Witte, Count Sergiej Juliewitsh. Russian statesman of Dutch origin. Born in 1849 at Tiflis. Educated at Odessa in mathematics and physics. Entered the railway administration, and first gained distinction by his clever organization of the transport of troops in the war of 1877-78. Was called to Petrograd for employment there in 1879, and appointed director of Russian southwest railways in 1886. In 1888 he became head of the railway department in the ministry of finance, chairman of commission on tariffs; in 1892, minister of means of communications; and in 1893, minister for finance. In August, 1903, he was removed from the ministry of finance, and made president of the committee of ministers. He was one of the Russian plenipotentiaries in the negotiations for peace with Japan in 1905, and was afterwards made a count. Died 1915.