Autograph letter in French, signed, addressed to “Cher Cousin,” and dated St Petersburg (Russia), 1 September 1876.
1 page. 8vo.
Dom Pedro thanks the unknown recipient for “la journée si agréable,” and with the letter sends him a book which he hopes “donnera une idée exacte de l’état de mon pays.” He ends by writing that he could not then tell him which day he could visit “les travaux de Cronstadt.” The indefatigable Dom Pedro had arrived in St. Petersburg by train from Finland early the previous day, where he lodged at the Europa Hotel, remaining until 8 September. The unknown recipient, evidently a member of the Russian royal family, was probably Grand-Duke Constantine, brother of Tsar Alexander II, then living in St. Petersburg, and who had accompanied him to the royal palace at Tsarskoe Selo. There he signed the visitors’ book as the Emperor Dom Pedro, contrary to his usual practice of travelling as D. Pedro de Alcântara. The two men would have had much in common; both were enlightened reformers, and Constantine had enthusiastically supported his brother when he had abolished serfdom in Russia in 1861. He was currently undertaking badly needed reforms in the Navy and the naval and military colleges, which could explain the reference to the Russian naval base at Kronstadt, an island near St. Petersburg, and which Dom Pedro visited on 5 September; Dom Pedro’s gift to him of a book on Brazil shows his eagerness to explain matters in his country to him.