Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History, 1987. Transcript of a lecture delivered at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 27 October 1983.

Michal Czajkowski's Cossack Project During the Crimean War:
An Analysis of Ideas

The Polish minority in Right-Bank Ukraine is a social stratum which has been insufficiently studied, because from the point of view of both Polish and Ukrainian national histories, as they are normally conceived, it is a marginal group that falls outside the perspective of the two national histories. However, this group did have a considerable impact on the development of modern Ukraine, and as we now move increasingly toward a territorial concept of Ukrainian history -- in which Ukrainian history is defined as everything connected with Ukrainian territory as opposed to a narrowly ethnocentric approach -- it merits our renewed attention.

According to Viacheslav Lypynsky, who himself originated from that stratum, one could distinguish among the Right-Bank Poles in the nineteenth century three, not formal parties, but trends or currents of thought. The first comprised the loyalists or compromisers (ugodowcy) who adjusted to the Russian imperial regime. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, imperial Russia did not follow a policy of ethnic nationalism; it was an imperial state, and we find among the imperial elite people of diverse origins, not only of the Orthodox religion but also a large contingent, for instance, of Lutheran Germans and Catholic Polish aristocrats. As long as they were loyal to the Romanov dynasty, they were accepted as part of the establishment. The second trend was that of Polish nationalism: those groups aiming at the restoration of the Polish Commonwealth in its pre-partition frontiers. Finally, Lypynsky's third category, and the most interesting for our present purposes, was the Ukrainophile trend.

These currents, however, cannot always be clearly separated. For example, the writer Henryk Rzewuski, brother of Balzac's wife, who was by religion and nationality a Roman Catholic and a Pole, was both politically loyal to the Russian monarchy and a local Ukrainophile patriot. In more recent times, the Polish journal Kultura in Paris published in its supplementary Zeszyty Historyczne the memoirs of Henryk Jozewski, who for more than ten years during the inter-war era was the wojewoda, or regional governor, of the province of Volhynia. He was a Pilsudskiite, and thus certainly a strong Polish nationalist, but at the same time he was a native of Kiev from about the 1890s and briefly served in 1920 as Vice-Minister of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian People's Republic. In his memoirs, which were written late in his life -- he survived World War II, was imprisoned by the Polish communist regime and then released -- he reveals in addition to his strong Polish nationalism pronounced Ukrainophile tendencies.

The background of these Ukrainophile sympathies was what we might call Landespatriotismus (territorial patriotism). There were many expressions of this attitude, beginning in the 1820s and 30s, including the so-called Ukrainian school in Polish literature, which has a place in the history of Polish Romanticism. Some members of that school attempted to write in the Ukrainian vernacular, although normally they wrote in Polish. In 1971, an anthology of this Ukrainian-language poetry written by men of Polish background was published in Soviet Ukraine -- Roman Kyrchiv's collection, Ukrainskoiu muzoiu natkhnenni (Inspired by the Ukrainian Muse). The landed nobles who belonged to that circle knew the Ukrainian language very well. (In Galicia the situation was different, for there the Polish minority was between 20 and 25 per cent of the population, and urban Poles could live without knowing Ukrainian.) But in Right-Bank Ukraine, members of the Polish minority were bilingual in Polish and Ukrainian, besides knowing Russian and Western languages. They spoke Ukrainian from childhood, for this was the language of their wet-nurses and servants, whereas in the drawing room they would use Polish. The Ukrainian they knew was not the standard literary language, which was not yet developed, but the current local vernacular.

The political ideology of the Ukrainophile Poles envisioned the restoration of the historical Polish Commonwealth, but within the structure of that future Commonwealth, Ruthenia (Ukraine) was to be an autonomous entity. Such an arrangement had been envisioned in the Union of Hadiach, the unrealized mid-seventeenth-century concept of the transformation of the Commonwealth from a dualistic into a triadic structure. References to this idea are to be found frequently. As is well known, some of the Ukrainophile Poles went so far as to identify themselves with the Ukrainian nationality. The first significant group were the so-called khlopomany (peasant-lovers) of the early 1860s. Until the revolution, both individuals and small groups continued to do this, and some of the outstanding personalities of modern Ukraine came from that background. However, these were exceptional cases. Most of the Ukrainophile Poles continued to consider themselves Poles, but at the same time had Ukrainian sympathies and tried to balance their Polish loyalties with Ukrainian territorial patriotism. Within this group of Poles who came close to the nationality borderline without actually crossing it, I have singled out for study three personalities: Franciszek Duchinski (1816-93); Hipolit (religious name Vladimir) Terlecki (Terletsky) (1808-88); and Michal Czajkowski (1804-86). They were all men of the same generation, and not only are there parallels in their lives, but they were actually acquainted, so that one can speak of them as belonging to a certain circle.

Unlike both Duchinski and Terlecki, who until recently were virtually forgotten, Czajkowski has never languished in oblivion. Previous researchers have approached Czajkowski principally from two angles. The first is the biographical. Czajkowski had a long and very adventurous life, and there are several biographical works that recount it as a romance. A few years ago quite a lengthy biography of Czajkowski, entitled Dziwne zycie Sadyka Paszy (The Strange Life of Sadyk Pasha), was published in Poland by Jadwiga Chudzikowska. There are older biographical studies; one was written around the turn of the century by Franciszek Rawita-Gawronski. The other approach is that of literary history. Because Czajkowski was a prolific writer and in his day a well-known Polish novelist, historians of Polish literature have dealt with him, both in general surveys and in several monographic studies. I do not intend to compete with these two approaches, because I cannot add anything new as far as Czajkowski's biography is concerned and my interest is not that of a student of literature or literary history. I propose to study Czajkowski from the point of view of his political ideas. This is an aspect which has been neglected by Polish students of Czajkowski, who have not taken his ideas seriously. They have considered him simply a fantastic man of excessive imagination, a colourful figure certainly, but at the same time one whose concepts need not be treated with respect. I believe, however, that his ideas are worth consideration and actually become much more understandable when they are placed in a Ukrainian context.

There is one difficulty in studying Czajkowski's ideas. He was a voluminous writer; his collected fiction is contained in twelve volumes of novels and short stories, and this does not include his assorted memoirs. But he was no theorist, and did not produce a single systematic treatise expounding his political thought. Czajkowski's ideas must therefore be deduced from their reflections in his literary works and from his memoirs and correspondence, as well as from reports by contemporaries. In addition, of course, his ideas can be inferred from his actions. The one period in Czajkowski's long life in which he seemed to have had a chance to implement these ideas was the Crimean War (1853-6), and I will concentrate on this crucial period, not from the point of view of military history, but from that of political thought. Before proceeding I will have to sketch Czajkowski's life and intellectual development prior to 1854 in order to provide the necessary background.

Czajkowski was born in 1804 in the village of Halchyn (now in Zhytomyr oblast). His youth was that of a wealthy country squire; he had little formal education and led a life devoted to hunting, riding, and boisterous social parties. However, in Czajkowski's family, as he repeatedly mentions in his memoirs, there was a tradition that on his maternal side he was descended from the seventeenth-century Cossack Hetman Ivan Briukhovetsky. He was proud of this, without apparently being aware that Ivan Briukhovetsky has a very bad reputation in Ukrainian history. November 1830 saw the outbreak of the Polish uprising, which spilled over from Poland proper, or the Congress Kingdom, to the Lithuanian and Ukrainian borderlands. In the spring of 1831 military detachments of the insurgents entered Right-Bank Ukraine from Congress Poland, and there was also an insurrectionary movement among the local Polish nobility which Czajkowski joined. He spent the campaign in the Volhynian cavalry regiment, which was formed from the Polish gentry of the province, obtained the rank of lieutenant, and received the Golden Cross for valour. After the defeat of the uprising and the retreat of the insurgents to the West, Czajkowski settled in Paris and after some years turned to literature.

At first he worked on French newspapers, then in 1837 published his first work of fiction in Polish, Powiesci Kozackie (Cossack Tales). During the next seven years, there appeared several volumes of his novels and collected tales or short stories. Evidently, Czajkowski had a ready pen -- he could write quickly, probably without reading a second time what he had written once. Today Czajkowski's fiction is not read widely except by professional students of Polish literature. His works have been superseded among the Polish public by the historical romances of Sienkiewicz, who to this day remains the popular Polish historical novelist. Technically, Czajkowski's fiction was modelled, I believe, on Sir Walter Scott. His stories of adventure, with some romantic or love intrigue, are not psychologically interesting, and he must be considered a second-rate writer. The important thing from our point of view is that Czajkowski's fiction deals in large measure with topics taken from Ukrainian history. For instance, there is a novel, Hetman Ukrainy (The Hetman of Ukraine), which is a fictional account of the life of Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky, successor to Khmelnytsky and one of the architects of the Union of Hadiach. Perhaps Czajkowski's best work of fiction is the novel Wernyhora, which is set against the background of the haidamak revolt of 1768. Interestingly, what from Czajkowski's point of view was a tragic event -- namely, the rising of the Ukrainian peasants who massacred the Polish gentry of Kiev province -- is used to preach the idea of the unity of Ukrainians and Poles; the Ukrainians are seen as an organic part of a broader Polish Commonwealth opposed to a foreign enemy, the Muscovite.

Czajkowski's political ideology is directly expressed in his lecture presented at the European Historical Congress in Paris in 1835; the text of his lecture was published in the proceedings of the conference. The title of his paper is characteristic: "Quelle a ete l'influence des Cossaques sur la litterature dans le Nord et dans l'Orient?" The main point of his presentation is that Cossack Ukraine is the perfect embodiment of the true Slavic spirit, and that the Cossack element brought about the rebirth of modern Polish and Russian literature. He refers to the Ukrainian school in Polish Romantic poetry, as well as to Bohdan Zaleski and Kondratii Ryleev, the Decembrist poet and martyr. There are positive references to Cossack hetmans -- not only to Mazepa, which is perhaps not surprising, but even to Khmelnytsky, which would not be normal in a man who considered himself a Pole. He says the following about Khmelnytsky: "This man by his genius merits the name of hero of Cossackdom. But a great blot soils his memory: he delivered his homeland to the tsar of Muscovy by separating the Cossacks from the Poles, their brothers and natural allies." I believe that the Polish literary historian, Zygmunt Szweykowski, has correctly characterized Czajkowski's political world-view:

Czajkowski always considered himself a Pole, but the idea of an independent Poland was undoubtedly a secondary matter for him. It appeared in his mind inseparable from the idea of a free Ukraine and, without the latter, lost all charm and significance for him. Thinking of Rus', Czajkowski visualized it as standing under the authority of an idealized Poland. The authority, however, was limited to the Polish king, who was the distant overlord of Ukraine. Czajkowski's leading idea was the resurrection of the Zaporozhian Sich, of old Cossack Ukraine, in such form and character as it had existed in the era of Polish independence [i.e., under the old Commonwealth]. He believed that old Ukraine was the embodiment of the highest ideas of life, and therefore its resurrection was an issue not of local, but rather of all-European and even world-wide significance. Czajkowski yearned after this holy, this divine Ukraine all his life.
In reference to Czajkowski's belief in the universal significance of Cossackdom, one of his favourite sayings was Napoleon's bon mot that in one hundred years all of Europe would be either republican or Cossack. But apparently Czajkowski reversed Napoleon's priorities, because he meant that in one hundred years either all of Europe would be regenerated by Cossackdom or it would fall into the mire of materialistic republicanism.

There are certain perennial features in Czajkowski's thinking. First, uncommonly for a Pole, he was a strong monarchist. The Polish gentry had essentially a republican tradition; the old Commonwealth was an elective kingdom, but in effect a crowned republic, and the concept of hereditary monarchy was not strong in the evolution of Polish political thought. Czajkowski's exceptional monarchism is tied to his Cossack idea, because he envisioned an autonomous Cossack Ukraine under the authority of a distant hereditary Jagellonian king who would be recognized and revered as father of all, but would not interfere with the autonomous Cossack host. Another foundation of his outlook was Pan-Slavism. Throughout the various changes in his thinking, he always tried to stress the idea of the solidarity of all Slavs, not excluding the Russians. This recognition of the Russians as Slavs distinguishes him from his contemporary and one-time friend, Duchinski, who defended the notion that the Russians were not Slavs but linguistically Slavicized Turanians. The third interesting feature is Czajkowski's anti-clericalism, which was directed against the Jesuits. He believed that Catholicism had alienated Poland from the Slavic world, and above all that the evil Jesuits were the root cause of the conflict between Mother Poland and the Cossacks, who otherwise would have remained loyal to her. Interestingly, however, his anti-Catholicism did not extend to the Uniate denomination. He argued, so to say, in favour of Catholicism, but a Catholicism of the Basilian Fathers with their "Hospody pomylui," not the Catholicism of the Jesuits with their "Dominus vobiscum." He also expressed the notion that, at some future time, the capital of Poland and of the Slavic world should be Kiev.

In Paris Czajkowski became politically associated with Prince Adam Czartoryski (1770-1861), a long-lived man who had a very strange career and, after 1831, became the leader of the conservative wing of the Polish exile community. Czajkowski grew profoundly attached to Prince Czartoryski, in whom he saw a Ruthenian and a descendant of the old Lithuanian-Ruthenian dynasty, the Jagellonian counts. In 1841, on Czartoryski's behalf, Czajkowski went to Istanbul as a political agent, and for the next thirty years or so his life was centred on Istanbul and the Turkish Empire. It seems that the atmosphere of the Ottoman capital suited Czajkowski very well. He established close links with important Ottoman dignitaries and became a confidant of the Grand Vizir, Reshid Mustapha Pasha. Among his many activities -- which were, incidentally, typical of emigre political life, but quite successful in this case -- were the establishment of contacts with the Caucasian mountaineers under Shamil, who were fighting the Russians; receiving authorization from the Ottoman government to establish a colony for Polish veterans, named Adampol, in honour of Prince Czartoryski, on the Sea of Marmara; and seeking to bridge the conflict between the Balkan Slavs and the Ottoman government. This last was perhaps an impossible task, but Czajkowski undertook, on the one hand, to encourage various cultural strivings of the Balkan Slavs, especially supporting the struggle of the Bulgarians to free themselves from the ecclesiastical domination of the Greek patriarchate, while, on the other hand, trying to convince the Balkan Slavs that they should acquiesce in the imperial Ottoman system. In this effort he used a rather specious argument, writing time and again that the sultan was the legitimate heir of medieval Serbian kings, for Serbian princesses had become spouses of Ottoman emperors, hence the legitimate line was carried on by the Osmanli dynasty. But he supported Bulgarian educational efforts, and there are in fact monographs dealing with the impact of Czajkowski on the national revivals of Bulgaria and Romania.

Czajkowski's principal objective was to work for an uprising in Ukraine against Russia using the Don and Kuban Cossacks, with whom he tried to establish links. The base of this future uprising was to be the Cossack community at the lower Danube, in the Dobrudja. Those who lived there were descendants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, the so-called Trans-Danubian Cossacks, who are well known from the operetta Zaporozhets za Dunaiem (Zaporozhian Cossack Beyond the Danube), as well as descendants of the Don Cossacks, the followers of Igoshka Nekrasov, who had revolted against Tsar Peter. There were certain difficulties with this concept -- for instance, the organized Sich which actually existed on the Danube delta under Turkish overlordship had disappeared in 1828, for during one of the Russo-Turkish wars the majority of Trans-Danubian Cossacks went over to the Russian side, after which only dispersed settlements remained. At that time relations between the local Ukrainian Cossacks and the descendants of the Don Cossacks were not good, and local wars were fought between them. Nevertheless, Czajkowski's activities were considered a serious nuisance by the Russian government, and its ambassador in Istanbul, Vladimir Titov, put considerable pressure on the Turkish government to demand the expulsion of Czajkowski as one who was harming Turkish-Russian relations. By 1849-50 the Ottoman government was on the verge of complying.

To prevent this, Czajkowski did something very unexpected -- he converted to Islam and became a Turkish subject in 1850. He continued to act according to the same ideology, no longer technically in the capacity of a Polish emigre and representative of Czartoryski, but in that of a Turkish official. He assumed a new name, Mehmed Sadyk, which means Mehmed the Loyal, and entered Ottoman service with the rank of general or pasha. There was, however, an additional motive for Czajkowski's change of religion and citizenship, not of a political but of a personal and romantic nature. During his years in France, Czajkowski married a Frenchwoman, Leonide Gabaret, with whom he had four children. His French wife stayed in Paris when he went to Istanbul, where he became involved with a Polish lady named Ludwika Sniadecka. As divorce was impossible in France under existing Catholic law, it was the conversion to Islam which enabled Czajkowski to regularize his relationship with Sniadecka.

Born in 1802, Ludwika Sniadecka was two years older than Czajkowski. Both were in their forties at that time, so this was a romance not of youngsters but of mature people. She was an outstanding personality in her own right, and there exists a very interesting biography of Sniadecka by Maria Czapska. Sniadecka was the daughter of a celebrated Polish scientist, a medical doctor and professor of chemistry at Vilnius University, Jedrzej Sniadecki. His brother, Ludwika's uncle, was for many years the rector of Vilnius University. How Sniadecka found herself in Istanbul is a separate romantic story. All sources attest to her exceptional intelligence and strength of character, and in many respects she was a better politician than her husband. Czajkowski was a man of vision, courage, and great energy, but it seems he was also impulsive and touchy, that he lost control over his nerves, became angry, quarrelled with people, and was given to moodiness. Sniadecka, on the other hand, was a woman of great tact and self-control, an excellent judge of character, and -- most important in politics -- possessed of a steady, unidirectional will and indomitable determination. Ludwika became her husband's principal political advisor and aide; she ran his secretariat, and his political correspondence went through her hands. She wrote in a letter to a friend in 1856, "Now I am everything to him. Wife, mistress, friend, confidante, and nurse."

Czajkowski's conversion to Islam shocked Polish society. If one thinks how profoundly Polish patriotism is linked with Catholicism, it is understandable that his becoming a religious renegade was something which Polish society could not easily digest. Prince Czartoryski himself deplored this step, but he was still an eighteenth-century aristocrat in his outlook, urbane and tolerant, able if need be to look the other way. But for most Polish patriots, including many former friends and collaborators of Czajkowski, this was an unforgivable act and marked the beginning of his estrangement from Polish society, which proceeded apace later on.

The Crimean War offered Czajkowski what he believed to be the opportunity to realize his life's dream. Even prior to the outbreak of hostilities in 1853, he submitted to the court a proposal to create a Cossack military force under Ottoman auspices to fight Russia. This was authorized, and Czajkowski was given the title of Mirmiran-Pasha, the traditional designation of Cossack otamans in the service of the court. A regiment was formed, consisting of six companies or about 1,400 soldiers, and it is noteworthy that the language of service was Ukrainian. There was some difficulty owing to a shortage of Ukrainians, but the Cossack regiment was brought up to strength with soldiers drawn from the Dobrudja Cossacks of both Ukrainian and Russian ethnic origin, deserters from the Russian army from Russia and Ukraine, Bulgarians, and assorted freed prisoners. The officers were Polish veterans of 1831, many of them natives of Ukraine and close compatriots of Czajkowski. Czajkowski's regiment played a fairly important role in the 1854 campaign. It helped relieve the fortress of Silistra on the Danube, besieged by the Russians, and was also the first to enter Bucharest after its evacuation by the Russians. Indeed, Czajkowski acted for some time as military governor of Bucharest, the capital not of Romania, which did not yet exist, but of the Principality of Wallachia. By the end of 1854, Czajkowski's Cossacks had reached the river Prut, which marked the frontier of Russia.

Czajkowski's plan was to enter Ukraine at the head of his force, and he expected that this would provoke an anti-Russian revolt. But this did not happen, and we must ask why. One major factor was the strategy of the great, powers: Britain and France decided to make the Crimea the main theatre of war, so that the Danubian front was neglected. The allied landing occurred in the Crimea, leading to the well-known siege of Sevastopol. Austria's role throughout the Crimean War was extremely ambiguous, as attested by Schwarzenberg's famous saying that Austria would surprise the world by her ingratitude. This ingratitude consisted in the fact that, in 1849, Russian intervention had helped suppress the Hungarian Revolution, so that the court of Vienna was ostensibly indebted to that of St. Petersburg. But raison d'etat prevailed when Austria opposed Russian expansion into the Balkans and threatened to join the anti-Russian coalition if Russia did not withdraw from the Danubian principalities. In August 1854 Russia capitulated to the Austrian demand. For the remainder of the war Austria occupied the principalities, at first jointly with the Turks, but as of January 1855 alone. When the Turkish forces withdrew, Czajkowski's legion was moved back from the frontier, from the Dniester down to Bulgaria, where it was stationed for the remainder of the war, no longer participating in military action.

Shortly after these events, there appeared in Paris in 1857 a miscellany with the title Kozaczyzna w Turcyi (Cossackdom in Turkey), edited by Czajkowski's collaborator and friend Ludwik Zwierchowski. The author, however, was almost certainly Czajkowski using a cryptonym. The collection attempts to provide an apologia for his strategy during the Crimean War. Like most of Czajkowski's writings, it was thrown together in a slapdash manner, and there are an enormous number of misprints. It includes short stories, lists of the officers of the Cossack regiment, bits of poetry (some in Ukrainian, though printed in the Latin alphabet), and so on. Above all, there are some interesting articles which explain Czajkowski's political policy. His underlying idea was the restoration of the Hetmanate under a Turkish protectorate, following in the tradition of those Cossack leaders who had been, as it were, vassals of the Ottoman Empire -- Petro Doroshenko (1666-76) and Pylyp Orlyk (1710-42), the exile, successor to Mazepa -- and of those Zaporozhians who settled in the Dobrudja after 1775, following the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich: "This armed and chivalrous exile community has existed already for one and one-half centuries. In 1854 Cossackdom revived again under Michal Czajka-Czajkowski." Czajkowski pretends that there was a continuous Cossack community in Turkey for 150 years. This is, of course, untrue; although there were separate episodes of Cossack-Turkish collaboration, such as with Pylyp Orlyk and in the case of the settlement of the Zaporozhians after 1775, there was no direct connection with Doroshenko's policy of the late seventeenth century. Czajkowski writes with pride that the Cossack regiment's flag was the old flag of Hetman Doroshenko, which used to be preserved in the treasury of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Whether this is true or not is difficult to determine. At the same time, somewhat illogically, this same Cossack force is seen as an organic part of Poland: "We are bone of the bone of those Cossacks of old, raised in the stirrups for the service of king and Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita)." However, Czajkowski's Poland was not ethnic Poland but rather the multinational Confederation: "Polish statesmen tend to forget a little question of ethnography -- the existence of the Ruthenian people of 14 million; in crossing the Prut River, the war is bound to encounter the Ruthenians, and it can advance toward Kiev and Vilnius only, not toward Warsaw and Cracow." There are a good many indications that Czajkowski envisioned his own future role as that of a Cossack hetman in a restored Hetmanate under the suzerainty either of the Sultan or of the Polish King.

Polish historians have generally assessed Czajkowski's plans as chimeric, a sort of strange personal fancy. I would by no means consider him a paragon of Realpolitik, but there is perhaps more substance to his designs than previous students have been willing to admit. Let us not forget, first of all, that the Crimean War was the only occasion between the Napoleonic era and World War I when Russia faced a military challenge in Europe from major European powers -- Great Britain and France -- who fought in support of Turkey, and that it ended in Russia's defeat. The Crimean War also revealed the internal weakness and corruption of the system of Nicholas I and triggered a profound internal crisis in Russia; Soviet Marxist historians even speak, with some exaggeration, of the first revolutionary situation in the post-Crimean War era. Was there any basis in Ukrainian society for a movement of the type conceived by Czajkowski? Evidence that there was some potential for such a movement is provided by the episode known in history under the name of Kyivska kozachchyna (Kievan Cossackdom). In 1855, toward the end of the Crimean War, there arose a spontaneous mass movement in the province of Kiev and neighbouring regions of Right-Bank Ukraine, where approximately 500 villages refused to do labour for the gentry and organized in traditional Cossack fashion. This was due to a sort of inadvertence. The peasants misunderstood the tsarist manifesto which called for the formation of a militia (opolchenie) in the struggle against the foreign enemy as a call for restoration of Cossack liberty. The movement was later suppressed by the use of armed force. However, the episode shows that there were elements in Ukrainian society of the period, quite apart from Czajkowski, among whom such an idea might have found favour.

But there were two inherent weaknesses in Czajkowski's concept. First of all, his whole outlook has a definitely archaic quality. Czajkowski lived through most of the nineteenth century, but his mind really belongs to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. From his writings, it would be difficult to guess that he was a contemporary of the mid-Victorian age and the industrial revolution, of thinkers such as Darwin, John Stuart Mill, and Marx or, among politicians, Palmerston, Bismarck, and Cavour. This, by the way, is the reason why he felt at home in Turkey, for Turkish society was archaic and still based on relations of personal loyalty, not on modern institutional arrangements. The notion of tying a modern political movement to an earlier tradition is not without merit, and the Cossack tradition remained a force in Ukrainian society as late as 1917. However, this traditional idea had to be translated into the terms of a new age, and this Czajkowski was unable to do. In the second place, and no less importantly, it was inherently impossible to reconcile the Ukrainian and Polish sides of his allegiance. If a popular revolt had by some chance materialized in Ukraine, in all likelihood it would have been directed against the local Polish gentry. This was in the nature of things, and the notion that a Ukrainian popular movement could be mobilized for the restoration of Poland, even with the promise that this Poland would be federated, was out of the question. Thus, Czajkowski's tragedy was that he tried to fuse two loyalties in his own soul which in reality could not be combined.

Czajkowski wrote two memoirs: those of his own life, written after his return to Russia, of which the Polish original has perished (there remains only the Russian translation, published between 1895 and 1904 in Russkaia Starina), and his memoirs of the Crimean War, published in Poland in 1962 under the title Moje wspomnienia o wojnie 1854 roku (My Memoirs of the War of 1854). In reading the latter, I was greatly struck by a passage in which Czajkowski claims to have received secret messages from Ukraine on behalf of an underground organization called the "Committee of Ukraine and Bessarabia." These messages requested the Ottoman Porte to take Ukraine and Bessarabia under its protection and to restore an autonomous Cossack entity along the lines initiated by Petro Doroshenko, with a status comparable to that of Wallachia and Moldavia, which at that time were still autonomous principalities under the suzerainty of the Porte. Czajkowski states that these memoranda were written in Russian, and adds that he made a great error in sending copies, which had been translated by his wife into French, to Prince Czartoryski in Paris. Here they fell into the hands of Polish leaders and alarmed them, for they provided conclusive proof that Czajkowski was a dangerous man aspiring to the role of a new Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

The most outstanding exception to the general resistance encountered by Czajkowski in Polish society was Adam Mickiewicz, the great poet, who had become Czajkowski's friend in Paris. Mickiewicz actually came to Turkey to lend support to Czajkowski's actions, but fell victim to an epidemic of cholera and died in Czajkowski's camp. In addition to being a great loss to Polish literature, Mickiewicz's death was a personal blow to Czajkowski, for his prestige and authority would have lent Czajkowski powerful support.

What particularly fascinated me was Czajkowski's assertion that in the mid-nineteenth century there was allegedly a secret organization in Ukraine with a separatist political program. This is very unusual, as by and large the Ukrainian movement in the nineteenth century was not separatist but autonomist, that is, working for cultural self-expression or the federalization of the Russian Empire. It is quite possible that the memorandum was Czajkowski's own fabrication, because the ideas expressed in it look suspiciously close to his own. I was unable to examine the memorandum in the Polish library in Paris where part of Czajkowski's papers are held or in the Czartoryski Library in Cracow. However, I did find another piece of relevant evidence which was published a long time ago but has not attracted sufficient attention. In 1918, during the German occupation of the Crimea, a philologist named Ievhen Rudnytsky -- no relation to the present writer -- was in personal contact with Czajkowski's son Adam, a child of his French wife, who went to Turkey, served with Czajkowski, and then returned to Russia with his father and became a general in the Russian service. Late in life, during the Civil War and Revolution, Adam Czajkowski met Ievhen Rudnytsky in the Crimea and handed him some papers obtained from his father, which were published in the well-known series Zas sto lit, in 1924. In addition, a Galician Ukrainian historian and Uniate priest, Father losyp Zastyrets, wrote several articles before World War I dealing with Czajkowski, and apparently also had been in touch with the Czajkowski family, as he referred to these very same documents, but without a text. Although these articles are so confused as not to be very helpful, they do draw upon the same sources.

The papers in question are the following: a short biography of Michal Czajkowski written by his son; a list of the estates of the Czajkowski family in Volhynia which were confiscated after 1831; the manifesto or appeal of the secret patriotic Committee of Ukraine and Bessarabia (16 September 1853), which is apparently the same as the memorandum to which Czajkowski refers in his memoirs; and the Address of the Committee of Ukraine and Bessarabia to the Sublime Porte, also dated 16 September 1853. The content indeed reflects the summary given by Czajkowski in his memoirs. The documents exist, then, but since they came from Czajkowski's son, it cannot be ruled out that they were forged by Czajkowski himself. There is one additional interesting feature -- the documents are signed, but I confess that the names are unknown to me. For instance, the Address to the Sublime Porte contains the signatures of the chairman of the Committee of Ukraine and Bessarabia, General Major Pripce Dabizha; Major-General Kraichenko; Major-General Haparii; State Councillor Obraza; grazhdanin, or merchant, Gramba; and the delegate of Bessarabia, P. S. Bashata. The names on the second document coincide, except in a few instances. With some further effort, it could be determined whether these men really existed,1 but in any case, this overlooked episode is an interesting and important one, with more substance to it than has been generally recognized.

In conclusion, nothing materialized of Czajkowski's Crimean project of 1854. The Cossack unit was maintained for some years, but transferred to the regular Turkish army and eventually stationed on the frontier of the kingdom of Greece in Thessaly, which still belonged to the Ottoman Empire. In 1866 Ludwika died, a great loss to Czajkowski, because she was a steadying factor in his life. After some time, Czajkowski entered upon a third marriage with a Greek girl, Irene Theoskolo, who was considerably younger than he. Partly under the influence of his third wife, and partly because of his awareness of the futility of his life in exile and the failure of his plans, all Czajkowski's later writings are suffused with a sense of profound nostalgia for his Ukrainian homeland. Furthermore, the change of political scene with the fall of the Second Empire and Napoleon III eliminated any possibility of an anti-Russian coalition in Europe. Now the dominant power was Germany, which was closely allied with Russia. Czajkowski was always anti-German, and now he conceived the notion that Russia was the last hope of the Slavs in face of the Teutonic danger. In 1873, he appealed for a pardon to Alexander II, whom he hailed as leader of all the Slavs. This pardon was granted, and he returned to Russia, which for him meant Ukraine. Once again he changed his religion and converted to Orthodoxy. He was given a small landed estate in Left-Bank Ukraine, but was boycotted by the entire Polish society and had no contact with the new Ukrainian national movement, which was populist in orientation and had no use for such an archaic figure as Czajkowski. His wife left him, and Czajkowski lived together with an old aide-de-camp and companion, Morozowicz. After the death of his friend, Czajkowski took his own life in 1886.


1. Professor Omeljan Pritsak points out that General Dabizha is known to have existed; he had a Mazepist orientation and published some articles in Kievskaia starina.


Jadwiga Chudzikowska, Dziwne zycie Sadyka Pasty (Warsaw 1971); 2d ed., 1982.

X. K. O. [Michat Czajkowski], Kozaczyzna w Turcyi (Paris 1857).

Michal Czajkowski (Mehmed Sadyk Pasza), Moje wspomnienia o wojnie 1854 roku, ed. Jozef Fijalek (Warsaw 1962).

George Gregory Grabowicz, "The History and Myth of the Cossack Ukraine in Polish and Russian Romantic Literature," Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University, 1975.

Marja Pawlicowa, "O formacjach kozackich w czasie wojny krymskiej," Kwartalnik Historyczny 50 (1936), 3 -50, 622-54.

Jadwiga z Wokulskich Piotrowiczowa, Michai Czajkowski jako powiesciopisarz (Vilnius 1932).

Fr. Rawita-Gawronski, Michaf Czaykowski (Sadyk-Pasza), 2d ed. (St. Petersburg 1901).

Ievhen Rudnytsky, "Do istorii polskoho kozakofilstva," Za sto lit, ed. M. Hrushevsky (Kiev 1927), 1:62-6.

Serhii Shamrai, "Kyivska kozachchyna 1855 r., " Zapysky istorychno-filolohichnoho vidditu UAN (Kiev 1928), 20:199-323.

Ivan Kv. Stoichev, Kazak alaiat na Chaikovski (Sofia 1944).

Zygmunt Szweykowski, Introduction to Michal Czajkowski, Owruczanin, Biblioteka Narodowa 103 (Cracow n.d.), iii -xliv.