Jacek Wijaczka

Reports of Jerzy Woyna-Okołow, official representative of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in Konigsberg, 1792-1794

Maintenance of permanent representations, or missions, to foreign courts was common practice among European countries in as early as 17th/18th century. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth long remained an inglorious exception, though. It was only during the reign of King Stanislaus Augustus [Stanisław August] that Polish diplomatic service began being built.1

In early 1792, the Commonwealth run a total of thirteen missions in foreign countries and a royal commissariat in Gdansk2 and consulate in Chersoń/Kherson3. The Commonwealth had initially no trade representatives in foreign ports, whereas the Polish kings maintained their agents, called residents, in certain ports.4 The genuine consulates, as would name them today, have been known to the Polish diplomatic service only after the First Partition, 1772, when the operations of the Treasury Commission started aiming at taking advantage of all the opportunities for streamlining the Polish export and improving its efficiency.

In the early 1790s, it was decided that a consulate be established in Konigsberg [Polish, Królewiec]. Konigsberg had been for several centuries economically related with Poland and, especially, Lithuania.5 Since the middle of 16th century, the Lithuanian resources provided the Kingdom with cereals, leathers, hemp, forest products, furs, etc. Lithuania, in turn, supplied itself with Konigsberg's salt and with sugar, saffron, herrings, French wines.6 Also in the latter half of 18th c. was Konigsberg the main cereal port for the Commonwealth's Lithuanian provinces.7

In end 1790, the draft organisational structure and budget were developed for a ‘Commission for Foreign Interests' and the Commonwealth's diplomatic representations abroad. The diplomats' payroll table mentions a 8,000 zloty salary of the consul in Konigsberg, "who shall also exercise the supervision over the trading in Memel".8

As exports from Lithuania to Konigsberg increased, while adverse regulations functioned with respect to Lithuanian merchants, the Lithuanian Province requested the Deputation of Foreign Interests for sending a consul to Konigsberg.9 Lithuanian merchants were affected, to a larger extent than their Polish counterparts, with chicaneries in port towns; and, they were more knowledgeable of the condition of trade.

Jerzy Woyna-Okołow, a citizen of the Nowogródek Voivodeship, sent in 1792 to Konigsberg, was tasked with a mission to defend the interests of Lithuanian merchants and with informing the Government in Warsaw of business affairs. He had spent the preceding five years in Berlin, accompanying the Polish resident Bernard Zabłocki.10 The instructions for him were signed as of 28th June 1792.11

The Deputation of Foreign Interests had him sent to Konigsberg as a commissioner "for surveillance of the trade" only a year later, i.e. on 1st May 179212, after a negative reply was received from the Berlin ‘Cabinet Ministerium' regarding a consulate to be set up in Konigsberg. The Berlin-based Government only consented for appointment of an official "of the agent's rank, not of the rank of formal consul".13

The Second Partition of Poland in 1793 made it "almost impossible for the Polish agent in Konigsberg to insight minutely into the Polish trade, and so, consequently, to inform the Eminent Department thereabout, having mixed the Poles with the Muscovites".14 We do not know exactly when Mr. Woyna-Okołow completed his Konigsberg mission. The letter he last wrote there is dated 12th February 1794. In early September 1794, we can encounter him in Warsaw, where he requested the Foreign Interests Department, on 13th of the said month, for granting him an appropriate activity.15 The preserved reports and letters written by Woyna-Okołow from Konigsberg primarily comprise commercial or business information, in line with the instructions he had received, in any case.


[Source text]

Warsaw, 3rd May 1791

Jerzy Woyna-Okołow requests the Deputation of Foreign Interests that he be appointed consul in Konigsberg.

Original copy: Central Archives of Historical Records (AGAD), Warsaw, the Crown Archive of Warsaw (AKW), Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, pp. 1-2.

Printed in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt naczelnej władzy Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", ‘Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie', 1965, No. 1, p. 149, footnote 40.


Eminent Deputation of Foreign Interests!

Having entertained myself [= stayed] for ten years by now in the Prussian countries, particularly in order to cognise the nation' s government and commerce system, and having learned that it be the wish of the Lithuanian Province that a consul in Konigsberg might be settled, in order to facilitate the citizenly trading interests and to supervise their [= the citizens'] genuine advantage therein, I have deliberately arrived in here from Berlin, where, by the will of His Majesty, have I been imparted as a support to the Honourable Zabłocki16. In my intent to solicit the position, encouraged all the more to this end by His Majesty's gracious approval, the more I flatter that such a wish of mine will receive the desirable effect from the Eminent Deputation, which, having regard also to the wheen of knowledge and experience, gathered within this, rather substantial, a time, and also, no less, of the associations needed for interests of such description, and, to my five-years' serving, free-of-charge, at the Berlin legation, whose usefulness, especially in His Grace's particular interests, will certainly be attested by the dukes Rt.Hon. Czartoryski, Master-of-the-Pantry17, former, and the present one, Jabłonowski18, the deputies, and no less the Honourable resident, and this due to that, as a Lithuanian citizen, better known to my Province, capable I am of gratifying the interests of the individual persons, who are of most part known to me. Do graciously condescend to ensure the office to me. Submissively requesting which, I remain with due respect to the Eminent Deputation of Foreign Interests, thy servant humblest,

Jerzy Woyna Okołow,

Citizen of the Voivodeship of Nowogródek



Remarks on Polish consuls in Prussia; draft instructions for the consul in Konigsberg.

Original copy: ADAG, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, pp. 4-7.

Printed in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt naczelnej władzy Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", ‘Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie', 1965, No. 1, pp. 150-152.


Reflexions regarding Polish consuls in Prussia, with draft instructions.

It is the intention to keep a consul in a foreign state to ameliorate the trading and supervise the interest of persons dealing with trade. In order to attain the purpose, it ought necessarily to be known, in the first place, whether the government of the country and of the place wherein the consul is to be placed should be willing to accept [him] or not.

With regard to the settlement of Polish consuls in port towns of His Majesty the King of Prussia, a query arouse previously already, in August 1790, to the Cabinet Ministerium19, which responsed thereto that it should no-way oppose this, if only those individuals would never infringe the limits thereto ascribed as for the execution of the offices thereto entrusted. It therefore follows that it is natural to delineate those limits of execution of the consul's rule and office, to minutely describe his duties and obligations, considering the betterment and easement of domestic commerce in general, and also with regards to individual persons dealing with trade and those obligations which ought to be owed to the person of consul, the time of his sojourn in the place of his residence.

The rule exercised and the privileges enjoyed by consuls are two-fold. The ones, from the right of nations or a commonly-respected custom, those being rather mediocre and limited. The others, in quantum that the nation sending him as his servant would be willing to entrust, and the one receiving him, as the lord of its territory, to admit his execution thereof therewithin, and, following this, derived from a bilateral convention of the [mutually] trading nations, and this is what the reply of the Prussian Ministerium is aimed at when it has but conditionaliter admitted for having a consult settled, if the limits of its office be observed.

As regards the privileges and prerogatives of the former genus, those are, that consul is a public person and nobody may refute this to him, for he is accredited from his own nation or monarch, and so minds his interests in accord with the treaties. In the place of his residence, he shall always remain diligently and therefore, under the veil of the right of nations, and this is where the sanctitas inviolabilitas of his own person and those of the people assisting him belongs. [Similarly,] the extrateritorialitas of the house and the appliances, and, consequently, the freedom to display the national emblem above his house, as a sign and guidance for the arriving merchants. And, since, according to the definition of this susgerilium, as accepted even by Prussian jurists and everywhere else, consules sunt not only quibus in emporiis maritimis seu portabus demandatum est, ut iura gentis suae custodiant, but also ut et lites mercatorum definiant, this being followed by a jurisdiction, primarily, disciplinary, that is, police-related, of the time of the merchants' stay at the venue, a commonly accepted and enforced one; there follows the civil jurisdiction, for debenture and bill-of-exchange matters, which most frequently within such time-limit fall the gathering of the trading parties within a single place [sic]. And only [so] betwixt own merchants and citizens, otherwise similar cases with aliens are re-referred to the forum competens, locally or else, with the consul's attendance. This latter genus of jurisdiction - [proves to be] advanced to such degree with certain nations that even the domestic dwellers having a complaint against the foreign merchants, ought to forward their plaints to the forum of consuls, and indeed they often tend to be adjudicated there in ultima instantia, or, at least, praeclusa appelatione. Since it forms a considerable part of the potestatis civilis and it extends to all those staying within the territory, be it but subditos temporaris, [it] tends to almost commonly be bestowed, under the preceding arrangement and permission from the domestic authority, to consuls and voluntarily receded as a thing proprietary, it is therefore a second-grade prerogative and has to be, in order to avoid a quarrelling, exactly and clearly described. The criminal jurisdiction would, in turn, as the highest sign of the ultimate authority is never in gener[alitate] bestowed on consuls, save for barbarian countries where justice [is] arbitrary and war fleets [are], where its exercitium is, indeed, on the war-ships, and never admitted in the inland area. As regards the authority, it belongs to the will of the sending nation, as has yet been mentioned before, how much of it they would be willing to grant and entrust to the consul, which normally is done through a particular description.

The instructions being given to consuls are dual, for dual is the principle behind them. The first, having as its foundation the systema [= system(s)] of commerce invariably and for-ever assumed by the domestic government, having the achievement of certain benefits in toto, or avoidance of a loss, and [this within] the mass entire of the domestic trade, as their objective, and adapted to the country's physical position and its needs or supplies. Such instructions is deduced from the general and primary principles of this systema, as a general and always-advantageous one. The intention behind the second are the temporal views neglecting a benefit or a casual loss, and being resultant from a combination of associations of trading nations, and this type is a special and a diverse one. As to the former, that one, taken projective, may be comprised for the Polish General Consul in Konigsberg within the following points:

1. Correspondence with the Eminent Deputation of Foreign Interests in commercial matters- to be exchanged on a continuous and regular basis, for which separate figures will be given to him. Copies of the same shall he ought to store securely in his archive and leave those over to his successor, for more complete information. Such correspondence being due to include not only the common and general pieces-of-information regarding the arrangements of the Konigsberg Commercial College20, the Exchange-rate and the value of monies, prices of commodities, their goodness, etc., so that in accordance with those reports, the trading citizens be rendered aware early by newspapers and other public announcements, but [there ought to be], first-and-foremost, the secrets, plans, prospects, and intents of this same Commercial College, Maritime Company21, governmental administration in things relating to trade. Furthermore, speculations of the Domestic Bank22, in the monies of the Assurance Company23, of the Credit Fund of Szaki [i.e. Schaaken][24], the major factories and manufactories and the superior merchant houses, which, being the objects of the government's first-and-foremost interest, shall he most fiercely and diligently make efforts to fathom, comprehend, and inform [upon] without a delay.

2. Political correspondences and reports of any genus shall completely be banned, save for instances of peculiar as well as important events, which would have happened at the consul's residence site or thereabout. Then, this being the case, he shall be supposed to inform his minister [i.e. resident - J.W.] in Berlin, rather than the Deputation. He [i.e. the resident in Berlin - J.W.] will be able to use the main conclusion thereof, as the need may be, out of the combination of things and their position, this being better known to him.

3. Obligated shall he be to forthwith respond ex officio, in a sincere and unbiased manner, to any submissions of citizens and merchants of any class and condition, in their demands. Except however for continuous correspondence, for which, otherwise than out of his own willingness, he cannot be forced, which, however, should he voluntarily have assumed upon himself, he shall be supposed to share none of the secret pieces-of-information enumerated sub nro [= numero] 1mo hereinbelow [actually, above] with any private persons, which could be used by those solely to their own benefit, or perhaps, detriment of anyone else, or, God forbid, the country's, the lending whereof ought to be left to the government itself, and thereby, serve the public good.

4. In the matters of citizens and merchants originating from trading with the Prussians, in their complaints about the wrongs and oppressions, assist shall he ex officio from [= with] any courts and aid sincerely, and if such need be, then higher-up with the regency [i.e. Supreme Court - Ostpreussische Regierung] itself and with the Ministerium [Etats-Ministerium] of that place, by virtue of his own accredit, pledge himself and claim that justice be restored. Which, if this is to be any efficient, then shall he proceed directe to his minister in Berlin for solicitation and support at the court. With whom he in such things shall ought to confer [= contact/communicate], and refer himself thereto, and to whom it must once-for-ever be recommended [to hear] such complaints of the consul.

5. The best-possible and impartial agreement with consuls of the other potencies he shall maintain, and this by the end of [= because of/for the purpose of] exhaustation of their commercial prospects, for to inform one-another and to profit from their home arrangements and systems, and to inform the Eminent Deputation thereof.

6. Included there are the various and everywhere-ordinary relations a consul, particularly if general, has with domestic customs-houses and duties on the borderland. Principally, as concerns merchants travelling by carts, who often and by unsurveillance, and through the impossibility of their being completely seen to, inasmuch as given the extensivity of the houses and the multiplicity of isthmuses, smuggle the commodities to and fro without paying the charge, to the detriment of the treasury. Then, quarterly reports and general annual for the exportation and importation, for those to be confronted against the customs reports and the houses' sensitivity to be even more closely examined, the treasury revenue therefrom, and, most primarily, for drawing therefrom the true balance of trade, and that per specificum in each part thereof, for evidencing the activitatem or passivitatem of the same, without which the domestic government's administration cannot possibly, by any means, form-up the commercial systema and make any beneficial arrangements, whether internal or external with the neighbours.

These obligations, and similar thereto, how and in [= by] what a method ought to be fulfilled, can be best informed by the Eminent Treasury Commission for the Two Nations25. Which therein shall its desideria, should it have any such, submit to the Eminent Deputation, which shall then recommend them to the consul, by means of general instructions or specialiter, in accordance with the circumstances, for execution.

7. Under the circumstances happening, effectuate requisitions to customs-houses of civil-treasury commissions, as well as any-and-all domestic and foreign magistracies. Passports and attestations issue to those who would need them, and this officiating shall he be powerfull and obligated to [exercise] authoritate publicum.

Observe shall he strictly the rights and prerogatives thereto vested in this capacity, never allowing for any scathe in the honour praeiudicatum therein to appear.



Konigsberg, 1st August 1792

Sends a copy of the ban on exportation of gunpowder to Poland. Informs on a proposal to sell the weapons and deliver the same to the Polish frontier, as made to him by two Konigsberg merchants. Quotes the cereal prices.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, pp. 9-11.


In the previous report, I had the honour to report to thee, Rt.Hon. M[ost] G[racious] Sir, of the ban on exportation of gun-powder, as issued herein. This ban, in spite of the ordinary formalities of printing and stamping at the stock-exchange, when read-out to the merchant elders alone, and only communicated orally by themselves and so, for a reason unknown, by this far remains a secrecy, whereas, meanwhile, the matter therein expressed must needs be proclaimed. I was so happy to seize a copy of the interdiction, which I hereby attach, where I find having [the thing] having clearly been added-up to Poland, this perhaps being the reason it has been kept in secrecy. The other consuls were officially passing notes to one another on the communication, and still are waiting till be replied.

In spite of all this, I have been made a proposal from the local merchants, Houssele1 and Toussaint2, that weapons be placed up to the Polish frontier at [their] own expense and exertion, which they expect to have accomplished. I have given them no resolution, taking it, as it were, ad deliberandum so that I should have time to inform thee, Rt.Hon. M.G. Sir about this, in order to become informed myself of whether our Commissariat is in need of weapon, and of what sort, and consequently, should be willing, or not, to enter this entreprise [sic]?, - as for which I entreat for a resolution, as expeditious as practicable.

Three days before now, secret transports of sharp cargos for the Bosnians3 standing on the Polish borderland were dispatched here in the night; thus, those ones must as well have received the ordinances for readiness, similarly as the local battalions.

There is certain news here that the Prussian army on the Rhine are dying out of illnesses a great deal and, worse still, escaping to the Frenchmen. This expedition costs to [sic] the treasury doubly more than any other one, one officer's ration makes 50 thalers per month.

The cereals is at the same price. The rye, at 180 fl.[orins] in good coin, the osietne [i.e. cereals dried in special stoves, typical to Lithuania and Courland] at 200, the pieńka [i.e. ‘Ruthenian' hemp] dropped to 4 fl. and those trading in it have incurred severe losses. Potash and szmelcuga [a type of potash] are barely asked for.

A new order of things is now being arranged herein with regards to the customs and excise. H.[is] L.[ordship] Mr. Blanchard4, sent over here for this purpose from minister Struensee5, is overturning everything substantially, the trading publicum is muttering about this aloud, auguring to themselves a bane out of the so-frequent and almost every-semi-annual alternations. All this is however happening secretly and proiective, with a reform of approbation to Berlin. The local Commercium received the hardest blow by the Empress's issued injunction on inland commerce, which has already borne an irremediable loss to the factories locally.

Added to this ought to be the concern, that founds itself upon experience, about the rivalry between Riga and Libava [i.e. Lipawa; today, Liepāja in Latvia] in their trading with Poland, in which the Prussians, due to the amounts of their custom-duties, are by no means capable of sustaining the competition, and wherefrom therefore ruination is certain and infallible to arise for Konigsberg and other Prussian towns, once Moscow calms-down and its own government becomes willing to take somewhat of interest in this object, worse if [this be so] for Gdansk, through violent Prussian operations.

I also attach a copy of the memorial by the Poles entertaining themselves in here written to HG Duke Jabłonowski in Berlin, in which thou shall read out, Rt.Hon. M.G. Benefactor, an example of the atrocious Prussian arbitrariness of violence against an honest and tranquil citizen, whereof I am taking views every day like [= as] a spectator, capable of doing nothing about this without a creditione.

I remain, with deep appreciation and respect, the humblest servant of thee, Right Honourable MG Sir and Benefactor [-] J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 1st August 1792

Informs on the circumstances of detention and gaoling of Tomasz Bułharowski, dispositor of the wicinas [river cargo vessels] belonging to Franciszek Jelski, Chamberlain of Staroduby.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, pp. 34-36.

Your Ducal Grace and Highness, Most Particular Benefactor1!

The handling, somehow, three weeks ago, with HG Mr Bułharowski2 , dispositor of the wicinas of the Rt.Hon.Hon [Messrs.] Jelski3, Chamberlains of Staroduby, [would have?] occurred, should this have been the primary practice of the Konigsberg dwellers, officiants and soldiers, [and] it would be for us, the Poles dealing with commerce, a just reason for considering whether HG Mr Bułharowski, having already stayed for a thyrde[!] week under a strict arrest, is or is not worth of our putting-a-word for with Y.D.G&H-ness and Benefactor. As we however continually experience anxieties and assaults of the like sort with our trading activities, the innocence of HG Mr Bułharowski wielding an affectionate sentiment in everybody. Therefore, out of the condolence as due over the oppressed with violence, and further inconveniences for to prevent, namely, that the dispatch might be mistaken as unilaterally forwarded to Berlin from the Konigsberg Regency, we herein accurately particularise the entire thing, which is [contained] in the following itemised set:

HG Bułharowski, having loaded the wicinas up with Konigsberg merchandises, when he proceeded backwards to behind the bridges and came to a stop in a place deft for receipt of still some commodities, [and] during this time, the rumowniczy4, having barged onto the wicina, cudgelled the man thereon, captivating, so that the wicina (albeit not inhibiting the others in their passage) be driven-away. But, as two men only (the others having been sent away to sew a sail) could not fulfil his desire, however unjust it was, the rumowniczy came out onto the burwałek [i.e. bulwark] and cut-off the rope from the wicina. HG Bułharowski, present there, expostulating him for the wrong so unfairly done, grabbed him, just a little, by the collar, not with a thought to have him beaten, for he even did not even nudge the man, but the latter, reviling with words and, spoiling for a beating, called the szylwach5. The szylwach seized HG Mr. Bułharowski by the nape, the rumowniczy did the same thing, outright the way they do with a most villainous man. Out of the tap-room house, a soldier named Orlik dashed meanwhile, a criminalist experienced through various a sort and convinced by a law-court, tore-off a reed and mercilessly lashed HG Mr. Bułharowski with it. This being in progress (as it is normally practised in such circumstances), people concurred there, and Bułharowski, having left over his frock and the reed in the hand of those most cruelly dealing with him, took refuge in someone else's wicina. The soldiers beat the people, wounding two of them with a bayonet. Which, by experience of a wrong so disgraceful, go did HG Mr. Bułharowski to the court for such unlawful act to submit, and yet, under a false report made to the command by those two soldiers, an adjutant comes over and, without a faintest explication, take him prisoner and from this [prison] they make him explain himself, despite a bail being given from Konigsberg citizens, [and] draw an inquisition from Orlik the soldier, who was in the action himself. None of the Poles, just because they are Polish, are admitted for the testimony whatsoever. But when four local honest citizens who watched this give their testimony for [his] innocence, and so have they sworn the inquisition pending, following which HG Mr. Bułharowski himself went to [make his] oath that not only had he the szylwach nudged not, but even had no time to utter a word whilst being so mercilessly treated by those ones. The regency forwarded the case to Berlin, whilst Bułharowski poor remained in prison. The wicinas, in turn, [remained] in idleness without a supervisor, and therefrom various losses and expenses [have been incurred].

Seeing later on a violence and deferment of the justice [administration], Bułharowski kept requesting the court that he be let walk out of the gaol, be it for a mere half of the day, under guard, so he could provide the vessels, the commodities, and the [= his] people themselves for custody. But he was not allowed even this.

Extending our request to Y.D.G&H-ness and Benefactor for rescue and support of the poor lot of HG Mr. Bułharowski, it is our desire to protect ourselves from any similar occurrences, for what an individual is suffering innocently for himself today, the other might subsequently be affected with.

May Y.D.G&H-ness and Benefactor deign enter with thy influential instance into this business; may Bułharowski not suffer innocently, may he be freed from the gaol which, if prolonged, can even divest him of life, owing to the concerns, that [= because] he has violently been detached from the property and interests of his Lord as entrusted to him. May an award correspondent with the wrong he has suffered be followed upon him, and punishment of those who have been the cause therefor.

This glorious action of Y.D.G&H-ness and Benefactor shall be the reason for all, and us in a most particular manner, to adore [you] and declare [to you] our utmost deference, wherewith we remain.



Konigsberg, 10th August 1792

Complains about no accreditation having been granted to him and provides information regarding the prices and harvests. A number of Poles are arriving in Konigsberg, seeking refuge from the unrest occurring at home.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 13.


Thus I infer that both of my former expeditions, one via HG Mr. Frybes1, the other one via HG Mr. Wannowski2, have arrived at the hands of Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, and since I have had no confirmation from Berlin until now and, indeed, Rt.Hon. Mr. Zabłocki, the resident, has assured me in his letter that he had received no recommendation for soliciting such a confirmation from Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, and even was unaware of me having been sent to Konigsberg; so, having remained hitherto on an incognito basis, without action or a slightest association with the prime persons officiating here, I could not meet my obligation in maintaining a continual weekly correspondence.

The number of Polish citizens arriving in here every day is increasing more-and-more, some for their commercial interests, whilst many however found shelter temporarily in here, due to the unease in our country, in the intent of waiting for the decision of the general lot. HG Prince-Bishop Massalski3 is expected today at the dinner and shall sojourn in here for some time.

The rye has soared to 190 fl.[orins] of good coin, the osietne, up to 210. Potash started being charged at 80 and 20, the rest remaining at its previous price. [c. 14r.]

This year's harvests are so extraordinarily abundant here that the crestences had in several places to be piled up into stacks, in an unpractised manner, without a sufficient room available in the barns. Despite all that, however, the local merchants are severely troubling themselves about the following year's trading, the opinion being that the Moscow army, carrying fire and sword in front of it, has completely destroyed our husbandry.

With deep appreciation and respect, I remain

Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's humblest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 26th August 1792

Informs on the completion of a Lithuanian cargo rafting to Konigsberg and on the ban imposed on exports and transfers of weaponry and ammunition to Poland via Prussian countries; attaches a copy thereof. Mr. Bułharowski still serves his time in prison.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 15.

Right Honourable Sir and Benefactor!

Our floating venture has been concluded completely, save for a few strugs [a type of vessel] loaded with pieńka still remaining, which will also due to soon be dispatched. A new prohibition has been issued here upon exporting and transferring weapons of any sort and war ammunition through the Prussian countries into Poland, which I attach hereto in copia.

It has by-now become doubtless that the Prussian cordon shall be formed along the Polish frontier, especially from the Sillesya [Silesia; orig., Szlonsk] side, under command of General Dalwig2. Bułharowski the miserable man is still kept under strict imprisonment, it not having been made known till present when they would make [= put] an end to his suffering and hardship. The entire business has been forwarded to Berlin where a final resolution will be made.

I remain with deep appreciation for Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, thy humblest servant [-] Okołow.



Konigsberg, 21st September 1792

Cereals and potash prices in Konigsberg. A sentence has been passed on Mr. Bułharowski.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, pp. 17-18.

Printed in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt władzy naczelnej Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", 1965, No. 2, p. 334.


Right Honourable Sir and Benefactor!

A dozen-or-so wicinas and strugs have arrived from near Vilna and Kowno [today, Kaunas in Lithuania] the second time. The price of cereals, however, is almost the same, the reason being that they have already started bringing-along their domestic thresh from the vicinages. The last [i.e. measure unit] of wheat [costs] 250-260 florins; of rye, 170 to 180; of osietne, 200; of barley, 120 to 130; boiler potash, counting the szyfunt [i.e. unit of weight; German, Schiffunt] per crown, fl. 80; trough potash, also fl. 80. The major part of the cereals went to Spain and Portugal, and right recently many a consignment have arrived from Holland and more are expected from various directions, which probably may considerably increase the price per cereals, inasmuch as the local government here are purchasing quite a quantity [of cereals] for storage.

The decree regarding HG Mr. Bułharowski has been published today. He has been adjudicated for 4 months to the bulwark and payment of all the legal costs, albeit having served already more than two months his time in a gaol so strict, had he incurred the expenses of up to 200 thalers in cash, not counting the loss of health and the damage ensued therefrom to his Lord and freighters.

The decree has an appended threat also to HG Mr. Rajecki1, who, standing with his own wicina and 24 of his retinue beside the wicina of HG Mr. Bułharowski, was watching those quarrels and offered to the fleeing Bułharowski asylum at his place against the lashing by the rumowniczy and the szyldwach, [and] afterwards, following Bułharowski together with the people [i.e. witnesses to the occurrence], he was not accepted by the court; for which he therefore is due to be sued and punished in the following year, once as soon as he arrives. The day-behind-[= before]-yesterday, Rt. Honourable Deboli2 passed through this place, our once-been minister from Petersburg, and set he off for a further journey to Gdansk.

The manoeuvres and other soldierly exercitia of autumn have been commenced today by the ordinary procedure, many an our deserter are being brought in here, having for most part fled with the arms, particularly, from the infantry. Complaining are those people about hunger and want in [= of] everything, and this is what they pretend [i.e. quote falsely] as the pretext for their desertion. Of Muscovites, there is quite a number arriving as well, in the hope of this desertion, and subsequently, a good half for the garrisons here are dispatched [sic], following the Muscovites' march-in, to Warsaw, the recruiters to the frontier, and small head-quarters sent forth.

With deep appreciation and submission to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, I remain, thy humblest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 25th September 1792

T. Bułharowski fled from prison, where he had not been very strictly guarded. Woyna-Okołow was called to report at the town-hall and charged of having lent assistance to the escapee; the procedure has violated his rights, in his opinion. Consequently, he requests diplomatic intervention in Berlin.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 19-21.

Right Honourable Sir and Benefactor!

On the past Friday, HG Mr. Bułharowski, having found the opportune time, fled fortunately from the prison, so that they only learned about this not earlier than on the morrow. At ten hours in the morning, a simple man unknown comes over to me and says, Gracious Mr Consul, come you along to see Mr. Buchholtz1 at the town-hall.

I was much surprised by this, rather particular, way of a familiar citation against the habit and law of this place, according whereto such things would customarily occur in writing. Inasmuch qua a nobleman and alien, belong I to the regency, rather than the municipal council, and known to HG Director or municipal courts, Buchholtz, am I not at all.

Not being able to suppose with all this that such a person would have to such an extent ignored the commonly accepted, and all the less, explicit, regulations of his law, so he adventure upon suing a man, in the opinion of his own, formal Consul, not belonging to his [i.e. Mr. Buchholtz's] forum, in such a coarse and unpractised fashion; presuming indeed that he might have some particular business for me, or else, demand light [= clarification] and explication in subiudicino iuris as to some Polish matter, knowing of my presence in here, whilst the man sent over by him might have explained his reasons not civilly enough, I did walk to the town-hall at once, where HG Mr Buchholtz, having led me through to a separate chamber, where five or six Honourable Gentlemen were seated by the table, and, having closed the door as he entered, he addressed me thus: Honourable Mr Consul, Mr. Bułharowicz escaped yesterday; I have heard about it, replied I. You Hon. Sir knew of his escape, you Hon. Sir have lent assistance to our detainee to this end, tell us the truth, Hon. Sir, otherwise I forthwith shall ordain that you Hon. Sir be arrested. - At my wits' end became I at such coarseness unheard-of, answered I to him that I could not comprehend that; he ushered me to another chamber wherein, again, several Honourable Gentlemen were examining a man, as I learned afterwards, the constable [resp. Wachtmeister] of the municipal militia, under whose surveillance Bułharowski had been. One of those Honourable Gentlemen, having turned toward me, asked whether Bułharowski had been at my place in the morning, and at what time namely? - Replied I: he was there betwixt ten and eleven hours, on his own solely, saying that submit he should to the decree if the already-served detention be detruncated from the adjudged four months, otherwise he must appeal; he cried and went off. Then again - Did he appear at your place after the dinner, betwixt four and six hours? Replied I: he did not, and could not be, for I, having walked off myself at 12 in the noon from my lodgings, I was back at 12 of midnight, which I will prove by the testimony of the house-holder I stay at and of those people at whose place I then entertained myself. All of them screamed at the poor constable that he had told lies; he, embarrassed at this, started revoking that he had not said that. They took the record and read-out to him as he had testified, that he was together with Bułharowski at 6 at my place, seeing a big company, etc. - the poor-soul tergiversated and contradict[t]ed [himself] permanently, for I know it well that not only on that day but never-ever had he walked with Bułharowski, letting him off the leash as from the date, almost, of relaxation of his detention and permission that he walk-out to the city to attend his businesses. My words began being written into the record, and since I was titled the Consul there, seeing that the Honourable Gentlemen knew me not and not willing the said title to be bedaubed in the municipal registers, I had to formalise myself out of this [sic], which they also entered on the minutes, requesting me to sign. All went off after that, and sent over a copyist announcing that my presence was no more necessary, and so this was concluded at that point.

With all this, I cannot forgive Mister Buchholtz's boorishness, [in] that he had adventured upon, in spite of the law, ordering to call, through a lacquey, a man, nobleman, foreigner, not belonging to the municipal courts, and, in his own opinion, consul of an alien state, which with a most villainous burgher do should he not; - further - with no faintest evidence or satisfactory indicia, threaten with arrestation, at the mere conjecture and his own discretion - did he suppose that I would take fright, and plead guilty? Or, that I was so stupid, not even knowing that neither the Regency nor the Ministerium itself, and all the less, himself, were empowered to arrest any-one, without a plain conviction that he be a criminal? Beside this, Mister Buchholtz knew it well, and so he said in my presence to the constable that it was apparent through the report, from the gate, that Bułharowski right after the dinner, betwixt 2 and 3, escaped by a two-horse cart, and consequently, could not be at my place at 6 in the evening. If, therefore, those Honourable Gentlemen were in particular after the more-evident convic[ti]oning of the constable that he was telling lies, he could have well used more decent measures to this end, having me obligated by means of a ticket or sending some barrister for ordaining the truth, and then he would surely experience all the [expected] docility from me. But, as I can see it, it is implied by an almost-common opinion here that a Pole can be affronted and aggrieved with impunity, for he either will commonly bear everything patiently, or, if complaining, find shall he not with his own government a protection and care efficient enough, inasmuch [i.e. having regard to] the rather frequent internal commotion of our country.

I therefore have the honour to most humbly request Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, if I am to stay further-on here in this function and receive, at last, the confirmation, delayed heretofore, from Berlin, that thou recommend to Rt.Hon. Mister Zabłocki, the resident, whom I have already informed on this incident, that he bring the complaint directe to the Great Chancellor Carmer3 in Berlin and procure a satisfaction suitable for me, which shall probably not be refused thereto, given the evident offence of Mister Buchholtz against the formality of the law. This is about the national honour as well as my own, whose maintenance is continually necessary, all the more so that in the lower subsel[l]ia of herein, the Right-Honourable judges learn some-time therefore to distinguish citizens and equitable people from bargemen, or their farm-hands, which they hitherto are not wont to do, as is seen from my own case.

Should this have seemed to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor not convenient for any political regard, or should I be, with a complete conversion of our government into the old model, certainly cancelled with my office, then in this case I shall solicit that I be dismissed as soon as practicable, after which out of myself am I able to seek the appropriate satisfaction with respect ot Mister Buchholtz by way of legal action, and I do know beforehand that I shall assuredly approach the same under having indicted him with the Regency. Hoping for a therefore gracious and immediate resolution, I have the honour to write [i.e. sign] myself herein with high esteemation and deepest submission.

Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow



[Warsaw], 15th October 1792

Letter of Grand Crown Chancellor Jacek Małachowski to J. Woyna-Okołow regarding the dispute between him and Buchholtz, a relative of the Prussian envoy to Warsaw; advising that the conflict be settled amicably.

Copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 28.


Having returned to Warsaw, I found a letter from you, Rt.Hon. Sir, written as of 25th September, informing on the incident you find annoying, on the occasion of the flee of Mister Bułharowski from Konigsberg. When it comes to your, Rt.Hon. Sir, complaints reaching for HG Mister Buchholtz himself, a cousin of the Prussian envoy residing in here1, by consideration of him, I thought it the most seemly measure to facilitate this circumstance in a friendly manner, avoiding official steps, which in a further time could prove to you, Rt.Hon. Sir, through a reluctance toward you from Messrs. Buchholtz, as might have ensued therefrom, detrimental to yourself in your future tenure in Konigsberg. To this end, it has already been spoken of here with HG Sir the Prussian envoy, who has declared to write to his cousin with an insinuation that the incident having occurred with you, Rt.Hon. Sir, be settled in a convenient manner.

HG Mr Zabłocki, resident of HRH and Cmlth in Berlin, has been informed of this yet, of which I now apprise you, Rt.Hon. Sir, expecting that you shall exhibit all the easiness on your part for such rescission [i.e. mutual agreement/reconciliation], once a step is made from HG Mister Buchholtz.

Dated 15 Octobris 1792

signed: Małachowski



Konigsberg, 26th October 1792

A set of new rules of trading with Poland has been drafted. Merchant courts (Wettgeircht) were reinstated. Requests for permission to go to Gdansk so he could meet and discuss a few questions with Mr. Hennig, the local Polish commissioner.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, pp. 22-24.

Y[our] [G]race Right-Honourable Benefactor!

I had the honour to receive Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's commands under [= as of] 18 October, whose fulfilment I know to be my primary obligation, and this is why I shall patiently expect the effect of this insinuation to occur from HG Sir the Prussian envoy, and I shall not forget to report about the same in due time.

In my report n[ume]ro 2, I already mentioned about the new arrangements being proiective made here for commerce, particularly, Polish one. This work, finished yet, went [= was submitted] for new belabouring and last verdict to Berlin, and since certain details of the same, comprising peculiar formalities while revised and heretofore-unpractised regulations in payment of customs-duty, may in my opinion prove burdensome for our citizens, exposing them to thousands of arbitrarinesses and extortions of customs officialists, I then presume that this circumstance ought to attract the attention of our government and in Berlin be duly taken care of, and therefore, I have the honour to inform Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor about this, omitting the specification of individual points in this reform, as those being due to be once again considered and finally decided upon in Berlin. On this occasion, it would seem most deft to attach the desideria and petita of our trading citizens regarding the improvement of the old abuses, arbitrarily introduced and very unpleasant ones. I should most primarily reckon here the reinstatement of merchant courts under the title of Wettgericht, which were abrogated and transferred into the municipal courts2. Further on, cancellation of the wicina and strug fees, as well as consumption excise, as arbitrarily introduced contrary to the expressions of the 1775 treaty, concluded in articulo separato, and to the domestic practice according whereto there be no excise across the country-side, whereas the Poles travelling across the country to Konigsberg have to pay an excise for their mince-meat, which often amounts up to 200 and 300 zl[oty] per strug.

It might be that our government, now pre-occupied with its internal arrangements, will not be able or willing to attend to details of this kind, but it is also possible that upon elapse of this moment in which the local government here has started so seriously engaging itself around a reform of its commerce, and after complete conclusion thereof, once the new systema of minister Struensee has been introduced, negotiations in favorem of the Polish commerce not so easy, for it might be that they will remain completely ineffectual.

The interests of the citizens trading in here and to Gdansk, implying a necessity to for me to correlate and rescind [= come to agreement/reconcile] with HG Mr Henning, the HRH and Cmlth Consul in Gdansk3, and therefore the ensuing need to meet in person and bargain mutually, as has already been proposed to me by HG Mr Henning; - moreover - the supervision of the Klaipeda [Memel] commerce entrusted to me by the temporary instructions, and the recommended examination of its condition, extracting [= requiring] frequent arrivals in there, without a slightest fund being assigned for such expenses and rides, have encouraged me to query Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor whether the residence of mine shall be extended, and upon what a foundation, and consequently, whether I could this winter-season time, free from trading and businesses, devote to such journey to the local port towns, so as to grow myself informed as to the condition of the general commerce, of both the Eastern as well as the Western Prussia, and to meet and see HG Mr Henning, and whether a cost from the treasury will be allowed to me for that, or not?

Using the opportunity of staying in Gdansk, I could abscond also to Berlin, should this prove seemly to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor to recommend within that time to Rt.Hon. Mister Zabłocki, the resident, to solicit a confirmation, or exsequatur, from the court there, as due to follow with respect to me, with which, once returned, I could commence my function already as from the following rafting, and be completely active, and also negotiate with the Honourable Resident as regards referring thereto in case there is a need for official support in particular interests, one such having been the detention of HG Mr Bułharowski, and other, and, receive closer information on the order of things at the General Directorium5, under whose supervision the commerce remains.

Awaiting a gracious resolution whereupon, I have the honour to write [= sign] myself herein with deepest appreciation and respect.

Your Grace Rt.Hon. Sir and Benefactor's

humblest servant [-] Jerzy Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 23rd November 1792

Buchholtz has expressed no apologies for his insulting conduct; intervention at the Berlin court is therefore necessary. Cereal prices have gone up.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 25-27.

Your Grace Right-Honourable Benefactor!

In accordance with the will of Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, I have heretofore been patiently awaiting a response being due to follow from HG Mister Buchholtz, under the insinuation of HG Sir the Prussian envoy1, and although I have no reason to put into doubt the reliability of the said HG Sir the envoy, I all the same did doubt, and aptly so, as to the promised effect of such an insinuation, knowing well the small degree whereto the lowest-ranked Prussian judge remains with his envoy, and therefore is completely unbothered by his entering [= intervention], and nowise should do so, under penalty. Everyone there is listening to the overseer under whose surveillance he remains and from whom he receives his award or punishment, whereas accessory influencing is borne under no pretext or name, and if there are examples of any demonstrated considerations, those would perhaps be occurring in directe, and with considerable cautiousness.

In my particular case, Great Chancellor Carmer, as the sovereign chief of the Justice Department, is the only one whose commands ought to be feared and fulfilled by HG Mister Buchholtz, and who would probably, having no good reason for taking regard of any family-related or similar associations or menaging [= having regard to] anybody, himself standing, on equal footing with the other ministers, directe under the king, long since have reprimanded HG Mr Buchholtz on that misdeed of his, should a complaint have been brought to him about this. HG Mister Buchholtz's resentment toward me may be no awful, neither now nor in a future, in turn, for the Wettgericht now being formed, that is, merchant courts for the Poles, have imbued me with a hope that never-more will I ever have to do with him. All the same, apart from this, certain I am, and have had enough of practice in the local judiciary, that a judge, like favouring me despite the law, may as well not become burdensome beyond the prescription of the same; otherwise, in either case, the accused without a consideration will assuredly be even more badly punished, and with cassation. The sole effect of HG Sir the envoy's insinuation (providing he has made it) was that the defendant, not any more through a varlet, but formally in writing, by the way as prescribed by the law, for a comparation [i.e. comparison] before the municipal court was I summoned as a witness in the constable's inquisition, and having appeared there on the morrow, had I to give a thorough explication to the various queries in this matter, sign the same, and, lastly, swear upon it. HG Mister Buchholtz was not present there, but another court assessor, Höpffner2 handled the thing with all the becoming honesty and courtesy.

Today, a reyment [= regiment] of the local dragoonry has, in line with the ordinance, sent over one-hundred horses to the army on the Rhine, whereto all the other mounted reyments ought to be dispatching the same number each. I should pass over in silence the moving of the reyments in the New Prussia3, Pomerania4, Margraviate, etc., together with their destination, as probably reported upon to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor from Berlin, earlier and in a more detailed manner than I could have done.

The [prices of] cereals are going up ineffably here, the consignees knowing not where to purchase it from. The wheat has already soared to 330 fl.[orins], the rye, to 220, and so forth, proportionally. The entire hope being entertained here, however faint, is relied upon the future rafting from Poland.

With due appreciation and submission, I remain Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir and Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Okołow



Konigsberg, 11th January 1793

A new customs and excise tariff is due to appear in print. Konigsberg merchants have sent a memorial to the Prussian king, who stayed then in Frankfurt-am-Main, complaining about the newly-introduced charges. Woyna-Okołow is troubled by the fact that no accreditation has formally been granted to him, as this prevents him from acting officially. Attached is an exports/imports table for the Polish trade in Konigsberg.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 29-31.

Printed in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt naczelnej władzy Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium" , ‘Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie', 1965, No. 2, footnote 69, pp. 329-330, & fn. 73, pp. 332-333.


Your Grace Right-Honourable Benefactor!

The effects of the new arrangements and directives in the general commerce, in accord with HG Mr Minister Struensee's systema, have yet gradually become emerging. A new tariff is being printed here, for customs-duty and excise, which, once publish, will I not neglect to procure [a copy of] and send [you] the same, and wherein, amongst the other amendments, in articles that I as-yet am aware of not, there is one such [amendment] proving to be decisive for the trade in spice, that is, the new fee on the coffee stone [amounting to] 5 thalers, and on a pound of sugar, 15 Prussian grosz, with the addendum that this tax is due not only to be, as is otherwise ordinary, chargeable upon the quantum purchaseable in a future, but that ex nunc a revision is due to pass across the merchant depots, prevail the latter, and upon this a fee is to be taken forthwith, which has made a sensation amongst the merchants to such extent that having gathered into up to a several-hundred, a courier did they dispatch directly to HRH the King with a memorial, representing athat they shall never allow for such, and a lawless, reform and either [= whereas] they will not oppose the will of the HRH, however they dare request whether this possibly be a surmise, and also an amicable command of the minister, who, having failed to cancel the old systema, as compiled a few years before conjointly with the merchants' deputation, and so approved by HRH-ness, has now designed to introduce novelties and amendmentsa-.

Received they back a reply that sternly rebuked such a transgression of theirs of denigration without proof, which either they are supposed to forthwith submit or else should expect the outcome of the king's disgrace. They consequently dispatched another courier with new remonstrations to the king and to the General Directorium in Berlin, arguing that this arrangement, burdensome for them, instead of a plus [i.e. profit], once the former systema of the late king is cancelled, as elected over those several years, shall in the royal income disclose a considerable minus [i.e. loss] in the royal incomes from the customs percept [i.e. receipts], etc.

They are now awaiting a resolution, it not being known what is to happen with this. The minister has threatened them with a soldierly execution, but I am aware that they already have a general agreement for acceptance and payment of the execution at their homes, closure of shops and granaries and non-admittance of the revision, unless the same would be occurring through forceful rebounding of [= knocking repeatedly on] the door. The time will show what an effect will be brought about through such a resisting of theirs.

In the last week, up to 2,000 farm-hands were dispatched to join the army, all of them married, since those unbound [i.e. single] ones have fled to the French and in other directions - some of them being destined for the corps of HG Mister Möllendorf1 which is due to enter Poland.

The price per cereals is: wheat, 340 fl.[orins] per last; rye, over 200; barley, 155; white powder, 210; lin-seed, from 1.5 bushel, 11 per barrel; hempen-seed, 8 fl. The rate for red-gold is 1 zl 9 gr[osz] 17.

I hereby attach a table of our trade's exportations and importations, as exact as I only could have drawn it up, almost surreptitiously, within a time so short, not yet having many a necessary relation and given the restricted methods of forming of the same. First-and-foremost, that, unaccredited and pretending to be a private man, I have to proceed cautiously in matter so delicate, so that, owing to inopportune curiosity and rummaging into the local financial secrets, I may avoid the incurrence of a detrimental suspicion, and having no shield in the law of nations in a case befalling like this one, avoid being called to make an explication and response [i.e. responsibility].

The table contains several articles [i.e. items] taken in general, which ought to be detailed per specificum, which however could not have happened, owing to my present embarrassed position. Finally, mistakes made therein, [as] confronted against the reports of the Jurbork [Germ. Georgenburg] [customs] house, and therefore the accuracy of the Cmlth's customs officialists will display a treasury advantage, or else, e contra. The second table of exportations and exportations of the Konigsberg trade by the sea, being far more extensive, I have not as yet prepared and there is many an article that I still am short of for it, of which I have to inform myself little-by-little, for the reasons expressed above; having completed the same, I shall send it [to you]. Of the condition of the Klaipeda commerce, since I have not been there, and could not be without a fund assigned for such rides, I know nothing, whereas I may not merely rely myself upon news and reports from an alien mouth, as a renown, and report on the same.

It is being claimed here as a thing certain that the inland trade with Moscow, dammed by HG Empress in the last Turkish war, will be re-opened, so far that Moscovian goods will be brought into Prussia and Prussian ones, into Moscow without even the formerly used passports and without any charge whatsoever. Should this occur, the Prussian factories, considerably impoverished ever since will reinforce themselves, being otherwise accustomed to give every-year their commodities at several million zl[oty] to the Muscovites, carrying back little or nothing in exchange, but buying everything for the cash money. The local merchants will retrieve their incurred loss upon the Moscovian bankruptcies, emerging on the occasion, or perhaps, more under the pretext of this ban on going away from the country through the land.

The letter of HC Sir the Prussian envoy2 to his cousin3, as sent to me via Rt.Hon. Mister Tęgoborski4 and forthwith returned, has implied no effect till now, with Mr. Buchholtz keeping silence for so many a week, as if he had received no letter, and I can see no way whereby this business could possibly be concluded in an amicable fashion. Although, I flatter myself that Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, having already made his steps toward settling this circumstance, still remaining fatal for me, is not willing to completely desert or redeem it.

I remain, with due respect and submission, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 18th January 1793

A table detailing the trade between Poland and Konigsberg is attached. The new customs and excise tariff has not been introduced yet. A light-infantry battalion has been dispatched to assuage the riot in Klaipeda.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 32-33.

Printed in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt naczelnej władzy Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", ‘Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie' , 1965, No. 2, pp. 329-330.


Your Grace Right-Honourable Benefactor!

Having completed the second table possibly most effectively, I hereby attach it, observing that here, as well as in the past [= previous] version of the table, there is a plenty of minor articles [= items] taken together and combined under a general denomination, to facilitate, as I may guess, the excerption [= collection] of customs-duty, which would otherwise consume a lot of time, through extensive assortment of commodities.

The new customs tariff is not yet visible and there are [such] who doubt about the introduction of the same, [being due] to follow. The merchants, meanwhile, mistrusting, it is said, the goodness of their business and having learned that treasury ministers Werder1 and Struensee are vocated to HRM the King (of which vocation and the grounds behind it Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor must have long since and minutely been notified from Berlin), have decided to send the assigned delegates to Frankfort, to HRM the King, and are presently deliberating over it. What the purpose of this delegation may be; is it to take any effect, and what effect namely? is not known. [q. mark: sic]

A battalion of light infantry has been dispatched to Klaipeda owing to the unrest instigated there by the burghers and merchants, the purpose however being the French deck-hands wintering there, who wanted to hang their flags on the ships and plant a tree of liberty, who [= which] impulse was however quelled by the sensitivity of the local commander and by threatening the quelled with giving fire [i.e. firing at them].

I was assured yesterday that 2 slaughterers from there had been brought in here, the leaders of licentious and indecent reasoning about the government, of whom one is already to be sentenced to serve 8 years in a fortress. Last night, the local artillery received the command to debouch to that very place, a unit of one-hundred with their cannons, whilst provision of the horses will cause the march delayed.

A French spy, or maybe, emissary on his return way from Turek [= Turkey], with whom, as the hear-say has it, big money was found, has been brought along in here.

An infantry battalion has besides been commanded to march out to Tilsit, it not being known whether to relieve or perhaps, to reinforce the local garrison there.

I remain, with deepest appreciation and submission, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 22nd January 1793

Quotes the prices of cereals. Numerous transports of grains and junket, from Mazovia and elsewhere, have started arriving in the town.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 56-57.

Printed in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt naczelnej władzy Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", ‘Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie' , 1965, No. 2, fn. 70, p. 330.


Your Grace Right-Honourable Benefactor!

The merchants' delegation has not taken an effect yet, and supposedly take will it not, since the local merchants here flatter themselves, albeit without a slightest likeness [= possibility], that they will soon dispatch minister Struensee, this department1 being conferred to somebody else.

In spite of the alluring prospect of a considerable gain in the following autumn upon cereal speculation, one would not see many of those vying the profit and venturing their properties on this. And this for the anxiety that, the war becoming increasingly expanded and the doubled efforts from the Prussian side for support of the same, in case of insufficiency of the royal store-houses, support be enquired from private granaries with an arbitrary price, antiqua praxi, from the government's side; or, that the local navigation, safe and tranquil by this far, be continually pestered by French buccaneers. These remarks make it that, given the small number of those applying, the cereal price proves almost unvarying and, regarding the circumstances, rather low.

Wheat is 330 fl.[orins] per last; rye, 233; barley, 155 to 160; lin-seed, from 1.5 bushel, fl. 10.5 to 11 per barrel.

Currently, a sleigh road of some sort having got formed, dense transports of cereal and various legumin have commenced to be arriving from Samogitia, the Starosties[?] of Kowno, Grodno and, partly, from Mazovia.

The French spy or emissary, returning, as it were, from Turek [= Turkey], brought along the other day, disclosed himself simpliciter to be merely a vagabond with a command of many languages, particularly, French, which he normally speaks.

I remain, with due obsequiousness and submission, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 1st February 1793

Count Henckel, Governor of the city and province, is dead. The Polish merchant community are suffering new forms of harassment. The ban on export of gunpowder and ammunition to Poland has been renewed.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 37-39.

Your Grace Right-Honourable Benefactor!

Yesterday in the morning, at 7 hours, Count Henkel1, the local governor and commander of the fort of East Prussia, General-Lieutenant and knight of the newly-created Order of the Red Eagle, has departed from this life following a few days' illness, Prussia having lost together with him one of its best generals, and this at the time that the armies kept in this province are expected to protract an extensive cordon around Semigalia, according to the common hear-say, and forming separately a corps, are in need of a dedicated general to keep command over them. Cannons have already been dispensed from here for the light battalions kept within the vicinity around here, in the province. But these, and the like, circumstances will probably be better known to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor from reports of our frontier head-quarters.

Worse still, there is a new chicane and oppression for the Poles through an ordinance having been received these days, so that all the commodities being bought by the Poles here, be brought to the licenta2 at their departure, where, extracted from the cases and chests, scattered around, these are to be weighted-through, counted, measured, etc., confronted with the merchant's certificate, that is, a Passier-Celt3, and, at the end, sealed, whereas at the border those seals are to be revised and torn-off. Execution of this ordinance was already started the day-behind-[= before]-yesterday yesterday. Should I omit the drudgery ensued therefrom for those hasting home, inasmuch [i.e. especially with regard to] the type of road thus persistently uncertain, but how much of a loss will therefore ensue for our poor merchants when their goods, well-packed to make a long journey, by the people knowing their business and being paid for it separately upon [= by] the merchants, scattered around readily at the revision, wrongly and incidentally [= casually] put together again, will so be sealed. This is a new source of wyderkafs [i.e., lit., ‘amount borrowed on pledge'; Germ. wiederkauf] for the local officialists, with whom ours will have to accommodate and buy themselves, so that those ones not do something deliberately through chicane to their ruin and detriment.

The local merchants have by this far not received any resolution on [i.e. in response to] their second memorial, but [did receive] a separate ordinance out of the minister's having complained against them as disobedient, so they be on the readiness to submit their challenges [= complaints] against their supposed constrictions, along with any of the petits and desideria they would find most seemly for them, because upon order of HRH the King, the minister shall 1mis Martii [= on 1st March] arrive in person, will inspect into all this, or ordain the individuals assigned by him to do so, deliberate upon it and make a final resolution. What they thence attained was that they will have the minister as a judge in his own case against himself.

The prohibition on exportation and importation of gun-powder and of war ammunition of any sort to Poland, of which I had the honour to report in my report of the past [= last] year sub n[ume]ro 2, attaching a copy thereof, has now been renewed and most severely recommended for execution.

I remain, with due appreciation submission, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 15th February 1793

Four months have passed since he expected to obtain his owed salary; this has caused him financial trouble, making him live on credit.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 53-55.

Your Grace Honourable Benefactor!

I am not certain whether my very last letter has arrived care of Y.G. Rt.Hon. Benefactor, but the importance of my interest urges me to make yet a third appeal, otherwise I would not have ventured to interrupt thy more important busyness with a correspondence so frequent. This is the 4th month now that I have remained unpaid on this costly residence; in vain have I been waiting for any decision regarding me from the Department and a resolution to my own queries, having not received which, I am commencing to be greatly embarrassed, and much more greatly will I still fall into, in case the salary being owed to me for this half-a-year is not sent over by-and-by. It is hard to live penniless in foreign and costly a country, and also hard and obnoxious is it to live upon credit, as it is in unknowledge of whether, and when, the demanded return date would come. I therefore have the honour to most humbly beseech Y.G. Rt.Hon. Benefactor for submittal to this interest to Rt.Hon. chancellor1 or to whoever is now in charge thereof, for since my departure from Warsaw, having been notified by the Department of no alterations meanly effectuated by the confederation across the country universally, and in the Department in specific, in accordance with the habit practised in other countries, I am aware of nothing and am remaining, like a blind man, in exile.

I do flatter that Y.G. Rt.Hon. Benefactor shall deign to content my fair request, and to inform me most betimes as to the resultatum, whatever it might be, of it being submitted wherever due. Thus, I will at least be certain of what to be adhering to. And, should the Confederation, the sejm, or whoever is presently there in Poland holding sway, have intended to cancel the less-necessary places [i.e. positions/functions], out of a ménage2, then may it be so, as long as they pay [me] the remainder, and myself, in the general misery of the whole country, will not be obstinacious enough so I would send grievances for my personal fortune to be ensured amidst the public tempest, or be scolding and complaining about a casual loss of the same, but following the example of so many others, shall I embark to look for another turn[-of-events] anywhere else for my own subsistence.

Of the local news, the most important one is the dissemination, believed here [sic] by the worthiest persons and accepted as a Gospel truth, whereby our king will soon arrive here incognito, escorted up to the frontier by the Muscovites and from the frontier onward, by the Prussians, and will entertain himself under the Prussian protection until the things be finally arranged. They are already indicating a royal house for him, latterly now allegedly repaired to this end, where he is supposed to stay, and many other circumstances similar thereto. This fable at first arrived from Berlin and has been confirmed through the correspondences of merchants from Warsaw, and is a common article of faith here.

I remain, with high respect and deference, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Okołow.



Konigsberg, 13th March 1793

Arrival is expected of General Wilhelm-Magnus Brünneck, newly-appointed Governor of the city and province. Prince Adam Poniński has been imprisoned for unpaid debts. Konigsberg merchants have sent their four delegates to make complaints to the Prussian king. The cereals are decreasing in price.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 42-44.

Printed (a fragment) in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt władzy naczelnej Prus Książęcych, "Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie", 1965, No. 2, fn. 71, pp. 330-1.


Your Grace Honourable Benefactor!

Count d'Artois1 was passing through here day-behind-[= before]-yesterday [on his way] to Petersburg, and entertained himself [here] for a whole day. General-Lieutenant Brüneck2, the newly-appointed governor of this city and province, is expected to arrive in here tomorrow, no less the commander of fortresses therein situated. He stopped on his journey at Gdansk, as he was willing to take a closer look at the decision of [= regarding] the lot of the city, which, in case it shows resistance, shall literally be besieged and conquered.

Yesterday, the light infantry battalion consisting here, having received an ordinance the day before then, set off from here to Willenberg3 to the frontier, and therefrom, to Chorzele4, and so will it be dashing further on along the Warsaw route, before the second battalion, also consisting here and, as I reported in my past [= preceding] report, being in readiness, starts succouring it. This battalion has marched out with a cautiousness such as if the enemy were within the country. Every soldier received on the spot 68 live-charges that they must be carrying. Two field cannons were also going forth, with ordinary ammunition. General Fawrat's5 reyment [= regiment] made a move toward Gdansk, and a considerable part of the local army is supposed to be striding here thus successive, embedding Poland from Mazovia and Samogitia.

Former H.G. Prince Poniński6, taken off a dozen-or-so days ago, all of a sudden in the evening, on the Regency's command, from a ball, when at a game, has till now remained in a very strict detention, in that he has in his chamber two soldiers with their cutlasses drawn. The reason therefor is a certain chamberlain Grabowski7, who arrived from the New Prussia with HG Mr Boskamp8 , who has accused him of a bill-debt, and as he [i.e. Poniński] could not put forth a bail sufficient for himself, he also has a guard imparted to him, and detention at the lodgings. The cause [was] outright adjudged in the first instance on the very following day, where Pr.[ince] Poniński lost and appealed. The method of proceeding, though, in such a [i.e. this very] case is so out-of-the-ordinary and completely against the explicit legal regulations, which admits detention of a person, and still, cum brachio militari, particularly, in criminibus status, under a clear rescript from the [royal] court or else, in case of resisting the court verdicts, in subsidium of the same. True, on that same evening the Ministerium received two couriers [i.e. courier messages] from Berlin; it might therefore be so that this has happened with permission, or on command, of the [royal] court. Otherwise, the Regency would not have dared make a step thus illegal, or admit anyone else to commit it.

The merchant delegation were deliberating for so long, [and] lastly, took their effect in the past [= last] week.

Four from among themselves were elected at a tryst, and sent direct to Frankfort upon Ma[i]n to the king, having in vain been awaiting a resolution for their memorials. All the complaints and grievances are to be submitted there, which I already have enumerated in my past [= previous] reports.

The price of cereal is beginning to drop, due to the prohibited export to France and the outbreak of the sea war, inasmuch that an unheard-of plethora of French corsairs have made the navigation, within this time so short, so uncertain that the insurance to Amsterdam costs here 25 p. centum [= per cent] yet, i.e. the peril of corsairs 22, and the sea one [i.e. insurance], 3 per cent. It is almost impossible to do the trading, in such a way [i.e. under such circumstances], for there is no point thinking of a profit and moreover, a plain loss ensues from such insurance. With all that, there will be some courageous men who will dispatch their cereals under the Danish or Swedish flag, should those potencies [= powers] still remain nautral [sic]. Yet, the occupation of Holland by the French army, very similar to a belief [i.e. quite reliable/probable] and close, according to private information, will make an end to the entire local commerce, or accelerating peace thereby, will overly invigorate it.

One last of rye now costs 240; of wheat, 350; of barley, 170; and, one barrel of lin-seed, 11 Prussian zl[oty].

I remain, with deep appreciation and humbleness, Right Honourable H.G. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 4th May 1793

Confirms the receipt of his salary. Still has no accreditation granted.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, 50, No. 1, pp. 51-52.

Right-Honourable Benefactor!

I have received the letter from HG Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor die 21 Febr. anno curenti, with the attached bill-of-exchange at 3,180 Polish zl[oty] in vino of the past-due salary and extraordinary expenses, which sum I have already physically received, and since the punctuality in having sent me this amount-due should I in particular attribute to thy graceful diligence and willingness in it, I shall have infinite obligation to him for this.

Thou hast not, HG Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, expressed whether the receipt ought to now be sent-over or not, and in what a way, and therefore I want ab interim my present letter, should this be needed, to have the power of receipt, for further disposal in this respect, hoping that, should such [disposal] follow, thou, HG Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, will deign to inform me early. Having, thus, been neither dispelled nor compelled [orig., ‘ni odkazu, ni prikazu'], as Lithuanians say, by the Eminent Department, I shall continue staying in Konigsberg, watching the so-called Polish rafting commerce, not being capable of helping anyone out in anything publicly and officially, not even being accredited and privately entertaining himself.

We are expecting here every day General-Lieutenant Brünning, who in lieu of the deceased Count Henkel has been appointed unto the gubernium [i.e. as a governor] here.

At last, the local publicum here is taking Semigalia over, reaching as far as Kowno, giving it the name of North Prussia, like Greater-Poland with Mazovia are named South Prussia.

I remain, with due respect and appreciation, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 21st May 1793

The rafting to Konigsberg has begun; there are no prices set for cereals. Polish merchants are suffering new chicaneries, this time, having to do with trading in salt. The delegation of Konigsberg merchants has failed to achieve anything with the Prussian king.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 44-45

Printed (with errors) in: T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt władzy naczelnej Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", "Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie", 1965, No. 2, p. 333.


Right-Honourable Benefactor!

This year's rafting, of whatever kind, has already begun, several dozens of wicinas and strug have arrived, albeit with considerable drudgery halted by Moscovian headquarters, and we are expecting the rest, amounting to double this, at the utmost. There has been no price fixed for the cereal till this far, and I should doubt if might be before St. John[‚s Day].

Meanwhile, a new contribution upon the Poles has been conceived here. The past [= last] year, the Maritime Commerce Company in Berlin, having sent HG Mr Nöltichen1 to the local Salt Directorate to do a revision, has found a decess [= shortage] over 3 years of 8,000 tubs, in proportion, and resolved, as it seems, to [apply a] repetition of this detriment against the innocent Poles, having ordered that new small barrels be made of thick fir timber, not unbendable, and having forbidden that salt be packed into them with hoes, as practised heretofore, and under the pretext of, as it were, the Poles' own good, that [= as] they [apparently] never carry the salt complete to its destination, for through the slits in a barrel packed-up all-too-tight it considerably spills out, rolling along the burwałek [i.e. bulwark] to the wicina, and compacted with the hoes nearly to a flour, disappears and melts to a considerable degree, inasmuch as soaking-up easily the dampness through the apertures, which [apparently] has brought them significant loss overall, and nothing of a benefit to the Poles. Rather apparent reasons[, those], for introducing alterations and novelties, at which opportunity the making of a considerable plus [i.e. gain] for the royal purse has not been neglected, because those new barrels, as measured by us, have shown 20 Lithuanian-measure gallons [orig. gar[n]iec - unit of measure] of minus [= negative] difference to the past-year ones, whereas the price has only been decreased by one Prussian zloty, and hence, as earlier the barrel having within it 60 to 70 Lithuanian gallons, that is, 2.5 of the Rigan pur, cost 12-13 and 14 Prussian zl[oty], according to the type of salt, today, they tell us to pay only one Prussian zl less for this same barrel now only from 46 gallons. This terrible contribution from a thus disproportionate diminishment of the price versus the quantum of salt amounts up to 30 per centum, not reckoning [= including] the decess from the payment of customs-duty coming upon the present small barrels in accord with the tariff, equally as from the former larger ones.

Whilst being therefore unable to handle [i.e. parley] on this matter directe with anybody, being still unaccredited, I have written, the citizens present here so willing, to the Honourable resident Zabłocki, requesting him for submitting to the General Directorium and, in particular, HG minister Struensee, the head of this labour, that he vouchsafed to reinstate this commerce into its former mode, as it was in the past year or, in order to avoid the always-occurring disputes in this matter, to order that salt be sold under a reliable measure and a price in proportion to the former one; otherwise, he would by force dispatch the Poles to Riga, to obtain an unequally [= incomparably] cheaper salt, which town is, beyond this, already supplying four-fold more of this commodity than Konigsberg to Poland is. We are now looking impatiently forward to receive a tidings from Berlin, without which [reply] no arrangements are feasible in the trade whatsoever.

The merchant delegates, having attained nothing, have returned from Frankofort [sic] and were not even admitted to present themselves before HRH the King. Having received the instruction to return to their homes and there to be expecting a final decision, to be passed by the minister. HG minister Struensee was there, on his way to Poznań, and, in the ordinary way ministers do, replied very politely, coldly and indifferently to all the remonstrations of the merchants, suspending everything till a remoter time.

I remain, with due esteem, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 14st June 1793

The rafting has been kicked off; the rye price is going down. Local merchants are increasingly going bankrupt.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49 I, No. 2, pp. 10-11.


Your Grace, Honourable Benefactor!

Informed by the Honourable secretary Poniatowski1 of the reinstatement of the Permanent Council2 and the Department therein of Foreign Interests, and therefore, the obligation for me to address my reports to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, I shall regard this as a nice occurrence introducing me into a continual association of correspondence with Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor.

The rafting of ours, numbering 218 wicinas having arrived already, despite any hope and plausibility, is ascribable to the subjugation and violent acts of the Russian army, which circumstance has determined the citizens rather to carry the remnants of their provisions away abroad, and sell them with considerable loss, than to give off for free as horse-fodder and storehouse-stock.

The rye begins to drop in price here, already having gone from 230 fl.[orins] to 210. The osietne was initially sold at 260, but there was a small quantity of it, the largest part being that of syromłot3, which, due to the heat, cannot be kept for long. The renewed Dutch credit, to all without exception Prussian merchants, the Royal Bank closed out of a similar fright of bankrupt persons getting increasingly denser, is obstructing the competition from minor merchants, who being hitherto contented with a lesser earnings, constituted whatever price per cereal, whilst today, having credit from nowhere, they cannot purchase, which makes for us a real monopolicem in the hand of a few wealthier tradesmen.

No resolution has been received yet from Berlin with regard to salt, nobody has yet bought it, albeit this deferment causes considerable drudgery in their businesses.

The largest part of cereal goes to the royal army on the Rhine4, for which they are already negotiating as much as 3 million Dutch zloty [= guldens] for 10 years at 5 per centum, and thinking of novel taxes, of a more specific sort in support of this war.

The harvests here are commonly almost exquisite, prompting one to expect significant abundance with everything.

I remain, with due esteem, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant

J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 23rd July 1793

Specifics regarding the trading in salt, prices of cereals and potash. The present year's rafting has been completed. Still without accreditation, he finds his activity grossly inhibited. If he finally does not get accredited, he would prefer to be dismissed.

Orig. copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, I, No. 2, pp. 12-14.

Your Grace, Honourable Benefactor!

The official reply of the Cabinet Ministerium, received at last from the Honourable resident Zabłocki de dato 1 Julii to our memorial sent with regards to salt and probably already communicated to the eminent Department by this same Honourable Resident, is a new product of the present-day logic, invented by the larger cabinets for poor Cmlths, for to convince them that any violent acts are occurring for their particular good, and thus the General Directorate for Salt in Berlin, because of a pity over a wicked treatment of the Poles with the rafters, as it states in a relevant note, has increased the price by more-than-30 percent, and still for the following year promises to increase by 50 for per centum to similarly convince France. Quite particular argumentations, those, deduced in a particular manner out of false facts, all the less worth being refuted as we know today that violence supported by might is making the whole nation believe in false, and how it argues using a mad and derisive method.

Thence, salt was taken by whoever had no choice, and ice-cold it was for most part, whose pack[age] has not been altered, the rest went home in vain [sic] and have in summa purchased barely one-third part of the ordinary quantum, and this was nobility's commissioners themselves, who find it easy to sell salt by force, imposing an amicable price upon the peasants.

The rye soared somewhat by the uncoming [sic; incoming] message of a close hope for peace on the sea, up to 242 zl[oty], but within two weeks, this hope fell down together with the price. At present, rye is at 220 to 230 Polish fl.; wheat regularly stands at a hundred higher. The barley is 140-145; oats, 110-115; Ruthenian pure pieńka, 7.5-8, czukowa [a type of hemp] at 6. The seed, 9-9.5; lin-seed, 11.5-12. Of potash, there is indeed no certain price, for the largest batches have not as yet sold, whereas smaller ones constitute nothing. Trough potash pays more [i.e. is more expensive] than boiler potash, as it is at 90, whilst the former, at 65 Polish fl.

And so, this year's rafting may almost be considered completed, and although the vessels from Vilna and Kowno used to come over a repeated time [i.e. once again] 1mis Septembris, there will expectedly be a small number of them in this year, for they can neither sell further commodity without detriment, due to its cheapness, nor can they acquire an upper one due to its expensiveness. For this entire time, I was pre-occupied with the courses and procedures alone, and had more than anything else to play the role of a patron, this being the reason that, having no matters of higher importance [to deal with], I have been sending reports so rare[ly].

I do not know when this felicitous time will come that our domestic government, having tandem released itself from a foreign incursion, would be able to enter into a debatement of our trading with Prussia, a circumstance it finds so important, so as to at least arrange it internally, so that we would not any further be in a position to bloodily reciprocally spoil the inward benefits, through unawareness and disarray. It would be a sacred thing, a completely free commerce all the world round, and left to everyone's own astuteness; but when the other nations, skilled in this art incomparably [better] than us, tend to extend their guardianship over their commerce to the extent that they penetrate into the merchant's minutest arrangements, ordaining that these be applied [i.e. adopted] to their own regulations, for what a citizen here, completely unlettered in this respect, takes a right to undo himself and the others?

I know not how long and in what a fashion the eminent department would intend to enjoy keeping me here; if however there comes the time and hour opportune, once asked, polish [= elucidate] shall I all, as many as have already learned of, inconveniences of our commerce; meanwhile, I should most humbly entreat that the 6-months' arrearage owed to me be sent-over without delay, and 10 red zloty of extraordinary semi-annual expenses reverted, for there is nothing I could continue living on, for finally, credit has been in shortage as well. I should prefer being dismissed rather than so incessantly exert myself, in a place foreign, with want. I do flatter that Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor by means of thy serious interference deign graciously to accelerate the forwarding of my money-due, otherwise, deserted in an ultimate embarrassment, I am unable to get along yet.

The Prussian commission in Poznań have sent to the local excise [office] here an ordonance [sic] to withhold the transportation of the officialists newly-recruited for that country there, with the addition that those will be needed for the two more Polish districts to be taken-off de noviter; and thus, evidently, instead of a relief, an ever-greater appetite is appearing.

The day-behind-[= before]-yesterday, a considerable transport of gold arrived here, in barrels of HG Mr. Meisner1, under a Prussian convoy, and is situated for a further destination at Simpson's2 , the local banker. As they say, the gold is for the Moscovian fleet, but a larger portion [of it] is supposed to be a pretension.

I remain, with high esteem, Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant,

J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 29th July 1793

The price of timber goes very low. Count de Collins, army officer in the Russian service, who sought shelter in Konigsberg, has been detained.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, I, No. 2, pp. 15-16.

Your Grace, Honourable Benefactor!

The day-behind-yesterday, the aide of HG Mr Igelstrom1 from Warsaw, Sllugow2, if I am not mistaken, and, giving proof of his identity with the local commanding-officer, arrested the major herein, together with the Moscow consul that had arrived here from Warsaw two weeks ago: Count de Collins3, a Frenchmen from the Moscovian Jäger corps, and carried him with himself forthwith to Warsaw. This Count had a lot of money with him and some secret mandates only orally given to him, as he himself said before the commanding-officer, by HG Mr Igelstrom, of which he should render the account to no-one else but the said one. Various people are variously conjecturing about this instance; I do not think it a need or, less even, circumspection to report on such conjectures, but in particular the very factum, of which I have been a manifest witness, having become well acquainted with the count, as a man quite sapient and astute, who has voyaged a great deal.

All the local regiments remaining in the country are supposed to offer 30 people each out of their companies for reinforcement of the corps being kept in Poland, so as to prevent rebellions which might be instigated therein and the Greater-Polanders [i.e. inhabitants of Wielkopolska - the ‘Greater Poland'] muttering against the new government and our army's getting assembled over [i.e. near] the Pilica [river]. This supplement is due to serve thereafter as a fund for a new army of 30,000 that is to be founded within this seized part of Poland.

The price per cereals is the same [as before], merely 1 fl.[orins] upward. Timber is at a stupendous low price, less than a half versus the older years[‚ one], and everybody trading in this commodity have incurred a significant loss, since, due to the numerousness of buccaneers, no ships are arriving from England to carry this merchandise.

I hereby most humbly confirm my request as expressed in the past [= last] report, not without the last need.

I remain, with high esteem, Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant,

J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 24th August 1793

Trading in timber is now only incurring losses. Requests the receipt of his overdue salary. And, asks for dismissal from his Konigsberg post.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, I, No. 2, pp. 18-19.

Your Grace, Honourable Benefactor!

The strugs are starting to arrive a repeated time [i.e. once again] from Kowno and Vilna, albeit in a small number, due to a dearth reportedly prevalent in Poland, whereas here, in the meanwhile, own and foreign manures, given the difficulty in exportation, constitute a price more-than-enough unsatisfactory in proportion to the circumstances. The severest disaster has been suffered by those trading in timber to Klaipeda, not less also the merchants of Klaipeda themselves, who had thenceforth been founding themselves with [i.e. upon] inventory. Hence, the fright and daily mutter about bankrupt[cie]s expected to break out in there closely [= soon], which would cause a remarkable detriment to Konigsberg also, due to the old and close connexions.

Not having obtained any resolution by this far for myself upon my request [expressed] in the past two reports for sending me my delinquent salary, I see myself compelled [to request] it repeatedly, tercio [= tertio] altogether, and this all the more, when already summoned on the debts, I barely obtained by entreaty a dilation of two weeks forward, upon the lapse of which date I must fear more burdensome and ignominious consequences, particularly as regards the freedom of me personally. It therefore follows that contracting any further credit is inconceivable at all, without which, however, given one's own privation, there is no other way to live. If the place of here seems less requisite to Cmlth, why do not they cancel it, with me being revoked, after paid; what is the point in keeping unsalaried people abroad? If, though, I would have to remain here still, I do request most humbly for instantly sending me not only the 6-months' arrearage, but also [the amount allocated] for the following half-year anticipative, so I already could live unrestrainedly and without subjection, bowing before creditors, and paying-off considerable percentages to them. Otherwise, having received just the arrearage and repaid my debts out, I shall be compelled to search for a credit in a couple of weeks again, thus never arriving at a situation in the arrangement of my household business where I could some day, in a future time, replace the coincidential irregularity of our treasure in the payment of my salary with my own ménage without a rueful necessity of resorting to obnoxious and debasing ways of looking in an alien credit for a means to replenish my own paucity.

I flatter that my request, founded upon so righteous purposes, shall receive an expeditious and demanded effect, upon serious interference of Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, looking forward impatiently toward which, I nave the honour to write [i.e. sign] myself herein with high esteem.

Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant,

J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 16th October 1793

Quotes local prices of goods exported from Lithuania. The ban on imports of French merchandise to Poland is expected to be hard to enforce. Requests that his overdue salary be finally sent to him.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, II, No. 5, c. 3r-5v.

Your Grace Honourable Benefactor!

As a sleigh road has been established since a few days ago, domestic deliveries have slowly started appearing: the harvests here are excellent, making us expect an alike thresh-up, and thus the price for the Polish commerce is only too low, inasmuch as in the proportion of the common - as they write it from everywhere - expensiveness. The rye here is at 220 fl.; wheat, at 320 fl.; lin-seed, at 12 to 13 fl.; boiler potash, at 67 fl. per crown. The worst thing is that, reckoning all the circumstances for a fall rather than increase in the price ought to be expected, this for the reason of increasing difficulty in exportation of cereals via the neutral ports to France, when their number, with contribution of the English fleet, becomes steadily decreased, and now it has only been reduced unto the Swedish and Danish [vessels], and this perhaps ad intercim [= interim] so. There is almost no price chargeable for the timber, and if there is no peace established with England1, there will not be any: what they are now offering for a three-score of bruses2 is 8 to 50 zl[oty], whereas the pieńszczyzna [i.e. ‘trunk-timber'] itself pays [i.e. is charged] 32 red zloty, and with labour, delivery to the harbour, floating and payment of two customs-duties inclusive, costs up to 60 zl; moreover, they are counting at Klaipeda over 10,000 three-scores in the stock itself, of the past- as well as the present-year's purchase, and in Ruśnia3 and thereabouts, up to 3,000 three-scores of packaged and yet-unsold timber, whilst near Kowno and in the primeval-forests, over 10,000 three-scores of the ready-processed timber - thus making the calculation regarding the next-year's price easy. Those who will run timber for the following year will undo themselves and the others. Opposite thereto, having stayed at home, redress will they the price for those who already have their timber in Prussia on winter-time lodgings, and in a future time, for themselves also. I have put this forward to certain Honourable Gentlemen in Ruśnia and Klaipeda, [but] I have no idea how far would they be willing to follow my advice.

Some speculators locally have made considerable profit upon the exchange-rate of the French assignations, presently being pari with [= equal to] the coin [i.e. cash], of which, according to particular letters of the local correspondents, there is apparently a plethora in the treasury, [so] that they are pouring the remainder of silver and gold into ingots, and therefore, everybody prefers assignations over the coin and should the manipulation of stripping of ecclesial furnishings be going further on in this fashion, it is plausible that there will be more to be paid upon assignments per centum as well as in agio. The locals were however speculating the most toward the champagne wine, of which they have purchased a plenty in view of Polish votkas [sic; vodkas], at the old price of 3 livres each, worthing as-at that time 15 Pol.[ish] gr.[osz], that is, half-the-thaler of here. When selling to the Poles, in turn, at 6 Polish zl each, earning they are 100 per centum or even alterum tantum.

I have read in the newspapers about a constitution pronounced in our country and banning, among other things, French wines and fabrics4, and not having a circumstance this important in [= to] our commerce communicated to me, I do not know what to reply to the queries made by persons interested in this matter. A similar prohibition has been communicated in Moscow to the Moscovian consul5, and as-from that date onward, any-and-all merchandise, of any sort whatsoever, whether purchased by Moscovian merchants here on the spot or else written-down from here and sent or going via the locals in consignment to Moscow, must have a certificate from him whereby they are not from France but instead [are] products of local factories or of other countries, and without such attestation they can nowise be let in, whether by the land or by the water: which has recently been materialised with the silk merchandise of a certain local factor, when directly sent to Petersburg, that has forthwith been brought back and now have once-again been dispatched, furnished with the consul's attestation.

I am not aware what measures would be used by the eminent Treasury Commission for enforcement of this law, as our [customs] houses can in no way [discern it], be it by touching or, less so, smelling the commodities, inasmuch as they cannot distinguish the French from Italian and Spanish silk ones, and all the more so, Ostindian [i.e. East-Indian] English cotton ones from the Danish and other ones, for which, however, the highest amount of money is exiting the country. I could see myself crates going through this place from England to Warsaw, wherein ladies' gowns made of Ostindian muslin, painted in flowers and laced, cost 30 to 50 zl per one [= piece]; the Warsaw bankruptcies had incidentally caused that the Englishman, fearing to lose everything, having temporarily detained his commodity while already on its way here, received it back for himself, and thereby, a few-dozen thousand zl has remained in the country. And, what is to be said about the cloths? Who out there has so many acquaintances at the customs so he could perfectly distinguish betwixt fabrications of so many countries? Unless he should probably be a fabricator himself, voyaging a great deal across factories, or, a fabrics merchant. There is no possibility to bar them completely, though, making references to the domestic ones, once our nice neighbour has expropriated them on a friendship basis: Międyrzecz, Kalisz, Poznań, Leszno were all grand workshops, of significance to our domestic fabrics.

This same thing will be true for wine. If the Constitution's thought is the same as with the Moscovian ukase, to show to Europe, by example of other countries, a resentment toward the French government through barring any communication therewith, then our merchants will say that the wine they are running is an older stock of the Konigsberg vintners, and therefore can be entered, only that writing it down directe from France be prevented, and meanwhile, the locals, having a free trade with France, for providing or rather, plundering Poland and Moscow, and particularly not having for long now a permit to use those products, save for coffee, by themselves, and now, to deliver to them reciprocally the cereals and war ammunition (or else, cereals, albeit all too much thereof is being provided directe via Denmark), wine and other fabrications will they continually be bringing-in in order to replenish the former inventories, and thus will the law remain unenforced. If the thought of the Constitution is [= concerns], as I may expect, in the method of savings-making, of which, having tandem gone impoverished, it needs being thought completely or too-late, then also the English-made goods, incomparably dearer, ought to belong in this column. All of which, if it is not but written on a pro-forma basis, will not ever duly be enforced without my contribution thereto and correlation with the houses; I am capable of by-far better supervise and track-down here on the spot where and what has been purchased, and by whom. I am aware of the merchants and their actual object of trading, and thus am astonished that, this being the circumstance, I have received no separate [relevant] information or instruction heretofore whatsoever.

I hereby repeat my request for sending me my 8-months' arrearage and 20 zl of the extraordinary expense for the whole year, after the arrival of which amount-due I shall beseech the eminent Department9 for allowing me to leave for my home country for a few weeks to [attend] my household business, as much [i.e. possibly] at a time that my presence would be less required here. Then, should the eminent Department consider it appropriate, I would abscond to Warsaw as well, in order to receive new, more precise instructions and to dispose myself further on in view of the other actions of my function, should this tandem activitatem have an appropriate [...] and be altogether useful to the country. I flatter that through my sojourn in Konigsberg, over the more-than-one-year-and-a-half, I am sufficiently capable of giving a minute explication to all the circumstances getting gathered toward this end. I am thus expecting a willingness and further commands from the eminent Department - remaining always with due respect and esteem,

Y.G. Right-Honourable Sir and Benefactor's lowest servant,

J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 26th November 1793

A report from his trip to Klaipeda and Ruśnia, describing both localities and the local business relations. Attached is a complaint of Lithuanian merchants against chicanery they experience in both said places.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, II No. 5, c. 6r-10r.

Your Grace Honourable Sir & Benefactor!

The reason for my silence for more than two months now was my journey to Klaipeda and Ruśnia, which I had to undertake, partly due to the obligation of an instruction ascribed to me, and partly, upon several-times-repeated insistent urgencies and plaints of our merchants and citizens trading there, in order to give myself an insight into the miserable condition of their commerce and to submit to the eminent Department their equitable complaints and desideria, hoping that, given the negotiation, about to commence, with HRH the Prussian king1 regarding commerce, all this will be remedied possibly efficiently, only that the Cmlth yet this repeated time keeps winning, with offerings so bountiful, this Lord's friendship and benevolence. The resultatum of my remarks out of third-party information and my own insight over 10 weeks is the following:

Klaipeda the town is rather small, quondam provided, but completely deserted since the time of the Moscovian stay in the seven years' war2, settled with merchants almost alone, Scots for most part3, with embankments on the side of the land and an old destroyed castle4 on the very bank, at the estuary of the Kuronian Haf5 into the Baltic Sea, has in a recent time a trade town of significance on the said sea, in spite of the rivalry from Konigsberg and the negation of the ius stapulae, which altercation has not come to an end till today, since the local government here prefers, through its wise politics, to remit it through the length of time, rather than to decide finaliter upon a collapse of either of the parties. Kleipeda's [sic] location is excellent for commerce, incomparably better than Konigsberg's, and this owing to the port it is situated by, and thus the largest merchant vessels are capable of conveniently approaching up to 500 lasts by the very granaries and so-called timber-gardens, and of loading [sic]. The isthumus [i.e. isthmus/strait] that divides the Haf from the sea shields the port from the storm and winds, albeit the road-stead (la rade) proves, owing to the sea's openness and its shallowness on this side, up to Połonga7, very dangerous, and many a ship has perished thereon. There is a maritime law court (See Gericht)8 judging in the first instancje, with appeal to Konigsberg, to the Commerz and Admiralitaets=Collegium9, as the ultimary [sic] forum - as in commercial procedures there are only two instances, with however an open revision to Berlin. There are three consuls residing, the English, Danish, and Swedish one, with a French one cancelled; all the three being merchants together, each of them having a separate jurisdiction, and in particularity and own interests, qua merchants are bound to respond to [i.e. be responsible before] the maritime court.

The entire Klaipeda commerce, especially with England, just as ours with Klaipeda, is run active, the reason being that the ius stapulae10 [has] hitherto [been] controverted and the Poles, having sold their timber, do not take any commodity retro, having nothing to carry it upon upward, but should there be a need, they go to Konigsberg where, having bought merchandise for ready money [= cash], they give it away to the others for freight by a wicina. Thus, Konigsberg remains a mediating place for Kleipeda's [sic] trading with England, and with Poland too, and this for discounting of English bills-of-exchange and assignations, and its own reverses [i.e. vouchers] with which they frequently pay [to] the Poles, and for delivery of various commodities reciprocally to Poland. Also, Klaipeda, having no more convenient a place where to pursue its paper commerce, depends in a certain way upon Konigsberg, and so it will depend, it is said, for ages.

Klaipeda's exportation to England amounts to 6 to 8 thousand three-score of timber every year, that is, twenty-inch notch-hewed bruses alone, reckoning, according to the Dutch measure, 360 sazhens [resp. fathoms] per three-score, or it is sold to the ships in bots. Further, a few hundred masts, beating altogether the specks, broadside-planks[?], bowsprits, szułkos [i.e. wooden poles mounted in a wall/hoarding with dealboards fixed into them] and a few-hundred three-score of planks, which however is consumed a great deal meeting the domestic need, and most of all, lumber, which is sawn deal-boards. The Danish consul and two others are trading in loose commodity: this cereal goes from Poland to Tilsit, and therefrom, on Prussian bateaux, via the Haf to Klaipeda; yet, the amount of semen and grease is the highest. All our logs are sawn in wind saw-mills into deal-boards, inch-rules, and thus are sold onto the ships. The profit from this is the highest, for the reason that [they are] constructed the Dutch way, into 2 up to 5 cubicles, 3 and 3 saws within each per clog underneath the sails, drawing out of the channel the clogs alone as they are, and throwing on the other side ready-made deal-boards, under supervision of a few people, up to a year everybody has up to 100 clogs sawn.

Ruśnia (Russ, in German) in the Prussian Lithuania, a royal economy (Beilage [enclosure]) situated 7 miles off Klaipeda, at the estuary of the Niemen into the Curonian Haf, is almost an island, having on its two sides the Niemen separated into two beds, i.e. the Niemen proper and the Skiwritella11, sawn through with a plenty of small rivers flowing from the Niemen to the Haf and backwards. The composition of the entire Polish commerce - for our timber does not go any further on, but therein is processed by the Prussians, by another method, into consorts, i.e. double slices[?] intertwined into new, to make a trapta [= raft], and thus is led along the Haf under sail to Kleipeda [sic] - inhabited before then with [= by] fishermen alone, today, as commerce has grown multiplied, with egregious thieves, is a hotbed and abode of innumerable wrongs and undoing of the trading Poles, which I was watching for 4 weeks with regret. There are three royal clerks, a comissarial officer for economy on behalf of the Gumbin Chamber12, a Juristitz-Amtmann, meaning a judge for iuris matters, and Accise Einnehmer13, with whom blankets of the Smolensk house 14 need being submitted and be inspected throughout once again whether the house has been cheated or [some goods] sold on the way without the excise [office] being notified, which [i.e. excise tax] otherwise ought to be paid by the purchaser and which at Klaipeda amounts up to 4 red zloty per three-score.

Then, there are forwarders of the Kleipeda [sic] merchants, who measure and receive to themselves the timber examined by their principals and traded, and issue so-called consignation to the Pole, according whereto he receives his remuneration as agreed-upon in Kleipeda [sic] commonly in assignation to Konigsberg. This measuring of both timber and masts (for which there are separate sorters, sitting around in the primeval-forests until Poland begins) is always the reason for incessant quarrelling, not including into it an awry explanation of contracts, which the Poles, through inattention and reliance, implicitly sign in German, often contrary to the oral agreement.

In spite of this all, this is practically the only Polish commerce going active, bringing onto the country annually 6 [million] or, in good years, even 9,000,000 Polish zl in ready money [= cash], taking 8 Prussian grosz each as the average price, as it falls from the last 6 years, and therefore worth of attracting unto itself the governmental attention and care, first-and-foremost as regards a better economics and conducting of this trade, which, having left its particular sovereignties further still, will probably, without a rational determination by the government and fixed regulations, cease not only to bring monies into the country but also, to supply to meet its own needs.

This year, timber, almost in its entirety, due to its low price, [has] not [been] sold, but partly washed-up along the coasts, has in part been located for the winter. Should a peace with England not follow rather soon, this trading will collapse for a long time15.

I attach hereby the points that have been communicated to me in Ruśnia by our merchants, with my foot-notes, and a schema of the certificate issued to his vessels by the English consul; perhaps the Treasury Commission would, mutatis mutandis, deign to make an application out of this extending to our wicinas too.

I remain, with due humbleness, Your Grace Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-]J. Woyna-Okołow



Submittal of the wrongs and oppressions of Polish merchants and citizens entertaining themselves with forest commerce to Klaipeda, as provided to Rt.Hon. Mister Consul, for further communication, wherever need would be, in Ruśnia, the month of October, 20th day, year 1793.


1mo. There is a burdensome unjust charge upon roubles [possibly refers to the currency, measure unit, or implement], opoczynas [i.e., basically, upper planks in canoe] and the like instruments of the forest trade, without which the timber, the only commercial object, could by no means be rafted, and which are either incinerated on their way or thrown aside on the spot, never getting sold, and so therefore cannot be the object of profit and speculation. We beseech that abolishment of a collection so unjust and violent be tented [= attempted at] and effected now.

Ad 1mo. This same thing, almost, is occurring with wicinas and strugs not being the commerce's object but only its vehicula, upon which a considerable levy is reportedly paid. The most onerous than [= among] all is the consumption excise, which is payable for the legumin to the servants being [= operating] on the wicinas and strugs; of which I have already mentioned, in my report No. 7 of 1792.

2o. It was the will of the Prussian government to arbitrarily increase, this present year, the ordinary customs-duty upon timber by 150 percent, and thus what was formerly upon three-score in one red-zloty - we have had to pay two-and-a-half each, which is clearly against the expressions of the articles of the 1773 treaty, concluded in articulo separato16, if it still suitable to refer thereto. It is necessary here to pay the wyderkaf17 on gold the smallest amount are we compelled to pay with gold of necessity [sic], a ducat at sixteen Polish zloty, and still it is hard to obtain gold, rather important as it is for the Honourable Gentlemen.

Ad secundum. For the cereals, it is payable similarly in gold, but this upon exportation.

3tio. In Tilsit, the passage across the bridge is the source of greatest chicanery and loitering for us, inasmuch as of considerable gains and an advantage to our undoing for the lease-holders of this bridge. First of all, namely, this bridge has never been, in accord with the head-authority's regulation, fastened with a sufficient number of anchors, but instead, stands upon one or two. After [= beside] that, on cloudless and noiseless days they would never open it for us for passage, but only when there is a storm, wind and most inclement weather, and when we are refusing to go, they would forcibly urge on us to the banks, and this in particular so that we, in a storm, not being in a state of governing and driving the slabs, were pestering about that bridge, where they us afterwards punish with sztrafs [i.e. penalties] of several-dozen and several-hundred thalers, ad libitum, and hold individuals captive, in which we have had a sorrowful experience in this, and in the past [= last], year, whereas the bridge, following the past-year's storm and the payment by us, albeit guiltless, of appreciable sztrafs, has no-way been repaired or made fast till present.

Ad 3tio. There is a plenty of drudgery in Konigsberg also, but this circumstance is not of a significance of that in Tilsit, and might, under a friendly interference, be settled with time.

4to. Along the road, or at least in Ruśnia, where the entire rafting is based, we have no security at the harbour or justice at the court. Theft of timber [proves to be] so common and ordinary that everybody is entertaining himself with it, the tallest to the smallest, and takes [the timber] away almost under force, which the head-authority is regarding through slots [i.e. conniving at it], and only rarely under accusation lets the property, already carried aside, and at our own expense, [back] to the office, whilst the culprit would never be punished for the act itself, and so, seeing no risk, daringly steals again at the first opportunity, which is, more plainly, extorts. For which storms and winds yield a convenient pretext, and so we finally have to pay and expensive price and redeem our own property, evidently stolen-away after wreckage, should it have coincidentally successfully been investigated, and recognised.

Ad 4to. I watched all this myself with regret; it suffices to be there in Ruśnia and see it to become convinced that it has in its entirety been built with the stolen and forcefully extorted Polish timber, as there is no-one there to be buying, unless, one from the other, a common capture, to the extent that it is customary and a rule to win-over the notable thieves at once with presents in money or timber, so they condescend not to steal the remainder by force or stealthily and prevent the others from doing so.

5to. The banks on both sides of the river have become since quite a time ago the object of profit and speculation of particular persons. They lease them so from the possessors titulo for several dozen thalers, and thereafter, extorting arbitrarily from us for each stanch and night's lodging or stoppage at the wind-time by the shore a few thalers each time per trapta [= raft], gain a few hundred thalers, contending that a river is the same thing as a public road, for common convenience of everybody, which however needs being stuck to, any deviation being chargeable by the Honourable Gentlemen, exactly as if shores did not belong, to an extent, to the river all over the world, and not having reached them, one could stay amidst the running water tacitly? Therefore, [we should request] for abolishment of this arduous wyderkaf, as it is arbitrary for us, and for solliciting that the Prussian Government deign to remind its citizens the old, as we have heard, law according to which 15 or 1 feet of land titulo shore from both sides belongs to the river. And therefore, we beseech [that] it could not be posseded [= possessed] by anybody, otherwise we shall be exposed to incessant exorbitance, when sailing with timber from Jurbork all the way to Ruśnia without often reaching the shore, owing to winds and storms is impossible [sic].

Ad 5tum. Of this law regarding banks, I know not; the maritime laws speak namely of a different type of shore and cannot have its applitiation [= application] there. I will all the same draw information from the local jurists whether there is no mention somewhere on this matter too, inasmuch when this commerce must probably have to be of more frequent interest to the domestic government.

6to. Frequent over-flows of the Niemen and a low situation of the site, particularly from Tilsit all the way to the lower Ruśnia, call in certain places for dams and cause-ways, which, poured-up with pure sand as if for assault, are a new source of extortion for the care-takers craving overall for pecuniary sztrafs. For etiam a tiniest unvoluntary touch, which permanently happens under storms, when it is impossible to keep stable by the bank or control on the unbridled water the trapta [= raft], as much [i.e. especially] in the night, at least two thalers of sztraf do we have to pay, whereas meanwhile these quasi-dykes and dams tend to be subsided by the very own fishermen, e.g. in Ruśnia, and the cattle trampling thereon, ruined with bateaux, and as to the rest, completely destroyed with water with ice-floe, or else, they could have been more fundamentally and durably made for the very sztrafs of ours, paid-off for so many years, or at least, picketts planted next thereto - if not a complete burwałek [i.e. bulwark] - for fastening the traptas at the time of storm.

Ad 6tum. I did see those despicable petty dykes with warning boards [posted], especially, it is said, for an even better legality of tearing [i.e. extorting] the Poles, when they ruin them quite well by themselves and in spite of this, there is nowhere to get picketed to.

7to. Acceleration of justice [done] in courts, particularly lower-tier ones, is almost as a rule disavowed to us so that we have to renounce from [sic] a greater part of the plainest pretences, so as to avoid the dawdling and terrible expenses on the law [= legal services/representation]. The szulcs, justyje Amtmans18 in villages, and justyje the burgomasters in small towns accept our complaints as if as a joke and order that legal expenses be deposited anticipative, spreading-out their inquisitions and court [session]s for us wayfarers across several weeks and beyond, when the thing [appears] obvious and periculum in mora requires that they require being arbitrated in continenti, by every right and rightness. The Honourable Gentlemen prove only-too punctual and sensitive in execution of the rules prescribed for themselves, whenever a real or, most frequently, merely an arrogated grievance of a Prussian peasant or citizen is concerned.

Ad 7mum. In de verbo ad verbum, the truth appears not quite expressed, but merely a wish for most expeditious change at this point.



Konigsberg, 1st January 1794

Forwards a table describing Poland's trade with Konigsberg in 1793, and is not in a position to provide commercial details as 2nd Partition of the Commonwealth has "mixed-up the Muscovites and the Poles".

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section 49, II, No. 5, c. 15r-16r.

Right Honourable Sir and Benefactor!

Out of the tables herein attached, thou shall descry, Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, a declined condition of our trade in the last year, and particularly, a significant disproportion between the exportation and the importation, when the former has, taken generally, gone down by almost a half, with regards to the value of commodities, whilst the latter, save for salt only and French wine, has remained almost equal, and in the commodities, luxury surpasses the past [= last]-year's one: a great matter for our government to consider, inasmuch [= especially] now that a savings law, as they say, has been put forth1. It is nonetheless a thing worth of being minutely investigated whether this-year's minus in the salt, having fallen from the arbitrary increase in its price herein, has been replaced by domestic reserves, or perhaps, with the Riga and Lipawa deliveries unto the domestic consumption? - tough luck, presently, but such calculation would be extremely required for the domestic economics. I am not penetrating into a more extensive debatement of this matter, satisfying myself now with its simply being mentioned, convinced that the circumstance's relevance for further measures that might be undertaken with regard thereto in view of the country's good will not escape the circumspection of the eminent Department, while the others' more experienced familiarity in this sort, having the whole thing completely thoroughly investigated and penetrated, will appropriately [k. 15v] clear-out the same in line with the needs.

The still-ongoing war with France2 is the reason that this state has completely been erased from customs columns of Konigsberg exportation, due to the king's proscription, albeit a larger portion of the local export is resisting there along the already-beaten route of neutral ports. This is why Denmark is quite considered in this table as-of this year, not otherwise having to do with Konigsberg so far apart from spice and coffee.

The ill-fated division of our country, having occurred last year, taking away the most substantial havens in Lithuania, such as the ones of Stoupce3, Swierzeń4, and others, has made almost impossible for me, continually, to precisely inquire into the condition of Polish commerce, and, consequently, to report thereon to the eminent Department, having mixed-up the Muscovites and the Poles. Should our government not resolve to make any-at-all orderliness, for itself to be informel and for the common good, in this chaos, and notify me [sic]. I have registered in this table all the still promissive quam Poles and their merchandise, but as for this year, in what a way one would be able to distinguish which wicina [is] from Poland and which one from Moscow, or whether there is Polish commodity on a Moscow wicina, or Moscovian on a Polish one, without passports and other such, and particularly, without certificates, as used in Moscow not without avail? Such information, so much sought-after, may not even be drawn from reports of the Jurbork5 [customs] house, as the misters' names are Polish, the harbour from which they go is not named, and even if named, there are Polish and New-Moscovian vessels there now, due to a close neighbourhood; the same will happen with the commodities that will be run by the Muscovites, having bought them in Poland, and by the Poles, reciprocally, in that same Moscow, whereas neither the persons will be discernible one from the other by their names, attire or language, or the vessels, by construction or type, or the merchandise, by nature or genus.

Importation will be subject to a similar dubiousness, save for salt that is a rabak[?] in Moscow, and therefore is forbidden.

By this far, namely, Moscow has had almost no trading with Konigsberg via Poland, save for a dozen-or-so merchants of Toł[o]czyn6 and Szkłów7 going by their carts, which did not mean much and could not cause confusion in a vital conduction of the Polish trade (if our government has ever busied itself with it).

We have thus passed through a past year again, exactly as a perilous portage in a journey. I should pass by [= over in silence] its sad occurrences, known to all of us as they are pertinent equally to all, for I should like to avoid harming Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's heart, affectionate as it is toward public and private calamities. I am pondering over the better part, and this is, that we are still alive and in good health, by God's grace, and even not destitute of hope (who would be losing it!) that perhaps, once we live a more suave life, a ray of prosperity will galled us and allow us to still enjoy the happiness whose ambidexter spectre we have been till this far in vain chasing; wishing which, in generality as much as in particularity to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benef. heartily and most affably wishing, I should now confine myself to the confession that I remain with due respect and submission

Y. Grace Rt.Hon. Sir and Benefactor's lowest servant,

J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 6st January 1794

Has finally received, from Warsaw, a copy of the recently-passed savings law. Notifies of the practice of collecting fees from Polish Jews at the Prussian border, which is contrary to the law.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section 49, II, No. 5, c. 19r-23.

Right Honourable Sir and Benefactor!

I have had the honour to receive the letter from Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor die 25 Octobris 1793 with a copy of the savings law annexed. The local government, attentive to everything, has sent to its excise [office] a French translation of this law, to notify its merchants of it, so that they, while profiting from the time before execution of this Constitution [i.e. law] follows, inasmuch as they could sell-out their commodities ad luxum to Poland. In this translation, I have found a remarkable difference compared to my copy, when [= in that] in mine, the ordinary French white wine [is] clearly put post parenthesin, and is thus prohibited1, whilst in the French translation as sent-over by H.G. Minister Struensee, spiritus vini is attached to the exception and entered intra parenthesin, and therefore, admitted. Quaeritur, then, who has erred there: was it the Grodno printer that concluded beyond parenthesin, instead of after this word [‘]French[‚] next to the word [‘]serving[‚], or was it the Prussian translator in Berlin, that he dragged the parenthesin up to the word [‘]French[‚]? In which I solicit to have the thing explained and myself enlightened, with a reason behind it. This law has, finally, caused a considerable sensation in the local trading publicum: the convenience of selling pearls and other gone-out-of-fashion gems to Poland for valid ring-ducats has thereby been removed. I could see myself how great a plenty of money our Jews2, particular[ly] the dilettanti of pearls and laces, pledge for them annually, with no hope to return there, for a Jew, neither ploughing nor sowing, will not bring his crestence to a Prussian for mutual sale.

Since HRH the Prussian King3 has at last deigned to join a commercial treaty of a certain sort, I deem it to be my obligation to inform the eminent Department on one very important arbitrariness, albeit little familiar, for I did not know about it though had for so long stayed in Prussia, and this is, collection from our Jews travelling to Prussia, per person per month, 20 Polish zl[oty] each under the ruthless title of Leib=Geleit4 , so that, even if a Jew would entertain himself [i.e. stay there] for only one day, he should pay this excise for himself individually for the whole month and carter a Jew pays half the amount and servant, which is, factor, one-third part, which, counting easily 15,000 Jews going to Prussia over a year and entertaining themselves [there], contributes over a million Polish zl from our country to the royal treasury. I have made enquiries with local officials here as to the origin and reason of this slavish, Algerian wyderkaf, so dishonouring to the people? [q. mark: sic] I was replied, those are the rests remaining of the barbarity of those iron ages where an implicit fanaticism of the Christians thought it earning a merit before God through tormenting the poor Jews, that the enlightenment of the present age, having introduced universal tolerance [and] breaking and destroying superstitions obnoxious to humankind, had finally to yield to the extremely wise policy of the present cabinets, which, when induced by the sole rule of avarice and greediness, supported by violence, has deigned, for to maintain and multiply the latter, to leave and preserve such monumenta and pieces of the venerable antiquity, proving very profit-yielding, partly so under another name and partly, under a subtler interpretation of things, and better adapted to the genius of the age. [sic!] In proof whereof, I was shown an old tariff de 1729, wherein amidst the oxen, swine and other cattle charged with excise per piece, Jews are placed as well, which, consequenter, moving from one tariff to the other, has remained till the present day, all the more that lus is never detrimental, and plenty is no plague. Neither originem nor the first ordinance for that has been seen by no-one. Lastly, that this custom is commonplace not only in Prussia but in the entire German Reich, in France before the revolution, etc., and tandem (as the typical conclusion of a Prussian argumentation [goes]) it cannot be otherwise and has to be the way it is.

In spite of these affable and apparent sophisms, I opine that, in line with the law of nations and universal statistics, every government has the right to classify its inhabitants according to their forces and usefulness within the composition of a nation's general mass and competition for the common good, and thus, bestowal or detraction of more or less of civil prerogatives, relief or encumbrance with public burdens, and so on. The common, and most certain, religion of such a general evaluation of societies is one that, influencing into [sic] its moral adherents, through the appropriate rules of rituals thereto entrusted, disposed those ones, to a larger or lesser degree, for fulfilment of certain virtues, or else, addictions; whereas, since the Old-Testament religion, founded exclusively upon the Oriental ceremonials, and contrasting so oddly with the clima, mores, the civil and political arrangement of the nations amongst which the Jewry, dispersed, has settled-down, renders them, not only given the present-time setting of things, unfit for many a civic obligation - yea, indeed thoroughly noxious, and therefore, in each precautionary government scarcely admits their suffering, and this under certain conditions, as for instance in Prussia, and per consequens dismisses everywhere from many universal prerogatives, this being a known thing and it should astonish no rational man.

But this is not so with a foreign country. All the neighbouring nations, or having a communication, have certain agreements betwixt one another and mutual regulations as to how they are to respective treat their subjects, and consequently are not the lords for establishing in their country ad libitum a difference between ones and the others, inasmuch [i.e. especially] when this would be in praejudicum of their sack, for the treaties have already bound their hands fast, when they did not reserve this for themselves beforehand. Thus, the treaties betwixt Cmlth and Prussia have secured unrestrained entry and exit to Prussia [sic], and for Prussians reciprocally to Poland, at no charge. How come the Prussian government should have a right to encumber the Polish Jews with an excise that slavish and disgraceful of [to?] their own persons? This exception surely does not appear in the treaties? [q. mark: sic], whereas Cmlth, suffering the Jews in its country, has probably eo ipso considered them its subjects, and still so does? It is allowed, as the Lady, to do with them whatever she is willing to, like the H.G. the Prussian king with his own, but there is no-one else to have the right to expropriate this power, all the more despite an explicit tenor of the treatises, inasmuch when Cmlth, on its part, remaining publicly faithful in the way it treated the Prussian subjects, does not, by no means, enter into the cognition of the state of their condition [sic], but especially spreads [= ~surrenders] itself in treating them, the once-assumed obligations with respect to this nation. [sic] With regards to usability, our Jews ought probably to have infinite merita in the Prussian eyes. It is them that are the most certain channel through which our country's wealth is sucked-out for the neighbour favourable to us, carrying our coin to the local mints, slinking through the frontier and supplying our farm-hands and fear-naughts to Prussian reymnets [= regiments], purchasing a plethora of sumptuous commodities for ready money [= cash] and dragging those to Poland, and filling the cash-boxes of royal customs and excises by permanent hanging-around to and fro in a crooked way, having previously cheated and detoured the Polish ones. In a word, it is difficult to enumerate the methods and ways by which the local government has so considerable an influence in its speculations, through its Jews upon ours, and via those ones, upon our sacks.

This nation squalid and slothful is assuredly unworthy of it that in their own cause, in spite of their own will (for no-one has complained to me about this, or even said, but I have learned about it from the locals), the patience of Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, having broadened thus considerably, might get bored in reading these reflexions, and all the less, that Cmlth would ever take interest for [= in] the good of those ingrates, should their own interest not have urged them for it, and this is, a loss of up to over a million of money [sic] every year owing to those perpetual peregrinants, as outgoing from our country for the payment of their hide. I am aware that this matter will have much difficulty with all this, if not bought, then at least bargained can it be, or, in the worst case, should H. Grace the Prussian king not at all be willing to [tackle] this antiquated abusum with respect thereto, then may Cmlth establish this same thing iure retorsi for the Prussian Jews in its country.

I remain, with due regard and submission, Y. Grace Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 9 January 1794

Chicanery is being applied anew against the Poles trading in rye. Rafters are kidnapped and forcibly conscripted for the Prussian army. Requests for a leave.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, II, No. 5, c. 24r-26.

Right Honourable Sir & Benefactor!

Of continuation of [= To continue the] once-commenced mournful litanies of our trade into East Prussia, the most burdensome seems to be the law, or custom (this is what I do not know for certain) not allowing Polish citizens to pour cereals into granaries that could hire themselves out to this end, and thereby, to quietly await a bettering of the price and to all-the-faster dispatch commodities getting purchased on a retro basis on those same wicinas, through which saving of time, expenses of the retinue's consumption significantly decreased, the commerce, freed from a drudgery so great and perplexity, would probably have reassumed a new vividness. It is all the more righteous to demand this permission that, freeing the Poles from the incessant risico [= risk] of the cereals becoming spoiled, easily, in the summer-time, heated-up through staying long on the water, or, due to a fear of such misfortune, being sold for a mere song to the Prussians lying in ambush, would nowise derogate the Konigsberg ius stapulae, contrary to what they endeavour to persuade us into, when a Pole will tandem be under obligation to sell his commodity to no-one else but a local citizen. The thing here is only about diminishment of chicanery, less profit-yielding to the Prussian government, and indeed overly burdensome for us, of which considering a plenty and diversity, given all the types of entering into agreements with us, one needs to become bewildered, I am not sure whether more by the earlier negligence of our government in this respect, or perhaps, by a peculiar taste and predilection therein of the Prussians. Polish wicinas with cereals arriving in Konigsberg tend to be let into the town not any earlier, in regula, through the toll-gates and the bridge than upon production of a certificate from any merchant whosoever stating that the cereal on the wicina has quaeslionis [s] already been purchased. This single circumstance constitutes not anymore some dependence of a Pole upon a merchant, and forces him to win-over to himself a benevolence of those churls. But this is not the story's end yet. The cereal, bartered-down and acquired at last, under the pretext that, in spite of a long journey [it now has behind it], in Konigsberg itself, owing to the innumerable busynesses and formalities, it has been staying on the water since several weeks ago, and therefore, has absorbed within itself much dampness, is ordered by the merchant to be carried into his granary and there, locked with its own key, he would not measure it straight away, but, as it were, to dry it up, he would use a dozen-or-so days to shovel, harp [i.e. sieve] and, worst of all, steal, all of which a Pole is bound to watch quietly.

Lastly, he has got a four-fold advantage, having [the portion] measured by a bribed or judicially-sworn measurer, and that is:

1. that, purchasing from a Pole, he takes a sample directe from the wicina, whilst the cereal distended with water weighs a little, and thus drops upon [= in] the price;

2. that, keeping [the cereal] unmeasured on his granary, steals he a plenty;

3. that, drying it for a long time, he gains on weight strongest, the weight eo ipso growing more appreciable;

4. that the cereal thus dried and cleansed falls considerably upon the measure, which is of equal advantage to the merchant, when, having agreed, with a low price, upon a cereal weighing a little as at that time but measuring more, he afterwards pays each such time a few and a dozen-or-so lasts of already-weighed and cleansed one, and one [i.e. the other] thing is that he has thus an opportunity to cover his theft by an ordinary fall of a cereal withered in the measurement.

So many advantages to the merchant's side is a devantage [= disadvantage] to the Pole. Not including here the inveterate wyderkaf which is already being turned into a law under the ludicrous title of Bürger-Best1, that is, pro bono civium, and this is conditional in that, purchasing cereals from the Poles, they apply a bigger measure to measure them than the one is [sic] which the Gdanskers sell onto the ships, so that with 24 lasts, [the] 25[th] comes unto them free-of-charge, which, in spite of no earning upon the price, makes four percents of clear futile [i.e. earned at no charge] profit, etiam so they would have sold at the same money. Subterfuges and exorbitancies similar to those are occurring in the other commodities, such as the bristle [prob., conifer needles; also poss., swine], potash, timber, etc., so that any significance of the local commerce and a good appellation [i.e. repute] of those entertaining [= dealing] with it ought to go to the credit not so much of the industry and speculation of the Konigsbergians as of the better-visible extortion and plunder of the poor Poles.

It is hard to enumerate all the onerous formalities introduced by the Commer-Collegium2, Sthrom-Amt3, the Chamber4 and the Police5, being more-than-enough observed by the local officialists and severely chastened in case of offence, which establish the local citizen versus the Pole no more, as it otherwise ought to be, in a relation of one merchant equalling the other, but rather, of a client to an overpowering protector and benefactor. Hence, on the one hand, the supercilious haughtiness and impudent ribaldry, whilst on the other, abject baseness and fright, and this is the veritable image of our commerce that is run for most part by the vilest, badly-paid, and thus, gluttonous ignoramuses, corruptible with the least thaler, who, having not their own but a lord's merchandise to sell, are less careful about the others' advantage but frequently, in the first place, agree upon the last-levy and the szykunt-levy for themselves, rather than the price of the commodity, thus gaining an easy excuse in [= of] bad times and unprofitableness of cereal with their less-prudent principals who are impatiently waiting for ready-cash and fresh wine.

Included herein is also the recruitment of our bargees by the local garrison, [which,] albeit evidently violently banned under the present-day rule, and yet being executed by persuasion till this very day, under [the pretext of] watering and the like circumventions, which is, Prussian-style, bonis modis, as a severe loitering to the commerce. The Prussian government could have easily backed-down on an advantage so minor as the enlistment on a yearly basis of a few dozen, uncertain, to be sure, people with an army so enormous, and the commerce would have gained a greater equanimity. Because it frequently so occurs that a Pole, having lost a few persons of his retinue in this way, finds himself rather considerably embarrassed [about] how to bring his wicina loaded with goods along back home, particularly when (this being most frequent) he has his people hired, settled under an alien master and entrusted to him under a reverse, with the obligation to place [them] back sub poena legi, out of which there is a plenty of court-trials generated in our country, and which is the reason for a considerable loss. Hence, a prohibition should thus be needed that the Prussian reyments [= regiments] consisting in here and on the way not ever dare recruit but also enrol those voluntarily force their way to the service, if the protection and supporting of the Polish, and thereby, Konigsberg commerce is to be a reliable, rather than merely apparent, declaration of the Berlin court. The raftsmen, on an equal footing with the other floatable equipments and implements, must be considered as an instrument and vehiculum of trade.

As regards the insolence and impertinence of the local commonalty, undisciplined all too much, particularly the soldiers that continually influte [poss., influence] the Poles, in this, I should doubt whether the Prussian government, even it willing to do so, would be capable of efficiently remedying without severe and exemplary penalties, having itself offered under its past rule a fatal model of odiousness and disdain toward the Polish nation out of the throne, in its deeds and writings, which unfortunately is so powerful and effectual for us, and has so overwhelmed the minds of any-and-all estate and condition that it is an ordinary thing [now] to at-first extort, pillage, deceive, and thereafter deride and mock at the poor Pole. I would render Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor bored with specifying the pieces of such a sort, yet, as they prove important, as they frequently carry consequences of importance behind them, I should leave them for an oral report.

Now, as for myself, I owe to declare to Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor that about a dispartiment [sic; dispartment] so equitable of so an exiguous budget assigned by the sejm of Grodno for the entire diplomatic service, I have no reason to grumble; yet, I do have to confess that with the sum of 6,000 zl, given the multiplicity of my duties and the necessary connexions amongst the first-rank persons at home, I cannot possibly survive and suffice, by no means, though I should expect that, once I arrive in Warsaw, I shall find the means and show before the Department the sources and methods through which, without prejudice the Cmlth's treasury, I may be sufficiently provided, being a burden to no-one. With Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's commands as to calculate myself out [i.e. square the accounts] of the pretended 20 red zloty of the extraordinary expense I cannot comply other than by observing that as from the date of my arrival in Konigsberg, and that is, a 1 Julii 1792 until 1 Januarii 1793, that is, for a semi-annum, such an expense has been returned to me by the Honourable Poniatowski7, on instruction of Rt.Hon. then-Chancellor Małachowski8, in Februalis 1793: thence, what now remains is, a 1 Januarii 1793 until 1 Januarii anni curentis, which means, for the whole year, and this in the following manner: the keeping of a counter at the post-office for my correspondence [purposes], 12 thalers; accident[al money payable] to the postal messengers, a 1 Prussian fl.[orins] per month, facit 4 thalers; for the newspapers, fris-courants foreign and local, 24 thalers; postage of letters, 21 thalers; sum[m]a facit 61 thalers, that is, 20 red zloty in gold, for which I will send the receipt, if needed.

I hereby attach a table of maritime exportation and importation at Klaipeda, as I obtained it in originali, as so communicated to me, not having been able, due to the shortness of time, to have it translated into Polish, and in the hope that the eminent Department will find amongst those it amploys [= employs] those possessing the German language enough [i.e. having a sufficient command of it], as much of it is required for translating the table into Polish.

I remain, with high esteem and submission, Y. Grace Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's

lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow



Konigsberg, 26th January 1794

In spite of high prices prevailing in Lithuania, local citizens dispatch cereal to Konigsberg and sell it for a song. Instead, they buy lots of French wine. Lithuanian cloisters are in the lead.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, II No. 5, c. 35-36r.

Right Honourable Sir & Benefactor!

I was impatiently expecting hitherto the promised announcement to me, of [= in] the following piece-of-mail, about my demanded leave and the arrears of already 3 quarters-of-the-year, inasmuch left with no method of subsistence, when suddenly the sad news started disseminating about the new arrangements, of some sort, regarding there our miserable Homeland, supported by particular reports from everywhere threatening with a complete annihilation of even the Polish name [i.e. the name of Poland].

Having lived to so many fatalities within a time so short, and having almost accustomed myself with occurrences most impossible to believe, it did not remain for me to sigh, astonished at this piece-of-news that has come to my ears from everywhere and take Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor's silence, in spite of thy gracious promise, for the effect of this new tempest impending upon our miserable country. In an uncertainty so abysmal, I have resolved to endure for some time, hoping that perhaps, who knows, a futile echo has been the cause for my devoid awe, but when I can see that this hear-say, instead of getting soothed, has become increasingly intensifying and through the most-recent events in various venues in the theatre of war has begun gaining in great plausibility at the resonance of nearing peace, I cannot refrain myself from addressing Y.G. Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefactor, requesting thou most humbly for calling me out of this wretched situation into which I have been thrown by the 9-month arrearage of the salary owed to me, so that I could seek, with this overwhelming disaster of my Nation, if some superior power should not be willing to revert it, perhaps a personal salvage in good time, and secure for myself a further subsistence of any sort whatsoever, in line with the occurrence of fortune.

In spite of the common resonance of a great expensiveness in Lithuania, a plenty of citizens, regardless of the ruin of serfdom, drive the peasants with their tumbrels for [i.e. to do] the corvée several dozen miles off with cereal, and there they sell [it] at a mediocre price, snatching considerable supplies of French wine apace, out of a fear that, in accord with the law having been passed, it will soon be barred and not let in any more. Excelling in all those are priests Honourable Gentlemen monks of various convents. [sic] This is proceeding not that much out of calculation as, rather, by way of mouton's habit [i.e. moutonerie/peer pressure], that this so happened earlier on as well, and thus, in the winter, it needs that cereal be carried to Konigsberg and etiam sold at cheaper price than at home; lastly, may a peasant's team or yoke, be it the very last, get tormented to death and perish, with no-one there to pay or be responsible for that. I could see those martyrs of blind fortune freeze in the street together with their cattle, also emaciated owing to the journey and discomfort, as a Prussian inn-keeper would not have let them into the premises, knowing it well that those poor and needy ones would make [i.e. provide] no profit for the food and beverage, living on bread and water.

Storms are continually going on permanently here, owing whereto the Piława and Klaipeda port has remained open, whereas the ice, under the obligation, is thoroughly broken by the winds.

I remain, with due esteem, Your Grace Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefator's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.



Konigsberg, 12th February 1794

Cereal transports still arrive from Lithuania, although Konigsberg offers half the price chargeable there. Attached are excerpts from Klaipeda customs and excise registers of 1793. Has received a permission to return to Poland.

Original copy: AGAD, AKW, Prussian Section, 49, II No. 5, c. 43r-45r.

Right Honourable Sir & Benefactor!

The particular reports from citizens from various parts of our country, with whom I remain in correspondence, comprise concerted complaints about an extraordinary expensiveness of cereals, particularly, in the Kowno area and near Vilna, quoting the ordinary price of commission [i.e. consignment] barrel at 80 Polish zl[oty] each, and thus, 800, which is 400, local [thalers?] each. The Moscovian army, consisting along the entire Prussian borderland area, are setting-up numerous and grand depots, whilst their liwerants [suppliers; cf. German, Lieferant] have started buying-out the cereal abruptly everywhere, even already in Prussia itself, at the quay. Yet, the local government, vigilant to everything, has forthwith severely banned such selling to Poland, to Moscovian storehouses, and the headquarters deployed to this end are strictly guarding this, only that the deadly fatal and languid winter-time tells one not to expect a most abundant yield, whilst out of [i.e. from behind] the new Moscovian cordon will they let nothing, and Poland, so poor, having this many foreign consumers, may easily come by itself to a sorrowful need of begging for an alien bread, having for so many centuries been the northern granary for the other nations, of whom I doubt whether, proving their reciprocal gratitude for the older [times], will lend their munificent hand at the time of want, unless, continually, in a similar shepherd-and-sheep calculation.

As the others, expecting but a possibility of want, are beforehand preparing themselves for inventories, so as to maintain a measurable [scil. moderate] price at home, our citizens, regardless of their own advantage and of the need of their fellow-brothers, endlessly haul their granaries to Konigsberg and sell those there for a song, up to the point that they are in a shortage themselves. There have succesive arrived several hundred [horse-drawn] carriages from Poland yet, amidst such a wilderness, others still going forth, most of them from the direction of Kalwaria1 and Serey2.

They must needs not be aware, or willing to be aware, of that as they sell herein to the Prussians at 230, their compatriots have meanwhile to each-time pay 400. In my trivial opinion, the time has come for our government to interfere in things of so great an importance, at last, with its authority. The price locally is the following: wheat, 300 to 330 florins; osietne rye, 250; raw rye, 220 to 230; barley, 150; oat, 110 to 120; lin-seed, 13; hempen-seed, 9.5 to 10; boiler potash, 65; trough potash, 90. It is thence easy to conclude on the condition of our rafting for the following spring season.

Attached please find two excerpts from the customs-duty and excise registers, regarding the past-year's trading in Klaipeda, which I could not so easily obtain since information of this genus is considered here as governmentally confidential.

At this very moment, as I am concluding my report, received have I, incidentally in some unknown way, two letters from the Honourable Poniatowski3 de 3 and 6 praesentis, notifying me graciously of a permission to leave for my country, with which I doubt if I could profit, owing to the failure to have sent-over the total arrearage. I shall make myself broader understood in the interest of [prob.] re-steering of money with the local merchants here. It is known to me beforehand that Hon. Mr Blank4, exchanging correspondence with Hon. Mr Tousseint5 - through which channel my salary has reached me in the past [= last] year as well - and, most particularly,  Hon. Mr Paschalis Jakubowicz6, having been here not a long time ago and purchased a considerable portion of amber in which he trades to Istanbul, both regarded here and universally as moneyed persons, have great credits and an assignation upon each, and anyone in here would etiam disburse millions to me, without a faintest question, all the more so upon Paschalis.

I remain, with due esteem, Your Grace Rt.Hon. Sir & Benefator's lowest servant [-] J. Woyna Okołow.

1 M. Rymszyna, Gabinet Stanisława Augusta, Warszawa 1962; W. Zarzycki, Służba zagraniczna okresu stanisławowskiego. Organizacja i formy działania, Poznań-Bydgoszcz 1971; J. Michalski, Dyplomacja polska w latach 1764-1795, [in:] Historia dyplomacji polskiej, vol. 2 (1572-1795), ed. by. Z. Wójcik, Warszawa 1982, pp. 483-705; Z. Anusik, Organizacja i funkcjonowanie polskiej służby zagranicznej w latach 1764-1792 (próba nowego spojrzenia), ‘Acta Universitatis Lodziensis' 1996, Folia historica 58, pp. 49-82.

2 Historia Gdańska, vol. 3, cz. 1: 1655-1793, ed. by E. Cieślak, Gdańsk 1993, p. 602. Hennig was a royal general commissioner in Gdańsk since end 1782.

3 J. Michalski, Dyplomacja polska, pp. 670-671; J. Łojek, Z działalności konsulatu polskiego w Mirhorodzie w latach 1789-1791, ‘Zeszyty Historyczne UW', vol. 1, Studia z zakresu historii Polski nowożytnej i najnowszej, Warszawa 1960, pp. 3-18, Z. Guldon, Handel Polski z Mołdawią, Nowoserbią i Chersoniem w końcu XVIII w., [in:] Polska, Prusy, Ruś. Rozprawy ofiarowane prof. zw. dr. hab. Janowi Powierskiemu w trzydziestolecie pracy naukowej, ed. by B. Śliwiński, Gdańsk 1995, pp. 57-61.

4 J. Reychman, Konsulaty zagraniczne dawnej Rzeczypospolitej, ‘Sprawy Morskie i Kolonialne' 1935, Year 2, vol. 1, p. 120.

5 F.S. Bock, Versuch einer wirtschaftlichen Naturgeschichte von dem Königreich Ost- und Westpreussen. Erster Band, welcher allgemeine geographische, antropologische, meteorologische und historische Abhandlungen enthält, Dessau 1782, pp. 579-580.

6 S. Gierszewski, Port w Królewcu - z dziejów jego zaplecza, [w:] Królewiec a Polska, ed. by M. Biskup, W. Wrzesiński, Olsztyn 1993, p. 47; Z. Guldon, J. Wijaczka, Związki handlowe ziem litewskich i białoruskich z Królewcem w świetle rejestrów celnych komory grodzieńskiej z lat 1600 i 1605, ibidem, pp. 53-63.

7 S. Gierszewski, Port w Królewcu, p. 47.

8 J. Łojek, Materiały do historii polskiej służby dyplomatycznej, p. 524.

9 T. Grygier, Sumariusz akt naczelnej władzy Prus Książęcych "Etats-Ministerium", ‘Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie' 1965, No. 1, p. 149, footnote 40; Central Archives of Historical Records (AGAD), Warsaw, the Crown Archive of Warsaw (AKW), Prussian Section, 50, No. 1, p. 2.

10 T. Grygier, Sumariusz ..., 1965, No. 1, p. 147, footnote 40; Bernard Zabłocki, a burgher, controller-general with the Crown Treasury Commission, was sent to the capital of Prussia in late 1772. Initially, the mission's secretary, he stayed as a resident in Berlin between 1785 and the Third Partition, 1795. Cf. Historia dyplomacji polskiej, vol. 2, 1572-1795, ed. by Z. Wójcik, Warszawa 1982, p. 590.

11 AGAD, AKP 189, pp. 164-165.

12 AGAD, The Popiel Collection, 405, p. 49.

13 AGAD, so-called Lithuanian Metrics, VII 164, p. 196; J. Wojakowski, Straż Praw, Warszawa 1982, p. 207.

14 Ibidem.

15 AGAD, AKP 278, p. 48.

16Bernard Zabłocki, Polish resident in Berlin.

17Józef-Klemens Czartoryski, 1740-1810.

18 Stanisław-Paweł Jabłonowski, 1762-1822.

19The ‘Cabinet Ministerium' (Kabinettsministerium) managed the foreign affairs.

20 The Commerce College (Kommerzkollegium) with its seat in Konigsberg was established on 17th September 1718 by Frederick William [Friedrich Wilhelm] I in view to set in order the affairs related to Prussian commerce and sea navigation. The College also acted as a body of appeals in disputable matters arising between freighters and ship crews, and in disputes between foreign merchants.

21 The Maritime Commerce Company, set up by Frederick II, by means of a deed of 10th October 1772.

22 Friedrich the Great established the Royal Bank in 1765, with the initial capital of 8 million thalers. The Bank initially had its registered offices in Berlin and Breslau; 1768 saw the founding of its Konigsberg office.

23 The Assurance Company (See-Assekuranzgeselschafft) was established by Frederick II. Before then, any insurance-related matters had to be settled abroad.

24 The town of Schaaken [Polonised as ‘Szaki'; adj., ‘Szakecki'] was the institution's registered seat.

25The treasury commissions included the Crown [i.e. Polish] and the Lithuanian one. The Crown Commission commenced its operations at the Warsaw castle on 1st August 1764, its Lithuanian counterpart kicking off on 2nd January 1765 in Grodno; S. Kościałkowski, Antoni Tyzenhauz, podskarbi nadworny litewski, vol. 2, Londyn [London] 1971, pp. 126-152, 220-244.

1 Pierre Housell, identifiable in 1758, was owner of one of Konisberg's wealthiest enterprises.

2 Jean-Claude Toussaint, 1709-74, founded around 1735 a company that made a fortune on trade in cereals.

3 Meant here is the masterly trained cavalry regiment, so-called Bosnians, under command of General-Major Heinrich-Johann Guenther; S. Herbst, Z dziejów wojskowych powstania kościuszkowskiego 1794 roku, Warszawa 1983, pp. 74, 159, 195, 196, 277-283, 287.

4 Karl-August von Strunsee, 1735-1804. was appointed Director of the Prussian Maritime Commerce Company, as from 21st January 1782.

5 This individual is not identifiable in detail.

1 This letter was most probably written to Mr. Jabłonowski in Berlin.

2 Tomasz Bułharowski, not identifiable in more detail.

3 Proably, Franciszek Jelski, Lord High Steward (1777), Chamberlain of Staroduby (1780); and, Konstanty Jelski, Lord High Steward of Staroduby, deputy to the Great Sejm.

4 The word rumowniczy most probably stood for a clerk controlling the wicina traffic, indicating stopover places to the boats.

5 Szyl(d)wach is obsolete Polish for a guardian, soldier keeping guard at a post; derived from the German Schldwache = watch, guard, sentry.

1 Franciszek-Marcin Friebes (Frybes) was a Vilna banker; he was ennobled in 1790.

2 This individual is not identifiable.

3 Ignacy-Jakub Massalski, 1726-94, Bishop of Vilna, Chairman of the Commission of National Education.

2 Georg-Ludwig von Dalwigk (Dalwig), 1725-96, was a cavalry general.

1 Rajecki: possibly, Józef, a builder in Nowogródek in 1778; or, Dionizy, a Nowogródek treasurer in 1788.

2 Antoni-Augustyn Deboli, 1747-1810, Crown Standard-Bearer to the Court, the Commonwealth's last plenipotentiary minister at the Petersburg court.

1 Friedrich-Wilhelm Buchholtz, director of the municipal court-of-law in Konigsberg.

3 Johann Heinrich Casimir von Carmer, 1720-1801, Great Chancellor in 1779-95 and head of the judiciary (Chef de justice).

1 Heinrich-Ludwig Buchholtz, Prussian envoy to Warsaw.

2 So-called trade courts (Wettgerichts) were abolished in 1783 and reinstated afterwards, in 1792, on request of the merchants, with limited competencies - as a purely commerce-focused court overseeing the port police and vessel traffic. It reported to the Commercial and Admiralty College, established 1783 resulting from a merger of the Admiralty College (est. 1701) and Commercial College (1718).

3 Fryderyk-Ernest Hennig-Henninski was a commissioner, not a consul.

5 The Generaldirektorium was established 1722 out of a consolidation of the General Directorate for Finances (Generalfinanzdirektorium) and the General Commissariat for War (Generallkriegskommissariat); M. Kohnke, Zur Geschichte des Generaldirektorium 1712/22-1808, (in:) Aus der Arbeit des geheimen Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, hrsg. von Jürgen Klosterhuis, Berlin 1996, pp. 47-73.

1 I.e. Heinrich-Ludwig Buchholtz.

2 Johann-Wilhelm Höpfner, assessor with the municipal court and criminal judge; first mentioned in 1784.

3 The New East Prussia.

4 West Pomerania.

a-a This passage was originally written using a numerical cipher, which was subsequently deciphered in Warsaw.

1 Wichard-Joachim-Heinrich von Möllendorff, 1724-1816, was a cavalry general, commander-in-chief of the Prussian army that invaded Poland in 1794.

2 Heinrich-Ludwig Buchholtz, Prussian envoy to Warsaw.

3 I.e. Friedrich-Wilhelm Buchholtz.

4 Walerian Tęgoborski, secretary at the chancellery of the Department of Foreign Interests.

1 Hans-Ernst-Dietrich von Werder, former army officer, managed the General Directorate's Departments IV and V.

1 I.e. V Department of the General Directorate, managed by Struensee.

1 Victor-Amadeus, Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, 1727-93), was General-Lieutenant and Governor of Konigsberg since 1789.

2 Established in 16th century as the third electoral financial office, the Lizentkammer (Lizent, Lizentdirektorium) managed the profits from maritime and inland customs duties.

3 The German term Passierzettel stands for permit for free transit of goods.

1 I.e. Jacek Małachowski, Great Chancellor of the Crown.

2 Ménage [Polish, menaż] refers here to thriftiness in expenditure; overall, economy.

1 Charles-Philippe, Count Artois, later king of France as Charles X, since 1824.

2 Wilhelm-Magnus von Brünneck, 1727-1817, Governor of Konigsberg, Klaipeda (Memel) and Piława (Pillau).

3 Willenberg - today, Wielbark, in County of Szczytno, Poland.

4 Chorzele, a small town in County of Przasnysz, Poland, adjacent to the former Polish-Prussian border.

5 François-André Favrat, 1730-1804, Prussian cavalry general.

6 Adam Poniński, 1732-98, Crown Master of the Kitchen; speaker of the sejm which enacted the partition of Poland, 1773-5; Grand Treasurer of the Crown.

7 Most probably, Adam Grabowski is meant, son of Elbląg (Elbing) castellan Jan-Michał Grabowski (d. 1770).

8 Perhaps, Karol Boscamp-Lasopolski (d. 1794), diplomat and troublemaker, earlier on in the service of King Stanislaus Augustus.

1 This person's identity is unclear.

1 Antoni Poniatowski, secretary of the office of King Stanislaus Augustus from 1781 to 1st November 1793.

2 The Permanent Council [Rada Nieustająca] was reactivated after 2nd Partition of Poland, and was due to be managed by the Russian ambassador.

3 The cereal described as syromłotne was threshed without being dried beforehand.

4 In 1793, the Prussian-Austrian army conquered Mainz, subsequently invaded Palatinate and Alsace.

1 Possibly, Jan Meysner, a Warsaw banker who conducted his business also in Konigsberg..

2 I.e. either of the Simpson brothers, Samuel or Jakob.

1 Osip Igelström, Russian ambassador Poland.

2 This individual is not identifiable.

3 Nothing in specific is known of this man.

1 England entered the war with France in 1793.

2 Brus described coniferous-timber square-hewed sharp-edged logs, side width 30 cm, length at least 6 m but most frequently, 12-16 m.

3 Ruśnia=Russ=Ruś was a market locality on the Rusa (Rus, Russ) River, the right arm of the Niemen, situated 4 km off the seashore.

4 The Grodno sejm's Constitution of 1793 barred importation of merchandise from France.

5 The name of the Moscow consul's to Konigsberg was Isakov.

9 I.e. Department of Foreign Interests.

1 Frederick William [Friedrich Wilhelm] II, ruled 1786-97.

2 As part of the Seven Years' War of 1756 to 1763, Russia occupied East Prussia between 1758 and 1762.

3 Scottish people immigrated numerously to Klaipeda in mid-18th c..; K. H. Ruffmann, Engländer und Schotten in den Seestädten Ost- und Westpreußens, ‘Zeitschrift für Ostforschung' Jg. 7, 1958, p. 31; Th. A. Fischer, The Scots in Eastern and Western Prussia, Edinburgh 1903, pp. 49-50.

4 A fortified castle in Klaipeda was built in 1252.

5 I.e. Lagoon; German, Haff.

7 Połąga, town and port [today, Palanga in Lithuania].

8 The Commerce and Navigation Court (Handlungs- und Schiffartsgericht) of Klaipeda is meant.

9 The Kommerzkollegium (College of Commerce), based in Konigsberg, was established 17th Sept. 1718 by Frederick William I.

10 The staples was received by Konigsberg from Prince Albrecht of Prussia in 1565.

11 The Skiwritella=Skirwith River is a branch of Rusa, detaching from it near the village of Ruś.

12 Gumbinnen=Gąbin. The War-and-Treasury Chamber (Kriegs- und Domänenkammer) in Gąbin, established 19th August 1736, is meant.

13 Excise is a tax imposed on food products and merchandise traded internally.

14 The frontier area's main customs house was organised in Smolensk in 1730.

15 England joined the war against France in 1793.

16 Referring to a Polish-Prussian commercial treaty of 18th March 1775.

17 Wyderkaf was a colloquial term, in use since the late 13th c., for so-called acquisition of annuity. The owner of a capital offered a defined amount of money to the proprietor or holder of a real estate, and in exchange thereof, each such current proprietor/holder was bound to pay, on a permanent - usually, annual - basis, pecuniary benefits at 5-8% of the earned amount (annuity), which the capital owner would receive on a lifetime basis or within the predefined number of years. The realty proprietor/holder (debtor) could release himself from the obligation to pay his annuity by reimbursing the loan drawn.

18 German, Justizamtman = judicature official.

1 The sejm assembly in Grodno adopted a ‘domestic savings' resolution, entered in the register as of 18th November 1793; Volumina legum, vol. 10: Konstytucje sejmu grodzieńskiego z 1793 roku, ed. by Z. Kaczmarczyk, associate eds.: J. Matuszewski, M. Sczaniecki, J. Wąsicki, Poznań 1952, p. 231.

2 The war with France of 1792-4.

3 Stołpce (Stołbce; Belarussian, Stoubcy, Stoupcy), a small town located at the Odceda/Niemen estuary.

4 Świerżeń included a village, small town and Radziwiłł-family estate situated on the left bank of the Niemen.

5 Jurbork, i.e. Georgenburg.

6 Tołoczyn, a town located formerly in Oszmiana [today, Ashmyany in Belarus] County, Vitebsk Voivodeship.

7 Szkłów [now, Škłoŭ in Belarus] was a private town in former Oszmiana County, Vitebsk Voivodeship, Erected on the right bank of the Dnieper, Szkłów had a harbour.

1 As adopted at the Grodno sejm in 1793, the savings law in question barred the importation of not only French white wine but the same applied to other commodities originating in France; VL, vol. 10, p. 232.

2 Konigsberg played a crucial part in import/export activities dealt with by Jewish merchants from Lithuania and Belarus; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich, Warszawa 1937, pp. 242-3.

3 Frederick William [Friedrich Wilhelm] II, 1786-97.

4 Leibgeleit (Judengeleit) refers to a directive printed on 7 May 1712 in Konigsberg, determining the amount of customs duty payable by alien Jews arriving in the town. Any Jewish merchant arriving with goods was thenceforth supposed to pay 12 guldens per safe-conduct pass; Jewish servants were charged half the amount. Once acquired, such safe-conduct allowed for a four-week stay, while incomers holding no safe-conduct were subject to pecuniary penalty; H. Jolowicz, Geschichte der Juden in Königsberg in Pr. Ein Beitrag zur Sittengeschichte der preussischen Staats, Posen 1867, p. 43. As from 31st December 1787, Frederick William II abolished the Leibzoll previously incumbent on the Jews (M. Philippson, Neuere Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes, Bd. 1, Leipzig 1907, p. 47) and it is therefore unknown why it was continually collected in East Prussia.

1 One last of cereal rafted to Gdansk ought have to include 27 Warsaw tubs, but the Gdansk operators instructed that 3 small tubs be added thereupon to their benefit, which extra was called the Büregerbest.

2 I.e. the Commercial College.

3 I.e. a Riverine Office.

4 I.e. the Konigsberg-based War-and-Treasury Chamber.

5 A Criminal College (Polizeikollegium) was set up in Konigsberg, as a governmental department, on 28th March 1722. A dozen-or-so years later, a Police Commission (Polizeikommission) was established, composed of representatives of provincial offices. This body was however dissolved in 1752, it being resolved that First Lord Mayor be the head of the police from then on; E.R. Uderstädt, Die ostpreussische Kammerverwaltungs... Teil II. Unterbehörden and Teil III. Lokalorgane, pp. 48-53.

7 I.e. Antoni Poniatowski.

8 Jacek Małachowski, Great Chancellor of the Crown.

1 Kalwaria, a small town on the Sheshupa River.

2 Serej (Serrei), an estate in Troki [today, Trakai in Lithuania] Voivodeship, was located at that time 12-13 miles off the Prussian frontier.

3 Poniatowski Antoni, sekretarz archiwista kancelarii departamentu Interesów Cudzozimskich.

4 Blank Piotr (1742-1797), bankier warszawski, pochodzenia francuskiego założył w Warszawie bank.

5 Touissant Fredric

6 Jakubowicz Paschalis (zm. 1816 lub 1817), Ormianin, kupiec warszawski.