Danish and Prussian statesman; born April 3, 1769, in Copenhagen; died March 28, 1835. As early as 1787 he entered the diplomatic service through the influence of his father, Count Andreas Bernstorff. From 1789 to 1794 he served in Berlin, first as secretary of legation, then as ambassador, and was finally sent to Stockholm in the same capacity. On the death of his father, in 1797, he was appointed secretary of state, and in 1800 prime minister, which position he held till 1810. He represented Denmark at the court of Austria from 1811 to 1815, and participated in the Congress of Vienna (Sept., 1814, to June, 1815), where, in behalf of his government, he advocated the emancipation of the Jews of Holstein. From 1817 to 1818 he represented Denmark at the court of Berlin. When, in Sept., 1818, Lewis Way presented his memorial in behalf of the Jews to Alexander of Russia, then at Aix, Bernstorff declared himself ready to give any information with regard to the question of the emancipation of the Jews.

In 1818 Frederick William III. of Prussia appointed Bernstorff Prussian minister of foreign affairs, in which capacity he served till his retirement in 1832.

  • Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie;
  • Brockhaus, Konversations-Lexikon;
  • Graetz, History of the Jews, v. 519, 527.
D. A. R.
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