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Death of Pushkin: Conspiracy or Fatality?
July 6 2014 was the 215th anniversary of the great Russian poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. His life and creative work has always been in the centre of attention of researchers, as well as his connections with masons in Russia. But the latter aspect has not been suffi ciently researched in comparison with his ties with the so-called Decembrists. The article analyses causes of Pushkin’s death, including the version of masons’ involvement. The author believes that Pushkin’s death is a fatal combination of circumstances in the last dramatic year of his life.
Alexander Pushkin, immediate circle, inner world, the poet’s friends and foes, conspiracy or a combination of circumstances, masonic trace, causes of the poet’s death, duel and death.
“I want to meet my death working.”
The attention of researchers has always been attracted to the interesting life and creative work of Alexander Pushkin as well as to his involvement in the Masonic movement in Russia. However, it is evident that this part of Pushkin’s life still remains underinvestigated since most literature is devoted to the spiritual ties between him and the Decembrists.
It is difficult to investigate such a sensitive question without investigating its historical background since it is important to reveal the true reasons why the poet joined the Ovidius Lodge of Freemasons. In this respect, rather mysterious and dramatic is the last year in Pushkin’s life, especially when he received an anonymous letter which read that the poet had been granted the title of Coadjutor of the International Order of Cuckolds. Some authors claimed that those who had written this insulting letter belonged to the brotherhood of Freemasons. And Pushkin’s death itself causes a lot of controversies. Some historians and authors unequivocally claim that there must have been some sort of a link with the Order of Free Masons. Was it so? Was it a kind of conspiracy or fatality?
Dramatic events in the life of the Russian national poet make it necessary for me, the author of this article, to say a few words about the poet’s immediate surrounding so that we could better understand and reveal Pushkin’s inner world and find causes of his death.
Pushkin was more attached to his uncle Vasiliy Lvovich (1766-1830). His uncle had a considerable influence on the development of Pushkin as a personality and a poet. Vasiliy Lvovich was well-educated and had some gifts; he used to be quite a famous poet of his time accepted in the circle of N. Karamzin. V.L.Pushkin was a member not only of the Society of the Russian Literature Lovers. In 1810, he became a member of the United Friends Lodge of Freemasons, and at the same time he was a member of the Elizaveta On the Way to Virtue Lodge. In 1817-1820, he was a secretary and the first Stuart in the Seeking Manns Lodge.
Vasiliy Lvovich was writing lyrics for Masonic songs. The most famous song of V.L.Pushkin was based on the music of Kavosov. It spoke about love to the country and the Emperor. The song began with the words: “The duty of true masons is to love their country and serve it”.
By the way, the father of the poet Sergei Lvovich became a member of the Alexander Scottish Lodge in 1817 and then he went to the Sphinx Lodge. Thus, Pushkin’s admission to the brotherhood of Freemasons is a kind of continued family tradition.
But the poet’s father and uncle were admitted to the brotherhood of Freemasons when it was in full swing in Russia, while Alexander Pushkin became a member of the Ovidius Lodge shortly before Alexander I, the Russian Emperor, issued a decree to prohibit the activities of Masonic organizations.
Considerable influence on the life of the poet was exerted by his older friend – Pavel Sergeyevich Pushchin (1789-1865), the group commander in the division under Decembrist M.F.Orlov. Pushchin was the founder and the master of the Ovidius Lodge, a member of the Kishinev group of the southern society of the Prosperity Union, and a member of the Alphabet of Decembrists.
Among Pushkin’s Lyceum friends the name of Ivan Ivanovich Pushchin plays a special role. Alexander Sergeevich “blessed his destiny” for meeting that man in Mikhailovskoye. The very day when the poet was dying the only thing he regretted about was that neither Pushchin nor Malinovsky was by his side.
Pushchin was an active participant of the Decembrist Uprising on the Senate Square. He was a member of the Rescue Union, the Prosperity Union and the Northern Society. The court sentenced him to execution by beheading. However, the death sentence was replaced by 20 years of penal servitude and further settlement in the Siberia.
Another lyceum friend of Pushkin, who also actively participated in the Decembrist Uprising, was Wilhelm Karlovich Kuchelbecker. During his study in the lyceum, Kuchle (that was his nickname) was constantly teased and bullied by other lyceum students. It is a known fact that once he even tried to commit suicide by drowning in the pond, but he was saved. However, this event in his life made other lyceum students tease and torture him even more (he was mocked at and bullied, some wrote insulting epigrams about him, others poured soup on his head). Alexander Sergeyevich was not an exception, and sometimes he was also laughing at Vilenko – “a super perfect freak”.
There is evidence that Kuchelbecker belonged to the Freemasons Order. Though there is no evidence that he was a member of the Chosen Mikhail Lodge, among whose members were such Decembrists as F.P.Tolstoy, F.N.Glinka and M.N. Novikov.
Anton Antonovich Delvig (1798-1831) is another lyceum friend of Pushkin. In response to P.A.Pletnev’s letter where Pushkin learnt about the early death of Delvig, he wrote that Delvig was his closest friend. The great poet devoted to his friend some beautiful poems (“Listen to the innocent muses!”, “Blessed is the one who in his childhood saw…”, “By love, friendship and laziness”). Again there were some funny words addressed to him, such as “Wake up, you, the sleepy idler!” The poet’s contemporaries wrote in their memoirs that Baron Delvig was an idler, and this habit was phenomenal and unconquerable. And not only that. The poems by Delvig which many composers used for creating their songs are still remembered. For example: A.A.Alyabyev’s “Nightingale”, M.I.Glinka’s “Not drizzling rain in the autumn”, A.G.Rubenstein’s “A bird was singing”.
Delvig was a member of the Chosen Mikhail Lodge. However, despite the fact that Delvig was close to the Decembrists (for example, K.F.Ryleev) he was not a member of any secret societies and didn’t participate in the Uprising on the Senate Square.
Within the period from 1816 to 1820 it was Peter Yakovlevich Chaadaev (1794-1856) who had “dominant influence on the mind” of Pushkin. Their discussions on some political issues were reflected in three works by the poet (“Love, hope, fame”, “In the country where I forgot all my troubles”, “What to have doubts for”).
Chaadaev is the author of famous “Philosophical letters” which reflected his social and philosophical conception where he was highly critical of the past and future of Russia. Chaadaev was a member of the United Friends Lodge, the Prosperity Union and later a member of the Northern Society. It is a well-known fact that Peter Yakovlevich took an active part neither in the Freemasons’ movement nor in the activities of some secret societies. In 1823, he left for his favourite Europe thinking he would never return. However, in 1826 Chaadaev returned to the country and was arrested on the border. Since the police had no irrefutable evidence which confirmed his involvement in the Decembrist Uprising, he was released under the strict supervision of the military governor of Moscow. When Chaadaev’s “Philosophical Letters” were published in the Telescope journal, Emperor Nicholas I felt indignant and called Chaadaev’s work “a combination of impudent nonsense invented by the lunatic”. Pushkin’s friend was put under strict medical control which was cancelled only in 1837. Probably it was one of the reasons why the next work by Chaadaev was called “Apologia of the Lunatic” where he considerably changed some of his views stipulated in his “Philosophical Letters”. But Pushkin was dead by that time.
Alexander Sergeevich did not have big contacts with distinguished leaders of the Decembrists Uprising. There is evidence, for example, that Pushkin met with Pavel Ivanovich Pestel. The diary of I.P.Liprindi said that the poet never liked the leader of the Southern society though the man was of high intelligence. Pushkin considered that he would never become friends with Pestel.
Pushkin also never had close connections with K.F.Ryleev, one of the leaders of the Northern society. P.I.Bartnev wrote that Pushkin met Ryleev “occasionally at the house of their common friends during 1817-1820…but they were not friends”.
The same can be said about the relations between Alexander Sergeevich and such distinguished Decembrists like M.P.Bestuzhev-Ryumin (who met Pushkin several times in the house of the Olenins in 1819), P.G.Kakhovsky, S.I.Muravyov-Apostol (probably they met in the house of E.F.Muravyova). There are some drawings made by Pushkin which showed the gallows with the hanged Decembrists.
More friendly relations may be found between Pushkin and Sergei Grigoryevich Volkonsky, a Decembrist and one of the leaders of the Southern society. Prince Volkonsky expressed his support to the poet in disgrace in his letter dated October 18, 1824 sent to Mikhailovskoye where he wrote that “neighbourhood and recollections about Great Novgorod, the Veche bell and Pskov’s siege will be the subject of poetical exercises for you and your works will be the monument of glory of the ancestors for your countrymen”.
On December 17, 1825 Nickolas I founded the Privy Committee under the supervision of the military minister A.I.Tatischev to identify those who were involved in the malicious society (of the Decembrists). The Committee included Prince Mikhail Pavlovich, A.H.Benkendorf, P.V.Golinischev-Kutuzov, A.N.Golitsyn, V.V.Levashov, and later I.I.Dibich, A.N.Potapov, and A.I.Chernyshev. Infantry General Alexander Yakovlevich Sukin (1764-1837) was the head of the Petropavlovskaya fortress and a member of the Supreme Criminal Court at the time of investigation over the Decembrists.
It is interesting to note that some members of the committee as well as some judges of the Supreme Criminal Court belonged to the Freemasons brotherhood. For example, Alexander Dmitrievich Balashov, the Minister of the Police (during the reign of Emperor Alexander I), Alexander Khristophorovich Benkendorf, the chief of gendarmerie (during the reign of Emperor Nicholas I). They together with P.Y.Chaadaev, A.S.Griboedov, P.I.Pestel, S.G.Volkonsky were members of the United Friends Lodge.
M.M. Speransky, a distinguished statesman and a public figure, was admitted to the Freemasons brotherhood under the guidance of a famous doctor I.A.Fessler. However, Speransky was a member of the Supreme Criminal Court over the Decembrists. Prince P.V.Dolgorukov said that among numerous members of the court only four members were against capital punishment. As for Speransky, he accepted everything and didn’t speak against capital punishment. Quite on the contrary, there is evidence that Speransky, being a candidate for the revolutionary provisional government put forward by the Decembrists, took an active participation in the preparation of legal reasoning for the case, in the preparation for the trial and the trial itself as a kind of “penance for his sins” before the Tsar and his home country for his doubtful ties with the Masonry and secret societies. It looks like he managed to be “forgiven”: he avoided repressions and disgrace. In 1826 he became the head of the second department of the Tsar’s chancellery which dealt with the codification of Russian laws.
An interesting fact is that in the summer of 1828 M.M.Speransky participated in the investigation of the case concerning the circulation of a part of Pushkin’s poem “Andre Chenier” and signed the protocol of the State Council to secretly supervise the activities of the poet. As people say the position dictates the rules.
A.D.Borovkov, a former member of the Liberal Society of the Russian Literature Lovers, was appointed as the head (chief clerk) of the Inquiry Committee; S.G.Volkonsky described him as “a good friend of the Decembrists”. He used to be the secretary of the Selected Mikhail Lodge, the members of which were such Decembrists as F.N.Glinka, M.N.Novikov, V.K.Kuchelbecker and others.
As for A.Benkendorf, there were different opinions about him. Some called him a rude bastard, a torturer, a hanger, etc. Others (including the Decembrists) speak about his good humane features. Prince S.G.Volkonsky wrote about him: “He was pure-minded and intelligent and I as an outcast must say that during all the time of my exile the blue uniform did not associate for us with persecutors but with people protecting us as well as all the others from persecutors”.
Similar words were said by Decembrist N.V.Basargin who considered the chief of gendarme a good person, who tried to take into his department more or less good people.
The relations between Benkendorf and Pushkin may be described as rather complicated. After the poet had the audience of Nicholas I, Benkendorf became an intermediary between the Tsar and Pushkin. Personal contacts as well as official correspondence (Pushkin wrote 58 letters to the chief of gendarme) impress those people who research the life and creative activities of the poet. Pushkin’s contemporaries knew about a rather cautious and even hostile Benkendorf’s attitude to Pushkin. It resulted in a legend according to which Benkendorf allegedly exceeded his powers of controlling the activities of the poet driven by his negative attitude to the poet. However, this version is said to be groundless; Benkendorf’s position reflected the attitude of the Nicholas I’s court and governmental circles to Pushkin.
Of interest in this respect is V.A.Zhukovsky’s letter to the chief of gendarme. The closest friend of Pushkin openly blamed Benkendorf for his prejudiced opinion to the great national poet. “Even now you call him a demagogic writer. Which works make you call him that way? His old works? Or the new ones? Which of his works do you know? Only those that the police and some of his literary enemies who secretly blackwashed him spoke about?” asked Zhukovsky.
Strict police control over Pushkin and strict restrictions of movement (Pushkin was prohibited to go to Moscow and Arzrum) had a serious impact on his life. Pushkin was suffering from such strict supervision when his every step could cause suspicion or reproach. In the letter by A.S.Khomyakov we may find the following words: “Pushkin was killed because his wife was inexcusably too frivolous (only frivolous) and the Petersburg society was too vile”. Neither the Tsar nor his court trusted the poet; mostly they were not frank with him, but at the same time showed mercy and grace.
Among all the books published about different causes of Pushkin’s death, the most interesting is the book by V.F.Ivanov entitled “A.S.Pushkin and the Freemasons”. The author mentions a version according to which the Freemasons were involved in the death of the poet. Ivanov dares to claim that Benkendorf “was chasing and torturing Pushkin as his enemy and an opponent of the Masonic movement. There was no question of personal revenge. Benkendorf knew that Pushkin was loyal to the government and didn’t pose any threat”.
It is very unlikely that we may accept this version even if we wish to. Mason Benkendorf was against Mason Pushkin because the latter allegedly broke off his relations with the Freemasons movement of Russia. But this is not true. As it was mentioned above, lodges and secret societies were outlawed by the order of Emperor Alexander I. But the main point is that the ideas of the Masonic movement in Russia and of secret societies were alien to Pushkin. We should not make a revolutionary Decembrist and an implacable opponent of the Tsar’s tyranny out of a national poet. At the same time, we should not consider Pushkin’s death to be the result of the Masonic conspiracy (up to the international level) and claim D'Anthes to be an executioner.
Analyzing the contents of the anonymous libel sent by post to Pushkin on November 4, 1836, V.F.Ivanov again pays his attention to some external signs which in his opinion prove that those who wrote it belonged to the Masonic movement. The seal looked the following way: in the middle there were roof timbers with the capital letter “A”, to the left there was a pair of compasses and to the right a pelican nipping leaves fixed to the grid. I think there is no sufficient evidence to make such a conclusion. I do not think that we can speak about a conspiracy based on the arguments about the authors of the anonymous libel and, on the other hand, about some external signs of alleged involvement of the Freemasons which are not convincing enough.
There are several versions about who exactly were the authors of that insulting letter to Pushkin and his friends. The poet considered that it was Baron L.de Heeckeren and, therefore, he even challenged his adopted son to a duel. Pushkin wrote about his suspicions to Benkendorf. After the poet’s death the most widespread version was that it was Prince I.S.Gagarin who wrote that libel letter. Later among the suspects was Prince P.V.Dolgorukov.
In 1927, based on the graphical study of handwritings of L.de Heeckeren, Prince I.S.Gagarin and Prince P.V.Dolgorukov, a forensic scientist A.A.Salkov made the conclusion that the libel was written by Prince Dolgorukov. Salkov’s conclusion is cited in different books by Pushkin experts and historians.
In the Soviet times, this conclusion seemed dubious. In April – June 1974 the examination work was done by such experienced handwriting experts as S.A.Tsipenuk and G.R.Bogachkina. Their thorough analysis of the document showed that “the certificate nominating him “Coadjutor of the International Order of Cuckolds” was written neither by P.V.Dolgorukov nor by I.S.Gagarin nor by Heeckeren but by somebody else. The same conclusion was made by the experts of the All-Union Scientific and Research Institute of Forensic Expertise who (on the initiative of the Ogonek magazine) scrutinised the preserved certificates in 1987. However, this task has not yet been solved, and one of the secrets of Pushkin’s death is still unknown.
Among possible authors of that libel may be Countess M.D.Nesselrode. Some books cite words by Emperor Alexander I:
“So now everybody knows the author of the anonymous letters which caused Pushkin’s death; it is Nesselrode who wrote them”.
It is not a secret that Pushkin and the countess had obviously hostile relations which could be accounted for by different reasons and circumstances. By one of the versions, countess Nesselrode was in love with d'Anthes, and, therefore, in her letters she not only wanted to inform Pushkin about his nomination as “Coadjutor of the International Order of Cuckolds”, but she pursued some other personal aims.
We are more inclined to consider that Pushkin’s death is a fatal coincidence. The last year of Pushkin’s life is rather tragic and full of different complicated circumstances. Pushkin made efforts to leave Petersburg and go to Mikhailovskoye for a while to continue writing. However, he was refused on the ground that he was a Kammerjunker in the Ministry of External Affairs (with Karl Vasilyevich Nesselrode being its minister).
He is involved in some publishing activities, but it does not bring him the desired profit; on the contrary, the Sovremennik magazine seemed to ruin him. Pushkin had big debts, and creditors began chasing him. After the poet’s death the total sum of the debt was estimated at 92,500 roubles. By the order of Emperor Nicholas I, the poet’s debts were paid off by the money from the treasury and the pledged estate of the poet’s father was redeemed. The poet’s widow was given a pension, and his daughter was receiving some allowance till she got married. The Emperor also took care of the poet’s sons: they were made pages with the monthly salary of 1,500 roubles. The poet’s family was paid a lump sum of 10,000 roubles. It is a pity that the family received this money after Pushkin’s death because his family obviously needed such help.
Pushkin’s fatal death is to some extent his wife’s guilt. Her name was Natalya Nikolayevna. The poet’s contemporaries seemed to have different views on her intellectual and spiritual qualities. E.A.Dolgorukova said:
“Natalya Goncharova was rather intelligent and well-read, but she had somewhat bad rude manners and vulgar rules… She never had money and all her affairs were in absolute disorder”.
In the opinion of D.F.Ficquelmont, Pushkin married Natalya Goncharova against his friends’ wishes.
In her letter dated February 17, 1837, S.N.Karamzina writes to her brother:
“No, this woman (N.Pushkina – V.B.) will never be inconsolable… It seemed to me that she had gone crazy, but it was not the case: she was just stupid! As usual! Poor, poor Pushkin! She never understood him. Having lost him partly due to her fault, she suffered for a few days but then she calmed down and felt only distressed and weak”.
Against the background of this severe criticism and negative assessment given to the behavior of Natalya Nikolayevna, the poet’s voice sounded rather powerful. On August 21, 1833, in his letter addressed to his wife he said:
“Did you look in the mirror to make sure again that your face is the best in the world, and I love your soul even more than your face?”.
As it often happens in such cases (especially in the family matters), the truth is somewhere in the middle. In their memoirs, the poet’s friends and contemporaries mentioned that Pushkin’s wife had behaved somewhat flippantly. She was flirting with the Tsar, thus making her husband even more indignant. There is an opinion that Pushkin told P.V.Naschekin that Tsar Nickolas I was courting his wife like a simple officer; in the mornings, the Tsar used to deliberately pass by her windows and in the evenings at the balls he used to ask her why she always had her curtains drawn. But Pushkin himself was sure that his wife did not do anything like that.
Natalya Nikolayevna began flirting and coquetting even more when Georges D'Anthes was introduced to the St. Petersburg society. He was rather tall and handsome; he was not stupid and had an amazing quality: everyone liked him at first sight.
Sometimes different writers (V.Veresaev) claim that during the last year of his life Pushkin wanted to die. We, however, cannot agree to this viewpoint. On the contrary, the poet was not going to die and was not preparing for that. A.I.Turgenev, Pushkin’s close friend, recollected that on the eve of the duel he was brought a note from Pushkin:
“I can’t leave the house now. I’ll be waiting for you till 5 p.m.”.
Being only 37 Pushkin was full of creative ideas and concepts.
Pushkin had already had some experience of taking part in duels. Only in Bessarabia the poet challenged many people and took part in duels. One day a woman was rather impudent to Pushkin although she tried only to joke. The annoyed Pushkin challenged to a duel her husband saying: “You must answer for the impudence of your wife”. The husband was far from being happy. “Then I will make you know what is honour and answer for it”, exclaimed the poet. However, the duel did not take place.
Alexander Sergeevich was a very hot-tempered and easily irritable person. But in the time of danger, especially during the duels, Pushkin always remained calm and reserved. He was level-headed even at the duel with d’Antes. Being wounded to death Pushkin collected himself and fired a shot at his enemy.
Another mysterious version (or a myth) in the life of Pushkin concerns the allegation that d’Antes had some special chain armour or some other protection at the duel with Pushkin. According to the official materials, the bullet shot from Pushkin’s pistol pierced through d’Antes’s right hand, got into the metallic button of his coat and ricocheted. In other words, the button saved d’Antes’s life.
V.V.Veresaev in his book “Pushkin in His Life” made a suggestion: Baron L.de Heeckeren made the poet set the duel at a later date and ordered a special chain armour for his son, so it saved d’Antes’s life. This hypothesis was further developed by others. In 1938, based on the achievements of the ballistics M.Z.Komar, an engineer, calculated that the bullet would definitely have deformed the button and would have pressed it into the body. However, the military and judicial materials provide no information that the deformed button from the coat of d’Antes was carefully examined. In his turn, the judicial medical expert V.Safronov also concluded that the bullet had hit against some protection of certain size and density. And finally in 1962, all the materials concerning Pushkin’s death were scrutinised, using advanced criminalist techniques. There was even a special experiment conducted: they made a dummy of a big cavalier guard dressed in d’Antes’s coat and fired a few target shots, taking into account the conditions of that fatal duel. The authors of the experiment also made a conclusion that d’Antes had put on some special protection like chain armour under his coat.
In our opinion, the investigation of Pushkin’s death is far from being over. Some authors confirm the opinion that there were no bullet-proof vests at that time. Besides, it was rather difficult to put a vest under the guard’s coat which at that time was specifically tailored for every person.
Pushkin died in 1837. He was 37 years, 8 months and 3 days old. M-me Kirchhoff’s words proved prophetic: Pushkin was doomed not to live long, because at the age of 37 Pushkin was to die from the hands of a fair-haired man.
 Pushkin’s Friends: Correspondence. Memoirs. Diaries. In 2 vol. V.1. Compilation, profiles, comments by V.V. Kunina. Moscow, 1984, p. 9 (in Russian).
 T.A. Bakunina. Famous Russian Masons. Moscow, 1991, p. 92. (in Russian).
 Masonry in Its Past and Future. Edit. by S.P. Melgunova and N.P. Sidorova. V.2, Moscow, 1991, pp. 160 – 161 (in Russian).
 A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.1, Moscow, 1974, p. 356 (in Russian).
 Pushkin’s friends: Correspondence. Memoirs. Diaries. In 2 vol. V.1. Compilation, profiles, comments by V.V. Kunina. Moscow, 1984, pp. 133 –134 (in Russian).
 Ibid, p. 141.
 Ibid, p. 224.
 A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.1, Moscow, 1974, p. 301.
 L.A. Chereysky. Pushkin and His Environment. L., 1989, p. 381 (in Russian).
 S.G. Volkonsky. Notes. Edition prepared by A.Z. Tikhantovskaya, N.F. Karash, N.B. Kapelyush. Irkutsk, 1991, p. 56 (in Russian).
 N.V. Basargin Memoirs, Stories, Articles. Edition prepared by I.V. Porokh. Irkutsk, 1988; P.A. Mukhanov. Essays and letters. Edition prepared by G.V. Chagin. Irkutsk, 1991; A.V. Podzhio. Notes, letters. Edition prepared by N.P. Matkhanova. Irkutsk, 1989 (in Russian).
 S.V. Arzhanukhin. Philosophical Views of the Russian Masonry: Based on the Materials of the Magazin Svobodnokamenshchitsky. Yekaterinburg, 1995, p. 50 (in Russian).
 The Last Year in Pushkin’s Life. Compilation, introduction, essay and comments by V.V. Kunin. Moscow, 1989, p. 416 (in Russian).
 L.A. Chereysky. Pushkin and His Environment. L., 1989, p. 416.
 T.A. Bakunina. Famous Russian Masons. Moscow, 1991, p. 139.
 S.G. Volkonsky. Notes. Edition prepared by A.Z. Tikhantovskaya, N.F. Karash, N.B. Kapelyush. Irkutsk, 1991, p. 179.
 N.V. Basargin. Memoirs, Stories, Articles. Edition prepared by I.V. Porokh. Irkutsk, 1988, p. 230.
 L.A. Chereysky. Pushkin and His Environment. L., 1989, p. 36.
 A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.2. Moscow, 1974, p. 361.
 The Last Year in Pushkin’s Life/ Compilation, introduction, essay and comments by V.V. Kunin. Moscow, 1989, p. 632.
 V.F. Ivanov. Pushkin and Masonry. Harbin, 1940, pp. 60 – 62 (in Russian).
 Ibid, pp. 100 – 101.
 E.P. Ischenko. Criminalists Reveal Secrets. Sverdlovsk, 1982, pp. 116 – 117 (in Russian).
 L.A. Chereysky. Pushkin and His Environment, L., 1989, p. 290.
 A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of his Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.2, Moscow, 1974, p. 138.
 The Last Year in Pushkin’s Life. Compilation, introduction, essay and comments by V.V. Kunin. Moscow, 1989, p. 610.
 A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.2. Moscow, 1974, p.194.
 Pushkin’s Friends: Correspondence. Memoirs. Diaries. In 2 vol. V.1. Compilation, profiles, comments by V.V. Kunina. Moscow, 1984, p. 451.
 A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.1. Moscow, 1974, pp. 280 –281.
 V.V. Veresaev. Pushkin in Life. Consistent Collection of Authentic Stories of Contemporaries. Moscow, 1984, p. 692 (in Russian).
 Literaturnaya gazeta. 1999, January 13 and 20, pp. 118 – 119 (in Russian).
- A.S. Pushkin in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries. In 2 vol. V.1, Moscow, 1974.
- A.V. Podzhio. Notes, letters. Edition prepared by N.P. Matkhanova. Irkutsk, 1989 (in Russian).
- E.P. Ischenko. Criminalists Reveal Secrets. Sverdlovsk, 1982, pp. 116 – 117 (in Russian).
- L.A. Chereysky. Pushkin and His Environment, L., 1989.
- Masonry in Its Past and Future. Edit. by S.P. Melgunova and N.P. Sidorova. V.2, Moscow, 1991, pp. 160 – 161 (in Russian).
- N.V. Basargin Memoirs, Stories, Articles. Edition prepared by I.V. Porokh. Irkutsk, 1988.
- P.A. Mukhanov. Essays and letters. Edition prepared by G.V. Chagin. Irkutsk, 1991.
- S.G. Volkonsky. Notes. Edition prepared by A.Z. Tikhantovskaya, N.F. Karash, N.B. Kapelyush. Irkutsk, 1991.
- S.V. Arzhanukhin. Philosophical Views of the Russian Masonry: Based on the Materials of the Magazin Svobodnokamenshchitsky. Yekaterinburg, 1995, p. 50 (in Russian).
- T.A. Bakunina. Famous Russian Masons. Moscow, 1991.
- The Last Year in Pushkin’s Life. Compilation, introduction, essay and comments by V.V. Kunin. Moscow, 1989. p. 416 (in Russian).
- V.F. Ivanov. Pushkin and Masonry. Harbin, 1940, pp. 60 – 62 (in Russian).
- V.V. Veresaev. Pushkin in Life. Consistent Collection of Authentic Stories of Contemporaries. Moscow, 1984, p. 692 (in Russian).