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Christapor Mikaelian


Christapor Mikaelian

Christapor Mikaelian

Christapor Mikaelian (Armenian: Քրիստափոր Միքայէլեան), (Krisdapor Mikaelyan), (Chrisdapor Mikaelian), also known by his noms de guerre Hellen (Էլլէն), Topal (Թոփալ), and Edward (Էդուարդ), (18 October 1859 – 1 March 1905) was one of the three founders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation along Stepan Zorian and Simon Zavarian, also part of Armenian national liberation movement.

Early life

Mikaelian was born in the village of Agulis in the canton of Goghtn in the province of Vaspurakan in the Southern Caucasus under the Russian Empire, now part of Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. His father was highly respected by the villagers, who considered him as the village judge and would bring their disputes to his arbitration. Mikaelian lost his mother at the age of four, and his father at the age of ten. He graduated from the local school with flying colors, and so the administration offered him a scholarship to the professorial academy of Tiflis, on the condition that he then return to take a teaching position at the village school. He departed to Tiflis in 1874. His education was not yet sufficient, so he studied until in 1876, at the age of seventeen, he was accepted to the academy. He became an active member of the revolutionary organization Narodnaya Volya (People's Will), which was widespread amongst student circles. He read all the revolutionary literature he could get his hands on, and was especially influenced by the works of Welsh social reformer Robert Owen. In 1880 he graduated from the professorial academy of Tiflis, returning to his hometown and honoring his agreement to teach at the village school. In 1884 he returned to Tiflis and found the student organization Armenian Patriotic Union (Միութիւն Հայրենասիրաց) in disarray. He managed to gather some of the members along with some laborers and gave them lectures, taught them primary subjects and language, and on Sundays trained them in the use of weapons. From this group figures such as Arabo and Markar Varjabedian emerged, who became famous figures with their deaths. Mikaelian was also preoccupied with educating older student groups, whom he educated in Sociology. At that time he also became interested in Armenian issues, and paid visits to Raffi and Grigor Artsruni. In 1885 the czarist government closed down 400 Armenian schools and leaves around 20,000 students and 2,000 teachers on the streets. Mikaelian and his comrades distribute flyers of protest. The people were yet unprepared for such action, and it would not be until 18 years later when they would rise as one person in the face of a similar offense. In the autumn of 1885, Mikaelian departed to Moscow to continue his studies. Raffi recommended him to his friend Melkon Kasbarian Paniants, asking him to aid Mikaelian financially, adding, "You can believe me in regards to his morality, that he is a most honorable youth." For a year and a half Mikaelian attended the Petrovski School of Agronomy, where he met Stepan Zorian and Simon Zavarian. He took courses as an auditing student, simultaneously pursuing studies in scientific and economic issues and actively participating in student movements. Due to lack of financial means, Mikaelian left his studies incomplete and in 1887 returned to Tiflis and committed himself to revolutionary activities. He attempted to found a secret printing-house with Rosdom, but they were unable to secure sufficient funds.

Political activism

Upon his return to Tiflis, he organized, trained, and taught groups of people belonging to the working class. In order to mobilize the dispersed Armenian fedayees, he founded an organization known as Երիտասարդ Հայաստան (Young Armenia). He later became a co-founder of the ARF alongside Simon Zavarian and Stepan Zorian. He was one of the members of the ARF Bureau until his death.

He was eventually deported to Bessarabia. He then made his way to Galatz, Romania, where he participated in the production of Droshak newspaper, eventually becoming its editor. Mikaelian came up with the idea of killing Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II in the Yıldız assassination attempt. However, he died while testing bombs in the mountain village of Sablyar, near Kyustendil in Bulgaria. He was 46 years old.


  • Mihran Kurdoghlian, Badmoutioun Hayots, C. Hador (translators from the Armenian), Armenian History, volume III, p. 34, Athens, Greece: 1996
  • The Book of The Tashnagtsagan Badanee Volume I., p 58-61, Los Angeles: 2007
  • Գաբրիէլ Լազեան, Յեղափոխական Դէմքեր (Մտաւորականներ, Հայդուկներ), էջ 3-15, Մոնթէպէլլօ, Քալիֆորնիայ: Հ.Յ.Դ. «Դրօ» Կոմիտէութիւն, 1994

(Kapriel Lazian, Revolutionary Figures (Intellectuals, Freedom Fighters), p. 3-15, Montebello, CA: A.R.F. "Tro" Chapter, 1994)

See also

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