To her chief hydraulics engineer

Catherine II, the Great, Empress of Russia (1729-1796). Autograph letter signed ("Caterina").

No place, "Montag um 10 Uhr Morgens" ("Monday, 10 a.m.").

Small 4to. 1 p. on a bifolium. In German.


To her confidant, the former Prussian hussar commander Friedrich Wilhelm (von) Bauer (1731-83), who had entered Russian service in 1769 and had been promoted to Lieutenant general in 1773, soon acting as her head engineer: "To prove to you that, although I was ill yesterday and am still weak today, I am indeed alive, I send you the Viennese news about your lawsuit with Count Trumbach; when you are through with these papers, you may return them to the Vice Chancellor and tell me what you further wish to be done [...]" (transl.).

In 1780, Bauer was made general of engineering; he was responsible for the construction and maintenance of Catherine's ports, fortifications, roads, canals, and salt mines. In 1782 he created the "Hydraulic Engineering Corps". During the last years of his life, Bauer acted as Catherine's indispensable advisor in all technical matters (cf. NDB). The "Count Trumbach" mentioned in the letter is in all likelihood Friedrich Adolf Rudolf von Trümbach, who - like Bauer - had commanded a Prussian militia corps during the Seven Years' War.

A little stained, browned and wrinkled, but generally well preserved.

Stock Code: BN#54751 Tags: ,