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CAPMANY—CAPO D’ISTRIA

and cacao are produced to a limited extent; and rice, alcohol, sugar and copra are exported. Coasting vessels ascend the river to the town. The language is Visayan.


CAPMANY Y MONTPALAU, ANTONIO DE (1742–1813), Spanish polygraph, was born at Barcelona on the 24th of November 1742. He retired from the army in 1770, and was subsequently elected secretary of the Royal Academy of History at Madrid. His principal works are—Memorias históricas sobre la marina, commercio, y artes de la antigua ciudad de Barcelona (4 vols. 1779–1792); Teatro histórico-critico de la elocuencia Española (1786); Filiosofía de la elocuencia (1776), and Cuestiones críticas sobre varias puntos de historia ecónomica, política, y militar (1807). Capmany died at Barcelona on the 14th of November 1813. His monograph on the history of his birthplace still preserves much of its original value.


CAPO D’ISTRIA, GIOVANNI ANTONIO [Joannes][1] Count (1776–1831), Russian statesman and president of the Greek republic, was born at Corfu on the 11th of February 1776. He belonged to an ancient Corfiot family which had immigrated from Istria in 1373, the title of count being granted to it by Charles Emmanuel, duke of Savoy, in 1689. The father of Giovanni, Antonio Maria Capo d’Istria, was a man of considerable importance in the island, a stiff aristocrat of the old school, who in 1798, after the treaty of Campo Formio had placed the Ionian Islands under French rule, was imprisoned for his opposition to the new regime, his release next year being the earliest triumph of his son’s diplomacy. On the establishment in 1800, under Turkish suzerainty, of the septinsular republic-a settlement negotiated at Constantinople by the elder Capo d’Istria-Giovanni, who had meanwhile studied medicine at Padua, entered the government service as secretary to the legislative council, and in one capacity or another exercised for the next seven years at determining voice in the affairs of the republic. At the beginning of 1807 he was appointed “extraordinary military governor ” to organize the defence of Santa Maura against Ali Pasha of Iannina, an enterprise which brought him into contact with Theodoros Kolokotrones and other future chiefs of the war of Greek independence, and awoke in him that wider Hellenic patriotism which was so largely to influence his career. Throughout the period of his official connexion with the Ionian government, Capo d’Istria had been a consistent upholder of Russian influence in the islands; and when the treaty of Tilsit (1807) dashed his hopes by handing over the Ionian republic to Napoleon, he did not relinquish his belief in Russia as the most reliable ally of the Greek cause. He accordingly refused the offers made to him by the French government, and accepted the invitation of the Russian chancellor Romanzov to enter the tsar’s service. He went to St Petersburg in 1809, and was appointed to the honorary post of attaché to the foreign office, but it was not till two years after, in 1811, that he was actually employed in diplomatic work as attaché to Baron Stackelberg, the Russian ambassador at Vienna. His knowledge of the near East was here of great service, and in the following year he was attached, as chief of his diplomatic bureau, to Admiral Chichagov, on his mission to the Danubian principalities to stir up trouble in the Balkan peninsula as a diversion on the flank of Austria, ” and to attempt to supplement the treaty of Bucharest by an offensive and defensive alliance with the Ottoman empire. The Moscow campaign of 1812 intervened; Chichagov was disgraced in consequence of his failure to destroy Napoleon at the passage of the Beresina; but Capo d’Istria was not involved, was made a councillor of state and continued in his diplomatic functions. During the campaign of 1813 he was attached to the staff of Barclay de Tolly and was present at the battles of Liitzen, Bautzen, Dresden and Leipzig. With the advance of the allies lie was sent to Switzerland to secure the withdrawal of the republic from the French alliance. Here, in spite of his instructions to guarantee the neutrality of Switzerland, he signed on his own responsibility the proclamation issued by Prince Schwarzenberg, stating the intention of the allied troops to march through the country. His motive was to prevent any appearance of disagreement among the allies. The emperor Alexander, to whom he hastened to make an explanation in person, endorsed his action.

Capo d’Istria was present with the allies in Paris, and after the signing of the first peace of Paris he was rewarded by the tsar with the order of St Vladimir and his full confidence. At the congress of Vienna his influence was conspicuous; he represented the tsar on the Swiss committee, was associated with Rasumovsky in negotiating the tangled Polish and Saxon questions, and was the Russian plenipotentiary in the discussions with the Baron vom Stein on the affairs of Germany. His Mémoire sur l’empire germanique, of the 9th of February 1815, presented to the tsar, was based on the policy of keeping Germany weak in order to secure Russian preponderance in its councils. It was perhaps from a similar motive that, after the Waterloo campaign, he strenuously opposed the proposals for the dismemberment of France. It was on his advice that the duc de Richelieu persuaded Louis XVIII. to write the autograph letter in which he, declared his intention of resigning rather than submit to any diminution of the territories handed down to him by his ancestors.[2] The treaty of the 20th of November 1815, which formed for years the basis of the effective concert of Europe, was also largely his work.

On the 26th of September 1815, after the proclamation of the Holy Alliance at the great review on the plain of Vertus, Capo d’Istria was named a secretary of state. On his return to St Petersburg, he shared the ministry of foreign affairs with Count Nesselrode, though the latter as senior signed all documents. Capo d’Istria, however, had sole charge of the newly acquired province of Bessarabia, which he governed conspicuously well. In 1818 he attended the emperor Alexander at the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, and in the following year obtained leave to visit his home. He travelled by way of Venice, Rome and Naples, his progress exciting the liveliest apprehensions of the powers, notably of Austria. The “Jacobin” pose of the tsar was notorious, his all-embracing ambition hardly less so; and Russian travellers in Italy, notably the emperor’s former tutor, César de Laharpe, were little careful in the expression of their sympathy for the ideals of the Carbonari. In Metternich’s eyes Capo d’Istria, “the coryphaeus of liberalism,” was responsible for the tsar’s vagaries, the fount of all the ills of which the times were sick; and, for all the count’s diplomatic reticence, the Austrian spies who dogged his footsteps earned their salaries by reporting sayings that set the reactionary courts in a flutter. For Metternich the overthrow of Capo d’Istria’s influence became a necessity of political salvation. At Corfu Capo d’Istria became the repository of all the grievances of his countrymen against the robust administration of Sir Thomas Maitland. At the congress of Vienna the count had supported the British protectorate over the Ionian Islands, the advantages of which from the point of view of trade and security were obvious; but the drastic methods of “King Tom’s” government, symbolized by a gallows for pirates and other evil-doers in every popular gathering place, offended his local patriotism. He submitted a memorandum on the subject to the tsar, and before returning to Russia travelled via Paris to England to lay the grievances of the Ionians before the British government. His reception was a cold one, mainly due to his own disingenuousness, for he refused to show British ministers the memorandum which he had already submitted to the Russian emperor, on the ground that it was intended only for his own private use. The whole thing seemed, rightly or wrongly, an excuse for the intervention of Russia in affairs which were by treaty wholly British.

On his return to St Petersburg in the autumn of 1819, Capo d’Istria resumed his influence in the intimate counsels of the tsar. The murder of the Russian agent, Kotzebue, in March, had shaken but not destroyed Alexander’s liberalism, and it was Capo d’Istria who drew up the emperor’s protest against the Carlsbad decrees and the declaration of his adherence to constitutional views. (see Alexander I.). In October 1820 Capo

  1. After his election to the Greek presidency in 1827, Capo d’Istria, whose baptismal names were Giovanni Antonio, signed himself Joannes Capodistrias, the form by which he is very commonly known.
  2. The letter was written by Michael Stourdza and copied by Louie.