“On Civilizing the Nogais":
Mennonite-Nogai Economic Relations, 1825-1860
JOHN R. STAPLES*
Abstract: Mennonites lived alongside
Nogais-semi-nomadic Tatar pastoralists-in the Molochna region of southern
Ukraine from 1803, when Mennonites first arrived, until 1860, when the
Nogais departed. In Menno-nite historiography, Mennonites, led by Johann
Cornies, have been portrayed as paternal benefactors to the "backward”
Nogais. Using newly-mined archival sources, this essay traces the economic
interaction of Mennonites and Nogais to argue that, by the 1840s, Nogai
share-pasturers became an important outlet for Mennonite, and particularly
landless Mennonite, agricultural investment. That relationship undermined
the Nogai economy and became an important motive for the Nogai exodus,
which in turn was a significant factor igniting the Mennonite landlessness
crisis of the 1860s.
The insularity of Russian Mennonite historiography
and its disregard for Mennonite relations with neighboring peoples and
the Russian state is often bemoaned, but only in the last decade have
historians begun to seriously address the issue.
When it enters historical accounts at all, Mennonite contact with Nogais-semi-nomadic
Tatar pastoralists-after the first few years of settlement, is portrayed
as paternalistic, with Johann Cornies, a philanthropic benefactor, selflessly
striving to “civilize” backward Nogai tribes.
Not surprisingly that is how Cornies himself understood the relationship
and, to give credit where it is due, he genuinely sought to help the Nogais.
However, the relationship was far more complex and had important implications
for Mennonites as well as Nogais.
The Nogai exodus from the Molochna region
was one of several factors helping to ignite the landlessness crisis of
the 1860s; landless Mennonites leased large tracts of Nogai land and,
when the Nogais departed in 1860, the Russian state ceded the leased land
to Bulgarian colonists, forcing Mennonites to look elsewhere.
That much of the story is well known, but its antecedents have never been
explored. Mennonites had been pasturing sheep on Nogai land since at least
1825 when Cornies initiated his first philanthropic program, and by the
1840s share-pasturing contracts between Nogais and both landed and
landless Mennonites were a significant form of Mennonite agricultural
investment. These contracts undermined the traditional Nogai economy,
because they encouraged the creation of a highly differentiated society
dependent on a sheep monoculture. When an epidemic decimated Nogai herds
in 1848, Nogai society was thrown into crisis. Mennonites, many themselves
badly harmed by the epidemic, took advantage of the situation, leasing
prime Nogai land and consequently hindering the recovery of the Nogai
economy. This situation contributed to the Nogais’ decision to leave the
Molochna. Thus the Nogai exodus, which itself helped to spark the Mennonite
landlessness crisis, was partially rooted in philanthropic programs initiated
by Cornies in 1825.
NOGAI SETTLEMENT IN THE MOLOCHNA
The Nogai Tatar Horde splintered off the
Golden Horde in the fourteenth century, breaking into smaller groups that
scattered across the steppe from the lower Trans-Volga to Bessarabia.
In the 1770s and 1780s Catherine the Great resettled approximately 120,000
Nogais from Bessarabia and areas northeast of the Sea of Azov to the Kuban
and the Caucasus.
In 1790, during Catherine’s second Russo-Turkish war, Prince Gregory Potemkin
again ordered the resettlement of some 1000 Nogai families from the Caucasus,
where he feared they might defect to the Turks, to the north shore of
the Sea of Azov.
Arriving in 1792, this group was eventually joined by three others: a
group from the Caucasus in 1796; one from Bessarabia in 1807; and another
from the Caucasus in 1810.
This brought the total Nogai population in the Molochna to about 30,000
It would never grow much beyond that number, peaking at 35,149 in 1859.
There is little direct evidence about internal
administration in the Nogai community in its first years in the Molochna,
but studies of Central Asian steppe nomads provide guidance. Nomadism
placed limits on political authority, for nomads spent much of the year
in small groups beyond the direct influence of political leaders.
Central Asian nomads lived in auls, mobile villages composed of
as few as two and seldom more than ten nuclear households, each consisting
of a man, his wife and their unmarried children.
An aul was typically made up of households headed by close relatives and
forming a primary kin group, which was led by the eldest male, advised
and supported by the heads of other households.
Groups of auls often formed confederations known as hordes with common
All members of a horde traced their descent through the male line to one
common ancestor, often Ghengis Khan, and such descent myths provided “a
theoretical foundation for social integration.”
The Nogai descent myth included Ghengis Khan but extended back to the
biblical figure Ismail, son of Abraham and Hagar.
The leader of a horde was the bey.
His sons and close male relatives formed a hereditary nobility known as
murzas who led their own auls, which were often larger than the
norm, containing as many as fifty households.
The murzas’ control of the horde was based on their senior genealogical
position; it was “frequently the aristocracy . . . which [cultivated]
knowledge of genealogies and [manipulated] them so as to give an ideological
basis to their ruling positions.”
Beys and murzas were responsible for the allocation of key resources,
the establishment and regulation of migration routes, the defense of the
horde’s territory, and other common interests.
Beys, murzas, and leaders of auls gained
economic advantages from their positions. For example, they could arrogate
to themselves the best grazing territory and exact labor services-particularly
livestock supervision-from other clan members.
However, nomadism placed limits on economic differentiation as well as
on political authority. The most basic limitation was that the means of
production, the pasturage, was held communally.
A second important factor was that nomadic households required a minimum
amount of livestock to subsist. That placed a lower limit on the size
of a viable household’s herds, whereas the need for mobility and the environmental
limitations of pasturelands placed a maximum limit on herd sizes. Many
of the trappings of wealth in sedentary society were simply impractical
for nomads, who were limited in their personal belongings to the things
they could carry with them.
The stability of nomadic societies was ensured in part by the safety valve
of surrounding sedentary societies, which provided an outlet for those
whose herds grew too small to be viable, whether through misfortune or
mismanagement, and for those who found the attraction of greater wealth
In the Molochna the Nogai land grant encompassed
352,776 desiatinas of land (approximately 385,000 hectares), of
which 285,000 desiatinas were considered “useful” (udobnaia) and 67,776
desiatinas “not useful.” These vague terms reflected the state’s vague
understanding of the region, for the Nogai grant was located on the wormwood
steppe of the Azov Lowlands, an area of poor chestnut topsoils with humus
content ranging from 3% at its northern border, the Iushanlee River, to
0.5% in the highly alkaline areas immediately bordering the Sea of Azov.
The region was characterized in its natural state by sparse growths of
wormwood grass and, in places along the coast, salt-marsh grass. Its aridity-annual
precipitation a mere 320 millimeters on the coast, rising to about 380
millimeters at the Iushanlee River-meant that without irrigation the bulk
of it was suitable only for pasture.
That was not a drawback for the Nogais, who were semi-nomadic pastoralists
accustomed to eking out a living on the arid steppe.
German naturalist and explorer P. S. Pallas,
who travelled through the Nogai lands in October 1794, provides the earliest
glimpse of the Melitopol Nogais. Travelling from east to west, Pallas
met with three Nogai clans: the Yedichkul Horde that ranged along the
Berda River; the Dchambuiluk Horde that ranged along the Kaisak River;
and the Yedissan Horde that ranged along the Molochna River. The first
state-appointed nachalnik (chief) of all Nogais in the region,
Baiazet Bey, was drawn from the latter.
The Nogais whom Pallas met lived in yurts, round wooden-framed
felt-covered nomadic tents typical of Central Asian nomads. Pallas describes
how “in the summer, these people, with their flocks, travel northward
along the banks of the rivulets, where they sow wheat and millet in remote
places, and neglect all further cultivation till the time of harvest.
At the return of winter, they again approach the Sea of Azov.”
They are a good example of what anthropologist A. M. Khazanov calls “semi-nomadic
pastoralism, characterized by extensive pastoralism and the periodic changing
of pastures during the course of the entire, or the greater part of the
year; but although pastoralism is the predominant activity, there is also
agriculture in a secondary, supplementary capacity.”
Khazanov describes how Central Asian semi-nomadic pastoralists follow
a seasonal migratory pattern, moving north in summer to take advantage
of richer pastures in less arid regions, then returning south in winter
where weather is warmer and snow cover not as deep or long-lasting.
The Nogais whom Pallas saw had only recently
arrived in the Molochna, and it is not surprising that they retained semi-nomadic
practices. On the other hand, conditions in the Molochna were not identical
to those in the Caucasus, for the range of Nogai migration was limited
by state peasant settlements to the immediate north on the Tokmak and
Konskaia Rivers. The first detailed map of the Molochna region, drawn
in 1797 in the unrealized expectation of settling French peasants in the
area, shows ten Nogai villages scattered along the banks of the Molochna
and Iushanlee Rivers.
There are grounds for believing that the villages were not simply temporary
encampments; indeed five of them, located north of the Iushanlee River
beyond the borders of the Nogai land grant, were still in place in 1803
when the state ordered their occupants off the land to make way for Mennonites
who had been ceded the area for colonization. In a petition to the Civil
Governor of Tavride, Nogai nachalnik Baiazet Bey asked: “Who will pay
for the houses they have built? . . . Who will pay for the . . . grain
that stands in the fields of the places they have left'”
This is clearly not a description of temporary encampments.
In 1808 the state sharply changed its policy
toward the Nogais, shifting its focus to wardship and away from the concern
with security that had originally prompted the state’s relocation of the
horde to the Molochna. Official state correspondence from the period is
full of allusions to what the Nogais were understood to be-nomads-and
to what, in the eyes of Russian officials, they ought to have become-sedentary
peasant agriculturists. The first man assigned to bring about this transformation
was the graf Demaison, a French nobleman of indeterminate background
who had entered Russian service in 1802.
After Baiazet Bey’s death in 1805 the position of Nogai nachalnik was
filled by temporary appointees until Demaison took over in 1808; he would
hold the position until 1825. Johann Cornies, who lived in the village
of Ohrloff near the Nogai land grant, has left a glowing portrait of Demaison’s
Under the rule of that wise and unselfish
nachalnik, the Nogais made clear progress toward enlightenment and morality.
Finding them dwelling in portable felt tents, which were highly deleterious
to their health, he built them good homes, ending their nomadic way of
life and arousing them to the work of agriculture with great zeal and
profit. The philanthropic graf governed with fatherly patience and love,
and only when all measures of indulgence proved ineffective did he turn
to strong measures.
When the Duc de Richelieau, Governor General
of New Russia, appointed Demaison, he issued clear instructions to the
graf to move the Nogais from their tents to permanent settlements without
A. I. Borozdin, Civil Governor of Tavride, in turn ordered that sites
be selected for permanent villages. However, as Demaison soon reported,
the Nogais had a “strong desire to settle their households in those buildings
that they have already constructed for themselves,” and at his recommendation
the district land surveyor simply approved the location of already-established
Two years later Tsar Alexander I rewarded Demaison for this feat of legerdemain
by making him a Knight of the Order of the Apostle Prince Vladimir fourth
The permanent settlement of the Nogais, then, apparently involved nothing
more than designating as villages the permanent structures they already
Although Cornies was effusive in his praise
of Demaison, the graf was less well liked by the Nogais themselves. In
1815 they threatened a wholesale exodus to Turkey, and in 1820 they accused
Demaison of cheating them of salt revenues.
Even the admiring Cornies admitted that Demaison caused “unhappiness and
discontent” among the Nogais, who felt “as if he were attempting to enslave
them, and drive them to excessive labors.”
Nor can Demaison be credited with bringing
fundamental social or economic change to the Nogais, for by 1825, despite
his best efforts to promote arable husbandry, they remained pastoralists.
Still, Nogai herds expanded enormously during his tenure, from 35,961
cattle and horses and 15,448 sheep in 1807 to 221,284 cattle and horses
and 132,392 sheep at their peak in 1819.
This rapid growth suggests that Nogai society was undergoing a dramatic
transformation, probably attributable to the influx of some 100,000 peasant
agriculturists (including Mennonites) to the region by 1835.
These agriculturists provided wages to Nogais, particularly during peak
agricultural seasons, and they also provided a market for horses and cattle,
tallow, hides and meat. 
Although pastoralism was a logical choice
for Nogais both economically and environmentally, that does not mean they
chose pastoralism out of either economic or environmental considerations
for, as in most pastoral societies, livestock played an important cultural
If economics had decided the matter, Nogais would probably have raised
sheep for wool, but in 1825 sheep still made up less than a third of Nogai
livestock. Wealthy Nogai men were not distinguished by their sheep, their
clothes or their houses but by the size of their herds of cattle and horses.
Indeed, Daniel Schlatter, a Swiss missionary who made two lengthy visits
to the Molochna in the 1820s, even suggested that Nogai men valued their
horses above their wives.
From an environmental perspective the enormous
growth of Nogai herds was hardly desirable. In 1825 Cornies worried that
Nogais were over-grazing their land, and he was probably right.
Agronomists measure the carrying capacity of pasture in “animal unit months,”
the number of months an area will support one 450-kilogram cow or horse,
assuming average daily consumption of twelve kilograms of dry matter.
Based on this calculation, each desiatina in the Molochna could support
an estimated .64 of the small local cows or horses or 1.71 sheep.
Thus in 1819 Nogai herds would have needed 387,000 desiatinas of grazing
land-more than the total Nogai land allotment. Because Nogai pastures
were strained to their limits, it is little wonder that the harsh winter
of 1825 saw over 45,000 Nogai cattle and horses die.
Economic differentiation went hand-in-hand
with the growth in Nogai herds. As discussed above, nomadism had placed
limits on economic differentiation. However, in the Molochna, hemmed in
by surrounding settlers, Nogais abandoned nomadism for sedentary pastoralism
and economic differentiation soon followed. In the 1820s Schlatter saw
poor Nogais begging for grain, and he frequently mentioned distinctions
between poor and rich, although he was impressed by the equal access to
land still enjoyed by all Nogais and thought all but the poorest had adequate
Living in a Nogai household, Schlatter said his host Ali was “not rich,
but all the same had thirty head of cattle and five horses.”
In 1824 the average Nogai household had nine horses, twenty-six head of
cattle, and twenty-two sheep, so Ali was indeed below the norm. Notably
he owned no sheep, for Nogais were traditionally cattle herders, and the
transition to sheep-raising by some Nogais was a sign of economic assimilation,
a subject examined more fully below.
Before departing for his retirement home
in the Crimea in 1825, Demaison reflected on his accomplishments as Nogai
nachalnik, recounting successes settling the Nogais and forcing them to
grow grain but acknowledging that there was still much to do. The problem,
he wrote, was that “Nogais have, in every village, extra land amounting
to more than fifteen desiatinas per soul, and this is to be lamented,
for if they continue to be allowed to herd livestock like steppe nomads,
then their transition to a sedentary status will remain in doubt.”
In other words, they simply had too much land. The implied solution was
to deprive them of the excess. However, rather than resorting to this
extremity, the state tried other less arbitrary methods, turning to Cornies
to spearhead the second major campaign to civilize the uncooperative Nogai
Tatar Horde. Perhaps learning from Demaison’s failures, Cornies tried
to lead by example and not compulsion.
JOHANN CORNIES, MENNONITE PHILANTHROPY
AND THE NOGAIS, 1825-1838
Before Cornies began taking an active role
in 1825, relations between Nogais and Mennonites had been strained. The
first encounter between the two groups came in 1803 when the state evicted
five Nogai villages from prime sites along the banks of the Molochna River
to make way for the first Mennonite immigrants. Nogai raids on Mennonite
herds were a constant problem in the first two decades of settlement,
and in 1811 four Mennonites were murdered by Nogais, leading the state
to disarm all Nogais two years later.
Still, not all relations were bad. Mennonites provided agricultural jobs
to Nogais and rented pasture from them, helping to account for the prosperity
some Nogais achieved.
Cornies’ first contact with Nogais came in his father’s home, where Johann
Sr.’s reputation as a healer brought many Nogais to his door.
Perhaps motivated by this early contact,
Cornies became a student of Nogai history and keen observer of contemporary
Nogai life. In an unpublished 1825 essay he first outlined his own program
for their improvement:
Can not at least the principal town of
Nogaisk itself be improved and enlarged and provided with a high school?
Can not a model colony be established in the region, for poor but industrious
and willing Nogais, which could serve as a model for other Nogai villages?
Can not a flock of improved sheep be bought through the community treasury,
to be paid for from the profits of the improved wool in the future’
Although Cornies was never officially charged
with improving the condition of the Nogais, programs he began to implement
in 1825 and supervised until his death in 1848 would gain the state’s
The prize exhibit in Cornies’ programs
was the model village of Akkerman. Cornies first mentioned the idea of
creating a model village in 1825, and by 1832 the project developed into
a full-scale plan.
Finally built on the Iushanlee River near Cornies’ estate in 1835, Akkerman
represented Cornies’ vision of an ideal community. He composed a set of
instructions comprising thirty-five articles that defined every aspect
of the village’s construction and administration. Houses were to be “precisely”
aligned along both sides of a single street, “exactly” aligned with the
house on the opposite side of the street, “exactly” four sazhens
(about 8.5 meters) from neighboring houses, with a surrounding ditch “exactly”
two arshins (about 1.4 meters) wide and 1.5 arshins deep, each
yard divided into corrals, gardens, threshing yards and courtyards by
ditches “exactly” 1.75 arshins wide and 1.25 arshins deep, each with a
single gate “exactly” centered on the property, and so on.
Rules of conduct ranged from procedures for filing a complaint with the
village elder to the injunction: “it is strictly forbidden for anyone
to enter or exit the yard from the street by stepping over the ditches,
and everyone must enter and exit in the proper manner, through the gates,
and children must not go into the ditches, so that the ditches will not
become filled in.”
Akkerman was an extension of the state’s
earlier policies toward the Nogais, for it continued to hold out the regulated,
organized peasant village as a symbol of civility. It must be emphasized
that the model village was not solely Cornies’ project but was strongly
supported by the state. The cameralist policies that defined the Russian
state’s ambitions for its state peasants had been clearly laid out in
1797 in the laws governing state peasant administration.
What distinguished Cornies was his success in applying such cameralist
policies at the local level. Yet Cornies took the prescripts of cameralism,
incorporated the practical lessons he learned building Akkerman, combined
them with his religious beliefs, and conceived a model for society that
went well beyond the designs of the state. Because Akkerman was to replicate
a Mennonite village, taken to its furthest extreme, in an important sense
it also became Cornies’ model for the future of Mennonite society.
The nuclear Mennonite villages in New Russia
were themselves a recent innovation. When the first Mennonites arrived
in New Russia in 1789 they intended to settle on dispersed farmsteads,
but the threat of marauding Cossacks and Tatars forced them to build compact
nuclear villages instead.
The uniformity of the villages was a reflection of Mennonite traditions:
[following] logically from the community-minded
tenets of Mennonite theology, from a mixture of bitter and prideful memories
of a common martyr past, dating back to the Reformation, and from the
obvious need for solidarity if the community was to survive as a small
ethnic and religious minority in Russia.
The attempt to impose an ideal version
of this outer, physical manifestation of Mennonite religious beliefs on
Islamic Nogais provides a fascinating glimpse into Cornies’ philosophy.
The implicit assumption that governed the planning of the village was
that strict physical adherence to the outward manifestation of Mennonite
society was the key to what Cornies elsewhere called the “external prosperity”
of the Nogais.
Nor can there be any doubt that, for Cornies, improving the economic condition
of the Nogais was tantamount to improving their moral condition.
Cornies’ plan to civilize the Nogais extended
beyond remodelling their villages. His second major initiative was a project
to improve the quality of their sheep. This project was a clear departure
from the efforts of Demaison, who had encouraged arable husbandry by refusing
to grant travel passes to Nogais who did not plant at least two chetverts
(approximately 4.2 hectoliters) of grain each year.
This change in policy in part reflects Cornies’ role as a servant of the
Russian state, which had been actively promoting the breeding of merino
sheep in New Russia since 1803.
In 1824 this policy was sharply accelerated with the creation of the Organization
for the Improvement of Sheep Breeding headed by Cornies. Massive livestock
losses throughout New Russia in the harsh winter of 1825 lent additional
urgency to the program.
In 1825 Cornies began lending merino sheep
to Nogais while encouraging other Mennonites to follow suit.
This seems at odds with his concern about over-grazing on Nogai land,
but if, as Cornies intended, Nogais reduced the size of their cattle herds
and concentrated on raising smaller quantities of more valuable merino
sheep, pressure on grazing land would have been reduced at the same time
as the total value of their livestock was increased.
For several years prior to 1825 Cornies
had already been placing sheep in the hands of Nogais and to a lesser
degree the sectarian Dukhobors and Molokans and the non-Mennonite German
colonists. But his new program signalled an important change. Prior to
1825 Cornies paid a fixed rate per year per head of livestock, but now
he moved from a simple business transaction to a program clearly directed
at benefiting the Nogais.
Conditions Cornies incorporated into the new project involved fundamental
changes to the way Nogais supervised their herds. In effect, he was trying
to transform Nogai animal husbandry from pastoralist traditions that emphasized
the cultural value of livestock into a regulated, market-oriented system.
The terms of Cornies’ sheep loans were
eventually formalized into a standardized contract. In the first extant
example, in 1834 Cornies agreed to supply a Nogai named Kulman with forty-five
ewes and five female lambs and pay half the cost of buying a ram for breeding.
Kulman was to pay for the other half of the ram as well as all other costs
during the four-year contract. He was to provide fodder in winter, ensure
that the sheep drank only well water, prevent them from mixing with the
native Nogai breed of sheep known as kurdiuch sheep (which might
infect them with diseases), and refrain from slaughtering healthy sheep
under any circumstances. In a concession to Nogai religious customs, which
regarded allowing animals to die of disease as sinful, Kulman was permitted
to slaughter diseased sheep, but only in the presence of two Nogai elders
who would attest that the slaughtered sheep were truly ill. Cornies and
Kulman were to divide equally the annual wool production from the herd,
and at the end of the contract, after Kulman returned to Cornies forty-five
ewes and five female lambs to match the original investment, the two would
divide equally whatever offspring remained. However, if the size of the
herd shrank during the four years, Kulman was to pay Cornies the full
market value of lost sheep, except those from which he could produce a
hide and prove the sheep had been diseased.
In essence this was a sharecropping-or
more accurately share-pasturing-contract albeit a very unusual one. In
most sharecropping contracts a landlord provides capital in the form of
land and seed while the sharecropper provides only labor, but Cornies
did not supply Kulman with land.
Indeed, Kulman’s capital investment of land in effect made him a partner
with Cornies. Sharecropping is usually regarded as exploitive, and there
are indeed few historical examples that were not bad deals for the sharecroppers.
However, the contract between Cornies and Kulman clearly was not exploitive.
The clause releasing Kulman from responsibility for sheep lost to disease
protected him from the most serious risk, and the contract was plainly
structured with the intention of leaving Kulman with his own flock of
merino sheep at its conclusion. Such sheep were worth five times the value
of local kurdiuch sheep kept by most Nogais.
This contrasts sharply with the lot of most sharecroppers, who receive
only temporary use of land and never gain ownership of it.
Still, the contracts had the potential
to be exploitive, as Cornies knew. In 1836 he complained to the Inspector
of Molochna Colonies that Dukhobor and Molokan sectarians were making
arrangements with Nogais that were far less favorable for the Nogais than
Made without written contracts, these arrangements required Nogais to
look after sheep for as long as six years, often providing them with only
a share of the wool or a cash payment while doing nothing to improve their
herds. Moreover, Dukhobors and Molokans placed no conditions on the care
of their sheep and, as a result, Cornies’ sheep, which intermingled with
the Dukhobor and Molokan sheep, were being exposed to disease. The inspector
issued orders to elders of Dukhobor, Molokan, Colonist and Nogai villages
that in the future all contracts had to be in writing, conform to the
contracts Cornies had formulated and be registered with the district police.
Cornies’ share-pasturing contracts were
generous, but in contrast to Demaison’s earlier efforts they focused on
a small economic elite. Because Nogai share-pasturers normally took charge
of sheep in late October or early November, at the end of grazing season
but well before spring shearing, they had to supply fodder through the
winter before receiving any income from wool. That was an expense that
poor Nogais could not meet. The requirement that sheep be watered only
at wells was also significant. Merino sheep were ill-adapted to conditions
in the Molochna and drinking the brackish local water threatened their
health. However, ground water was thirty to fifty-five meters down, which
made well-digging an expensive endeavor requiring specialized equipment
In 1840 the Ministry of State Domains estimated that digging wells on
the high steppe cost between 200 and 400 silver rubles apiece.
Because such wells demanded constant maintenance, well-drilling required
an investment that would be fully repaid only over a period of years.
Again, poor Nogais could not afford it.
Between 1834 and 1837 Cornies and other
Mennonites contracted over 4000 sheep to Nogais in at least 21 different
However, Akkerman was clearly the focus of the effort. In 1837 the 381
persons in the model village-less than 2% of the Nogai population-owned
24% of all merinos in Nogai hands.
Per capita livestock holdings in Akkerman exceeded those in other Nogai
villages by a factor of 6 and per capita harvests were greater by a factor
An 1836 account of a second Nogai village,
Shuiut Dzhuret, shows just how far Akkerman was from the norm. In that
year Shuiut Dzhuret was destroyed by fire; the detailed inventory subsequently
compiled of the possessions of its inhabitants provides an important glimpse
into Nogai village life.
As Table 1 shows, Shuiut Dzhuret was marginally wealthier than the average
Nogai village but much poorer than Akkerman. However, Shuiut Dzhuret and
the rest of the Nogai villages kept more horses than Akkerman. As already
noted, horses played an important cultural role in traditional Nogai society,
so the small number of horses in Akkerman attests to shifting cultural
values and the gradual economic assimilation of the village’s inhabitants.
Records from the fire reveal sharp economic
differentiation in Nogai society. Nine of the 41 Shuiut Dzhuret households
(22%) owned 55% of the horses in the village, 43% of the cattle and, most
surprisingly, 100% of the sheep. Although in the 1820s Schlatter had noted
that Nogai wealth was not expressed in fixed assets, but only in livestock,
by 1836 this was no longer true, for the rich households claimed average
losses of fixed assets exceeding 1119 rubles in the fire compared to losses
of just 406 rubles per household for others.
The trappings of wealth that the rich households had acquired by 1836
imply that the nature of differentiation in Nogai society was changing.
A small, economically progressive group were separating themselves from
their fellow Nogais.
Table 1: Livestock Holdings in Shuiut Dzhuret, Akkerman
and other Nogai Villages
Shuiut Dzhuret Akkerman Nogais (Excluding
(1836) (1837) Akkerman)
Cattle/Male Soul 2.29 2.89 1.23
Horses/Male Soul 1.33 0.54 0.75
Sheep/Male Soul 4.02 33.52 3.55
Spisok Pogorevshim Khoziaievam Melitopol’skago Okruga Dzhuretskoi Volosti
Derevni Shuiut-Dzhureta Nogaistam,” 1836, PJBRMA, file 374; Cornies “Landwirthschaftliche
Notizen,” 1837, PJBRMA, file 992.
Data from the Nogai villages other than
Akkerman show that Nogai economic conditions had generally regressed since
the end of Demaison’s tenure. Total livestock holdings had declined to
less than a third of what they had been in 1819. Almost half of the sheep
were now merinos. However, that did not make up for the magnitude of the
decline, and the concentration of merino sheep in the hands of a small
elite meant they had little significance for most Nogais. Nor had Nogais
reacted to livestock losses by increasing other agricultural output-in
1837 the Nogai per capita harvest was just one-third that of Mennonites.
Residents of Akkerman and the small minority of sheep owners in Shuiut
Dzhuret and other Nogai villages were clearly distinguished from the rest
of Nogai society, but Akkerman was just a model, a product of Johann Cornies’
philanthropy. Whether it could have led to the transformation of the rest
of Nogai society will never be known, for in 1838 the state changed its
relationship to its peasants and Nogais became a casualty of the shift
from “civilizing” paternalism to administrative standardization. Ironically,
Cornies’ sheep improvement program became an agent of the Nogais downfall
as philanthropy gave way to economic expediency.
FROM PHILANTHROPY TO EXPEDIENCY, 1838-1848
The creation of the Ministry of State Domains
in January 1838 necessarily dominates any understanding of events in subsequent
years, for it fundamentally transformed the state’s attitude toward the
Tsar Nicholas I created the new ministry with the intention of radically
transforming the administration of Russia’s state peasants, a group that
made up roughly half of all peasants in Russia.
The ministry’s reform mandate was intended as the first step toward a
future reform of the administration of Russia’s serfs. The problems the
reform presents for studying the Nogais are in part methodological. The
new ministry took responsibility for all state peasants, and after 1838
the Nogais-until then a special sub-group of the state peasantry-ceased
to have a separate statistical existence, which makes it difficult to
ascertain their condition as distinct from other state peasants. Still
the change was not merely procedural, for when the state stopped recognizing
the Nogais as a distinct entity, it ended its efforts to assimilate them.
Cornies’ programs continued to function after 1838, but when economic
conditions changed in the 1840s the state did not introduce new policies
to supersede the old. Meanwhile modifications to Cornies’ existing policies
were based on the economic needs of Mennonites, not Nogais.
Still, for rich Nogais the first ten years
after the creation of the Ministry of State Domains were a time of prosperity.
Akkerman thrived; Baron von Haxthausen reported of his 1843 visit:
I was not a little surprised to see a completely
German village after the Mennonite model. . . . All the houses . . . were
completely alike and sturdily built. They had chimneys and stood in enclosed
yards. Before the house door there was usually a couple of poplars and
to the right and left small flower beds. In the gardens we found a large
number of grafted fruit trees; in the yard there were ploughs, harrows,
and carts like those of the Mennonites.
Haxthausen claimed that Nogais had “already
built a large number of villages according to [Cornies’] instructions”
with 17,000 people living in them, but this was an exaggeration.
Cornies planned four other villages, but only one, Aknokas, was ever built.
Nonetheless, he reported successes extending far beyond Akkerman, filling
his official correspondence with accounts of Nogai progress:
Now when one looks at them, he sees that
they live in houses that are well and attractively built, with tables,
chairs, and mirrors, and outbuildings such as stables and stalls for cattle,
[and] storage-sheds for agricultural equipment. . . . So they now live
proper, ordinary lives, and it is no longer a concern that they will lapse
into their old ways.
This optimism found its way into the Governor
of Tavride’s annual reports to St. Petersburg, a typical 1842 example
reading, “The Nogais are far better than the Tatars, and are progressing
by the year.”
Merino sheep acquired from Mennonites through
share-pasturing contracts remained an important source of Nogai wealth
in the 1840s. The attraction of share-pasturing to both Nogais and Mennonites
must be understood within the context of the rapid growth of the Molochna
economy after 1836 (Table 2). This occurred despite a serious slump in
international wool markets, which bottomed out in 1847.
At the same time grain prices rose and Mennonite landowners reacted by
gradually shifting from raising sheep to growing grain. As Table 3 shows,
between 1835 and 1847 Mennonites increased the amount of their arable
land by 55%, while reducing their cattle and sheep holdings. Only the
number of horses, needed as draft animals, stayed roughly constant.
Table 2: Trade at Fairs and Total Exports from Berdiansk,
Average Annual Trade Volume Berdiansk
At Fairs (Paper Rubles) (Paper Rubles)
1843-1845 263,283 1836 112,085
1846-1850 549,748 1838 2,971,426
1851-1855 1,252,326 1840 4,282,221
1856-1860 1,392,249 1860 6,423,812
Gubernskaia Vedomosti 26 (1 July 1841); Khanatskii, ed., Pamiatnaia
Knizhka Tavricheskoi gubernii, 434; PJBRMA, file 1858; “Otchetov Tavricheskikh
Gubernatorov,” RGIA, f. 1281, o.4, d. 49a-1844, d.
49-1845, d 69a-1846, d. 50-1847, d.35a-1848,
& d. 45a-1849; RGIA, f. 1281, o. 5, d. 52-1850,
d.30a-1851, d. 48a-1852, d. 73a-1853, & d. 60a-1854;
RGIA, f. 1283, o. 1, d. 2481; RGIA, f. 1281,
o. 6, d. 97-1856, d. 97-1857, d. 86-1858,
52-1859, d. 20 1860, d. 48-1861, & d. 47-1862.
Table 3: Land Sown and Livestock per Mennonite Household,
1835 and 1847
(per fullholding) (974 fullholdings)*
Desiatinas sown 12.36 19.17
Horses 6.19 5.97
Cattle 7.93 5.88
Sheep 115.00 91.00
* Includes complete data from all 42 villages.
** Includes data only from 27 villages.
Ueber den Zustand der Molotschner Mennonisten Gemeinde in Zahlen im Jahre
1835,” 1837, PJBRMA, file 1138. This document provides only the number
of chetverts of grain and other crops sown (1 chetvert = 2.1 hectoliters).
The number of desiatinas sown has been calculated using figures from “Verzeichniss.
Des Molotschner Mennonisten Gebeits Amtes ueber die Aussaat des Sommergetreides
im Jahre 1857,” and “Ueber die Winterssaat in der Kolonie des Molotschner
Kolonisten Gebeit,” 1858, GAOO, f. 6, o. 4, d. 18086;
“S vedomostiami o blagosostoianii Molochanskago kolonistskago i menonistskago
okruga,” 1847, GAOO, f. 6, o. 2, d. 10080.
The transformation to arable husbandry
closely paralleled a growing shortage of land in the Molochna Mennonite
settlement and was in part a reaction to this land shortage. The cost
of renting pastureland had already undergone a sharp inflation in the
1820s, and as early as 1826 Cornies told a Prussian acquaintance:
From the interior of the Empire, where
the overcrowded population is causing a great dearth of land, thousands
are streaming to the southern and eastern steppes. Where ten or fifteen
years ago one saw nothing but sky and steppe on a journey of several days,
now the most poverty-stricken villages of 1000 to 2000 souls have been
Although Mennonites had access to large
areas of reserve land to lease as pasture, by 1835 the number of sheep
in the Molochna settlement had already exceeded the carrying capacity
of this land, and Mennonites were increasingly dependent on pastureland
rented from neighboring settlers and estate owners.
Under such circumstances the share-pasturing system, originally conceived
as a way to improve the quality of Nogai sheep, was soon transformed into
an outlet for Mennonite agricultural investment.
The workings of the share-pasturing system
in the mid-1840s are detailed in two lists describing 188 contracts concluded
between 1843 and 1847.
Ninety-three Mennonites took part, providing 10,279 sheep to Nogais. Just
6 contractors, including Cornies, supplied over a third of the sheep,
the remaining 87 providing an average of just 77 each. As for the Nogais,
no single share-pasturer engaged in more than one contract and no contract
exceeded 120 sheep. Fullholder (Vollwirtschaft) inventories from 1847
exist for 27 of the 44 Molochna Mennonite villages, affording an economic
profile of 30 of the 93 Mennonite share-pasturing contractors.
As Table 4 shows, on average contractors kept substantially more livestock
of all kinds than other Mennonites but sowed less land. As market forces
pushed them to put more land under crops, they needed either to sell their
livestock or to move it to different land. Share-pasturing contracts furnished
a way to keep part of the income from displaced sheep without incurring
any direct costs for land rental, fodder or labor at a time when investment
was better directed into grain-growing. Most of these contractors continued
to keep unusually large herds of sheep on their own land in addition to
those they contracted to Nogais, but there were interesting exceptions.
Peter Regier of Altona, who kept just 78 sheep on his own land, contracted
852 sheep to Nogais, using share-pasturing as a significant form of agricultural
investment. In contrast, a few contractors were unusually poor, such as
the brothers Heinrich and Gerhard Wiens, who shared a fullholding in Blumenort
and had only 7 sheep between them, apart from the 194 they contracted
Table 4: Land Sown and Livestock Held by Share-pasturing
Contractors and Other Mennonites in 1847
Contractors All Mennonites
Horses 6.16 5.97
Cattle 6.39 5.88
Sheep 111.81 91.00
Land Sown 17.31 19.17
Source: “mesiachnymi vedomostiami o blagosostoianii
kolonii berdianskago okruga za Ianvar 1847,” GAOO, f. 6, o.
2, d. 10063.
A second important group of Mennonite share-pasturing
contractors can also be identified-the landless. Twenty can be identified
as landless because they lived in one or another of the 27 villages for
which fullholding inventories exist but their names did not appear in
the inventories. Unfortunately, little more is known of their circumstances.
Peter Loewen of Altonau was the single largest contractor, supplying 978
sheep to Nogai share-pasturers. Even at deflated 1840s prices this must
have represented an investment of over 20,000 rubles, making the landless
Loewen a rich man. By comparison the other 19 landless averaged just 65
sheep under contract, much fewer than most land-owning contractors. Landlessness
was a growing problem in the Molochna Mennonite colony in the 1840s, with
over 53% of all Mennonites landless by 1847.
The depression in wool prices permitted landless Mennonites to buy merino
sheep at deflated prices from landowners who were putting pasture lands
to the plow, while share-pasturing permitted them to keep the sheep without
incurring direct costs beyond the original purchase price. In this manner
the share-pasturing program, which began as a way to improve Nogai sheep,
became a way for landless Mennonites to invest in the agricultural economy.
Share-pasturing made economic sense for
Nogais, too. Due to the five-fold gap between the price of merino and
kurdiuch wool, Nogais could make more money raising merinos with prices
at their lowest than they ever did raising kurdiuch sheep. One indication
of the profitability of raising merinos comes from a different program
introduced by Cornies in 1843 to sell sheep to Nogais on credit.
A record of 30 sales survives. Credit was interest-free, averaging 277
rubles per purchase, although whether in silver or paper rubles is unclear,
as is the number of sheep involved. As Table 5 shows, Nogais had no difficulty
repaying the loans, which suggests that raising merino sheep was profitable.
Table 5: Repayment of Sheep Loans, 1843-1847
1843 — 8,312.00
1844 2,964.15 5,347.85
1845 1,277.80 4,070.05
1846 3,021.52 1,048.53
1847 1,023.40 25.13
Source: “Nogaier Schaafschuld von 1844
an zu bezahlen mit den Beimerkung wie viel von Zeit zu Zeit dieselbe darant
abgetragen haben,” n.d., PJBRMA, file 916.
Such positive evidence must be balanced
by contrary indications of problems, both for Nogai share-pasturers and
their Mennonite suppliers. Cornies had always been less optimistic about
Nogai progress in his private correspondence than in official reports.
As early as 1836 he wrote to his friend Aleksander Fadeev, head of the
Guardianship Committee that supervised colonists in New Russia: “These
people lack patience and perseverance, and . . . knowledge of the methods
of raising [merino] sheep.”
Some Mennonites apparently lacked “patience and perseverance” with Nogais
as well, for that same year Cornies asked the Inspector of Colonies to
caution Mennonites not to “mock or ridicule Nogais about their inability
to accomplish what they have started.”
Cornies showed dissatisfaction with the terms of share-pasturing contracts
in 1837, proposing a revised twenty-two-clause contract that, if implemented,
would have rigorously redefined Nogai obligations. It foresaw monthly
inspections and stipulated when sheep would be moved to pasture, when
they would be mated and when they would receive fodder. It also defined
procedures for removing weak sheep from the flock and sharply redefined
the treatment of sick sheep by specifying that “regardless of whether
the sheep are well or sick, [the share-pasturer] may not slaughter them
under any circumstances, and if he does he will have to pay for them,
and beyond that will face punishment in court.”
Nogais also had concerns; in 1839 a group
from Akkerman petitioned their “esteemed benefactor” Cornies for help.
They described how their merinos had been afflicted since 1837 with a
disease that reduced wool production and prevented successful breeding
so that in 1837 and 1838 they realized no profits. Because drought destroyed
fodder crops in 1839 they anticipated even greater losses. Because of
this, they said, “many of our people want to breed only [kurdiuch] sheep,”
and they asked Cornies to intervene to help cure the disease and end their
In the 1840s Mennonite contractors began
subtly manipulating the terms of contracts to their own advantage. They
gradually increased the proportion of lambs included in contracts from
10% to over 19%, thus reducing wool production and, because ewes could
not safely be bred before the age of 2.5 years, also reducing reproductive
potential. At the same time they began supplying some male lambs in place
of female lambs. A herd of 50 ewes-the standard contract amount-needed
only one ram, so for Nogais the 10 to 15 male lambs that began to be included
in some contracts were superfluous while the corresponding reduction in
female lambs reduced the reproductive potential of the herd. Moreover,
male sheep were less valuable wool producers because, while they produced
more total wool, they produced less clothing wool, which brought a far
higher price on international markets.
The same conditions that made share-pasturing
a preserve of wealthy Nogais in the 1830s still applied in the 1840s,
with important implications for the growth of differentiation in Nogai
society. Merino sheep pastured on Nogai commons competed for land with
the livestock of poor Nogais. The amount of useful grazing land was limited
by the aridity of Nogai land, and wealthy Nogais kept disproportionately
large flocks, thus monopolizing the commons. Ukrainian state peasants
in the Molochna, faced with the same problem, decreased their commons,
increased their arable land, and instituted communal land repartition
on the arable portion, thus ensuring adequate access to land for the poor.
Poor Nogais may have tried similar tactics, for in November 1846 Mennonite
suppliers began requiring Nogai share-pasturers to provide written guarantees
from village elders confirming their right to use the commons for contracted
sheep, which implies that this right was in dispute.
That Nogai share-pasturers successfully obtained such guarantees suggests
that, unlike Ukrainian state peasants, the Nogai poor were unsuccessful
in asserting their claims. Consequently, they could not follow the example
of Ukrainian peasants and turn to growing grain, for the land best suited
to arable husbandry was also that best suited as pasture. The structure
of Nogai-Mennonite economic relations thus encouraged a sheep monoculture
at just the time when market demand dictated transition to arable husbandry.
Meanwhile, the introduction of pasture guarantees to Nogai share-pasturers
was an important symbolic juncture in Nogai history, for it formally abrogated
the customary nomadic right of common access to pasture.
EPIDEMICS AND ECONOMIC DETERIORATION, 1848-1855
Despite changes that served Mennonite interests,
the period 1838 to 1847 marked the peak of both share-pasturing and prosperity
for wealthy Nogais. However, in the winter of 1847 a severe sheep epidemic,
worsened by drought, threw the Nogais into crisis. To survive, they turned
to Mennonites for help, and the consequences, in the form of unpayable
debts, were disastrous.
The epidemic that swept through New Russia
between 1847 and 1849 saw 46% of livestock in the region die.
In Tavride province alone 85,692 horses, 505,577 cattle and 678,583 sheep
died, and Berdiansk uezd (administrative district) where the Nogais
and Mennonites lived, was particularly hard hit.
The epidemic signalled the end of sheep share-pasturing-from 1848 to 1850
there were only 41 new contracts and after 1850 there were none. That
is probably because the destruction of Nogai herds was enormously costly
to everyone involved. For Nogais, the immediate expenses involved in new
share-pasturing contracts remained, but income from existing herds was
gone, making it difficult to afford new contracts. For Mennonites, their
capital investment disappeared with the death of the sheep. Even if they
could afford to replace them-a doubtful proposition, particularly for
the landless-the risks, freshly demonstrated by the epidemic, must have
Meanwhile, in early 1848 Nogais borrowed
money, not sheep, from Mennonites for the first time. The interest-free
loans were small, averaging just 73 rubles, due in full from six months
to two years later. Records of 31 loans survive, although there is no
indication that they were repaid on time or indeed repaid at all.
Other sources show that Nogais had great difficulty repaying their debts
after 1848. After Johann Cornies’ death in 1848 his heirs again sold sheep
from his Iushanlee estate to Nogais on credit.
The amount involved, 21,134 rubles, was almost three times that granted
in 1843. The 1843 loans were almost fully repaid within four years; by
comparison, repayment of the 1848 and 1849 loans stretched over nine years,
and in the end 5844 rubles, almost 28% of the total, were never repaid.
Records from 1848, 1849 and 1851 show that other Mennonites also sold
sheep worth over 28,000 rubles on credit to Nogais, and although there
are no payment records, it is unlikely that they were better repaid than
the debts owed Cornies’ heirs.
The most compelling evidence of a crisis
in Nogai society after 1848 comes from the two model villages, Akkerman
and Aknokas. In January and February 1851, 33 Nogais from the model villages
each rented an average of 3.6 desiatinas to Mennonites, for between 3.5
and 4.5 paper rubles per desiatina. The rent was to be paid directly to
the treasury to cover tax arrears.
The rental price was high-pasture land still rented for as little as 1.38
rubles per desiatina in the Molochna in 1851-but
this was because the land in question was river floodplain, the most valuable
land in the region.
Pre-revolutionary Russian historian A. A. Sergeev suggests that renting
out land to pay tax arrears was common to all Molochna Nogais in the 1850s,
although he credits the practice to laziness: “The Nogais were indifferent
to agriculture and gardening and rented their land . . . on the easiest
An 1850 report on the condition of the
two model villages shows that while some residents were still wealthy,
many had been reduced to abject poverty. Differentiation in the model
villages in 1850 was an extreme version of that in Shuiut Dzhuret in 1836.
A much larger percentage of households in Akkerman and Aknokas owned sheep,
and the rich in Akkerman and Aknokas were much richer than those in Shuiut
Dzhuret, although the poor were poorer (Table 6). The report details the
economic condition of some Nogais involved in rental transactions. Unfortunately,
inconsistent spellings of Nogai names and the use of only first names
in some contracts makes it impossible to identify all participants, but
10 of the 33 can be identified. Eight of these 10 were poor, owning no
sheep and on average fewer than 3 head of livestock, while the other 2
owned 84 sheep between them, putting them at the bottom end of the sheep-owning
households. Thus, as might be expected, Nogais who rented out their land
to pay tax arrears were poor. The loss of use of their best land could
only make them poorer. Confirming this, records for Akkerman from 1853
show the amount of land rented to Mennonites had climbed to an average
of 12.75 desiatinas per participating household, while the number of households
involved grew from 33 to 37.
Unlike with share-pasturing contracts in the 1840s, the majority of identifiable
Mennonite renters-17 of 24-were landless, while none of the landed renters
owned exceptionally large sheep herds.
Table 6: Economic Differentiation in Shuiut Dzhuret (1836)
and Akkerman and Aknokas (1850)
Shuiut Dzhuret (1836) Akkerman & Aknokas (1850)
Sheep Owning Other
Sheep Owning Other
Households (%) 22 78 48 52
Sheep/Household 50 0 119.46 0
Horses/Household 12.11 4.59 8.70 2.04
Cattle/Household 2.09 3.07 1.12
Sources: “Imennyi Spisok Pogorevshim Khoziaievam
Melitopol’skago Okruga Dzhuretskoi Volosti Derevni Shuiut-Dzhureta,” 1836,
PJBRMA, file 374; “Vedomost’ o sostoianii Sel. Aknokas v 1850 godu,” and
“Vedomost’ o sostoianii kolonii Akkermana. 1 Maia 1850,” 1850, PJBRMA,
While poor Nogais in Akkerman and Aknokas
were losing control of their land, the parallel process of sharecropping
also appeared-in 38 extant contracts Mennonites contracted to Nogais as
The contracts called for Nogais to provide ploughed land that the Mennonites
were to sow. Nogais would harvest the crops and the product would be split
evenly. Twenty-nine of the 38 Nogais involved can be identified, 13 of
them coming from the wealthy sheep-owning group. Only 13 Mennonites can
be identified, and of these only 3 held fullholdings. Thus in some instances
wealthy Nogais were becoming landlords to poor Mennonites, showing that
consequences of the 1848 epidemic were dire for landless Mennonites, too.
Evidence of conditions in the Nogai villages
in the 1850s is much scarcer than in earlier decades. Travellers to the
region continued to report that the model villages were shining examples
of order and prosperity-a description sharply contradicted by the data
In 1855 Alexander Petzholdt described somewhat less idyllic conditions
in the Nogai village of Baurdak just south of Akkerman and Aknokas. He
was dismayed by the haphazard layout of the village and the homes built
of manure-and-straw bricks with crooked chimneys and badly thatched roofs.
Yet even here there was no hint of the deep-rooted problems that were
soon to provoke a wholesale exodus of the Nogais to Turkey.
Russian officials were under no misconception
about the decline in Nogai conditions. In 1853 the Governor of Tavride
reported to the Ministry of State Domains: “The Nogais . . . are almost
completely identical to the Tatars.”
This contrasted sharply with the 1842 report that “Nogais are far better
than the Tatars, and are progressing by the year.”
The optimism that had permeated official reports before 1848 had vanished.
Nogais too were no longer optimistic. In the 1850s their leaders increasingly
aligned themselves with the Crimean Tatars, ultimately joining in the
Tatar exodus to Turkey in 1860.
THE CRIMEAN WAR AND NOGAI EXODUS
A full explanation of the Nogai exodus
from the Molochna requires a brief detour into the subject of relations
between the Russian state and the Crimean Tatars. Never good, these relations
deteriorated rapidly in the 1840s and 1850s, hitting bottom during the
Crimean war when suspicions of Tatar collaboration with Turkish forces
caused the state to consider evicting large numbers of Tatars from their
homes and relocating them inland.
Tatar dissatisfaction with the tsarist state centered on Russian nobles
who had acquired large parcels of Tatar land, often through dishonest
The last straw for the Tatars was the Ministry of State Domains’ rejection
in 1859 of Tatar petitions for new land grants to ameliorate their poverty.
No evidence suggests that the Nogais were
subject to the same suspicions as the Crimean Tatars during the war. Like
other residents of the southern provinces, they were obliged to contribute
to the war effort, sending 940 head of cattle to feed the troops at Sevastopol
and supplying 75 wagons to transport materials.
Such contributions must have been a heavy burden for the already struggling
Nogais. Just as significantly, war-induced shortages drove grain prices
to new heights in 1854 and 1855. Grain producers profited, but grain buyers
suffered as a result of the inflation. Land values soared along with wheat
prices, but the best Nogai land had already been leased to Mennonites
at pre-war prices and Nogais were left to buy grain produced on their
own fields at prices that far outstripped the rents they received.
After the war, Nogai leaders aligned themselves
closely with their Crimean Tatar neighbors. In 1857 a group of Nogai murzas
joined in Tatar petitions for increased land grants. Justifying their
claims with stories of the services their forebears had provided the state,
they protested that, “not having private land, we not only have been reduced
to poverty, but a great many among us are compelled, in order to obtain
subsistence, to work as simple servants.”
In the ruling that rejected the Nogai petition, the Ministry of State
Domains concluded that, although many of the murzas possessed legitimate
proof of the noble status granted their ancestors by Catherine II in the
eighteenth century, those ancestors were already long dead and claims
based on their service had no significance.
With a stroke of the pen those that remained were reduced from murzas
to state peasants with no claim to special privileges.
In the fall of 1859 some 16,000 Nogais
from the Caucasus obtained permission to emigrate to Turkey. They travelled
overland to the Molochna, wintering with their Molochna cousins, then
journeyed on in the summer of 1860 to the Crimea, where they continued
When they left, the Molochna Nogais went with them. In 1859 there were
35,149 Nogais in the Molochna. By October 1860 there were 105. By January
1862 there were 20.
Nogai land-including that rented by Mennonites-reverted to the state,
which assigned much of it to Bulgarian colonists. Landless Mennonites,
deprived of an important source of rental land, soon demanded a redistribution
of Mennonite land, and their demands became an important factor helping
to ignite the landlessness crisis of the 1860s.
HISTORICAL IMPLICATIONS OF NOGAI-MENNONITE
The story of Mennonite-Nogai economic relations
has several important lessons for historians of Mennonites in Russia.
First, Mennonites were neither isolated from surrounding populations nor
simply paternal benefactors to backward neighbors. Whatever Cornies intended,
Mennonite-Nogai relations soon came to be governed by pragmatic economic
considerations, with Nogais providing a significant avenue for Mennonite
investment. Some Nogais grew rich in consequence but most grew poor, and
by encouraging animal husbandry to the exclusion of arable husbandry in
contradiction of shifting market demand, Mennonites unintentionally set
up the Nogais for a fall.
Of course, by 1825 traditional Nogai pastoral
practices had already led to the brink of disaster through overgrazing.
Something had to change and Cornies’ programs were intended to guide that
change along manifestly successful Mennonite paths. Even after Cornies’
death, when the 1848 epidemic wiped out Nogai herds, Mennonites gave interest-free
loans to Nogais despite being hard-hit by the disaster themselves. Moreover
the Mennonite solution to the problem, transition to arable husbandry,
was not necessarily a panacea. Nogai land was the poorest in the Molochna
region, and only a relatively small proportion of it along the banks of
the Molochna and Iushanlee rivers was truly suited to crop agriculture.
The Bulgarian colonists who inherited the land in the 1860s quickly pronounced
much of it uninhabitable and were persuaded to stay only by a large-scale
state-funded well-digging program.
Still, some Nogai land was suited to arable husbandry, and indeed was
ploughed and planted in the 1850s-mainly by landless Mennonite renters.
Placed in the context of Mennonite-Nogai
economic relations and the role of landless Mennonite leasers in the post-1848
Nogai economic collapse, the Nogai exodus itself appears to be at least
partly a product of Mennonite landlessness and not simply a contributor
to the landlessness crisis, as has been argued in the past. Because the
landlessness crisis occurred in the 1860s, the significance of landlessness
in earlier decades has received less attention than it deserves. However,
the Nogai story suggests that it needs to be reassessed.
The role of Mennonites as models to surrounding settlers was hotly debated
in the 1830s and 1840s. Progressive Mennonites, led by Cornies and supported
by the state, argued that the terms of the Mennonite Charter obliged them
to act as model settlers. Conservative Mennonites responded that Mennonite
faith was founded on separation from “the world” and thus precluded active
involvement with other settlers.
Participation by landless Mennonites in Cornies’ share-pasturing program
is a pointed reminder that the conservative ideal of living as “the quiet
in the land” was possible only for those with land. For the 53%
of Molochna Mennonites without land by 1847, the insular ideals of conservative
congregations offered but cold comfort.
On the other hand, the extent of landlessness
raises questions about the ability of Mennonites to fill the role envisioned
by progressive colonists. The progressive program, which held up Mennonite
prosperity as a model to other settlers, was based on the agricultural
success of the landed. Cornies’ program to “civilize” the Nogais was the
most prominent practical attempt to provide a Mennonite model for neighboring
peoples, but it failed because landless Mennonites, who were in no position
to be philanthropic, reshaped the program to meet their own economic needs.
Increasing involvement in the scheme by the landless in the 1840s suggests
that the Mennonite agricultural model was far less healthy than Cornies
and the state thought. Indeed, the health of the Molochna Mennonite model
may have derived far more from early diversification into arable husbandry
and from proto-industrialization than from the pastoral economy that Cornies
promoted to the Nogais. An important aspect of that economic diversification
involved Nogai share-pasturers providing an outlet for agricultural investment
by landless Mennonites. This raises the possibility that the only thing
standing between the civility of Molochna Mennonite society of the 1840s
and the landlessness crisis of the 1860s was the presence of “uncivilized”
John R. Staples
is a post-doctoral fellow in Russian environmental history at the University
of Waterloo and Secretary of the Research Program in Russian and Soviet
Mennonite Studies at the University of Toronto. 1. For a more thorough
statement of the problem, and an important contribution to its resolution,
see Leonard G. Friesen, “Mennonites and Their Peasant Neighbours in Ukraine
Before 1900,” Journal of Mennonite Studies 10 (1992), 56-69. Other
notable recent work touching on the subject includes Harvey L. Dyck, “Landlessness
in the Old Colony: The Judenplan Experiment 1850-1880,” in John
Friesen, ed., Mennonites in Russia 1788-1988: Essays in Honour of Gerhard
Lohrenz (Winnipeg: CMBC, 1989), 183-202, and James Urry, “Mennonites,
Nationalism and the State in Imperial Russia,” Journal of Mennonite
Studies 12 (1994), 65-88. Return to Text
. See, e.g.,
Heinrich Goerz, The Molotschna Settlement, trans. Al Reimer and
John B. Toews (Winnipeg: CMBC/Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, 1993),
12. Most recent work avoids the paternalistic tone of earlier in-group
histories, but because it is still largely reliant on those histories
as sources, the basic elements of the story remain the same. The objective
of “civilizing” Nogais is frequently repeated in Mennonite correspondence,
the phrase borrowed for the title of this essay coming from a draft essay
written by Cornies. See Peter J. Braun Russian Mennonite Archive [hereafter
PJBRMA], file 814. Return to Text
. James Urry,
None But Saints: The Transformation of Mennonite Life in Russia, 1789-1889
(Winnipeg: Hyperion Books, 1989), 197-98. Return to Text
. B. B. Kochekaev,
Nogaisko-Russkie Otnosheniia v XV-XVIII vv (Alma-Ata: Nauk, 1988),
passim. Return to Text
. P. S. Pallas,
Travels through the Southern Provinces of the Russian Empire, in the
Years 1793 and 1794, 2 vols. (London: S. Strahan, 1802), 1:533. Return
. For the 1796
group, see Pallas to Governor Zubov, March 19, 1796, State Archive of
the Crimean Oblast (hereafter GAKO), fond 801, opis 1, delo
58. On the 1807 and 1810 groups, see Pamiatnaia Knizhka Tavricheskoi
gubernii, ed. K. B. Khanatskii (Simferopol: Tipografiia Tavricheskoi
gubernskoi pravlenii, 1867), 210. Return to Text
. “Otchetov Tavricheskikh
Gubernatorov . . . za 1810,” Russian State Historical Archive (hereafter
RGIA), fond 1281, opis 11, delo 131. Return to
. A. A. Sergeev,
“Ukhod Tavricheskikh Nogaitsev v Turtsiiu v 1860 gg,” Izvestiia Tavricheskoi
Uchenoi Arkhivnoi Kommissii 49 (1913), 205. Return to Text
. Philip Burnham,
“Spatial Mobility and Political Centralization in Pastoral Societies,”
in Pastoral Production and Society: Proceedings of the International
Meeting on Nomadic Pastoralism (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1979),
351. Return to Text
. A. M. Khazanov,
Nomads and the Outside World (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1984),
127-32. Return to Text
Nomads and the Outside World, 127; Lawrence Krader, Social Organization
of the Mongol-Turkic Pastoral Nomads (The Hague: Mouton, 1963), 335.
Return to Text
Nomads and the Outside World, 132. Return to Text
Digard, “The Segmental System: Native Model or Anthropological Construction?
Discussion of an Iranian Example,” in The Nomadic Alternative: Modes
and Models of Interaction in the African-Asian Deserts and Steppes
(The Hague: Mouton, 1978), 315. See also Khazanov, Nomads and the Outside
World, 127. Return to Text
Der Tataren und Nogaier aus derselben,” 1838, PJBRMA, file 494. Return
. Philip Carl
Salzman, “Synthetic and Multicausal Approaches to the Study of Nomadic
Peoples,” Nomadic Peoples 16 (1984), 315. See also Krader, Social
Organization, 337. Return to Text
Nomads and the Outside World, 140. Return to Text
. Ibid., 147.
Return to Text
. Krader, Social
Organization, 335-36; Khazanov, “Characteristic Features of Nomadic
Communities in the Eurasian Steppes,” in The Nomadic Alternative,
123. Return to Text
“Synthetic and Multicausal Approaches,” 33. Return to Text
Nomads and the Outside World, 152-57. Return to Text
. The most
detailed record I am aware of on the physical geography of the Molochna
is B. G. Karpova, “Formy poverkhnosti i stroenie zemnoe kory v peredelakh
Novorossii,” in Rossiia. Polnoe Geograficheskoe Opisanie Nashego Otechestva,
ed. V. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii (St. Petersburg: A. F. Devriena, 1910)
[hereafter, Rossiia], 14:1-48. The Encyclopedia of Ukraine,
s.v. Azov Lowland, and Azov Upland, is also a valuable source.
A brief but useful summary can be found in John Friesen, Against the
Wind: The Story of Four Mennonite Villages (Gnadenthal, Gruendfeld, Neu-Chortitza,
and Steinfeld) in Southern Ukraine, 1872-1943 (Winnipeg: Henderson
Books, 1994), 13-17. Return to Text
. On flora,
see V. G. Karatygina, “Rastitelnyi i zhivotnyi mir,” in Rossiia,
14:72-125. On climate, see P. A. Fedulova, “Klimat,” Rossiia, 14:49-71;
and M. Y. Nuttonson, Ecology and Crop Geography of the Ukraine and
the Ukrainian Agro-Climatic Analogues in North America (Washington,
D.C.: American Institute of Crop Ecology, 1947). Return to Text
. Pallas, Travels,
1:532-33. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
. A.M. Khazanov,
Nomads and the Outside World, 19. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
. “Plan Novorossiiskoi
Gubernii Mariupol’skago uezda, protekaiushchim rechkam sniatim v 1797
godu Avgusta 5 dna,” RGVIA, fond 846, opis 16, delo
23814. Return to Text
. Baiazet Bey
to Civil Governor Borozdin, 1803, GAKO, fond 27, opis 1,
delo 543. Return to Text
(c. 1760 – 1826), who signed himself “le Comte de Maison,” in his French-language
correspondence, entered Russian service with the rank of College Assessor
in 1802, when he became an inspector at the Aleksandrovskii state factory
in Ekaterinoslav. On April 21, 1808 he was made Chief of the Nogai Horde,
a post he would hold until one year before his death in 1826. His complete
service record can be found in GAKO, fond 26, opis 1, delo
5509. Return to Text
. Johann Cornies,
“Kratkii obzor polozheniia Nogaiskikh Tatar, vodvorennykh v Melitopolskom
uezde Tavricheskoi gubernii,” Teleskop 33 (1836), 7-8. Return
. These instructions
are described in Tavride Civil Governor Borozdin to Tavride Guberniia
Land-Surveyor M. A. Mukhin, June 7, 1809, GAKO, fond 377, opis
1, delo 595. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
. Service record
of Demaison, GAKO, fond 26, opis 1, delo 5509. Return
. On the threat
of exodus, see Cornies, “Einiges ber die Nogair-Tataren in Russland,”
1825, PJBRMA, file 69, 6-7. On Nogai accusations against Demaison, see
“Po zhalobam nogaitsov na nachal’nika svoego Demezona,” 1820, GAKO, fond
26, opis 1, delo 4906. Return to Text
“Einiges ber die Nogaier-Tataren,” 6-7. Return to Text
Tavricheskikh Gubernatorov,” 1808, RGIA, fond 1281, opis
11, delo 131; 1819, RGIA, fond 1281, opis 11, delo
132, chast’ 1. Return to Text
k sostavlenoi karte Tavricheskoi gubernii,” Jan. 2, 1842, State Archive
of the Odessa Oblast’ (hereafter GAOO), fond 1, opis 192,
delo 12. Return to Text
. Daniel Schlatter,
Bruchstcke aus einigen Reisen nach dem sudlichen Russland, in dem
Jahren 1822 bis 1828 (St. Gallen: Huber und Comp., 1830), 108. Return
. On the cultural
role of livestock in pastoral societies, see John G. Galaty, “Cultural
Perspectives on Nomadic Pastoral Societies,” Nomadic Peoples 16
(Oct. 1984), 15-30. Return to Text
Bruchstcke, 188, 279-80. Return to Text
“Einiges ber die Nogaier-Tataren,” 25. Return to Text
. Peter F.
Folliott, et al, Dryland Forestry: Planning and Management (New
York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995), 20. Return to Text
. Six adult
sheep are usually equated to one cow or horse. Cattle and horses in New
Russia averaged 200 kg., while sheep averaged about eighty kg. Hence,
for the Molochna one nominal 450 kg. Animal Unit (AU) was equal to 2.25
cows or horses, or six sheep. At best, arid natural pasture lands like
those in the Molochna produce about 1226 kg. of dry matter per desiatina.
Thus the AUM for one desiatina in the Molochna was 3.35. In other words,
since one desiatina could support one AU for 3.35 months, about 3.5 desiatinas
were required per AU per year. On AUMs, see A. T. Semple, Grassland
Improvement (Cleveland: CRC Press, 1970), 26-28. On Molochna livestock,
see “Statisticheskii ocherk torgovli skotom v s. Petrburge,” Zhurnal
Ministerstva Gosudarstvenikh Imushchestv [hereafter ZhMGI] 31 (1848),
248-49; I. U. Witte, “O sel’skom khoziaistve v Khersonskoi, Tavricheskoi
i Ekaterinoslavskoi guberniiakh,” Zhurnal Ministerstva Vnutrennykh
Del 3 (1834), 110; O. Koeppen, “Neskol’ko slov o razvedenii kormovykh
trav v Tavricheskoi gubernii,” ZhMGI 83 (May 1863), 269-74. Return
Bruchstcke, 285. Return to Text
. Ibid., 60.
Return to Text
to Todorov, Sept. 3, 1821, GAKO, fond 26, opis 1, delo
5579. Return to Text
. Nogai cattle
raids are mentioned in many Mennonite sources (e.g., Goerz, The Molotschna
Settlement, 12), and are confirmed by fragmentary district court records
(e.g., “Vedomosti perechnevaia Melitopol’skago Uezdnogo suda o delakh
reshennykh i nereshennykh ugolovnykh sledstvennykh i prositel’skikh,”
1819, GAKO, fond 26, opis 1, delo 3983). On the disarming
of the Nogais, see Goerz, The Molotschna Settlement, 12. Return
. On pasture
rentals, see, e.g., “Rechnung ber den Pachtlaender,” 1824, PJBRMA, file
68. On employment of Nogais as agricultural laborers, see Schlatter, Bruchstcke,
108. Return to Text
. David H.
Epp, Johann Cornies, trans. Peter Pauls (Winnipeg: CMBC & Manitoba
Mennonite Historical Society, 1995), 6. Return to Text
“Einiges ber die Nogaier-Tataren,” 49. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
neobkhodimye k sobliudeniiu, pri ustroistve iz Nogaiskoi derevni akerman
v obraztsovuiu ili primernuiu koloniiu,” 1842, PJBRMA, file 818. Return
. Ibid. Return
. On cameralism,
see Marc Raeff, The Well-Ordered Police State: Society and Institutional
Change through Law in the Germanies and Russia, 1600-1800 (New Haven:
Yale U. Press, 1983). Return to Text
. For a more
detailed account of the founding of Akkerman, see my “The Molochna River
Basin, 1783-1861: Settlement, Assimilation, and Alienation on the New
Russian Steppe” (PhD. Diss., U. of Toronto, 1999), 177-80. Return to
. Urry, None
But Saints, 55. Return to Text
. Harvey L.
Dyck, introduction to A Mennonite in Russia: The Diaries of Jacob D.
Epp, 1851-1880, ed. and trans. Harvey L. Dyck (Toronto: U. of Toronto
Press, 1991), 9. Return to Text
“Einiges ber die Nogaier-Tataren,” 50. Return to Text
. On Demaison’s
grain-for-passes scheme, see Cornies, “Kratkii obzor polozheniia,” 8.
Return to Text
. Urry, None
But Saints, 88. For an early report on the success of the program,
see “Doneseniia glavnogo sud’i kontoru v MVD o razvitii ovtsevodstva v
koloniiakh,” Jan. 29, 1809, GADO, fond 134, opis 1, delo
225. Return to Text
. For a typical
report on sheep-rearing, see “Vedomosti Molochanskikh kolonii smotritelia
ob ovtsevodstva,” 1815, GADO, fond 134, opis 1, delo
402. On the creation of the “Organization for the Improvement of Sheep
Breeding,” see Urry, None But Saints, 111. Return to Text
. Cornies to
P. I. Koeppen, Dec. 28, 1837, PJBRMA, file 236. Return to Text
ber die Pachtlnder,” 1824, PJBRMA, file 68. For more on rental practices,
see Staples, “The Molochna River Basin,” 125-28. Return to Text
mezhdu I. Kornisom i Nogaitsami,” Nov. 1 1834, PJBRMA, file 307. Return
. In fact sharecroppers
sometimes provide draft animals and even agricultural implements, but
these form a small part of total capital input. For a useful summary of
sharecropping and its economic analysis, see Frank Ellis, Peasant Economics:
Farm Households and Agrarian Development (Cambridge: Cambridge U.
Press, 1988), 141-59. Return to Text
. This is particularly
true of Marxist analysts, for whom the concentration of the means of production
in the hands of landowners is, by definition, exploitation.-R. Pearce,
“Sharecropping: Towards a Marxist View,” Sharecropping and Sharecroppers,
ed. T. J. Byres (London: Frank Cass, 1983), 42-70. The historical literature
is summarized by Byres, “Historical Perspectives on Sharecropping,” in
Sharecropping and Sharecroppers, 7-40. Return to Text
. On the value
of Nogai sheep, see Schlatter, Bruchstucke, 184-85. On merino sheep,
see Cornies, “Landwirthschaftliche Notizen,” 1837, PJBRMA, file 992. Return
. Cornies to
Inspector of Colonies Pelech, Feb. 14, 1836, PJBRMA, file 691. Return
. Pelech to
Village Elders, n.d., PJBRMA, file 691. Return to Text
. “Raboty po
snabzheniiu vodiiu pereselentsev, proizvedennyia v Tavricheskoi gubernii
v 1862 godu,” ZhMGI 83 (July 1863), 316. Return to Text
. “Po tsirkuliarnomu
predpisaniiu nekotorym Palatami Gosudarstvenykh Imushchestv ob ustroistve
kolodtsev na bezvodnam obrochnykh uchastkakh,” 1840, RGIA, fond
383, opis 3, delo 2530. Return to Text
. Cornies to
P.I. Koeppen, Dec. 28, 1837, PJBRMA, file 236. Return to Text
“Landwirthschaftliche Notizen,” 4-7. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
Spisok Pogorevshim Khoziaevam Melitopol’skago Okruga Dzhuretskoi Volosti
Derevni Shuiut-Dzhureta Nogaitsam,” 1836, PJBRMA, file 374. Return
Bruchstcke, 86-88. Return to Text
. On policy
changes stemming from the foundation of the Ministry of State Domains,
see Staples, “The Molochna River Basin,” 144-46. Return to Text
. The standard
work on state peasants is N. M. Druzhinin, Gosudarstvennye krest’iane
i reforma P.D. Kiseleva, 2 vols. (Moscow: Nauka, 1946 and 1958). An
English-language overview is provided by Olga Crisp, “The State Peasants
Under Nicholas I,” in Studies in the Russian Economy Before 1914
(London: MacMillan, 1976). See also George Bolotenko, “Administration
of the State Peasants in Russia before the Reforms of 1838” (PhD. Diss.,
U. of Toronto, 1979). Return to Text
. August von
Haxthausen, Studies on the Interior of Russia, trans. Eleanore
L. M. Schmidt (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1972), 165-66. Haxthausen
incorrectly calls the village Akeima, although it is clear from the context
that he means Akkerman. Return to Text
Studies on the Interior of Russia, 166. Return to Text
relating to the planned construction of these villages is located in PJBRMA,
file 1171. Return to Text
“Notizen ber die Nogaier,” 1845, PJBRMA, file 1182. Return to Text
Tavricheskikh Gubernatorov . . . za 1842,” RGIA, fond 1281, opis
4, delo 73a. Return to Text
. Alan Barnard,
The Australian Wool Market 1840-1900 (Melbourne: Melbourne U. Press,
1958), 201. Return to Text
. Cornies to
David Epp, Aug. 14 1824, PJBRMA, file 82. Return to Text
pastureland overpopulation, see Staples, “The Molochna River Basin,” 125-28.
Return to Text
ber die im November 1843 unter den Nogaier auf Condition gegebene Schafe,”
1843, PJBRMA, file 903; “Verzeichniss: ber die auf rechtmassige Weise
unter den Nogaiern befindt. Schafe und deren Contract,” 1847, PJBRMA,
file 1269. Return to Text
. “S mesiachnymi
vedomostiami o blagosostoianii kolonii berdianskago okruga za Ianvar 1847,”
GAOO, fond 6, opis 2, delo 10063. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
Schafschuld von 1844 an zu bezahlen mit den Beimerkung wie viel von Zeit
zu Zeit dieselbe daran abgetragen haben,” n.d., PJBRMA, file 916. Return
. Cornies to
Fadeev, Dec. 20, 1836, PJBRMA, file 236. Return to Text
Ispravnik Kolosov to Inspector Pelech, Feb. 14, 1836, PJBRMA, file
691. Return to Text
. “Ob iavlenie
konditsii,” 1837, PJBRMA, file 406. Return to Text
. Nogais to
Cornies, 1839, PJBRMA, file 543. Return to Text
. Ibid. Return
. On ram as
opposed to ewe wool, and international demand, see Barnard, Australian
Wool Market, 5-6. Return to Text
. Wilhelm Bernhard
Bauman, “Zusammenstellung der von mir in den Steppen des suedlichen Russland
gemachten Beobachtungen in Beziehung der Ackerbau,” 1847, PJBRMA, file
1291. Return to Text
. See guarantee
to a contract between Regier and Adzhigulov, Nov. 3, 1847, PJBRMA, file
1268. Return to Text
. Based on
data from E. I. Druzhinina, Iuzhnaia Ukrainia v period krizisa feodalizma
1825-1860 gg. (Moscow: Nauka, 1981), Table 6, p. 65; Table 9, p. 77;
and Table 12, p. 90. Return to Text
. See “Otchetov
Tavricheskikh Gubernatorov . . . za 1846,” RGIA, fond 1281, opis
4, delo 50-1846; & “Otchetov Tavricheskikh Gubernatorov . .
. za 1847,” RGIA, fond 1281, opis 4, delo 35a-1848.
Return to Text
file 1352. Return to Text
der Nogaier schafbefelden fr Iuschanlii,” 1848, PJBRMA, file 1261. Return
files 1477, 1576, and 1687. Return to Text
nogaitsami v arendu zemli s tsel’iu uplaty nalogov,” 1851, PJBRMA, file
1615. Return to Text
1851, PJBRMA, file 1557. Return to Text
. See, e.g.,
the map of land rented by David Schellenberg in 1853, PJBRMA, file 1686.
Return to Text
“Ukhod Tavricheskikh Nogaitsev,” 181. Return to Text
. “Wie viel
Land der Akkermener Dorfsgemeinde zu verpachten wnscht,” Feb. 2, 1853,
PJBRMA, file 1687. Return to Text
nogaitsami v arendu zemli s tsel’iu uplaty nalogov,” 1851, PJBRMA, file
1615. Return to Text
. See Alexander
Petzholdt, Reise im westlichen und suedlichen Russland im Jahre 1855
(Leipzig: Hermann Fries, 1864), 211-31; A. Bode, Notizen, gesammelt
auf einer Forstreise durch einen Theil des Europaishen Russlands (1969
rpd; Osnabrueck: Verlag, 1854), 291-316. Return to Text
Reise, 212-14. Return to Text
Tavricheskikh Gubernatorov . . . za 1853,” 1854, RGIA, fond 1281,
opis 5, delo 60a. Return to Text
Tavricheskikh Gubernatorov . . . za 1842,” 1843, RGIA, fond 1282,
opis 4, delo 73a. Return to Text
“Russian Policy and the Emigration of the Crimean Tatars,” 38-39. The
standard survey of Crimean Tatar history is Alan W. Fisher, The Crimean
Tatars (Stanford, CA.: Hoover Institution, 1978). Return to Text
“Russian Policy and the Emigration of the Crimean Tatars,” 46. Return
. Ibid. Return
. I. Kh.
Kalmykov, R. Kh. Kereitov, and L. I. M. Sikaliev, Nogaitsy: Istoriko-etnograficheskoi
ocherk (Cherkessk: Stavropol’skoe Knizhnoe Izdatel’stvo, 1988), 39.
Return to Text
. Nogai murzas
to Ministry of State Domains, July 18, 1857, RGIA, fond 383, opis
20, delo 26953. Return to Text
. “Po otnosheniiu
Deistvitel’nago Statskago Sovetnika Rametno,” Aug. 18, 1859, RGIA, fond
383, opis 20, delo 26953. Return to Text
“Ukhod Tavricheskikh Nogaitsev,” 201. Return to Text
205. Return to Text
. On the
effect of the Nogai exodus, see, e.g., Urry, None But Saints, 152.
Return to Text
ed., Pamiatnaia Knizhka Tavricheskoi gubernii, 168-69. For the
hydrographic survey prompted by the complaints, see “Raboty po snabzheniiu
vodiiu pereselentsev, proizvedennyia v Tavricheskoi gubernii v 1862 godu,”
ZhMGI 83 (July 1863). Return to Text
“The Mennonite Commonwealth,” 2:23-33; Urry, None But Saints, 196-210.
Return to Text
. Urry, None
But Saints, 108-37. 264 The Mennonite Quarterly Review 257 Mennonite-Nogai
Economic Relations 229
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