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This webpage reproduces a section of


Treaty of Pereyaslav 1654
by Alexander Ohloblyn

published by
Canadian League for Ukraine's Liberation
Organization for Defense of Four Freedoms
for Ukraine

Toronto and New York,
1954

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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 p81  Appendix II

The Tsar's Charter Granted to Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the Cossack Army.
Moscow, March 27, 1654 (7162)

"By the grace of God, We, the Great Sovereign, Tsar and Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich, Autocrat of all Great and Little Russia, have granted (this) to Our Tsarist Majesty's subjects, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Hetman of the Cossack Army, and the Secretary Ivan Vyhovsky, and the Justices of the Army and the Colonels, and the Essauls, and the Captains, and to the whole Cossack Army that in this year 7162 by the hence of God, he, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the whole Cossack Army have come under Our exalted Sovereign arm and have sworn an oath of everlasting allegiance to Us, the Great Sovereign, and to our children and Successors. And in the month of March he, the Hetman, and the whole Cossack Army sent to Us, the Great Sovereign, to Our Tsarist Majesty, their envoys, the Judge of the Army Samoylo Bohdanov and Pavlo Teterya, the Colonel of Pereyaslav; and in their letter to Us, the Great Sovereign, to Our Tsarist Majesty, the Hetman wrote and his envoys begged humbly that We, the Great Sovereign, grant our favor to him, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and the whole Cossack Army and confirm all their former rights and the liberties of the Army which had been established from ancient times under the Grand Dukes of Russia and the Polish Kings and their liberties and property rights in the courts, so that they might be tried by their elders without any interference with their Army courts; and that (we) confirm and do not violate their former rights which had been granted to clergy and laymen by the Grand Duke of Russia and the Polish Kings, and grant them a charter of confirmation of those rights with our sovereign seal; and that the number of registered Cossacks should be fixed at 60,000, and that this quota be always at full strength. And if the Hetman should die by God's judgment, We, the Great Sovereign, (were asked to) allow the Cossack Army, according to the old custom, to elect the Hetman among themselves and by themselves and to notify Us, the Great Sovereign, as to who have shall have been elected; that (we) order that the Cossack properties and lands which they use for their livelihood not be taken from them  p82 and that the children of the widows left by the Cossacks keep the rights of their grandfathers and fathers. And We, the Great Sovereign, Our Tsarist Majesty, have granted our favor to our subject, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Hetman of the Cossack Army, and to the whole Cossack Army of Our Tsarist Majesty and have ordered them to be under the exalted arm of Our Tsarist Majesty, according to their former rights and privileges, which had been granted to them by the Polish Kings and the Grand Dukes of Lithuania; and We have ordered that these rights and privileges must not be violated by any means that they should be tried by their elders, according to their former rights; and We have decreed that the number of the Cossack Army should be fixed at 60,000, according to their own petition, and that (this quota) be always at full strength. And if the Hetman should die, by God's judgment, We, the Great Sovereign, have allowed the Cossack Army to elect a Hetman, according to their former custom, by themselves and from their own ranks, and to write to Us, the Great Sovereign, who shall have been elected; and the newly elected Hetman shall swear an oath of allegiance and loyalty to Us, the Great Sovereign, before the person whom We, the Great Sovereign, shall appoint. We have also forbidden the Cossacks, their widows and their children to be deprived of their properties and lands which they use for their livelihood and (have decreed) that they should be left to them as before. And through Our Tsarist Majesty's graciousness the subjects of Our Tsarist Majesty, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Hetman of the Cossack Army, and the whole Cossack Army of Our Tsarist Majesty should be under the exalted arm of Our Tsarist Majesty, according to their former rights and privileges and all the articles which have been written above, and they should serve and be loyal and wish everything good to Us, the Great Sovereign, and Our son, the Lord Tsarevich, Prince Alexei Alexeyevich, and Our Successors, and whenever We should issue our sovereign order, they should go to war against our enemies and fight them, and obey Our Sovereign will in everything forever. And concerning those other articles which the above mentioned envoys Samoylo and Pavel in the name of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Hetman of the Cossack Army, have presented to Us, the Great Sovereign, to our Tsarist Majesty, and submitted to the privy boyars of Our Tsarist Majesty, the Boyar  p83 and Governor of Kazan, Prince Alexei Nikitich Trubetskoy, the Boyar and Governor of Tver, Vasili Vasilyevich Buturlin, the Okolnichy and Governor of Kashira, Peter Petrovich Golovin, and to the Dyak (state-secretary) of the Duma (privy council) Almaz Ivanov, We, the Great Sovereign, have listened to those articles with favor and ordered to write under each of those articles what we have decreed with regard to each, and have commanded that those articles with the decree of Our Tsarist Majesty be handed to the same envoys Samoylo and Pavel, and it is Our desire to keep Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the whole Cossack Army in Our Tsarist Majesty's gracious favor, and they shall trust in Our Sovereign favor."

(Complete Collection of the Laws of the Russian Empire,
vol. I, pp325‑327).


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