Norman Armour Meets Mark Twain

www.princetonhistory.org… – Laurence Hutton, the literary editor of Harper’s Magazine, was a Princeton resident. The Recollector revealed that among those who visited him at his home “Peep O’Day” in the early 1900s were Samuel Clemens (better known as “Mark Twain,” author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), and Helen Keller, who triumphed over deafness and blindness to become a writer and inspirational figure.
Norman Armour met Samuel Clemens (1835-1910) when he came to view the Armours’ splendid home library. It was snowing, and young Norman asked his mother for money to buy an expensive Flexible Flyer sled. Mrs. Armour pointedly remarked that when Mr. Clemens was a boy he probably built his own sled.

“Mr. Clemen’s left eyelid lowered slowly in my direction (he was always on the side of the young, you know) and he spoke very deliberately, very slowly. ‘Yes Ma’am, I suppose we did, and I advise no boy of this generation to slide down a hill on such a contraption.’

“He then commenced a detailed description of such an adventure, describing the rapid disintegration of the sled, piece by piece. ‘First one runner decides it has found a better route to the bottom. Then the other follows its lead, and finally the boards themselves assert their independence, until the unlucky carpenter finds himself sliding racily down the hill on little more than the skin God gave him.’”

“Whereupon my Mother handed over the money and I went off to buy my sled; but I didn’t buy a Flexible Flyer. No, I bought a cheaper sled and used the rest of the money to buy my first copies of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.” – Norman Armour

Mr. Armour also met the remarkable Helen Keller (1880-1968), whose wondrous schooling by Anne Sullivan later inspired the play and movie The Miracle Worker.

“Helen Keller came over to our house, brought by Mr. Hutton … she was deaf, dumb and blind, you see, but she conquered all that in some extraordinary way … she put her fingers to your lips and you were supposed to speak and she would know what you were saying … I was terrified, as a small boy … and said something about the weather, I suppose.” – Norman Armour

End of the Line – Monday, Dec. 31, 1945

www.time.com… – Lean, greying Norman Armour stepped off a plane in Washington, with Madrid behind him and retirement ahead. Thus a distinguished diplomatic career neared its close.

For 30 years, Norman Armour had steered a steady, able course through troubled diplomatic waters: the Red Revolution in Leningrad, The Hague in 1920-21, Rome in the mid-’20s, Tokyo, Paris in the worst years of the depression, Canada, Argentina in the troubled times of 1939-44, then Francisco Franco’s Madrid.

He had everything a career diplomat should have: he was wealthy, studious, shrewd, affable, full of both principle and humor. Colleagues in the State Department regarded him with awe. One of them once said: “You can’t compare Armour to anyone else in the service; he’s one of a species, like Lincoln.”

Now, at 58, Armour was ready to step down. Like the good diplomat he was, he gave no reasons other than fatigue and a sense of duty done. But it was clear that he had found few satisfactions in Madrid; he told newsmen that he had observed no effective opposition to Franco inside Spain, no signs of reform.

Perhaps by giving two thankless jobs in a row to Norman Armour (who was said to have been eager for the Paris assignment), the State Department had used poor diplomacy toward one of its ablest diplomats. At a time when the foreign service desperately needed good men, it could have used him longer.

Armour to Madrid – Monday, Dec. 18, 1944

www.time.com… – A major U.S. diplomatic shift was in the works. Headed for Spain was astute, aristocratic Norman Armour. Slated for retirement was balding, professorial Carlton Joseph Huntley Hayes, after a short (30-month) career in Madrid.

The Spanish assignment for Armour was a neat answer to a double problem. It would: 1) provide an important post for an able career man unposted since his recall from Argentina in July; 2) give the U.S. a competent observer in an old trouble spot soon likely to become Europe’s last existing Fascist state.

Norman Armour (of the Princeton, not the meat-packing Armours) had spent a good part of his 29-year career in trouble spots. As a diplomatic fledgling, he went through the Red Revolution in Leningrad, where he met a Russian princess, Myra Koudacheff, got her safely out of the country, and later married her. In Argentina, from 1939 until his recall, he rode the ups & downs of U.S. prestige like a veteran gaucho. In the years between, he was in Tokyo at the time of the Nanking incident, helped get the U.S. Marines out of Haiti, survived Chile’s disastrous 1938 earthquake. His dispatches continued to be unruffled, incisive, informative.

As Ambassador to Spain, Armour will replace a diplomat of a different type. A Columbia University history scholar, known to U.S. college students for his four-volume History of Modern Europe, Carlton Hayes had no diplomatic experience until he went to Spain in 1942. A front-rank Catholic layman who got on well with Dictator Franco, he was often criticized, mostly by the left-wing press, as an “appeaser.” To avoid embarrassing President Roosevelt in an election year, he offered his resignation. Refused then, it is sure to be accepted now.

Norman Armour – Wikipedia Entry

en.wikipedia.org… – Norman Armour (October 14, 1887–September 27, 1982) was a career United States diplomat who the New York Times once called “the perfect diplomat”. In his long career spanning both World Wars, he served as Chief of Mission in eight countries, as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and married into Russian nobility.

Albert Cameron Burrage (1859-1931)

Albert C Burrage

Albert Cameron Burrage was father to Albert Cameron Burrage Jr, father of Cynthia Sewall Burrage (Armour/Hovey), mother of Théo Armour.

General
www.colorantshistory.org… – an excellent general biography of Albert Cameron Burrage with photographs and bibliography.
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Norman Armour Papers

infoshare1.princeton.edu… – Papers held at the Princeton University Library – The Norman Armour Papers are comprised primarily of Armour’s correspondence with State Department officials, American presidents, and foreign leaders. Reports, telegrams, transcripts of speeches and newspaper clippings documenting Armour’s diplomatic career, and personal correspondence are also preserved in the collection.

Biography

Norman Armour, career diplomat and Assistant Secretary of State, was born October 14, 1887 in Brighton, England to American parents. He received his B.A. from Princeton in 1909 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1913. Armour returned to Princeton to obtain an M.A. in 1915, whereupon he joined the State Department and was immediately posted to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. This was the first in a long series of assignments, placing Armour in the heart of revolutionary Russia (1916-1919), fascist Spain (1924), post-revolutionary Chile (1938), and Haiti during the withdrawal of American troops (1933). Among his other posts were: Tokyo, Rome, Uruguay, Argentina and Canada.

Armour married Russian princess Myra Koudacheff in 1919, after he helped her to flee her homeland. (Armour himself crossed the border to Finland disguised as a Norwegian courier.) Through witnessing the upheavals and perpetual instability of Russia and other countries, Armour came to loathe rebellion and to esteem and promote the dependability of the American system. The Washington Post reported, “Unlike many emissaries, he represented his country, not the country to which he was posted and certainly not himself.” For his considered approach, polished manner and patriotism, Armour earned promotions quickly, rising from 3rd Secretary of the U.S. Embassy in Petrograd, to Ambassador to Chile, to Assistant Secretary of State (1947-48).

He was reputed to be the “ideal” diplomat: straightforward, communicative, and aristocratically old-fashioned. As one paper explained upon Armour’s retirement: “The need nowadays is for men who know this or that expertly….the wide-ranging knowledge which Mr. Armour acquired from his rich experience and which his natural gifts tempered into ripe judgments would not come amiss amid the seething and striving and self-centeredness of the specialists.”

Princeton awarded Armour the Woodrow Wilson Award in 1957. After retiring, he continued to advise the State Department and give lectures at Princeton and elsewhere. He died in 1982.

Ambassador Norman Armour

From US Department of State web site: Chiefs of Mission by Country, 1778-2005

Haiti

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Jul 25, 1932
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 7, 1932
Termination of Mission: Recess appointment expired, Mar 4, 1933
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Armour left post Mar 4, 1933; he returned Mar 8, and presented a copy of his letter of credence under his new appointment, Mar 23, 1933.

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Mar 17, 1933
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 11, 1933
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 21, 1935

Canada

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: May 29, 1935
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 7, 1935
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 15, 1938

Chile

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Jan 17, 1938
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 21, 1938
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 10, 1939

Argentina

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Appointment: May 18, 1939
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 19, 1939
Termination of Mission: Normal relations interrupted Feb 24, 1944; new Government of Argentina still unrecognized by the United States when Armour left post, Jun 29, 1944

Spain

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Dec 15, 1944
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1945
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 1, 1945

Venezuela

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Sep 20, 1950
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 7, 1950
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 2, 1951

Guatemala

Name: Norman Armour
State of Residency: New Jersey
Foreign Service officer
Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Sep 15, 1954
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 18, 1954
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 9, 1955
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 3, 1954.

Koudachev Family Geneology

Koudachev Family Crest

In the summer of 1999, I did a search on the Internet and came across a reference to Jacques Ferrand and to some books he has written on the noble families of ancient Russia. I ordered a book that included references to the Koudachev family. This revision is a scanned version of the chapter on the Koudachev family. I have left the text in the original French.

Koudachev Geneology

Here is an excerpt:

KOUDACHEV

A princely family of the Russian Empire

Koudacheff, Kudashev

Famille d’origine tartare dont l’auteur, Koudache mourza (mourza= prince indigène), s’établit dans la région de Temnikov sous le règne de Boris Godounov (1598-1605).

Deux de ses trois petits-enfants, Kapkoun et Aleï Tchepaï se convertirent à la religion orthodoxe sous les noms respectifs de Moïsseï et de Vassili. Dès cette conversion, l’appellation et la qualité de prince leur furent reconnues.

Confirmation de la qualité princière par le Sénat Dirigeant de l’Empire de Russie les 15 janvier et 9 novembre 1823, 30 juin et 30 septembre 1825, 16 août 1849, 5 juillet 1851, 19 juin 1852, 17 juin et 18 septembre 1854, 24 juillet 1856, 30 mai 1861, 27 novembre 1862, 30 avril 1885, 19 juillet 1889 et 30 avril 1890.