Illustrated Description Of Russia

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Courland Jew with Dulcimer

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Courland Jew, with Dulcimer.

Courland Jew, with Dulcimer
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These edicts, though they doubtless banished many Jews from the country, had no lasting effects, for all the gaps were soon filled again. The Russian government, though it has not attempted total abolition, or banishment in six weeks, has yet attempted to curb, restrain, and put down the poor Jews, in various ways. At one time all Jews were to confine themselves to agriculture; at another time all Jews without property were to be transported to Siberia, where the government would provide them with property. By an imperial ukase, issued in 1840, all poor Jews were to be collected, and brought together out of every town, by their respective counsellors or advisers (rathsherrn), to Mittau. There the rabbins assembled them, and set forth to them the condescending grace of their emperor, whose wish it was that they should henceforth be employed in agriculture—an occupation so much to be preferred to all others, and so peculiarly adapted for preserving men in the paths of morals and religion. "

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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855