AN IMPORTANT RUSSIAN PROCLAMATION RESTRICTING JEWS, 1829
(JUDAICA) (NICHOLAS I). Printed proclamation. Ukaz… o sredstvakh k umensheniyu v Kurlyandii i Liflyandi chisla Yevreyev (Concerning the dimunition of the number of Jews in Courland and Livonia). (St. Petersburg): from the Governing Senate, May 24, 1829. Folio, three pages, modern paper wrappers; custom boxed. $3500.
An important and extremely rare original printed document relating to the Jewish history of the Baltic provinces: a proclamation listing the regulations issued by Emperor Nicholas I restricting the number of resident Jews in Courland and Livonia.
Being the most active and cultured element among the Jewish population of Russia, the Jews of Courland had practically secured the rights of citizenship and free trade for themselves through Imperial ukases of 1799, 1806, and 1807. "The rights granted to them in 1799 in respect to trade and commerce did not please the local Christian merchants and artisans. On May 24, 1829, the merchants and artisans asked the Senate to limit the number of Jewish families registerd there. The governor-general of the Baltic provinces was commissioned to present a plan for the diminution of the Jewish population" (Jewish Encyclopedia IV: 314). The government committee on Jewish affairs proposed a series of severe measures, sanctioned by the Czar and proclaimed in this document, limiting citizenship only to those Jews registered at the last census, prohibiting emigration of Jews from other provinces, and exiling to Siberia any Jews violating any of the regulations. Polnoe sobranie zakonov (the official collection of Russian laws) II, no. 2884.