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The New York Times

Published since 1851


Project 1917 is a series of events that took place a hundred years ago as described by those involved. It is composed only of diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents

What is regarded by officials of the Washington Government as a most important promise of support to the new Russian Government is contained in a telegram that has been sent to M. Milukoff, the Russian Foreign Minister, by Louis Marshall, Henry Morgenthau, Jacob H. Schiff, Oscar S. Straus, and Julius Rosenwald, representing the American Jewish Committee. See more

Upton Sinclair invites deposed monarchs to Catalina Island: “I am writing Kerenski, the Socialist Minister of Justice at Petrograd, suggesting that the Czar and his family be intrusted to the American Republic for permanent safekeeping. Catalina Island, off Los Angeles, could be made into an island for kings and used as a refuge for rulers abdicating or dethroned after this war. The islands have a salubrious climate and are populated by sheep, the proper subjects for autocracy. Upton Sinclair”.

The Liberal Government in Russia is visibly threatened by a formidable counter-revolutionary unrest, which has not yet mobilized into a movement but is being skillfully marshaled by German agents. Many of these agents are Russian Socialists who act with full knowledge of what they are doing and who is to benefit. Alone they could do nothing but they have the advantage of a real background. It is a background of ignorance, it is true, but none of less to be reckoned with all that. See more

Russia allows mild drinks. The Provisional Government has modified the rules governing the sales of alcoholic drinks by the introduction of the following regulations:

First, the sale of alcoholic drinks containing a percentage of alcohol in excess of one and a half degrees is prohibited throughout Russia; second, export to foreign countries of grape wines of every kind is permitted regardless of their percentage of alcohol; third, in wine-growing districts the sale of wines produced locally and not containing a percentage of alcohol in excess of 12 degrees is permitted. Sales of these wines outside of the wine-growing districts in only permitted in towns and may be prohibited by municipal authorities.

Paul Milukoff, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent to Herman Bernstein, editor of The American Hebrew, a cable message yesterday saying that Russia would be glad to accept a reproduction of the Statue of Liberty, which it had been proposed by Mr. Bernstein to erect in Petrograd.

Mr. Bernstein said yesterday that it would cost $500, 000 to make the gift, and that the amount would be collected by popular subscription, much after the manner in which the fund was raised in France to present the Statue of Liberty to the United States. The Advisory Board would be composed of United States Senators.

The Russian people and their new Government will not conclude a “separate peace” with Germany, but, on the contrary, will resort to any sacrifice rather than abandon the war without achieving the original object of defeating Germany. Information to this effect came by the cable to the State Department from Petrograd. The source of the department’s information has not been disclosed, but it is definite and official, and extremely gratifying to the American Government.

An address congratulating Russian authors and artists who contributed to the Russian revolution was adopted at the Hudson Theater yesterday by a meeting of authors, artists, and composers under the auspices of the National Institute of Arts.

Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler called the Russian revolution “a product of philosophy and of letters”, and said that Jean Jacques Rousseau, dead nearly a century and a half, was still the greatest political force in the world today.

George Kennan, a writer on Russia, said it was fitting that American authors should celebrate Russian freedom, because many of them had felt the hand of the Russian autocracy under the old regime, and it was appropriate for painters and composers to join with the authors, for the reason that painting and even music without words had been not infrequently suppressed by the Russian censor.

The address, which will be sent to Russia with signatures of members of the National Institute, says in part: “America welcomes your country to the family of the world’s democracies. With one master stroke the leaders of the Russian people have made the greatest reinforcement of half a century to the cause of popular government”.

The Society of the Friends of Russian Freedom, of which Herbert Parsons is President, has started fund for political exiles returning from Siberia.

Parsons, in a letter to The Times, said yesterday that Professor Paul Milukoff, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Government, upon being informed of the plans of the society, cabled his thanks. “Accept most heartily”, the Minister’s message to the society read in part. See more

Socialist chief died on a torpedoed ship. News of the sinking by a German submarine of the steamer Zara, with Russian emigrants aboard, has fallen like a thunderbolt in Russian Socialist circles. The Social Democrats had hoped that their appeal to the German proletariat would have had the effect of inducing the German Government to be lenient to Russia. The sinking of the Zara has dispelled the last hopes of all but the extremists. Among the victims was the well-known and popular Karpovich.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Russia’s position is not like that of France in revolution

All eyes are now turned toward Russia, because of the interest aroused by the recent revolution. Thoughtful people are asking the question “Will Russia have a reign of terror?” Recently a New York paper contained an excellent editorial on the subject: “The Russian Revolution and What Will Come Out of It”. The editor took the safe and sound position that no man can anticipate accurately the developments that will take place in Russia. He leans, however, to the belief that a Russian reign of terror is very liable to occur and suggests that certain causes are already at work which may bring this dreaded result to pass. His analysis of conditions is good, and the writer of this article realizes that the fears expressed for Russia’s future by the talented editor may be more than justified by coming events.

Agreeing with the gentleman in question as to the possibility that chaotic conditions may result in Russia, the writer would suggest a consideration that points in the opposite direction.  The editor’s comparison of Russia with France at the time of the French Revolution is startling and suggestive. It is well, however, to remember that the excesses of the Reign of Terror were due to a combination of causes that reinforced each other so disastrously. Among these causes may be mentioned the fatal act of declaring war on April 1792 against Prussia and Austria; the folly of the declaration of war on February 1793 against Great Britain, the Protestant Netherlands and Spain; the successive defeats suffered by the French on their frontier in the opening month of 1793, and the ascendancy to a legal footing of the revolutionary Communo at Paris, containing the most radical individuals in power during the Reign of Terror.

Russia may escape similar sufferings merely because similar causes may not united in such a sinister combination of events. France might have avoided the Reign of Terror if at the critical time her generals had gained a few victories, and her new revolutionary leaders had obtained breathing time to erect a stable government without immediate peril from an invading enemy. Thus, Russia may overcome the separate elements of danger in her situation singly, and may eliminate them one after the other, even though a combination of them would prove disastrous.

The comparison of Russia with France at the time of the French Revolution breaks down, at least in part, when we consider the difference in the historical situations. France suffered the terror when facing alone and unaided a combination of European nations, while Russia has entered her days of trial with the friendship of Great Britain, France, and other nations of Europe. These allies of Russia will be a great source of strength and steadiness to her in the days of her political change and readjustment. Therefore, though we recognize its possibility, we think it improbable that Russia will have a reign of terror.

Rev. Warren Elsing

Charles M. Muchnic, Vice President of the American Locomotive Company, has written a letter to Secretary of Commerce Redfield in which he says he is skeptical of the good effects of sending 500 American railroad men to Russia to take charge of railway departments. Mr. Muchnic says he has studied Russian railway operation at some length, and is convinced that the operatives in that country can perform efficient work if proper leeway is allowed by the Government. “It is wrong and unfair to assume that Russian railway men as individuals do not understand their business, or are not as capable as other railway engineers in any part of the world. THe alleged chaotic conditions that exist on the Russian railways is not due to the individual men or to the executive officials of various sections or divisions of their railways but to the central organization that directed such railways and which virtually deprived the managers, superintendents, master mechanics or other executives in subordinate positions of the necessary freedom of action that is essential in operating successfully a railway or any other enterprise”

Money, ammunition, and railway rolling stock are the primary necessities which Russia wants America to help her to obtain. “If America can help supply us with these, she will not only have added greatly to the services she already has extended to the Allies, but will materially help Russia to defeat Germany on the eastern front”, Russian Foreign Minister Paul N. Milukoff said.

Although the subscription lists to the “Liberty Loan” only opened yesterday, the public is already contributing freely, according to the official news bureau. In two hours after the lists were open 2,500,000 rubles were received.

Premier Lvoff declared in an interview that the unrest which the army had shown during the first stage of the revolution had completely disappeared. He said that the fighting spirit was increasing daily, that the troops were ready to encounter the enemy, and were confident of the outcome.

George Bakhmeteff, Russian Ambassador to the United States since 1911, cabled the Provisional Government at Petrograd that he had decided to relinquish his office and asked that someone be named to take charge of the embassy.

Distinctly a member of the old imperial regime, the Ambassador's separation from the new democratic Government has been a foregone conclusion. Only today it became known that Baron Rosen, Mr. Bakhmeteff’s predecessor here, would probably be sent to succeed him if he actually was not already en route to Washington.

Mr. Bakhmeteff, it is stated, has remained at his post since the revolution solely because he expected the Grand Duke Michael to head the new Government, in accordance with the wish of Czar Nicholas. When the provisional officials, however, arranged for elections and for the permanent replacement of the monarchy, Mr. Bakhmeteff, accredited as the personal representative of the Emperor, decided that he could not continue to represent the element now in control.

It is assumed that C. Onou, the counselor if the Embassy, will assume the duties of Charge d'Affaires pending the arrival of a new Ambassador.

Mr. Bakhmeteff has taken two houses in Chevy Chase, a fashionable suburb, where he will make his residence for the summer.

Further proof of the American Government’s interest in the development of the New Russia was afforded yesterday by the announcement of the appointment of William A. Russell of New York to the position of special agent to investigate Russian investment opportunities in behalf of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. The statement given out by the bureau officials said: “The opinion is generally held that Russia will need a great deal of American capital for the development that is sure to come in the near future, but definite information as to the nature of the opportunities now presented has been lacking. The first step taken by the Government to remedy this difficulty was the appointment of Augustin W. Ferrin, editor of Moody’s Magazine, to study conditions as they really exist in Russia. Recent events in Russia, however, have emphasized the importance of the work to such an extent that it has been decided to send two agents instead of one. Mr. Ferrin and Mr. Russell will travel together and divide the work”.

General Alexi Kuropatkin, Governor General of Turkestan, his assistant, General Yerofeiff, and General Sivers, Chief of Staff, have been arrested by the Council of Soldier’s Delegates. General Buroff, commanding the First Siberian Brigade, and General Tsuomillen, commanding the local brigade, also have been placed under arrest and confined to a guard room.

The officers are charged with distributing arms to Russians in various districts for defense against natives in the event of an attack. This cation has been held to be of a provocatory character.

The Cossack guards of General Kuropatkin appeared at the meeting ot the Soldier’s Delegates and announced they would not defend him.

A party of Russians, which is now on its way to Petrograd, includes thirty who came through Germany in a sealed coach. Among principal members of the party is Lenin, radical socialist leader, and Zinovyof, another radical and peace advocate. Both are members of their party’s Central Committee and editors of party newspapers in Geneva as well as prominent figures in the Zimmerwald Congress. See more

German correspondents on the Russian and Swedish frontiers report that the Russian Provisional Government intends to change the name of the capital back to St. Petersburg. The Government is said to have decided upon this “because Petrograd recalls to every Russian saddest time in Russian history”.

The Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen’s and Soldier’s Deputies, comprising representatives of all branches of the Socialist Party, has authorised the official news agency to say that neither the committee not the leaders of the Socialist Party know anything of the reported negotiations at Copenhagen between Russian and German Socialists. The Russian Socialist Party has sent no delegates to any such conference.


in Petrograd
in Moscow