Raiko Zhinzifov on the fate of the Bulgarians
If we glance at contemporary Bulgarian publications we shall Bulgarian people, numbering more than 6 million, have only three periodicals:
Bulgarski Knizhitsi, Tsarigradski vestnik and Dounavski Lebed. However said and irksome it may be that a nation, inhabiting the area along the Danube and by the shores of the Black Sea to the mouth of the Vardar river, along the shores of the Aegean from Thessaly to the area round Nis and Vidin with its in­creased present needs should have only three newspapers, but we thank God even for this - because our fathers did not have even this.

Bulgarians! What is the reason for the cruel fate of our dear Bulgaria? Why this terrible Bulgarian suffering both in the past and now? It breaks one's heart and drives one's soul from one's body, to think of the dense and gloomy fog which has covered and still covers the sky of our poor dear Bulgaria and of the many difficulties we had to overcome so that the sun may shine over the frozen Bulgarian land, the grass may cover our wide valleys, that the neglected and barren lands may yield abundant fruit, and the fruit trees burst in bloom ... that the sinister cuckoos who have cuckooed and still cuckoo over Bulgaria may be silent.

Bulgaria! Wrathful Bulgaria! Was it a heavenly power that saved you from imminent death? Or was it because your national principles and capacities were so firm and strong that even such numerous enemy forces could not overcome you? The Anatolian Turks have been tormenting and plundering you for 400 years already - sucking your blood like huge leeches. The Turk tells your Bulgarian son: 'You are a giaour, and you must either change your faith or fall under my sword!' The Turks violate the honour of your tall, slender Bulgarian girls, with their black eyes and white faces. A Turk enters the house of a peaceful Bulgarian, draws his long terrible sword from its scabbard, sticks it on the floor while the dear young Stoyna stands in front of him, serving him with sparkling wine and fiery brandy. Oh, if only a venomous serpent would bite him. A sad mother rocks her poor baby, shedding hot, pearl-like tears over the child. A young Bulgarian sets on a long journey to earn some money to support his old mother, blind father and wretched sister, but it so happens that on the next day, a black raven perches on a withered tree, and croaks: 'Poor old woman, they've killed your son!...' And, as if this is not more than enough - here is another pack of blood-suckers, carrion-eating bears - the cruel Greeks and wretched Phanariots! They forbid you to speak Bulgarian, they burn down your schools, they burn ancient Bulgarian books, they persecute your teachers, they betray you into the hands of the Turks, and you, my innocent Bulgarian, you rot in anguish in a dark dungeon, rotting and melting like a wax candle and leaving your youth and your bones in prison. And why?

Because you want to bring some innocent benefit to your people, because you want to revive your suppressed mother tongue, because you want to write in Bulgarian and not in Greek, because you want to praise the name of God in your own language, because you don't want anyone to ridicule your faith - the faith in which you were born, brought up and which was bequeathed to you by your forefathers.

Look, brothers, look and see what the proud Phanariot is doing: riding a swift, jet-black horse, like a kurdzhali deli-pasha, and followed by a whole host of Turkish soldiers he has set forth to subdue the disobedient Bulgarians. Just listen to what the folk song says: 'Who has ever heard of a bishop being a Turk..,' Look what he is doing in his room: a young couple is standing before him, bowing low to him and kissing his raiment, to ask for his permission to get married. And what is his answer? With a long chibouk in his mouth, a sullen face» and a frown, he says: 'You Bulgarian blockhead, either you will give me 5,000 piastres or you will lie in chains until you rot ...'

Wicked people! Kind people! Hear our folk songs and you will see what burning tears Bulgaria has shed and is still shedding, how deep and painful are the wounds inflicted upon wretched Bulgaria! ...

Райко Жинзифов, Избрани съчинения (Raiko Zhinzifov, Selected Works) „Две думи към читате­лите", из предговора към IV кн. на сп. „Братски труд"; Sofia, 1943, pp. 121-124; the original is in Bulgarian



From Raiko Zhinzifov's speech on the death of Ivan N. Denkoglu

Bulgarian Brothers!

Allow me, brothers, without being prepared to say a word or two in memory of our Bulgarian benefactor the late Ivan Nikolayevich Denkoglu. Allow me, I repeat, to say a few words which may be very week, but which come from the bottom of my heart and which, I think, express not only my per­sonal gratitude and appreciation, but also that of all the young Bulgarians studying in Orthodox Moscow at the moment in order to enlighten our com­mon poor mother - Bulgaria, gratitude and appreciation which we should feel for our benefactor and for the other benefactors whom we have lately lost, one after another, in the course of only half a year.

Is it not true, brothers, that this half year of 1860-1861 has been very un­fortunate for us - Bulgarians? Is it not true (to say it in the simple language of the people) that this half-year has been wretched and hard? Yes, in half a year we have lost three of our benefactors whose names we know very well; in half a year we have been deprived of three excellent and virtuous men.

Ivan Nikolayevich was born in Sredets, once the glorious capital of King Assen, which is closely connected with the region of Salonica, which is in­habited by Slavs and is the birthplace of our first Slav enlighteners Cyril and Methodius, a region which was the first of all Slav lands to hear from their mouths the holy gospel and to take the sacred books from their hands, a region which gave birth to many of their followers and disciples, as for example, St. Clement and his companions, the sons of Ohrid, Turnovo, etc.

But this country is at present, and was even more so at the time of Ivan Nikolayevich's birth, trampled by infidels and utterly crushed, Ivan Nikolayevich was two years old when he lost his father and his wretched mother shed many bitter tears over him, not having the wherewithal to feed and bring up her child, whom God's providence had appointed to be a benefac­tor of his unhappy country.

He was a young lad of thirteen, when he was no longer able to endure the tyranny and oppression of the Turks or calmly watch Turkish swords shedding innocent blood before his eyes and, frightened by the constant crimes of the Turks, he left Bulgaria, on one of those dark days, together with other Bulgarians — naked, barefoot and with nothing, and went to seek refuge and protection in Orthodox Russia, and indeed, he found it. He spent his whole life here in Orthodox Russia and managed, not without difficulties, but through patience and industry, to acquire considerable property and good name, as we well know.

Although he was a simple man and had almost completely forgotten his native language, he had remained a true son of Bulgaria and it was always with ardent love that he spoke about her. He was inspired by that kinship of blood and faith, which links the Bulgarians so closely with their brothers in the North, he lived, grew up and reached manhood in this blessed Slav country, amidst a people related to us not only by religion, but also by language, customs, traditions, etc. That is why he was able to preserve his national feeling and his ardent love for his motherland. That is why he could not in any way be in­fluenced by people of another nationality, with whom he was in contact from childhood till old age, which people I do not wish to mention now.

His ardent love for his country was expressed in his noble deeds and various charitable acts. I am not going to enumerate them here, but I shall just ask you to remember Sofia, one of the famous Bulgarian towns, to remember the schools in Sofia in which more than 600 children are receiving education and offer great hopes for our people. These schools were built and equipped by Ivan Nikolayevich.

Brothers! Today we mourn and are full of sorrow. Why? Is it just because we have lost one of our benefactors? No, it is not. Because he died after he had lived for more than 80 years in this world. But we are sad, only for the same reason for which all people grieve when they lose forever a dear one, a person whom they sincerely loved and esteemed for his good deeds. But, my dear Bulgarian brothers, let us take comfort from the fact that he died after com­pleting his glorious mission on earth. His name will be remembered by future generations throughout Bulgaria. Let us pray to our Slav enlighteners Cyril and Methodius to intercede before God for the salvation of his soul; to intercede for Ivan Nikolayevich who, following their example, proved a zealous worker in spreading Slav culture, based on our Orthodox faith and closely connected with it

Allow me, brothers, also to mention on this occasion the name of our beloved and unforgettable writer Yuri Ivanovich Venelin. I am sure that you all, even without my reminder, send warm prayers to God for this noble man, whose gifted writings awakened our people from their deep sleep, from ig­norance and self-oblivion. With his books he awakened and called to spiritual life, activity and national consciousness all our compatriots, numbering more than 6,000,000 people. It is 400 years already, brothers, since our poor Bulgaria was left in darkness. In the course of these 400 years, Bulgaria has suffered tortures, persecutions and pains the like of which are unknown in any other Slav land. We, the Bulgarians, lost our ancient literature, we began to forget our own language and spoke a language foreign to us, we began to con­ceal our nationality and assume a nationality both alien and harmful to us. And, if in our time, we are witnessing the renascence of our whole people, if the Bulgarian language resounds from Salonica to Ohrid, from Sredets to Vidin, from Turnovo to Varna, we owe all this to people like Yuri Venelin and other Russian men of science, who looked at us with sympathy, and also to such Bulgarian patriots as Ivan Nikolayevich, whose memory will be remembered forever by the grateful future generations.

I shall finish my short speech here, brothers, by saying from the bottom of my heart: 'May your memory live forever, Ivan Nikolayevich! May it live forever!’

Райко Жинзифов, Публицистика (Raiko Zhinzifov, Publicistics), Vol. 2, Sofia, 1964, pp.284-286; the original is in Bulgarian
Letter from Konstantin Miladinov,1 Zagreb, to Georgi S. Rakovski, Belgrade, about the Bulgarian folk songs collected by him
January 31st, 1861

My honoured friend!

I was very glad to receive your letter dated January 19th, and the two copies of your newspaper enclosed in it. I see, my friend, your praiseworthy endeavours for our future fate. Persist! The more you persist, the greater the honour you bring to our nation, the higher the services you render on the altar of your country, the more you gain the love of the people, which is today the sweetest prize for all noble souls.

Our religious problem is in a very difficult situation at present and nobody knows whether it will make any progress at all. We know well the proverbial cunning of the Greeks and how they have deceived us on so many occasions, and we can say with certainty that they will try to do the same thing again now. But since this is not the first time that the Bulgarians have been deceived, it is better to leave things as they are now. It is difficult to predict the direction which we shall take but it would have been well to have some clever people to guide our aspirations and lead the people along a peaceful way to salvation.

As for the book on Papism mentioned in your letter, it is not known here; I asked many people about it but no one had heard anything about it.

I shall publish the songs here because one of the printers promised to get them ready by the end of April. But I implore you to publish the announcement I sent you in your newspaper, adding a word or two about the songs and es­pecially about the Western Bulgarians in Macedonia. In my announcement I have called Macedonia - Western Bulgaria (as it should be called), because the Greeks in Vienna are treating us just like sheep. They consider Macedonia a Greek province and they are not even able to understand that it is not a Greek region. But what shall we do with the Bulgarians there who are more than two million people? Surely the Bulgarians will not still be sheep with a few Greeks as their shepherds? That time has irrevocably passed and the Greeks will have to be satisfied merely with their sweet dream. I think that the songs should be distributed chiefly among the Bulgarians, and this is why I have fixed a low price.

I read your newspaper with satisfaction and I shall show it to Mr. Kukulevic, the local governor. You can get some subscriptions from this town as well. As for me, I beg you to send me your newspaper for three months, and I shall send you the money when I grow rich, that is, when I collect the money from my subscribers. The names of the subscribers will be sent to you there and you must send them to me here.

I saw one of your recently published books (with pictures presenting the Greek King as a slave to the Bulgarian King) in Vienna during the last days of my stay there, but I had not enough time to read it. On my way home, I shall pass through Belgrade and I hope to get personally acquainted with you then and to add some of your valuable books to my modest library.

I am sending you two of my songs which I beg you to publish in your respected newspaper if they are suitable for it. Otherwise, that is, if it is not possible, you may keep them as a memento from me. The songs are anonymous.

I  remain your ever sincere friend: K. Miladinov

Братя Миладинови, Преписка (The Miladinov Brothers, Correspondence) Sofia, 1964, pp. 136-138; the original is in Bulgarian.

1 Konstantin Miladinov (1830-1862), born in the town of Strouga. Together with his broth Dimiter he carried on educational and literary activities. Aided morally and materially by the (Bishop Strossmayer, he published in 1861 the collection Bulgarian Folk Songs. He died in a Constantinople prison

An announcement by the Miladinov Brothers about the subscription for the collection of Bulgarian Folk Songs
February 7th, 1861

Dear readers!

It is thirty years since the dawn of our cultural revival, and at the very beginning of our rebirth folk songs were published at different times and in different places. But not a single of these editions could satisfy the desire of its readers and show to advantage all the valuable qualities which give brilliance to our folk poetry. And, in spite of these editions of folk songs, most Bulgarians are not even aware of their existence and as for our neighbouring brothers — the Serbs and the Croats, as well as the other Slav peoples, they know little or nothing about our folk-songs. We are glad that, by publishing a complete collection of these folk songs, we can fill this gap in our literature and enable our brothers of our race to learn more about our people.

We started collecting folk songs 6 years ago from all parts of Western Bulgaria, i.e. Macedonia, for example: from Ohrid, Strouga, Prilep, Veles, Kostour, Koukoush, Strumitsa and other places in Macedonia, as well as from Eastern Bulgaria. These folk songs will be supplemented with traditional rites of betrothal and match-making from Strouga and Koukoush; proverbs, riddles, legends and about 2,000 words which have become obsolete or differ from other dialects.

The folk songs are under print already and will soon see the light of day. We ask our respected subscribers to send their names as soon as possible so that they can be printed as well.

Those who take ten copies of the collection will be entitled to one free copy. The price is 2 floruits, and in the Turkish Empire 20 piastres or 1 rouble. The songs are about 700 in number and they will be printed in two columns, and on each sheet of paper there will be about 25-30. The collection includes folk songs sung on different occasions: in church, during harvest time, at match-making,on St Lazarus's Day, as well as songs about love, heroes, fairies, shepherds and humorous and sad songs. There will also be included 11 dance songs together with the music score.

Collected by the Brothers Dimiter and Konstantin Miladinov.

Published by K. Miladinov.

(The editorial staff added the following to this announcement)  


Those readers who would like to subscribe for this book of great value to our people are kindly asked to send their names to the editorial office of the newspaper Dounavski Lebed, and the staff will see that they are passed on to the publisher.  

Editorial Staff of Dounavski Lebed

В. „Дунавски Лебед", Белград (Newspaper Dounavski Lebed) Belgrade, No. 20, Febr. 7, 1861; the original is in Bulgarian

A letter from Konstantin Miladinov. Zagreb, to Bishop Strossmayer1 about the help given by the Bishop in connection with the publication of the Bulgarian folk songs
The spring of 1861

The Bulgarian folk songs collected several years ago would for a long time have remained unknown if it had not been for your high patronage. Your Grace deeply feels that the education of the people is the greatest prerequisite for the prosperity of the people, and, sparing nothing, you have always and everywhere helped us with useful publications and in school matters. In all these noble endeavours, your Grace has deigned to notice even the most southernmost Slavs, the Bulgarians, and to take a most magnanimous part in the publishing of this treasure which is of benefit to all; and, finally, inspired by the good will of the people, you undertook your most fruitful initiative and es­tablished the South Slav Academy - this most precious crown of your great benefactions.

In recognition of your splendid services to our literature, I have taken the liberty of dedicating to your Grace this collection of our folk songs, which we implore you kindly to accept together with our profound gratitude which I have the honour to express, and I remain:

Your most humble servant,

K. Miladinov

Братя Миладинови,   Преписка  (The Miladinov Brothers, Correspondence), Sofia, 1964, pp. 139 140; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Bishop Strossmayer (1815-1905) who was born in Osijek, Croatia, founder of the Yugoslav Academy and University of, Zagreb, sponsored both morally and materially the publishing of the collec­tion Bulgarian Folk Songs, compiled by the Miladinov Brothers.


A letter from Kouzman Shapkarev, Ohrid, to G.S. Rakovski, Belgrade, on matters of culture and education
March 29th, 1861

I have sent you five letters, one after the other, that is, one in December, two in January, another one in February through Mr. Mihail Karafeyziski, and the last one on March 6, and as I received no answer or no sign from you what­soever, I kept wondering and thinking how it was possible that so many letters had not been delivered, when at last, a few days ago, I was immensely delighted to receive, through our compatriot Mr. Nahum Kotoushovich, your letter of January 2, that is, two and a half months since it was written, together with three written works and No. 15 of Dounavski Lebed (Danubian Swan). I com­prehended the contents of your letter and I thank God Almighty for the oppor­tunity he gave me of becoming acquainted through letters if not in person, with the honourable enlightener and benefactor of our Bulgarian people.

Therefore, I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you and to ask you humbly to forgive me, because the time and circumstances pre­vent me from writing in greater detail in this letter. Now I shall finish my answer to your letter, and I assure you, as regards everything you write in it and anything else, according to your Pokazalets (The Pointer), that I shall try and do everything in my power (as soon as I have time), because now various reasons ... prevent me from doing so.

Now I shall tell in brief that from our parts there were formerly many young Bulgarian Macedonians who went to Athens to study, of whom, as far as we know, four come from Ohrid, and who write a little in Greek, namely the Minister of free Greece, Mr. Mihail Bodle, a Bulgarian from Ohrid (his relatives still live in our town), who has written a great number of works. The second, Joan A.Sapoundjiyov, a Bulgarian from Ohrid too, has remained there as the editor of the newspaper Athens, and of some other Greek newspapers (his father, Anastas Sapoundjiyov, is still alive. The third, Mr. Margarit G. Vimzovik, is a Bulgarian from Ohrid too, but he has become hellenized, and he wrote a book called About the Independent Archbishopric of Ohrid and All Bulgaria - a very erroneous work - as you will see for yourself, of which, please accept a copy through Mr. Yanet T. Chapakov in token of gratitude. That Margarit, who is now in Berlin to study German, is translating a Macedo­nian history of Philip's reign from German into Greek, written by a certain German by the name of Otto. I can send you a copy if you wish. This history tries to prove that the Macedonians were 'of Hellenic origin.' The fourth is also a Bulgarian from Ohrid, Mr. Grigorie Kurstovich Purliche, who signs himself Grigorius Stavridis, who is still studying in Athens, and who has written a short poem called The Sirdart for which he, as I mentioned in my first letter, was awarded a prize last year - I am sending you a copy of it, too. He is now working on another poem which he might have recently published on March 25. Apart from the above-mentioned four persons, all of them from Ohrid, no one else, as far as we know, from among the present-day Macedonian Bulgarians, has written anything in Greek or about the Greeks, though many people have studied in Athens and then left for Europe.

I enclose 11 songs, written on two big sheets of paper, in which you will recognize our dialect as spoken in the songs, which are still sung in our town to this day.

The first 15 numbers of the Dounavski Lebed, which was very beneficial to the people, and which is actively contributing to our national spirit, as are the books which I don't keep only to myself, but distribute them among all those who have the faintest spark of national spirit, help kindle a spiritual flame which shall burn up the Greek splinters, that is why, as I said, I first give them to other people to read, and then I read them myself. Apart from those 15 numbers, I have now received five Snore - the last - No. 16, 18, 19, 20 and 23, whereas I have not got No. 17, 21, 22, 24 and 25. They haven't arrived, and I do not know what has happened to them.

In my previous letter of March 6, I wrote to you not to send me Dounavski Lebed for some time, because of... but now I ask you, if it is possi­ble, to be kind enough as to send me through some of our compatriots from Ohrid or Strouga or through the honourable Robevs, or through Mr. Konstatin H. Miladinov, if they should be coming back, the other issues, together with some other works, such as Brief Meditation, etc. on the Bulgarian clergy, the second and third parts of Pokazalets (The Pointer) and Gorski Putnik (Forest Traveller), books about the old Bulgarian church services and some images о Bulgarian kings and saints, as well as some books in old or modern Bulgarian, or anything else you would be so gracious as to send me.

Hoping that my request will be granted, I have the honour to remain of the highest esteem for you.

НБКМ, БИА, IB 1295/52; Архив Г С Раковски, под редакцията на Никола Трайков (Archive O. S. Rakovski, v. З, edited by Nikola Traikov), Sofia, 1966, pp. 336-339; the original is in Bulgarian.
A letter from Yoakim Malenkov, Ohrid, to G.S. Rakovski, Belgrade, thanking him for the hooks and pictures which he has sent for the school in Ohrid
April 3rd, 1861
We were overjoyed, my esteemed teacher, to receive the honest Slavonic historical books and a picture with the images of the honourable and reverend ecclesiastical fathers through the brothers Yoan and Stavro (Belev). We were infinitely grateful to learn of the flame which burns in your heart for our people and for our mother tongue. We, my brother, couldn't ever reward you for the joy, with which you've honoured us. Let the Lord above reward you in the kingdom of heaven. We, your unworthy servants, have inscribed your name in the church chronicle, to be remembered for ever and ever. We again beseech you not to forget us. We wanted to write to you in Slavonic, but we are just beginners in the Slavonic language.

НБКМ, БИА, IB 1701/52; Архив Г. С. Раковски, обясн. бел. и ред. Никола Трайков, (Archive G. S. Rakovski, explan. notes and editing by Nikola Traikov), Sofia, 1966, p. 364; The original is in Greek
A receipt issued by Raiko Zhinzifov and Konstantin Stanishev, Moscow, for a sum received from the Moscow Slav Committee
May 15th, 1861
On May 15, 1861, we, the undersigned, received from Ivan Sergeyevich Aksakov a sum from the Bulgarian Committee's fund kept by Dimiter Alexeyevich Homyakov, i.e. the monthly allowance for the university students Xenophont Zhinzifov, Konstantin Stanishev, Georgi Teoharov, Andrei Stoyanov, and the Bulgarians preparing to enter the university: Mladen Zhelyazkov, Konstantin Vezenkov and Ivan Hristov - seventeen rubles each or a total of a hundred and nineteen silver rubles for ourselves and for those on whose behalf we sign.

ЦГАОР, ф. 1750, en. 1, ед. хр. 341 АИИ, БАН, кол. 9, сп. 15, а.е. 147, л. 550; the original is in Russian
From a letter of Georgi Gogov, Voden, to G.S. Rakovski, Belgrade, regarding the abuses perpetrated by the Greek bishop Nikodim and his persecution of Bulgarian patriots
September 15th, 1861

In an issue of your highly respected newspaper I have had the pleasure to read one of your reports from Salonica dated August 15/27th, in which, while discussing a number of things happening in Salonica, your correspondent — a most devoted patriot - has been so kind as to mention our town, once so significant and today eclipsed under the accursed cloak of ignorance literally spread over it by its present-day bishops.

Having carefully read this report mentioning us, I could not contain my joy that such a patriotic-minded fellow-countryman of ours (to whom we owe gratitude) has been so kind as to give our town some space in the columns of such a newspaper as yours, to let the whole of Europe learn about the sorry plight of this town and about its present torments and sufferings brought about by the harassments and abuses of bishop Nekadime (Nikodim), our so-called shepherd. On the other hand, I have been quite surprised by your cor­respondent's condescension. He is a Bulgarian, isn't he? He is good and kind at all times, and at home we, Bulgarians, are known as good Christians, and this is indeed what the Bulgarians undoubtedly are. But let me quote a proverb in justification. When Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was here on earth, a man asked him: 'Lord, what shall I do if someone should smite me on the right cheek?' Our Lord replied: 'Turn to him the other also!' 'And if he should smite me again?' Turn the first again and forgive him his sin until seventy times.' The man then went about his business. But a Pharisee came along and began scolding the man about something, and the man kept silence. Observing the man's composure, the Pharisee became so angry that he smote the man on his cheek. Remembering the Lord's words, the man turned his other cheek to him as well. The Pharisee not only smote him on the other cheek but also began to kick him. The man then said to him: 'My brother, Jesus Christ has commanded us to suffer blows on the cheek and to forgive until seventy times, but not to suffer kicks.' The man in turn wielded a cudgel and brought it down on the Pharisee's shoulders, and so got rid of him. Let me now explain what I mean.

We, the people of Voden, like all other Bulgarians, hearkening unto the Lord's commandment, have suffered many blows from the most reverend bishop Nikadime and we have forgiven him not only until seventy, but until seventy times seventy. But mistaking our patience for weakness, he has taken to kicking us as if he were a wild mule. For one thing, Jesus Christ commanded us to endure only blows on the cheek, and for another, a wild mule is hobbled with iron shackles to prevent it from kicking. We have been forced to pay him back in kind. Because it is said in the Gospels: 'With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again,' and we shall, of course, repay him with kicks.

Very well then, that patriot, your much respected correspondent, in his boundless condescension has deigned to say that his Grace has fined the simple folks of Voden up to 600,000 grosh. No, Mr. Editor, upon my word, no! It may be thrice 600,000, and more. He made everyone sell whatever livestock they had, sheep, goats, oxen and donkeys that brought firewood and water to the people, so they could pay the taxes, then he stripped them of their clothes and finally skinned them as though with a flint, my brother!

So as to convince everyone how much he has taken in a year ... here is a note ...

He has taken so much, the right reverend metropolitan of Voden, and if this were not enough he's begun to expel people from the bishopric. And whom did he expel? Our citizens. Our mayor Mr. Gatso Tehovalia, who has selflessly served his country and the honourable government with indescribable zeal for 34 years. When he felt his throne shaking under him, the bishop bribed Mr. Hadji Dimcho from Pazar to draw up a petition for him on behalf of the villages at the price of 160 Turkish liras. Mr. Hadji Dimcho, an ardent cham­pion of the Bulgarian cause, knows how to scoff at such bishops and their stupidity, and both got his money and did the people a good turn by providing the bishop with a petition bearing identical signatures and a fingerprint instead of a seal affixed to it. His Stupidity used this petition as an excuse to justify himself against the patriarch's well-grounded and constant reproaches as well as against the bold remarks made in the Holy Synod by our honest compatriot and sworn enemy of the Greeks - the long-suffering Georgi Dinchov, about the misconduct and bad qualities of His Stupidity - the metropolitan of Voden. Georgi Dinchov has done a great deal and more than is humanly possible, but his has been a voice in the wilderness. Now I think our honourable government as well as the supporters of the Greeks may well see why the Bulgarian demands are justified.

Informing you of the above, Mr. Editor, I shall bring to your attention any further material proof to this effect, and I shall always sign myself your sincere friend - a Greek-eater.

A Bulgarian citizen of Voden,

a contributor of yours.

НБКМ, БИА, IB 945/52, Архив Г. С. Раковски, обясн. бел. и ред. Никола Трайков, (Archive G.S. Rakovski, explan. notes and editing by Nikola Traikov), Sofia, 1966, pp. 748-752; the original is in Bulgarian
A letter from Bishop Strossmayer to Count Rechbert Rothenloewen, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Vienna),
about the
arrest of Konstantin Miladinov

October 29th, 1861

A few months ago a young Bulgarian writer named Konstantin Miladinov published in Zagreb a book of Bulgarian folk songs collected by him and his brother Dimiter. These songs, as is usually the case with Slav folk songs, are drawn from the history and traditions of the people and they represent verses of most innocent nature; in every culturally backward nation folk songs serve as the starting point for further cultural development. They were published in Zagreb at my expense.

After the publication of these songs, the above-mentioned young man returned to his country in order to give his compatriots the fruit of his in­defatigable endeavours during the course of so many years. Every other government, even if it does not reward such an effort, would at least praise it, but the Turkish Government is of a different opinion, as usual, and, according to the newspapers, it confiscated his work and ordered the arrest and the transportation of the innocent Miladinov to Constantinople, where he is probably still in prison.

Since I know this young man very well, because he stayed for a while here in Dyakovo and since I am quite convinced that he is incapable of any violation of the law, relying on the kindness and understanding of your Excellency, I take the liberty of addressing you with a request: Your Excellency, I humbly beg you to make the necessary steps for the release of both this innocent suffering man and of his work.

Please accept the expression of my high respect and esteem, with which I remain:

the most humble servant of your Excellency:

(signed) Bishop Strossmayer

Братя Миладинови, Преписка (The Miladinov Brothers, Correspondence) Sofia, 1964, pp.240 245; the original is in German
From a letter written by Raiko Zhinzifov to P. I. Bartenev1 in which he draws a biographical sketch of the Miladinov Brothers and
speaks about the national revival

of the Bulgarians in Macedonia

If only thirty years ago you had asked the Bulgarians: tell me the name of at least one Bulgarian who is, at least, to some extent famous in any sphere of life, the poor Bulgarians could hardly answer your question positively, and without blushing. And actually, it is only since the eighteen thirties that there began to appear among the Bulgarians some personalities who were to a greater or lesser extent outstanding and who took an active part in the move­ment for the spiritual revival of their people. After Yuri Venelin, who dis­covered the Bulgarians for the world - among the Bulgarians there emerged people like: Aprilov, Kipilovsky, Peshakov, Sapounov, Neofit, Yordan Konstantinov, Moutev, Rakovski, the two Miladinov brothers and others, each of them contributing to the spread of literacy and education among the people, according to his abilities. That does not mean that before the'thirties the Bulgarians had no educated and notable people, or I would even say, even their own heroes. There can be no doubt that more than just one or two Bulgarians had the fortune or the misfortune to take part in the education of the now free Greeks, and to deliver lectures at Greek universities about Homer or Demosthenes; more than one or two Bulgarians were in command of Greek detachments during the Greek uprising and more than one or two thousand Bulgarians shed their Slav blood for the independence of Greece.

The Miladinov brothers were born in the small town of Strouga, one half of the population of which were Bulgarians and the other half- Turks. Strouga, through which the river Drin passes, is not very far from the principal town of Ohrid, whose large lake and the three hills on which it is built, make Ohrid a delightful sight. It takes 19 hours to walk around the lake of Ohrid on foot. The water of the lake is so clear and transparent that one can see the sand at the bottom. The large orchards, planted with different fruit trees, the vineyards, and the cornfields, etc., are a captivating sight for the eye. A wooden statue of Saint Clement, with a mantle of gold and pearls, can be seen in one of the churches in Ohrid. A Professor of the Kazan University2 during his stay in Ohrid, received, as D. Milanov informs us in a manuscript, the little finger of this wooden statue of Saint Clement, as well as part of the covering of its head. Ohrid and Strouga have two schools each, from which not long ago (1857), after the death of D. Miladinov, those who had opened them were expelled.

It was a holiday, a witness told me, when D. Miladinov entered the church in Prilep. After the midday service, some of the notable citizens, according to the accepted Bulgarian custom, took Dimiter Miladinov with them, as they would any other stranger, to introduce him into some of the homes, accessible to all, because among the Bulgarian Slavs, introductions are not determined by any external relations. They visited house after house and incidentally began talking about schools. It was then, according to the words of the witness, that one could see Dimiter Miladinov's power of speech and his ability to reach un­derstanding with people, who desire good, but are not clear on how to go about it. His stories, taken from the history of Bulgaria, his thoughts about the Bulgarian language, about the Serbs and their success in their cultural and spiritual development, made such a deep impression on his listeners that on the same day they agreed among themselves to appoint D. Miladinov as a teacher in their Greek school.

So Miladinov, together with the younger teacher, when he had come to know him better, first established a Slav school in the town, having persuaded the parents of the pupils that, besides the books in Church-Slavonic they ought to study some other books, as well. It was not without difficulties that he in­troduced 'the Bulgarian tables.' He taught his students in Bulgarian, without any books, but with great skill, telling them stories from Bulgarian history and legends, until the bookseller in Bitola, an Albanian by origin, urged by his desire for profit, agreed to supply the school with some Bulgarian books from Constantinople and one of the merchants, a Bulgarian, supplied them with a few Serbian books as, for example: A Serbian Reader, A Short Grammar of the Serbian Language, A Song Book, etc. So that the teaching was done partly in Bulgarian, partly in Serbian, partly in Church-Slavonic, but what mattered to Miladinov was the fact that the Greek School had been infected with Slav in­fluence and that in the Bulgarian school, where only religious books had previously been allowed, the teaching had been put in order.


In the summer of 1857 a man from Koukoush came to Prilep and reached agreement with Miladinov about opening a Bulgarian school in Koukoush, a small town near Salonica, where the Slav enlighteners Cyril and Methodius were born one thousand years ago. For this purpose Miladinov sent a young teacher, a friend of his, to Koukoush, because he himself intended to go to Ohrid, where he had been invited to teach. In the autumn of the same year, he sent his friend to teach in Koukoush. But one teacher was not sufficient for the needs of the school in Koukoush and, besides, the young man was unable to cope with the opposition of the local Phanariots. For two or three months the school in Koukoush somehow managed to survive without any Bulgarian books and even without a primer, and the oral teaching was carried out under great difficulties. Meanwhile the people of Koukoush, well aware of the impor­tance of the cause, several times wrote to Miladinov, imploring him to come to them from Strouga.

Their love for their native language was so great that, after classes were over, some family men, aged 20-25, would go to the school daily to be taught Bulgarian and Church-Slavonic. Even old people of advanced years would teach each other how to read in Bulgarian in their shops, when they had no work. The priests, too, followed the example of the young people. But the in­troduction of the Slavonic language was not possible there, because of lack of church books, and instead the teachers used to recite the Creed and some pop­ular prayers by heart in the church, while their listeners eagerly drank in the Slavonic words from their lips. Thus Miladinov taught the children in the mor­ning; family men, young craftsmen and priests in the afternoon; and in the evening he used to study the history of Bulgaria from The Book of Tsars3 or from the Publications of the Serbian Literary Society, or to copy folk songs, proverbs, fairy-tales, etc.

Meanwhile, the eagerness of the citizens to hear the holy service in Church-Slavonic was increasing daily. Many peasants from the neighbouring villages, learning about the introduction of Bulgarian writing in Koukoush, took their children to study under Miladinov. Even the village priests would go to Miladinov to learn about the Bulgarian alphabet and writing, and to learn what the Bulgarian letters were like. What was to be done, since there were no books, and the Slavonic language had to be introduced into the churches? Miladinov too was thinking how to provide church books. There were no such books in Constantinople; he had no one in Serbia to write to; he had no money and no one would send the books free. Finally he decided to write to the monks in Mt. Athos. But much time would elapse before he got their answer and meanwhile he had to work. The schools were prospering with each succeeding day, the number of students was increasing, Bulgarian literacy was daily gaming ground, and it was ready to knock on the doors of Salonica. And what did Miladinov do? One day before the Sunday holiday he translated the Gospel and the Apostles into Bulgarian; the priests worked together with him on the eve of the holiday, and the next day the Gospel was read in their native language. Similar Sunday readings from the Gospel were translated into the Bulgarian - Macedonian dialect by the Bulgarian monk Pavel 4 from the Monastery of Voloshovo. These Sunday readings from the Gospel were printed with Greek letters in Salonica in the printing shop of K. Darzhilovich, a Bulgarian. Such was the state of affairs until Lent, when they received from the monks of Athos a present, consisting of the monastic book 'white book - black print' together with two priests' robes and two Gospels - one of them in Church-Slavonic and the other in Bulgarian, and nothing more... 'I thank them even for that,' Miladinov said, ‘I haven't the strength to translate and write.'

The fact that many Bulgarians, who, for obvious reasons, had the misfor­tune to know only the Greek language, and were not able to read and write in Bulgarian, and who, being ignorant of the history of their people, neglected their nationality in favour of some foreign nationality - this fact made D. Miladinov undertake the task of filling, if possible, this important gap. And many were the nights during which he sat translating the Bulgarian history into Greek, with the intention of printing it and distributing it free of charge throughout Macedonia. Whether this Greek translation of The Book of Tsars was ever published or not, we do not know.

But finally, Miladinov managed to carry out his intention of introducing the Slavonic language into the church. He was firmly convinced that the surest means of familiarizing the people with it was the divine service. Through the ef­forts of Miladinov and, not without minor difficulties, a Mt. Athos monk, a Bulgarian by birth, who was well acquainted with the Slav language and its dialects, and who had received his religious education in Kiev, was invited from Salonica. At a meeting, where many people were present, Miladinov announced that it was at last possible to have the service read in Slavonic and asked the Mt. Athos monk if he would agree to do it. ‘I am ready to do it, but I have no permission from the Bishop,' was his answer. No one will harm you because we will take the whole responsibility for it,' the Bulgarians and Miladinov told him. Then the monk agreed and they decided to do it on the day of Holy Trini­ty. I think that it will not be superfluous to give you a short account of how it was done according to the words of the same eye-witness.

On Trinity Sunday the simple Bulgarians, men and women, gathered in the church early in the morning. An unusual silence reigned there and all pre­sent fixed their eyes on the altar and waited impatiently to hear the long awaited voice of the Mt Athos monk. Divine service began ... No one looked either to the right or to the left, and all listened carefully to the words of the Gospel, which the Mt Athos priest was reading in a low voice, uttering every word distinctly without hurrying, or swallowing the words. After the Gospel, according to our custom, he delivered a very wise speech to the people, и which he demonstrated that the Orthodox faith does not forbid any nation to conduct divine service in its own language. But the people gathered in t church, with their hearts full of faith, were most deeply moved when the priest asked them to kneel down and, with emotion in his voice, repeated to them the words of the well-known prayers to be read that day. There is no need to tell you how strong an impression the Slavonic language, read in church, made on the hearts and minds of the Bulgarians. And all this was the result of the ceaseless endeavours of D. Miladinov, whose constant and most cherished aim had always been to contribute to the moral development of the people.

Райко Жинзифов, Публицистика (Raiko Zhinzifov, Publicistics) vol. I, Sofia, 1964, pp. 41 58; the original is in Russian

1 Peter Ivanovich Bartenev (1829-1911), Russian archeographer and bibliographer; he had connec­tions with the Bulgarians in Moscow
2 A reference to Victor Grigorovich
3 Book of Tsars by Hristaki Pavlovich was the first printed edition of Paissi's history (1844)
4 Pavel Bozhigrobsky, born in the village of Konikovo, district of Enidje-vardar
From a report of the Russian consul in Bitola, M.A. Hitrovo, to Count N. P. Ignatiev1
in which information is given about the Bulgarians inhabiting Veles and the surrounding area2

March 1st, 1862

In no other town in this region, have I encountered a Bulgarian population with so highly developed a public spirit as in Veles. And, what is more, the citizens of Veles sympathize mostly with Russia, whom they regard as the sole champion of the East Christians and of Orthodoxy. At present, Veles builds all its hopes on Serbia, whom they consider, however, incapable of improving the lot of the Christians in Turkey without the support and collaboration of Russia. Serbia and Montenegro at present enjoy the sympathies of the people in Veles and they are the subject of all their conversations. Greece also enjoyed a cer­tain popularity here, but this consideration has waned of late mainly due to the Bulgarian periodicals.

The position of Veles, which is situated not very far from the frontier where two nationalities meet - Greek and Slav - and which is inhabited mainly by Slavs who have in no way yielded to Greek influence - give the town par­ticular importance. Its citizens enjoy the special sympathy of the whole sur­rounding Slav population, which considers Veles and not Bitola as its natural capital. Veles has acquired this significance both because of the national sym­pathies of the population and because of its commercial importance, which is constantly increasing. Veles is situated near the Vardar river. Its population is 20,000, two-thirds of which are Christians - all of them Bulgarians, with the exception of three families of Kutsovlahs. The Moslems in Veles are also of Slav origin but they accepted Islam during the first years of the Turkish con­quest. The Turkish population of Veles is decreasing every year. Thus, about 40 years ago, most of the citizens of the town were Turks, and now their number has been reduced to less than half. The increasing poverty of these Moslems, although they are all fanatics, has dulled their inborn hatred for the Christians, on whom the majority of them depend for their livelihood.

Only the Bulgarian and the Turkish languages are universally used in Veles, but all the local Turks speak Bulgarian as well. From time immemorial there has been only a Bulgarian school щ. Veles.

The principal occupation of the Christians is vine-growing and silkworm-breeding. Large quantities of the wine produced in Veles are exported to Sofia and Old Serbia. Silkworm-breeding has increased considerably during the last five or six years, and at present Veles exports silkworm eggs to Italy to the value of 1,500,000 groshes.

Since the Crimean War, a new source of income was found for Veles -transportation of wheat down the river Vardar to Salonica, All the wheat produced in the districts of Veles, Koumanovo and Slip is brought to Veles. During the two years of the Crimean War the export of wheat from Veles brought in about 25,000,000 groshes. One of the most important articles of export is also the hides produced in Veles which have been exported for more than 60-70 years to Hungary to the value of 2,000,000 groshes. All crafts are practiced by both Turks and Christians, with the exception of the manufacture of hides and other articles made of leather, which are the monopoly of the Turks and are forbidden to the Christians. All trade, both home and foreign, is exclusively in the hands of the Christians.

The main and virtually sole occupation of the rural population is agriculture, and the Bulgarians in the region of Veles are famous for their in­dustry and relative wealth.

The district of Veles has a population of 72,000 people, of whom 50,000 are Christians, and 22,000 are Moslems. There are 107 villages in the whole district, with 49 churches, and 6,263 Christian houses and 2,842 Turkish houses.

Славянский архив, Сборник статей и материалов (Slavonic archives, Collection of Articles and Materials), Moscow, 1963, pp. 241 -242; the original is in Russian

1Count Nikolai Pavlovich Ignatiev (1832-1908), Russian ambassador in Constantinople from 1864 to 1877, actively supported the struggle of the Bulgarians for an independent church; he was one of the initiators of the Conference of the Ambassadors in Constantinople in 1876-1877.
2 In another report, also to Count N. P. Ignatiev, dated July 25, 1862, the consul, M. A. Hitrovo reports on the new buildings of the Bulgarian school in Veles: in the primary school up to 120 boys study, in the other building there are classes of older children, up to 40 in number, and also the living quarters of the teachers. Instruction is conducted in Bulgarian and Church-Slavonic. (Slavonic Archives, Moscow, 1963, p. 243)
A letter from Dimiter P. Karamfilovich, Veles, to Georgi S. Rakovski, Belgrade, with a request for a brochure,
and expressing praise for Rakovski's merits in helping them to free themselves of Hellenism

June 17th, 1862


Most learned Sir,

For six months now I have not received a single line from you in response to my simple letter.

Full of hope, I am daily expecting the booklet which you mentioned at the end of your answer to the Greek theological tract, and which, I think, has already been printed. Can I, one of the champions of the Bulgarian cause, have the honour of receiving this booklet, too? Мг. В. Nouma of Belgrade will pay you for it in cash.

If you have a spare copy of a history book describing the past of the Slavs in detail, I would be much obliged to you if you would have the kindness to give it to the above-mentioned gentleman after he pays you for it, so that he can forward it to me. The history book may be in either Slavonic or German, or in Greek, as I understand French too poorly to be able to persuade our local charlatans, such as Yakim and others. Unfortunately, it is not only here but also in Budapest and in Vienna that I can find mostly Greek information (or rather Greek propaganda and education). However, you and your writings, dear sir, have opened my eyes and the eyes of many of my compatriots! It is only I and Mr. Anton Drandarovich1 who told me he had made your personal acquaintance, that are daily struggling with our Bulgarian fellow citizens in whom the Phanariot spirit has struck deep roots and is hard to break and change, but, praise be to God, these people are gradually recanting, and I can say, they have almost forgotten what it is to be a Greek! Yet there are a few people who have learned in Athens to be, if you will pardon the expression/there follows a coarse expression with the general meaning of 'boot­lickers /.

Please, accept me as one of your true friends and honour me with your answer which will make me very happy. I remain full of hope and from my pure Bulgarian heart

Your sincere friend,
D. P. Karamfilovich

P.S. Mr. Anton Drandar and the other workers for the Bulgarian cause also send you sincere greetings.

Is it true, that, as the Greeks say, their predestination from above consists in the fact that their language is used by the whole of Europe and all learned people, especially doctors who are constantly employing Greek phrases, and this is why God and the Holy Ghost have chosen their language to enlighten mankind? ...

НБКМ, БИА, 1 Б 477/52; Архив Г.С. Раковски, подг. за печат Веселин Н. Трайков, (Archive G. S. Rakovski vol. 4; Prepared for publ. by Vesselin N Traikov), Sofia, 1969, p. 78; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Anton Drandarovich is a public figure from Veles
From the preface to the Bulgarian translation of Slovo o Polku Igoryevye (The Lay of Igor's Campaign)1 in which Raiko Zhinzifov points out the areas in which the Bulgarian language is spoken

Many are the translations of the Slovo into modern Russian. The Russians (since the Slovo became known to them and the world) have about 16 translations and, together with Maksimovich's translation into the Ukrai­nian Russian dialect, they total 17 translations on which 17 scholars and writers have laboured and toiled. Apart from that, Slovo о Polku Igoryevye has been translated several times by other Slavs: Czechs, Serbs and Poles, and also by the Germans and the French. But in modern Bulgarian, if we are not mistaken, there has been no translation so far. This is not the place to explain what made us translate this poem into Bulgarian and, as for the translation -whether it is good or bad, this is for the readers to decide, and they must judge for themselves both the translation and the original, and we shall be sincerely obliged to them if they will write to the newspapers about all the mistakes which they have discovered. We shall be very glad if our translation, or rather, if the original Slovo encourages some Bulgarian who is more expert both in the knowledge of our language and of Old Slavonic, to translate the poem more completely, more accurately and quicker than us. As for our translation, we feel obliged to give the following explanations:

By the Bulgarian language we mean the language spoken by the popula­tion in all Macedonia, Thrace and Bulgaria, the dialects of which differ more or less, but, like every other Bulgarian who does not suffer of short-sightedness, we cannot say that the words 'ruka’ and 'voda' are Macedonian or Thracian, but we say that they are Bulgarian, because there are no Macedonians or Thracians as separate nationalities, but there are only Slav Bulgarians, who in­habit the said regions, the names of which, perhaps, have the right to exist in geographic descriptions but cannot refer to nationalities. In short, there is only one Bulgarian language, which like every other language, is divided into several dialects... So, we consider that it is not due to any mistake of ours, if some of our readers should read 'rúka' and ‘vóda', plánina'; and others - 'ruká,' 'vodá', 'planiná’. We have also written: 'rúka' and ‘raka'; 'put' and 'pat'; 'muchno' and 'machno’ It is another question whether that was right or wrong, but we want to say that we are more or less aware of these differences in our language and they are not the result of ignorance, but of course, we are far from thinking, and still less from saying, that we have completely mastered our native language. At the same time, we should note that it may appear to some of our readers that we have used in our translation some words apparently borrowed from the Russian language. We do not say that there is not a single Russian word in our translation, but we say that very many words, even if they seem similar to the Russian ones, are not borrowed from the Russian because they exist in our language as well; and if one wants to make sure of this, one has only to read our folk songs. The time when all Bulgarians will write in the same way without the slightest variation has not yet come. But that such a time will come - of that we are fully convinced, but when it will come — nobody knows; and, for the time being, it is quite enough that we understand each other when we write ...

Райко Жинзифов, Избрани съчинения (Raiko Zhinzifov, Selected Works), Sofia, 1943, pp. 137 -138; the original is in Bulgarian

1 World famous piece of ancient Russian literature



A letter from Todor Nenov, Nevrokop, to Hristo Dimitrov Todorov, Doupnitsa, in which he recommends Georgi Dinkov as a good Bulgarian
January 22nd, 1863
The bearer of this friendly letter to you is Mister Georgi Dinkov from Salonica, who is traveling on private business. I would kindly ask you to con­sider him a friend, as he is a true Bulgarian. As he wishes to make friends in the area you live in, I have the honour of personally recommending him to you. You will be able to avail yourself of the greatest knowledge and enthusiasm of this young Macedonian, and if he should go to Samokov, will you recommend him as I have done.

НБКМ, БИA, II A, 3955; the original is in Bulgarian
A letter from Georgi Dinkov,1 Salonica, to Stefan Verkovic, about his arrest and the heroic conduct of his mother
February 18th, 1863

My dear friend!

I am taking my pen with a hand trembling with joy in order to give you an account of my sufferings.

I arrived here on February 13th, as my father informed you by telegraph. Our new governor, Akif Pasha, had arrived two hours before me on the same day. Of course, I have not so far been able to leave prison, because it was only last night that the Pasha took up his new post and began work.

Our enemies now hoped that there was good opportunity to get rid of me but they failed, because on hearing about my case, the governor ordered his translator to be very careful in the translation of my letters, since I had expressed the wish to translate them myself in a written declaration, stating that in the event of my not translating them properly, I should be punished accor­ding to the law. Last night all my letters were translated well and submitted to the Pasha. Tonight I hope to be taken to him to make my defense before him, because since it is now Ramazan, all affairs are conducted during the night. Be that as it may, I hope to refute the slanders against me, and hunt down my slanderers.

My dear friend, you cannot imagine my joy at this occasion, that is at my imprisonment. The enemies caught me and brought me from Sofia to this town under strong guard, in order to discredit me but, on the contrary, because of my sufferings, I now enjoy a reputation which is twice as great as I have ever had. They wanted to strip me entirely of my strength, but they were not aware that they were further increasing it. Instead of cutting off my hands — they have given me wings. Instead of stopping my mouth - they have given me courage and boldness. Instead of extinguishing the national spirit in the hearts of the Bulgarians, they have, on the contrary, inflamed their patriotism. Instead of in­timidating them, they have roused them. God grant that they may always follow this course, and, instead of letting the water run smoothly its furrow they try to change its course at their own peril! I told them: 'Death will be sweet for me, if I am hanged, or die in a dungeon or exile for my people.' It is really wonderful, my friend, what a strong heart my mother has. The enemies, when they saw me imprisoned, began to mock memorial ceremonies. One of them went to my mother and began to comfort her about my end: 'God may save your son from death, but I believe that even God cannot help him!' My mother answered him: 'I brought him into the world for this (i.e. to die for the people). Being the son of such a mother, sir, how can I not rejoice at my sufferings? Oh, God! Grant Bulgaria many mothers like mine! Thus, my dear friend, you should tell people about me and my sufferings. I hope, however, to see you soon personally and to tell you with my own mouth everything about myself.

The geographic descriptions are ready. Only those from Kostour, Moglena and Ohrid have not yet arrived, but they will probably arrive this week. Rest assured on that account.

Remember me to my godmother and to all members of your family, as well as to my friends and enemies.

Eager to see you as soon as possible,

I remain: Entirely yours: G.K. Dinkov

Документи за Българското възраждане от архива на Стефан И. Веркович. Съставили и подготвили за печат Д. Велева и Т. Вълов, под редакцията и с предговор от чл. кор. Хр. Христов / Documents of the Bulgarian National Revival from the archive of Stefan Verkovic. Compiled and prep, for publ. by D. Veleva and T. Vulov, edited and prefaced by H. Hristov, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences) Sofia, 1969, pp. 39-40; the original is in Bulgarian

l Georgi Dinkov, studied in Salonica, Athens and Moscow. Then he taught in Prilep, Bitola and the village of Zagorichene, where D. Blagoev was his pupil. He helped to open the First Bulgarian school in Salonica
A letter from Мihail Hitrovo, Moscow, to Mihail Pogodin, Moscow,
about providing financial help to the Bulgarian Vassil Kouzmanov from Ohrid

April 29th, 1863
The bearer of the enclosed note is Vassil Kouzmanov, a Bulgarian born in Ohrid, of whom I spoke to you yesterday. Vassil Kouzmanov wishes to go back home, but has not got the means to do so. All the Bulgarians here present him in the best light. Please, forgive me, gracious Sir, for troubling you with thе present letter in the hope that under your patronage, if it were at all possi­ble, Vassil Kouzmanov should receive some financial help from the Slav Com­mittee.
Please accept, gracious Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration and boundless devotion.

ЦГАОР, ф. 1750, on. 1, ед. xp. 75,.л. 11; АИИ, БАН, кол. IX, on. 15, а.е. 107, л. 407-408; the original is in Russian
A letter from Georgi Kostov Iserlakli,1 Nevrokop, to Stefan Zahariev,2  Pazardjik,  
about the celebration of the Day of Bulgarian Letters in the town

May 11th, 1863
I send you my best wishes and congratulations. Having safely lived to see the 11-th of May, we, the members of the Bulgarian community here, decided to celebrate St St Cyril and Methodius's Day and to have the holy service read in Bulgarian. But the Graecomans3 did not agree and began to ridicule us, saying that there can be no such holiday of Holy Beech and Holy Oak, and they ordered the priest not to go to church for vespers, lest we should enter the church by force. They did the same in the mor­ning, but we went to our Bulgarian school and there the priest, Hristofor, per­formed the rite of the consecration of water, and we read the canon of St St Cyril and Methodius ...

Йордан Иванов, Български старини из Македо­ния (Yordan Ivanov, Bulgarian Antiquities in Macedonia), Sofia, 1931, p. 214; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Warden of the Bulgarian municipality in the town of Nevrokop, participant in the national and church struggle
2 Bulgarian ethnographer, participant in the national church struggle
3 Bulgarians who speak Bulgarian but are adherents to the Greek Patriarchate and of Hellenism
In a newspaper report from Bitola a correspondent recommends the introduction
of the Bulgarian language into schools and
July 1st, 1863

Mr. Bagpiper!1

I was very pleased to see that you have begun to blow your bagpipe from Constantinople in order to awake our deeply sleeping, wretched people. There are many people here who are very glad to hear the sound of your bagpipe. God bless you We wish you success with it, in your efforts to do something useful for our dear people!...

I know that there will be people, who will be sending you some songs to play on your pipe, but I, who have been fond of bagpipes ever since my youth, and, who am, moreover, very fond of our Bulgarian people, as well, I decided to write something you might play. But you should not hope my song will cheer your readers. No, it is a sad one, because if it were well with us, who would write about sorrows, who would say that good is bad! But God help us! Can this be so? And since we are in such a plight, why not have a good cry over it? Good Lord! Let our other Bulgarian brothers hear us and maybe we shall still be able to find our way to a better future. Because ‘one is still one - but two are much more': the mind of one man and the minds of several people are two different things.

All our grieves come from the cursed Greeks, the damned Phanariot bishops and their corrupted tools — the Wallachians. God help us! Those infer­nal Greeks, I don't know why you should go out of your way to please them since they are trampling without pity on our country and nationality and they will be soon quite worn out by their incessant endeavours, each in his own way and at every opportunity, to make us Greeks and it is their greatest desire to have us converted into Greeks. God help us! Our Lord has pleased to preserve us — five million Bulgarians intact so far, as well as our beautiful, sweet Bulgarian language, and our beautiful literature, from which so many other Slav nations are drawing knowledge. So - are we to forsake our dear country, our sweet language, our nationality, our fine golden Bulgarian books, and turn Greeks! God forbid! This was done neither by our fathers, nor by our forefathers - shall we then do it? God forbid! But what times we have lived to see? To change our language and nationality! Something of which our fathers never even dreamed - shall we do this!? Don't do it, my Bulgarian brothers, don't you turn Greek because we shall become the object of ridicule and con­tempt in our age. Forget about the Greek language! Drive from your midst the cursed Greeks, Phanariot supporters and Kutsovlahs, study your own language and cherish your nationality, because it is sinful and shameful to forget your own kind.

You see, my son, I am overcome with sorrow and very angry, so that I shall go to church and cross myself as a good Christian, and when the holy ser­vice begins and we shall begin to cross ourselves the priests will sing ‘Kyor olasin, Kyor olasin, Kyor olasin,'2 and then gabble it quicker and quicker, until they are saying 'Kör olsun, Kör olsun, Kör olsun;'3 my blood boils (God forgive my sinful thoughts) and when I become very angry, instead of praying, I shall turn to the Greek Phanariots and the Wallachians and teach them a lesson after which they will be scarcely able to move. Good Lord! Why should these Greeks treat us so meanly in our own churches? Damn their problems! If they want to quarrel let them do it in their own churches, and let them pluck out their own eyes, if they like. But what do they want in our churches? Have we not a language of our own? Have we not books from which we can sing and pray in our own language? Let the Greeks mind their own business, let us drive them and their language out of our schools and churches - we have a language and books of our own, and we don't need the Greek ones, we don't want to become Greeks. So, Bagpiper, my son, start playing your bagpipe well, let the great drone sound so that our Bulgarian brothers hear and understand its music and kick out the Greeks and their rubbish. These Greeks are becoming quite in­tolerable, so you must attack them, my son.

But, our brothers, the peasants in the other villages are to be pitied most of all. If you look at the villages in the districts of Bitola, Prilep, Ohrid, Kichevo, or in those of Tikvesh, Voden, Strumitsa and in many other dis­tricts in the same part of the country, as well as in the region of Lerin, you will see that in all churches there the service is held in Greek, and you must know that in all the above-mentioned districts and in many other towns and villages in Macedonia, the population is exclusively Bulgarian, and that there is not even half a Greek. Good Lord! Why is all this? Why should we tolerate a language of which we do not understand a single word? Why should we allow ourselves to be abused both in our houses and our churches? Why should we study the Greek language and forsake our native one? Why should we trample on our nationality, on our country and on our mother tongue without pity? Is there a single Greek town, or a village, or a church or even a house in Greece, in which they are compelled to speak in our language? And why should we, then, being in our own country, compel our children and ourselves to study Greek? Why should we sing holy service in Greek? God help us! Very parlous and shameful is the state to which we, the wretched Bulgarians in Macedonia, have been reduced, and we are not worthy to bear the glorious name of our forefathers, i.e. to call ourselves Bulgarians! We have become the disgrace of the whole Bulgarian people and an object of ridicule in our age ...

Dear Bagpiper!

I have many other things to tell you and I am going to write to you more often in the future to inform you about everything of interest to you, that the world will know more about the situation in which we are at present.

В. „Гайда", Цариград; (Bulgarian newspaper Gayda, Constantinople), No. 5, Aug. 10th, 1863; the original is in Bulgarian
1A reference to Petko Rachov Slaveykov (1827-1895), born in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgarian poet and public figure, editor of the newspaper Gayda (Bagpipe) and Makedonia
2A parody of the Greek ‘kyrie eleison.'
3 In Turkish 'Kör olsun' means 'Be blind’
A letter from Dimiter Dimov, Salonica, to Stefan Verkovic, Seres,
in which he asks Verkovic to send him abroad to
continue his studies and to support him there

September 30th, 1863

I've received your letter of September 27 together with the letter from our compatriots and became well acquainted with the current progress of our un­dertakings in Nevrokop.

I have long wished to tell you something which has to do with me per­sonally, but as I believe my reasoning on this might sound almost vulgar and stupid to you, I've not so far dared to write to you on this subject, while, on the other hand, as I think it is a young man's duty, without being shy, to consult on such matters worthy people who are ready to stand by such a noble cause, I'm now taking the liberty of telling you about it today.

You are aware that our Bulgarian people (who have been living in ig­norance for a long time) have already realized the need of studying and that is why we today observe that people from almost all parts of our country Bulgaria are beginning to aspire to knowledge with great ardour. This, when we think of it, is a cause of joy, but thinking more profoundly of the matter, one cannot but feel sad, when one realizes that the poor Bulgarians so eager for enlightenment, haven't yet got anywhere in Bulgaria even a single educational establishment of the kind needed today where people can usefully develop themselves mentally, while the poor young men remain dissatisfied all their lives with their scanty knowledge, as they cannot afford the exorbitant cost of going to decent schools in Europe where they could achieve their desired goal. By the way, I hear that many of our young Bulgarians have succeeded in enrolling in European schools supported by some associations, or individuals, or some even by the government of the country where they study. Therefore, I dare ask you, could you indicate a way for me, as I have a strong wish to study in order to be useful to my people, since I am by no means well-off or content with my pre­sent situation. I would gladly undertake some service later to that society or person, who might help me but poor me, I don't even dare hope.

Sir, I appeal to you with this letter. If you are in any position to help me, please do not reject my plea to concern yourself with this holy matter!

Hoping to have received your enlightening counsel with next Saturday's post, I remain grateful to you for ever.

БАН, НА, ф. 14. on. 1, a.e.198, л.4-5; Докумен­ти за Българското възраждане от архивата на Стефан И. Веркович. Съст. и подг. за печ, Д. Веле­ва и Т. Вълов, под ред. и с предг. чл. кор. Хр. Христов. (Documents of the Bulgarian Revival Period from the Archives of Stefan I. Verkovic. Compiled and prepared for publication by D. Veleva and T. Vulov, edited and prefaced by Hristo Hristov, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences), Sofia, 1969, P- 79; the original is in Bulgarian
An editorial note reporting that Yordan Hadji Konstantinov-Djinot has returned
from his exile and that Georgi Dinkov has been arrested again

November 4th, 1863

Mr. Yordan Hadji Konstantinov, who provoked the anger of the Greek bishops in Macedonia against himself with his enthusiasm and zeal in spreading the Bulgarian language and education in this hitherto Hellenized country, and who sowed many good seeds in a number of towns there by his teaching, was slandered before the Grand Vizir — Kibrizli Pasha during the latter's inspection tour in 1859 and was sent in exile to Aydin. He was released through the in­tercession of our representatives and arrived in Constantinople this week. We are glad to observe that his three years of exile, far from weakening his patriotic feelings, have given him fresh enthusiasm and eagerness to continue his work for the benefit of his wretched compatriots.

Another Macedonian martyr for the Bulgarian cause was brought to Constantinople these days as a result of Greek slander. He is Mr. Georgi Dinkov, a young man born in Salonica. After completing his education abroad, he first incurred the anger of the Greeks with a sermon which he preached to the Bulgarians in Voden in Macedonia, unmasking the aims of Hellenism, and showing them the road they should pursue if they want to develop and prosper. Later he travelled around some other Macedonian towns in order to collect geographic and ethnographic data about Macedonia, and he also spoke in the same spirit to the Bulgarians there in order to awake them from their deep slumber. This gave the Greeks ground for accusing him of being a man with dangerous intentions and because Mr. Dinkov had the misfortune to have in­herited Greek citizenship from his father, the Greek consul in Salonica was his first and main accuser, and the poor young man was brought in chains to the capital last spring. He would have died of typhus there, if his Highness / Pasha, at the request of our representatives, had not intervened to have him released. After this misfortune, Mr. Dinkov immediately gave up his Greek citizenship and asked to be included among the subjects of His Majesty the Sultan in order to avoid the control and the power of the Greek consuls over his patriotic activity. When he again returned to his homeland, he made great ef­forts to open a Bulgarian school in Salonica and to organize a Bulgarian com­mune there. But by means of another slander, the Greeks managed to put him into the hands of the Government and the poor youth is again imprisoned here. We have no doubt that the truth will come to light again, neither do we think that these misfortunes which Mr. Dinkov has suffered through the intrigues of the Greeks will discourage his spirit which is full of vigour and strength.

В, „Съветник", Цариград (Newspaper Suvetnik, Constantinople), No. 33, November 4th, 1863; the original is in Bulgarian

Extract from lists of Bulgarians converted to Mohammedanism
Panayot Todor from Seres was named Demir Ali.
Petra Nikola from (village) Smoler was named Hatidje.
Stoyna Dimo from (v.)Kamine was named Naile.
The girl Gergina Bodin Kosta from (v.) Punaras, Koukoush region, was named Leyla.
The Bulgarian woman Neda Georgi from (v.) Miravcha, Doyran region, was named Fatma.
The Bulgarian woman Fekia Stoyche, from (V.) Miravcha, Doyran region, was named Emine.
The Bulgarian girl Bona from (v.) Balditsa, Strumitsa region, 15-years-old, daughter of the farmer Pano, was named Emine.
The Bulgarian woman Leka from (v.) Soho, 21-years-old, daughter of the tailor Yanko, was named Melike.
21 muharem 1280 (July 8, 1863)
The Bulgarian girl Sofia Mitro from (v.) Lelova, Koukoush region (today the village Agios Antonios, Koukoush region), 18-years-old, was named Fat-ma.
Yovo Dimo from (v.) Sossisti, Strumitsa region, 17-years-old, was named Shabin.
Mara Done from the same village was named Shakirie.
Dessa Mitra from (v.) Bortitsa, Strumitsa region, 18-years-old, was nam­ed Aishe.
The Bulgarian girl Maria Stoyko from (v.) Topoin, was named Fatma.
The Bulgarian girl Petra Mitro from (v.) Kurseva, Koukoush region, was named Aishe.
The Bulgarian woman Sultana Argiro from (v.) Mavrovo, Strumi­tsa region, 20-years-old, was named Hatidje.
The Bulgarian girl Velika Piko from (v.) Roudina, Kichevo region, 19-years-old, was named Aishe.
The Bulgarian Ilyo Georgi from (v.) Angelitsa (today's village Angeltsi, Strumitsa region), 20-years-old, was named Ahmed.
The Bulgarian woman Sofia Karla Nako from (v.) Haidarli, Koukoush region (today Vaptistis village, Koukoush region), was named Melike.
Rebiulahar 1281 (Sept. 3 - Oct. 1, 1864)
The Bulgarian girl Bozhana Trayan from (v.) Ala Klise, 18-years-old, was named Hatidje.
Йорданка Калудова, Документи за положението на населението в югозападните български земи под турска власт (Yordanka Kaloudova, Documents on the situation of the population in the southwestern Bulgarian lands under Turkish rule) ВИС, 4, 1970, P- 85; the original is in Turkish

From die Curriculum Vitae of Kouzman Shapkarev1 about the state of education in Macedonia

Genealogy and life of Kouzman, the son of Tasev (Atanasov), the son of Paskal, the son of Mihail  Shapkarev from Ohrid. Mihail Shapkarev, a Bulgarian, born in the village of Leskovets, which is at one hour's walk east of Ohrid, in the Western part of Petrino Mountain, was the father of two sons called Hadji Peter and Paskal. According to the usual custom of that time, Mihail went to work in Constantinople and since he stayed a very long time there, without visiting his family, his wife took her little children and went on horseback to her husband in Constantinople. After staying there for a while, she returned home again. That is why she was called later 'Stambolka' ...

When the end of my stay in Bitola drew near, that is, when I finished my studies there, I had to look for a job as a teacher. My teacher Atanasi tried hard to find me a job. He tried to place me in Turnovo (a village in the district of Bitola) but failed. Then he tried through Georgi Tsolev, the best friend and confidential adviser of Atanasi, i.e. mine as well, then through Atanasi and Yanaki, to get an appointment for me as a teacher in the village of Neveska or some other village. Meanwhile, some people from Koukoush, of whom Stameno Petsev was one, put up at our inn once and invited me to teach in Koukoush (where the spark of love for our mother Bulgarian tongue had not yet been re-kindled).

… …

I am very much obliged to two of my teachers especially — one of them, Mile Skopachev, who being a good psalm singer, taught me to sing and under­stand a little of hymn-singing; while the other - Kostadin H. Ouzounov, was the first to inspire me with the desire to study my native language. He gave me a Serbian primer (because there were no Bulgarian primers in our part of the country, and no one even thought of studying Bulgarian, while now, thank God, the situation is quite changed), taught me to understand the letters and kindled the first sparks of love for our language in me. God bless his soul in heaven! That year I studied geography, mathematics, ecclesiastical history, together with Andon Mitanov and Vassil Dyamandiev.

During the three years that I taught in Strouga, two important things took place. The first was that for the first time I introduced the teaching of our native language into the school - the Bulgarian language, which about a century (70 years) ago had disappeared. It was subsequently introduced into the Church as well. The reason for this introduction was closely connected with the late Dimiter Miladinov, of whom we shall speak more later on in this book. This worthy man, having been a teacher in Greek for many years, and perhaps even a supporter of the Greeks, and a persecutor of the Bulgarians, during the last years of his life (just like St Paul) became aware of the delusion, into which not only all Bulgarians in Macedonia but even he himself had fallen, and, renoun­cing his former errors, he zealously worked to the very day of his martyr's death for the spiritual revival of the people, and the introduction of the Bulgarian language into the Bulgarian churches and schools, in which the Greek language had been imposed. The endeavours of this worthy man inspired me, too, to introduce the Bulgarian language which I had learned to read a little as early as 1856 in Ohrid from Kostadin H. Ouzounov - in my school. But I lacked the necessary books. I received help, however, from the same person. Because after he had returned to his place in Prilep (before that he had been in Prilep for one year, and had returned home on a visit, and from there he had gone back to Prilep, and then came to Koukoush) he sent me 15 Serbian primers with church letters. Then after he went to Koukoush he sent me a suf­ficient number of Bulgarian primers and histories, published by the Archiman­drite Parteni Zografski, the present bishop of Polyanin (Koukoush). This was the first event. And the second one was that at the end of my second year there (Oct. 30th, 1858) I became engaged to Elissaveta D. Miladinova, and married her five years later (Sept. 25th, 1863).

Ив. Снегаров, Принос към историята на просветното дело в Македония, Македонски преглед (Ivan Snegarov, Contribution to the History of the Educational Cause in Macedonia, review Makedonski pregled) Sofia, 1927, No 1, pp. 57-58; No 2; pp. 40, 45-46, 57-58; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Kouzman Shapkarev (1824-1909), born in the town of Ohrid, an eminent participant in the Bulgarian national revival in Macedonia


From the report of the Russian consul in Bitola, M.A. Hitrovo to the Russian ambassador in Contantinople E. P. Novikov on the necessity of education for the Bulgarians
January 16th, 1864

Macedonia, being separated from the other Slav regions in the South, fell completely under the influence of the Greeks a very long time ago ... For a long time services have been conducted almost everywhere exclusively in Greek, and in practically none of the schools was the Bulgarian language taught. The few prospering Bulgarians did not dare to call themselves Bulgarians - they were ashamed of their nationality.

The Cyrillic alphabet was preserved only in the Northern parts of Macedonia and in the oldest manuscripts, which could be found only in some monasteries. The local Bulgarians were compelled to devise a new way of writing by using Greek letters to express Slav sounds. Of all the districts of Macedonia and Central Albania, it was only those of Veles, Prilep and Debur that managed to escape the strong influence of the Greeks, and Hellenism was never able to get firmly rooted there. But in spite of this moral oppression, the rural population  everywhere  preserved  the   Slav   legends, language traditions. Among the rural population one can find almost in pristine purity the principles of social and economic relations upon which the Slav communities are based everywhere, legends common to all the Slavs, Slav hospitality, Slav costumes and Slav ring-dances.

But, while remaining true to the ancient legends - to the Slav language and customs, the same rural population under the influence of the higher circles of society gradually lost almost completely its consciousness of the other Slav peoples and became accustomed to base all its hopes for the improvement of its situation solely on Greece. But the last war in Montenegro, the bombardment of Belgrade, the sudden revival all over Bulgaria of the hopes and aspirations raised by the unfortunate events in Turnovo and Gabrovo, have not remained without an echo here ... But with the unfortunate outcome of the Montenegrin war, with the normalizing of Serbian affairs, the natural and loudly proclaimed revival of the Slav nationality here had to tone down its voice and submit to a certain extent to the force of circumstances ...

During the present period of political calmness, these recently awakened aspirations, suppressed by the fanaticism of the higher Greek clergy, and watched by the suspicious eyes of the Turkish authorities, can be discerned in the scarcely perceptible, feeble signs of public life. These signs concern the need of national education, which can be noticed everywhere and the cries for Bulgarian teachers and Slavonic church books which can be heard on all sides.

Славянский архив, Сборник статей и материалов (Slavonic archive, Collection of articles and materials), Moscow, 1963, pp. 244-255; the original is in Russian
A newspaper report from Nevrokop describes how the teachers sang in Bulgarian in the churches
and how some Bulgarians were arrested at the demand of the Phanariots

June 18th, 1864

As you know, the Phanariots have again forbidden us to hear Bulgarian singing in the churches. But on May 28th, Ascension Day, the Bulgarian teachers ventured to sing in Bulgarian. On that day, divine service was taken by the coadjutor Agathangelos who, on seeing that the Bulgarian teachers had prepared themselves to sing and were beginning to do so in Bulgarian, started shouting at them like a madman to stop singing, but the teachers went on. The coadjutor could no longer contain himself; he went to them and asked who had given them permission to sing in Bulgarian. When some of the citizens asked him why they should not sing in Bulgarian in the church, he answered that it was because he had no desire to listen to a heretical language, and to prove his words, he took off his vestments on the spot, took the other priest and went to a deacon, a notorious drunkard. In vain did the people in church wait for the end of the church service. The coadjutor preferred to have no liturgy and to drink brandy rather than to be present at a liturgy when the singing was in Bulgarian.

Since then, to this day, the Bulgarians have been worshipping God in their school without any priest.

The situation of the Bulgarians in Nevrokop is far from improving, because of the intrigues of the supporters of Hellenism. Yesterday, three of the most prominent Bulgarians in our town: Mr. Iliya Doukov, Stoyan Shein and Georgi Kostov were taken under guard to Seres, because of a complaint sent by the Greeks and the Kutsovlahs to the Governor of Seres against them. I don't know exactly the content of this complaint and why these compatriots of ours were arrested. But I do know that, at the time of their departure, a representative of the Kutsovlahs came to them and told them: 'You are going into exile, but your release is in our hands - you have only to expel your teacher, renounce your Bulgarian nationality, stop teaching your children in Bulgarian and accept the Greek language once more - and then we shall send our man to the Governor with a petition and you will be saved from exile.' But they answered him that they could never renounce their mother tongue.

The Greeks are publicly declaring that those three Bulgarians were responsible for the introduction of our Bulgarian language into Nevrokop. And this they consider to be an infringement of the rights of the Greek people, because 'it was Macedonia here,' and 'it was a Hellenic land.’ This is the reason for the complaint of the Greeks in Seres. But we know that, on the contrary, our land is under the magnanimous and just sceptre of our august Sultan and that it is inhabited by Bulgarians.

Although the Greeks are very strong with their cunning and intrigues, we are firmly convinced that the judicious Government of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan will understand that our brothers are innocent and save them from undeserved sufferings.

В. „Съветник", Цариград (Newspaper Suvetnik, Constantinople),No. 14, July 4th, 1864; the original is in Bulgarian.
From the report of the Russian consul of Bitola, M. A, Hitrovo, to the Russian Ambassador in Constantinople, E. P. Novfeov,
on the opening of the Bulgarian school in Ohrid by the Bulgarian Moustrev

July 1864

Moustrev is a saddler by trade. He makes pack-saddles, which enables him to get a very modest means of subsistence. Moustrev's son keeps a small shop in Ohrid where he sells various goods, and even books. A man of humble origin and no particular education, Moustrev has managed to gain the reputa­tion of an honest man among his compatriots who have long ago wholly dedicated themselves to the service of their nation.

Without any resources and at a time when no one had even dreamed about the spiritual revival of the Slav nationality in Turkey, Moustrev opened the first Bulgarian school in Ohrid, where he taught several boys to read and write in Bulgarian free of charge. This was done usually in the evening, both to avoid persecution by the Metropolitan and the Graecomans, and also because of his profession which did not leave him any spare time during the day ...

Now the Bulgarian language is already gaining citizen rights almost everywhere. But the first protagonists of the movement for the revival of the Slav nationality in Ohrid, including the late brothers Miladinov, received their first knowledge about the rights of their native language in the poor school of Moustrev and under his direct guidance. And the saddler Moustrev can justly be considered as one of the leading figures in this national revival.

Славянския архив. Сборник статей и материалов (Slavonic archive, Collection of articles and materials), Moscow, 1963, pp.250-252; the original is in Russian
From the report of the Russian consul in Bitola. M.A. Hitrovo, to N. P. Ignatiev, on the national revival of the Bulgarians
in Strouga and Ohrid and the merits of the Miladinov brothers

August 6th, 1864

The district of Kichevo forms a special administrative unit under the authority of a mudir1 subordinated directly to the Governor General of Bitola. The town of Kichevo is the seat of the mudir and the Metropolitan of Kichevo and Debur ...

The majority of the population of the town is Moslem, while the Christian element is predominant in the villages. The district of Kichevo includes 104 villages inhabited by Christians and mixed population, with 2,096 Christian houses in them. The district of Kichevo differs greatly from neighbouring Debur from the political, administrative and social point of view. The Kichevo district submitted to the Tanzimat2 a long time ago; it is administered on a common basis, the population pays taxes and is liable to military service. The Moslems in Kichevo, like those in Debur, are of Slav origin: they speak only Bulgarian and are also apostates from the East Orthodox faith; but they embraced Islam much earlier than those of Debur and it is deeply rooted in them.

The villages in the district of Kichevo are mainly situated in the more fer­tile areas along the rivers Cherna, Sateska and Velika. Agriculture is the main occupation of the local population. Physically, the local people are in a pitiful contrast to the bulky, sturdy people in the mountain regions of Debur. Everywhere in that region the marks of the Turkish domination can be clearly observed. The local Christians are timid, burdened with taxes and other obligations to the state, and they are entirely at the mercy of the local Moslem population ...

On my return, I spent a few days in the towns of Ohrid and Strouga, and gained the most favourable impressions from closer acquaintance with the local Christians. I am not going to describe these towns which are quite well known, but I must point out here those signs which show the awakening of a sense of nationality, so strongly felt among the Slav population. The seeds sowed by the brothers Miladinov in this rich fertile soil have not been lost — and it is a pity that the brothers could not live to see them bloom, because they were the first victims of the struggles of this regenerated national feeling. In spite of the fanaticism of the Greek Metropolitan of Ohrid who constantly resorts to slanders and betrayals, in order to suppress the Slav element in his diocese, this element is proclaiming its demands louder and louder with each succeeding day...

At the head of the Bulgarian movement in Strouga stand people who have learnt much from their former bitter experiences and whose remarkable tact is successfully leading the national cause, which they have inherited from the brothers Miladinov. They support each other in everything; no one does anything which might compromise him in the eyes of the Metropolitan and the authorities, and day by day their cause is gaining considerable success. In spite of the Metropolitan's prohibition, services are secretly held in the Slav language, in, public the teachers pretend to be ardent supporters of Hellenism, but at the same time they secretly teach the Slav language In school. The people must have suffered much, and educated themselves under the terrible yoke to have come to the point at which a whole generation of their children could be secret­ly taught to read and write in Bulgarian.

In Ohrid the awakened sense of nationality is finding ever stronger and more persistent expression than in Strouga. There, the common complaints against the Metropolitan, who persecutes the Slav nationality, sound even louder because the aspiration for national recognition has become a universal necessity for the whole Christian population of Ohrid ...

The teaching in all schools in Ohrid, with the exception of one, which will be mentioned later, is done exclusively in Greek so far. The Metropolitan has not allowed the introduction of the Slav language in school . The people of Ohrid can no longer endure such restrictions on their native language. The teachers are the first to react against this state of affairs and they are only waiting for an opportunity to express their demands openly.

Recently at the examinations in the principal school in Ohrid, which took place in public, one of the citizens of Ohrid, a certain Mr. Sapoundji, a young man who had studied in Athens, seized the opportunity to deliver a speech before the people gathered in school, which was directed against the persecutions of the Slav nationality in Ohrid. In this speech he pointed out the historical significance of Ohrid for all Slavs; the suppression of the independent Bulgarian Patriarchate in Ohrid, through the intrigues of the Greek clergy. He condemned the actions of the Greek clergy and loudly proclaimed the desire of the people in Ohrid to restore their suppressed nationality and the rights of their native language, and in conclusion, in order to give his speech the respectability necessary for the censorship, he praised the Government of the Sultan which, he said, had always recognized the national rights of the Bulgarians. This speech was written by one of the Bulgarian teachers - Grigori Stavridi, who could not read it personally because he was wholly dependent on the Metropolitan and, for this reason, it was read by Sapoundji, who pretended to be its author, since he was an independent person. The speech was rapturously received by the whole Christian community in Ohrid ...

In one of my last reports I mentioned something about the private Bulgarian school of Moustrev which has long existed in Ohrid. This private school has now become a public one, and it bears the name of the holy Slav enlighteners, St St Cyril and Methodius. The school is situated in the part of the town known as Kashishka, and it is maintained by the three poorest quarters of the town, forming the outskirts of Kashishka, since they are a long way from the centre of the town. The Kashishka Christians have built a suitable and spacious building for the school but their scanty resources are far from suf­ficient for its maintenance, and, moreover, it is an object of persecution by the Metropolitan. On various pretexts, the bishop managed to expel the first Bulgarian teacher, and the parish of Kashishka was compelled officially to call its school Hellenic in order to continue the courses in it, and in order for the teaching to be done, though secretly, in Bulgarian as before.

Славянский архив. Сборник статей и материален (Slavonic archive, Collection of articles and materials), Moscow 1963, pp 248-250; the original is in Russian

1 i.е head official of a nachiya (= small county)
2 i.e. 'the reforms'
A letter from the Bulgarian  commune in Nevrokop,
thanking Stefan Verkovic, Seres, for the Bulgarian primers he sent

December 3rd, 1864
We do not know how to voice the inexpressible joy which overwhelmed our Bulgarian hearts when we saw the 200 (two hundred) Bul(garian) primers so graciously sent us through you by friends we do not know.
We've already distributed half of them in the Bulgarian village schools and many people thank us for this favour.
The Demir-Hissar, Melnik and Drama districts have asked us to send them more of the same primers, for money if necessary, but as we have no more of them, their request could not be granted.
Please accept the warm gratitude of our entire Bulgarian commune.

БАН, НА, ф. 14, a.e. 288, л. З; Документи за Бъл­гарското възраждане от архивата на Стефан И. Веркович. Съст. и подг. за печ. Д. Велева и Т. Вълов, под ред. и с предг. чл. кор. Хр. Христов (Documents of the Bulgarian Revival Period from the archives of Stefan Verkovic. Compiled and prepared for publication by D. Veleva and T. Vulov, edited and prefaced by H. Hristov, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences), Sofia, 1969, pp. 140-141; the original is in Bulgarian
The extant part of A Main Book about the New Church of the Resurrection of Christ, Nevrokop (Gotse Delchev)
January 6th, 1865
There gathered in Nevrokop the Bulgarian people for the building of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, and below is written the donation of every pious Christian Bulgarian.
Dimiter Petrov Astarchi                       Gr.
Iliya Doukov                                                        1,200
Stoyan Dimitrov Shein                                          1,500
Georgi Angelov Abachi                                        1,060
Stoyu Atanassov Abachi                       
Ivan Georgiev Abachinov                     

НБКМ, БИА, II A, 7237; the original is in Bulgarian
A newspaper report from Veles on the educational successes in the town
March 27th, 1865

For eight years now the patriotic commune in the eastern part of the town has been paying greater attention to the education and the intellectual develop­ment of the young people in their own Slav-Bulgarian language.

For the realization of this useful intention, it has built two magnificent schools - one of them a mutual-teaching one, and the other a principal one - and appointed the necessary teachers. All this, of course, was done with great difficulty and at great expense, but it was not in vain because the intellectual development and success of the young people in their studies is improving year by year. This is clear to all of us from the everyday teaching of the lessons at school and from the general examinations which take place every year at the time of the vernal equinox, when most of the merchants are at home because of the Easter holidays, while at other times they pursue their business in other parts.

This year, the examination took place on the day of the Annunciation as follows: after the church service the people gathered in the school 'St St Cyril and Methodius,' which was decorated with greenery, flowers, various maps, etc. After the usual prayer, in the presence of the priests, the notables and all the patriotic citizens, the students of the principal school were examined in the following subjects: Slavonic grammar, Bulgarian composition, Bulgarian history, geometry, mathematics, the new Testament, translation from the Slavonic language, the holy catechism and geography. The answers of the students were good and the examination concluded with a speech by Mr. Alexi Popstefanov.

In his speech, after reminding the parents about the inescapable duties which God imposed upon them for the education and the upbringing of their children, he clearly indicated the ways and means to achieve this education i.e. by sending them regularly to school and by leaving them to study freely for as many years as are required by the school regulations. Finally, after the students sang the song: 'Bulgaria, poor and wretched ...,' the assembled people left the school full of joy and gratitude.

В. „Турция", Цариград (Newspaper Turtsia1), Constantinople, No. 41, May 1st, 1865; the original is in Bulgarian

1A Bulgarian newspaper with a pro-Turkish orientation
A letter from Kouzman Shapkarev, Prilep, to Georgi Ikonomov, Doupnitsa,
persuading the
latter to accept the job of a teacher in their town

June 8th, 1865

I received the awaited answer to my letter on March 27th, if rather late, on May 24th, and I was happy to hear the good news you give me in it, that you are disposed to come here so that we can live together for some time.

As soon as I saw this piece of news in your letter, I informed the town elders and the school board of trustees, who greeted it enthusiastically, got together immediately and after discussing the matter and having heard the necessary words from your friend, decided unanimously to send a special messenger with the present letter and with the letter of appointment enclosed. Judging by your ardent patriotism, I do not doubt that you will accept the ap­pointment with enthusiasm, not considering the material aspect (i.e. the salary), but the moral one and you will set out for here, if possible, together with the messenger. Allow me to express myself more clearly and in greater detail: here, as almost all over Macedonia, learning, as well as national consciousness are still in their infancy. Therefore, a good and capable educator is needed to bring up the young generation properly. But such capable educators are both scarce and costly, and our compatriots, apart from the fact that they do not know where to search for such, what is worse, they are not yet used to offering what they would describe as huge salaries. They only want a teacher and do not think whether he is worth 2,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 grosh; they only want him to be a teacher because the highest salary they have ever offered a teacher is 5,500 grosh or 6,000 grosh at the most. They are not, however, against learning or slow in understanding, but only ignorant, and at first they find it strange to offer a high salary. But after they see the school's success in one year, in spite of all their ignorance, every year they invariably raise the salary. We have had many recent examples of that. For instance, the late Bulgarian teacher Vas., although he had no abilities and his salary was 2,000 grosh, when the elders in the first year saw and heard something they had never seen at the school examinations before, they willingly raised his salary in the following year from 2,000 to 4,500 grosh and in the third year reappointed him for another three years at 5,500 grosh, his salary might have gone up further had he not died.

Now, while asking you to come on my assurance alone, they are far from considering your abilities to be by hundred or thousand times greater or more valuable, but they would be grateful for as much ability as the late teacher possessed, and therefore they wholeheartedly offer you 6,000 grosh right from the first year. So far, I have not been able to convince them to give you more despite all my efforts. Be assured that your salary will rise considerably and satisfactorily during the second and third year. And again, in my opinion, you will be thankful, as we shall be, thankful to have a teacher for the next four years. In addition to your salary you will have free accommodation and heating. All this apart, please consider our dulled national consciousness a lit­tle, take pity on this blinded and obscure place, which stands in great need of such a teacher. What is more, the time is propitious now. Because if the Com­mune here would want another such good teacher, our common enemies will raise obstacles and will not give their permission. But now, since we are free from such enemies, it is the best time to found schools in these parts.

So I beseech you on my behalf, for the sake of the people, to accept the appointment with enthusiasm. Please pay no heed to the insignificance of the salary in order to be of great moral benefit to our people. Be assured as to the accuracy of everything I've written to you frankly and about what is written in the enclosed letter. You will do well to accept the offer.

Finally, you should also know that the enclosed letter, which is the first one from the Commune, will also be the last. Because enough time has passed since our school was closed and we cannot wait any longer. Therefore, if you agree to the above-mentioned salary, decide immediately to come as soon as possible, or let us know when you can come, or, if not, decide once and for all.

Looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you soon.

As the school has enough rooms, you will be accommodated in one of them.

НБКМ,БИА, II A, 2195; the original is in Bulgarian
A letter from the school trustees in Prilep to Georgi Ikonomov in Doupnitsa regarding the letter's work as a teacher
June 8th, 1865

As our Bulgarian teacher V. died three or four months ago, we looked for somebody else to fill the vacant post. Incidentally our Greek teacher K. Paskhaliev has recommended you and three or four days ago we were informed that you had agreed to take up the vacant job at the school of our town.

Apart from giving us verbal assurances about your abilities, the aforemen­tioned teacher advised us to approach the Veles people about references con­cerning your merits as well as about the size of your salary. We, however, trusting the words of the aforementioned teacher and considering it superfluous to seek information from the Veles people and others, thought fit to invite you by this letter and offer of our own will an annual salary of 6,000 (six thousand) grosh. In addition to the afore-said annual salary we will provide lodgings for you at the bishop's residence, which is next door to the school, because our school and the bishop's residence are in one and the same place.'

Therefore, if you accept the salary we offer you, please come immediately, with the bearer of this letter if possible; if you do not accept, please say so at once, so that we can look for another teacher because we have no time to lose. Moreover, we would like you to know that since we have no time to write another letter, it will be our first and our last one, on the receipt of which you can start for our town if you accept our offer, or you can decline it if you are not satisfied with the salary offered. Looking forward to your arrival, therefore, we, the school trustees and church wardens, sign this letter.

НБКМ, БИА, II A, 2196; the original is in Bulgarian
A report from Nevrokop to the newspaper Turtsia (Turkey) in which the board of school trustees
express their gratitude for donations of books and money

June 20th, 1865
The undersigned, together with all the Bulgarians in the town express our gratitude to all patriotic Bulgarian communes which presented different books and a good amount of money to our school. These patriotic communes are those of: Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Kalofer, Karlovo, Koprivshtitsa, Panagyurishte and Sofia. The patriotism of these well-wishers of the people will be forever remembered by every student at the school they have helped. Our town is much to be pitied at present, because less than three years have passed since a Bulgarian school was established by Royal grace, but in this short period we have endured considerable persecution at the hands of the enemies of our peo­ple, who are using all possible means to prevent there being Bulgarian educa­tion in Macedonia, where our town is situated.

В. „Турция", Цариград (Newspaper Turtsia), Constantinople, No. 1, July 10th, 1865; the original is in Bulgarian
A letter from Bulgarians of Koukoush to Stefan Verkovic
concerning the need for equipment for the Bulgarian
October 28th, 1865
Relying on your great patriotism and zeal for the education of our people we take the liberty of begging you to do us the following favour.
You know, Sir, that we built a new Bulgarian school the year before last. And not very long ago we brought in a suitable teacher and several days ago he started work. But, because we lack the necessary textbooks and the means with which to obtain them, we beg you to undertake this task and write to Plovdiv, to the booksellers there: Mr. H. G. Danov1 & Co. and Mr. D. V. Manchev - to send the books listed below. We ask you to pay for them and when you send them to us, we shall send you the money immediately.
Also, let an invoice for the price of each book be sent together with the books. These are the books we need:
a)  1 set of mutual-teaching tables for reading, writing and arithmetics - published by H. G. Danov.
b)  100 copies of primers, together with the tables.
c)  1 set of geographic maps, or the newest geographic atlas by Danov.
d)  30 readers, small.
e)  40 copies of samples for writing by Danov.
The above are to be ordered at the bookshop of Danov and Co. and the following from D.V. Manchev's bookshop.
a)  20 grammars with exercises by D. P. Voynikov.2
b)  20 geographic books by D. V. Manchev.
c)  40 arithmetic books by C. Kostov.
d)  40 short writing tables.
We beg you to take the trouble to send the above-mentioned books as soon as possible, so that the students will waste no time. As soon as you receive this letter, please let us know.

(Signatures follow, among which is that of Nako Stanishev)

Сп. „Македонски преглед" (Magazine Makedonski Pregled), Sofia, 1926, No. 3, pp. 137-138; the original is in Bulgarian

1Hristo G. Danov (1828-1911), born in the town of Klissoura, greatly contributed to book publishing during the Revival and to the development of education
2 Dobri P. Voynikov (183 8-1Я 78), born in the town of Shoumen, Bulgarian writer and author of text-books
A report from Bitola to the newspaper Turtsia speaks of the advance of Bulgarian schooling
in the town and the support it receives from the guilds

December 7th, 1865

Things look better here. The people want and are making efforts to have a school in their own language. The guildmen and most of all the chief guild masters, as well as the Bulgarian notables, are actually making arrangements to fulfil this desire of the people. We hope that soon the Bulgarians will begin studying in their own language. There is a God! By our sovereign's grace this will be. It is only necessary that we should have good will and to be unwilling to remain in the dark any longer, and to sleep the fatal sleep we have been sleeping up till now. But we must assert our rights because 'God gives, but doesn't bring it into the fold' and 'if the child does not cry - his mother does not feed him.'

It will not be a bad thing to say a word or two of praise about those who have done most and who desire with all their hearts to carry out this highly commendable work, so pleasing to God. They are: Mr. Dimko Radev, Mr. H. Kosta Koushov, Mr. Todorche, Mr. Ivancho Altiparmak - chief master of the tailors, Mr. Nikola - chief master of the barbers, Mr. Atse - chief master of the coppersmiths, Mr. Nahum of Strouga, one of the seal-keepers of the potters' guild, Mr. H. Petko, Mr. Dimche Bouchoukchiev, master of the bakers, and many other chief masters and merchants.

Unfortunately, there are still some patriots who still tarry and keep aloof, no one knows why, and do not offer their brotherly help for the speedier com­pletion of the work. They are the brothers Robev,1 Mr. Ounka, Mr. Dimko Atsev, Mr. None, the brothers Kokanchev and some others. But I hope that God will enlighten and strengthen them, so that they, too, will come and do their share in this work.

Much good will be done by our patriots from your part of the country, Mr. Editor, if they have the kindness to send us, as presents, some books, such as: primers by Danov, tables by the same, or by Mr. Dobroplodni,2 and also other books necessary for the primary schools, because, by God's grace, we hope soon, by the sovereign's will, to open more Bulgarian schools both in the sur­rounding villages and in other districts, where there are none as yet. But how shall these schools be opened? How will the children study when they have no books, no notebooks, no arithmetic books?

We here pin great hopes on the wealthy patriotic Bulgarians, that they will help us to realize this desire, which will benefit the whole Bulgarian people.

We earnestly beg people like Messrs Beronov, Benliev and Toshkov not to forget us and help us, too. Let their names become known throughout the whole of Macedonia. We believe that Bulgaria has given and will give birth to people like Aprilov and the Sakeiarievs ...

Most of all we beg booksellers, like the company of Mr. Danov and Mr. Trouvchev, Mr. Angelidi and all the other booksellers to be so kind as to send their people to these parts of the country, because we stand in great need of books of all kinds, and they, on their part, will benefit much by this because they will be able to sell their goods faster.

I don't know what has happened to Mr. Andrea Resnenets, the bookseller; we greatly rely on this gentleman to supply us with the necessary books. Let him try to bring the necessary books because we will need them very much soon.

I shall inform you later, Mr. Editor, about all events beneficial to the peo­ple which take place here, and especially those concerning national education here and everything which touches the people's interests.

В. „Турция", Цариград (Newspaper Turtsia) Constantinople, No. 27, Jan. 8th, 1866; the original is in Bulgarian

1Brothers Robev, a well-known patriotic Bulgarian family, actively participating in the national struggles of the Bulgarians in Macedonia
2Sava Dobroplodni (1820-1894), born in the town of Sliven, Bulgarian teacher during the Revival and man of letters.
An excerpt from the article From the Notes of a Traveller in Macedonia  
in which Raiko Zhinzifov describes the life of the Bulgarians of Macedonia


Some Russian writers in the recent past considered and maintained that Macedonia, which is a part of the present Ottoman Empire, was a purely Greek country from the ethnographical point of view, that its native population was of Greek origin and spoke the language of the descendants of the ancient Hellenes. But such an opinion about the population of Macedonia, if it is still extant in Russian society, is quite erroneous, not to say completely false. We boldly assert that the region called Macedonia is one of the Slav regions subordinate to the Turkish government in which the Slav population considerably exceeds all the other non-Slavonic nationalities: Turkish, Greek or Wallachian. And it will be a gross injustice to the native population of Macedonia if we call it a Greek country from the ethnographic point of view. The ethnographic and statistical data which we have to hand but which are not published yet, prove beyond doubt that half of the population consists of Bulgarians and the other half — of different other nationalities, scattered among the Bulgarians, mostly in the towns, namely: Turks, Albanians and Wallachians or Romanians, The Slavs of the whole Balkan Peninsula call the latter ‘Tsintsars' or 'Kutsovlahs,' but we shall speak about them later.

While we were travelling in June and July, this year, in Turkey, visiting a large part of Macedonia, we were able to obtain a closer view of the present situation of the Bulgarians and of all the Christians in the East, and the attitude of the Turkish Government towards the Slavs under its subordination, i.e. towards the Serbs and the Bulgarians, and finally we were witnesses to the struggle which has been going on ever since 1857 between the Bulgarians and their higher Greek clergy. But before we present some facts which will best il­lustrate the attitude of the Bulgarians towards the Greek Patriarchate and towards the Greeks as a whole, we shall take the liberty of saying a few words about the Turks.

Thus, as has been already said, there is in the Bulgarians all over the Balkan Peninsula a terrible hatred against the Greek higher clergy and against all Greeks living within the Turkish dominions and this hatred is daily in­creasing in conformity with the implacable stubborn refusal of the Constantino­ple Greeks and the Greek Synod to settle the Bulgarian Church question. Those Russian journalists, who say that we — the Russians — must insist on the recon­ciliation between the Bulgarians and the Greeks, are very much mistaken. The reconciliation of the two nations hostile to each other is very desirable, and no one disputes it, but, at present, it is futile to recommend it, because it is quite impossible. Only one thing can change the present animosity on the part of the Bulgarians towards the Greek Patriarchate and the Greeks as a whole - a solu­tion of the church question satisfactory for the Bulgarians, and, until that is done, it is impossible to think about stopping the controversy between the Greeks and the Bulgarians. Before we went to Turkey, we were ready to believe that everything published in the Bulgarian newspapers about the actions of the Phanariots in Bulgaria, Thrace and Macedonia was exaggerated, but actually we were convinced of the truth of all the facts published in the Bulgarian newspapers about the bad behaviour and attitude of the Greek prelates towards their Bulgarian flocks. Just open the pages of the Bulgarian magazine Bulgarski Knizhitsi and the newspapers Tsarigradski Vestnik, Suvetnik, Dounavski Lebed, Bulgarska Pchela, Gayda, Vreme and others and you will see that they are all full of such shocking facts of hostile activity of the Phanariots against the Bulgarians that one's heart bleeds as one reads them. And if only the Greek journalists in Constantinople had been prudent over the Greek-Bulgarian dis­pute! On the contrary, if we compare the Greek press with the Bulgarian, we shall see that the Bulgarian newspapers, in comparison with the Greek, have always been more moderate and restrained towards the Greeks, while the newspapers of the latter have always used highly abusive and arrogant language about the Bulgarians. How many articles with the most revolting con­tent are to be found in all Greek newspapers and magazines, directed against the Bulgarians who have not in any way offended the Greek higher clergy who dominate them, in connection with the demand of the Bulgarians to have bishops from among their own compatriots, and, together with the Greeks, to have equal participation in the management of the church affairs! How many Greek brochures against the Bulgarians have been in the course of five years published in the same connection!

However, greatly offended the sense of every Orthodox Christian - in the widest sense of this word — may be at the sight of the mutual hatred and animosity between the two Orthodox peoples, it cannot be concealed that this hatred and abhorrence between Bulgarians and Greeks has gained such propor­tions that the Bulgarians sometimes completely forget the oppression of the Turkish domination, and all, from the youngest to the eldest, think of one thing only, namely - how to liberate themselves from the Phanariot domination. On the other hand, the Greeks, headed by their higher clergy with what we may be allowed to call their mad obstinacy, antagonize the Bulgarians still more. Come what may, say the Greeks, let there be no development and independence of the Slav nations on the Balkan Peninsula, because this will destroy completely our Great Idea. There are facts which surely indicate that if this quarrel between the Bulgarians and the Greeks continues for two or three more years, the con­sequences will be fatal for both nationalities, and we are quite at a loss to un­derstand how is it that the Greek higher clergy in Constantinople do not realize and foresee them. Is not the present flooding of Bulgaria, Thrace and Macedonia with Catholic and Protestant missionaries and their success in gaining adherents there, insignificant as they seem to be, owing it entirely to the short-sightedness and the imprudent obstinacy of the Greeks concerning the Church problem? And among other things we were able to see on the spot, that the Bulgarians have no sympathy for any Greek movement, and the Greeks, for their part, declare themselves quite openly and proudly to be enemies of the Bulgarians. We say this with uneasy hearts, but what we say is so true that it can scarcely be contested. We boldly assert, that the Greek higher clergy, known as Phanariots, have through their arbitrary actions, lost every right to respect from the Bulgarians and indeed, they no longer respect them, and they have lost that moral influence over them which they enjoyed ten years ago. Some of the Bulgarian dioceses completely refused to accept the bishops ap­pointed by Phanar and they give them no money as voluntary support, and the bishops collect the taxes only with the help of the Turkish authorities. From time to time, petition after petition is sent to the Turkish Government in Constantinople and it was only this summer that many petitions were sent to the Turkish Government, asking for the Bulgarians to be delivered from the Greek bishops and a speedy solution to the Church problem. The Bulgarian newspapers are constantly publishing declarations from various Bulgarian towns, saying that their citizens have firmly decided not to accept a single bishop appointed by the Constantinople Patriarchate, whether of Greek or Bulgarian nationality, until the church problem is solved in a way satisfactory to the Bulgarians. And indeed, for several years now, Panaret, Bishop of Plov­div, and Antim, Bishop of Preslav, both Bulgarians by birth, and both enjoying the proper respect on the part of the Bulgarian population (the latter is a graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy) are living in Constantinople and bear the titles of bishops of Plovdiv and Preslav only nominally, because they have received letters from the said dioceses, saying that, if they do not want to be called Phanariots, they should not come to their dioceses until the church problem is solved. Incidentally, we must note that the Bulgarians rise against their bishops not only when they are Greeks but even when they are Bulgarians, if they see that the Bulgarian bishops act like the Greek Phanariots. Glaring examples of this are Dorotei, Bishop of Sofia, and Ilarion, Bishop of Vratsa; both are Bulgarians but they are both called Phanariots by the people. We can now say positively that the regions called Bulgaria and Thrace have morally rid themselves of what the Bulgarians call Phanariot oppression; there they are no longer afraid of the persecution of the Slav language in the churches on the part of the Greek prelates; the Bulgarians in the above-mentioned regions can without fear of the Phanariot open Bulgarian schools, where the teaching of the subjects is in Bulgarian, and the Greeks have lost all hope of converting the people there into Greeks. In brief, the situation of the Bulgarian people in Bulgaria and Thrace in this respect is completely changed: the national spirit has been awakened; the education and the development of the people in a national and Slav spirit is achieving obvious success, and there can be no doubt that, in the course of time, it will be strengthened even more, providing, as we already stated in our last article, that the Turkish government and the religious propaganda do not succeed in influencing it in the opposite direction - affiliation to the Latin or Turkish nations. But the same cannot be said about Macedonia where we travelled; there the persecution of the Church-Slavonic language still continues and the Phanariots oppose it with the most vigorous and brutal measures - they close the newly opened Bulgarian schools and the teachers in Bulgarian are either driven away, or handed over to the Turkish authorities as people suspected of dangerous subversive activities against the Turkish Government ...

Райко Жинзифов, Публицистика (Raiko Zhinzifov, Publicistics), vol I, Sofia, 1964, pp. 241, 257-259; the original is in Russian
A letter from Vassil T. Mishaikov to the Moscow Slav Committee
concerning his admission to the University there

March 16th, 1866
I am a Bulgarian born in the town of Bitola in Macedonia. Having studied for several years in the local school, I went to Athens on my uncle's wishes and enrolled in the high school there where I studied for three years, so that before I left Athens I had one more year of study to complete the course at the high school. That was at the end of the last school year. In that same year, i.e. in 1864 at the beginning of November, I arrived in Russia at the age of 20. On the recommendation of the Russian ambassador to Constantinople, Ignatiev, I was admitted as one of the students sponsored by the Slav Committee.
I intend to sit for an entrance examination at the University in May. On the other hand, I have promised the Slav Committee that after graduation I shall return to Bulgaria.

ЦГАОР, ф. 1750, on. 1, ед. xp. 227, л. 12; АИИ, БАН, кол. IX, on. 15, а. е. 134, л. 518; the original is in Russian
A letter from Veniamin Machukovski in Odessa to Stefan Verkovic in Seres
in reference to the tracing of Old Bulgarian relics in Voden

April 2nd, 1866

I was going to write to you in detail about my visit to the town of Voden from Salonica, but as I left for Constantinople very suddenly, I could not do so. I arrived in Odessa on Maundy Thursday. This Sunday the bishop here and the Rector of the ecclesiastical seminary will tell me whether I shall study at the Kiev seminary or at the one here.

Many old relics, such as stone inscriptions, coins, Old Bulgarian books, etc., are to be found in Voden. I could not find any Bulgarian inscription on stone: there were only Latin and Greek ones. The cathedral church is said to have been built back in the time of Justinianus. In it I found a book of psalms for eight voices, decaying in the dust, I was told that the other books were in the houses of the churchwardens. About these books they said: 'Go to the bishop and ask him, because we are afraid they might be lost,' i.e. I should not take them, because, as they put it: 'Many books have thus been taken from us.'

An old priest who was the house-keeper, said that when the first Greek bishop came to Voden, he collected all the Bulgarian books from the churches and people did not know what he had done with them. This priest knew the local legends in detail and remembered everything that had taken place in the Patriarchate of Ohrid and many things about the bishop of Voden. He told me all this when we were in the church. I asked him if I could come to his home or some other house where he would tell me more, but he answered: 'I am afraid lest that blood-sucker (the bishop) get wind of it and punish me.' When I was in Salonica I forgot to ask Dingov to find time and look up the afore-said house­keeper when he visits Voden and to write down these legends, because they are very valuable for our church history. Please write to him to see to that.

If you go to Voden meet Naoum Sidda (the Albanian), Stoyan Chalakov and Trupche Gyorgov. The latter has a son by the name of Trupche who has a coin with a Voden inscription on it, but he could not remember whom he had given it to. He might have found it by now.

They have told me to enroll in the seventh class. Give my regards to your family and also to Father Theodossius and to Hristo. Pray God I may safely return and be of greater service to you. You can send me letters through the Russian consul in Salonica.

БАН, НА, ф. 14, on. 1, a. e. 229, л. 31-32; Документи за Българското възраждане от архи­вата на Стефан И. Веркович. Съст. и под. за печ. Д. Велева и Т. Вълов, под ред. и с предг. чл. кор. Хр. Христов (Documents on the Bulgarian Revival Pe­riod from the archives of Stefan I. Verkovic. Compiled and prepared for publication by D. Veleva and T. Vulov; edited and prefaced by H. Hristov, Correspon­ding Member of the Academy of Sciences), Sofia, 1969, p. 216-217; the original is in Bulgarian
A report from Prilep to the newspaper Turtsia describes the yearly examination hi a Bulgarian school
July 12th, 1866

On the 12th of July this year the students in our principal school for boys were examined. It was now (as we hoped and believed) time for us, too, as well as the other towns in Bulgaria (upper) to take pride in an examination on higher subjects and in the Bulgarian language, as it seemed from the first arrival of the headmaster of the school in our town, that even our wretched Bulgarian school would make a step forward, being provided with such good students as never before, but the Fates had preordained otherwise, and our hopes were crushed, because the whole thing turned out the opposite of what we had expected. This was the reason why we sank into silence and were thrown into inconsolable sorrow (not to say despair).

The ancients have said that after sorrow comes joy. After we had been so much deceived in our expectations, and the people discouraged and downcast due to the failure of the examination at our principal school, our enemies triumphing at our failure and trying to prove that the vulgarness of our language does not allow it to bring up and educate the people even with such a good teacher as ours, thus hitting at the dearest and most precious hopes cherished in the bosoms of us all, we would have been thrown into utter despair had it not been for the excellent examination carried out by Mrs. Nedelya1 with her well-prepared schoolgirls.

The examination at the school for girls was conducted two weeks (note that the examination in the mutual teaching school was a week after that of the principal school, and in many respects it excelled the principal school), after the examination at the school for boys.

There was in Prilep not a living soul who was not present to witness this magnificent (although for the first time) performance. Neither did the women lag behind their husbands, and, after church service, all the people gathered at the appointed place - the mutual teaching school.

After our chief priest Н. Р, Konstantine had said the prayer for the long life of His August Majesty - Sultan Abdul Aziz, and for the success of the students, etc., one of the schoolgirls delivered a short speech prepared by the teacher, which so deeply touched the hearts of everybody present that many could not refrain from shedding tears. The examination began and ended in high rapture after several songs about our king had been sung. We were very glad that Mr. Dimko Radev was also present. I shall not relate what subjects and questions were asked and answered, I leave it for the others to explain. I am only glad to say that the chagrined faces, the hearts of the people sad and heavy because of the examination at the boys' school gradually became joyful and they were greatly encouraged when they observed the excellent answers of these young Macedonian girls. Greatly encouraged by the results of the examination, the people and the town authorities together did not delay over-much (in spite of some opposition) to appoint the same schoolmistress for the next year. We were still more heartened to see that the materials for the new school building were beginning to arrive. God help us to put the boys' schools in order too and we shall be fully satisfied.

В. „Турция", Цариград (Newspaper Ttirtsia), No.7, August 6th, 1866; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Nedelya Petkova (1826-1894), born in the town of Sopot, founder of the first Bulgarian girls' schools in Prilep, Bitola, Veles and Salonica
A letter from the townspeople of Gorna Djoumaya (now Blagoevgrad) to
the Russian ambassador to Constantinople
Count Nikolai Pavlovich Ignatiev,
regarding the granting
of financial and other aid to the school and the church in their town
July 14th, 1866
The undersigned humble Christians from Djoumaya turn to your protec­tion in order to state the needs of our poor homeland.
Unfortunately, we happen to live in a God-forsaken place which is far from the grace of our charitable brethren who are lavishing assistance and kindness on their wretched brothers in the Turkish Empire. We have been living in a darkness of ignorance and have just awakened and acquired knowledge by the grace of God from one Father Martiria, a preacher of the Holy Gospel. We send our fellow townsman Mr. Konstantin Georgiev as our spokesman and all of us, young and old alike, kneel before Your Excellency, begging you to con­vey our poor supplication to the appropriate authorities and intercede for a grant to be made in support of our poor church, which is heavily in debt because there are few Christians to support it and it is therefore lacking in the requisite church articles. The same is true of our school which has no funds whatever to hire teachers for our town and many poor children are in a sorry state, because they cannot afford to buy the necessary textbooks for their studies. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, please accept this poor supplication of ours under your merciful royal protection.1

Пушкинский дом, ф. 325, on. 1, № 103 (Pushkin's house); the original is in Bulgarian

The letter is signed by 22 inhabitants of the town and is stamped with 17 seals. The following names are legible: Hadji Nikola, Georgi Mitov, Mita Zdravko, Alekso Hristo, Tsvyatko Bogdan, Hristo Dimitriev, Rade Georgiev and Dimiter Spasso
A letter from inhabitants of Salonica to Sultan Abdul Aziz in Constantinople asking him to include them in the list of those Bulgarians who do not recognize the Greek clergy
December 1866
The undersigned, Bulgarians by birth and loyal subjects of His Royal Majesty, our All-merciful and All-benign Sovereign and Ruler Abdul Aziz, God grant Him long life for the good of all His subjects, whom God has chosen to place under the protection of His sceptre, having naturally separated from the Greek clergy in the state, by the present most humble supplication, beg the Honourable Government to include us among those Bulgarians, who, by their wise decision, have formally dissociated themselves from the Greek clergy in order to start their own free and independent social and moral development. Being true-born Bulgarians and loyal subjects of the Realm, we cannot suffer the spiritual guidance of clergy who have long since lost our moral and religious respect.
In hope, we make so bold as to sign ourselves as pure Bulgarians from the Salonica district (sandjak), loyal subjects and obedient servants and slaves of His Royal Majesty.

НБКМ, БИА, IIA, 5980; the original is in Bulgarian
A letter from Grigor S. Purlichev and loakim K. Sapoundjiev1 from Ohrid to Nikola A. Robev in Bitola
in connection with the movement for religious autonomy and expressing praise for the patriotism of
N. M. Toshkov
April 1st, 1867

Let me first kiss with filial veneration the hand of your reverend Father and the common Father2 of the people from Ohrid, because under his protec­tion so many things have been said and written against Bishop Meleti3 of Prespa that the simple folk have awakened and are now willing to sign any peti­tion blind-folded once they see his signature on it, and they have thus destroyed the reputation of the Bishop of Prespa.

We admit that, using all manner of excuses, the great Christian Church has often postponed and is still postponing the granting of our request, so that Meleti's: fall is not yet certain and that because so much time has passed, the people here have lost much of their original enthusiasm, but this cooling down, I assure you, is not due less to the injustice of the Phanariots than to the absence of your reverend old Father. The whole people greets him filially through me. Patience and persistence! I have been approached for the second or rather the tenth time by Meleti's friends with offers of reconciliation, which indicates that His Grace is out of his mind. Let God in heaven judge and take vengeance!

Please find enclosed an ode in praise of Mr. N. M. Toshkov, a wealthy Bulgarian merchant in Odessa, who annually donates 3,000 grosh to 9 Bulgarian towns (Ohrid among them) for the opening of girls' schools. It is quite clear that through such a large donation he will bring enlightenment to Bulgarians in 5 years. I cannot but praise the donor. I took a great deal of trou­ble in writing the ode which is 60 lines long. I am sending it through Mr. D. Manchev who is to submit it to the editor of Makedonia for publication, if space and time allow it. I fervently beg you to send what is enclosed through a very reliable messenger and to write to me a few lines, will you, because I get furious and jealous when I see that you often write to Mr. Ioakim4 and never to me.

Please, remember that in your letter you must say something to the effect that 'your letter, Mr., Purlichev, has been safely dispatched.'

P.S. Today is the first of April, but I forgot to make you an April joke.5

Тилева, В. и Ан. Коджаев. Непубликувани писма на Григор С. Пърличев. (Принос към биография­та му ) — Известия на НБКМ. (V. Tileva and A. Kodjaev. Grigor Purlichev's Unpublished Letters. A Contribution  to His Biography, Journal of НБКМ , vol. 14, (20), Sofia, 1978, pp.377 430.

1 Or Yakim Kochov Sapoundjiev (1836-1910), a teacher and secretary to the Ohrid commune
2 Anastas Stefanov Robev (b.? - d. 1869); he was one of the most active partners in the big trading firm 'Robev Brothers' and a member of the Ohrid town council
3 Mileti Velichki, bishop of Prespa and Ohrid
4 Ioakim (Yakim) K. Sapoundjiev
5 The text written by I. K. Sapoundjiev is missing
A report from Koukoush to the newspaper Makedonia about the celebration of St St Cyril and Methodius day in the town
May 12th, 1867

This was a sound that came from the mouth of a very respectable Greek and it deafened me when I was passing through the market of Koukoush today. 'This/ answered some of the Koukoush notables sitting together with the said Greek in a shop, 'is a celebration of the Day of the Bulgarian enlighteners St St Cyril and Methodius, who, ten centuries ago, enlightened the Bulgarians and all Slavs with the truth of the Gospel and after devising the Bulgarian alphabet, laid the foundations of Bulgarian Slav writing. That is why today, we too, being Bulgarians, celebrate their holy memory as a sacred duty and this is the occasion for the present "extraordinary celebration," as you consider it, Sir, which you observe in our small town.' Afterwards, these same people from Koukoush related in detail, as far as it was possible, the lives of the Bulgarian apostles, and the Greek gentleman, on hearing that they were from Salonica, seemed very pleased and proud, and he ordered a cup of coffee for every one present, which may be understood to indicate that he too was probably from Salonica.

And, indeed, if this Greek had felt so elated and grateful, how much more so should those feel, who had stayed in church, like sheep at salt, to listen to the solemn service in honour of their great enlighteners and, just like lambs running after their mothers, had run towards the school where the celebration was still greater than that observed by the Greek in the market? The extent of their ad­miration is indicated by the following.

Two days before the holiday all the craftsmen in town agreed that on that day, even though it was very important to open their shops because it happened to be market day, they should not open their shops until the service in church and the ceremony in school were over, and this they did.

It is not necessary to describe in detail the celebration, taking place in Koukoush this year for the second time. I shall only add that for the vespers the schoolboys from the schools — the principal and the mutual-teaching one, near­ly 250 in number, under the supervision of three teachers and carrying the two holy images of the enlighteners went to the church singing all the way. And just as in the morning, so after the vespers had been conducted with all the solemni­ty due to such ceremonies, the students went back to school, and, after the usual hymn singing, one of the teachers delivered a short speech on the lives of the saints and invited the people to pay more attention to the education and up­bringing of the young people, because otherwise, he said, they would remain lagging behind all other people, as it had been until then.

After the morning ceremony in school, the shops opened for a short time, and, from noon till the evening, the people of Koukoush rounded things off with joyful festivities. This is all about the celebration.

As for the schools, I am glad to say, and to praise them, that today there are two schools for boys — a principal and a mutual-teaching one — which are so far well managed, and there are hopes that they will be better still; but, un­fortunately, the school for girls is not doing very well, and this is not due to lack of good will on the part of the citizens, but to impossibility, because highly commendable as is their patriotism and love for knowledge, the people of Koukoush are not able to organize their school for girls properly. What they have done for the boys' schools is more than can be expected, but, unwilling to close their school for girls, they have appointed one of the priests to teach the girls as best as he can. This will give an idea of the progress there.

It will become clear how necessary it is to have a well organized school for girls in Koukoush, when one considers how near Koukoush the Greeks of Salonica are, and that girls from Koukoush are admitted to the Greek schools for girls in Salonica free of charge, and also that, because of the good manage­ment of the schools for boys, many students from the neighbouring villages go to study to these 'famous' schools.

In Koukoush I saw also an issue of the newspaper Makedonia, presented by the Bulgarian library club in Constantinople, and I learned that after the receipt of the 1st and 2nd issues of the newspaper, the students sent a letter of gratitude to the library club through the newspaper; but because they have not seen it published in Makedonia as yet, they were very disappointed and they asked me to tell you of their feelings and to beg you to do now even though it is already late, what they had done in time, but unfortunately nothing has appeared so far. Will you be so kind, Mr. Editor, to put in the respectful columns of your newspaper Makedonia both our lines and theirs.

В. „Македония", Цариград; (Newspaper Makedonia}, Constantinople, No. 26, May 27th, 1867; the original is in Bulgarian.
A letter from Grigor Purlichev from Ohrid to Nikola A. Robev in Bitola
on the statement about the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid
June 3rd, 1867
As soon as we received your letter we called a general meeting at St Cle­ment' mutual-teaching school at which we made a short but strongly worded speech, and also explained your letters, both the one addressed to the elders and the one addressed to us, which was longer and more encouraging — all this made a strong impression on the people present.

All those present at the meeting, including the priests, signed the petition with great enthusiasm, and animation spread throughout the town. The joy was universal because an agreement had been reached and there were no more differences since not only the Wallachians, but all those who had been opposing it, now leadily signed it as well. Hercules could not have been happier with his 12 exploits than you would be if you could see the results of your patriotism. On the next day (the day of the 318 Fathers) I delivered a longer speech, en­couraging the faint-hearted, urging the inert into action, explaining to the peo­ple their church rights, vividly describing the perfidious slander on the basis of which Patriarch Samuil had closed down the archbishopric of Prima Justiniana.1 You can imagine the impression my speech made even on the monoeklesia /i.e. the supporters of the unified church - editor's note/, coming as it did deliberately after a simple recommendation I had made the day before, insisting that the meeting should become a monoeklesia /i.e. a meeting of the unified church - editor's note/ if possible. It is most curious that under these favourable circumstances my wit was instantly kindled. Because suddenly and quite naturally I had changed from a teacher into a preacher and my im­passioned words greatly moved the people, so much so that when the young priest Georgi was reading the Gospel, everyone as if at a given signal began coughing (as in bad weather), but during my speech everyone listened with pleasure and not only did the coughing stop, but one would have thought that this multitude had even stopped breathing!

My dear man! I believe that paradise is something delightful but I also think that the good-will of the people is no less desirable and that he is not deluded who sacrifices himself for it. And so, I have made my report.

I wish the best of health to you, who love your country and are protected by it.

P.S. The request to the Patriarchate has been written simply and purely to satisfy our opponents who thought that, after making their excuses, they too had the right to voice their opinion. I believe, however, that you would not agree to the sending of this request except to the Sultan. The petition for 'the restoration of our archbishopric' has been made at the suggestion of our op­ponents with whom we agreed in order to achieve unanimity.

On this occasion great zeal was displayed by Mr. G. Bodlev,2 Mr. I. Sapoundjiev, Father Tasko (who defended my speech by addressing the meeting ex tempore) and that is why he is entitled perhaps to some help for his parish; he would even be useful to us in the setting up of a council of elders. I fervently beg you to urge the inert notables to set up a Council of Notables (Elders).

Тилева В. и Ан. Коджаев, Непубликувани писма на Григор С. Пърличев (Принос към биографията му). Изв. на НБКМ; (V. Tileva and A. Kodjaev, Grigor Purlichev's Unpublished Letters (A Contribution to His Biography). Journal of НБКМ vol. 14(20), Sofia, 1978, the original is in Greek.

1 The name of the independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church and of its supreme governing body based in the town of Ohrid; a direct successor to the Bulgarian Patriarchate after Bulgaria's fall under Byzantine rule in 1018. In 1767 Samuil, Patriarch of Constantinople, closed down the Archbishopric о Ohrid and subordinated its dioceses to the Constantinople Patriarchate
Georgi Bodlev, a prominent figure of the Bulgarian National Revival Period
A letter from Grigor S. Purlichev and loakim K. Sapoundjiev, trustees of the Bulgarian girls school in Ohrid,
to the
Robev brothers and sons in reference to the opening of a Bulgarian girls school in their town

September 23rd, 1867

Thanks to the Esteemed Government which zealously concerns itself with the opening of schools, we have at last decided to set up a Bulgarian girls' school and to appoint a lady-teacher, in spite of the opposition of some of our fellow townsmen, mostly from the aristocracy, in spite of the almost complete lack of funds which may induce us to take the risk of resorting to our empty purses in order to meet the needs that are sure to arise in the first year, especial­ly in connection with the maintenance of the school.

Therefore, we turn to you with filial courage and ask you to send us not only the sum donated by the patriotic Mr. N. M. Toshkov as soon as possible, but also to take fatherly care, if possible, of the further needs of the school with joy in your heart that you have at last seen the long-suffering Ohrid awake from its lethargy and that you have at last found the sheep that was lost.

As for us, we are not afraid of any small personal sacrifice in the cause of education, but we believe that this is far from being enough for the establish­ment of the school; and lest the national spirit, which has again blossomed forth in the hearts of the people only after long struggles, should fade away, it needs some care and attention at least until the moment when the sweetness of its fruits will wrest personal sacrifices even from the poorest townspeople.

Тилева, В. и Ан. Коджаев, Непубликувани писма на Григор С. Пърличев. (Принос към биография­та му) - Известия на НБКМ. (V. Tileva and A. Kodjaev, Grigor Purlichev's Unpublished Letters (A Contribution to His Biography). Journal of НБКМ,  vol. 14(20), Sofia, 1978, pp. 403 404; the original is in Bulgarian

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