Shamsi Asadullayev

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Shamsi Asadullayev
Shamsi Asadullayev (2).jpg
Born 1840 (1840)
Baku, Azerbaijan
Died 1913 (1914) (aged 73)
Yalta, Russia
Children Mirza Asadullayev,
Ali Asadullayev,
Sara Asadullayeva,
Khadija Asadullayeva,
Aghabaji Asadullayeva[1]
Entrance to Asadullayev mansion in Moscow

Shamsi Asadullayev (Azerbaijani: Şəmsi Əsədullayev; 1840 - 1913) was an Azerbaijani national oil baron and philanthropist. He was the first businessman to use barges as transportation means to export oil out of Baku.[2]

Early years[edit]

Asadullayev was born in Amirjan village of Baku in 1840. At his early ages, he helped his father in farming business. In the mid 19th century when the oil business started booming, vast territories around Amirjan and Surakhani, on which farmers worked, were bought by Russian businessmen Vasily Kokorev and Peter Gubonin with the purpose of building oil refineries. Remaining with no arable land, many farmers were forced to find work in the oil businesses. Shamsi Asadullayev started working at the refinery. In 1860, he was promoted to Deputy Director to Kokorev. Some time later, he became the subcontractor for oil and salt producers. In 1875, after earning sizable income, he opened a kerosene plant. In 1890, Asadullayev co-founded an oil company with several other producers. In 1891, he purchased three barges to export oil out of Baku to Russia via Caspian Sea.[3] Asadullayev reportedly owned an electricity substation as well.[4]

Later years[edit]

In early 1890s, he purchased oil rich areas in the outskirts of Baku. In 1895, there was an oil gusher in one of newly acquired territories of Asadullayev which lasted for 56 days. As his oil exports to Russia through Volga River increased, he opened oil refineries in cities located in the export route basin, among them Moscow, Poland, Central Asia, Iran. As his wealth increased, Shamsi Asadullayev made contributions into building the Azerbaijani navy. He also funded construction of mansions in the center of Baku.[3]

Asadullayev was married to an Azerbaijani wife. The couple had five children: Mirza, Ali, Sara, Khadija and Aghabaji. When he married a Russian woman, his children broke off the relationship with their father and he had to move to Moscow in 1903. His Russian wife Maria was the daughter of member of Duma having close ties to the Russian tsar.[3]

After Bolshevik takeover of Azerbaijan, Asadullayev fled the country.[5]

He died from sun stroke on April 21, 1913 in Yalta.


  1. ^ Zuleykha Asadullayeva (Autumn 1999). "When the Bolsheviks Came. Father's Intuition - We're Finished!". Azerbaijan International. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  2. ^ "AZERBAIJANI OIL". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  3. ^ a b c "Şəmsi Əsədullayev" [Shamsi Asadullayev]. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  4. ^ Rustam Alasgarov (August 2011). "Electricity celebrates 110 years in Baku". Visions of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  5. ^ Reiss, Tom (2005). The Orientalist: solving the mystery of a strange and a dangerous life. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 31. ISBN 1-4000-6265-9. Retrieved 2012-01-04.

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