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THE PACIFIC COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER, HONOLULU. DECEMBER 12, 1905.
J. C. COHEN
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srx- - - - -
PHONE WHITE 1351
STYLE AND FIT
George A- Martin
Arlington Block. Hotel Street.
OPEN ON SATURDAYS TILL
"Years of labor, labor, as you well
know, doctor, that was most arduous
to me, at times, during my life in
San Francisco. I
thought together, seems to me about
to reap its reward. All Russia is
aflame with tha fa,.i ,
.. ui icvuu against j
tyranny. Suffrage seems to be almost
within the grasp of the people. An up- j
rising, with which nothing in the his- j
tory of the empire is liable to compare, i
is now threatening Russia. The seed
that has been so often sown is at last
sprouting. I feel that my own labors '
were not in vain. My pen is working j
now more vigorously than for years
and my heart beats nervously as I
anxiously yearn for that first hour of
freedom that all Russians will enjoy
when that awful reign of tyranny is
Certain that the hour of emancipa
tion of his countrymen is at hand, Dr.
Nicholas Russel, once a prominent
resident of this city, and now work
ing night and day in the Far East to
realize an ambition that he has fos
tered for years, thus writes to a fel
low practitioner in his former place of
The news from St. Petersburg lately
has frequently mentioned the name of
Russel. It has told of the secret issu
ance of his propagandas that have
kindled the fire of hatred among his
countrymen and stirred them to revo
lutionary action. First he was skirt
ing along the southern borders of Rus
sia. Next he was compelled to seek
refuge in Japan, where we have since
learned of his work among the Russian
prisoners of war, who, thirty-thousand
strong, several days ago demonstrated
their sympathy for the revolutionists
in Russia by singing the "Marseillaise"
and waiving red banners bearing the
symbols of liberty, as they marched
through the detention camps.
Few of the readers of the dispatches
from the Far East have probably rec
ognized in this propagator of revolt the
same Dr. Nicholas) Russel, a distin
guished and cultured oculist, who
practiced for a number of years in
this city, with his offices in the
Phelan building, and was for a time
foremost in a local fight against the
Greco-Russian church, that was pro
ductive of a nasty scandal and result
ed in the recall of Bishop Vladimir.
He had probably been forgotten by all
but those with whom he continued to
correspond and those with whom he
was engaged in the Greco-Russian
church controversy in the early '90's.
Then as now he was imbued with the
bitterest hatred for the Russian mon
arch and publicly displayed his feel
ings. He had been forced to suffer
some of the cruelties practiced by the
Government upon its subjects and had
finally fled to escape imprisonment in
the dreaded bastile of Tyumen.
Dr. Russel is a nobleman by birth, a
fact he concealed after his arrival in
San Francisco until the outbreak of
the troubles with the opposing faction
in the Greco-Russian church, of which
he was at one time a member. He had
been a graduate of the University of
Kieff, where as history has shown the
student bodv gradually absorbs the j
theories of the free born man and on
public occasions vents its feeling3
against monarchists government. Dr.
Russel, as many others have done, in
curred the anger of the Russian au
thorities by his seditious utterances
at a student meeting and his arrest
was ordered. Aided by a sister, then
but 16 years old, he escaped from Kieff
one night, disguised as a Mahomme
dan, and fled to Roumania.
I For her loyalty to her brother Dr.
(Russel's sister was condemned to ira
prisonment for five years, and when
he next heard from home the estate
of his father, who had turned against
the authorities because of the brutal
treatment of his children, had been
i confiscated. From Roumania the
U-ounsr fugitive went to Bulgaria,
thence to Greece, where he married
the woman who has since shared with
him the perils attending his frequent
journeys to the Russian borders, and
iw thon went to Paris. At the end
of several years' practice as a physi
cian in the French capital the doctor
and his wife came to San Francisco.
Mrs. Russel was an attractive woman,
who rapidly surrounded herself with
new-made friends, who will readily
recall the happy social events they en
joyed as the guest of this entertain
It was early in 1890 that Dr. Russel
first gained prominence through the
charges he made against Bishop Vladi
mir of the Greco-Russian churcn on
Powell street. They were preceaea uy
- - - ' trsr
lowed by Russel's excommunicauon.
Bv this time two factions in the church
had become arrayed against each
other and a bitter war ensued, during
which the edifice caught fire one night
and was rartially destroyed. This in
cident provoked more bitter crimina
tions and for a time it was feared that
blood might be spilled. Bishop Madi
mir was arrested on serious charges,
but these were never pressed. Libei
suits were also instituted.
About this stage of the controversy
0 DR. NICHOLAS RUSSEL.
s)(iQ$& 005X05;0 JOSOSOS
the Russian Consul, who had been
dragged into the affair, took sides
with the Bishop and finally published
an attack upon Dr. Russel. He brand
ed the doctor as a nihilist and charged
him with being a fugitive frm his
native country. In a scathing retort.
Dr. Russel referred to the Consul as
being beneath him in social rank and
unworthy of recognition and in evi
dence of this charge he signed his re
ply with his true name, thus furnish-
nig io me pfopie me Jirst iiitimaLion
- . i j 1 I . - . . .
that he was a nobleman by birth.
Meanwhile Dr. Russel had carried his
fight against the Bishop of the Greco-
Russian church to the High Proctor
of the holy synod at St. Petersburg,
who was requested to recall Vladimir
One day, while Dr. Russel and his pro
fessional partner were engaged in their
office in the Phelan building he was
awaited upon by two of Bishop Vladi
mir's friends, who asked for an inter
view writh the doctor. Adjourning to
another room the visitors made an of-
fer of $12,000 to Russel if he would
cease his fight against the Bishop,
Look5g his vi"i'ors steadily in the eye
the cnetor Tf -ied in a voice that
clearly expressed his indignation:
"Tell your Bishop that this fight is
one of principle. All the gold the holy
synod has stored in its vaults in St.
Petersburg will not sway me in this
affair. Vladimir must go."
Not a long. while after this incident
the recall of the Bishop came from St.
Petersburg and three weeks later
Vladimir was superseded by Archman-
, mj ii,wim iifciao OMWIlii until iHt, iihib .
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drite Innocente. To the majority of
the local Russians who were with Dr.
Russel in this fight against Vladimir
the recall of the latter was regarded
as a great victory for the doctor, es
X'ecially in view of the fact that he
was a fugitive from home and was
known to be industriously planning to
overthrow the existing dynasty of the
The doctor had always maintained
that the education of his countrymen,, , y v,s t t
. ..7.1 . -. .11 T . : . - . 4-V. n
nuuiu eveiiiuany unug lo iiiciii uic
freedom that they had long prayed for
and it was upon this theory that he
.' was working in the early '90's in this
, city. He scorned the principles of ni-
, hilism and anarchy, declaring them to
' be a menace to the future welfare of
the people and repeatedly expressed
his opposition to their plots in the
literature that was issued at regular j
intervals by him.
To the Russian, who had become a
fugitive from his country for other
political reasons, however, the doctor
was most generously disposed, and it
was seldom that his house on Cali-
fornia street, near Polk, was not af-
fording shelter to some homeless coun-
tryman. It was in that house that Dr.
Russel pursued his untiring efforts to -
ward inciting revolt among his people
against the tyranny of the Russian
He wrote continuously on reform
matters, and through friends of his
cause in Roumania, Bulgaria and Aus
tria this literature was smuggled into
Russia and secretly circulated among
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
906 MARKET ST.,
the peasantry. It also reached St.
Petersburg; it was circulated in Mos
cow, Odessa and Warsaw; it was scat
tered through the provinces of the
Steppes and the isolated Amur dis
trict; it found its way into Poland and
even to Koshk in the Trans-Caspian
provinces, and was read by the un
happy people of Khios in Central Asia
and of Bokhara.
Education was the constant cry of
the persevering Dr. Nicholas Russel.
His slogan was taken up by his secret
followers at home, who were wont to
occasionally write him encouragingly
of the progress of his good wyork. A
year or so later found the cause of
Russia's freedom being advocated
strenuously among certain classes in
this country and eventually "the Amer
ican friends of Russia," as they now
call themselves, and among whom are
Julia Ward Howe, Charles W. Folke
and other notables of the East and
West, lent their assistance, morally at
least, to the educational cause.
Dr. Russel's life in San Francisco
had not been prolifie of much profes
sional practice, not that his practice
I UUL UC La U.TC ilia dVLiVC COL 111 Lil.
! affairs of Russia made the cause of his
unfortunate countrymen the absorbing
theme of his mind. His constant con
tributions of money, in various sums,
to the people of his race who sought
j d ft Ber,oua drain Qn
' his income. AC times he was penniless,
j but the fact did not seem to disturb
either him or his wife, for their senti
ments were one in all questions that
related to the welfare of Russian sub
jects. It was not an infrequent ex
perience for Dr. Russel to give his. last
dollar to a. Russian fugitive. He gave
as he had it and trusted to the mor
row for assistance for himself and
In the latter part of the "90's Dr.
Russel and his wife removed to Ha-
j here h wJ h the assurance cf
a lucrative employment, believed that
his iife's work could be pursued under
equally if not better conditions than
in this city. Settling in a modest home
but a few miles from the base of the
volcanic Maur.a Loa he frequently, for
a time, corresponded with his old
friends in San Francisco, to whom he
: confided many of the details of the
I inner workings of his great scheme to
promote revolution in Russia. Finally
i his letters ceased, and soon the name
! of Russel became a matter of memory
i with those who had been associated
! with him in this city,
j Early in March, 1901, a steamer from
i Honolulu brought the news that Dr.
J Russel had been elected a member of
the first Territorial Senate, of which
i he had been chosen president. With
his love for agitation he had drifted
! into politics in the islands and had
; been persuaded to enter the Senatorial
! contest, in which he was successful. As
'. president of the first Senate, however,
'his career was a short one. His posi
: tion prohibited him from taking an
active part in the debates, as he ea
' gerly desired, and finally, when the
Senate was disturbed by a heated con
troversy over some matter of state,
the doctor suddenly resigned the presi
dent and, taking his place among the
other members of the legislative body,
he was daily found in the midst of
the exciting oratory on the floor.
But the doctor, still wedded to his
revolutionary theories, soon tired of
Hawaiian politics and retired from the
Senate and was again lost track of by
his former acquaintances in San Fran
cisco. Four months ago his friends in
this city were surprised by the receipt
of a letter from the doctor in which
he referred to the approaching revolu
tion in Russia, and predicted its out
break would mark the closing of the
Japanese-Russian war. At that ti-ne
he was in Japan, endeavoring in ov.-ry
possibly way to communiev.e w,ih
Russian prisoners of war and n rouse
wi-h:n them the spirit of revolution. 1:
was impossible, of course, for -ii:n to
reach the soll'ers within the Russian
but infection was ueing ai'-i''-
Pli.ncd among those men from an en
t .e'.v different source.
-;ies of Dr. Ruwl were ??-n!y en
,ed in th-n w.-rk at various points in
"."s?ii. Th ir influ'-n.-e was constantly
telling"""-1 -Vv ! its direct effect on
Continued on Page 8.)
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