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History - American Ambassadorial Palace Visits

American Visits to the Palace

The following is a selection of official visits of Americans to the Alexander Palace from official Court records. This does not represent all visits by Americans to the Tsar and his family, only formal visits of an official character. These give a clear picture of how such visits were conducted and how the ceremonies were performed in the palace. If in reading this list you recognise any of the Americans mentioned I would appreciate information on them.
These entries were translated by Jsenya Dyakova.

Bob Atchison


December 4, 1897. The Russian State Historic Archive. Fund 516, inv.2, file 101, PP.11,12.
Reception of the US Ambassadors in the Alexander Palace - Mr.Clifton Beckinridge leaving his post and the newly appointed one Mr.Eton Hitchcock.

At 2.30 Their Majesties received the former Ambassador of the USA Mr. Beckinridge and the newly appointed one Mr. Hitchcock. They came from St. Petersburg by train at 1 o'clock and from the railway station in ordinary carriages they were brought to the Church Outhouse (of the Grand Palace) where they had a snack of sandwiches, fruit and tea. After that in the same carriages they were taken to the Alexander Palace. At the Palace's entrance they were met by a footman and a hof-fourier and led though the halls to the door of the Emperor's Study. The Chief Master of Ceremonies Prince Dolgoruky, the Marshal of the Court Count Benkendorf and the Manager of the Ceremonies Department Koniar were present at the reception.

December 16, 1897. The Russian State Historic Archive. Fund 516., inv.2, file 101.

At 12 o'clock Her Majesty received members of the diplomatic corps who came to be introduced: wife of the American Ambassador Mrs. Hitchcock and their two daughters, the Belgian Ambassador M. Lay Gay, the Serbian Ambassador General Gruich, the Japanese Ambassador Baron Khayashi, the Chinese Ambassador Mr. Yang Yu and the Brazilian Ambassador Mr. Magalenet. The above mentioned persons came by the train which had left St.Petersburg at 11.10 and were met at the railway station by the Chief Master of Ceremonies Prince Dolgoruky and the Manager of the Ceremonies Department Koniar who accompanied them to the Alexander Palace in the royal carriages. At the entrance to the Palace they were met by one kammer-fourier, one hof-fourier and one footman who led them through the halls of the Palace to the Corner Sitting Room. At the end of the introduction ceremony they were led back in the same order to the Palace's entrance and then in the same carriages they were brought to the house that was assigned for them (the Church Outhouse of the Grand Palace) and were offered breakfast there.

January 16,1899. The Russian State Historic Archive. Fund 516, inv.2, file 113.

The Ambassador of the USA Mr. Hitchcock came to Tsarskoye Selo in a special train at 1.20 p.m. in the company of two footmen, two hof-fouriers and one kammer-fourier and the Manager of the Ceremonies Department. He was brought to the English Apartment assigned for him and then he was asked to go to His Majesty's Study to hand him the official letters of recall. He also said "good-bye" to Her Majesty. The Ambassador left by the Tsarskoye Selo railroad in a special train at 4.30 p.m.. (When the Ambassador came to Tsarskoye Selo he was given the "Mornie" carriage to get him to the Alexander Palace. The carriage had a team of 4 horses harnessed tandem. In front of the carriage there was a groom-officer on horse-back and two grooms followed behind.

Footmen in scarlet frock-coats stood on the footboard of the carriage.

At the doors of all halls there were 2 footmen in Sunday uniforms.

At the ceremony of the introduction there were present - lady-in-waiting Princess Golitsyna, maid-of-honour Oleshina, Chief Master of Ceremonies Prince Dolgoruky, Marshal of the Court Count Guendrikov, aide-de-camp on duty and kammer-pages.

January 18, 1899. The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 113.

Mrs. Hitchcock, wife of the US Ambassador, and their two daughters came to Tsarskoye Selo from St. Petersburg in an ordinary train at 11.10. An ordinary landau brought them from the station to the Alexander Palace. At its 3rd entrance they were met by 1 footman and 1 hof-fourier and in the company of the Secretary of the Ceremonies Department Baron Meyendorf they proceeded to the Corner Sitting Room where they found maids-of-honour Princesses Obolenskaya and Olenina and the Chief Master of Ceremonies Prince Dolgoruky. After that they were asked to Her Majesty's and had the honour to be introduced to her on the occasion of their departure from Russia. After the introduction they went to the English rooms assigned for them where they had lunch and at 1.10 they left for St. Petersburg.

April 9, 1899. The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 114.

Mrs. Tower, wife of the US Ambassador came to Tsarskoye Selo by the train which had left St.Petersburg at 10.12 a.m. On the way to Tsarskoye Selo she was accompanied by the Chief Master of Ceremonies Prince Dolgoruky and the Manager of the Ceremonies Department Koniar. As soon as she arrived at the Alexander Palace Mrs.Tower was led to the Corner Sitting Room by 1 hof-fourier and 1 footman and at 12 o'clock she was asked by the Chief Master of Ceremonies Prince Dolgoruky to introduce herself to Her Majesty the Empress. At the end of the reception she was led back in the same order. At the reception ceremony there were present - lady-in-waiting Princess Golitsyna, maid-of-honour Olenina and Steward of the Household Count Hendrikov. At the doors of the reception room stood kammer-pages. Servants in Sunday uniforms stood along the way to the reception room. Escort servants wore scarlet frock-coats.

December 30, 1902. The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 160.

The train which left St. Petersburg at 1 p.m. brought to Tsarskoye Selo the newly appointed Ambassador of the USA Mr.MacCormick with 2 secretaries of the Embassy in the company of the Chief Master of Ceremonies Count Hendrikov, Koniar in the office of the Steward of the Household, 2 secretaries of the Ceremonies Department, the Master of Ceremonies and an aide-de-camp. At the 3rd entrane of the Palace the Ambassador was met by Marshal of the Court Prince Dolgoruky and other chiefs and was led by 1 kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen to the Crimson Sitting Room where they were offered tea. At 2.30 the Ambassador was given Their Majesties' audience during which he handed them his letters of credence. At the end of the audience the Ambassador was led back and at 3.30 he left for St.Petersburg by the Tsarskoye Selo railroad.

(When he came the Ambassador was given the "Morni" carriage with a team of 6 white horses harnessed tandem. The second carriage had a team of 4 horses in tandem. The servants in the Palace were all dressed in the ceremonial liveries. They stood at all the doors through which the Ambassador passed. There were two pairs of guards at the doors of the Small Sitting Room and the Corner Sitting Room. There was also a guard of honour of Her Majesty's Cuirassier Regiment. The following people were present at the reception - maid-of-honour Princess Orbeliani, Chief Marshal of the Court Prince Dolgoruky, Chief Master of Ceremonies Count Hendrikov, Count Benkendorf in the office of Marshal of the Court, aide-de-camp on duty Prince Obolensky and 3 kammer-pages).

March 9, 1905, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 190.

Ambassador's wife Mrs. MacCormick was first introduced to Empress Maria Fyodorovna at 12 and then at 1.30 - to Alexandra Fyodorovna. At the ceremony there was one footman and one hof-fourier in Sunday uniforms and several kammer-pages.

March 14, 1905, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 190.

At 3.40 there was a farewell audience given by Their Majesties to the Ambassador of the USA Mr. MacCormick. The Ambassador was met by one kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen in red uniforms. At 3 p.m. the Ambassador said "good-bye" to the Empress Maria Fyodorovna.

March 30, 1905, RSHA, fund 516, inv.2, file 190.

The newly appointed Ambassador of the USA Mr. George von Lengehrke-Maier came to Tsarskoye Selo in a special train which had left St.Petersburg at 1.40 p.m., in the company of some Embassy Officials. The Ambassador and his convoy went to the Alexander Palace in gilt ceremonial carriages. At the 3rd entrance of the Palace they were met by Chief Master of Ceremonies Count Hendrikov, by Marshal of the Court Count Benkendorf, Steward of the Household Prince Shervashidze, Koniar in the office of Steward of the Household, 2 secretaries of the Ceremonies Department, by Master of Ceremonies Romeiko-Gurko and aide-de-camp on duty Count Tolstoy. The Ambassador was led by 1 kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen through the halls of the Palace to the Apartment of the Empress Maria Fyodorovna. At 3.50 the Ambassador was received by the Empress and then he introduced the officials of the Embassy to her. After that he was led by the same persons to the Palace's Library where he found maid-of-honour Olenina and aide-de-camp on duty Count Yengalychev. (At the reception at Maria Fyodorovna's there were present: lady-in-waiting Countess Vorontsova-Dashkova, maid-of-honour Countess Heiden as well as several kammer-pages. The servants present at the ceremony wore ceremonial liveries). At 3 sharp the Ambassador was asked to proceed to the Corner Sitting Room to hand His Majesty his letters of credence and to be introduced to Her Majesty the Empress. After that he introduced to them the Embassy officials. After the audience the Ambassador, the officials and their convoy left the Alexander Palace to go to the station and then to St. Petersburg in a special train leaving at 5.40.

May 13, 1905, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 192.

Mrs. Lengehrke Maier, wife of the US Ambassador and their two daughters introduced themselves to Her Majesty the Empress at 3.30 p.m.

May 25, 1905, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 192.

The USA Ambassador Mr.Lengehrke Maier introduced himself to His Majesty at 2 p.m. He was met by 1 footman and 1 hof-fourier. (Special note: In his diary Nickolas wrote: "I received the American Ambassador Maier who delivered Roosevelt's message to me." Roosevelt wrote a letter to Nicolas in which he offered American mediation in the Russian-Japanese negotiations).

January 19, 1907, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 213.

At 2.30 in the Corner Room the Ambassador of the USA Count Lengehrke Maier handed Their Majesties his letters of recall and said "good-bye" to them. At the reception there were Chief Stewardess of the Household Princess Golitsyna, maid-of-honour on dury Princess Obolenskaya, Chief Marshal of the Court Count Benkendorf, Chief Master of Ceremonies Baron Korf, Chamberlain Yevreinov, Gentleman of the Bedchamber Baron Ramzai and Aide-de-camp on duty Dabich. (The Ambassador left St.Petersburg in a special train at 1.20. In Tsarskoye Selo he was met by 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen. The servants in the Palace wore Sunday uniforms. Several kammer-pages stood behind Her Majesty).

January 26, 1907, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 213.

The newly appointed Ambassador of the USA Mr. Wallace Reed and some officials of the American Embassy (the 2nd secretary Mr. Woods-Bliss, the 3rd secretary Mr. Miles and the military attache Major Hibbson) came to Tsarskoye Selo in a special train which had left St.Petersburg at 2.10. On the way to Tsarskoye Selo they were accompaied by 2 secretaries of the Ceremonies Department, Master of Ceremonies Baron Buxhoeveden and Aide-de-camp on duty Tolstoy. The Ambassador and his convoy got in the ceremonial carriages which had been sent for them and came to the 3rd entrance of the Palace and were met there by Chief Master of Ceremonies Count Hendrikov. They were led to the Big Library of the Palace by 1 kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen. In the Big Library they found maid-of-honour Princess Obolenskaya, Warden of the Palace Dedyulik, aide-de-camp Prince Orlov, Drenteln and Count Sheremetyeev the 2nd. At 3 p.m. sharp the Ambassador was asked by the Chief Master of Ceremonies to go to the Corner Sitting Room where he was given a gala audience by Their Majesties during which he handed them his letters of credence, then he introduced to them the Embassy officials. After the audience they were offered tea. At 4.40 the Ambassador, the officials and their convoy left for St. Petersburg. (The Guard of Honour of His Majesty's Life Guards Hussar Regiment. The servants in the Palace had the ceremonial liveries on).

November 21, 1907, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 224.

At 10 a.m. Minister of War Mr.William Taft and General Clarence Edwards introduced themselves to His Majesty.

March 16, 1907, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 215.

At 6 p.m. Donald Mackenzie-Wallace introduced himself to His Majesty.

December 29, 1909, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 252.

The newly appointed Ambassador of the USA Mr. Woodville Rockhill and the Councillor of the Embassy Mr. Montgomery Skyler came to Tsarskoye Selo at 11 a.m. in a special train by the Imperial railroad from St. Petersburg. They came with the Chief Master of Ceremonies Shidlovsky, the Manager of the Ceremonies Department Yevreinov in the office of the Steward of the Household, two secretaries, Baron Ramzai in the office of the Chamberlain, the Gentleman of the Bed-chamber Teplov and the Gentleman of the Bedchamber on duty Count Tolstoy. The Ambassador, the Councillor and their convoy were brought to the 3rd entrance of the Alexander Palace in the ceremonial carriages and were met there by Chief Marshal of the Court Prince Dolgoruky, by Chief Master of Ceremonies Count Hendrikov and by the aide-de-camp on duty Arapov. Then the Ambassador and the Councillor were led through the halls of the Palace by 1 kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen and were brought to the Small Library. After the Chief Master of Ceremonies had informed the Emperor of their arrival the Ambassador was asked to go to the Corner Sitting Room where His Majesty gave him a gala audience during which the Ambassador handed him his letters of credence and then introduced the Councillor to him. After the audience the Ambassador, the Councillor and their convoy were led to the Semi-circular Hall where they were offered breakfast. The table was laid for 9 persons. At 1.15 the Ambassador, the Councillor and their convoy left the Alexander Palace and in the same carriages they went to the Imperial Pavilion (station) where they took a special train to go to St. Petersburg. (The Guard of Honour was in the Portrait Hall. It was of His Majesty's Life Guards Cuirassier Regiment).

January 24, 1910, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 253.

Her Majesty received the following people in her new study: wife of the Japanese Ambassador Baroness Motono, wife of the French Ambassador Mme Louis, the American Ambassador Mr. Rockhill, the Danish Ambassador Mr. Scarvenius, the Bavarian Ambassador Baron Blunelius and the Siamese Ambassador.

December 23, 1910, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 264.

At 10.30 Captain Nathan Averille who was a newly appointed official of the US Embassy introduced himself among others to His Majesty.

May 2, 1911, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 269

At 12 o'clock wife of the Ambassador of the USA Mrs. Rockhill introduced herself to Her Majesty.

April 14, 1911, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 268.

At 11.30 a.m. the founder of the "Leading Light" Society, citizen of the USA James Stocks, Chairman of the Society's Council, Senator and Privy Councillor Metchaninov and Stocks's representative in Russia Franklin Gaylord introduced themselves to His Majesty the Emperor.

January 29, 1911, The Russian State Historic Archive, inv.2, file 265.

At 11 a.m., the publisher of "The Churchman" magazine, American citizen Mr. Syles Mac Bee introduced himself to his Majesty the Emperor. (He was a well-known public figure working for the unification of the Orthodox and the Episcopalian Churches. He was personally recommended to the Ambassador by President Taft).

February 2, 1911, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 266.

At 2.30 Her Majesty received Mrs. Rockhill, wife of the American Ambassador and their daughter, the British Ambassador Sir George Buchanan with his wife and daughter. They were received in the new sitting room. At the reception there were present: lady-in-waiting Naryshkina, maid-of-honour Princess Obolenskaya, Chief Master of Ceremonies Count Hendrikov and Yevreinov in the office of Steward of the Household.

April 6, 1913, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.2, file 294.

At 2.30 the Ambassador of the USA Mr. Guild who was going to retire from his post introduced himself to His Majesty in the Corner Sitting Room. The Ambassador and his convoy came from St. Petersburg in a special train by the Imperial Railroad at 1.35 and from the station Pavilion he proceeded in the ceremonial carriage to the 3rd entrance of the Alexander Palace. There he was met and led to the Small Library by 1 kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen. From the Small Library he was asked to go to the Corner Sitting Room to be received in audience by His Majesty the Emperor. At the end of the reception the Ambassador and his convoy and the Siamese Ambassador who had also introduced himself to His Majesty later that day, left for the Imperial Pavilion where they took a special train to St. Petersburg.

September 30, 1914, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1 (219/2728), file 39.

At 12 o'clock the newly appointed Navy Attache of the USA Captain McCooley introduced himself among others to his Majesty the Emperor.

October 17, 1914, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1 (219/2728), file 39.

His Majesty the Emperor received the newly appointed Ambassador of the USA Mr. George Thomas Marie for handing him the letters of credence. He was accompanied by the officials of the Embassy: Councillor Mr. Wilson, the 2nd Secretary Mr. Maison George, the 3rd Secretary Mr. Furman Furnace, the Military Attache Lieutenant Sherman Miles.

March 28, 1915.

At 2 o'clock son of the former US Ambassador Mr. MacCormick introduced himself to His Majesty.

April 2, 1915.

At 12 o'clock the Ambassador of the USA Mr. George Merk introduced himself to His Majesty.

May 25, 1915, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1 (219/2728), file 40.

The American citizen Archibald Hart, member of the Committee for the Assistance to the Russian war prisoners who found themselves in the enemy countries, introduced himself to Her Majesty the Empress.

June 25, 1915, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1, file 9.

Her Majesty the Empress received the members of the Commitee for the Assistance to the Russian war prisoners which was under her patronage, then Mr.Archibald Hart, member of the same commitee, introduced himself to her.

October 10, 1915, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1, file 13.

At 6 p.m. Her Majesty received Mr. Hart.

February 27, 1916, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1, file 17.

At 2.20 in the Corner Sitting Room the Ambassador of the USA Mr. Marie introduced himself to His Majesty and handed him his letters of recall. The reception was attended by maid-of-honour Baroness Buxshoevden and Countess Hendrikova, the Chief Marshal of the Court, the Chief Master of Ceremonies and Marshal of the Court Yevreinov, Count Apraksin in the office of Steward of the Household, Gentleman of the Bedchamber Teplov and Aide-de-camp on duty Mikheev. At the same time Her Majesty received Mrs. Marie, the Ambassador's wife. The Ambassador and his wife came from Petrograd in a special train by the Imperial railroad at 1.15. In the ceremonial carriage they came to the 3rd entrance of the Palace where they were met by Chief Master of Cermonies Baron Korf, Steward of the Household Yevreinov and Gentleman of the Bedchamber Teplov. In the company of these people they were led through the halls of the Palace to the Small Library by 1 kammer-fourier, 2 hof-fouriers and 2 footmen. Then the Chief Master of Ceremonies Baron Korf asked them to proceed for the audience with Their Majesties. At the end of the reception the Ambassador and his wife, the suite an the convoy were invited to the Small Library to have tea. They left for Petrograd a bit later than 3.

April 14, 1916, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1. file 19.

At 12 o'clock Her Majesty received Mr.Hart.

April 22, 1916, The Russian State Historic Archive, fund 516, inv.1, file 19.

At 2.30 in the Corner Sitting Room there was a gala audience given by His Majesty to the newly appointed Ambassador of the USA Mr. David Roland Francis during which the latter handed His Majesty his letters of credence. After the reception the Ambassador introduced to the Emperor the officials of the Ambassy: the Plenipotentiary Minister G. Purse, the 1st Secretary Mr. Morris Deerling, the 2nd Secretary Mr. Sterling, the 2nd Secretary Mr. Campbell White, the 3rd Secretary Mr. Latte Ryon, the Embassy's Trade Manager Mr. Baker, the War Attache Lieutenant Riggs, the Navy Attache Captain Mc Cooley and his assistant Captain Breckenridge. After that the Ambassador introduced himself to Her Majesty.

September 10, 1916, The Russian State Historic Archive, inv.1, file 21.

At 2.30 Her Majesty and Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana came out to the ground in front of the Alexander Palace to look at the military-medical automobile detachment named after Grand Duchess Tatyana Nickolayevna given to Russia as a present by the USA.

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