His brother infected him with an interest in science and revolutionary ideas. His brother became an idol for him and an example to follow. Brother was seriously mistaken, and our hero became a victim of his carelessness.
It does not often happen that family members have the same temperament. More often than not, they endorse the same ideas. This makes their biographies very different: the name of one remains in history, the name of the other is forgotten.
The first mentions of the princely family of the Kropotkin belong to the era of the reign of Ivan III. These aristocrats trace their origin from Rurik himself, and the boyar gave them their surname, who was distinguished by accuracy and meticulousness in all matters, for which he received the nickname Kropotka. By the beginning of the 20th century, a noble family possessed large capitals and land plots.
In 1841, Major General Alexei Kropotkin became a father. The boy was named Alexander. A year later, Peter was born. The family lived in Moscow. Sasha preferred quiet fun. He was very fond of poetry, he especially liked the work of Mikhail Lermontov, he knew a number of poems by heart. Petya preferred noisy games, and his relatives predicted a military career for him.
The heirs of a noble family were educated in the Corps of Pages and, as predicted by their parents, chose a different path. Peter went to Siberia, where, as part of military expeditions, he explored and studied the borders of the Motherland, and his older brother preferred a quiet service closer to civilization. When the guys met, Petya said that he had met the exiled Decembrists, carried away his brother with revolutionary ideas. In 1867, they together resigned in protest against the suppression of the uprising of the Polish convicts.
The father wished his children happiness, therefore he did not interfere in their personal life. When the eldest son announced that he was going to marry, the old man was only happy for him. Soon, our hero had a wife, Vera, who gave birth to four babies. Peter convinced his brother to go with him to St. Petersburg. In the capital, the young men entered the university. The elder Kropotkin was interested in astronomy, the younger became interested in geography.
Relatives and revolution
After graduation, our heroes got a job in the civil service. Nikolai Tchaikovsky often visited their house, who urged enlightened people to go to ordinary workers and agitate them for the overthrow of the monarchy. The brothers were carried away by his ideas. They often traveled abroad, where they met many famous scientists and revolutionaries who shared their views.
Alexander Kropotkin's peaceful life ended in 1874. His brother was arrested the next day after reporting to the Russian Geographical Society and imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Sasha was worried about him, tried to get permission to visit him in prison, but he was refused. After 2 years, the prisoner himself came to the house under cover of night, he escaped and sought shelter with his relatives. Alexander helped him to hide from persecution, to get in touch with his comrades. He put the fugitive on a ship bound for Scandinavia, from where it was possible to get to England. In parting, the revolutionary told his savior not to worry - the secret police would soon calm down and it would be possible to meet again.
The future founder of anarchism was cruelly mistaken. The authorities have made every effort to find the escaped prisoner and to identify everyone who helped him escape. They also went out to Alexander Kropotkin. The prince was arrested and tried. There was little evidence of his involvement in the illegal organization, but the accusation of complicity in the crime was enough to pass a sentence. Our hero was stripped of his title, property and exiled to the Tomsk province.
Arriving at the place of exile with his wife and children, Alexander tried to continue leading the capital's lifestyle.He became acquainted with fellow misfortune and began to organize evenings where free-thinkers could share thoughts and news. There were always many guests in his house, he made generous gifts to those in need. The governor in Tomsk at that time was Ivan Krasovsky, who previously served as an inspector of Moscow University. He was complacent about all kinds of circles of the intelligentsia and did not see any danger in the new settlers.
From time to time the Tomsk freemen suffered from tyranny of the lower ranks of the gendarmerie. Policemen came to the Kropotkin's house with searches, taking advantage of the defenselessness of their victims. Well-bred and accustomed to delicate treatment, Alexander suffered greatly from this. Once he had to twist a drunk policeman who, not finding the suspect seditious at the dacha, began to threaten everyone he met with a weapon. Our hero did not suffer punishment for such an act, since the rowdy was drunk.
The lack of inheritance soon made itself felt. Alexander Kropotkin managed to spend all the funds brought from St. Petersburg, give away and lose things. Vera did not reproach her husband, but the couple had children who needed to be provided. A literate person could find a good job, but the former prince was very impractical. He was published in the Sibirskiy Vestnik newspaper.
Alexander was bored without his brother, he knew that he was participating in fateful events abroad. Attempts to contribute to science and publicize their discoveries ended in failure when the editorial board rejected the materials. Despair took possession of the soul of Alexander Kropotkin, and in 1886 he shot himself.