PP/GC/PO/273 Copy of extracts from letters from Consul General Yeames at Odessa and George Bell, showing the state of Russian occupancy at Sejouk Kale, c.1837: contemporary copy
Paper, in the hand of a secretary, of copies of three extracts from letters from Consul General Yeames and one from George Bell: [Transcript] (i) "Extracts from Consul General Yeames' despatch number 11 of August 11 1836, giving an account of his visit to the shores of Circassia in company with Count Woronzow:p> The next Russian station is in the Bay of Sejouk Kale, which during several years and until lately remained unoccupied. On a low ground to the left, when entering the bay of Sejouk, are the ruins of the Turkish fort, which is completely demolished Nearly on the same site is to be erected a small Russian fortification not yet commenced. In a valley opening to the bay [f.1v] and moving in a direction towards Gelendzick we found the intrenched camp of General Williaminof. The present position was occupied not three weeks previous to our visit. The Russians are closely confined in all their positions; their sentinels are often shot upon their intrenchments; their foraging parties never return without loss. With respect to the line of forts projected from Olginsky on the Kuban: the first of these, erected at the distance of thirty three versts, is named Alyn; the second, sixteen versts from it, Necolayefsky; and the third, eighteen versts further, we saw traced out, within the intrechments of the camp, on the Doba, a small stream falling [f.2r] into the Bay of Sejouk at its southern extremity. Thus a shape somewhat in the shape of a triangle will be invested (enclave) one side of which formed by the Kuban and Russian frontier, from Olginsky to the sea, measuring direct 55 English miles; the second, by the sea from the linear of the Kuban to the Doba, 38 miles; and the third by the chain of new forts from the Doba to Olginsky, 45 miles." (ii) "Extract of a letter from Mr Consul General Yeams to Lord Ponsonby, dated December 5 1836: "Towards the end of October, General Williaminoff was still in his camp at Sejouk Kale; and his troops were engaged within the space that he had invested." (iii) [f.2v] "Extract of a despatch from Mr Consul General Yeames to Viscount Palmerston, dated December 24 1836: The army of General Williaminoff commenced its retreat from the Doba at Sejouk Kale on the 27th of October, and crossed to the right bank of the Kuban on an early day of November. The occupation of the territory which I described as invested, has not been accomplished. The campaign of the present year, it may be considered, has turned out a complete failure, none of its objects having been effected with the exception of the fort erected on the Doba." (iv) "Extract of a letter from Mr George Bell to Mr John Backhouse, dated February 17 1837: In his letters since the capture of the 'Vixen', my brother mentions that he had been on shore at Sejouk Kale; that he had not found any Russian troops there, or near there; and that he had made an excursion some distance into the country on horseback on a visit to one of the Circassian chiefs, accompanied by several other chiefs and 500 of their cavalry. He was further assured by those chiefs that as their forces were now combined under one commander and a national standard, they were determined, if possible, and confidently expected, to drive ere long the Russian troops from even the two positions which they occupied on their coast." A note in the margin adds: "NB. The 'Vixen' arrived at Sejouk Kale on the 24th of November." n.d. [1837] A pencil note on the docket reads: "With reference to the apparent admission in the conclusion of the draft to Lord Durham of the actual presence of Russians on shore at Sejouk Kale, at the time of the affair of the Vixen."
Two papers, tied with blue ribbon
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James Yeames, British Consul General at Odessa
Michael, Count Woronzow, alias Vorontsov, Russian Governor General of New Russia and Bessarabia
Sejouk Kale, or Soujouk Kaleh, port on the Circassian Black Sea coast: =?Sukhumi, or Sukhum: Abkhazia, Circassia, Russia, later USSR
Gelendzick, Circassia, Russia, later USSR
General Williaminof
River Kuban, Caucasus region
Doba, tributary of River Kuban
George Bell, brother of James Stanislaus Bell; George Bell and Company of 157 Fenchurch Street, London, merchants
'Vixen' affair
John Backhouse, Permanent Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs
John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at St Petersburg
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