Three millions Ducats carried by six horses

Three millions Ducats carried by six horses

It’s time to stop viewing Michal Kleofas Oginski solely as the author of Farewell to the Homeland polonaise
It’s time to stop viewing Michal Kleofas Oginski solely as the author of Farewell to the Homeland polonaise

Primarily, Oginski was a man of politics and business, asserts Ramunė Šmigelskytė-Stukienė, who has written a book about Oginski and presented it in Russian translation to the Central Scientific Library of the NAS of Belarus. Pleasingly, the first presentation took place in Minsk, rather than in Vilnius.

Using documents found within the Lithuanian State Historical Archive, Ramunė has demonstrated that Oginski spent time in Vitebsk and Minsk though, until now, his name has been connected only with Zaslavl in Belarus.

Ms. Šmigelskytė-Stukienė’s research is fascinating, and would make a worthy film script, relating how Michal Kleofas Oginski went to Amsterdam, to apply for a 3 million Ducat loan from the Rzezc Pospolita.

“In order to persuade the bankers, he arrived by coach, driven by six horses. When he received the money, he bought lands near Vilno, then sold them (by dividing them into pieces) spending the profit on setting up a manufacturing workshop.”

Alla Zmieva, Director of the Scientific World Publishing House, is hopeful that, very soon, the discoveries of Belarusian experts on Oginski will be released, alongside works by Lithuanian authors. Andrey Matsuk and Svetlana Nemogai are currently working on an edition.

By Viktar Andrejej
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