Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės gyventojų refleksijos apie politines permainas 1794 m. pabaigoje – 1795 m. privačios korespondencijos duomenimis
Volume 6 (2020): Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė Personalijos. Idėjos. Refleksijos, pp. 335–357
Pub. online: 31 December 2020 Type: Article Open Access
31 December 2020
31 December 2020
The article is dedicated to the research of the private correspondence of inhabitants of local voivodeships in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the period between the end of 1794 and the first three quarters of 1795. The aim of the article is to see the reactions of state or powiat officers, regular nobles, bishops, lower ranking clerics and friars, university professors and military officers towards changes the that were eliminating the statehood and to reveal general tendencies of the letters. The letters that mention political changes in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the end of the year 1794 to the first three quarters of 1795 are not many – 24 pieces. Most of the letters were written from rural areas, provincial towns and boroughs, 5 letters are from Vilnius and 3 from Grodno. Sometimes the letters mention the Supreme Board of the Land, the Russian imperial institution, which then had taken over the governance. In very seldom cases the fact of swearing oath to the Empire is mentioned. The topic of loyalty to the new government is also rare, mostly when talking about communication with the newly formed administration or officers of the foreign army. The letter that stands out is the one by Feliks Warzyński, the flagbearer of Samogitia and elder of Tirkšliai, the text of which is addressing the breaking of the law during a dietine. The most common topic of private correspondence is the factor of the Russian Imperial army. The authors that wrote on these topics mention taxes, supplying of food and feed, lootings, and the options of protecting their possessions. The letters mention pursuit of favour from the top military leadership and commanders of units. This was a pragmatic, situation based pursuit. The reverberations of the 1794 uprising of T. Kościuszko are not ample in the private correspondence. Residents of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania complained and pleaded, for themselves or their relatives, regarding their status of prisoners, also property and food taken by the military in the course of the uprising. The style of most letters is sufficiently calm and business-like, although sometimes bursting with sadness, hopelessness and uncertainty. Sometimes they tell of the very situation of this deep crisis, mentioning the devastation of the land, hunger and difficulty in communicating.