Karl de Struve
Karl von Struve (Alternate spelling in U.S.: de Struve) was a Russian nobleman and politician. He served, in turn, as Russian Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, the United States, and The Netherlands.

Early life and marriage

Struve was born in 1835, the son of Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve
Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve
Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve was a Danish-Baltic German astronomer from a famous dynasty.-Life:...

 (1793–1864) and his second wife, Johannah H.F. Bathels. His father was a native of Altona, Germany, who emigrated in 1808 to avoid conscription in the Napoleonic armies, going first to Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and then Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The elder Struve was appointed professor of astronomy and mathematics at the University of Dorpat (now Tartu
Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia. In contrast to Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn, Tartu is often considered the intellectual and cultural hub, especially since it is home to Estonia's oldest and most renowned university. Situated 186 km southeast of Tallinn, the...

) in 1813 and director of the Dorpat Observatory in 1817. In 1835, the year of Karl's birth, he was asked by Tsar Nicholas I to supervise construction of the Pulkovo Observatory, of which he was director from 1839 to 1862.

Karl von Struve was a half-brother of the astronomer Otto Wilhelm von Struve
Otto Wilhelm von Struve
Otto Wilhelm von Struve was a Russian astronomer. In Russian, his name is normally given as Otto Vasil'evich Struve...

 (1819–1905) and the politician Bernhard Vasilyevitch Struve, Imperial Privy Councilor and Governor of Perm
Perm is a city and the administrative center of Perm Krai, Russia, located on the banks of the Kama River, in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains. From 1940 to 1957 it was named Molotov ....

 and Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

. He was a grand-uncle of Otto Struve
Otto Struve
Otto Struve was a Russian astronomer. In Russian, his name is sometimes given as Otto Lyudvigovich Struve ; however, he spent most of his life and his entire scientific career in the United States...

 (1897–1963), the Russian-born director of the Yerkes, McDonald and Leuschner observatories in the United States.

He married Maria Nicolaevna Annenkova, daughter of General Nicholas Annenkov
Nicholas Annenkov
General Nicholas Nikolaievich Annenkov was an influential Russian General of the Infantry, Governor-General of Kiev and Bessarabia, and member of the State Privy Council...

 and sister of General Michael Nicolaivitch Annenkoff, Elizabeth, princess Galitzine, and Alexandra, Vicomtesse de Vogüé. The Struves were the parents of five children:
  • Boris de Struve – served as Russian military attache in Washington and married Eleanor Slater, from a prominent New England family, and had issue:
    • A) Boris de Struve Jr.
    • B) Elena de Struve
  • Vera de Struve – married Prince Peter N. Meschersky and ran a prominent finishing school in Paris. She also served as a trustee of the Russian Red Cross and later managed a retirement home for White Russian emigres. Had issue:
    • A) Marina, Princess Mescherskaya, married 1) Count Michael Vorontsov-Dashkoff and 2) Count Ivan Shuvaloff
  • Olga de Struve – married champagne heir Baron Peter Arnold Hermann Gottlieb Mumm von Schwarzenstein and had issue:
    • A) Elena Mumm Thornton Wilson
    • B) Olga Mumm, racing manager for Whitney heiress Dorothy Paget
      Dorothy Paget
      Dorothy Wyndham Paget was a British racehorse owner.She was the daughter of Lord Queenborough and Pauline Payne Whitney of the United States Whitney family. She was a cousin of Jock Whitney, owner of the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Easter Hero and latterly American Ambassador in London. She...

    • C) Baron Godefroy Hermann von Mumm ("Brat"), manager of Mumm
      G. H. Mumm & Cie, situated in Reims in northern France, is one of the largest Champagne producers worldwide.- History :It was founded by three brothers, Jacobus, Gottlieb and Phillip Mumm, German winemakers from the Rhine valley and G. Heuser and Friedrich Giesler on March 1, 1827 as P. A. Mumm...

       family vineyards, married Madeleine Allen and had issue:
      • a) Maria Magdalene Mumm married to Count Johan-Christian von Hatzfeldt-Donhoff, and had issue:
        • a1) Countess Maria-Christiane von Hatzfeldt-Donhoff married Archduke Andreas-Augustinus von Habsburg-Lothringen and had issue.
    • D) Kirill Mumm
  • Helene de Struve – married 1) Hendrik, 2nd Baron Steengracht von Moyland, a descendent of Charlemagne
    Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

    ; and 2) Count Orlov.
  • Maria de Struve – married Major General Georg Ivanovitch Chevitch and had issue:
    • A) Maria Georgievna Chevitch married to Nicholas Petrovich Balachov and had issue.

Diplomatic career

Struve's first posting as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary was to Tokyo, capital of the Japanese Empire, which under the Emperor Meiji
Meiji may refer to:* Meiji Restoration, the revolution that ushered in the Meiji period* Meiji period - the period in Japanese history when the Meiji Emperor reigned...

 was undergoing a rapid Westernization of its government, industry and military.

In 1882, Struve was posted as Minister to the United States. Struve and his wife were noted Washington society habitués, holding soirees and a Sunday salon for Washington’s diplomatic and political elite. Their residence in Washington was in Farragut Square, near the home of United States Senator Leland Stanford
Leland Stanford
Amasa Leland Stanford was an American tycoon, industrialist, robber baron, politician and founder of Stanford University.-Early years:...

 of California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. From 1882 to 1892, a variety of powerful men and women passed through the Struves’ door: the Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

s, Henry Adamses, James G. Blaine
James G. Blaine
James Gillespie Blaine was a U.S. Representative, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, U.S. Senator from Maine, two-time Secretary of State...

s, Leland Stanford
Leland Stanford
Amasa Leland Stanford was an American tycoon, industrialist, robber baron, politician and founder of Stanford University.-Early years:...

s, and many others. The Struves were also noted collectors, donating ethnological prints of Russians to the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 and a vast teapot collection (more than 900) to various European collectors.

Returning to St. Petersburg in 1892, Struve received his final diplomatic posting in 1893 when he was sent as envoy to The Netherlands.

Karl von Struve died in 1907.
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