I. A W. Government Of Russia

A W. Government Of Russia, bordering on Tver, Moscow, Kaluga, Orel, Tehernigov, Mohilev, Vitebsk, and Pskov; area, 21,637 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 1,140,015. The surface is an elevated undulating plain, broken occasionally by low hills. The chief rivers are the Dnieper and Desna. It is interspersed with numerous small lakes and morasses; and there are immense forests of excellent timher, which abound with game. The soil is generally productive. Great numbers of cattle and of the celebrated Lithuanian horses are raised. Much attention is given to raising bees, and honey and wax form important articles of export, Iron, copper, and salt are found. Linen and woollen goods are manufactured, and tine carpets are exported.

II. A City

A City, capital of the government, on both sides of the Dnieper, 230 m. W. S. W. of Moscow; pop. in 1867, 22,977. It is considered the key to Moscow, and is strongly walled and fortified. It is the seat of a bishop, and has a remarkable cathedral and more than 20 other Greek churches. Its manufactures consist chiefly of linen and woollen cloths, leather, hats, and soap. It was important in the 9th century, and was long independent under its own princes. The Tartars, Lithuanians,, and Russians afterward held it successively; and in the 16th and 17th centuries it was the scene of conflicts between the Poles and Russians, often changing masters, but finally taken by the latter in 1654. On Aug. 17, 1812, was fought the battle of Smolensk, between the French and the Russians. In the night the Russians abandoned the town, and on the morning of Aug. 18 it was occupied by the French, who next marched upon Moscow, leaving most of Smolensk in ashes. The town was subsequently rebuilt and greatly embellished.