Podróż w nieznane. Losy chłopskich emigrantów do Ameryki z okresu „gorączki brazylijskiej” w świetle listów do kraju z lat 1890–1891
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In the nineteenth century, the art of writing letters was known only to representatives of the then social elite stemming from landed gentry, intelligentsia and wealthy burghers. The majority of the population inhabiting Polish lands, that is, peasants, who are largely illiterate, wrote letters sporadically. Therefore, an extremely valuable source is the unique collection of letters published in the source publication entitled Listy emigrantów z Brazylii i Stanów Zjednoczonych 1890–1891, edited for printing by the professor Kulów family. They became a publishing revelation, a collection of documents highly valued by historians, both for the history of economic migration of Polish peasants of the late nineteenth century, for the history of the Polish village and its culture, for the study of consciousness, peasants’ generation grown in conditions after enfranchisement and in the growing capitalist relations in agriculture. The article is not a full analysis of peasant letters included in this collection. The aim is primarily to draw attention to this important source publication, which should become the basis for writing a monograph describing the peasant reality of that time from today’s perspective.
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