Холерная пандемия 1830–1831 гг. в Российской империи по воспоминаниям и письмам, газетным заметкам, текстам административных указов и другим личным и официальным источникам

Leonid Vladimirovich Vyskochkov,

Alla Aleksandrovna Shelayeva


The pandemic between 1830 and 1831 in the Russian Empire on the basis of memoires and letters, press notices, executive ordinances, and other individual and official sources

In the XIXth century, there appeared a new disease, probably hitherto unknown to Europeans, infections cholera, called after the place in Asia where it was endemic. In the introductory part of this article, a brief history of the pandemic of this illness is sketched out, from the time of its appearance in 1816 to modern times. The areas it affected then are shown and the number of its victims. The second pandemic is dealt with in most detail; this was when it first affected a significant part of the Russian Empire. The article demonstrates the route by which cholera spread, beginning from Orenburg, where from the first months of 1829 to February 1830, 3,590 persons fell ill and 865 died. The state authorities tried to gather all information on the nature of the disease, its symptoms, course, and, above all, on prior protection and cure. The basic means of prevention were cordons sanitaires, isolation of homes, quarantining of the sick, and fumigating (disinfecting) rooms. The spread of the unknown disease that killed many was accompanied by fear and sometimes panic among the population. This was expressed in mass disturbances and cholera-related revolts. They took place in Sebastopol, Moscow, and Tambov. There the mob physically assaulted officials, doctors, and soldiers. The struggle against the cholera pandemic and society’s reaction to it are shown via the prism both of decision makers and in the eyes of ordinary people, particularly of those directly affected by the disease. The article contains several interesting quotations from memoir writing; the Tsar’s reaction and that of his family to the disease are shown, and also the effects of the unequal struggle.

Słowa kluczowe: Российская империя, император Николай I, Н.С. Лесков, солнечная активность, пандемия, холера, холерные бунты, Санкт-Петербург, Севастополь, Тамбов, Старая Русса