Ivan Iakushkin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iakushkin, Ivan Dmitrievich


Born Dec. 29, 1793 (Jan. 9, 1794), in the village of Zhukovka, Viaz’ma District, Smolensk Province; died Aug. 11 (23), 1857, in Moscow. Decembrist.

A member of the nobility, Iakushkin studied at Moscow University from 1808 to 1811. After his graduation he entered military service as a subensign in the Semenovskii Life Guards Regiment. He took part in the Patriotic War of 1812 and the foreign campaigns of the Russian Army of 1813–14; he distinguished himself in the battles of Borodino and Kulm. In 1816, Iakushkin was transferred to the 37th Chasseur Regiment. He retired in 1818 with the rank of captain.

One of the founders of the Union of Salvation, Iakushkin in 1817 volunteered to assassinate the tsar; when his proposal was rejected, he quit the organization. He joined the Union of Welfare in 1819. In 1820, Iakushkin set forth a plan for freeing the peasants without granting them land. He became a member of the Northern Society of Decembrists in 1821 but withdrew from the society in 1823–24 as a result of his marriage. While living on his estate he drew up plans for the liberation of the peasants; he suggested that the peasants be given land, for which they would make redemption payments. In December 1825, Iakushkin proposed to the Northern Society that it raise a revolt of the troops of the Moscow garrison. Arrested on Jan. 9, 1826, he was steadfast under interrogation. Iakushkin was sentenced to 20 years at hard labor, a term that was later reduced to ten years. He was held until November 1827 at the fortress of Rochensal’m (Finnish, Ruotsinsalmi) in Finland and then served his sentence at the Nerchinsk mines and at Petrovskii Zavod in Transbaikalia.

For a period beginning in 1835, Iakushkin was a penal settler in Ialutorovsk. He engaged in pedagogical activity and founded a school for boys in 1842 and a school for girls in 1846; instruction in the schools was based on the Bell-Lancaster system. Iakushkin taught most subjects himself; at the same time he studied the natural sciences, primarily astronomy. After the amnesty of 1856 he lived in the village of Novinki in Tver’ Province. Shortly before his death, his son E. I. Iakushkin brought him to Moscow.

lakushkin’s Notes are a valuable source for the history of the Decembrist movement.


Zapiski, stat’i, pis’ma dekabrista I. D. lakushkina. Moscow, 1951.


Orlov, V. S. “I. D. Iakushkin.” In V. S. Orlov and V. G. Verzhbitskii, Dekabristy-smoliane. [Smolensk] 1951.
Mironova, I. A. “Zapiski I. D. lakushkina kak istoricheskii istochnik.” Problemy istochnikovedeniia, vol. 11. Moscow, 1963.
Mironova, I. A. “Obshchestvenno-politicheskie vzgliady I. D. Iakushkina—avtora vospominanii o dvizhenii dekabristov.” Tr. Moskovskogo gos. istoriko-arkhivnogo in-ta, vol. 17. Moscow, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.