Spafaryev Leonty Vasilyevich
(05.05.1765–25.01.1847)


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 to midshipmen. 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 Mediterranean Sea. 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 squadron V.Ya. Chichagov, 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" frigate. 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 squadron.
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 degree.
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 Revel. 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 day.
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 cemetery. The grave is not preserved.
Bay in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska.

 

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