Commander Rezanov
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§ About N. Rezanov…

Here is a collection of several statements of different people about N. Rezanov. They were given both by those who knew him personally and the ones who studied his history, i. e. our contemporaries.

At his time, back then…

Golovnin V., a navigator

…a quick, ardent person, an intricate scribbler, a chatterbox, who was more capable of creating air castles, than carrying out substantial predestinations.

…if Rezanov and Khvostov had been alive, then, the actions of the latter could have been better explained, but nowadays let’s keep to the old proverb: “One says nothing but good about dead people”.

Langsdorff, a doctor, a participant of the Russian world expedition

…Anyway we should do justice to the chief Chamberlain N. Rezanov, for having all his drawbacks he is the entire same notable for his great administrative abilities. Also, nothing human is alien to him. One could have thought that he fell in love with this young Spanish beauty at first sight. However, since we know about the inherent discretion of this cold person, it’ll be more prudent to assume that he had just conceived some diplomatic views onto her.

Khvostov Nikolay, the captain of “The Juno”

…Here is the person one can’t but astonish! I confess, I neither spoke nor attributed it to sheer patriotism, but in my soul I was proud: this was my only reward! Now we also have to lose the latter, having met the person who is the best rival to everyone in his work. And our arguments that the vessel had a leak was unreliable did not stop his unbreakable and creative spirit. We ourselves wanted to return to Russia on the frigate, but the pride, especially when we compared the ranks, honour, intelligence and our state, made us say to ourselves at the same moment: “We shall keep on going, even if it costs us our lives, nothing in the world can stop us…

I can’t help wondering when he manages to go to bed! From the very first day of our meeting Davidov and I have always been with him, and nobody has ever seen him at loose ends. More surprising is the fact that people of his rank are usually proud, while he is quite different. Even when we have some errands to do, we make our own judgments about them, which he accepts with his gracious kindness.

Schteingeil V., a marine officer

…He (Shelikhov) didn’t live long enough to see the realization of his dream to integrate the companies. It became the business of his heirs or to be more exact, his son’s-in-law business, Nikolai Rezanov. Only Rezanov could have done this having the gift for eloquence, being a smart and connected nobleman in the royal court in the capital. Having ridden in Irkutsk with the warrant from all the heirs, he managed, so to say, “to talk his opponents into accepting the idea of association”, though the latter were small in numbers.

At our days and age…

Bolhovitov Nikolai, an academician of Russia Academy of Sciences

…one of the last genuine creators of the empire, (alongside with the Chief Governor of Russian America A. Baranov), who tried to put his programme into life in this region.

Pozdneev D., a famous Russian sinologist

We must pay tribute to Khvostov & Davydov as the heroes of Russian military history. Rezanov N. must be honored as one of outstanding statesmen. among the other heroes of the national history.

Surnik Anna, a Candidate of Philological Sciences (a thesis on stylistics of Rezanov’s written texts), one of the authors of the book “Knight Commander”

…My enthusiastic perception of Rezanov as a lover and a hero, a handsome man, has very quickly changed into a quite different image. I had read a few of his fellow-travelers’ diaries, many of which haven’t been published yet. It turned out that the fiction character and the real N. Rezanov are quite different. These characters bear absolutely no resemblance to each other… What strikes me in these notes most of all is that N. Rezanov turned out to have a dirty mouth. He used foul language a lot. The most harmless phrase which he used to say was (as Putin once put it — “waste them in a lavatory pan”) “I’ll put you into a lavatory pan head down”. The rest of the vocabulary he used is beyond rendering. N. Rezanov was the hero of his time, a hard and arrogant man, a landlord advocating serfdom.

Trofimoff Vladimir, the author of the book “The Castilian roses for Knight Commander Rezanov”

Nikolai Rezanov — is an outstanding statesman and chamberlain of the emperor Alexander I, an honorary academician of the St. Peterburg Academy of Sciences, the first emperor’s envoy and plenipotentiary in Russian America. He was also one of the founders of Russian American Company. He is a great patriot, infinitely devoted to Russia, and due to his efforts Alyaska, Sahalin, the Kuril Isles were reserved for Russia. He is the leader of the first Russian voyage around the world. A handsome man and aristocrat, he was noticed by the very empress Catherine the Great. He was fascinating and modest, steadfast and brave. He was glorified abroad and forgotten in Russia. The whole world admires his romantic love to Spanish beauty Konchita, who had been waiting for him for 45 years. The interest to the personality of N. Rezanov has recently increased mainly due to the rock-opera “The Juno and Avos”… Novels and poems have been dedicated to him in the West . The encyclopedia “Britanika” puts him in the same row with such great reformators in Russia as Peter I and M. Lomonosov.

Shpilinsky Alexander, a Russian emigrant, the author of the book “The American anthology on Rezanov”

None of the Russian statesmen has acquired such touching sympathy as N. Rezanov, despite the century of hostility and even hatred to Russia. Isn’t it strange and painful that N. Rezanov has remained in oblivion and now unknown in Russia. We don’t have an intention to write a monograph about this remarkable statesman: we have nether time nor opportunity to do that. We set quite an unpretentious task for ourselves. Our intent is to collect resources, which are available to us and, having shown the significance of them, help a historian. Let our feasible work be a humble wreath on the forgotten grave of Rezanov N.

Schipko Leonid, a Krasnoyarsk journalist

N. Rezanov wasn’t “a prominent statesman”, only a notable and deft officer, a violent scribbler. N. Rezanov played a certain role in creation of The Russian-American Company (RAC), being sent there by Irkutsk merchants, especially by Shelekhov. When the latter died, not a single vessel with provision had been sent to the Russian colony for the following 5 years. The way, the RAC settlers lived is easy to imagine. Now let’s get to the point. Rezanov didn’t take part in the round-the-world voyage, he wasn’t at the head of it and couldn’t have been (See p.21 # 2). Kruzenshtern and Lisyansky were in charge of the marine part of the expedition. During the voyage, N. Rezanov spent only some time with them, hiding from the officers in his cabin. N. Rezanov, speaking in terms of our time, was for the terrorist military act against Japan. He wrote to the emperor about it (p.281). Without having waited for the tsar’s permission to do so, he fulfilled his criminal idea…And in conclusion some ideas about his unusual love for the 15-year-old Spanish girl. N. Rezanov had no love feelings to the Spanish girl, as he wrote himself (see p.645-646) “there is no place for her in my heart”.