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The russian conquest of Bashkiria 1552-1740. A Case Study in Imperialism by Alton S. Donnelly. - 1968

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A Case Study in Imperialism
New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1968
To George V. Lantzeff
Many have written of the open frontier as one of the dominating themes in Russian history. Although Russian literature on this subject is
extensive, Western studies are still relatively scarce. In recent years a number of European and American scholars have been remedying the deficiency,
but much remains to be explored before a reasonably complete picture of this history can be drawn. The subject should be of particular interest to
Americans because of the parallels with their own frontier history. Students of imperialism and colonialism should also find much that is
thought-provoking in the Russian experience. This work treats one aspect of that story.
To describe the Russian conquest of Bashkiria, I have had to deal with a number of problems that cannot be easily resolved. F irst, the expansion
of the Russian state into areas inhabited by non-Russian peoples brings up the complex and almost insoluble problem of how to discuss objectively an
aggressive, imperialist subjugation of an alien people. A complete treatment of the subject from the other side would depend on access to written
materials in the native languages. Unfortunately, few have survived other than letters addressed to the Russian Court. In some cases facsimiles and
translations have been included in Russian documentary collections. Another difficulty in dealing justly with the colonial peoples is the bias reflected
in the Russian documents. This bias amounts to the belief that, regardless of the motives and actions of the Russian governme nt in expanding into
foreign territory, the conquest in the long run had progressive results, because the cultural level of the Russians was higher than that of the conquered.
Even at the present time this is the attitude taken by Russian specialists on the subject. American historians meet a similar problem in treating
American westward expansion at the expense of the native Indian tribes.
I set for myself the task of examining Russian colonial policies and activities. This has inevitably resulted in slighting the viewpoint of the
conquered peoples. I have tried to look dispassionately into Russian motives and actions and to understand them from the Russian side. Nevertheless,
my narrative attempts to provide more than a hint of what that conquest meant in human terms to the other peoples involved. T he study of frontier
history in these terms, it may be remarked, has only begun to attract serious scholarly attention.1
Finding a rational system for transliterating and spelling names from a variety of European and Asiatic languages has been a problem beyond my
solution. The difficulties are sometimes compounded by the appearance of names in the eighteenth century documents in forms so distorted it is
impossible to determine what the original was. Names in European languages using Latin alphabets have been spelled as in the original language,
Bühren, for example, rather than Biron. Mongolian, Persian, and Turkic names appear in Anglicized forms when they are commonly, or even not so
commonly known. Alternative spellings are added in parentheses to the most important ones. As for Bashkir names, these required the most difficult
decision. Bashkir is now written in a modified Cyrillic alphabet which transliterates readily into Russian. Therefore, I have transliterated from the
Russian renderings, primarily because few scholars know Bashk ir, and most who meet the Bashkirs in works other than this one will meet them in
Russian accounts.
I express my gratitude to the late Professor George V. Lantzeff, who first directed me into the subject, to professors V. A. Riasanovsky, Nicholas
V. Riasanovsky and Wolfram Eberhard, for their kindness in reading the typescript and offering thoughtful comments, and to the anonymo us readers
of the Press who suggested many improvements. I owe much also to Professor Kenneth Owens at Northern Illinois University, a student of America's
westward expansion, for his encouragement and his critical eye in the matter of organization, style, and for illuminating comparisons and contrasts
with American experience on the frontier. Finally, I am grateful to my parents for their long-term moral and economic support, and to my wife,
Kathleen Donnelly, for her unflagging interest, encouragement, and assistance.
A. S. D.
State University of New York Binghamton, New York
1. The theoretical issues on which this viewpoint is based are discussed in Robert Redfield, The Primitive World and Its Transformations (Ithaca,
1953), and Herbert Lüthy, "Colonization and the Making of Mankind," Journal of Economic History, 21 (December 1961), 483-95.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 The Southeastern Frontier:
Lands and Peoples
Geography and Climate
The Peoples
Russian Expansion to the Southeast
Administration of the Frontier Area
Chapter 3 Moscow and Bashkiria
Early Russian Relations with the Bashkirs
Russian Tactics
Composition of the Russian Frontier Forces
Relations with the Kazakhs
Chapter 4 The Southeastern Frontier During the Reign of Peter the Great
Policies of Peter the Great in Central Asia
Relations with the Kazakhs
The Russian-Bashkir Struggle
Russian Strategy on the Southeastern Frontier
Chapter 5 The Origins of the Orenburg Project, 1725-34
The Tevkelev Mission to the Kazakhs, 1730-32
The Orenburg Project
Chapter 6 The Orenburg Expedition, 1734-35
Another Colonial War Begins
Kirillov's Policies
Chapter 7 Kirillov's War, 1735-37
The Spring and Summer of 1736
Relations with the Kazakhs
The Fall and Winter of 1736-37
Kirillov's Last Days
Chapter 8 Tatis hchev Takes Command, 1737-39
New Policies
Causes of the New Outbreak
The Summer and Fall of 1737
The Relocation of Orenburg
The December Conference of 1737
The Kazakhs Interfere in Bashkiria
The Summer and Fall Campaign of 1738
The Dismissal of Tatishchev
Chapter 9 The "Pacification" of Bashkiria
Initial Problems
Karasakal, "Khan of Bashkiria"
Relations with the Kazakhs
Last Problems and New Pressure on the Kazakhs
Chapter 10 Colonial Administration on the Southeastern Frontie r
Administrative Organization
Tribute and Other Obligations
Russian Colonial Courts, Religious Administration, Corruption of Officials, and Other Problems
Economic Policies
The Defensive Lines and Their Garrisons
Distribution of the Peoples c. 1700
The Southeastern Frontier Area in 1700
Bashkiria in the Eighteenth Century
The Soviet Union is the largest country in the world. The growth of the tiny principality of Muscovy into a gigantic world empire is one of the
wonders of modern times. This process has been contemplated by numerous historians, although outside of Russia itself studies have usually been long
on theory, short on systematic, factual investigation. Even the famous Russian historian V. O. Kliuchevskii, who realized the significance of this
phenomenon and wrote that colonization was the fundamental fact of Russian history to which all other features were related,1 composed a fivevolume history of Russia that paid scant attention to expansion.
Much of the history of Russia cannot be understood without a knowledge of its growth into empire. The significant consequences of each step –
the acquisitions of Ivan III, the Polish partitions, the annexation of the Ukraine, of Crimea, the conquest of Siberia, of the Baltic region, and of part of
Central Asia – make this plainly evident. Foreign policies and domestic developments were often intimately related to the expansion of the frontier.
Not only is the growth of Muscovy important for an understanding of Russian history, it is also an example of European imperialism that
coincides in time with the imperial movement of the Western powers which began with the great age of exploration. A more thorough treatment of the
Russian story could throw additional light on this modern European phenomenon.
A survey of the steps of Russian expansion reveals a series of stories, not just a single tale. The acquisition of each piece of territory has its own
history. Before the general themes can become properly known it will be necessary to investigate the major phases of the Empire's growth. Although
Russians have written much about various parts of their country and in recent years Soviet historians have been studying intensively the non-Slavic
areas, most of these studies have either consciously or unconsciously pleaded a special interest. Thus it is left to outsiders, at least for the present, to try
to interpret the history objectively.
In general the conquest of Bashkiria belongs to the expansion of Russia into Asia along the steppe frontier. In Asia there we re, in very broad
terms, two Russian frontiers, the forest frontier and the steppe frontier. Because geography and climate differed radically on these frontiers, Russian
expansion into Asia can be considered to have flowed in two streams, each stream having its own particular characteristics.2
The first stream, the conquest of Siberia, was a story of fur trappers and traders who traveled by river searching for furs in a heavily forested
region sparsely inhabited by primitive tribal groups, some still in the Stone Age when the Russians arrived. The second stream was a movement from
the northern woods of European Russia into the vast steppe to the south, into the Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Here the Russians were motivated by
different desires, were opposed by different peoples, and were forced to adopt different policies.
The whole steppe frontier which stretched across the Ukraine through Kazakhstan into Mongolia had a certain unity in that it was a
grass-covered prairie inhabited by Turkic nomads, but circumstances and historical development var ied within this immense expanse. In the Ukrainian
Steppe the Russians had to deal with the Ottoman Turks and the Poles who had vital interests in the area. East of the Volga, on the other hand, they
dealt largely with nomadic groups alone, although Persia, the Central Asian khanates, and even China were peripherally involved. The focus of this
study is on the Trans-Volga frontier, which can be conveniently called the Southeastern Steppe Frontier, because from the standpoint of the Russians
in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries this region lay southeast of the heart of Muscovite Russia.
What led the Russians into this region? Imperialism and its motivations are immensely complex, but even a cursory study of Russian expansion
into Asia reveals several, generally prosaic aims, although one should not overlook an underlying mystique comparable to America's "Manifest
Destiny." As far as consciously held purposes are concerned, the Russians began moving to the southeast for five major reasons. Raids of the steppe
nomads into Russian territory led the Muscovite government to seek means of defense. Defense slowly passed over that boundary between defense and
offense, leading ultimately to the subjugation of the frontier peoples. Another consideration was the desire for increased government revenues. Like
the other European states in early modern times in the process of state-building, the Muscovite state was chronically short of funds. The native peoples
of the frontier regions were potential tribute-paying subjects, especially desirable because of the tremendous profitability of furs, the usual coin of
tribute payments in the seventeenth century and even later. The necessity for revenue was intensified in those centuries beca use of the voracious
demands made by frequent wars. A third motive can be seen clearly during the reign of Peter the Great. In modernizing the state and society of Russia,
Peter sought to develop a metallurgical industry in the Ural Mountains. Hopes of discovering other fruitful deposits of minerals stimulated the
southeastward drive. Fourth, although they were largely illusory, dreams of becoming the middleman in the trade in the exotic products of Persia,
Central Asia, China, and India on the pattern of the Portuguese, Dutch, and English, lured Muscovy toward Asia. And, finally, the migration of
Russians into the frontier areas served to expand the Empire. Part of this movement of people was government sponsored, necessitated by the demands
of staffing the administrative bureaucracy and the military establishment. Of greater importance numerically was the continuous flow of runaway
peasants and soldiers trying to escape the heavy obligations of serfdom and military service. There were other interests, but these five were the most
important motives.
In moving out beyond the Southeastern Frontier the Russians met strong opposition from the native inhabitants, who objected to paying tribute
and to the seizure of their lands. The Russians were forced ultimately to resort to force, although they always found legal justification for their imperial
acts. Because the Russians were relatively few in numbers on the frontier, maintaining control required skill and diplomacy. Two major policies were
developed over the years to meet the problem of resistance. As early as the reign of Ivan IV a special frontier defensive system was established. A line
of forts and outposts along the border was constructed to protect already annexed territory from sudden raids by nomadic groups. Simultaneously the
Russians resorted to diplomacy to keep the nomads weak. Because there were no real boundaries, other than rivers, in the steppe, capable and
aggressive native leaders sometimes united a large number of tribal groups. These tribal confederations were a dangerous military threat to the
settlements and scattered military outposts along the frontier. Russian diplomacy was designed to diminish the danger by following the time-honored
principle of imperial policy, divide and rule.
Once a group found itself isolated and exposed to the hostility of other tribes, whether directly or indirectly as a result of Russian policies, it
frequently sought Russian protection. The next step was usually legal submission to the tsar followed by outright subjugation. The defensive line of
forts was then extended to swallow the newly acquired territory; the people were placed under Russian administration, while t he Russians prepared to
"defend" themselves from the next group that wandered just beyond the border. This process of extend ing Russia's borders can be seen in the
acquisition of the Ukraine. On the Southeastern Frontier, also, a defensive line was advanced in similar stages.
The distance of the region from the heart of Muscovy and the military might of the nomads made expansio n to the southeast an affair of long
duration. Whereas within less than a century after the conquest of Kazan in 1552 Russians had traversed the vast expanse of S iberia and had advanced
significantly into the Ukraine, it was more than three centuries before Central Asia was taken into the Empire. Two of those three centuries were spent
in subduing the steppe peoples on the Southeastern Frontier.
This study treats the conquest of one of these peoples, the Bashkirs. For almost two hundred years after the conq uest of Kazan in 1552 the
Russians moved most cautiously to the southeast. Native opposition was reflected in a series of colonial wars which frustrated Russian designs. Not
until the third decade of the eighteenth century did the Russians make a major effort in this region. At that time a large expedition was organized that
within a few years advanced the frontier several hundred miles. In reaction the native inhabitants engaged the Russians in a vicious war which
continued intermittently for five years. The Russians succeeded in imposing peace upon the tribesmen by a combination of military, power and
diplomacy that made loyal native allies their most effective agents in destroying, root and branch, the hostile groups. To ma intain control over
conquered areas, meanwhile, the Russian government adopted ambitious plans for advancing the line of frontier forts and military towns that sealed off
the region, isolating its peoples from reinforcements beyond the borders of the Southeastern Frontier. The results of the Russian conquest were the
disruption of the native societies, the annihilation of perhaps one-third of the populace, and the addition of vast territory, rich in natural resources, to
the expanding Russian Empire. By the middle of the eighteenth century the line of forts along the Ural River to the Caspian Sea had closed the "Ural
Gates," the level passageway between the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea through which for centuries Asiatic nomads had st reamed into Europe.
This line then became the base for the subsequent conquest of Kazakhstan and Turkestan. The conquest of Bashkiria was a significant step to empire.
1. V. O. Kliuchevskii, Kurs russkoi istorii (5 vols. Moscow, 1937), I, 21.
2. The late George V. Lantzeff of the University of California distinguished these two streams and pointed out their characteristics in a paper
presented at the Mississippi Valley Historical Association Meeting in 1955.
The region astride the southern part of the Ural range, bounded on the west by the Volga River, on the north by the Kama, on the south by the
middle course of the Ural River, and on the east by the Tobol, was the land of the Bashkirs. The present-day Soviet autonomous republic of Bashkiria,
which is about the size of the state of Illinois, is a considerably reduced remnant of this once more extensive territory. The terrain varies greatly,
including the eastern portion of the Russian Plain, the western slopes of the Ural range, the southern section of these mountains, and part of the West
Siberian Lowland.
The rocky peaks of the mountains reach 5,000 feet or more. Below the heights are meadows and mountain marshes. The mountain s lopes and
valleys are forested. North of the fifty- fourth parallel the trees are coniferous; south of that latitude deciduous trees appear in increasing numbers.
Farther to the southwest the forest cover decreases, giving way to wooded steppe and finally to grassy steppe. On the Siberia n side of the mountains the
heights fall off into a wooded grassland which turns into grassy steppe toward the south.
This region has four months of relatively warm weather with temperatures above 50 degrees F, although 85 to 90 degrees is not uncommon.
Spring is very short. The climate is generally cooler and wetter in the northwest, warmer and drier to the southeast, averaging from sixteen to
twenty-four inches of precipitation from south to north. The winters are long and severe. Temperatures fall to -40 degrees in the mountains and the
snow cover averages from ten to over twenty inches. Occasionally extremely heavy snowfalls occur. The severe cold and heavy s nows often caused
hardship for animals and men and brought military campaigns to a halt.
The low evaporation rate and the condensation of moisture in the mountains created a complex river system with an abundance of water. The
largest river is the Belaia, which flows westward out of the southern Urals, swings northward, and finally falls into the Kama River. With terrain
varying from steep, craggy canyons, whose sides rise from 150 to 350 feet above the river bed, to narrow, gently sloping valleys covered with forest,
the Belaia is fed by many tributaries. The most important is the Ufa River which flows out of the mountains through shallow valleys from two to ten
miles wide, joining the Belaia at the site of the town of Ufa. Streams flowing from the eastern and southern slopes of the mo untains form the Ural River
system. Late in summer the water level in the rivers falls significantly; in winter from October to April the streams are frozen.
The major rivers, other than the Belaia, Ufa, and Ural, are peripheral. In the west the Volga served as a barrier which inhib ited the movement of
nomadic peoples; with their large herds of livestock the nomads were especially vulnerable to attack when crossing large streams. The Volga was also
a major artery of communication for the Russians, and by the end of the sixteenth century a number of important towns had bee n built at strategic
locations from Kazan all the way to the Caspian Sea. In the north the Kama performed similar functions. The eastern boundary of Bashkiria, the Tobol
River, was not important as a waterway, but it did separate the Kazakhs from the Bashkirs. In the south the Samara River, a tributary of the Volga, and
the middle course of the Ural River almost meet, so that the two served as an important river route, and also divided Bashkir territory from the Kazakh
Steppe to the south.
East of the Volga and south of Bashkiria lay the land of the Kazakhs, a land that stretched eastward from the lower Ural River to the Altai
Mountains on the border of China. Geographically this area is a vast plain approximately 1,800 miles from east to west, 1,000 miles from north to
south at its widest point, and approximately one million square miles in area.
In the north along the borders of western Siberia is a narrow band of intermittently wooded country with birch groves and occasionally aspen and
willow. The soil is rich and the grass cover consequently heavy, the obvious reason the nomads pressed northward. To the south the soil quality
declines, the trees disappear, and the grass becomes less luxuriant. Gradually the steppe turns drier and eventually becomes either sand, clay, or rock y
desert. The plant life in the desert regions is limited to drought-resistant types. Only camels can exist continuously in the drier regions.
The northern part of the Kazakh Steppe is drained by the Irtysh River and its tributaries, which flow to the nort hwest. Farther to the south the
whole region is an inland drainage area. The streams flow into the Aral Sea, the Caspian Sea, or simply into the desert until they disappear. The Talas,
Chu, Ili, Irgiz, Turgai, and the Irtysh originate in the melting snow o f mountains. Consequently they flood in the spring and in the summer sometimes
become very shallow or completely dry up.
The climate of Kazakhstan is continental and dry. In January the mean temperature on the lower Syr Darya is lower than that o n the Gulf of
Finland. On the other hand, summer temperatures are high, especially in the south where the mean is slightly higher than that of the tropics.
Precipitation is low, averaging two to three inches from November to March. It seldom rains in the summer in the south, although the average
reaches ten inches in the north. The snow cover varies from two to four inches in the vicinity of the Aral Sea, and is approximately twelve inches in the
These natural features exerted a primary influence on the socie ty of the nomadic peoples who inhabited the region. Climate and geography
determined the annual migration pattern, the type of animal on which the people lived, and many other aspects of nomadic life. When the Russians
attempted to penetrate the region they were forced to adapt their tactics and strategy to the natural features. They found that the great expanse of steppe
stretching limitlessly to the south and east was an open frontier with few defensible points, and that the Ural Mountains were repeatedly used by the
native peoples as almost impregnable retreats when the Russian forces pressed them too severely.
To simplify the task of identifying and locating the native inhabitants who will be frequently mentioned in the following chapters, a brief note on
each of the major groups follows. The survey begins with the Middle-Volga peoples, who first engaged the attention of the Russians, then moves to
cultural areas that, as far as the Russians were concerned, were successively more remote.
A number of minor groups, the Mordvinians, Mari (Cheremises), Chuvashes, and Udmurts (Votiaks), lived mostly between Nizhny Novgorod
and Kazan. Ethnologically they were largely the descendants of the indigenous Finnish inhabitants, but Turkic groups had migr ated into the region and
mixed with them. As the Muscovite state expanded eastward these peoples were subjugated to Russian authority and many were ultimately enserfed.
The conquest of the Khanate of Kazan in the middle of the sixteenth century brought most of them under Russian control.
In and around Kazan were the Kazan Tatars. They were a mixture of indigenous peoples, the ancient Bulgars, and of later Turkic groups. In the
fifteenth century the Khanate of Kazan came into being as one of the splinter, succession states of the Golden Horde.
Bashkirs inhabited the area southeast of Kazan as far south as the middle course of the Ural River and east into western Siberia. They spoke a
Turkic language but were also of mixed origin. They were identified by name as the inhabitants of this region as early as the tenth century, when they
were noted by Arab travelers and geographers. After the Golden Horde lost control of them in the fifteenth century, the Bashk irs became subjects of
three different powers. Those in the largest and most populated section, the southwestern, submitted to the Nogai Horde. The Khanate of Kazan
assumed authority over the northwestern part, and the Siberian Khanate collected tribute from the Bashkirs on the Siberian side of the Ural Mountains.
These three divisions were known as the Nogai, Kazan, and Siberian dorogas respectively. By the seventeenth century the Russians identified another
doroga called the Osinsk Doroga. It was a narrow band of territory lying north of Ufa. The word "doroga" was derived from the Golden Horde title
daruga, a tax official. It was later used in the sense of a tax district.
The Nogai Horde, another splinter group of the Golden Horde, ranged over an extensive area on both sides of the lower Volga. After the
Russians conquered Kazan and Astrakhan in the middle of the sixteenth century, the Nogais split into two groups. One occupied the area between the
Ural River and the Volga; the other moved south into the Kuban River region.
Western Siberia became the domain of a petty Tatar khanate, called the Siberian Khanate by the Russians, which was conquered around 1600
when the Muscovites moved into western Siberia.
Of greater importance were the Kazakhs and Uzbeks. Both Turkic in origin, they occupied the Kazakh Steppe. In t he late fifteenth century the
Uzbeks migrated south into Central Asia and settled down to an agricultural life. The Kazakhs remained in the region they still occupy.
The Karakalpaks were closely related to the Kazakhs. From the sixteenth century most of them lived in the vicinity of the lower Syr Darya, but
isolated groups spread as far as the Emba and even the lower Volga.
Farther to the east lived several other groups, the most important of which were the Mongols. The Eastern Mongols or Khalkhas occupied
Mongolia proper. The Western Mongols included several peoples of importance in the history of Russia's Southeastern Frontier. The Kalmyks, who
migrated westward in the early seventeenth century, eventually stopped in the lower Volga area. Another powerful Western Mongol aggregation was
that of the Jungars, who lived in northern Sinkiang south of the upper Irtysh River. Their history will be noted later as the y become involved in the
events on the Southeastern Frontier.
The livelihoods of the various native peoples depended on the climate and terrain. Because the northern part of Bashkiria and the mountainous
areas were heavily forested, the principal occupations of the inhabitants were hunting, trapping, fishing, and beekeeping. They lived in small,
permanent or semipermanent settlements much as did the woodland dwellers to the north and in western Siberia.
In the wooded steppe and grassy steppe to the south the Bashkirs led a life of pastoral nomadism similar to that of the Kazak hs and other Central
Asian steppe nomads. They raised horses, sheep, goats, camels, and a few cattle. Horses and sheep were the most common. Horses were especially
valued because of their usefulness in war, and the Bashkir horses were distinguished for swiftness, strength, and endurance.
The nomads did not wander at random. In spring they moved generally northward, to spend the summer in the northern steppe areas where a
more plentiful supply of grass was available for grazing. In the fall they moved southward to avoid the heavier snow falls and the severe winter weather
of the north. This cycle was affected by variations in the weather from year to year, the condition of the grass, the size of the livestock herds, as well as
by conflicts with other peoples or internecine warfare between tribes and clans within the large group.
During normal periods of stability each tribe and clan had exclusive use of its own territory. The more affluent groups preempted the choicer
sections of the prairie and left the less favorable sections to other tribes who in turn competed for status and position, until a hierarchically organized
equilibrium was established. A similar process went on as the tribal clans competed with each other and, further down the line, individual families
likewise made their adjustment within the clan. The equilibrium thus obtained was constantly subject to change as the influence of families, clans, and
tribes waxed and waned. In Kazakhstan this process was carried out on an even larger scale. Divided into three hordes traditionally descended from
three brothers, the Kazakhs were ruled by three khans, one for each horde, itself a large aggregation of tribes. A particular ly capable khan sometimes
brought virtually all the Kazakhs in all three hordes into a single loose confederatio n.
The shifting nature of the alignments at the various levels presented Russian frontier officials with problems. There was no firmly established
central authority with whom to deal. While the Russians were negotiating with one temporarily peaceful group, another group would be raiding
Russian territory. Even the Kazakh khans who exerted considerable influence over a large number of tribes and clans often had their policies undercut
by dissident chieftains within their own horde.
The religion of the nomads was a factor in delaying the Russian conquest. Most of these peoples were Moslems. Islam reached the Kazan area as
early as the ninth century and spread from there to the Bashkirs. By the fourteenth century the Turco-Mongols of the steppes had adopted the religion.
Those in and around Kazan, Crimea, and Turkestan were devout; more remote peoples were only nominally Moslems, especially the Kazakhs among
whom a form of shamanism retained some influence. A common religion and similar customs among the nomads served as a unifying agent used by
Ottoman Turkey and Crimea – to a lesser extent by the Central Asian khanates – in their attempts to organize a coalition against Moscow. Mullahs
frequently played a prominent role in rallying the nomads to fight Christian Russia.
The very nature of his society predisposed the nomad to the military life. Mobility was his prime characteristic. His livelihood, his herds of
livestock, his home, the yurt (a felt tent), and his family all moved with him. Organizing the annual movements of tribes called for logistics at a
relatively sophisticated level. There could be no walls for defense; security depended on constant vigilance, mobility, readiness. Once the nomad had
adopted the horse, the stirrup, and the compound bow, he became the horse-archer, the most formidable of cavalrymen until modern times. Living in
the northern steppes in a severe climate he found life demanding and often cruel. He had to be as tough and durable as his hardy horse which could
subsist on the meager forage of the windy, snow-covered prairie through the severest winters.
In the struggle for existence, the conquest of neighboring grassland was common; rule or be ruled was a principle of survival. Periodically a
barbaric leader of great ability subjected a huge number of tribes to his will. When the concentration of men and animals became more than the
immediately surrounding grasslands could support, migration for some was the only solution. The great steppe highway leading westward from
Mongolia through southern Russia into central Europe and to increasingly lusher pastures lured the tribes onward. Repercussions of these migrations
and the terrible military might of the nomads were felt in China, in India, in Russia, in Rome. Like tides of the sea, wave a fter wave of fierce and
powerful nomads swept westward through the "Ural Gates" – Scythian, Hun, Mongol. With the conquest of Bashkiria, these gates were closed, and the
ancient threat to Europe ended.
Russia's attitudes and motives in moving southeast had been conditioned by her previous unhappy experiences with the steppe nomads over a
long period of time. The most shocking of these experiences was the onslaught of the Mongols in the thirteenth century. The Turco-Mongol conquest
was a catastrophic blow to the medieval Russian principalities. For over two centuries the Golden Horde and its succession states dominated the
politics of Russia, but it was not, as often conceived, a period of unrelieved stagnation. During these centuries, in a development showing parallels with
the contemporary state-building in Western Europe, the Muscovite princes created the state that came to dominate all Russia.
After 1480, the date which traditionally marks the end of the "Tatar Yoke," the Russians, so often attacked from the east, began a reverse
movement into Asia. In the middle of the sixteenth century occurred the great event that is the key to the growth of the Russ ian Empire in Asia, the
conquest of Kazan. When the armies of Ivan IV defeated the Kazan Tatars, Muscovy was still an isolated state of second rank covering a large but
inhospitable territory in central and northern European Russia. By conquering the Kazan Khanate and seizing its lands, Ivan IV destroyed the major
obstacle to Russia's eastward expansion, and began the movement that led ultimately to the creation of the gigantic, multinational Russ ian empire in
The conquest of Kazan has passed into dramatic legend and songs. After centuries of suffering from the attacks of the steppe nomads, the
Russians saw in the fall of the city a symbolic destruction of the power of their enemies. As a result the events of the campaign were raised to the
proportions of an epic. Actually, a fortress with wooden walls, defended by a force of about 30,000 Tatars armed mostly with bows and arrows, fell to
an army of 150,000. Nevertheless, there were heroic actions on both sides, and the victory of the Russians foretold the consequences of their growing
technological superiority, symbolized by the use of gunpowder in the explosion which opened the walls to the attackers.
After capturing Kazan, Ivan next turned to clearing the Volga all the way to the Caspian Sea. Control of the river offered two major advantages,
the first commercial, the second strategic. Merchants desired to increase their trade with Persia, Central Asia, and even India. The Volga was a gateway
to these exotic countries. Also, the Volga was sufficiently broad to make it difficult for nomads to cross. Control of the river gave the Russians an
improved position in their struggle with the steppe peoples to the east.
The Khanate of Kazan, which the Russians inherited, had very indefinite boundaries. Centered around Kazan near the junction o f the Kama and
the Volga, the basically Tatar khanate included in its population the Mari (Cheremises), the Chuvashes, the Udmurts, and, farther to the east, the
Bashkirs. In addition to these peoples there were many Russians living within the khanate, descendants of migrants who had lived in the area for many
generations or of Russians captured by the Tatars and enserfed.
Opposition to Russia did not end with the capture of the city of Kazan. Supported by the Crimean Tatars and the Turks, certain elements of the
population, mainly the Tatars, Mari, and Udmurts, continued to resist the Russians. A five-year struggle marked the effort to "pacify" the peoples of
the khanate. Sporadic outbreaks continued to occur in the following years, and plans were made for the restoration of the kha nate by the former ruling
class, who because of common religion and customs favored a Crimean alignment. As considerable military strength was required to put down these
outbreaks, the first task of the Russians was the military organization of the region. This was co mbined with two other matters – colonization of the
new territory and the transformation of the local population into loyal subjects of the tsar.
The immediate problem was the establishment of garrisons and forts at strategic locations to strengthen Russia's position. Sviiazhsk and a
number of other outposts had been built just before or during the campaign of 1552. Shortly after the conquest, Ivan refortified Kazan, making it into
a first-class fortress. Cheboksary, Laishev, and Tetiushi as well as a number of outposts were built between 1555 and 1558.
When the people had been subdued, a regular administration was established to govern them. As a general rule Moscow did not interfere with
internal affairs on the local level. The Russian government was mostly concerned with the faithful delivery of tribute. The customary social and
political organizations were subject only to ultimate direction from Moscow.
There were certain exceptions to the general policy of noninterference. One of the most important of these concerned the matter of colonization.
The gradual illegal movement of Russian peasants toward the frontier could not be controlled by the administration. Nor could the state authorities
prevent the Finnish peoples of the newly acquired middle Volga territory from fleeing eastward. Udmurts, Chuvashes, and other former subjects of the
Kazan Tatars, facing enserfment, fled into the frontier region. In addition, because the Russian administration had only part ial success in obtaining the
assistance and cooperation of the native leadership, it was compelled to settle Russian service gentry in the vicinity of the forts.1
One result of a military system that relied to a large extent on this group was a demand for land to distribute to the servitors, which meant the
expropriation of native lands. Boyars from Moscow entered the middle Volga region and took over immense estates. By 1678, a little over a century
after the conquest, there were approximately 300,000 peasants of Russian origin in the area. The Church, too, was a large landholder and colonizer. In
the first forty years of the seventeenth century the Church increased its ploughed land three times while the number of peasa nts cultivating the land
Another important exception to the rule of noninterference occurred in the realm of religion. An archbishopric was established in Kazan in 1555,
and among the duties of the clergy was the conversion of the local peoples. On the whole the conversions were few and largely superficial when they
did take place. Islam retained its hold. The minor favors offered to Christians had little real effect. Nor were Russian officials always enthusiastic about
converting the natives; acceptance of Orthodoxy meant exemption from the payment of tribute.
Disturbances in the frontier region after 1557 came from two sources. One was the local objection to paying tribute and to compulsory military
or labor service demanded by the Russians. The compulsory service was especially onerous in this age of almost continuous war. Native opposition
took several forms. Many of the more obdurate fled to the east or south. Those who remained protested by rising against their oppressors and
attempting to expel them. Several outbreaks occurred during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. A particularly widespread colonial war in
1609-10 coincided with the Time of Trouble. Much later the rebellion of Sten'ka Razin involved many of the dissident peoples in the eastera frontier
area. To quell these disturbances the Russian government erected an ever-growing network of forts and outposts.
The other source of trouble was external. The steppe nomads frequently made raids into Russian territory seeking booty and captives to be sold
in the slave markets of Central Asia and Crimea. In order to halt these raids Ivan IV organized the frontier service in 1571, and the first section of a
defensive line was constructed. Measures similar to those taken in the south against the Crimeans were soon initiated against the Bashkirs, Nogais, and
others in the east and southeast. In the former territory of Kazan, the first line extended from Tetiushi to Alatyr, or from the Volga westwa rd to the Sura
River. The garrisons in the forts were composed mainly of Tatars in the Russian service and of Russian and Chuvash peasants. Samara on the Volga
and Ufa in Bashkiria were founded in 1586, Tsaritsyn in 1589, and Saratov in 1590. These fortified towns, although not part o f a defensive line, were
built at strategic locations. The fortified lines were slowly pushed farther into the frontier area as the peoples behind them came under firmer control,
but many years were to elapse before the overall network of forts and defensive lines was connected into a systematic whole.
A defensive line consisted of fortified towns established at strategic points near river junctions, fording places, or at portage points to inhibit the
movement of groups of nomads. Forts were surrounded by log palisades, trenches, and earthworks. A garrison of troops was stat ioned at each fort
under a military governor who held civil authority as well as commanding the military. Between the strong points, outposts of varying sizes filled gaps
in the line. Farther out in the steppe advanced observation points gave warning of the approach of hostile parties. Where heavily forested areas existed
between forts, they were left uncut to impede the movement of horsemen. Trails through these woods were obstructed with piles of fallen trees.
Because the frontier forces were not numerous the Russians occasionally resorted to a policy of ''divide and rule," although peaceful persuasion
of the natives was preferred. Fostered hostilities led to feuds, raids, and sometimes intertribal wars, which disturbed the frontier peoples and frustrated
the Russians in their efforts to pacify the area so that tribute could be levied and collected.
The Russians expended great effort to attract the support of the chiefs of the various tribes and clans. The policy of courting the allegiance of the
leading elements of the colonial peoples had a long history. The Muscovites customarily leaned heavily on native support for ruling the frontier areas.
They dealt with the clan leaders, who in turn carried out the government's directions and policies. The local peoples were disturbed as little as possible.
Following its general practice, to insure the loyalty of the local chiefs and princes the Russian administration enrolled many of them as "service
foreigners" and granted them title to their land as well as privileges resembling those of the Russian service gentry. They were also frequently
exempted from tribute.
1. In the Muscovite state there were two major categories of aristocracy. The first was the old nobility which was composed o f the descendants
of the princely and hoyar families. The second, and lesser category, was not, strictly speaking, noble, because the members held no title of nobility,
although they are frequently so entitled English translations. This category was made up of a large group of state servitors. Ordinarily a member of this
class received a land grant from the sovereign and in return owed the state service in the military or in the bureaucracy. By the last half of the
seventeenth century the two categories were merging. Peter the Great attempted to complete the process in 1722 with his "Table of Ranks" which
established the principle that state service was the only way to acquire social position and the rank of nobility, but the lower ranks were still often
called service people. In this work the titles "service people," "service gentry," and "service men," refer to these lesser servitors.
"Service foreigners" and "service Tatars" formed a similar class. Non-Russians who entered the state service were also given land grants and
privileges comparable to t lose of the Russian service gentry. These foreign servitors made up a significant part of the Russian military forces in the
frontier regions.
After the conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan the Russian government was occupied both in subduing the various peoples to the east and southeast
and in organizing an administrative system to rule the area as it was subjugated. Immediately after the fall of Kazan in 1552, central control of the new
territory was directed by the already existing central institutions – the tsar, the Duma, and the government departments. Late in the sixteenth century a
special territorial department, called the Department of Kazan, was organized to take charge of the peoples in the territory of the former khanates of
Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia. By 1637 Siberian affairs had reached such complexity that the Siberian territories were placed under the jurisdiction of
a newly organized Siberian Department. The Kazan Department submitted its reports to the tsar himself and to t he Boyar Duma and its committees.
The Muscovite government was never completely consistent. Even after the organization of the Kazan Department, other departme nts were concerned
in its affairs. The Department of Military Affairs provided the colonial areas with military governors, other officers, and troops. The Department of
Estates was in charge of landed property which had been granted to the service nobility. The Department of Ambassadors was re sponsible for relations
of the Muscovite state with the peoples beyond the frontier.
The regional administration was initially placed in charge of a governor in Kazan who was responsible to the central administ ration, to the
concerned departments, the tsar, and the Duma until the Department of Kazan was organized, and thereafter to the latter institution.
The town governors were selected by the tsar through the Military Department and ordinarily held office for two or three years. On assignment
each governor was given a detailed set of instructions which stated the principal duties and the areas under his jurisdiction. In the administrative
centers the instructions were kept on file so each succeeding official would be informed of the policies to be followed in carrying out his
responsibilities. After 1649 further guidance was provided by the Law Code of Aleksei Mikhailovich. When the military governor left office, his
records were inspected by his replacement to ensure that no shortages existed and that no illegalities had been committed. To assist him in the
preparation of records and reports the town governor had a staff of secretaries and clerks; he had revenue officials to collect tribute and other levies;
and, to man the lesser forts and outposts, he had other military officers of lower rank. The governor had a wide range of powers. He was in charge of
military affairs, the civil administration of the district, and he also held judicial authority. Because the frontier areas were far from Moscow and
communications were difficult, the town governor was given more latitude in using his own initiative than was common in the interior provinces closer
to Moscow.
At the lowest level, the government, in line with its policy of attracting the allegiance of the upper classes, attempted to give responsibility for
local affairs, especially the tribute collection, to the clan elders. As long as the levies were forthcoming the local peoples were left largely to their own
affairs under the direction of their own leaders.
Even this brief survey of Muscovite expansion into the midd le and lower Volga region reveals the major determinants of Russian activity on the
steppe frontier east of the Volga. The pattern was established early and remained extraordinarily persistent. The need to defend the border from hostile
nomads, the desire to develop trade with Asia, and the hope of exploiting the human and natural resources of the colonial territory motivated the
movement. Russian encroachment on their territory roused the formidable opposition of the native peoples, compelling the gove rnment to adopt a dual
policy of force and persuasion, a policy that fell short of expectations. Why persuasion alone failed will be seen in the following chapters which trace
the slow advances of the Russians on this frontier.
Although it claimed all the lands and peoples of the former Khanate of Kazan, including the Kazan Doroga of Bashkiria, Moscow was unable to
exert its authority much beyond the Kama River. Shortly after the fall of Kazan in 1552 a representation of Bashkirs from the Kazan Doroga appeared
in Moscow asking to be taken under Russian protection. They claimed to be seeking relief from Nogai oppression. In the follow ing years a number of
other deputations made similar requests.1 Because of these embassies the Russians insisted that the Bashkirs had not been forced to submit to Moscow.
The long series of wars carried on to subjugate the Bashkirs in the next two centuries revealed that the delegations had not been entirely representative,
although by 1557 a considerable number of Bashkirs in the Kazan and Nogai dorogas had recognized Russian suzerainty, probably pressured by the
hardships of an especially severe winter. They had been subject to overlords before the arrival of the Russians and simply transferred their allegiance.
The area east of the Ural Mountains remained subject to the Siberian Tatars until the Russians drove out Kuchum, Khan of Siberia, late in the sixteenth
century. Thereafter, Moscow claimed Siberian Bashk iria as well.
The difference between the Russian and Bashkir points of view should be noted here. To the Russians, rebellion by those who had once sworn
allegiance was treason. To the Bashkirs, rebellion was an inalienable right. In 1557 some of the leaders voluntarily accepted Russian suzerainty. They
thought themselves free to renounce this connection just as voluntarily, a common custom among nomadic peoples of the region. The Russians,
however, saw the matter differently, calling those who supported Russia "loyal Bashkirs" and those who opposed her "rebels." "Loyal" Bashkirs were
often considered traitors by their own people.2
The first phase of the Russian conquest and annexation of Bashkiria was a period of establishing control and eliciting formal recognition of
Russian authority. After the fall of Kazan, Russian enterprisers sought land grants in the Ural region to exploit the fur and other resources. The most
famous of these was the merchant dynasty of the Stroganovs. The local peoples objected to the coming of these foreigners. Russian suzerainty was one
thing, Russian occupation of their land was something else again. In 1572, Bashkirs, Mari, Udmurts, Ostiaks (Khanti), and Nogais opposed the
building of the Stroganov settlements along the Kama.3 Aga in in 1581 a Stroganov town in the same area was attacked and burned by a group
including Bashkirs.4 Bashkirs in the Nogai Doroga and their former suzerains, the Nogais, were very sensitive about Russian movements in their
territory. When envoys to the Nogai Horde in 1586 stated that the Russians planned to build a town near the confluence of the Ufa and Belaia rivers as
a protective measure against the former khan of Siberia and as a center for the collection of tribute from the Bashkirs, the Nogais replied by informing
the governor of Astrakhan that "the Sovereign's [the Russian tsar's] towns on the Ufa and Samara must not be built."5 The Bas hkirs particularly were
active in their opposition to foreign penetration, as in 1587 when they vigorously attacked Russian frontier settlements.6
During the disorders of the Time of Trouble the Bashkirs again took the opportunity to rise against the Muscovites. Tatars, C huvashes, Mari,
Udmurts, and others joined them. The whole eastern frontier flamed into war against the Russians. A number of towns and settlements were besieged
and burned.7 Even after order was reestablished under the first Romanovs, Russian aims in Bashkiria were frustrated when the Bashkirs appealed for
aid to the Siberian Tatars and the Kalmyks, who were also experiencing pressure from Moscow.
In the seventeenth century the Muscovite state faced a new threat in the southeast. The migration of the Kalmyks disturbed the peoples along the
frontier from the Altai Mountains to the Volga River.8 The Kalmyks, a branch of the Western Mongols, migrated westward after clashing with other
Mongol groups in the early seventeenth century. Rapidly passing through the Kazakh Steppe where they were vigorously opposed by the Siberian
Tatars and the Kazakhs, they soon reached the Volga where they fought the Nogais for control of the steppe in that region. In the 1640s they even
attempted to cross the Volga but were thrust back by the Russians. They settled down in the territory between the Ural and Vo lga rivers. Many Nogais
were absorbed by them, others fled north, still others south. Joint Kalmyk and Nogai attacks on the Russian frontier towns led the Muscovites to build
a new defensive line southeast of Kazan. Because of its location beyond the Kama it was called the Trans-Kama Line. The first three ostrogs were Aktachinsk on the Aktai, Sheshminsk on the Sheshma, and Menze- linsk on the Menzela River. This insignificant little line marked the first step into
Between 1652 and 1657 the old Trans-Kama Line was supplanted by a new one. Starting at the Volga it extended almost to the mouth of the
Belaia River in Bashkir territory. The principal forts were Belyi Yar, Eryklinsk, Tiinsk, Biliarsk, Novosheshminsk, Kichuevsk, Zainsk, and
The attitude of the frontier peoples and the problems faced by the Russians in trying to expand into this area are clearly revealed in the great
frontier war of 1662-64. An examination of the causes must begin with the reasons that led the Russian government to increase the tribute levies o n
their frontier subjects in the mid-seventeenth century.
Struggles with Poland over the Ukraine and with Sweden in Livonia demanded vast sums of revenue to finance the armies. At the same time
international trade brought about an outflow of gold and silver primarily because foreign merchants had been given special privileges in Russia.
Complaints by Russian merchants led to the curtailment of foreign commercial activity in a series of trade measures. To meet the immediate crisis the
government instituted money reforms which led to inflation. Serious crop failures in 1660 and 1661 brought hardship to many as the price rise in grain
added to the inflation.9 Uprisings in several places in Muscovy reflected the growing unrest. Seeking by every means possible to increase the state
revenue, the government tried to extend and intensify the collection of tribute from the colonials.
In Bashkiria this immediate cause was aggravated by the long- term discontent over land seized by the many Russian peasants and the
non-Russian peoples of the middle Volga and the lower Kama region who were fleeing into Bashkiria to escape serfdom. The refugees occupied the
land used by the Bashkirs for their livestock. The Department of Kazan ordered the military governor of Ufa to keep these migrants out, citing the
complaints of Bashkir leaders:
these migrant Russians, Tatars, Chuvashes, Cheremises, and Votiaks settled in many villages in their [the Bashkirs'] ancient territory. They
ploughed the fields and cut the hay, cut down much of the forest including good bee trees . . . and because of the great number of people in their
territory, the wild animals . . . have fled and the beaver have been wasted. They have begun to kill the animals and catch the fish and there is no place
for the horse herds and cattle.10
Still another point of contention and a problem endemic in colonial areas was oppression and corruption on the part of local governmental
officials. The military governors, tribute collectors, and others used their official positions to enrich themselves. Property was seized, and even the
wives and children of the tribute payers were impressed into serfdom. During the interrogation of certain Bashkir representat ives, the governor of Ufa
discovered that "Ivan Pavlov and Ivan Kulakov . . . had seized their good horses and beaver pelts and all sorts of household articles . . . and seized their
wives and children and had [even] taken away their clothes and had left their wives with only one garment."11
Complaints to the local officials seldom, if ever, brought results, although the abuses worried the government. Because of the dire need for
revenue, dissatisfaction among tribute payers was a serious problem. The Bashkirs were a nomadic people, and when they felt unduly oppressed many
decamped, migrating to regions beyond the reach of the government. To prevent the flight of tribute- paying subjects there was one decree after
another, each ordering an end to these bureaucratic extortions; but in spite of the threat of severe punishment for illegal s eizures of property, the abuses
In 1661 reports from outposts in Bashkiria gave ample evidence of dissatisfaction. Starting among the Tatars along the Kama R iver in the
vicinity of the Trans-Kama Line, disturbances broke out in 1662, spread rapidly throughout Bashkiria, and involved ultimately most other frontier
peoples. Seizing the opportunity, the heirs of Khan Kuchum also entered the fray and a number of Bashkir leaders in the Siber ian Doroga took up their
cause, the restoration of the old Siberian khanate:
The prince of the Kuchumids with Kalmyks and with Tatars and with Bashkirs . . . went to take Tobolsk and kill the service people; and they
agreed that the prince of the Kuchumids was to be located in Tobolsk and to possess all Siberia and all the Siberian towns were to pay tribute to this
During the course of the two-year war the frontier peoples 'burned and destroyed churches and destroyed many villages and settlements and
spilled a great deal of blood and killed and took mto captivity many Russian people and sold many people [into slavery]."13
The Bashkirs turned for aid to sources other than the Kuchumids. They approached Crimea, at the time already involved in the Russo-Polish
struggle. It is difficult to determine how much their common religion affected the decision. In the sixteenth century the Turks had attempted to form an
alliance of Moslems against Moscow, and on occasion the Bashkirs made a point of calling on their "fellow Moslems" for aid. Kalmyk envoys to
Russia reported that the Bashkirs sent an embassy to the Crimean khan seeking an alliance with him.14 The intention of transferring allegiance to
Crimea was not universally held by the Bashkirs, because many participated in the war on the side of the Russians.15
The Crimeans promised to send a force to Chernyi Yar and Tsaritsyn to attack certain Tatars and Nogais then subject to the Kalmyks, possibly to
acquire control of the Volga there and cut Russian communication with Astrakhan. These Kalmyks, on learning of the plan, appealed to Moscow for
support and promised to aid the Russians in their struggle against the Bashkirs.16
The behavior of the Kalmyks in the uprising of 1662-64 was inconsistent. Some joined the Kuchumids and Bashkirs; others allied themselves
with the Russians. Earlier Russian prohibitions against Bashkir attacks on the Kalmyks indicate that there had been hostility between the m.
Cooperation between these groups seemed improbable to the Russians, yet during the course of the war the Bashkirs did approac h the Kalmyks several
times seeking support.17 The former hostility between them had not disappeared, and the Kalmyks not only refused to send aid but attacked the
Bashkirs in retaliation for a recent raid.18 On the other hand, multitudes of Bashkirs fled the ir own territory during the course of the war and joined the
Kalmyks in the steppe to the south. A Russian envoy to the Kalmyks was told that some 8,000 Bashkirs were living in the territory of Daychin Tayshi
(Daichin) and Ayiike Khan (Aiuka), two leading Kalmyk princes. The Kalmyks refused to force them to return to Bashkiria.19 On another occasion in
the same year, Bashkirs, Nogais, and Kalmyks marched on Ufa. Apparently the Kalmyks were divided on courses of action. Some princes remained
firmly tied to Russia and informed the administration of the activities of the groups that were hostile.
The extent and seriousness of the uprising caught the Russian government unprepared. The local garrisons, as usual, were not strong enough to
handle hostile activities on such a scale. To get closer to the center of events and organize the campaign better, the governor of Astrakhan, G. S.
Cherkasskii, was sent to Tsaritsyn. There he marshaled an army of Russians and Astrakhan Tatars.20 In the north the governor of Kazan, F. F.
Volkonskii, took command of other Russian forces, which he directed from his headquarters in Menzelinsk. Other detachments were organized and
dispatched from Siberia.
In addition to military action, the government attempted to eliminate the causes of the unrest. Measures were taken to lighten the obligations of
the natives, to limit land seizures, and to police the activities of the local government officials. A decree instructed F. I. Somov, the governor of Ufa,
"not to resort to unnecessary severity nor commit brutalities," to ease Bashkir obligations, and not to permit the transfer of land and people subject to
tribute into the hands of Russians.21
Vigorous diplomatic action was initiated to prevent potential allies of the Bashkirs from joining them. The hostility of the Kuchumids was
beyond resolution, but the Kalmyks presented opportunities for skillful negotiations. Although these were not completely successful, at least the
Kalmyks did not join wholeheartedly with the Bashkirs.
More fruitful were the attempts of the government to divide the Bashkirs internally. As stated earlier, the numbers of Bashkirs who fought on the
Russian side were evidence of at least modest success in the policy of favoring "loyal Bashkirs."
Even among those who joined in the hostile groups there were considerable differences of opinion. Many who fought against the Russians
advocated peace repeatedly at Bashkir councils.22 Thus, in spite of the paucity of Russian forces, the government, by play- mg on the divisions among
the various peoples and exploiting internal conflicts, was able to defeat the dissidents in 1664.
Despite the severity of the repression and the great loss of life and suffering, disturbances continued in the succeeding yea rs.
Bashkirs participated in the revolt of Sten'ka Razin in 1667-71, although not to any significant degree.23
One of the greatest of the frontier wars was the so-called Seit Uprising, named by the Russians after the best-known Bashkir leader, Seyid Sadir
(Seit Sadurov). This movement began in 1675 and continued intermittently until 1683.24 Dissident groups east of the Volga began attacking Russian
settlements. Hostilities spread from the left bank of the Volga and lower Kama into western Siberia. Numbers of ostrogs and settlements were attacked
even in the vicinity of the Trans-Kama Line and Samara.
As on earlier occasions the Bashkirs turned to their neighbors for assistance. While they struggled to cast out the Russians, their emissaries
approached the Crimean Tatars.25 Already involved in the Russo-Turkish war, the Crimeans could do no more than they were already doing.
The Kalmyks took a more active role in this struggle. Under Ayiike they supported the Bashkirs at first.26 The Nogais also entered the war,
attacked Russia, and even burned Biliarsk in the Trans-Kama Line. The situation looked bleak for the Russians until the Kalmyks suddenly switched
sides and attacked their former allies.27 The lack of sources prevents any final determination of the reasons for the Kalmyk change of policy. By 1683
Bashkiria had been "pacified" largely because of Kalmyk assistance.
The chronic unrest and the complications of the situation in Bashkiria were major reasons why the Russians began to formulate plans for a
large-scale attack on the problem. Over a century of Russian effort had resulted in little evident change. The Trans- Kama Line, the real limit of
Russian control, had advanced only slightly to the southeast.
In attempting to control the nomadic peoples who lived beyond the Trans-Kama Defensive Line the Russians had to devise tactics to meet them
on their own ground. The most prominent tactical feature of the wars was that they were fought on horseback. Reports reveal that fully 90 percent of
the Russian forces were mounted troops. War was an affair of rapid movement. The Russians usually launched spring campaigns because it was then
that the horses of the nomads would be weakest, having spent the winter foraging for grass beneath the snow. Rarely did the Bashkirs mow meadow
grass and put it up for hay. Russians also noted that the Bashkirs were very poor fighters on foot. These circumstances explain why the hostiles were
most active during the summer and fall. Winter campaigns were difficult for the Russians too, because supply problems compelled them to live mostly
off the land when out in the field. Also, deep snow in the mountains, where the Bashkirs retreated when pressed, impeded troop movements.
The native cavalrymen generally made hit-and-run raids on settlements and industrial works, burned the buildings, and drove off the inhabitants
for later sale as slaves. Unlike the other Central Asian nomads, the Bashkirs were not militarily well organized. They rarely maintained disciplined
formations and were easily countered in open battle. They were dangerous ordinarily only in the forests and mountains where their guerrilla tactics
were effective. Even when they controlled most of the territory surrounding the Russian settlements, they seldom attacked major centers. After burning
and looting in an area, they came to a halt before the defenses of forts and towns. Except when caught by surprise or greatly outnumbered, the Russian
detachments with their superior organization and armaments had little difficulty in defeating the Bashkirs in set battle. Most of the officially reported
losses, at least, were on the Bashkir side.
One reason for the weakness of the nomads was their inferior weapons. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Bashkirs, Kazakhs, and
Kalmyks still used body armor and helmets and fought with lances, sabers, and bows and arrows. Because of readily available iron ore deposits, t he
Bashkir smiths had long been noted for their armament manufacture. By the eighteenth century they were producing guns in limited quantity. Guns
from elsewhere a so found their way into the frontier region, but these weapons were frequently obsolete, like the harquebus which was common the
seventeenth century. It had no lock and was aimed by resting it on a wooden support which was fastened to the gun. The weapon was then fired by
applying a bark match rubbed with powder directly to the pithole in the barrel. Awkward, slow, and unwieldy, it could not ord inarily be fired from
horseback, a serious disadvantage for the mounted nomads.28
In spite of the dangers, the Russians initially contributed to the modernization of Bashkir weaponry. The friendly Bashkirs w ho guarded the
frontier were frequently furnished firearms. These weapons often fell into the hands of the enemy. As a consequence of the Bashkir wars the Russians
sought to restrict the flow of guns into the frontier region. As early as 1675 a town governor forbade the sale of powder, lead, or guns of any kind to
Bashkirs and Kalmyks.29 Many other measures followed, and Russian frontier officials even attempted to prohibit metalworking among the Bashkirs
in order to halt the spread of weapons.30 These efforts were not completely successful. The prohibitions were not applied to Bashkirs who lived in the
regions bordering the Kazakhs, for reasons of self-protection; and in addition, as in frontier America, the natives were supplied with guns, for a price,
by enterprising Russian traders.31 Central Asian merchants also willingly supplied guns to the steppe peoples. As in North America, the invaders, with
their advanced military technology, lost much of their advantage because of the greed of their own people.
Another important problem faced by the Russians was the one inherent in war against a nomadic, mobile enemy in a large territory, namely,
communications and supply. The difficulty of supplying outlying posts during the colonial wars demonstrated the hazards of tr ying to maintain a
stronghold without adequately defended communication lines. The outbreak of hostilities found the lines t hreatened at the very time they were most
needed. Also, until local farming developed, garrisons had to be provisioned from elsewhere. Limited attempts to develop farming near the forts and
outposts to make the garrisons at least partially self-sufficient proved fruitless, except in the area behind the Trans-Kama Defensive Line and near Ufa.
It may seem strange that supplies were often hauled by cart or wagon when the rivers were so convenient. There were good reasons. Shipments
during winter when the rivers were frozen had to be made overland. Boats could be used only after boatbuilding and landing facilities were available,
as on the Volga, where older towns had these facilities. On other rivers, some time elapsed before shipping developed, although boat landings were
built as soon as the Russians securely occupied a likely position on a river.
As important to the Russians as their technical and organizational superiority in the eventual conquest of Bashkiria was the composition of their
frontier forces. Regular troops formed the core of the garrison, but they were supplemented by a great variety of irregulars who frequently played the
more important role. Without their aid Russia would have required many more years to bring Bashkiria into the Empire.
The first military personnel to serve in the frontier areas were the service men. They were recruited from various elements o f the population and
settled near the forts and posts of the defensive lines. In Sergievsk there were initially 215 families of service men from the Trans-Kama Line, an
ataman and two Cossacks from Samara, and 100 court peasants from Samara District who had been recruited into the Cossack service.32 By 1703,
1,280 cavalrymen, dragoons, and youths from various towns were settled on the Sok River near Sergievsk.33 Service men were the first settlers in Ufa,
Birsk, and in the forts and outposts of the Simbirsk and Syzran lines, west of the Volga. The government at first granted the m money and grain but tried
to change this as soon as possible into a land grant. They were expected to be self-supporting by farming their estates.34
Later military reforms made the service men less necessary. Those few who remained were called "Service Men of the Old Service." When the
poll tax was introduced in 1724, those in this group were placed in the category of individuals subject to the poll tax, becoming in effect state
peasants.35 A few years later the government retreated from this principle.36 At that time service men in eight towns were omitted from the poll tax
rolls: Novosheshminsk, Starosheshminsk, Biliarsk, Tiinsk, Zainsk, Sergievsk, Birsk, and Menzelinsk. With these exceptions, all service men in the
southeastern territory were officially state peasants.
The Cossacks were another very important element on the the Southeastern Frontier. The oldest in this region, the Ural Cossacks, date back to
the late sixteenth century when a group of Volga Cossacks who had antagonized the Muscovite government by raiding tra ffic on the Volga River fled
across the Ural to escape a pursuing detachment of Russian troops. The refugees attacked and captured Saraichik, the Nogai town on the lower Ural
River. During succeeding years these Cossacks gradually moved south along the Ura l and finally founded their main settlement, Uralsk. Within a short
time they reestablished relations with the Muscovite government, and in 1591 five hundred of them fought in a government campaign. Some time in
the seventeenth century they officially became subjects of the state and received a charter grant to the territory surrounding the Ural and its tributaries
from the upper course of the river to its mouth.37
Russian administrative control long remained weak in this distant area. The Cossacks frequently acted as if they were completely independent,
raided the neighboring Kazakhs and Kalmyks, robbed Russian and other merchants on the Volga and Caspian, and participated in the disturbances of
the Time of Trouble and in the uprising of Sten'ka Razin. They governed themselves through an elected ataman but retained some connections with the
tsarist administration because they occasionally contributed troops for government service. Officially they were administered by the Department of
Foreign Affairs from 1629 to 1680. In 1680 they were handed over to the Department of Kazan, which held jurisdiction until the organization of the
Senate by Peter the Great. After that they were subject to the Senate through the College of Foreign Affairs between 1719 and 1721, and through the
War College after 1721.38
As the government tried to tighten its control over the Ural Cossacks in the seventeenth century, opposition arose. Although of a later date, an
event in 1718 reveals much of the Ural Cossacks. In that year a Russian party sent to investigate a complaint against the ataman, Merkur'ev, offended
the Cossacks and a faction decided to fight for independence. In 1722 they burned Uralsk to the ground and made plans to move eastward into the
Kazakh Steppe. The Russian government sent Colonel Zakharov in 1723 to investigate the disturbances. Zakharov and a detachment of troops
supported Ataman Merkur'ev, but from that time the ataman had to be confirmed by the Russian government.
At the same time Zakharov took a census of the Ural Cossacks on the grounds that the growth of population made necessary an increased land
grant. Originally, the grant had been for 600 persons. The census, completed in September 1723, showed that the total number of Cossacks had risen to
6,125. Of this number only 3,196 were Cossacks suitable for service. The others were retired (219), too young to serve (2,357), new arrivals who were
not Cossacks but workers (324), and the latter's children (29). This census probably understates the earlier populatio n, because 1,500 men had been
annihilated in an expedition to Khiva only five years before.
Further details of the census show a complex classification of the group: gentry; gunners; mounted musketeers; Don Cossacks; Greben Cossacks
from the Caucasus; Zaporog Cossacks from the Dnieper; Turkmen; Crimean, Nogai, and Astrakhan Tatars; Bashkirs; Chuvashes; Mordvas;
Cherkasses; Kalmyks; Swedes; Poles; Volokhs; government clerks; townsmen; and peasants. Other sources mention Persians, Afgha ns, and others
who had been rescued from captivity in Kazakhstan.39 The major sources of recruits for the Cossack groups were runaway peasants and soldiers, in
spite of the traditional severe prohibitions of the Muscovite government.
The service of the Ural Cossacks was of several types, but consisted largely of participation in special campaigns and the defense of the Russian
borders against Kazakhs, Karakalpaks, and Kalmyks. In addition, from 400 to 1,000 were constantly employed in the northern Ca ucasus area in the
Russian service.40 With increasing frequency they garrisoned the new forts in the Southeast Frontier region in the eighteenth century. Ural Cossacks
also fought in many other wars and campaigns. While in the field they received money and provisions and were not expec ted to be self- supporting.41
Over on the Siberian side of the Urals the Cossacks who were later to be called the Isetsk Cossacks also played an active role in Bashkiria. Their
presence in this area dates from the time of Yermak. Around the middle of the se venteenth century they began to move up the Iset and Mias rivers,
building a number of forts and outposts, among which were Krasnyi Bor, founded in 1649; Isetsk Ostrog in 1650; and Kolchadansk, also in 1650.42
Other posts were built in the last half of the seventeenth century along the Iset and Mias rivers. The Cossack recruits here came from all elements of the
frontier population. Later, in 1736, the motley group was organized into the Isetsk Cossack Army.43 Until the formation of Isetsk Province in 1737,
when they came under the jurisdiction of Orenburg, these Cossacks were included in the Siberian Administration. Many of the Isetsk Cossacks were
transferred to the Orenburg area during the 1730s.44
One of the frequently mentioned groups that participated in the Russian campaigns in Bashkiria was that of the Meshcheriaks (Mishari), a Tatar
group originally from the Kazan region. The Muscovite government settled them in Bashkiria very early as part of the defense force in the Ufa region.
Being subject to military service, they did not pay tribute. Most of them lived on land obtained from the Bashkirs, for which they paid quitrent.
After the Russian conquest of Kazan in the middle of the sixteenth century, Tatar and Finnish peoples in great numbers fled eastward to escape
being enserfed by the Russians.45
Called Teptiars and Bobyls in Bashkiria, they were chiefly farmers who also held land from the Bashkirs. Teptiars paid quitrent and usually
farmed their land under contractural arrangement with the landholders. On a lower rung, the Bobyls were squatters without rights or secure position.
They were gradually transformed into serfs of their Bashkir overlords. During the colonial wars both Teptiars and Bobyls were impressed into service
by the Russians as laborers to build forts and outposts in the defensive lines.
Russian peasants, too, streamed eastward to escape the onerous burdens of serfdom. Often their flight proved in vain because they could be
enserfed by Russian landlords in the frontier region, and the government compelled thousands to labor on the fortifications of the defensive lines. The
more venturesome joined Cossack groups.
Surprisingly, one of the largest components of the Russian forces in Bashkiria was made up of the Bashkirs themselves. For ad ministrative
purposes they were divided into two groups, commoners, who paid tribute, and tarkhans, or tribal and clan leaders who in return for military service
paid no tribute. Tarkhans were not numerous, never amounting to more than several hundred, but as clan leaders they exerted much influence.
By the end of the seventeenth century the Bashkirs had not yet been subdued, but with the aid of such an array of auxiliaries the Russians
believed incorporation of the whole area into the Empire would be easily and shortly accomplished. This view proved to be overly optimistic.
By the end of the seventeenth century a new element had entered the picture. Far away to the southeast, beyond Bashkiria, the Kazakhs, a
powerful nomadic people, complicated Russia's imperialistic problem. The Russians had learned of the Kazakhs as early as the sixteenth century.
Muscovite envoys to the Nogai Horde, Danil Gubin in 1534 and Semen Mal'tsev in 1569, brought back word that the Kazakhs were at war with the
Nogais and with the Bukharans.46 In 1573 Ivan IV sent Tret'iak Chebukov to the Kazakh khan, Haqnazar Khan (Khakk-Nazar).
The purpose was to establish relations and to obtain aid against Kuchum, the Khan of Siberia. Chebukov was captured by a relative of Kuchum
and killed before accomplishing his mission. The Kazakhs were active enemies of Kuchum, a Sheibanide prince related to the Uzbek ruling house in
Central Asia. For this reason the Kazakhs in this early period desired to enlist Russian cooperation against a common enemy. They also wanted
assistance against their more powerful opponents, the Uzbeks. Tevkil Khan (Khan Tevekkel) in 1594 sent an envoy to Russia proposing an alliance.
The return embassy of the Russians promised that aid would be sent from Samara, but nothing came of the promise.47 The question of Kazakh
subjection to the Russian tsar was raised. A letter dated March 1595 indicates that Tevkil's envoy had broached this question. Therefore, when
Vel'iamin Stepanov was sent to the Kazakhs in 1595 he was instructed to attempt to speak secretly with the Khan after the official negotiations to
persuade him of the advantages of Russian suzerainty, which were that "the Sovereign, Tsar, and Grand Prince would act to protect them from all their
enemies. And they could stand [together] against the Bukharan khan and against Kuchum."48
The Russian attitude toward the Kazakhs soon changed in spite of their mutual enemy. In the late sixteenth century the Russia ns established
themselves firmly in Siberia, founding Tiumen, Tobolsk, Verkhoturie, Tara, and Tomsk. Russian settlers followed and consequently found themselves
living in close contact with the Kazakhs. Venturesome Kazakh bands occasionally raided Russian settlements, and Muscovite officials protested when
Kazakh chieftains collected tribute from tribes over whom Moscow claimed suzerainty.
Events in remote Mongolia led to an increase in Russo-Kazakh contacts. At the beginning of the seventeenth century tribal confederations
clashed there, prompting another large migration of nomads westward. Groups of Western Mongols, called Kalmyks by the R ussians, began moving
into the Kazakh Steppe where their presence was noted by Russian officials in Siberia in the seventeenth century. At first the Kazakhs were able to
establish authority over a number of Kalmyk auls or encampments, as illustrated by a document of 1595 in which Tevkil Khan of the Kazakhs entitles
himself "Khan of the Kazakhs and Kalmyks."49
In 1608 the Siberian Office informed the central government that the Kazakhs and Kalmyks were at war.50 The governor of Tobolsk wrote that
trade caravans could travel to Central Asian centers only at great risk because of hostile Siberian Tatars and Kalmyks.51 In the 1620s a mass migration
of 40,000 to 50,000 kibitkas (households) westward across northern Kazakhstan brought them into the region of the upper Irtysh, Tobol, and Ishim
rivers. By the 1630s they had reached the Volga region where they troubled the Russians for several decades.52
More numerous and powerful than the Kalmyks were the Jungars, another confederation of Western Mongols who also influenced events on the
Russian frontier. Under the leadership of their Kontaisha Batur (1634-54) they created a large military force which was used to expand both eastward
and westward. After attacking his powerful enemy to the east, the Altyn Khan of the Khalkhas, or Eastern Mongols, Batur moved vigorously westward
in 1642-43. He penetrated southern Kazakhstan, seized a significant part of Semirechie, and subjugated a considerable portion of the Kazakhs of the
Great Horde. The Kazakhs were involved in consolidating their authority over the Syr Darya region. The Jungar threat forced them to turn immediately
to meet the new enemy. They concluded a truce and made an alliance with the Uzbeks in Bukhara. In cooperation with approximately 20,000 of their
former enemies, the Kazakhs halted Batur's advance and forced him to retreat.
Next, the Jungars attacked the Manchus, who had seized Peking in 1644 and laid the foundations of their rule in China. For more than a century
the Jungars carried on aggressive war with both the Khalkhas and the Chinese for possession of all Mongolia.
The next great Jungar drive into Kazakhstan occurred during the rule of the famous Galdan (1671-97). During his reign the Jungarian power rose
to its peak. Galdan used the military forces built by his predecessor, Batur, to launch a career of conquest.
In the space of a few years during the 1670s he seized Kashgar, Yarkand, Turfan, and Khamil, conquered Turkestan, and subjugated the Great
Horde Kazakhs to his will.
In the 1680s, taking advantage of dynastic struggles among the Khalkhas, he pressed them so severely they sought the protection of China. The
Chinese imperial forces which marched to meet Galdan's force of 20,000 were decisively defeated. The Emperor raised another army, but the Jungars
advanced to within twenty leagues of Peking. There, after an indecisive battle, Galdan signed a two-year truce. He again attacked the Chinese forces in
the years 1696- 97, but on the last campaign Galdan was defeated and slain. The K'ang-hsi Emperor gave the following opinion of Galdan and his
Galdan was a formidable enemy. Samarkand, Bokhara, Pulut [i.e. Burut], Urghendj, Kashgar, Shuirmen, Turfan, Khamil, were taken from the
Mohammedans, and the capture of more than 1,200 towns prove to what length he had carried his arms. The Khalkhas in vain asse mbled their seven
banners, numbering 100,000 men to oppose him. One year sufficed for their dispersion.53
The Jungar attacks in the 1640s and the 1660s had created great havoc among the Kazakh auls. The Great Horde was largely swallowed up in the
Jungar confederation, and groups in the other Kazakh hordes fled westward toward the southern frontiers of Russia. Jungar interest in the cities of
Turkestan was heightened by the need for saltpeter, a substance in plentiful supply there. The traditional weapon of the nomads, the bow, was being
supplemented by firearms and cannon.
Batur and his successors clashed with the Russians in the region of the upper Irtysh. Here, where the Russians had established frontier posts,
disputes occurred over the jurisdiction of tribes from which both attempted to collect tribute, over the return of prisoners, and over the violations of the
frontier. At times the Jungars made raids on Russian settlements and at other times sought Russian support against common ene mies. In 1688, for
example, Galdan sent an envoy to Irkutsk to ask for an alliance against the Khalkhas. The Russians refused to send forces for an invasion of Mongolia,
although they promised aid if the Khalkhas attacked Jungaria. Galdan also asked for a contribution of two or three thousand Cossacks and some
cannon with which he promised to ravage "all the borders of China outside the Great Wall."54 The Russians, then in the critical phase of the
negotiations preceding the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689), refused because they did no t want to antagonize the Chinese.55
The Jungar-Kazakh wars in the last half of the seventeenth century drove large numbers of Kazakhs westward until they reached the middle
course of the Ural River, the border of Bashkiria, a territory claimed by Moscow. It was here that the Russians first began to clash seriously with these
nomadic warriors.
1. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei (30 vols, to date, St. Petersburg and Moscow, l84l- ) 13, first half, 281.
2. Materialy po istorii Bashkirskoi ASSR (Vols. 1, 3, and 4 in two parts, Moscow and Leningrad, 1936-58) (hereafter cited as Materialy
BASSR), I, 164-65, 186-87; Akty istoricheskie (5 vols. St. Petersburg, 1841-44) (hereafter cited as AI), 4, 335-37.
3. G. F. Miller, Istoriia Sibiri (2 vols. Moscow and Leningrad, 1937, 1940), I, 211 and Appendix, document No. 4, 338.
4. V. Shishonko, ed., Permskaia letopis's 1263-1881 g., (5 vols. Perm, 1881-89), I, 98.
5. P. P. Pekarskii, "Kogda i dlia chego osnovany gg. Ufa i Samara," Sbornik otdeleniia russkogo iazyka i slovesnosti Imperatorskoi akademii
nauk, 10 (1873), No. 5, 1-29.
6. Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka (39 vols. St. Petersburg, 1872-1927), 2, 283.
7. Materialy BASSR, I, 155-56; Dopolnenie k aktam istoricheskim (12 vols. St. Petersburg, 1846-72) (hereafter cited as DAI), 6, 261.
8. N.V. Ustiugov, "Bashkirskoe vosstanie 1662-1664 gg.," Istoricheskie zapiski, 24, Moscow, 1947) (hereafter cited as Ustiugov, IZ), 48ff.
9. Tsentralnyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv drevnikh aktov (hereafter cited as TsGADA), Prikaznye dela starykh let, 1660 g., d. 104, L. 120, as quoted
in Ustiugov, IZ, pp. 57-58.
10. Materialy BASSR, 1, 82.
11. Ibid., p. 171.
12. DAI, 4,301.
13. Materialy BASSR, I,178.
14. TsGADA, Kalmytskie dela, K-13, d. 2, 1664 g., L. 1, as quoted in Ustiugov, IZ, p. 65. See also, DAI, 4, 189 and Materially BASSR, I, 169.
15. Materially BASSR, I, 159-61, 164-66, 175-79.
16. Ibid., p. 169.
17. Ibid., pp. 163, 178-79.
18. Ustiugov, IZ, p. 89.
19. Ibid., pp. 90, 94; AI, 4, 335-37.
20. DAI,4,282ff; Materialy BASSR, I, 160, 178, 184; Ustiugov, IZ, p. 79.
21. TsGADA, Dela i prigovory pravitel'stvuiushchego senata po Orenburgskoi gubernii, kn. l/l32, LL. 121 ob.-122, 126-126 ob., 135-36, 138, as
quoted in Ustiugov, IZ, p. 106.
22. Materialy BASSR, I, 159-61, 162, 164-66, 175-76, 177-79.
23. a. n. Popov, ed., Materialy dlia istorii vozmushcheniia Sten'ki Razina (Moscow, 1857), pp. 238ff.
24. AI, 4, 541-42; 5, 12, 63; Materialy BASSR, I, 203-10; G. Peretiatkovich, Povolzh'e v XVII v. i nachale XVIII v. (Odessa, 1882), p. 39.
25. AI ,5, 63.
26. Peretiatkovich, pp. 288-91.
27. Materialy BASSR, I, 39, 209-10.
28. A. Levshin, Opisanie Kirgiz-kazach'ikh ili Kirgiz-kaisatskikh ord i stepei (3 vols. St. Petersburg, 1832), 3, 49-50; Shishonko, Permskaia
letopis', 3, 1079; Materialy BASSR, 3, 486.
29. AI, 4, 541-42.
30. A. I. Dobrosmyslov, ed., Materialy po istorii Rossii. Sbornik ukazov i drugikh dokumentov, kasaiushchikhsia upravleniia i ustroistva
Orenburgskago kraia, (2 vols. Orenburg, 1900) (hereafter cited as Dobrosmyslov, Materialy), 2, 190-98.
31. N. F. Demidova, "Upravlenie Bashkiriei i povinnosti naseleniia Ufimskoi provintsii v pervoi treti XVIII v.," Istoricheskie zapiski (1961), 68,
32. P. I. Rychkov, Topografiia Orenburgskoi gubernii, (2nd ed. 2 vols. Orenburg, l887), 2, 113. (Hereafter cited as Rychkov, Topografiia.)
33. Ibid., p. 114.
34. V. E. Den, Naselenie Rossii po piatoi revizii. Podushnaia podat' v XVIII veke i statistika naseleniia v kontse XVIII veka (2 vols. Moscow,
1902), 2, Part 2, 178.
35. Ibid., p. 179.
36. The original ukaz has not been published. The information comes from quotations of the original in Polnoe sobranie zakono v Rossiiskoi
imperii, (First series, 44 vols. St. Petersburg, 1830) (hereafter cited as PSZ), I2, No. 9399.
37. A. Levshin, Istoriko-statisticheskoe obozrenie Ural'skikh Kazakov (St. Petersburg, 1823); N. A. Firsov, Inorodcheskoe naselenie prezhnego
Kazanskogo tsarstva v novoi Rossii do 1762 g. i kolonizatsiia zakamskikh zemel' v eto vremia (Kazan, 1869), pp. 315-33; V. N. Vitevskii, I. I.
Nepliuev i Orenburgskii krai v prezlinem ego sostave do 1758 g. (5 vols. Kazan, 1889-97), Chaps. 9-12, 21; Den, pp. 238-63.
38. PSZ, 5, 672; 6,367.
39. Rychkov, Topografiia, I, 190-92.
40. PSZ, 8, 660-61
41. Vitevskii, p. 270.
42. Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 158-73; F. M. Starikov, Istoriko-statisticheskii ocherk Orenburgskogo kazach'ego voiska (Orenburg, 1891), pp.
43. Starikov, pp. 25-27.
44. Den, pp. 214-16.
45. Materialy BASSR, I, 82.
46. A. Levshin, 2,47.
47. N. M. Karamzin, Istoriia gosudarstva rossiiskogo (5th ed. 12 vols. St. Petersburg, 1842-44), 9, 378 and n. 332; Sibirskie letopisi (St.
Petersburg, 1907), pp. 6, 53.
48. Kazakhsko-russkie otnosheniia v XVI-XVIII vekakh (Sbornik dokumentov i materialov) (Alma-Ata, 1961), p. 7.
49. Ibid., p. 8.
50. Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, 2, 190-91; Miller, I, 328,427.
51. V. K. Andrievich, Istoriia Sibiri (5 vols. St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Tomsk, St. Petersburg, Odessa, 1887-89), I, 199; B. G. Kurts,
Russko-kitaiskie otnosheniia v XVI, XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh (Kharkov, 1929), p. 22.
52. I.V. Shcheglov, Khronologicheskii perechen' vazhneishikh dannykh iz istorii Sibiri, 1032-1882 (Irkutsk, 1883), pp. 79-90; Andrievich, I,
127; Miller, 2, 298-302; H.H. Howorth, History of the Mongols (4 vols. London, 1876-1927), I,615ff; N. G. Apollova, Prisoedinenie Kazakhstana k
Rossii v 30-kh godakh XVIII veka (Alma-Ata, 1948), p. 161.
53. Howorth, I, 639.
54. Ibid., p. 628. See also, N. P. Shastina, Russko-mongol'skie posol'skie otnosheniia XVII veka (Moscow, 1958).
55. Howorth, p. 628. For Chinese attitudes and a general account of these negotiations, see Joseph Sebes, The Jesuits and the Sino-Russian
Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689)'. The Diary of Thomas Pereira (Institutum Historicum S. I., Rome, 1961). Father Sebes indicates the Chinese feared
Russian support of the Jungars. A recent Russian account is that of P. T. Iakovleva, Pervyi russko-kitaiskii dogovor 1689 goda (Moscow, 1958). An
older but useful work is that of Gaston Cahen, Some Early Russo-Chinese Relations, trans, by W. Sheldon Ridge (Shanghai, 1914).
Virtually the whole array of Russian desires, motivations, and policies on the Southeastern Frontier came into sharp focus during the reign of
Peter the Great. The reestablishment of order after the great upheavals of the Time of Trouble and the significant growth in Russian power during the
seventeenth century made possible a renewal of the drive to the east. Rychkov, Secretary of the Orenburg Commission and the first historian of the
Southeast Frontier Region, called Peter the primary force behind these activities:
Among His Imperial Majesty's immortally glorious projects for the public welfare . . . not least was the matter to be described below [referring to
the Russian movement into the Orenburg region]. His Majesty was well able to foresee in what manner a large part of the Empire was exposed to
dangers from the numerous steppe peoples who lived in Great Tartary, in particular the Jungarian Kalmyks and the Kirgiz- kaisaks [Kazakhs]. . . . For
that reason His Majesty . . . deliberated many times on the means necessary for attaining security from these inconstant peop les, a security which
would not only be permanently durable but would also lay the foundations for carrying out His Majesty's future plans. In addition, His Majesty knew
of the injurious raids of the above- mentioned peoples on the Russian borders and of the many thousands of Christians who had fallen into those
barbarous hands and had been sold into slavery in various Tatar towns and especially in Khiva . . . where they have perished; and also because the
Bashkir people who lived next to the Kirgiz- kaisaks were so unreliable and self- willed that even during the life of His Majesty they dared to revolt and
committed countless acts of destruction in the Gubernia of Kazan and in other places. Thus, on the victorious and triumphal conclusion of the Swedish
War he, among other things, turned particular attention to the above- mentioned dangers in the very same places where now, with the help of God, the
new Orenburg Line is built and, indeed, ... to the opening of a route to all of Middle Asia and to the restraining of the self-willed Bashkir people
Rychkov was correct in evaluating the role of Peter in this area in the sense that Peter did stimulate his associates to drea m on the grand scale, and
he did establish a program which was ultimately carried out by his successors. For this reason it is illuminating to examine briefly Peter's activities on
the Southeastern Frontier and his relations with the states in Central Asia. But, it must also be noted, as in the case of ma ny of his innovations, his
activities were only extensions of policies long pursued, but less dramatically, by his predecessors. Therefore, the true origins of Russian policies on
this frontier must be sought in developments which had been occurring decades, and even centuries, before Peter. These developments involved trade
with Asia, the assumption of suzerainty over the nomads in the Kazakh Steppe, and the subjugation of the Bashkirs.
Peter's general policy of developing Russian industry and commerce was illustrated by his actions immediately after the successful conclusion of
the Great Northern War, the long struggle which had finally given Russia a "window" on the Baltic. He turned in the opposite direction with intentions
of stimulating trade with Persia, China, Central Asia, and India. Having come to the conclusion that Dutch and British power rested on a sound
commercial base enriched by Oriental trade, Peter began investigating the possibility of Russia's entering the Eastern markets and serving as an
intermediary between Asia and Europe. Conditions in entral Asia at this time apparently presented Russia with the opportunity. The chronic political
rivalries within the Central Asian khanates and the hostilities between these states invited outside aggression. As early as 1622 one candidate for the
throne in Khiva had sent an emissary to Moscow, seeking Russian support for his claim and promising to become a Russian vassa l in return.2 Peter
was more ambitious than his predecessor, and when a similar opportunity app eared in 1700, he accepted it. In that year Shah Niyaz Eshik Aga Bashi
(Shaniiaz), the administrator of Khiva, seeking Russian assistance against his enemies, offered to pay tribute to Russia. In 1703 Peter confirmed the
relationship with Arab Muhammed, Shah Niyaz' successor. Khiva neglected to pay tribute, but, on the other hand, Russia sent no military assistance to
Peter's interest in Central Asia was sharpened considerably in 1713 when a certain Turkoman arrived in Astrakhan with news that gold had been
discovered on the banks of the Amu Darya. He was sent on to Moscow, where he suggested to Peter that the Russians and Turkoma ns should take
possession of the countries bordering the Amu Darya and that the Amu should be diverted back to its old cour se which led into the Caspian Sea. The
presence of gold and the possibility of establishing a water connection between the Caspian and Central Asia, or even India, appealed to Peter. Shortly
afterward, early in 1714, Peter received word from Prince Gagarin, the governor of Siberia, that gold had been discovered in the vicinity of Yarkand in
eastern Central Asia. Gagarin was instructed "to build a town at Lake Yamyshev and, if possible, even farther south; and having constructed a fort, to
go up that river [the Irtysh] as far as boats might travel and thence to the town of Yarkand and seek to take it."3
The Khivan ambassador in Moscow confirmed Gagarin's statements and added that Peter should construct a fort at the mouth of t he old bed of
the Amu Darya. Peter's intentions were clearly outlined by Golikov, the chronicler of Peter's activities:
These declarations seemed most important to the Sovereign who was solicitous of the welfare of the fatherland and His Majesty thereupon
decided to investigate the truth [of the rumors] in both these places. He shrewdly saw that even if the sought- for gold was not found in these rivers he
would at least find new means for [developing] trade through these countries with India itself.4
As a consequence, Peter devised plans for establishing closer relations with the Central Asian khanates and ultimately for annexing them.5
Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Bucholtz was ordered to proceed southward to Yarkand from western Siberia to search for gold, and Prince Aleksander
Bekovich-Cherkasskii (Devlet Girey Bekovich) was to lead an expedition from Astrakhan to Khiva, establish a friendly khan there, and bring K hiva
under Russian suzerainty.
Bucholtz' force was driven back by the Jungars. The Bekovich expedition ended disastrously after apparently conquering Khiva. A later mission,
under an Italian named Florio Beneveni, to investigate conditions in Khiva and Bukhara had no commercial or political results, but hopes of exploiting
Central Asia and India commercially remained very strong.
While these grandiose projects were being carried on, Peter's government laid more modest foundations for the later movement into Kazakhstan.
During the years 1716-20 seven forts were erected: Omsk, Zhelezinsk, Yamyshevsk, Dolonsk, Semipalatinsk, Ubinsk, and Ust-Kamenogorsk. Seven
outposts were also manned. These fortifications along with Minusinsk (1707) on the upper Yenisei and Biisk (1709) on the upper Ob formed the
beginning of the Siberian Defensive Line which would eventually connect with the future Orenb urg Line two decades later. The garrisons were
manned mostly by Cossacks and small detachments of the army.6
The Kazakhs presented another problem which increasingly drew Peter's attention. This powerful people occupied the territory between the
Empire and Central Asia. Before any effective move could be made toward Khiva and Bukhara, he would have to deal with them.
The Kazakhs had serious internal problems of their own. Divided into three hordes and each of the hordes further divided, they found themselves
in a precarious position. They had a temporary reprieve while the Jungarians concentrated on China, but under Kontaisha Tsewa ng Rabtan
(1699-1729) the Jungars resumed the war on the Kazakhs. This threat was compounded beca use the Volga Kalmyks had retained connections with
their kinsmen in Mongolia and on occasion cooperated with them. Consequently the Kazakhs were being squeezed between two formidable
opponents. Some idea of the scale of the Kazakh-Jungar wars can be obtained from the number of combatants on both sides. Khan Tauke of the
Kazakhs was said to have had an army of 80,000. Tsewang Rabtan of the Jungars could muster 100,000 mounted Jungars and could call on additional
large numbers of allies or subjects.
In the face of this serious threat Kazakh leaders from all three hordes held a meeting in Kara-Kum in 1710 to organize a united front. Together
they temporarily halted the Jungar thrust, but in 1713 the enemy returned with increased vigor. In the spring of 1723 the Jungars penetrated deep into
central Kazakhstan, destroying virtually all Kazakh resistance. In great numbers the Kazakhs abandoned their former territories in the east and
southeast. Those who remained submitted to Jungar authority or perished. The suddenness of the attacks compelled many who fled to abandon much
of their livestock and property. During 1724-25 the Jungars seized Tashkent and Turkestan. The period of these attacks is known in Kazakh history and
legend as the "Years of the Great Hunger." Reports from the Kalmyks, frontier officials, and fort commandants picture the westward flight of
thousands of Kazakhs and Karakalpaks, their clashes with the Kalmyks on the lower Volga, and their attempts to cross that river. A violent struggle for
control of the lower Volga Steppe resulted.7
The Kazakhs who fled south found little but desert and the sharp hostility of Bukhara and Khiva. Larger groups moved west and northwest to the
Emba, Ural, Ilek, Or, and Ui rivers. The military governor of Ufa informed St. Petersburg in 1725 that the Kirgiz-kaisaks [Kazakhs] are arriving on the
Ilek with their wives and children in great numbers, and the Kontaisha [the Jungar ruler] has smashed them, the Karakalpaks a nd the Kaisaks, and has
taken two towns [Tashkent and Turkestan] from them, and . . . has cut many of them off from their habitations and has taken many into captivity.8
Flight westward was not a solution to their problems, because, in the west, the Kazakhs ran up against the Bashkirs, Turkomans, Kalmyks, and
the Russians. The Kalmyks, then under Khan Ayiike (Aiuka), were Russian allies and also allied with their Jungarian brothers. The Russian
government, because of the inadequacy of the local frontier garrisons, used Kalmyks to prevent the Kazakhs from cross ing the Ural River. A Senate
decree of 1722 notes that the Kazakhs wanted to gain control of the Ural and Volga steppes.9 In August 1723 the Kalmyk khan, Ayiike, sent an
embassy to the little Horde to negotiate a settlement. The envoys met the Kazakh ruler, Khan Abulkhair, on the Temir River, a tributary of the Emba,
where they found the Kazakh accompanied by 15,000 warriors. Abulkhair threatened to attack the Kalmyks with a horde of 40,000.10 The Kazakhs
greatly feared an alliance between the Kalmyks and the Jungarians. Abulkhair marched against the Kalmyks with 20,000 troops, but his position was
highly endangered. While Tsewang Rabtan attacked the Kazakhs from the east, the Kalmyks attacked them from the west. Even the Russian officials
in Astrakhan proposed sending out troops to assist the Kalmyks.
The Russian frontier in Siberia was also menaced by the Jungars. In 1699 local officials informed the Siberian Department that the Kirgiz, a
thieving people, are fleeing toward Tomsk, Krasnoiarsk, and Kuznetsk, sometimes throughout the year, and they are slaying people, driving off
livestock, and laying waste to the land. And these Kirgiz are controlled by the Chagan-Kontaisha [the Jungar ruler].11
As a consequence of their difficulties, the Kazakhs in 1716–17 and in 1718 turned to Russia for protection. In 1716 Peter the Great, having
learned of the arrival of an envoy in Siberia for such a purpose, wrote to Saltykov, the governor of Kazan, "to receive them kindly" and to promise
Russian protection if they would sign a treaty of eternal peace with Russia. Peter was engaged in the Northern War and was unable at the moment to
devote much attention to establishing closer relations with the Kazakhs. In addition, the Russians feared a close alliance with the Kazakhs would bring
down the wrath of the Jungars upon the Siberian towns along the Irtysh.12
The Swedish War and then the Persian expedition of 1722-23 diverted Peter's energies, but his long-range plans were evident from his actions
after the Persian War, prior to his death in 1725. The previous exchange of embassies with the Kazakhs led Peter to think of sending the Russianized
Tatar interpreter, Aleksei Ivanovich Tevkelev (Kutlu Mehmed Tefkilev), a Persian campaign participant, to the Kazakhs to talk about their accepting
Russian suzerainty. According to Tevkelev, Peter told him:
If this Horde does not desire to be truly subject to Russia, then ... to try notwithstanding the great cost, even if it reaches a million, to see that they
bind themselves over to the protection of the Russian Empire, even if only on paper.13
While Peter was in Astrakhan during the Persian Expedition he referred to the same idea again:
Although the Kirgiz-kaisak Horde is a steppe people and un- dependable, this same Horde is the key and the gate to all the Asian countries and
lands, and for this reason it is necessary that this same Horde be under Russian protection.14
When the Bekovich attempt to seize Khiva collapsed and Beneveni's mission failed to stimulate trade, Peter turned to a more immediate project,
the subjugation of the Kazakhs. Even this proved unrealistic. The Bashkirs presented a problem, even closer to home and much more pressing, which
demanded solution before the Russians could seriously consider leaping over Bashkiria into the Kazakh Steppe.
All during Peter's reign (1682-1725) the Bashkirs and the other colonial peoples of the Volga region and Siberia continued to seethe with unrest.
At the most critical period of the Great Northern War another widespread frontier war broke out in Bashkiria. Starting in 1705 in the Kazan and Nogai
dorogas, overt opposition to Russian rule spread to the western bank of the Volga and, in addition to the Bashkirs, involved the Tatars, Udmurts, and
Chuvashes of the middle Volga and lower Kama region.
The 1705-11 war was similar to the earlier ones. The initiating factor was again the institution of extraordinary levies during wartime, on this
occasion during the Northern War. The Bashkirs resorted to arms in reaction to the government's increased demands for tribute and horses for the
ai/my. Protests against this and against the abuses of local government officials went unheeded. The fiscal demands of the go vernment brought protests
not only among the frontier peoples but also within Russia itself, leading directly to the Astrakhan revolt of 1705-06 and the Bulavin Revolt on the Don
in 1708.
Russia's difficulties were further compounded by hostile relations with the Crimean Tatars and the Turks, who declared war on Russia in 1710,
shortly after the great victory at Poltava. Russia suffered an almost disastrous defeat by the Turks on the Pruth River in 1711. Peter's government,
engaged so heavily elsewhere, neglected the garrisons on the steppe frontiers.
Prompt action by the Russians in sending limited forces had quieted the Bashkirs in 1706, but the guerrilla war broke out with renewed fury in
the following year. Information from a captured Tatar in 1708 revealed that certain Bashkirs had decided "not to be subject... to the will of the Great
Sovereign, and, therefore, they Would send envoys ... to the Turkish Sultan and the Crimean Khan so that they would send someone to rule over
Sultan Murat, reputed to be a son of the Khan of the Karakalpaks and Kazakhs, was selected.16
An assembly of Bashkir leaders proclaimed Murat the Khan of the Bashkirs and advised him to seek the aid of the Crimean Tatars to drive out
the Russians.17 Murat demonstrated the erratic nature of nomad politics by promptly disregarding the purpose of his election. He accepted an
invitation of the Ural Cossacks to join in a raid on the Kalmyks. On arriving in Cossack territory he learned that the Cossacks had changed their minds,
whereupon his Bashkir followers lost heart and refused to continue. Disappointed, Murat set out with a party of fifty for Crimea. Ultimately he went to
Constantinople, when the Crimeans would make no definite commitment to aid the Bashkir cause, explaining that it was impossib le to take
independent action because they "lived under the authority of the Turkish Sultan."18 In Constantinople the Grand Vizier refused official assistance
"because the Turkish Sultan and the Crimean Khan have made peace with the Muscovite," but offered to send unofficial aid if M urat would attack the
Russians on his own.19 Murat began the long trip back to Bashkiria, but while still in the vicinity of the Kuban River he learned that the Russians had
sent an army to Astrakhan. He decided to remain in the Kuban area for the winter. There he recruited a small force from north Caucasian tribes and
Tatars and marched to the Terek River, where he besieged Tersk in February 1708. Field Marshal Sheremetev, after mobilizing a force of 1,200
soldiers, 250 Tatars, and 400 Astrakhan Tatars, moved south from Astrakhan to relieve Tersk. He met Murat's band, decisively defeated it, and
captured Murat himself.20
Meantime events reached a crisis in the vicinity of the Trans-Kama Line and Ufa. A Russian regiment sent out from Ufa was surrounded and
virtually annihilated. In February of 1708 the Bashkirs had attacked several forts in Bashkiria, breached the defensive line, approac hed to within thirty
versts of Kazan, and were said to be planning an attack on Moscow itself.21 The winter of 1707-08 also coincided with the great Cossack rebellion on
the Don which was led by Kondratii Bulavin. There are indications that Bulavin tried to establish connections with the Bashkirs, as indicated by an
Englishman in Russia at the time who wrote that "Bulavin, by the Grace of God, is in alliance with the Bashkirs."22
The Bashkirs retreated across the Kama under attack from units mobilized and directed by Prince P. I. Khovanskii, the governo r of Kazan.
Internal divisions among the Bashkirs weakened their effort. Clan and tribal leaders often acted independently, like Batur Aldar who "on the following
day did not carry on the fight because he desired to make peace and did not want to lose people uselessly."23 The retreat was probably motivated by the
knowledge that the Russians were negotiating with the Kalmyks.24 It is understandable that there would be some uneasiness among clan leaders if the
Russians were to unleash these fearsome warriors.
In the spring of 1708 the Siberian Bashkirs began to stir restlessly again. Leaders from that area conferred with others in the Nogai Doroga and
began attacking Siberian towns.25 Toward the end of May the movement weakened, both because of the severe punitive actio n of the Russians and
because of internal divisions among the Bashkirs. Leaders from all the dorogas began appearing in Russian administrative centers to reaffirm their
allegiance to Russia.26
Early in 1709 a new center of anti- Russian activity developed in the Nogai Doroga. A new khan, a Karakalpak by origin, was invited to rule
Bashkiria. The leaders in the Nogai Doroga sought support from the Siberian groups and again launched a series of attacks on Russian settlements and
on the mines and smelters in the Urals.27
In December 1710, the Russians, fearing they were losing co mmand of the situation, finally concluded a treaty with Khan Ayiike of the Kalmyks
and called on him for aid against the Bashkirs. A letter from Ayiike reported Kalmyk actions:
Boyar Peter Matveevich Apraksin brought Your Sovereign decree, informing us that the Bashkir brigands are loose and for us to send an army to
destroy the Bashkir bandits. According to Your Sovereign decree I sent Nazorov, the son of Darzha, and four other leaders and 4,000 good military
men with him who . . . attacked and drove off men, women, children, and cattle and horses, and seized Bashkir lands.28
Bashkir opposition collapsed, but occasional attacks on Russian settlements, refusals to pay tribute, and the burning of industrial works indicated
continuing Bashkir resistance.
The old problem of Russian peasants fleeing serfdom also plagued Bashkiria. The Bashkirs protested continuously at the flood of a liens who
were occupying their land. A special commission was instituted to study the problem and to recommend corrective measures.29 Because most of
Bashkiria remained beyond administrative control, the results of the commission's activities were nil.
Bashkir attacks on the Ural mines and smelters called forth new measures "on the construction of fortresses along the frontie rs for the defense of
the works and settlements . . . and on fortifications of palisades and cannon and on the transfer and settlement of dragoons along the borders."30 The
Russians were especially sensitive to attacks on these iron and copper works. By the 1720s the Ural region had become the most important center of
mining and metal processing in the whole Empire.
Still lacking sufficient strength to throw off Russian control unaided, some Bashkir groups turned to the Kazakhs and Karakalpaks for aid after
the Kalmyks submitted to Russian authority. Bashkir envoys also visited the nomadic tribes in the Kuban area seeking allies.31 In spite of the
measures taken to prevent another outbreak, at the end of Peter's reign the Bashkirs were still not reconciled to Russian sovereignty.
In summary, by the end of the first quarter of the eighteenth century Bashkiria had become a valuable colony, and the Muscovite state had no
intention of giving it up. Its location astride the Ural Mountains on direct and convenient routes to western Siberia gave it a strategic value. Because the
area was still uncontrolled, the usual routes lay to the north, but disturbances in Bashkiria could and sometimes did threate n the safe flow of traffic over
these more northerly routes. Siberian furs were vital to the Russian economy, especially in foreign commerce. The fur tribute and government profits
from the fur trade provided from 7 to 10 percent of the total state revenue during the seventeenth century, and 2 1/2 percent at the beginning of the
eighteenth century.32 Continuously pressed for funds to support the wars of this period, the Muscovite government keenly felt the importance of
Siberia and consequently the strategic significance of Bashkiria.
In addition to its strategic location, Bashkiria was a valued source of state revenue through the tribute levied on the local population.
Northwestern Bashkiria had also provided fertile land which had been taken up by members of the Russian gentry, the upper nob ility, and the Church.
The severe opposition of the Bashkirs to the seizure of their lands had compelled the state to place limitations on land seizures; but the tide of Russian
colonization, both official and unofficial, moved over Bashkiria in spite of attempted governmental restrictions.
Furthermore, during the first quarter of the eighteenth century the Bashkir Urals had become the center of the most important mining and
smelting industry in Russia, and one that was growing rapidly. The Bashkirs resented the invasion and seizure of their land and frequently attacked the
mines and mills in their territory, threatening the development of this industry.
Considering all these incentives, why were the Russians unable to subdue the Bashkirs? The territory was extensive and much o f it inaccessible;
the nomads were formidable opponents; and the European wars were a constant drain on Russian military resources. Adequate troops and equipment
could not be spared from these wars to man the frontier posts; and, consequently, the small, scattered garrisons could not maintain control when the
Bashkirs and other frontier peoples rose en masse against them. Nevertheless, over the course of time the Russian government devised a strategy to
meet the problems on the frontier.
In analyzing strategy, one is faced with the problem of determining whether the individuals or governmental bodies who dealt with the frontier
acted consciously according to basic strategic concepts or whether they merely reacted pragmatically to circumstances. This question exists because
few documents deal with broad strategy. In addition to the problem of discovering how clearly and consciously strategic ideas were worked out, there
is the matter of deciding how influential was a traditional policy that had evolved slowly but had never been precisely formulated. By Peter's time the
basic strategy in the southeast had been worked out. Before discussing these principles, it is necessary to look briefly at t heir evolution.
Muscovite Russia had much experience in dealing with the nomads on the Southern and Southeastern frontiers. After the breakup of the Golden
Horde, state policy in this region was intended to prevent the formation of a new federation of nomadic peoples, which would in effect mean the
establishment of another Golden Horde. In the sixteenth century such a federation would have been a dangerous threat to a still weak Muscovite state.
Despite Turkish attempts to serve as a unifying agent, the traditional antagonisms among the various nomadic groups, deliberately fostered by Russian
diplomacy, made improbable any nomadic union. And by the beginning of the eighteenth century Russia was so powerful that even a great
confederation of tribes could not really threaten the existence of the Russian state. Nevertheless, a large alliance of nomadic peoples could seriously
disrupt the frontier areas, as already described. Even divided, such widely disposed peoples as the Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks,
and Bashkirs made frequent raids into Russian colonial territory, destroying property, interrupting the tribute collections, and even carrying off people
to sell as slaves in the markets of Central Asia and the Crimea. The standard reaction of the Russian government to these raids had developed over a
period of time extending far back into Russian history. Defensive lines consisting of continuous series of forts and outposts at strategic points were
constructed along the borders in order to intercept the raiding parties.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many forts had been built on the borders of Bashkir territory. In the west, Russian towns were
located at intervals along the Volga all the way to the Caspian Sea. The development of Siberia led the government to construct a line of forts to guard
the route there. In spite of the fact that a road through Bashkiria would have been more direct and more convenient, the regular way lay to the north
through Perm District because the Bashkirs had not yet been fully subdued. Bashkiria, as a result, lay at that time outside the defensive lines.
Except for the building of Ufa and a few other isolated forts, the Russians had moved timidly into Bashkiria. In the middle o f the seventeenth
century a new Trans-Kama Line was built from the Volga along the Cheremshan River to Menzelinsk, bringing another small part of northwestern
Bashkiria behind the defensive line. For the next eighty years the line remained fixed.
Concern over the Bashkir problem in Peter's time led V. N. Tatishchev, then Chief of the Ural Industrial Authority, to state the general strategy
as follows:
For dividing them so that they do not flee into the steppe and join the other steppe peoples and have opportunity to cause harm, it would be good
to follow the methods of Ivan Vasilievich [Ivan IV] who enclosed the Kazan Tatars by constructing along the Kama and Viatka rivers several towns
which have existed up to the present day. It seems possible to me that we can also enclose these people [the Bashkirs] in the same way. It is known that
the Yaik [Ural] and Tobol rivers flow out of the Ural mountains from places not far from each other and some Tatars say that one place is impassable
because of the heights of the summits and the many rivers and lakes and swamps. Those sections [of the rivers] far from the mountains where the
Bashkirs cross the streams are so great that no fording places can be found. This is especially true of the Yaik, they say. Because of swamps and forests,
there are very few suitable places for crossing. If towns were constructed at these suitable places and settled with Russians... then attacks of these
[Bashkirs] as well as of the Kirgiz hordes, the Karakalpaks, and the other steppe peoples could be cut off.33
As indicated, the location of the individual forts and the defensive lines was determined by the terrain. Wide rivers were barriers to the nomads,
for raiding parties had to go around them or find suitable fording places. Russian communications, on the other hand, largely depended on rivers. Forts
at portage points near the headwaters of the rivers not only protected Russian communication lines but also obstructed routes by which the nomads
could move from one side of a large river to the other. Forts at the confluence of rivers were established primarily for reasons of communication.
The larger rivers served as natural boundaries between native peoples. In the course of time the Bashkirs, as already noted, were held in a
territory bounded by the Volga on the west, the Kama and Iset on the north, the Tobol and its tributaries on the east, and the Ural and Samara on the
south. The Kazakhs lived south of the Ural and east of the Tobol, and the Kalmyks mostly between the lower Volga, the lower U ral, and the Samara
Knowing that the Russian position in Bashkiria would be weak until an extensive net of forts and outposts had been built, St. Petersburg
advocated diplomacy to prevent united action by the nomads against the Russians. The College of Foreign Affairs, for example, wrote to frontier
if the Kalmyks show some opposition then it is possible to turn the Kirgiz against them or if the Kirgiz-kaisaks do anything, to send the Kalmyks
and Bashkirs to pacify them. It is possible to maintain better control without sending Russian armies.34
The Russians could usually depend upon the existing hostility between the Bashkirs, Kalmyks, and Kazakhs. In case of need they were told to
promise booty and gifts from the Russian sovereign to incite one people against another.35
The policy of turning these neighboring groups against each other was used only in emergencies when the Russian position was threatened. The
central administration many times exhorted the frontier authorities to do all in their power to stop the mutual attacks.36 Ra ids by the Kazakhs and
Kalmyks on the Bashkirs increased the difficulties of administering the area, and the resulting loss of life and property was reflected in decreased
government revenue.
The policy of the separation of peoples was again followed within each major group. The principle of granting special status to native leaders in
order to gain their loyalty had long been followed in Bashkiria. Many reports paid tribute to the loyal service of Bashkirs in Russian armies. They had
served not only against the Swedes and Poles but also against the Turks and Crimeans.37 Throughout the course of the colonial wars loyal Bashkirs
contributed much to the victory of the government forces. The state in return granted special privileges to those who served. For example, for military
service the tarkhans were relieved of the obligation to pay tribute.
The complex population of Bashkiria gave the Russians ample opportunity to exploit the internal divisions of the country. The hostility between
the Bashkirs and the non-Bashkir immigrants who had flooded into the territory beyond the Kama led virtually to civil war on occasions. The
immigrants often supported the regime and in return for their loyalty were finally rewarded by the St. Petersburg authorities.
In short, then, the general strategy of the Russian administration was designed first to push a defensive line step by step into the frontier area.
Supplementing the military moves, Russian diplomacy tried to prevent the formation of native confederations and to divide the peoples internally by
luring leading elements over to the Russian side. The complex composition of the population in Bashkiria made this policy especially fruitful.
To sum up the situation at Peter's death in 1725, several developments were drawing Russia to the southeast, into Asia. The long-standing goal of
stabilizing Bashkiria had yet to be completely achieved, although no serious outbreak occurred in the decade following 1725. In the Kazakh Steppe the
pressure from Jungaria was pushing the Kazakh hordes ever closer to the Russian borders. Farther to the south the moribund states of Central Asia
appeared ripe for Russian conquest. Once in control of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, Russia could approach the borders of India and avail herself of
the opportunity to participate in the profitable trade with the Orient. This complex of problems and aspirations was combined by Peter into one o verall
scheme. He died before much was accomplished, but he inspired his successors to go on to greater things.
1. P.I. Rychkov, Istoriia Orenburgskaia, (2nd ed. Orenburg, 1896), p. I. (Hereafter cited as Rychkov, Istoriia.) Citations are to the second ed ition,
which was red from the original manuscript.
2. S. V. Zhukovskii, Snosheniia Rossii s Bukharoi i Khivoi za poslednee trekhsotletie (Petrograd, 1915); N. Veselovskii, Ocherk
istoriko-geograficheskikh svedenii o Khivinskom khanstve ot drevneishikh vrernen do nastoiashchego (St. Petersburg, 1877); A. N. Popov,
"Snosheniia Rossii s Khivoi i Bukharoi pri Petre Velikom," Zapiski Imperatdrskogo russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, 9 (1853); and Sbornik
kniazia Khilkova (St. Petersburg, 1879) are general works on Russian relations with Central Asia.
3. Popov, pp. 238-39. Yamyshev is a lake southeast of present-day Pavlodar.
4. I.I. Golikov, Deianiia Petra Velikogo (30 vols. Moscow, 1788-98), 5, 235.
5. For the Bekovich-Cherkasskii expeditions, see V. Illeritskii, "Ekspeditsiia kniazia Cherkasskogo v Khivu," Istoricheskii zhurnal, No. 7
(1940), pp. 40-51; E. L. Shteinberg, Pervye issledovateli Kaspiia (XVIII-XIX vv.) (Moscow, 1949); and the references in note 2 above. For Bucholtz'
activities, see Pamiatniki sibirskoi istorii XVIII v. (2 vols. St. Petersburg, 1882-85), 2, 35-37, 85-87, 126-30, 171-74; A. N. Popov, 248-51; and the
other references in note 2.
6. PSZ, 5, 112; 6, 220; 7, 503-04, 505-08; Pamiatniki sibirskoi istorii, 2, 182-209, 264-66.
7. Pamiatniki sibirskoi istorii, I, 515-27; 2, 157ff; Levshin, 2, 69ff; Dobrosmyslov, Materially, I, 35.
8. TsGADA, Kalmytskie dela, 1725, d. 5, L. 185, as quoted in Istoriia Kazakhskoi SSR (2 vols. Alma-Ata, 1957, 1959), I, 235.
9. TsGADA, Kalmytskie dela, 1722, d. 9, L. 3, as quoted in Apollova, pp. 173ff.
10. Apollova, quoting ibid., 1723, d. 3, LL. 23-24.
11. Pamiatniki sibirskoi istorii, I, 11.
12. Ibid., I,152-56,158-67,517-27.
13. Vremennik Imperatorskago moskovskago obshchestva istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh, kn. XIII, "Smes' " (bumagi Tevkeleva), p. 15.
14. Ibid.
15. Materialy BASSR, I, 225.
16. Ibid., pp. 223, 252, 238-39.
17. Ibid., pp. 339ff.
18. Ibid., p. 240.
19. Ibid.
20. Pis'ma i bumagi Imperatora Petra Velikago (11 vols, to date, St. Petersburg, Petrograd, and Moscow, 1887-1960), 4, 452; Materialy BASSR,
I, 231, 241ff.
21. Materially BASSR, I, 212, 214, 215-16, 228-31, 216-17, 222-25; Pis'ma i bumagi Petra Velikago, 7, 613; S. M. Solov'ev, Istoriia Rossii s
drevneishikh vremen (2nd ed., 29 vols. St. Petersburg, n.d.), 15, 1448.
22. Sbornik Imperatorskago russkago istoricheskago obshchestva (148 vols. St. Petersburg, 1867-1916), L. 16. See also, Materialy BASSR, I,
214; V. I. Lebedev, Bashkirskoe vosstanie 1705-1711 gg.," Istoricheskie zapiski, I (Moscow, 1937), p. 90.
23. Materialy BASSR, I, 224.
24. Ibid., Introduction, p. 47.
25. Ibid., pp. 223, 224-26; Pamiatniki sibirskoi istorii, I, 318-20.
26. Materialy BASSR, I, 246ff.
27. Ibid., pp. 252, 258ff.
28. Ibid., p. 276.
29. Ibid., pp. 280-84.
30. PSZ, 7, 291-92. See also 7, 305-08.
31. Materialy BASSR, I, 285ff, 298ff.
32. R. H. Fisher, The Russian Fur Trade, 1550-1700 (University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1943), pp. 118ff, 230ff.
33. Materialy BASSR, 3, 482-83.
34. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 174.
35. Ibid., p. 175.
36. Ibid., pp. 169ff.
37. Ibid., p. 45.
The death of Peter the Great did not put an end to Russia's expansive ambitions for advancing along the Southeastern Frontier. Under his
successors, men trained in Peter's administration drew up and put into action specific plans to realize his genera l policies for achieving imperial control
of the Bashkir territories and realizing the other Russian goals in the region. The most important of these men was State Councillor Ivan Kirillovich
Kirillov, who first designed and then received command of a project entitled the Orenburg Expedition, which was intended primarily to establish the
garrison town of Orenburg as a Russian military outpost at the junction of the Or and Ural rivers.
"The foundation of Orenburg," in the words of one respected authority, "was one of the most outstanding events in Russian history, ranking in
importance not far behind the conquest of Kazan."1 Although Kirillov did not foresee the full consequences of his project to Russian relations with the
native peoples, or live to carry the project to complete success, his work renewed the Russian drive to the southeast. By the middle of the eighteenth
century, as a result of events set in motion by his project, a line of forts was ultimately built along the Ural River stretc hing to the Caspian Sea.
Orenburg became a base for further conquest: if Kazan led the Russians broadly into Asia, Orenburg led them specifically into Central Asia.
The events that initiated the Orenburg project and led to the next phase of Russian southeastward expansion occurred in Kazakhstan. As had
happened earlier, certain Kazakh leaders approached Russia, seeking protection against their enemies. This time A. Volynskii, the governor of
Astrakhan, wrote the College of Foreign Affairs in the summer of 1725 that he had investigated "whether this people [the Kazakhs] voluntarily desired
the protection of Her Imperial Majesty [Catherine I]."2 Early in 1726 Abulkhair (Eb ülkhayir), Khan of the Little Horde, sent an emissary to St.
Petersburg to declare in the name of the Little Horde that the Kazakhs desired Russian protection. He also asked permission to wander in the middle
Ural River region, and requested the Russians to order the Bashkirs and Ural Cossacks "to live with them peacefully and not to commit destructive acts
or make raids."3 Abulkhair offered to exchange prisoners and promised to "serve with complete fidelity and according to the orders of Her Majesty."
The College of Foreign Affairs is said to have doubted the credentials of the envoy and consequently did not follow up the opportunity. A more likely
explanation for the apparent lack of Russian interest is that the government feared such an alliance might antagonize the Jungars.4
In 1728 the Kazakhs defeated the Jungars in a battle. This encouraged the leaders of the Little and Middle hordes to form a federation of tribes to
defend themselves more effectively. Meeting in the region of Chimkent, they selected Abulkhair to lead the military forces. He defeated the Jungars
again in 1729. A significant part of the Middle Horde was liberated, and only the Great Horde remained subject to Jungaria.5
Even while certain Kazakh leaders were seeking Russian protection, others were raiding Russian settlements and generally disr upting life along
the frontier. In 1727 the government settled over three hundred Cossacks at the junction of the Sakmara and Ural rivers to protect southern Bashkiria
from the Kazakhs and Karakalpaks.6 This tiny fort was hardly equal to the task.
During the reign of Empress Anna Ivanovna (1730-40), St. Petersburg decided to strengthen the Russian position in Bashkiria and stabilize that
troubled land. After some discussion the officials proceeded along traditional lines; they planned a new, more extensive Trans-Kama Defensive Line
deeper in Bashkiria. Not for two years was the line to begin building, but meantime in the same year, 1730, Abulkhair sent another embassy to Ivan
Buturlin, the military governor of Ufa, to discuss the matter of Russian suzerainty.7 The two envoys, Kulumbet Kumtaev and Seitkul Kuidankulov,
were sent on to St. Petersburg, where they arrived early in 1731. A letter from Abulkhair asked directly for Russian protection against the Jungars and
Volga Kalmyks. In return he promised to assist Russia in bringing the Karakalpaks, Turkmen, and Khivans under Russian suzerainty.
The College of Foreign Affairs deliberated and set forth Russian conditions.8 As a mark of submission it required yearly trib ute; an end to the
raids on the Bashkirs, Kalmyks, and Ural Cossacks; the return of Russian captives; assistance in protecting commercial caravans traveling through the
Kazakh Steppe; and, finally, hostages as a guarantee of good faith. It was at that time that a senior secretary of the Senate, Ivan Kirillovich Kirillov,
conceived the idea of building a fortified town at the junction of the Or and Ural rivers to protect the Kazakhs from the Kalmyks and Jungars, and that
the task of presenting the conditions to Abulkhair was assigned to Aleksei Ivanovich Tevkelev, the Russianized Tatar prince from Ufa who had been
selected by Peter the Great for a similar mission some eight years earlier. Kirillov advised that Tevkelev should also persuade Abulkhair of the
advantages of a fort on the Or. Tevkelev's party consisted of sixty persons, including two cartographers who were to gather geographical information
for a map of the region.9
Out in the steppe Tevkelev reached Abulkhair's camp in October 1731. He soon discovered that the Khan had not been speaking for the whole of
his people. When the Kazakh leaders learned the reason for the mission an immediate uproar took place. They wanted to seize a nd execute Tevkelev
and his party immediately.
The opposition leaders even challenged Abulkhair's authority, and the situation appeared perilous. Tevkelev fearlessly faced the assembled
elders and spoke eloquently of the advantages of Russian suzerainty. He called attention to the well-being of the Volga Kalmyks and the Ufa Bashkirs,
the result of submission to Russia, particularly emphasizing the security they had obtained from their enemies. His arguments were made more
persuasive by a strategic disbursement of gifts. He eventually convinced a slight majority, the members of which swore an oat h of allegiance to the
Russian empress.10 Semeke (Shemiaka), the Khan of the Middle Horde, was not present, although he had been invited to participate with Abulkhair.
Envoys sent by Tevkelev returned with Semeke's reasons for refusing to join with Abulkhair: "[Abulkhair] accepted s ubjugation without the
agreement of the khans and the elders . . . and he [Semeke] would submit to Russia only when he himself desired, not at the advice of Abulkhair
Even within the Little Horde of Abulkhair the party that opposed the Russian alliance was very strong. Many preferred submission to the
Jungars. Abulkhair wrote to the Empress in 1733:
Our people are like wild animals; and, besides, the Kalmyk ruler, Lobzha [sic], has agitated the Kazakhs greatly. And, therefore, this
Kirgiz-kaisak people divided into two groups. And I, Your most humble slave, separated my party from them.12
Because Tevkelev's embassy was still in a precarious position, he ordered all his group, except for himself and one other person, back to Russia
to report the results of the mission. The College of Foreign Affairs, fearing the cause was lost, provided funds to ransom Tevkelev. Meanwhile,
Abulkhair decamped with his auls and moved south toward the Aral Sea. There he acquired the support of Kaip, the Khan of the Karakalpaks. Having
analyzed the situation, Tevkelev persuaded Abulkhair of the advantages of a Russian fort on the Or River where it met the Ura l, as had been suggested
by Kirillov. He reported to the College of Foreign Affairs in a letter of January 3, 1732:
First, the Kirgiz-kaisaks have refused to send children of the leaders as hostages to Ufa, but one person from . . . each clan could live in the town
and serve on a court for Kirgiz-kaisak affairs, collect tribute and send it annually to Moscow. The judge s would be substitutes for political hostages,
and it would be impossible for the Kirgiz-kaisaks to commit offenses against Russian subjects. And if this fort were built, caravans going to Bukhara,
Khiva, Tashkent, and Turkestan would find it more convenient because Khiva is closer to Ufa than to Astrakhan . . . and the road is very convenient,
water is more abundant ... and the dangers to merchants would not be as great because the Kirgiz-kaisaks themselves would serve as escorts.13
It is clear that the pressure from the Jungarians was the force that led the Kazakhs to seek Russian assistance, probably because Russia was at that
moment a less real threat to independence. But the political ambitions of Abulkhair also played an important role. The divisions among the three
hordes and within each of the hordes weakened a people that in numbers and military power would have been a force of consider able consequence.
Abulkhair, an aggressive khan, aspired to leadership over this "unruly" people. His intentions of using the alliance with Russia to further his political
ambitions were clearly stated two years later in a letter to Empress Anna, dated 1734: "I am not able at the present time to pacify all the senseless
Kazakhs who assault envoys or merchants . . . but as soon as the town is built I will then be able to pacify them."14
In December 1732 Abulkhair sent another embassy to Russia headed by his second son, Erali. Several representatives from the Great Horde
accompanied the party to Ufa for further negotiatio ns.15 The inclusion of the Great Horde emissaries was probably an attempt on the part of Abulkhair
to convince the Russians that he had persuaded the Great Horde leaders to seek Russian suzerainty. Semeke of the Middle Horde still preferred to
remain independent. Tevkelev accompanied this embassy, arriving in Ufa to the astonishment of the local officials who were preparing to ransom
Early in 1734 the embassy reached St. Petersburg. Erali was received by the Empress, and at the audience he addressed Anna:
Most Serene, Most Powerful Empress, Most Gracious Sovereign. My father, Abulkhair Khan, with all his Kirgiz-kaisak Horde and at his own
request – and [by virtue] of Your royal grace has been deemed worthy of the protection and eternal submission to Your Most High Imperial Majesty –
and for the sake of [declaring] his loyal servitude has sent me to Your Majesty's most high court. Falling at the feet of Your Majesty, in the name of my
father I bring thanks for Your kindness and as a most humble slave beseech You to take us under Your unfailing Imperial grace and protection.17
Vice-Chancellor Osterman replied, accepting the Kazakhs as Russian subjects. Afterward the party was taken on a tour of the city to see the
sights, particularly the military and naval establishments and the curiosities in the Academy of Sciences.
In spite of Erali's protestations of loyalty and faithful servitude, difficulties soon arose between the Kazakhs and the Russ ians. In a letter sent to
Abulkhair thanking him for his efforts to bring the Kazakhs of the Little and Great hordes and the Karakalpaks under Russian control, he was
delicately criticized for permitting an attack on a Russian caravan on its way to Khiva and Bukhara.18
The man who drew up the plan for building a town at the mouth of the Or, Ivan Kirillovich Kirillov, was of undistinguished origin. He began
government service in a minor position in the Secret Police Department, later became a copying clerk in the Senate, where he attracted the attention of
Peter the Great, who advanced him to the rank of Secretary. In 1727 he attained the rank of Senior Secretary. Although he had little formal education,
he had taught himself mathematics, mechanics, history, economics, and metallurgy. He was known for his role in the compilation of the first extensive
map of the Empire, and through this activity he became acquainted with the problems of the frontier areas. Strongly influenced by Peter, he worked to
advance some of the uncompleted schemes of his teacher. After Tevkelev's mission he presented two plans to the Cabinet. The first dealt with the
Siberian and Kamchatka expeditions which had been proposed by Peter. He also described Great Tartary and the proposal for the construction of a
town at the mouth of the Or River. His second plan dealt solely with the Kazakh and Karakalpak hordes and the advantages to be reaped from the
subjugation of these peoples.19 He discussed the development of trade with Central Asia, the possibilities of exploiting the potential mineral wealth of
Kazakh territory, and the protection of Russia from the raids of the steppe nomads.
The document was a detailed proposal which, in addition to stating the reasons for such an expedition, gave a general survey of the peoples and
history of the area and Russian interests there. Kirillov wrote:
the first favorable news was received from Tevkelev, the former envoy to Abulkhair Khan of the Kirgiz-kaisaks, [news] that this khan . . . and the
Karakalpak khan with all their peoples had become subjects [of Russia] . . . and thus the route to Lake Aral is open; and, no matter how incredibly
undepend- able they may be, it is most fortunate that Abulkhair Khan . . . wishes to have a Russian fort constructed for his protection near his territory,
an obvious gain for us which can be a base for [carrying out] our plans and through which we might, with the help of God, step b y step take over even
Badakhshan's wealthy lands up to the very borders of Persia and India and from there receive riches of gold, lapis lazuli, Balas rubies, and other things;
and prevent our neighbor the Kontaisha [the Jungarian ruler] from being strengthened. And we will be able to restrain our older subjects, the Bashkirs
and Volga Kalmyks, from their designs and from unification (it is necessary to fear this . . . ) without the movement of great armies.20
Kirillov's explanation for the selection of the middle Ural River for the construction of a defensive line reveals the genera l strategic policy of the
Russian government. The new town was to be built at the mouth of the Or River, "which falls into the Ural River, because it is the most central point
between the Bashkirs and the Kirgiz-kaisak hordes and divides the Volga Kalmyks . . . from the Bashkirs."21 He also made a table of the personnel
requirements for carrying out the project. In addition to military and technical forces he suggested that non-Russian frontier peoples in Bashkiria be
recruited to build towns and other outposts. Then he turned to what he considered one of the most important aims of the whole project, the matter of
trade. To attract Asiatic merchants he recommended that no customs be levied on goods for several years. While the possibilit y of commerce with the
Kazakhs was not overlooked, the more important consideration was trade with Central Asia and India. The fabled wealth of Badakhshan, which was
then divided between Samarkand and Bukhara, Kirillov especially coveted. He went on to detail the steps necessary for taking over Central Asia. The
establishment of a fort on the Aral Sea and the building of a navy there were the initial stages.
As for the fort on the Or River, Kirillov proposed a small garrison at first, one and a half battalions of service gentry and Cossacks, one or two
regiments from the Kazan garrison, five hundred Cossacks from the Southeastern Frontier, and a number of Bashkir tarkhans. To compensate for the
initial weakness in the region, Kirillov suggested that the government could in emergency resort to the following policy: "Now that the Kirgiz-kaisaks
have become subjects we can use the Kirgiz or Bashkirs to inflict damage on this Jungar ruler without using Russian armies."22 Summing up his
arguments Kirillov concluded:
Many examples might be presented to anyone who desires to oppose this enterprise by pointing out the danger to be expected from the Bashkirs
or the Kirgiz or other local peoples. First, if Tsar Ivan Vasilivich [Ivan IV] had not taken Kazan and Astrakhan from the Tat ars and the Bashkirs had
not become subjects, then there would always have been enemies living close to us like those beyond them in the steppe now. And to Her Majesty's
good fortune, these are now becoming subjects. Second, the Bashkirs are held in subjugation by Ufa alone which has so few people that they are not a
hundredth part in comparison with the number of Bashkirs, and yet [the Bashkirs] have always served loyally not only against the Swedes and Poles
but also against the Turks and Crimeans.
And about the past uprisings, careful judgment would show that the trouble was caused by the Russians who wanted to take away their [the
Bashkirs'] former . . . fishing rights, grain mills, and to levy excessive tribute. . . . Third, all great Siberia was unknow n and it seemed in those times as
difficult to take possession of as now the crumbling Bukharan provinces. But Yermak seized it and the way to China was opened. Now it is possible to
hope that we might reach Japan. Earlier when those . . . well-known dominions were not adjacent to Russia and were not established by long custom
and the local peoples did not mingle, then it was always necessary to fear a repetition of what Russia suffered from Batu and Tamerlane and other
Mohammedans coming out of Asia with great armies. But God's dispensations and the seizure of these vast countries led Russia to power and glory.
He went on to say that the present moment was most favorable for extending the Russian borders and enriching the state, because the Bukharan
territories had broken up into a large number of petty states that could be subjugated without great difficulty as the Kazakhs and Karakalpaks had been.
With the support of Privy Counsellor A. P. Bestuzhev-Riumin, Kirillov's proposal to build a town on the Or was approved by Empress Anna on
May 1, 1734. Kirillov and Tevkelev were ordered to proceed immediately to carry out the project. With these orders the Muscovite state launched the
conquest of Bashkiria, although this had been only one consideration in the plans of the government authorities.
Although the Russians had claimed all of Bashkiria in 1557, following the conquest of Kazan, nearly two centuries later the territories beyond
the Trans-Kama Line had still not been brought under effective administrative control. East of the Volga and southeast of Kazan there remained a vast
region inhabited by several powerful nomadic peoples who had successfully held off the Russian armies and maintained their autonomy in dealing
with Russian officials. The resistance of these peoples to Russian control was rooted in the noma ds' fiercely independent tribal ways, the
counterattractions of the Turkish-Crimean power, and the unwillingness of the native rulers to submit to the exactions of the Russian state. Their
ability to resist can be explained by the formidable military capabilities of the nomadic cavalry, protecting villages, herds, and flocks that could keep
moving beyond the range of Russian forces. In a land that lacked major natural barriers, the superb horsemen of the steppes could not easily be pinned
down and defeated once and for all.
Russian imperial expansion into this region was motivated by several considerations. In an age of state-building and warfare, as already
mentioned, the demand for funds made the tribute of the numerous colonial peoples desirable. Increasingly important in the eighteenth century was the
mineral wealth of the Ural region, another vital necessity for a state aiming at modernization. Hope of becoming middlemen in the European trade with
Asia was also a strong allurement. And contemporary government administrators thought defense of the frontier a major reason. To more remote eyes
the defense argument was at least partially spurious because Russia had moved deeply into foreign territory. Despite their claims over Bashkiria, the
Russians were "defending" it from its native inhabitants.
The consequence of Russia's imperialism was the vigorous opposition of the Bashkirs. The series of brutal colonial wars of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries had demonstrated the attitude of the local inhabitants. Farther away, but of growing importance, were the Kazakhs, fleeing from
Mongol attacks.
But the Russians were confident of their increasing strength by 1734. The authorities of St. Petersburg expected the Orenburg Expedition would
establish, by one quick stroke, their absolute dominion over the turbulent frontier region to the southeast. The project had been conceived by pupils of
Peter the Great, and it was planned on a scale of which he would have approved.
1. Walter Kolarz, Russia and Her Colonies (F. A. Praeger: New York, 1955), p. 255.
2. Istoriia Kazakhskoi SSR, I, 236.
3. Kirgiz-kaisatskie dela, 1726 g., d. (no number), LL. 61-62, as quoted in Apollova, pp. 194-95.
4. Ibid.
5. Levshin, 2, 79.
6. PSZ, 8, 897.
7. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 5; Levshin, 2, 95; "Iz istorii snoshenii Kazakhov s tsarskoi Rossiei v XVIII veke," Krasnyi arkhiv, 5(78) (1936), 189.
(Hereafter cited as KA.)
8. PSZ, 8, 386-87.
9. Ibid., pp. 383-86; Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 5-6; KA, pp. 190-93; A. I. Dobrosmyslov, "Turgaiskaia oblast'. Istoricheskii ocherk," Izvestiia
Orenburgskago otdeleniia imperatorskago russkago geograficheskago obshchestva, 1900, vyp. 15, 7-8. (Hereafter cited as Dobrosmyslov, RGO.)
10. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 6; KA, pp. 198-99; Dobrosmyslov, RGO, pp. 8-10.
11. Zhurnal Tevkeleva in Kazakhsko-russkie otnosheniia v XVI-XVIII vekakh (Sbornik dokumentov i materialov), p. 64.
12. Kazakhsko-russkie otnosheniia v XVI-XVIII vekakh, p. 98.
13. KA, p. 204.
14. Kazakhsko-russkie otnosheniia v XVI-XVIII vekakh, pp. 121-22.
15. PSZ, 9, 303-04.
16. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 7; Dobrosmyslov, RGO, p. 11.
17. Rychkov, p. 8.
18. PSZ, 9, 303; Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 120-21, 124-31, 133ff.
19. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 1-50.
20. Ibid., p. 18.
21. Ibid., p. 19.
22. Ibid., pp. 39ff.
On May 18, 1734, the government issued detailed orders to Kirillov for the project that was initially entitled the Orenburg E xpedition. The
instructions followed Kirillov's recommendations, in substance having three major aims. The first was the construction of a fortified town at the
junction of the Or and Ural rivers which was to be the beginning of a defensive line of forts along the southern Bashkir bord er and a base for
administering the Kazakhs who had recently accepted Russian suzerainty. The second was to deal with Bashkir unrest. And, finally, measures for
taking a commanding position in Central Asia were spelled out. The initial step in accomplishing the latter goal was expressed as follows:
And for the convenience of commerce it is necessary to build a port on the Aral Sea ... in the territory of the Kirgiz-kaisaks and to install cannon
in our ships and, in fact, to take possession of that sea.1
From this point Russian political and commercial interests in Central Asia could be easily advanced. Thus, all the long-run goals of Peter the
Great in this region were lumped into the one project. It would be a major step toward the southeast if it were realized.
In keeping with his new responsibilities and his broad range of authority, Kirillov was advanced to the rank of State Councillor.2 Tevkelev
simultaneously, as second in command of the expedition, received the rank of Colonel.
After a personal audience with the Empress, Kirillov and Tevkelev left St. Petersburg on June 15, 1734, in company with Abulkhair's son Erali
and a number of Bashkirs. The advance group began the journey to Moscow on five river boats, the remainder of the party following overland about
two weeks later under the command of Naval Lieutenant Peter Bakhmetev, Kirillov's father-in- law.3
In St. Petersburg only key leadership and technical personnel were recruited: military units and their necessary officers; na val personnel to
handle the problems of river transportation and to manage naval affairs when the port and fleet were built on the Aral Sea; construction workers to
build towns and docks; engineers to plan and supervise construction; a bookkeeper; and scientific personnel to make maps, sea rch for minerals, and
investigate the natural phenomena of the region.
Prior to the departure letters were dispatched to the leaders of the three Kazakh hordes and the Karakalpaks. They were reminded of their oaths
to the Empress and were asked to protect Russian caravans traveling to and from the towns of Central Asia. Semeke (Shemiaka), Khan of the Middle
Horde, was reprimanded for having made raids on the Bashkirs.
At Bronnitsy, approximately 25 versts from Novgorod, Kirillov's party left the boats and traveled the rest of the way to Moscow by post-horses,
arriving in Moscow on the twenty-ninth of June. Here a number of other persons were added to the expedition, including a geologist, a pharmacist, a
botanist, a historiographer, an artist, several office clerks, a surgeon, a priest, several students from the Greek-Latin-Slavonic Academy, and a number
of army officers.
After a month in Moscow the enlarged group left for Ufa on eleven river boats. Kirillov himself continued on ahead of the party by post-horse to
Kolomna, Pereiaslavl, Old Riazan, Kasimov, and finally Kazan, which he reached in August. In Kazan Kirillov took command of the Penzensk
Regiment, a number of artillerists, and other special units. With this part of his expedition he left for Ufa late in October, arriving on the tenth of
November 1734, five months after departing from St. Petersburg.
In Ufa he made the final preparations for the expedition. His forces now included the Penzensk Regiment, a battalion from Ufa, half of the Ufa
gentry and Cossacks, and a newly organized Orenburg squadron composed of youths from Ufa, Birsk, and Menzelinsk. In addition to assembling his
military forces, Kirillov made arrangements for supplying his command with provisions and equipment. To facilitate the moveme nt of supplies he
ordered the building of boat landings on the upper Ufa and Ural rivers. To secure the line of communications with the Siberian towns, Kirillov, on the
advice of friendly Bashkirs, set about constructing Fort Verkhneuralsk on the upper Ural River.4 In a letter to Count Andrei Osterman, Kirillov wrote:
"This place is so convenient that any provisions from Siberian towns can not only be transported down the Yaik [Ural] River b ut can be sent all the way
to the Caspian Sea."5 As soon as the fort was completed and garrisoned with two companies of regular troops and a number of Cossacks, Kirillov
ordered a train of 500 wagons sent from various Siberian towns with supplies to be stored at the new settlement.
In addition to these activities, Kirillov spent the winter compiling a list of the Bashkir clans and their prominent leaders for the use of the Ufa
chancery. He also enrolled a number of Bashkir tarkhans to accompany the expedition, granting the title of tar- khan to many of those who did not
already hold it.
The Bashkirs, long uneasy over Russian penetration into their area, had incessantly petitioned the tsarist government for relief from oppression.
Even while the expedition was in the process of organization, the administration drew up a table of the protests made by Bashkir leaders.6 Briefly, the
objections were the very same as those which had led to the wars in 1662-64, 1675-83, 1705-11: seizure of land and abuses by government officials.
Already chronically aggrieved, the Bashkirs learned of the expedition to the River Or. They realized that the addition of a defensive line along
the Ural River would virtually complete the encirclement of their territory.
A Bashkir elder in St. Petersburg wrote a letter to Kil'miak Nurushev, the most prominent leader of the anti-Russia faction in the Nogai Doroga,
telling him of the Orenburg Expedition. Under the leadership of Kil'miak, Bepen Se iangulov, Seitbai Eratkulov, Rysai-bai Igimbetev, Kusanbai Batyr,
Amin, and a number of other influential Bashkir leaders, preparations were secretly made to oppose the expedition.7
These plans for war were made so secretly that little information leaked out. Kirillov, during the winter in Ufa, wrote: "The Bashkirs of all ranks
are pleased at my preparations and arrangements and are very quiet."8 In March, Privy State Councillor9 Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev, then director of
the mining and smelting industry in the Ural region, wrote to Kirillov from Ekaterinburg that the Bashkirs, Cheremises, and others were holding
meetings and planning to oppose the Orenburg project. Kirillov answered that the detachments which had been sent to Verkhneuralsk and Sakmarsk
for securing the lines of communication had not met the slightest opposition from the Bashkirs. He added that the meetings me ntioned by Tatishchev
were assemblies to recruit labor for the expedition. The governor of Kazan, Count Platon Musin-Pushkin, wrote to express anxiety, but Kirillov
ignored this warning too, probably because he was more concerned with the Kazakhs and with the base to be built on the Aral Sea. Then, too, Bashkir
unrest was nothing new, Russia's increasing strength was cause for confidence, and after the brutal suppression of 1705-11 another outbreak did not
appear likely.
In April 1735, after eleven months of planning and assembling forces and equipment for the expedition, Kirillov moved out of Ufa up the gently
sloping, wooded valley of the Belaia River and established a camp 10 versts to the south at Chesnokovsk, where he waited two months for the five
companies of the Vologodsk Dragoon Regiment, which was being sent from the posts of the Trans- Kama Line. Two envoys from Kil'miak Nurushev
and his associates arrived and informed the Russians that the Bashkirs would resist to their full strength the carrying out o f the expedition's plans and
demanded that the project be abandoned.
The two envoys were intensively interrogated, one of them dying under the tortures. Kirillov decided not to wait for the additional forces but to
proceed on to the River Or. He left his camp on June 15 and continued up the Belaia with ten companies of the Penzensk Regiment, three companies
of newly organized Orenburg dragoons, 150 Ufa Cossacks, 100 Ural Cossacks, a number of service Tatars, 15 newly converted Kalmyks, 600 Ufa
Meshcheriaks10 under the command of their own leader, and 100 Bashkir tarkhans. He had registered 700 of the latter, but only 100 had shown up.
This should have been a warning of the Bashkir attitude. In addition to these units Kirillov had more than two dozen pieces o f artillery of assorted sizes
and more than 100 artillerymen with their officers. The whole mounted to upward of 2,500 men. He had also established garriso ns at Verkhneuralsk
and Sakmarsk. Two companies of the Orenburg dragoons were left behind to wait for the five companies of Vologodsk troops who were coming from
the Trans-Kama Line to guide them to the Or.
The Vologodsk companies arrived at the Chesnokovsk camp under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Chirikov four days after Kirillov had
left. After resting several days, Chirikov's group set out to catch up with the main body. In spite of orders from Kirillov to be cautious, Chirikov
traveled carelessly, permitting his forces to string out in a long line while he himself rode far ahead of the column. The supply wagons straggled along
behind. For a week all was peaceful; but suddenly, on July 1, Kil'miak and his associates and approximately 3,000 Bashkirs from the Nogai Doroga fell
on the column. Chirikov, a priest, the doctor, eighteen dragoons, and forty-two workers were killed, and forty-six carts of the supply train were
captured. Only the alertness and vigorous action of Captain Gebauer saved the battle from turning into a complete rout.11
On learning of this disaster, Kirillov conferred with his staff officers and sent a detachment back to assist the Vologodsk companies. The rescue
group was made up of 100 Cossacks, 100 Meshcheriaks, and a number of officers. These forces soon ran into superior opposition and had to return to
the main body.
The brief clash with the Bashkirs resulted in 100 deaths for the natives and several wounded for the Russians. A new party of 150 Cossacks and
150 Meshcheriaks subsequently joined the Vologodsk companies 291 versts from Ufa, and together on the tenth of July they reac hed the main body,
now located near the point where the Belaia swings north after flowing out of the Ural Mountains.
Wishing to minimize the significance of these events, Kirillov wrote the Cabinet that the danger was not great, blamed the trouble on the
carelessness of Chirikov, and requested the Senate to send an investigating committee to Ufa, or possibly a new governor, to examine the situation and
punish the troublemakers. He thought the difficulties could be attributed to a small number of dissident Bashkirs and did not think the dissatisfaction
was general. He also suggested that a battalion be sent to round up the hostile group, and that several additional companies of troops be sent to join the
expedition.12 Meanwhile, the large supply train on its way from Siberia met a party of 260 Bashkirs, who killed several men, seized forty wagons, and
held the remainder of the train under seige until troops led by Lieutenant Colonel Arsen'ev from Verkhneuralsk came to its re lief. In spite of the danger
to his supply line, Kirillov insisted on pushing forward. He crossed the divide between the Belaia and the Sakmara River system and beyond to the Ural
valley, finally arriving at a point on the Ural River opposite the mouth of the Or, 500 versts from Ufa, on August 6, 1735, a week less than four months
after leaving Ufa. Because the expected supplies had not yet arrived, the expedition was forced to go on short rations, even to the point of eating some
of their precious horses.
On the fifteenth of August Kirillov laid the foundations of Orenburg. Nurali Sultan, the eldest son of Abulkhair, and a number of Kazakh leaders
attended the ceremony. On the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin and in the presence of the Kazakhs and a few Tashkent merchants, the army
was drawn up in parade formation. A priest said a Te Deum and sprinkled holy water on the locations of the future walls and bastions. Afterward the
Russians held a feast for the members of the expedition and their guests. The Kazakh leaders and the officers drank toasts in honor of the imperial
family and the prominent Kazakhs. The drinking, incidentally, was an indication of the weakness of Islam among the Kazakhs.
On the following day Kirillov personally supervised the initial construction of the walls, bastions, and the main buildings. The Kazakh guests
were once more treated liberally, being given a bountiful meal of beef, mutton, koumiss, and many other delicacies.
In September Kirillov sent a full report of his activities to the Senate in which he noted continuing hostile activity from the Bashkir opposition
and analyzed his situation in Orenburg. He advocated greater efforts and more severe measures to bring the "rebels" to heel.13
It having soon become evident that more than a few isolated raids were involved, the governme nt hastily ordered Count Musin-Pushkin, the
governor of Kazan, to Bashkiria to organize and lead the Russian forces against the enemy. The selection of a person of such high position indicated
how seriously the government considered the situation. From the village of Elabuga in Bashkiria, Mu- sin-Pushkin soon wrote to the Senate that
approximately 1,000 Bashkirs had attacked Menzelinsk and had been driven off with heavy casualties. His units had also been attacked near his
headquarters and in other nearby villages. He feared the Kazan Tatars might join the fray and complained of a shortage of troops.14
During September, while Kirillov was constructing Orenburg, Bashkirs twice approached Menzelinsk and also burned villages in the vicinities
of Zainsk, Biliarsk, and Old Sheshminsk, and other Trans-Kama Line forts.
The sending of Musin-Pushkin to Bashkiria was only a stopgap measure. The governing Senate meeting in joint session with the Cabinet on
August 5 discussed the war and decided to organize a special Bashkir Co mmission to handle affairs in Bashkiria. Lieutenant General Alexander
Rumiantsev, formerly a close colleague of Peter the Great, was appointed head of the Commission and issued instructions which spelled out the
administration's policy during this phase of the struggle.15
Briefly, Rumiantsev was given authority to coordinate activities in Bashkiria.16
He was to depart immediately for Menzelinsk; Musin-Pushkin, meanwhile, proceeded to Ufa for a short period to recruit troops for the coming
campaign before returning to his office in Kazan. Initially the policy was to be persuasion, but if this failed Rumiantsev was to resort to military force
to "pacify" the recalcitrant "rebels." His units were to be composed of two dragoon regiments and one foot regiment. In addition, the Ural Cossacks
were to send 500 men, and the College of Foreign Affairs ordered the Kalmyk khan, Chirin Donduk, to assemble 3,000 Kalmyks and wait for
Rumiantsev's instructions. Kirillov was to hold the Orenburg Expedition plans temporarily in abeyance. He was to return the bulk of his force to Ufa,
Sakmarsk, or to some other strategic place, but to take care that his lines of communication could not be cut by the Bashkirs.
Rumiantsev subsequently received several secret instructions. A letter dated August 19 dealt with the bringing of 590 Cossacks to the forts in the
Trans-Kama Line and also requested that he expedite the settling of over 1,500 more who had asked permission to settle along the east bank of the
Volga. Another dated August 23 ordered him to interrogate all captives to find out "why the rebellion had started and whether any Tatars or other
dissidents were cooperating with them [the Bashkirs]." Also on August 23, a decree instructed him to issue uniforms and arms to two companies of
Admiralty Department personnel and any other available recruits and to give them military training because of "the small number of persons [in the
garrisons], among whom the greater part are Mohammedans or of other faiths; and the Bashkirs, learning of the few numbers of the Kazan garrison,
will not be afraid." On September 9 he was instructed to stock Verkhneuralsk and other points with provisions and to send some to Kirillov if he had
already started building the projected town on the Or River.17
The formation of the Bashkir Commission, primarily an organization to coordinate military command for Bashkiria, was an ominous indicator.
Peter I had attempted to leap over both the Bashkirs and the Kazakhs to reach Central Asia. He had been forced to draw back. The founders of the
Orenburg Expedition made a similar error. The unforeseen vigor of the Bashkir opposition compelled them to direct the whole project to the Bashkir
problem. •The other purposes became secondary.
The Bashkir outbreak threatened the whole Orenburg project. The town itself was virtually abandoned as all efforts focused on subjugat ing the
Bashkirs. From the autumn of 1735 until Kirillov's death in the spring of 1737 the Russians fought a brutal colonial war.
During the fall and early winter the Bashkirs directed their attention to destroying the Orenburg Expedition. For this reason Kirillov and
Tevkelev bore the brunt of the action while Rumiantsev and Musin-Pushkin organized their forces in the north.
Kirillov, leaving Orenburg in the charge of Lieutenant Colonel Yakov Fedorovich Chemodurov who kept ten companies of the troops, set out for
Ufa on September 7, 1735, with one company, a band of Cossacks, and a number of irregulars. He dispatched Tevkelev at the head of a detachment to
Siberia to attack the Bashkirs there and to expedite the supplies destined for Orenburg. Tevkelev moved up the Ural River Valley with three dragoon
companies, several hundred irregulars, and the nearly 1,000 peasants who had accompanied the first supply train to Orenburg.
On reaching Sakmarsk on September 18 Kirillov found that a number of Bashkirs friendly to Russia operating out of Sakmarsk had captured a
few of the enemy. After interrogation and torture the captives were executed b y Kirillov. He continued on toward Ufa. About 130 versts from the town
he ran into a force of more than 1,000 hostile Bashkirs. In an indecisive three-day running battle heavy losses were sustained by the Bashkirs. As a
punitive measure Kirillov burned more than a score of villages. His Cossacks captured a number of women and children and stores of grain. The
detachment reached Ufa on October 16 after several, though minor skirmishes.
Tevkelev's detachment on its way to Siberia suffered severely from lack o f provisions and an extraordinarily heavy snowfall for September. A
number of horses died for lack of fodder. Those that survived had to subsist on willow bark, and some even began to eat each other's tails and manes.
In spite of the hardships Tevkelev's group reached Verkhneuralsk, 290 versts from Orenburg, on September 20. Leaving Captain Uvarov with two
companies of troops, Tevkelev set out for Techensk on the twenty- fifth. Again suffering from heavy snow and hunger – the dragoons had to eat some
of their horses – he marched to Techensk where he arrived on the eighth of October. From there he made a quick journey to Ekaterinburg to confer with
Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev. Tevkelev discussed plans for quelling the Bashkir uprising with Tatishchev and busied himself gathering food, warm
clothing, arms, and other supplies for his own forces and for the garrison in Orenburg. He immediately dispatched the emergency supplies to
Verkhneuralsk. Because the expedition's funds had been exhausted, he was forced to bor row 800 rubles from Tatischev's office. After concluding his
business, he returned to Techensk, where he conferred with Colonel Arsen'ev, who had recently left Verkhneuralsk to become co mmander of the
garrison there. By mid-November he was able to send a supply train of 600 wagons under convoy of three companies commanded by Major Shkrader
toward Verkhneuralsk. Shkrader was told to store the supplies at that point if Bashkir opposition proved too great to take the supplies through to
Orenburg. Tevkelev then set out for Ufa on November 26 to meet Kirillov.
By the end of October conditions had reached a critical state in Orenburg. The attack on Chirikov's detachment had resulted in the loss or part of
Kirillov's supplies during the march to the Or, and still a nother loss was sustained when the Bashkirs attacked the Siberian supply train. Since the
arrival of the wagons from Siberia in the summer, no provisions had reached Orenburg. Furthermore, when Kirillov and Tevkelev left Orenburg they
took part of the provisions with them. Tevkelev had been busily engaged in accumulating supplies in Siberia, but it was the middle of November before
he assembled the train of 600 wagons for Verkhneuralsk. Chemodurov wrote Kirillov on October 30 informing him of conditions in Orenburg. He
reported that all the buildings in the fort and the work on the moat outside the fort are finished, with the exception of the church and the upper part of
the citadel of the Schlossturm; and that, it is hoped, will be finished soon; but instead of the log huts outside the fort for visiting Kazakhs and Bashkirs
we have constructed two large dugouts.18
He then asked that wages soon be sent to the command for the troops and the other ranks, and fur coats, footwear, and underclothing for the
soldiery of the Penzensk Regiment, because they are very in adequately dressed and are suffering from the cold, and because of this the numbers of the
ill are increasing.19
Because of the difficulties in supplying Orenburg, Kirillov decided to reduce the size o f the garrison. He ordered part of the detachment to
Techensk. He wrote Chemodurov:
If you do not soon receive the expected news about the arrival of provisions from Techensk (because of the disturbances) . . . or the looters (God
preserve us from this!) stop them along the road; then, instead of sending your people to Techensk according to the previous letter, send them to
Sakmarsk because there are provisions there and it will be more convenient at the present time because it is closer; and beca use the road to Techensk
crosses a large and empty steppe the command might suffer no little need during the winter and the horses, not having forage, would starve.20
Kirillov presented a somewhat different picture of conditions to St. Petersburg, as a decree of the Senate, dated December 30, indicated:
"Orenburg has received more than 60,000 poods [of provisions] to the great satisfaction of the whole command."21
Prior to receiving the second letter from Kirillov, Chemodurov had already sent out a party of more than 800 on the twenty- fifth of November
under the command of Major Raginsky with instructions to go to Techensk. This detachment had to return after having gone only about 30 versts
because of lack of warm clothing. Five persons froze to death and 150 others lost one or more of their hands and feet. Because food supplies were so
low, Chemodurov feared they might all perish of hunger. On November 27 he ordered another group of 773 to Sakmarsk some 280 to 300 versts
distant. They took supplies to last until December 13; but because the trip took longer than expected, by the time the party had reached the halfway
point, the portage between the Sakmara and Ural rivers, they had suffered 500 deaths from hunger and frostbite. The remaining 223 reached Sakmarsk
scarcely living, and of this number 80 arrived with frozen hands and feet.
Rumiantsev evidently did not tell the Senate the cause of their deaths, because months later a Senate dispatch requested further information on
the reason for the death of 500 soldiers.22
The remaining troops in Orenburg consisted of approximately 300, two companies of regulars and 100 Cossacks. According to Dob rosmyslov,
who compiled a set of documents on the early years of the Orenburg Expedition, "It is difficult to understand by what means Chemodurov was able to
feed it [the garrison] with the scanty stock of supplies which he had . . . until July 8, 1736, when a new wagon train of pro visions arrived."23
Kirillov spent little time in Ufa because Rumiantsev had sent repeated orders for him to come to Menzelinsk for a conference. He set out
November 7, not waiting for the arrival of Tevkelev.
In decrees of November 11 and November 14 the Empress had ordered Rumiantsev to confer with Kirillov and to compose a joint p lan for
subduing the Bashkirs.24 The same decrees instructed him to build several forts and Cossack settlements in the area and to construct a wooden
stronghold at Menzelinsk during the winter. The site of the Bashkir attack on Chirikov's party was specifically designated as one location for a strong
point which was to be garrisoned with two companies of troops. Two Cossack villages were to be founded between the Sakmara and Ural rivers with
100 Cossacks in each. The primary purpose of these three settlements was to ensure better communications with Orenburg.25
In late November and in December Rumiantsev and Kirillov conferred in order to lay plans for the pacification of the Bashkirs.
As early as September 1735 Kirillov had made several basic proposals to the Senate for handling the Bashkirs.26 He amplified these periodically
during his term as head of the expedition. He generally took a hard line: first, complete subjugation and, then, organization of orderly government. He
claimed conditions in Bashkiria had been worse before the Russians arrived and that they had gradually been improved under Russian administration,
an almost universal thought among colonial administrators.
Consequently, he was convinced that the dissidents could only be a minority. He even pointed out that numbers of Bashkirs were loyal and
serving the state, as, for example, the Bashkir members of the Orenburg Expedition. His general solution was to build a network of forts around which
loyal elements could be settled. Then, with several companies from the Trans-Kama Defensive Line, he could move into the center of the region,
and thus, surrounding the brigands from all sides, seize their wives and children and property and horses and livestock and completely destroy
their homes and punish the main instigators as an example to the others ... and send the less guilty and male children who are fit into exile, to the Baltic
area, and disperse wives and female children . . . and distribute them to whoever wants to take them ... in order that their roots will be completely torn
out; and henceforth there would not be such offshoots as, for example, the main thief, Akai, who lives on the upper Yaik [Ura l] and whose father
Kusium died in prison for rebelling and whose grandfather was hanged. For if the children had been deported, then the nephew wo uld not now be
committing his thieving acts.27
Kirillov blamed the disturbances on the earlier government policy of leniency and advocated the following measures,28 which give an excellent
picture of the situation in Bashkiria as seen by a colonial administrator.
All those who had been captured while participating in rebellious acts were to be executed. Those who voluntarily surrendered were to escape
death but were to be deported. The principal instigators of the war were to be hunted down and executed without mercy. Contra ry to former policy,
minor offenders were not to be punished by whipping with the knout, but sent to the Baltic r egiments as soldiers or to Rogervik for labor. Russians
without passports and other refugees of non-Slavic origin were to be rounded up and sent either to the Baltic area as soldiers and laborers or to the Ural
Restrictive measures were to be instituted to control local Bashkir affairs. Districts where disturbances had occurred were not to be governed by
their regular elders. Two or three elected officials were to be held responsible for the good behavior of the people under their jurisdiction. Except for
the annual assembly, meetings of Bashkirs were prohibited, unless permission was obtained from a responsible Russian official.
At their annual meeting Russian officials were to see to it that the Bashkirs discussed their real needs and problems and d id not carry on as they
had in the past when they gathered in the morning to write abusive letters calling the town governors and other officials thieves, despoilers, and
destroyers. Then when these "thieves" gave them gifts of cattle and strong drink they got drunk and wrote laudatory letters on the situation in
Bashkiria. The meeting usually ended when they dispersed to their homes in the evening, brawling over money and other present s from the officials.
Several incidents in which mullahs had used Islam as a rallying point for the anti-Russian Bashkirs led to a proposal for regulating Moslem
affairs. Each doroga was to have one representative of the Moslem clergy who would be appointed by the Russian government. These representatives
were to swear an oath of allegiance to the Empress. Proselyting among non-Moslems was prohibited. Only after the government had authorized it
could a mosque or Moslem school be constructed. Relations with the Kazan Tatars, coreligionists of the Bashkirs, were allowab le only with the
express permission of the governor of Kazan.
All inhabitants of the districts which had participated in the disturbances were to be prohibited from carrying arms, except in the farthest frontier
areas of the Siberian Doroga. The exception was made because the Bashkirs in that region often had to face Kazakh attacks. A fine of one horse was the
penalty for anyone apprehended carrying arms in violation of this law. The trade of blacksmithing was forbidden in Bashkiria, and all commerce in
metal articles was limited to Russian towns where the military governors could keep watch for violations. Service Meshcheriaks and friendly Bashkirs
were exempted from this general prohibition but were not to sell arms to anyone else.
The long-standing problem of the non-Bashkir immigrants drew considerable attention. The Bashkirs had generally opposed the flow of
migrants from Russia into their country, since they occupied many of the best pasturage areas and farmed them, but because of their prior occupancy
and their military power the Bashkirs were gradually transforming many of these refugee Tatars, Chuvashes, Cheremises (Mari), and others into a
peasantry. Some of these aliens supported Russia in the war. Consequently, Kirillov proposed that those who fought the Rus sians be punished and the
loyal ones be given permanent title to the land they had settled on, and that may be absolved of their obligation to pay quitrent (obrok) to Bashkir
Another major point was also directed at the land problem. Kirillov recommended that the prohibition against the purchase of Bashkir land by
outsiders, which dated from 1649, be removed. He thought Russian migration into Bashkiria must be encouraged, because the Bas hkir population was
growing rapidly and dissident elements from Russia were flooding into the region. He cautioned that great trouble could be expected in the future,
"especially in the case of war with their [the Bashkirs'] fellow religionists, the Turks, or if an intelligent outlaw, such as Sten'ka Razin, appears among
them."29 If the government did not act now it would result in the weakening of the Russian position in the area because the local inhabitants would
come to look on themselves as an independent people. Finally Kirillov added:
Orenburg is a necessity for the pacification of Bashkiria because it is located behind the area of Bashkir habitation; and consequently the
Bashkirs, as well as those places belonging to them, will be encircled as with a wall.30
Rumiantsev opposed a hard policy and advocated more moderate methods. As early as the beginning of November he reported that the Bashkirs
had been largely suppressed. There was a lull in October, as Tevkelev noted from Siberia. At that time several Bashkir leaders approached Tevkelev
asking for mercy and permission to go to Rumiantsev to capitulate formally.31 Evidently the Bashkirs were feeling the effects of the severe winter no
less than Chemodurov's troops in Orenburg. Rumiantsev considered it unwise to start a severely repressive policy or to punish the hostile groups. In the
first place, he wrote, it would be impossible to institute such a policy because he did not have enough troops to carry it out. At the time he had only four
dragoon companies, one battalion of the Kazan garrison, and 650 Cossacks.
Second, he did not have sufficient provisions; nor was it possible to live off the country. He believed the cruelty of Kirillov and Tevkelev was
driving the Bashkirs to desperation. Tatishchev in letters to Rumiantsev supported this view.32
Rumiantsev's opinions were guided less by a desire to be humane than by a realistic consideration of Russian weakness in the area. Temporar ily,
gentleness would be required, but ultimately, as he stated the problem in a letter to St. Petersburg:
[They are] an obdurate people and it will be impossible to force them to be loyal to the state or into accepting taxes without some disturbance. It
will be necessary . . . when it is your Majesty's intention to tighten control – having prepared for the most favorable moment by constructing supply
magazines and local forts as places of asylum for the [loyal] people – to arrest their prominent people and to effect this by force of arms.33
Over the signature of Empress Anna, officials in St. Petersburg on October 18, 1736, wrote:
You are of the opinion that it is better to extinguish the disturbances among these Bashkirs by kind and benevolent means rather than by cruelty
and force of arms. And although We Ourselves are of this opinion, and especially because of the most recent events [the difficulties caused by the
outbreak of war with Turkey] ... on the other hand, in consideration of the fact that if those Bashkirs who are causing the uprising, and especially the
leaders and authors of it . . . yield without any punishment, they might commit such acts habitually when they see that they might avoid just vengeance
and punishment.34
As soon as he arrived in Menzelinsk, Rumiantsev sent letters throughout Bashkiria asking the Bashkirs to make peace and assur ing them of the
mercy of the Empress. Because of the hardships the Bashkirs were suffering, many came to Menzelinsk to make peace, particularly those who had not
participated in the struggle against Russia. But the leader of the uprising, Kil'miak, remained at large. Information that he was planning to take
advantage of Rumiantsev's offer was sent to Tabynsk; but Tevkelev, hearing the news, immediately sent word that he was to be arrested and kept under
strict guard if he actually appeared. Although Kil'miak did not go to Tabynsk, the Bashkirs ceased attacking in November and December because of
the difficulties of carrying on hostilities during the winter.35
The winter quiet in Bashkiria proved temporary. Akai Kusiumov, the Bashkir elder who had gone to Menzelinsk to affirm his loyalty to the
Russians, learned while there that the Russian forces in the area were surprisingly few in number. He wrote letters to leaders in the Siberian Doroga,
informing them of the weakness of the garrisons. Again the Bashkirs met to plan war. They intercepted the supply train Tevkelev had dispatched from
Techensk and forced it to return to its starting point. The garrison in Verkhneuralsk had run out of supplies. The troops began to eat their horses,
eventually including the hides in their diet. On the promise of a safe escort, they left the fort for Techensk; but a few versts out of the fort the escorting
Bashkirs attempted to seize the Russians' arms. The party quickly retreated to a defensible point, but hunger and the overwhe lming number of the
enemy presented insurmountable odds. The entire detachment was annihilated.
In northern Bashkiria Tevkelev was in danger. The rebels laid an ambush for his detachment at a narrow defile along the Ai River. The plot was
discovered beforehand; but when the inhabitants of the village where Tevkelev's party was located discovered the ambush had failed, they planned to
massacre the troops while they were sleeping. This surprise failed too. Only a few men were wounded before the alarm was sounded and the Russians
turned the tables, surrounded the village, and captured all the inhabitants, except for a few who escaped into the woods. Some 1,000 of the villagers,
including women and children, were shot or put to the sword by the dragoons, Meshcheriaks, and Bashkirs who served in the Russian forces. Another
500 were driven into a storehouse and burned to death. "And thus," wrote Rychkov, "the entire village of Seiantusa and its in habitants, including
women and children both small and great, was destroyed in one night by fire and sword, and the settlement was burned to ashes."36
The next day Tevkelev moved his forces to a Meshcheriak village, and after a conference with his subordinates dispatched several parties to take
revenge. Approximately fifty Bashkir villages were burned, about 2,000 Bashkirs killed, those who remained alive were executed, and the wives and
children were distributed to the troops.
A scouting party from a Russian group operating near Kubova, approximately 50 versts from Ufa, ran into a large gathering of Bashkirs. The
hundred men of the Russian detachment were all killed. At almost the same time one of Tevkelev's parties met with a band of Bashkirs who were on
their way to recover the women and children captured by the Russians. The whole detachment o f one company of regulars and a hundred irregulars
were killed. Tevkelev immediately dispatched a larger group; but, after a battle of several hours in which a few Bashkirs were killed, the remaining
ones retreated into the woods. The Russians were unable to follow because of the heavy snow. Tevkelev himself, leaving his artillery and heavy
supplies behind at the Meshcheriak village of Kundeshliak, set out to pursue another group of Bashkirs but returned suddenly on learning the enemy
was planning to attack his base. He subsequently ordered out several parties after Rumiantsev sent a dragoon regiment to supplement his forces. The
Bashkirs were forced to retreat into the more inaccessible areas of their territory.
Meanwhile, Kirillov and Rumiantsev drew up recommendations, and Kirillov journeyed to St. Petersburg to present them to the Cabinet. On
February 11, 1736, an imperial decree was issued outlining the policies to be followed in Bashkiria. Evidently the harder policies recommended by
Kirillov found favor with the Cabinet ministers because the decree reflected his viewpoint more than that of Rumiantsev.37
Kirillov, while still in St. Petersburg, heard of the new disturbances and with this evidence convinced the government officials that a special
effort must be made. A supplementary decree of February 16, directed at the immediate steps to be taken, called on Rumiantsev to assemble all
available forces to destroy the enemy.38
1. PSZ, 9, 326.
2. "State Councillor" (Statskii sovetnik) was a rating in the government bureaucracy and does not mean a councillor of the tsar or state. It ranked
fifth from the top in Peter the Great's "Table of Ranks" and corresponded to a Brigadier in the military service.
3. The narrative of events is based primarily on Rychkov's Istoriia. Rychkov was Secretary of the Orenburg Commission during the
administration of Nepliuev, 1741-58. He wrote a history of the whole project. Supplementary accounts based on archival materials are those of
Dobrosmyslov, RGO, and V. N. Vitevskii's I. I. Nepliuev i Orenburgskii krai v prezhnem ego sostave do 1758 g.
4. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 227-31, 240-41, 282-83, 283-85, 286-87.
5. Vitevskii, I, 140-41. The Yaik was renamed the Ural River in 1775.
6. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 204-15.
7. A. I. Dobrosmyslov, "Bashkirskii bunt v 1735, 1736 i 1737 gg.," Trudy Orenburgskoi uchenoi arkhivnoi komissii, vyp., VIII (Orenburg,
1900), pp. 7-8. (Hereafter cited as Dobrosmyslov, Trudy.)
8. Ibid., p. 12.
9. Like State Councillor, "Privy Councillor" (Tainyi sovetnik) was a rating in the bureaucracy. Ranking third in Peter's "Table of Ranks," it
corresponded to a Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral in the military.
10. The Meshcheriaks (or Mishari) were from a Tatar tribe who lived in the middle Volga region. Many of them migrated into Bashkiria after the
fall of Kazan. They ordinarily paid their Bashkir landlords quitrent for the land they occupied.
11. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 96, 99ff.
12. Ibid., pp. 97-99.
13. Ibid., pp. 80-86.
14. Ibid., pp. 88-89.
15. Ibid., pp. 64-72.
16. Rumiantsev's and Kirillov's commands remained separate. The two heads were told to coordinate their activities. Joint act ion was discussed
in conferences. Because Rumiantsev held the superior rank, he usually signed documents above Kir illov.
17. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 77-78.
18. Ibid., p. 170.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid., pp. 176-77.
21. Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, p. 54. A pood is 36 pounds avoirdupois.
22. Ibid., fn. 26; also Materialy, 2, 218-19.
23. Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, p. 55.
24. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 109-10.
25. Ibid., pp. 111-12; PSZ, 9, 713.
26. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 80-86.
27. Ibid., p. 84.
28. Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, pp. 60-63.
29. Ibid., p. 62, quoting a document from the Turgai Oblast Archives.
30. Solov'ev, 4, 1538.
31. Dobrosmyslov, Materially, 2, 180-81, 184-85.
32. Solov'ev, 4, 1535.
33. Ibid.
34. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 106-07.
35. Ibid., pp. 180-81, 184-85.
36. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 20.
37. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 190-98; PSZ, 9, 741-45.
38. Ibid., pp. 198-201.
The August reorganization of the military structure on the Southeastern Frontier was intended to bring the independent commands into closer
cooperation. Although Rumiantsev, by virtue of his superior rank, signed joint documents first, no single, integrated organization was established. As
the chief of the newly formed Bashkir Commission, Rumiantsev located his headquarters in the north at Menzelinsk, the chief fort in the Trans-Kama
Line. Tatishchev, the chief of the Ural Industries, was also located in the north, but in the mountains and to the east, at Ekaterinburg, in western Siberia.
In the south Kirillov, the head of the Orenburg Expedition, planned to operate out of Orenburg but, finding this impractical because of Orenburg's
isolation, moved his command several times. The region of the upper Ural River in western Siberia fell to Tevkelev, the second-ranking leader of the
Orenburg Expedition. He was temporarily placed under Tatishchev.
Because of the difficulties of carrying on during the winter months, this period was spent in planning for the campaign, whic h was to begin in late
March or possibly early April of 1736. By then, it was expected, the Bashkirs and their mounts would be weakened by severe hunger. As soon as the
weather permitted operations, Rumiantsev's troops were to be broken up into small units, so that they could surround the Bashkirs from all sides and
root out [the dissidents] and burn their villages and build redoubts in the required places and establish magazines in them and in this way make all the
dorogas safe; as for the securing of the Russian settlements against attack, to station at rivers and other necessary places gentry, peasants, and
volunteers from the ... [various] regiments.1
Before the campaign began, letters were to be sent throughout Bashkiria to notify the people of the government's intentions a nd to call for
Because Rumiantsev did not receive orders until early March he did not have time to assemble the forces that had been authorized. Nevertheless,
he immediately gathered an army of Russians and local natives from Kazan and marched out toward Menzelinsk and beyond. On Apr il 3 he reached
the Dema River where nineteen Bashkirs who met him to ask for pardon were placed under guard. As he moved up the Dema River toward its
headwaters, the Bashkirs fled before him, offering little resistance. About 1,000 Bashkirs were killed, 100 villages burned, and much livestock seized.
Two of the leading Bashkirs, Akai Kusiumov and Sultan Murat, were captured and sent to Menzelinsk. During April Rumiantsev dispatched several
small parties to destroy other villages.
Kirillov left St. Petersburg on February 18 for Menzelinsk to meet Rumiantsev and then continued on to Ufa, where he arrived March 11. Six
days later Tevkelev arrived, and the two worked out the details for the coming spring and summer campaign. After the conference Tevkelev left for
Verkhneuralsk to organize the government's forces there and to see about pushing through the supply train to Orenburg. Kirillov, on the twenty- fourth,
led the Vologodsk Regiment out of Ufa toward Tabynsk to attack the hos- tiles. Operating from Tabynsk, Kirillov's troops in the period of a month
burned 200 villages (4,000 households) and a mosque which had served as a meeting place for the dissidents; killed 700 in battle and executed 158; and
sent many others to military service and labor in the Baltic region. Early in May Kirillov fell ill and had to return to Ufa. There he worked on the other
major projects of the Orenburg Expedition.
To get closer to the Bashkir uprising he had temporarily established the command's headquarters at Simbirsk on the Volga. In May he decided to
move south to Samara. From that point he planned to improve communications with Orenburg by constructing a fort at the portage between the Samara
and Ural rivers. Rumiantsev, on the Dema River, had hoped to combine forces with Kirillov there for a joint campaign in May, but this became
impossible when Kirillov fell ill. He left the Dema and traveled to Ufa to meet Kirillov. After conferring about the campaign he returned to Menzelinsk
to interrogate Bashkir captives. Five hundred men were subsequently executed, and an equal number of women and children were sent to Russia as
Kil'miak, the leader of the Bashkirs in the Nogai Doroga, was still at large and inciting the Bashkirs to further opposition. Akai Kusiumov and
Sultan Murat, the two leaders who had been captured by Rumiantsev shortly be fore, suggested that they be sent to persuade Kil'miak to negotiate a
peace. After some hesitation and discussion Rumiantsev decided to send a prominent Bashkir captive in hopes that Kil'miak would be convinced to
Early in May Rumiantsev sent a report of his activities to the Court. Anna Ivanovna replied in a letter dated 23 May that she had received the
news "with great pleasure and satisfaction."2 He was instructed to continue his vigorous policies.
Second Major Ostankov, one of Kirillov's subordinates who headed a Cossack detachment operating out of Sakmarsk, in mid- May discovered a
group of Bashkirs who had left the Dema area because of Rumiantsev. The resulting skirmish ended in the death of 600 men and a large number of
women. Proceeding deep into the heart of the Nogai Doroga, he met an enemy force of about 1,000. Two hundred Bashkirs were killed at the cost of
only ten Cossacks killed and thirteen wounded.
In June Rumiantsev again took the field. The Bashkirs, learning that he had a relatively small force, planned to wipe out the whole detachment,
including the commander. Kil'miak, at the head of 8,000 Bashkirs, fell on Rumiantsev's camp near Kugush Creek on July 29, killing a hundred and
eighty Russians, wounding sixty, and losing only forty killed and three captured. The three captive Bashkirs were promptly hanged. Rumiantsev
reported the incident to the Court and requested additional troops.3
Although the February decree had called for the massing of a considerable force to fight the Bashkirs, Rumiantsev had not yet received many
troops and could still complain about inadequate forces.
Russia had been fighting the Crimean Tatars since 1735 and was soon to become involved with the Turks. This tense international crisis
prevented the transfer of regular troops to Bashkiria. In addition, the immense expanse of Bashkiria and the great distances over which troops had to be
moved made impossible the rapid marshaling of the proposed forces. For this reason the Court sent Rumiantsev supplementary orders, dated August 6,
instructing him to give his troops incentive by permitting them to take booty from the Bashkirs.4 Kirillov received orders to hold the Orenburg project
in abeyance for a year. With the exception of a small force to be left in Orenburg with a year's supplies, all Kirillov's forces were to be concentrated on
fighting the Bashkirs. The frontier towns and outposts were to be stripped of all who could be spared for use against them. The war against the
Crimeans required many horses, and even in this serious situation Rumiantsev was directed to buy horses from friendly Bashkirs.
On August 6 the Empress sent a letter to Donduk Dashi, the Kalmyk leader.5 Commending him for loyal service against the Crimeans and Turks
in the Kuban area, the Empress requested him to go immediately to Bashkiria. In return for serving there the Kalmyks were offered any booty they
could take. Field Marshal B. C. von Münnich, then fighting the Turks and Crimeans in the south, was ordered to send two dragoon regiments to
Bashkiria immediately so that order could be established during the coming winter. The regiments were ordered to travel to Bashkiria on foot. They
were to acquire horses by capturing them from the Bashkirs.6 The sending of troops from von M ünnich's army gives some measure of the concern for
the Russian position in Bashkiria.
After the big attack on Rumiantsev on June 29, most of the Bashkirs had retreated into inaccessible mountainous areas. Rumiantsev dispatched
a number of detachments to pursue them but with little success, although a few were captured and executed. In Menzelinsk in t he latter part of July he
received information that dissidents had attacked neutral Bashkirs, killing fifty. He sent out a party to find the troublemakers, but without success.
On August 29 Rumiantsev received a communication, dated July 13, which relieved him of his command and transferred him to von Münnich's
army in the Ukraine. Brigadier and Life-Guard Major Mikhail Semenovich Khrushchov became the new head of the Bashkir Commission.
In May the ailing Kirillov spent his time furthering the original plans of the Orenburg project. Ultimately he intended to take his forces to
Orenburg and establish the command's headquarters there, but in the meantime he ordered his father-in- law, Naval Lieutenant Peter Bakhmetev, to
lead the troops to Samara. Once the force was settled, Bakhmetev was to build two forts along the Samara River to protect the line of communications
with Orenburg. After regrouping in Simbirsk, Bakhmetev set out by boat for Samara, which he reached at the beginning of Augus t. Once he obtained
the necessary supplies and equipment from the chancery of the Trans-Kama Line, Bakhmetev built two forts, Krasnosamarsk and Krasnoborsk (later
Borsk), garrisoned them with small detachments of troops, and awaited the arrival of Kirillov.
On June 30, at the head of the Vologodsk companies and a number of irregulars, Kirillov left Ufa for Orenburg. He arrived in Tabynsk on July 10
where he constructed an earthen fort with five bastions and a church. He conferred with Major Ostankov, who arrived with a detachment of 1,574
Cossacks, reporting a skirmish with the Bashkirs in which he had killed 202, executed several, and burned several villages at a cost of only two dead
and several wounded. His party had been short of food and had been forced to subsist on apples and edible plants during the march from Sakmarsk to
Kirillov ordered Ostankov to Orenburg to replace Lieutenant Colonel Chemodurov. On the way Ostankov stopped to build another fort 120
versts from Sakmarsk on the Ural River. He laid the foundations and installed a garrison of Ural Cossacks on July 24. Ostanko v also convoyed a
supply train from Siberia carrying 1,180 quarters of grain to Orenburg. Kirillov later received word that an additional 300 q uarters of grain had arrived
safely by boat along the Ural River for the first time. The Orenburg garrison which had been reduced to two companies of regular troops and 100
Cossacks during the hardships of the previous season now had enough supplies to last a full year.
On the sixteenth of July Kirillov left Tabynsk for Sakmarsk, not Orenburg, because his plans regarding Orenburg were delayed by the more
pressing problem of the Bashkirs. He sent out a punitive detachment of 300 dragoons and 656 Cossacks against a group of the enemy who were located
east of the Belaia River. In the attack fifty Bashkirs were killed, with the loss of but one Cossack killed and five wounded. On August 2 Kirillov sent
out another detachment of 736 regular troops and 920 Cossacks under the command of Colonel Postas'ev. In the hills Postas'ev's detachment burned
twenty-nine villages, killed a number of Bashkirs, and executed several others without losing a single member of his own force. The majority of the
hostile Bashkirs retreated into the interior, where thick forest and mountains prevented further pursuit.
Leaving Sakmarsk with 250 Cossacks, Kirillov marched back toward Samara. Along the way he inspected favorable sites for future strong points
and stationed small groups of Cossacks at several places. Meeting Bakhmetev at Fort Krasnosamarsk, one of the forts just built by Bakhmetev, he
decided to transform it into a real town with a market and a customhouse to handle caravans on their way to and from Orenburg. He inte nded
Krasnosamarsk to serve as the commercial center until Orenburg's position was more secure. Kirillov ordered the work to begin immediately so that
the required officials and clerks could be transferred from Samara by the following spring.
In spite of the pressing requirements of the Bashkir war, Kirillov maintained contact with the Kazakhs. The Little a nd Middle hordes had, at least
nominally, accepted Russian suzerainty. Beleaguered on many sides, especially from Jungaria, the Kazakhs had two alternatives, both equally
distasteful: alignment with Russia or Jungaria.7 Weakened internally by a struggle for power among the khans of the three hordes and even among the
leading elements of each horde, the Kazakhs were forced to make a decision. In the 1730s Abulkhair of the Little Horde had turned to Russia, probably
because the Russians were more remote and seemed to offer a lesser threat to independence than the Jungars. At the same time Abulkhair expected
sufficient support from the Russians to strengthen his own position both within the Little Horde and in relation to the other hordes.
Sultan Erali, Abulkhair's second son, and several other Kazakhs who had accompanied the expedition to Orenburg, stayed there as hostages. In
August 1735, before he hurried off to fight the Bashkirs, Kirillov sent a party of Kazakhs to Khan Abulkhair with gifts from the Empress. Almost a
year later, on June 14, 1736, an embassy headed by two envoys from the Khan and Batur Janibek, a tarkhan of the Middle Horde, arrived in Orenburg
to discuss urgent problems with Chemodurov. They requested the Russians to send a return mission.8 Chemodurov entrusted the discussions to John
Castle, one of those venturesome Englishmen of the time who had accompanied Kirillov as the expedition's artist. During the p receding year in
Orenburg, Castle had evidently become acquainted with Abulkhair. Relations with the Kazakhs over that period are obscure. Castle claimed to have
learned that 40,000 Kazakhs were planning to join the Bashkirs at the instigation of the Ottoman Porte. The envoys requested an immediate embassy
be sent to Abulkhair to forestall the move.9
This startling news seems not to have bothered Chemodurov at all, and he was disinclined to send an embassy. The explanation can only be
surmised. First, he was busily engaged in building the new town and, with his scanty forces, may not have been able to spare anyone for the mission.
Second, he was already under immediate threat of Bashkir attack, which may have made him reluctant to part with any of his troops. The
Russian-Turkish War of 1736- 39 makes Castle's statement of the Turkish agitation a possibility, but the available Russian sources do not indicate any
such activity on the part of the Turks in 1735-36. It is possible that Castle had motives of his own for encouraging the organization of the embassy to
the Kazakhs. In any case, supported by Sultan Erali, Castle received permission from Chemodurov to head a mission to Abulkhair. Leaving the same
day with a German student named Dietrich Luftus, a Tatar assistant of Tevkelev, and the two Kazakh envoys, Castle traveled into the steppe. Two days
later, on June 16, the envoy from Janibek left the party to report to the leaders of the Middle Horde. Castle stayed at Abulk hair's camp from June 19 to
July 5. During this time he claimed to have made a great impression on the Kazakhs and to have advanced the Russian cause considerably.
On the return trip he was accompanied by twenty representatives from all three hordes. The very first day he heard a rumor that a group of 2,000
Bashkirs had been sent by Kil'miak to join the Kazakhs. At the source of the Or River he sent a small party on to Orenburg while he set out with the rest
of the group for Ufa to meet Kirillov. A number of minor clashes with the Bashkirs occurred as the party approached Bashkir territory. In Sakmarsk on
July 17 the Cossack ataman refused to convoy the group because of the danger from the Bashkirs and because Kirillov had not sent instructions to do
so. Two days later Castle's party reached the fort at the head of the Ik River. From here he communicated with Kirillov, who sent several Bashkirs to
accompany him to Ufa. In Tatar dress and on horseback he reached Ufa, 106 versts distant, after a one-day journey, on August 5. Kirillov, according to
Castle, was very pleased with the embassy and its results. Whether for reasons of Kirillov's diplomacy or for other causes, the Kazakhs did not take the
opportunity presented by the war to interfere in Bashkiria.
After his arrival in Samara, Kirillov sent a report to the Cabinet on August 14, containing an evaluation of the situation:
I have made every endeavor to root out the Bashkir bandits, and a great number of the renegades have already perished in various places or have
saved their lives by flight; and, although during June and July brazen effronteries were committed by them and might still be committed in those places
where they find negligence, they have come to the point where this uprising will indeed be the last. Already those in the Siberian Doroga and many in
the Nogai Doroga have been brought to complete subjugation and the remaining, if they continue their banditry, will begin to die from hunger and the
winter cold: their horses and other livestock in many places have perished and are still dying. This very thing is necessary before we build towns, not
only at the present time but also because our permanent interests depend on it. For only thus can the glory of Your Majesty's triumphant arms spread
throughout all of Middle Asia. Besides the town in the interior of Bashkiria there will be 45 behind their habitations, extending from the Volga to
Siberia and from Orenburg to the Aral Sea. The three Kazakh hordes are now subject to Russia and have informed us of their desire to show their
loyalty by serving against the Bashkir bandits. Because Your Majesty's best interest will depend on the fact that these people are always in
disagreement, permit them [the Kazakhs] to attack the Bashkirs in the distant Siberian and Nogai dorogas in revenge for former injuries.10
Another communication sent to the Cabinet on September 26, after Rumiantsev's transfer, amplified his previous report. With his customary
optimism Kirillov reported that the line of fortifications was proceeding satisfactorily and that if he were not bothered by interference from Ufa he
would be able to finish the line by the following summer. Fewer supplies would be needed in the future because the Cossacks manning the line could
live off the land – "the soil is black, and forest, meadows, fish and game are adequate."11 He added that new observations were being taken to compile
a more accurate map of the area.
Kirillov believed the proposed vast assemblage of forces from near and far to fight the Bashkirs was unnecessary. With a force of only a hundred
dragoons and several hundred Cossacks he himself had marched through the very heart of Bashkiria without suffering any reverses. The disasters that
had occurred were the result, he stated, of carelessness on the part of the commanders involved. Stripping essential troops from the Tsaritsyn Line and
from the Astrakhan garrison would be unwise. The situation in Bashkiria could be handled by the 700 troops of the Vologodsk companies, the 2,000
Ural Cossacks, and the many newly Christianized Kalmyks who should be enrolled into the Cossack service and permitted to occupy the territory
beyond the defensive line like the Russian Cossacks.12
In Siberia during the summer and fall of 1736 the campaign had been pressed without mercy by Tevkelev and his subordinate, Co lonel
Martakov. An October 19 report from Tatishchev, who directed the Siberian side of the struggle, claimed that more than 5,000 Bashkirs had
capitulated and sworn oaths of loyalty; a number of leaders had been taken; and certain Bashkirs declared they would capture Bepen and Isengulov, the
rebel leaders in Siberia, if they did not voluntarily surrender. Some Bashkir elders had asked to be enrolled as Cossacks to take reve nge on Middle
Horde Kazakhs who had been attacking them. These elders stated that all the Middle Horde was not yet subject to Russia, and groups from this horde
had even attacked Russian settlements. A Bashkir who claimed to represent 230 loyal subjects had come to offer horses and arms to the Russians, but
this act antagonized the hostile Bashkirs, who considered it treachery and attacked and burned the village of the friendly Bashkirs. Tatishchev also
stated that he had collected many horses and approximately 10,000 rubles as fines.13
Conditions in the area directly under Rumiantsev were similar to those in Siberia. In November and December 4,000 Bashkirs came to
Menzelinsk to make peace. Several were executed and 150 were held as hostages. The Bashkirs friendly to Russia began to attack the villages of the
now demoralized dissidents in retaliation for earlier attacks on them. Many were killed, others were handed over to the Russians for execution, and
women and children were distributed according to the wishes of those who captured them. Approximately 5,000 men were sent to the Baltic regiments
and to Rogervik as laborers.14
The situation in the other dorogas and the Kungursk District to the north was not so favorable to the Russians. The Bashkirs attacked and burned
Meshcheriak villages and the villages of the other non-Russian peoples who sided with the Russians. Two Stroganov estates were burned. The hostile
Bashkirs also attacked and smashed a Russian detachment of 1,500. The Empress wrote sharply to Rumiantsev on September that he and his "corps of
15,000 [sic] persons which had been formed for the protection of the area had not ac ted with the necessary caution and had suffered destruction."15
She asked why he was wasting so much time. Rumiantsev failed to receive this reprimand because he had already departed for the Ukraine to join von
Münnich's army.
On the basis of Kirillov's reports that the uprising could be put down soon, the Court sent the new commander of the Bashkir Commission,
Brigadier and Life-Guard Major Khrushchov, a communication on October 27 which informed him that the two regular regiments from von Münnich's
army would not be sent to Bashkiria and that Buturlin, now the governor of Siberia, had protested his inability to supply more than 1,000 of the
required 2,000 service men.16
The same information was sent to Kirillov in a letter which also told him that St. Pete rsburg did not agree with his belief that additional forces
were unnecessary to quell the Bashkirs. "It is known to you that during the present Turkish war the army is not without its needs in other places"; but
the Cabinet members thought the Bashkir situation so serious that it had to be settled soon. For this reason Kirillov was ordered to meet with
Khrushchov immediately and determine the actual military requirements.17
In September, Kirillov left Fort Krasnoborsk for Simbirsk to arrange for the transfer of the Orenburg headquarters to Samara. He then traveled
quickly to Menzelinsk to meet Khrushchov. During November and December the two drew up another plan for the pacification of Bashkiria, and on
December 23 they sent it to St. Petersburg for approval.18
They proposed to divide the Russian forces into five units which could surround and crush the remaining dissidents. Once again April was
selected as the best month to begin operations. Tatishchev, who had been successful with a relatively small force, was to take charge in Siberia. The
plan was accepted by the Cabinet on January 10, 1737. Kirillov's reports and the relative quiet during the winter had convinc ed the Cabinet that it
would be possible to reduce the size of the forces required for the campaign. Two regiments were sent to the Ukraine instead of to Bashkiria.
Tatishchev acquired the 1,000 service men from Siberia, 1,000 service Tatars from Kazan Gubernia, and 1,000 Ural Cossacks for military service and
to build new fortified towns.
In November Tatishchev had called a conference of his subordinates, Tevkelev, Ivan Sawich Arsen'ev, and Andrei Fedorovich Khrushchov,19 to
draw up a plan of action for Siberian Bashkiria.
The principal problem discussed was how to force the surrender of the e nemy leaders. It was decided that another summons must be sent, asking
them to come to the nearest administrative centers to submit. Another serious problem was the starvation of the Bashkirs. Tat ishchev feared that
hunger would make them uncontrollable and advised that they be permitted to buy grain in order that they will not again venture out on a course of
robbery because of extreme need; for many have stated during questioning that last spring they stole most of all because of hunger; and now, it is said,
that they are constantly stealing each other's livestock.20
Tevkelev, on the other hand, believed that hunger among the Bashkirs worked to the advantage of the Russians. Permitting them to buy grain
would merely strengthen their position. He proposed that only those Bashkirs who capitulated be allowed grain and then but three poods per family,
"not sufficient to feed them all winter." Any who received the first ration would be registered and subsequently permitted to buy more. Tevkelev's view
finally prevailed. In February 1737 Kil'miak, the most prominent leader in the Nogai Doroga, was captured, sent to Ufa, and then to M. S. Khrushchov
in Menzelinsk. Of the principal Bashkir leaders only Kusiap Saltangulov, Seit-bai Alkalin, and Sultan Murat Diusheev remained at large in the area
west of the Ural Mountains. In Siberia most of the leaders had given up, except for Bepen Trupberdin and Mandar Karabaev. Tat ishchev sent an envoy
to Bepen, who had indicated he was willing to capitulate; but on arrival the envoy was told, "Because they have not released Yusup I will not come to
ask forgiveness and swear an oath of allegiance. But if they release Yusup then I will come."21
On the following day, February 11, Tatishchev sent another envoy to Bepen, who was then in the vicinity of the Ai River. The envoy was told, "If
he will not come, then tell the elders to seize him in any way possible, secretly, and bring him here, promising them a satis factory reward."22 The
elders were not persuaded and did nothing.
On the twenty-first of February Khrushchov, who shortly before had been advanced to the rank of Major General and assigned to von Münnich's
army, left Menzelinsk to report for duty. The Vice-Governor of Astrakhan, Major General Leontii Yakovlevich Soimonov, replaced him. Soimonov
did not reach Menzelinsk until April 24; in the meantime Khrushchov's ranking subordinate, Colonel Bardukevich, directed the operations of the
Bashkir Commission.
By early 1737 it appeared that the uprising had run its course. Kirillov reported to the Empress on January 26 that with the exception of those in
the most remote areas of the Nogai and Siberian dorogas, "the Bashkir people have been brought to such a condition that since the beginning of their
submission they have never been so obedient, and they have never had such fear of their misdeeds as they do now."23 Several thousands had been
killed or deported. Colonel Bardukevich had informed Kirillov that the Bashkirs who lived along the Ik River were "dying of hunger and the rest . . .
eating dogs and cats . . . and in despair . . . compelled to abandon the dead." The Russians sent special detachments to bury the corpses.24
The desperate conditions in Bashkiria led even Kirillov to think that measures he had advocated were too severe. Toward the end of March he
recommended to the Empress that the horse fines be postponed temporarily. Another ameliorative suggestion was to recruit Bashkirs to help build the
copper smelters at Tabynsk and on the Ik River. Numbers of starving Bashkirs volunteered for this work.
Some thought was given to the idea of abolishing the Bashkir Commission.25 But in spite of the terrible suffering, the Bashkirs had not yet been
brought to heel. All winter they prepared for war.
Kirillov, ill from scurvy, had left Menzelinsk late in December of 1736 for Samara, arriving in early January 1737. In that month his whole
command arrived from Simbirsk. He planned to move his headquarters early in the spring to Krasnosamarsk, there to stay until Orenburg was ready.
Kirillov looked forward to visiting Orenburg to attend to affairs there and to inspect the progress on the defensive line. During the winter he made
further arrangements to ensure that the town would be properly supplied. He let contracts to Cossacks and to several merchants for this purpose. As
settlers, Kirillov enrolled many freemen, itinerants, and others who were not registered on the poll tax rolls, gave them loa ns for provisions, and sent
them to man the forts.26
Kirillov continued to work on long-range plans in keeping with his original proposals. He was not to carry them out. He died on April 14, 1737,
and was buried in the Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker in Samara. He died of "consumption."
During his three years as leader of the Orenburg Expedition, Kirillov, like his famous teacher, Peter the Great, had dreamed on the grand scale,
only to be disappointed. Eventually Peter had settled on the conquest of the Kazakhs as the key to Central Asia, but Kirillov had found it impossible to
manage the Kazakhs because the Bashkirs stood in his way. With the institution of the Bashkir Commission, Kirillov's expedition had been deflected
from its original purposes to the more immediate Bashkir problem. Although Kirillov headed only one of the several commands in the region, he was
the most influential maker of policies in Bashkiria. A forthright and direct person, he advocated force in bringing the Bashk irs into subjection as
quickly as possible, because his primary concern had been with the development of the mineral resources of the area and with the possibilities of
developing trade with Central Asia. Peace was essential for economic development. By pressing vigorously for the construction of forts within
Bashkiria and the defensive line along the Samara and Ural rivers, he laid the foundations for the ultimate incorporation of Bashkiria into the Russian
1. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 200.
2. PSZ, 9, 835.
3. Ibid., p. 888.
4. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 253-55, 255-59.
5. Ibid., pp. 260-61; PSZ, 9, 897-98.
6. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 266.
7. Apollova, Introduction, attributes this statement to M. P. Viatkin.
8. John Castle, Journal von der A" 1736 aus Orenburg zu dem Abul-Geier Chan der Kirgis-Kaysack Tartarischen Horda . . . dargestellt durch
John Castle . . . , published as an appendix to Materialien zu der Russischen Geschichte seit dem Tode Kaisers Peters des Grossen, Zweiter Teil,
1730-41 (Riga, 1784), p. 3. (Hereafter cited as Journal.)
9. Ibid., pp. 3-4.
10. Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, pp. 90-91, quoting from the Turgai Oblast Archive.
11. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 268-72.
12. Ibid., pp. 268-72.
13. Ibid., p. 278.
14. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 28.
15. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 263.
16. PSZ, 9, 889; Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, 2, 272f.
17. Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, p. 95.
18. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 27.
19. Not to be confused with the Chief of the Bashkir Commission, Mikhail Semenovich Khrushchov.
20. Dela Senata po Orenburgskoi gubernii, kn. 8/139, L. 139, as quoted in N. V. Ustiugov, Ba shkirskoe vosstanie 1737-1739 gg. (Moscow and
Leningrad, 1950), p. 22. (Hereafter cited as Ustiugov, Vosstanie.)
21. Po Kabinetu, kn. 87/1164, L. 128, as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 25.
22. Ibid., L. 126 ob., as quoted in ibid.
23. Ibid., LL. 72-72 ob., as quoted in ibid., p. 20.
24. Ibid., LL. 357-57 ob., as quoted in ibid., p. 21.
25. Solov'ev, 4, 1542.
26. PSZ, 9, 738-39, 888, 894-95, 907-08.
On the death of Kirillov in January 1737 the Cabinet placed the Orenburg project temporarily in the charge of Peter Bakhmetev, Kirillov's
father- in- law, who had recently been advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on Kirillov's recommendation. Colonel Tevkelev was at t he time still
east of the Urals in the Siberian Doroga and not readily available. Immediately on hearing of Kirillov's death, Tevkelev returned to Samara to meet
Bakhmetev, and the two then proceeded to Krasnosamarsk, the temporary headquarters of the Orenburg Expedition. Major General Leontii
Yakovlevich Soimonov, recently the governor of Astrakhan, arrived in Menzelinsk in May to take charge of the Bashkir Commission, since his
predecessor, Mikhail Semenovich Khrushchov, with orders to report to the regular army, had departed for the Ukraine in Febr uary. Until Soimonov
arrived, Colonel Bardukevich, now Major General, took over the affairs of the Bashkir Commission.
In May Her Majesty raised State Councillor Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev to the rank of Privy Councillor and put him in command of the Orenburg
Commission, as the project was now entitled. The appointing decree told him to familiarize himself with the instructions previously given to Kirillov,
designated him Chief of the Commission, and stated that the aims of the project were to be carried out without delay: to settle the continuing Bashkir
problem, to construct additional forts in Bashkiria, to search for useful ores, to develop commerce with Khiva, and to subjugate the Kazakhs.1
On May 26, 1737, Tatishchev left Ekaterinburg, his former headq uarters as chief of the Ural Mining and Smelting Industries, traveling by sedan
chair because of illness. After reaching Chusovaia Landing he went by boat down the Chusovaia River to the Kama and along the Kama to Menzelinsk
where he arrived July 14. There he met Tevkelev, who had been instructed to arrange a general meeting to discuss the Bashkir situation.2 Considering
the upheaval at an end, the members of the conference turned to longer- ranged policies for administering the region.
When he first arrived in Menzelinsk to take command of the Russian forces, Tatishchev found the situation very different from the one Kirillov
had faced. Prior to the launching of the Orenburg Expedition, Bashkiria had been a large frontier area only loosely tied to Russia. The Trans-Kama
Line in the north, the Siberian towns in the northeast, and the towns along the Volga to the west were sparsely disposed arou nd the northern and
western borders of Bashkiria, leaving open to the Bashkirs the heart of the countr y, with the exception of Ufa, as well as the south and east. The
Bashkirs could raid Russian settlements, escape to the interior, and force the Russians to fight far from their bases. During 1735-36 Kirillov built many
new forts and towns, including Orenburg and other outposts along the Ural and Samara rivers and in the interior. When the Bashkirs rose again in 1737
they found themselves in a different position, a fact clearly reflected in the decisions of the July conference called by Tat ishchev.
Whereas the previous measures dealing with the Bashkir problem had been principally military, the new proposals had two aspects. While the
military measures followed the practices of the past, most of the discussions were concerned with administrative reorganization now possible as a
result of the establishment of the network of forts. Tatishchev and his associates planned closer administrative supervision of the colonial area, with the
long-term objective of incorporating Bashkiria completely into the Empire.
In the Osinsk Doroga the Gaininsk Subdistrict (volost) was organized, with the town of Osa as its administrative center. The area was headed by
a town governor (voevoda) appointed by the Senate. Fort Krasnoufimsk in the Siberian Doroga became a similar administ rative center. Both these
towns were subordinated to the authority of Ufa. A new province in Siberian Bashkiria, called Isetsk Province (provintsiia), was organized with Fort
Chebarkulsk as the center. It included Okunevsk, Shadrinsk, and Isetsk districts (uezds). Both the new Isetsk Province and the older Ufa Province,
which had been established in 1708, were subordinated to the jurisdiction of Orenburg. Finally the administrative office of P erm Province (later
Kungursk Province) was transferred from Solikamsk to Kungur because the latter was more conveniently located to deal with the Bashkirs.
Among the major administrative problems was the rational levying of the tribute. The Bashkirs had been counted and listed by clans. In the
course of the preceding century and a half the old clans had become mixed. The confusing situation made a just distribution of obligations impossible.
Complaints by the Bashkirs and the ordinary propensity of bureaucrats to seek order had led Kirillov and Khrushchov in December 1736 to propose an
inventory of all the villages in each district: first, the [villages] of the Bashkirs, then of the Teptiars and Bobyls, and finally of the service
Meshcheriaks, including the rivers, lakes, or plots of land on which they are located, the number of households in each, the number of persons of male
and female sex and their ages, separating those who were loyal and did not join the bandits and those who broke the law and confessed their guilt and
paid their fines.3
At the same time they decided to "look closely in order to see that there are no dissidents, either Russian or those of other faiths, and particularly
refugees from service and from naval work."
This task had not been completed because of the outbreak of war in 1737. At the meeting in Menzelinsk in July, Tatishchev and Soimonov
extended the idea of the census to include a detailed study of the economic resources of the region and the relations of the various peoples in Bashkiria.
Tatishchev assigned the economic study to the commanding officers of the Russian forces in Bashkiria. The census rolls were to be kept in the local
administrative centers and a copy sent to Ufa for supervisory purposes. The task was further delayed by the continuing Bashkir war.
These proposals were submitted to St. Petersburg and sanctioned by a decree issued on August 13, 1737.4
The general opinion that the Bashkirs had been subdued proved premature. Minor disturbances continued to occur. As early as F ebruary 27,
1737, the town governor of Kungur had informed Tatishchev in Ekaterinburg that the Bashkirs in the Osinsk Doroga were holding meetings and
appeared to be planning trouble again. Tatishchev did not take the information seriously. He wrote to the Senate: "I do not regard this report as correct
because actual details of an uprising are not set forth."5 Before his death, Kirillov had learned that certain Bashkirs in the Osinsk Doroga had refused
to pay the fines levied against them and had even driven out the officials who had been sent to make the collections. Kirillov and Tatishchev did not
believe that these minor disturbances signified a new outbreak. In one of his communications Kirillov had suggested a reason for the Bashkirs' refusal
to pay: "Maybe, because of the present hunger, there is nothing to collect."6 Bardukevich, who was in the area with military forces, had written to
Kirillov in March that there was no real evidence of a general revolt.
Bashkirs in the Siberian and Nogai dorogas were also restless during the early part of 1737. They wrote to Ufa, pleading to be relieved of their
fines and requesting the release of certain leaders who were under arrest in Ufa. Toward spring more and more information was received concerning
meetings of Bashkirs in the Siberian and Nogai dorogas being held to plan action against the Russians.7
Circumstances in the Kazan Doroga were different. Menzelinsk was the headquarters of the Bashkir Commission, and the area sur rounding it
had suffered most severely from Russian punitive activity during 1735-36. Kirillov's report of January 16 had stated that the Bashkirs in the Osinsk and
Kazan dorogas were completely quelled, small centers of resistance existing only in the Siberian and Nogai dorogas. The destr uction of life, homes,
villages, and the confiscation of horses and food had in fact left the Bashkirs in the Kazan Doroga suffering so severely that, with the exception of
minor incidents, they did not participate in the later war.
Despite the severity of Russian measures during 1735-36 and the widespread destruction and hunger that followed, the Bashkirs continued their
attempts to throw off the Russian yoke, for the basic causes of Bashkir resentment remained. The growing numbers of refugees from the middle Volga
region in Bashkiria were not only inhibiting the free movement of the nomadic Bashkirs and reducing the pasturage for their large herds of livestock,
but these immigrants had, in addition, seriously antagonized the Bashkirs by their loyalty to the Russians.
The tribute collections also continued to provoke discontent among the Bashkirs. The payments were not extortionate, for the sum demanded
was less than the poll tax on the Russian peasantry; but increasing pressure for funds led the government to attempt to raise the tribute to a point
comparable with the poll tax. Inevitably this created problems. First, the Bashkirs protested the increase, and the administration had cause to remember
that on earlier occasions, when their protests had been ignored, the Bashkirs had risen in revolt. Second, with native affairs left largely to the Bashkir
leaders, the Russian government had only a general idea of the actual number of persons subject to the levy since no reasonab ly thorough census had
ever been taken. Third, there was the problem of government tax collectors. Although the Bashkir leaders usually answered for the tribute collections
and their delivery to the Russian administrative centers, the government had begun to send its own officials to the various areas for additional revenue.
These collectors operated virtually without control, frequently abusing their power by illegal and extortionate acts. The Bas hkirs protested vigorously
and repeatedly, as did the government itself, to little effect.
Other taxes created additional trouble. The tax on commerce in Bashkiria was peculiarly irrational. The government did not collect the tax on
sales at the time of the transaction but, instead, annually sent its representatives to collect the sums due. Besides the nat ural inclination to underestimate
their sales, the Bashkirs during the course of the year could honestly forget exactly what they had sold. This gave latitude for both the collector and the
taxpayer to cheat the treasury. The right to collect this tax was eagerly sought by ambitious and frequently unscrupulous men planning to make their
fortunes quickly. Further opportunity for bribery and corruption resulted from the fact that the right to collect the tax on commerce was purchased from
town governors. The Bashkirs repeatedly requested that it be included in the tribute collections.8 Extortion by the local authorities was not limited to
the collectors of tribute and the commercial taxes: several important officials were tried and convicted for corruption in office.
The increasing government levies, the abuses by local officials, and the repeated seizures of land were responsible for the continuing unrest.
Active opposition broke out when these general discontents were aggravated. In the early 1660s excessive pressure to increase collections had brought
about a full- scale war. On the eve of the 1705-11 war the extortions of government officials set off another explosion. Then in the 1730s the Russian
government had begun a vigorous new movement into Bashkir territory when it organized a nd launched the Orenburg Expedition. The Bashkirs
realized that the building of a series of forts along their southern border would mean the end of their liberties.
From 1734 to 1737 Kirillov had followed a vigorous policy of building new forts and founding mining and smelting establishments in Bashkir
territory.9 He repudiated the custom of easy forgiveness for those who fought against Russia, a policy that had been followed after the other uprisings.
He insisted that each individual participant appear personally to swear an oath of allegiance to the government and to pay a fine of one horse. Already
suffering from the effects of two years of war, the Bashkirs strongly objected to the seizure of their horses.10 Resentment o f Russian hardness played
a part in the new outbreak. One Bashkir leader wrote the governor of Ufa in May 1737, recalling the events of the past two years:
Rumiantsev cut down all the people of the Kazan Doroga without regard to whether they were well or ill. And Ivan Kirillovich [Kirillov] slashed
in the Nogai Doroga without regard to the well or the ill. And the Mirza [Tevkelev] slashed in the Siberian Doroga, considering neither the well nor the
ill people.11
He added that those leaders who went to Ufa after swearing allegiance "were hanged and others sent into exile . . . , the young people who paid
tribute were cut down" without so much as questioning.12 Tatishchev blamed Kirillov and Khrushchov in a letter to the Empress dated January 22,
1738. In 1736 he had treated those who came to capitulate with kindness and had released them. But when "he listened to others [Kirillov and
Khrushchov], seized the leaders and put them under arrest, had executed two, then a new revolt began."13
Still another catalyst for resistance, a result of the previous two years of struggle, was the widespread hunger in Bashkiria. The punitive groups
had not only killed many people, they had also confiscated food and disrupted the economic life of the area, leaving the rema ining Bashkirs in
desperate straits. Representatives from the Siberian Doroga who came to Ekaterinburg in March 1737 for permission to buy grain reported that the
Bashkirs "are eating not only livestock but also the footwear off their feet and many are dying."14 In their desperation the Bashkirs attacked villages of
"loyal" Bashkirs, Russians, and Meshcheriaks.15 With no possibility of obtaining adequate supplies from the Russians, they had little alternative, at
least in their own view.
Nevertheless, despite rumors of unrest, until spring Bashkiria gave the appearance of having been subdued. Winter was always a difficult time
for the Bashkirs as the lack of fodder killed or weakened their horses, and the preceding two years of war had greatly worsened conditions. Tevkelev,
who knew the Bashkirs very well, wrote that the Russians had little to fear during the winter "because the Bashkirs on foot are worse [fighters] than any
other people."16
Early in the spring of 1737 "loyal" Bashkirs and Meshcheriaks began to report on assemblies of dissidents who were planning to repudiate
Russian sovereignty and cast out all foreigners.17
Toward the end of April frontier officials learned that groups of Russian allies had been attacked. Because the early raids were made on
non-Russians, Tatishchev did not believe that a new colonial war was in the making. He thought the disturbances were caused by the antagonisms
between the various groups. He sent powder and lead to the friendly Bashkirs and organized a detachment of 300 to aid the m.
Kusiap Batyr, at the head of 500 hostiles, destroyed Chuvash and Tatar settlements on the upper Belaia River and in the vicinity of Tabynsk. By
June Tiulkuchura had, according to a report from Fort Eldiatsk, a group of 1,300 and was marching against loyal Bashkirs and Tatars in the north.
Other guerrilla detachments began destroying Bashkir, Chuvash, and Meshcheriak villages in the vicinity of Krasnoufimsk, Kungursk, and Birsk.
Reports of loyal Bashkirs, which must be accepted with caution, stated that forces of 4,200, 2,500, 1,300, and 1,000 were in action.
In June Fort Bogdanov was beseiged by a force of 2,500 under the command of Bepen, Eldash Mullah, Tiulkuchura, and Mandar. The attackers
manufactured portable protective shields in order to approach the walls of the fort. Meshcheriaks and loyal Bashkirs drove them off, but the pursuers
lost contact when the guerrillas scattered and vanished into the woods.
Although most of the initiative had come from the Siberian Doroga, dissidents in the Nogai Doroga soon joined and began attacking "loyal"
Bashkirs, who sought aid at Fort Sakmarsk. During June the hostiles destroyed settlements near Ufa and Tabynsk. One report stated that 10,000 in
groups ranging from hundreds to thousands were wandering through Bashk iria looting and destroying.18 Late in July the Bashkirs in the Osinsk
Doroga, who had been quiescent until then, attacked settlements near Osa. A. F. Khrushchov, the former assistant to Tatishche v who had replaced him
as chief of the Ural Mining and Smelting Industries, reported in August that he estimated 32,000 Bashkirs out of a probable population of 100,000
were involved in the struggle.19
Although most of the hostile action had been met by the Meshcheriaks, loyal Bashkirs, Tatars, and Teptiars, it became evident the hostile
Bashkirs had greater designs in mind. One report stated that they had declared "it is better to separate ourselves from Russian control and to destroy the
Russian people and to communicate with the Kirgiz-kaisaks for this purpose."20 In August L. Ya. Soimonov, Chief of the Bashkir Commission,
moved his forces out of Menzelinsk into the steppeland of the Nogai Doroga, seeking a group of hostiles reported by Ufa to be 10,000 strong. They
were aiming to destroy all settlements all the way to Kazan, according to rumors. The figure was far too large as proved when Soimonov's camp was
attacked by only 1,000. The attack was beaten off, but the mixed force of Russians and natives failed to destroy the enemy when they scattered and
During late August, September, and October the hostiles destroyed many villages of those peoples friendly to Russia. The Russ ian forces could
do little. Except for the attacks on forts there were no formal pitched battles, just hit-and-run raids of guerrillas. Russian detachments had no alternative
but to range throughout the territory hoping to catch parties of the enemy unaware.21 At the approach of winter, as was their custom, the Bashkirs
retired into the interior to await spring. Soimonov reported late in November that, except for the remote areas in Siberia, Bashkiria was quiet.
Because the Siberian Bashkirs were still fighting, it was decided to seize and punish the still recalcitrant leaders, principally Bepen Trupberdin.
Hunger, winter cold, and Kazakh raids had weakened those Bashkirs who continued to fight, suggesting the possibility of a winter raid in force to
finish the task. The difficulties of campaigning in the winter, principally a shortage of forage for the horses, led the Russ ians to abandon this idea.
Intelligently, Tatishchev did not rely totally on force to end the uprising. He sent out a notice telling the Bashkirs they had until the end of
January to surrender and swear individual oaths of loyalty to the Empress. If they did not seize this opportunity they were threatened with fire and
sword; those who complied could return peacefully home, after paying a fine of one horse per household. Any person, and up to ten of his closest
relatives, would be relieved of fines if they seized and brought one of their leaders to one of the Russian forts.
As a concession to the Bashkirs, Tatishchev made it mandatory only for the leaders to come to the administrative centers. The others would be
permitted to report and pay their fines at the nearest fort or town. He also offered to investigate the administration of S. V. Shemiakin, the governor of
Ufa, about whom the Bashkirs had been protesting vigorously.
In the meantime, half the Alekseev Regiment was moved to Stavropol, the town built for the Kalmyk Christians at the Kun'ia Volozhek River.
The rest of the regiment was to be transferred from the Trans-Kama Line, now superseded by the new Orenburg Line, and all the land- militia
regiments, engineers, and artillery units were to be transferred to the new line.22
Very soon after assuming command Tatishchev set out for Orenburg on a tour of inspection. Upon reaching and inspecting the to wn he became
dissatisfied with its location. Because hardly more than the foundations had been laid, he decided to transfer the administrative offices and the
commercial center of Orenburg temporarily to Samara. He informed the Cabinet of his decision, explaining that the location at the confluence of the Or
and Ural was not especially favorable and did not justify the difficulties of communication and transportation over such great distances. The locality
was also subject to floods. He sent Major Retislavskii to search for a more favorable place and Lieutenant Colonel Bakhmetev to strengthen the
original Orenburg's fortifications. On this trip he had also laid the foundations for the fort on the Kun'ia Volozhek River w hich he called Stavropol, as
an administrative center for a group of Kalmyks who had become Christians. This town later became the headquarters of another commission called
the Kalmyk Commission, which was responsible for the Kalmyks, as the Bashkir Commission was for the Bashkirs. Tatishchev head ed both. During
his continuous travelings he searched for good locations for new strongholds and inspected the readiness of those forts already in existence: Tevkelev
Ford, Perevolok, Tatishchev Landing, Chernorechensk, and Berdsk.
On his next inspection trip to Orenburg the following year he reached Krasnaia Gora, a site discovered and recommended by Bakhmetev for the
new town. After looking over the site, he ordered the English sea captain, John Elton, to start construction of the new center to be called Orenburg. The
army engineer, Major Retislavskii, was left behind to draw up a plan while the rest of the party set out for Ozernaia. After stationing an additional 100
dragoons and 100 Cossacks there, Tatishchev marched on toward Orenburg.
Although he had decided on his first visit to find a better location, he devoted some time to impro ving conditions in the original town. He
appointed Ivan Rychkov, father of the historian of Orenburg, to administer the market section and to draw up a commercial cod e and book of tariff
regulations; but Rychkov died before completing the work. Next Tatishchev inspected the fortifications, about which he wrote:
I found this fort in a terrible condition when I arrived: it was overgrown with brushwood, the moat was [only] one and a half sazhens wide
[approximately ten and a half feet] and for a distance of 50 arshins [approximately 108 feet] there was no moat at all. During the winter wolves have
eaten horses in the town.23
Negotiations with the Bashkirs during the winter of 1737-38 proving inconclusive, Tatishchev decided to try a tactic which had been considered
on previous occasions and often requested by the Bashkirs, the release of the leaders held under arrest by the Russians in hope that they could persuade
their followers to capitulate. This tactic had no results.24 At the same time Bashkir leaders approached the Russians with their conditions for peace.
After discussing the matter with his subordinates, Tatishchev decided to hold another conference "for decisions and general determination on the
suppression of the Bashkir rebellion and for taking future precautions against disturbances and attacks on the loyal subjects of Her Majesty."25 The
meeting took place in December. With the backing of the officials in St. Petersburg, he set about effecting the measures that had been proposed.
He drew up a list of the most serious Bashkir complaints against the Russian administration and offered concessions.26 He promised to correct
the abuses and corruption among government officials, particularly Shemiakin, the governor of Ufa, a nd those collectors of customs who were known
to have extorted money and goods from the Bashkirs. For the future, Tatishchev promised these officials would be more carefully supervised by the
Treasury Department.
As for the tribute collections, a number of concessions and counter proposals were advanced. Because of the hardships brought on by the war,
tribute was not to be collected that year. In the future the Bashkir elders would be solely responsible for the collection and delivery of tribute to the
administrative centers, but if it were not promptly delivered the Russian officials would be ordered to collect it. In that case the delinquent districts
would have to pay an additional sum to be calculated at two rubles per verst of transport and three rubles per day for each soldier on collection duty.
Because of complaints from the Bashkirs about the difficulties of transporting their tribute over great distances to the administrative centers, the
Russians proposed to build post roads with stations every 18 to 25 versts. To use these facilities the Bashkirs would be required to pay a nominal sum.
Tatishchev remained firm on the question of the horse fines. He insisted that all who had fought the Russians contribute one horse per household.
Hardship cases could postpone paying the fine if the elders guaranteed later payment.
As soon as peace was restored the Bashkirs would be permitted to travel to the Ural River area to obtain salt if they first obtained a permit in
Orenburg or some other town along the river. To protect its salt monopoly the government forbade them to sell their salt in Russian villages under the
threat of a fine.
The Bashkirs had requested a court in Ufa to which they could turn. In reply, Tatishchev said that Ufa was too distant from many areas and that
to have all cases concentrated in one town would be too heavy a load for one court to handle. He promised to establish courts throughout Bashkiria.
The court in Ufa would become a court of appeal.
Tatishchev agreed not to hold the Bashkirs responsible for paying the fines and other obligations of the non-Bashkir inhabitants on condition that
the Bashkirs reject any more immigrants. This long standing problem had been of greater importance during the seventeenth century and the first
quarter of the eighteenth, when the Tatars and Finnish migrants from the middle Volga region had joined in the anti-Russian uprisings. Russian
peasants and soldiers who had fled into Bashkiria to avoid their obligations were, however, to be counted in assessing the fines. Although the struggle
in the 1730s was largely a Bashkir affair, with little help from the immigrants, Tatishchev did not want Bashkiria to remain a haven of refuge for
A number of articles dealt with the non-Bashkir peoples who had supported the Russian government: the Mescheriaks, Teptiars, and Bobyls.
Those settlers who worked Bashkir land, either with or without contracts, were to be absolved of the obligation to pay tribute to their Bashkir overlords
until they had recovered from the destruction suffered during the struggle, and henceforth all were to be granted contracts which specifically stated
their obligations. Tatishchev, carrying out the policy laid down earlier by Kirillov, insisted that the Meshcheriaks be granted title to the land they
occupied as a reward for their loyalty to the regime. He also advocated that they be permanently relieved of their quitrent payments, but they were not
to seize additional land. In order to prevent disputes in the future, Meshcheriaks and Bashkir s were to draw up written deeds on the boundaries of the
expropriated land.
Problems concerning land taken by the Russians for the building of forts were to be put aside until peace had been established. The burden of
tribute from these lands was to be borne proportionately by the inhabitants of the surrounding area. In the future, if any forts were found to be
unnecessary, the property would be handed back to the original owners. This point had been inserted in response to protests t hat it was doubly
reprehensible to seize land and then demand tribute payments on it.
Tatishchev also noted that the Russian administration was flooded with Bashkir complaints against other Bashkirs on land boundaries. To
prevent such confusion, he ordered all future deeds to be drawn up, witnessed, and properly registered with the Russian administration.
Tatishchev's document concluded with a threat to use force of arms if the Bashkirs did not accept these "reasonable conditions."
The two sides were too far apart. Nothing short of Russian evacuation of Bashkiria would have satisfied the dissidents. The Russians had no
intention of giving up a potentially profitable colony. What appeared reasonable terms to the Russians were either petty concessions or no concessions
at all to the Bashkirs. Colonial wars are inevitably difficult to settle. The Siberian Bashkirs gave their answer in the spring of 1738 by launching an
all-out attack on the Russians and their allies in Bashkiria. Tatishchev and his associates continued without much success – other than military – to
seek solutions to Bashkiria's complex problems.
Leaving Samara late in December, Tatishchev went to Ufa to be closer to the heart of the disturbed area. As he had promised t he Bashkirs, he
investigated the Ufa administration, finding it so bad that he dismissed Governor Shemiakin from his post, arrested him, and appointed Martakov, a
colonel in the army, as governor in his place. Tatishchev remained in Ufa during January and February to direct the campaign. His actions bore some
fruit, since some Bashkirs began to come to him with their complaints; but not the leaders, who sent him a letter demanding t he release of Kil'miak,
Yusup, and Akai. At a large conference of Bashkirs called to discuss the December terms, the majority had been inclined to capitulate, but Bepen
Trupberdin of the Siberian Doroga and Sultan Araslanbekov of the Nogai Doroga had persuaded them to continue the struggle. To ensure the security
of the leaders already held captive, Tatishchev sent them to Kazan, and later they were taken on to St. Petersburg.27
A new phase in the war developed when the Kazakhs, led by Abulkhair, were brought into the struggle. The continuing obstinacy of the Bashkirs
was in part the result of Tatishchev's decision, taken late in the fall of 1737, to call on the Kazakhs for assistance against the Bashkirs. It is difficult to
understand why he did this, for the general policy had been to keep the Kazakhs out of Bashkiria. In spite of the oath of allegiance they had taken, the
Kazakhs were not under Russian control. Tatishchev's decision is probably a measure of his frustration and impatience. By fall the majority of the
Bashkirs were ready to give up a futile struggle, but Bepen and a few other hard-core leaders kept them fighting.28
Negotiation had failed to persuade the leaders. They had escaped the Russian military forces. Perhaps the Kazakhs could succeed where the
Russians had failed. Ironically the ultimate result was to strengthen the will to resist among the Bashkir leaders.
Militarily, the Kazakhs were of little help to the Russians. At Tatishchev's summons a party of approximately 1,000 Kazakhs of the Middle
Horde under Prince Shemamet (Shah Mehmed) moved into Siberian Bashkiria. Shemamet unwisely divided his forces and suffered a disastrous defeat
at the hands of the Bashkirs.29 By calling on Abulkhair for assistance, Tatishchev complicated rather than solved his problem in Bashkiria. When the
Bashkirs sought Abulkhair's assistance in the spring, Kazakh interference in Bashkiria became possible but not likely. But when Tatishchev requested
Abulkhair's participation, Pandora's box was opened. In the preliminary negotiations Abulkhair showed interest but demanded p ayment for each
Bashkir leader captured. Tatishchev sent Major G. L. Ostankov to negotiate with him in September 1737, giving him authority to promise payments of
60 to 100 rubles for each prominent person delivered. He reported to St. Petersburg that "the cost will be less than fighting and indeed it is necessary to
stop the war as soon as possible."30
Early in November Abulkhair moved into the Siberian Doroga of Bashkiria with a small retinue of followers, variously estimated at from twent y
to sixty persons, and there he remained throughout the winter of 1737-38.31 At first he held to his agreement with the Russians. According to a report,
he had sent a detachment of 1,000 Kazakhs to fight the Bashkirs. Even as late as February it was reported that Abulkhair was now "turning the
rebellious Bashkirs onto the true path of their former subjection to Her Imperial Majesty."32 Unfortunately for the Russians, while in Bashkiria the
Khan met Bepen Trupberdin, who gradually drew the Kazakh leader over to the Bashkir side.
Abulkhair's change in attitude became evident in February when at a meeting between the Khan and Arslan Bekhmetev, an interpreter attached
to the Bashkir Commission, Abulkhair requested that Tatishchev "not demand the horse fines from the rebellious Bashkirs and also free those
Bashkirs, Kil'miak and his associates, who were being held under arrest."33 This request reflected the continuing demands of the hostile Bashkirs.
Bepen and several other leaders present at the meeting between Abulkhair and Bekhmetev denied the right of the Russian administration to levy the
horse fines, claiming this issue was the principal obstacle to peace. Bepen said that
if the horse fines are demanded from them for their guilt, then they will not submit to Her Imperial Majesty with a confessio n of wrongdoing,
because they do not recognize any such guilt; and in the decrees and in othe r letters they are called bandits and they do not know the reason for this.34
Once again the Bashkirs insisted on their right to reject Russian suzerainty and even considered transferring allegiance to a Kazakh khan.
Because the political concepts of the Bashkirs and Kazakhs were similar, and because Abulkhair had sworn allegiance to Russia on terms virtually
identical with those of the Bashkirs, he accepted the Bashkir point of view.
In March the Sakmarsk Cossack, Kubek Bainazarov, who visited Abulkhair on the order of Tatishchev, reported that the Khan had fallen
completely under the influence of the Bashkir elders. Many pressures had been brought to bear upon the Kazakh leader, whose a llegiance to Russia
had been at best lukewarm, as was indicated when he entered Bashkiria with only a small retinue instead of a large army. Because of his small suite,
Abulkhair depended on the goodwill of the Bashkirs for food and other provisions. To make the relationship closer, the Bashkirs persuaded Abulkhair
to marry a Bashkir woman. Finally, because Abulkhair was illiterate, all correspondence between him and the Russians had to go through t he hands of
the Bashkirs, who interpreted it as they wished.
On receiving the bad news of the Khan's defection, Tatishchev sent word to Abulkhair, asking him to come to Orenburg. In a report to the
Empress in March 1738 he wrote that Abulkhair's actions were due "not so much to cunning as to stupidity."35
Tatishchev had now discovered that bringing Abulkhair into the dispute in Bashkiria had not been a success; he was to regret his impulsive
invitation to the Kazakhs.
The Bashkirs turned more and more to the Kazakhs for help. Many of them fled to the south to join the Kazakhs in the steppe. The leaders in both
the Nogai and Siberian dorogas sent envoys to the Little and Middle hordes, requesting military assistance and offering allegiance to the Kazakhs.36
Because of Abulkhair's equivocal attitude, the Little Horde did not help appreciably, but the Middle Horde proved more willing. Khan Barak of this
horde even sent his twelve-year-old son, Shigai, to Bashkiria as a candidate for the khanship of Bashkiria. Abulkhair met the boy during the winter of
his stay among the Bashkirs, but persuaded him to leave for reasons that will be made clear below.
In February, despite the fact that peace negotiations were continuing, Tatishchev began to receive messages from outlying forts and from spies
indicating that the Bashkirs had not stopped fighting. Most of the reports dealt with attacks on the villages of loyal Bashkirs and Meshcheriaks, but by
April it was evident that the Russians would be attacked also. Because the early spring attacks were not directed at the Russ ians, Tatishchev still had
hopes of peace. Soimonov took a less optimistic position. He believed that extermination of the rebels was the only solution, and on April 5 he
informed the Senate:
As soon as the grass appears I will march out against them from Ufa and Tabynsk with all my command, and I will propose to Co lonel Arsen'ev
that he campaign from Siberia and Privy Councillor Tatishchev move out from the Yaik [Ural] with his command.37
In April and May the Bashkirs once again seized control of most of the Nogai and Siberian dorogas.38 The outbreak caused Tatishchev to waver;
he even considered reducing the horse fines. In a letter to the Empress dated May 9 he expressed this possibility but added that he was inclined to think
force would probably be the more effective policy.
At this moment Abulkhair complicated matters further. Associating himself with the Bashkir cause, he took an aggressive attitude toward those
who aligned themselves with the Russians. At the same time trying to maintain the fiction that he was supporting the Russians, he moved south toward
Orenburg in company with a number of leading Bashkirs.39 Ostankov, the commandant at Orenburg, fearing this threatening move, met the Khan and
criticized him for supporting the enemies of Russia. Abulkhair, according to Ostankov's report, drew his sword and said: "This is my town and it was
built for me. I will cut off the head of anyone who does not obey me."40
In spite of his sympathy for the Bashkirs, Abulkhair hesitated to turn completely against the Russians. He did not bring in K azakh troops, an
action which would have meant war with the Russians. A letter from Bepen to Abulkhair, which fell into the hands of Tatishchev, gives evidence of his
hesitation. Bepen asked for further aid from the Khan but evidently did not have much assurance of success, for he added, after addressing Abulkhair
as "Our Tsar": "but if you will not support us then you cannot depend on us."41 Nevertheless, Abulkhair did consider outright support of the Bashkirs,
who saw in him their best hope of casting off Russian suzerainty. He promised to send envoys to Kazakhstan to fetch his son Hadji Akhmet to be khan
of the Bashkirs. Kusiap Saltangulov, the principal Bashkir leader in the Nogai Doroga, conferred with Abulkhair near Orenburg in April, expecting to
head the embassy to Kazakhstan to get Hadji Akhmet. In Orenburg Ostankov learned of these plans and sent an invitation to Abulkhair to visit the town
to celebrate a Russian holiday. With the aid of a Moslem priest who was the interpreter for Abulkhair's son Sultan Erali, the one who was then a
hostage in Orenburg, Ostankov succeeded in getting the Khan to come into the town with twenty of his followers, as well as with Kusiap Saltangulov.
As soon as the party entered the town, Kusiap was placed under arrest. Questioning revealed that Abulkhair had advised the Bashkirs earlier to send
Shigai, the son of Khan Barak of the Middle Horde, back home by promising to send his own son to be their khan. There seems to have been some
conflict between various Bashkir groups on the question of selecting a khan.
Major Prince Putiatin learned from other captives in March that some of the Bashkirs had given up hope of support from the vacillating
Abulkhair and had requested Khan Barak to send his son, Shigai, back to them.42
Russian forces in the region were hard pressed to handle the Bashkirs alone. If the rebels acquired strong allies it might prove disastrous for the
Russians. Tatishchev, aware of the seriousness of the situation should Abulkhair decide to support the Bashkirs wholeheartedly, treated the Khan with
delicacy. He withdrew his demand that the Bashkir leaders in the Khan's party appear personally in the Russian administrative ce nters to swear loyalty
to the regime, permitting them to remain with Abulkhair. Nevertheless, he decided to take a detachment of Cossacks to Orenburg.
When Abulkhair learned of the approach of the Cossacks, he proposed to his supporters that the Kazakhs join the Bashkirs to fight the Russians.
He was strongly opposed by Batur Janibek of the Middle Horde and other influential Kazakhs who threatened to turn against him. Afterward, during
his conferences with Abulkhair in the summer, Tatishchev learned of the divisions among the Kazakh leaders and wrote that the Kazakhs paid little
attention to their khans and that Janibek of the Middle Horde, Bukenbai Batur of the Little Horde, and others had great power. He added that "from
these [latter] we might hope for more than from the khans and sultans."43
The reluctance of these Kazakh leaders to antagonize Russia is understandable if the origina l reason for the rapproachement of the Kazakhs and
Russia is recalled, the thrust from Jungaria. In 1738 Galdan-Chirin was again pressing the Kazakhs from the east. In Orenburg Ostankov learned that
envoys from the Jungarian leader had visited the Kazakhs and
demanded the return [of property seized in raids] and this same Galdan-Chirin had destroyed the Great Kirgiz-kaisak Horde [Great Horde] near
Tashkent and had driven those who now are coming toward Orenburg from Tashkent.44
The Kazakhs could not afford to involve themselves with Bashkir problems in the face of this greater danger from the east. By June Abulkhair
had broken with the Bashkirs and quietly awaited Tatishchev's arrival in Orenburg.
In mid-March Tatishchev returned to Samara and then made plans to go to Orenburg to inspect and take care of such matters as the strengthening
of the Orenburg Line and the removal of Abulkhair from Bashkiria. He found out along the way that not only were the Kazakhs interfering in
Bashkiria, they were also warring with the Kalmyks.45 For a short period Tatishchev was laid low by illness but after his recovery set about vigorously
carrying out his plans. In spite of the lack of funds in the Orenburg Commission and confusion in the administrative force of his command, Tatishchev
moved into camp across the Samara River around June 2. Not waiting for the supplies being sent from Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow, he set out for
Orenburg. While on the move he received the friendly Bashkir, Taimas Tarkhan Shaimov, and the Ural Cossack who had been sent to the Kazakhs to
call Abulkhair and his people to an assembly in Orenburg. The envoys informed Tatishchev that Abulkhair was disturbed because he had heard
Tatishchev was coming to Orenburg with a large army, including 6,000 Kalmyks. Taimas had tried to persuade the Khan that he could rely on the
mercy of Her Majesty, but Abulkhair was not convinced. He had sent an envoy with Taimas' party to sound out Tatishchev's inte ntions and to find out
how many Kalmyks actually were with the Russians. The rumor was exaggerated, there being only 200 Kalmyks. Tatishchev entered Orenburg around
the middle of the month, marching in ceremoniously while a cannonade sounded to welcome him. Taimas was immediately dispatched to Abulkhair to
ask him to hasten his arrival.
On the sixteenth and again on the eighteenth Tatishchev held a public conference with Erali Sultan, the son of Abulkhair, still a hostage in
Orenburg. He presented him with gifts and on the nineteenth again sent Taimas to the Khan to convince him of the good intentions of the Russians.
Abulkhair and his followers approached the city and camped nearby on the thirty-first of July. Still the Khan hesitated to enter the town, knowing that
he had compromised himself during his recent dealings with the Bashkirs. Finally, after a land surveyor named Norov arrived with gifts and another
invitation to council, Abulkhair agreed to a meeting of two small parties at some distance from the town. Tevkelev led a few men to the meeting place.
Still unconvinced, the Khan asked for another such meeting with Tatishchev. Tevkelev refused and after some persuasion was able to convince the
Khan that he had nothing to fear in Orenburg.
The arrival of the Khan and his party was the occasion for an honor guard, music, artillery salute, and a full-dress parade of the Russian forces.
Abulkhair was met by Tatishchev and his subordinate officers in full dress. When Tatishchev and the Khan met, Abulkhair made a speech in the Tatar
language which Tatishchev answered in Russian. After the formalities the two sat at a table, while the Khan reaffirmed his oath of allegiance to the
Russian sovereign. Then the Khan was led to another room to meet his son Erali. At dinner Tatishchev and the Khan conversed a t great length.
Tatishchev used his most flattering manner, telling the Khan that he was much wiser than his councillors. Toasts were drunk in honor of the Empress,
her family, Abulkhair and his family, and many other persons. Abulkhair's son Nurali, who had not arrived with the Khan's party because of sickness,
appeared on August 4. The oath of allegiance was administered to him after another ceremonious reception. Both parties agreed to exchange Erali for
a third son, Sultan Hadji Akhmet, who would remain hostage in Orenburg. Several other conferences, both public and private, were held in which
commercial relations and Kazakh protection for caravans traveling to Central Asia were discussed. On August 28 the Russians d istributed gifts valued
at 2,000 rubles to the leading Kazakhs. On the following day Tatishchev himself visited Abulkhair's camp, where he was received with elaborate
While dealing with this problem Tatishchev continued to press the campaign against the Bashkirs. He sent one company of regulars and 600
Cossacks under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Pal'chikov into the Nogai and Siberian dorogas. He ordered Captain John Elto n to survey the
upper Ural to determine the possibilities of river travel. At the same time Te vkelev in the Siberian Doroga was building Fort Uklykaragaist, Fort
Etkul'sk, and improving Verkhneuralsk Landing. Near the end of August Tatishchev started back to Samara, stopping on the way to inspect
Guberlinsk. He then sent a report of his activities to the Cabinet.47
In the north during the summer Soimonov had moved out against the rebels with great vigor. Leaving Menzelinsk on May 10, he reached
Tabynsk on June 19. Seit-bai and Rysai-bai, leaders in the Nogai Doroga, fearing their cause was lost, co nsidered capitulation. First, they sent their
sons and relatives to Tabynsk with a plea for mercy to find out if they would be held under arrest. Soimonov sent these representatives back with a
demand that the leaders appear personally. Still doubting the wisdom of going to Tabynsk, Seit-bai and Rysai-bai sent an envoy with a suggestion that
Soimonov send representatives to meet them 10 versts from Tabynsk. This request was denied. Realizing that further opposition was useless, the two
leaders finally appeared in Tabynsk before Soimonov. Here they were told they deserved no mercy but that the Empress had a "motherly interest" in
her subjects. They were released and permitted to return to their homes after they had paid their fines. The motives for this act of mercy are clear. These
were the first two important Bashkir leaders to submit voluntarily. Kind treatment of them would make a strong impression on those who were still
holding out; they might surrender more readily. This was highly desirable, for the Turkish war was still going on and a rapid end to the Bashkir war
would permit the transfer of troops from Bashkiria to the southern armies. Russian generosity had the hoped-for effect. Many Bashkirs surrendered.
Although the struggle appeared to be coming to an end, Soimonov believed energetic action was still necessary, and he sent out punitive detachments
to pursue the remaining dissidents. One party of 3,000 men under the command of Major Liutin marched into the Ai River area, the heart of Bashkir
resistance, to exterminate those who still refused to submit. Early in June, Colonel Arsen'ev, now the commander of the Russian forces in
Trans-Uralia, had sent out a party of 2,500 men against a Bashkir force of 2,000. The battle proved indecisive when the Bashk irs retreated into an
inaccessible area in the mountains. The Bashkirs now were being pressed from the southwest by Soimonov and from the east by A rsen'ev.
On June 28, Tatishchev, then traveling toward Orenburg, reported from Sakmarsk that the situation looked favorable for the Russians. Many of
the leaders in the Siberian Doroga had begun to negotiate for peace.48 Soimonov wrote Tatishchev on August 17 that Seit-bai, Rysai-bai, Eldash
Mullah, Mandar, and Tiulkuchura had submitted voluntarily. Kusiap still refused to swear the oath of loyalty but was held under arrest in Orenburg.
Bepen alone of the prominent leaders held out. When the others in the Siberian Doroga capitulated he made another effort to gain Kazakh aid.
His son Baiazit set out on a mission to Khan Barak of the Middle Horde for this purpose. Along the way he came into the camp of Batur Janibek, one
of the strong advocates of the Russian alignment in the Middle Horde. Having discovered the reason for Baiazit's embassy, Janibek said: "It is evident
from all this that you are rebels: having seen that we have already sworn loyalty to Her Imperial Majesty, you want to make us the very same kind of
brigands that you are yourselves."49
He seized Baiazit and sent word to Tatishchev, requesting instructions. Tatishchev asked that Baiazit be sent to him. Subsequently, Baiazit
escaped, and when he returned with news of failure, Bepen had little recourse except to submit. Whether he did this voluntarily is not known. Some
evidence indicates the other Bashkir leaders, apparently tired of war, may have turned him over to the Russians in October. By fall the most prominent
leaders of the opposition to Russia had capitulated or had been captured, but a few intransigents still carried on the struggle.
Although Tatishchev recognized that the severity of the measures in 1735-36 had driven the Bashkirs to continue the struggle in 1737, he still
thought execution of the leaders a necessary policy. Therefore, as an example, when Bepen Trupberdin fell into his hands he ordered him executed in
the most excruciatingly painful manner – by breaking on the wheel. The Bashkir leaders, scurrilously treated by the Russians as obstinate rebels and
lawbreakers, occasionally emerge from their shadowy existence in the documents as desperate men fighting to the death to keep their traditional lands
and preserve their traditional way of life.
Back in Samara Tatishchev made preparations for another campaign in the following summer. Reporting to the Empress in February 1739 he
The most dangerous dorogas, the Kazan and Nogai, are so wasted that scarcely half [the population] remains. The others, the Ufinsk [Osinsk]
and Siberian dorogas, have not lost as many people. However, in all [the dorogas] horses and livestock losses are high, villages have been burned out
and many have died of hunger.50
He constantly pressed for the construction of additional forts. Thirty versts from Orenburg he founded Fort Guberlinsk and stationed a regular
detachment of Ural Cossacks there.
Back in Sakmarsk he held another staff meeting with his officers to discuss the relocation of Orenburg. While he was there Norov, the surveyor
and envoy to the Kazakhs, arrived with word from sultans Ablai and Abul- mamet of the Middle Horde that they would be unable to meet Tatishchev
that summer because they were at that time on the Irtysh River too far from Orenburg. They affirmed their loyalty to the Empress, however, and
promised to attend a conference the following year.
Tatishchev left Sakmarsk on September 9, 1738, and traveled on toward Samara, inspecting the new fortresses along the way. At the Elshan
River he ordered the building of another fortified point to be called Elshansk. On the nineteenth he arrived at Alekseevsk, 25 versts from Samara, and,
bypassing Samara, proceeded to the site of Stavropol. There he inspected the fortifications and appointed Lieutenant Colonel Zmeev to admin ister
Kalmyk affairs. Completing his journey on the Volga in light boats, Tatishchev arrived in Samara in late September, where he settled down for the
winter to organize future projects.
In early January 1739 Tatishchev received an imperial request to come to the Court to report his accomplishments. He left wit h dispatch, handing
over the direction of his command to Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dmitrievich Aksakov, Lieutenant Prince Belosel'skii, and Major Ostankov. At the
Court he reported on the developments within his area of jurisdiction: the transfer of Orenburg to a new site; the extension of the defensive line up the
Ural to Verkhneuralsk and from there along the Ui River to Tsarev, and from Orenburg in the other direction along the Samara River; stationing of
garrisons and the establishment of land-militia regiments in the region; the development of commerce with the Kazakhs and with Central Asia; the
actual subjugation of the Kazakhs to Russian control; and the final pacification of the Bashkirs.51
In addition Tatishchev presented a proposal that had occupied his mind for several years: a method of orga nizing the Bashkirs along the lines of
the Cossacks in order to divert Bashkir military energy into channels more useful from the point of view of the Russian administration. His proposal
dealt with the organization of seven regiments: two from Trans-Uralian Bashkiria, or Isetsk Province; four from Ufa Province; and one from the
Orenburg region. Six were to be composed of Bashkirs and one of Meshcheriaks. At the same time Tatishchev suggested a reconsideration of the
practice of creating tarkhans. Kirillov had granted this title to many Bashkirs who participated in the early activities of the Orenburg Expedition.
"Because of the past uprising" Tatishchev recommended that the former tarkhans be dismissed and that a number of more worthy persons be granted
the title and its privileges.52
Unfortunately Tatishchev had made many enemies, and a number of complaints had been lodged against him. He was held in St. Petersburg,
pending an investigation. Throughout his career a certain intractability led him to quarrel with his associates. When he was head of the Ural Industries
he had antagonized the local officials and merchants. Nikita Demidov, the great private enterpriser in the Ural region, complained to Peter the Great
that Tatishchev took bribes. As head of the Orenburg Commission he had treated his subordinates severely, sending Shemiakin to court for corruption
and fighting with P. D. Aksakov, the vice- governor of Ufa. Tevkelev had also turned against him and wrote a report to Bühren53 about the
irregularities in Tatishchev's administration.
While demanding perfection from his subordinates, he himself, like many others in the eighteenth century, readily accepted mo ney and gifts.
Bühren turned over the investigation of Tevkelev's charges to Count Mikhail Golovkin who wrote in March 1739:
Recently Your Highness was pleased to talk with me about Vasily Tatishchev concerning the irregularities [in his administration] and ordered
me [to investigate] this [matter] decorously and thoroughly. ... I have discovered two aspects to this affair: (1) the irregularities, attacks, and extortions
of Vasily Tatishchev and (2) the failure to present good reasons for the change in the location of Orenburg.54
Bühren was not too concerned about the second charge against Tatishchev. On the basis of the first Tatishchev was relieved of his command.
Solov'ev states that Bühren distrusted Tatishchev because he was one of the patriotic Russian intellectuals who opposed the reigning German influence
at the Court.55 The matter of moving Orenburg to a new location, which Golovkin listed in the charges, is curious considering that the Cabinet had
already approved Tatishchev's recommendation. This evidence of disagreement at the top may mean other influences in the judgment of Tatishchev
than his corruption.
His brief tenure as chief of the Orenburg Commission was inadequate to reveal the scope of Tatishchev's talents. Even while so busily occupied
with affairs in Bashkiria, with the responsibilities of the mining and smelting industry, and with s upervising the Kalmyks, Tatishchev worked to
advance science and education. He retained his interest in the schools he had established some years earlier in Ekaterinburg and founded a new one in
Samara for Kalmyks and Tatars. He sponsored the translation o f books from Asian languages into Russian and the compilation of a
Russian-Tatar-Kalmyk dictionary. As a frontier administrator, Tatishchev is one of the great names in eighteenth-century Russian history. In his many
years on the Southeastern Frontier, he held several important positions. Even after his trial he was sent back to the southeast as governor of Astrakhan.
Few men of that day had his experience in colonial affairs. His intellectual pursuits and his political activities lie outside the scope of this study, but
they should also be noted in any evaluation of his accomplishments.
In Bashkiria during his short, two- year term as chief of the Bashkir and Orenburg commissions, Tatishchev continued Kirillov's work, but he
also significantly modified a number of established policies. Like Kirillov he was a vigorous builder of forts. By 1739 it was evident that Bashkir
freedom was fast coming to an end. Only one section of their boundaries remained open, the upper course of the Ural River fro m Verkhneuralsk to Fort
Orsk at the mouth of the Or River. Plans already in motion were soon to close even this escape route.
The strengthened position of the Russians in Bashkiria after Kirillov was reflected in the change in policies instituted by Tatishchev. Kirillov's
initial emphasis had been on the wider aspects of the Orenburg project, especially the plan to move into Central Asia. The outbreak in Bashkiria
frustrated him, and he furiously sought to destroy his opposition root and branch as quickly as he could. Tat ishchev, who became head of the Orenburg
Commission, had a different major task laid out for him. He first had to pacify the Bashkirs. The example of the two years spent by Kirillov in
attempting this by methods of extreme severity no doubt led Tatishchev to realize other solutions must be sought. Confident of the more secure
position of Russia because of Kirillov's fortbuilding, Tatishchev attempted to soften the severe measures. While he pursued war vigorously he began
the institution of long-run measures to end Bashkir unrest. His policies were continued by his successors.
1. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 29-30.
2. PSZ, 10, 168-70.
3. Po Kabinetu, kn. 87/1164, L. 109 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 125.
4. PSZ, 10, 242-45.
5. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 65, quotes Dela Senata po Orenburgskoi gubernii, kn. 8/139, L. 236.
6. Po Kabinetu, kn. 87/1164, L. 311, as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 65.
7. Materialy BASSR, 4, 307-10, 325; Ustiugov, Vosstanie, pp. 65-66.
8. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, pp. 31ff.
9. Materialy BASSR, I, 335, for example.
10. Ibid., pp. 309, 325.
11. Dela Senata po Orenburgskoi gubernii, kn. 8/139, L. 596 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 37.
12. Ibid.
13. Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, L. 177 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 37.
14. Po Kabinetu, kn. 106/1183, L. 9, as quoted in ibid., p. 38.
15. Materialy BASSR, I, 309, 310-11, 312.
16. Dela Senata po Orenburgskoi gubernii, kn. 8/139. L. 157 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 66.
17. Materialy BASSR, I, 325.
18. Ibid., pp. 310ff. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, states that the figures were exaggerated by the Bashkirs to frighten their enemies, p. 70.
19. Materialy BASSR, I, 330.
20. Ibid., p. 325.
21. Ibid., pp. 312ff.
22. Ibid., p. 362; PSZ, 10, 411-16.
23. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 40-41 and fn. 1; Solov'ev, 4, 1550.
24. Materialy BASSR, I, 360-61, 365.
25. Dela Senata po Orenburgskoi gubernii, kn. 3/134, L. 823, as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 87. See also, PSZ, 10, 411-16.
26. Materialy BASSR, I, 362-65.
27. Ibid., pp. 355-56; Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 32-33; PSZ, 10, 168-70.
28. Materialy BASSR, I, 308-10, 342, 345-46, 355-56.
29. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 80, quoting po Kabinetu, kn. 87/1164, LL. 984 ob.- 985. See also Materialy BASSR, I, 340ff.
30. Materialy BASSR, I, 360, 344.
31. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 32; Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 94; Materialy BASSR, I, 340-41, 360, 365.
32. Materialy BASSR, I, 360.
33. Ibid.
34. Ibid., pp. 360-61.
35. Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, L. 225 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 97.
36. Materialy BASSR, I, 309, 321-23, 339, 341, 343, 345, 357.
37. Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, L. 502, as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 104.
38. Materialy BASSR, I, 370-72.
39. Ibid., I, 368-69; Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 106, quoting Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, L- 533.
40. Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, L. 523, as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 105.
41. Ibid., L. 555, as quoted in ibid., p. 106.
42. Materialy BASSR, I, 370.
43. Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, LL. 696 ob-697, as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 109.
44. Ibid., L. 562 ob., as quoted in ibid., p. 110.
45. PSZ, 10, 614-18.
46. The preceding narrative is based on Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 34-39.
47. PSZ, 10, 614-18; Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 41.
48. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, pp. 112-14, quoting Po Kabinetu, kn. 90/1167, L. 612.
49. Ibid., pp. 114-15, quoting ibid., LL. 754 ob.-755 ob.
50. Po Kabinetu, kn. 106/1183, L. 84 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, p. 124.
51. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 42-44.
52. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 126, quoting Po Kabinetu, kn. 106/1183, LL. 92-93.
53. Ernst Johann Bühren (Biren or Biron in Russian), 1690-1772, was a Baltic German from Kurland who gained great power as Empress Anna's
lover. He was not a Russian subject and held no official post.
54. Zapiska Golovkina" as quoted in Solov'ev, 4, 1604-05.
55. Solov'ev, 4, 1606-07; Vitevskii, pp. 161-63; Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 42.
Lieutenant General Prince Vasily Urusov was appointed to replace Tatishchev as chief of the Orenburg Commission on June 17, 1739. He was
given several thousand rubles to pay personal expenses and to buy presents for the Kazakh leaders. While he received instruct ions and prepared for the
journey to Samara, affairs in Bashkiria were in the hands of Soimonov, chief of the Bashkir Commission.
At that time Soimonov was preparing to carry out the census which Tatishchev had planned earlier. In the midst of this activit y, which was
certain to antagonize the Bashkirs, St. Petersburg ordered him to transfer some of his troops to the regular army beca use of the pressing need for forces
in the Turkish war. Fearing the reduction of troops in Bashkiria would weaken his position, Soimonov wrote to the Cabinet in January:
The Bashkirs, having seen Your Imperial Majesty's arms, are quiet; and, with the aid o f the all-powerful Creator, all appears well now. However,
I, as the true slave of Your Imperial Majesty, . . . cannot agree because the census . . . has not been accomplished in all Bashkiria. And if they hear of
the transfer of regiments, then it will be dangerous.1
His fears were soon confirmed. The Bashkirs under the leadership of Seit-bai Alkalin, Tiulkuchura Aldagulov, Allandziangul Kutluguzin, and
Eldash Mullah, those leaders who had played a prominent role in the 1737-38 struggle and who had been permitted to return peacefully to their homes
after they had capitulated and paid their fines, again began to organize to oppose the Russians. One group in the Siberian Doroga protested against the
census on the grounds that one had been taken when they paid the horse fines and that new registrations of the population could only be for the purpose
of levying the poll tax on the Bashkirs "as the Chuvash pay a poll tax in the Kazan District." They would pay only that amount of tribute "their fathers
and grandfathers had paid."2 Having decided to resist the administration on this point, they brought up earlier grievances, the horse fines and the
abuses of the local government officials. By March their intentions were clear. The administration decided to postpone the census until the situation
was calmer.
Following their earlier pattern, the Bashkirs, led by Eldash Mullah, decided to repudiate Russian sovereignty and to seek a new ruler. Because
the Kazakhs had failed them, they now decided to seek the support of the Kontaishi Galdan-Chirin, the ruler of the Jungarian confederation; for his
people, unlike the Kazakhs, were not even nominally Russian subjects. Other Bashkirs preferred to flee from Bashkiria and live in the Kazakh Steppe.
Neither solution proved feasible. The Jungars could only be approached through Kazakh territory with Kazakh approval, a highly unlikely possibility.
The Bashkirs and the Kazakhs were not generally friendly toward each other in spite of the occasional pacific intercourse bet ween certain groups. They
continued the customary raiding of each other, as noted in reports of June 1739.3 Bashkir refugees could expect little sympat hy from the Kazakhs.
During the summer and early fall of 1739 the Bashkirs offered only feeble opposition to the Russians. In August there was a small-scale attempt
to resist; but the leader, Tiulkuchura, was soon captured. In September both he and Bepen, whose death sentence had been dela yed since his capture in
1738, were executed, and the incipient revolt ended.4 Now that Bashkir resistance had been quelled, Soimonov proceeded vigorously with the census.
General Urusov left St. Petersburg early in July 1739 and reached Samara in August.
His instructions dealt with several problems: the relocation of Orenburg, the b uilding of forts along the Ural and Samara, the abandonment of the
Trans-Kama Line, transference of the land- militia regiments to the Orenburg Line, the encouragement of trade in Orenburg, the prevention of
unofficial migration into the area, and the improvement of relations with the Kazakhs.5
The site for the new Orenburg had been decided upon: it was to be built at Krasnaia Gora, some 250 versts to the west of the original town, which
was henceforth to be known as Orsk. As recommended by Tatishchev, the new defensive line of forts, redoubts, and outposts was to stretch across the
southern boundary of Bashkiria from the Volga along the Samara River to the Ural, along the Ural to Orsk, up the Ural to Verk hneuralsk, then along
the Ui River to Tsarev on the Tobol River, to connect there with the Siberian Line which ran eastward across southern Siberia.
The decree ordering Urusov to transfer the land-militia regiments from the Trans-Kama forts to the new defensive line is a mark of the great
advance of the Russian borders as a result of the Orenburg project. Within a few years the frontier had been moved 500 versts to the south, compared
to the timid steps in the preceding century when the old Trans-Kama Line was moved in some places only a few dozen versts.
To encourage commerce in Orenburg, Urusov was instructed to pay particular attention to Asiatic merchants and to establish specia l low
customs. For a period of ten years the rate was to be set at three kopecks per ruble, afterward five kopecks. These rates app lied only if foreign
merchants traded in Orenburg. If they wished to trade in Samara or other interior towns they had to pay the regular customs.
During Kirillov's time runaway peasants had been accepted into service as Cossacks. Now that the defense of the area was better organized,
refugees were to be taken into custody and returned to their homes and owners.
Relations with the Kazakhs were in their customary confusion. Two Russian caravans on their way to Tashkent had been attacked by Kazakhs.
At the same time representatives of both the Middle and Great hordes had approached the Russians to be accepted as Russian subjects.6
In Samara, after studying the general situation, Urusov sent a report to the Cabinet in which he requested confirmation of his orders and an
additional sum of money. In early September he started for Orenburg with an accompanying detachment to inspect the progress o n the defensive line
and to look over the site selected by Tatishchev for the relocation of the town. Early frost and bad weather caused him to delay these plans; he was
forced to return to Samara after inspecting only the forts along the Samara River.7
At this time an epidemic of some unknown disease in Isetsk Province became a matter of concern. The doctor sent out to investigate by the
provincial office foolishly decided that the sickness was merely a reaction to insect bites. Unfortunately the disease spread rapidly, affecting large
numbers and causing numerous deaths. In Siberia the treatment consisted of puncturing the skin at the characteristic mark or spot with a needle,
applying sal ammoniac, and then a tobacco poultice. It had little effect and the epidemic continued. After the devastations o f war the local people were
subjected to a natural scourge.
In December 1739, while the census was proceeding to the Russians' satisfaction but to the Bashkirs' discontent, news was received that the
Bashkirs were again planning war. Even in their weakened condition and in spite of the overwhelming evidence of the hopelessness of further
resistance, some few continued the struggle. On this occasion the great majority remained quiescent.
The story of the 1740 uprising is largely the story of its principal leader, Karasakal, or Blackbeard, a curious personage whose origins are
obscure. The Russians first learned of him from a captive Siberian Bashkir in November 1739. The prisoner reported he had heard that "a spy from the
Turks spent all the past winter and summer in Ailinsk District with the Bashkir Allandziangul, and a week before the capture of Tiulkuchura returned
to the Turks."8 Additional reports came in indicating the return of the Turkish spy or possibly several spies later in the year. As the war with Turkey
was still going on the Russians were alarmed. In February 1740 Soimonov sent an interpreter named Raman Urazlin with a detachment of 50 Cossacks
and 250 loyal Bashkirs to investigate the report.
If the rumors proved true, Urazlin was to seize the spy or spies. He quickly gathered information from many sources, which, amplified by
communications from friendly Bashkirs and Russian commanders in Bashkiria, indicated that the so-called Turkish spy was a man known as
Karasakal. This person, the Bashkirs claimed, had come from the Kuban area. According to some reports, Karasakal himself claimed to be a Bashkir
from the Nogai Doroga named Mindigul Yulaev. Others claimed his real name was Baybulat and that he was the last of the Kuchumids.9 A Bashkir
who saw him personally described Karasakal as a person with a dark complexion and a moderately dark beard, wearing a kaftan made of white cotton
and Bashkir cap of red fox fur. Other sources say his nose had been partially cut off and that his left ear and the little finger of his right hand were
missing. He had appeared suddenly with sixty followers and had persuaded several influential Bashkirs to join him in a war against Russia, saying that
he had 82,000 troops located a month's march away in the vicinity of the Aral Sea. On the basis of this claim he was elected Khan of Bashkiria by a
small group of bitterly anti- Russian Bashkirs.
His supporters came primarily from the Siberian Doroga, the most prominent being Allandziangul Kutluguzin, Mendiar (Mandar) K arabaev,
and, intermittently, Eldash Mullah. At first they naively believed in Karasakal's purely imaginary army and accepted without question his explanations
for the repeated delays in its arrival. Without waiting for the "main force," a group of approximately 200 to 300 – periodically augmented by other
discontented Bashkirs – began attacking the villages of the Bashkirs and Meshcheriaks who had previously supported Russia.
Urazlin's detachment had in the meantime caught up with the mysterious "Khan of Bashkiria," but in a brief skirmish failed to capture him.
Friendly Bashkirs quickly assembled several parties to help fight Karasakal, while another party of fifty Cossacks was dispatched on skis from Ufa to
aid Urazlin. Considering the situation critical, Soimonov immediately set out for Ufa a nd began mobilizing a force of several thousand Bashkirs,
Meshcheriaks, Cossacks, and regular troops. Karasakal's great army might prove to be a phantom, but Soimonov hoped to halt the movement before
another general outbreak occurred. The developments of the past several years had resulted in a noticeably stronger Russian position. The new forts,
the forces mobilized for the earlier outbreak and not yet demobilized, and experience made possible quicker action on the par t of the administration.
During the winter and spring the garrisons were readied for action. Soimonov began settling additional Cossacks in the vicinity of the fo rts. Both
private and state agricultural establishments sent the necessary provisions, and a commissary was set up to distribute them. The Bashkirs were warned
against any further disturbances.
Eventually intelligence reports indicated that Karasakal's forces had reached approximately 600 in number. Apparently few Bas hkirs were
flocking to his standard. By far the greater number involved in the affair fought on the Russian side. Between February 18, when Urazlin was sent out
to apprehend the "Turkish spy," and the third week in March, the band suffered several reverses, principally at the hands of Russian Bashkirs.
Karasakal's main supporter, Allandziangul, was captured, but he himself escaped. Several of his followers became skeptical about the phantom army.
Up to the first of April the Russians had lost one killed, sixteen wounded; the Bashkirs, twenty-one killed, eleven wounded, eight captured.10
Karasakal recovered from these reverses quickly and by the middle of April was again creating trouble for Russia. His partisa ns slowly
increased, in spite of declining hope of aid from the mythical army, until there were several hundred. The administration sent out several large
detachments against him. Karasakal retreated into the mountains on the Siberian side of the Urals under heavy attack. Later it was rumored that he was
planning an attack on Orenburg, an attack that never took place.
Late in May, as the weather improved, the Russians tried to surround Karasakal in his mountain hideaway. To escape he moved eastward out of
the mountains and across the upper Ural River. Putiatin from Ufa and Pavlutskii from Tabynsk joined forces, assembled 1,500 mounted troops, and
crossed the Urals, determined to capture the elusive Khan of the Bashkirs. In the running battle that ensued a few of Karasakal's followers were killed,
wounded, or captured; but Karasakal again escaped into the Kazakh Steppe. The Russian commanders following him to the Tobol River were reluctant
to pursue him farther into the limitless expanse of the steppe. They returned to the Ural Mountains where other troublemaking groups were still raiding
settlements. To reinforce them, Urusov dispatched a strong force from Orenburg.11
On May 13 Urusov left Samara with a party of 4,378 and moved to a camp 15 versts away. He then sent 1,500 troops under the co mmand of
Captain Tarbeev, a Ural Cossack, to join Arsen'ev's detachment in pursuing the enemy. With the remainder of his command he set out for Orenburg.
Heavy winds and the spring thaw, which flooded the streams, slowed the march, delaying the detachment at the Samara River unt il the twenty-fourth
of the month. In the meantime Major General Soimonov received orders to follow Urusov into Bashkiria and establish connections with him. At Fort
Buzuluk a courier from Her Majesty ordered Urusov to delay the trip to Orenburg and to coordinate the movements of his forces with those of
In comparison with the past the Russians had overwhelming superiority in numbers. Excluding those garrisoning the Orenburg Line forts and
outposts, Urusov had over 4,000 troops with him. A June report from Soimonov on the disposition of troops under his co mmand indicated more than
8,000 regulars and irregulars in forts and outposts inside Bashkiria and another 3,000 in the field.12 These figures do not include the few remaining in
the Trans-Kama Line posts. These forces were made up of Russians, Bashkirs, Tatars, Meshcheriaks, Teptiars, Bobyls, and others. Considerably more
than half were local people, a fact that illustrates clearly the significant role of the colonial peoples in the Russian conq uest.
With such a force behind them, Urusov, Soimonov, and the ir subordinates met in a general military council at Samara on June 15 to plan
measures for pacifying the Bashkirs. Three regiments of troops and approximately 500 Bashkirs were sent out against the dissidents. Many of these
now friendly Bashkirs had formerly been hostile; and, therefore, a number of their prominent leaders were held in Sakmarsk as hostages to guarantee
loyal service. The council decided to warn the Bashkirs that the Russians were coming in force. They were threatened with complete annihilation of
themselves, their wives and children.
After the conference Urusov returned to his command in the south, stopping along the way at Krasnaia Gora where the new Orenburg was to be
built, on June 22. He approved both the site and the plans. Intending to return immediately to the interior of Bashkiria, he set out for Ozernaia. On the
twenty-sixth, after resting his troops, he left Ozernaia and moved up the Menzhen River. From that point he sent out four dragoon re giments and 400
Cossacks against the rebels.13
Soimonov's report to the Senate on July 11, 1740, gives the results of the struggle against Karasakal's insurgents from May 25 to July 3. The
government forces had lost one regular and 13 irregulars killed and 8 regulars and 44 irregulars wounded. Against this small cost in troops the
government units had burned 122 villages and 50 kibitkas (households), killed 1,531 Bashkirs, and captured 536, including women and children. Of
those captured, 124 were executed, 36 sent to the Baltic area as soldiers, 6 to labor in Rogervik, and 370 sent to Russia as serfs. Other losses to the
Russians were four horses killed and six wounded. Livestock seized from the Bashkirs amounted to 1,608 horses, 2,287 cattle, and 476 sheep.14
A subsequent report from Soimonov, dated September 26, indicates that only minor action took place after July. During that month the Bashkirs
were so hard pressed that many began to surrender at the administrative centers.
Urusov advanced to Lake Tolkach, north of old Orenburg and south of the Sakmara River, where he camped from July 8 to 17. There many
captured Bashkirs were executed and their wives, children, and livestock seized. He then sent 5,326 captives to Orenburg, inc luding women and
children. On the seventeenth he went to Orenburg himself when informed that several representatives of the Kazakhs had arrived for a meeting. He
reached the town on the twenty- fourth and on the following day marched ceremoniously into his camp.
A detachment left at Lake Tolkach under the command of Major Ostankov searched for sites along the Sakmara River where forts could be
constructed, as recommended earlier by Tatishchev. On returning to Orenburg he reported that he had found nine strategic locations and good
agricultural land, water, and woods.15
Meanwhile, Pal'chikov held a conference in Bashkiria at Verkhneuralsk. Urusov arrived on August 10 to attend it. A large group of Bashkirs
were assembled and compelled to prostrate themselves before him. Then a long document was read to them. In it they were called bandits and rebels
but were assured of the mercy and kindness of Her Majesty if they would remain loyal to the state. A brief history of Bashkir relations with the
Russians from the time of Ivan IV followed, including an account of their uprisings. Urusov stated that the Russian yoke had been light, as evidenced
by the low tribute demands. The document gave the reasons for the founding of Ufa and Ufa Province, told of the generosity of the Russians in creating
many tarkhans and giving them much land, described the government's liberality in permitting them to collect tribute from the Teptiars and Bobyls,
pointed out their greater welfare under the Russians and the protection they had received from their enemies. Yet in spite of all these favors, the
Bashkirs had rebelled when they learned of the plans to build Orenburg and other forts in that area. The reading continued with a survey of the attacks
made on the Russian forces during the administrations of Kirillov and Tatishchev. Finally, the extreme poverty and suffering of the Bashkirs was
directly attributed to their stubbornness in opposing their rightful government. At the end of the reading the Bashkirs again prostrated themselves
before Urusov.
After this ceremony the Russians took a number of prominent Bashkirs hostage and threatened further severe punishment if they again tried to
revolt. In conference the staff determined the punishment to be meted out to the more recalcitrant rebels. Acting on the conference's verdict, Lieutenant
Colonel Pal'chikov went to Sakmarsk to wind up the Bashkir affair. Six versts from Orenburg ninety-six rebels were hanged and twenty-one heads
were chopped off and put on posts for display. Among the latter was a captive who had starved himself to death in protest. His lifeless body was
beheaded and the head displayed with the others. Later, on September 17, Urusov arrived in Sakmarsk to supervise further exec utions. Here one
hundred and twenty were beheaded, fifty were hanged, and three hundred and one had their ears and noses cut off.16
Urusov in Orenburg summed up the total losses of the Bashkirs to the Russian forces in Siberia and to his own forces operating from Orenburg
through September: 1,702 were killed or fled across the Ural River, 432 were executed, 1,862 wer e sent to Russia for distribution to landowners as
serfs, and 301 were beaten with the knout and had their noses cut off. Others were sent to the Baltic regiments and the Navy. One hundred seven
villages were burned and 39 camels, 1,987 horses, 2,903 head of cattle, and 2,110 sheep seized.17
Urusov asked Soimonov's advice on what action to take now that the uprising was over. Soimonov answered:
It is necessary in carrying out Her Imperial Majesty's decrees to punish with death all the main rebels and the instigators of the Bashkir uprising
without mercy; the others, who after investigation appear not to be particularly guilty, [should be inducted] into military service among the Baltic
regiments when suitable. Those who are more than 30 years old should be sent to Rogervik for labor. Their wives and grown girls should be married to
Kazan and other Tatars and other non- Russians. . . . Other children and the young should be distributed to those who want them for settlement in
distant Russian villages. . . . And those who appear not to be guilty, after investigation, should be handed over to loyal Bashkir elders on probation so
that they will not become rebels nor join the rebels. . . . [The less guilty] who are more than 20 years old, having their no ses cut off and having been
flogged with the knout, should be distributed, along with their wives and children, to loyal Bashkir elders on probation. I have told . . . [you] that such
rebels are common in Bashkiria. . . . This is to be expected of them because of their irresponsibility. It is always better to exterminate such rebels so that
there will be no further revolts among them in the future.18
In these recommendations Soimonov was as severe as Kirillov had been. Thus, over a minor disturbance led by an outside adventurer, the
Russians, in a fury and after years of frustration at their inability to quell the Bashkirs, used incredible brutality in subjecting the colonials to their will.
Imperial conquerors have frequently acted in the same fashion.
Meantime, Karasakal, after escaping into the Kazakh Steppe with a band of followers, had assumed another name, that of Shuna Batur Khan, the
son of a Kontaishi and the brother of Galdan-Chirin. He gathered a considerable following in the Great Horde, and when its old khan died he became
one of the candidates for the khanship. Threatened by the Jungars and by the Little Horde Kazakhs, he considered journeying to Orenburg to become
a Russian vassal. This thought was not put into action.19
The Karasakal affair sharply illustrates the changes that had taken place in the years since the launching of the Orenburg Expedition. The rapid
response of the Russians in meeting the threat of a new rising demonstrated Russian strength in Bashkiria. The network of forts and the substantial
force of troops were sufficient to ensure Russian domination within the region. The failure of the Karasakal group to gain wider support can be
attributed to Bashkir exhaustion after more than four years of bloody war.
On August 19, 1740, while the Bashkirs were being subdued, a party of Kazakhs, including the sultans Nurali and Erali, the sons o f Abulkhair,
and Batur Janibek camped seven versts from Orenburg. On the twenty-second they visited Urusov. After a ceremonious reception by a captain, several
lesser officers, and a detachment of some sixty men, all the Russian military units were called out on parade; and when the escorting party approached
with the sultans, a cannon salute was fired. A major met them at the horses and a lieutenant colonel escorted them into the presence of Urusov.
Abulkhair did not come to the conference, explaining that he was too far away and not feeling well. He sent his regrets for t he recent Kazakh attack on
a Russian caravan and said he and Abul- mamet of the Middle Horde were not friendly. Actually, Abulkhair had learned that the new khan of the
Middle Horde would also be present in Orenburg for the conference; and, aspiring to the leading position in dealing with the Russians, Abulkhair
feared to be present at a meeting where he might be treated on an equal basis with his rival. He sent his sons to represent the Litt le Horde.20
The sultans, after blaming the Kazakhs of the Great Horde, over whom Abulkhair had no influence, for plundering the caravan in question,
promised in the future to escort Russian caravans through the steppe and to recover those Russians who had been captured by t he Kazakhs. In return
they requested that Urusov supply Abulkhair with some cannon. At this time Abulkhair, tak ing advantage of disorders in Central Asia, was trying to
conquer Khiva. To advance this same cause, the envoys asked Urusov for Russian assistance in building a fortified town on the Syr Darya. In answer
to these requests, Urusov sent a surveyor named Ivan Muravin with a party to make a map of the lower Syr Darya area in which a town might be built.
The Russians refused to supply cannon to Abulkhair, saying that they had too few even to supply their own forts.
A banquet was held at which many toasts were drunk and cannon salutes fired. During the course of the meal news came that peace had been
signed with the Ottoman Empire, ending the war which had lasted from 1735 to 1739. This event was properly toasted, and after dinner the Russians
distributed gifts to the Kazakhs. Urusov concluded the affair with a speech, promising the Kazakhs great benefits in return for loyalty to the
On August 24, before the Little Horde Kazakhs departed, Khan Abul- mamet and Sultan Ablai of the Middle Horde arrived with a large number
of retainers and prominent associates. They were welcomed with a ceremony similar to that performed for their predecessors, including the banquet.
The new Khan and his followers knelt on a golden carpet, took off their caps, kissed the Koran, then placed the holy book on their heads, and signed an
oath with their marks,22 attesting their loyalty to the Russian Empress. At the meeting held afterward the two sides discussed the looting of the Russian
caravan, banditry, Russian captives held by the Kazakhs, and raids on the Volga Kalmyks. The Kazakhs answered that they could do nothing about the
raids on the Kalmyks because these were traditional among their peoples, but added that the Kalmyks suffered more from the Kazakhs of the Little
Horde, who were located closer to the Kalmyks than they were.
They claimed that Abulkhair had recently sent 3,000 troops against the Kalmyks. The attack on the caravan was attributed to the Kazakhs of the
Great Horde, but they promised to assist in recovering the stolen goods.23
The two sons of Abulkhair and their party quickly broke camp and departed when the Russians invited them to a joint meeting with Abul- mamet
and Ablai of the Middle Horde.
In a series of meetings held subsequently with the Middle Horde Kazakhs, the same topics were discussed at greater length. On August 31 the
Russians held military maneuvers, shooting matches, and other events to impress the Kazakhs with Russian power. Urusov also made an attempt to
ease the rivalry between the khans of the Little and Middle hordes. On September 1 he made a courtesy call on Abul- mamet, returning to Orenburg in
the evening. On the following morning the Kazakhs decamped.
On September 5, having concluded his business with the Kazakhs, Urusov set out for Samara. A courier arrived with approval of his plans for
settling the Bashkir problem and a notice that Soimonov had been ordered to meet with him to work out the details. Reaching Ozernaia on the tenth he
proceeded to the new site of Orenburg. Here again he was engaged in the problem of the Bashkirs. Near Sakmarsk he superintended the hanging of
fifty rebels, the beheading of a hundred and twenty, and the distribution of a number of Bashkir women and children. On the eighteenth of September
he continued on toward Samara by boat. Along the way he conferred with the officers of a detachment pursuing the Bashkirs. In Samara he settled
down to work out the details of building the new Orenburg and to organize the administrative apparatus of the Orenburg Commission.
In 1741 two engineering officers and an architect were appointed and workers assigned for the construction of the new Orenburg, but there was
a last- minute dispute about the site. The chief engineer wanted to build the town on the top of a hill for better air and a more bea utiful view. The other
two wished to locate the town on a level area two versts away and to build only a citadel on the hill. They believed it would be impossible to build a
town of the size contemplated on the chief engineer's site, because the hill was small and the soil sandy. They stated that it would be a waste of labor to
haul stone up the hill and that supplying water would be difficult. The level area, on the other hand, would permit level str eets, gardens, and would be
easier to supply with stone and water. Urusov met with the contending parties and decided on the leve l site.24
Meantime, Muravin's party, which had been sent in the previous year to Central Asia to investigate sites for a fort on the Syr Darya and to map
the area, returned with a map, a description of the routes from Orenburg to Khiva, a chart of the Aral Sea, and a plan of the city of Khiva.25
Plans to move more deeply into the steppe were frustrated by an old enemy. Karasakal, who had managed to attract a following among the
Kazakhs by claiming to be the son of a Kontaishi and the brother of Galdan-Chirin, raided the Jungars. Galdan-Chirin reacted immediately to the
attack and with an army of 15,000 marched against the Kazakhs, who fled westward toward Orenburg. When the Jungar army approached the town the
commandant sent envoys out to negotiate. The Russians met with a group of commanders (zaisangs), who explained that because the Kazakhs had
treacherously attacked the Jungars while they were defending themselves against the Chinese, the Jungars were now retaliating. The Russians pointed
out that the Kazakhs were subjects of Her Majesty and that any complaints against Russian subjects should be directed to St. Petersburg. The J ungars
at that time had no desire to clash with the Russian Empire. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Russian negotiators at tempted to persuade the
Jungars to become Russian subjects. Although this offer was not accepted, the Jungars did break off the campaign.26
At about the same time another threat loomed on the horizon, Nadir Shah of Persia. This mighty conqueror, a carpenter's son, rose to power on
the pattern of Tamerlane. He defeated the Afghans and took command of Persia. His invasion of India was a blow from which the Moguls never
recovered. By the 1740s he had created a large state in Persia and Central Asia. Claiming t hat Khivans had attacked his subjects, he marched into
Central Asia. Abulkhair, who had seized Khiva in 1741, was there when the Persian army entered Khivan territory. Using the services of the Russian
land surveyor, Muravin, who was then in Khiva looking for a site on which to build a fort, the Khan sent a mission to Nadir Shah to request that the
Shah appoint him Khan of Khiva. Muravin found a friendly reception but was told that the Khan would have to come personally to negotiate. Nadir
Shah promised that the Kazakh leader would be respectfully treated as a subject of the Russian Empress. Too wily a bird to walk into a snare,
Abulkhair quickly fled into the steppe to the north, leaving the Khivans to defend their city without their ruler. In a three-day battle Nadir Shah
captured the town and appointed a new governor. Soon after the departure of the Persians the Khivans rose, killed the governo r, and elected Nurali, the
son of Abulkhair, to rule over them. Nurali, following his father's example, decamped o n hearing that the Shah was sending an army to punish the
Khivans for overthrowing his appointee.27
The incursion of Nadir Shah disturbed the Kazakhs more than might be expected. Moving southward on their traditional cycle to escape the
severe winter weather of the north, the Kazakhs came into the border lands of Khiva. Following an age-old pattern, they sought to conquer the lands
and towns of the settled society. When this khanate became part of Nadir Shah's empire, the Kazakhs found their plans thwarted. Thus, in addition to
the Jungars, another force was driving them toward Russia.
Urusov, who had been ill with scurvy, died on July 22, 1741. The Cabinet appointed Soimonov, the head of the Bashkir Commission, to take
charge of the Orenburg Commission.
Urusov's administration marked the end of the first phase of the Orenburg project. Kirillov's grandiose plan had not been realized because of the
colonial war; but in building the Orenburg Defensive Line the Russians had established their supremacy in Bashkiria and a foundation had been laid
for subsequent Russian penetration into Central Asia. Before Kazakhstan could be annexed, the government had to bring order to the vast frontier
territory of Bashkiria. Although the directors of the Orenburg Commission did negotiate with the Kazakhs and occasionally took limited steps to carry
out Peter's aims regarding Central Asia, they found themselves involved primarily in the struggle with the Bashkirs, at least until 1741. The actual
subjugation of the Kazakhs and the formation of Orenburg Gubernia were the next tasks, but these are other stories.
The great frontier governor of the Orenburg region from 1742 to 1758, I. I. Nepliuev, evaluated the accomplishments of his predecessors as
The Orenburg region was brought into the general system of the other regions of the Russian Empire through the work of Kirillov, Tatishchev,
and Urusov. The region's diverse administrative divisions received a common organization and were subordinated to the supervision of a local, higher
A 1740 report on the Bashkir war of 1735-40 included a table of the casualties suffered by the Bashkirs.29
Sent to Baltic regiments and fleet
Women and children distributed
Grand total
Horses collected as fines
Cattle and sheep
Money fines in rubles
Villages destroyed
Commission Commission
9,828 r. 28 k.
These totals were compiled only from regular unit reports. The actual losses were considerably higher because of the actions of the irregular
forces, hunger, disease, and cold. From a probable population of 100,000 the casualty total of over 30,000 graphically illustrates the human results of
Russian colonial policy in this area.
1. Po Kabinetu, kn. 106/1183, LL 145-45 ob., as quoted in Ustiugov, Vosstanie, p. 130.
2. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, pp. 131, 135, quoting Po Kabinetu, kn. 106/1183, LL. 237-38, 369 ob.-370.
3. Materialy BASSR, I, 375.
4. Ibid., p. 376.
5. PSZ, 10, 867-71.
6. Ibid., pp. 867-71, 881-84.
7. Ibid., II, 105-06; Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 44.
8. Materially BASSR, I, 378.
9. Ustiugov, IZ, p. 102; Z. V. Togan, "Bashdjirt," Encyclopedia of Islam (New ed., 2 vols, to date, Leiden, 1960-?), I, 1076.
10. Materially BASSR, I, 394.
11. Ibid., pp. 435-77.
12. Ibid., pp. 431-32.
13. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 46.
14. Materialy BASSR, I, 447-48.
15. PSZ, 10, 867-71; Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 130ff; Istoriia, p. 47.
16. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 50.
17. Materialy BASSR, I, 459-60.
18. Ibid., p. 463.
19. Ibid., pp. 476-94.
20. Levshin, 2, 139; Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 51-52.
21. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 51f.
22. It is possible but quite unlikely that the marks referred to here were signatures in Arabic script. The Russ ians had been acquainted with
peoples who wrote in Arabic for a long time, and the letters from the Kazakh khans were always written so.
23. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 52-53.
24. PSZ, II, 674-75; Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 57.
25. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 58; Levshin, 2, 147.
26. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 56; Levshin, 2, 144-46.
27. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 58; Levshin, 2, 146-48.
28. Vitevskii, p. 176.
29. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 55-56.
After the conquest and annexation of the Khanate of Kazan in the sixteenth century, the vast frontier territory astride the southern Ural
Mountains in which the Bashkirs lived was nominally in charge of a namestnik (viceroy) in Kazan. When Ufa was founded in 1586 the surrounding
territory was administered locally by a voevoda (military governor) who was subordinate to the namestnik. During the last half of the sixteenth century
and throughout the seventeenth century a number of additional forts and outposts were constructed in Bashkir territory, for the most part on the
boundaries in the north along the early route to Siberia and in the west along the Volga. In the middle of the seventeenth ce ntury the Trans-Kama Line
added other towns which brought a small corner of western Bashkiria into the Russian Empire.
Prior to the organization of the Orenburg Expedition, Russian authority was weak except near the peripheral towns and Ufa in the center of the
country. The ineffectiveness of Russian administrative control is demonstrated by the early tribute rolls of Ufa. In 1629 only 888 households were
registered. By 1639 the number had reached 2,217.1 This tax roll did not include all the registered Bashkirs because the bordering towns also
registered tribute payers, but it is clear that only a small fraction of the population paid tribute. On the basis of contemporary estimates and the first
reasonably complete census in the middle of the eighteenth century, the population at the beginning of that century was approximately 100,000.2
Although with the exception of those areas in the vicinity of the Russian towns and the territory behind the Trans-Kama line, administrative
authority in Bashkiria was weak, the number of petitions presented to the government before and during the uprisings indicates that the Bashkirs at
least recognized Russian sovereignty and with it the obligation to pay tribute. They objected to the seizure of their land, to the abuses of the
government tax collectors, and to the raising of the tribute rates, but they accepted the right of the Russian government to collect tribute. That some
Bashkirs in the more remote areas paid tribute is seen from their complaints of the hardships involved in transporting their payments in kind over long
distances to the administrative centers.
Before Peter the Great's reorganization of the Empire in 1708 the whole southeast territory was a namestnichestvo (viceroyalt y) under the
direction of the namestnik in Kazan who was responsible to the Prikaz (Department) of Kazan. To assist him, the namestnik had a chancery composed
of his assistants and a clerical staff. The administration, however, was not completely in the hands of this body. As elsewhere in Russia at that time, the
special functions which were within the jurisdiction of other prikazes, such as military and treasury matters, were handled by local offices of these
prikazes. A similar organization on a smaller scale existed in regional centers like Ufa and Menzelinsk. A town and its surro unding areas was called a
voevodstvo and was governed by a voevoda (military governor). The voevoda, assisted by an office staff, carried out his duties in conjunction with the
local representatives of the central governmental departments (prikazes).3
In 1708 Peter the Great reorganized the administration of the Empire. In place of the former territorial divisions Russia was divided into eight
gubernias (governments), each of which was divided into provinces, and the provinces into uezds (districts). At the same time the old prikazes were
replaced by collegial departments or Colleges. In this change the former Ufa Voevodstvo became officially a province, subordinate, as before, to
Kazan, which became a gubernia.
Ufa Province consisted of Ufa, the capital, and the towns of Samara, Birsk, Menzelinsk, Zainsk, Solovarnaia, Osa, Biliarsk, Tabynsk, and the
village of Karakulina. A provincial office replaced the office of the voevoda and the prikaz offices.4 The voevoda – the title of the leading authority
was retained – had complete civil and military authority over his area, subject to his superior, the governor of the gubernia. The governor was directly
responsible to the Senate and the Colleges.5
This arrangement remained substantially unchanged until 1728, when the ad ministration of Peter II took Ufa Province from the jurisdiction of
Kazan, with the exception of Menzelinsk, and placed it directly under the Senate. This move was dictated by the special problem of Bashkir unrest. Ufa
Province remained in the charge of a voevoda. The decree, dated July 27, 1728, issued in the name of the Supreme Privy Council, stated:
His Imperial Majesty has decreed [the following] on the petition of elected Bashkir representatives sent from Ufa Province .. . : Ufa Province is
to be under the separate jurisdiction of the Senate and correspondence is to be sent to, and direction is to be taken from, the Senate. The Governor of
Kazan is not to have cognizance over this province with the exception of the poll tax which is levied on the Russian people in the district [uezd]. This
poll tax is to be sent to the Governor of Kazan and local and tavern collections to wherever the decrees direct.6
After 1728 the special position of Ufa Province was retained, although occasionally during the Bashkir troubles, as for example in 1735, the
officials in Ufa were temporarily subordinated to the governor of Kazan. In the following years Peter's original eight gubernias were increased in
number; but until the formation of Orenburg Gubernia in 1744, the only significant change in the administrative apparatus took place in 1737.7
Siberian Bashkiria was in the Gubernia of Siberia until that time. The decree then issued reflects the nature of the Russian administration in
Bashkiria. Its issuance coincided with the great wars of 1735-40 and was concerned with bringing the Bashkirs under closer supervision. It dealt with
two basic problems, the military subjugation of the area and the administrative reorganization of those territories which lay close to the towns on the
periphery of Bashkiria.
Two uezds, both subordinated to Ufa, were organized and placed in charge of voevodas, one in the north around the town of Osa in the Osinsk
Doroga and one in the north in the vicinity of Krasnoufimsk. At the same time the voevoda of Perm Province in the north was moved from Solikamsk
southward to Kungur because the latter town was closer to Bashkiria and was thus more conveniently located to assist in admin istering the Bashkirs.
A larger measure of change was instituted in Siberia. A new province, called Isetsk, was created which encompassed most of Trans- Uralian
Bashkiria, in particular the area around the upper Ural River and the region of the Ai River. The main administration of Isetsk Province, first located in
Shadrinsk, was later transferred to Chebarkul'sk, then to Techensk. The final seat was Cheliabinsk, which became the provincial center in 1743.8
Isetsk and Ufa provinces were administered from Orenburg. These provinces did not as yet comprise a gubernia, but reported directly to the Senate.
The old divisions of this region into the Kazan, Osinsk, Nogai, and Siberian dorogas underlay the Russian territorial divisio ns. These traditional
names, which had come from the pre-Russian period when Bashkiria had been divided between the Khanate of Kazan, the Nogai Horde, and the
Siberian Khanate, continued in use; but there existed no administrative apparatus with jurisdiction corresponding to these bo undaries.
After Peter's reforms, as far as the general governmental administrative organization was concerned, at the top the Senate and the Colleges
directed the operations in the southeastern territory. In practice, the Cabinet often dealt directly with the head of the Ore nburg Commission. The more
routine matters of gubernia and provincial administration were handled through regular channels.
The leading officials in St. Petersburg considered the Southeastern Frontier Region of great importance. This attitude can be seen best in the
roles played by the various central organs in formulating policy. A survey of the correspondence between the frontier officials and the central
bureaucracy reveals much, also, of the governing process during the reign of Anna Ivanovna.
Shortly after she became Empress, Anna abolished the Supreme Privy Council, the powerful body that had controlled Russia since the death of
Peter the Great. In its place, in late 1731, she established by two decrees a body called the Cabinet of Her Imperial Majesty. Originally this body had
three members called Cabinet Ministers: Count G. I. Golovkin, Chancellor; Count A. I. Osterman, Vice-Chancellor; and the third member, Prince A.
M. Cherkasskii. After Golovkin's death in 1734, Osterman became Chancellor. In actuality, Ernst Johann Bühren, a Baltic German who became
Anna's lover, dominated the Cabinet in spite of the fact that he was not a Russian subject, nor did he hold any official positio n.
The Senate, which had lost status after the death of Peter I, gained power early in Anna's reign, but after 1731 it was eclip sed by the Cabinet.
Several senators, however, exerted considerable influence. Field Marshal B. C. von Münnich and Osterman were simultaneously senators and in
charge of Colleges, von Münnich of the War College and Osterman of the College of Foreign Affairs. Osterman, in fact, held positions in three of the
higher governing bodies.
At the top there was, in effect, a system of interlocking directorates, which explains the rather irregular channels of corre spondence. The Senate
had the most complete file because it was officially the body in charge and also usually received copies of letters sent to the Colleges and to the
Cabinet. Frequently the Cabinet was addressed directly, especially when matters of high policy were concerned. Occasionally letters were sent to
individuals in the Cabinet, Bühren, for example. Policy matters were settled by the Cabinet and more routine affairs by the other organs.
By 1740 the administrative division of Bashkiria was complex. That part which lay behind and in the vicinity of the old Trans-Kama Line, part
of the Kazan Doroga, had been incorporated into the regular imperial system. This section formed part of the Gubernia of Kaza n. To the north, part of
Bashkiria lay within the boundaries of Perm Gubernia. Like Kazan Gubernia, Perm also operated under the regular statutes. Siberian Bashkiria was
organized into Isetsk Province in 1737. The remainder of the region, the Osinsk and Nogai dorogas, came under the jurisdictio n of Ufa Province. Isetsk
and Ufa provinces, as reflected in their special position, had not yet been fully assimilated into the Empire, although the final step was to be taken in
In 1737 Ufa Province included Osinsk and Ufa uezds. The non-administrative nature of the division into dorogas is shown by the fact tha t the
boundaries of Ufa Uezd, which was largely in the Nogai Doroga, ran over into Osinsk Doroga. Isetsk Province had three uezds, Isetsk, Okunevsk, and
Shadrinsk, showing that there were more forts and towns in the Siberian Doroga than in Ufa Province, where most of the towns, excepting Ufa and a
very few others, were concentrated in the north and west near the older established gubernias.
Each uezd was further divided into volosts (subdistricts) and they usually into aimaks. A volost in Bashkiria originally corresponded to the clan
divisions of the Bashkirs. It was made up of one or more villages. The aimak was a subdivision of a clan. Kiril- lov's compilation of the Bashkir volosts
and aimaks in 1735 listed five volosts and twenty-seven aimaks in the Nogai Doroga, eighteen volosts and thirty aimaks in the Siberian Doroga, eleven
volosts and seven aimaks in the Kazan Doroga, and four volosts in the Osinsk Doroga.9 The aimaks do not always exceed the number of volosts
because not all the volosts were subdivided. A 1743 listing of volosts gave the following figures:10
Name of Doroga Volosts
The gubernia and uezd administrative officials and bodies were standard and require no further comment except to note that in Bashkiria the
wars of 1735-40 seriously disrupted the normal routine.
Although Orenburg, because of the Bashkir struggles and the decision to transfer it to another site, had remained in a transitional state, the
charter issued in 1734 for the governing of the town warrants treatment in some detail because of the general information it gives on the intended
administration of a frontier town in this region.11 The decree dealt first with those who would be permitted to reside in the new town and engage freely
in industry and commerce. Specifically listed were Russians, other Europeans, Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks, Greeks, Armenia ns, Indians, Persians,
Bukharans, Khivans, Tashkentians, Kalmyks, and, less specifically, any others regardless of their religious faith were to be allowed as reside nts.
Russian merchants were to be given special inducements to settle, but refugee peasants or army deserters were to be rejected.
The town administration, or Magistracy, which had both executive and judicial functions, was divided into several departments. The leading
body and law court of the Magistracy was made up of one of the total of three mayors (burgomistr),12 one of the six councillors (ratsger), and a court
reporter (protokolist). The lower town court was composed of one mayor, one councillor, and two town elders who were to be Russians if the court
were judging Russians, but two or three educated persons of the litigants' re ligion if any were not orthodox Christians. The fiscal office was to be
staffed with one mayor, one councillor, two prominent town citizens, and a bookkeeper. An "Orphans' Court," composed of one councillor, two
prominent citizens, and a notary or bookkeeper, had charge of inspecting and maintaining churches, schools, hospitals, and almshouses. Another
division with one councillor and two elders from the guilds was responsible for public buildings, guild organizations, keeping a register of citizens, and
the expenditures for the upkeep of public property. This office was also to supervise the activities of brokers, commodity sort ers, land surveyors, and
similar people. The police department was headed by one councillor and two guild elders. They had the right to inspect houses of correction, taverns,
and to regulate wine and beer sales. The three mayors and six councillors were to divide the burden of these duties among the mselves.
The mayors and the councillors, after they had apportioned the above duties, were to appoint an architect or master builder, a doctor, a surgeon,
a druggist for the three hospitals, an advocate, and representatives from the various non-Russians who would keep the administration informed on the
customs of the non-Russian peoples.
The officials in the Magistracy were to be chosen by a general election in which all residents of the town, both Russians and non- Russians, had
the right to vote. Election results were confirmed in an assembly of the leading citizens presided over by the town commandant, who headed the
military garrison. When vacancies occurred, the commandant with the assistance of the remaining officials of the Magistracy selected several
candidates and another election decided the issue. Appointment to all minor positions was the sole responsibility of the Magistracy. Lesser officials
had the right to sit in the Black Chamber or the general assembly of the Magistracy. No one was to be excluded from participation in the town
government; but, on the other hand, no one was to be forced to serve against his will.
Funds for the maintenance of schools, hospitals, and other public institutions for the first three years were to come from a 2 percent tax on
commercial transactions; from a number of levies on caravansaries, public markets, commercial institutions, and warehouses; and from land rent. The
2 percent tax was an interim measure instituted because no customs were to be collected during the first three years. At the expiration of this time the
sales tax was to be canceled, and that part of the town revenue was to come from customs. An annual report was to be submitted in January, accounting
for all expenditures of public money.
The right to organize and run a business was forbidden only to the military, government officials, and churchmen. The Magistracy, which held
jurisdiction over an area 100 versts in radius, was authorized to grant land free of charge for business purposes, retaining only the right of inspection.
Even in this remote area the system of internal passports was maintained. Bashkirs alone did not have to carry them.
The Senate was the court of appeal for all cases that could not satisfactorily be settled by the Magistracy.
From this description it can be seen that the Magistracy was an institution that primarily dealt with the economic aspects of town life, supervised
the policing and upkeep of the town, and served as a local law court. A commandant was separately appointed by the War College to supervise the
town defenses and the military garrison. He also played a role in the other affairs of the town as indicated above. The government of Orenburg,
particularly during the years 1735-40, reflected the special conditions caused by the Bashkir wars. Although most of the civil institutions had been set
up by the end of the 1730s, trade and industry had only begun to develop. New Orenburg had not been completed, and the administrative center of the
Orenburg Commission was Samara during most of this period.
Other towns in Bashkiria, such as Ufa, more closely followed the governing practice in the interior provinces. The larger ones were provincial or
uezd seats with voevodas and their chanceries. Nevertheless, the exigencies of the Bashkir war resulted in a basically milita ry administration of Ufa
and Isetsk provinces during the years 1735-40.
On the lowest level, the Bashkir village, no Russian administrative apparatus existed. For the most part local authority was left in the hands of the
village elders. Russian policy aimed at attracting the native leaders into serving the state. The creation of tarkhans was one method of carrying out this
aim. The lack of a complete census made it necessary for the government to depend on the cooperation of the elders in the collection of the tribute.
Tatishchev, in particular, proposed on repeated occasions that a greater degree of responsibility be granted to these elders. Tax collectors from the
Russian administrative centers were sent out to ensure the delivery of the various taxes, but this led to frequent complaints about the abuses committed
by these officials.
The gradual imposition of the regular administrative organization upon Bashkiria was only a part of the Russian penetration into the region. In
addition to the regular administrative organization, special commissions and commands played a very important role. They were organized for specific
purposes and, in general, were military in nature, although some had broader functions.
The earliest of these was the Trans-Kama Defensive Line Command which was formed in the seventee nth century. By 1730 the government
decided to build a new Trans-Kama Line farther to the southeast, and construction was begun in 1732.13
Troops from the defensive line, in addition to their duties as frontier guards, were sometimes assigned to other commands, as in 1740 when some
joined the forces that fought the Bashkirs in the field. Unlike the Trans-Kama Line organization, the Orenburg Line remained throughout the period
1735-40 directly under the Orenburg Commission, as indicated in the previous chapters.
The Ural Cossacks were of great importance in Russian frontier activities, as were the Sakmarsk, Samara, and other Cossack groups. Organized
into groups governed by an ataman and a council, they were directly subordinated to the War College.14 They ordinarily dwelt beyond their imperial
frontiers, a hazardous position, met the nomads on their own terms, and performed their traditional role in the extension of Russia's borders. Unruly
servitors, they sometimes caused Russian officials great difficulties by their banditry and reluctance in following orders.
Three special commissions were involved to varying degrees with the southeastern territory: the Kalmyk, the Bashkir, and the Orenburg
commissions. The Kalmyk Commission was organized in the 1730s to handle the problems connected with administering the Volga Kalmyks.
Ordinarily it had only minor importance in Bashkiria. Tatishchev directed the building of Stavropol, the seat of the Kalmyk C ommission, during his
administration of the Orenburg Commission; but he shortly handed Kalmyk affairs over to a special official. A few Christianized Kalmyks participated
in the Orenburg and Bashkir commission detachments during the years 1735-40. The Bashkir Commission was called forth by the war which started in
1735. It bore the brunt of the military action against the dissident Bashkirs. Command headquarters was located in Menzelinsk, one of the Trans-Kama
Line towns. The Orenburg Expedition, called a commission from the time of Tatishchev's assumption of leadership, has already been treated in detail.
During Kirillov's administration it was loosely subordinated to the chief of the Bashkir Commission. After Tatishchev's appointment in 1737, the
Orenburg Commission took primacy, as it did under Urusov. In all cases the senior officer, regardless of the commission he handled, was nominally in
command of joint operations.
In practice the Russian governmental organization in Bashkiria was principally concerned with the administration of taxes and other obligations
of the colonial peoples. In justifying their position and the right to exact these dues, the Russians claimed the state protected its subjects from external
attack and maintained internal peace. Actually, the rights claimed were based on much older precedents – the right of conquest. Tribute (iasak), the
major collection, shows clearly the nature of the relationship between Moscow and her colonial subjects.
Before the arrival of the Russians the Bashkirs paid tribute to their Nogai, Kazan, and Siberian Tatar overlords, as indicated by the divisions of
Bashkiria into the Kazan, Nogai, and Siberian dorogas, and before that to the Golden Horde, as evidenced by the word "doroga. " (As already
mentioned, it came from the Tatar daruga, which referred to a tax official or tax district in the realm of the Golden Horde.) Just prior to the Russian
conquest of Kazan the Bashkir tribute amounted to one fox pelt or one half marten pelt per bow. The Russians maintained the same levy, though they
excluded tarkhans, service Tatars, Meshcheriaks, and Moslem clergymen from payment.15
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the collections were mostly in kind. Consequently the type of tribute varied according to the
region and occupation of the inhabitants: fur trappers, hunters, fishermen, stock breeders, and beekeepers – all paid different rates. Toward the end of
the seventeenth century, and increasingly in the eighteenth century, money payments became common. The tribute payers were not registered by name
in the tribute rolls "because the Bashkirs of these volosts pay iasak through elders and their associates into the treasury o f the Great Sovereign and not
individually by name."16
The amount of tribute was obviously not uniform, nor were all Bashkirs subject to tribute. Much of Bashkiria remained beyond Russian
jurisdiction. As is usual with tax administrators, the Russians continually increased the levies and extended the collections to new areas. While the
average tribute remained low in comparison to the poll tax paid by the Russian peasants, the constant outraged protests from the Bashkirs is evidence
that it was a burden. According to documents of the first half of the eighteenth century, the average household paid approximately 25 kopeks per
year,17 although wealthier Bashkirs evidently paid considerably more.
The distribution of tribute among the clan households was cause for dispute. When they failed to obtain satisfaction, Bashkirs often petitioned
Russian officials for justice in the division of the burden.18
The migrants in Bashkiria – Tatars, Chuvashes, Mari, and others – were subjected to different regulations. Whereas the Bashkirs were
theoretically taxed according to the land they possessed, these Teptiars and Bobyls owned no land. The Russians usually assessed them according to
the land they rented or occupied. The average rate was considerably higher than that levied against the Bashkirs, varying fro m 40 to 80 kopeks. This
was still much less than the poll tax paid by the settled inhabitants of the Volga region.
The annual tribute collection took from five to six months, beginning on September 1. Such a long period was required because some volosts
were more than 1,000 versts from Ufa. The clan leaders were generally responsible for the delivery of their volost's tribute, but special Russian tax
collectors were sent into Bashkiria from Kazan and Ufa.19 These special collectors had many opportunities for peculation. That they succumbed to
temptation is demonstrated by the many complaints made by Bashkirs and by other Russian officials who were either more honest or jealous.
Tatishchev, as already noted, advocated the transfer of the tribute collections, together with more authority, to the Bashkir leaders. Although it was
generally approved, this proposal was never completely realized. Special collectors continued to exact more than the legal tribute. According to figures
kept by the treasury, which, it must be noted, do not include the illegal collections, the tribute in Bashkiria rose from 6,439 rubles and 70 1/4 kopeks in
1725 to 8,487 rubles and 13 3/4 kopeks in 1734.20 The distribution of these levies among the various elements of the local population can be estimated
from the apportionment of 1720. At that time the Bashkirs paid approximately one-third of the total while the Teptiars and Bobyls paid the remainder.
Limitations of research in this area as well as inadequate records make possible only crude calculations, but the above figures indicate that probably
fewer than 10,000 Bashkir households and about the same number of Teptiar and Bobyl households were subject to tribute.
The long-delayed census for tax purposes was begun in 1739 and, by the end of the year, 130 districts had been covered, including 1,699 villages,
numbering 15,431 households, 42,537 males, and 42,118 females, a total of 84,655 persons. This did not include all the population, beca use one of the
officers engaged in the count reported that 101 villages near Menzelinsk had not been canvassed. In addition to this, the mountainous areas in the Urals
and the distant areas of Trans-Uralia had not been touched. The outbreak in 1740 prevented the completion of this census.21 It was to be more than a
decade before a reasonably complete count was taken.
In addition to tribute the Russians levied customs and a number of indirect taxes, most of which pertained only to the local Russian populatio n.
The largest sums came from customs duties collected in Russian towns, over 2,000 rubles in Ufa Province alone during 1734.22 Such duties were not
universally applied in Bashkiria because it was a frontier area and the Bashkirs objected. Attempts to extend them were unsuccessful. A series of
decrees late in the seventeenth century exempted Bashkirs from Customs in Russian markets. It was otherwise with internal trade among Bashkirs, or
"home sales," which were subject to a sales tax.23
For managing internal customs the administration established customhouses and appointed "sworn men" (tseloval'niki) to be responsible for the
collections.24 These officials had a bad reputation. A typical complaint from several Bashkirs in 1728 stated:
No small number of horse and tobacco "sworn men" come to us, the Bashkirs, throughout all the dorogas, and every "sworn man" has with him
five persons. They forcibly take our wagons, as well as our food, geese, ducks, fish, beer, and honey. . . . And if we sell anything, fox, marten, or wolf
pelts, horses or other livestock, although they know who sold what goods, these "sworn men" do not ask questions during their visit, but they come a
second time and fine that person as if he had concealed [the truth].25
The salt monopoly which was universal in the Empire was applied only to Teptiars and Bobyls in this region. The Bashkirs were exempted,
although any salt produced was for their own use and not for sale.26 The list of taxes concluded with two minor collections which were more annoying
than revenue producing. The tobacco levy, which was farmed out and consequently a focal point of complaints over adultera tion and other abuses, was
abolished in 1729.27 Marriages of non-Christians were also subject to tax, but the return was of no significance, in 1734 amounting to less than 100
In addition to taxes, the Bashkirs and the other non-Russian inhabitants of the Southeastern Frontier Region had additional obligations. The
Bashkir tarkhans, service Tatars, and Meshcheriaks served in various military capacities, for which they were exempted from tribute. They were
stationed in border forts and patrolled the frontier.28 During the Bashkir wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries detachments operated with
the Russian forces. Many were recruited for service in the Baltic area against the Swedes and in the Ukraine against the Turks and Crimeans. They
served as interpreters, intermediaries, envoys, and in many other roles. Their assistance was vital for the Russians in the front ier area.
The heaviest burdens were placed on the Teptiars and Bobyls. They, along with the Russian peasants, chopped the trees, dug the ditches, and
performed the heavy work in the construction and maintenance of the defensive lines. They were also called upon to furnish transportation for persons
and organizations engaged in government business. In most of Bashkiria roads were few a nd lightly traveled. Consequently the transportation service
was not widely established. Near Kazan, however, cartage and post service was a heavy burden.29 In an emergency these groups were used for
military purposes, but attempts to regularize their recruitment brought such severe opposition that the policy was abandoned.30
The Russian government set up a system of courts in Bashkiria intended to have jurisdic tion over Russians, Teptiars, and Bobyls.
The Bashkirs and other Moslems settled most of their problems through the shariat, or Islamic legal system, at the local leve l, before clan elders
and a mullah. During the eighteenth century, land disputes and cases between Moslems and foreigners were brought increasingly to the Russian courts
presided over by voevodas. Legal work was very profitable for the government officials. Bribery, high court fees, and other abuses gave the courts a
deservedly bad reputation, although the constant complaints of a few honest officials showed they were not all evil.31
To ensure good faith and maintain internal order the Russians continued to use the ancient method of taking hostages. Usually hostages were
selected from among the "best people" and held in Ufa, Kazan, Birsk, Tobolsk, and other centers. The numbers varied. During and after an uprising
greater numbers were held. Approximately fifty were kept in Ufa and Birsk in the relatively peaceful 1720s.32 The taking of hostages was a constant
source of Bashkir complaints; and Kirillov, among others, thought the practice ineffective.
Because Islam was the religion of the majority of the Southeastern Frontier peoples, the Russians had a religious problem. Mullahs frequently
used their position and their mosques to advance the Bashkir cause. Islam also served as a bridge between the nomadic peoples and the Ottoman Turks.
Appeals to Crimea in the name of a common religion caused the Russians to regard the Moslem clergy with suspicion. To meet the problem the Ufa
Religious Administration was established in 1721 to convert the natives. It was soon abolished because little came of it.33 The local peoples clung to
their religion, especially the Tatars who were devoted to Islam. Efforts at converting Moslems to Russian Orthodoxy were generally ineffective.
Corruption and other abuses of officials have been noted many times. Honest, competent government administrators were not ple ntiful.
Corruption reached everywhere and seems to have been accepted as normal unless an individual overdid it. Prosecutions were not unknown. Many at
the highest levels, including such persons as Tatishchev, Vice-Governor Aksakov of Ufa, and others were dismissed from their positions and brought
to trial.
One Russian historian called the Aksakov affair a new "Bashkir revolt" where "instead of bullets and arrows," the air was filled with "requests,
denunciations, and complaints."34
Mentioned several times in the preceding chapters was a chronic problem – the flight of serfs to the frontier. The Trans-Kama Line, built on the
border of Kazan Uezd and Bashkiria, like the more famous Great Wall of China, served two purposes – to keep the nomads out and to keep the
enserfed population in. Patrols along the frontier made it even more difficult to escape. The internal passport system in Russia made it easy to identify
runaways. Those who lacked the proper papers were picked up and sent back home. Frequent decrees on the return of fugitives testify to the
seriousness of the problem.35 Special commissions were appointed to study it, the most important of which was that headed by M. G. Golovkin in
1721. Several thousand households were discovered, rounded up, and returned to their former landlords as a result of the activities of this
commission.36 Other great searches were periodically instituted, but were usually unsuccessful.
The Bashkirs presented the administration with a similar problem. Heavy levies and other onerous obligations sometimes led the nomadic
Bashkirs to decamp for more distant regions. The flight to Kazakh auls has been noted. Again, the Russians made their defensive lines serve a do uble
purpose. The Orenburg Line shut off their avenue of escape, something the Bashkirs were very well aware of.
As has already been emphasized, one of the primary forces driving the Russians out into the Southeastern Frontier was economic interest. In
addition to the tribute and other obligations laid on the local population, the administration sought to exp loit the natural resources of the colonial region
and to develop commerce with the East. Later it undertook the development of agriculture to support the population in the towns and forts of the
defensive lines.37
Learning early of the mineral resources of the Urals, the Russians began in the seventeenth century to smelt iron and copper ores. During Peter's
reign special emphasis was placed on the rapid development of industry which would contribute to military power. Consequently there were intensive
efforts to exploit the mineral resources of the frontier area. In the 1720s Tatishchev became the head of the state's mining and s melting firms in the Ural
region. He tried to improve Russian technology and to lift production high enough to supply the domestic needs of the state and a sufficient surplus to
export 300,000 poods of iron annually.38
Simultaneously, Kirillov, another "pupil of Peter the Great," advocated greater efforts to develop industry in the frontier areas. Even while
marching south from Ufa to found Orenburg, he searched for ore deposits. On August 16, 1735, he reported to the Senate that he had discovered
substantial deposits of copper, silver, and other minerals, some 500 versts from Ufa.39 The Bashkir war did not prevent him from prospecting for ore
at every available opportunity. While building Tabynsk, in July 1736, he selected a site for the construction of a copper sme lter with ten furnaces, from
which he expected to realize from 10,000 to 15,000 poods per year.40 The smelter was built in 1737 but was soon destroyed by the Bashkirs. It was
later rebuilt in 1743. In 1736 Kirillov also planned three other establishments: one on the Or River to smelt copper and silver; another on the Ural River
below the mouth of the Sakmara for a copper output of approximately 10,000 poods annually; and a larger one in Kazan Uezd on the Sheshma River,
intending an output of from 100,000 to 150,000 poods of copper per year.41
Tatishchev and Urusov followed Kirillov's example, but the disturbances in the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century
hindered the economic development of the region. Nevertheless, after 1726 the mining and smelting industry grew significantly. In addition to thirteen
older establishments, forty- four new iron smelters and mills and forty-seven new copper smelters and mills were brought into production by 1762. In
the middle of the eighteenth century the Ural industrial complex produced approximately 70 percent of the iron and 90 percent of the copper in the
whole Empire.42
Trade with Central Asia, India, and China had lured Russians southeastward long before the eighteenth century. The major obstacle to trade was
the danger in traversing the Kazakh Steppe. Peter and his successors recognized the controlling positio n of the Kazakhs on the caravan route. Kirillov's
plan called for a bold step, the establishment of a fort and dock at the mouth of the Syr Darya on the Aral Sea and the construction of a fleet to control
the routes into Central Asia. Having only imperfect knowledge of the geography of the region, he thought river routes might even lead all the way to
India. This phase of the Orenburg project was not realized, but considerable geographical knowledge was obtained. Kirillov then turned his attention to
caravan trade.
Merchants had traveled by caravan to and from Asia since time immemorial. Peter the Great, with his usual impetuousness, struck directly to the
heart of Central Asia. This attempt, the Bekovich-Cherkasskii Expedition of 1717, temporarily interrupted the caravan trade between Russia and the
Central Asian towns. Peter II on September 19, 1727, issued a decree to reestablish this trade.
Russia's interest in furthering trade with Central Asia and India was stimulated by a similar British interest. In 1732 the Russian ambassador in
London, Antiokh Kantemir, reported that the British were planning to seek a water route from Arkhangel to Japan, China, India, and even America.43
A representative of an English company early in 1733 presented a plan to the English king to establish a transit trade with Persia through Russia.44
The Russian government, in the 1730s deeply involved in Polish affairs, in the Turkish war, and in the Bashkir struggle, granted the English an
unusually wide range of privileges in a treaty concluded in 1734.45 A number of British agents turned their attention to southeastern Russia hoping to
establish a short route to Central Asia and India. John Castle was one of these Englishmen.
In his journal Castle, the artist who accompanied the Orenburg Expedition, commented on this subject. He outlined what he thought would be a
fourteen-day journey from Orenburg to India via the Aral Sea and both the Amu and Syr Darya rivers. Because of its position, he considered the Aral
Sea the key point for developing commerce and exploiting the wealth of the surrounding region.46 The English were not alone in hoping for this.
Kirillov, of course, had independently expressed such ideas earlier.47 He had summoned an Indian merchant named Maravie from Astrakhan to Ufa
because he wanted information on the routes to India and commercial possibilities there. Maravie stated that a number of routes existed, through both
Persian and Central Asian territory, but that the difficulties of traveling through these areas hindered the development of trade. If a safe and easy route
could be opened through Bukhara to India he believed Indians would come in greater numbers. In February 1736 St. Petersburg recommended that
Kirillov send Maravie through Bukhara to India with a copy of the commercial privileges that had been offered to merchants in Orenburg.48
The Charter for Orenburg, which had been issued when the expedition was first organized, authorized all sorts of people to re side in the new
town, excluding only refugees, army deserters, and peasants subject to the poll tax; and Kirillov had not been too scrupulous in requiring the proper
papers. Merchants and artisans were to be especially favored. As indicated above, the following nationalities were specifically permitted to settle:
Russians, other Europeans, Greeks, Armenians, Indians, Persians, Bukharans, Khivans, Kazakhs, Tashkentians, Kalmyks, Bashkirs, and Karakalpaks.
They were all to be permitted to engage in commerce or industry, to travel without hindrance, and to practice their religions freely. During the
first three years no customs were to be levied. Taxes would be limited to rent for the use of caravansaries, public markets, warehouses, and a few minor
excises. These were needed for the support of the local ad ministration. Both Russians and foreigners would be permitted to build and operate mills and
factories, the land for these enterprises to be granted free of charge. The town Magistracy did, however, have the right to inspect such businesses.
Goods could be kept, stored, and disposed of according to the wishes of the private owners, subject only to inspection by customs officials and to the
payment of the legal taxes. Members of the military, of the administration, and of the clergy were prohibited from enga ging in trade. Speedy handling
of complaints and commercial disputes was promised. Even the private production, sale, and consumption of beer, wine, and vodka were authorized,
reserving to the Magistracy only the right of inspection.
Before sending the Indian, Maravie, to India, Kirillov, while in Samara, got in touch with John Castle through the expedition's bookkeeper, P. I.
Rychkov, and asked him to accompany Maravie as a representative of Russia. Castle politely refused because he considered the offer of several
hundred rubles inadequate compensation.
In September 1736, Castle did undertake a commission for Kirillov, who had always been interested in exploration of the vast frontier territory
within his jurisdiction. In company with Chemodurov and a detachment of 120 troops, he floated down the Ural River on a raft from Orenburg to
Uralsk and from there went on to Samara and finally to Simbirsk, where he arrived and reported to Kirillov on October 13. His journal presents an
account of the region, its inhabited places, run-away peasants who were farming near the Sakmara River, details on Uralsk and its inhabitants, and of
salt deposits, fishing, strange rocks, and semiprecious stones along the way. On another occasion Kirillov planned to send the English sea captain, John
Elton, with a caravan to Tashkent. In the guise of a merchant, Elton was to take observations and survey sites for the constr uction of a dock and fleet on
the Aral Sea.49
Orenburg was already being used as a stopover by merchants on their way from Central Asia to Samara and Kazan.50
Because the Kazakhs remained unpredictable, only small caravans were dispatched in order to minimize losses should one be attacked. Both
Russian and Central Asian merchants paid the Kazakhs for escorting caravans and sometimes held hostages to ensure the reliability of the escorting
Tatishchev, who also highly favored the development of the Eastern trade, continued Kirillov's work. He began constructing buildings and other
facilities for a market on the steppe side of the Ural about two versts from the river for trading with the Kazakhs and Central Asians. Finding Orenburg
inconvenient for a number of reasons, Tatishchev decided to move the town. Old Orenburg served as the principal commercial ce nter on the
Russo-Kazakh border between 1735 and 1743, when it was supplanted by the third town of that name at the mouth of the Sakmara River. The second
Orenburg (1741-43) had never developed into a viable center. Tatishchev's commercial measures showed few results. During his administration,
1737-39, not many merchants came to Orenburg.
In 1738 he sent his first caravan to Tashkent to trade and to request free trade privileges for Russian merchants. The carava n was led by Colonel
Karl Miller. The value of the merchandise amounted to about 20,000 rubles, of which 3,000 were government goods. Taking advantage of this
opportunity, Tatishchev sent a surveyor with the caravan to make geographical notes. Successfully passing through the territo ry of the Little and
Middle hordes, the caravan met disaster two days out of Tashkent. A party of Kazakhs from the Great Horde seized all the personne l, animals, and
goods, with the exception of Miller himself, several companions, and a few camels loaded with merchandise. These few escaped with the aid of a local
prince and subsequently reached Tashkent. Miller's supply of goods was sufficient for his own subsistence in Tashkent but not for ransoming his
captured associates, who were promptly sold into slavery. Batur Janibek, a tarkhan of the Middle Horde, offered his services to Miller and sent envoys
to both Khan Tabars of the Great Horde and to the leader of the raiding group, requesting them to return the goods and captives. Miller and his few
companions eventually returned to Russia, but the captives and the merchandise were never recovered. The frontier war in the north and struggles
among the Kazakhs, Kalmyks, and Jungars in the southern steppes were largely to blame for the failure of these efforts.
The central government ordered Urusov to resettle the few Orenburg merchants in the new town as soon as it was ready. This further unsettled
commercial affairs in the early 1740s. By the same decree, customs duties were set at 3 percent for ten years and thereafter at 5 percent.51 In 1740
Urusov negotiated the submission of the Middle Horde, significantly extending the range of Russian commerce among the Kazakhs, who were seeking
a market for their livestock and other products as well as a source of textiles, leather goods, and metal articles. Because Orenburg was more than a
month's journey by horseback from some parts of Middle Horde territory, these Kazakhs preferred to trade in the closer Siberian towns of Tara,
Tiumen, and Tobolsk among others. They also visited other border towns from the lower Ural to the upper Irtysh.52 Because it was nearer the Little
Horde, which had closer commercial relations with Russia, old Orenburg (later called Orsk) was the major center of Kazakh trade with Russia until the
new city was constructed.
On the Russian side several groups were involved in Orenburg commerce. At the top were the regular businessmen, mostly Kazan and Tatar
merchants from the towns of the middle Volga region. In 1738 a group of them offered to form a company with a capital o f 100,000 rubles but
requested exclusive rights to the Orenburg trade. They wanted the government to prohibit peasants from engaging in the trade. This the government
refused to do, although some restrictions were placed on peasant participation.53
Another group with commercial interests were the Ural Cossacks. Tatishchev noted in 1737 that "Yaik [Ural] Cossacks, seeing tranquility
among the Kirgiz [Kazakhs] take many goods and exchange them and, thus, the Kirgiz began to go to them at Yaitsk [Uralsk] and exchange goods."54
The administration was disturbed because there were no customs officials at Uralsk, and it feared the proper duties would not be paid. Tatishchev
asked the government to stop trade in the Cossack settlements and in the towns of the defensive lines. A decree of February 15, 1738, allowed the Ural
Cossacks to trade without paying customs duties only in their own settlements.55 Even this right was lost later.
Some conception of the extent of the commerce can be gained from these incomplete statistics on customs duties.56
Customs Collected in Orenburg, 1738-44
Sum (in rubles)
Because transactions in West Siberian centers and the illegal and semilegal trade of the Cossacks and peasants are not included in the above
figures, it is impossible to estimate the total ruble value of the commerce in these years. The figures do show that trade increased little during the
disturbances in Bashkiria and in the steppeland. When Bashkiria was subdued and the Kazakhs became friendly in 1740 there was a sharp
improvement. Whether the return repaid the imperial investment is another matter.
The Trans-Kama Defensive Line, built in the seventeenth century and garrisoned mostly with service gentry, was the first significant move into
the Southeastern Frontier Region. Almost a century later the authorities of the central government were uncertain as to the next advance. Although
Tatishchev as early as 1724 had advocated forts on the Ural River, the administration decided in 1730 to move the Trans-Kama Line a modest distance
southeastward. After appallingly great expenditures and after thousands of laborers had worked on it for several years, the whole project was
abandoned when the so-called Orenburg Line was constructed.
At the time work was started on the new Trans-Kama Line in the summer of 1732, the service men from the old line and 3,000 recruits from
Kazan District were assigned to the construction.57 To settle and man the garrisons in the new line the administration decided to organize four
land-militia regiments, three mounted and one foot, from the "Service Men of the Old Service," including those who were state peasants as well as
those of the eight exceptional towns who held their old status. The state peasants who before 1724 had been gentry, soldiers, dragoons, cavalrymen,
and lancers (kopeishchiki) were on recruitment to be restored to their previous status.58 They remained subject to the poll tax.59 From this group of
29,000 males, one person out of thirty was to be recruited for the new regiments. The other group, not subject to the poll ta x, numbered approximately
5,000 males, from which number all capable of service were to be recruited.60 For the support of the four regiments the government ordered a fund of
48,000 rubles be set up, although the actual appropriation amounted to only 46,196 rubles.61 Provisions were to be granted only when the troops were
operating on distant campaigns.
In 1733, although the new line was not complete, all four regiments were ordered transferred to their new posts. Until its co mpletion they were to
work on the forts and outposts. In addition to the land- militia, 15,000 peasants from Kazan Gubernia, organized in two shifts, were recruited to work
on the line. All received wages for this work, including the soldiers of the land- militia.62
Service men continued to form the core of the garrisons in such towns as Birsk, Menze linsk, Samara, and Ufa.63
The composition of the forces in the southeastern territory was further complicated when the Orenburg Expedition was organized. Kirillov at
that time proposed to include in his command one battalion from the Ufa garrison regiment, Bashkir tarkhans, service Tatars, and half of the companies
of the gentry, Cossacks, and youths from Ufa and Menzelinsk.64 While he was in Ufa during the winter of 1734-35, Kirillov planned to reorganize the
service men of Ufa and Menzelinsk into five dragoon companies. St. Petersburg rejected the suggestion, giving permission to form new companies
only from nonservice men or from the sons of service men who had not yet entered service.65
Kirillov persisted in his proposal, and finally the government agreed to a plan similar to that of the land- militia. He received permission to recruit
five companies from Ufa, Birsk, and Menzelinsk service men.66 The Bashkir war within a year forced the government to agree to the formation of as
many companies as possible from Siberian youths, to be organized into a dragoon regiment called the Orenburg Dragoon Regiment.67 At the same
time service men from Ufa, Birsk, and Menzelinsk were to be recruited into the Ufa Dragoon Regiment.68 These regiments were s ubsequently
organized and sent to garrisons. The troops of the two regiments, according to the terms of the decree on the poll tax, did not pay poll tax because they
were subject to general service.69
As the decision to build the Orenburg Line nullified the new Trans-Kama Line, which had not yet been completed, the land- militia regiments of
the new Trans-Kama Line were ordered transferred to the Orenburg fortresses.70 Because they had been ordered to move twice within a few yea rs, the
land-militia had had little opportunity to develop farms and had to rely on the government for support.71 Tatishchev's plan for the immediate
resettlement of the land-militia regiments was not realized because of the Bashkir uprising.72
During Urusov's administration (1739-40) the government or dered the garrisoning of all fortresses from the Volga to the Siberian Line with the
land-militia, Cossacks, and other "Service Men of the Old Service." Each garrison was to have no less than two companies, and the regiments were to
be distributed over a distance of no more than 100 versts.73 Later three dragoon regiments were settled in nine forts built along the Sakmara River.74
The same decree states that 3,000 households of the "Service Men of the Old Service" were to be settled along the Orenburg L ine. By 1740 little had
been accomplished on the Sakmara River. As a result, the transfer of troops proceeded slowly, not being completed until 1744.75
In view of the weaknesses of the defenses along the lower Ural, Tatishchev in 1739 proposed that a line of additional forts be built in this
region.76 Because there were not enough Ural Cossacks to provide sufficient troops for the garrisons, he recommended that troops be supplied from
the Kazan garrison and supplemented by gentry and Cossacks from Samara. The Ural Cossacks feared the new settlers and settlements would interfere
with their fishing industry and offered to build two forts and supply the troops themselves. The final decision in the matter was not made until 1743
when the Cossacks were granted their request.77
In addition to the Ural Cossacks there were several similar groups in the southeastern territory. According to the chart Kirillov composed in 1736
of existing and proposed forts and settlements along the Samara and Ural rivers, there were 445 Cossacks stationed in the area. Another 424 were
located in Tabynsk and Krasnoufimsk, for a total of 869.78 This number increased until by 1755 there were approximately 4,000,79 including the
Samara, Ufa, and Isetsk Cossacks.
Like the other frontier towns, Samara had originally been settled by service people and Cossacks.80
Alekseevsk, an outlying town administered from Samara, when founded in 1700 had 100 Cossacks in its garrison.81 All the service men were
assigned to the Trans-Kama Line Command when the new line was started in 1732. At that time there were eighteen gentry, fifteen non-Russians, and
335 Cossacks in Samara.82 Tatishchev in 1739 proposed that they be sent to the new Orenburg Line, because the Trans-Kama garrisons were too far
from the frontier.83
When Kirillov arrived in Ufa in 1734 the garrison there included approximately 300 Cossacks. He took half of them with him to Orenburg.
During 1735-36 four new forts were built in the Ufa area: Eldiatsk, Krasnoufimsk, Tabynsk, and Nagaibatsk. Information on the number of Cossacks
stationed in these forts at this time is obscure, but by 1760 there were 500 in the first three.84
The Cossacks in Nagaibatsk were of varied origins. There were Moslems, heathens, and Christians recruited from the non-Russian peoples in the
area. Even a few Persians, Arabs, Afghans, and others who had been rescued from captivity in Kazakhstan and had become Christ ians, were
represented.85 The Christian elements occupied Bashkir land for which they paid quitrent to their Bashkir landlords. They were also obligated to pay
tribute to the state. In 1736, as a reward for their loyalty to the regime, they were granted title to the land they occupied and were released from the
tribute payments. At the same time they were enrolled in service as Cossacks.86 Kirillov settled 261 in Tabynsk and 19 in Buzuluk.87 By the late
1740s their numbers had increased to 1,359. Service to the state was performed in return for a grant of land. They received money and provisions only
when they were out on campaigns more than 100 versts from home.88
Under the exigencies of the Bashkir revolt, the numbers of service men, land-militia, and Cossacks were not sufficient. The administration
sought other sources of troops, such as exiles. Exiles until then had been sent to Siberia. In 1736 they were first sent to Kirillov for use in the Orenburg
Any surpluses over and above his needs were to be sent on to Siberia.89 A table compiled in October 1736 indicates that 125 of such exiles had
become Cossacks.90 From 1739 exiles to this area were accompanied by their wives and children.91 Because many of the exiles sent were, for reasons
of age or other causes, not suitable for regular service, in 1740 a decree stated that only those capable of service should be sent.92
In point of numbers, runaway peasants were the greatest source of Cossack recruits. During the war the central administration relaxed its attitude
toward refugees in the Orenburg area. Early in 1736 Kirillov was give n authority to enroll them as Cossacks.93 Many were also taken into the regular
army units. A 1741 accounting of runaways who were serving in the regular and Cossack units of the Orenburg Line indicates that of a total number of
5,154 enlisted runaways, 2,779 were former Court peasants, 591 were former Church peasants, 308 private peasants, 54 runaways from commercial
establishments, and 1,422 from various other ranks. Not until the 1740s were renewed attempts made to return the runaways to their owners.94
One of the largest groups of early settlers along the middle Ural came from the Ukraine. Tatishchev permitted 2,000 Ukrainians who claimed to
be free persons not on the poll tax rolls to settle in the Orenburg area. Many of them proved subsequently to be r unaways. For this reason the
administration issued several decrees prohibiting serfs from migrating.95 Only those who had passports permitting them to resettle were to be
accepted.96 In 1740 Urusov sent a recruiter to the Ukraine to enlist people for the Orenburg Line.97 The Ukrainians responded so enthusiastically that
another decree was issued which limited the number of emigrants to one- fourth of any one village.98
In the Ukraine, officials were compelled to place restrictions on emigration, in addition to those placed on the recruiters.99 Only one- fourth of
each hundred Cossacks could emigrate.
The Meshcheriaks formed an important component of the Russian forces. In 1734 they were registered in a special book and the terms of their
service indicated.100 The Orenburg Expedition included 600 Meshcheriaks in its original composition. During the course of the Bashkir revolt some
were enrolled as Cossacks and others were settled around the new forts, such as Tabynsk. For their loyalty to the state they were granted title to the
Bashkir land they occupied and freed of their quitrent payments in 1736.101 The government did not fully carry out this promise, because in 1738 a
decree again limited their right to occupy and purchase Bashkir land.102 In another decree in 1739 the Meshcheriaks were given the choice of paying
quitrent as they had formerly, or of living on unoccupied land in the "rebel" areas.103 These changes were called forth by the fear of antagonizing
Russia's Bashkir allies.
Exact figures on the number of Meshcheriaks in Bashkiria at this time are impossible to obtain because no thorough census was taken until the
late 1760s. Rychkov, on the basis of statistics available to him, gives the figure of 1,531 Meshcheriak households in 1745.104 A later counting around
1760 indicates a figure of 8.8 persons per household.105 If this figure of persons per household can be considered to have re mained fairly constant,
then by the middle of the 1740s there were approximately 13,000 Meshcheriaks of both sexes.
Teptiars and Bobyls served as laborers in the southeast. Kirillov proposed that a force be recruited from among them for cons tructing the
facilities of the Orenburg Defensive Line.106 How many actually participated in this work from 1735 to 1740 is imposs ible to determine, but in 1745
out of 5,655 households 707 were assigned to labor service.107
They, too, were granted title to their land in 1736 for loyal service, but the decrees of 1738 and 1739 placed the same restrictions on them in
possessing Bashkir land as had been placed on the Meshcheriaks.108 Kirillov's imperfect census of these people in 1734-35 gives the figure of 11,294
males.109 That their numbers were increasing rapidly because of continuing flight from the mid-Volga region is evident from the count made
approximately ten years later. At that time their numbers had more than doubled to 28,637 males.110
Bashkir tarkhans have been mentioned frequently in the pages above. Kirillov enrolled 700 tarkhans in 1734 but only 100 actua lly appeared to
participate in the expedition. Like the Meshcheriaks, they were registered in a special book in 1734.111 Because of some defections on their part
during the uprising, Kirillov and Rumiantsev considered abolishing the rank; but this step was never taken.112 In addition to the tarkhans, a
considerable proportion of the Bashkir population allied itself with the Russians. By 1740 approximately 40 percent of the Russian forces under the
command of the Bashkir Commission were the so-called "loyal Bashkirs."113 O n the basis of incomplete counts in 1739, 1743-45, and in the early
1750s, the total number of Bashkirs was approximately 100,000: 86,384 in Ufa Province and 19,792 in Isetsk Province. Of this number some 1,500
households were headed by tarkhans. These figures did not include two subdistricts (volosts) in Kazan Gubernia and two in the Osinsk Doroga.114 In
considering these figures it is well to keep in mind the fact that more than 30,000 Bashkirs had been killed, executed, or deported during the years
From the above it can be seen that the administration drew troops from many sources. A reasonably good clue in assessing the roles played by the
various groups is given in a report made by the head of the Bashkir Commission in June 1740 on the number of troops in Bashkiria.116
He stated that 4,267 regular troops and 7,045 irregulars, a total of 11,312, were available to him. The tabulation of the various elements follows:
Troops from the Kazan garrison dragoon regiment
Troops from the Ufa dragoon regiment
Troops from the Orenburg dragoon regiment
Troops from the Siberian dragoon regiment
Dragoons from various regiments [not specified]
Troops from the Sheshminsk land- militia dragoon regiment
Troops from a Kazan foot battalion stationed in Ufa
Troops from the Kazan garrison foot regiment
Troops from the Ufa garrison foot regiment
Siberian grenadiers
Troops from various foot regiments [not specified]
Ufa, Krasnoufimsk, and Tabynsk Cossacks
Isetsk peasant Cossacks
Nagaibatsk Cossacks – Christians
Kungursk Tatars and Cheremis and others
Meshcheriaks and Service Tatars
Okunevsk peasants
This force included only the troops under the Bashkir Commission. The Sheshminsk land-militia troops from the Trans-Kama Line, the
Orenburg troops, the troops from Kazan, and the Siberian soldiers in the list had been assigned to the Bashkir Commission temporarily during the war.
The same report gives the disposal of the troops in Bashkiria. Approximately 10,000 were in the field and approximately 1,300 manned the foreposts
in the interior of the territory. Another report from Soimonov a month later indicated that units other than these had been sent out into the field from the
Orenburg Line. Specifically, a detachment of 100 dragoons, 200 Ural Cossacks, and 500 loyal Bashkirs; a detachment of 100 dra goons, 200 Ural
Cossacks, and 70 Bashkirs; a detachment of 300 Bashkirs under an elder; and a detachment of Ural Cossacks of unstated number are mentioned.117
From these documents it is evident that the garrisons in the towns and outposts of the Trans-Kama Line, of the Orenburg Line, of the Siberian
Line, and in the towns along the Volga are not included in the accounting. Therefore, the number of troops stationed or operating in the region can be
considerably increased over the figures reported above.
In British North America, the white colonists made little attempt to assimilate the natives to the European way of life, or to integrate the native
cultures into Anglo-American society. The British government and later the United States federal government adopted frontier policies based upon the
principle of exclusion, rather than the principle of inclusion which guided Russian relations with the native peoples of Bashkiria, Siberia, and other
frontier regions.
This difference in principles was reflected in military strategy. British and United States forces used cooperative Indian allies as scouts, and in
critical situations the aid of Indian auxiliaries was sometimes welcomed by Anglo-American field commanders. But the idea of recruiting large
numbers of friendly Indians to serve in the army against hostile tribesmen, to be supported and supplied with arms by the government, seldom received
serious consideration by British or United States authorities.118 Russia's frontier military strategy offers a direct contras t. To a major degree the
colonial areas were conquered for Russia by the natives of those areas. The government did not hesitate to use such wild outlaw groups as the
Cossacks, who were tamed and subjected to government direction through force and bribery, and used effectively in the colonia l areas. Necessity
dictated the use of any and all available manpower on the frontier, for the central administration could spare few regular troops from the far more
important fronts in the west and in the war against the Turks. Despite the hodgepodge nature of the Russia n military forces in Bashkiria, they were
organized by Russian commanders into a formidable array of power. Without such a policy the slow conquest of Bashkiria would have been long
The major military accomplishment of the Russians in this area was the establishment of a strong defensive line, the Orenburg Line, which gave
Russia firm control of the Southeastern Frontier Region and prepared the way for the next advance toward the long-sought goal of Central Asia.
Kirillov's table of fortified points, compiled early in 1736, shows his concentration on the middle Ural and Samara rivers. (See Appendix I.) Of
the twenty-one names listed (excluding Samara and Alekseevsk which were built earlier), thirteen were along this line: Orenburg, Guberlinsk,
Ozernaia, Srednii, Berdsk, Krylov, Karaulnyi, Verkhnii, Sorochinsk, Totsk, Buzuluk, Borsk, and Krasnosamarsk. The first six were along the Ural and
the last seven along the Samara. The remaining eight were in the interior or Bashkiria: Tabynsk, Krasnoufimsk, Eldiatsk, Kubovsk, Kalmytsk Ford,
Mi- assk, Kyzyltashsk, and Chebarkulsk. Eight of these twenty-one were either not actually established or soon abandoned, as they do not appear in
later listings: Srednii, Krylov, Karaulnyi, Verkhnii, Kubovsk, Kalmytsk Ford, Miassk, and Kyzyltashsk. Strangely, three which were actually founded
and continued to exist were not recorded. They were Verkhneuralsk, the first fort built by Kirillov, in 1734; Karagaisk, built in 1735;119 and
Nagaibatsk, built in 1736.120
Tatishchev built five new forts, four along the Samara and middle Ural: Elshansk, Tevkelev Ford, Perevolotsk, and Chernorechensk. The other,
Etkulsk, was built in the interior of Bashkiria.121 Urusov added only two forts during his administration, one on the Kutuluk River 25 versts from
Borsk, in the Samara Line,122 and one on the River Chebakla not far from Fort Guberlinsk.123 Both he and Tatishchev inspected sites for, and
planned to construct, additional forts along the upper course of the Ural and eastward to connect with the Siberian Line.
The new defensive line of forts, redoubts, and outposts, as recommended by Tatishchev, was to stretch across the southern boundary of Bashkiria
from the Volga along the Samara River, along the Ural to Orsk, up the Ural to Verkhneuralsk, from there along the Ui River to Tsarev on the Tobol
River, connecting them with the Siberian Line which ran eastward across southern Siberia. This great defensive line would have sealed off the steppe
nomads from Russian colonial territory. Plans were also made to extend the line down the Ural to its mouth, preventing the nomads from reaching and
crossing the lower Volga.
A table of forts and outposts compiled by Rychkov some time between 1744 and 1750 gives a list of forts as of that time and reflects in some
detail the plans of Tatishchev and Urusov as they were later realized.124 (See Appendix II.)
1. V. A. Novikov, ed., Sbornik materialov dlia ufimskago dvorianstva (Ufa, 1903). pp. 203-04.
2. Den, pp. 277-80.
3. Lantzeff, Siberia in the Seventeenth Century (University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1943).
4. Novikov, pp. 15-22; PSZ, 437. See also, P. G. Ignat'ev, "Khronika dostopamiatnykh sobytii Ufimskoi gubernii," Pamiatnaia knizhka Ufimskoi
gubernii (Ufa, 1883), otd. 2, 1; N. F. Demidova, "Upravlenie Bashkiriei i povinnosti naseleniia Ufimskoi provintsii v pervoi treti XVIII v.," p. 214.
5. PSZ, 5, 624ff; 4, 436ff.
6. Ukazy Imperatritsy Ekateriny I i Gosudaria Imperatora Petra II, sostoiavshiesia s 1725 g., ianvaria s 28 chisla po 1730 god, napechatannye po
ukazu Imperatritsy Elizavety Petrovny, pri Imperatorskoi akademii nauk (St. Petersburg, 1743), p. 363.
7. PSZ, 10, 242-45.
8. Vitevskii, p. 459.
9. Materialy BASSR, 3, 495-97.
10. Ibid., p. 543.
11. PSZ, 10, 344-49. See also, 6, 291-305.
12. Even in their somewhat distorted forms the origins of these titles are obvious.
13. PSZ, 8, 517-18, 659.
14. Ibid., 6, 367; Vitevskii, Chaps. 9-12, 21; Den, pp. 238ff.
15. Demidova, p. 214.
16. TsGADA, Ufimskaia prikaznaia palata, d. 1168, L. 3, as quoted in Demidova, p. 216.
17. Materialy BASSR, 3, 378-79, for example.
18. Demidova, p. 218.
19. Materially BASSR, 3, 486; PSZ, 8, 232; Demidova, p. 220.
20. Demidova, p. 215.
21. Ustiugov, Vosstanie, pp. 138-39.
22. Demidova, p. 222.
23. Materialy BASSR, I, 74-75, 124.
24. Ibid., 3, 577.
25. Ibid., I, 124.
26. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 193.
27. Demidova, p. 224.
28. Materialy BASSR, 3, 485; Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 210.
29. Materialy BASSR, I, 103-04.
30. Demidova, p. 231.
31. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 193; Materialy BASSR, I, 123; 3, 491; Demidova, pp. 231-32.
32. PSZ, 8, 112.
33. Vitevskii, p. 395; Materialy BASSR, I, 119.
34. p. G. Ignat'ev, Sud nad brigadirom Aksakovym (Ufa, 1875), p. 5. See also, Materialy BASSR, 3, 489-92 for a statement by Kirillov on
corruption and other abuses.
35. PSZ, 7, 179-80, 503-04.
36. Materialy BASSR, 3, 560-61.
37. For economic development, see Roger Portal, L'Oural au xviii siecle: etude d'histoire economique et sociale (Paris, 1950) ; N. I. Pavlenko, "K
istorii iuzhnoural'skoi metallurgii v XVIII v.," in 400- letie prisoedeneniia Bashkirii k russkomu gosudarstvu (Ufa, 1958); N. G. Apollova,
Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi Kazakhstana s Rossiei v XVIII - nachale XIX v. (Moscow, 1960).
38. P. K. Alefirenko, "Ekonomicheskie vzgliady V. N. Tatishcheva," Voprosy istorii, 12 (1948), pp. 89-90.
39. Materialy BASSR, 3, 497.
40. Apollova, Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi . . . , p. 105; Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, p. 88.
41. Apollova, Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi . . ., p. 108.
42. Ibid., p. 216; S. G. Strumilin, Istoriia chernoi metallurgii v SSSR (Moscow, 1954). I, 358.
43. V. N. Aleksandrenko, Reliatsii kn. A. D. Kantemira iz Londona (1732-1733 gg.) (Moscow, 1892), I, 62-63.
44. Sbornik Imperatorskago russkago istoricheskago obshchestva, 76, 78.
45. S. A. Pokrovskii, Vneshniaia torgovlia i vneshniaia politika Rossii (Moscow, 1947). p. 101; A. Ostroukhov, Anglo-russkii torgovyi dogovor
1734 g. (St. Petersburg, 1914), p. 42.
46. Journal, pp. 76ff.
47. Dobrosmyslov, Materialy, I, 18.
48. P. E. Matvievskii, "Dnevnik Dzhona Kestlia kak istochnik po istorii i etnografii Kazakhov," Istoriia SSSR, No. 4 (1958), fn. 15, p. 135.
49. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 28.
50. Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 225-26.
51. PSZ, 10, 868-71.
52. Apollova, Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi .. . , pp. 120, 232.
53. Ibid., p. 244.
54. TsGADA, Dela Senata po Kabinetu, 1738 g., d. 90/1167, L. 59, as quoted in ibid., pp. 247-48.
55. I. I. Kraft, Sbornik uzakonenii o Kirgizakh stepykh oblastei (Orenburg, 1898), p. 5; Rychkov, Topografiia, I, 330-31.
56. Apollova, Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi..., p. 292.
57. PSZ, 8, 517-18.
58. Ibid., pp. 360-64; 12, 691; Vitevskii, p. 279.
59. Den, p. 182.
60. PSZ, 12, 691-94; 8, 659; 9, 105.
61. Ibid., 8, 950-52; 12, 947.
62. PSZ, 9, 21-23.
63. Rychkov, Topografiia, I, 115; Den, p. 183.
64. PSZ, 9, 317.
65. Ibid., pp. 508-09; 12, 691ff.
66. Ibid., 9, 508-09; 12, 692.
67. Ibid., 12, 692.
68. Ibid.; Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 198-203. See also, PSZ, 10, 870, 883; II, 120f; 12, 692.
69. Ibid., 12, 691ff.
70. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 32. See also, PSZ, 10, 412.
71. PSZ, 12, 947.
72. Ibid., 10, 411.
73. Ibid., p. 868; Den, fn. I, p. 188, says the figure 100 versts must be a misprint.
74. PSZ, 10,868.
75. Ibid., 12,52, 691ff; Den, pp. 152, 192.
76. PSZ, 10, 707.
77. Ibid., II, 787ff.
78. See Appendix I.
79. Vitevskii, p. 861, fn. g.
80. Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 103-05.
81. Ibid.
82. Den, p. 209.
83. PSZ, 10, 707. See also, PSZ, 10, 412.
84. Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 209-13; Istoriia, pp. 115, 125.
85. Rychkov, Topografia, I,190-92.
86. Den, p. 211; PSZ, 9, 743.
87. See Appendix I.
88. Den, p. 211; PSZ, 12, 758ff, for example.
89. PSZ, 9, 748-49.
90. Rychkov, Istoriia, 26-27. See also, PSZ, 9, 743.
91. PSZ, 10, 883.
92. Ibid., II, 105-06.
93. Ibid., 9, 748-49.
94. Den, pp. 221ff. The classifications "Court," "Church," and "landlord" in reference to peasants refer to the owners of the estates from which
the peasants fled.
95. PSZ, 10, 414, 870-71.
96. Ibid.
97. Ibid., 11, 14-15.
98. Ibid., pp. 117-18.
99. Ibid., p. 459.
100. Ibid., 9, 335.
101. Dobrosmyslov, Trudy, pp. 60-63.
102. PSZ, 10, 444f
103. Ibid., p. 870.
104. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 82.
105. Rychkov, Topografiia, 1, 92ff. The high number probably indicates that household servants were included.
106. PSZ, 9, 317. See also, PSZ, 9, 325.
107. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 82.
108. PSZ, 10, 444-45, 870.
109. Den, p. 300.
110. Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 85.
111. PSZ, 9, 335.
112. Ibid., 10, 870.
113. Materialy BASSR, I, 431-33.
114. Den, pp. 277-80; Rychkov, Istoriia, p. 82; Topografiia, I, 92-93.
115. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 55-56.
116. Materialy BASSR, I, 431-33. The differing totals reveal only part of the shaky arithmetic.
117. Ibid., pp. 441-50.
118. The French and especially the Spanish policies in the New World, it may be remarked, demonstrate far greater similarity to Russian front ier
policies. These similarities help to explain the relatively greater success of the Spanish and French, as compared with the A nglo-Americans, in
extending their domains in the New World during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.
119. Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 148.
120. Ibid., p. 205.
121. Ibid., pp. 128-29; Vitevskii, p. 161; Den, p. 171, fn. 3.
122. Rychkov, Topografiia, 2, 124.
123. Ibid., pp. 139-40.
124. Rychkov, Istoriia, pp. 76-77.
By the time of Urusov's death in 1740 the original objectives of the Orenburg Expedition were far from achieved. Russia event ually realized the
aims of the project in three phases: (1) the incorporation of Bashkiria into the Russian Empire, (2) the annexation of Kazakhstan, and (3) the conquest
of Central Asia. These three general developments correspond to the overly ambitious goals established by Peter the Great whe n he first attacked the
problems of subduing the Bashkirs, curbing Kazakh raids on Russian territory, developing the economic resources of the frontier territories and
Central Asia, and increasing trade with Khiva, Bukhara, and India. Peter's method was to st rike to the heart of each problem in the grand manner,
particularly in Central Asia. When the Bekovich and Bucholtz expeditions failed as outright attempts to seize Central Asia, he realized that there were
many obstacles between him and success. He considered the Kazakhs the first barrier. After Peter's death, when the Kazakhs, under pressure from
surrounding enemies, turned to Russia for aid, the government thought it saw an opportunity to annex Kazakhstan as a first st ep in acquiring Central
Asia. Kirillov drew up a plan that spelled out in detail Peter's general aims, and the Orenburg Expedition was launched to carry them out. But even
Kirillov's less grandiose approach proved overly ambitious. The great Bashkir war which began when the Bashkirs learned of the new advance into
their territory forced Kirillov and his successors to direct their attention above all to the subjugation of Bashkiria. As a result, up to and through the
administration of Urusov, dealings with the Kazakhs and the relations with Ce ntral Asia took second place. By building the Orenburg Defensive Line
the government finally surrounded Bashkiria, compelled the Bashkirs to submit to Russian authority, and incorporated the territory into the Empire, as
was reflected a few years later, in 1744, in the organization of Orenburg Gubernia. This achievement, the first successful step in the accomplishment of
Peter's aims, is the subject of the preceding chapters. The annexation of Kazakhstan and the conquest of Central Asia, the ne xt steps, were not to take
place until a century later.
To sum up, the Southeastern Frontier was an extensive region inhabited by nomadic and seminomadic peoples, ethnically distinc t from the
Slavs, some devoted to Islam, and culturally resistant to Russian influence. In forcibly penetrating this region the Russian state carried out an imperial
policy much like that of other European powers of the same era in other parts of the world. The general policy, adopted in answer to the resistance of
the colonial peoples, was force in the case of the Bashkirs. The Kazakhs remained beyond Russian control until much later. Russians were motivated
by much the same complex mixture of economic interest, desire for strategic position, and belief in their own moral and cultural superiority as were the
other European imperialistic peoples of the age.
The method by which the Russians accomplished the incorporation of Bashkiria into the Empire was fundamentally military conquest. Because
of limited resources they resorted also to diplomacy. Skillfully playing on the mutual hostilities of the various peoples, they used the colonials
themselves to accomplish their purposes. The leaders within the tribal groups were attracted over to the Russian side by favors and privileges.
Technological superiority and greater organizational efficiency added the last ingredient which made Russian victory inevitable.
Akty arkheograficheskoi ekspeditsii, 4 vols. St. Petersburg, 1836.
A number of documents are included which deal with frontier administration in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Akty istoricheskie, 5 vols. St. Petersburg, 1841-44. See comment on previous work.
Akty zapadnoi Rossii, 5 vols. St. Petersburg, 1846-53.
Alekseev, V. N., ed., Istoricheskie puteshestviia. Izvlecheniia iz memuarov i zapisok inostrannykh i russkikh puteshestvennikov po Volge v
XV-XVIII vv., Stalingrad, 1936.
Bakunin, V., ed., "Opisanie istorii kalmytskogo naroda," Krasnyi arkhiv (Moscow, 1939), 3, 189-254; 5, 196-220.
Bantysh-Kamenskii, N. N., A. F. Malinovskii, and others, eds., Sobranie gosudarstvennykh gramot i dogovorov, khraniashchikhsia v
gosudarstvennoi kollegii inostrannykh del, 5 vols. Moscow, 1813-94.
Castle, John, Journal von der A0 1736 aus Orenburg zu dem Abul-Geier Chan der Kirgis-Kaysack Tartarischen Horda . . . dargestellt durch John
Castle einen Englander und gewesenen Kunstmaler bei der Orenburgischen Expedition, published in Materialien zu der Russischen Geschichte seit
dem Tode Kaisers Peters des Grossen, Zweiter Teil, 1730-41, Riga, 1784.
Castle may be unreliable in some of his claims, but this book is full of authentic information that could have come only from an eyewitness to the
events and region.
Dawson, Christopher, ed., The Mongol Mission. Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth
and Fourteenth Centuries, New York, 1955. A recent and convenient collection of the writings of Carpini, Rubruk, et al.
De-Gennin, V., Opisanie ural'skikh i sibirskikh zavodov 1735 g., Moscow, 1937.
De Gennin was one of the leading enterprisers and government officials associated with the development of the Ural region ind ustry.
Dobrosmyslov, A. I., ed., Materialy po istorii Rossii. Sbornik ukazov i drugikh dokumentov, kasaiushchikhsia upravleniia i ustroistva
Orenburgskago Kraia, 2 vols. Orenburg, 1900. This excellent collection by an authority on the history of the region treats the organization and first
years of the Orenburg Expedition.
Dopolnenie k aktam istoricheskim, 12 vols. St. Petersburg, 1846-72. Documents in the frontier areas are included, covering the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries.
Fal'k, I. P., Zapiski puteshestviia, in Polnoe sobranie uchenykh puteshestvii po Rossii (St. Petersburg, 1824), Vol. 6. Descr iption of the frontier
regions by a participant in a late eighteenth-century expedition.
[Gladyshev, D. and I. Muravin], Poezdka iz Orska v Khivu i obratno, sovershennaia v 1740-1741 gg. poruchikom Gladyshevym i geodezistom
Muravinym, Izdana s priobshcheniem sovremennoi karty Millerova puti ot Orska do ziungorskikh vladenii i obratno Ia. V. Khanykovym, St.
Petersburg, 1851. Accounts by individuals mentioned in the text.
Gnucheva, V. F., Materialy dlia istorii ekspeditsii akademii nauk v XVIII i XIX vekakh, Moscow and Leningrad, 1940.
Golikov, Ivan Ivanovich, Deianiia Petra Velikago, mudrago preobrazovatelia Rossii, sobrannye iz dostovernykh istochnikov i raspolozhennye
po godam, 30 vols. Moscow, 1788-98; 2nd ed. 15 vols. Moscow, 1838.
Although this work was compiled by an untrained historian, it includes detailed information on the activities of Peter the Great.
Herberstein, Sigismund von, Zapiski o moskovskikh delakh, St. Petersburg, 1908.
Ivanov, P. P., ed., "Ocherki istorii karakalpakov. Materialy po istorii karakalpako v," Trudy instituta vostokovedeniia (Moscow and Leningrad,
1935), Vol. 7.
"Iz istorii Kazakhstana XVIII v.," Krasnyi arkhiv (Moscow, 1938), 2(87), 129-73.
The two previous references include documents that deal with Tevkelev's mission to the Kazakhs in 1731- 34 and with Russo-Kazakh relations
from 1730 to 1756.
"Iz istorii snoshenii Kazakhov s tsarskoi Rossiei v XVIII veke," Krasnyi arkhiv (Moscow, 1936), 5(78), 187-225.
Kazakhsko-russkie otnosheniia v XVI-XVIII vekakh (Sbornik dokumentov i materialov), Alma-Ata, 1961.
Kirillov, I. K., Tsvetushchee sostoianie vserossiiskago gosudarstva, 2 vols, in 1, (Moscow, 1831).
"K istorii Karakalpakov XVIII v.," Krasnyi arkhiv (Moscow, 1938), 6(91), 225-54.
Russian relations with the Karakalpaks are treated in a selectio n of documents from the archives.
Kniga Bol'shomu Chertezhu, ili drevniaia karta Rossiiskogo gosudarstva, ponovlennaia v razriade i spisannaia v knigu 1627 g., St. Petersburg,
1838; the most recent edition prepared and edited by K. N. Serbina, Moscow and Leningrad, 1950.
Krasovskii, M., ed., Oblast' sibirskikh kirgizov. Materialy dlia geografii i statistiki Rossii, sobrannye ofitserami general' nogo shtaba, Parts 1-3,
St. Petersburg, 1868.
Although this work deals with a later period, it has much general information on geography and the inhabitants of the frontier region.
Kurbskii, A. M., Sochineniia kniazia Kurbskogo (St. Petersburg, 1914), Vol. 1; also in Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, 39 vols. (St.
Petersburg, 1872-1927), Vol. 31.
Krubskii wrote briefly of the Bashkirs in the time of Ivan IV.
Lepekhin, I. I., Dnevnye zapiski puteshestviia po raznym provintsiiam Rossiiskogo gosudarstva v 1770 g., Parts 1-3 (St. Petersburg, 1802).
A participant in the Pallas expedition and an independent scholar.
[Makovetskii, P. E.], Materialy dlia izucheniia iuridicheskikh obychaev kirgizov, vyp. 1. Material'noe pravo, Omsk, 1886.
Materialy po istorii Bashkirskoi ASSR (Moscow and Leningrad, 1936- 58), Vols. 1, 3, and 4 in two parts.
This still uncompleted collection deals with social and economic conditions, the administration of Bashkiria, and the Bashkir struggles with
Russia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. With the documents compiled by Dobrosmyslov, this collection forms the basic fund of
information on the Southeastern Frontier in the eighteenth century.
Materialy po istorii Karakalpakov, Moscow and Leningrad, 1935.
Materialy po istorii Kazakhskoi SSR (Alma-Ata, 1948), Vol. 2, Part 2 (1741-51).
Because of the period covered, this volume of documents was of peripheral use.
Materialy po istorii politicheskogo stroia Kazakhstana (Alma-Ata, 1960), Vol. 1.
A brief collection of documents covering the period from the 1730s to 1917.
Materialy po istorii Tatarii (Kazan, 1948), vyp. 1.
Materialy po istorii Turkmen i Turkmenii, iranskie, bukharskie i khivinskie istochniki XVI-XIX vv. (Moscow and Leningrad, 1938), Vol. 2
(Trudy instituta vostokovedeniia, Vol. 8).
Materialy po istorii uzbekskoi, tadzhikskoi i turkmenskoi SSR (Leningrad, 1932), Vol. 1, vyp. 3.
Meier, L., ed., Kirgizskaia step' orenburgskogo vedomstva. Materialy dlia geografii i statistiki Rossii, sobrannye ofitserami general'nogo shtaba,
St. Petersburg, 1865.
Novikov, V. A., ed., Sbornik materialov dlia ufimskago dvorianstva, Ufa, 1903.
This brief work is useful on the early administration and colonization of Bashkiria.
Orenburgskie stepi v trudakh P. I. Rychkova, E. A. Eversmanna, S. S. Neustrueva, Moscow, 1949.
A convenient collection of three classic sources of information on the Orenburg region.
Pallas, P. S., Puteshestvie po raznym provintsiiam Rossiiskoi imperii, 3 vols. St. Petersburg, 1774-78.
Pallas was the head of the Academy of Sciences expedition which studied the frontier peoples. His work is invaluable for information on the life
of the Bashkirs, Kazakhs, and others.
Pamiatniki sibirskoi istorii XVIII v., 2 vols. St. Petersburg, 1882-85. Many documents treating Russian relations with the Jungars, Kalmyks, and
other steppe peoples are included.
Pis'ma i bumagi Imperatora Petra Velikago, 11 vols, to date issued, St. Petersburg, Petrograd, Moscow, 1887-1960.
This fundamental collection has not reached much beyond the early years of Peter's reign. It was of perip heral use only.
Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei, 30 vols, to date issued, St. Petersburg and Moscow, 1841- . In volumes 12 and 13 (Nikonovskaia letopis') the
chronicler wrote briefly of the Bashkirs in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii, First series, 44 vols., St. Petersburg, 1830.
A great deal of information on the administration of the Southeastern Territory and the activities of the Orenburg Expedition are to be found in
this fundamental collection.
Popov, A. N., ed., Materialy dlia istorii vozmushcheniia Sten'ki Razina, Moscow, 1857.
Puparev, A., "Neskol'ko aktov k istorii bashkirskogo bunta v tsarstvo- vanie Anny Ioannovny," in Pamiatnaia knizhka Kazanskoi guberni na
1861 g. (Kazan, 1861), otd. IV, 41-58.
Rychkov, N. P., Zhurnal ili dnevnye zapiski puteshestviia kapitana Rychkova po raznym provintsiiam Rossiiskogo gosudarstva v 1769 i 1770
godu, St. Petersburg, 1770.
Rychkov, the son of the Orenburg historian, was on the expedition to compel the Kalmyks to return to Russia. His journal relates life and events
in the steppe.
Rychkov, N. P., Prodolzhenie zhurnala ili dnevnykh zapisok puteshestviia kapitana Rychkova po raznym provintsiiam Rossiiskogo gosudarstva
1770 g., St. Petersburg, 1772.
Samokvasov, D. Ia., Sbornik obychnogo prava sibirskikh inovertsev, Warsaw, 1876.
Sbornik imperatorskago russkago istoricheskago obshchestva, 148 vols. St. Petersburg, 1867-1916.
Sbornik kniazia Khilkova, St. Petersburg, 1879. The collection of documents at the e nd of this volume supports a general survey of Russian
relations with the peoples of Central Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Shishonko, V., ed., Permskaia letopis' s 1263-1881 g., 5 vols. Perm, 1881-89.
Sibirskie letopisi, St. Petersburg, 1907.
Strizhenskii, Capt., "Otvety kapitana Strizhenskogo na programmu V. N. Tatishcheva," Izvestiia obshchestva arkheologii, istor ii i etnografii pri
kazanskom universitete, 25 (1909), vyp. 6, 167-75.
Ukazy Imperatritsy Ekateriny I i Gosudaria Imperatora Petra II, sostoiavshiesia s 1725 g., ianvaria s 28 chisla po 1730 god, napechatannye po
ukazu Imperatritsy Elizavety Petrovny, pri Imperatorskoi akademii nauk, St. Petersburg, 1743.
[Unkovskii, Ivan], "Posol'stvo k ziungorskomu khun-taidzhi Tsevan-Rabtanu kapitana I. Unkovskogo," Zapiski Russkogo geograficheskogo
obshchestva po otd. etnografii, 10 (St. Petersburg, 1887), vyp. 2.
Vel'iaminov- Zernov, V. V., "Istochniki dlia izucheniia tarkhanstva, zhalovannogo bashkiram russkimi gosudariami," Zapiski Imperatorskoi
akademii nauk, 4 (1864), kn. 2, prilozhenie, No. 6, 1-48.
Vremennik Imperatorskago moskovskago obshchestva istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh, kn. XIII, "S mes'," 1-20.
Zakonov Tauke (Tiavka), in Levshin, Vol. 3; V. Riasanovsky, Customary Law of the No madic Tribes of Siberia; and Materialy po kazakhskomu
obychnomu pravu, Alma-Ata, 1948.
Akimova, T. M. and A. M. Ardabatskaia, Ocherki istorii Saratova (XVII-XVIII vv.), Saratov, 1940.
Aleksandrenko, V. N., Reliatsii kn. A. D. Kantemira iz Londona (1732-1733 gg.), Vol. 1, Moscow, 1892.
Alektorov, A. E., Istoriia Orenburgskoi gubernii, Orenburg, 1883. This survey treats Russian colonization of Bashkiria and the Bashkir wars in
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Andrievich, V. K., Istoriia Sibiri, 5 vols. St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Tomsk, St. Petersburg, Odessa, 1887-89.
Apollova, N. G., Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi Kazakhstana s Rossiei v XVIII - nachale XIX v., Moscow, 1960.
A recent work by an authority on Kazakh history and Kazakh relations with Russians.
Apollova, N. G., Prisoedinenie Kazakhstana k Rossii v 30-kh godakh XVIII veka, Alma-Ata, 1948.
Apollova treats in detail the events leading to the organization of the Ore nburg Expedition. The work is based on unpublished archival materials.
Atnagulov, S., Bashkiriia, Moscow and Leningrad, 1925.
Avdeev, P. I., Istoricheskaia zapiska ob Orenburgskom kazach'em voiske, Orenburg, 1904.
Barthold, V. V., Ocherk istorii Semirech'ia, 2nd ed. Frunze, 1943.
Batrakov, V. S., Khoziaistvennye sviazi kochevykh narodov s Rossiei, Srednei Aziei i Kitaem (s XV do poloviny XVIII v.), Tashkent, 1958.
Bekmakhanov, E. B., Prisoedinenie Kazakhstana k Rossii, Alma-Ata, 1957.
The emphasis of this work is on a period later than that of the present study.
Bestuzhev-Riumin, K. N., Biografii i kharakteristiki, St. Petersburg, 1882.
The first 175 pages treat the life of Tatishchev.
Bichurin, N. Ia. [Iakinf], Istoricheskoe obozrenie oiratov ili kalmykov s XV stoletiia do nostoiashchego vremeni, St. Petersburg, 1834.. By the
famous Russian Orientalist.
Bichurin, N. Ia., Opisanie Chzhungarii i vostochnogo Turkestana v drevnem i nyneshnem sostoianii, St. Petersburg, 1829.
Borodin, N., Ural'skoe kazach'e voisko. Statisticheskoe opisanie, 2 vols. Uralsk, 1891.
Cahen, Gaston, Some Early Russo-Chinese Relations, trans, by W. Sheldon Ridge, Shanghai, 1914.
Chuloshnikov, A. P., Ocherki po istorii kazakh-kirgizskogo naroda v sviazi s obshchimi istoricheskimi sud'bami drugikh tiurkskikh piemen
(Orenburg, 1924), Part 1.
Den, V. E., Naselenie Rossii po piatoi revizii. Podushnaia podat' v XVIII veke i statistika naseleniia v kontse XVIII veka (Moscow, 1902), Vol.
2, Part 2. This monograph is invaluable for historical and statistical information on the early eighteenth century as well as the latter part of the century.
Dobrosmyslov, A. I., Sud u kirgizov Turgaiskoi oblasti v XVIII-XIX vv., Kazan, 1904.
Dunaev, B. I., Maksim Grek i grecheskaia ideia na Rusi v XVI veke, Moscow, 1916.
Dzhamgerchinov, B. D., Prisoedinenie Kirgizii k Rossii, Moscow, 1959.
Firsov, N. A., Inorodcheskoe naselenie prezhnego Kazanskogo tsarstva v novoi Rossii do 1762 g. i kolonizatsiia zakamskikh zemel' v eto
vremia, Kazan, 1869. Firsov's work is rather old, but still useful.
Fisher, I. E., Sibirskaia istoriia, St. Petersburg, 1774. Fisher is still useful for his account of Russian relations with the Jungars and Siberian
Fisher, R. H., The Russian Fur Trade, 1550-1700, University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1943.
Georgi, I. G., Opisanie vsekh v Rossiiskom gosudarstve obitaiushchikh narodov, St. Petersburg, 1774; English trans. 2 vols. London, 1780.
Georgi was a member of Pallas' expedition. He gives considerable information on the life and customs of the frontier peoples in the third quarter of the
eighteenth century.
Geraklimov, A. A., Istoriia Saratovskogo kraia v XVI-XVIII vv., Saratov, 1923.
Grodekov, N. I., Kirgizy i kara-kirgizy Syr-Dar'inskoi oblasti, Vol. 1, Iuridicheskii byt, Tashkent, 1889.
Gurliand, Ia. I., Stepnoe zakonodatel'stvo s drevneishikh vremen po XVII stoletie, Kazan, 1904.
Howorth, H. H., History of the Mongols, 4 vols. London, 1876-1927.
Iakovleva, P. T., Pervyi russko-kitaiskii dogovor 1689 goda, Moscow, 1958.
Ignat'ev, P. G., Sud nad brigadirom Aksakovym, Ufa, 1875.
Iofa, L. E., Sovremenniki Lomonosova I. K. Kirillov i V. N. Tatishchev, Moscow, 1949.
Istoriia Kazakhskoi SSR, 2 vols. Alma-Ata, 1957, 1959.
Istoriia Uzbekskoi SSR (Tashkent, 1956), Vol. 1,kn. 1.
Ivanov, P. P., Ocherk istorii karakalpakov. Materialy po istorii karakalpakov, Moscow and Leningrad, 1935.
Kafengauz, B. B., Istoriia khoziaistva Demidovykh v XVIII-XIX vv. (Moscow and Leningrad, 1949), Vol. 1.
A detailed monograph based on both published and archival materials.
Karamzin, N. M., Istoriia gosudarstva rossiiskogo, 5th ed. 12 vols. St. Petersburg, 1842-44.
Karpov, A. B., Ural'tsy. Istoricheskii ocherk (Ural'sk, 1911), Part 1.
Karryev, A., O. K. Kuliev, et al., eds. Istoriia Turkmenskoi SSR, Vol. 1, S drevneishikh vremen do kontsa XVIII v., Ashkhabad, 1957.
Keppen, P., Khronologicheskii ukazatel' materialov dlia istorii inorodtsev evropeiskoi Rossii, St. Petersburg, 1861.
Citing the sources of the information, this work is a useful outline of Russian relations with the nomads.
Khanykov, Ia., Materialy dlia statistiki Rossiiskoi imperii, izd. pri statisticheskom otdelenii Soveta M. V. D., St. Petersburg, otd. II, 1839; otd.
IV, 1841.
Khudiakov, M., Ocherki po istorii Kazanskogo khanstva, Kazan, 1923.
Kraft, I. I., Sbornik uzakonenii o Kirgizakh stepnykh oblastei, Orenburg, 1898.
This is properly a collection of documents, but they relate to the nineteenth century. A chronological table of decrees deals with the Kazakh area
in the eighteenth century.
Kurts, B. G., Russko-kitaiskie otnosheniia v XVI, XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh, Kharkov, 1929.
Lantzeff, George V., Siberia in the Seventeenth Century, University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1943.
Levshin, A., Istoriko-statisticheskoi obozrenie Ural'skikh Kazakov, St. Petersburg, 1823.
Levshin, A., Opisanie Kirgiz-kazach'ikh ili Kirgiz-kaisatskikh ord i stepei, 3 vols. St. Petersburg, 1832.
The three volumes deal respectively with geography, history, and ethnography. Levshin used virtually all the sources of his day, including the
archival materials. Although the work is old, it remains one of the fundamental studies of the subject.
Liubomirov, P. G., Ocherki po istorii russkoi promyshlennosti, Moscow, 1947.
Lobov, N. G., Materialy po istoriko-statisticheskomu opisaniiu Orenburgskogo kazach'ego voiska. Khronologicheskii perechen' sobytii,
otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Orenburgskogo kazach'ego voiska (Orenburg, 1907), vyp. VII (1574-1800).
Materialy nauchnoi sessii, posviashchennoi istorii Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana v dooktiabr'skii period, Tashkent, 1955. Useful papers by
contemporary specialists on various topics.
Miller, G. F., Istoriia Sibiri, Moscow and Leningrad, Vol. 1, 1937; Vol. 2, 1940.
Miller's great work in a recent edition.
Nol'de, B. E., La formation de l'Empire russe; etudes, notes et documents, 2 vols. Paris, Institute d'etudes slaves, 1952-53. Vol. 1 deals with the
Khanate of Kazan, the Russian conquest, and briefly with Bashkiria and the development of the Ural industries.
Novlianskaia, M. G., I. K. Kirillov i ego atlas vse rossiiskoi imperii, Moscow and Leningrad, 1958.
Ostroukhov, A., Anglo-russkii torgovyi dogovor g., St. Petersburg, 1914.
Pal'mov, N. N., Etiudy po istorii privolzhskikh Kalmykov XVII-XVIII veka, 5 parts, Astrakhan, 1926-32.
Pekarskii, P. P., Zhizn' i literaturnaia perepiska Petra Ivanovicha Rychkova, St. Petersburg, 1867.
Peretiatkovich, G., Povolzh'e v XV i XVI vv., Moscow, 1877.
Peretiatkovich, G., Povolzh'e v XVII v. i nachale XVIII v., Odessa, 1882.
Peretiatkovich's two works are the only general surveys of the region and, therefore, of great use.
Pokrovskii, S. A., Vneshniaia torgovlia i vneshniaia politika Rossii, Moscow, 1947.
Popov, A. N., ed., Materialy dlia istorii vozmushcheniia Sten'ki Razina, Moscow 1857.
Popov, N. A., Tatishchev i ego vremia, Moscow, 1861.
Because of his role as Chief of the Ural Industrial Authority, Chief of the Orenburg Commission, and Chief of the Kalmyk Commission, this
biography is virtually a history of the Southeastern Frontier in Tatishchev's time.
Portal, Roger, L'Oural au xviii siecle: etude d'histoire economique et sociale, Paris, Institut d'Etudes Slaves, 1950.
Preobrazhenskii, P. A., Ocherki istorii Samarskogo kraia, Samara, 1919.
Ptukha, M., Ocherki po istorii statistiki XVII-XVIII vekov, Moscow, 1945.
Radlov, V. V., Sibirskie drevnosti, St. Petersburg, Vol. 1, 1894; Vol. 2, 1902.
Radlov was a Turkologist whose works are of primary importance for both the linguistics and culture of the Kazakhs and other Turkic peoples of
Central Asia.
Redfield, Robert, The Primitive World and Its Transformation, Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1953.
Riazanov, A. F., Orenburgskii krai. Istoricheskii ocherk, Orenburg, 1928.
Riazanovsky, V. A., Customary Law of the Nomadic Tribes of Siberia, Tientsin, 1938.
Rudenko, S. I., Bashkiry. Istoriko-etnograficheskie ocherki, Moscow and Leningrad, 1955.
The most recent and thorough treatment of the subject.
Rumiantsev, P. P., Kirgizskii narod v proshlom i nastoiashchem, St. Petersburg, 1910.
Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, 39 vols. St. Petersburg, 1872-1927.
Rychkov, P. I., Istoriia Orenburgskaia, 2nd ed. Orenburg, 1896. This is the first history of the Orenburg Expedition, and was written by the
bookkeeper of the expedition. Many of the documents are embodied in the text. It is in reality a primary source.
Rychkov, P. I., Topografiia Orenburgskaia, 2nd ed. 2 vols. Orenburg, 1887.
A fundamental source of information on the Orenburg region in the e ighteenth century.
Sarkisyanz, Emanuel, Geschichte der orientalischen Volker Russlands bis 1917. Eine Erganzung zur ostslawischen Geschichte Russlands,
Munich, 1961.
Sebes, Joseph, The Jesuits and the Sino-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689): The Diary of Thomas Pereira, Institutum Historicum S. I., Rome,
Shastina, N. P., Russko- mongol'skie posol'skie otnosheniia XVII veka, Moscow, 1958.
Shcheglov, I. V., Khronologicheskii perechen' vazhneishikh dannykh iz istorii Sibiri, 1032-1882, Irkutsk, 1883.
Shpitser, S. M., Iz proshlogo bashkirskogo naroda, Ufa, 1929.
Shteinberg, E. L., Pervye issledovateli Kaspiia (XVIII-XIX vv.), Moscow, 1949.
Shunkov, V. I., Ocherki po istorii kolonizatsii Sibiri v XVII-nachale XVIII v., Moscow and Leningrad, 1946.
Smirnov, A. P., N. V. Ustiugov, et al., eds. Ocherki po istorii Bashkirskoi ASSR (Ufa, 1956), Vol. 1, Part 1.
Solov'ev, S. M., Istoriia Rossii s drevneishikh vremen, 29 vols. 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, no date.
One of Solov'ev's virtues is his treatment of the frontier areas in some detail.
Starikov, F. M., Istoriko-statisticheskii ocherk Orenburgskogo kazach'ego voiska, Orenburg, 1891.
Starkov, V., Kratkoe obozrenie Kirgizskoi stepi v geograficheskom, istoricheskom i statisticheskom otnosheniiakh, Tobolsk, 1860.
Strumilin, S. G., Gornozavodskii Ural petrovskoi epokhi (k itogam politiki Petra Velikogo), Moscow, 1945.
Strumilin, S. G., Istoriia chernoi metallurgii v SSSR (Moscow, 1954), Vol. 1.
Tipeev, Sh., Ocherki po istorii Bashkirii, Ufa, 1930.
Tolybekov, S. E., Obshchestvenno-ekonomicheskii stroi Kazakhov v XVII-XIX vekakh, Alma-Ata, 1959.
Usmanov, A., Prisoedinenie Bashkirii k Moskovskomu gosudarstvu, Ufa, 1949.
Ustiugov, N. V., Bashkirskoe vosstanie 1737-1739 gg., Moscow and Leningrad, 1950.
This is the most detailed treatment of the subject by the Soviet authority on Bashkir history. It is based primarily on archival materials.
Vel'iaminov- Zernov, V. V., Issledovanie o kasimovskikh tsariakh i tsarevichakh, 4 vols. St. Petersburg, 1864. A classic study.
Vel'iaminov- Zernov, V. V., Istochniki dlia izucheniia tarkhanstva, zhalovannogo bashkiram russkimi gosudariami, St. Petersburg, 1864.
Veselovskii, N., Ocherk istoriko- geograficheskikh svedenii o Khivinskom khanstve ot drevneishikh vremen do nastoiashchego, St. Petersburg,
Viatkin, M. P., Batyr Srym, Moscow and Leningrad, 1947. Although Viatkin treats a later period, this work is valuable for information on the
economic, social, and political life of the Kazakhs.
Viatkin, M. P., Ocherki po istorii Kazakhskoi SSR (Moscow, 1941), Vol. 1.
This work was found by the Soviet authorities to contain theoretical errors.
Vitevskii, V. N., I. I. Nepliuev i Orenburgskii krai v prezhnem ego sostave do 1758 g., 5 vols. Kazan, 1889-97.
Based on both printed and archival materials, this immense work treats not only Nepliuev but also his predecessors, Kirillov, Tatish- chev, and
Urusov. It presents a detailed picture of Russian colonial activities and policies. It is the major reason I did not extend my study into Nepliuev's
administration. Vladimirtsov, B., Obshchestvennyi stroi Mongolov, Leningrad, 1934.
Classic work on nomads.
Vorob'ev, N. I., Kazanskie tatary, Kazan, 1953.
Zavalishin, I.I.., Opisanie zapadnoi Sibiri, 3 vols. Moscow, 1862-67.
Zhdanko, T. A., Ocherki istoricheskoi etnografii karakalpakov (Trudy instituta etnografii, New series, Vol. 9), Moscow and Lenngriad, 1950.
Zhukovskii, S. V., Snosheniia Rossii s Bukharoi i Khivoi za poslednee trekhsotletie, Petrograd, 1915. A convenient survey.
Zimanov, S. Z., Politicheskii stroi Kazakhstana kontsa XVIII i pervoi poloviny XIX v., Alma-Ata, 1960.
Zlatkin, I. Ia., Ocherki novoi i noveishei istorii Mongolii, Moscow, 1957.
Abduraumov, A., "Pervyi russkii kupecheskii karavan v Tashkent (1738-1739 gg.)," Izvestiia AN UzSSR, 6 (1955), pp. 87-93.
Akhmarov, G. N., "Teptiari i ikh proizkhozhdenie," Izvestiia obshchestva arkheologii, istorii i etnografii pri Kazanskom universitete, 23 (1908),
vyp. V, pp. 340-64.
Alefirenko, P. K. "Ekonomicheskie vzgliady V. N. Tatishcheva," Voprosy istorii, 12 (1948), pp. 89-97.
Aleksandrov, S. A., "Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie vzgliady V. N. Tatishcheva," Izvestiia AN SSSR, otdelenie ekonomiki i pra va, 3 (Moscow
and Leningrad, 1951), pp. 186-207.
Apollova, N. G., "Prisoedinenie Mladshego zhuza k Rossii v 30-kh godakh XVIII veka," Izvestiia AN KazSSR, seriia istorii, 49 (Alma-Ata,
1948), vyp. 4, pp. 58-72.
Aristov, N. A., "Zametki ob etnicheskom sostave tiurskikh p lemen i narodnostei i svedeniia ob ikh chislennosti," Zhivaia starina (1896), vyp.
III-IV, pp. 277-456.
This monograph is considered by Soviet specialists to be a fundamental study of the subject.
Batrakov, V. S., "K istorii torgovykh sviazei Kazakhstana s Rossiei v XVIII-XIX vv.," Trudy sredneaziatskogo universiteta, vyp. 78,
istoricheskie nauki, kn. 11 (1956), pp. 3-39.
Bekbulatov, S., "Bashkirskie vosstaniia i tatary," Vestnik nauchnogo obshchestva tatarovedeniia, 9-10 (Kazan, 1930), pp. 61-87.
Bronevskii, G. M., "Zapiski o kirgiz-kaisakakh Srednei ordy," Otechestvennye zapiski (1830), Part 41, No. 119, pp. 400-20; Part. 42, No. 120,
pp. 75-98; No. 121, pp. 162-94; No. 122, pp. 357-64; Part 43, No. 123, pp. 70-94; No. 124, pp. 194-285.
Chuloshnikov, A. P., "Feodal'nye otnosheniia v Bashkirii i bashkirskie vosstaniia XVII i pervoi poloviny XVIII v.," in Materialy po istorii
Bashkirskoi ASSR (Moscow and Leningrad, 1936), Vol. 1.
Chuloshnikov, A. P., "Kazakhskii soiuz i Moskovskoe gosudarstvo v kontse XVII v. (Materialy)," Izvestiia AN SSSR, otdelenie obshchestvennykh nauk, 3 (Moscow and Leningrad, 1936), pp. 525-29.
Chuloshnikov, A. P., "K istorii feodal'nykh otnoshenii v Kazakhstane v XVII-XVIII vv.," Izvestiia AN SSSR, otdelenie obshchestvennykh
nauk, 3 (Moscow and Leningrad, 1936), pp. 497-524.
Chupin, N. K., "Vasilii Nikitich Tatishchev i pervoe ego upravlenie ural'skimi gornymi zavodami," Permskie gubernskie vedomosti (1867), Nos.
13, 14, 16, 17, 21, 22, 25, 26.
Demidova, N. F., "Upravlenie Bashkiriei i povinnosti naseleniia Ufimskoi provintsii v pervoi treti XVIII v," Istoricheskie zapiski, 68 (1961), pp.
Dobrosmyslov, A. I., "Bashkirskii bunt v 1735, 1736 i 1737 gg.," Trudy Orenburgskoi uchenoi arkhivnoi komissii, 8 (Orenburg, 1900). Based on
archival researches.
Dobrosmyslov, A. I., "Turgaiskaia oblast'. Istoricheskii ocherk," Izvestiia Orenburgskogo otdeleniia russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva,
15-17 (1900-02).
Dzhamgerchinov, P. E., "K voprosu o prisoedinenii Kirgizii k Rossii," Izvestiia Kirgizskogo FAN SSR, 7, (Frunze, 1947), pp. 35-48.
Efremov, V. A., "Iz istorii Ufimskogo kraia," Vestnik Orenburgskogo uchebnogo okruga (1913), otd. III, Nos. 1, pp. 1-16; No. 4, pp. 103-12;
Nos. 7-8, pp. 236-52; (1914), otd. III, No. 3, pp. 123-34; No. 8, pp. 310-19.
Ignat'ev, R., "Istoriko-administrativnye svedeniia o bashkirskom narode, sostavlennye po tsirkuliaram grafa Panina v 1775 g.," Pamiatnaia
knizhka Ufimskoi gubernii (Ufa, 1873).
Ignat'ev, P. G., "Iv. Iv. Kirillov, osnovatel' Orenburgskogo kraia," Ufimskie gubernskie vedomosti (1880), Nos. 14-16, 18, 20, 23-25, 27, 28,
Ignat'ev, P. G., "Karasakal, Lzhekhan Bashkirii (epizod iz istorii Orenburgskogo kraia XVIII v.)," Orenburgskii listok (1880), Nos. 7-12, 14-77;
2nd ed. Orenburgskii listok (1883), Nos. 35-43, 45, 47; 3rd ed. Trudy nauchnogo obshchestva izucheniia byta, istorii i kul'tury bashkir pri
Narkomprose BSSR (1922), vyp. 2, 38-66.
Ignat'ev, P. G., "Khronika dostopamiatnykh sobytii Ufimskoi gubernii," Pamiatnaia knizhka Ufimskoi gubernii, Ufa, 1883, otd. 2.
Ignat'ev, P. G., "Kniaz' V. A. Urusov, tretii nachal'nik Orenburgskogo kraia," Ufimskie gubernskie vedomosti (1882), Nos. 10, 14, 17, 20, 24, 27,
Ignat'ev, P. G., "V. N. Tatishchev, vtoroi nachal'nik Orenburgskogo kraia," Ufimskie gubernskie vedomosti (1881), Nos. 4, 6, 7, 26-32, 34-38,
40, 42, 46, 47.
Ignat'ev, P. G., "Vzgliady na istoriiu Orenburgskogo kraia," Orenburgskie gubernskie vedomosti (1881), Nos. 29-33, 37, 40-52; (1882), Nos. 1,
4, 6, 14, 16, 18, 19, 27, 30, 46, 47.
Illeritskii, V., "Ekspeditsiia kniazia Cherkasskogo v Khivu," Istoricheskii zhurnal, 7 (Moscow, 1940), pp. 40-51.
Iudin, M. L., "Dvukhsotletnee dvizhenie russkikh v Turkestan," Turkestanskoe otdelenie russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, 8 (1917),
vyp. 1.
Ivanin, "Opisanie zakamskikh linii," Vestnik russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva (1851), Part 1, kn. 2, otd. VI, pp. 57-78.
Katanaev, G. E., "Kirgizskie stepi, Sredniaia Aziia i severnyi Kitai v XVII-XVIII St.," Zapiski zapadno-sibirskogo otdeleniia russkogo
geograficheskogo obshchestva, 14 (1898), vyp. 1.
Kobrin V. B., "K voprosu o kazakho-russkikh otnosheniiakh v XVI veke," Vestnik AN KazSSR, II (Alma-Ata, 1946), pp. 55-56.
Kurts, B. G., "Kolonial'naia politika Rossii v XVII-XVIII vv.," Novyi vostok, 19 (Moscow, 1927), pp. 194-206.
Lebedev, V. I., "Bashkirskoe vosstanie 1705-1711 gg.," Istoricheskie zapiski, 1 (Moscow, 1937), pp. 81-102.
Lüthy, Herbert, "Colonization and the Making of Mankind," Journal of Economic History, 21 (December 1961), pp. 483-95.
Maksheev, A. I., "Geograficheskie svedeniia Knigi Bol'shogo Chertezha o Kirgizskikh stepiakh v Turkestanskom krae," Izvestiia Russkogo
geograficheskogo obshchestva, 14 (St. Petersburg, 1878), vyp. 1.
Martynov, M. N., "Ural'skaia gornozavodskaia promyshlennost' v epokhu Petra Velikogo," Istoricheskii zhurnal, 9 (Moscow, 1944), pp. 12-23.
Matvievskii, P. E., "Abulkhair, pobornik ob'edineniia Kazakhskogo naroda s russkim," Uchenye zapiski Chkalovskogo gosudarstve nnogo
pedagogicheskogo instituta, 1 (1948), pp. 66-111.
Matvievskii, P. E., "Dnevnik Dzhona Kestlia kak istochnik po istorii i etnografii Kazakhov," Istoriia SSSR, 4 (1958), pp. 133-44.
Matvievskii, P. E., "K istorii izucheniia geografii i proizvoditel'nykh sil Orenburgskogo kraia po rukopisiam i arkhivnym dokumentam XVIII
veka," Izvestiia Chkalovskogo otd. geograf. ob-va SSSR, 2 (1948), pp. 71-77.
Modestov, N. N., "Osnovanie g. Orenburga i pervonachal'noe blagoustroistvo ego," Trudy orenburgskoi uchenoi arkhivnoi komissii, 35
(Orenburg, 1917), pp. 57-74.
Nikitin, M., "Osnovnye momenty kolonizatsii Bashkirii," Khoziastvo Bashkirii (1928), Nos. 6-7, pp. 73-85.
Pankov, A. V., "K istorii torgovli Srednei Azii s Rossiei v 1675-1725 gg. Torgovlia s Bukharoi," Izvestiia Sredneaziatskogo geograficheskogo
obshchestva, 19 (Tashkent, 1929), pp. 47-58.
Pavlenko, N. I., "K istorii iuzhnoural'skoi metallurgii v XVIII v.," in 400- letie prisoedineniia Bashkirii k russkomu gosudarstvu (Ufa, 1958).
Pekarskii P. P., "Kogda i dlia chego osnovany gg. Ufa i Samara," Sbornik otdeleniia russkogo iazyka i slovesno sti Imperatorskoi akademii nauk,
10 (1873), No. 5, pp. 1-29.
Peker, A., "Ocherki Ufy," Vestnik russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, 29 (1860), No. 8, pp. 177-200.
Popov, A. L., "Bor'ba za sredneaziatskii platsdarm," Istoricheskie zapiski, 7 (1940), pp. 182-235.
Popov, A. N., "Snosheniia Rossii s Khivoi i Bukharoi pri Petre Velikom," Zapiski Imperatorskogo russkogo geograficheskogo obs hchestva, 9
(1853), pp. 287-424.
This is an old but detailed treatment of the Bekovich-Cherkasskii expeditions and the mission of Beneveni. A number of documents, including
Beneveni's journal in Italian, have been added.
Tikhomirov, M. N., "K istorii kolonizatsii Samarskogo kraia," Izvestiia Samarskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 5 (1923), pp. 1-12.
Togan, Z. V., "Bashdjirt," The Encyclopedia of Islam, New ed. 2 vols, to date, E. J. Brill: Leiden, 1960- , 1, 1075.
Ustiugov, N. V., "Bashkirskoe vosstanie 1662-1664 gg.," Istoricheskie zapiski, 24 (Moscow, 1947), pp. 30-110.
This long article is the most detailed and best treatment of Russian activities in Bashkiria during the seventeenth century. It is based on both
printed and archival materials.
Valikhanov, Ch. Ch., "Sochineniia," Zapiski russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva po otdelu etnografii, 29 (1904).
The author was an important authority on the Turkic peoples of Central Asia.
Viatkin, M. P., "Kazakhskoe obshchestvo v seredine XVIII v.," and "Tolenguty v XVIII v.," Izvestiia Kazakhstanskogo FAN SSSR. Seriia
istoricheskaia (Alma-Ata, 1940), vyp. 1, pp. 3-17, 19-29.
Volkov, S. I., "Tsennyi istochnik po istorii Rossii XVIII veka," Voprosy istorii, 7 (Moscow, 1951), pp. 90 -91.
Zimin, A. A., "O sostave dvortsovykh uchrezhdenii Russkogo gosudarstva kontsa XV i XVI v.," Istoricheskie zapiski, 63 (1958), pp. 180-205.
Zlotnikov, M. F., "Pervoe opisanie ural'skikh i sibirskikh zavodov," introductory article in De-Gennin's Opisanie ural'skikh i sibirskikh zavodov
1733 g. (Moscow, 1937), pp. 11-64.
Zobnin, F., "K voprosu o nevol'nikakh, rabakh i tiulengutakh v Kirgizskoi stepi," in Pamiatnaia knizhka Semipalatinskoi oblasti na 1902 god
(Semipalatinsk, 1902), vyp. VI, pp. 1-99.
Zorin, N. I., "Iz istorii zaseleniia russkimi Orenburgskogo kraia," Uchenye zapiski Chkalovskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo
instituta, seriia filologicheskikh nauk, (1949), vyp. 3, pp. 129-46.
Ablai, Sultan (Middle Horde), meets Urusov, Aug. 1740, 134
Abulkhair, Khan (Little Horde): struggle with Kalmyks in 1720s, 43; leads confederation of Kazakhs against Jungars in 1729, 55; sends mission
to St. Petersburg in 1726 seeking Russian protection, 55; sends mission in 1730 seeking Russian protection, 56; reasons for alignment with Russia in
1730s, 58, 87; sends mission to Russia in 1732, 58; mission to Orenburg in 1736, 88; moves into Bashkiria, winter 1737-38, 110-16; breaks with
Bashkirs 1738, 114-15; meets Tatishchev in Orenburg, summer 1738, 115-16; avoids meeting Urusov, 133; seeks Russian aid against Khiva, 134;
relations with Nadir Shah, 137
Abul- mamet (Middle Horde), 133; meets Urusov, Aug. 1740, 134
Administration of Southeastern Frontier Region, 17-18; Feb. 11,1736 decree establishes policy in Bashkiria, 81; 1737 reorganization, 97-98;
description of, 139-48; the Colleges, 140; reforms of Peter I, 140, 142; Central Administration and the frontier, 142-43; town courts, 145; village
administration, 147; Russian courts in Bashkiria, 152-53; corruption of Russian officials, 153-54; economic policies, 154-61; Orenburg charter,
157-58. See also Colleges; Courts; Commissions; Defensive Lines; Departments
Afghans, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Ai River, center of Bashkir resistance, 1737-38,117
Aimak, definition of, 144
Akai Kusiumov (leader in Siberian Doroga), 76; learns of Russian weakness, winter 1735-36, 80; captured, spring 1736, 83; sent by Rumiantsev
Akai Kusiumov (cont.) to persuade dissidents to make peace, 84
Akhmet, Hadji (Abulkhair's third son): Abulkhair proposes as candidate for khanship of Bashkirs, 1738, 113; becomes hostage of Russians in
summer 1738, 116
Aksakov, Col. Peter Dmitrievich (Vice-Covernor of Ufa), 119; dispute with Tatishchev, 120; corruption of, 153-54
Aktachinsk, one of original forts in Old Trans-Kama Defensive Line, 21
Aldar, Batur (Bashkir leader), withdraws from colonial war in 1708, 47
Alekseevsk, settled originally with Cossacks and service gentry, 164-65
Alekseevsk Regiment, transferred to Orenburg Line and to Stavropol in 1737, 105
Allandziangul Kutluguzin (leader in Siberian Doroga): organizes Bashkirs for war in 1739, 123-24; supports Karasakal, 127; captured by
Russians, 128
Altai Mountains, 7
Altyn Khan of Khalkhas, wars with Jungars, 35
Amin (Bashkir leader), opposes Bashkir Expedition, 66-67
Amu Darya, proposed to divert into Caspian Sea, 40
Anna Ivanovna, Empress: Administration's policy in Southeastern Frontier Region, 55-56; approves Orenburg project, 62; partially supports Rumiantsev's milder policies, 79; mentioned, 84; requests Kalmyk aid against Bashkirs, Aug. 1736, 85; reprimands Rumiantsev for defeat, 91
Apraksin, Peter Matveevich, Russian envoy to Kalmyks in 1710, 48
Aral Sea: mentioned, 8, 60; Kirillov plans fort on, 61; port to be built on, 64; considered by Kirillov key point for trade with Asia, 157; plans to
survey sites for fort on, 158
Araslanbekov, Sultan (leader in Nogai Doroga), persuades Bashkirs to continue war, winter 1737-38, 109
Arsen'ev, Lt. Col. (later Col.): saves Russian supply train from Bashkirs, 69; confers with Tevkelev, winter 173$, 73; commander Russian forces
in Trans-Uralia in 1738, 117
Astrakhan: revolt of 1705-06, 45; garrison stripped for use against Bashkirs, summer 1736, 90
Astrakhan Tatars, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Aul (village), 36
Ayüke (Aiuka), Khan of Kalmyks: in frontier war of 1662-64, 24; in Seit Uprising, 26; sends envoy to Kazakhs in 1723, 43; Russians call on for
aid in 1710, 48-49
Badakshan, 61
Baiazit (son of Bepin Trupberdin), mission to seek Kazakh aid against Russians, 118
Bakhmetev, Peter: commander of advance group of Orenburg Expedition, 65; ordered to establish headquarters of Orenburg Expedition at
Samara, 1736, 86; temporarily in command of Orenburg Expedition, 96; sent in 1737 to strengthen Orenburg's fortifications, 105
Barak, Khan of Middle Horde, sends son, Shigai, to be khan of Bashkirs in 1738, 112
Bardukevich, Col., temporary head of Bashkir Commission, spring 1737, 94
Bashkir Commission, role in Southeastern Frontier Region, 148
Bashkiria: geography and climate, 6-7; Russian interests in, 49
Bashkirs: conquest of, 4-5; identification of and location, 9; economic life, 10; request Russian suzerainty, 19; attitude toward Russian
suzerainty, 19-20; early Russian relations with, 19-26; in Ural Cossack host, 31; in Russian service, 33; seek ruler in Crimea, 45- 46; war with
Russians, 1705-11, 45-48; threaten forts of Trans-Kama Line and Ufa, 46-47; draw up list of complaints against Russians, 66; list of clans compiled,
66; reaction to news of Orenburg project, 66-67; attack Russian supply train in Siberia, 69; attack Menzelinsk and surrounding villages, 70; prohibited
from carrying arms, 77; intercept Russian supply train fro m Siberia, winter 1735-36, 80; threaten Tevkelev's forces, 80; attack Meshcheriak villages,
1736, 91; fighting between "loyal" and "rebel" Bashkirs, 1736, 91; 5000 sent to Baltic regiments and Rogervic for labor, 1736, 91; sue for peace, fall
and winter 1736, 91; hunger during winter 1736- 37, 93; complain of Russian ruthlessness in 1737, 101-02; decide to sever connections with Russia,
1737, 103-04; flee south into Kazakh Steppe, 1738, 112; organize to resist Russians in 1739, 123-24; repudiate Russian suzerainty again, 1739, 124;
representatives summoned by Urusov in 1740, 131; punished by Urusov, 1740, 135; casualties, 1735-40, 138
Batu, 62
Batur Aldar. See Aldar, Batur
Batur Janibek. See Janibek, Batur
Batur, Kontaisha of Jungars (1634-54), defeats Khalkhas and Kazakhs, 35
Baybulat. See Karasakal
Bekovich-Cherkasskii, Prince Alexander (Devlet Girey Bekovich), disastrous expedition to Khiva, 41
Belaia River, 7
Belosel'skii, Lt. Prince, 119
Belyi Yar, a major fort in Trans-Kama Line, 21
Beneveni, Florio, mission to Khiva and Bukhara, 41
Bepen Seiangulov (Bashkir leader), opposes Orenberg project, 66-67
Bepen Trupberdin (leader in Siberian Doroga): leads Bashkirs in Siberia, summer and fall 1736, 91; refuses to capitulate, winter 1736-37, 93;
besieges Fort Bogdanov, 1737, 103; persuades Bashkirs to continue struggle, winter 1737-38, 109; draws Abulkhair over to Bashkir side, winter
1737-38, 110-11; letter to Abulkhair, 113; falls into Tatishchev's hands and ordered executed, 118; executed, fall 1739, 124
Berdsk, inspected by Tatishchev in 1737, 105
Bestiuzhev-Riumin, A. P. (Privy Councillor), supports Orenburg project, 62
Biisk, founded 1709, 41
Biliarsk, a major fort in the Trans-Kama Line, 21
Birsk, first settled by service men, 29
Black Chamber (General Assembly), role in town government, 146
Bobyls: definition of, 32-33; changes in position, 1737, 108; numbers and role in frontier region, 167-68
Bogdanov, besieged by Bashkirs in 1737, 103
Bokhara. See Bukhara
Borsk (Krasnoborsk), founded 1736, 86
Bucholtz, Col. Ivan, expedition up Irtysh River, 41
Bühren, Ernst Johann: identification, 12on.; role in arraignment of Tatishchev, 120-21; power during Empress Anna's reign, 143
Bukenbai Batur (Little Horde), 114
Bukhara, seized by Galdan, 36
Bulavin, Kondratii, revolt and possible connections with Bashkirs, 1707-08, 45, 47
Burgomistr. See Mayors
Burut, seized by Galdan, 36
Buturlin, Ivan (Military Governor of Ufa and then Governor of Siberia): received embassy from Abulkhair, 56; unable to supply requested
troops, fall, 1736, 92
Cabinet: plans for Orenburg project presented to, 60; Kirillov reports to about ambush, 69; Kirillov presents recommendations for solving
Bashkir problem, early 1736, 81; Kirillov reports situation, Aug. 1736, 89-90; orders Kirillov and Khrushchov to draw up plan to defeat Bashkirs,
1736, 92; Soimonov requests forces not be reduced, 123; Urusov requests money and confirmation of orders, 1739, 125-26; establishment of, 143;
members of, 143
Caspian Sea, 7, 8, 13
Castle, John: mission to Kazakhs, 1736, 88-89; and British interest in trading with Asia through Russia, 156-57; trip down Ural River, 158
Catherine I, negotiations with Kazakhs in 1725, 55
Census: Bashkirs oppose in 1739, 124; vicissitudes of, 151
Central Asia: Russian commercial interest in, 13; slave markets, 16; political rivalries in, 39-40. See also Bekovich-Cherkasskii; Bucholtz;
Jungars; Nadir Shah; Peter the Great
Chagan-Kontaisha (Jungar ruler), 44
Chebarkulsk, becomes administrative center of Isetsk Province in 1737, 98, 142
Cheboksary, founding of, 14
Chebukov, Tret'iak, envoy to Kazakhs in 1573, 33-34
Cheliabinsk, administrative center of Isetsk Province, 142
Chemodurov, Lt. Col. Yakov Fedorovich: left in charge of Orenburg by Kirillov, 72; reports situation in Orenburg, 73-74; sends detachment to
Sakmarsk, winter 1735, 74; replaced by Ostankov, 86
Cheremises. See Mari
Cherkasses, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Cherkasskii, A. M. (member of Cabinet), 143
Cherkasskii, G. S. (Governor of Astrakhan), in frontier war of 1662-64, 25
Chernorechensk, inspected by Tatishchev in 1737, 105
Chesnokovsk, 67, 68
Chimkent, Kazakhs form confederation against Jungars, 1728, 55
China, 62
Chirikov, Col., ambushed by Bashkirs, 68
Chirin Donduk, Khan of Kalmyks, in Bashkir war, 71
Chu River, 8
Chuvashes: identification and location, 9; in Ural Cossack host, 31; in war of 1705-11,45
Colleges, institution of, 140. See also Administration of Southeastern Frontier Region; College of Foreign Affairs; War Colle ge
College of Foreign Affairs: policy of divide and rule, 52; informed of negotiations with Kazakhs in 1725, 55; negotiations with Kazakhs in 1731,
56; provide funds to ransom Tevkelev in 1731, 57; direct Kalmyks against Bashkirs, 71
Colonial peoples: role in conquest of Bashkiria, 129; role in Colonial area, 170
Colonial policy, comparison of Russian with British policy in North America, 170
Colonial wars: resistance to Stroganovs, 20; Time of Trouble, 20-21; causes of 1662-64 War, 21-23; non- military measures in 1662-64 War, 25;
Seit Uprising, 1675-83, 26; causes of 1705- 11 War, 45-48; first phase of 1735-40 War, 72-75; decrees of Nov. 11 and 14,1735, 75; spring and summer
1736, 82-87; situation in spring 1737, 97; causes of new outbreak in 1737, 99; summer and fall 1737, 102-03; new attacks in spring 1738, 109; summer
and fall campaign 1738, 116-19; uprising led by Karasakal, 1739-40, 126- 33; Russian forces in 1740, 129
Command relationships on Southeastern Frontier, 82
Commandant, duties of, 146-47
Commerce. See Trade and Commerce
Commissions, description of, 147-48. See also Bashkir Commission; Kalmyk Commission; Orenburg Co mmission
Communications and supplies, Russian problems with, 28-29
Conferences: Dec. 1737, 106-08; June 1740, 129
Corruption of Russian officials: a cause of 1662-64 War, 23; prevalence of, 153-54
Cossacks: participation in Time of Trouble, 30; distribution in forts during Kirillov's administration, 164. See also Isetsk Cossacks; Nagaibatsk
Cossacks; Sakmarsk Cossacks; Ural Cossacks; Zaporog Cossacks
Councillors (ratsger), 145
Courts, decisions of Dec. 1737 Conference on, 107. See also Administration of Southeastern Frontier Region
Crimea: slave markets, 16; Bashkirs seek aid in, 1664, 23-24; Bashkirs turn to during Seit Uprising, 26
Crimean Tatars: support Kazan Tatars after 1552, 13; in Ural Cossack host, 31; declare war on Russia in 1710, 45; mentio ned, 46; war with
Russia, 84
Customs: rates in Orenburg established, 125, 160; collections in Orenburg, 1738-44, 161. See also Taxes
Daychin (Daichin) Tayshi, Kalmyk prince in 1662-64 War, 24
Defensive Lines: description of, 16; earliest line, 16; purpose of, 154; and their garrisons, 161-72. See also Orenburg Defensive Line; Siberian
Defensive Line; Trans-Kama Defensive Line; Tsaritsyn Defensive Line
Dema River, Rumiantsev's campaign in spring 1736, 83
Demidov, Nikita, antagonized by Tatishchev, 120
Department of Ambassadors, role in frontier region, 17
Department of Estates, role in frontier region, 17
Department of Kazan: role in frontier region, 17; mentioned, 140
Department of Military Affairs, role in frontier region, 17
Department of Siberia, role in frontier region, 17
Devlet Girey Bekovich. See Bekovich-Cherkasskii
Diplomacy on the Southeastern frontier, 16-17, 50; divide and rule policy, 52-53
Dolonsk, founded, 41
Donduk Dashi (Kalmyk leader), Russians request aid against Bashkirs, 85
Dorogas: location of, 9; origin of term, 9, 149; and territorial divisions, 142. See also Nogai Doroga; Osinsk Doroga
Duma, Boyar; in frontier administration, 17
Ebülkhayir. See Abulkhair
Economic policies. See Administration of Southeastern Frontier Region
Ekaterinburg: Tevkelev meets Tatishchev, winter 1735, to discuss colonial war, 73; headquarters of Tatishchev, early 1736, 82
Elabuga, headquarters of Musin-Pushkin, 70
Eldash Mullah (leader in Siberian Doroga): besieges Fort Bogdanov, 103; organizes to oppose Russians in 1739, 123-24; supports Karasakal,
Elshansk, Tatishchev orders fort built, 119
Elton, Capt. John: ordered to begin New Orenburg, 1738, 105-06; ordered to survey upper Ural River for river travel, 1738, 116; Kirillov
planned to send with caravan to Tashkent to investigate sites for fort on Aral Sea, 158
Emba River, Kazakhs flee toward in 1720s, 43
Epidemic, ravages Southeastern Frontier Region in 1739, 126
Erali, Sultan (Abulkhair's second son): leads mission to Russia in 1732, 58; accompanies Orenburg Expedition in 1734, 65; hostage in Orenburg,
87-88; conferences with Tatishchev, June 1738, 115; meets Urusov, 133
Eryklinsk, a major fort in Trans-Kama Line, 21
Exiles, used by Kirillov in frontier region, 165-66. See also Immigrants in Bashkiria; Migration into Bashkiria
Expansion, Russian, growth of Muscovy into Russian Empire, 1 Into Asia: two streams, 2; motivations for, 2-3, 53, 63; opposition from local
inhabitants, 3-4 To southeast: duration of, 4; from the thirteenth to the end of the sixteenth century, 12-17; motives for, 18
Forts: Tatishchev's additions, 171; Kirillov's tabulation of, 174
Frontier: one of dominating themes in Russian history, vii; the forest frontier, 2; southeastern steppe frontier, 2; the steppe frontier, 2; defense of
by diplomacy, 4-5; defense of by forts and outposts, 4-5. See also Southeastern Steppe Frontier
Frontier wars. See Colonial wars
Gagarin, Prince Matvei Petrovich (Governor of Siberia), notifies Peter I of gold discovery in Central Asia, 40
Galdan, Kontaisha of Jungars (1671-97): wars with Kazakhs and Manchus, 35-36; seeks alliance with Russians against Manchus in 1688, 36-37
Galdan-Chirin, Kontaisha of Jungars: attacks Kazakhs in 1738, 114; Bashkirs propose seeking aid against Russia in 1739, 124; attacks in 1740,
Gebauer, Capt., saves Vologodsk companies from ambush, 68
Geography: influence on Russian expansion, 7; influence on native societies, 8; influence on strategy, 51-52
Gold, rumors of discovery in Central Asia in 1713, 40
Golden Horde, 50
Golovkin, G. I., Chancellor of Cabinet, 143
Golovkin, Count Mikhail G.: investigates charges against Tatishchev, 121; heads commission to investigate flight of peasants into frontier
regions, 154
Great Horde: defeated by Batur in 1642-43, 35; absorbed by Jungars in 1640s and 1660s, 36; representatives from in Abulkhair's embassy to
Russia, 58; blamed for attack on Russian caravan, 133-34
Great Northern War: mentioned, 39; distracts Russians from frontier areas, 44
Great Tartary, 38
Guberlinsk: inspected by Tatishchev, Aug. 1738, 117; raised to a fort, 119
Gubernias, establishment of, 140
Gubin, Daniel, envoy to Kazakhs in 1534, 33
Guns, acquired by Bashkirs, 28
Haqnazar (Khakk-Nazar), Russians send envoy to in 1573, 33
Horse fines: levied by Dec. 1737 Conference, 107; Bashkirs deny right of Russians to levy, 111
Hostages: taken during summer 1740, 131; Russian policy on, 153
Hunger, a cause of 1737 outbreak, 102
Ik River, copper smelters to be built on, 94
Ilek River, Kazakhs fleeing toward in 1720s, 43
Ili River, 8
Immigrants in Bashkiria: Kirillov's attitude toward, 77-78; enrolled to man forts, 95; Dec. 1737 Conference decisions on, 107-08; and tax rates,
150. See also Exiles; Migration into Bashkiria
Imperialism, European and Russian compared, 1
India, Russian desire to trade with, 13
Irtysh River, 8
Isengulov (leader in Siberian Doroga), 91
Isetsk Cossacks, origins and history, 32
Isetsk District (Uezd): organized in 1737, 98; mentioned, 144
Isetsk Province (Provintsiia): organized in 1737, 97-98; administered from Orenburg, 142; mentioned, 142, 144
Ivan IV (Ivan Vasilievich), strategy against Kazan Tatars, 51
Janibek, Batur (Middle Horde): mission to Orenburg, summer 1736, 88; meets Urusov, 113; rejects Abulkhair's proposal to join Bashkirs against
Russians, 114; advocate of Russian alignment for Kazakhs, 118; offers to help recover me n and goods of caravan attacked in 1738, 159-60
Japan, 62
Jungars: identification and location, 10; expansion in seventeenth century, 35-36; clash with Russians on upper Irtysh, 36; cooperate with
Kalmyks against Kazakhs, 42
Kalmyks: identification and location, 10; migration westward in early seventeenth century, 21, 34-35; role in 1662-64 War, 24; role in Seit
Uprising, 26; in Ural Cossack host, 31; cooperate with Jungars against Kazakhs, 42; Russians request aid against Bashkirs, 47; Christianized Kalmyks
in Stavropol, 105; war with Kazakhs, 1738, 116; Kazakhs attack, 134-35
Kalmyk Commission, purpose, 105, 148
Kama River, 7, 51
Kamchatka Expedition, mentioned, 60
K'ang-hsi Emperor, the, opinion of Galdan, 36
Kantemir, Antiokh, reports British interest in trade with Asia, 156
Karakalpaks, identification and location, 10
Kara-Kum, site of Kazakh meeting to unite against Jungars, 42
Karasakal: the Karasakal affair, 126-33; considers becoming a Russian vassal, 133; raids Jungars, 136. See also Colonia l Wars
Kashgar, seized by Galdan in 1670s, 36
Kazakh Steppe, 7, 8; Kazakh-Jungar wars in, 55
Kazakhs: identification and location, 10; divided into hordes, 11, 42; early Russian relations with, 33-37; consolidate authority over Syr Darya
region, 35; Russian relations with during reign of Peter I, 41-45; defeated by Jungars in 1725, 43; turn to Russia for protection in 1726-28, 44; defeat
Jungars in 1728, 55; swear allegiance to Anna Ivanovna in 1734, 59; celebrate founding of Orenburg, 69; reasons for accepting Russian suzerainty, 87;
Kirillov's dealings with in 1736, 87-89; Middle Horde attacks Bashkirs in 1736, 91; interfere in Bashkiria 1737- 38, 109-16; war with Kalmyks in
1738, 115; attack Russian caravans, 125; Russian relations with in 1740, 133- 35. See also Great Horde
Kazakhstan, geography and climate, 7-8
Kazan Doroga. See Dorogas
Kazan Khanate. See Khanate of Kazan
Kazan Tatars, identification and location, 9
Khalkhas (Eastern Mongols), wars with Jungars, 33-37
Khamil, seized by Galdan, 36
Khanate of Kazan: location and inhabitants, 13; Russian conquest, 13; resistance after fall of city, 13-14; consolidation of Russian authority,
14-17; disturbances after 1557, 15-16
Khovanskii, Prince P. I. (Governor of Kazan), drives Bashkirs back over Kama River, 1707-08, 47
Khruschov, Maj. Mikhail Semenovich: appointed head of Bashkir Commission, 86; mentioned, 92; advanced to Maj. General and sent to von
Miin- nich's army, Feb. 1737, 94
Khrushchov, Andrei Fedorovich, 103; reports number of Bashkirs involved in war, 1737, 103
Kibitka (household), 35
Kichuevsk, a major fort in Trans-Kama Line, 21
Kil'miak Nurushev (leader in Nogai Doroga): prepares to resist Orenburg Expedition, 66-67; ambushes Vologodsk companies, 68; rumored to be
considering capitulation, winter 1735-36, 79-80; mentioned 84; captured, Feb. 1737, 93
Kirgiz. See Kazakhs
Kirgiz-kaisaks. See Kazakhs
Kirillov, Ivan Kirillovich: conceives Orenburg project, 54-56; biography, 59; appointed head of Orenburg Expedition, 64; activities in Ufa, 66;
ignores warnings of unrest, 67; leads Expedition from Ufa to Or River, 67-70; reports founding of Orenburg and his situation, 70; ordered to hold
project in abeyance because of Bashkir uprising, 71; clashes with Bashkirs on way to Ufa, 72; reports condition of Orenburg to Senate, Dec. 1737, 74;
decides to reduce garrison at Orenburg during first winter, 74, 83; policies for subduing Bashkirs, 75-81; confers with Rumiantsev in Menzelinsk, Mar.
1736, 83; fortifies Tabynsk, 86; wars with Bashkirs, 86-87; dealings with Kazakhs, 87-89; meets Khrushchov in Menzelinsk to plan war with Bashkirs,
92; reports to Empress on conditions in Bashkiria, early 1737, 94; last days and death, 94-95; assessment of role, 95; proposes census in Bashkiria, 98;
his table of volosts and aimaks, 144; attitude toward taking of hostages, 153; plans to develop industry in Urals, 155; interest in commerce with Asia,
157-58; plans for units to man defensive lines, 162-63
Krasnaia Gora, site recommended for relocation of Orenburg, 105, 125, 130
Krasnoborsk. See Borsk
Krasnoiarsk, Kazakhs driven toward in 1720s, 43
Krasnosamarsk: founded, 86; designated commercial center until Orenburg secure, 87
Krasnoufimsk, designated administrative center in Siberian Doroga, 97, 142
Kubek, Bainazarov (Sakmarsk Cossack), reports Abulkhair fallen under Bashkir influence, Mar. 1738, 111
Kuchum, Khan of Siberia: Russian victory over, 19; Russian mission to Kazakhs to make alliance against, 1573, 33-34
Kuchumids, heirs of Kuchum enter Colonial War of 1662-64, 23; Karasakal rumored to be a Kuchumid, 127
Kulumbet Kumtaev, envoy from Abulkhair to Russians in 1730-31, 56
Kundeshliak (Meshcheriak village), Tevkelev's headquarters, winter 1735-36, 81
Kungur, becomes administrative center of Perm Province in 1737, 98
Kungursk District, Bashkirs attack Meshcheriaks and others loyal to Russia, 91
Kungush Creek, battle, June 1736, 84
Kun'ia Volozhek River, site of Stavropol, 105
Kusanbai Batyr (Bashir leader), opposes Orenburg Expedition, 66-67
Kusiap Saltangulov Batyr (leader in Nogai Doroga): at large, winter 1736-37, 93; destroys Chuvash and Tatar settlements, summer and fall
1737, 103; arrested by Ostankov in Orenburg, 113; confers with Abulkhair, Apr. 1738, 113; mentioned, 118
Kuznetsk, Kazakhs driven toward in 1720s, 43
Labor service, obligations of colonials, 152
Laishev, founding of, 14
Lake Aral. See Aral Sea
Land purchases in Bashkiria: Kirillov's attitude, 78; Dec. 1737 Conference's decision on land boundaries, 108
Land- militia: organized to man garrisons of defensive lines, 162; to be transferred to Orenburg Line, 163
Law Code of Aleksei Mikhailovich, mentioned, 18
Little Horde. See Kazakhs
Liutin, Maj., moves against Bashkirs on Ai River, summer 1738, 117
Livonia, struggle over, 21-22
Luftus, Deitrich, Castle's companion on mission to Kazakhs, summer 1736, 88
Magistracy: description, 145-46; selection of, 146; to regulate business in Orenburg, 158. See also Administration of Southeastern Frontier
Mal'tsev, Semen, envoy to Kazakhs in 1569, 33
Manchus, wars with Jungars, 35-36
Mandar Karabaev (leader in Siberian Doroga): refuses to capitulate, winter 7736-37, 93; besieges Fort Bogdanov, 103
Maravie, questioned by Kirillov about routes to India, 157
Mari (Cheremises): identification and location, 9; resist Russians after 1557, 14
Marriage tax. See Taxes
Martakov, Col.: campaigns against Bashkirs, summer and fall 1736, 90; appointed governor of Ufa, 109
Mayors (burgomistr), role in town administration, 145-46
Mendiar (Mandar) Karabaev (leader in Siberian Doroga), supports Karasakal, 127
Menzelinsk: a major fort in old Trans-Kama Line, 21; headquarters of F. F. Volkonskii in 1662-64 War, 25; attacked by Bashkirs in Sept. 7735,
70; headquarters of Bashkir Commission, 82; meeting place of Dec. 7737 Conference, 92
Merchants, permitted to reside in Orenburg, 145
Merkur'ev (Ataman of Ural Cossacks), 31
Meshcheriaks: origins and role in Bashkiria, 32; Bashkirs attack in 7736, 91; decisions of Dec. 7737 Conference on, 108; numbers and role in
frontier region, 167
Middle Horde. See Kazakhs
Migration into Bashkiria: a cause for 1662-64 War, 22; commission appointed to study problem of fleeing peasants, 48; flight of peasants into
frontier region, 154. See also Immigrants in Bashkiria
Military forces, composition of Russian forces, 29-33
Military service, obligations of frontier peoples, 152
Miller, Col. Karl, leads caravan to Tashkent, 7735, 159
Mindigul Yulaev. See Karasakal
Mining and smelting industry in Urals: defenses for in 7705-70, 48; significance of, 49; Kirillov recommends recruitment of Bashkirs for labor
in, 94; discovery of minerals, 155
Minusinsk, founded in 7707, 41
Mongols: Eastern (Khalkhas), identification and location, 10; Western (Kalmyks and Jungars), identification and location, 10. See also Jungars;
Kalmyks; Khalkhas
Mordvinians: identification and location, 9; in Ural Cossack host, 31
Münnich, Field Marshal B. C. von: commands Russian forces fighting Crimeans and Turks, 1736-39, 85; role in Anna's government, 143
Murat, Sultan: Bashkirs select as khan in 1708, 45-46; captured, spring 1736, 83
Murat Diusheev, Sultan (Bashkir leader), at large, winter 1736-37, 93
Muravin, Ivan: sent to investigate sites for fort on Syr Darya, 1740, 134; returns with maps, 136; mission to Nadir Shah, 1740, 137
Muscovy, 12, 13
Musin-Pushkin, Count Platon (Governor of Kazan): warns Kirillov of Bashkir unrest on eve of Orenburg Expedition, 67; organizes forces
against Bashkirs, 70
Nadir Shah, conquests and relations with Kazakhs, 136-37
Nagaihatsk Cossacks, origins, numbers, distribution, 165
Namestnik (viceroy, lieutenant), 139
Namestnichestvo (viceroyalty), 140
Nazorov (Darzha's son), leads Kalmyks against Bashkirs, 1710-11, 48
Nepliuev, I. I., assesses predecessors, 138
Nerchinsk, Treaty of, Russo-Kazakh relations and, 37
Niyaz Eshik Aga Bashi, Shah (Shaniiaz), seeks Russian assistance in 1700, 40
Nogai Doroga: identification and location, 9; center of Bashkir resistance in 1709, 47; boundaries, 144
Nogais: identification and location, 9; oppose Russian settlement at Ufa, 20; in Ural Cossack host, 31
Nomads: life and society, 10-12; impact on history, 12
Norov (Russian surveyor), reports on mission to Middle Horde, 1738-39, 119
November Decrees (Nov. 11 and 14, 1735); order Kirillov and Rumiantsev to compose plan to settle Bashkir problem, 75 Novoshes hminsk, a
major fort in Trans-Kama Line, 21
Nurali Sultan (Abulkhair's oldest son): present at founding of Orenburg, 69; meets with Urusov, 133; elected khan of Khiva, 137
Obrok (quitrent), 78
Okunevsk District (Uezd): organized in 1737, 98; mentioned, 144
Omsk, founded, 41
Or River, Kazakhs driven toward in 1720s, 43
Orenburg: importance of establishment of, 54; reasons for loction, 60-61; foundations laid, Aug. 25,1735, 69; situation in fall and winter 1735,
73- 74; considered necessary by Kirillov, 78; supplies arrive, July 1736, 86; relocation of, 1737, 105-06; inspected by Tatishchev, 1738, 106; renamed
Orsk, 1739, 125; site for new Orenburg approved, 1739, 125; dispute over new site, 1741, 135-36; decision to move again, 159
Orenburg Commission: new title of Orenburg Expedition after appointment of Tatishchev, spring 1737, 96; role in frontier region, 148
Orenburg Defensive Line: Urusov decides to follow Tatishchev's recommendations on, 125; command relationships, 148; as recommended by
Tatishchev, 171-72; table of forts and outposts, 176-78
Orenburg Expedition: aim of, 63; instructions for, 64; recruitment of personnel and move to Ufa, 65; composition of, 66; march to Or River,
Orenburg Gubernia, 138; organized in 1744, 141
Orenburg project: Kirillov's plan, 59-62; reasons for, 60-62; ordered held in abeyance for year because of Bashkir war, 85
Orphan's Court, composition of, 145
Osa: designated administrative center of Gaininsk Subdistrict (Volost) in 1737, 97; designated center of Osinsk Doroga, 142
Osinsk District (Uezd), 144
Osinsk Doroga: identification and location, 9; mentioned, 144
Ostankov, Maj.: activities in 1736, 84-86 passim; mentioned, 119; investigates sites for forts, 130
Osterman, Count Andrei (Vice Chancellor of Cabinet): accepts Kazakhs as Russian subjects, 59; Kirillov reports construction o f Verkhneuralsk
to, 66; position and role in Cabinet, 143
Pal'chikov, Lt. Col., in conference with Urusov and punishes "rebels," summer 1740, 130-31
Passport system: maintained in frontier region, 146; and runaways, 154
Pavlutskii, leads detachment against Karasakal, 128
Peasants, Russian: relation of state peasants and service men, 30; flight of into frontier region, 33; change in policy toward, 1739, 125; used by
Kirillov, 166; categories of,166n. See also Immigrants in Bashkiria; Migration into Bashkiria
Penzensk Regiment, condition of in late fall 1735, 73-74
Perevolok, inspected by Tatishchev, 1737, 105
Perm Province (Provintsiia), administrative center transferred from Solikamsk to Kungur in 1737, 98
Persia, Russian commercial interest in, 13
Persian Exhibition (1722-23), diverts Peter I from plans in Southeastern Frontier Region, 44
Persians, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Peter the Great: administrative changes, 14-41; desires commerce with Persia, China, Central Asia, 39; policies in Central Asia, 39-41; plans to
annex Central Asia, 41; plans in regard to Kazakhs, 44-45; and war with Bashkirs, 7705-77, 45-48; pupils of, 62; interest in Ural mining and smelting
industry, 155; commercial policy in Asia, 156
Peter II, administrative changes during reign of, 141
Poland, in struggle with Russia over Ukraine, 21-22
Poles, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Potas'ev, Col., fights Bashkirs, summer 1736, 87
Privy State Councillor, definition of, 67n Protokolist. See Reporter
Pruth River, Russian defeat, 1711, 45
Pulut. See Burut
Putiatin, Maj. Prince: learns of Bashkir disillusionment with Abulkhair, 1738, 113-14; leads detachment against Karasakal, 128
Raginsky, Maj., driven back to Orenburg by severe weather, winter 1735, 74
Ratsger. See Councillors
Razin, Sten'ka, impact in Southeastern Frontier Region, 15-16, 26, 78
Religion: of steppe nomads, 11; role of in colonial struggles, 23-24; Islam weak among Kazakhs, 69; rallying point for anti-Russian Bashkirs,
77; establishment of Ufa Religious Administration, 7727, 153; role of Islam among frontier peoples, 153; Russian attempts to convert frontier peoples
to Orthodoxy, 153
Reporter, 145
Resistance of frontier peoples to Russia, reasons for, 62-63
Retislavskii, Maj., seeks site and to draw plans for new Orenburg, 105
Rumiantsev, Lt. General Alexander: appointed head of Bashkir Commision, 70; instructions, 70-71; calls conference in Menzelinsk, 75; opposes
Kirillov's hard policies, 78-79; battle on Kungush Creek, June 1736, 84; ordered to permit troops to take booty, 85; transferred to Russian army in
Ukraine, 85-86; reprimanded for defeat at hands of Bashkirs, 1736, 91
Russian forces, tabulation of sources and numbers, 169-70
Russian suzerainty, difference between Russian and Bashkir viewpoints on, 19-20
Russo-Kazakh relations. See Kazakhs
Russo-Turkish War of 1736-39: mentioned, 79, 85, 88, 117; peace celebrated, 134
Rychkov, Ivan, appointed to administer market section in new Orenburg, 106
Rychkov, P. I., attributes drive to southeast to Peter I, 38-39
Rysai-bai (leader in Nogai Doroga): opposes Orenburg Expedition, 66-67; capitulates, June 1738, 117
Sakmarsk: founded in 1727, 55; mentioned, 72; remnant of detachment from Orenburg arrives, winter 1735, 74-75
Samarsk Cossacks, role on frontier, 148
Sales tax. See Taxes
Salt levy. See Taxes
Saltykov (Governor of Kazan), instructed to receive Kazakhs kindly, 44
Samara: founded 1386, 16; Kirillov moves headquarters to, spring 1736, 83; settled originally by Cossacks and service people, 164
Samara Cossacks, role on frontier, 148
Samara River, 7
Samarkand, seized by Galdan, 36
Saraichik, Nogai town in lower Ural River, 30
Saratov, founded 1590, 16
Secretaries and clerks, functions in administration, 18
Seiantusa (Bashkir village), destroyed by Tevkelev, winter 1735-36, 80
Seit-bai Alkalin (leader in Nogai Doroga): at large, winter 1736-37, 93; capitulates, June 1738, 117; organizes opposition to Russians, 1739,
Seit-bai Eratkulov (Bashkir leader), opposes Orenburg Expedition, 66-67
Seitkul Kuidankulov, envoy from Abulkhair in 1730, 56
Semeke (Shemiaka), Khan of Middle Horde: refuses to participate in negotiations with Russians in 1737, 57; remains independent, 58; raids
Bashkirs, 65
Semipalatinsk, founded, 41
Semirechie, part seized by Batur in 1642-43, 35
Senate (Governing Senate): Kirillov requests Senate to investigate ambush, 69; Kirillov sends report on founding of Orenburg, 70; meets with
Cabinet to establish Bashkir Commission, Aug. 5, 1735, 70; Kirillov reports conditio n of Orenburg, winter 7735, 74; requests information on 500
deaths, winter 7735, 75; power eclipsed by Cabinet, 143
Sergievsk, settled with service men, Cossacks, and peasants, 29
Service gentry: definition, 14n; first Russian forces in frontier areas, 29-30; assigned to Trans-Kama Line, 165
Service Men of Old Service: origins, 29- 30; to man defensive lines, 162; to be settled in Orenburg Line, 164
Settlers, from Ukraine and government restrictions on, 166-67. See also Immigrants in Bashkiria; Migration into Bashkiria; Peasants
Seyid Sadir (Seit Sadurov), leader of Seit Uprising, 1675-83, 26
Shadrinsk, early center of Isetsk Province, 142
Shadrinsk District (Uezd): organized in 1737, 98; mentioned, 144
Shah Niyaz Eshik Aga Bashi. See Niyaz Eshik Aga Bashi, Shah
Shariat, 153
Shemamet, Prince (Shah Mehmed), leads Kazakhs into Bashkiria and suffers defeat, 110
Shemiaka. See Semeke
Shemiakin, S. V. (Governor of Ufa): Tatishchev offers to investigate corruption of, 105; dismissed for corruption, 109
Sheremetev, Field Marshal B. P., defeats Murat's band in 1708, 46
Sheshminsk, a major fort in old Trans-Kama Line, 21
Shigai (son of Khan Barak of Middle Horde), a candidate for khanship of Bashkiria, 112
Shkrader, Maj., commander of supply train, winter 1735, 73
Shuna Batur Khan, 133. See also Karasakal
Shuirman, seized by Galdan, 36
Siberia: conquest of, 2; Gubernia of, 141-42
Siberian Defensive Line: beginning of, 41; Orenburg Line to connect with, 125
Siberian Doroga. See Dorogas
Siberian Expedition, 60
Siberian Khanate, identification and location, 9
Simbirsk Line, 29
Slave trade, 16
Soimonov, Maj. General Leontii Yakovlevich: appointed head of Bashkir Commission, spring 7737, 94; arrives to take charge of Bashkir
Commission, 96; attacked by 1000 Bashkirs, 1737, 104; activities, summer and fall 1738, 117; informs Tatishchev that Bashkirs capitulating, Aug.
1738, 118; requests Cabinet not to reduce forces, summer 7739, 123; mobilizes force to capture Karasakal, 127-28; reports to Senate on Karasakal
affair, July 1740, 130; advice sought by Urusov, 132
Solikamsk, loses position as administrative center of Perm Province, 98
Southeastern Steppe Frontier: definition, 2; geography and climate, 6-7; inhabitants, 8-10; Russian defenses in sixteenth century, 16-17; early
administration, 17-18
State Councillor, definition, 64n.
State service, obligations of frontier peoples, 152
Stavropol, center of Kalmyk Commision, 105
Stepanov, Vel'iamin, envoy to Tevkil Khan in 1595, 34
Strategy: Russian strategy in Southeastern Frontier Region, 50-53; role of defensive lines, 51
Stroganovs, frontier enterprisers, 20
Sultan Araslanbekov. See Araslanbekov, Sultan
Sultan Erali. See Erali, Sultan
Sultan Murat. See Murat, Sultan
Sultan Murat Diusheev. See Murat Diusheev, Sultan
Supreme Privy Council: orders changes in frontier administration, 141; abolition of, 143
Suzerainty, Bashkir attitude, 111 Sviiazhsk, founded 1552, 14
Sweden, struggles with Russia over Livonia, 21-22
Swedes, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Swedish War. See Great Northern War
Syzran Line, 29
Tabars, Khan of Great Horde, seizes Russian caravan, 159
Tabynsk: Kirillov constructs fort and church, 173 6, 86; location of proposed copper smelters, 94
Tactics, Russian and Bashkir, 26-29
Talas River, 8
Tamerlane, 62
Tara, 34
Tarbeev, Capt. (Ural Cossack), leads detachment against Karasakal, 129
Tarkhans: definition of, 33;
Tatishchev recommends changes in granting of title of, 120; role and numbers in frontier region, 168
Tashkent: seized by Jungars, 1724-25, 42; mentioned, 69
Tatars: resist Russians after 1552, 14; participate in 1705-11 War, 45. See also Astrakhan Tatars; Crimean Tatars; Kazan Tatars
Tatishchev, Vasily Nikitich: states Russian strategy, 51; warns Kirillov of Bashkir unrest, 67; confers with Tevkelev on Bashkir problem, winter
1735, 73; supports Rumiantsev's milder policies, 79; reports on campaign in Siberia, summer and fall 1736, 90-91; put in command of operations in
Siberia, winter 1736-37, 92; calls Nov. 1736 Conference to plan action in Siberia, 92-93; sends envoys to Bepen Trupberdin, winter 1736-37, 93;
raised in rank to Privy Councillor and appointed head of the Orenburg Commission, spring 1737, 96; new long-range policies in Bashkiria, 97- 98;
proposes extending census to include survey of economic resources, 1737, 98; accuses Kirillov and Khrushchov of undue severity, 102; offers amnesty
to those Bashkirs who capitulate, 104-05; calls conference for Dec. 1737 to settle Bashkir problem, 106; inspects Orenburg, 1738, 106; calls for
Kazakhs to assist against Bashkirs, fall 1737, 109; summons Abulkhair to Orenburg, Mar. 1738, 111; plans campaign for summer 1739 and reports
conditions in Bashkiria to St. Petersburg, 118-19; dismissal of, 119-21; evaluation of, 121-22; and corruption, 153; and Ural industrial development,
155; continues Kirillov's commercial policies, 159; and decision to move Orenburg, 159; proposes service men be moved to Orenburg Line, 165
Tatishchev Landing, inspected by Tatishchev, 1737, 105
Tauke, Khan of Kazakhs, wars with Jungars, 42
Taxes: on commerce in Bashkiria, 100-01; for maintenance of town, 146; salt monopoly, tobacco levy, marriage tax, customs, 151-52
Techensk: Tevkelev seeks supplies, winter 1735, 72-73; center of Isetsk Province, 142
Teptiars: definition of, 32-33; decisions of Dec. 1737 Conference on, 108; numbers and role in region, 167-68
Tersk, besieged by Sultan Murat in 1708, 46
Tetiushi, founded, 14
Tevkelev, Aleksei Ivanovich (Kutlu Mehmed Tefkilev): writes of Peter the Great's aims in Kazakhstan, 44; mission to Kazakhs, 1730-32, 54-59;
letter to College of Foreign Affairs giving reasons for fort on Or River, 57-58; advanced to Colonel and appointed second in command of Orenburg
Expedition, 64; goes to Siberia to expedite supplies for Orenburg, 72-73; reports lull in war, 78; orders arrest of Kil'miak if he capitulates, 80; destroys
Bashkir villages, 80-81; confers with Kirillov and Rumiantsev, 83; campaigns in Siberia, summer and fall 1736, 90; views on hunger among Bashkirs,
93; mentioned, 96; opinion on Bashkir military ability, 102; builds forts, 1738, 116-17
Tevkelev Ford, inspected by Tatishchev, 1737, 105
Tevkil Khan (Khan Tevekkel): proposes alliance between Kazakhs and Russians against Kuchumids and Uzbek rulers, 34; rules part of
Kalmyks, 34
Tiinsk, a major fort in Trans-Kama Line, 21
Time of Trouble, coincides with 1609-10 colonial war, 15
Tiulkuchura Aldagulov (Bashkir leader) besieges Fort Bogdanov, 1737, 103; fights "loyal" Bashkirs and Tatars in 1737, 103; or ganizes
opposition to Russians in 1739, 123-24; captured and executed, fall 1739, 124
Tiumen, 34
Tobacco levy. See Taxes
Tobol River, 6, 51
Tobolsk, 34
Tolkach, Lake, 130
Tomsk: mentioned, 34; Kazakhs fleeing toward in 1720s, 43
Town governors, role in colonial administration, 17-18
Trade and Commerce: favors granted to Asian merchants in Orenburg, 125; with Asian countries, 156-57; British interest in trading with Persia
through Russia, 156-57; caravan to Tashkent seized by Kazakhs, 159-60; composition of merchant group in Orenburg, 160; frontier commercial
centers, 160
Trans-Kama Defensive Line: built as defense against nomads, 21; mentioned, 26, 51, 62; new line planned in 1730, 56; survey of history,
147-48; movement of line, 161-62; construction of new line in 1730s, 162
Transportation service, obligation of colonial peoples, 152
Tribute: significance of fur tribute, 49; provokes discontent in 1737, 100; decisions of Dec. 1737 Conference on, 107; discussion of, 148-50
Tribute rolls, 139
Tsaritsyn, founded 1589, 16
Tsaritsyn Defensive Line, garrisons stripped to fight Bashkirs, summer 1736, 90
Tseloval'niki (sworn men), 151
Tsewang Rabtan, Kontaisha (1699- 1729), leads Jungars against Kazakhs, 42-43
Turfan, seized by Galdan in 1670s, 36
Turgai River, 8
Turkestan: mentioned, 36; seized by Jungars, 1724-25, 42
Turkish Sultan, refuses aid to Bashkirs in 1708, 46
Turkmen. See Turkomans
Turkomans: in Ural Cossack host, 31; mentioned, 4.0
Turks (Ottoman): support Kazan Tatars after 1552, 13; declare war on Russia, 1710, 45; rumored to have spies in Bashkiria, 1739, 126
Ubinsk, founded, 41
Udmurts: identification and location, 9; resist Russians after 1552, 14; in 1705-11 War, 45
Uezd (district), 140
Ufa, 24; first settlers were service men, 29; founded in 1586, 139; garrison in 1734, 165
Ufa Province (Provintsiia): subordinated to Orenburg in 1737, 98; area, 140-41; administrative changes, 141; administered from Orenburg, 142;
mentioned, 144
Ufa River, 7
Ufa Uezd (district), 144
Ui River, Kazakhs flee toward in 1720s, 43
Ukraine, Russia and Poland struggle over, 21-22
Ural Cossacks: administration of, 30-31; role in frontier region, 30-32, 148; classification, composition, and census of, 31; mentioned, 46; and
trade, 160-61; oppose Tatishchev's proposal to send Russian forces to lower Ural forts, 164
Ural Gates, 5
Ural industry, development of, 155-56
Ural Mountains, 6-7
Ural (Yaik) River, 7; Kazakhs flee toward in 1720s, 43; mentioned, 51
Uralsk, founded, 30
Urazlin, Roman, investigates rumor of Turkish spy's presence in Bashkiria, 1740, 126-27
Urgench (Urghendj), seized by Galdan, 36
Urusov, Lt. General Prince Vasily: replaces Tatishchev in 1739, 123; initial problems, 124-25; sends forces against Karasakal, 129; meets
Kazakh representatives, July 1740, 130; punishes "rebels," summer 1740, 131; summons Bashkirs for reprimand, 131; reports Bashkir losses, 131-32;
death of, 137; negotiates submission of Middle Horde, 160; orders garrisons filled from Volga to Siberian Line, 163-64
Ust-Kamenogorsk, founded, 41
Uvarov, Capt., left by Tevkelev in Verkneuralsk, winter 1735, 72
Uzbeks, identification and location, 10
Verkhneuralsk: construction of, 66; mentioned, 67, 71, 72
Verkhoturie, 34
Viatka River, 51
Voevoda (military governor), 139
Voevodstvo, 140
Volga River: mentioned, 6; a barrier to movement of nomads, 13; cleared by Ivan IV from Kazan to Caspian Sea, 13
Volga Steppe, location of Kazakh-Kalmyk struggle in 1720s, 42-43
Volkonskii, F. F. (Governor of Kazan), in 1662-64 War, 25
Vologodsk (Vologda) Dragoon companies: late in reaching Chesnokovsk camp, 67; ambushed by Bashkirs, 68; operate from Tabynsk, spring
1736, 83
Volokhs (also Vlachs, Walachs, Wallachs, i.e. Rumanians), in Ural Cossack host, 31
Volost (subdistrict), 144
Volynskii, A. (Governor of Astrakhan), in negotiations with Kazakhs in 1725, 55
War College, 147
Weapons, Bashkir, 27-28
Yaik River. See Ural River
Yamyshev, Lake, 40
Yamyshevsk, founded, 41
Yarkand: seized by Galdan in 1670s, 36; rumors of gold discovery near, 40
Years of the Great Hunger, consequences of 1724-25 Jungar attacks, 42
Yermak, 62
Zainsk, a major fort in Trans-Kama Line, 21
Zakharov, Col., investigates disturbances among Ural Cossacks in 1723, 31
Zaporog Cossacks, in Ural Cossack host, 31
Zhelezinsk, founded, 41
Zmeev, Col., appointed by Tatishchev to administer Kalmyk affairs, 1738, 119
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