Commander Rezanov
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§ Love Story

Russian immigrant Alexander Afanasjevich Shpilin wrote in his essay, “There was no any other statesman who managed to gain such a touchy sympathy abroad despite the century hostility and even hatred towards Russia. Isn’t it strange and painful that Rezanov has remained forgotten and unknown in Russia? We have no intention to write a monograph about this outstanding person. We have neither time nor possibility to do it. We set ourselves a very humble task-to collect all available saurces and to help the historians by indicating the value of each one. We hope this feasible work will be a modest wreath on the forgotten grave of N. P. Rezanov.”

roses for the commander We subscribe to the auther of these lines and dedicate our humble work to the Great son of Russia — Nicholai Pavlovich Rezanov.

The romantic love of Nicholai Rezanov and a Spainsh beauty named —onchita was glorified by many poets and writers. Their love story as well as the love stories of Alexander and Thais, Pericl and Asparia, Anthony and Kleopatra, Romeo and Juliett is worth admiration. Should we consign this story to the oblivion? Concepsion de Arguello (Conchita)

There was charming, beautiful, radiant Conchita Arguello, the daughter of the Presidio commandant. She was born in that old Presidio. She was dancing there in the joyful delight of her innocent childhood. In the rays of sunrise, daylight and sunset she was spending her childhood. There her childhood was blossoming into the femininity. She was ruling as a queen in that old building. She was the head of celebrations and festivities there…


On the 8th of April, 1806 the “Juno” ship of Russian chamberlain Rezanov came into the bay. And the miracle of love happened…

I understand that, if you leave me
Then we can sooner be with you together
Please, stay with me…
…you’d better leave me
And may be you will stay with me forever.
Oh, my beloved, take me along.
I’ll be your sail.
My heart will feel the storms,
It seems to me, I’m loosing you again…

On the 21st of May about 4 p. m. the “Juno” weighed anchor and sailed for Sitka. Passing the fort of St. Iokim it fired 7 volleys and got in response 9…The California Governer, the Arguelloes , friends and acquaintances gathered on the fort and were sending “Adjeu” with their hats and kerchiefs.



And one faithful soul was standing watching the see till the ship disappeared from the horizon…

Ten years’ve passed in expectation.
You’re on your way. You’re so close to me.
I leave the candle light in habitation
For you the shortest way could see.
Hard twenty years’ve passed in expectation.
You’re on your way. You’re so close to me.
I leave the candle light in habitation,
You’ll put all evil forces on the knee…
And thirty years’ve passed in expectation.
You’re on your way, you’re so close to me.
I leave the candle light in habitation.
I’ve got the wing, I can’t say what will be.

Nickolai Rezanov died on the 1st of March, 1807 in Krasnoyarsk on his way to St. Petersburg “half way to the truth and miracle”. As for her, after 35 years of expectation she took the name of Maria Dominga and went to the nunnery to come back to people as a symbol of Great Love.

The odyssey of chamberlain Rezanov is remarkable. Despite his short life he managed to experience too much. A brilliant 23-years-old horse-guardsman escorts empress Catherene the Great in her trip to the conquered Crimea…During his service he receives awards and honours from three Russian emperors…But one award reached him too late, when he was not alive. It was Great Love, amazing and tragic in its faithfulness. Such story has never been repeated in the world. It aroused admiration of Russian officer Alexander Shpilinsky who turned out to be in America and the lieutenant of the USA army George Elliot. It inspired Bret Gart, Andrei Voznesensky, Andrei Sokolov and many other writes, poets and artists.

Translated by Anna Alexeeva