The Wendish Research Exchange

Serbske Nowiny: 1863

mersiowsky - 8-3-2016 at 03:42 PM


July 18, p. 227: List s połodnischeje Ameriki. Translated from Upper Sorbian by Gerald Stone.

A letter
from South America.

Buenos Ayres. 23 March 1863. Dear Editor, You probably do not know the author of these lines, but he desires, if you agree, to make your acquaintance by correspondence. Therefore I send you these lines and hope they find you in good health.

I previously read several numbers of Serbske Nowiny in my native land and I would be glad if I could read Serbske Nowiny, if possible, here in Buenos Ayres. I would thus be able to learn from it something of what has been happening in my native land. I am Wendish and my father is the small-holder Handrij Mikanja in Maltitz. I worked as a shepherd on various estates around Bautzen, the last four years for Mr Kind in Kleinbautzen, from where I came to Mr Stegmann as a master shepherd to the so called estanzia Poronguitos in Buenos Ayres and I left my homeland on 26 April 1859.

Dear Sir, if you would be so kind as to send me Serbske Nowiny every quarter or every six months, I should be very grateful. The bearer of these lines, Mr Handrij Redo of Pommritz, will pay for everything. Any letters written to me can be sent to my masterís correspondent, Mr H. Droop in Hamburg. They must be franked and in double envelopes, the interior one with my address and the exterior to Mr Droop.

If you wish, dear Sir, I am ready to describe all the circumstances here. Recently many young people have come to Buenos Ayres from Europe and taken work as shepherds, though at home they never looked after sheep, but worked only with the pen. Such people cannot at first judge the country properly, but may slander it in their letters. So I thought I would write later an accurate and true article for Serbske Nowiny, and, if you wish, to write one for German papers too and have it printed there. This article will be signed by 7 true Wendish shepherds, one of whom has been here 22 years already. He has a fortune of 20,000 thalers and 3,000 sheep.

Because rearing sheep is now a most important matter in this country, there is a great demand for true shepherds. The last two years many more of them have come here, mostly from Mecklenburg, because there they already know this country better, but in the Wendish land, so far as I know, it is still little known. Therefore, I want to describe everything for my dear Wendish countrymen, such as the voyage across the sea, contracts with the owners of sheep here, sheep-keeping in this country, and everything which is good or not good for a shepherd here, his wages etc.

If you print anything from this letter, then I attach best wishes and prosperity for you and all my acquaintances and friends in the Wendish land!

Jan Mikanja,
master shepherd in Buenos Ayres on the estate of Mr Stegmann, called Poronguitos.

Note from the editor for Mr Mikanja. Many thanks for your kind letter and I have pleasure in informing you that you will receive Serbske Nowiny in accordance with your wishes. I should be glad if you favour me with letters like this, from time to time, as you promise, so that I can then have them printed. My German address is: An Herrn J.E. Schmaler in Bautzen (Saxony). Editor.

August 29, p. 275-276: List z Ameriky. You can read the English translation of Jan Kilian's letter to Rev. Wjacka at 085.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.