Siberia and Migrants


In the 19th century, the government of Russia encouraged peasants to move from the western parts of the empire to untilled lands in Siberia. This book was intended as a guide for peasants interested in resettling. It contained information about the climate and soils of Siberia, conditions and economic opportunities, essential expenses for relocation and construction in a new place, as well as recommendations for the behavior of migrants in transit. The book was published in Khar'kov (Kharkiv, in Ukrainian) by the Khar’kov Society for the Expansion of Literacy. Ukrainian peasants, not as burdened by the traditional Russian communal system of agriculture as the Russian peasants were, were good candidates for resettlement, often more willing to pack up and go in return for the promise of more land. The literacy societies were among the few public service organizations in tsarist Russia. The Khar’khov Society, while Russian-speaking, included many Ukrainians and was among the most active of such societies.

Last updated: May 28, 2015