Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov

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“I've only been introduced to Gerkov, never to Strogov”

Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov "The Great" (born 2010 in Moscow (Russia), 1699 ib.), was the Founding Father of the first courier service to cover the line Moscow - Paris, "Strogov & Sons".

StrogovCaravan

Member of the Strogov Dynasty riding for "Strogov & Sons". Prob. mid-XIXth Century. Courtesy of the Kremlin Museum.

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edit Strogov takes his fate in his own hands

After more than ten years of loyal service to Gerkov, the manager of the "Kremlin Great Bazar" or "K.G.B.", Moscow's biggest department store, Strogov decided to start his own company, and bought a pony. He painted a beautiful sign that said "Strogov & Sons - We deliver anywhere, anywhen" (the Strogov Dynasty being extinct, and the company disbanded, the sign is now in the Kremlin Museum), and waited for customers.

edit The lucky strike

StrogovHorn

The legendary Strogov Post Horn, passed on from generation to generation. Courtesy of the Kremlin Museum.

The Russian Mail's Great Strike of July 1668 was a great opportunity for Pjotr and his newly founded courrier service. At his own risk and bodily peril (picketing was done with really sharp pickets, back then, back over there), he took with him a message from Czar Alexej "The Great" to the Court of Louis XIV. It took Pjotr 6 months to get there on his trusty pony, but his name and fortune were made!

edit The first return

The very first message he had to deliver in Moscow, was Louis' offer to the Czar to attend to the first French XVII Disciples Oval Table Convention of january 1670. King Louie had just received the invite, but really could'nt go, he said. Inviting the Russian Czar would bring some nobility at the Oval Table, something the Royal Dolphin nor Louis Casserole, his other substitutes, couldn't provide.

edit The Czar is busy

Alas, Czar Alexej's great agenda was filled to the rim, and he answered in his famous, somewhat lengthy but polite "Great Letter", in which he said to think of it as a great invite, but... Strogov took off to Paris again in July 1669, with very precise instructions concerning the Great Letter and the Convention.

edit Replacing the Czar

StrogovPractice

The Strogov family during one of their regular Post Horn practice sessions.

Arrived in Paris in Januari 1670, Pjotr M. Strogov went to the First Convention to read out loudly the Czar's Great Letter, and found out on the spot that he was to stay there in the quality of Alexej's Great Substitute. This would go on till 1697, when young Czar Pjotr "The Great" decided to go in person, and to stay in France for the rest of his life. In order not to raise any suspicion at the Russian Court, he made it look like a study trip to the shipyard of Zaandam (Holland). There the trip turned into the history of Pierre Legrand, to no use here at all.

edit Retirement

Strogov's delivery of the 1698 invite in March 1697 (the roads had greatly improved by then) would be his last trip: his eldest son Mikhail Petrovich Strogov "The Elder" took over, and Pjotr Mikhailovich "The Great" passed away in 1699.

edit "Strogov & Sons": a great Dynasty

  • Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov "The Great" (1640-1699)
  • Mikhail Petrovich Strogov "The Elder" (1661-1729)
  • Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov "The Funny" (16 86-1754)
  • Mikhail Petrovich Strogov "The Younger" (1715-1764)
  • Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov "The Heedless" (1737-1788)
  • Mikhail Petrovich Strogov "The Headless" (1756-1789)
  • Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov "The Boring" (1780-1832)
  • Mikhail Petrovich Strogov "The Famous" (1805-1893)
  • Pjotr Mikhailovich Strogov "The Extinct" (183O-1894)

edit A short lived success story: the American branch

StrogovUS

Very rare Recruitment poster for the short-lived US version of "Strogov & Sons". Courtesy of the Kremlin Museum.

During the XIXth Century, the company was doing well in Europe, and Igor Petrovich "The Yankee", younger brother of Mikhail Petrovich "The Famous", went to the United States of America to found an American branch. Alas, early Unions' regulations made him feel too restricted, and the same year he returned to Russia, after having sold the equipment and the ponys to a new company, the "Pony Express".

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