Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Mieczyslaw Jałowiecki memoirs and drawings,
Date (inclusive): 1964
Collection Number: XX170
Jałowiecki, Mieczyslaw, 1886-
Number of Containers: 8 manuscript boxes, 12 oversize boxes
(9 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Relates to historical events in Russia and Lithuania before, during, and after the Russian Revolution and Civil War; Poles
in Lithuania; and agricultural developments in Lithuania, 1881-1939. Includes watercolor drawings and sketches of scenes and
manor houses in Lithuania and Poland, as well as parts of Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, and Estonia.
Collection is open for research.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Mieczyslaw Jałowiecki memoirs, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Mieczyslaw Jałowiecki was born to a prominent Polish landowning family of northern Lithuania in 1876. He studied in St. Petersburg,
Riga, and several German universities, completing degrees in agriculture and agricultural economics. His career in Russian
civil service, in agricultural finance, and in business, gave him the opportunity to travel and to develop an intimate knowledge
of the economic and cultural landscape of Lithuania and its neighborhood. Shortly before World War I, Jałowiecki was elected
president of the assembly of the nobility of northeastern Lithuania.
The war devastated the region and disrupted the lives of most of its inhabitants. Jałowiecki lost virtually everything. His
ancestral Sylgudyszki, with thousands of acres of meticulously managed farmland and forests, was nationalized by the government
of the newly independent Lithuania, and he moved to Poland. Because of his economic expertise and knowledge of German affairs,
the Polish government appointed him to be its representative in the city of Gdansk (Danzig). Here, during 1919-20, he was
able to open the port facilities to arriving American food and humanitarian relief for Poland, which was organized by Herbert
Hoover. He spent the remaining interwar years farming on his wife's estate in western Poland.
World War II took him ever farther from the beloved lands of his ancestors and his youth. As a refugee in Allied London, he
worked for the Polish government in exile, publishing pamphlets and textbooks on a variety of subjects. The war ended with
East Central Europe under Soviet occupation and hundreds of thousands of Polish refugees unable to return to their homeland
of whom Jałowiecki was one. From the standpoint of his literary and artistic legacy, these postwar London years were his most
Living in very modest circumstances in his later years, he spent virtually all of his time writing his memoirs, drawing, and
painting. Jałowiecki re-created the world of his youth in his sixteen-volume memoirs and more than a thousand detailed views
of country manors, palaces, and landscapes of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Jałowiecki died in London in
Scope and Content of Collection
Mieczyslaw Jałowiecki's manuscripts and watercolors were acquired by the Hoover Archives a few years after his death in 1962.
In his later years, Jałowiecki spent virtually all of his time writing his memoirs, drawing, and painting. Taking advantage
of the private photographic and iconographic collections of the Polish émigré community, the resources of the British Museum,
and his own near-photographic memory, Jałowiecki re-created the world of his youth, in his sixteen-volume memoirs and in more
than a thousand detailed views of country manors, palaces, and landscapes of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Each view is accompanied by detailed information on former owners and, whenever possible, builders and architects.
Because of the massive destruction wreaked by World War II, the many decades of deliberate neglect under communism, and limited
surviving documentation, Jałowiecki's drawings have become a valuable source of information on the region's architectural
heritage. In some cases, as the modest country manor of Sylgudyszki, they are the only available representations.