During the approximately two years that Samarin spent in St. Petersburg before he was sent on a special assignment to Riga, he served first in the Ministry of Justice, then in the Senate, and early in February 1846 he was transferred to the Ministry of Interior. He became a member of the committee for the study of the peasant order in Livonia. This position, as Dmitrii Samarin remarked, although of short duration, was Samarin Iurii’s unexpected but portentous exposure to the peasant question. Iurii’s unhappiness in St. Petersburg over his relationships with his father and with Konstantin Aksakov, and his general dissatisfaction with life and work in the capital, did not result in undue self-pity or idleness. At the time, Samarin was twenty-six years old. Vasilii Davydov, who was also of the gentry, and who later became Iurii’s commanding officer in the militia, recalled his first meeting with Samarin in one of the St. Petersburg salons.