Harvey L. Dyck, and John R. Staples (Eds.), Transformation on the Southern Ukrainian Steppe: Letters and Papers of Johann Cornies, Volume I: 1812–1835

Harvey L. Dyck, and John R. Staples (Eds.), Transformation on the Southern Ukrainian Steppe: Letters and Papers of Johann Cornies, Volume I: 1812–1835

Transformation on the Southern Ukrainian Steppe: Letters and Papers of Johann Cornies, Volume I: 1812–1835 / Edited by Harvey L. Dyck, and John R. Staples, translated by Ingrid I. Epp. University of Toronto Press, 2015.

About the book

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Russian empire opened the grasslands of southern Ukraine to agricultural settlement. Among the immigrants who arrived were communities of Prussian Mennonites, recruited as “model colonists” to bring progressive agricultural methods to the east. Transformation on the Southern Ukrainian Steppe documents the Tsarist Mennonite experience through the papers of Johann Cornies (1789–1848), an ambitious and energetic leader of the Mennonite colony of Molochna.

Cornies was well connected in the imperial government, and his papers offer a window not just into the world of the Molochna Mennonites but also into the Tsarist state’s relationship with the national minorities of the frontier: Mennonites, Doukhbors, Nogai Tartars, and Jews. This selection of his letters and reports, translated into English, is an invaluable resource for scholars of all aspects of life in Tsarist Ukraine and for those interested in Mennonite history.

About the Editors

Harvey L. Dyck is an emeritus professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.

John R. Staples is an associate professor in the Department of History at SUNY Fredonia.

Contents

Preface
Translator’s Note
Introduction
Part One: Correspondence
Part Two: Studies and Reports
Appendix I: Geneology of Johann Cornies
Appendix II: List of Correspondents
Appendix III: Glossary
Appendix IV: Chronology

Reviews

Transformation on the Southern Ukrainian Steppe is a prodigious work of scholarship and a labour of love. The vast collection of Cornies’s personal papers offers unique insight into a social milieu about which we know little for this period and offers a rare, sustained, ‘plebeian’ voice from early imperial Russia.”—Heather Coleman, Canada Research Chair in Imperial Russian History, University of Alberta

“This volume will serve as an indispensable source for scholars of nineteenth-century Russia and Ukraine as well as the German diaspora of Eastern Europe. For historians who focus on provincial intellectual life and culture, it will provide a treasure trove of information for future studies.”—Colum Leckey, Piedmont Virginia Community College

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