb. 1907
- Suvorov A.V. Letters. M. "Science". 1987
- IRLE (Pushkin House). Archive of the magazine "Russian Old Man", No. 2687, f. 265, op. 2, No. 123, Viskovatov, Konstantin Alexandrovich. “Barclay de Tolly. Some episodes from his life ”(according to the memoirs of A. L. Mayer)
- Strugovshchikov A.N. In memory of Alexander Leontyevich Mayer (member of the commission for study guides and the head of the Engineering Depot), August 14, 1864 (from the number 185 of the Russian Disabled. St. Petersburg. August 21, 1864 In a military printing house).
- Musical Petersburg. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Book 2. “Composer”. SPb. 1998
- Guide to the knowledge of Roman law. According to the systematic order of the Justiniyanov charters and the explanations of the best authors of this kind
- Russian writers. 1800-1917. Biographical Dictionary. SE. M. 1989.V.1
- RGIA, Committee of Ministers, f. 1263, op. 1 unit hr 287 / a
- RGIA, f. 469, op. 8, units hr 149
- RGIA, f. 797, op. 96, units hr 357
- RGIA, f. 1281, op. 3 units hr 96
- Report of the Imperial Public Library for 1865. Presented by the State Minister of Education, Director of the Library, Privy Councilor Delyanov. St. Petersburg. 1866
- Stolpiansky P.N. Old Petersburg and its historical plans. (Report at the Imperial St. Petersburg Society of Architects on April 2, 1913). St. Petersburg. 1913. B. and.
- MFN. Handwritten department. F. IV.656
- GPB Archive, Case No. 10 of 1865
- "An explanation of the historical plans of the capital city of St. Petersburg from 1714 to 1839." St. Petersburg. 1843
- MFN. Proceedings of the manuscript department. Description of architectural materials of Leningrad and its suburbs. L. 1953
- From the collections of the Russian National Library: ““ Plans of St. Petersburg ”in 1700, 1705, 1725, 1738, 1756, 1777, 1799, 1840, 1849, annexed plan of 13 parts of the capital of 1853. Compiled by N. Tsylov
- Alexander Ivanovich Schulz, who in his work on the atlases was the “right hand” of Alexander Leontyevich - great-great-grandfather of M. M. Schulz - RGIA; f.1343, op.33, unit hr.3066
- Archive of the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
- Schulz A. M (employee of the Museum – Archive D. I. Mendeleev, St. Petersburg State University). “Alexander Leontievich Mayer. Atlases of assumptions about the development of St. Petersburg. 1703-1839. ”- Report at the 6th seminar“ Germans in Russia: Russian-German Scientific and Cultural Relations ”(12.IV.1995)
- Mayer, Alexander Leontyevich // Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary : 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- In 1839, the master plans of St. Petersburg were published in the form of an atlas with an index (illuminated lithographs). Handwritten atlases were not published. - “Historical plans of the capital city of St. Petersburg from 1714 to 1839. Agafonov” in the catalog of the Russian National Library (inaccessible link)