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Autographed Letter Russian Railroads, 1892 by Bennett, James Gordon

SKU: biblio 38 $175.00
A letter from Gordon Bennett, the New York Herald, to C. H. Meltzer a correspondent to cover the 4th Railroad Congress to be held in St. Petersburg on August 20th, 1892 in which Bennett is going to vacation and show up. He is writing this letter from his Paris apartment at 190 Avenue des Champs Elysees...….This letter has some stains and edge tears and as you can see from the pictures it has some conservator's repairs as well. Tearing at the creases but does mention the possible interview with General Annenkoff (see below for brief on Annenkoff). Folds present but a very nice letter. No information is available on the 4th Railroad Congress in St. Petersburg but none the less a rare and important railroad history document...despite its creases, tears and stains. Photos are NOT included. James Gordon Bennett, Jr. (May 10, 1841 – May 14, 1918) was publisher of the New York Herald, founded by his father, James Gordon Bennett, Sr., who immigrated from Scotland. He was generally known as Gordon Bennett to distinguish him from his father. Biography: Bennett was educated primarily in France. In 1866, the elder Bennett turned control of the Herald over to him. Bennett raised the paper's profile on the world stage when he provided the financial backing for the 1869 expedition by Henry Morton Stanley into Africa to find David Livingstone in exchange for the Herald having the exclusive account of Stanley's progress. Bennett, as did many of his social class, indulged in the "good life": yachts, opulent private railroad cars, and lavish mansions. He was the youngest Commodore ever of the New York Yacht Club. In 1861, Bennett volunteered his newly-built schooner yacht, Henrietta, for the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War. He was commissioned "third lieutenant" (viz., brevet second lieutenant) of the U.S. Marine Revenue schooner Henrietta beginning in June 1861. She patrolled Long Island until February 1862 when she was sent to Port Royal, South Carolina. On March 3, 1862, Bennett commanding Henrietta was part of the fleet which captured Fernandina, Florida. Bennett and the Henrietta returned to civilian life in New York in May 1862. In 1866, he won the first trans-oceanic yacht race. The race was between three American yachts, the Vesta, the Fleetwing and the Henrietta. They started off of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, on 11 December 1866 amid high westerly winds and raced to The Needles, the furthest westerly point on the Isle of Wight, famous for its lighthouse. Bennett's Henrietta won with a time of 13 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes. Julius LeBlanc Stewart, Yachting on the Mediterranean (1896). Stewart painted a series of paintings aboard Bennet's yacht Namouna. The 1906 Gordon Bennett Cup in Ballooning. James Gordon Bennett, Jr. However, he often scandalized society with his flamboyant and sometimes erratic behavior. In 1877, he left New York for Europe after an incident that ended his engagement to socialite Caroline May. According to various accounts, he arrived late and drunk to a party at the May family mansion, then urinated into a fireplace (some say grand piano) in full view of his hosts. Bennett's controversial reputation has been thought to have inspired, in the United Kingdom, the phrase "Gordon Bennett" as an expression of incredulity. Settling in Paris, he launched the Paris edition of the New York Herald, titled The Paris Herald, the forerunner of the International Herald Tribune. He backed George W. DeLong's voyage to the North Pole via the Bering Strait. The ill-fated expedition led to the deaths from starvation of DeLong and 19 of his crew, a tragedy that only increased the paper's circulation. He was a co-founder of the Commercial Cable Company, a venture to break the Transatlantic cable monopoly held by Jay Gould. Bennett returned to the United States and organized the first polo match in the United States at Dickel's Riding Academy at 39th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City. He would help found the Westchester Polo Club in 1876, the first polo club in America. He established the Gordon Bennett Cup for international yachting and the Gordon Bennett Cup for automobile races. In 1906, he funded the Gordon Bennett Cup in ballooning (Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett), which continues to this day. In 1909, Bennett offered a trophy for the fastest speed on a closed circuit for airplanes. The 1909 race in Rheims, France was won by Glenn Curtiss for two circuits of a 10 km rectangular course at an average speed of 46.5 miles per hour (74.8 km/h). From 1896 to 1914, the champion of Paris, USFSA football (soccer), received a trophy offered by Gordon Bennett. In 1880, Bennett commissioned McKim, Mead, and White to design the Newport Casino in Newport, RI. He did not finally marry until he was 73. His wife was Maud Potter, widow of George de Reuter, son of Julius Paul Reuter, founder of Reuters news agency. He died on May 14, 1918 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France. Bennett is buried at the Cimetière de Passy. The nearby Stade de Roland Garros, site of the French Open, is on the Avenue Gordon Bennett. After his death, the Herald was merged with its bitter rival, the New York Tribune. Asteroid 305 Gordonia is named after him. Mikhail Annenkov: General Mikhail Nikolayevich Annenkov (Russian: ?????? ?????????? ????????; formerly also transcribed Michael Nicolaivitch Annenkoff) (1835 in St. Petersburg, Russia - January 22, 1899 in St. Petersburg, Russia) was a Russian nobleman, author, military officer, and renowned engineer. An important figure in the history of the Russian conquest of Turkestan in the 19th Century, he was Governor-General of the Transcaspian Region (today's Turkmenistan). General Annenkov was the builder of the strategic Transcaspian Railway in its initial stages through what is now Turkmenistan, which made possible the bloody defeat of the Turkmen at Geok-Tepe in 1881. He was also involved in the planning of the Trans-Siberian railroad, which was under construction at the time of his death. He also played a major role in the Pendjeh Crisis of 1885, when the UK and Russia nearly went to war. Education and Early Career Born into the wealthy Annenkoff family, son of General Nicholas Annenkov, Governor of Odessa and the southwestern provinces and aide-de-camp to the Emperor, Michael studied at the Corps des Pages and was appointed general adjutant to the general staff of the Imperial Army at St. Petersburg. From 1864-1866, during the Polish uprising, Michael earned a reputation as a competent commander and military tactician: by age 27 he had been made a Colonel of the Imperial Army and appointed Aide-de-Camp to Emperor Alexander III of Russia. In the 1870s, Michael served as Military Attaché to Germany, during the Franco-Prussian War, and then later to France. His writings on German military tactics during the war were widely read. By 1878 he had been appointed a Lieutenant-General of the Imperial Army. During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) General Annenkoff was placed in charge of transportation, learning the valuable skills that would later make him one of the most prominent engineers of his era. Central Asia: In the 1880s, General Annenkoff served on several campaigns in Central Asia, most notably against the Turkmen population (serving under General Mikhail Skobelev in the Merv campaign). In order to move troops and supplies, he completed laying more than 1,000 miles of track in less than three years (1885–1888), which brought him immediate engineering fame. He was honored by scientific bodies throughout Europe, including being appointed a vice-president of the International Congress of Geography (1891). He later became a planner and chief promoter of the Trans-Siberian railroad. General Annenkoff was also involved in the annexation of Emirate of Bukhara as a client state of the Czar. Upon the death of Emir Mozaffar al-Din in 1885, General Annenkoff marched into Bukhara and put Emir's younger son on the throne. The Russian troops that were left behind placed the Emirate of Bukhara under control of the Russian Empire. Family: Most prominent of General Annenkoff's sisters were Madame Marie de Struve, wife of Karl de Struve, Russian Ambassador to Japan, the United States, and The Netherlands respectively,[8] Elizabeth, princess Galitzine, and Alexandra, Vicomtesse de Vogüé, wife of French critic and author Vicomte Eugene Melchior de Vogüé. In 1878 the Vicomte de Vogüé and Miss Alexandra N. Annenkova were married at the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg. In 1883 General Annenkov married Dagmar von Oesterreich (19 years old). The marriage was dissolved in 1889. General Michael N. Annenkoff died in 1899, reportedly from suicide. There was suspicion that he had misappropriated funds from the Trans Caspian Railway.[9] At the time, he was a member of the Imperial Military Council in St. Petersburg.