Odessa - 1848 Village History (E. Wise). . . . . . . . . . .

Copyright 1996, DLW - 7370 Grevena Avenue NE,

Bremerton, WA 98311-4046, (360) 692-8052


The Evangelist Lutheran colony in Odessa presently counts 331 families.

These families fall into three main categories:

I.  The first group of people were settled in 1804 as tradesmen / colonists

and counted 135 families at the last revision.

In 1802 and 1803, the colonists were called upon by the legation of foreign

countries and later assigned by commissioner Ziegler.  Continuously, the

emigration evolved large numbers of portioned out colonies.  They were led by

Philipp Schauffler, a wood turner expert from Stuttgart, and were greeted in

Odessa by Duke de Richelieu.  In 1804, they  were settled in Odessa at a cost

to the crown, according to a document dated 23 Feb. 1804, and the rest of the

trades men followed in 1805 and 1806.  The land, loaned by the crown for

building houses and making gardens, was measured into two sections. One was

called the Upper Colony and the other the Lower Colony and still are named

this way today.  Each of the colonists received a 25 Dessjatine garden plot

from the city.  The Evangelical Lutheran colony church, the parish, the school

and the rest of the church properties were assigned a rather large and

beautiful place in the Upper Colony by the crown.  On Dec 24, 1803 the

community of Odessa was examined and ordained. * Christian Heinrich Petersdorf

took his job as pastor on Mar 10, 1804.

This colony and the surrounding ones in the Odessa district were ruled by the

Colony Tutel-Comptoir in Odessa until 1816.  In 1816, the Tutel-Comptoir was

transferred from Odessa to Kataschinov and the authorization over Odessa was

given to the magistrate of Odessa by the Welfare Commission.  This was done

without the knowledge and approval of the colonists, by the highest order on

Mar 1, 1804.  The privileges stand surety for, that this was not done to cease

existing as a colony community.  Nor did the tradesmen ask for or wish to be

included as Odessa inhabitants.  There is no such written request in

existence.  More so is a revisions list of the 7th census, a counting document

of the colonists' domicile.

These settled trade colonists did have a German trade commission and rules

established among themselves, according to their German trade customs.  But

following a requisition of the minister of interior to the military governor

of Cherson on Feb. 8, 1816, regulating that "the towns that do business,

trade, or stand in service with, are to be logged in guilds",  Odessa set up a

general tradesmen 'registration book' which still exists today. All residing

tradesmen, Russians, German Colonists, Jews, and others in the Odessa region

had to be registered, with no exception.

They had to swear a trade oath, which was not to affect their rights under

their citizenship nor would they be under Russian authority.  The trade

colonists who left the colony, would not lose their rights or privileges, nor

would they have to become recruit able Odessa citizens, as the daily

experience of the trade registration shows.

After the 'free' years in 1827, the Odessa tradesmen colonists were subjected

to the same hardship and payments as the other Russians were.  But paying the

dues never came about.  A statement of the Odessa city manager to the city

Duma of July 11, 1833 reads: <Before nor now, does a magistrate take on the

duty to rule over colonists.>  According to that, the Odessa tradesmen stayed

privileged colonists.


On March 23, 1833, the Cherson crown regiment requested of the Odessa

tradesmen a lump sum of 19,688 rubel as backlogged dues to the crown and

government.  Since it would have been a hardship to be recruited and to repay

the advance as a lump sum, the city manager Lewschin decided to request that

General Governor Count Woronzow forgive the debt and change the status of the

tradesmen from colonists to citizens of Odessa.  This was done without the

knowledge of the tradesmen, and Count Woronzow on his own, requested that the

tradesmen colonists were regarded as citizens and could enjoy the same tax

privileges.  It was approved by the the senate after a recommendation from the

finance minister on Oct 24, 1833.  As of 10. Nov 1833, all mentioned tradesmen

were recorded as Odessa citizens.  Unknowingly, the tradesmen continued to

enjoy their privileges as colonists until informed in February 1834, that they

were registered but exempt from recruitment.

In 1835, the city of Duma requested a new revisions list of Odessa for the 8th

census.  The list, forwarded to Duma on April 28, 1835, showed that the

tradesmen were recorded as trades colonists, of course, and not as citizens.

But the city of Duma rejected it and sent it back to Odessa, complaining that

the revisions list was not prepared according to the rules of the highest

order.  Astonished and saddened, the tradesmen put in a request to city

manager Lewshin and to the military governor Woronzow asking that they be able

to continue to be colonists and offered to pay the appropriate dues. This

request was not considered and each male was fined 3 Rubel, because they

supposedly had not submitted the revisions list by the deadline and thus were

turned over to the criminal justice department.  Thereafter, the colonists

turned in the same list again which the City of Duma accepted this time and

the Odessa community was left in peace until 1842.  The trade colonists

assumed that they were not made citizens of Odessa and that they could further

enjoy their privileges as set forth in 1804, especially since they were paying

their dues to the crown on a yearly basis.  For that reason, the church and

the pastor decided to help defend the trades colonists in their religious

rights.  In 1841, the church of the colony Odessa was criticized by foreign

guests and non-colonists.  Because of that, the Cherson criminal justice

department advised the tradesmen colonists, that the situation would be

reviewed.  After that the Odessa city magistrate advised they did indeed

submit their revisions list on time and all circumstances should be weighed

and that they hope for justice from His Royal Major.  On Mar 13, 1843 the

interior minister decided that the trade settlers should be considered

citizens of Odessa.  On May 25, 1843 the minister of the domain informed the

Evangelical Lutheran general, that some of the tradesmen were considered

citizens and be treated as such as had previously been requested.  It should

be impressed on, that the colonists never requested this and therefore should

not be subjected to this ruling.

II.  The second group that settled in 1822 as trade colonists  and counted six


In 1818, when Alexander I was at the congress in Aachen, six families

requested through the committee in Stuttgart, to be allowed to emigrate to

Russia.  Permission was granted and the tradesmen were told they would have

the same privileges, enacted in 1804, as the colonists that settled there

already. The six families sold their land and belongings in Wuerttemberg and

emigrated to South Russia. Through negotiations by Count Galizyn, each of

these families received 9,363 rubel as an advance from the crown and were

settled in 1822 in Odessa as trades colonists. Certain circumstances

contributed that they soon were declared Odessa citizens.  On September 22,

1836 the State police requested immediate repayment of the advance they had

received.  After the repayment they were advised in 1837, that they now had

become citizens and thus recruit able. On March 22, 1839 these colonists

contacted Count Galizyn about the recruitment situation. He advised, that he

requested of the appropriate legislation, that the rights of the colonists be

honored and that the colonists be exempt of recruitment.  But the Cherson

government countered with an order that these six families were obligated for

recruitment.  Amidst this frustrating news, they received notice from Count

Galizyn of Petersburg, that he knew, contrary to the Cherson Crown palata that

the tradesmen / colonists, settled in Odessa enjoy the same rights as

indicated in 1804 and thus be free of recruitment duty.  One can see, that the

order of the interior minister of 1834 could not be applied, since they still

really were colonists.

III.  Land colonists (crop sharing), tradesmen of different types

Colonists that are logged in different South Russian settlement registers, who

became citizens in the Odessa area, joined the local church communities, and

to do better business in their trade, are presently counting 190 families and

are still under the authority of the Public Welfare Committee.

Odessa, 1848  (Pastor Fletnitzer, Author)

as translated by Elli Wise 7/96

Coordinated with GRHS Village Research Clearing House


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