Murav’ev, Nikita Mikhailovich
Born July 19 (30), 1796, in Moscow; died Apr. 28 (May 10), 1843, in the sloboda (tax-exempt settlement) of Urikovskaia, now the village of Urik, Irkutsk Raion, Irkutsk Oblast. Decembrist and captain of the guards (1825).
Murav’ev was educated at Moscow University. He entered Russian military service in 1813 and took part in the campaigns of that year and the next, including the battles of Dresden and Leipzig. Later he lived for a time in Paris.
Murav’ev was one of the founders in 1816 of a secret organization of Decembrists, the Union of Salvation. In 1820 he spoke out in the Union of Welfare for a republican form of government for Russia. After the dissolution of the Union of Welfare in 1821, Murav’ev became a member of the supreme duma as well as the leader of the Northern Society of Decembrists. At the same time, he was elected to the directory of the Southern Society of Decembrists. Murav’ev drafted the constitution for the future Russian state. He also wrote a tract, Curious Conversation, in which he used excerpts from the Gospels and the Bible to argue the need for an uprising against despotism. He did not take part in the uprising of Dec. 14, 1825, since he was away in the country at the time but was arrested later that month and imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Murav’ev was condemned to death by the Supreme Criminal Court, but the sentence was commuted to 20 years of hard labor. He served part of his term in the Nerchinsk Mines and in 1835 was exiled to Irkutsk Province, where he died.
In Siberia he compiled, with M. S. Lunin, the Critique of the Report of the Secret Investigating Commission of 1826. Murav’ev is also known as a historian, having written a critique of Karamzin’s History of the Russian State and a number of works on military history.