Modest Korf

Korf, Modest Andreevich


Born Sept. 11 (23), 1800, in St. Petersburg; died there Jan. 2 (14), 1876. Baron; Russian politician and historian.

Korf was a member of the Courland nobility. He graduated from the Tsarskoe Selo lycee in 1817 and began working with M. M. Speranskii in 1826 in the Second Department of the Imperial Chancellery. Korf helped prepare the Complete Code of Laws and the Code of Laws. He became charge d’affaires of the Committee of Ministers in 1831, a state secretary in 1834, and a member of the State Council in 1843. He joined the Censorship Committee in 1848, serving as its chairman in 1855-56. Korf headed the Imperial Public Library from 1849 to 1861. He was chief of the Second Department of the Imperial Chancellery from 1861 to 1864 and chairman of the department of laws of the State Council from 1864 to 1872. Korf wrote The Accession of Nicholas I to the Throne in 1848, a history of the Decembrist Uprising that was hostile to the rebels. His Life of Count Speranskii (vols. 1-2, 1861) is an apologia for autocracy.