Spafaryev Leonty Vasilyevich
Admiralty Lieutenant-General, Maritime Writer.
Born in St. Petersburg in the family of a retired naval officer.
In 1777 he entered the Naval Cadet Corps, in 1779 he was promoted
In the next two years Spafarey on the ships “St.
Alexander Nevsky" and "Three Saints "sailed in the Baltic, German
and White seas, and then on the ship "George the Victorious" on the
In 1783 he was made midshipmen.
During the Russian-Swedish war of 1788–1790
Lieutenant Spafaryov on the ship "Saratov", which was part of the
participated in repelling the attack of the Swedish fleet on the
Revel raid, as well as in the famous Vyborg battle, in which the
enemy fleet lost 64 pennants.
In subsequent years, he sailed in the Gulf of Finland, commanded
the transport vessel "Margarita", "Dispach" launch, the "Narva"
frigate, the "Voin" and "Revel" frigates and the "Tikhvin Virgin Mary"
In 1802, he was awarded the Order of
St. George 4 degrees for 18 naval campaigns.
For many years, sailing the Baltic Sea, capricious and
treacherous, with unexpected storms, having rugged banks, islands
and shoals, he understood how important for the safety of the ship
is a well-organized system of lighthouses.
Spafaryev developed a project to improve the work of lighthouses
and in 1800 submitted it to the Admiralty.
The project was approved only after three years, and Spafarev was
appointed to Revel as the caretaker of the Baltic beacons.
After serving here for four years, he took the post of director
of the lighthouses of the Gulf of Finland and served in this
position for almost twenty years, having done an extraordinary
amount to build lighthouses and especially telegraphs.
His works were not in vain.
The telegraph was very useful for uninterrupted and fast
communication between Revel and Petersburg in 1809, when a powerful
English squadron appeared in the Baltic Sea and blocked Revel's
In 1810 he was promoted to captain of the 1st rank, in 1817 - to
major general, in 1824 he received the Order of
St. Anne of 1
In 1820 Spafarev published his essay "Description of the
lighthouses of the Gulf of Finland and Riga", which was highly
appreciated by hydrographs.
In 1825, while maintaining his former position, he became the
commander of the port of Revel.
By occupying two such important positions, Spafarev did an
excellent job with the work assigned to him.
Spafarev's diligent service was noticed, and in 1829 he was
promoted to lieutenant general.
The following year, in the same rank, he was transferred to the
corps of naval navigators.
Eight more years Spafarev served in Revel, occupying two such
difficult positions, doing an excellent job.
But years have had an effect; besides, in 1837, his beloved
daughter, the beautiful Alexander Marquis de Traversay, died in the
thirty-seventh year of life, leaving seven children in her husband’s
arms, the oldest of whom, Mary, was just fourteen years old.
This sorrowful event greatly influenced Spafarev, and on March 9,
1838, he left forever naval service.
Enrolled in the Ministry of the Navy, he settled in St.
Petersburg, where he lived until his death.
Spafaryov was a great lover of literature.
His house was distinguished by its rare hospitality, and his
wife, Anna Vasilyevna, was a great craftswoman and loved to treat
guests with cakes and special-made pies with red fish.
They were visited by the poet Prince PA
Vyazemsky, fabulist I.A.
Krylov, writer A.A.
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky and many other famous people who visited
Spafaryev introduced the visitors to Revel waters to treat their
health to visitors with the sights of Revel and its surroundings.
He accompanied AS’s parents.
Pushkin, his sister and their friends on walks along the alleys
of Katerinental (now Kadriorg), took them to a local club.
Anton Delvigu and his wife, Sofya Mikhailovna Spafariyev, showed
the site in front of the lighthouse, which stands on the edge of a
cliff above Katerinental.
From her view was a beautiful view of Revel.
This lighthouse with the pyramidal tower has survived to this
The fact that after the death of his sister in 1804 he took on
her upbringing her two sons and two daughters, having a young son
and three daughters, the eldest of whom was barely six years old,
speaks about Spafarev’s human qualities.
He was buried in St. Petersburg at the Volkovsky Orthodox
The grave is not preserved.
Bay in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska.