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Mikhaelis Y.

Mikhaelis E. Yevgeniy Petrovich Mikhaelis (1841 - 1913).

"A high-cultured man and brilliant orator with a strong mind, serious erudition and living temperament E.P. Mikhaelis was a bright, many-sided personality and a gifted spiritual person. For many years his life was connected with our land. In the history of Semipalatinsky land Mikhaelis left an appreciable mark. The student of the University of St. Petersburg accidentally became an inhabitant of our outlying districts that he was studying tirelessly." – wrote B.G. Gerassimov, a student of local history, about Mikhaelis.

Yevgeniy Petrovich Mikhaelis was born in St. Petersburg in the family of an official of modest means.

As a student of physic-mathematical department in the University of St. Petersburg, he moved in the circles of best literary men, because of his kinship with writer-publicist N.V. Shelgunov.

In St. Petersburg Yevgeniy Petrovich was spending his time communicating and debating with idols of youth such as M.L. Michailov, N.G. Chernyshevsky, I.S. Turgenev, N.A. Nekrassov, I.A. Goncharov and the other famous writers and public figures. With some of them (D.I. Mendeleyev, A.O. Kovalevsky, L.F. Panteleyev and others) he continued to communicate in the sequel.

Mikhaelis differed from his friends in the university in his erudition, eloquence and strong character. From the memories of the participants of democratic movement in 1860-s it is obvious that Mikhaelis had a leading position among students and was a leader of a secret students' society. Yevgeniy Mikhaelis was one of the demonstration leaders in 1861, when the capital witnessed disorders among students. He was arrested for that and banished into exile. After the arrest, Mikhaelis was exiled in Petrozavodsk, then to the town Taru of Tobolsk province in 1863. In the 1869 Mikhaelis was allowed to live in Semipalatinsk because of his mother's petition.

By authority of the Western Siberia governor-general, Mikhaelis was accepted to work as an office secretary assistant of Semipalatinsk regional government's economic department. Authorities could not but notice intelligence and abilities of this young man, that's why next April Mikhaelis was admitted to work as a junior official at large. Yevgeniy Petrovich was very happy to have an opportunity to explore the region.

He was an inquisitive naturalist and started researching Altai glaciers. He made two trips to the Mus-tay mountain range in 1871-1872 and had the results of his research published in Proceedings of Geographical Society.

In 1879 and 1880 E.P. Mikhaelis made a voyage up the Irtysh river to the mouth of the Black Irtysh in order to find out if the upper reaches of Irtysh fit for navigation. He gathered a lot of material for making a navigator's map of the Irtysh stream between Semipalatinsk and Lake Zaissan. After the research Yevgeniy Petrovich recognized Irtysh beyond Semipalatinsk as suitable for steamships.

Living in Semipalatinsk, Mikhaelis accepted an assignment to make a geological survey of the town suburbs to find out the origin of local sand drifting. He made this survey and recommended for the town protection from drifting to plant trees between a riverbed and buildings and to protect all of these plants.

His tireless energy of researcher and scientist embraced almost every sphere of knowledge. He went into the questions of Semipalatinsk region hydrography, geomorphologic researches of Altai Mountains, exploration of mineral fuel and ore deposits, conchology and rational apiculture. As an editor of "Semipalatinsk regional gazette" Yevgeniy Petrovich followed traditions of democratic political journalism and considered as his duty to assist in the strengthening Russian-Kazakh friendship.

After the foundation of Semipalatinsk regional statistical committee in 1878 Mikhaelis became his first secretary. He knew economy and culture of the region in detail and took an active part in the drawing up accounts about the condition of Semipalatinsk region and statistical appendixes for them. In 1886 with the help of Mikhaelis Abay Kunanbaev became a member of Semipalatinsk regional statistical committee. Friendship between Mikhaelis and Abay was an important event both for the great poet as for the exile democrat-revolutionary. For many years during Mikhaelis's stay in Semipalatinsk, Abay used to visit him almost every day, especially in winter. B.G. Gerassimov told that "Abay was in Semipalatinsk from December till March and spent all the evenings conversing with Mikhaelis". Till the end of his days the great poet was speaking about his friend and teacher with gratitude and touching love.

After 13 years in Semipalatinsk, Mikhaelis decided to leave it and moved to small quiet Ust-Kamenogorsk. But he never stopped his tireless activity and concentrated his knowledge and skills on the research of the rich land.

While he was doing scientific researches, he also took an active part in urban affairs. As a member of Ust-Kamenogorsk municipal duma for about three decades, Mikhaelis and other political exiles did many things for town's improvement and cultural development. The exiles in Ust-Kamenogorsk made a major contribution into national education and public health development. They initiated opening the library in 1896, planting the town's, opening parish school (1897), elementary school (1912), Mariinskoe school (1901), female gymnasium (1914) and National House (1902). "The significant part in this cultural beautification, which changed substantially the face of remote Ust-Kamenogorsk, belongs to Mikhaelis", - B.G. Gerassimov said. – "Without any irony you could call him "the father of the town". His tireless nature didn’t know any rest".

Yevgeniy Petrovich died on December, 2nd (15th) 1913. Obituaries about his death appeared in Siberian and Petersburg newspapers. E.P. Mikhaelis was a whole-hearted, deep individual and a many-sided personality. N.V. Shelgunov, famous writer-publicist wrote about Mikhaelis: "…Rich spiritual organization of Yevgeniy Petrovich left no doubts – if the circumstances were favourable, he could have a big, maybe even European name in science".

Translated by Yuliya Visloguzova, 2nd year translation major student of KAFU