Batenkov, Gavriil

Baten’kov, Gavriil Stepanovich


Born Mar. 25 (Apr. 5), 1793, in Tomsk; died Oct. 29 (Nov. 10), 1863, in Kaluga. A Decembrist.

Baten’kov fought in the Patriotic War of 1812 and in the foreign campaigns in 1813–14 as a lieutenant colonel. In 1819–21 he was M. M. Speranskii’s closest aide in the administration of Siberia and later a member of the council of the military settlements set up by A. A. Arakcheev. Through his friendship with the Bestuzhev brothers, K. F. Ryleev, and other future Decembrists, Baten’kov joined the Northern Society in November 1825, and became a member of its democratic wing. He took part in drawing up the plan for the uprising of Dec. 14, 1825, and advocated decisive actions and the enlistment of the popular masses in the uprising. He was slated to become a member of the provisional government. During the government investigation after the suppression of the uprising, he made a statement asserting his membership in the secret society and his agreement with its plans; he wrote that the uprising of December 14 was “not a mutiny ..., but the first experience of a political revolution in Russia.” From 1826 he was kept in solitary confinement in the Peter and Paul Fortress and after 1846, in forced residence in Tomsk. After the tsar’s amnesty in 1856 he lived in Kaluga. He left many original works, most of them unpublished, on questions of the national economy, statistics, finance, law, ethnology, and other topics. He was also a very gifted poet and critic.


Vospominaniia i rasskazy deiatelei tainykh obshchestv 1820–kh gg., vol. 2. Moscow, 1933. Pages 88–161.
Vosstanie dekabristov:Materialy, vol. 8. Moscow-Leningrad, 1925.
Snytko, T. G. “G. S. Baten’kov—literator.” Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vol. 60, book 1. Moscow, 1956.