Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Antoni Barciński

Antoni Barciński

Antoni Barciński

*28 V 1803 Lublin, †9 V 1878 Warszawa

Feliks Antoni Barciński was born on 28th May 1803 in Lublin, where he was christened on 2nd June (some sources list Masłowizna (?) in the Kalisz voivodship as his birthplace). He was son of Lublin burghers Walenty (ca. 1774-1851), a Radom-born artisan, and Małgorzata Morawska (ca. 1780-1865).

Already at the age of 16 Antoni Barciński was living on his own. He graduated with honours from the Voivodship School (grammar school) in Lublin, and later worked for a year at that school as a temporary teacher before enrolling at the Warsaw University on 17th September 1823 at the philosophy department, class of mathematics. It was probably at that time that he became teacher at the Chopin family's boarding school for boys. Starting from his fifth term, he taught analytical geometrics and algebra at the Preparatory School for the Polytechnical Institute and at the Department School on Królewska St. Jest before graduating from the university with a master's degree in philosophy in 1826, he moved to live with the Chopins. He then became teacher at the Preparatory School. Barciński belonged to a group of 14 university graduates sent abroad in October 1827 to broaden their knowledge of trade and industry. In 1828 he took a course at the École de Commerce in Paris and undertook a study trip throughout Europe, travelling to England, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Upon Barciński's return to Poland in 1832 the Polytechnical School was dissolved by the Russian government, Between 25th November 1831 and 1841 he worked as a professor of higher mathematics at the Voivodship Grammar School (later Provincial Grammar School) in Warsaw, established in lieu of the Warsaw Lycaeum. Between 1838 and 1840 he also taught descriptive geometrics at Supplementary Teaching Courses at the Kazimierzowski Palace, where grammar school teachers received additional training. Beginning in 1833, for over twenty years Barciński also worked as an accountant at the office of the Zamość province governor. Several institutions in the Kingdom of Poland, such as the Governement Income and Treasury Commission and the Land Loan Society, called upon his services in running their accountancy. In 1836-1837 he was professor of accountancy at the Agricultural Institute at Marymont.

On 8th November 1834 in Warsaw Antoni married Izabella Chopin (1811-1881), Fryderyk's younger sister; he was at that time resident at 796 Elektoralna St. For some time (1842-1843) he was also inspector at the Provincial Grammar School and inspected various other schools, becoming, together with his father-in-law Mikołaj Chopin, member of the High Examination Committee between 1836 and 1841. In 1843 he received the Russian Order of Saint Stanislas, 3rd grade.

On 2nd September 1843 Barciński abandoned his teaching activities, and was nominated acting director of the Mining Department of the Governement Income and Treasury Commission on 21st September that year. Between 1845 and 1847 he was director of this institution. In 1848 he became director of the Vistula Steam Navigation Administration, a society belonging to Andrzej Zamoyski with a capital of 750,000 silver rubels, and went on to become representative of this Board. Between 1845 and 1849 Barciński was member of the Tutelar Board of the Child Jesus Hospital in Warsaw, where he oversaw the abandoned children. In 1854 he became member of the Industrial Board at the Department of General Administration. In 1860-1861 he was member of the Agricultural Society, and was elected member of the Warsaw Municipal Council on 9th October 1861. He retired in 1872 due to a heavy illness and received a pension of 390 silver rubels.

In 1844 the Barcińskis lived in their own house at 1255 Nowy Świat St. (where Mikołaj Chopin died). In 1855 they moved to 1347 Mazowiecka St., then to 1245 Nowy Świat St. (Zamoyski Palace), where they resided until 19th September 1863, when the palace was sacked and burnt down by the Russian army in retaliation against an assassination attempt at governor Fyodor Berg. On this occasion Antoni was severely beaten by Russian soldiers and probably imprisoned for some time, like were other residents of this property. The Barcińskis often changed addresses. They resided respectively at 1066 Królewska St., 1346c Mazowiecka St. (April 1864), 3001 Czerniakowska St. (July 1865; this house belonged to Antoni between 1867 and 1871), 1582h Marszałkowska St., and finally at 1632 Wspólna St., where Antoni died on 9th May 1878 at 6:30pm. He was buried at the Powązki cemetery on 12th May. Antoni and Izabella Chopin had no children.

Contrary to his brother-in-law Jędrzejewicz, Barciński had a greatly positive influence on the Chopin family. His relations with all Chopin family members were characterized by affection, sympathy and care. Having no children of their own, the Barcińskis took care of orphaned cousins of Antoni, children of the Jędrzejewiczes; Mikołaj and then Justyna Chopin both died in their house.

Antoni Barciński published several accountancy writings: O giełdzie londyńskiej (On The London Stock Exchange, Warsaw 1829), O giełdzie paryskiej z wyszczególnieniem i opisem wszystkich spekulacji na papiery długów publicznych (On The Paris Stock Exchange, with Details and Descriptions of All Speculation on Public Debt Bonds, Warsaw 1832), O rachunkowości kupieckiej (On Business Accountancy, 3 volumes, Warsaw 1833-1835), thoroughly revised and reprinted as Arytmetyka przemysłowo-handlowa (Industrial and Commercial Arithmetics, vol. 1, Warsaw 1835) and Buchalteria podwójna i jej zastosowanie do handlu, bankierstwa i różnych zakładów fabrycznych (Double Accountancy and Its Uses in Trade, Banking and Various Industrial Factories, vols. 2-3, Warsaw 1834-1835), reprinted again as vols. 1-2, Warsaw 1876), and finally Popularny wykład początków arytmetyki (A Popular Explanation of the Beginnings of Arithmetics, Warsaw 1843, 2nd edition Warsaw 1856).

Antoni's siblings: Tomasz (ca. 1799-after 1832, teacher in Lublin and Puławy, then Lublin canon), Michał (1805-1831, army physician), Marianna (ca. 1810-1873, married to Stanisław Śniadkowski, clerk at the Lublin Provincial Government), and Jan (1815-1884, émigré in France, then after his return to Poland director of the Machine Factory of count Zamoyski), were also linked in various ways to the Chopin family.

Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski

Bibliography
Rafał Gerber, Studenci Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1808-1831. Słownik biograficzny [Alumni of the Warsaw University 1808-1831. A Biogaphical Dictionary], Wrocław-Warsaw-Cracow-Gdańsk 1977, pp. 419-420.
Piotr Mysłakowski, Andrzej Sikorski, Chopinowie. Krąg rodzinno-towarzyski [The Chopins. Their Family and Social Circle], Warszawa 2005.
Janina Siwkowska, Nokturn czyli rodzina Fryderyka Chopina w latach 1832-1881 [A Nocturne. Fryderyk Chopin's Family in the Years 1832-1881], vols. 1-2, Warsaw 1986-1996.
Hanna Wróblewska-Straus, Katarzyna Markiewicz, Katalog wystawy Fryderyk Chopin i bracia Kolbergowie na tle epoki. Przyjaźń, praca, fascynacje [Fryderyk Chopin, the Kolberg brothers and their time. Friendship, work, fascinations. Exhibition catalogue], Chopin Society, Warsaw 2005, pp. 93-94 (HW-S).

 

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