Alexander Daniloviteh, prince, a Russian statesman, born in Moscow about 1672, died in Berezov, Siberia, Nov. 2, 1729. The son of poor parents, he was brought up without education, and apprenticed to a baker; but having entered the service of Peter the Great, he commended himself to his patron's favor by discovering a conspiracy among his guards. He served in the campaign of Azov, accompanied the czar to Holland and England, and on the death of Lefort became his principal adviser, being equally active in preparing or executing the great schemes of national reform, and in the warlike and diplomatic operations against Charles XH. He distinguished himself at the siege of Schlusselburg in 1702, and was made major general and governor of Ingria in 1704. During the campaign of 1706 he gained the decisive battle of Kalisz over the Swedes. He was made a prince both of the German empire in 1706, and of Russia in 1707. In 1709 he greatly contributed to the victory of Poltava, and was made a field marshal; in 1710 he commanded the Russian forces in the north, and took Riga; in 1711 he occupied Courland, and was made governor of St. Petersburg; in 1712 he occupied Pomerania, and in 1713 took Stettin. His cupidity led him to commit numerous arbitrary acts, for which he was finally court-martialled and sentenced to death, but escaped with a heavy tine.
Ho •regained his influence under Catharine I. (1725-7), of whose accession to the throne he was the principal instrument, and till her death exercised full sway over Russia. Ho was still more powerful at the beginning of the reign of the young Peter II., whose father-in-law he was about to become when he was suddenly arrested through the influence of Dolgo-ruki(September, 1727), and banished with his family to Siberia. He at first bore his misfortunes with great firmness, but the loss of his wife and eldest daughter broke his spirit and hastened his death. The remaining members of the family were recalled in 1730 by the empress Anna.
Alexander Serpreyetitfh, prince, a Russian soldier, great-grandson of the preceding, born in 1789, died May 3, 1869. He entered the imperial service in 1805, was for some time attached to the embassy at Vienna, accompanied Alexander I. as aide-de-camp during the campaigns of 1812-14, and was promoted to the rank of general, but resigned in 1823, when the czar abandoned the cause of the Greeks. Under Nicholas he served as ambassador in Persia, as well as in the war with that country which broke out on his return, and soon after in the Turkish war of l^-':». He took Anapa, was seriously wounded before Varna, and subsequently devoted himself to the restoration and development of the Russian navy, being appointed governor general of Finland in 1831, admiral in 1834. and minister of marine in 183G. In he was sent to Constantinople, to urge the claims of Nicholas in the affairs of Turkey. His extravagant behavior promoted a speedy rupture; he returned to Russia, and war was declared. The first victory of the Russians over the Turkish fleet at Sinope is attributed in part to Menshikoff's previous reconnoitrings in Turkey. Commanding both the land and naval forces in the Crimea, he lost the battle of the Alma, but strengthened the fortifications of Sevastopol, sacrificed a part of the fleet to l»ar the entrance of the harbor, and, though he lost another battle at Inkerman, distinguished himself by the utmost energy in defence of the fortress.
He fell ill and was superseded by Gortchakoff in March, 1855, and was appointed by Alexander II. commander of Cronstadt, whence he was recalled to St. Petersburg in April, 18556. He was among the stanehest members of the national or old Russian party, and was opposed to all reforms.