The state order of Peter the Great (Peter I) relating to the settlement of Armenians in the territory of Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan under the patronage of Russia

November 10, 1724

On November 10, 1724, by order of His Majesty the Empire, two documents, in equal force, were sent on behalf of His Majesty the Empire, from the State Board of Foreign Affairs to the people of Armenia, about which His Majesty’s resolution was recorded in the minutes of the above-mentioned date, with the following content:

By the Grace of God, we, Peter the First, Emperor and Autocrat of all Russia, as well as others, others, and others.

To the most honest patriarch Isaiah and the most honest Yuzbashes Avan and Mirza, and to all honest Yuzbashes and ruler, and to all the honest people of Armenia, our Imperial mercy and congratulations is sent. 

We declare to you through this gracious document, that we received your obedient letter, sent by you through the priests Anthony and Kevkh Cheleby, and they declared orally and more widely on your will to accept our High Imperial Protection, and for dwelling and your free future stay in our newly gained Persian provinces lying on the Caspian Sea, and these convenient places are given to you to live there in peace and exercise your Christian faith without any obstacles by your rules. And because we keep the honest Armenian nation in the sake of Christianity in honorable favor, therefore we sent special orders to the rulers of our newly taken Persian lands according to your heartily request so that the rulers will not only accept you in Gillian, Mazandaran, and Baku and in other convenient places, when you arrive there, they will not only accept you, they also will provide with convenient places for living and settling and keep them in all kindness and protection. And so that you can only be very hopeful about this all-merciful permission of ours and be sure of it, for that sake we did not only send our emperor’s letter to you, but also sent back your aforementioned ones to tell you orally about our favor for you as was decreed by us which you have full faith in that, and we are gracious to you in all our Imperial favor towards you.

Chancellor Count Golovkin
Andrei Osterman
Chief Secretary
Yuriev Fyodor Protopopov

From this protocol, two of the same kind of documents were written on Alexandrian sheets, with the attached copies in the Armenian language and were given to Armenians in hand, without the signatures, with the big State seal with the presence of the custodian.