Molotschna Colony  (p. 58)


Catherine II died in 1796 and was succeeded by her son Paul. The colonists were concerned that they might lose their special privileges and sent a delegation to St. Petersburg. After a prolonged absence they returned to Chortitza with a special document, the heading of which was printed in gold, which guaranteed in perpetuity their special privileges. This guarantee prompted a much larger contingent of more prosperous Mennonites to migrate to Russia. Since the partition of Poland had been completed this group could follow a much shorter route from the Vistula to Chortitza than that of the 1789 group. The new immigrants stayed in Chortitza during the winter of 1803 - 1804 and then continued south to the Molotschna River. By 1863 the colony had fifty-nine villages.