Muller, Gerard Frederick

, a celebrated German traveller and writer, was born in 1705, in Herforden, in Westphalia, and was educated at the age of seventeen at llinteln and Leipsic, at which last place he so distinguished himself, that professor Mencke obtained for him the place of adjunct in the historical class of the academy founded | at Petersburgh by Peter the Great. In tbat city he was some time employed in teaching Latin, geography, and history, and as assistant secretary to the institution. In 1728, he was made under-keeper of the imperial library, and in 1730 he was chosen professor of history. He now applied for leave of absence, in order to gratify his wish of seeing foreign countries. In the year 1731 he visited London, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and after his return to Petersburgh he was appointed to accompany Gmelin and De l’Isle de la Croyere on their travels through Siberia, which occupied ten years, during which they travelled 4480 German miles, or more than three times that number of English miles. An account of their travels was published by Gmelin, in four volumes, 8vo. After this, Mullef, who was not rewarded in any degree equal to the labours and sufferings which he had undergone, undertook, at the desire of prince Jusupof, “A Dissertation on the Trade of Siberia,” which, though written, or at least begun, in 1744, was not published till 1750, and then only the first part. In 1747, he was appointed historiographer of the Russian empire, and in 1754 he was nominated by the president to be the secretary of the Academy of Sciences, and was employed in superintending the publication of their transactions, and in other literary undertakings. In 1763, he was appointed director ^of the school for foundlings, established by Catherine at Moseow, and in 1766, he was appointed keeper of the archives in that city, with an additional salary of 1000 roubles. From this period till his death, which took place in 1783, he devoted himself entirely to the pursuits of literature, having been previously raised to the rank of counsellor of state, and invested with the order of Wladimir. Mr. Coxe, in his Travels, vol. I. in speaking of Muller, who was then living, says, “He collected during his travels the most ample materials for the history and geography of this extensive empire, which was scarcely known to the Russians themselves before his valuable researches were given to the world in various publications. His principal work isA Collection of Russian Histories,“in nine volumes octavo, printed at different intervals at the press of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. The first part came out in 1732, and the last in 1764. This storehouse of information pnd literature in regard to the antiquities, history, | geography, and commerce of Russia, and many of the neighbouring countries, conveys the most indisputable proofs of the author’s learning, diligence, and fidelity. To this work the accurate and indefatigable author has successively added many other valuable performances upon similar subjects, both in the German and Russian languages, which elucidate various parts in the history of this empire.” Mr. Coxe adds, that he spoke and wrote the German, Russian, French, and Latin tongues, with surprizing fluency; and read the English, Dutch, Swedish, Danisn, and Greek, with great facility His memory was surprising; and his accurate acquaintance with the minutest incidents of the Russian annals almost surpassed belief. His collection of state papers and manuscripts were all arranged in the exactest order, and classed into several volumes, distinguished by the names of those illustrious personages to whom they principally relate; such as Peter L, Catherine I. Menzikof, Osterman, &c." 1

1

Coxe’s Travels in Poland, Russia, &c. Rees’s Cyclopædia.