It was on this date, December 9, 1842, that Russian geographer Peter Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Пётр Алексеевич Кропоткин) was born in Moscow into a noble family. As a 15-year-old, he was a page to the Tsar and later served as attaché to the Governor of Siberia. At age 22 Kropotkin was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his explorations, and his star was on the rise in the Tsarist service until, in 1872, he joined the Socialist movement. His political leanings got Kropotkin confined to prison.
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.