NICHOLAS PAULOVICH, who succeeded Alexander, and who is still on the throne of Russia, was born at St. Petersburg, on the 7th of July (June 25, old style), 1796. He was the third son of the emperor Paul I., and seemed to have no prospect of mounting the throne. His education was conducted by his mother, Mary Feodorona, an intelligent and devoted woman, who exerted a great influence on all the members of the imperial family. General de Lambsdorf, the countess de Lieven, the learned Adelung, and others, were charged with the education of the young prince. They initiated him into the knowledge of modern literature, political economy, the military art, and especially that of fortifications. Nicholas did not lack a certain aptitude for study. His masters, however, conceived no very high idea of his capacity. He was taciturn, melancholy, and occupied with trifles. His most decided taste was for music; he even composed some military airs which are not without merit. At the time of Napoleon's invasion of Rus sia, Nicholas was too young to take an active part in that gigantic struggle. After the restoration of peace, he visited the principal battle-fields where the Russians had figured, and subsequently travelled in the various countries of Europe. In 1816, he made his appearance at the court of England, and received a very cordial welcome from the British aristocracy.
see more - Historic Summary - The Reign of Nicholas I
Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855